Doing this Couch to 5k program and keeping this blog updated has taken up most of my free time. I need to start getting to sleep earlier. Waking up for work before 6am every day is no fun, I can assure you. Because of these reasons, I'm going to try to shorten the lengths of my posts. This may be difficult to do, as I find myself continually wanting to say one more thing.
I decided I couldn't afford to add thirty minutes onto my night, so I made my way back to my apartment to prepare for my first outdoor run. The only thing that has prevented me from running outdoors thus far is my own fear.
I bought a Belkin iPhone armband that allows me to run while listening to the music/program with ease. I decided I couldn't run with a water bottle, and I didn't want my keys to jump all over the place and slap my leg all the time. I needed a solution. I took my apartment key off my key ring, wrapped a paper clip around the hole, and slid it under my shoelaces, affixing the paper clip to them also. I took a few sips of water and put a single stick of gum in my pocket for that inevitable time when my mouth would become dry.
Because the program requires you to walk and run at specific times, I knew that I didn't want to deal with traffic. I remembered a park that I used to live by just a few blocks away. I decided to head in that direction, then make my way back.
Right before I started the program, while I was holding my bicep all awkwardly to use my phone, I saw the popup asking if I wanted to purchase the GPS add-on. This 99 cent option is one that I was putting off until I could use it properly by running outdoors. This was the time. I clicked "Purchase" and in mere seconds, the add-on was installed.
What a world we live in where we can do so many things from a mobile device, right?
It was hot today. Humid too. I felt it on the warmup walk. I assumed this would be a challenge, but it was one I was ready to take on.
I made it all the way to the park in the first two runs without feeling fatigue. By the time the third run was over, I was struggling. The hot air was not as welcomed by my lungs. It was hard for me to get that deep, relieving breath that feels so good. I kept running until she said to walk.
People were playing tennis, basketball, and frisbee. I was running. The people I passed gave me the nod, and I returned it. It felt nice being outside, except for the heat and the exhaustion.
I could tell that it was easier running outside as far as the actual motion goes. I'm allowed the freedom to take longer strides that I'm afraid to take on a treadmill because of my long legs. The hardest factor is the weather.
Run six came and I was feeling pretty whipped. The last thirty seconds was tough. My body was tired. I was sweating profusely. My side hurt. I wanted to just stop and keel over. I knew that as soon as I did, that lady would tell me to start walking just seconds after. I wanted to make it to the end. I did. That wave of accomplishment rushed over me again.
When my cooldown walk had ended, I was still a half mile away from my apartment. I continued walking until I arrived.
I knew that the GPS add-on would be computing my speeds as I ran. I was curious to see how they compared to the speeds I've been running on the treadmill. My run speed was a full minute per mile faster than the treadmill and my walk speed was about 3.5 minutes/mile faster. Knowing that felt great.
I must say, this whole journey so far has been amazing. I do realize that I'm simply running - something hundreds of thousands of people do each day - but it's more than that to me. This has been a turning point in my life. I must say, I'm proud of myself. The influx of text messages, Facebook messages/wall posts, and comments have been wonderful. I appreciate all of you for taking the time to show your support. It means a lot to me.
I'll end the post with the map that the C25k app created for me while I ran. The green pin is my apartment. The lower purple pin is the 1.0 mile marker and the upper pin the 2.0 mile marker. The red pin is when the program ended, and I walked back to the green pin.
**Edit: This morning, I tightened my belt up a knotch! Yeaaah!