Monday, July 12, 2010
Couch to 5k...and back to the couch....
There's a program out there called 'Couch to 5k.' The general idea seems to be that with the help of this website, you can not only get your butt off the couch, but that you'll soon be able to run a 5k.
A friend recently mentioned that she's utilizing this system to attempt to run one. I didn't know what a 'k' was or why in the world anyone would want to run 5 of them, but as it turns out it's 3 miles. (I guess 5k sounds more impressive than 3m.) She's one of my few friends that lives in our vicinity, which is to say that she also lives out in the middle of nowhere. She asked me if I'd like to join her on a training run around her block. (Her 3-mile block compared to my 5-mile block would probably classify her as living in an actual neighborhood.)
Although I wouldn't say that I'm in shape, I also don't consider myself an exercise virgin. According to a medical chart I could probably stand to lose 30 lbs. According to my standard I would like to lose 20, but in reality I'm only motivated to try to lose 10 and I'm not holding my breath about those.
My routine involves working out 6 days a week. Three of those days are spent circuit training with my elliptical machine and an upper body weight workout. Two days include circuit training with my treadmill and a lower body weight workout. And on Saturday I do some form of cardio and I try to vary that up to keep it interesting. Add onto all of that swimming laps several days a week, occasionally riding my bike, playing for our co-ed softball team, and sometimes when I'm in the mood to completely humiliate myself and my children, I put on my roller blades and push C in her stroller......up and down our driveway.....it's a real treat for passing motorists. Looking at this list of activities and admitting that I still can't lose 10 lbs can bring me to only one conclusion.....I love to eat. I love to eat. I love to eat. Did I mention how much I love to eat?
Anyway, I agreed to train with Mandi one day. She emailed me the Couch to 5k program, but I didn't read it. I'm not a runner, but how hard could it be, right? We began with a 5 minute warm up walk and the plan was to run until we reached the first stop sign. (Approximately 3 minutes.) No problem. Let's go. I immediately became aware of why I don't run. There isn't a sports bra out there that could keep me from bouncing, there just isn't. And do they make a sports bra for your butt cheeks? Not to my knowledge. So I found myself painfully bouncing alongside my very fit friend and the blasted stop sign we were aiming for seemed to get further and further away. I can't imagine what I sounded like clomping along beside her, but at one point she recommended I try breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth which leads me to believe I may have been gasping for air. Probably a safe assumption since my throat was burning after about a minute. In a state of complete embarrassment, I had to go back to walking.
During my second lame attempt at running I realized that my bladder was bouncing as hard as the rest of me and finally admitted to her that I had to pee.....bad. You know you have a true friend when she helps you find a secluded patch of trees and stands watch for cars while you drop trou and relieve yourself. There she was out in the middle of her 5k and stuck with an out-of-shape-bouncy-heavy-breather who couldn't make it from here to there without having to urinate.
We attempted one more run but when she warned me of the on-coming car and I was tempted to dive into it's path, I realized that running wasn't for me and we walked the rest of the way. Now that was enjoyable. We walked pretty fast, or so I think, and we could actually hold a conversation.
When I got home I decided that I could utilize our country block too and began walking each evening with my husband and A and occasionally K and Z join us on bikes with C in her carrier on the back. (There's even a cornfield on the back stretch of secluded country road for those times I have to pee.) I apologized to Mandi for wrecking one of her training days but in the end it motivated us to exercise as a family and spend some wonderful quality time together.
I'm committed to my continued attempt to lose 10 of my pounds, I'm committed to spending time with my family, and most important of all, I'm committed to never never ever ever ever running a 5k......and it's all about commitment, am I right?