Today I started week 4 of the couch to 5k.
Maybe this looks like a piece of cake to you, but coming from last week when the most I had to run was 3 minutes at a time and I got a 3 minute reprieve afterwards, this was a lot. I keep looking to this week as the “make or break” week. C25k is weeding out the weak-willed. I have read several horror stories of runners repeating week 4 three times, four times, some quitting altogether–but it won’t be me! I will not allow myself to give up. I’m almost halfway through the program. I firmly believe that if I can get through this week and Week 5, I’m in the home stretch. It’s cake from there.
Now for the good news and the bad news. Bad first, as always: the 5k we were going to run in San Francisco appears to have been cancelled. So, no vacay 5k for us. But! The good news is, if I do have to repeat this week or the next, I have plenty of time to do so because I bought myself some time to find another race to run. I’m not going to just give up because the race I wanted to run isn’t happening–but I am a wee bit relieved that I don’t have to be ready to do this April 22. I have time if I need it.
In the last five minutes of running today, I took a break midway to walk for 30 seconds so I could check my heart rate. I also slowed my pace for the second half of today’s runs from the already slow 12-minute mile pace. I’m not doing this for speed or time. I am doing this solely for completion. This is pass/fail in my eyes. Next time I do a 5k, maybe I’ll focus more on form and speed. For now, I’m just trying to get through it. Getting through it is my everest.
(Did I just say “next time”? Man, I’m sounding awfully ambitious these days.)
My new running shoes worked wonderfully, by the way. I was running on a cloud. Far less shin splints and ankle soreness today than in runs past.
I also created an account at MyFitnessPal (so convenient! you can log calories and exercise on your phone and on the computer, it’s awesome). I didn’t want to get sucked in to Weight Watchers points or calorie counting, but the truth of the matter is I am not losing weight yet and I think I should be. Thanks to my sedentary deskjob lifestyle, I’m only allotted 1250 calories a day on the days I don’t exercise if I want to be on track to lose 1.5 lbs a week.
I think this is ridiculous because I always heard that anything under 1,200 is considered starving. We Americans are taught that there is a standard 2,000 calorie diet, so I thought if I was cutting calories to 1,500 and working out, I’d lose weight. Turns out that’s probably not the case for me or for many of you out there if you live a life like I do that requires you to sit still and do nothing all day. I wish I lived somewhere more pedestrian-friendly. In fact, I’m going to start walking for 30 minutes outside on my lunch break as soon as it starts getting warmer (in addition to my organized workout schedule 3-4 times a week and hopefully, yoga once a week). My new diet and exercise regimen is causing me to really introspectively consider the issues the standard adult lifestyle in this country causes in and of itself…beyond the epidemic of obesity and all the fried, fast foods and sweets that come along with it.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sort of dreading my remaining two running days this week. It’s freaking hard, man.