Earlier this week, I replied to a post remarking that I had just completed my first attempt at the C25K challenge. I say 'completed', in that I made it through alive.
However, when I say 'completed', that doesn't mean to say I managed to run for all 8 minutes. In fact, I ran for approximately 2.5. But! As my reply detailed, I was far from disappointed in myself. In fact, for an absolute beginner -- I was actually quite chuffed. I was even more chuffed, then, when not only did I attempt the same run again today -- but this time, I managed 6 minutes out of a possible 8.
In short, I am so thankful to have found this online community, as reading all of your snippets of advice and tales of wisdom (both from fellow novices like me, aaaand die-hard graduates), you have made me believe in myself enough to lace up my running shoes for the second time in a week.
The most important piece of advice I gained though, was not to run too fast. Only now can I see that this was probably the reason I struggled quite so much on my first day. I passed by a lot of lean, quick-paced runners while I was out, and as a result, I was met with this overwhelming desire to run well, fast, in some kind of desperate attempt to mark myself as their equal, and to avoid looking like a red-faced, sweating, shuffling tomato in front of well, 'people'. The result? Naturally, it was almost impossible for me to maintain that pace, and eventually I had to skip multiple runs because the ninety-second recovery time just wasn't touching the sides.
Today, however, I tackled it with a different attitude. In my head, I kept focusing on a piece of advice I'd read many times on here: that speed is not important, it's duration that counts. And well, sure, I was practically pounding the paths at a snail's pace, but I could slow down, recover, and continue for six whole minutes... the most I've ever managed to run since I was ten years old!
I'm hoping that with each run I can continue to improve -- little by little, as my eventual goal is to tackle this year's 5K Color Run in Brighton, late September.
But in the meantime, thank you, Couch to 5K community! I wish you all the continued success with your own personal endeavours!