I have just completed my first run (for the third time?) with the coolrunning.com Couch-to-5K training plan.

I. Feel. AMAZING.

I spent fifteen minutes stretching, then grabbed my iPod with Robert Ullrey’s podcast for running ready to play, and chose a direction. Thirty minutes later, I climbed back up the driveway, poured a glass of water, and have been breathing and stretching and marveling at how awesome I feel for the last twenty minutes.

The key this time was the music. Ullrey chose dance mixes and tracks with a very heavy beat, to help novices like me keep our pace consistent. As a result, I found that I shortened my stride (and thus had an easier time keeping my ankles and knees soft), and worried less about distance than form. My posture was great, my torso and arms weren’t too tense, and I felt strong and controlled rather than full of flail. And for the first time in my life, I had no trouble remembering a heel-to-toe step pattern. (I began formal ballet training as a toddler, five years before joining sports teams. The memory recall of “run like a lady, run en pointe!” drowned out the bellowing of every soccer and baseball coach I played for, but today I found that it’s impossible to run on one’s toes while taking short strides.) I’m sure I still *looked* like a fool, but frankly I feel too great to care.

You can take a look at the route I followed via my page at mapmyrun.com (just click the graphic below) – Nicole, I’m sure you’ll be well familiar with every stride of it.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com

Off to the shower — and VERY much looking forward to Wednesday!

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