Halfway

If you’ve been following along on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I’ve actually, stunningly, been keeping up with the Couch to 5k program. Halfway through yesterday’s run put me at the halfway mark of the 9-week program. Since I didn’t stop at halfway and finished the run, I am officially closer to the end of the program than the beginning.

There are a few things I’ve learned since my earlier post about running:

I highly prefer running first thing in the morning, while it’s dark. If the sun hasn’t even started the day yet, I feel like I’m running during some sort of magical extra time and don’t have to acknowledge that it’s actually taking up time in my day (and in some small way, perhaps not actually happening). It’s also more practical in terms of avoiding traffic, which is nice. Fewer people out and about in general to see me heaving up my lungs is a good thing.

It’s still all about the music, and I love having the ability to change up the songs I’m listening to on a run-by-run basis. Another motivating selection in the playlist includes Fat Bottom Girls by Queen. It cracks me up and keeps me running through some more challenging pieces.

Having an immediate indoor option has removed yet another barrier to excuses: the weather. We’ve had a doozie of a November in Vancouver, with uncharacteristically intense wind and rain. More than once the idea of running outside in the weather was more than I could handle. But now I live in a building with a gym. Instead of making yet another excuse, I go downstairs and run indoors. Interestingly, when running indoors, I prefer listening to podcasts, rather than a musical playlist.

Neil, like the champ (and weather disregarder) he is, still goes for a light jog outside when I run indoors so the dog gets walked.

Speaking of Neil the champ, I finally understand what a good workout buddy can do. Another of my favourite “I don’t want to do this” avoidance mechanisms is to pick a fight with him instead of going out. Spoiled brat? Check. But he’s learned that if he refuses to engage, and just keeps getting dressed to go for the run. Eventually, I will get over myself and just go along. I’m getting better at not being an asshole, and having his gentle persistent insistence is one of the key things that have kept me going.

I still manage to psych myself out about just about every run. Week four was hard, really hard. And for the first couple runs of week five, even though the running has been physically easier, I keep panicking about “oh my god, I’ve gone so far, been running so long, I’m going to crash into a blubbering blob of fail any second!”

I don’t, but I’m still kindof convinced I will. Which does not bode well for tomorrow morning.

I’m supposed to run for twenty. minutes. straight.

So far the longest continuous stretch of running I’ve done is 8 minutes. I have no idea how the hell I’m going to manage to run for 20. I am officially panicking.

If you don’t see the twitter or facebook notifications that I finished the run tomorrow morning, it means I fell down dead. But if you do see the notifications, it would mean a whole lot if you piped up and said “hey, way to go” – because those occasional bursts of encouragement have been a huge motivator so far. And although I’m more than halfway, I still have a long way to go.

**Update** Made it 🙂

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5 thoughts on “Halfway

  1. donna

    I, for one, am totally impressed. I never made it past week 3 before deciding I really don’t like running, and I’m not bloody well doing it anymore, the dog can run while I just stand there.

    So… hey, way to go! 🙂

  2. Mel

    Regardless of whether or not you survive today, congrats on making it this far! I hope to follow in your footsteps once I’m able to run, and will definitely need some encouragement too 🙂 *high five*

  3. jen

    Good work Jen! I’m nervous about my first run back but also really looking forward to it. Just be careful running in the dark with music – make sure you can hear if there are cars or people around. I always felt faster in the dark. 🙂 Congrats!

  4. Karin

    That’s totally freaking amazing!! I have *never* run for twenty minutes in a row before except maybe one Terry Fox run in grade nine. Way to go!

  5. Darren

    Good work! As a recent Couch to 5K gradaute, I know of what you speak. The day when I looked at the program and saw that we were entirely done with walking was a shocking day indeed. But it does get easier.

    As my friend recently said, “all running is pain management”. I was glad to hear other people felt that way.
    .-= Darren´s last blog ..Three Made-in-Vancouver Web Series =-.

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