So a couple weeks ago, I started doing Couch to 5K (henceforth referred to as C25K) in an attempt to try to increase my activity some. I have tried exactly 5 billion times in my lifetime to get active and each and every time, I have not been able to maintain it. When I first started doing C25K, only a few people knew because I didn’t want to go on Facebook or Twitter and announce that I was doing this and then fail utterly and completely. Then, my friend Matt said “get the word fail out of your vocabulary, either do it, or don’t.” And really, it’s that simple. The good thing is that the app holds me accountable and it’s only 3 days per week so it’s super manageable to do.
I started week three today and it went something like this: 5 minute brisk walk, 90 seconds of running, 90 seconds of walking, 3 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, repeat that cycle, then cool down for 5 minutes. It comes to a total of 28 minutes – all the workouts clock in around 30 minutes and honestly, I didn’t think I’d be able to run for 3 minutes, but apparently the app knows better than I do what I can do because it really wasn’t that hard at all. Don’t get me wrong – I was still a sweaty mess when I was done – but it was not accompanied by crushing chest pain and collapse and CPR.
A lot of people use that half hour of running/walking to catch up on podcasts. But me being me, I would almost always rather listen to music. So I have created a playlist that I’ve been using while I do the C25K workouts. It’s a pretty fluid list – stuff gets added and removed all the time. Also, at almost 2.5 hours in length, I’m clearly not going to listen to every song every day. Here it is – you’ll probably have to click on it to actually read it.
Naturally, it’s a little Madonna heavy, nothing slow, and it all really helps motivate me when I find myself looking at the clock and wondering how far into the 30 minutes I am.
A few highlights:
- Kylie’s “Made of Glass” is on there almost entirely because I remember it being on my sister’s running music playlist. It really works.
- Same for Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation.” A Twitter friend said one day that adding “Rhythm Nation” to his running playlist turned out to be a very wise idea. He is right. I was never terribly fond of that song when it was a single – shouty and clunky – but it works when you’re running.
- What’s a running playlist without a little Kristine W? In fact, I’m probably going to add “Lovin’ You” to the playlist as soon as I’m done with this post. For the record, I’d totally go to a Kristine W concert if she came to Des Moines Pride.
- As it turns out, Florrie’s “Speed Of Light” is a perfect workout song.
- “Spaceman” has been on this playlist almost since the beginning and I don’t see it ever losing its spot on the playlist. It’s a great song to run to and it’s probably my all time favorite Killers song.
- Poor Duffy. She never had another song that came close to the level of success enjoyed by “Mercy.”
The C25K app says that by week 9, I’ll be running for 30 minutes solid. I find this, frankly, impossible to believe. But like I said before, I didn’t believe this morning that I could run for 3 minutes. I’m not fast (I only average like 4.4 mph when I run), and I probably never will be, but we’ll see. I’m also not losing any weight because I can’t seem to be militant about both exercise and food at the same time, but I know that will come with time. My friend Andrew said he would do a 5K with me if I want, but I’m afraid he’ll leave me in the dust.
What I can say is that between this and finally being on a winning mental health medication cocktail, I’ve been feeling more present for my own life than I have in quite some time.