As I mentioned previously, I’ve been sick.

As I mentioned before that, I’ve been running.

What has happened in the interim is something kind of scary: I’m enjoying the running.

If you’re not familiar with any of the Couch to 5K apps, they work sort of like this: Each week you’re given a schedule with times to walk and times to run, bracketed by five-minute warm-up and cool-down walks. You do three each “week” — kind of an arbitrary term, since I’m doing these every other day — before stepping up to a little less walking and a little more running the next week.

What that’s meant for me is that the first run of each week is a tough one — and that’s expected.

But the third run of each week? I’ve been looking forward to them. They feel awesome.

I can track progress by ticking off each workout in the app. I can see that I’m going a little longer as I add more running time. But the best way for me to see myself getting better is knowing that a run that was tough just five days earlier was suddenly easy.

And that feels amazing.

I did the first run of Week Five on Saturday morning. It was, predictably, a rough one: A three-minute run, followed by 90 seconds of walking, followed by a two-and-a-half minute walk, followed by a five-minute run and then repeated. Ouch. I completed the whole thing, though, and was looking forward to Monday’s run as a way to mark the progress.

And then I started feeling like shit on Sunday night. My coaching staff said I’d be OK to run if the congestion was just in my head on Monday morning, but I felt so lousy when I woke up that I didn’t go. The gunk had moved to my chest on Tuesday, and my coaching staff said running with a chest cold is a no-no. And I didn’t go.

So now I’m two days off schedule, and I’m kind of freaking out about it. I understand that I’m not going to lose everything I’ve gained by missing two or three days before going again. But.

But. I miss it. This is an odd thing for me to say, but I do. I have goals for this stuff — the 5K which I’ll discuss shortly and next fall’s Great Race are the immediate ones — but while I hadn’t planned on stopping at those, I hadn’t really thought much past them. I’ve had friends warn me that I would get hooked, and I didn’t really believe them. Until now.

Unless something changes between now and then, I’m going tomorrow morning. Just don’t tell my coaching staff.


  1. Sir, if a Tank Commander is backing running…..and I mean you’re an Army guy that understands how it sucks to be forced to run, and you’re enjoying it…..I better get my fat ass back into itT Thanks


  2. I am confident you will be able to get back in the swing of things, and with the added activity, your immune system will be better equipped to help you through your next exposure to germs. That’s my guess, anyhow. I am not a doctor, but I write about what doctors study sometimes.


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