dear jane, who is contemplating doing couch to 5k,
i hate running. i really do.
when i started c25k, i thought, hey, it’ll be easy. they’ve set up the program to make it easy, so it will be easy. what on earth could possibly go wrong, right?
when i started, it wasn’t that bad. i think i started at the third week because i knew i could do the first two easily. so off i went in my old new balance sneakers, trotting away for an eighth mile walk, run, walk, run, walk. not too bad.
oh, but it got worse. my knees started wigging out on me. my left thigh muscles spasmed occasionally. my hip muscle was pulled at one point. i wrapped my knees, bought better shoes, and kept plugging away. thankfully, shin splints never set in and my ankles were fine (i sprained one in high school).
at about week 5, I was gasping for breath after my run/walks and ready to pass out on the cool-down mat. i redid weeks 5 and 6. i ended up doing week 6.1 and 6.2 because i couldn’t quite do week 7 (2.5 miles nonstop). i was doing a mile, walk 1/8, a mile, walk 1/8, a mile for a couple weeks. i thought i would be doing that forever.
how i felt at week 5
then one day, i just did it. ran the whole shebang and didn’t even think about it beforehand. and it wasn’t bad. but i didn’t enjoy it. i was still gasping and wheezing for breath at the end, but i had done it, and that was my goal.
but i kept doing it. about a month ago, i started running outside all the time, and maybe 2 weeks ago, i enjoyed a run for the very first time. 3.5 miles, very little wind, maybe 68 degrees outside, 8 p.m. perfect. but the perfect run isn’t what really kept me going. it was the new calf muscles that popped when i flexed. the trim(mer) ankles. my thinner, toned thighs, not to mention some overall weight loss, that was really what motivated me to keep running. walking would not do this for me.
so i guess i’ll keep going. when it’s gross out, i don’t really enjoy running. when it’s nice out, it’s tolerable to enjoyable. but it took a while to get here.
and that, jane, is how you do c25k. it’s hard, but you just power through and do it because, well, you can.