One thing I learned about myself through biking is that my body takes a long time to warm up for activity. Â If I’m in “good” shape, it will take me near 5 miles to warm up on a mountain bike ride; “not so good” shape is about 8 miles. Â One miserable Iceman took a little over 10 miles. Â I also know that once I’m warmed up, life gets a whole lot more enjoyable.
One thing I learned about myself through introspection and past history is that if I didn’t stick to the plan religiously, I’ll give up.
One thing I was learning about myself is that I needed to fit this in with everything else I do, not replace something else with this. Â I did not want to resent this sport because it took away from something else.
Its about a mile walk from my house to the high school track. Â The track was comfortable to me – there would be no one else there, the surface was a bit softer than concrete and walking there would be a good long warmup. Â Seemed like a pretty good plan, so one Sunday morning, I laced up my old running shoes (from my last attempt) and walked on down to the high school track. Â With Robert in my ears, I completed my first couch-to-5k workout and then walked back home. Â Later that day, we met some friends at PLRA for a ride. Â It was a very successful day.
The following Tuesday, I woke up an hour early and walked down to the high school track for my second couch-to-5k workout. Â I set myself a goal – if I continued with the program for 4 weeks, I could go to Hansen’s and buy new shoes. Â I was so afraid that if I missed a single day of the program, I’d fall behind and quit that I kept going, 3 days a week (Sun, Tues, Thurs) and never missed a day. Â I got my new shoes, finished the program and my first 5k race. Â Yep, that’s right. Â I ran a 5k race in August. Â I had not started out with the intention of ever running a race, but I’m so glad I did. Â It was scary, and amazing, and fun. Â I was hooked.
About 6 weeks later, I did a 10k at the Detroit Zoo. Â I finished within my time goal, but bonked a little before mile 5, threw up in someone’s driveway and sort of walked/ran to the finish line. Â It wasn’t pretty, but I finished.
So yeah – I went from “I am NOT a runner” to “I finished a 10k race” in just about 5 months. Â And I haven’t looked back since. Â Running has helped me to love exercise. Â It has made me stronger on the bike (no kidding, I rode a fraction of the previous year’s mileage last year and was stronger and faster than ever before). Â Running has taught me that I can dig deeper than I ever did before.
In a couple of weeks, I start training for a half-marathon. Â Yep. Â I will complete a half-marathon just about a year after I started my couch-to-5k program. Â I guess I was wrong. Â Maybe I am a runner after all.