Saturday, May 12, 2007

I'm a Runner!

Well, almost.

Several events in my life lately conspired to make me get off my duff and start an exercise program. First, that elusive 10 pounds that every (at least most) women would like to lose is still clinging to my person. Though I am reasonably happy with my figure, I KNOW that I am not in shape and have not spent much time in exercise in recent months . . . ok, years. And that's a stewardship issue, too--trying to take better care of the body I've been given. Aside from climbing the many stairs to our apartment all the time, the closest I got to intentional exercise was doing some an abs workout as well as some free weight lifting in our home in Asia. I had managed to lose my pregnancy weight after Clara Anne and Chloe (it came off much more quickly after the first one!) but knew I had a ways to go in terms of fitness.

The Asian doctor who examined me before we came back to the States was quite blunt about my physical condition. In his words: "You are overweight." At that moment, I was tempted to justify myself and remind him of my two babies in two years, etc., but instead I held my tongue as he went on to say "You should lose at least 15 pounds." To which I thought, well, of course, I'd love to lose 15 pounds! But how to make that happen, especially as we journey back to the States, the home of lovely, fattening, convenient, tasty foods?

So, inspired by my friend Angela, who recently completed a mini-marathon (that's 13.1 miles!) though she had never done anything like that before, and by my new friend Becky, who encouraged me that anyone can become a runner, and by the website, I have now successfully completed the first two sessions of a "Couch to 5K" program. The idea is that anyone who has never run before can train to run a 5K in just 8 weeks. The real draw for me was reading on the website that most new runners lose a pound a week--bonus! Honestly, running has always appealed to me because it is something I could do anywhere, but I just never thought I could do it. But now, I think I can, I think I can!

The first week of this program is pretty simple: a brisk 5 minute warmup walk, some stretches and then 60 seconds of jogging followed by 90 seconds of walking, for a 20 minute total "run." I was so pleased to find that I could do it without feeling too tired or getting out of breath! And it was truly lovely to run out in the neighborhood around our apartment--hearing the birdsong, seeing the green grass and trees and everybody's nice landscaping, enjoying the fresh air early in the morning.

So, here I go! Maybe in a few months I can truly say "I'm a runner!"


Jennifer said...

When I crossed the finish line of the Disney Half-Marathon in January (while ~10 weeks pregnant) it was one the best feelings ever. I following a similar program last fall and was more surprised than anyone when I ran the first 8 miles of the half-marathon without stopping. I wish you the best of luck... you have some of the best weather to run in this summer (whereas I will be sticking with indoor exercise this FL summer!).

Kevin & Becky Peek said...

Anyone can be a runner, Rach! Keep up the good work! And thanks for giving me my 15 minutes of fame in your blog world! ~becky