Friday, June 18, 2010

The Last Post In The World I Ever Thought I'd Ever Write, Ever

I have to tell someone, and dear, wonderful, wacky Invisible Internet Friends: I figured it should be you.  You deserve to know.

Two things first:
  1. I have made plenty of announcements and proclamations here that didn't quite come to fruition. (See: declaring this a weight-loss blog five+ years ago; my 917 "I'm going to blog more often" announcements; my one attempt at NaBloPoMo that lasted about 13 days; etc.)
  2. I blame this entirely on Stefania.

Okay. You ready?

Today I completed Day 1, Week 1 of the Couch to 5K.

I know. That breeze you just felt on your ankles? That was hell freezing over.  I'm doing my part to stop global warming.

Here's the real kicker though: I don't feel like I'm going to die. I didn't fall down. I didn't throw up. I didn't even throw my iPhone (with the C25K app) into the bushes.

I KNOW.

I don't smell great (sorry), and I did slightly pull some muscle in my butt region when I suddenly had to sidestep a dumbass man who SOMEHOW DIDN'T NOTICE A PANTING WOMAN WITH GIANT BOBBING BOOBS BARRELING TOWARD HIM WITH A JOGGING STROLLER and wandered in right front of me. So I'm sore. But only a little. (So far.)

Um. So yes. You might be wondering what the hell is going on with me and how I went from bitching ardently about how much I hate walking -- let alone jogging -- to taking on a "let's run every week!" type program.

And my truthful, deep-down, thoughtful answer is: I have absolutely no idea.

Here's what I can tell you, and you can go ahead and feel free to diagnose my mental illness --

After I posted about my hatred of walking and hearing a few of you sing the Couch to 5K (c25k) praises, I started thinking about it. Meanwhile, Stefania's been transformed into an actual runner, posting her c25k updates on Facebook and Twitter.  And you know, she's got TWO kids and she blogs and runs a company and has a life as crazy as mine and is somehow making it work.

I spent about 3 seconds Googling it. I saw that week one is basically a warm-up, followed by 60-seconds of running, then 90 seconds of walking, then 60 seconds of running, 90 seconds of walking, etc. until you've run 9 times.

I thought there was no way I could do it without dying. End of story.

But then one afternoon a couple weeks ago, I decided to take Eve to the park. My intent was to walk around the park's square, half-mile perimeter, and then push her on the swings. By the time I figured out how to collapse our new stroller and had hefted it into the trunk, however, I decided that the "workout" portion of my afternoon was complete. I was just going to push her on the swings.

I got to the park and discovered the playground is under construction. But after traveling all that way, what could I do but walk? So I walked.

I walked two sides of the park |_. And then, out of sheer curiosity, I decided to see if I could jog one length. |_|

I could.

It wasn't easy, but it didn't kill me. And I discovered a secret. Maybe you know this secret, but I sure as hell didn't. Or at least, I never saw it this way.

The secret is: if you jog, the stupid, hateful walk goes by SO MUCH FASTER.

AHA!

Well, so then I decided to try to alternate. Walk one length, jog one length. And it kept happening! The jogging length kept going by in half the time! OH GLORY DAY! It's like, you can cram your whole workout into however fast you can make yourself go. WHY DIDN'T I FIGURE THIS OUT BEFORE?

I went back to the park a few days later and did some more walk-jogging.

Then my new Napa friend asked if I wanted to go on a four-mile power walk and thought, "Yes! I can do that!" And it nearly killed me and I don't think it was in any way "powerful" but whatever. FOUR MILES.

Then this last week, I went on a couple of Ish and Eve's morning walks. I jogged just a little bit here and there.

Then I got to today. And this week has kicked my ass and nothing has gone right and everything's stressful and I'm just juggling way too many things. And when I realized I just needed to get out of the goddamned house already, I thought, Hmmm.

I put the c25k app on my phone. I picked my music. (Yes, you can pick your own music to run underneath the man who tells you when to walk and when to run.) I packed up the stroller and the baby and headed to the park.

And I did it.  And I didn't die.  And I think I will do it again.

Who starts a workout program at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon? Well, I guess that'd be me -- your crazy, crazy internet friend who just surprised the heck out of herself.

31 comments:

  1. I'm way inspired! I have been reading about it and have been wanting to do it. I don't hate walking (I'm walking 60 in 3-Days for the second time in November), but I have really been wanting to say I've run a 5K (in October). There's no way I could do it unless I train. I hope you keep posting updates to motivate me... because I'm selfish that way!

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  2. i've gotten to week 3 in the past and then given up but i just got the iphone app and am going to try again soon.

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  3. I've gotten to week 4 in the past and then given up ;)

    I'm think I'm ready to give it another whirl.

