Monday, July 25, 2016

The Couch to 5K Finish Line!


If there's one thing I wish I'd done on this Couch to 5K journey, it's keep a journal. I ran my last program run this morning...30 minutes in the pre-dawn. I was stoked for this run because it's the last official one. Is it my last run? Ha! No. Not at all. Now I'm on to improving my 5K, and there's a lot of improvement left to do.

While the program is built to last nine weeks, I stretched it out to 16. I can think over the months and remember the trends in my abilities and moods, but I wish I still had the specifics. One thing is for sure...this has been one of the most transformative experiences of my life.

I wanted this morning's run to be great. Maybe set a new pace record or really crush it. In truth, it was a damn hard run. I didn't sleep well last night, and I started a strength training regimen yesterday that left my legs tired and spent.

But I did it anyway, even though it was hard, I was tired, and I didn't want to get out of bed at 5 a.m. I missed my goal pace by a minute, but it was a hard run, and it's OK. You have to get through the sucky ones to get to the really good ones. And when did I ever think I'd be able to run 30 minutes straight? When I was in high school that was out of the question for me. Now, at 35, I'm game.

Running has given me some key things.

  • Confidence. Doing new things and doing them well takes a lot of time, devotion, and perseverance. Sometimes the improvements are only incremental, but they are valuable and worthwhile all the same. I've done this, and I can do much more. 
  • Courage. I've been courageous in some ways...when it comes to pushing through the hard stuff for my family, for instance. I haven't been very courageous about trying new things. The fear of looking silly or failing gets in the way. Running has drastically lessened my fear of embarrassment and...let's face it...pain. 
  • Control. A greater handle on my health, the ability to make wiser food choices, decreased anxiety, and the mental strength to push myself toward the next goal. 
I'm just so happy. I'm so, so proud, and I'm not afraid to say that out loud. I'M SO PROUD! I can run. 

I RUN! 

There's no way you could possibly know how much your kind words of encouragement here--on Twitter, Instagram, via email, all over--have kept me going. Thank you, thank you. It's still a long road ahead, but I'm excited for it.









44 comments:

  1. I'm so happy for your, Andi! I remember how thrilled I was to run 30 minutes straight, too. (Heck, I'm still thrilled that I can do it.) I feel like once you conquer a physical hurdle like that, it puts a lot of other stuff in perspective in your life. Like - here's this thing I thought I'd never be able to do and I KILLED IT. What else am I holding myself back from? It's a great way to shift perspective.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Aarti! It definitely does help put things in perspective...especially when one has been as NOT physical as me over the years. All doors are open!

      Delete
  2. You are awesome! And 16 weeks is awesome! You know, I never actually finished c25k. I've totally run 5ks (I've also run a 10k) but never finished the program. I'm bad at programs. ;)

    I haven't run for almost 2 years and I miss it so much. My body's just not quite ready yet. I'm hoping 2017 will be the year. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, I neeeed a program. Mostly to keep me from overdoing it. I tend to go all in and then burn myself out, so this was great at keeping me on track at the right pace. I hope your body will let you run again soon! <3

      Delete
  3. Congrats on completing C25K - you rock!! I have loved reading your posts - they are so inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing and keep sharing with us :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Nadia! I have so much left to write about this journey and life change!

      Delete
  4. Go, Andi! So inspired by you, all that you are and all that you do. <3

    ReplyDelete
  5. I adore you so hard right now and always. I'm incredibly proud of you for what you've been through and accomplished. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jenna, for all your kind words and support along the way!

      Delete
  6. You're awesome! And it's definitely not the end. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, definitely not. Now I've got to get the distance and time to match up. Closer anyway. lol

      Delete
  7. I'm so, so happy for you, Andi! I can't imagine how many people must give up on C25K, but you really pushed through and owned the program.

