When I set a goal to run a 5K earlier this year, it felt insurmountable. I'm not an athlete by any definition. I've started a large variety of exercise plans over the years and never been able to stick with any. I've never had a gym membership in my life. I knew I wasn't in shape and I knew that eventually it was going to catch up with me.
This year, I became determined to change all that. When trying to decide what I would do, I needed something that didn't require expensive equipment, ridiculous amounts of time, or a gym/personal trainer. With my tight budget and tight schedule, flexibility and affordability was essential. So what better than running? Hubster had bought me a jogging stroller early this year, and this meant that Duck could come with me. I could run whenever I had time, with no addition expense or childcare. It seemed perfect.
There was only one problem with my plan.
I hated running.
I had tried running a couple times before and had quit because I just didn't like it.
This time, things were going to be different. I had a goal - a 5K at the end of summer. I convinced my family it would be fun if we ran one all together and they patiently, as they do with most of my ideas, agreed.
I started a Couch-2-5K program and stuck with it.
Slowly, slowly, I made progress.
I ran by myself. I ran with music. I ran without music. I ran pushing a stroller. I ran with Monkey and Duck. I ran in the dark early mornings and in the dark late evenings. I ran on muggy afternoons and rainy weekends.
And this last weekend, we ran our first 5K as a family
And it was awesome!
We decided that in order to make it fun for everyone, including 7 year old Monkey, we would do a color festival type run. Color Me Rad in Des Moines fit all our criteria.
Our only goal for this was that we all have fun and we all finish on our own two feet. Both goals were met. Everyone, even Monkey, who had never really enjoyed our family runs, had a blast.
We started bright shiny white and over the 3.1 mile course, became covered in bright happy colors.
After that race, I had such a sense of accomplishment. I didn't run the entire time, having stop and walk with Monkey several times. But I ran most of it. I went from running a minute at a time to running a 5K.
Somewhere over the last several months, something changed.
I enjoy running. It helps with my stress level, my energy level. I sleep better.
I haven't lost weight, which I was hoping would happen. But most the time, I don't care. I feel better about myself. I don't run fast. I know there are people that run marathons and that a little 5K isn't much. But most the time, I don't care. I've made improvements, I'm changing myself for the better.
I've already signed up for another 5K later this month. And I'm going to keep going after that.
Who would have imagined a future where people run for fun...and that I would be one of them?
This is the start of something awesome.