Friday, November 21, 2008

couch to 5k

Several of you have been asking about this, so I wanted to just do a brief blog about the running program I'm currently in the middle of.

I first heard of this thru my friend Misty and then more recently thru Bro. Cheater Dude. Basically it's an exercise regime to get you from the status of being a non-runner (from the couch) to being able to run a 5K (or approx 3 miles) in 9 weeks. The plan details a program to follow, 3 days a week, for an average of 25-30 minutes a day. It starts you out walking, running, walking some more, running some more, etc. Each week the running gets a bit longer time-wise or distance-wise, and by the end of the 5th week (which is where I'm at) you can supposedly run for a 20 minute stretch. Crazy, right?

Coming from someone who's only running experience was Freshman year P.E. in high school, who dreaded with a passion The Mile that we had to run once a week, who never got past 1/2 a mile before I had to stop and walk, this program sounded down right impossible. But, over the years my weight has fluctuated up and down up and down and one of the only things I've never tried is running.

Hate running. Hate it. Hate the ache in my side. Hate the dry mouth. Hate how my legs protest every single step begging for relief. Hate having the shakes afterwards. Hate having poor lungs that would cough and spasm and wheeze the rest of the morning after any kind of hard exercise such as this. Hate being all red-faced and feeling completely out of shape.

However, something, for some reason, changed my opinion and I decided to try it. Something that has seriously helped me is that I'm running with my hubby. We do it first thing in the morning, three times a week, at 5:30. We just run close to our home and leave the kids in bed (so far, not a one has even woken up while we've been gone) and we're gone a total of 25 minutes or so. He runs at my pace, which is really slow, by the way. I'm not a good runner by any means, I'm awkward and I huff and puff and sweat and count those minutes in my head. But guess what, it IS getting easier! I never thought that I in a million years would say it, but I'm getting better at the running!

On Wednesday I ran 5 minutes, walked 3, ran 5, walked 3, ran 5, and that really wasn't bad at all. I got home and was barely out of breath. No coughing or shaking or wheezing--which, asthmatics can attest to, SUCKS--and I felt good, energized, and proud of myself that I did what I did.

It is a bit cold when we start out, and I begin wearing a pullover, but after the first run, it's off and around my waist. You warm up quick running! And I can't help but think about all the calories I'm burning! Now up until this week, I wasn't dieting along with my exercise. And as I've attested to many times before, I just don't lose weight if I don't diet. So I'm back on the Weight Watchers again and am trying to do my best to make this work for me.

Anyway, there are many websites and message boards out there that you can use for help and motivation. I've been using Cool Runnings. One thing I really like is that they stress that you should run at your own pace. That really works for me. One thing that has stopped me from working out with my husband in the past is that his ways are not necessarily my ways, and I would get frustrated and quit. But this time, he's doing this for me and goes my pace. He doesn't try to get me to do more than the program suggests and because of that, I don't think I've even said "I don't think I can do it" more than once or twice. The website mentions that running, even really slow so-slow-you're-barely-moving is still running; that your body is getting accustomed to this new kind of exercise, that you're getting more fit and developing the right kinds of muscles. Speed will come later.

Thanks for your encouragement, folks! My next runs include an 8 minute stretch and a 20 minute stretch which are just crazy as far as I'm concerned. But I'm not gonna give up!

Really giving my deodorant a work out,


Stacey Michaud said...

You can do it! I was a runner for a bit. Did a 5K during a time in my life when I was coming off a tough experience. I would run to clear my head and get centered. It is one of the things that helps me lose weight quickly. Haven't done it in a while, but you've got me motivated. In the spring though, I can't run in the cold. Awesome job Amie! Stick with it!

Lorie said...

Good luck! I have just recently come to the same conclusion (that running is the only thing that I haven't tried) and may have to give this a shot.

I have just been going it my own on the treadmill. It might be nice to have some structure!

LIZZEE said...

Amie you'll do it.. I know you will..
Congrats on Naploblamo=-)

Jesika said...

Having a buddy makes a world of difference! That's awesome that your hubby is doing this with you! And, way to go on your running!! Impressive!! Are you going to participate in a 5K when you've met your goal??

Christine #2 said...

When I ran in the morning, I counted off my minutes by singing "Called to Serve" it was weird, but it got me to keep running. This is exactly how I did it before, starting out slow, but I unfortunately didn't stay with it. I'm very very proud of you. And not one person has chased you to get you to run!

Anonymous said...

You go girl, like I told you, you have inspired me. I am a few weeks behind you but I am doing it! And I am not dead YeT! Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

That is fabulous. GOOD LUCK! YOU CAN DO IT! I know that line is from a movie somewhere. Take care, Tammi A

Christy said...

You are rockin' the running, Miss Amie! You'll be running your 20 minute stretches in no time!!

The Bluths said...

Sweet, maybe that means I could be a runner someday...someday.