It is the beginning of week 4 of my Couch to 5k plan. (I didn’t feel well a few days last week so I pushed back the start of week 4 until I got all three week 3 runs in.)

Here’s the plan for the week:

1. After a five minute warm up walk, run 3 minutes.
2. Walk 90 seconds.
3. Run 5 minutes (Dear god in heaven!)
5. Walk 2.5 minutes.
6. Repeat once

I’m finding it helpful to use my iPod as a timer. I have it on shuffle and start the next song whenever I change speed. Then I can look at the iPod and see how long I’ve been going. If I know I have a three minute song on then I know just to run to the end of the song. It works better for me than using my watch.

Just like everytime I move up a level, I was a baby about this. There was no way I was going to be able to run for 5 minutes. I also knew that I had been starting on a certain trail that I liked. It was great when the workout started out with a 90 second jog because I’d end right at the base of a hill. I decided to go that way today anyway even though I’d have to run up that hill. My butt was burning and I might have left my calves halfway up it but I did it. I had to run in place at the top for a very huge gasping breaths so I didn’t just die right there but I did it. Then I went off a new way and was jogging very slowly so I could last through my first ever 5 minute jog and found myself at the base of a hill that was twice as high as the previous one. I turned around. Maybe I’ll try that later this week.

I’m telling myself that I’m doing extra good because I’m not doing this on a nice flat track but on rolling hills. I could go on flatter sections but I like the privacy where I’m running. So far no human as seen me run. I think that is good. The view from my vantage point isn’t pretty and I can’t even see it all. Today I was running my second 5 minute section on a carefully selected downhill area when I saw a person headed my way. I turned around and sped up. Great, then I was going faster and uphill to keep people from watching me jog. At least my neuroses made me get a better workout.

I peeked ahead. At the end of next week I’m supposed to run 20 minutes without walk breaks. Crazy, crazy stuff. But I remember when I was convinced that I’d never be able to run 90 seconds.