Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Did It!

To steal a phrase from my son Will aka Memo, "I did it!". I am happy to report I graduated from the 'Couch Potato to 5k' program this weekend.

Have you heard of it? It is basically a run/walk program that takes you from zilch to running 5k (or 30 minutes) in 9 weeks. The premise is that people often hate dislike running because they start out too fast and burn out because it is uncomfortable and not fun. This program requires three 30 min workouts a week and slowly ramps so that running is actually enjoyable. You are encouraged to repeat a week or more if it feels too challenging, and not to skip ahead on weeks that are easier. My experience was very favorable. I had some tough days, followed by strong days and learned that they would often alternate. Having a schedule that 'allowed' me to take it slow was a perfect fit for my personality. I felt that I was accomplishing something by following the program instead of beating my self up for not being able to run more. I found that most weeks I ended up running 4 or 5 times a week because I was enjoying it so much.

My program had one twist. I ran pushing a baby jogger with one of my children. Fortunately they all love going 'jogging' especially when we go through tunnels.

At the same time I added yoga 2 to 3 times a week. I started both the week I stopped working. It has been harder than I thought to leave the kids to go to yoga. I was working three days so this is much less time to be away but it is still hard when they (and carmen) are crying at the door as I head out. I do believe that taking care of myself sets a good example and allows me to be a better mom, but I still have to remind myself every time.

Anyway, here we are two and a half months later. I have lost eight pounds, the rest of the 'baby weight' from my pregnancy with Holden and I can run 40 minutes - albeit slowly. But that's ok too. I started to feel glum when I ran with David and his darn GPS watch that rudely calculated my pace but then I reminded myself how far I had come, how great I feel, and how lucky I am to have my health and the health of my four wonderful children and husband. Life can change in an instant and I try appreciate what I have at the moment. I can still have goals and ambitions while being content with where I am today.

I plan to continue running 3 to 4 times a week and going to yoga 2 to 3 times a week. My next goal is to alternate my running routines with faster run/walks and longer slow runs to help me pick up that pace a bit. My goal for the end of a year is to be able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes with the baby jogger. That is mainly for fun, if I'm out there exercising regularly I will be happy. And hopefully it will help me shed some of the last ten pounds of weight I'd like to lose to be at my pre-triplet weight. But that just is another challenge, I do feel good where I am today.

Thanks to my friend Sarah who helped me get started running again and my darling children for running all those miles with me and encouraging me along the way, 'Let's go jogging mommy' and 'That way, up the hill, mommy' or 'Faster mommy' and my darling husband and running partner despite his running with three children and still leaving me in his dust .


Smooch said...

Congrats! I prefer the go out and run the 3 mile loop in 30 minutes, reward self with chili cheese fries and beer and then not be able to tie my shoes tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I wish we lived in the same city! Remember when we ran in Houston rain or shine? I just started my program - I ran a mile and walked 2. Give me a call and come visit. I am suppose to go back to work March 23, but I am going to ask for 12 weeks off and go back April 20 something.