Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Guest Post ~ If I Can Become A Runner, You Can Too

Welcome my friend Mel from A Box of Chocolates! Mel's blog is all about her life, including her weight loss journey and even healthy WW recipes on Fridays. We get along well because of our love of chocolate, fun, and our shared weight loss struggles. Mel is almost at her weight loss goal - so close! Something that has really helped her lately has been her running program. I think it's inspiring and hope you enjoy her story! Thanks for sharing with us Mel!

I have never been one to run. Not as a kid, not as a teenager, and surely in adulthood. I just never liked to run. I always played sports like softball and tennis so I moved, but didn't necessarily run any distance or that fast either.

My first experience with a treadmill was only five years ago. Some girlfriends encouraged me to join them at the gym and I gave into the peer pressure, eventually joining. They would all be sprinting away while I huffed and puffed through my walking program. I kept on walking though, increasing my speed every workout, and eventually even jogged a little (and I do mean a little) here and there. It was great having them cheer me on and I must admit that not wanting to fail in front of them gave me more reason to run. But within a few months the gym thing grew old and it became hard to get there with the kids schedules so I eventually stopped going.

My next interaction with the treadmill didn’t occur until 3 years later when I joined Weight Watchers. With two kids and working full time, I knew a gym was out of the question so I bought a treadmill for home. I used it pretty consistently for walking, but wasn’t big on pushing myself so I never jogged.

About a year later, I was 10 pounds away from my goal weight and seemed to have stopped losing. I decided that I was either going to have to step up the exercise or be content where I was. I knew that running burned lots of calories and around here at the beach during the summer, all you see is people running. I would watch them and dream of being able to run...and of having their legs and butts! But, no matter how much I envied them the thought of actually running myself was scary.

Then I discovered the Couch-to-5K (C25K) running plan. Supposedly if you followed this plan you could go from walking to running 5K’s in just a few weeks. I was very skeptical, but figured I didn’t have anything to lose so I downloaded the podcasts from Robert Ullrey. The great thing about the podcast is that each week the intervals are already timed for you so he will tell you when to walk, when to run, and encourage you throughout the workout. There was nothing better than hearing him say “you are halfway finished” or my personal favorite “this is your last run.”

The first week started with intervals of 60 sec runs with 90 sec of walking in between. I just told myself that I could do anything for a minute and by golly I DID. I finished the week successfully and I believe that is what motivated me to keep going. Week 2 then pushed a bit harder with 90 second runs, but 2 1/2 minutes of walking in between. I kept telling myself, "You can walk for 2 1/2 minutes, you just have to run for 90 seconds" over and over. When I finished week 2 successfully, I was ready to take on week 3. By the time I finished week 3, I found myself actually looking forward to running. I was enjoying the challenge and at the end of every run was so proud of myself that it kept me going for the next one!!

I won’t lie and say that it was all absolutely wonderful because let me tell you my first 20 minute straight run was not! It did get easier though as I focused on my breathing and my running mojo. I ran my first 5K race this past April after beginning the C25K program in February. Since then I’ve ran 3 other races and I try to sign up for at least one a month to keep me motivated.

For regular training, I try to run 3-4 times a week and push to get a 5K in during each run. The most important tip for beginning runners is don’t focus on your time. My first goal was to just finish the distance, running the whole time, no matter what the time. Now that I am confident in my abilities to finish the distance I am beginning to focus on my time. I would love to one day be able to run a 5K in under 30 minutes!

So now I call myself a runner!
WOW. I didn't think that word would ever be used to describe me.

If you are like me and have thought about running, but thought you never could, I challenge you to check out the Couch-to-5K program. If I can do it, then you can too!!

Thanks Mel! Running is really working for Mel and it could work for you and me too! Stop by We Are THAT Family for more Works-For-Me-Wednesday!

Lisa :)


  1. I blogged about running today too! But I have a give away to go with it... come check it out!


  2. Great post - and lots of links and ideas and things to think about. Both of my daughters run and I sent them the link to your blog!

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love Couch Potato to 5k - totally worked for me!

  4. Hey there! I love you site. I did a Couch to 5k post last week for WFMW!! :) I LOVE the program. It worked SOOO WELL for me. Love your blog too!

  5. I'm definitly going to have to try this (after having baby #2 though)! Thanks so much for the program!

  6. This is the way I worked out for my first 5K a few years ago and the method I'm using again for my part in a triathlon relay! It really works and before you know it, YOU ARE A RUNNER!! And I love it!! Great post!

  7. Stumbled across your blog as I was writing my own post about "reconciling myself to running" :)


    Thanks for a great read...I'm going to continue to check back!



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