The Dreaded W5D3

So the 30 Day Challenge is technically over.  I have lots of thoughts and feelings to share about the last month and I promise that a post about it is forthcoming.  In the meantime, I just returned from a run and couldn’t WAIT to write about it.

There are many, many threads devoted to the “dreaded” Week 5/Day 3 workout in the Couch-to-5k program.  In the first four weeks, the workout doesn’t change within the week.  In week 5, there are three different workouts.  The third is a 5 minute warmup walk followed by either 20 minutes or 2 miles of running – depending on whether you’re going by time or mileage.  In Week 4, I switched to mileage.  It’s easier for my pea brain to compute,  it’s less annoying to stare at on the treadmill, and I consider it a reward for running faster than a 10 minute mile.

People tend to psych themselves out about W5D3 because the furthest you’ve run on the plan (without a walking recovery) is 3/4 of a mile or 8 minutes.  Jumping up to two consecutive miles is intimidating!  Even with all my fun and successful workouts, I’ve had some hesitation as the two mile workout approached.

So.  All week in Oakland has looked like this:

I'm in a glass case of emotion.

I’ve been looking forward to doing this particular workout at Lake Merritt, the 5k lake in Oakland that I dream of dominating.  When I woke up this morning and saw that it was clear, I scarfed down a Lara bar, took a quick nervous picture, and headed out the door.

Got this, right? Right? ........Right?

Lola is concerned.

I arrived at the lake as the farmers market was setting up.  Woooo parking spots galore!  I set up a workout in Run Keeper that had half mile intervals.  I wanted to have a sense of where I was in the run to avoid that feeling of “this is never going to end ever so I better just stop right this second.”

It was cold.

As soon as my warmup walk was over and I began to run, I noticed a few things:

* It was really cold.  I was very glad that I purchased a new techie tee yesterday and wasn’t wearing a tank or a bulky sweatshirt out of necessity.

*  My tummy felt funky.

*  I was running too fast.

In the past, if I had felt any GI sensation, I would have stopped.  Today I just said, “f*ck it” and kept going.  I also couldn’t control weather and gave that another “f*ck it, keep going.”  What I could control was my pace.  I kept reminding myself that I had much further to go and I needed to slow down.  That was probably the biggest challenge of the run – constantly monitoring my own pace and body.  There were many points where I was quite tired.  My heart rate never got out of control but throughout the run, breathing felt less easy than usual due to the cold.  Knowing that I just had to make it to the next interval turned out to be quite helpful.

I can think of at least 10 times where the old me would have stopped to walk.  Instead I shuffled along, sometimes very slowly, until I regained my breath and was able to pick the pace back up.


I did it!  At no point did I stop to walk and will you take a look at those splits?  So consistent!  Woooooo!  It’s cute how I thought I would push it for the last quarter mile.  That obviously didn’t happen but I was so tired at that point that the fact that I stayed anywhere near my pace was miraculous.  Despite being tired, my body felt great.  Absolutely no knee sensation whatsoever.  I’m so relieved that my new shoes were a good purchase.  Funfetti be praised.



3 thoughts on “The Dreaded W5D3

  1. Roger Fallihee says:

    You look fantastic and I’m very proud of the “new you,” although I was always proud of the “old you” too. Great job!!!

  2. Lauren says:

    Looooove you!!!! Good job!

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