Couch to 5k – Week 1

Week 1

Day 1 – The weather is beautiful, almost 7o degrees and the sun is shining brightly.  It’s easy to want to be outside.

I haven’t exercised much in months but I know I can walk 4 miles easily. I’m not sure how much more sincere cardio I can take but now is the time to find out.

I download a couch to 5k app with the intention of being able to run a corporate challenge 5k in mid June. I walked it last year but I’m determined to run it this year.

Jogging has been a lifelong struggle for me for two main reasons:

1. My breasts are too god-damned big for a properly fitted sports bra.

2. I could never quite get the breathing down.

Recently, since women in America keep getting fatter and bigger breasted, I was able to finally find a serious sports bra designed just for my purpose. It’s the Mercedes of sports bras to hold my massive 36 G (yes, you read that right – and all natural, too) cups.

This bad boy of bras holds everything in place. It comes up high under the arm, has a nice wide back band suitable to be seen under clothing and padded straps. It also has shaped cups and an under wire.  It doesn’t compress my boobs into a flat pancake but it sure as hell holds those puppies in place.

You might be laughing at me but any time I have attempted running in the past, Ill-fitting bras have been the number one deterrent. It’s sincerely painful to run when your breasts muscles are pulling a load up and down.  It’s completely and entirely uncomfortable!  Plus, I’m pretty likely to give myself a black eye. Therefore, this bra is a godsend for working out with any high impact exercise.

The program starts with a brisk walk for 5 minutes and then goes into intervals of 1 minute walks and 1 minute runs over 15 minutes.  Then a cool down walk for 5 minutes.  That’s 6 runs in there.

As I breezed through the first minute of jogging I thought to myself “ok, this isn’t so bad” and continued along my merry way.

By the time I got to about the 4th jog I could feel a slight tensing of the muscles in my upper thighs and I started to have trouble catching my breath.  I wanted that 4th minute to end faster than it did.

When the 5th jog came up I could feel more of a little sear now, muscles burning where they hadn’t in months and I could feel my cheeks going bright red as I gasped for breath. I momentarily thought about throwing in the towel about 30 seconds in and then I recall that Meredith from Extreme Weight Loss was much heavier than me when she started running and ultimately completed a marathon.  I could do it. It was only day 1 for goodness sakes.

By the time the 6th and final minute of running came I was cursing the fact that I had committed myself to this trial and wondering what could have possessed to me to think I could do it. I could barely breathe 45 seconds in and admittedly have up just before the coach called “walk”.  Loser.

Day 2 – The next day my legs were on fire. Holy crap!  I haven’t felt those muscles since who-knows-when.  Clearly I wasn’t going to be running again on day two. I could barely walk and get up the damn steps in my home.

I downloaded two 10 minute routines for strength training for abs and arms. These are also 30 day apps that I can increase performance with each day.  They are meant to be used in addition to cardio but there was no way I was doing cardio on day 2, so the two routines sufficed for the day.

Day 3 – I don’t know what hurts more, my still sore thigh muscles or my cramps from my period. Ever since the cysts my period cramps are nasty.  And the blood, so much blood.

I lie on the couch thinking of all the reasons I’m not getting up.

Then I convince myself it’s only day 3 and I can’t be that pathetic.

I hop on the treadmill because winter has decided to make a comeback in the form of freezing cold gusts.  Not that I’m skinny enough to be knocked over but I don’t need any excuses.  The 5k program is 25 minutes. You got this.

I downloaded a new 5k that seemed more “starting from the couch” friendly.  This one had 1 minute runs alternating with 1.5 minute walks.  Although my thighs are still sore, I had a much easier time of breathing. There was enough time in the 1.5 minute walk for me to regain normal breathing all the way through the 6th run.  Ok, today was better.

I did the two 30 day ab/arm workouts.

Wtf, I can’t do a sit up to save my fucking life. Not one. I put my feet under the couch. Geez.

Nor can I do a leg lift without my hands under my butt.

It’s only day 3.

I need a glass of wine. And I’m hungry.

Day 4

I couldn’t sleep at all last night, the heartbreak demons tortured my thoughts  til at least 1 am and there was no way at the 5am alarm I was getting out of bed.  I slept in another hour and promised myself that I would be doing my work-out after work.

But, I didn’t.  I had a terrible day and needed to sleep….but once again, I was up all night with him on my mind.  I hate these gut feelings because in the past they used to mean something bad was about to happen.  Now, I don’t know why I have them. (post to follow)

Day 5

I woke up late and lie in bed.  I felt better than the day before, but guilty for not working out.  I hope to do better by evening.

I can feel my body releasing all the crappy weight I packed on the last months.  The 10 pounds I put on should come off quickly enough.  My eating has been very good, but my caffeine intake not so good.  I am still at 2 large Venti Latte’s per day…I need to cut that down to 1.

I did, in fact, make it home and worked out as planned. Today was 8 one minute runs. I honestly thought I was going to pass out in the 7/8th run.  I can’t catch my breath. But I did it.

