To Push Too Hard – Couch to 5k

Edit: This post was supposed to go up on Tuesday, October 4. For some reason, known only to the WordPress Gods, it decided to hide in it’s little hole instead.

My legs hurt and I have a pretty nasty cough brewing in my chest. My head is even throbbing a little bit. I know I pushed myself too hard, but I still feel like I failed at my goal, and it was only the first day. When I decided to do the Couch to 5K, I had images in my head of me being suddenly able to sprint endless distances across the field, chasing down boffer guys ten years my junior. At no point did my imagination account for the fact that I am still a 350 pound man with bad knees and a half-a-pack a day habit.

Worse, I’ve forgotten how to properly run, and my ankles are telling me that is something I need to work on. I feel a little disappointed in myself because I didn’t even make it through the full cycle. I managed to do the sprints twice but had to walk the rest of the twenty minutes, out of breath and barely able to keep pace with my 54-year-old father.

Over the course of the last year, I’ve been fairly proud of myself for the weight I’ve managed to loose, and it came as a pretty big surprise to me to realize that I’m in probably the worse shape of my life despite that. It’s disheartening.

I’m not defeated, though.

I have a farther climb up the hill than I thought I did, but that doesn’t mean I can’t reach the top. It just means that I’m going to have to pace myself better.

Tonight I learned that I’m not ready for the jogging part. That just means that I have to start out by making sure I can walk the 3.1 miles. So, instead of trying to alternate jogging and walking for 20 minutes, I’m going to focus on building up my ability to walk for 3 miles without stopping. If that means focusing on one mile at a time, I guess that where I start.

There is no shame in taking extra steps, as long as I’m moving in the right direction.

Besides, I’ve got plenty of time left.

4 thoughts on “To Push Too Hard – Couch to 5k

  1. Don’t be down on yourself about not completing the first run.  Despite what a lot of people will tell you, the couch to 5k program IS hard.  If you have been living a sedentary lifestyle and continue smoking your body is unprepared for a sudden shift in exercise regimen. What you have to remember is not to quit working at it and to listen to your body.  If you push your body too far beyond its limits you risk injury that can set you back further than you already are, but you have to push to those limits to advance.

    A couple of things that I am sure you already know.  First, that cough isn’t likely to go away until you quit smoking.  Your body requires more oxygen when you exercise and in order to get that you need as much lung capacity as you can get, and in order to get more your lungs are going to start trying to get rid of the crap that’s been building up inside of them.

    Second, if you want to avoid runners injuries it helps to have good running shoes.  Go to a good store, get professionally fitted, and pay for quality.  Shoes alone can make a world of difference and can help prevent taking as much of a pounding on your knees as well as reducing the risk of shin splints.

    1. Well, I’ve slowed down to walking. Did a mile last night in 18 minutes. That is still only 55 minutes to do a 5k, once I can get up to walking a full 5k.

      Shoes are definitely important. I’m going to switch from my chucks to walking in my hiking boots. The ankle support will certainly help.

  2. Stereo.* says:

    I’m with Treason. Don’t feel bad about not completing the first run; the thing about couch to 5k is that it’s designed for people to do at their own pace and since I hate running in all forms, my pace was to do it whenever I can be bothered (not often, exercise classes are more my speed.)

    Don’t give up. As you progress, it will get easier and easier and when you do reach the end, I’ll remind you to go and read this entry to see how far you’ve come. Again as Treason said, shoes make all the difference so make sure you go cop a pair of running shoes. They work wonders. try if you can not to walk; even a slow and slight jog counts in this program. I’m rooting for you as always.*Pokes you in the neck* I’m going to need you to stop smoking. Thanks.

    1. Walking has helped my legs already. I was in a lot of pain Tuesday but now I feel great. I do need to get running shoes before I start trying to run again.

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