The rest of week 3 runs did get better than the first one. I ran all of the required times, even if I so wanted to stop! I pushed myself and finished.
Today, I decided that it was in my best interest to repeat week 3. The run actually went really really well today. The first running interval felt good- really! No problems with the 3 min run- by the time I got around to the last run, I was feeling good and was running up the last hill. I think the muscle fatigue that I was feeling toward the end of the last run were because of that hill. I had a brief moment of "oh my god- can I be done now???" and then I pushed on and almost had that "second wind." I reluctantly stopped when the podcast said to. I could have run longer. But by far the biggest part about today's run was the confidence that I gained. My muscles felt stronger in my legs, no sore knee, the walking intervals felt better, was walking faster, just it all felt so much better than last week. This program really is teaching both the physical and mental parts of me to run.
I have been focusing more on the stretching. Its amazing how it seems to help. I've read many articles where people have questioned its benefits. I don't see how I could do this without stretching both before and after.
Now, if I could only convince myself to go ahead and buy the heart monitor/distance tracker gadget that I've been lusting over.....