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.
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.