Oranges 2 Oranges

Looking Back at 5K and Moving Forward…

C25K Week 8

The end is in sight! I made it to Week 8! Below will be my reports for this week’s runs, in chronological order, as they are posted on those days. To see what the Couch to 5K program is about, along with links to other resources and podcasts, check out the C25K site. To see my prior weeks’ reports, you can navigate to their individual pages either to the right or at the top of the page. Thanks for coming by!



Week 8 Begins…with a Shuffle?

October 20, 2008

Wow, today was just BLAH. It’s cold and rainy outside, I had a physically tiring weekend working on a project in the house (not to mention all the walking done at some estate sales right after my Saturday morning run), and now I’m left wondering where the heck I was during today’s run?!?

It took me long enough to get ready this morning. I decided to download some free tv eps off iTunes to give me a change of pace during my run. I guess I took the “change of pace” too literally. Anyway, right before heading to the treadmill (yes, I’m still attached to it like the start key with its little clip is my umbilical cord) I got a call related to work, so I had to take it. Then I got started. I did my stretching and warm-up walk, set the speed on the treadmill to what I’m used to and started. I had been watching some candid camera-type show since the walking, and watched it until the cool-down was finished. Where did the time go?

I had a 28-minute run today, the longest I’d gone so far, yet I felt like I didn’t do more than a walk. I did run, but it was sort of a shuffle. I never let my feet drag, but I didn’t have the usual spring in my step. Maybe I was too preoccupied with the show that I wasn’t paying attention. Maybe it’s gotton easy for me, and I just didn’t feel that tired out. It was just BLAH.  😛

I did discover on Saturday that my Nike+ was synchronized correctly, so I have been using that during the running portion of my workouts. It basically tells me that I’m going about the distance on the treadmill’s display and about the same speed, but the calories burned during the run are much higher on the Nike+ (231 vs. about 150). I’ll take that.

Here’s the poll for this week…With Fall being upon (most of) us, what is your favorite activity of the season? Mine is just enjoying the fact it’s not winter yet. But really, I like the smells of the outdoors this time of year. It also makes me want to try cooking and baking new things. Thanks for coming by!



Week 8 – Day Two

October 23, 2008

Today went a lot better. It was more strenuous and I wanted to lie down every minute of the 28-minute run, which was a sign, to me, that my run on Monday wasn’t all it could have been. At this point, I think today’s run would have been easier then Monday’s, not harder, had I put in 100% in the first place on Monday. Maybe it was the extra rest day I took again. It’s not even an extra day, really, since I subtracted a day on the weekends by running on Saturdays, now. Either way, I had no pain in my legs (just a little sluggish), but in the last 3 minutes, I had trouble inhaling, like there wasn’t enough air in the room. I wasn’t out of breath, but it seemed like my lungs weren’t at their full capacity.

I feel good after running. Maybe it’s the endorphins. Maybe it’s being able to say, “Yep! I just finished running 28 minutes!” It’s probably a bit of both. It also means, in the C25K program, that I’m one day closer to graduation! I have 4 more runs and I’m done. It’s hard to believe. On one hand, it seems like ages ago that I started this, but on the other hand, to look back at myself 8 weeks ago — the person who couldn’t run a minute without risking my heart coming out of my chest — I can’t believe that I can do what I can do now. It’s an overwhelming thought. To those of you on this C25K (or any other “couch potato” to 5K program) journey with me, keep at it. The results show each time you get up and do a run. It’s so rewarding to get through each week, and I’m truly surprised at how well we can adapt and gain endurance over such a short time span.

While I was running today, listening to a podrunner 140bpm track (which turned out to be a teensy bit too slow, so my steps were out of synch anyway), I was thinking about this choice I have to make soon about what I’m going to do one I finish the C25K next week. I’ve decided I’m not ready to actually run a 5K race yet, since I’m working on time, not distance, and my distance in the 28 minutes is only up to 2 miles. I’m not sure I’d be able to run 40+ minutes at once just yet. I don’t want to start the One Hour Runner just yet, either. I’d like to not have to be on a set schedule, but I do want some of the structure that a schedule gives me. My solution that I have decided on is that I am going to run for distance after my 9 weeks is over, however long my times are. My goal will be to make my way up to 3.1 miles (5K) and then shorten my time. I feel that if I go for OHR right now, I’ll end up running my same slowwww pace for an hour when it’s done, and I won’t have gained any speed. If I have a goal besides getting to a time, I’ll be more motivated to run better and not just settle into a set time schedule. Hopefully by the time I reach that goal, I’ll be ready for a 5K race and maybe actually do one. I hope to also know more about the types of runs and how to train to be faster and run longer so that I can set up my own schedule or goals for the next distance level up. That’s my plan for now.

I won an auction for all the 2007 Runner’s World issues really cheap, and those came in the mail yesterday. I’m excited to read them. Whether or not they contain a lot of useful information, I’m so new to running, it’s entertaining to read them, as well.

