Two days ago I completed run number fifteen of Couch to 5k. It is a milestone run in the programme. I am amazed that I have stuck with it as I have never been able to stick at any exercise routine before. The other equally amazing thing is that I am really enjoying it. I actually look forward to run-days (every second day).
See Get Fitter, to see the start of my get fitter journey
There is something extremely satisfying about being able to beat the challenges laid down by the app and also to experience the obvious improvement in one’s ability to run. The very first run was really tough. I managed to finish the sequence of walks and short runs (sixty-second jogs) but was totally exhausted. The final run of week five was a solid twenty minutes, bookended by a five-minute warm-up and warm-down walk. I was completely daunted by this when I saw the plan on screen but I ploughed on. I bloody well did it and even sped up during the last two minutes. Astonishing. There was no way I could have done that when I started. I feel ever so pleased with myself.
I have enjoyed my laps around the garden and, on the non-run days, I try to walk for two or more miles first thing in the morning with another mile at lunchtime and maybe some more in the evening. It takes somewhere in the region of fifty-five laps of my grass to cover a mile my inaccurate pedometer tells me. I am certainly starting to carve a small ditch around the lawn.
I have only missed one day of walking or running in the last thirty-odd days. That day was yesterday. It was raining and cold. I just didn’t fancy it. However, last night and this morning I noticed my legs were stiff and aching for the first time. I think walking on the off-days really has helped to keep things loose. Today’s run (week six, run one) felt pretty tiring but again, on the “you have two minutes left” notice I sped up. I nearly catapulted myself into the weeded area that I will optimistically call the flower bed but I could do it.
I still do my workout routines from my app but rather more sporadically than I do my running. Now I do ten or twelve-minute routines, using a sister/brother app, instead of shorter routines as I was. I do quite enjoy them and am noticing I can now do nine or ten abdominal crunches (not sure if I can go high enough really) but then hit a wall and find the twelve or fourteen demanded really taxing. The routines are hard, no doubt about it. I usually feel exhausted. They don’t make me feel as elated when I’ve finished as I do when I have completed a run. I am pleased and impressed with myself for doing them but somehow it is different. Some of the standing moves I do whilst just milling about the house or during my walks. These include standing bicycle crunches (I like these), high stepping, and jumping jacks. I must look like an idiot but hey.
To date, I have lost between six and seven pounds depending on how I lean on the scales. Another twenty-four to go! I’ve lost size around my face and about half an inch off from my relaxed bulgy tummy. I’ve still had the odd drink evening but no longer every night.
I look forward to my run days. The noticeable improvement and the feeling of achievement are incredibly motivating. Roll-on seven am in two days time. I hope it isn’t raining.