Couch to 5k – Week 2


Pain vs. Fatigue

Last year, when I started running, I learned to push through a lot. I found that running, for me, was 80% mental. There are many times when I’d think, I can’t do this. I’m tired. I have to stop.”

I’ve had to work through a lot mentally to keep going. I’ve had to change my thoughts. I’ve learned to persevere. I’ve kept going with side aches/stiches, when the shoulder strap of my bra broke, when I had diarrhea {sorry!} during the first mile of my second ever trial of running five miles, with a toenail almost ripped off {taped up}, when it rained, with a cold… These are all things that I would have used as an excuse before.

The big difference this time around with running was that I decided not to use these things as excuses. I decided to push through them. They’re more mental than physical. They’re minor. And after my run was complete, I thought about how I normally would not have even gone for a walk if I thought it might rain. And now I love running in the rain!

But there is a difference between fatigue and pain.

I am no doctor, but I am here to tell you that if you are experiencing real pain, not just fatigue, you need to STOP. This is what my husband had to do this week.

Couch to 5k – Week 2

With Week 1 behind us, I reminded Rob that I wanted him to go ahead of me if he felt the need because I wanted him to get the most out of this experience – no holding back. Besides, I told him, when I ran behind him, that meant I could look at his cute butt.  😉

Day 1 – Tuesday

  • 5 minute warm-up
  • Run 60 seconds
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Run 90 seconds
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Repeat run-walk sequence 4 more X
  • 5 minute cool-down

I followed him around the neighborhood, but the route he took was a little rough. I knew we would end up going uphill for a good portion of the run-walk. When I go uphill, I tend to slow down, if only to conserve my energy. I’m such a wuss when I’m on the treadmill because I don’t usually do inclines; but when I do, I can change them if they are “too hard”. {So much for excuses, right?}

But at one point during this session’s running intervals, I saw that Rob didn’t start running on the prompt. He just kept walking. And he did that for the remaining intervals. Then at one point, he turned down the road to go home, even though we had more time left than road.

I knew something was wrong.

Even from a distance, I could tell that he wasn’t just fatigued. I turned down another road so that I could finish the workout. Then I headed home for the cool down.


I found him at home lying down. It was his knee. He had tweaked something. He knew he couldn’t continue. And I’m so glad he didn’t. Just walking home was painful for him. He was angry. He didn’t want to be set back. But I knew he had to rest. The most frustrating part for him?

He’s never had knee issues before.

I did the rest of the week on my own. Rob said he now knew how I felt when I had back pain and then was recovering from surgery. When you see other people running, you just get jealous. “They are just showing off! he said.

Day 2 – Thursday

  • (Same as Day 1)

After my first interval of running, I thought, “I feel great! That wasn’t too bad.” Then I realized, the next interval would be longer. And maybe I wasn’t pushing that hard because Rob wasn’t ahead of me. He really did seem to push me! Each interval felt a little different. Some were easier, some were very difficult. It was a little strange. I couldn’t get into a groove. But does that even matter? I finished it.


*For the record, I mapped the route I took online and it measured approximately 2.55 miles. I followed the same route on Day 3, so that I could see how inconsistent the GPS really is.

Day 3 – Saturday

  • (Same as Day 1 & 2)

What a freaking beautiful day! I didn’t get out there until about 9:30, but it was 61 degrees! July and 61 degrees? I’m not complaining. Again, each interval felt different, but I got back feeling pretty wiped. So for me, that was a success. Actually, I started thinking about how good my back has felt… that I really haven’t noticed it. In fact, lately, I’ve been grateful for all of the things I can do now that I couldn’t when I was having back pain and while I was recovering from back surgery. Those little things matter!


I followed the same route as Day 2. And although, my measurement when I map it out on is 2.55 miles. The distance calculated with the GPS of this App was consistent for the two days. On Monday, even though we followed a different route, the App indicates that I completed more mileage. If the App is truly consistent, then the proof is in the pudding that I pushed myself harder when Rob was ahead of me!

Rob is resting his knee, but I know he is very frustrated. It was getting better throughout the week. However, the recovery has come to a stand still. He’ll be resting it further this week and most likely making an appointment with the doctor if he doesn’t see any change.

How do you avoid an injury?

Have you ever been injured while working out?

What do you do for cardio to keep moving and your heart rate up while injured?




8 responses »

  1. Bummer about Rob’s knee, but glad he listened to his body and didn’t push it. Ibuprofen is my life saver – since I’ve been doing Insanity I take two right before bed and I wake up not as sore.

    I’ve never been down for the count, but I did a quick google search and people said that boxing or hitting a heavy bag is good for upper body cardio – hope he feels better soon!

  2. Learning to listen to your body and understand what it is telling you is half the battle. I’ve been dealing with a knee injury since last October. It’s been so chronic that I’ve lost touch with what is a “normal” pain from just working out and what is an “ok” pain because I worked hard!

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