Death often seems preferable: Couch to 5K - Week 4 Day 1

Many is the time I have wished I enjoyed running.  It burns lots of calories.  It doesn't require expensive equipment.  It doesn't require going anywhere special.  You just lace up your shoes and head out the door.  It probably helps if it's not 100 degrees outside at the time but I see crazy people run in 100 degrees so apparently that's not actually a deal breaker.  So in theory, I love pretty much everything about running.  In reality, it's not something that comes naturally to me.

In my effort to get healthier, I decided I would need to step outside my comfort zone and try things I don't like.  One of them has been running.  I'm currently on Week 4 Day 1 of the Couch to 5K program (C25K).   I like to describe it as something I'm "trying" because I've tried to do it two other times and quit.   And by "tried" I mean I never got past Week 1.   The fact that I've gotten to Week 4 is progress if nothing else.  But I aspire to still be "trying" when I successfully cross the finish line of some sort of formal race.  I think I'm supposed to aspire to cross the finish line of a 5K hence the name of the program.  But if I'm still calling it "trying" I'm definitely still calling the actual 5K a "pipe dream."  We'll see. 

Thus far in the process, I have discovered that the key to success with C25K is the ability to keep going despite feeling like you want to die.  Because at some point in the ten C25K workouts I've completed thus far, I've wanted to die at some point during every session.  No really.  At least once per workout the exact phrase, I want to die, goes through my head at some point.   Sometimes, This is death, puts in an appearance, too. 

I enjoy trying to talk myself out of starting before I even begin the workout.  Sometimes while I'm still horizontal in bed.  Sometimes while I'm tying my shoes.  At least 2 or 3 times during the workout, I will try to talk myself into stopping and doing it another day or never again.  At least 14 times per workout, I try to figure out how much longer I have to run without looking at my phone.  This one is nearly obsessive and takes many forms.  Sometimes I count my steps.  Sometimes I count my panting breaths.  Sometimes I estimate how far I can go in the amount of time I'm supposed to run and then and locate some light post or trashcan off in the distance that will surely be the exact location of where I'll get to stop running and just focus on getting there.  You'd be amazed how disappointing it is to get there only to hear the perky voice on the app tell you there's another minute left.  Fun! While a panting sweaty mess!

Again, the key is to just not stop.  I am inherently lazy.  I will avoid it if I let myself.  I will put forth the least amount of effort if I let myself.  So I don't.  I've made up my mind that I'm going to need to fall out on the sidewalk hyperventilating before I'll stop.  I do attempt to prevent that sort of epic madness by going slower when the death would be preferable thoughts reach Defcon 4 in my head.   But I still trudge along even if I'm doing the slowest jog known to man without literally standing still.  As long as I don't stop I consider it a success.

Day 3 of every week has been the easiest if it's even possible that something that resembles death can be described as easy.  And those days are what keep me going.   Because maybe all I need to do is keep pushing through and get better at it and then someday everyday will be easier and then someday no days will be hard.  And maybe just maybe someday I'll stop thinking that all the crazy people that love running are big fat liars.  And maybe I'll be one of them?!  Is that even humanly possible?

It must get easier.  Right? Maybe? Please?


Shan said...

I started running with the couch to 5k program about 6 months ago. I honestly felt like I wanted to die in the beginning too. Plus I couldn't understand why I was even out there doing it. Now I run 5km at least three times a week and I LOVE it. I ran my first 5km race in August and am signed up for my second race in November. It will get better. Good for you.

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