I got up early this morning and completed day 1 of week 4 before work. It went pretty well; better than expected, in fact. The 5 minute runs were no piece of cake, but they were not agony either. This is a pretty big accomplishment because the total time of the run intervals is almost 3 times more than the walk intervals (not counting the extra 10 minutes or so of walking for warm up and cool down). Just for comparison so I can look back on it later: week 1 was a ratio of 3/2 of walking to running; week 2 was almost the same as week 1 with an extra minute of running; week 3 was an equal amount of running and walking.
So this was a pretty big jump and I finished it without wanting to die. My calves were hurting a bit during the runs, but adjusting my stride or speed seemed to alleviate that. It is amazing how much your body can do if you just put your mind to it and you maintain a regular breathing rhythm. Ever since I started to really pay attention to my breathing I've had no side stitches, which is fantastic! I am beyond proud of myself for getting this far and I have every confidence that I will finish this program and be able to run 30 minutes by week 9. How far 30 minutes of running will take me? Well that is a different story, but one thing at a time :)
I know I should not focus on speed at this time, and I am not, but it baffles me that I am maintaining pretty much the same pace (14-15 minutes a mile) from week to week. You would think that running more than walking would help my pace a little, but I suspect that my walks are slower because I have more to recover from. I will continue working the program until I can run 3 miles then I will worry about increasing speed.