Many people abandon the Couch-to-5k in weeks 6 and 7. I completely understand why.
It gets hard!
The hardest part of the last week has been accepting the reality of what my body is capable of doing. As inspired as I may be by marathon recaps, speedy paces and my own growing strength, I still have limits. While the progression of the Couch-to-5k keeps me in check distance-wise, I’ve realized that I also have to check my pace expectations. And maybe my growth expectations.
Today’s workout was a 5 minute warmup walk and then 2.5 miles without walking. My last, similar, workout was not successful, in that I did not complete the stated distance without walking. I made it about a mile, had to walk for a moment to lower my heart rate and resumed running.
This morning, I made the decision that I would run at a considerably slower pace (5.5 or 11mm) in an attempt to complete my stated distance. While treadmill running used to be my only option, I find it pretty difficult now. I can’t fluidly adjust my pace to recover or push myself when I feel inspired. It’s a great challenge to maintain a steady pace but it certainly has become a challenge. My run today reflected that it was a good choice and I am still struggling to keep my heart rate down over longer distances. Since I’ve fallen in love with Draw Something, I shall use my, well….phenomenal artistic abilities to bring the run to life.
Easy breathing. Strong legs. Whenever I would start to feel a bit uncomfy, I would check in with various parts of my body. When I verified that they all felt strong, I reminded myself that I can do this!
Around the end of my second mile of running, I was really dying. Like last time, I used every strategy I could think of to get my heart rate down without stopping but my mind won out. Again, I checked my heart rate and it was through the roof. I took 0.15 miles to recover and resumed, determined to finish the workout as close to intended as possible.
It was not ideal but yet another reminder that this is a process. The more I can do to set myself up for success, the sooner I will reach my goals.