about 12 weeks ago, my dear friend, kara, & i put feet to pavement in an effort to train for our first ever 5k.
this decision was sparked by our participation in a get healthy experimental collective through our church (experimental collectives are kind of like "small groups" or "community groups" except we try to do stuff in hopes of enriching our lives, the lives of others & our walk with jesus). we had been walking together each day for over a month when we decided to start running.
the only hang-up? we weren't runners. we were awkward, uncoordinated, crafty-types with not one athletic bone in our bodies. or at least that's what we told ourselves.
we both downloaded the couch to 5k app on our iphones & began the first day. we ran for 90 seconds & almost passed out, but we did it. & we kept doing it. my hands were high to the heavens when we ran our first five minutes straight. i took a gloriously sweaty picture of us when we ran our first twenty minutes. distance didn't matter in the beginning. we didn't care about minutes per mile. we only cared about finishing & finishing together.
the couch to 5k program has been a life-changer for me. i get all misty-eyed just thinking about how radically different i feel now than 12 weeks ago. i have lost some weight, a substantial amount of inches & that nagging back pain. i also feel lighter, happier & am better able to control my moods. i am that person who can say, "i got my life back."
the couch to 5k program inspires you to keep going. it creates goals that are achievable. when i tried to run before, i would get really bummed out if i couldn't run a mile on my first try. that's just ridiculous! the couch to 5k program allows you to let go of those self-made, unachievable goals & set your mind to something that is created by trainers who understand where you are & how you can get to that awesome 5k mark.
after over two months of training, we crossed the finished line of our first 5k. those many weeks of training three days a week, on summer vacations, in the heat of the day, waking up early to meet each other at the corner, & running in the rain were absolutely worth it. we ran the entire time & it felt gloriously good.
we are the awkward, uncoordinated, crafty-type runners. since our success with our first 5k, we have downloaded the couch to 10k app. we are also tracking our miles/time with runkeeper. we are up to 4 miles right now! it's an addiction.
here are a few tips on getting started (if we did it, you can do it! i promise.):
+ download the couch to 5k app or print off the program from your home computer.
+ find a running partner. kara is the most dependable person i have ever met & we have formed such a rich friendship from being vulnerable together.
+ commit to running three times a week. pick a time that works best for you & stick to it. if you miss a day, wake up early & do it the next. just keep going without guilt.
+ tell others. i have shared my running journey on my personal facebook page, with friends & through my personal IG hashtag #nataliegetsfit . it keeps you accountable, inspires others & allows you to gain some great input from other fellow runners.
+ eat well, drink more water & sleep! how you run is a direct result of what you put into your body. do these three things each day & you will perform better. i have learned this over time & it feels like some serious punishment when i run after a day of not picking up a glass or water.
+ love yourself in the now. love who you are & what you can do now. don't wish for something you aren't or what you might be in the future. enjoy & savor the now.
happy monday, friends!