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.