I've done it. This morning I heard these guys in my head at about 6:35. (Yes, I occasionally imagine real-life people in my head as characters from The Simpsons.) And of course, they were singing their triumphant We Are The Champions. Why is Queen in my head? Well, today I am an official Couch to 5k Graduate!
I couldn't help but think about how amazing it was that week one was more challenging than week nine. Let's review, shall we? (All of my C25k posts can be seen here.) Week one had me jogging for 60 seconds then walking for 90 seconds. I did these intervals eight times, and huffed and puffed the entire way. It was late August, and it was scorching outside. Now I run in freezing temperatures for thirty minutes without stopping. Don't get me wrong, I'm still huffing and puffing while my knees continue to ache, but running is no longer foreign to my body. Besides, I don't let excuses get into my head. I just get out there and run.
It's worth noting to all of you potential or current C25k'ers that I haven't lost a single bit of weight in these last two months. But I haven't let that stop me. I had originally started this program to get healthier, find an "active" hobby, and lose weight. Two out of three isn't so bad. I figure the weight will come off eventually (as I've gathered from the experience of others). I haven't let my lack of weight loss discourage me from running since I know it's more about a long-term commitment to fitness and my health overall. Because of running, I am stronger, have more energy, and find myself in better spirits on a regular basis. I think the issue is that I find myself ravenous on run-days, so I just need to manage that better.
I'm already planning the post-graduation runs, which will probably start with working on running for the 5k distance instead of just running for time. (Pace has me falling a bit short of the mark in the 30 minutes.) I'll do that for two weeks, then will start doing a "long run" (ok you marathoners can laugh) of 45 minutes at the end of the week. In the spring, it will be on to Bridge to 10k (B210k).
I have to mention my saviors at c25kapp.com. They made running a whole heck of a lot easier because I didn't have to fidget with stop watches or juggling the timing with ipod music. I downloaded their app during week 1 and am so glad that I did. They're also really supportive via Twitter, and have lots to share on their blog. I'll be purchasing their B210k app for my iPhone when the looming snow melts.
Also, a big thanks to my mom for helping me get my butt in gear during week one, and to my sister-in-law Emily for keeping me honest throughout the past eight weeks. Oh, and also a shout-out to pepper spray for giving me peace of mind. Watch out, creeps - I'm ready to attack!