Today is day one of week seven in my From Couch to 5k training program. I know – it’s crazy that it’s been that long since this thing started … and that long since my birthday.
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have caught my daily run updates (though they tend to be posted around 6 a.m., so maybe not), but after this morning’s run, I felt like I needed more space to share my thoughts. Good thing I’ve got this blog here.
This morning’s run was supposed to be a repeat of last week’s final run: 15 minutes of jogging and five minutes of walking. Each day builds on the previous one, and each week builds on that. So by the end of this week, I should be ready for 17 minutes solid of running. This morning I did 18.
But it’s not the fact I ran three minutes past schedule that’s important. It’s not impressive or surprising; I’ve been adjusting quite well and building endurance quickly (remember, at the start of this, I was winded after two minutes). It’s what happened in those last three minutes.
After my Droid buzzed to let me know 15 minutes had passed, I thought “I’ll just keep going to the end of this street,” which was just a block away. But my pace picked up, and my stride locked into a steady pulse. And suddenly, I was no longer aware of friction, or wind resistance, or muscle pain or even breathing. For those last three minutes, something weird happened … I was no longer consciously exerting effort to run. I just … was.
When I finally decided to slow to a walk, I could barely breathe, but after a minute even that returned to normal. No hacking or shallowness like I’ve had in the past. I’m sure there’s some sort of runners’ term for this. Breaking the wall? I don’t know. But I do know it was strange, scary, somewhat intoxicating, and … something I think I’d like to find again.
I have just less than three weeks left in this program, and have to double my time within that span. Stay tuned.