Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Couch to 5K!

I did it!  I actually ran a 5K!  I have never run a mile in my life.  I was trying to think about a time I ran any distance at all.  The only thing I could come up with was for the fitness test you take in eigth grade.  That, I didn't even run I just did a brisk walk! 

Tracey and I before my first race!
I was never really a sports girl growing up so I did not run for that.  I was always in dancing classes, and you never had to run long distances in class!

So back in June, I was at a point where I needed to add fitness into my day to day routine.  I had lost all my pregnancy weight and an additional 10 pounds after that.  I am lucky to have kept that weight off now for over a year!  I was still trying to shed a few more pounds and wasn't really getting any where with dieting.  I knew I had to add some exercise!

That is me in the purple #35!
I wanted to try new types of exercise to keep my interest peaked.  One day I saw some of my friends posting on facebook about running with Couch to 5K!  Now that sounded exactly my style.  I had never run before; so that is where I would be starting from the couch!  I had always wondered what people liked so much about running.  I didn't see the appeal at all!  You know at some point you have looked at the crazy person running in the wintery snow or summer heat, and said to yourself "Why are they willing to submit themselves to that?"

Tracey keeping my spirits high!
So on June 6th, I started my running journey!  The couch to 5k running plan started off very easy.  The plan lays out three runs a week over a course of 9 weeks.  It breaks things down so that you can build up your distance and time over each week.  The first three weeks went really well for me.  It did start to get tough after that, but I was starting to feel the difference and wanted to push my self! 
Racing for the finish line!
Then by week five, I was able to run five minutes at a time!  That is something I had never done before, and I was excited to keep moving forward each week.  There were times that I wanted to stop short of the required running time, but I pushed through it. I was finding something down deep inside that I didn't know I had!  I am proud to say that I always ran the amount of time required each week.  By week five, I even started running four times a week to get my body better conditioned for the next week! 
Crossing the finish line!
I wanted to make sure I kept my final goal insight.  I needed to find my first 5k!  I did some on-line research and landed on the Moving with the Spirit 5k.  It takes place close by, in Galena, and was going to be a smaller size race.  Perfect!  I went ahead and pre-registered so that I was sure to stay on track.

Super excited pose with our nickel!
I completed my couch to 5k training 2 weeks before race day.  It ended up working out well.  I used that two weeks to get my confidence up and improve my mile time.  I was feeling great the night before the race!  I knew I could run the distance as I have been running it for over three weeks.  The only difference on race day was going to be running with other people.
Serious pose with our nickel!
The morning of race came and it was perfect....sunny and cool!  I had my good friend Tracey by my side and I was ready to go!  The horn sounded and we were off.  It was nice to run through a gated community in Galena.  The houses were a nice distraction from the race.  I found that running with other people actually added confidence to my strides.  I finished the race with ease and even improved my everyday time by almost two minutes!

My cheering section!
At the end of the race I felt great!  What an accomplishment!  In just under 3 months, I went from never running to confidently finishing a 5k run!  I had some great cheering sections along the way and loved all the hugs when I crossed the finish line.  There couldn't be a better ending then big hugs from the family. 
My second place nickel!
I was then very surprised at the award ceremony to receive the woman's second place finish for my age group.   The comemerative nickel will be a great keep sake for my journey.  Although my journey is not ending here.  I got right back up on Monday and kept on running.  Who knows maybe I will try my hand at a half marathon next!

1 comment:

  1. Great job on getting 2nd place in your age group! I am excited that you are following me on twitter which led me to your blog! I am a runner in hiatus right now. I started running in 09 to lose weight that just wasn't coming off after I had my son in Dec 07 (and to be honest, weight from my daughter in 04 and my oldest in 03). I am currently pregnant and haven't run since I found out I was pregnant. I will be following your blog, because not only does it look like it will help me with the nesting phase (I will be 33 weeks on Monday), but also I enjoy reading other mommy's blogs about running. I love to read the enthusiasm! If you have time and would like to, please follow my blog at: