Monday, August 10, 2009

Couch to 5K

I have a little confession to make. I've been keeping a bit of a secret from you.

Now before you start dreaming in pink and blue, it's not that kind of secret. Sorry.

A few weeks ago I was out with some girlfriends and the conversation turned to working out. This was in the midst of my Shred workout and I was trying to figure out how to keep my momentum going after my 30 day Shred was over. We were tossing around ideas and before I knew it - BAM! - I'd agreed to run a 5k in November.

Say what?!

Those who know me IRL are laughing out loud right about now. It's okay. Admit it. The idea of me running anything is laughable.

I hate to run. Loathe it. Despise it. I'd rather go a month without shopping than run around the block. That's some serious hate, ya'll.

But oddly enough, every few years I get the urge to 'become a runner'. The first time was the summer that Nate and I started dating. Trying to be a good girlfriend, I agreed to go running with him. I was young and in shape (enough), surely a mile or two would be do-able, right? Wrong. Half a mile in, I was huffing and puffing like a two-pack-a-day smoker while Nate literally ran circles around me as we jogged at a snails pace. Three quarters of a mile in, I waved the white flag and walked to the cafeteria where I drowned my embarrassment in soft-serve ice-cream.

The most recent time was two years ago when we moved to an apartment with a gym, complete with nice big treadmills on which to run indoors. Had to be easier than running outside, right? Wrong. Half a mile in, I was bored out of my mind. Why do people do this? This is so not fun. How do they make the time go by? I know! They get in the 'zone'. I'll close my eyes and find my zone! Twenty seconds later, I was no longer running upright on the treadmill. Note to self: Real runners do not close their eyes while on the treadmill.

Clearly my, uh, track record with running leaves a lot to be desired. But as Nate has gotten more into competitive running lately, I've found myself once again fighting the urge to pound the pave. So when my friend Jamie mentioned that she was starting a program to teach herself to run, I found myself not only asking to join her but suggesting this....

Before the night was over, we'd agreed to run the Indianapolis 5K Turkey Trot together this Thanksgiving. And just so I wouldn't chicken out, I talked about it to anyone who would listen while we were on vacation. Nothing like public humiliation to get a girl motivated!

The program starts out slow - nothing but walking for the first two weeks. Then it slowly starts building your running time and then once you are comfortable running, it builds your distance up so that by the end of 8 weeks, you're running 3.2 miles.

The first two weeks were easy, peasy - just walking longer and longer distances. The hardest part was making the time and finding the motivation to do it. Quite honestly, that's why I didn't mention it here earlier. I was afraid I'd just get bored and move on to something else. But doing this with a friend has made all the difference! We don't actually train together, but we text, email or talk each running day to see how it went and to keep each other accountable. Knowing she's going to ask how it went is just the kick in the pants I need to get out there and do it.

I'm going into week 5 today. My runs are now more running than walking and I dare say, I am kind of starting to enjoy it a teeny tiny bit. It still sucks to be all sweaty and sucking wind and I run as slow as molasses, but I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I get done. I'm not to the point yet where I want to go out and run, but I don't completely dread it anymore either. That's progress, right?


Crazy Shenanigans said...

That's great!!! I hate running but I'm glad you're doing well!!!

Sarah Ann said...

I have a really hard time sticking to a workout plan too. Its been a long while since I last saw the inside of a gym. I find it SO boring. Good luck on the training, working with a friend always helps!

Cookie Crums said...

Good for you!! I ran a 5K back in April.... it was fun!! It was a walk/run but once you get there...the atmosphere gets you pumped! We (I was with a friend) ending up running the whole thing (while pushing our little ones in their joggers).

Go you!!! Keep us updated. :)

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