Monday, May 9, 2011

Pack to 5K

Where to start. This is a tough one. I've had 6 months plus to think this through, but don't really have a good feel for how this will go, so just hang on.

This story basically started in August 2010. I started physical therapy for a nerve issue in the lower back. This required treatment twice a week for 8 weeks. They also had me walking 20 minutes 3 times a week. This kicked in the exercise bug. Also my walks started to have 30 second jogs in there. And those jogs felt great mentally and physically.

Jump to October 28th. I got sick as a dog and laid on the couch for the weekend. And at this point I decided I had had enough. I put down the smokes. I decided to quit for good.

Now, over the last 20 years I have quit before, but never filled that void with something. This time, I had exercise and my new found fun, running. Well technically maybe jogging, but that's for others to debate.

So I have quit cold turkey. What to do. I started my on and off relationship with Jillian Michael DVD's. These really started to make me just feel better. Most of the off time was because I was sick. I swear I had never been as sick as I was in the 4 months after I quit. So not to make matters worse, I would just rest. No walking, jogging or exercise. And to help matters, I also dropped my soda count. I have one here and there, but not the 6 or 10 a day. I replaced it with water. That switch is when I stopped getting as sick. This also helped keep off any pounds that might have shown up. So Who Knew. Well apparently everyone.

During this 4 month period I joined the Dailymile social network site for those that want to track their runs, walks, swims or rides with the networking twist Also great for overall exercises and fitness. This site was a great help to keeping me going. The motivation to do another run or another workout was great. Granted no one knew about the smoking thing I was going through. Actually very few people knew. A couple on twitter and some close family.

So basically the months from November thru February, I was either getting an infection or getting over one. Let me tell you, this was not fun. It was very discouraging. The healthier I tried to make myself, the worse I felt. But I know now it takes time to heal the body. I never missed work, but just felt bad with lots of coughing.

Come Spring in March of 2011 is when things finally turned around, outside of the allergies that now seem to effect me. I was back on my C25K plan with regular workouts. I guess I was getting in 4-5 days of exercise in some shape form or fashion. With this, I had made the decision to run an official 5K race. When I made this call, I could go about 2 miles with jog and walks although I did 4 miles with that method at Thanksgiving.

Well this plan to run a 5K turned into a start and stop game. I actually started the C25K plan when I joined Dailymile in December of 2010. It was also when I got fitted for real running shoes. But with the illness, I rarely made it past week 2. So repeat this until around March as I said earlier. That's when things really got good. I was able to get going and stay going.

So let's get to why I'm writing this. I made a promise to myself that I would tell the story when I completed my first 5K or one year. For a while I thought one year would get here first.

Since this is not October 28th, I must have completed a 5K. Yes I did and it was great. Granted I am only half way through the C25K plan and I still have to take walk breaks, but I did it. Now I'm looking for my next. My time for the 3.11 was 35:15. Now the race was actually long at around 3.24, so I used my Garmin for the 3.11 time. Hoping my next one is really a 5K.

So why did I run it before I completed the plan. I was convinced by the Dailymilers in Winder that I was ready. They also said I could do the next one forever and never run one. So thanks to them. Also thanks to the race. It was a perfect event for number one. Nice family event.

Now this race, it was more emotional than I thought. I actually got watery eyes right before the start. The actual race I remember parts, but found I would just zone out for periods of it. As I came up towards the end, I got emotional again. I know others run faster and further but this was for me. And wow. It was incredible.

But this post isn't about the race. It is about helping others get there. I didn't think I could do it, but I did. So now others can use me for motivation.

So it is possible to do this.

I went from a pack a day to 5K in a little over six months. I still have a long ways to go, but I'm on my way. Not bad for a 40 year old. And if anyone wants to follow me through my training and fun on Dailymile, you can find me here.

So if you found this, please let me know if you want help. Also become friends with your doctor as you'll want to keep them in the loop.