I walked 10 minutes, ran for 45 seconds, walked 5, ran for 45(ish), walked (limped) for 5 and tried not to cry, and ran maybe 30. My calves locked up horribly, like charley horses in my calves. I also ran alongside Randy which was difficult because he runs at a different pace, I was really, really struggling and his encouragement wasn't very encouraging, and I was really struggling and wanted to try to wrap my mind around it and I couldn't. I was really kind of upset afterward at how difficult it was and thinking maybe I was a little bit BONKERS to be trying to create some kind of work out routine.
Things I learned: I could do this at all without dying.
Times: 45 second runs, 10 minute warm up, 5 minutes in between.
The second run:
I decided that this time I would create a running play list and run alone. That worked out and I did the first 10 minutes but it didn't take long, just like the first time, for my calves to lock up and really stop me dead. It's SO hard to keep going when you're in pain. It feels like you're running toward more pain, rather than through it. All you literally have to do is stop where you are and say, "I'm done,", and literally, the ONLY thing preventing you from doing that is deciding not to- that's it. It's crazy. I ran and tried to run until I was uncomfortable and found that if I changed "Pain is just weakness leaving the body," over and over, that I could put one foot in front of the other. I imagined my weakness running like sweat off my feet and into the ground and that my muscles were rebuilding, bigger, harder and stronger. I managed two of the three runs and then I stopped, but I was glad that I ran 2x longer on these runs than I had the first run.
Things I learned: The calf pain eventually comes on like contractions. It would get very hard for a bit, then start to let go, then start to gear up again, peak, let go. I could feel heat in my calves. I was also very focused on that pain sensation.
Third run (today):
I've been doing some reading on running for beginners and one of the most important things I learned is that when I'm getting ready to go run, my inner dialogue is "How am I going to manage the pain? The terrible, crippling pain? It's so hard, this is so hard, maybe too hard, what if I can't run the whole thing?" I start negotiating in advance that I am going to fail and how to justify that it's okay. LOL!
Today I started out by envisioning my calf muscles long and loose. They are soft and ready to be stretched and worked. They are full of energy that is built up and needed elsewhere, so I imagined that extra energy moving down into the earth and up toward my belly. (Thank you for that visualization, Jean!) I also brought my iphone and as I started the walk I started fooling around with my running play list. I noticed that my legs felt stretched and achy in a good way, not in a crippling way. I put my phone in my pocket and as soon as I no longer had that nice distraction my brain started taking stock of all that was hurting and uncomfortable and the "Ohmygod I can't do this" dialogue started- right away. I took my phone back out and messed around with the timing and whatnot for a while and it got me able to actually do my first run. Since I doubled my time on my first run when I ran my second, I opted to just pick a place in between them (1 minute). That was a good time for me and I think I can easily add the 15 seconds next time I run. I think once I can run for 3 minutes I'll start reducing my walking times.
I was in pretty good spirits for this run. I noticed as I started the warm up walk that my calves felt much more relaxed and 'warm' than the two previous runs. Those runs, we got up in the morning and ran first thing. Today, we ran at night. I tend to think a day of using the muscles helps to warm them up a bit for a run a little better than going straight after a night of sleep.
Times: Ran for 1minute seconds 2x and walked hte entire rest of the time. Ended up feeling really good, energized and proud that I finished, even if I didn't do the three runs.