Couch to 5K and Beyond

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I started my journey as a runner when I bought actual running shoes on January 28, 2012 (I was turning 30 in February of 2013 and suddenly had this need to achieve something for myself – running seemed attainable based on hearing about friends that were out there running races).  The next day I went out for my first “run” and it involved a lot of walking and feeling exhausted.  I did the run/walk thing for a while with arbitrary goals like reaching the next stop sign or turning a corner before I would let myself walk.  I wasn’t making great progress until my friend recommended Couch to 5K.  It is just a plan you can follow (for free, though some folks have apps with the plans pre-programmed to give you cues for run/walk intervals) and push yourself a little more each time until you’re running 30 minutes non-stop.

Early on in my Couch to 5K journey, I couldn’t pass up a one-time chance to run at the new Terminal 3 at McCarran Airport (official time 43:53):

Terminal 3 Fun Run, 5k, 10k to Benefit At-Risk Children in Clark County

I was able to complete the program several weeks later and posted my thoughts here, it is quickly becoming one of the most-viewed posts on this site which is exciting to think that I might be helping someone out there give themselves the gift of confidence that running has brought me:

Couch to 5k Review and What I’m Doing Next

Now, Couch to 5K promises you’ll run 30 minutes straight or run a 5k, and my pace was such that I was running 30 minutes but not hitting the 3.1 mile mark.  I read that you need to increase distance to increase speed (ie: run more, but it can be at a slower pace) and started the One Hour Runner training plan:

One Hour Runner Review and What I’m Doing Next

Right before the end of One Hour Runner in September 2012 we had an incident that made me struggle with running in our neighborhood.  Having my official “goal race” 5K in October kept me putting my gear on and getting out the door three times a week on my own modified plan so that I could give it my all at Calico Racing’s Recycled 5K (official time: 34:12):

Calico Racing’s Recycled 2012 Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K Race

I kept running even though it got colder and colder.  I hit a personal distance record in my half marathon training in December (10 miles of non-stop running on December 8th) and then scaled back my “long run” to prep for Calico Racing’s Running from an Angel 10k (official time: 1:08:00.8, a pace of 10:48 minutes per mile):

Calico Racing’s Running from an Angel 50 Miler, Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K Race

It took me a while to recover from the 10K but I managed my first half marathon at Red Rock Canyon (My official chip time was 2:38:13.36 for a pace of 12:08 per mile overall):

Calico Racing’s 2013 Red Rock Marathon and 1/2 Marathon Race

The Hoover Dam 1/2 Marathon was a mental and physical challenge.  My time was not stellar, a major decline from my prior 1/2 marathon, but I did learn a lot from the experience:

CALICO RACING’S 2013 HOOVER DAM 1/2 MARATHON

I am hoping to maintain a base with my three runs each week being 5K / 5K / 10K and incorporate strength training and cycling.  I am eyeing some 40 mile bicycle events and have been enjoying the Blue Diamond/Red Rock loop on my road bike.

Goldilocks Las Vegas 2014 50K (31 mile) Ride

I’ve switched to exclusively cycling for the most part and have been really happy with it.  I participated in the Goldilocks Las Vegas 2014 50K ride and would love to give the 100K a shot next year or maybe just aim for a better time on the 50K when it comes around again.  I miss the feeling of accomplishment that comes with longer distance running but it was not friendly to my knees after getting hurt at my last half marathon so cycling has been much more forgiving.

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(Updated 10/26/14)

3 thoughts on “Couch to 5K and Beyond

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