Couch to 5K – Week 1/Day 1

21 Jul

SO! Having swallowed my doubts, got up off my backside, popped on a pair of running shoes and stepped outside of my comfort boundaries, today officially marked the first day of my new drive to get fit and start running~!

I’ve been told all sorts of things about the NHS Couch to 5K programme, and even downloaded the podcasts for it a while back, but felt that it wasn’t for me at the time.

Now that I’ve downloaded the android app (which allows you to use your own music playlist instead of that god awful one on the podcast) I’ve decided to give it another go and see if I can really get myself fit and healthy, at least to a reasonable degree, before September rolls around…

For those of you who don’t know the programme, in the first week, every other day you are expected to start with a 5 minute brisk walk, then alternate between 60 seconds of light jogging and 1min 30 seconds of brisk running, before concluding with another 5 minute brisk walk for a combined total of around 28 minutes of exercise – perfect for those like myself who are ridiculously unfit/recovering from a bout of illness.

Despite the recent hot weather, today was pretty mild and so it wasn’t too bad – during the first 5 minute brisk walk the breeze was pleasantly refreshing without being too cold. However, as I have just moved to a new area I am unfamiliar with the best non-hilly routes and so, in an attempt to avoid any steep inclines I stuck to going up and down a particularly long road near my house (to be honest this made me feel like someone might see me and think I was a stalker of some kind, that I was “surveying the area”, or that I was just plain weird…).

When the announcement for the first run came on I tensed up, anxious as to whether or not I was going to prove to be as unfit as I thought I was, however all turned out to be ok and I managed to get through it with no issue.

A little further down the line and the road started to decline before coming to a point at which there was only one option – I was going to have to run up a steep incline, and that was not going to be fun…

At this point, in my mind all I could think (honestly speaking) was “f**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**kf**k” and began to feel a sense of panic and anxiety rising up again.

Even so I pushed on, focused on one of my favourite songs that was playing at the time and imagined that (as silly as it sounds) I was not running, but dancing to the music – although I wasn’t ACTUALLY dancing, doing this helped me to feel as though I was doing something fun and pleasant, thus I was able to still my anxiety, to relax, and to make it through without stopping.

For those of you out there who are very fit and physically active, it may be hard to understand where I am coming from at this point – all I can say is that it is just a matter of confidence (see previous blog post “Goodbye to the Past; Hello to the Future!” for more details) and learning to become comfortable with a situation or sensations (such as my temples pounding and my skin coming out in red patches) that I am unfamiliar with.

Suffice it to say, I made it through the whole session without stopping and felt extra good about myself after having got home, jumped in the shower, and pampered myself with some nice goodies that were given to me as a gift earlier that day by a friend of the family.

Here’s to Wednesday being just as good!!!

Post-run evaluation: Had a bit of a headache from the blood rushing around my head and was a tad hungry (hadn’t eaten lunch by that point) but felt positive overall and noticably happier!

Lesson of the day: Sometimes it’s not about the big jumps, but the little steps that can make a world of difference.


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