Guys, it happened:
I graduated from Couch to 5K.
Thinking I had more than one workout left because of the “free run” button at the end, I went into yesterday’s run primarily concerned about getting to run in my BRAND NEW SHOES (see post below; they’re glorious). However, at the end of the run, I realized that the “free run” was an indefinite button — I could log workouts into the future.
But that meant that after yesterday’s run, my first stab at Couch to 5K was over. Just like that.
For my last workout, I did what I’ve been doing — I ran for about 39 minutes, using the extra few past 36 to make up for (more than make up for, really) any time I took a sip of water or changed the TV station, and did my five minute walking warmup. This amounted to 3.6 miles, all told.
And so, my last three miles of Couch to 5K and my first three miles in my new shoes were one and the same. The passing of a torch, in a way.
I’ll be updating soon with my plans for how I’m going to continue running (and I am, of course, going to continue) and you’ll be hearing about my adventures. The new “title” for my running adventures?
“Project Speed Demon.”
YUP I REALLY AM GOING WITH THAT.
What’s really amazing to me, though, is that I finished the C25K program at all. When I first started, I thought nine weeks sounded like forever. I also felt very skeptical that I could ever, ever, ever finish that much running. I also didn’t believe I’d do it three times a week — let alone 6. I also didn’t believe I’d ever grow to like it.
But the nine weeks flew by; I not only finished “that much running,” but added 6 extra minutes to my daily routine (because I run 12-minute miles, not 10-minute miles, those extra 6 minutes are needed to reach the full 3.1 miles); I run 5-6 times a week happily; I’ve grown to enjoy it — I look forward to it every day.
It probably sounds hokey to say that Couch to 5K changed my life, but I suppose it did. When I started, I was nearly ten lbs heavier and incapable of running a single mile. Now, even though I run slow, I run steady. And as I always say, “That’s not nothin’.” For most of my life, running has felt like a door that’s been closed to me. Mom is good at it. Matt is good at it. My friends were good at it. I never was, but always wished I could be. What I’ve learned, I think, these past nine weeks is that I AM a runner/can be a runner, and that “good” is relative. I don’t need to be FAST to be good. I don’t need to run marathons to be good — although it would be cool to run one (baby steps… baby steps…). The discovery: All I need to do, to be “a runner,” is to run.
And I do run.
And I like it.
And for me, that is nothing short of a miracle.
So thanks, Couch to 5K. Your terrible voice actors and occasionally glitchy logging feature were there for me every step of the way. Literally. You gave me structure and routine, and pushed me harder than I thought I could go (DAMN YOU WEEK THREE). You made me feel accomplished. You gave me a visual representation of how far I’ve come. You kept count for me. You counted ON me to be there three times a week (at LEAST), and always made me want to be better and to keep going. In your strange little poorly-voice-acted way, you changed who I am.
How can I say “thank you” enough times for that?
(But don’t worry, my little App Friend, I have plans for you… you’ll be seeing me!)
SUCCESS, guys. SUCCESS.
Thanks for accompanying me on this journey so far — we’ve got many more adventures to experience, too, what with me and these great new running shoes.
Three more miles.
And then, three more.
Three more after that.
And on we’ll go.