Slow & steady

Yesterday, I started week 6 of the Couch to 5K running program. I have to be honest: it’s still really hard. I don’t love running. In fact, I hate it more days than not. I’m bored and tired and every second feels like an eternity. But I set a goal, and I’m making progress.

Even though I started off in decent shape (I’d been working out regularly for over a year), running is a whole different ball game. On my first run two months ago, running for two minutes straight almost killed me. Monday night I was supposed to run 20 minutes straight, but I only made it 13 minutes before I had to slow down and catch my breath.

When I left the gym, I was beating myself up a little. I’ve been training for 8 weeks now (two of which I spent out of the gym because I was sick and then recovering from oral surgery). I want to be able to keep up with the program.

Then I reminded myself of how far I’ve come. Though I’m not advancing in the program quite as quickly as I’d like, I’ve increased my running time from 1 and a half minutes to 13 minutes. I’m running faster and longer. I’m finally losing weight again (only five pounds, but at least the scale is moving).

Most importantly, my training has made me more aware of what I’m putting into my body. My diet has been mostly healthy for the past five years, but I have a tendency to eat too much of the healthy foods we cook. Watching the calorie tracker on the treadmill as I push my way through my run has made me aware of how hard it is to burn off that extra serving of pasta.

It’s also a lot easier for me to resist the occasional temptation. When my entire office went out for Mexican food on Tuesday, I stayed at my desk and ate my Lean Cuisine. As much as I love unlimited chips and salsa, it’s not worth derailing my hard work.

I don’t know if it’s the 5K training or the extra push from the knowledge that I have to wear a bathing suit on our cruise in 2 weeks, but running has helped me accomplish my main objective: increasing my motivation.

In about 6 weeks, I’ll be running my first 5K. If I continue to train this hard, I should be able to run the whole race without stopping. Here’s hoping I can reach my goal.

Photo by cdm

6 thoughts on “Slow & steady

  1. The Non-Student

    There is something about working out for me that makes eating healthier a little easier. I find my body craves the good stuff. More power to you for running. I used to run a lot, and I don’t have much trouble getting in shape for it. But I absolutely HATE it. I always thought I had to run because that’s what people do to get in shape, but for me, there are so many other options that for the time being I’m letting myself try other activities.

  2. Angie

    So, I HATE running too. When I run, I’m very well aware of every time my foot pounds to the ground, and every tree that I have passed, and how much further I have to go before I can stop. I have to make milestones – I’ll run to that light pole, then I’ll run to the end of that block, etc. Ugh.

    But honestly, it’s a love-relationship because I love the results of running. I eat better, I sleep better, I have more energy, my musles are looser, and I feel like I have accomplished something.

    I currently listen to music when I run, but I’m wondering if listening to a book would help? I love to read, but don’t find much time to do it.

    What do you listen to?

    1. Karen

      Angie – Right now I’m doing the Couch to 5K running plan, and I used the iPhone app to track how many minutes I’ve run. It’s linked to my iTunes, so I listen to an upbeat playlist. In the past I’ve watched TV while working out, and that seems to help with my boredom a little more. But right now I’m listening to music.

  3. jane

    If someone told me five years ago that I could run a 5K (albeit slowly, but run the whole thing), I’d laugh in their face. I started barely able to go a minute, and I’ve been steadily running 5Ks three or four times a week in the past several years. It’s such an amazing rush to finish a run! Kudos for sticking with the program!

  4. ctreit

    Way to go! Keep up the good work. Over time you might enjoy running more and more. – I think I can call myself a runner, but I experience the same type of struggles that you experience. I had a great long run on Saturday and then a terrible much shorter run on Tuesday, which has kept me away from running for two days now. These things happen. No big deal. The big deal is to stay with the program basically and to reach your goal of running a 5k gracefully. Good luck!

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