Friday, March 14, 2008

Couch to 5k realizations

I considered going to yoga yesterday, and then based on the feedback I got in my comments I decided that wasn’t the best idea ever. Instead, I went shopping. That’s always better than an extra workout, right? OK, maybe not always, but it’s better for me right now while I’m doing this couch to 5k thang. Someday I’ll add in additional workouts. I’ll get back to you on that in a couple months.

About the couch to 5k program … yesterday I had two realizations about the program and my progress, and my husband realized something else and shared it with me. My two realizations are happy – his not so much. I’ll start with his … might as well get the unpleasantness over with first.

Realization #1: Hubby (who is also doing the couch to 5k) looked up the program info on and calculated the miles per hour it assumes we’re running.

It assumes I’m running 6 miles per hour. HA! Now that’s funny. Or depressing. It kind of depends on the moment as to how I feel about that news.

It’s just not happening. I am NOT going that fast. I’ll have to work my way up to that. This info changes nothing, really, but I hated to hear that I am OFFICIALLY slow. Oh well. When I finish the couch to 5k official program, I have a couple extra weeks before my 5k … I’ll keep training and hope my speed increases during that time.

Now, on to happier things …

Realization #2: Over my last post or two I’ve talked about how my Week 6 Day 3 run today will be 25 minutes. Last Friday I did a Week 5 Day 3 run that was 20 minutes, then this week for Week 6 Days 1 and 2 I went back to doing walk/run sequences. I assumed after my Week 6 day 3 run I’d go back to doing walk/run sequences for next week, too.


This week’s Wednesday run was my last run where there is walking in between periods of running. From here on out, I’m scheduled to run 25 minutes straight, then 28 minutes straight, and then 30 minutes straight.


I didn’t realize that I was at that point in the program until yesterday. When I was doing my run on Wednesday I had no idea it was my last day alternating walk/runs. I may have been blocking this out. It is overwhelming to think about those long runs. But hey, I’ll try. I’ll try, and if I am not ready I’ll back up a week and then try again. Hopefully I’ve progressed enough that if I run slowly I can do it, though.

Anyway, despite the long-and-concerning-length, there’s something wonderful about this “I will be running X minutes at a stretch from now on” thing. I can now discard the podcasts and listen to my own music. Woo hoo! Plus, I figured out how to use the timer on my heart rate monitor yesterday*. That means that once I finish my 5 minute warm-up walk and set my timer I won’t even have to watch the clock. After 25 minutes an alarm will sound. Cool stuff!

Yay! I’m so looking forward to my own music. And it’ll be good for me to not be reminded how far I still have to run while I’m doing these long runs. In the early weeks, the “you’re halfway done!” messages were reassuring – now they’re becoming a little anxiety provoking. Only halfway!?! Yeah, I didn’t need to know that.

Realization #3: I’ve been plugging along on the couch to 5k program, and somehow I did not notice until yesterday that I AM MORE THAN HALFWAY DONE WITH THE PROGRAM! Now granted, as noted in Realization #1 I’ll need to keep training for my 5k after my official Couch to 5k program is over, but still! Yay! Lookie here:

That’s where I am right now, before doing my run today. Woo hoooo! Look at that pie, with those more-than-half-finished numbers. (…mmmm pie…) I'm over 60% done, even before I run today! And next Wednesday is officially one month out from my 5k.

It’s all very exciting and intimidating at the same time.

Wish me luck on my run tonight!

* This makes a whopping two things I’ve figured out how to do on my heart rate monitor … 1.) look at the time and 2.) use the timer. Note that my heart rate has nothing to do with either of these things. Ugh. I’ll figure the durned thing out at some point.


Hanlie said...

I wouldn't worry about the speed for now! You are doing so great and the speed will come. Or not! Some people just run faster than others. It doesn't really matter!

I'm sure you'll do fine with your 25 minute run!

Chubby Chick said...

You are doing great! Good luck on your run tonight! :)

dietbook said...

I am actually rather awestruck at how well you're doing. My personal philosophy is that speed is not that important. But that could be because I am starting the whole thing off with a whopping jogging speed of 4 to 4.5. :-) Someday I'll get up to 6. I started at 6, and realized that "someday" is definitely not "today". 6 is hard. 4.5 is much, much more my speed, pun intended.

How exciting, and scary, that you will be running straight! That does scare me; I can't imagine ever being ready for it. But I'm definitely following you for inspiration...and the idea of using your own music definitely appeals. I don't like the "halfway done" thing either...I prefer to not know how much I have left. :-)

You are doing so great, don't be down on yourself for anything. As Hanlie said, some people run faster than others...running, and sticking with it, is a LOT to be proud of.


Brittany said...

You are doing great! Much better than I could do.

