At the beginning of April I couldn’t run to the stop sign at the end of my street let alone even 1 Kilometre – This weekend I completed a 5.5k race, with almost half of it being up hill!
I had a little help in the form of encouragement and support, first I am part of a Facebook group named “Canadian Healthy Living Support!” and secondly my wonderful husband and family. The picture above is of myself and my two and a half year old daughter who came to cheer me on. You can find out more about her story on www.lifewithlol.com
When I joined the healthy living group in April, I had a some simple goal for myself – I would go to the Gym or exercise 3x a week. Done! 🙂 Then as a member of the group I noticed some of the members discussing an iPhone running app known as Couch to 5k, or C25K. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve never been a runner, I just felt that I didn’t have the stamina to run, but my husband has run a few half marathons as is always trying to encourage me to try it out. So I decided to give the C25K app a silent try (aka not tell my husband at first).
I’m happy to say that I loved the app out and found that it worked great for me. My first run was hard but the program is so motivating – It’s designed to get you started by alternating walking and jogging, the program gives you a weekly routine and slowly ramps up the time that you run vs walk. In a little over two months you will find yourself running 5k!
I found the program really motivating, the points that I liked best were –
- A voice advises you when to begin walking/jogging
- Each segment has a timer, so when you think your heart is about the burst you can glance at the app, and know that you only have ten more seconds to go before you can walk again!
- You get a new routine each week, and the ramp ups are slow and achievable. (By week four I found that I actually wanted to run longer, and began using the cool down as my last timed running burst)
- You can use Nike + or Map my run in the background so that you can track your distance progress.
I do have to admit that what kept me most motivated to continue with the program was that I actually signed up for my first 5K race, two weeks into my program. Yes I felt a little crazy, and even more nervous – the app slowly ramps up 5K over something like nine weeks, and I only gave myself another four weeks to train. To compensate, I only did 2 days of each week in the program before moving on to the next routine. (The program is designed for three runs a week, and ramps up each week. So I skipped ahead a little faster).
Finally a couple of days before my race, my husband and I ran together. This was the first time that I had run 3k without stopping, it felt awful and awesome at the same time! I figured that for my race, if I could run 3K and then walk for a little bit, finishing with a little less than 2K would be easy peasy. With that I headed to Sutton for my first race two days later.
When the actual day came, I proudly pined my number to my shirt and nervously stood by the start line. This was a fairly small race (in comparison to Montreal marathons) so everyone just lined up together (there was about 100 of us). Once the race started I was quickly passed by the majority of runners, which felt a little de motivating at first but I just shook that feeling away and told myself that my goal was to finish. I ran really well for the first kilometre, in fact it had been my fastest to date! I was so happy when my Nike + app spoke over my music to let me know that I had completed my first kilometre. The run was so scenic that for a moment I didn’t care who passed me or how fast I finished – I was just happy to be part of the race. A few minutes later, the race took on a whole new dimension for me, as I began to run up a STEEP hill, ack! That part nearly killed me, I had to walk for a good three minutes before I could start jogging again.
In the end I finished, my time wasn’t great BUT I wasn’t the last person to finish the race, and that felt really good. To top it off, my 5k race turned out to be 5.6 Kilometers based on the way it was laid out. Even more exciting 🙂
The best prize was getting to kiss my daughter at the finish line and then getting ready to watch my husband finish his half marathon a few moments later.
Want to know something just crazy? I signed up for a 10K race at the end of June (I even upgraded to the Couch to 10K app to help me prepare) This running stuff is addictive!
It’s still hard to imagine that I couldn’t run to the stop sign at the end of my street a few months ago!
So are you going to run any races this summer? 🙂