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    BROOKLYN_BORN   26,402
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They say that you never forget your first “time”

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Where you were. - Who you were with - How you felt afterwards.

My first TIME was on Thanksgiving Day in Northern VA. I was there alone, but surrounded by 1000 people and my TIME was 30:51.

Yes, I’m referring to my first 5K 25 years ago. A recent thread begun by PDQ on the Master Runners Team sparked this memory.

Actually, it wasn’t the time that was significant or even memorable. In the 40-44 age group, my 9:57 min pace wasn’t going to get any attention. However, I was very proud of myself. That was a “sub-10” min mile pace and when I started, I could only run for 30 seconds.

Most everyone is familiar with the Couch to 5K programs. The ones here on SP vary from 5 to 8 weeks in length. My self directed program took me 6 months. That’s 26 weeks of very gradual improvement. That must qualify me as the Queen of Gradualism.

I wasn’t a “couch potato” to begin with. I was always active and fit, just carrying some extra weight as I crossed into my 40s, and I had never run before. Walking, biking, swimming, aerobics yes, but running - NO. I even regularly used the weights machines at the gym. Running just never crossed my mind.

Then my younger daughter joined her HS cross country team and I was curious to see how far I could run. I don’t know how FAR it was, but as I mentioned above, after 30 SECONDS I was done. How could this be? Why did the act of running tire me out like that? Looking back, perhaps as a pear shaped person, hauling my rear end off the ground repeatedly took a different kind of effort that my other activities lacked.

I found this unacceptable and I wanted to improve. I realized that I was able to continue the 30 sec run/4:30 walk intervals repeatedly for 30 or 40 total minutes so what if I increased the run time by 15 seconds each week and decreased the walk accordingly?. I knew nothing of Jeff Galloway and his program. This just seemed like a reasonable, gradual plan to me.

I ran/walked every other day and even if I felt like I could increase faster, I didn’t. I stuck to my very slow, gradual progress. Nothing hurt. I was happy and getting better with every week. After all, the Olympics weren’t beckoning, so what was the hurry?
My first 5K was a personal triumph.

I continued to run over the years. I never got much faster, but I was happy with where I was. By then I had discovered Galloway and used it to increase my distance with my max distance being a half marathon.

Then my 5K times began to get slower, little by little. To be expected right? I was getting older.

I couldn’t turn back time but what if I dropped some weight? My body used to be happy 25 pounds ago, so why was I dragging it around now? Enter SparkPeople and another program of gradualism. It took me 11 months to reach my goal weight. Once again, dropping weight slowly with modest calorie deficits per day was a reasonable plan for me. Turns out that the Queen of Running Gradualism was also the Queen of the Weight Loss Turtles

Guess what? I can still run a sub 30 5K and while there may not be a lifetime PR in my future, I intend to keep seeking best times for this century.

I know my weight loss isn’t in the same league as the many amazing stories here on SP. That’s one reason it took me nearly 3 years to find my voice and actively participate.

My point? Don’t worry about taking it slow, in weight loss or in gaining fitness. You may never be spotlighted as a success, but it’s a pleasant journey and you can arrive at your destination smiling in the knowledge that you know how to stay there.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EFFRAYECHILDE 3/5/2013 9:25AM

    emoticon I am currently working on improving my running stamina. Good hear another person's journey on their running progress.

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NEWMOM20121 3/1/2013 8:43PM

    Well done. Thank you for sharing.

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BLUEJEAN99 3/1/2013 1:54AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 3/1/2013 12:39AM

  Well, I think I am even slower than you at weight loss, so you may not have set any records, but you surely can be very proud of all your successes. Congratulations!

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ILIKETOZUMBA 3/1/2013 12:36AM

    This was so comforting and motivating and inspiring to read. Thank you for sharing your wisdom! It's not about being the fastest, but about being committed! Congratulations on your fitness and health achievements. :)

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PCASEY7 2/28/2013 11:01PM

    Great blog!

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MISSLISA1973 2/28/2013 9:59PM

    emoticon

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JAMER123 2/28/2013 9:30PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Slow is good. It is the way we can keep our weight loss going in the right direction. Fast doesn't always give the ability to maintain.

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JOANNHUNT 2/28/2013 8:26PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHOAPIE 2/28/2013 8:14PM

    Great.

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NEWTINK 2/28/2013 4:39PM

    emoticon

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ALIDOSHA 2/28/2013 4:16PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUSIEMT 2/28/2013 4:10PM

    It may have taken time but the point is you did it! And you continue to do it. Congrats! Great blog!

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JLLOVETT 2/28/2013 4:10PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon just do it!! Time is not of the essence.
emoticon
emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 2/28/2013 3:43PM

  What the big deal is.... you stuck to it, and still do, and don't quit and keep going !! for that we clap!!!!! emoticon emoticon

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IAMAGEMLOVER 2/28/2013 3:43PM

    emoticon

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DIANNEMT 2/28/2013 3:43PM

    I was so happy with my under 40 minutes time--guess I should get moving again and do another 5K!!

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PATRICIAANN46 2/28/2013 3:36PM

  We each reach our goals in our own way and in our own time. We are unique, as are our journeys. emoticon on your own fulfilling journey!!!

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SMILEY3826 2/28/2013 3:30PM

    thank you so much for sharing your story! have a wonderful day!

