So I am almost done with the Couch to 5k program! Today I did week 8 day 3, which was walk 5 minutes, run 28 minutes, walk 5 minutes. I ran a little over 2.3 miles in 28 minutes. This from a person who never ran in her life, not in high school or ever after. 5 months ago I was running in downtown Seattle, through the Olympic Sculpture Park, and I was exhausted after running for 1 minute. 2 months ago it got so nice out I switched from running on a treadmill in my apartment complex's gym to running on the trail behind us, and the first time I did it I had to drop back 2 weeks in the program because I couldn't run more than 3 minutes outside.
Now I have one more week of the program and then I run an actual 5k! I am nervous and excited and most of all so happy with my progress I could burst into song. When I am tired and out of breath while running I say to myself, where will I be if I keep running for another month? Another 6 months? What can I do if I keep running for a year?
The trail I have to run on is fantastic. It's about a 3 minute walk from my door through the back of the apartment complex to reach the trail entrance, and it's a soft asphalt trail the runs along a nature preserve, separated from the woods by a wooden fence, with bushes and small trees screening the other side from houses and condos. It's shady and cool and winds past a meadow full of flowers and a small lake where ducks live, past blackberry bushes, under huge northwestern pines. It's well maintained, I've spoken to the man who keeps it clean and swept, and the people here love to use it. I pass people walking their dogs and children, people biking, people strolling, and other runners. I wave to them with the hand that isn't holding my phone and most wave and smile back.
Running is hard work, the last 5 or so minutes especially. I run at a pace that feels comfortable for me throughout the run, usually about 4.8-5 mph, or a 12.5-12 minute mile. In the last 2 minutes of the run I push harder, I go faster, at the pace my long legs want to go but I can't sustain for long yet, and it feels like flying. I fly through the woods under the trees, through the sun-dappled shade, and it is simultaneously relaxing and invigorating, my mind is calm while my body works.
Then I get home and tell Ben that I ran, and every day he is excited and proud and cheers me on, he has never failed to be incredibly supportive, and it means so much! Every one I tell is supportive and excited and happy for me, thank you all so much!