    I hear you so much on how accepting that progress may come in baby steps opens you up to trying and succeeding at more things than you ever thought possible. I tend to be the type of person who needs to see immediate progress, or else I feel like it's not for me or that I'm some kind of failure. Now I try to remind myself of what a freaking mind trap that is and how it keeps us from really growing.

    I've so loved watching you grow, and I can't wait to see what you try next!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. C25K kind of reminds me of college. Lots of hoops to jump through, perseverance, just getting the shit done. lol I also fall prey to that need for immediate progress and it's just not realistic. I know that, for sure, but this has helped me internalize the necessity for incremental changes and hard work over time. <3

      Delete
  8. Um, so, I may have started crying as I explained your journey to my husband last night after seeing your tweet about the message board incident; I'm so thrilled for all you've accomplished and I know that the benefits and rewards will continue to power you through more progress. Thank you for sharing your experiences with others and empowering more people to take control of their health, their fears and their inner badassery! SO PROUD OF YOU!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awwww! Thank you again for all your support and kind words and advice. I'm sure I'll need more! lol Love you, Tara!

      Delete
  9. Andi, this post makes me so happy and thrilled for you!! You did it!! Congratulations, you are amazing and you just proved to yourself how much you are capable of. You should be so proud!!! This is an amazing accomplishment and I'm so happy for you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, thank you, Brandie! For all your support and for being one of my role models. <3

      Delete
  10. Whoohoo!! Congrats on this huge accomplishment, Andi! You look great!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Some days are hard but I get a greater feeling of accomplishment when I walk on the hard days then when I walk on the easy ones, if that makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so true. The hard work is definitely the biggest victory.

      Delete
  12. I started running with some friends back in May and was really enjoying it but when school ended it stopped happening. Now I'm really looking forward to get back to it. I like that you stretched out the Couch to 5K program. I have exercise induced asthma and can struggle with a sudden increase of cardio so I like that idea. Congratulations! You've done great and really inspired me to get going!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katherine, the incremental changes were so important for me, and stretching it out gave me a sense of having mastered each level before I moved on. That was key to my mental toughness on the next level. Also, perfectionist. lol I hope you can get back to your running when school is back in session!

      Delete
  13. I'm so happy for you! Your journey is such an inspiration. I've loved all your updates, and today I started C25K my own self because of you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So so so excited for you in your own C25K journey! <3

      Delete
  14. Yay!! Congratulations!! I'm so proud of you as well...and was thrilled to see the running has gotten you to introduce strength training also. You should have confidence and feel like the badass you are!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sarah, for everything you've done. You're a wellspring of great advice and resources. Today is my second day of strength training. Ready to kill it!

      Delete
  15. Congrats to you! It's so awesome that you took your time and were able to keep going even when you realized the program wasn't quite working out of the box. Can't wait to see whats ahead!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Shannon! I don't think enough people realize that tailoring the program is GOOD THING! You have to start wherever your abilities are--no way around that--and go from there without guilt or disappointment. And it's super easy to tailor, thank goodness! lol

      Delete
  16. Kick ass, girl! I went through totally the same thing (couldn't run a mile in high school, did couch to 5k) and now I run at least one actual 5k race each year, just to keep myself motivated and accountable. It's fun and I'd totally recommend it...looking at your race t-shirts when you've never been a runner before is such a thrill!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome, Gabby! I'm so excited to get into some virtual 5ks and do a "real" race in October. I cannot wait to amass some tees and medals! lol

      Delete
  17. You are awesome! Way to inspire so many of us to get our butts in gear and start running. Again if you are like me ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you, Samantha! <3

      Delete
  18. It's been so wonderful watching you on this journey!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Amanda! It still seems unreal!

      Delete
  19. AWESOME!!!! You are hella inspiring :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wooo hoooooo! You kick ass.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Congrats Andi! What an amazing accomplishment!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment! Blogger has been a beast lately, so I hope you do not have any troubles leaving your thoughts.

 
Images by Freepik