Then I had to do 25 sit up while my youngest son watched on in horror. “Mommy why are you groaning like that?  Mommy stop doing it if it hurts, your face is red!”  It was uuuuuugly.  I cheated on the sit ups – legs hooked under the bed and arms over my head to help pull me up.  Crap this is hard.

Day 6

I didn’t even bother with the 5am alarm. I’m tired. More tired than usual.  Screw it.

I did get the run in tonight but bagged on the strength exercises.  Looks like my 30 day challenge is going to be more like 45 at this rate.

Day 7

I went to bed with pretty bad cramps through my left leg high at the thigh and into the groin.  I knew I was moving a blood clot. This determined that I needed to pass on working out in the morning.  Called doctor and received the news I expected: just take it easy and be gentle on your body.

This means I won’t be working out today or tomorrow so my jump start was more like a soft start.  But hey, it was A start!  Any start is still a good start!

The good news is my slow slide into Isagenix was ok.  I didn’t do the full plan but definitely got the pattern down. I still have to work up to the fast next week.  I may try one fast day and see how it goes.

My weight was down from my my initial weigh-in by 5 lbs.  I still have another 5 pounds of wasted weight I put on from being neglectful.  Then I can start losing real weight again.  What a waste of effort.  I keep doing this stupid yo-yo with the same 10 pounds.

Overall, I didn’t have the strong start I keep dreaming of. I still hate exercising every single time I do it.

But, I’m committed. Let’s start week 2.

Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

34 thoughts on “Couch to 5k – Week 1”

  1. I love this…I’m a 30-day Challenge person too – I can commit to anything for 30 days – and yep, equally hate exercise, despite how great it makes me feel afterwards.

    Feeling inspired to go download some apps. At the moment all I’m doing is meditating! (Btw, check out David McGraw 30-Day Weightloss Challenge on YouTube – it’s short hypnosis that incorporates binaural beats to change your attitude to food. I was a bit sceptical, but it worked – I’m a very emotional eater, but it sorted that nonsense right out! I’ve also recommended it to friends who’ve experienced the same results).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to check that out…I am a horribly emotional eater…zero self control…I’ve never been able to master it and when I get into a funk I go into sugar overload.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I like that idea and I am going to check it out….thanks for sharing Megan. I am totally an emotional (and thoughtless) eater.

      I think I can commit to something for 30 days and then, sure enough, the moment I commit something blows up in my face. I have the worst luck!


  2. Good for you!! I’ve always used the C25K app, but I’m a quitter. I’ve only ever gotten to week 5 or 6 and then I digress. But I had no real goals in mind. I thought I would run a 5k, but then I thought, “who the fuck am I kidding?” I’m perfectly content walking my dogs 6 miles and not being able to do a push up. So Kudos to you!!! You are a rock star and can totally do this!! I did find that a good play list helps!! Keep us posted!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I am a quitter too…but I am trying to tell myself I am going to commit to it for THIS TIME. I did it once in my life 2 years ago when I lost a massive amount of weight and now I just need to commit to that final bit of the exercise being a lifestyle change. The food is simply a kick start because I can keep a pretty decent diet now.

      Thanks for the encouragement – and yes, the playlist certainly does help!! I’m the type that can have like 5 songs and repeat them a million times until I’m so sick of them I never listen again!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A couple years ago I decided to take up running and used the couch to 5k app. I remember swearing a lot around the time when the app gets you to run for 8 minutes straight. I hated it. I didn’t love running…I hate cardio in general but I stuck with it and ended up really enjoying it. I was shocked when I could run a whole 5k without stopping.

    Last year I entered into a 5k every month of the good weather from April to October…it really kept me motivated….but then I hit a wall during the cold weather…could not motivate myself to get on the treadmill….and now I must start the app again from scratch…but am procrastinating…lol. you are inspiring me to download the app again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought of you yesterday as I drove by a sign in my town for the local Church 5k…and thought – could I do that each month? Perhaps if I get through my first one in June, I would consider setting a small goal like that each month as it is very definitive and I like the idea of working towards something.

      I still haven’t gotten past running for 1 minute at a time….and I dread the thought!

      I am impressed by anyone who runs!


  4. Oh M, it’s never pretty getting back into exercise. I can honestly say that despite sticking with it and now 6 months into daily gym visits I am still red-faced and swearing frequently during my practices. Please take it easy on yourself – your health scare is still very fresh in my mind and I have been hovering on the edge of worry about this challenge.

    I feel for you on the sports bra search. While I’m only a 38C, finding something that works is absolutely mandatory for me as well, and I am not a runner. But my whole world is full of long distance runner people, and the ladies are always talking about the importance of a good, supportive bra and how difficult it is to find somewhen when you are larger busted.

