So far, I haven't had any problems with the program, especially through the first three weeks. With short running intervals, those three weeks were easy to complete and made me feel like a running rock star.
Week 4 started to get a bit tougher, as the running intervals got a bit longer, but I soldiered through. I was a little winded after a couple of those workouts but I completed them and that's what mattered.
Then came Week 5.
For Week 5, all workouts were different, with the running intervals getting longer with each workout. First I started with three 5-minute running intervals, broken up by 3-minute walking intervals. This was tough but doable and I managed just fine.
Then I had two 8-minute running intervals with a 5-minute walking interval in the middle. At this point I'd never run 8 minutes straight so I was a bit worried. Still, I not only got through it but felt amazing afterwards.
For today, I faced my biggest challenge yet: 20 minutes of straight running. No walking. Just running for twenty. Minutes. Straight.
And you know what? I did it.
HOLY CRAP, I RAN FOR 20 MINUTES STRAIGHT.
By 17 minutes I was starting to feel it. By 19 minutes, I was more than feeling it. By 20 minutes, I was ecstatic to be done. But I did it. I didn't walk. I didn't slow down. I didn't curl up in the fetal position and go flying off the treadmill.
I ran for 20 minutes straight. And I'm damn proud of that.
And I didn't even need my inhaler. I can't remember if I've talked about my asthma before, but I've got it. It would be an easy enough thing to hide behind and say, "I'd be able to run better if it weren't for my asthma." Thing is, there are plenty of athletes who have it, including Olympic athletes, and as long as you manage it properly you can do well at physical activities. It's because of this that I choose to approach my asthma this way: "I manage my asthma with two inhalers to allow me to do the best I can. Instead of using it as a crutch, I see my asthma as something to overcome."
Simple as that.
Although I may have done so well with my run today because of my awesome Olympic pedicure: