You already know that Mike and I started running in April 2011 and instead of just blindly trying to run without a plan or a goal in mind, we used the Couch-to-5K running program. This program gradually builds up and you eventually are supposed to be able to run a 5K distance or run for 30 minutes without stopping. Mike and I decided to follow the goal times because back then we didn't have our trusty Garmin. It would have been difficult to determine the distance for each of our runs, especially in the beginning.
I experienced severe knee pain in the beginning of the program. I'm sure that I was hobbling around work quite a bit and I wasn't sure if we would be able to continue running. Of course this upset me because I had already said that one of my goals was to run a marathon before I am thirty. Specifically, I want to run the Mount Desert Island Marathon (where I grew up) but it will definitely NOT be our first marathon. Let's just say there are WAY too many hills. But I could be persuaded to do the relay next October.
In the beginning of the Couch-to-5K (C25K) program Mike and I just ran near our house, it was easier and the runs weren't that long. About one month into it we ran in Atlanta with my mom when we were there for my brother's graduation.
No picture of us running, so here's Mike, my brother and me before the graduation
When we first started running, I didn't know if we would actually sign up for a 5K or not. I went online a few times to look for 5Ks that would coincide with our "graduation" date from the program, but we later found out that we were going to a wedding that weekend so no race for us.
We opted to run in a 5K the weekend before the end of the program and for our first 5K we chose the RSD River Ramble. This 5K benefits the Rochester School for the Deaf and as a sign language interpreter I felt proud to be supporting this amazing school.
We went to pick up our race packets the day before the race and the man there was really nice. Since Mike and I had registered early, not shocking for those of you who know me well, we got tech t-shirts! They didn't have any in the size that I wanted at packet pick up so I had to get mine the next day.
On race day, June 4, 2011, we headed to the school around 8am. I was able to get my shirt and we sat around waiting until we stretched and used the bathroom one last time before the start.
A little after 9am we were off! I felt like we were going really fast and that my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I managed to eventually get that under control, but I had been nervous so that explains why my heart was going a mile a minute (haha). The course was an out and back, which I wasn't really fond of once we went down a big hill that I knew we would just have to go right back up. At that point I had said "I am going to puke" to Mike, but I didn't really.
We finally made it back to the school after running along the bike path to Maplewood Park which follows next to the Genesee River. There were times when I wanted to stop and walk, but Mike wouldn't let me. I was really grateful that we had run our first 5K together the entire time. I was nice and let him get a little bit faster time than me, though.
The above picture depicts how I felt pretty accurately. I was exhausted and happy to be done. Mike looks good and a little bit happier than me, though.
Mike's time was 32:01.53 and mine was 32:02.93, not too shabby for our first 5K! We didn't really have a goal time in mind. All I had wanted to do was run the entire time, which we did!
We had one more week to complete of the program and unfortunately the first run after our 5K we failed to complete. We tried to attempt a trail run and I could only make it through 22 minutes before I had to call it quits. I was definitely disappointed because we had just run for more than 30 minutes, but we made up for it the next day. We officially graduated C25K on June 12, 2011 while running along the canal in Rochester.
Proof that we finished as Patrick watches to make sure we keep up our progress
I hope you enjoyed our journey through C25K and our first 5K experience!