In my slow and sometimes painful quest to run a 5k, I have finally made it to 30 minutes of continuous jogging. Now if only the continuous jogging could remain consistent with the mileage and evolve to 45 minutes of continuous running.
I started the Couch to 5K training program, heavily modified, during the month of June 2010. The program starts with alternating a 1-minute run to a 90-second walk and repeating for 20 minutes. My modified version was a 1 minute jog to a 2 minute walk, 4x within an hour which translated to 3 miles.
Slowly, the length of jogging increased, the walking decreased and mileage accumulated to 3 miles. I can now run continuously for 30 minutes, on a good day, but it does not equate to a total of 3 miles, more like 1.93 miles of jogging, with the remaining miles walking and huffing. My goal is to run a 5k in less than an hour and at the rate my body is adjusting to jogging, achieving that goal may be a miracle or a mirage.
Notice Couch to 5k uses the term “running” while I, a nonprofessional, prefer to use the term “jogging”. I am a self proclaim, bona fide, “penguin” when it comes to running labels. Professional runners walk faster than my jogging and my running to a professional runner is their walking a slow pace to recuperate after running a marathon.
I have no illusions of grandeur. My jogging pace is akin to a penguin’s walk infused with having one too many krill on a good day. I am slow and damn proud of it. As the affluent runners pass by me while running the loop in Prospect Park, I smirk at their swiftness and skinniness and applaud myself for having the audacity to run in skintight pants with my visible oversized flapping belly. I have last years’ Garmin, big as a block of wood, strapped to my wrist and my Superfeet running insoles. I am a Queen!
However, there are times when my ego deflates. The one steep hill too many, which depletes my forty something year old body of its energy and forces me to walk, and the little red devil, skinny no less, that sits on my right buttock shouting mantras of:
“Your feet hurt, just walk.”
“You are way too old to do this, just walk.”
“Did you take the Bayer aspirin this morning? Oh forget it, just walk!”
Therefore, I give in and walk. Return home. Look at the statistics from the Garmin and berate myself for not achieving the days’ goals. I am ruthless with myself and void of compassion. However, two days later I am out there again-pumped and ready to accomplish my goal of adding and jogging five minutes more to the 30 minutes-which has yet to be accomplished.