I’m currently running my way through Couch to 5K for the 4th time. Some people may think that the program doesn’t work since I’ve had to do it so many times. However, I like to think that I keep coming back to it because it does such a great job. See I have very specific (and mostly good) reasons why I’ve had to do it so many times.
I first did C25K in January 2007 when I first became interested in running. I completed the program the first part of March and ran a 5K without stopping. And after that I didn’t stop either. I ran a 10K in May 2007, a half marathon in September 2007 and a full marathon to celebrate my 30th Birthday in December 2007.
Then I got pregnant with my oldest child and stopped running.
I started C25K for the second time in the summer of 2010 after my oldest child was about 18 months old and I had found determination to get fit again and lose the baby weight for good.
Then in August of that year, I broke my foot and couldn’t run. While I was still on crutches, I got pregnant with my youngest child.
I started (and completed) C25K again in July 2011 after my youngest son was born and completed the program prior to returning to work last October.
Then, unfortunately, I lost all desire to maintain any sort of healthy lifestyle and running went out the window.
And that brings me to today. I started C25K again 5 weeks ago and have been faithfully completing my runs (with kids in the double jogging stroller and our faithful German Shepherd at my side) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.
Just two days ago I completed Week 5, Day 2 (W5D2) of the program even though I was on vacation with the boys in Washington DC.
So what has me thinking I can (or can’t)? Well tomorrow morning I’m doing the (dreaded) W5D3 run. Anyone who has gone through this program knows what I’m talking about. It’s the 20 minute with no stopping run. The run that prior to it leaves you full our doubt. When you start the program you start with a 1 minute run followed by a 90 second walk. Then you build up to a 90 second run, then a 3 minute run, followed by a 5 minute and later an 8 minute run. So as you can see, the buildup is gradual over the first 5 weeks. My last run (W5D2) was an 8 minute run, 5 minute walk, and 8 minute run.
Then …. bam-o ….. go run 20 minutes without stopping. Are they crazy?
Well, no, they’re not crazy. I know in my head it works. After all, I have done it before. And I’ve done it with worse physical conditioning than I have now. So I know that I ‘can’ do it. However, that inner voice is still leaving me to doubt myself this evening.
So no matter what happens tomorrow morning, one thing will be certain. I will definitely give it my all. And in doing so, I’m mostly certain that I will succeed in completing the run, uninterrupted.