Monday, January 25th, 2021

Couch to 5K: Our Personal Best!

By ML Broxton on May 21 2012 • Filed under Health

Susan Bernier, Michele Broxton and Melpo Mankin train with Couch to 5KLet’s start this week with the really happy ending, shall we? Our feet hurt, we haven’t lost much weight, our pants and shirts fit better, and we feel powerfully fabulous.

Tonight was a personal best for all of us. Dana and Susan ran ahead because, quite frankly, they just run faster. They ran ahead and made a big huge lap from the Acorn Trail through Oak Knoll and back down O Highway to the Acorn Trail parking lot. Oh yeah, they are awesome like that and loved the more difficult terrain. Melpo is a fast runner, too. She’s working her way through Week 4 and has a longer stride and faster pace than me, so it’s been great to try to keep up with her and challenge myself.

Melpo had planned to redo Friday’s workout, but Dana, Susan, and I all encouraged her to try the next workout and see what happened. To her surprise – she did it!! Yay!! My workout tonight called for a combination of walking and running and I just wasn’t feeling it, so I just did the five minute warm-up and started jogging. I blew past the workout instructions and ran all the way to Green Acres Park and back, which is pretty close to three miles. My workout stats stopped after 30 minutes, but I ran for a solid 45 minutes. It was totally amazing. I never EVER imagined I could do that. Ever.

We got a great email this week from Shannon Stigall in Waynesville, MO. She’s working the Couch to 5K program, too, and this is what she had to say.

“I saw your article in the Kaleidoscope. Congratulations to you! I started the program on Jan 1st, 90 pounds overweight. In those 9 weeks I lost nearly 30 pounds. I couldn't believe that only 9 weeks earlier I couldn't even run a full minute and I was now running a 5K. I continued on with the Bridge to 10K program, which is also great. Right now I am up to an 8 mile run, which considering the heat we have had, isn't all too bad!! On October 23rd, I will run my first half marathon in St Louis. This is one of the best programs I have ever done and I encourage everyone to try it out. I tell everyone the first 4 weeks are the hardest both physically and mentally. But by the time you finish week 5, you will be amazed. I think your article is great and hopefully it will reach many people. Once again, congratulations to all of you and keep on running!!!”

Thanks, Shannon, for taking the time to write us – we appreciate it!


Was totally awesome. The Couch to 5K program called for a five-minute warm-up walk, 20 minutes of jogging, and then a five-minute cool-down walk. I was totally intimidated. Seriously. I considered getting a fanny pack from the store to carry barf bags and wet wipes. You know what held me up? I couldn’t decide whether to wear the fanny pack with the bag on my rear or belly. Either one is neither attractive nor comfortable flopping around during a run. Not that I’m oh-so-concerned about attractiveness during this sweatfest, though, as the team can tell you. Some folks are coordinated and cute and some of us pretty much just wear what’s clean and spend our energy trying not to feel guilty that the kids were crying when we left home to go run. Sniff. Anyhew, back to jogging for 20 minutes straight…didn’t think I could do it…but DID IT! It was amazing. Totally amazing. I felt like I could conquer anything and I didn’t think about puking, not one single time.


Was honestly kind of a letdown. After running for 20 minutes straight Monday, I thought I would do that again Wednesday and was all pumped up for it. The program had other ideas, though, and called for a combo of eight minutes of jogging with spurts of walking. It was demotivating, I was sweating like a criminal in the 1,000% humidity, and I just didn’t do very well. Plus, I’ve been eating some Hostess donettes. Yes, I have the chocolate covered kind. I keep them in the fridge and they are like little bites of heavenly bliss. My skinnier pants are a little tighter, however; I’m in denial that the donuts have anything to do with it. Tinkerbell had it right, “Think happy thoughts!” or something like that.


The rest of the team said they wouldn’t be running, so I opted to stay home and spend some time with the familia. The plan was to go run on Saturday morning, but I ended up hanging out with my mom to help her on a project and then I didn’t take the opportunity to go the rest of the weekend. By “didn’t take the opportunity” I mean that I didn’t lug the kids along on the run with me in the rain or at the indoor track at The Centre. Yes, that’s exactly what I meant. At the time, it seemed like the right choice, however; as I write this to you I’m having a forehead slap moment because I forgot The Centre has childcare. Doh! Lesson learned. The kids would’ve had fun, too! Mommy will have to remember that for next time.

Last year, Michele decided to participate in the Couch to 5K program so she could run a marathon for charity. These articles are a diary of her experiences as she worked towards her goal between July and September of 2011.

See also:

Couch to 5K: Holy Cow We’re Runners (Week 7)

Couch to 5K: Vacation, Disney and Chocolate (Week 6)

Couch to 5K: Losing My Dad (Week 5)

Couch to 5k: Storms and Skinny Jeans (Week 4)

Couch to 5k: A Much Needed Do-Over (Week 3)

Couch to 5K: This is Why People Quit (Week 2)

Couch to 5K: Getting Started on Getting Fit (Week 1)

Couch to 5K: One Mom’s Journey Back to Health (Week 0)

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