No More Running from Running – Working My Way to a 5k!

For those of you who find running easy or enjoyable, you may not get this post. If not, I hope you are at least amused. I have tried to be a runner a couple of times over the past decade and have failed both times. Yes, I have asthma, but it is well-controlled and, in my opinion, should not keep me from running a 5k. Yep, that’s my goal – a simple 5k. No long distances, no half-marathons, and certainly no marathons, just a little 5k.

The best I’ve done so far was about 10 years ago when I was able to run a mile. That was after “training” for a year. That’s no typo folks, I trained for a year and was able to squeak out only a mile. It was at least something, but then plantar fasciitis hit hard. I hope to never experience that pain again. It felt like I had a nail driven into the bottom of my heel, and just for fun there was an invisible troll who would send excruciating electrical shocks along the arch of my foot and into the heel. Not fun. It took years to heal. Physical therapy, ultrasound, electrical pulsations to the foot (oh, the irony), orthotics (real sexy), foot braces, sleeping braces (again with the sexiness), and finally a hard cast for several months. I think it was all a result of years of wearing high heels combined with not stretching. Lesson learned.

So with that healed and behind me (it took about 4 years), I tried again about a year ago when we adopted the Fabulous Miss Phoebe. What better motivation to get out and run than to do it with your pooch! Within a couple of weeks I considered myself again defeated. I was gasping for air, my lungs felt like ice chambers, and my knee hurt. Poo.

But here I am today, another year later, and this morning I started the Couch to 5k program – yippee! I’m so excited to see if sticking to a tried and true program can get me to a 5k. In the past, I just ran willy nilly and called it “training.” No more! ┬áIt’s all business this time. In eight weeks I should be able to run 5k or 30 minutes without stopping. I’ll keep you posted.

Since I don’t own a stopwatch, I used the feature on my phone. It was bulky and
tough to see in the sunlight. What’s your preference? Is a stopwatch worth having?
Another must-have before heading out is pepper spray. Sadly, that’s the world we live in.
But, safety first! If running solo, I recommend some kind of personal protection.

Today’s workout was to alternate between 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes. Sounds simple, right? I am embarrassed to say that it kicked my behind! Pitiful, but not surprising. The take-away is that I did it. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it! Although I’m taking the high road and not blaming asthma for how difficult this is, I will say it was quite humid today. Perhaps I should plan my future runs a bit earlier than 10am? It should be easier each time I run, and I’m thinking that since I’m starting at rock bottom, there is only room for improvement, right?

The welcome mat that doesn’t actually say welcome
was never so welcoming after my run!

I know there are runners out there who likely have been where I am now – at square one. Any tips? How did you get beyond the gasping for air? What distance are you running now? What’s your favorite time of day to run? I’m so happy to be doing this, not only to maybe build some muscle, but also to strengthen my lungs. There are so many benefits to working out – I hope this third time is truly a charm!