In April I decided that I needed to do something different….drastically different….with my physical self that is. I had been hearing a lot about this C25K (Couch to 5K) running program and decided I would do it, or die trying. This is coming from the girl who detests, loathes, hates… no really, I mean to use those strong words….despises running. Let me tell you a little secret about my school days. We had a PE class, of course, what school doesn’t?!? I really don’t like physical education; well I really didn’t like THAT phys-ed class. For cheerleading we did tons of physical exercise preparing our routines including hours of aerobics but that PE class was probably the bain of my existence in my school years. Did I mention that I had the same PE teacher for most of my school years? I attended a private Christian school from preschool to graduation (with only one year thrown in there where my mom let me “try” public school…didn’t like it so much) and for the most part we had the very same PE teacher. She never aged and her Cheetos and Diet Coke she drank…(while we exercised none the less)… never changed. We had a lake near our school and up until just this moment I always thought it was at least 2 miles one way from our school. As I was writing this I decided to look up the exact distance on Bing maps so I know how far we were made to run….it always felt like an eternity…well I stand corrected, really corrected. My oh my…. It is only 0.6 miles one way from our school…yikes that’s pathetic. Well, many times we were made to run to Cheney Lake from school but I was of course always the straggler at the back. I finally got smart. On the way to Cheney lake there was a neighborhood off to the right and I got a fantastic idea. Since I was always the end of the line anyways I decided I would just drop off the back of the line as we went past the neighborhood street and rest myself behind a parked car. Then, when they all ran by on the return, I would then sneak myself back up to the end of the line and run the short distance to the school. This worked great for quite a while until our teacher decided to drive her car to check up on all of us and our running skills. Needless to say my creative caveat wasn’t greatly appreciated and I was back to running with great disdain.
I have always known I would go to great lengths to avoid running but in April I was desperate. I needed physical activity that was flexible, no extra parts needed, not stuck inside in front of a TV, not expensive start-up costs, not a gym and I didn’t need a partner. As I weighed all my options, all I had left was unfortunately running. How hard can this be I thought. I have matured since high school, I no longer hide behind parked cars. I have endured childbirth, 30 long hours for Mitchell alone, (thanks sweetheart) I CAN endure running. So began my dreaded running days. I gave myself one year to lose “xx” pounds, so I downloaded two apps on my iPhone, Lose It and C25K. One is for counting calories and the other for learning to run. Oh…my… goodness. Really there could not be an easier program to get you running, but I hate running so it was kinda like torture for me. C25K is a fantastic program that, slow and steady, goes 3x’s a week for 9 weeks and takes you from nothingness to running a 5K. Day one begins like this….Brisk five-minute warm-up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes, followed by a 5 minute cool down walk.
60 seconds of jogging…really….sounds pathetic but when done by me, in alternate with walking for a total of 20 minutes, it was HARD. Really, honestly, it isn’t hard… but for me….oh yes it’s hard. Slow, that is all I can say about how I run...slow and steady. Originally it was probably more like “slow and sloppy” as I didn’t have the steady part down but that has developed over time, thankfully. So fast forward 15 weeks, yes… I am 15 weeks into a 9 week program and no, I am still not all the way there yet…but I am still running! A couple weeks into my beginnings, my sweet neighbor Jamie joined me so I started over again into the program, back to day 1. I had no problem with that, a little more time to build myself up! It has been fun to have Isabelle fill in as my running partner when Jamie can’t go. I have so enjoyed her company and Shelley can’t wait till she gets a little bigger to join me!
Much has happened since we started. We repeated days when we did not feel ready to move on, I battled a nasty bronchitis but worked through it and we conquered our dreaded 20 minute run. My friend Cindy says if you can run the 20 minutes, you can run the 5K and I’m beginning to believe her! Our running is slower than they expect from you as we are not quite meeting the distance they mark, but we are meeting the time and we know the distance will come as we get stronger. I am excited to say we haven’t missed a day, even if our days have had to switch around and maybe we could not run together, we still did it and kept up with the 3x’s a week…sometimes we even went extra! Yesterday was week 7 day 1…..25 minutes… and we did it….we actually ran 25 minutes straight!!! I told Jamie when we were done yesterday; I am still shocked every time I complete a day that I actually ran it without dying! There is a little part of me now that believes I can really, truly run a 5K….. no really….. I can actually do it! So far I am a quarter of the way into my desired weight loss. Slow and steady, nothing fancy, just portion control and watch what I eat and get myself outside to run.
Amazingly now, I don’t detest running. In fact, I kinda, just a little… but not too much… like it! There is something sweet about praise music blasting in my ears, God’s beautiful creation around me and doing something I never thought I could do that gets my adrenalin going every time! Wonders never cease!