Today was Week 3, Day 1 (W3D1) of C25k, and I was completely dreading it. I have never been a runner, and times in the past when I’ve tried to run, I’ve given up rather quickly because I was gasping for air and feeling as though I might die. However, I made it through the first 2 weeks of the program with little difficulty, but then I looked at the schedule for Week 3, and I freaked out. Last week, each session consisted of 90-second intervals of running with 2-minute intervals of walking. This week it is 90 seconds of jogging, 90 seconds of walking, then 3 MINUTES of jogging followed by 3 minutes of walking, and repeat. So essentially the jogging intervals double this week, and that seemed almost impossible to me. Over the weekend I battled myself, the pessimist in me thinking, “There’s no way I’m going to be able to run 3 minutes; it’s just not going to happen. I’ll have to do less and just try to do week 3 again next week.” Then the optimist in me started thinking, “Well, maybe you can do it, but you’ll have to take it really slowly. And you can always take a longer break between the jogs.” The pessimist in me talked much louder, though, so when this morning came I was anxious but told myself that even if I had to jog at 4.4 mph (I walk at 4.2), I would NOT quit.
I started my 5-minute warm-up walk, mentally preparing myself for the jog coming up. I use a great podcast that has voice cues that tell me when to start jogging and when to stop, so when the voice said, “Prepare for your first run,” I steeled myself, upped the speed to 5.0, and started jogging. As I ran, I kept up a steady refrain in my head of Don’t look at the clock, don’t look at the clock. If I didn’t look, perhaps the time would go faster, perhaps I wouldn’t freak out if I didn’t realize I still had 2 minutes left. Then, after what seemed like an eternity, the voice told me, “Now go into your recovery walk,” and then I looked at the clock and remembered that before doing the 3 minute jog, I had to do a 1.5 minute jog! I hadn’t even done the whole 3 minutes yet! Oh goodness, how was I going to do it?
The 90 seconds of walking seemed to fly by in half the time of the running segment, and before I knew it the voice came back, telling me it was time to begin my 3-minute run. Here we go, I thought, the moment of truth has arrived. I began my mantra again. Don’t look at the clock. Don’t look at the clock. But my resolve weakened, and I snuck a peak: 1.5 minutes done. I was halfway there! I thought of Dory from Finding Nemo and began chanting in my head, just keep running, just keep running.
So I did. And I did it, I completed the whole session! I didn’t have to take a longer recovery walk, I didn’t decrease my speed, I didn’t quit. I did it! I am so proud of myself for trying this and not giving up. So often I have thought about attempting things and then have dismissed them for fear of failing. As mentioned previously, I like to try things I feel pretty certain I will succeed in, and running never seemed like one of those things. Now I wonder if I could have done it all along. Have I been selling myself short, telling myself I couldn’t do it all these years, when in fact I just hadn’t pushed myself enough? What else am I missing out on because I don’t want to try, to believe that I can do it?
What is something you are afraid to try?