I did a ride along with a police department in my area a few years ago. One of the officers I rode with says that the average person walks/runs at 3 miles per hour. We sat there for a few hours shooting people with the radar gun to see how fast they were walking/running and the average speed was 3 miles per hour. So when I got a treadmill last January, I thought I was going to be cute and walk at 3 miles per hour. Hahahahaha! Yeah. Right. I almost flew off the back of it. I had to start at 0.5 miles per hour. I'm up to 2.6 now. So honestly, don't feel bad! :)

Felicia said...

WOW you are doing so great!! 6 mph? Yikes! And I thought I was doing good making it to 3 mph LMAOO

Best wishes on your run tonight!!!


Kate said...

Good luck with your run tonight, i'm sure it will go great. I know when I am running I always wonder how I am going to add time without dying, and then I add it, and think, wow, that wasn't too bad!

Also, don't worry about being slow. I'm a terribly slow runner...we can be slow buddies lol

Run Runner said...

I've been doing the same math... running a 5k at my current pace (4.7 on the treadmill) would take about 40 minutes. I'm just planning to keep increasing the time a bit until I reach 39 or 40 minutes, then do the race.
I've also read that "race day" excitement will help you run faster and farther than you have during training.
Don't look ahead at the program if it freaks you out-- trust your body, trust your training. You can do it!

Sonya said...

WOW, that is suck awesome news. Congrats on the 60% done thing. Now that the sun is shinning a bit more and it's getting somewhat warmer here I'm wanting to restart the program myself. I got up to week 4 and then let it go as it got so cold outside and I don't own a gym membership. You're post is very inspiring. You are doing so great, and you should be very proud of yourself!

I had to laugh at your comment about the podcast guy saying 'your half way done'...I felt that way when I was on week two and dying! lol... Enjoy listening to your own music from now on!!!! YAY YOU!!!!

Sonya said...

haha...such awesome news, not suck awesome news...oops.

MomOf3 said...

Best of luck on your run tonight! 25 minutes is awesome! Good for you!!! I am officially slow too according to the 6mph thing too. Oh well! :)

Caroline said...

You are totally keeping me motivated. I can't wait until I'm on week #6. But I think that's AWESOME that you're on to just running. You go girl!

Amanda said...

Not that my 2cents are extremely important...but as someone who started as a barely runner and now does 40 miles a week...a few thoughts.

1. a 10 minute mile is nothing to scoff at! Way to go! 6 miles an hour is faster than some people ever run.

2. Yoga is a blessing for runners. It will make your running better, it will help aleviate it...especially when you're tired.

Ok down off the soap box.

Pattie said...

I am so impressed by what I just read! Your tenacity and perseverance are amazing! And now you're on to running the full time - wow! I hope it went well?

Don't worry about being slow: you're doing GREAT!

Cammy said...

Hey, you may be slow, but you're vertical and moving, and that's HUGE! Congrats on your great progress!

Tina said...

I love your little pie chart thingie! And you said you weren't all techish and things... :)

Wow, great job on the Couch Potato program.. you've really hung in there and your scale numbers are GREAT. As soon as I've rid of the plague I am refocusing my energy on weight loss.

I wanna see pics of what you bought! :)

ashley said...

Is that a 133.ZERO?

Good luck tonight!

And you might be going slower than you thought, but your endurance has grown like crazy. Go Happy!

tru2me said...

Congrats on your couch 2 5k progress.

I'm starting week 6 on Tuesday.

LoserIrene said...

Honey, I am doing a similar training and I am running at a little over 4MPH. Basically about 14 minutes per miles. That is slow as hell. But slow and steady and being able to finish the 5K is the immportant thing.

Once you are able to finish the 5K, then you will get your speed up. Don't worry.

Lillian said...

Wow. That's great. Running 30 minutes straight. I'm starting 'Couch to 5k' this week and I can only run about 90 seconds straight. I misread it my first time out. I did 90 second run and 90 walk. It's 60 sec run/90 sec walk at first. It was a learning experience.

Great job. Speed will come in time. Finishing is the goal.

JavaChick said...

I think the important thing is that you are doing the program, not how fast you are going. I started out at 5 mph, but when I started getting into the longer running intervals I had to drop down to 4.5 mph. I figure I'll worry about building up the endurance, then I can work on speed.

Congrats on getting this far! I'm sure you'll do find on race day.

CindyPTN said...

Wow, you're doing fantastic. Yep, agree with everyone that speed doesn't matter. You're moving and feeling great, right?! I relate speed to competition level running and even then it's nice to just focus on your own pace and improvement.

As you continue to run, speed might (doesn't always have to) be a goal you'll eventually want to achieve, but for right now--Enjoy running for the feel and buzz it gives you.

sauchagirl said...

You know, no matter how fast you run it, you'll finish. And that's awesome! You are so much fitter than you were just a few weeks ago.

Keep it up!

Ready Maid said...

Here's wishing you luck, luck, luck, luck, luck, luck, luck, luck, luck...for as much as you think you need. I KNOW YOU CAN DO THIs!!

Cat said...

Sounds like you are going really well with the couch to 5k. Well done.