Monday, July 13, 2015

Can I Be a Runner?

Can I Be a Runner? This is a question I have asked myself several times over the years. I have wanted to be a runner for a very long time. But I'm overweight. But I have never really run before (I'm not counting high school gym class!). But I have a heart condition. But I run out of breath really easily. But my ankles hurt. These are excuses... yes, you CAN be a runner. Just RUN!

I have started the C25K (Couch to 5K) program about half a dozen times in the past. I had NEVER gotten past week 1. Week 1 is the easiest week. In week 1, you alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for 30 minutes. I have started that week about 6 times... not because I couldn't jog 60 seconds... I physically could. I just had a mental barrier telling me I couldn't do it. I always had some stupid reason to give up. I am currently on week 7! WEEK 7!!!! Week 7 is a 25 minute run 3 days during the week! I can run 25 minutes in a row without stopping now! Can you believe that!?

How did I go from not being able to complete week 1 to actually getting to week 7? Part of it is having a friend to run with. I have a friend who I work with who was willing to come along on this journey with me. She is already a runner, but she has been very patiently going through the C25K program with me. We keep each other accountable. Even when I went to Florida for a week, I still did my 3 days of running, with another friend who was in Florida with me. It's just so much easier when you have someone training with you!

Also, I got past my mental block. I just keep telling myself "you can do this!" and "Just effing do it!!"

Here is how the program is laid out for anyone who is interested, the link above is to the actual app, which is free and tells you exactly what to do!

(each day begins with a 5 minute walking warmup and a 5 minute walking cooldown)

Week 1: 60 sec of jogging, 90 sec of walking for 30 minutes
Week 2: 90 sec of jogging, 2 minutes of walking for 31 minutes
Week 3: jog for 90 sec, walk for 90 sec, jog for 3 minutes, walk for 3 minutes, repeat
Week 4: jog 3 min, walk 90 sec, jog 5 min, walk 2.5 min, jog 3 min, walk 90 sec, jog 5 min
Week 5 Day 1: jog 5 min, walk 3 min, jog, 5 min, walk 3 min, jog 5 min
Week 5 Day 2: jog 8 min, walk 5 min, jog 8 min
Week 5 day 3: jog 20 minutes with no walking!! (This is where shit gets real!)
Week 6 Day 1: jog 5 min, walk 3 min, jog 8 min, walk 3 min, jog 5 min
Week 6 Day 2: jog 10 min, walk 3 min, jog 10 min
Week 6 Day 3: jog 22 minutes with no walking
Week 7: jog 25 minutes with no walking each day
Week 8 Day 1&2: jog 28 minutes with no walking
Week 8 Day 3: jog 30 minutes with no walking

And that's it! I am on week 7, day 1. I still feel like I run slower than I walk, but I am running. 
After we finish C25K, we are going on to the 10K training, because why not!? I have a heart condition (inappropriate atrial tachycardia) where my heart beats too fast sometimes. I'm on meds for it, and I haven't really asked my doctor if I should be running. I wear my FitBit Surge every time I run and I keep track of my heart rate as I go. I'm careful. And running makes me feel better, both physically and mentally. And it's helping me on my weight loss journey. Having said that, please check with your doctor before starting any fitness program, blah blah blah! :)


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