After months of training, lots of early morning runs, sore muscles and eating better I can proudly say that I finished my first ever 5K. I ran the Africa Hope Run on October 19th and ended up in the middle of the pack. I wasn’t so much concerned with time or pace as I was finishing the race. Ultimately I had not run prior to the race itself for over a week before running this race and surprisingly I was able to post my best pace since I started training. My wife and daughter were there to cheer me on and it was such a great feeling to be able to cross the finish line. Months of hard work and determination had finally paid off. Some stats about the journey:
-Training started on June 24th
-First average pace time 12 minutes, 39 seconds
-5K race run on October 19th
-Final pace time 11 minutes, 40 seconds
-Distance ran 3.1 miles
-Total weight lost 29 lbs
-Bad cholesterol down 20 points
I want everyone who is out there to know that anyone can start exercising and accomplish what they set their mind to. When I started the Couch to 5K program I was very sedentary and didn’t exercise at all. I knew I needed to do something so I started small. Just getting out an walking on a regular basis is a great first step. The Couch to 5K program is great because it eases you in to running. The main thing is to just keep at it. There were plenty of days where I didn’t want to get up before the sun and get out and run but I did it anyways. Knowing I had signed up, paid for and committed myself to a race helped. One question I’ve got from others is “are you going to keep running?” For me the 5K was a bucket list type thing and I’m not so certain I’ll keep running. It tends to wreak more havoc on my back and knees than I’d like but I do plan to keep exercising. The bi-product of this training has been losing weight and getting in better physical health. So in short, get out there, exercise, and have fun doing it! At the risk of sounding cliche, if I can do it anyone can!
Well after my last post I had started walking instead of running. However I had that burning desire to run even while I was walking. So I dropped off the “official” plan but kept running. I’ve since committed myself to an actual 5K race so that motivates as well. I can run almost a full mile without stopping and have once done 3.12 miles in one run. Granted there was probably more walking than running towards the end of that but I still did it. It might not sound like much but coming from a place were I was sedentary most of the day and night, being able to run a 5K is a big accomplishment. Another added bonus of this exercise: my cholesterol has dropped 30 points and my blood pressure is right where it needs to be. Will I keep running after this race is done? Probably but not as frequently, especially with 4-6 months of winter on the horizon. As cliche as this sounds, if I can do it, anyone can. The big thing to remember when it comes to exercise of any sort: start small. Walk then run. Baby steps my friends. You can do it!
Well it appears as though I’ve lost the battle but not the war. My body starting giving me fits (my lower back and my knees) at the end of week four. I’m switching over to walking only until I can shed some weight and get into running shape. Week four was by far the toughest. I plan to continue the program but I need to heal up a bit first. For those of you in the program keep at it! It gets easier. And to those who run 5K races and longer, my hats off to you. I have a new appreciation for those that run.
Well I officially hit the wall. I’m on day two of week 4 and there’s more running now than there is walking. I was expecting this but the mountain is getting steeper each week. It didn’t help that as I walked out the door this morning it was really humid. It felt like running through a rainforest which slows you down and makes it harder to breathe. Anyways, I ended up walking more on my running stretches more than running (at least towards the end). I didn’t stop though. I always keep moving whether it’s walking or running. When I got close to finishing this morning my right knee started to hurt which is new. My left knee has been hurting at the end of every run but I ended up wearing a brace on it today for the first time which helped. Anyways, I’ll probably redo week 4 next week as I’ve really slowed my pace. Since the beginning of this plan my goal was to get in shape. It wasn’t about speed or distance. I’m still shooting for the goal of running a 5k in the fall but it is definitely an uphill climb.