After taking a week to rest and recover, I picked up where I left off in the C25K program. The transition from week 3 to week 4 is a big one, with the total “jog” time nearly doubling, from nine to sixteen minutes. I was tempted to repeat week 3, but the temptation proved thin and I forged ahead.

C25K Week 4, Day 1: There and Back Again

Week 4, Day 1

Run time was back down to a nine-minute mile, but considering the circumstances — longer intervals, ten days since the last run, and continued weakness in the knees (good news! the left knee feels great!  now the right knee hurts) — I felt pretty good about getting it done with that pace.

This was my first run back home, and I learned a few things:

  • 5:15am is too dark. I like to exercise as early as I can, but the sun wasn’t up yet and the crescent moon wasn’t providing enough illumination on a trail with no electric lighting. So next time I’ll plan to push it to at least 5:30, if not 6:00.
  • While I do like that the trail has no lights (which would unnecessarily interfere with the wildlife in the area), my imagination did run away with me as I approached a few dark spots. Nobody jumped out of the shadows, though, at least not in real life.
  • 30% humidity in the cool air of the Northern Rockies draws out a lot less perspiration than the seashore climate on Cape Cod.
  • The trail is almost exactly a five minute walk from my house, which makes it an ideal starting point.
  • The trail was too short! Against my expectations, I hit the end just before I reached the halfway point. It was easy enough to find the extra distance by overshooting my start point, though, because the trail continues north from there.

Pain and discomfort

Serious runners talk a lot about enduring discomfort, but I feel like there’s a continuum from “discomfort” to “pain” to “injury” and with so little experience, it’s hard to know where on the spectrum I’m falling. Am I experiencing the aches that come with building strength and endurance, or am I feeling the cries of a body being ground down?

I continue to fret a bit about my knee ligaments. This is something I want to do, but not if it’s going to make me limp around all day, unable to carry a three-year-old up the stairs or pivot on the dance floor.