So... I did it. I finished the three 30 minutes runs for this final week in the program. I've now graduated from the couch to 5K program.
*pause for reflection* *stare into space in shock* *shake my head in disbelief*
I can now run (it's still somewhat of a jog, but at this point that's just semantics) 2 miles in 30 minutes. I have 1.1 miles to go before I complete a 5K. I find this kind of exciting actually. This week's runs have actually been far easier than any of the other weeks. I guess that means I'm more conditioned? I'm not even out of breath now. I sweat like a crazy person, but my heart isn't threatening to explode. I still have that weird shoulder pain thing, but it's getting better. My body hurts a little bit less, but it's still pretty uncomfortable. I figure, the longer I keep this running thing up the easier it'll be.
So, to make sure that I continue, I've decided to do the C25K graduate program (5K+) to improve my technique, speed, and stamina. While I can complete 30 minutes, I'm still moving a bit slow and I'd like to speed it up a little. I'm going to find a good 5K to do in October, I think. That'll give me a little time to not only get faster, but to do a few runs outside where there are hills and slopes.
Hills and slopes, oh my.
I don't think it's quite dawned on me that I've just finished something that's always been VERY difficult for me. Something that I've feared for a long, long time. I faced it and survived... this should be a lesson for all the other things that I fear.