As of Saturday, I had completed 10 weeks of training in the Couch to 5K program. The program is only 9 weeks long– for week 9, you run for 30 minutes straight, plus warmup and cooldown.
With that, I was doing about a 17 minute mile. Which anyone will tell you is abysmal. Remember: I don’t care that much about my speed, but I acknowledge that if I’m going to actually finish a 5K in 45 minutes, I really need to be running at a pace of 14 minutes/mile. It’s doable, but hard for me. I can do it on the treadmill, without incline and in air conditioning. [An aside: I dropped the 100 pushup challenge for now, for time reasons.]
In the last 10 weeks, I have run almost 40 miles (real endurance runners do that in a week, but remember: I’m a couch potato training to become a baked potato chip). I have gone from running 1.5 minutes at a stretch to running for 30 minutes without pausing.
I’ve also transitioned back to Week 4 of the couch-to-5k program. When I ran through it the first time, I used the “by time” method. Every week, I increased the number of minutes spent running. This was abysmal for my pace, but good for my endurance. However, at the end of the program, my 30 minute run resulted in 1.68-1.72 miles only. A 5K is 3.1 miles, and that’s just not okay.
So I dropped back to Week 4, which starts at about 2 miles of distance, 1.5 of which is done running. I got a heart rate monitor, and, for the past week, I trained up in the mountains near Zion National Park (running while traveling is actually kind of fun– don’t tell anyone!)
My 2 mile interval runs (1/4 run, 1/8 walk, 1/2 run, 1/4 walk, repeat) turned out to be highly effective. I boosted my pace to 15:57. Not perfect, but so much better. Better still, I did my 2 miles while only adding 2 minutes to my previous time!
At this time, you’re probably thinking “That’s great! You probably feel and look better, too! How much weight have you lost?”
Yep. I’ve lost zero pounds. In fact, I put some weight on in the past 10 weeks.
It’s probably because my diet hasn’t really changed. Still, it would have been nice for one fairly significant lifestyle change to have made even a little dent in my waistline.
Ah, well. At least I will have fun on August 10th, when I participate in the “Sprinkler Sprint,” a 5K in downtown Las Vegas with sprinklers and water guns.
With all that in mind, I leave you with this Zen thought for the day.