Last month I started Couch-to-5K. Except for one week I had to take off due to a cold (this sucked, but I was in bad shape) I’ve managed to stick to the program. I have some observations to share.
It’s hard every time
Every week I look at the proposed schedule and think “Run for $X minutes?! I can’t do that! I will die!” And then I go out and do it anyway, even though it’s really hard. So I am definitely making progress, on the first week it was running for a minute that made me want to die, this week it’s running 5 minutes that kills me and the 3 minute bursts are a nice break from the 5 minute ones.
Next week I have to run for 8 minutes. That will kill me!
I like running after I’ve run
I feel really good after I’ve run (and taken a shower). Much like going to the gym once did, it helps me have more energy for the day and is a net benefit, even if I have to force myself to do it. I don’t think I like the actual deed very much, I swear a lot in my head and want it to be over.
I am exploring new worlds!
The first two things here I could have anticipated, but this one is very interesting to me. I knew getting out and running in a beautiful place here in San Francisco would be great, but I didn’t expect how much greater it would be while traveling. I thought it may have been a mistake to start this right before going on trips to Florida and Perth, but instead it was brilliant. During both of these trips I got much more familiar with the area I was staying in (looking for places I could run) and more in tune with the climate (looking for when I could run, both were hot in the daytime!).
I love numbers
OK, we knew that. I’m using the Active.com C25K running app and it’s been awesome to keep track of stats and have maps of where I ran!
Selfies aren’t part of the app ;) I did that on my own.
Completed run in Hollywood, Florida!
The challenge in Florida was humidity and heat, even in December when the temps were still getting into the mid 80s with humidity during the day. I had to avoid running when the sun was at the highest and humidity was up, so I tended toward late afternoon. Mornings are probably better, but jet lag from California prevented that.
Completed run along the Swan River in Perth, Australia!
I was really worried about Perth. Not only is southwestern Australia hot, it’s summer there and I was in town for a heat wave where daytime temperatures were peaking around 100. Fortunately Perth has this amazing ability to cool off almost immediately once you’re out of the sun. Shade is wonderful and morning and evening times are quite comfortable. I got my running in during the morning before the sun had a chance to cause too much trouble. Jet lag helped me here, waking up at 5AM and going for a run was perfect.
Completed Run along the Embarcadero here at home in San Francisco!
This was my run today! I took a week off last week for my cold and was dreading starting week 4, fearing I’d backslid too much since Perth, but I was fortunate. I started back up on Friday and it wasn’t easy but it never is and I managed to pick up where I left off.
Muscles in my calves are taking the brunt of the soreness from all of this, but it’s a good, exercisey hurt. I’ve had some trouble with my right ankle too, so I’ve iced it after some runs and I now have “buy new running shoes” on my list for this weekend. The sneakers I have now are for running, but they’re old and a bit too worn out.
I run slow and haven’t lost weight
But that’s ok :)