I have been following the Couch to 5K running plan for the last few weeks. One of my big goals that seemed pretty out of reach in the past has been to actually run an entire 5K. I have a pretty decent 5K time walking and pushing the kids in a double jogging stroller, but I haven't run a 5K since my dad forced me to run one with him (and my sister) when I was about 12. I did win a 3rd place medal for my age group... because there were only three of us entered.
My original "get serious" goal was to run the Fall Frolic that the school sponsors every fall. But I decided that the time is NOW and set a goal to try to run the St Patrick's 5K in March. Couch to 5K is a plan to help new runners go from "the couch" (not running at all) to being able to run a 5K in about 8 weeks.
I started off pretty well. I actually skipped week 1 because I am in pretty good shape, just not a good runner, and week 1 didn't seem like much of a challenge. I did fine starting with week 2. I found a free podcast on ITunes with Christian songs and cues for each week of the Cto5K plan. The music, however, was lame. It honestly sounded like a random guy with recording capability and a guitar singing his own songs.
When I moved up to week 3, I decided I needed to get more serious about the cue podcast I was using. I really need music that motivates me. Luckily, lots of people have successfully done Couch to 5K and lots of people create playlists with cues for each week. I found one that I like and that works well for me, though I haven't recommended it to friends because some of the songs are the unedited (profanity laced) versions. Pretty cool that I don't have to bother with keeping track of the time between when I start to run and am ready to stop. I would have a hard time if I had to literally count down the seconds until I got to be finished running.
This weekend I was supposed to start week 4. Because the time involved is only 8 weeks, there are a few times where you really jump up quite a bit in the amount of running you are doing. Going from week 3 to week 4 is one of those places. Last week, while running week 3, I felt pretty good. For the first time in... forever?... I was feeling like being ready to run a 5K in March, let alone this year, is actually possible. I was feeling that I can do it.
And now, a problem. I am having serious trouble with my feet and ankles. I'm sure it's form related, in addition to the newness of running. Doesn't help that I have pins in one kneecap, very high arches and historically weak ankles. I was taped daily for 3 years in college in order to work out, practice and play softball. Why it didn't occur to me that this would happen is beyond me. So, I'm in "athlete mode" now. I've hit the store for athletic supplies that "remind me of my youth" -- Mineral Ice, anyone?
Now my motivation is lacking. Or at least the positive mindset is faltering. I have found that if I take more than 2 days between runs, it is really hard to keep up with the progression of the Couch to 5K. I haven't successfully run now since Thursday, which means that more than likely I will have to restart week 3 again (or maybe even week 2) when I am able to run again. In the meantime, I keep making attempts. I do my stretching and warm up walking and make it through about a minute of running, feeling like I'm running with concrete legs and feet, before the pain is enough that I have to stop. And once again my goal of running an entire 5K seems so far away.
My plan is to take this entire week off from running attempts. Hopefully at least with that time off I will feel more comfortable overall, if not when I start trying to run again. I will probably register this week for the St Pat's 5K and, if it comes to it, I'll be prepared to walk/jog it. It'll still be progress towards the goal.