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Couch to 5K to Couch again

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In my community, there is a phenomenon in which people wake up in the unrelenting black of morning on Thanksgiving and arrive at a single location just in time to run en masse in a three-mile loop. In Croatia, some parts of Budapest and Clearwater, Florida they call this a "holiday 5K."

I did this with a friend years ago, when I was somewhat doughy and slovenly. I walked the whole time and was sore for six days. Nowadays I'm still kind of doughy and slovenly, but I'm a big gym person. Actually, no, that's a lie. I'm a big cookie dough on the couch person, but that wasn't working, so I became a reluctant gym person. I can do all sorts of planks and maneuvers with Swiss balls (NSFW). But I've never been a good runner, like, AT ALL. It has to do both with endurance, and the fact that my legs look like this:

But shorter.

This year, my boyfriend's sister, Melissa, asked if I wanted to train for the Turkey Trot (sponsored by the St. Petersburg Times where I work, so yay!). Being committed to health (HAHAHA) and personal challenges (HARHAR), I agreed to try and run it. How bad could it be?

Now listen. I'm not looking for praise, honestly. My friend Mallary just ran a half-marathon in, like, three seconds. Go praise her. But for me, running several days a week took a lot of effort (see: Corgi legs). I used the Couch to 5K method, and only yesterday, two days before the race, did I complete a whole 5K running.

My goal was 40 minutes. Last night, I almost broke my knee trying to get in under that time, and I still came out 30 seconds over. The dude next to me on the treadmill was going 8 miles an hour, prancing along so calmly he could have filled out paperwork for his Roth IRA. His legs looked like this:

If my kneecaps don't fall off, I might keep running after tomorrow and see if I can get faster. Who knows? Maybe one of these years I'll decide to run a 10K at 3 a.m. on Guy Fawkes Day! Or, I'll just go back to keeping cardio to a total minimum at all times. We'll just see.

I made a 5K playlist. There's nothing worse than when you have 2.7 miles to go, and then, you know, The Blower's Daughter comes on, and you're all, GAHHHHWHYAMIDOINGTHISWHYWHY?

Anyway, here's my playlist. It's about two hours, padded with extra songs in case I need something to listen to on the paramedic ride to the local hospital. I'm just going to put in on shuffle so I'm surprised when a new song comes up. Motivation!

Feel free to steal (or make fun of me). And say hello if you spot me and Melissa tomorrow, that is, if you can see through the dark night sky. I'll post some pictures from our race adventure, as long as none of my dough spills out of my running shorts.

5K of Doom Playlist

American Idiot - Green Day
Animal - Neon Trees
The Bad Touch - Bloodhound Gang
The Beautiful People - Marilyn Manson
Black and Yellow - Wiz Khalifa
Blackout - Breathe Carolina
Call Your Girlfriend - Robyn
Cousins - Vampire Weekend
Danger Zone - Gwen Stefani
Disturbia - Rihanna
Face Down - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Fashion of His Love - Lady Gaga
Get By - Talib Kweli
Good Girls Go Bad - Cobra Starship and Leighton Meester
Gucci Gucci - Kreayshawn
Heavy Cross - Gossip
Icky Thump - White Stripes
Lights - Ellie Goulding
Little Sister - Queens of the Stone Age
Machinehead - Bush
Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5
Move If You Wanna - Mims
N----- in Paris - Jay Z and Kanye West
Oh No - Girl Talk
Power - Kanye West
Til I Collapse - Eminem
Waking Up in Vegas - Katy Perry
Wanksta - 50 Cent
World Town - M.I.A.
You're Gonna Go Far, Kid - The Offspring
3 - Britney Spears

Oh dear. I have to be up in six hours. This is gonna suck.


  1. You're going to do great, surely! Very inspiring.
    Also, BAHAHAHA "The Blower's Daughter." You might as well add "White Winter Hymnal" and *browses Most Played section on iTunes* Adele's "Take It All."

  2. Maybe a little sprinkling of Feist to get the party started? A lil' Foolish Games?

  3. I hope it's not too late to add a bit of Bon Iver!