As many of you know, I have been training for my first race ever, the Disney 5K. It is this Friday, and I am *very* excited!
I want to encourage those non-runners out there. I am (was?) a non-runner, too. I had ZERO endurance and couldn't run for one minute without panting and having to stop. But now I can run a full 5K (3.1 miles). It takes me about 37 minutes at home, but will most likely take a bit longer at Disney b/c of the masses of people. Matthew will be running the 5K with me, while pushing Andrew in the stroller. (Matthew is also running the half-marathon this year, and Andrew is running the 200m kids' (ages 4-6) race.)
I can't say (yet?) that I love running or even that I like it. The first mile or so is always brutal, and I want to take a shortcut back to my house. But I stick with it. And to be perfectly honest, I am very proud of myself.
The biggest perks are that I am losing weight and inches from my waist and hips and I feel good about myself. All this without really dieting right now. Seriously. My pants are fitting better, and that is all the encouragement I need. When we return from Disney, I plan to kick the healthier eating into gear, and I am sure to lose those last "few" (**cough...27...cough**) pounds I still want to lose. It is attainable.
I also love how this has brought Matthew and me together. He is a runner, having run marathons before. We are fortunate in that my mom has been more than willing to come watch the boys while we run together. (After my "measly" 3-mile run, where Matthew looks like he's jogging in place, he stays out longer, running an additional 7-13 miles.) We are able to talk uninterrupted (what a treat!) while we run, which helps us to stay connected and helps me to take my mind off the fact that I'm exercising!
The program I did has helped many, many people like me to start running. It is called Couch to 5K. You can click this link to see the (free) program. The program is set up for nine weeks, but I stretched it out to 12 b/c I needed more time to work up to the full running part. I followed the program for the first four weeks, but at week five, I switched from time to distance, and upped my mileage a quarter or half a mile each week. You only run three times a week. That's it. And in three months, I went from the couch to a 5K. No joke.
At first, it is cumbersome to check your watch every 60-90-120 seconds to figure out when to walk or run. I found a free downloadable podcast where a girl made playlists for each week with music and tells you when to walk and run. You just download them onto your computer as mp3s, move them over to your iTunes, and add to your iPod. It's that easy. Or at least Matthew said it is, bc he did it for me. On his iPod. I'm pretty iIlliterate. Here is the link for the the music.
I am even toying with the idea of running the Disney Half Marathon (13.1 miles) next January. Just toying.
And to answer questions before they come, I am going with just Matthew and Andrew. Yes, we are once again leaving Benjamin (and Thomas) behind. (Actually, Thomas did go last year, but he was in-utero.) They are in *very* capable hands, and will be here at their own house. They are each about 10 months mentally, and neither one would have a good time. It would scare Benjamin, and both boys would miss their naps. It would make everyone miserable, and it's simply not time for them to come yet. Parents make different choices all the time, and I would like to think that we are not judgmental of each other.
I hope that some of you who aren't now start running or at least walking--it truly is amazing the difference being active can make on your mindset.