couch to 5k

I’ve mentioned on a few occasions that I am a really bad runner. I’m not sure what it is about running that is so challenging to me–I have no issue with walking or other forms of cardio like the elliptical or biking, but running is HARD. It has never been something I excelled in, even when I was at my most fit. Because I suck at it, I just avoid it. I can get a pretty satisfactory workout on the elliptical machine so I typically stick with that.

Until now! Dun dun dun…

I’ve decided that, since running is so challenging to me and makes me so sore the next day, that it must mean it’s a better workout for my body. A quick google search brought me to the Couch to 5k program, which (on paper) looks so easy! So I made a commitment to myself: I’m going to do this 9-week program. I can’t remember the last time I was able to run 3 miles without walking (if ever), and I think it’s a pretty good goal for me. I am never going to be an excellent runner and I will never run a marathon, but I think I can handle a 5k. I think it will be really good for me!

Conveniently enough, the amount of time it will take me to train for the 5k is the same amount of time we have until we go on vacation to San Francisco. So I decided to start a new tradition: vacay 5ks! My boyfriend initially thought I was nuts because who goes on vacation to pay a race registration fee and run? Vacation is supposed to be for relaxation, food, drink, etc. But I tend to approach vacation differently. For instance, while we’re in San Fran we’re taking a daytrip to Yosemite and our tour includes a hike through the Sequoias. When we went to Denver, we hiked through Red Rocks. When we were planning our vacation and hadn’t yet settled on San Fran, I researched hiking trails in Seattle (another contender on the list). I like to be active on vacation! I’m not so much a lay-on-the-beach type. So it makes perfect sense to me that we’d go on vacation to run. Besides, we’ll be arriving Saturday and the race is on Sunday morning. It’ll only take half an hour. It barely affects our day or vacation at all, and it will feel good! He makes us take tours of all the baseball parks when we go on vacation…so in turn, I get to dictate that we run. 🙂

So, I headed to the gym after work yesterday (yes! on a Friday!) and started the program. I’ve decided to start with workout 3 because I don’t want to be on a weird schedule where I start the next week’s workout at the end of the week. Workout 3 was a breeze and is the exact same as workouts 1 and 2 so I don’t feel too bad. The program specifically says not to skip ahead even if you find the workouts initially easy…but I worked out on the elliptical 3 times before starting the program, so I’m okay with my decision. I’m ready for Week 2!

I have to admit I’m a little self-conscious doing these workouts at the gym. Everyone knows that interval training is the best for your body, but I never see people doing intervals of walking/running on the treadmill. Most people start going, run for 30 minutes, and they’re done. But this program has me alternating between walking/running every minute or so, and I hate to think that people are judging me and thinking I’m just that bad at running. a) It shouldn’t matter what anyone thinks. and b) I am that bad at running so it shouldn’t faze me. I need to stop letting my fears of what others around me are thinking seep into my brain. I need to focus on me!

Also, I’m pretty sure when I run I look a little bit like Phoebe on that one episode of Friends. I’m not very graceful.

Week 2 looks like this and I’m excited to start on Monday:

I’m not very sore from my initial workout last night. A few of my muscles I hadn’t used in a long time were a little tender (like my calves/behind my knees) but nothing at all like I expected to feel after my first foray into running after a long, long hiatus.

However, I was a little out of it when I got off the treadmill. I went to get some gym wipes to wipe down my machine and accidentally started wiping down the wrong machine. About 10 seconds into it, I was looking at the machine and thinking man, this machine looks a lot cleaner than the one I was just on. And then I realized my iPod and water bottle were missing from the holder. And then I saw that I was two machines away from the one I’d been on! Oh. My. God. The icing on the cake was that there was a girl working out on the elliptical behind the treadmills and saw the whole. thing. Wow, embarrassment. I wiped down my machine and booked it the hell out of there. Whoopsie!

I’m excited to see where this takes me. I hope I can make it through the program and complete the 5k in San Francisco without stopping to walk. It’ll be a challenge because running on pavement is totally different than running on a treadmill…and San Francisco is hilly. Here’s to the challenge!

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9 thoughts on “couch to 5k

  1. I think this is a great idea! And having a goal race (on vacation) is even better. Run, girl, run ;-)!

  2. Wow, you are inspirational lady! 5k vacays are a great idea and I am hoping that by continuing to read your blog I will be inspired to whip my butt back into shape.

  3. B.L. says:

    You can’t be in THAT BAD of shape haha, because when I first started, I barely made it through week 1 of c25k hahaha! I sucked hard core too! You’ll get there 🙂 🙂 Can’t wait to see your progress!!

  4. Melissa says:

    Doing runs on vacation sounds like such a cool idea! It’s a great way to see the city and get in some exercise too… I think I’m going to have to look into this for our future vacations, because lord knows that when I get back from vacation, I’ve gained at least 10 pounds from doing nothing but eating… haha.

    I tried the Couch to 5k app on the iPhone and LOVED it!!! To be honest, I didn’t get through it but I think that’s because Spring Break rolled around and when I got back from being at home, I just said ‘f it’…. so, you know, there’s that willpower thing…

    But it sounds like you’ve got an awesome goal and that you’re super motivated! When I get done with school, I’m going to do Couch to 5k again, so you have to keep at it and keep us all motivated!! 🙂 I found that the way Couch to 5k works is really easy and doesn’t force you into a faster pace than you can reasonably manage. It’s definitely made for people who were more ‘couch’ than ‘5k’ 😉

    • I’m definitely more ‘couch’ and don’t feel threatened or intimidated at all by the program, which is good! If I can get through the first workout, I am confident that I can push myself through the rest! Thanks for the words of encouragement 🙂

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