Couch to Couch

In 2011, I ate Chick-Fil-A nearly every other day for lunch. In 2017, I would probably still do the same if given the chance but sadly, there are none within 80 miles of me. Predictably, as one could only deduce from widely known health facts, it was delicious. And I got bigger. Freshman Fifteen had nothing on the Tennessee Thirty…five…

My daughter was born in 2012, and as many going through this experience can attest, this was the kickstart my brain needed to get up and move. I want to be around for her wedding, and to see my grandkids’ run around in the woods.

There are many great resources for beginner runners, but high up on the list is the Couch To 5k program. It gradually eases you in to running, makes sure you don’t overexert yourself, and gets you ready to run those glorious 3.1 miles in only 9 weeks.

It didn’t work for me.

I ran a mile without stopping shortly after deciding to run. It sucked. My chest felt like it was going to explode. Lungs: burning. Head: spinny. Legs: heavy. Moms: spaghetti.

Several days later, I decided “screw it. Couch to 5k means get off the couch and run 5k. Just go the distance.” This worked for me, by some miraculous, twisted chance. I had to walk a number of times, and it was slow going most of the time, but about 40 minutes later I entered my front door as a 5k “runner”. That’s what it took to get me moving continually, to get me addicted to running, and I quickly learned to dial it back and train smarter.

In the past 4 years, I have run many more miles. A few 5ks, a zombie run, a 10k, and a 10+ mile Tough Mudder are under my belt. But behind each of those runs is a journey. And I have gone long periods without being able to run at all because of injury (or in one case surgery). Currently I’m fighting knee pain that has me hesitant to run at all.

I went from couch to couch. And that’s ok, because I’m not staying on the couch for long. It’s time to kick it in to gear again and get ready for the year of races I have planned!

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