The Couch to 5K program was to meet three days a week on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for fifteen weeks. I was fortunate enough that we were meeting at the community center about five minutes from my house.
I was excited about this new (ad)venture but also a bit nervous. I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into. And, I was going at it alone. It’s always more comfortable to do something like this with a friend–or two.
When I arrived for the initial meeting, it was raining. We met in a room inside the community center. There was somewhere around 45 people in all. I saw very few people who looked like couch potatoes. Most of them looked like they had been doing this for a while. I was starting to think that I was way out of my league.
We were given a printed schedule of what our runs would be during the 15-week program. Mike was our fearless leader, and he had several other coaches to help with the training. After some introductions and brief instructions, we went out for our first run.
By now the rain had reduced to a sprinkle, and we were back to a typical midwestern, summer day–hot and humid! We took a brisk walk down the parkway to warm up. Then, the running began. We were scheduled to run for one minute and then walk for 90 seconds and to repeat this for 20 minutes. Due to the time taken for the initial meeting, we were only going to do the interval about three times. I had doubts that I could do this.
The longest period of time I had ever ran was on a treadmill for 60 seconds during the Commit to Get Fit program with Cole. It took the entire 12 weeks for me to work up to being able to run for 60 seconds. Knowing I had run for 60 seconds on a treadmill just a few weeks prior doing basically the same thing with HIIT training, gave me hope that maybe I could do this.
Mike gave the signal for us to start running. I knew that walking on the street/sidewalk was much more difficult than walking on a treadmill. I soon learned that the same goes for running. That was the longest 60 seconds of my life! We then had our 90 second walk. That walk became the shortest 90 seconds of my life. Just when I thought I could breathe again, we were to start running! I thought I was going to die, and then I was scared to death that I wouldn’t! I don’t even think that I was able to run the last 60 seconds–I’m sure I had to walk part of it.
Still, I did it to the best of my ability. There were plenty of us huffing and puffing. Afterwards we did some stretching together. Mike told us that today would be the toughest day and that it would get easier. I was huffing, I was puffing, and I didn’t believe a word he said!
By Lori Camper