So, I haven’t really been talking about it on the blog here, because talking about the fact that I’m working on something can sometimes give me a false sense of accomplishment (which often results in me slacking off on exactly that thing I’m working on), but this summer I started a Couch to 5k program.
Now, I’ve been going a bit slower than even the program suggests – It’s been an awfully long time since I ran regularly, so I’m taking it one baby step at a time. I was also about 25-30 pounds lighter last time I did this, so I didn’t want to stress out my joints too much until I started to see weight coming off a little bit. So I’ve been running the program for each “week” for more like two weeks, sometimes more. I don’t move onto the next week’s plan until I really feel like the current week I’m on is downright easy.
Which means that even though the program is supposed to take only eight weeks, I’m currently only on week 4. Week one and two probably took me about three weeks each to get to the point where I felt confident moving on – probably because I started in like the dead of summer, when the heat and humidity were at their worst. Let me tell you, working out in 90+ degree weather with 90% humidity is, well, not fun. Particularly if you haven’t done it for about seven years. But now that the weight is starting to come off a bit (VERY slowly) and I’m getting more used to working out regularly again (not to mention that the weather is cooling down finally), things are progressing nicely. Week three only took me a week and a half to clear, and it’s looking like I’ll be moving on to week 5 by the end of this week, making week 4 a two-weeker.
Well, but wait… If I’m not technically done with the program, and I didn’t want to talk about it here for fear of allowing the false sense of accomplishment to serve as justification for slacking off, why do I suddenly mention it?
Well, because about a week ago I officially finished my very first 5k. I did the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. So this running thing is officially a habit, and a goal that is within attainable reach, even if I DO talk about it too much.
Now, technically it was not a 5k run, it was a 5k run/walk, but I ran a surprising portion of it for not being done with my program. Additionally, I know that it seems pretty hypocritical for my first 5k to have been the Komen considering I’ve mentioned here before that I have some issues with the organization.
But the bottom line is that, for whatever my issues are with the organization, and whatever issues I have with the idea of merely running a 5k as “support,” I’ve had to acknowledge (particularly after participating and seeing it happen) that the solidarity of doing the race can really make a difference in the community around it.
I originally signed up merely because it was convenient – my Aunt and one of my very good friends were both running it too, so I would have some support in my first attempt. But the experience ended up being an inspiring one – particularly seeing all the survivors who participated, and all the runners with their dedications pinned to their back. The diversity of the participants was really awe-inspiring as well. I mean, there were people from every segment of society there – and all supporting each other. My favorite were the three NFL-linemen-big, burly, tough looking tattooed guys who were cheering on and coaching everyone around them as they went, their hot pink dedication bibs with a name and a heartbreakingly short pair of dates seeming so out of place pinned to their backs. I was behind them for about a mile before I had to start walking again and lost sight of them, and they seriously left a trail of motivation and smiles in their wake – often from people who I bet would have purposely crossed to the other side of the street if they saw them out and about on a normal day.
And so even though I may not have much use for Komen, or races as a way of “helping” patients, I have to admit that this particular event served a purpose. It brought the community together in a way I have never seen before. And for that alone, I’ll be participating next year.
And with that, I’ll leave you with my horribly sweaty finish line selfie! (Thank goodness for instagram filters!)
Have any of you had an experience lately that’s forced you to reevaluate your stance on something or someone?