Today as I begrudgingly walked my ass to the gym after work, I had an epiphany.
I hate working out.
But I hate the feeling I get when I skip my workout more.
Ever since the shin splints/ankle incident last Monday, I’ve been in sort of a rut. Especially after the cupcake binge on Sunday. I think I can attribute most of my bad feelings in the past week to feeling guilty for abandoning the couch to 5k program. I think the satisfaction I felt after my workout today was beyond the release of endorphins–I think I felt good because I jumped back on the horse. (Not that endorphins don’t play a pivotal role.)
Since I abandoned week 5 after day 1 last week, I figured I’d have to start week 5 over again and it probably wouldn’t be until next Friday that I felt physically ready to tackle day 3, which is 20 straight minutes of running.
Around minute 8, meaning I was almost done with my first five minutes of running, I got this burst of energy and I decided to try to tackle day 2 in the place of day 1. I had no idea if I’d be able to do it, but I was hellbent on trying. Today was about pushing my limits. I decided the couch to 5k program is only a framework. I don’t have to feel guilty if I don’t make it through the workout. And I should feel pretty good if I can push myself beyond it.
Today, instead of running three 5 minute intervals, I ran one 9 minute interval and another 6 minute interval with approximately 5 minutes of walking in between the two. Holy shit, I can’t remember the last time I ran 9 minutes without stopping. I honestly don’t think I’ve done that since high school. High school! I do this for time, not distance, so it’s not like I ran very far. After all my walking and jogging was said and done, I’d done 2 miles, which is about what I’ve been doing lately. I felt great during that first 9 minutes. The second 6 minutes was a little tough, but I made it through. That last minute especially had me wondering if I’d throw up or pass out, but I focused all my energy on trying to get good, full breaths into my lungs, and I counted down those last 30 seconds and felt complete elation when I was done. This was one big satisfying leap for me. Confidence, consider yourself renewed!
I can’t believe I was able to do this today. I knew I would struggle with week 5. And especially after the ankle injury that tore me away from my routine for over a week. The full 5k still feels unattainable to me, but I have a renewed sense of faith that I can get through this. I can. And I will.
And PS, my ankle feels fantastic.