Feeling the graduation Buzz i happily uploaded the new c25k+ Stepping stone podcast. The description said it was good for those who have graduated and are ready to move on. Having completed every run first time and since I seem to have been quite quick over my 30 minute runs I thought it would be a good next step. Oh so wrong.
I should have known when I woke up this morning without any run fear and whistled my way through the 5 minute walk without really worrying about it.
Stepping Stone has a beat to which you are meant to walk and then run to. I run at a fraction below 5k in 30 mins normally but the slowest first pace on stepping stone was faster than this. After 5 minutes I was gasping and not just puffing. It definitely felt wrong and uncomfortable but I persevered. At about 9 minutes and a few seconds my running programme chirpped up that I had done a mile and gave me my mph pace. My normal pace is just under 10 minutes per mile so I was running much more quickly. I wanted to keep going and beat my personal best though.
At 15 minutes I knew I had made a huge mistake. This wasn't a stepping stone, it was wading across a fast flowing river. My legs had gone through stiff, relaxed, bit numb and now were burning in a few minutes. I was going faster than my body could cope with, I had to slow down and walk, it felt like a disaster, the first time I didn't manage a run.
I decided I would walk for a minute then run the rest. Incredibly I would still beat my usual time doing this as the second half of stepping stone is even faster! It seemed crazy but Laura knows best.
I marshalled myself to run again and just 2 steps in my left calf immediately said no. It didn't hurt but it was just a smidge below painful, it felt tight, strained and definitely not right. I gently tried a couple of steps to see if it was just stiff and needed run off but it was definitely not happy. I slowed to a gentle walk and decided to wait for it to calm down.
I continued to walk my route gingerly (I was doing my 5k even if I walked the last half) and realised that I wasn't running again today. The walk home in the sleet was pretty miserable and I had to turn off Laura and put on some music to cheer myself up.
Lesson was learned, do not try stepping stone straight from W9R3 unless you are very fast! It was way too much, felt like a few steps up. Next run will be a very gentle jog for 30 minutes if my calf has recovered. I am going to make myself a play list and run a week or two of 5ks until I can do them comfortably.
A stepping stone to stepping stone if you will