Couch to 5K!

I'm not a runner- in any way.  People who see me are surprised.  I think mainly because I'm half the age of most dog sport people and I look like I could be in shape.  I'm also able to do a decent job of doing the short sprints around agility courses.  Actual jogging for anything longer than a minute left me breathing hard and I'm pretty sure that 5 minutes would have killed me.

But I love my dog.  Vito does best with lots of exercise but the hard part with him is keeping his arousal levels down.  It's not uncommon for Vito's excitement to spill over into anxiety.  Just last week a trying to be helpful coworker found out the results of taking Vito outside when I wasn't there.  Toller screaming could be heard across the building before he even made it to the yard.  Major panting and eyes dilated from just the thought that maybe she would throw the ball.  About 45min to an hour later he finally calms down and no exercise was ever involved.

So, running.  This is my 3rd time of starting the Couch to 5K program but I've never finished it before.  First time was in the fall and then I quit when it got cold.  2nd time was that folowing spring and then I quit when it got hot.  A year later I started up again and this time I've stuck with it and then some.   I drag myself out of bed early in the morning and head out with Vito.  I'm extra proud of myself because I am so not a morning person.  Luckily Vito doesn't care if I can only speak in grunts.  Started in June and completed the C5K program which ended with me jogging for 30min 3/ week.  Since my jogging speed is barely above a crawl, we weren't to a full 5k yet.  Downloaded a 10K app a month ago and worked on duration.  Recently I've quit that program since I really don't want to jog a full hour, even with a few walking breaks, so now I'm just going about 3.5-4.5 miles and trying to go faster.

I may not love running but I do love going out with my dog.  And the little running journal is doing a pretty good job of R+ my efforts.  To further encourage me I've been looking to run an actual 5k race and trying to find one that allows me to have my running partner.  Today we met that goal.

Vito instantly recognized that despite the presence of a ton of dogs, we weren't at a dog show.  I don't know how he does it.  So a tiny bit of screaming and a bit anxious.  Thankfully he started to calm down relatively quickly and was able to relax while we hung out and waited for it to start.  Not even bothered by all the oblivious people with their rude doggies.

Then Vito was calm lining up at the start, at first.  But quickly he started to become excited and I wasn't able to fully relax him.  When we started running the screaming began.  I pulled off toStarted-screaming-pulled off.  Repeat several times.  Thankfully the Toller Screaming stopped after only a few minutes and we were able to re join.  My perfect running partner wasn't so perfect for the first half mile as he tried to choke me by pulling on his over the shoulder leash.  Slightly better for the next mile.  By mile #2 he was fully settled in and running right by my side the rest of the way.  Several people commented to me on how cute he was with his little white paws running by my side.  They must not have heard the early screaming.
I made my goal of not stopping and even beat my goal time!  Real runners be quiet, but I was proud to make it in 34:33.

Dexter  – ( August 24, 2013 at 4:49 PM )  

I've had a couple of false starts in the past month on that program (starting again tomorrow). The first thing I discovered was that Dex was not going to be my running buddy. He didn't like it at all and honestly I missed our little chats with the people we pass as well as the time to stop and examine flower beds and such.

It's a good program and I really miss running. I love how you start off easy so you don't overdo it. I found a watch that does the interval timing for me. Kind of expensive, but very much worth it. Good luck.

Mango Momma

Muttsandaklutz  – ( August 24, 2013 at 8:27 PM )  

Hey, that is awesome! Way to accomplish a goal. I remembering you mentioning the Couch to 5K program on your blog a while back. I too have done a wee bit of running in the past, then quit when the season became too hot or too cold (which is most of the year IMHO, LOL). Love that last photo too.

Kim  – ( August 25, 2013 at 11:34 PM )  


I just (re)started the C25K program myself. Although Holly is enjoying it more than me ;)

Elayne  – ( August 26, 2013 at 4:37 PM )  

Congrats! The most important thing about finishing your first race is finishing your first race. And the best part about your first race is that whatever time you get, it's a PR.

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