Doing the Couch-to-5K on the treadmill did the trick for me. It helped me acclimate to running. Alot of runners don’t like the monotony of the treadmill, but for me, it gave me the control around my pace that allowed me to be successful when I was starting out. I took the C25K running plan off the web site and created an excel schedule that I could tape to my treadmill each week. I set a walking pace and a jogging pace. When I first starting, my walking pace was 3.2 and my jogging pace was 4.0 (not really even a jog — alot of runners do their warm-up walk at 4.0!) Oh well — it was a jog to me, and I was the only one on the treadmill in my spare room, so I was all that mattered, right? Right!
Each week, I did the 3 days of walk/run. I progressed from week to week — some weeks wondering if I would survive the next. I was not a DIS-believer, but I was only a borderline believer. I still had trouble seeing myself as Capable. How was I going to run (even at 4.0) for 30 minutes without stopping. I think the only thing I could do for 30 mins without stopping at that point was sit on the couch! And I’m not kidding. I was bad off. But week by week, day by day — my breathing came. My endurance came. My strength came. I was feeling better, losing weight, becoming a new me. Mile by mile.
9 weeks — and I was able to jog for 30 minutes on the treadmill. Distance wise, it wasn’t a 5K. I was still moving too slow for 30 mins to be a 5K. But it might as well have been a marathon, I was so proud of myself — and still am. What I did after the first nine week, was do it again! Yup. I went back to my excel spreadsheet and increased my walk pace and increased my jog pace and I went through the program again. I think I did the program 3 times until I felt I was ready. Ready to put on those sneakers again, and take that big step out the front door.
There I was — at the bottom of my driveway, with my Asics and my iPhone. By this time, I had bought the C25K app and was running to my favorite tunes, with the app prompting me when to walk and run. I started, well…..at the beginning, again. Week 1, Day 1 OUTSIDE. If you don’t know this already, let me tell you that running outside is twice as hard as running on the treadmill. Why? Because Mother Earth has hills, and curves, and expects you to provide the electricity and inertia to propel yourself forward. On the treadmill, you pretty much have to keep your legs moving and the tread does some of the work. Outside, well runner-wannabe….it’s all YOU. So, what happened? Well, I had a good dose of humility. After weeks and weeks of success on the treadmill, I was back to huffing and puffing outside. That’s the bad news. The good news? I ran my sweaty, slow, little turtle self around my neighborhood, and competed Week 1, Day 1. And then Day 2, and Week 3, and…..you get the picture. Through determination and hard work, I spent 9 more weeks teaching myself that every baby step I was taking on this journey was important, and couldn’t be missed. I wasn’t ready to run outside the first time I tried. It was No Big Deal. Ya hear me?? Failing was No Big Deal. All it meant was that I had more baby steps that needed to be taken on the treadmill first. So I took them. And I learned. And I grew. And I felt. Remember how I forced myself to feel the crap back when I was so upset about how I let myself get so sedentary? Well, this time around I remembered to let myself soak in all the good stuff that poured down on me. To Enjoy all the great feelings of success that I would have missed if I had gone back to sleep or if I had broken my promise to myself and Quit when I was feeling my worst.
I was becoming a runner…..and while I was out there on the road, with the sun on my face, and the wind in my hair…..I didn’t miss my couch. Nope, not one little bit.
Ciao for now…..Diane