A few years ago, with my 40th birthday on the horizon, my friend Julie asked if I wanted to run a half-marathon with her. I thought she was nuts but that it was the perfect challenge. So I signed up. I loved spending time with Julie but I hated the half-marathon experience. Turns out though that I am a sucker for spending time with friends and when another friend, Amy, suggested that she start running and asked me to join her, inexplicably I said yes. We ran three half-marathons and countless miles together. And now, after four tries at the half, I hate it less.
But when I moved to Boring I was anxious about my relationship with running. Turns out, rightly so. I managed one solo run in January: I hadn’t run in six weeks, I ate cake for breakfast, my asthma kicked in, I ran on the highway outside camp and not surprisingly I was done before I got to the end of the driveway. I felt flabby and weak and puny and unable. Precisely what I expected and I didn’t run again for a few months. I had surgery in April and wholeheartedly embraced the recovery period when the doctor told me I couldn’t do any exercise but walk. But it’s time.
I wanted to be sure I’d be successful and stick with it this time so I went way back on the training. Have you heard about Couch to 5K? It’s a workout plan to take you from completely sedentary to running a 5K in eight weeks. I was planning to do it all along and then heard there’s an app for that! Is that the coolest? It’s a fantastic app. It runs over the top of your i-tunes. So you play your favorite running playlist and the app says, “Start running,” “Slow down and walk,” and “You’ve reached the half-way point,” etc. over your tunes. Perfect! Plus the workouts start out totally do-able. (I’ve done a week already so obviously I’m total expert!)
I’ve also found a better place than the side of the highway for my runs–my own personal track. It’s really just a new portion of camp that is being renovated and for now I am claiming the gravel road that runs around the perimeter as my own personal Field of Dreams. What I forgot about running was how it makes me feel, not the winded, puny, weak part–the emotional part: strong, in control, empowered, better able to manage whatever comes my way, including the endless days of rain and rain and rain that have been spring here. The first song on my playlist is the song from the Lowe’s commercial. Have you seen it? The song’s called, I Make My Own Sunshine.
I’m making it my theme song.
What about you? What’s on your playlist? Wanna join me on the Couch to 5K program? C’mon–it’ll be fun!
NOTE: Turns out the free Couch to 5K app I was using ends after Week 2, Day 1. It’s only $3 to purchase the full 8-week program but just thought you should know. If you’re not sure whether you want it or not, you can get a good idea of how it works from the free first week. And if you’ve been on the couch-end-of-things for a while, you can repeat the first week until you feel ready to move on.