I did it. I completed week 9! Funny how ridiculous I feel thinking back to week one, two and three, when I struggled to run even a minute without excruciating muscle pain or out-of-breathness. Seems like just days ago I was dreading that 20-minute run at the end of week five. So clear in my memory are those thoughts — "Can I really do this? Will I ever be a runner? I can do the minutes, but can I do the miles?"
Well, there are no questions now! I CAN run for thirty minutes at a time without constantly thinking about how painful my calves feel. I CAN start running and decide when to stop, instead of watching every second on the clock ticking down until the dreaded few minutes are over and I can go back to walking again. Gone are the thoughts in my head about how my feet feel like concrete blocks with every step. And GONE is the nagging feeling that I'm just not sure I can do this!
My last run of the C25K training experience was more than the planned 5-minute warm-up walk, 30 minute run, and 5-minute cool-down. I was determined to complete 5k, and I did it — 46 minutes. Okay, my time will need to improve, but I ran for 46 minutes straight. Best of all, I could have continued running if I had wanted to! And that is something I could not have said 9 weeks ago.
Now the 5K I warily signed up for 5 weeks ago is an achievable goal. When I joined this message board I was on week 3 and had in my mind a goal of being able to run the 5K in 45 minutes — not fast, but I wanted to be able to finish and run the entire race. That hardly seemed doable at the time. Over the next 5 weeks I can work on improving my run and speed, and I am looking forward in great anticipation to that starting line, and finally the finish line 5K later.
So now I can run up stairs without feeling winded — like I did when I was 25 (half my current age). I've lost nearly 25lbs and too many inches to count. My jeans slide past my hips without unbuttoning them, and I've run out of holes on my belts. And although I do still enjoy sitting on the couch watching my favorite TV shows, I also look forward to running several times a week with my iPod playing my favorite tunes.
Thanks to all of you for the great encouragement through the weeks! When speaking of your comments I often refer to you as "My friends in the UK." I wish I could join you all for a park run. Maybe some day!
Oh, and I need to end this by expressing sincere sympathy and compassion for all those who were running and cheering on the runners in the recent Boston Marathon. Their day to celebrate something they've worked so hard to achieve was stolen from them. My heart goes out to those many innocent people who lost lives, lost loved-ones, were injured, or even had the promise of achieving a goal stripped from them by this senseless act of violence. It's not fair. I pray for them all as they try to repair from the tragedy that has impacted their lives forever.