Just Keep Running

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?

5 thoughts on “Just Keep Running

  1. Oh, Erin, I’m so proud of your accomplishments! Congratulations. 🙂There are so many things I’m afraid of, but I’ve been checking them off one by one this year, and I can’t wait to have the opportunity to check more off.


  2. Erin that is fantastic! Half of the battle is definitely mental. It almost makes me want to try running again! Only almost, because I remember how much running on a treadmill messed with my legs and it is not warm enough to run outside yet. Perhaps I will have to try outdoor running again when it gets nice…


  3. Way to go! I’m am so impressed! I can’t wait to hear about you running the whole 5K. With the determination you have, I’m certain you will make it! You go girl! ~ L


  4. GO YOU!!!!and I faced a big fear yesterday too.a life goal related to work. I decided the worst thing that happens is a NO—and that’s really not that bad.wait, this isnt about me 🙂GO YOU!!!


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