Misadventures of a Couch-to-5K

Published Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Misadventures of a Couch to 5K

I woke up last Monday and decided I would get in better shape; more hourglass, less apple.  Just looking to shed that extra 20 lbs that the second baby left behind for me.  I hadn’t even had my coffee yet, so it may have been a sleep-induced hysteria, or maybe a mild stroke?  The way I figured to manage this was to walk (maybe jog?) a 5k race.  Obviously the first step on the journey to fitness was to find a race and register for it.  I managed that pretty easily by using the internet and charging $20 to my credit card.  Now I have to be able to actually do the thing.  

Step two, I found an app for my phone to help me get there.  It has a virtual coach that tells you when to warm up, speed up/slow down, and then cool down, tracks mileage and pace, etc.  Its called “Couch to 5K” by Active.  I’m sure other apps do a similar things as well, but this isn’t meant to be an app review.  I have a great plan to do the workouts on Mon, Wed, and Fri with some leg strengthening exercises in between, and the weekend off.  Doesn’t sound too bad; I used to hit the gym pretty hard back in the day (before pregnancy) so this should be easy.  Having made this plan, I decided that I should take a week off — I’ll start next Monday!

Next Monday rolls around and I am ready to start.  I too am a bit surprised that I was still willing to do this.  Got my shoes on and music playing, I get the app started and I’m outside warming up.  I had the thought that I’d better walk away from the house, because if I go around the block I might just stop and go inside.  As I’m walking through the warm up the app “coach” speaks to me over the music, “Jog for 30 seconds!”

Wait, what?!  Already!  I’m still warming up.  Okay fine I’ll try it.  I force my legs to engage but there’s not a lot of gusto.  A few seconds into the jog interval and think to myself, “I’ll try harder on the next interval.”  It goes like this the whole work out.  I realize that I am not ready for the jogging portion of the workouts; better to just stick to the walking for now.  

Tuesday I do the leg strengthening exercises with a tension band, no big deal.  Wednesday (day 2 of the program) and the jogging intervals are even longer than the first day.  I’m thinking this app says “Couch to 5K”, but I barely made it through day one and everything hurts — I think I need a “Couch to Walking 5K” app.

Next day is another strength day.  I glare at the evil bands and swear that I hear a supernatural laugh coming from them.  Possessed little rubber shits!  I’ll get to it later, because I don’t need that kind of negativity right now.  As you can guess later never comes, and neither does the Friday jog (walk) workout.  My legs are on strike; all the muscles are tight.  Instead I do stretching, but they are stubborn.  I wonder if the demonic laughter was coming from my sore thighs. 

Weekends are rest days, and my discipline to the program is very strong when it comes to rest days.  What’s this?  Its Labor Day weekend?  3-day-weekend… YES!  Monday is family time, bitches.  

Tuesday I realize that I ought to get back at it.  I’ve given my body five days of rest (after the initial three days of work), so I should be good by now.  It can’t be as bad as last week.  I strap on, zip up, get out there, fire up the app and get warming up.  Along comes the “coach” shouting at me to do the first interval: a one minute jog.  Woah, woah, woah… horsie!  I’m still trying to get to the original 30 seconds from day 1.

I stop and stare at the app in disbelief that it thinks I need to jump up the time that soon.  I give it some choice words, when I consider if all the recent demonic possessions may have originated with this app!  I decide to suck it up and try this one minute interval — just once, and see how it goes.  

I get into stride, counting down the seconds of this experimental interval, lungs heaving, thighs burning, when the skies very suddenly open up with a torrential shower.  I half-heartedly laugh at how this is the sort of thing that happens in bad movies, but I keep pressing.  Then a moment later there’s a heart-stopping crackle as lightning strikes overhead.  The weather app on my phone buzzes to let me know that lightning is striking near me (thanks wet phone!).  The jogging interval becomes me running home quickly.  Apparently the threat of death is very motivating.

So you see, the universe believes I am better off doing something else.  I know I have this race coming up, but maybe I would be better off with something less competitive, like yoga; but just the shavasana part where you lay down in the “sleeping pose”.  I could win at that.

Gidget Fraser is a guest writer for Mommy Perfect.


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