My New Usual

Well, I did it.

On September 12 I downloaded an app for my iPhone called “Couch 2 5K”.  I did it mostly because I saw a friend on Facebook posting to her page about it, and I thought, “Hey, if she can do it, I could probably do it.”  It’s a nine week training program that is supposed to take couch potatoes off the couch and turn them into runners.

I was skeptical.  Even though a good friend of mine did the program last year, and encouraged me that I would find myself really enjoying running, I did not believe her.  Truth be told, I was desperate.  Desperate for something to kick me into thinking that I had some semblance of control over my eating and my weight.  Because I was completely out of control.  I had gained 8 pounds from January to September, and I felt disgusted with myself.  Thoughts about food and being fat consumed my inner self talk much of the day.  I was miserable.  I hoped, somehow, that this last ditch effort would work.

I ran the first workout on my treadmill, too embarrassed to run outside.  My knees ached and I barely made it through the runs that were just one minute in duration.   But I promised myself that I would continue.  The second run wasn’t as bad as the first.  And somehow, I started to feel a little more confidence each time I clicked the app and went through a workout.

The program is supposed to bring you through nine weeks.  By Week 4 I was feeling stronger and more fit, and started compressing my workouts into six days instead of seven.  I shocked myself in week 5 by completing a 20 minute run on our local trail.  I was probably running slower than most people walk, but I was still running.  I knew at that point that somehow I would be successful with the program, and there was simply no turning back.

I completed the nine week program in eight weeks.  I’ve lost 9 lbs and increased my runs from one minute to thirty minutes without stopping.  I can now run nearly the whole 5K, and I know in a week or two, I will be able to.  My knees have stopped hurting, my ankle has stopped hurting, and now I can actually say that it feels good after I run.  I can’t even believe it.  I am doing this.  And it feels good.

I am more in control of my food intake now, and I don’t find myself consumed by negative thoughts about it.  I’d of course rather be losing weight more quickly, but I am pleased with how far I’ve come in just eight weeks.  I can’t wait to register for my first run and actually use this training for a real race.  It probably won’t be until December, but I’m OK with that.  I’ll keep going out on the trail or even on the road and work on improving my distance and speed.

I actually ran into a friend while out running on Saturday and he asked, “Is this your usual route?”

My usual route.  Oh my goodness.  Like a real person who actually does this all of the time.  Who runs.

I answered, “Yes.”

I did it.



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