And so it begins…
C25K, Week 1, Day 1
Time 30 Minutes, Distance 1.30 miles, Pace 23:05
Sunday mornings in New England have recently been a complete snowfest. If you don’t live in a snowy area, you should know it makes a handy dandy excuse for not doing what you’re supposed to do. On Saturday, the forecast was calling for overnight snowfall. Yet, when I awoke Sunday morning, the roads were clear and my car did not resemble a small, white ski slope.
My reaction? ‘Quick, find another excuse!’
The original plan had been to get my run in while my daughter was volunteering for Special Olympics (9:00 AM). This made sense, since it’s AT MY GYM. BUT… I needed to get a few things at the store and I desperately needed a Starbucks Vanilla Blonde and I needed a few minutes to sit in my car and play Ruzzle (i.e. lose at Ruzzle). So, I moved running to the afternoon, while my son was at swimming lessons (1:00 PM).
This was fine, and equally convenient, since swimming lessons are also at my gym. SCORE. Did my errands, brought my daughter home, picked my son up from his sleepover. He said he had an upset stomach and I could see the beginnings of a cold. No matter, I’d go a bit later after I did my grocery pick-up (between 2:00-3:00 PM). Score.
My husband and daughter had an errand to run, so I was going to bring my son with me to the gym (to read in the ‘chill out, kids’ area). But his cold kept getting worse, so scratch that, I’d start dinner and then head to the gym once my husband was home (somewhere between 4:00-5:00). Score?
Dinner started, everyone’s home, I’m dressed in running clothes (which feelsl odd, since it’s been so long) and I head out the door to find… it’s snowing. Of course it is.
And that was when it hit me. I’d procrastinated this all day because I was nervous. Now, it was my last chance for the day and New England had handed me the perfect excuse. It was snowing! I couldn’t be expected to risk my life just to get this run in, could I? It was already after 5:00, and getting dark fast, and…and…and…
It was barely snowing, and even as nervous as I was, this was a commitment I made and some part of me knew that if I took this one excuse, I’d find a million others the next time.
Fast forward one hour and I left the gym. Sweaty, disgusting, already a little achy, and pleased as punch. My pace was worse than ever and I smelled like a camel, but I did it. Couch to 5K, Week 1, Day 1 was in the bag.
C25K, Week 1, Day 2
Time 30 Minutes 26 Seconds, Distance 1.50, Pace 20:17
Lawd, I did not want to run Tuesday. Like, at all. Nor did I want to stick to South Beach. Lots going on and emotions at an all time high made me want to dive headlong into a container of ice cream and my couch cushions.
I was trolling Twitter, which is always a good place to find excuses. Instead, I found this post by Holly, a woman who has lost over 200 pounds and just ran her first 5K.
You guys, I was SO inspired.
I read a few more posts, crying more than once, and continued to feel more and more inspired as I read. Holly’s story is amazing.
Then, I did something I’ve never done before. I sent off an email to a perfect stranger. Because I wanted Holly to know that not only had her story touched me so deeply, but that it had made it easy to make the choice I needed to make. (She answered too! Such a sweetheart!)
I hit send and headed to the gym. Because, as I said in my email, food wasn’t going to make this bad day better and exercise wasn’t going to make it worse.
It was a good run. A damn good run, for me, for Week 1 Day 2. I let my natural inclination to push a little more take over, increasing both my run and walk speeds.
And it felt…good. Really good. I remembered that running does something for me, something other than making me stronger and fitter. It makes me a little saner. That mindless focus on propelling my own body forward gives me a much needed break from the constant THINKING I do the other 23.5 hours a day (yes, even when I sleep).
Some days, I’m not going to make that choice. Some days, I’m going to opt for the oh-so-alluring ice cream/couch combo. Some days, I’m going to let the emotional rollercoaster plummet me into a black hole of blankets and a bag of Cheetos.
And some days, I’m going to say screw it all and just run.
C25K, Week 1 Day 3
Time 30 minutes, Distance 1.38 miles, Pace 21:44
And some days, it’s just a run. No magic, no epiphanies. It’s just a run. And that’s okay.
Tell me about your first C25K week?? Pretty please?
In non-running news, my relationship with South Beach Diet has proven, once again, to be a three night stand as opposed to a lifetime love affair. Not really shocking. I did make some amazing recipes (Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai, White Chicken Chili) that I will add to my healthy meals arsenal.
Here’s the thing. I like carbs. Not just the horrible, bad-for-me, empty carbs, but the good, healthy, complex carbs too. Can I handle a meal without carbs? Sure. And I do, regularly. Can I handle weeks or months without carbs?
No. No I can’t. Nor do I want to.
So new plan this week. I’ve got so much going on at home and the next few weeks are going to be more emotionally draining than any I’ve had; I think I’m going to employ some ‘do what you can’ mentality. I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to make the best choice every second. I just need to do what I can and let that be enough.
Or, I’ll start doing Weight Watchers again because it’s my default. I just know that eventually I’m going to show up at a meeting and confetti is going to rain from the sky when they say “Bec, you have signed up for Weight Watchers more times than anyone on Earth” and then they will hand me a free toaster.
And I will use it to make toast. With carbs. Because I can.
See you guys next week!