    Good for you and hot damn... you're a runner ;)

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  4. congrats Kristy! I used the C25K program to start running about 7 years ago, and I haven't really stopped. I still 'run' at a pace where another person could walk slightly briskly and still keep up, but I enjoy it nevertheless.

    I found that having a partner helped really keep me focused and on track on the tougher weeks. When I did the program, my partner was in another state, but we still kept each other honest.

    Good luck!

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  5. This rocks! I'm super happy for you. And proud. Just think, in a month or so you'll be able to jog a full 5K. I can't do that, and I'm still doing Insanity regularly (but not 6 times a week).

    In the world of funny coincidences, I talked my Napa dwelling co-worker into doing this last week. She and her friend have been following it. She came to me this week to tell me that they *are* doing it, and planning on getting a 5K run (marathon?) going in Napa. She told me she wants me to come shoot the honorary start gun.

    If it comes to fruition (and it probably will, she's an event planner) I'll give you details if you're interested in participating.

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  6. Good work! I just did week 6 day 3 today. I haven't turned into a person who loves running. And I still pretty much dread it every day I know it's coming. And and and... and I could go on and on complaining about it, but that's probably not so helpful for you! The helpful bit is that I CAN do it. No matter how much suck or hate or whatever else, I actually CAN do it. There's just something really satisfying about doing something really hard that you struggle with but that you actually managed to do anyway.

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  7. I am LOLing over here! Jogging is the perfect exercise for lazy people who hate to work out. No, really! Cuz it's all about burning the most amount of calories in the shortest possible amount of time. I will never be one of those people who goes out and runs 10 miles in one shot (I got SHIT TO DO) but I can crank out a ~5k just about every day then get home and get on with my (our) bidniss thanks to c25kapp!

    GO YOU!!!!

    SO PROUD!

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  8. lovely. good for you! those of us nuts who love to excercise.... likley haven't always. how much of a head start will your eve have i she's raised in an active family with a healthy perspective?
    i've used c25k to come back after an injury that included a year of rehab (leaving me wayyyy out of shape). its good stuff.
    lots of love and luck in this!

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  9. good for you! I'm certainly not a great runner, but I have run a few 5k races in my life (3 or 4 of them I think?) And it's a really great experience. The reasons I like it best are:

    1.) I'm a little shallow and am worried that people will think I'm a lazy, chubby loser if it takes me forever to finish the 5k. And that's always the problem- people are standing around, watching, along the route. So just knowing that people will be watching makes me train a lot harder before the race.

    2.) It's a sense of accomplishment. If all you do it hop on an elliptical at the gym every day, there isn't really much gratification there. Congrats, you went 3 "miles" on an elliptical today, but didn't actually go anywhere at all? Physical achievements keep me motivated. Running a 5K is something to be proud of!

    Keep it up!

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  10. Good for you! I did Couch to 5K a few months ago and while I still don't like running, I'm amazed to find that I *can* run. I really liked the program because it started out so slowly that I got to feel successful every time. And when you gradually work your way up to running distance, you don't get side aches and blisters (though if you get sick and take a month off and then go right back to 3 miles, you will get both). I lost my damn mind and signed up for a half-marathon in September mostly just to keep myself having to get up off the couch and go run. I never like running (anytime I achieve a respectable speed, it's only because I know that the faster I run, the sooner I get to stop) but I always love having run. I bet you will too.

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  11. That is awesome, Kristy! I'm going to look into this program now, and then I can say that you were my inspiration. I hate to run, but hell. I can run for 60 seconds, and I guess I have to start somewhere.

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  12. Bay To Breakers next year, Kristy?

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  13. Hell yes! (seriously, 2 good sports bras at a time will keep those puppies from smacking you in the chin).

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  14. WOO HOO! Congrats, that is absolutely HUGE. Running is easy to go with once you get started --it's the getting started that is the f-ing hardest part. So seriously, CONGRATS to YOU for getting over that first hurdle.

    Also, re: sports bras--look into Title Nine company, at their Last Resort bra. It's expensive, and not a little unlike a straight jacket for your boobs, but the bouncing will be practically nonexistent.

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  15. I totally needed to hear this. I have been a nonstop eating sloth machine (is that an oxymoron) for the past .... lifetime (with occasional bouts of exercise thrown in). And I'm ready to start moving again, but I hate running and I only like walking if there's a meal or a beer or a coffee or something at the end of it (i.e., I'm walking to the bar ... that's OK). And I can guarantee the 6-8 block walk does not burn off even a sip of a giant margarita. Dammit. Thank you! Tomorrow I will start. Really!! (maybe) But at least I am inspired!!

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  16. Good for you!! 5ks are fun and a great way to get in shape. Keep it up!!

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  17. That is BADASS :) Nice work.

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  18. I'm so late in reading this but I'm so excited! About 3 years ago I too did the Couch to 5k (and though I was fit, I could not run more than 2 minutes straight, so running was definitely a struggle, I'm going to die, I can't freaking breathe sort of thing). Now I have run 3 half-marathons (seriously, this thing is addicting), and am now training for my first full marathon!

    One way to guarantee you'll stay at it? Sign up for a 5k. Seriously, do it now. People think of these things as "races" but so many slow-ass and beginner runners do it. It's a lot of fun, there's tons of friendly people, and there's always people who decide to walk the whole thing, so you'll never be last!

    Ok, enough babbling... You wrote once about sports bra not working for you -- I LOVE this one: http://www.movingcomfort.com/product/120385/350003/_/Fiona_Bra It keeps the bounce in check.

    (Oh yeah, and now I even write a RUNNING blog. 5 years ago I used to claim I would never run ever ever, and look at me...)

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  19. Who are you and what have you done with Kristy? If you're looking for a ransom, I have wine. Lots of wine.

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  20. Super proud of you girl! I was right where you were two years ago and I tell you it's all possible. Just go slow. Going fast equals injury which equals setbacks and frustration. Slow and steady. And do stretch just a bit after. Not before. Stretching before is old school and not so good. But after when the muscles are all warmed up it's perfection. You are going to do it!

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  21. Oh aha! this brought back my memory of coming to that same revelation about jogging so many years ago :)
    Bravo, you jog, girl.

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  22. Good for you! This is actually how I started running 3 years ago!

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  23. Based on this post I actually jogged some of my walk yesterday and didn't die. I did it in 50 step chunks at a time, I'm not coordinated enough to walk-jog-walk while looking at a stop watch. You are right, you finish faster! I'm using the 10,000 steps a day goal and winning. I added hand weight- just 2 lb each- to work on the squishy things around the armpits, and that's not killing me either. Who knew? Keep it up, you are helping the rest of us struggling with this.

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  24. Congratulations! I was one of the crazies who suggested the couch to 5k. I did it just over a year ago and it is the only way I actually built up enough confidence to start running. And I will share the two bits of advice that helped me the most and then add my own bits: First, sign up for a 5k that is roughly around the time you finish the C25K program. It is hugely motivating and makes you feel like a "real runner." Second, get good shoes. Those first few weeks it won't make a huge difference but once you start running more than walking (an exciting break through that seems far away now but will happen gradually so you'll be ready), you will want good running shoes. I have found local running companies are awesome. The first time I went in I was crazy intimidated but they were all so supportive of my efforts with no judgments about my ignorance.
    Now for my own bits of encouragement: enlist a hoarde of people to cheer you on. Facebook, twitter and your blog are great for this. When you run your first 5k, tell people around you - even strangers - at the race. You will be surprised by how supportive everyone is. We all have to start running at some point. Finally, and I don't know if this will motivate you at all but for me this was oddly huge: I created a sticker chart that I posted in my kitchen. Each day I completed my C25K run, I put a sticker over that day. I guess I'm a 5 year old at heart. This last weekend I an a crazy relay race that totalled nearly 13 miles and I used my sticker motivator system for that training schedule and again, oddly satisfying.
    Sorry for the uber long comment but I was there just over a year ago and I realize the hardest part is having the courage to start. Oh, and I think you should get bonus points for doing it while pushing a stroller. I can barely push myself to run so I always admire anyone pushing a kid too. Good luck and keep us posted!!

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  25. Good for you! I started with the Cto5K program as well (also being an anti-runner before hand). It's a great way to go. I'd encourage you to take a look at the bulletin board so you can find others starting the program at the same time. There were points in the program when it really helped to know others were doing the same thing and making the same transitions. Good luck!

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  26. I am so inspired! It seems like all of my friends are running, so I think I'm going to try it. How does it feel to be a fitness guru!

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  27. You are inspiring! In fact, I would get up off my couch (bed, really) and start jogging right this minute except it is SO DAMN HOT in Texas that even thinking about exercise makes me melt into a puddle of sweat.
    So you do it for me, 'kay?

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  28. I am so excited for you!

    I'd been reading the comments on your "I need exercise ideas" posts and also thought the C25K suggestions were intriguing. So much so that I'd written myself a to-to to look into it! Little did I know there was an app for that :)

    So I'm gonna get started soon, either during my OC trip or right after I get back.

    Keep up the great work!
    xo
    M

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  29. I started with c25k in 2007 as a total non-runner, maybe even a running-hater. I ran 2 half marathons last year. You can do it!

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  30. omg i think i am going to try this. have i been living under a rock if i've never heard of c25k?? and there is an app for it? going to download it now...

    I AM SO NOT A RUNNER, but if you can do it, i can do it?

    already sweating and hot and out of breath just thinking about it.

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