Yeah, you read that right, I met my goal of the week - I completed the first week of the Couch to 5k Challenge. It was.... hard? easier than I expected? empowering? frustrating? Or really, all of the above and more.
It was hard and yet easier than I expected. Day 1 seemed much easier than I anticipated and I was feeling good and confident. Day 2 however was a struggle the whole time. I've been running inside this week as I still haven't figured out the best podcast method for me (we have ipod complications in our house right now) and I was able to return my running shoes if I didn't like them after a few runs (I love them!). But Day 2 I was running in our apartment's tiny gym closet. There were other people there, I was self conscious and on a treadmill that wasn't like the one I'd used the other day. To make matters worse I was dealing with some pain caused by friction on Day 1 (if you don't know what I mean then you are probably too skinny to understand it). I completed the workout but I found myself grabbing on the sides during the run and walking slower in the interim. I was cranky about it too.
Day 3 was redeeming though. I did the work out and even upped my time a bit (I've been confused about the actual time they recommend for week 1 as I've seen different things). Since it was Sat I was able to sneak away during baby goat's nap. I made it back before he woke up and had the workout done before dinner which made the whole day easier to deal with. I had the gym to myself and managed to run everything without holding on. While my jogging pace is painfully slow (4.2) I did try to keep my walking pace at least (3.0).
Now that week 1 is done for the first time I find myself alternately empowered and worried about my ability to complete this challenge. On the one hand - I did the first week! It wasn't as bad as I thought. And I've run more this week than possibly ever? I don't like running yet but it was tolerable and I felt good afterward. On the other hand - I now have tangible knowledge of just how far I have to go before this is a reality. When something seems impossible with a vague frame of reference it is one thing, but when something still feels impossible with a specific frame of reference however it can seem even more daunting.
I'm going to fight against this thought of impossibility. I need to remind myself that something that takes a long time to accomplish does not make it impossible. I have a strong tendency towards over-exaggeration and if something takes a long time it seems almost impossible. It is the math part of me. For example if healthy weight loss is 2 lbs per week then I do the math and even with no plateaus, setbacks or drama it would be a LONG time before I got in my weight range. The numbers make it seem impossible, but it isn't impossible it just needs a long term commitment. This challenge is the same way. I now have some base numbers for my brain to play with and when I do the math it shorts out my circuits and makes me think it is impossible. BUT IT IS NOT. I just am not there yet.
I've been debating what my goals are for this week. On one hand week 1 went well and was easier than anticipated. On the other, I haven't run outside yet and week 2's program makes me scared. (90 seconds of running, I'm still counting every second of the 60 second runs from Week 1). I'm going to play it a bit by ear but here are my goals for the next week.
- Do the program 3 days this week with at least one day being an attempt at Week 2 workout.
- Research stretching, warm-up and cool down things to help with soreness and safety. (Please share what works for you).
- Figure out the best solution to the podcast issues and get some downloaded for workouts.
- Work out with another program (or even just go walking) once this week.
Other Couch to 5k relevant posts from this blog: