11/19/10

I blame the metric system

I don't think I'll be running in my race next week. I'm sure no one really cares, or needs to hear my long rambling justification as to why not, but I'm sharing anyway. I started the Couch to 5K running program this summer, which is supposed to take a person from "I can't run three steps" to running 5K in just nine weeks. So in the first week you have 8 repetitions of 60 seconds of running with 3 minutes of walking; the second week you have 6 repetitions of 90 seconds of running with 2 minutes of walking; and so on. I downloaded some a podcast series to listen to as I ran/walked, which gave cues as to when to speed up and slow down. All the podcasts are 30 minutes long (with 5 minutes of warm up and cool down tacked on either side), so I just kind of assumed that 30 minutes of running, when I got there, would be equal to 5K of distance.

The first time I ran 20 minutes, I only made it about a mile and a quarter. Aha, I thought, 5K must be equal to about 2 miles. I can do this! And about a week later, I DID run about 2 miles -- or twice around my neighborhood, which I double-checked with my car odometer. I was pleased with myself. Then I went online and looked at the map of the race I'd entered. It looked longer than the path around my neighborhood. I grew suspicious. I googled "how long is 5K?" and was alarmed to find out that 5K is, in fact, THREE miles. Three miles! That's a long way. That's much farther than two miles. Stupid metric system.

I don't think I can do it. I can run two miles -- I've done it twice now -- but it's a struggle. I'm very slow, and it kind of hurts. I don't think I can make that extra mile.

I feel like a loser for not going to the race. Chris told me that's silly; that the important thing is that I'm exercising at all, that I've made it as far as I have. I know that's true, but I wish I'd worked a little harder. I'm going to keep at it, though. Running is kind of awful when you're doing it -- except for those brief moments when it's not. I don't know if I've ever really felt a "runner's high," but when I run I feel strong, and I like that. I like knowing that I can do something today that I couldn't six months ago.

So maybe in another six months, I'll find another race to enter, and I'll actually show up for it.

2 comments:

aimee said...

I think it is absolutely great you are running 2 miles and honestly it is great you were running just 20 minutes. I am not a runner but I can see how that program is good because it gets you moving. I am having a hard time being motivated to move right now. So don't beat yourself up. Instead celebrate that you are doing so well! Yay!

Karen said...

I agree with Aimee. Running in the race is not what is important; it is running at all.