Monday’s my birthday, and that’s the day I start Week 9. I debated starting the week on Tuesday, but I figured that it would be good to say that I ran my first 30 minutes on my 33rd birthday. So, I’m going to do it on Monday.

Don’t forget to vote in this week’s poll, if you haven’t already! Thanks again for coming by and listening! For those of you doing races this weekend, have fun, be safe and kick some butt!!!  😉


PS. I’m adding a PS because there’s something I forgot to mention, and I wanted to bring up Cyndi’s comment below. She’s right, and makes a good point. I responded to her comment with one below it. I go on to offer more “reasons” I might or might not go for the OHR program after C25K. I want to be able to find the right reasons to do OHR based on those, not because it’s the thing you do after C25K. Thanks, Cyndi, for giving me some good reasons for doing OHR.

Now, the thing I forgot to mention…I dug out my blood pressure monitor, which also gives me a resting heart rate count — since I’ve noticed my heart rate has gone down significantly — and my BP is at about 116/76 (my most recent reading on a non-running day), with a resting heart rate between 52-56 consistently. My resting HR used to be around 70, so I can tell how running has changed that. It’s just something besides the mirror that is showing me that there’s a health benefit to what I’m doing here.


Week 8 is finished!

October 25, 2008

I’m going to keep it short today, as we’re working on the bathroom again, and hubby’s going to be home from the store soon. Today’s run went fine. I listened to my playlist, got through it and that was about it. We’re going to be hiking tomorrow, so that’s not really going to be much of a rest day before I start Week 9 on Monday (my birthday!). My thighs are a little sore, mostly because since I finished the run I’ve been bending down and running around a lot, working on the bathroom project.

As you can see on the home page, I’ve decided to do the One Hour Runner (OHR) program after I graduate from the C25K. I really didn’t want to go into it just because it’s the thing to do after you finish C25K, but after getting feedback and arguing with myself about it, I decided it’s the best thing right now. Just because I made it 9 weeks doesn’t mean I know what I’m doing yet. I have a lot to learn and I need to gain more endurance. I’m still slow as molasses (though today I went a little bit faster for a longer period of time during the 28 minutes), but at least I’ll be able to run longer times with the OHR kicking my butt for the next 10 or so weeks after graduation.

I’m signing off for today. It seems that there’s a lot on my plate for the coming month, including preparing the house for Thanksgiving. This will certainly be a test of my commitment to running and writing (see post on home page).  🙂


12 responses to “C25K Week 8

  1. BabsFox says:

    Shannan, Keep up the good work. I’m glad that you’re still going strong with the C25K training! What is the Nike+? Is it a heart rate monitor?

  2. Sarah says:

    I miss fall so badly, Shannan, you have no idea, lol. Today in the 70s felt like a break. lol

    28 minutes – WOW! Good!!!

  3. Babs, I posted on today’s thread about the Nike+, but I’ll repost it tomorrow, in case you didn’t get a chance to get back online today.

  4. laurajane says:

    Hi, I just found your blog, and I think it’s great! It’s so encouraging someone who has made it to week 8! I’m doing the c25k now, and I’m in week 3, so I’m still a little worried about how I’m gonna make it when it comes to those longer segments of running.

  5. Laurajane,

    Thanks! It’s great that you’ve made it to week 3! The program works well in that you seem to be ready for what’s coming next, no matter how scary it seems. I always thought, “how am I going to do two minutes longer?” But somehow, I was ready when the time came. You’ll do fine. Concentrate on one workout at a time and don’t rush yourself through the weeks (give yourself about 48 hours between workouts), and you’ll be okay. If you think you need to repeat a day or week, then do so. It’s not a race, and you need to do what works for you. Plus…it gets more fun as you go and find that the longer times are now your shorter times. 🙂

  6. Thomas says:

    Hard to believe it’s been 8 weeks huh? Not so long ago you were scared you couldn’t do it and now you’re giving advice to someone else 🙂 I’m looking forward to hearing about your first 5k which I’m sure isn’t too far away.

  7. Cyndi says:

    Great job Shannan. This happens sometimes…some runs just don’t go well, for any number of reasons or none at all…and then there are the runs that just rock.

    Just so you know…I had the same misgivings about being ready for a 5K for the same reasons. My longest running time was 30 minutes, and I only got through like 2.46 miles. It just turned out that the next 5K was not until 1 month after I ‘graduated’ (it’s this weekend!) so just for the heck of it, I tried to run a 5K 2 weeks ago. And I did it! In like 36 minutes. This week I ran it in 34 minutes. The point is….you don’t necessarily have to run the distance to be able to race the distance. Even marathoners don’t run 26.2 miles in training – the longest run is usually 20 miles about 3 weeks before the marathon! You CAN run a 5K – that’s the whole point of C25K!

