It has been a tough couple of months for me and the C25K program. I haven't given up though and despite the great desire to stay in bed, morning after morning, I forced myself to get up and go for my run. Last week, I decided I needed to really take stock of my situation: (1) I wasn't seeing any new results on my waistline, (2) I wasn't really feeling I could add more distance, (3) despite the fact that it is usually quite chilly, I was feeling too overheated during my runs, and (4) no matter how much stretching I did, my lower calves always seemed to be too tight to continue running.
I decided I had to make some changes - both mental and physical. First, I decided I needed to stop wearing my ball cap while running, so I braided my hair and clipped the bangs out of my face. This may seem a minor point, but I can't stand having hair sticking to my sweaty face and I also hate the feeling of a pony tail or clump of hair bouncing on the back of my neck. I also decided that I needed to loosen up a bit while I was running and take longer, more bounding strides. I figured my calves were cramping up so much because the effort of taking smaller more controlled steps was working against me.
So last Saturday, I had planned on running in a 2M race. I had been looking forward to it until I found that the route was mostly uphill and that by and large, people walked it. Once I found that out, I decided I would be better off hitting the trail near my house and trying for a 2.75 mile run for week 8. What a good decision this turned out to be! Not only did the changes I made help, I felt totally in control. For the first time in a while, I felt strong enough and sure enough to make it. I stopped twice for about 30 seconds to catch my breath a bit, but I ran the entire way and in fact, when I got to my end point, I felt so good, I kept on running and by the time I stopped, I had run almost 3.5 miles! That is the longest run I have ever completed and I was AMAZED that I had done it. I repeated it again yesterday and will do so tomorrow as well and it is my intention to declare myself a C25K graduate once I have finished!
I am so glad I stuck with it through the rough patch and can only say that if you are out there and you are going through a rough patch and you feel that it just isn't clicking, don't give up. Persevere and you will feel the rewards. I can say this because I now know it to be true and if I CAN DO IT, so can you!