Who else LOVES c25K? I do! I do! Couch to 5K is what got me started three years ago, when I got serious about working out while I was trying to lose weight. I got this crazy idea that I wanted to be able to run a mile, and maybe even a race, and I sure had no idea how to do it. The internet had taught me how to knit, so why not run? Bless the good people who put good info out there for those of us who have no idea what we’re doing.
A couple of weeks ago, bored with sprints, I decided to go back to the middle of the C25K program to incorporate some longer HIIT intervals after lifting. After a few days of that, though, lightning struck: why not start the program over from the beginning and use it for speed training?
When I started C25K three years ago, I was so desperately out of shape. I had never run a mile in my life, and the stairs in my house winded me. I had a 45″ waist, 52″ hips, and a sagging belly that flapped when I ran. But I was willing to get on a treadmill and, determined to BEAT THIS, pound out my intervals if it killed me! And it nearly did.
I ran a 13.6 minute mile. Guys. 13.6. I was wheezing and flapping and probably flailing, but I WAS RUNNING.
(And yes, in case you’re wondering, I did finish the program–a week early, in fact. I fell in love with running, lost 20 pounds, and kept running 3 days a week until my first race almost a year later. Then I finally started changing up my routine, but running is still ingrained deep in my little fitness heart.)
This time around, I’m running about a 9.5 minute mile. That’s up a good deal even from my usual 5k pace of 11.5, so we’ll see if I can keep it up. The hope is that the dedicated training program, three times a week, will have a similar affect on my ability to push for speed that it had on my ability to push for endurance the first time around. I know I can run for a couple of minutes at that pace comfortably, so if I slowly extend that ability, I’m hoping to be able to run comfortably at that pace for a full 5k. We’ll see how it goes! I’ll keep you updated.
The amazing thing, though, is that I get on the treadmill each day with a sense of wonder at this body. I’m astounded at the changes it has seen in the past three years. I’m able to run with ease, now. I’m able to breathe comfortably. My body moves habitually and knows when it can push even harder. My legs (which I can now see) seem to fly on the deck, as if they were made just for this. And that girl who was so determined? I love her just a little more. Just look at what she has achieved.