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I waited too long for this...


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(In my best 12-step voice)

Hello.  My name is David.  And I'm a couch potato.

(back to normal)

 

I'm 52, twice divorced, remarried and things are going great in my life for a change.  But there has been one annoyance that I can't seem to get rid of and that's my weight.  I'm just under 5' 8" and when I saw that I had crested 190 pounds, even though I had a clean bill of health, I was wondering what was in my future.  I wanted to do SOMEthing to improve myself but nothing ever stuck.  Gyms were too intimidating, running was too painful and I never lasted long.  I had a VERY limited amount of success with some Your Shape, a fitness program on the Xbox 360 with Kinect but that didn't last too long.

 

I keep looking back and wonder where the strength I had as a kid went.  I was born crippled and grew up in casts, crutches, braces, wheelchairs - you name it.  After major surgery when I was about 6, I hear the doctor tell my mother I'd never walk again.  I was walking (in casts, on crutches) the next day - 3 days later without crutches.  It wasn't easy - I wouldn't have my first "normal" pair of shoes until I was about 12.  Where did that kid go?

 

After my first divorce I dropped from somewhere over 200 pounds to 135 (I know I'll never see that again, but...).  Then I married the worst greatest cook - kids came along and all the stuff I was doing to keep somewhat active fell by the wayside.  Getting divorced again after 19 years of marriage and depression didn't help.

 

Here I am now, married to a wonderful woman for the past 4 1/2 years and I want to last longer.  So how?

 

It started with a new phone.  I bought a pair of iPhone 6+ handsets a while after they were released.  After a while, I noticed the graphs in the Health app.  I knew I could still walk distances (it hadn't been too long since I walked across the neck of Cape Cod and back) and I started paying attention to how much I walked during an average day.  I'd notice things like how LONG the building is where I work - a half mile from my cube to my colleagues cube and back.  After a while, I mapped out a 5K route around my neighborhood and started occasionally walking it, just to see the spike graph on my phone.

 

I don't remember HOW I ran across the C25K idea.  I know that I was perusing the runDisney site and saw the finisher medals that they gave out for their 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon.  I started to think, heck, I can WALK a 5K - could I run one?

 

I didn't know if my body would let me.  I read all the stuff from C25K that said how THIS program was made to minimize the risk of injury.  I bought the app package.  I bought proper shoes.  I started.  Then we got socked in with over 7 feet of snow in rapid fire blizzards.  So much for running around the neighborhood.

 

That was January.  This is March.  The more I was reading about 5 & 10K races and, I hate to admit it, the finisher medals, the more it bugged me that I'd stopped.  So, a couple of weeks ago, the snowbanks retreated enough and I restarted.  I was terrified that Week 2 would have me hitting a wall.  About an hour ago, I finished W2D3.  I have a regular Wednesday, Friday, Sunday schedule for these sessions now.  I've done it in near-zero wind chills just flat-out determined to finish the session.  I keep looking at next January when I want to run the Walt Disney World 5K & 10K - I already have my hotel reservations and we've turned it into a vacation.  My wife wants to run the races as well.

 

I have plenty of aches and pains from this.  My back aches but I'm attributing that to all the extra weight I'm hoping to lose.  I have one leg shorter than the other so one ankle keeps feeling like it's being stretched a bit - but I'm taking this slowly.  However - these pains don't seem to last.  Oh, sure, the first morning I woke up in horror but that was it.

 

I can't express how hopeful I am that I may have FINALLY found a program that works for me (Ok, technology seems to have helped as well).

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I never thought I'd ever be in this position.  If you ask ANYONE who knows me - especially my adult kids (ages 22 & 27) - they'd tell you how LUDICROUS the thought of ME becoming a runner is...

 

I got knocked on my back by some kind of upper respiratory infection - the last time I missed 3 days of work was - geez, I have to think - tonsilitis at age 24 and the surgery kept me out.  

 

I'm still on drugs for this but I started feeling more human today and I'd already missed my scheduled Wednesday session.  I didn't know if I'd have anything in the tank to run today - much less stepping up to a new week.  Looking at a 3 minute jog when I'd only done 90 seconds seemed like quite a leap.  ...after all, the last leap was 50% from 60 to 90 seconds.  ...this is a 100% increase.

 

I never jogged 3 solid minutes IN MY LIFE.  Until today.  AND I DID IT TWICE - while still recovering from whatever the heck infected my breathing.  (Strange that I was coughing after the run and some time before but not DURING)

 

I honestly can't believe I'm doing this.  The real key is sticking with it.  I already have hotel reservations for next January's races and I'm about to buy some of the plane tickets (the airline's calendar doesn't go out far enough for the return part of the trip).

 

Technology helped keep me on the couch and now technology is helping me get (and stay) off of it!

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...and I somehow managed to do it again today.  The 3-minute jogs (I can't bring myself to call them 'runs') were more difficult as I had some uphills to conquer - the 2nd of them I honestly didn't think I was going to make it but I just kept going until I heard that 'ding',

 

For what it's worth, I had a playlist going on and MapMyRun in the background.  I *did* notice that the session totals weren't recorded by C25K and W3D3 didn't get marked as 'completed'.  I don't know if having 3 things going on at once was too much to ask.

 

Next up are those 5 minute jogs in Week 4.  My schedule says Wednesday and I still have no idea how I'll get through it.  All I know is I'm going to try.

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Hello. My name Is John and I haven't ran in about 10 years. My kids convinced me to get the Couch to 5K app and challenged me to complete it and run with them in a 5K in late April. I really have my work cut out for me since I've only completed Day 2 of Week 1. There are a total of 8 weeks so I'm going to have to double and possibly triple up my workout pace. I really enjoy it though and look forward to running with them the 5K.

 

Good luck everyone and keep up the great work and don't quit!

 

Cheers!

 

John

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