Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Yesterday I was responding to a SparkFriend's blog post and it kind of hit me (again) how much I want to be a runner. When I started Sparking two and a half years ago, I wouldn't have believed I'd ever WANT to run. I've never been good at running. Even when I was young and playing sports, I was terrible at running. I was always the slowest around the bases in softball. I could never do the mile runs for PE tests. My dad was a runner and sometimes when he did a 5k they would have shorter races for the kids to do and I even had to walk most of those.
When I was in college I was considering joining the Army once I graduated and I knew I would have to pass a PT test. The test required women to run two miles in 20 minutes. So I half-heartedly tried "training" for that, but never made much progress.
When I began SparkPeople, I started walking on the treadmill several days a week. Eventually I decided that I wanted to start doing a bit of running, so I started doing one-minute running intervals. I would run for one minute, then walk for four. I would do a total of six of those cycles for a thirty minute workout. Just doing that total of 6 minutes of running was HARD. I ended up having problems with my knees that led to a couple of months of physical therapy and completely relearning how to walk.
Once I made it through physical therapy, I started running longer intervals on the treadmill. Eventually I discovered and started doing Couch to 5k. I picked up in Week 3, because I figured my current interval routine had me somewhere between Week 3 and Week 4. Somewhere in there I ran for a mile straight. It was the first time in my life that I'd ever run a full mile without stopping to walk. I called my husband downstairs and cried as I told him what I'd done. Then when I got off the treadmill, I called my parents to tell them. That's how proud I was!
I eventually got to the point where I could run a full 5k without stopping to walk. And I signed up for six 5k races last summer. When I completed my first 5k race, I cannot explain to you how that felt. It was amazing! I struggled last summer with my weight loss, but I kept up with my running and did those six races. Then came my surgery in August.
I knew the recovery from my surgery would set me back. What I didn't know was that I'd have complications with my lower back that made the recovery take much longer than anticipated. Without the ability to run, I lost all my motivation. I ate horribly, I didn't exercise at all, and I just gave up.
I gained 50 pounds, which was hugely disappointing. But what was much more disappointing was discovering that I was all the way back to square one with my running. I had to start with those one minute intervals again. It is extremely frustrating to know that 9 months ago I was running 35 minutes without stopping and then I was all the way back to barely being able to run for 60 seconds without stopping. For a while I let that frustration keep me down, but now I have my Spark back!
I've made it through the first two weeks of C25k and tonight I start on week 3. By the end of May, I hope to be through week 5, which includes a 20-minute run. It gives me a lot of hope and motivation to think that I'll be back to running a full 20 minutes by the end of the month. And in the mean time, I am losing weight. Every pound I lose means less impact on my knees. So every pound I lose makes it that much easier to run. And I want to run!!!!