Those of you who have read my other blogs will know that I am not going to be running in the upcoming Olympics... or winning any other races either, inclusive of the three-legged race at the local elementary school. I am slow. Very, very slow. I wish that weren't the case, but alas! I have short legs, an extra 40+ pounds and joints that are not supportive of being fast.
In some ways, C25K has been perfect for me in this respect. Speed truly doesn't matter. You just run until Laura says stop. That's it. And I consider anything faster than a walk to count. My run is actually dubbed the "slightly bouncy walk".
All to the good. I do the nine weeks, I run 30 minutes.... or about 5K. Umm, no. My first 30 minute run (week 6) was 3.0 km. By week 9, 30 minutes yields about 3.25 km. More than halfway, but nowhere near the 5K goal. Still and all, I keep at it, 30 minutes 3x wk, plus some added weight training after graduation. I think I might be at this for years before I run 5K in 30 minutes.
Today was the day. I felt good, the sun was shining. I rested a bit after my first workout, and had a protein shake with a little fruit & veggie juice to replenish. I was finally, after 12 weeks, going to run 5K.
Everything went great. I saw new flowers out in bloom. I even saw lavender butterflies. I have never seen that color before, have you? I chugged along, nice and easy, remembering to breathe and telling myself I can definitely do this.
"I am a rock star!" I say, and chuckle. Not some much rock as stumble. "I am a superhero!" (Well, I have the lycra, anyways.) "I am an athlete," I amend, and smile ironically. Maybe not really an athlete either. Some people walk faster than I was going.
"Ok, I am a runner!" Yes. I run, therefore I am (a runner).
The first 3K of my route is very hilly. Not necessarily brutal hills like in the mountains, but substantial 10+ degree inclines. From there I turned into another neighborhood that is much flatter. Not totally flat, but much easier going. It was my reward to myself for continuing on past my normal route.
Somewhere around 3.5K, my body started complaining. It has gotten used to our 30 minute runs together, and was ready to go hit the showers, not to keep traipsing along the street. So, if it is possible, I think I actually slowed down even more. Luckily, around 4K the endorphins really kicked in and my body resigned itself to continuing, and I was able to resume my standard, plodding pace.
I had mapped out my route, and knew approximately where 5K ended, but my only time clock was Laura's updates on the podcast (which I had restarted after finishing the first half of the run). Once, a few weeks ago, I ran 4.88 km. Just the once. And I was so bummed that I didn't know how close 5K was - I would definitely have finished. So this time, I wanted to be generous, and be SURE I made 5K.
I ran to the approximate 5K marker, but needed a time cue from Laura, so I kept going until she gave her next 5 minute update before stopping and staggering home with my "brisk cool down walk". (What a joke! Toddlers were passing me on tricycles.)
I mapped my route (http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/create/) and discovered I ran 5.5 km in 52 minutes. My presumed 5K time was 47 minutes. (I told you, I am slow.) So, after 12 weeks, I can finally say that I can run 5K! Hurray!