My Family & the Couch-to-5K Running Plan

Recently I decided that I wanted to run a 5K. I don’t know what it is about getting closer to 40 (I’ll be 38 soon), but it seems like a lot of my friends are jumping on the same bandwagon. I have been talking and talking about wanting to run (or walk for that matter) a 5K, I’ve been stalking all of my Facebook friends who have been training, but for some reason I kept waiting. Part of me doesn’t want to start something and not finish it. Plus, it’s a lot easier to talk about running a 5K than to train for one.

I’ve spent the better part of the past 3 years on my behind blogging and working online. I’m totally out of shape and have had ZERO energy. So, this summer I told myself that the kids and I would walk every day. (I tend to be an over achiever – 3 days a week would have been a more attainable goal starting out). Summer is almost over and guess what? We definitely didn’t walk every day; we rarely made it once a week. So once again, I was right back where I started … thinking and talking about it … until a couple of weeks ago.

shoesFinally, I quit talking about it and DID it!! I’m happy to say that we have completed six weeks of Couch-to-5K and have survived! In fact, I feel great. Not just physically, as I know that my body needs physical activity but mentally as well. To finally move from the realm of wanting and wishing or intending to actually DOING IT has been so freeing. This is so key; it’s not that I feel so much better because I’m able to run for 30 minutes straight. (I have built up from running one minute at a time in the first week to 20 minutes straight last week!! Squeal!) I’m just so happy that as a family we are moving forward in the direction we WANT to go. It’s been a great experience. My kids have really enjoyed getting to ride their scooters and bicycles more. Again the goal was to just get moving and change our lifestyle.

Before I would have told you that I wanted to exercise. I would have even gone as far as to say that there was a runner inside of me who wanted to get out. However if you would have seen my life, it didn’t match up. In fact, I was headed in the opposite direction. Day after day of zero activity was not moving my family towards our goal of wanting to be healthier. In my mind there was always tomorrow. Tomorrow things will be different. Tomorrow we’ll go for a walk after dinner, tomorrow I’ll actually cook dinner, tomorrow we are not eating fast food……….anyone relate?

So, what finally changed? I guess I made up my mind. I know it sounds so simple, yet it’s true. I got tired of listening to my own promises that I knew were lame. Even more, I knew that I had to make this commitment happen for my family. My husband and daughter are both type I diabetics; exercise is key to keeping their blood sugars under control. Also, I don’t want my kids to struggle with physical activity when they grow up. If it’s a normal part of their life, then hopefully when they get older they will continue. In my heart, I knew if I didn’t MAKE it a normal part of their life now then it wouldn’t just happen. I often say if it’s going to be it’s up to me.

I’m excited about our journey of being more active together as a family. If you are struggling with your get up and go button like I was, I’ve include my top three tips to getting started below.

My top three tips to getting started:

  1. Choose an activity you enjoy. What kind of physical activity do you like? If you hate running, but love playing tennis, then play tennis or go for a walk. You don’t have to run a 5K to get healthy.
  2. Set some kind of goal. For myself, the goal of a 5K pushes me to continue. I don’t like to admit that I can’t do something especially when other people I know can do it. I not only have a goal in mind of how far I’d like to be able to run, I’ve got a deadline too. Knowing that I’m signed up for a marathon on September 30th motivates me to get out of the house and hit the pavement. Other goals could be physical activity a certain number of days each week. Figure out what works for you, set a goal and go for it.
  3. Be realistic and celebrate your accomplishments. Like I had said before I’m far from being able to run a 5K…….but I’m getting closer every day. I’m amazed at the difference six short week’s makes.

Remember, your greatest battle is in your head. Quit thinking about it and talking about it and take the first step. It won’t be easy, you might feel like you are going to pass out and get sick the first time you exercise if it’s been a long time. It’s okay, rest when you need to and celebrate your progress. Most of all it’s an incredible opportunity to work together as a family toward a common goal and get healthy in the process.

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