Couch to 5K: Repeat Yourself


I think this will come as a surprise to absolutely no one, but I think I’m too hard on myself.  This week’s C25K tip would definitely be to relax and try to enjoy the enormous sense of accomplishment that can come from the process if you let it happen.  Yes, it IS really hard.  And some days are going to feel ten thousand times harder than others.  Some days, like yesterday, you’re doing to feel tired and sick and slow, and the run is going to take everything in you to complete.

But finish.  You’ll thank yourself for it.  And when the week is done, repeat it if you need to.  Heck, repeat it if you just want to!  It can’t hurt, and it might help.

Right about the end of my third run session yesterday, I had a total weirdo breakdown.  I am choosing to blame it on hormones, because it sounds better and could conceivably be true.  As I finished the third run session and we passed a neighbor out pulling weeds in her garden, I had a complete meltdown.  I was so tired, so queasy.  Everything hurt and I felt like I’d never make it through another three run cycles.  I got weepy.  I thought about how ridiculous I must look struggling through the neighborhood, never making any progress… and then I stopped myself.

I have made progress.  I have made HUGE progress.  I couldn’t even finish the first day of week one when I went out the first time, so this is huge.  I’m running week two, and I am stronger and faster.  I looked over at my husband and noticed that he was a little sweaty and out of breath from running along with me, which is a huge marker of my progress since the first time he went out with me he didn’t even have to run to keep up.  So to you, Inner Voice of Doom, I say this:

Shut up.  You don’t know what you’re talking about.  You never do.  You’re not out here pushing yourself to bigger and better things (and smaller pants too) and you’re not the one making changes.  I’m doing all the work around here, so I get to call the shots, and I say you’re fired.  Get out and stay out!

It felt good to yell at my ridiculous inner monologue, and it gave me the confidence I needed to keep going, push through the moment at run session five when I was relatively sure I’d throw up (I didn’t), and finish another day of Couch to 5K.  I’ve already decided I’ll be moving on to week three on Monday, even if it kills me.

If you’re doing C25K, I am so proud of you!  If you’re faster, slower, bigger, smaller… who cares.  It’s a huge achievement to go from no running to dedicated, scheduled training.  We should all be so proud of ourselves, and get trophies… and foot massages.

If you’re not doing it but you’ve been thinking about it, what’s holding you back?  Get out there.  Believe me, if I can do it so can you.  Here are some things you ought to know about my health history:

  • When I first went away to college about twelve years ago, I routinely had a frappuccino and donuts for breakfast.  I ate a cheesesteak sub and fries for either lunch or dinner every day.  I added gravy or cheese to the fries.  I drank real soda with added sugary “fruit” syrups, and I ate candy all the time.
  • When I was living in Boston about seven years ago, I went through a pint of Haagen Dazs chocolate ice cream and a medium pizza about every two days.  I ate pastries and drank sweet, sugary coffee drinks for breakfast every morning, and I drank without thinking about it.  I’ve never been a huge drinker and I still wasn’t, but I’d go out and have two or three margaritas just because they were there.
  • When I was pregnant with my son in 2007, I totally used it as an excuse to eat, eat, eat.  I ate donuts and fast food all the time, I drank milkshakes.  I went through a phase where I had two cheese danishes for breakfast every morning.

So what is my point?  My point is that I’ve come a long way.  I have made huge strides in how I treat my body, and it has helped me get to the point where I can even consider a 5K, walking or running.  So I am proud of the changes I’ve made, slowly over many years, and I am happy with the strong body I’m earning.  Get out there and earn yours too.

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2 Responses

  1. I’m so proud of your progress! So you’re starting week 3 now? awesome. You are doing so well–I agree, STOP being so hard on yourself! 🙂

    I *think* i’m gonna try week 5. do I feel like I’ve mastered week 4? probably not. I reserve the right to backtrack….lol.

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