Couch to 5K: OMG Has It Been That Long?
Running feels like a habit now – kinda like a less enjoyable version of washing my hair. The weird thing is that my ability to run is so inconsistent! Some days, I feel like I could run for a long time and other days running for even three minutes feels like a gargantuan effort.
Let’s start with the basics, shall we? Judging by the number of commercials for “make it rich by working from home” it is probably safe to say that we all have our little fantasy about what it would be like to work from a house that’s cleaned by a housekeeper, eat in a kitchen managed by your staff, and gaze from our perfectly organized home office onto a lawn that is manicured by professionals. I had the same dream.I had the cream colored office furniture picked out and knew what color the walls would be in my office. I pictured myself working to the sound of classical music in stylish clothing straight from the dry cleaners, sporting hair that is always neat, and wearing tasteful jewelry with flair. Holy crap, it didn’t work out like that.
I write to you from a couch in the living room, with “The Closer” on pause, in a t-shirt and pajama pants, needing a pedicure, gave up hope for a manicure, with not enough time to get a haircut, zero jewelry except my wedding ring that deserves to be polished more frequently, and to the sound of the washing machine and two small children who absolutely refuse to stay in bed.
Having said all that, you’ve got your own brand of craziness, too, and maybe that’s what makes life worth living. We know what it takes to make the right choices and keep the long term goal in mind. We know the sacrifice it takes to keep all the plates spinning in our corner of the world. We know. And, because we know, we secretly also know that we’re kind of amazing whenever we can accomplish anything other than just pure and simple survival.
This week wasn’t easy. It was a claw-your-way-to-the-top (or maybe even somewhere in the middle and call it good) kind of week.
I ran for 45 minutes straight. Yes, I did. I totally felt like, “Hey, I got this.” and even gave a little “Woot!” on Facebook. I ran at the pace of an elderly turtle, but I did it and it felt amazing. Even running slowly, I covered 2.28 miles which was the most distance yet. Still not up to the 5K distance, which is 3.1 miles, but closer than ever, so that’s good.
I don’t even want to think about. As a matter of fact, I think I repressed it. Yes, that’s it…I repressed it. Next!
Was without a doubt my most disheartening run to date. Even including the one when we ran in the thunderstorm and I just knew my umbrella was gonna get struck by lightning (it didn’t, just in case you’re wondering). I don’t really know what happened. I felt like a kid being forced to eat peas…I just didn’t want to do it. The other thing, which I have really debated about whether or not to discuss, is running after having children. Moms, you know what I’m talking about. It’s frustrating. Here’s my best advice: What you think will happen…happens. Go to the store, get what you need, and move forward. At some point, we gotta become an individual again and not just a person who has survived childbirth.
Was one of those days that is so stressful the entire day just becomes an event in itself.
Was worse than Thursday. I didn’t run. I just didn’t have it in me.
I recovered from Thursday and Friday by taking care of two small children all day. It was like a day at the spa.
We had an awesome message at church. Our pastor, Dan Phillips at Central Community Church of God at 400 Olive Street in Rolla, said that even if we don’t know God’s will for our entire life, He will always provide enough light to walk in His will that day. That’s a really big thought and I’m still pondering it. Sunday night I made up for Friday night’s training session and the result was kind of spectacular. The first half of the session was brutal but the second half I was able to break into something actually resembling a run. It was a big accomplishment for me and I felt fantastic about it. It feels like I’ve turned a corner because I haven’t been able to run like that since before I had kids.
Week 9 was a good one. Even though it had some really tough spots, there’s a sense of core strength that comes from knowing that even though it got really difficult, I did it for one more week.
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.
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