Today I attempted Couch to 5K, Week 5 Day 1.
As in, did not complete.
Unlike the start of some other weeks in the program, I started this one fairly confident in my success. Week 4 Day 3 involves running intervals of three and five minutes. Week 5 Day 1 takes out the three minute intervals and leaves the five minutes. Since I have already proved to myself that I can run five minutes at a time, I figured today would be challenging but not too challenging.
My lungs don’t agree with any temperature under the 40 degree mark, so I planned to use the treadmill at my gym. I have run on the treadmill exactly one time before (Week 3, Day 3, I believe) and compared to the surfaces I am used to running on (carpet or pavement), it was so bouncy I felt like I was wearing moon shoes. I didn’t exactly love it, but it was better than not running at all. I got to use one of the machines with a window view, and it was kind of fun to the play with the buttons on the display and see my MPH as I was running, instead of checking the app after the workout.
Today, I wasn’t lucky enough to get a window treadmill. I think I ran into trouble because with nothing to look at but the wall, I felt more compelled to look at the display and fidget with buttons. I did my five minute warm up and then jumped into my first five minute interval. So far, my fastest running pace has been 16:07 minutes/mile. I didn’t look up how that translates to miles per hour on the treadmill, so I guessed and cranked it up to 4.0 miles per hour.
“Whoa,” I thought, this feels faster than usual.” Moments later, the display flashed “Pace: 15:00 minutes/mile”. That explained why it felt faster. I was a couple minutes in and still managing to not fall off the back of the treadmill, so I decided to keep going at 4.0. Why not? I figured I could slow down if I needed to.
About 3.5 minutes in… I needed to. I grabbed onto the bar and turned the speed down as low as I could and still call it running. I made it through the five minutes, than stumbled off in search of a water fountain. I finished the walk and made it about 2.5 minutes into the second interval before I had to call it quits. I had totally lost the ability to keep my mouth closed and every time I puffed my breath out, I slobbered into the air a little. (Sexy, I know.)
Am I disappointed that I couldn’t complete the workout? Well, yeah! But I’m also pretty impressed that I ran longer than 3 minutes at a 15:00 mile pace. I listened to my body and quit early, and that’s okay. My body is a pretty decent coach, if I let it be. It will let me push myself, but it prefers that I stay breathing, mobile, and all that good stuff.
Next time I have to run on the dreadmill, I will try to go to the gym at a less busy time of day so the window treadmills are unoccupied. I will come prepared with a better pacing plan and not try to go all out on my first running interval. Right now, finished is more important than fast.