Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 1 - The First Two Weeks Are the Hardest

The first week of the Couch Potato to 5K plan tells me that I have to start with a five minute warm-up, then alternate between 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes. I think that that sounds pretty easy, so I leap (well, maybe it was more like a groan followed by resignation) out of bed on Monday morning, throw on my running clothes and grab my tunes before heading out the door.

My m.o. in the past has been to hide out in my own neighborhood whenever walking or when I've pretended to like running in the past (no plan = immediate FAIL for me). But as I walked out the front door, I realized that my new neighborhood is a little bit small to run in and I would soon get bored of the view. Since I live at the beach (though not right on the beach), I figured that I should just run towards and by the water - that turned out to be great motivation for me. Who doesn't want to run in a beautiful place?

But I had to overcome one of my obstacles to enjoying running - knowing that other people would see me run (and maybe looking foolish whenever I switch to walking and look more exhausted than I probably should). I decided to run at 7am, which is prime school bus stop time, so groups of teenagers are all gathered to act as my audience. Great. But I kept my head up, pretended as if I've always been a runner, and breezed past them. Obstacle 1, down.

Obstacle 2, actually running. The first sixty seconds of running made me realize how glad I was that I had 90 seconds to recover. By the 10 minute mark, I was calculating in my head how many more 60-second runs I would be doing. But I finished the program as planned and felt great! I'm not a runner yet, but I was proud of myself for sticking with the plan!

Of course, because I am a bit of a couch potato, my muscles started to tighten up by the end of the morning, presenting me with Obstacle 3, soreness. In the past, I would have let it get me down, but I just kept telling myself that it was showing me that I was becoming stronger. Positive thinking makes all the difference, right?

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