Couch to 5K
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Just call me Robolegs

This morning I completed the program for the first time (more about this in a bit). The funny thing is that I didn't have much energy to do it, so I thought. I woke up minutes after 3 a.m., and because it was so hot, I tossed and turned for 2.5 hours after being up for an hour. So, when my husband's alarm went off at 6:30 a.m. I was quite pooped. Normally, I wake up around 5 a.m. naturally (lay there in bed and watch some news), and am on the trail by 6:30.

When I got to the trail at 7:45 it was already warm at 75F (24C) and humid. I was still feeling a little groggy, like when I get up in the middle of the night to use the toilet. My mind was telling me that this was going to be one of the worse runs I've done. But somehow, my legs didn't hear that. As soon as I stepped on the trail, my legs go into "Les' do dis" mode, and started moving quicker for the warm up. Then when Laura said it was time to start running, my mind said, "Oh no, let's walk for a few more minutes." My legs were having none of that kind of crazy talk, and said, "Ok, boss.", in response to Laura.

Off I went, still feeling loopy and actually wanted to shut my eyes for a quick nap. I was very uncoordinated, and am sure I looked like I was doing the Drunk Monkey style (old kung-fu movie reference). Somehow, my legs just kept churning, and didn't stop during the session. Not even when my bluetooth headphones dropped the connection to my phone at around minute 15. They slowed down a little to let me retrieve the phone, and pair it back up with the headphones, but they refused to stop.

After about minute 20 of the run, I seemed to wake up and really find a rhythm with my pace. "Oh yeah, it's on now!", I thought (my mind finally got in synch with my legs). I completed the 30 minutes and continued to run through the 5 minute warm down. During my second session on my return to the parking lot, my mind and body were really working as a team. I had a nice steady pace all the way. Not once did my mind make a negative suggestion, and my legs seemed to enjoy carrying me. After the session was done, my legs rewarded me by not having sore knees and ankles, and did the post-run stretches without giving me any resistance.

This program has been wonderful, and is a good jumping off point to improve one's fitness. My next goal is to increase my speed, and on Wednesday I am starting all over again with Week 1, but at a faster pace. I will do program sessions on my outbound runs, and on my return runs I will run non-stop to continue working on my endurance.

The main thing that I have learned from this program, especially today, is that when it's time to determine whether to stop or not is to listen to your body and not your mind. In my case, it was my thoughts that kept me on the couch and at the kitchen table instead of on the trail or moving my body.

I gotta go and find me some tunes for my upcoming runs. See y'all later.

2 Replies

Awesome blog robolegs!

What sort of distance did you cover then? Am I right in thinking you head off on the 'trail' and do a full session, then turn around and repeat on the way back?


Yes, you are correct, I do run each session twice each time (first is outbound, and then again when I return to the parking lot). The trail doesn't loop. It is approximately 62 miles long, and extends between Georgia and Alabama. It is a paved over former rail line, and is called the Silver Comet Trail.

I run pretty slowly. So, my distance isn't very far. Yesterday, I did 2.9 miles, and 0.3 miles of that was the five minute warm up; giving me 2.6 miles in 35 minutes of running. I don't remember my algebra to calculate the speed, but I guess that's around a 14 minute mile pace. That means I did 5.8 miles total yesterday. The longest I've ever run was during Wk 8 when I ran for 3.8 miles in each direction. Adding in the 0.3 miles for warm-ups/downs, I did 4.1 miles, and it took me 53 minutes on the outbound, and 55 minutes on the return (I was dragging during the last mile). During that session, I ran to Adele's "21" album, because I was running for distance and not time (I didn't need Laura to tell me how many minutes I had run or how many more I needed to run).

I would like to run around a 12 minute mile pace when I finish the program the second time. Then re-do it if necessary to reach my overall goal of a 10 minute mile. I probably could have pushed myself more during the previous 9 weeks, but it is so hot here, and the news has reported a couple of deaths of physically fit people dying of heart attacks while running. One guy was a physical education teacher, and girl's soccer (I know, football) coach at a local high school. I am new to this area, and not accustomed to this type of heat. I just don't want to over do it.


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