Most of you have already seen my posts on Facebook relating to my running efforts. Since I just completed my first 8 weeks of running on the Couch to 5K (C25K) program, I thought I’d put something together about why I’m running, what the C25K program was like, and where I hope to go from here.
I’m not exactly sure why I decided to start running. I’ve been struggling with my weight and felt I needed to exercise, but I kept finding reasons to not do anything about it. I looked around one day and realized that many of the fittest people I saw around me were runners. I might have to give this a try.
I knew I was too far out of shape to just start running. Luckily, there are a number of these C25K programs for my phone. The one I found even lets you do the first week for free. With my phone, an armband, and some music, I set out! The first few runs weren’t too bad… but they also had me walking as much as I was running. This program emphasized that I warmup, cool-down, and stretch at the end. The stretching has been very cool. I’m starting to see flexibility in my legs that may not have ever been there before. Running every other day together with warming up before running also made this a sustainable program. There were many mornings when I would start out (after the day off) feeling a bit stiff. Every time after those first five minutes of walking, I was awake and ready to run.
As I progressed through the program, each new step seemed huge at the time. OMG…. it’s making me run for 5 whole minutes straight! And then the following week it was 8… and then 20… and finally 35. Starting out slow and working up to those bigger times made all the difference to me. Each increase was its own victory. Completing a program like this was an even bigger one.
I’ve lost just over 10 lbs. Running, besides burning calories directly, has made me more conscious of what I’m eating on how much of it I’m eating. It’s also gotten me to switch out much (but definitely not all) of my coffee for water. I’m also surprised by the conversations that have been started by this. Friends, family, and co-workers have all been seeing my updates on Facebook and quite a few have chatted with me about running. I even discovered a co-worker that lives in my neighborhood through this!
Going forward, I know that I can keep fitting longer and longer runs into my morning routine unless I push the alarm back to earlier and earlier. With it set at 5:30 already, I’m not really up for that. I think that means that I’ll have to cap my run duration at around 25-30 min and start working on running faster.
I do plan to run a 5K. I still haven’t found one that I want to sign up for. The Liz Hurley run in October is a likely candidate though.