    You’re doing great and will improve and grow fitter. But yeah, totally sucks when you are just getting started.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hello Fitness Guru! I read your posts with such a sense of awe because I know how hard every step has been and to watch you not only persevere but to excel is wonderful – and super encouraging!
      The bra really made a difference and took away at least one major roadblock. I don’t know if I ever get the breathing right- I hear there is a bit of a science to it and I am an open mouth breather, which seems to be the wrong way!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey, in my country they say that “Any exercise is better than no exercise”, as a way to cheer people up I guess. But I’ve even heard doctors say it, so… 🙂
    Anyway, congratulations on trying and doing your best! I for one, am impressed! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You did great!! Any new routine has some bumps, but think about it thus way – you did way more than you did the week before!! I so relate to the exercise. I am going to miss my trainer and exercise buddy. The accountability is apparently key for me. I grumble and bitch about certain exercises. The trainer smiles, nods his head but says nothing. Smart man. My body feels so much stronger, now if I could sew my mouth shut, the weight should come off….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are right and I really have to remember to keep framing things in the positive – I did do more than the week before – and hopefully each week gets a bit more progression.

      I wish I had a buddy here – when I was walking and had a buddy, I always did better.

      I need my mouth sewn shut primarily around alcohol!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The author, Gretchen Rubin, writes about happiness and habits. She and her sister do a charming podcast. She talks about 4 types of people and how habit-changing strategies have to appeal to your particular type. Check out her webpage,


  7. You did it! You get an A for effort. (And an A+ for cracking me up.) I haven’t run in almost a week but I won’t make excuses why cause I learned long ago that nobody cares, and I was going to run this morning but it’s been snowing/raining all morning and I. Just. Can’t. Even reading this I thought I should just go do it, but my sinuses are congested and I don’t need snot running out my nose. I’m looking forward to your week 2.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Tara, I will take the A+! I am so happy I cracked you up! 🙂 That really makes me smile.

      I ended up at the doc yesterday so I am off of my feet for the weekend and not complaining as the weather SUCKS! It’s so damn cold!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice 1st week M! But I’m concerned you’re “too” committed ie you’re doing too much too soon. You’re going to 100mph from a standing start. Remember your health above all else. What is needed long term, is for you to build this into your daily routine … forever (pipe in anytime Janelle). So start off slowly and incrementally build.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Here I am Marty, and I am 100% in agreement with you on this, particularly the long-term health aspect.

      Sorry you ended up having to take the weekend off, but glad you are consulting with your docs about your health. Also, please do not underestimate the need for regular amounts of sleep. One of the bigger challenges for me at first was recognizing that I needed to go to bed earlier to make my gym commitments, and as I found this weekend, a single day of going light on sleep turns out poorly for me. I also experimented with my time commitments and finally set and stick to a regular, specific schedule; it is the only thing that works for consistency with the exercise.


  9. Good on you M!!! Honestly, from where you have been health wise, this is a fantastic start!!

    I started running 2.5 years ago, after being told by a doctor, “If it hurts, then stop. Find something else to do then.” I had a bad injury and gave running up for years…but deep down, I missed it. So so much.

    Well one day, I just decided to start walking. And my goal back then was to exercise each and every day. If that’s just a 15 minute walk on a day I felt like crap, so be it. But I had to at least arrive at my workout spot and “try”. Most days, I walked for an hour. Some days I was genuinely sick, but I had made a promise to myself to always move, so I still went: even when raining (I can handle rain & love it actually) but wind is my nemesis (still made myself go running even when the sand was pelting me–not fun).

    Finally one day, I thought, “I wonder if I could run to those palm trees?” And so it began. Day by day, I added more running mileage vs walking. That first year, I did over 800 miles. Then 900+ the next year. I’ve had many injuries and set backs, but the key is this: I know I won’t give up on running and I will claw my way back yet again.

    It really is a lifestyle for me (and I hate writing that b/c it seems so cliche) but running is so ingrained now. I buy myself my iced latte first before running (leave it in my car) and make myself workout first before I can drink it. I know crazy! But trust me, it’s a huge motivator knowing that drink is literally waiting for me at the end of my run. Little tricks like these have helped keep me accountable. It hasn’t been easy, but I consider exercise my mental health check. Without it, I feel off. It invigorates me. Hopefully in time, you will view exercise in the same light. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s the key – to find something you love enough not to leave it behind for any reason. I liked walking but I suppose not enough ultimately. I would like to be able to run for the strength and endurance so I figure a 5k seems the best way to start.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally. Start with a goal like a 5k which is totally doable. It seems so difficult when you haven’t done one before. But once you do it, you’ll gain more confidence and think, “Wow, I did it. That was easier than I thought!” Each time you progress in your fitness, you will see just how far you have come. I remember the first time I ran a mile without stopping. That seemed so unbelievable to me for some reason. The same for when I did my first half-marathon!!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I say stop the challenges and make it a lifestyle change. Just do what you can, but do something every day. It doesn’t matter whether it’s weights or cardio. Once you do that without putting pressure on yourself it becomes a lifestyle. Same goes for what you eat and drink. Remember we are what we “choose” to eat and drink. I believe in everything in moderation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did ultimately get to that place 2 years ago where it became an every day thing. And most of the eating habits stuck with me in order for me to keep the weight off. I agree it has to be a lifestyle change.

      But I know I need a kick start right now and this seems the best way to wrap me head around it!

      Liked by 1 person

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