Couch to 5k – Week 3, Run 5
Each week on the CT5k program is meant to contain 3 runs before moving on to the next week but I’m not ready to up the timings yet so I’m sticking with week 3 for a couple more times until I feel ready to move. I don’t think I’m far off but I’m fast discovering my biggest challenge is my mind telling my body it’s tired and should stop. I need to listen to my body and not my brain on this one.
Today was…….. a good run. This is an alien thing to me as so far I haven’t enjoyed any of them but I think I picked up a few tricks today to help me mentally balance out the challenge.
Ponytail swishing and arms moving
Movement is key for me – as much as I’m tempted to keep body movement to a minimum to conserve energy I’ve discovered moving my arms is essential to keep momentum. A ponytail swish is usually a good indicator for me that I’m moving at a fairly steady pace!
Trust my body
I’ve been able to run since I was about 2 years old. My body knows how to do it so I just need to trust my legs to get on with that job which leaves me free to concentrate on other things instead – like my breathing, keeping my arms moving and not going too fast. You have to trust your body – your brain can be screaming at you to stop but if you listen to your legs instead they’ll probably tell you that you can go for at least another minute.
Understand my achievements
My entire adult life my dieting life has revolved around the number on the scale. I’ve attached an enormous amount of self worth to that number and I was struggling with leaving that behind. I’m getting round it though but trying to focus on different achievements – for example I only lost 1lb last week but from the measurements I’ve been taking I can tell I lost an inch off my waist and half an inch off my arms in just week which feels amazing. It’s not much but it does make a difference.
I’m currently struggling through running for 3 minutes straight which is getting me down but then I put it in perspective and thought that just 3 weeks ago I couldn’t run for 60 seconds.
This is a mental game as well as a physical one and you have to mark your achievements as you get them to keep you going.
This is the most important to me. For the last 4 weeks I’ve been wearing a hat when I run to keep the sun and gnats out of my eyes but I realised I also do it so I can hide from other people running around me. I was scared to look anyone else in the eye just in case they realised I was a fraud who didn’t belong there. Today though I looked up. I looked up and I not only had better balance and better breath control but I also saw other runners who nodded and smiled at me – I even got a high five from another lady when we passed each other in opposite directions for the 4th time! I got a huge boost of confidence from just looking up and it’s made me think about the amount of things I hide from and how to tackle that.
Running isn’t only changing my body shape but it’s working for my brain and confidence as well.
I joined the Run Mummy Run Facebook Group and I’ve been overwhelmed by the support I’ve received. There are some truly inspirational women in that group but the bit I’ve loved the most is that no one cares about distance – I’ve complained about not being able to run for 90 seconds and had encouraging words from people who run ultramarathons. They don’t care how far you go or how fast you are, they just want to support you and virtually cheer you on on the good and bad days – it really is wonderful. They all have very pretty shoes as well……..
So thats my thoughts for this week. Today went well and I managed all the runs but had to stop for 10 seconds in the middle of each 3 minute run so I think maybe a couple more times and I’ll be ready to move onto week 4.
Meanwhile I’m updating my Spotify running playlist – any suggestions on songs that keep you going during you runs?