My First Steps

I love to run. Most people don’t get it. And those that do are usually runners themselves. But I didn’t always love to run. I thought runners were crazy people (ok, we are) and thought the mile was a form of PE torture.

But then I joined Weight Watchers, and eventually became active in the community message boards. I saw a lot of people talking about C25K and had no clue what it was – C 25,000? It made no sense. Until I googled it one day and saw it was a program designed to help the non-runner (me) run a 5k (or 3.1 miles). I can do that, I thought. I always work better when I have goals, deadlines to meet. So I found a 5k – the Illinois Marathon, Half Marathon & 5k in Champaign, IL.  Conveniently, my brother was going to school there at the time and was already a runner himself. He actually was starting to think about training for a half marathon (which he did complete later that year). He said he would run it with me, and I was ready to begin training.

Now, Couch to 5K is a wonderful program. And it’s 8 weeks long. I think it took me at least 10 to get through the whole thing. Running 20 minutes is hard!

I have to be honest and say that I did almost all my initial training for my first race in the gym, on the treadmill. I started in January (hello, cold!) and the 5k was the first weekend of April 2008, so I may have only done a few runs outside near the end of March.

I finished my first race without stopping once and with a fantastic (to me) time of 32:36. I was so energized afterwards and wanted to do more races.

15k1

That’s me with the hat and blue shorts in the middle. We finished on the 50-yard line at U of I’s Memorial Stadium.

I think the fact that my first race was so successful is what inspired me to continue to run. Since then I have done several 5ks, an 8k, a 10k, and a half marathon. And I’m doing a 15k race coming up in November. 

My getting-started helpful tips (from a non-professional)

– Start slow and short.

– Drink lots of water!

– Eat healthy, whole foods. When you’re body is fueled properly it can perform more efficiently.

– Cheer yourself on! I have a great support system, but I like to motivate myself by putting stickers on my calendar for every day I run/work out. It’s also a nice visual reminder to keep me motivated.

– Rest! Yes, you may be able to run 5 days in a row. But your body will start to suffer eventually. What works best for me is 1 – 2 rest days per week, depending on the intensity of my workouts.

 

When and why did you start running?

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2 thoughts on “My First Steps

  1. Rebekah

    I just started the C25K this week! I’ve finished the first three runs and am excited to move on to week two!! I also just found your blog today and really like it. I’m inspired by the fact that you started with the C25K and are on to doing half’s already! That’s my plan, to go all the way to a marathon. Keep up the good work!

    Reply

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