Yesterday, I started week 6 of the Couch to 5K running program. I have to be honest: it’s still really hard. I don’t love running. In fact, I hate it more days than not. I’m bored and tired and every second feels like an eternity. But I set a goal, and I’m making progress.
Even though I started off in decent shape (I’d been working out regularly for over a year), running is a whole different ball game. On my first run two months ago, running for two minutes straight almost killed me. Monday night I was supposed to run 20 minutes straight, but I only made it 13 minutes before I had to slow down and catch my breath.
When I left the gym, I was beating myself up a little. I’ve been training for 8 weeks now (two of which I spent out of the gym because I was sick and then recovering from oral surgery). I want to be able to keep up with the program.
Then I reminded myself of how far I’ve come. Though I’m not advancing in the program quite as quickly as I’d like, I’ve increased my running time from 1 and a half minutes to 13 minutes. I’m running faster and longer. I’m finally losing weight again (only five pounds, but at least the scale is moving).
Most importantly, my training has made me more aware of what I’m putting into my body. My diet has been mostly healthy for the past five years, but I have a tendency to eat too much of the healthy foods we cook. Watching the calorie tracker on the treadmill as I push my way through my run has made me aware of how hard it is to burn off that extra serving of pasta.
It’s also a lot easier for me to resist the occasional temptation. When my entire office went out for Mexican food on Tuesday, I stayed at my desk and ate my Lean Cuisine. As much as I love unlimited chips and salsa, it’s not worth derailing my hard work.
I don’t know if it’s the 5K training or the extra push from the knowledge that I have to wear a bathing suit on our cruise in 2 weeks, but running has helped me accomplish my main objective: increasing my motivation.
In about 6 weeks, I’ll be running my first 5K. If I continue to train this hard, I should be able to run the whole race without stopping. Here’s hoping I can reach my goal.