I bet you thought I was avoiding the topic of C25K because week 4 hit and I gave up….didn’t ya?  Well, you’re WRONG!

Now… granted I haven’t done the BEST but I have done it.  So let me back up to Saturday which was Week 4, Day 1.  I now have the brilliant idea to run outside most of the time.  Why?  It’s just so much easier mentally than running on a treadmill.  On the treadmill it’s a time game and the numbers are right in front of me.  Excruciating.  So I head to the park where I can at least keep a moderate eye on my pace (you know, because I’ve deciphered the half mile track and I should run around that in 5 minutes).  The first thing I notice… there are a lot more people there than I anticipate for 7:30 am on a Saturday.  As I start my warm up walk I notice everyone is wearing pink shirts.  Wanna know what else I notice?  Even just at a walking pace I’m already soaking with sweat.  It is beyond humid outside.  The air is heavy and it’s hot and I’m starting to miss my treadmill in the basement even before I start.

I start my running and it dawns on me that the excess people in the park are multiplying….rapidly.  And… they’re all wearing pink shirts.  So it suddenly dawns on me I’m about to be caught in the middle of a 5 mile run for breast cancer.  I’d seen the advertisements for it but obviously the date had slipped my mind.  I ignored the walk/run intervals.. ran a mile and hightailed it out of there.  Can I mention how disgusting I was after just a mile?  Soaked in sweat.  I’ve never been so sweaty in my entire life.  Those poor suckers doing 5 miles in that, man.

Later that afternoon I decide I’m going to do the podcast for week 4, day 1.  I don’t get very far.  I make it 1/2 through and I just poop out.  And no, I didn’t do the whole thing at 6 mph.  I went from 6 to 5.5 to 5 to 5.5 to 6 to 5… you get the picture.  At the time I chalked it up to having run earlier in the day but I don’t know.  Today’s run wasn’t much better.

This morning I did intervals within my intervals.  I spent time at 6mph until I was tired then I’d drop down to 5 mph and recover and if I could muster it (only twice) I’d kick it back up to 6 mph for another minute or so.

It’s ridiculous because I feel like a failure and yet, I’m running faster than ever before and I should be happy.  It’s just that I wanted to be able to make this 6mph goal… and I guess I will some day.  As for now I’m going to concentrate on working up to that 5k because I’ve got that run coming up and I am not going to go there unprepared.

I do have a theory about my stamina though, which I feel should be MUCH MORE than it currently is.  When I ran regularly before (albeit much more slowly) I noticed that the week around my TOM I’d be much more likely to quit in the middle of a run.  I just seemed to have less of a tolerance for pushing myself.  That’s sort of what it felt like on Saturday and a bit today.  I really wanted to quit today and it took a lot of effort not to.  I’m glad I did.  I’ll be extra glad if this lack of stamina is just a hormonal thing.

So yeah.  I did Week 4.  Maybe not as fast as I wanted, but I’ve done it.  I’ve done it faster than I did it the first time and I need to see any improvement as just that – IMPROVEMENT.