For those of you just tuning in, I live in Germany. Some things are different here, and some things are the same. One of the major differences between the US and Germany is the rule/law that states that no store can be open on Sunday (it’s a Christian/Catholic nation, and this is a very old law). Restaurants, yes, but not stores. That’s illegal. There are literally only two Sundays each year when the shops are open, once at the beginning of spring and once in the winter. And then the whole city is out shopping as if it’s the ONLY DAY ALL YEAR that people can shop.
To add insult to injury, the shops close early on Saturdays. While I’m totally down with enforced relaxation (I really, really relax on the weekends! How novel!), I’m not down with Saturday being what I refer to as ‘national grocery shopping day‘. Because it is!
Since the stores close early on weekdays as well (8pm is the normal time), most working citizens ONLY have time to shop for food on Saturday.
So on Saturday (yesterday) I had to go shopping before the stores closed at 4pm. It was a moral imperative that I buy stuff to cook with today, so I decided to get stuff done yesterday, and then run if I still had daylight when I got back. If not, then that’s what Sunday is for, right?
Of course the run ended up happening today, Sunday, which I have deemed ‘national do shit outside with your kids day‘. It never fails: Saturday, the Germans buy food. Sunday, they take the kids on long walks. You think I’m joking, but as the single and childless chick in the village, I tend to notice these things while I’m out running and generally being productive.
As I stated BEFORE ranting about the land of lederhosen, today’s run was week 6, day 3 of my Couch to 5k training. I’m calling it ‘the beginning of the end’ becuase I had a look at the next two weeks’ routines, and they are no longer intervals. From today forward, I do nothing but ‘brisk 5 minute walk, run for X minutes, 5 minute cool-down’. Fertig, danke, tschuß (finished, thanks, bye).
I was kind of fearing that today, even though I had such momentous results last week on my first 20-minute straight run. Today was 22 minutes, and the times get progressively longer (to 30 minutes, at the end) in the following two weeks. I’m ok with this, because I learned today that I am capable of it.
I didn’t stop today, and in fact, today I ran for longer than the time allotted. Why? Because around minute 8 I was running on my path while the entire village was out with their kids ON THE SAME PATH. I ran past my friends, but didn’t want to stop since it was a long run with no stop day. So I shouted to them that I’d be back in about 10 minutes and kept running.
I paused for a moment, just to pull my hair out and put it back into a newer, tighter ponytail (I’ve officially worn down the two holders I’ve been using for the past month when I can twist them a third time) and then went back to catch them. They hadn’t stayed. Thinking I could catch up to them, I ran in the direction that I knew they went. The timer went off and told me it was cool-down time, and I kept going. Five minutes later, the timer told me that my cool-down was complete. I kept running, since I thought I could actually see them ahead of me. I ran for an extra 8 minutes today. It was excellent. I did it with no problems.
But I still didn’t catch my friends, who must walk very quickly. I called them once I got home to apologize for not catching them, and then entered my info for today: 38 minutes. 236 calories. 4.8k. Back in my 5k heyday, I was able to run a 5k in about 32 minutes. I’m hoping to get back to that by the end of this challenge.
Next week the time goes up to 24 minutes of running, the following week it’s up another few minutes. I know this is all time and speed training. By the time week 9 rolls around and I’m JUST running without the timers, I’ll be running a 5k.
I’m excited! I can’t believe how well this program works and I’d recommend it to anyone, absolutely. Even if you can’t move to week 7 easily when it’s time, the idea that you are literally being TRICKED into running longer, faster and better is ok by me! But now I have to figure out what to do next… I might look to see if there is a 10k training program that I could use to pick up from here, once this is done…