Slacker-to-5k continued …

One thing I learned about myself through biking is that my body takes a long time to warm up for activity.  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.  One miserable Iceman took a little over 10 miles.  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.  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.  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.  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.  With Robert in my ears, I completed my first couch-to-5k workout and then walked back home.  Later that day, we met some friends at PLRA for a ride.  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.  I set myself a goal – if I continued with the program for 4 weeks, I could go to Hansen’s and buy new shoes.  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.  I got my new shoes, finished the program and my first 5k race.  Yep, that’s right.  I ran a 5k race in August.  I had not started out with the intention of ever running a race, but I’m so glad I did.  It was scary, and amazing, and fun.  I was hooked.


Photo by Erik Mile

About 6 weeks later, I did a 10k at the Detroit Zoo.  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.  It wasn’t pretty, but I finished.


Photo by Nick Shue

So yeah – I went from “I am NOT a runner” to “I finished a 10k race” in just about 5 months.  And I haven’t looked back since.  Running has helped me to love exercise.  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).  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.  Yep.  I will complete a half-marathon just about a year after I started my couch-to-5k program.  I guess I was wrong.  Maybe I am a runner after all.

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1 Response to Slacker-to-5k continued …

  1. Di says:

    I’m the same way with the warm-up. I noticed that I feel my best after about 45 minutes of riding. Interestingly, with my indoor workouts, I have to put forth a hard effort almost right away. I’m really interested in seeing what this will do for my biking.

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