Tonight marked my first training session in the No Boundaries program. We met at Fleet Feet at six o'clock and divided into groups: rabbits, gazelles and cheetas. I'm not kidding. For some unknown reason, I was not put into the group at the lowest fitness level. So go ahead, laugh, I'm a cheetah. I look more like a cheeto, but whatever.
They give us very cute light-up necklaces (mine was purple) and took us out back to a huge parking lot, where they had marked off a course with cones. We are to run to the right of the cones - got it. The course is one-half mile, no problem. We will interval walking two minutes, and running two minutes. Well...okay. This was supposed to be a program where folks could train to walk, walk/run or run their first 5K and we'll spend half of our time running? I feel myself freaking out, wondering what possessed me to think I could do this. I grab my phone to call Charlie, only to remember that he's at a concert at church. I'm on my own.
I tried to talk to people but all I could think about was having a coronary on my first night of training. I mean, death really brings a halt to your new health regimen. No HEMSI vehicles in sight, no paramedics, no medivac helicopters. Okay - if I perish, I perish.
First two minutes - we're walking, and I can walk - great. Next two minutes - we're jogging, fine. Towards the end of the two minutes, I'm feeling a little strain in my shins, but I'll live. Next two minutes, walking, something I know how to do. Next two minutes, we're jogging. But this isn't like the first two minutes. The pain in my ankles and legs burns; I am not having fun, but two minutes is not that long, right? I swear, the second two minutes was longer, but it didn't matter because I was going to drop dead in a parking lot underneath a stampede of rabbits, cheetahs and gazelles.
Since I've lived to write this post, you know that I did not drop dead. But oh my, what is it going to take? I asked my coaches, Jennifer and Cheryl, what I needed to do. I'm a little panicked because how am I going to be ready for next week when I couldn't keep up with the pack this week? They were so sweet and told me to work up an interval pattern that I can manage. I have a schedule, and Lord willing, I'll be ready for next Monday.
If any of you are considering a program like this, let me offer some advice.
Super-Handy Training Tip #1: Hydration. They tell you to do it, but for heaven's sake be careful. Some of us "hydrated" to the point of explosion. You do not want to be in a parking lot running with 100 people and suddenly be the four-year-old who forgot to use the bathroom before she left the house.
Super-Handy Training Tip #2: Do not use your first group training session to try out your new sports bra. It just might cut off your circulation to the point that you're seeing Pee Wee Herman running next to you; I think he was in the "gazelle" group.
Super-Handy Training Tip #3: You are not going to be the slowest person in the group. If you're fortunate like me, you will be running with a woman who just had liposuction and was still tender. I kicked her butt.