Getting back to it following a C25K meltdown. 

My last post was over a month ago. Let me explain…

Week 4 Day 1 broke me. I just couldn’t get past that 4 minute run. All-in-all I attempted it three times.

3 minute run / 2 min walk
4 minute run / 3 minute walk (x2)
3 minute run / 2 minute walk.

 
To cut a long story short, during my first attempt I had to finish both 4 minute runs early and walk for about 30 seconds of the run time. The second attempt a few days later was essentially the same. I did complete the whole session both times which some may have accepted and moved on, but I really found it awful; so was determined to finish more comfortably. On the third attempt I was too hot, felt a bit sick and gave up about half way through. Literally just stopped, got in my car and went home in a rage. 
  

Following the stroppy third attempt I worked 3 night shifts and had gotten into the habit of not running when on nights. The fortnight following that I spent soul searching. I found plenty of excuses why not to go; work, too tired, my period, too hot, too busy etc. 

Essentially I was upset and frustrated – even though I knew it was highly likely that at some point I would need to repeat. I was angry that between W3D2 and W4D1 I was expected to jump from running 2.5 minutes to 4, never mind that W4D2 then expected me to magically run for 5 minutes. WTF?! It was completely unrealistic and quite frankly was setting me up to fail. 

At this point it’s worth mentioning that my boyfriend was working away for three weeks and I was rattling round the house alone. I generally enjoy my own space but I was missing his company. If I’d had any sense I would have thrown myself into running as a distraction but, alas, I used the time ruminating and feeling defeated. 

It’s also worth mentioning that I really dislike discussing fitness and physical activity with my boyfriend. He’s been trying to get me to join a team for years, and while I see/saw (ha) running as a huge mountain to climb he thinks I’m being dramatic. He’s lot fitter than I am, captains his rugby team and plays or trains three times a week. Don’t get me wrong he’s no athlete but he is hands-down fitter than I am. Anyway, he’s been supportive of my goal and shown a genuine interest so I swallowed my pride and confided in him. It felt good to get my frustration and disappointment off my chest. 

Between us we came to the conclusion that I need to shake it up. I’m very good at fixating on plans and guidelines, which didn’t appear to be working for me. So the plan is to continue running but to chill out and go off piste a bit. Which is what I’ve done over the last 10 days. 

Some days I go to the park and run around the outside of the fields. No tracking, no time and distance goals, I just run until I can’t, and then walk until I can run again. Once my boyfriend came with me and carried on running for some of my walk – I would never have let him see me in this state before. Sometimes I do short bursts and sometimes I run until I can’t breathe. I also took my kit and went for a jog on the way home from a night shift once. It was only for about 10 minutes but it was 10 minutes more than previous night shifts! I’m not actually sure if I’ve improved because I haven’t tracked it. 

Regardless, in a round-about way, I’ve been running. 

I would like to get back into 5k Runner now that I’ve sorted my head out. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to attempt W4 or maybe fall back to W3. Regardless, if I do struggle with that 4 minute run again I won’t let it defeat me. I’ll run for a shorter period before the 4 minutes. Or I’ll have a bigger walk break before. 

Ultimately, the goal is to be able to run 5k; not to complete a programme word for word. 

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Week 2 Day 2

Yesterday I had some bad news and was desperate to go out and lose myself in breathless oblivion. However, both of my shins were a bit tender and left knee was niggling, so I chose to rest instead. I’m not sure if I’m being a bit of a hypochondriac; as a chronic overthinker, as well as a nurse (trained to look at signs and symptoms), I was probably being a bit dramatic. However, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, and injury in new runners appears to be a common problem, so I abstained. 

Consequently, I was very much looking forward to my run today. Today I went to the local park/fields. It is a lot more exposed than the woods. The day is once again grey and windy… but so far no rain! As always I began with a warm up walk, and today’s programme was the same as yesterday. 

1.5 minute run / 2 minute walk (x4)

1 minute run / 1 minute walk (x2)

Today I found it very difficult to catch my breath. My chest was tight and I really struggled to regulate my breathing.  Twice I was considering stopping to walk when I got to the end of a running stage. I pushed through, but admittedly found it very difficult. At one stage I decided to alter the route I was running to avoid a very minor incline. To be honest I think it was more of psychological hurdle, but it made me feel better nonetheless. 

I was very annoyed with myself when I realised a few minutes in that I had forgotten to start my Fitbit timer! I always wait until the end of my warm-up walk to start it and then stop it before my cool-down walk but got lost in the running and forgot. I suppose in the grand scheme of things it isn’t a big deal, after all I did the session, but I like to compare the kilometre splits. 

So below are the limited stats from the 5k Runner app. 

As you can see I did my own thing in terms of a route. The time and distance also include both 5 minute warm-up and cool-down walks. 

This is the incomplete Fitbit version. 




Observations

  1. I am much more self-conscious knowing that people can see me from across a field. I probably look ridiculous.
  2. I was quite upset by how much I struggled today. It didn’t even rain. 
  3. The fact that I can’t accurately compare w2d1 and w2d2 frustrates me. 
  4. I should stop moaning – I finished the run didn’t I?! 

For the next three nights I will be working 19:45 to 08:15. I definitely won’t run tomorrow, but would like to think I will on  Sunday morning on the way home from work. This may be a bad idea due to being tired, but if I don’t go Sunday morning I won’t have managed three runs in a week and will regret it. I’ll have to make sure I eat in work beforehand. Also, I’m a bit  concerned that I won’t be able to manage the step-up in the next session, so may well decide to repeat this one. 

Who knows. The weather may be awful. My shift may be awful. Only time will tell!