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!!