Skip to main content

Couch to 5k and beyond

Yesterday, I finally stopped doubting myself.

Yesterday, I firmly believed myself when I said, "I'm a runner." It took a while to accept what I had become and believe that I could really do it, but I'm here.

I'm not fast and I'm not amazing, but I can do it.

It all started March 1, when I decided to take my fitness to a new level. Workouts in my living room weren't cutting it, and I didn't have a treadmill, so I forced myself out into the snow to start the Couch to 5k program.

About six weeks in, I finished my first 5k. Yesterday, after 12 weeks of preparation, I finally ran the RBS Memorial 5K in Edon. Yes, it's the same 5K that I've walked for several years, including in 2012 when I finished dead last amongst the walkers. It was definitely a turning point for me.

Now, I am by no means a running expert or a fitness professional. However, I'd like to offer my own tips and experiences as a rookie runner and a Couch to 5K graduate.

• Run three times a week - no more, no less. I followed this rule diligently in my training. Sometimes, I wanted to sneak in that fourth run, but I held back to avoid injury. And, obviously, sometimes I didn't want to go at all. But I kept telling myself "A bad run is better than no run at all," and it pushed me to finish. I never, ever have regretted a workout thanks to this rule.

• Have the proper gear. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a decent pair of running shoes, so don't try to get by with the same pair of tennis shoes you've worn for three years. Your feet deserve better. Next, find some clothes that make you feel comfortable and free. Even in the winter, I didn't want to be weighed down, so I invested in clothes that were both warm and light.

• Don't let your stats define you. I previously tracked all my runs with a Couch to 5K app, and now I use the Runtastic Pro app on my iPhone. While technology is helpful and can push you to meet your goals, it can also be disheartening. Don't get down if you have a bad day, and DON'T compare your stats to someone else's. When you're just starting out, you've got plenty of time to catch up to the pros. By running standards, I'm slow. But when I start feeling sorry for myself I just think of how far I've come.

• Reward yourself. I set mini goals for myself throughout the last 12 weeks to keep me going strong: New shoes, Bluetooth headphones, new workout gear and (coming soon) an iTunes gift card for a fresh music playlist. All these things are motivating to me AND make me want to keep running.

• Sign up for a race - or three. For me, taking the plunge and registering for races pushed me to keep going. Also, I signed up with friends so the peer pressure would keep me from dropping out. I've already run two traditional 5Ks this year. This coming weekend, I am running a Warrior Dash (a 5K with mud and obstacles) and in August, I am running in Color Me Rad (where you get blasted with color powder along the course). I think another race might happen in July, just because I'm having fun with it all

• Be social - because even if you train alone, there's an entire nation of other runners out there. Even though races are technically competitions, I've come to learn runners are just a friendly bunch of people who like to support each other no matter how fast or how slow they are. At races, it's not so much about winning or losing, it's about not being alone for the journey. My sister likes to high five people as we cross paths at races, and I got several "great jobs" and thumbs ups from fellow runners at both of my 5Ks. Running is a mental sport, as they say, and we are all insane.


Popular posts from this blog

Worth the Wait: Archer's Birth Story

Archer Wilden Brigle Nov. 11, 2016 7 lbs., 10 oz. 21 inches long
Archer's delivery only lasted a few (intense) minutes, but the tumultuous story of his arrival started several weeks prior. My pregnancy lasted FOREVER (or at least it felt that way) and, even though I knew he could be late, I was on pins and needles looking for ANY signs of labor as each day passed by. 
Oct. 31 - 40 weeks  Despite my best efforts to kickstart labor over the weekend, I was still pregnant on my due date -Halloween. This was good news for Kenlee because even though we had already participated in our local trick or treat on Saturday, I was willing to go out walking again so she could trick or treat a second time with her cousins (who live in another town). 

Nov. 2  My 40-week appointment was on a Wednesday afternoon. I was nervous/excited because I decided I would finally get my cervix checked and see what kind of progress I was making. Even though I'd had no other signs of labor at this point, I hop…

Dear Archer

Dear Archer,

It's almost time to meet you, so I thought I'd let you know a bit about the world you're about to enter. It might be warm in cozy in my belly right now, but trust me, you're going to want to come join us on the outside.

First of all, I think your daddy and I are pretty decent parents. You have your sister to thank for that ... we spent that last five and a half years with her as our crash-test dummy, trying to figure out what the heck we were supposed to be doing. We technically still have no idea if we're doing this parenting thing right, but since she turned out pretty awesome (and with just one broken bone so far), we're confident we haven't screwed it up too badly.

To be honest, your daddy and I weren't sure if Kenlee was going to be an only child ... But that's not to say you weren't wanted! Every time the subject would come up, we always knew we just weren't "done" yet. We always felt like someone was missing fro…

Snippets from the Second Trimester

It's a Boy! 
We've been girl parents for five years, so it took some time to get used to the idea of having a boy. The first thing we did was pick a name - we'd already settled on a girl's name, but were still throwing around ideas for a boy when we went to the ultrasound.

Once we knew it, we KNEW it. His name will be Archer Wilden. Yes, you can feel free to call him Archie. And Wilden is a combination of William and Dennis - our dads' names. <3

My goal for this delivery is to have what's called a VBAC - vaginal birth after a cesarean. With Kenlee, I NEEDED a c-section because my induction failed. I was trying to avoid an induction because I knew the increased changes of a c-section, but my blood pressure was sky high a few days before my due date, and my options were:
Induce labor so we can try to get the baby out ... even though I wasn't the best candidate for an induction at that timeRisk having a stroke from the high blood pressure ... and of cour…