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WORLDSERIES11 2/28/2013 1:37PM

    I am definitely a "slow & steady" loser...thanks for the validation:) I love to walk, and I've tried running a few times but haven't made the change from walker to runner...your experience makes me think maybe I should give it a serious try.

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HEARTS116 2/28/2013 1:30PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ROBB1N 2/28/2013 12:54PM

    Good for you!

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SIMONEKP 2/28/2013 10:56AM

    Doing my first 5K in April, hoping I really get bitten by the bug.

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CHRISBEM 2/28/2013 10:07AM

    great for you! I think the best I have done was getting a mile under 13 minutes

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AKATHLEEN54 2/28/2013 9:56AM

    Thanks for the inspiration. I think there has been way too much emphasis these days on programs like the Biggest Loser. That is not reality. Those people are whisked away from their family and friends and a "real life" for months! Their only worry is themselves, what they eat and how many hours day they exercise. Then what happens when they have to re-join the world? Slow and steady is the only answer. Nobody should or should be "expected" to loose 30 pounds in a week!
I am beginning to feel the urge to run if for no other reason that I think it would feel good. I do have a little arthritis in my knees so I think the only way I could approach it would be at a turtle's pace, but what the heck, I would still be going faster than I am now? emoticon

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JEANNEBUM2 2/28/2013 9:54AM

  QUEEN OF GRADUALISM! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, IT! I'M SO GOING TO REPEAT THAT (BUT PROMISE NOT TO TAKE CREDIT FOR IT) EVERY TIME I READ A BLOG LIKE THIS, SOMETHING IN IT HITS ME, AND MAKES ME FEEL BETTER ABOUT MY OWN DRAGGING FEET. I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE DRAGGING HERSELF, KICKING AND SCREAMING, INTO THE REALM OF BECOMING HEALTHY.

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NEWCHINELO 2/28/2013 9:48AM

    YES,I am taking it slowly but very consistent . . .with amazing success stories on SP I know i will eventually SUCCEED!

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KARRENLYNN 2/28/2013 9:45AM

    Great blog post! That's one thing I've learned differently this time. It's a lifestyle journey, not a temp project, so it doesn't matter if you reach your goals tomorrow or next year as long as you get there. That's made it much easier to lose the first 40 lbs.

Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!

Karen emoticon

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YULLABELLE 2/28/2013 9:32AM

    This is so true it took me a year to be able to walk a 5k and still be able to breath at the end and now I am looking forward to cardio classes and participating in 5k with my daughter. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JSPIN74 2/28/2013 9:31AM

    great blog! thx!!

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NEPTUNE1939 2/28/2013 9:09AM

    emoticon

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KANOE10 2/28/2013 8:54AM

    Great blog and story of how you started running. Losing 25 pounds and keeping it off is an amazing accomplishment. Enjoy your running! You are living a happy healthy life.

emoticon

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MIMIDOT 2/28/2013 8:24AM

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing your story. Keep up the good work. You're an inspiration to many of us.

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MOMMY445 2/28/2013 8:02AM

    thanks for sharing such a great blog! have a terrific day!

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IACTA_ALEA_EST 2/28/2013 7:36AM

    My first time I was still smoking! I knew one habit would lose and the other habit would stay. \Thanks for sparking my memory too!

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JANEMARIE77 2/28/2013 7:23AM

    what a wonderful blog thank you for sharing your amazing story

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OFGREENGABLES 2/28/2013 7:14AM

    thanks for sharing!

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PENOWOK 2/28/2013 7:13AM

    Good for you!!

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REGILIEH 2/28/2013 6:50AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SEABREEZE64 2/28/2013 6:44AM

    LIFE is definitely a journey and not a race to the finish line. In this life, I am in no hurry to get to the finish line. Gradually is a great plan.

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TRYINGHARD54 2/28/2013 5:49AM

    I walked 2 half marathons...It felt great...then I gained weight. :(
But I'm back on track... yippy!

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LIFETIMER54 2/28/2013 5:44AM

  emoticon emoticon

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MARYBETH4884 2/28/2013 5:01AM

    Thanks for sharing your story!

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LRSILVER 2/28/2013 4:48AM

    Awesome. Slow and steady wins. emoticon

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SLACHETKA103145 2/28/2013 2:42AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JESSICABOOTY 2/27/2013 10:32PM

    Your story is so touching. I have always wanted to be a runner but I'm just not built that way. I used to feel envious of women who could run until I made peace with myself and just walked. Still got there, just a litter later.
emoticon

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OHSNAPITZKAT 2/27/2013 5:50PM

    Can't wait for my first time

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BOILHAM 2/27/2013 12:41PM

    The Tortoise and the Hare revisited. Love the blog. I too walked and ran to gradually increase my endurance before I ever heard of Jeff Galloway.
Count me in as one of those who loves your thoughtful, insightful, entertaining and often humorous blogs. You haven't denied it, but you must have some professional writing experience.
Whatever, we love you.

Comment edited on: 2/27/2013 12:48:30 PM

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WINDSURFNERD 2/27/2013 12:19PM

    Great blog, you could have written my story too! I can't remember my first race exactly, but I took my sweet time losing my 25# too. Slow is good!

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SHANECODER 2/27/2013 12:12PM

    WOW!!! What an awesome blog!

We are so impatient, it oft times prevents us from achieving our goals. emoticon on your success with both goals.

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