There are three different workouts for this week. They are as follows:
Workout 1: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 8 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running.
Workout 2: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 10 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 10 minutes of running.
Workout 3: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running with no walking.
I walk out the door into Autumn. The air is nose-shrivelling cold, the sun warm, my favourite kind of day. Yellow leaves drift past. Sara Groves sings Why it matters into my earbuds, her words of parks and memorials somehow suited to the day.
I raise my face to the tree tops, and think: yes, this is it. Today, I can do this.
I'm walking. I'm running. Running around the park. Running back. And back again. This 25 minute run eats up a lot of ground. By the end, I'm avoiding any little rise in the ground, going the long, flat way around. Not. Sure. I. Can. Make. It.
Just as I pick up my iPhone to check if I can stop - now, please now! - the annoyingly calm voice of the app says, "Well done! You've made it!".
For the umpteenth time, I think, "It's all very well for you, Miss Virtual Trainer, you're not the one doing the running." (Pet hate: that pert little "You're half-way there!". "Only half-way?!", my lungs and legs scream.)
I walk to the lake, stretch every leg muscle I can identify, then sit on a rock and watch a flock of cockatiels fight over a tree full of gumnuts. The nuts don't look particularly tasty to me, all dry and brown, but the cockatiels rip them to shreds and eat whatever's inside.
Time to go home. My muscles are a little achy, but that's to be expected. My knees are, surprisingly, without twinges of any kind. And I'm triumphant - and relieved.
And I realise:
- you can work through a week more slowly if your body demands it, and still reach your goal.
- I just bought a second knee-brace, and my knees feel better this way. I also think it helps that I'm not jogging quite as many times a week. Recently, it's been one longer jog and one broken-up jog with my daughter.
- you shouldn't wear woollen socks on a run, cold day or not. My feet are soon begging for air.
- you shouldn't have a hot drink before you run. Not unless you want to find out what it's like to run with a full bladder. Uncomfortable.
It's the end of week 6, take 2 - or 3 - or, perhaps, 4 - and I did it! My first 25 minute run!
How did you find week 6 of Couch to 5K?