Hitting A Wall Really Hurts.

As you are more than aware by now, I am nearly finished with the Couch To 5K program, and will do the BlogHer 5K in Central Park next Friday (one week from today!). I did my Week 9, Day 1 run today (well, if you can call it that), which is supposed to be thirty minutes long, and crumbled. I ran for the first eighteen or so minutes, then completed the rest of the time alternating walking and running. My legs felt like lead. I was discouraged. I couldn’t get rid of the “I can’t do this” thoughts. I came home and cried.

I’m frustrated because last week, I felt so good that I ran for thirty minutes on the treadmill. I can’t figure out why I am suddenly hitting a wall.

Is it because I have mostly trained outside until last week, when I had to do all three runs inside on machines?

I drank water and ate a bowl of Raisin Bran before my run this morning. I don’t think that’s the problem.

Is it my playlist? The way I sequenced all of the songs, they go from slowest tempo to fastest, because I figured I’d need quicker beats to stay motivated as I move along. Should I reverse that and start with the quicker tempo songs when I’m feeling the strongest, and then move to slower beats as I get more tired? Should I alternate quicker tempo songs with slower to mix it up?

I’m stuck.

I am not failing by any means; I know this. My original goal was to finish this training program, and I am going to do that, even if I’m walking for some of it. My secondary goal was to do the 5K, and I am going to do that, even if I’m walking for some of it. But I felt despair on my run today, and it didn’t feel good. How do I get to a place mentally where I can hang on no matter what?

Lots of questions. I’m hoping you all have lots of answers for me.

Help! (and thank you.)


©2010 Suburban Scrawl


  • Sarahndipitea

    Have you downloaded the actual BMP-rated music for Couch to 5K? That has been what has helped me keep going even when I am struggling with lead-legs.

  • Mrs4444

    I am NOT a runner, so I'm not the best person to ask, but are you sure you were hydrated enough?

    Also, TerriTerri is really into running. Try asking her.

    Have a GREAT time at BlogHer!!! Congrats on reaching your goal 🙂

  • Colleen - Mommy Always Wins

    Well, I'm not a runner. AT ALL. HATE IT.

    But you can DO THIS. You'll get your groove back, I know it! Just keep moving!

  • Lisa

    since I'm still stuck on the couch I can offer now words of actual advice. But I just wanted to say I admire your efforts AND your honest in sharing the walls!!! I know you'll keep going and it will be THAT much more inspiring when we know that it didn't come perfectly easy!!!!

  • Huckdoll

    With all your BlogHer conference preparation, I'm not surprised to read this … I was actually going to say something in your last recap about how the stress could potentially affect your running but held back 🙂

    So totally to be expected and totally OK!

    I don't believe it's your playlist as you're one of the more music savvy out here and know your stuff.

    I think you're fine in the nutrition and hydration areas. Personally I find that I need my recovery foods and fluids afterward, not before anyway. Many people run on a totally empty tummy.

    You've been a pavement pounder since the beginning so I'm not going to blame it on that either.

    It's in your head, missy!!

    Take good care of yourself in these days before you go to New York.

    Dare I suggest that you DON'T run unless your mind is fully into the idea UNTIL the 5K. Do some Polly's Yoga for Runners (on youtube) and do lots of stretching.

    Do what you need to do to get yourself to NY and run that 5K. THEN finish the program when you get home.

    Just my 2 cents!

    And don't be so hard on yourself … you're going to rock the 5K and it'll be an amazing experience regardless if you walk some – and something you'd probably never do if you hadn't done Couch to 5K.

  • Eternal Lizdom

    Here is what I have learned since taking up running in march and doing the c25k program and my first 5k back in june.

    Sometimes, my brain is going to win. Sometimes, I have other stuff going on and my run isn't going to be the kind of success I want to define for myself. Sometimes, I will want to run but my body will tell me no.

    It's hard to hear… but the best advice I got when I "failed" at workouts multiple times (I had to repeat a lot of weeks in order to build up to running 5 mins or 8 mins or 20 mins) was that even if it wasn't my best run, it was still a great workout and I was still making my best healthy choices.

    You can "what if" yourself all day long from here until that 5K in NYC. Or, you can accept that everyone has a bad run from time to time. The key is to get back out and run again on your next running day. The only way you fail is if you don't even try.

    Now here is where I need help- how do I get myself to listen to my own advice?? 🙂

  • Otter Thomas

    I haven't followed your entire journey, but it sounds like you are doing a great job to me. You should be proud of yourself. Chalk it up to a bad day, and forget about it. For me running was always about a mental toughness. Then again I hate running.

  • Patty (nycgirl0501)

    Did you get enough sleep last night? Did you teach a spin class the day yesterday? It could be that your legs didn't have enough time to rest or recover.

    I know you must stretch. But I do the Jillian Micheals knee circles from the Shred DVD before I run & after it makes a difference in easing my legs.

    I'm already in NYC and I am freaking the freak out about all the things I need to do for next week. I think stress may be a factor so promise do one relaxing thing for yourself before your next run!

    You will be fantastic at the Blogher 5K! Even if you walk for a bit of it! It's your first 5k ever! I certainly plan on walking a bit of my first one in Sept. Its across the Brooklyn Bridge for godsakes! 🙂 xoxo Love you!

  • ThePeachy1

    Thank you for such an awesome bday present today has been pretty much the most awesome one EVER ! Love ya.

  • Michelle

    I already gave you my take on it 🙂 I had the same issue earlier this week, but I was able to do my run just fine the next time out. You will, too. And ummm weren't you telling me you were up until 12:30 the other day, too? Hello sleep!

  • PJ Mullen

    Unfortunately, I've got nothing for you. But, and maybe this helps, because of your posts I'm seriously thinking of doing this to help me shed the pounds I've gained. Although I'll probably have to start out with a Coma to .5K challenge first 🙂

  • As Cape Cod Turns

    I second Huckdoll.

    You are under a "bit" of stress.

    You rock no matter if you crawl the 5K 🙂