Couch to 5k… and beyond

In 2012 I turned 50. The big Five-Oh!  Half a century.  Over the Hill. Sigh!

In 2012 I made a decision to improve my health by making smart choices re. nutrition and exercise.  I joined a gym and attended regularly.  I walked outdoors, I ate good food.  And I felt good.  Within 12 months I had lost 20 lbs.  #gettingbettereveryday

It was at the gym that I became introduced to running.  At first I used the treadmill for walking and gradually began to run.   I remember clearly the day that I ran my first mile on the treadmill.  What an accomplishment!  When I mentioned to a coworker ( a runner) that I was learning to run on a treadmill he respectfully scoffed and suggested that I try running outdoors.  So I did.  And I almost died!  Running outdoors was so much harder! I knew it was something that I would never enjoy.

My grown daughter was tagging along with me on my fitness journey and she suggested that we get serious about running so that we could run one of those trendy 5k “marathons” that everyone was doing.  We found a Couch to 5k program online and started following it. I tip my hat to anyone who has finished this program in ten weeks. There were a lot of reasons why we didn’t stick with was hot / we were busy/ we were tired/ I had a plantar’s wart/ running is too hard!  After 6 months we were about halfway through the 10 week program and she unexpectedly moved out west.  The plan was to continue training separately and then run a virtual 5k together.  It would have been a great plan, except she was too busy working long hours and she just lost interest.  Here on the East Coast I lost motivation too and kept promising myself that “tomorrow” I would go for a run.  Eventually I started again and finally ran  5k without stopping on February 6, 2014…. more than 18 months after I started the C25K program. What a moment.. what a sense of accomplishment.

So now what?  Running a race was still on my bucket list even though my daughter would not be running with me.  I just didn’t know which race to do.  At the time I had no idea that there were so many events available from which to choose.  I finally decided to do the CIBC Run For The Cure scheduled for October 2014.  This is a cause that is dear to my heart and it is a community Fun Run so there would be no pressure. And I loved it!  I had no idea what to expect and I was not disappointed.  In hindsight I realize that it was more of a Celebration of Life than a Race but it was a wonderful experience.  I will never forget the thrill of crossing that Finish Line for the very first time. I was hooked.

Since then I have run many other events, including 3 Half Marathons. At first I ran for the Bling, but now I run for the Run. And I continue to be amazed that I CAN do this and that I ENJOY doing this.  When I remember how badly my lungs and heart protested way back  in July 2012 when I ran that first One Minute Interval , I realize how strong  I have become.  I have come a long way, baby and I ain’t going back.

What’s next?  Who knows?  For now I am running for the sheer joy of running.  I have found a great Running Group which has enriched my life in so many ways.  I still run Solo most of the time but look forward to Group Runs for the camaraderie and laughter. Running by myself is good for my Mind but running with friends is good for my Soul.

oh.. and my daughter who moved out west to Find Herself?  She came home and went to college and became a carpenter. And I am looking forward to running her first 5k with her in  May at the Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women.



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