    I moved right into One Hour Running after C25K, and as it turns out, the first 3 weeks of OHR are strictly 30 minute runs, 3X’s a week. No more, no less. At first I was sort of disappointed not to be adding time/distance, but now I understand the purpose. I run faster already, which means increased distance, without even changing a thing…just running period. So if you are not sure what to do yet, at least do the 30 minutes 3X’s a week. And SIGN UP for a 5K! 🙂

    One more thing (sorry, brevity is just not my thing!)…don’t worry about being ‘fast’ right now…you are still building a solid base of endurance. Speed will come with more running time – they say new runners should not even do speedwork until after a year of running. I do some fartleks some times, and maybe some sprint-like intervals here and there, but nothing formal. I’ve already come donw a minute per mile in just one month from basic running.

    Ok, that’s all, sorry to hog up your comment space!

  8. Thanks, Thomas and Cyndi!

    Cyndi, you made a good point about building a base of endurance AND being ready for a 5K because it’s the point of the program. I guess my fear with OHR is that I’ll be stuck at the same speed on the treadmill, but going for longer times, which I might start feeling “trapped” by. It’s getting cold outside (around 40 in the mornings when I get up), and even though I wanted to try running around the neighborhood a little, I know a lot of times I’ll be forced to stay indoors once winter hits (not to mention that our neighborhood is full of 50-year residents who can’t shovel their sidewalks!). 😛

    One thing I forgot to mention about today is that for the first 9 minutes of the run I set the speed at 0.2 mph higher than usual, to see how long I could go. I think I’ll try it again next time, and maybe by doing that I’ll be able to regularly run at the higher speed (but not much higher). It did tire me out faster, but I think by just going up a tiny bit like that, I can challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone until that is comfortable. Once I get outside, I’ll get a better picture of what I’m capable of on my own, without the treadmill.

    The thing about doing another program like this, with the OHR, is that I ‘have’ to do the time that they day calls for, which brings out the rebel in me who wants to say that I want more freedom. Rationally speaking, though, I’ll never improve without the structure of OHR, because I’ll get too settled into my own way. It’s something I keep going back and forth on. I’m stubborn.

  9. Cyndi says:

    Shannan, something else to consider…do you take your heart rate when you run? I got a Garmin for my birthday, right when I finished C25K, and I learned something really big….I had been running WAY harder than I needed to be all along! You want to run ‘slow and steady’ at this point in the game, with your heart rate at 65%-75% of your maximum heart rate. For me, that translates to 11-14 beats in 6 seconds. (You would probably be generally the same I would imagine) Do not worry about being faster – your form will suffer, and you can injure yourself. It’s all about endurance endurance endurance. The speed comes on it’s own, especially as you drop pounds and build more muscle. Trust me on this – do not worry about going fast, just add on time each week, no more than 10% each week. So, you run 30 minutes one week, next week you only add 3 minutes to that. Our friends at Running Ahead will tell you the same thing…build your aerobic endurance first!

  10. Cyndi,

    I have used my HRM a few times, and I find that I’m in the right range, though over time it’s gotten lower as I’ve run more now. I only set my treadmill to 4.0mph, and today I did the 9 minutes at 4.2mph, which is about as fast as I can go for any length of time before feeling the effects (ie. too high of a heart rate). I’m only doing between a 14:15 and 15:20 pace at the moment. I use my Nike+ to check on that as I play with faster steps vs. longer ones at the same treadmill speed. This is why I’m curious to see what I’d do in the real world, on the pavement. I won’t be limited to the length of the treadmill, but at the same speed, I might cover more ground. I have no idea which way it will go.

  11. Laura says:

    Hi Shannon,

    I am currently in week 8 of the c25k (just completed day 2) and have been reading your blog each time I complete a run! I am so glad I found your blog as it has been interesting to see its not just me who has struggled, felt emotional etc.

    Thanks again 🙂


  12. Shannan says:

    Thanks for writing, Laura! I’m so glad that the blog is helping you. You’re so close to the end! I can’t wait to hear that you’ve graduated. You’re already an example to those around you who might doubt they can do it. 🙂

    It’s been a while since I did the C25K, but in fact, I’ve just completed my 2nd workout for a similar 5K program, hopefully on my way to One Hour Runner – your message came at just the right time. I’d stopped running as regularly, and my body is telling me that, now that I’m doing it again. I was telling myself during this run that it was easier than the last one, and that though I doubted myself during that last one, I know now that adding a little bit at a time and letting your body recover between workouts really works to increase endurance. It’s amazing how that works, and as more of life happens, more emotions get brought up to the surface to join whatever frustrations you already have to deal with in that day’s run. Along with struggling through new workouts and longer times, you find what gets you through, and soon enough you’re doing it for the fun of it. It’s so worth the effort and the time! Keep it up! You’re doing great! ~ Shannan

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