Lumbering to Better Health
August 2nd, 2014
I started a Couch-to-5K running plan two weeks ago. For those not familiar with the phenomenon, there are a number of similar programs out there that introduce incremental running so slowly that, in theory, anyone can do it.
I think I’ m an excellent test case for this program because I Do Not Run. Never have. I have always hated running and been baffled by those who do it voluntarily. This week, I ran for three minutes straight and I realized that the last time I ran that long was in high school. And even then it was only once.
Yes, I was a varsity tennis player all through college. No, conditioning was not a big part of my training. Let’s just say that I have a strong will (shocking) and my coach was no match for it. “Let’s go for a run,” he’d say. “Nope,” I’d reply. And we’d move on.
But last year, I got interested in the idea of running as a way of combating my post-baby muffin top. Instead, I joined the gym, and that was fun for a while. Zumba is a good time. But I’m back to working in an office now and the gym schedule wasn’t working for me. My muffin top was making self-congratulatory noises and I knew it was time to try a new approach.
So now I run three days a week. Well, I jog/lumber. Interspersed with walking. But apparently by the end of nine weeks, I’ll be ready to run a 5K. And I’m discovering that it’s not so bad. Here’s five things I’m enjoying about running.
1) My new shoes. All new endeavors require immediate accessorizing. It’s just what I do. But in this case, I really did need better shoes. So I bought some – and they’re snazzy.
2) The narrator of my running podcast. She’s a Brit and I’ll run all day just to hear the way she says “banana” when suggesting healthy snacks at the end of a run.
3) Early morning runs. The only time I could reliably fit a run into my schedule was in the morning so I’ve been getting up before everyone else and going my workout at 6:00 am. It’s actually been great. It’s not too hot yet, no one’s on the roads, and sometimes you see deer. It can be a bit dark sometimes, but that’s a side benefit to being fair skinned – my legs require no additional reflective material.
4) Running music. My podcast tends toward British techno and it’s not bad. Having a good beat going really keeps your legs moving. I’ve started compiling songs to build my own playlist for the actual race.
5) Picturing my first 5K. The timing works out for me to run my first 5K on September 21st. It just happens to be a run that is benefiting the nonprofit I work for, which is super cool. I spend a lot of time during my workout sessions picturing how awesome it will be to cross the finish line. It’s a stretch goal – most days I can’t quite fathom how I’m going to make it – but if I can do it, it will be incredible.