What I Did For Me (and After C25K)...

In August, I began the Couch-To-5K program that I’d been hearing so much about, here at the Dope, on Facebook, etc. I began tracking my progress on dailymile.com and posted my runs on Facebook with the idea that my friends and family will hold me accountable. I also participated a little in the most recent SD C25K thread.

In the process, I discovered that running pseudo-barefoot (in Vibram FiveFingers) is more comfortable for me than in cushioned trainers, that form is everything, and that I am a lot more capable than I ever thought I was. Despite the fact that I’ve never been much of a finisher, I completed this nine-week program having taken nearly 2 weeks off for an overuse injury and redoing three weeks that I’d completed before the break, thereafter. I’m actually pleasantly surprised and proud of myself that, for once, I finished something I started. Hopefully, that becomes a trend as well.

Along the way, I’ve come to look forward to every run and relish the endorphin release. I have awakened a passion for something I had no desire to do for most of my life. Funny that. I feel better than I can ever remember feeling and I turned 40 a couple of weeks ago at the top of my game. It’s actually that milestone that I had dreaded and which inspired me to turn my life around and be what I truly wanted to be. Who would have though that was going to be an athlete? I just wanted to be healthier and happy. I have accomplished just that.

A little over two years ago, I gave up cigarettes. In the last two years, I’ve adopted a much healthier diet and since August, I’ve shed ~20 lbs. I’m not done yet, though the number is a lot less important now than the way I feel.

Friends have been encouraging me to sign up for a race and I’ve been making excuses as to why I couldn’t assuring them I would sometime in the future. Money’s tight, I haven’t finished my program, yada yada. I think I just didn’t want to jinx myself and end up with another injury that benched me or I was afraid to really to commit to something.

So, what now? C25K is done, am I going to keep training? Training for what? I’ve never run a race before. But now, is the time for some actualization. Well, the next race is an 8K on Thanksgiving. I figure I can do that. I think I’d like to find out how well I’d do in an 8K, so I go for a run last Saturday; an absolutely perfect day for a run. Only I don’t stop at 8K and I don’t stop at 10K. I run for fifteen kilometers (9.32 miles, to be exact)…wait. I just did that? I have never run that far in my entire life! And, it felt good!


So, I now I’m wondering if I can run a half marathon. It’s only four more miles. On December 11, 2010, I’m going to find out. I have plunked my birthday money down on a dream. Yup, I’m committed now.

I have 25 days to prepare. Here’s me: :cool: :smiley: :eek:

Crazy woman.

I’m running about a 6.7K three times a week now thanks to the Gateway to 8K podcast series. I’ve just finished week 5.

My knees have been killing me. I’m not sure what to do about it, hopefully I’ll adjust. I have been icing them when I remember, and my physio gave me some exercises to do, but mostly her advice boiled down to “swim, not run” and since I’m po’, well, it didn’t really work for me. :rolleyes:

Glad you’re keeping with it! Good luck with the race!

Fantastic! Go you!! I’m in training for the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World at the end of February, and my mental state exactly mirrors yours: :cool::D:eek:

Keep on keepin’ on!

What’s the status of your shoes? I don’t run (elliptical/spinning), but I find a lot of my injuries occur during a sprint or run for the train, on shoes I should have replaced last month.

Yay! Congratulations and welcome to the club! Be careful with your training preparing for the half. It’s a HUGE jump in mileage from what you’re used to and not generally recommended because of the big risk of injuries. You don’t want to get an overuse injury just before your half.

I started running for real about a year ago. In the spring I started getting a bit more serious and signed up for my first half marathon in June. I ran my second half marathon in October (1:53) and managed to score a bib for the Boston Marathon in April. You are capable of far more than you think you are.

If you can run 10 miles you can run 13. Once you hit that level anything is really possible. Go for it.

Way to go! I tried C25K and made it to week 6 before life got in the way. I loved running (er, jogging) and would like to start again.

Well, you finished the C25k. The next step is the Bridge 210k! Get to it chickie!

Seriously though - congratulations. I have tried many times to do what you’re doing and the only thing I’ve succeeded with is quitting smoking. I keep trying though. I will get there one day.

Just bought some new shoes, they were supposed to be running shoes but I’m not sure I like them more than the last pair.

Maybe when I make money (ha!) I’ll treat myself to another.

I did the C25K a few years ago, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I had been convinced that I was just physiologically incapable of long-distance running. I was wrong. Being able to run 5K was empowering… it made me feel so good about myself.

When you do, go to a running store and have them evaluate your running stride and recommend shoes for you. The wrong shoes can be just as bad as old shoes.

Did you have to be fitted for your vibram shoes, and how much did they cost you?

Sorry it seems I kind of abandoned this thread. I had a long, busy workday today. Tomorrow, I’ll be on a plane to Miami, so I probably won’t get back again until late.

Yes, I do find that you should be fitted for the FiveFingers as it’s a very precise fit and depends not just on your foot length, but your toe length and foot girth, as well. You can use Vibram’s measurement recommendations (youtube video), but don’t be surprised if you go up or down from what you measured. I measured out to a 39 (which is pretty typical for me), but I wear a size 40 because my 2nd toe on my left foot is longer than all the rest and needs more room (it’s called Morton’s Toe).

As to cost, I used an employee discount so I didn’t pay full price, but the VFF Bikilas go for $99.95 at REI. Be careful trying to get a deal on them because there are plenty of counterfeit FiveFingers being sold and they are complete crap. Buy them from a reputable dealer or check out Vibram’s website for a list of authorized retailers.

Yeah, I’m very concerned about that. I will probably stick to my current training and get in at least two more long runs before the race, so I don’t burn out or injure myself. I’m not really going to push for a competitive time, but just to finish in good shape. There will be plenty of opportunity to improve my times. And since it’s my first race, I’m guaranteed a PR!

This brings to mind something I’ve long wondered. What’s the difference between running and jogging. Even slow running is still running, right? I always thought of jogging as something that runners don’t do; kind of like loping from one point to another not too terribly far away. What do you think?

Thank you, and congrats on quitting smoking! I had to quit a few times myself before it finally stuck. Not an easy or fun thing to do. Pat yourself on the back: you’ve gotten the hardest thing out of the way.

I seriously never thought very highly of running. I just didn’t feel like I was built for it. I’m not sure there is really a ‘build’ for it. Especially with all the great gear available these days. Sports bras, for instance, have come a very long way; footwear, as well. I love all my running accoutrements. They aren’t really necessary, but they sure do make running more enjoyable, IMHO.

I’m not sure if I’m going to do Bridge to 10K (it didn’t appear as well designed as C25K on first review). And I almost feel like I want a more challenging goal to work towards. I have no doubt I’ll be doing 10Ks and 8Ks and 5Ks in the future though. Maybe next year, I’ll have the ability and gumption to train for a marathon. Who knows, eh? :slight_smile: