Week one was easy. Well, OK, week one was manageable. 60 seconds of running alternated with 90 seconds of walking repeated 8 times. I was definitely huffing by the end, but I never faltered.
Week two was harder. Who knew running 90 seconds instead of 60 would be significantly more challenging? I made it through that first week two run, struggling at the end, breathing harder than I had the previous week, but I made it. It didn’t get any easier as the week went on.
Surprisingly week three was the easiest of them all. Maybe it was that I already had two weeks of runs under my belt, or maybe I’d embraced the notion of being a runner, but I sailed through the two repetitions of run 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds, run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes. I found myself itching to run a third interval. That’s right, me, the girl who barely two weeks before had struggled through running a mere 60 seconds.
And that’s when I got psyched out. Because Week Four – run 3 minutes, walk 90 seconds, run 5 minutes, walk 2.5 minutes, run 3 minutes, walk 90 seconds, run 5 minutes – seemed really daunting. If there was a huge difference between 60 seconds and 90 seconds, the difference between 3 minutes 5 minutes was more of a leap than a jump. Plus the run time from week 3 was almost doubled in week 4, and well, I’m a wuss.
But the beauty of C25K apparently doesn’t just lie in it’s running plan, which is amazing, or the free podcasts, which are, well, priceless, it lies in the masses of people also doing the program.
Every time I log into Facebook or Twitter and mention what section of the plan I’m tackling a host of people chime in to say where they are on their route to 5k. It’s inspiring and motivating to know that so many others, so many of my friends, are also running their way through the same intervals.
Five minutes before I headed out to run the first Week Four run I logged on to Facebook and went to the Couch-to-5-k fan page. I always feel inspired by the way everyone there encourages each other and I clearly needed some encouragement myself.
I posted: “Need some motivation. Scared to start W4D1. 5 minutes seems like an awfully long time!”
And strangers came out of the woodwork to support me.
One person posted: …”We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” ~ Buddha
Another said: “That’s what I thought too! But you can do it :)”
With their words ringing in my ear I headed out on my run. Whenever I started to struggle I gave myself silent pep talks and remembered that others had made it through. And I pushed on.
I finished the intervals without walking. I ran a total of 16 minutes, feeling better and better about myself as I ran step after step.
And when I got back I posted a thank you to my virtual support group along with this message:
“I did it! Ran the whole thing! Even sped up during the last minute of the last five minute run. Feels GREAT!”
Endorphins are good. Overcoming your fears and pushing beyond what you thought you could do is even better.
Remind me of that at the end of next week when I have to run 20 minutes without stopping.