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C25K - I think I graduated!

Monday, October 29, 2012

It has taken me a while to get through the Couch to 5K program, but I think I can now safely officially announce that I've graduated! For those who aren't familiar with it, the program helps non-runners get from running for one minute at a time in Week 1 to running for 30 minutes straight by Week 9. In theory, this means that you are able to run 5K by the time you finish! I started doing the program on my treadmill back in January of 2010 but four weeks later I found out that I was pregnant so I put it on hold. I no longer had access to a treadmill and I was self-conscious about running in public so I put it off until I managed to convince myself that I could do it in February of 2012. My goal was to run 5K on my 40th birthday in May.

My first runs were hard. I went out in under cover of darkness in the evenings. I ran up and down the sidewalk of a quiet street in my neighbourhood. I got sidelined by snow and ice. I kept trying. By early May I had made it to week 7 and I was able to run for 25 minutes straight. Then a couple of (what should have been) minor incidents happened...a thoughtless comment from casual acquaintances here and there and I allowed my self-confidence to slip. The goal of my big 40th birthday run began to seem like it was impossible. I got a bad cold and used it as an excuse not to run for a few weeks. I missed my big run day and by the time I built up the courage to get back at it, my endurance and confidence had slipped back so much that I could only run for about 3 minutes at a time.

In June I had surgery and was not allowed to do any exercise. In July I had another surgery. It took quite a while before I was able to push my son in the jogging stroller but I started getting out for long walks in August. By mid-September I was ready to give C25K another chance. I did a test run to see how long I could go without getting overly tired and I decided to re-start the program at Week 3. I ran the Week 3 program once and found it to be fairly easy, so I skipped to Week 4 for my next run. It was just right for me, so I picked up and got back into it three times a week.

By Week 7 I really got into the groove. My runs started to become easier and much more enjoyable. By the end of each run I was feeling so good that I didn't want to stop, so I kept going for an extra minute or so. In Week 8 I ran for at least 30 minutes each day. Now I'm in Week 9 and my most recent run was 35 minutes. That's 5 whole minutes more than I set out to do when I started the program!

I am definitely not the fastest runner out there, but I'm getting better. Thirty minutes is not enough time for me to run 5K, but as I increase my time I'm getting closer and closer to running the full distance. I have signed up for the virtual Trick-Or-Treat Trot here on SparkPeople and I'm going to tackle it this week! I'll post an update once I've finished.

For now I'm happy (and amazed) that I can consistently run for at least 30 minutes straight...and you know what? If I can do it, you can do it too!!

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    2336 days ago
    That is amazing! Congrats on sticking with it and graduating! I just graduated from C25k a month ago, and I am just amazed at what my body has been able to do. Keep up the hard work - it is worth it! emoticon emoticon
    2336 days ago
    emoticon Congratulations!!! emoticon
    2337 days ago
    Very Happy for you. I started my first workout with the C25K program.. I am alive... not sure if I like it yet... but I am going to try to stick with it.. and we shall see.

    2337 days ago
    emoticon good for you!!keep going,I am on week four,day one today,and the five minute run today was really hard,but I did it,and am really liking it. You should be really proud of yourself for not giving up!
    2337 days ago
    2337 days ago
    Congratulations!! emoticon
    2337 days ago
    Fantastic! You didn't let all the obstacles slow you down. That is determination! Congrats on making it through. I did my first 5K this weekend and I may have been slow, but I ran the entire time. You are gonna kill that Trick or Trot this week!!
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    2337 days ago
    I am absolutely with you! I did the C25K program about 3 times before I quit letting things get in my way and derail me. I am not a fast runner either but I can run about 6 miles when I push myself. I still am trying to get under a 36 minute 5k and thats my next goal. Also want to run a 10 minute mile and Im ALMOST there! Congrats on seeing it through and all your success with it!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2337 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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