Arriving At 40
Last fall, I celebrated [ok, grudgingly arrived at] my 40th birthday.
After almost two decades of working behind a desk all day, time was taking it’s toll on me both physically and mentally. My weight, something that I have struggled with since college, and my energy were at unhealthy levels.
I’ve tried juice fasts (which I love) and diets. I’ve focused specifically on eating proper portions and adding more nutritious foods to my diet. This would lead to weight loss, but eventually, after I got tired of dieting or the novelty wore off, I returned to my higher unhealthier weight.
A Seed Is Planted
A couple of months after my birthday, while in the elevator at work, an event flyer caught my eye. My employer was sponsoring a 5k charity race. I’d always thought about running in a race. At that moment, I thought, why not?
Then realty set in…
Subconsciously, I told myself:
- You’re in no shape to partipate in a 5k.
- You have a bad, arthritic knee
- You hate running and always have
You heard that right. At that moment, I could confirm that the activity of running was near the top of my list of least favorite things to do.
Dialog And Doubt
A couple of weeks after seeing the 5k race flyer at work, I had a conversation with a friend at Church. He had recently been at an unhealthy weight level and in poor health. He started to tell me that he had started running in the morning before work. He explained that he felt better, had more energy, and his weight loss was very evident.
I mentioned to him that saw the 5k race flyer and that I had always thought it would be great if I could run in a race.
After that, I shared with him my laundry list of excuses for why I would never reach a goal like that.
Technology To The Rescue
Gadgets and tech are one of my passions. My friend knows this. So he asked. “Have you ever tried 5k Runner?” He went on to explain that it is basically a couch to 5k program that can take anyone from no exercise to running a 5k in just 8 weeks. I had heard of the other couch to 5k programs before. “How is this different,” I asked.
My friend pulled out his iPhone and showed me the 5k Runner app. It verbally cues you need to start running, and when to slow down and walk. Interesting, I thought. I could listen to music on my iPhone and then the 5k Runner app would verbally alert me when to speed up and slow down.
We talked a bit more and he suggested I just to try start on running regimen and to try the app. The 5k Runner app is available in a trial version that lets you use it to complete the first two weeks of the 8 week program. If I wanted to proceed past the first two weeks, I’d need to purchase the full version of the app, which was priced at $2.99.
“But I hate running,” I told him. He explained that he did to before he started. He convinced me to give a shot. So I did…
I Love Running
Here I am almost 6 weeks into my 8 week running program, and I can honestly say, “I love running.” Me… someone that just a couple of months ago cringed at the thought of getting on a treadmill or jogging around the neighborhood looks forward to the three days a week he runs. I have had to miss a couple of workouts due to the life that happens, but I was internally angry that I couldn’t run that day.
Each day when I run, I have incredible energy. I find that I focus better at work on days I run. My legs feel stronger. I’ve lost 12 pounds. I cold go on and on with how much I love to run and the benefits I have been seeing.
Take The Step
Running is really just a series of steps. If you have ever thought about starting a running program and never took that first step, I encourage you to talk to your doctor and then get moving!
At first it will seem hard. It gets easier. As you progress, you’ll encounter difficult workouts that aim to build your stamina and endurance. These workouts are tough, but push on through them. Don’t quit. After you finish a hard workout, you feel like a million bucks and have an incredible sense of accomplishment.
My Workout Tools
5K Runner leads you from zero to 5k with 3 times a week Walk – Run – Walk routine. You start slow, and the running gradually increases to a full 5K. Just plug in your headphones and play your favorites music, and the app will tell you when to Walk and when to Run. I love this app, and for the price it is probably the best value I have ever gotten out of an application. - http://www.clearskyapps.com/portfolio/5k
The RunKeeper mobile running app lets you track your workout performance over time, and allows you to connect with your friends, and share on Facebook and Twitter to make your workouts social. It features both manual activity entry as well as GPS capability that can track your workout route. - http://runkeeper.com/running-app
Spotify (App is free, $9.95 USD/Month subscription fee)
Having access to tons of music while running is a must. This app is tops in my book. I like how it lets me download my playlist songs to my phone when I’m home on wi-fi and then when I’m out for a run, I don’t need to use the cell data to stream the songs. The $9.95 monthly subscription fee may seem high, but you have access to virtually any music you can think of! - http://www.spotify.com/us/freetrial/
I hope you have found this post informative. Please let me know if you are new to running and have recently fallen in love with the sport and activity as much as I have! Have you run up against a hurdle? Join in for some dialog below in the comments!