See, I've always felt kind of pathetic when it came to running. My dad - a runner. My brother - any sport comes naturally to him so he's running a 1/2 marathon in two weeks. Sighh, me - not so much. I was always more into dance and cheerleading growing up. I'm extremely petite (to put it nicely) and my face tends to turn tomato red after running about 10 minutes.
But, in January, when it was freezing cold and I was miserable and feeling the weight of eating too much junk over the holidays, I decided to run a 5k this year. If old men can run marathons, surely I could at least manage to run 3 miles in front of other people without stopping.
So how'd I do it? A cool little training schedule I found online called C25k or 'couch to 5k'. It's technically made for extremely inactive people with zero running experience, so I figured there would be no way for me to fail. The program is 9 weeks long with 3 short runs a week. Week 1 began by alternating 1 minute of running and 1.5 minutes of walking for 20 minutes (easy peasy!) and slowly built up to running 20 minutes straight after 6 weeks, 25 after 7, 28 at 8, and a final week of three 30 minute runs. And voila - 30 minutes is (give or take) about how long a 5k run should take. I felt so good at week 7, I skipped week 8 and went straight to running 30 minutes. My biggest problem ended up being boredom! Running on the treadmill in my apartment facing the wall got pretty boring. I even tried to spice up my wall decor by adding a fake naked picture of Johnny Depp I cut from Cosmo, haha.
I chose a small race in Astoria Park this past weekend for my 5k debut. Just in case I ended up being super slow, I didn't want to get pummeled by a bunch of NYC Road Runners! The race benefitted QSAC - Quality Services for the Autism Community of NYC and LI. That's another cool thing about races - the proceeds always go to good causes, so you feel like you're contributing to something bigger than yourself.
And how'd I do? My finishing time was 33:40 - not so bad for a first time!! I even ended up passing up some guys which made me feel pretty good about myself. I won't lie and say it was easy...I was tired, and I wanted to stop during that last mile, but i didn't need to stop. I knew I could do it. And it was kinda fun having people cheer you on on the sidelines - I liked being cheered for instead of being the cheerleader for once!
In summation, if you need a kick in the pants when it comes to fitness, set a goal for yourself. I do so much better when I have a standard to hold myself to. Things can get boring when you do the same jog, or the same yoga workout every week. If you want to check out the program I used, here's the site: www.c25k.com. Summer is around the corner - so get your butt on the treadmill! ;)