Couch to 5k

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I have never been in shape.  I have always been pretty athletic.  I can shoot a basketball, throw a football, hit a baseball, etc. but I have never consistently gone to the gym or worked out.  I played on my company softball team for the past few years and every Thursday when we would have a game, I would be exhausted after running around the bases.  My body would ache from the minimal sprinting I would do.  I always thought of running as a boring sport and thought my sister was crazy for signing up for a triathlon.  However, after getting married last May and gaining a nice 30 pounds of the first year of marriage weight, I decided I needed to get my butt in shape.

My sister told me that a friend of hers did a program called “Couch to 5k.”  I decided to look into this because I was definitely a couch potato.  I found the info here: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml.  I started off week 1 back in November.  The program calls for you to jog 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds and then repeat until you get up to 20 minutes.  Wow, was I out of shape.  Just running for 1 minute was hard.  After completing that week, I looked ahead to week 5 and it said to jog for 5 minutes!  How in the world would I ever get to that point…a 1/2 mile run?!  They had to be joking.

C25k app

C25k app

After getting annoyed at referencing the website then trying to watch my iPhone clock while I ran, I decided to download an app-the C25K app and while it was free, I think this is one of the best apps I have “purchased”.  It was so simple and easy to use and even lets you know when you are half-way done and when you have a minute left.  The app also keeps track of the runs that you do, which since I am a big checklist fan, encouraged me to keep going and keep checking off runs.

As I stated, I started this in November.  I made it through week 6 before the holidays hit.  I couldn’t believe it but I ran a straight 20 minutes!  It was quite an adventure getting to that point though.  When I first started the program, my legs would itch like crazy, turn red and burn.  I googled my symptoms and one source said that I was allergic to exercise.  I knew there was a reason I never worked out before.  Just kidding.  Despite my allergy, I kept on and after a few weeks, the redness and itchiness went away.  OK so maybe I didn’t have an allergy…my body just wasn’t used to having the blood flowing so fast.  The next hurdle I encountered was when I got to around week 4.  My left foot started to hurt really bad.  I ended up running funny because I just couldn’t step down on it correctly.  My runner sister suggested I try getting new shoes, which I did and that worked magically.

Between traveling for the holidays and getting sick twice, once with the lovely flu, I managed to fit in about 1 week of running from mid-December to mid-January.  I ended up going back to week 4 since starting at week 7 was too hard.  I never did finish the C25k program, but that is because I signed up for a 10k and started the training schedule for that.

For someone who was a legit couch potato and thought running was boring, I can’t believe how far I came from not being able to run for one minute to running 2 miles straight, having fun while doing it and signing up for a 10k.   I can’t wait to see how much more I improve and my body is definitely thankful.

Happy running!


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