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Start at the beginning (a very good place to start!)

I have my running "L" plates on - I'm a beginning runner. Hopefully one day, I will be able to blog I've run in half marathons or marathons and have been going for a few years. Until then, this is my journey from walker to runner!


My running journey started when I read on Facebook that a group of teachers I did Bootcamp with a couple of years ago entered their first triathlon. I found this depressing because if I had have kept up with my fitness, I could have been with them. Instead I was about 10kg heavier than when I finished bootcamp.



Then I went to the movies with a colleague I worked with last year. She had lost nearly 9kg by going to the gym and eating well and drinking less. She looked fantastic and just...glowing.

And I was watching the Dog Whisperer - and I knew I had to spend some more time exercising my dog. So we went for a walk using his methods of being "pack leader" and it was enjoyable - he wasn't pulling at the lead!



These things intersected and I knew it was "time" to get better health wise. So on March 29, 2011, I dusted of my Couch to 5K app on my iPhone that I attempted last year and started running (dog in tow!). The first week was 60 seconds of running, followed by 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. OMG!!! That just about killed me! It was such hard work - especially the last running interval! But I did it. And I did it twice more after that.

A trip to Sydney mucked up my schedule a bit, and it was nearly a week before I got to Week 2. I would have given before, written it off, but I was determined this time. So I just picked myself up and began Week 2. And haven't looked back!



Now - don't get me wrong - it is VERY hard work. Sweaty, red-faced, out-of-breath, sore knees, sore hips, sore shins, hard work. But I was determined. When my mind whispered "You can't do this" I yelled back "I so can!!!". I imagined the skinny, fit version of me! And the dog dragged me forward! By Week 5 I was running 8 minutes (twice without stopping) and faced the dreaded "Week 5, Day 3" - 20 minutes running, no walking!! The nemesis of the C25K program! A bit daunting, but with a postive mindframe and taking it nice and slow I did it. I'm not ashamed to admit to a bit of air-punching and happy-dancing :-)
A few things helped me tremendously:
  • The C25K app on my iPhone - tells you when to walk and run and records your progress and uses the GPS to track your runs.
  • A rocking playlist!! Now mine might be a big different to yours, but Maniac (Michael Sembello from Flashdance), Holding Out For a Hero (Bonnie Tyler from Footloose) and Alive & Brilliant (the amazing aussie Deb Conway) really psyched me up!
  • Chi Running book by Danny Dreyer - really helps to run with that nice feeling instead of that painful feeling.
  • The Facebook C25K page - amazing support and encouragement from a bunch of strangers! 
So now I've "graduated" - finished the 9 week program and running 30 minutes without stopping. While I still find parts of the run (the warm up and especially the hills!) difficult, I have now experienced "runner's high"!! I have experienced the euphoria you get when you doubted yourself but overcame the doubt and achieved. I have experienced more energy and better sleep. I certainly "glow" for a few hours afterward and I'm even losing a few kilograms! And the dog loves it too!


So for anyone else out there who thinks it might be "time" to look after yourself and get healthier, I can strongly recommend the Couch to 5K program - the most important thing is to get off the couch and keep putting one foot in front of the other!

Comments

  1. Congrats on being able to run 30 minutes straight!!! That is really an accomplishment, you should be proud! Can't wait to hear about your adventures in running!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Wendy! I am really proud - I never really thought that I could do it. Just goes to show what a bit of determination can do!!

    ReplyDelete

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