I really had high hopes that if I reduced my running time and shortened the running intervals it would be more fun. But that didn’t work.
I felt bad for only exercising for half an hour, and despite no running interval being longer than five minutes I found myself bitching and moaning, and looking at my watch every thirty seconds to see how much longer I would have to endure.
So. I could of course give up. I mean why should I run? I could walk or bike or swim instead. Maybe not swim, going to the pool had its own complications, namely loads of people, not enough space. Also it costs money and time to go to the pool.
But I don’t want to give up. I used to enjoy running, and that in itself is still a marvel to me. That someone like me, completely unathletic, could ever enjoy running. And outdoors even. In all kinds of weather.
So I decided to change my approach. I will switch to the 21K-program instead. The Couch to 10K clearly isn’t working. I started it months ago, it is a thirteen week program that I started in the beginning of November, and I still haven’t finished, and I still can’t run 10K.
Now you’d think that doing the 21K would be harder, and eventually it will be, but for now I mostly will have to do 5K runs three times a week with a longer run once a week. I’ll probably do those on Saturdays because theoretically I have more time on Saturdays. With my snail pace of running 5K will take about forty minutes to do. I know I can run for forty minutes if I really have to. So instead of scaling back and making things easier (which didn’t really work) I’ll go full steam and make them harder.
Of course I’ve been inspired by the book „Living with a SEAL“ that I read over the last two days. In that book Jesse Itzler describes a month in his life where he hired a former navy SEAL to stay with him and train him.
That training program is insane, and I wouldn’t ever do anything like it but I can see the appeal of going beyond what one thinks possible. And I do know that I tend to give up too easily. And I do want to become better, so I need to change something.
My husband just shakes his head at me. He has been running the exact same loop three to four times a week for years now. He leaves the house, runs through the woods out to one particular field, stretches for ten minutes, runs a different way back, and is done with his running for the day. I’m always rather envious when he glides by me, light-footed, while I stumble along, completely out of breath, and red in the face. He asked me why I feel the need to do a training program. To have someone tell me when to run, for how long, and what to do. He just listens to his body. When it’s a day for a slow jog he runs slowly. When it’s a day for a challenging fast run he runs fast.
Well. If I listen to my body too closely it will usually tell me to stay on the couch. Or maybe just walk slowly for half an hour. Which is fine. But not the level of fitness I’m aspiring to. I want to become someone who can run 10K, or maybe 21K, and enjoy it. And yes, somewhere in the back of my mind I’m dreaming of becoming a person who can run ultra marathons because that’s just too cool. I doubt I’ll get there soon but a woman can dream.
For now I’m starting a 5K to 21K program. If I manage to follow it I should be able to run 21K by the end of December. We’ll see how that goes.