At the Butterfly Pavilion, a class of first graders has just studied the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach and determined through observation that the female is larger than the male.
Teacher: Can anyone think of why the female is bigger?
Student: Because the female is the boy and boys are bigger.
Also, clearly the place is called the Butterfly Pavilion because if they called it the Cockroach, Scorpion, and Tarantula Pavilion That Also Has Butterflies nobody would ever volunteer to chaperone that trip.
I’d heard of the Couch-to-5K before, but I always wrote it off as the sort of thing “athletic” or “healthy” people do. Well, we’ve been getting healthier around here lately, and Couch-to-5K suddenly seemed like a perfect fit.
The program begins with a mild workout with 60 seconds of running alternating with 90 seconds of walking, and over the course of nine weeks builds to a full 5 kilometers of running without stopping. It’s designed for people spending a lot of time on the couch, which is precisely where we were when we read about it.
Well, nine weeks after we started, I ran (for the first time in my life) five kilometers straight. Time: 32:46. (I’ve run a four 5Ks around the neighborhood, with a best time so far of 30:27.)
So the program works! In that first week, 60 seconds of running felt an eternity. My finger hovered over the treadmill button ready to slow it down the very instant the time rolled over. In the ninth week, I stepped outside three mornings before work and enjoyed a run around the neighborhood, with breath enough to spare to greet my neighbors as they picked up their newspapers and climbed into their cars. Apparently I’m one of those “healthy”, “athletic” people now.
I was supposed to participate in my first formal, timed run this past weekend, but (to my eternal disappointment) got sick and had to skip it. I’ll be trying in a 5K “fun run” in a couple weeks, but my iPod will still be the only timer. The next formal, timed race in town? July 13th.