Week 3- Couch to 5K

Hello. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Carol. For those who do, I’m having a mood swing.

Week 2 Plan:

Stretch
Warm up: 5 minute walk
Run 1.5 mins/ Walk 1.5 min/ Run 3 mins/ Walk 3 mins x2
Cool down: 5 minute walk/ Stretch

Side note: To tell you the truth, the 5 minute cool down has become a combination of walking the rest of the way home, stretching as much as our sore, little bodies can handle, then collapsing on the couch.

Side note 2: I skipped a day… yes, I know, I’m a terrible person, but hey, I’m only human. I had to decide between running and getting sushi for dinner. You can probably guess which won over. I really like food. ESPECIALLY sushi.

Day 7:

Do I have to write about this day? I really don’t want to. I’m not proud of it. I feel like I failed today. It was my worst performance to date. Let’s just say I stopped… a lot.

I woke up and, like usual on a weekend, I wanted to get the exercise done as soon as possible so I could do other, fun things for the rest of the day. So at around 9, I ate some strawberries to get something in my system before going out.

Mom and I went through the usual routine, then went out. We were dreading the 3 minutes. After the first 90 second run, I knew today was not going to be my day. I was uncomfortable, still waking up, and running on a combination of 5 strawberries and adrenaline. Then it came time for the 3 minutes. I think I ran 2 minutes before I had to stop and take a breather. The second 3 minutes was worse. I did 30 seconds before bailing on it all together. I walked home with my head low and my tail between my legs.

The rest of the morning, I was in a sour mood. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or to do anything at all, just sulk in a chair and feel sorry for myself. It wasn’t until lunchtime that my mood changed for the better. I’ll give you a hint as to why that was: I was STARVING! I was too busy being Mrs. Grumpy Cat that I didn’t realize how little I had to eat that day. I just about swallowed my lunch in one go. Now I understand the importance of an post-workout meal/snack. However, I still don’t like running in the morning. Unfortunately, most 5Ks start in the morning… crap.

Day 8:

Technically, it’s Day 8, but today, it’s more like a Day 7 redo, because I wasn’t happy with my performance the first time around. I wanted to run a bit more before going on to the next day. We didn’t get through the entire 9 minutes, but stopping for 25 seconds (I was keeping track) is much better than nothing at all. I’m very proud of both of us. After a week of freaking out over the 3 minute mark, we just about did it!

I now have more realistic expectations for my performance at the beginning of the week. The first day running a new routine is going to be much harder than the week before. It has to be, or else there will be no growth, no challenge, no goal to reach. The nice thing about the Couch to 5K training is we can go at our own pace. If we want to redo a day, “Great. Whatever you are comfortable with”. If we get injured, “we aren’t in any rush, we can start over again in a week or two”. If we feel extra ambitious and want to skip a day, “why are you torturing yourself like this?” We still haven’t picked a 5K, so we have all the time in the world (except we don’t, because the idea is to do something new ever month of 2017… 11 months to go).

Day 9:

Ugggh.. nope. Didn’t make it. We are going to keep going with this plan until we succeed.

Day 10 (We made it to the double digits!):

Still nope…

But we did have some nice passersby cheering us on. One commented on our “cadence” and another asked if we could run a mile for her… Ma’am, I can’t even run a mile for myself. So no…

Day 11:

Seriously? Still no. Although, I started to play upbeat, three-ish minute songs during the three minute run to make it a bit easier to countdown to the end. Seemed to be helping. The first song was “Can’t Buy Me Love” from the Beatles, and the second was “Help” (seemed fitting) also from the Beatles. We completed the first three ok, but its the second three minutes that’s the kicker. Day 12 could be our day though…

Day 12:

AND IT WAS! We did it! Now to repeat it one more time before we move on… dang it. I played “Bye Bye Bye” by N*Sync (Mom was dancing to N*Sync while she ran… DANCING! I’m running behind, hardly able to breathe and she’s freaking DANCING! She’s an inspiration) and “Upside Down (Bouncing off the Ceiling)” by A-Teens to get us through it. I always thought “Upside Down” was a pretty upbeat, fast-paced song until I started running to it. It felt like a dirge after the first couple beats. I couldn’t end fast enough. But hey, WE DID IT! Wait… if today is Day 12, that means the next day is lucky number 13… oh man…

Day 13:

Day 13 proved to be lucky! We jammed to Cyndi Lauper and Pat Benatar during the 3 minutes and completed them again! I was in an 80s mood. It was strangely inspirational. Girl power and all that. We are running Week 3 one more time on Day 14 just in case the last two days were flukes. Because third time’s the charm, right?

Day 14:

Success! We can now move on to Level 4. I feel better now. However, looking at the Week 4 routine is giving me anxiety already… stay tuned for that. If you don’t hear from me next weekend, it’s because I’m struggling… again…

Until Week 4,

Carol B

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