I started the Couch 2 5k program a few times. Each time I got to week 6 or so, the first “long” run weeks, and I stalled. I hurt my back. My shoes would die. It would start to rain. The kids would get sick. Work would pile up.
Whatever the reason, I stopped for a day, two days, three days, a week, two weeks… until I really couldn’t claim to be running any more.
This time I almost stopped again. The moment came when I was out running one day and dislocated a rib a good twenty minutes from the house. Now, dislocating ribs is something I do with somewhat distressing frequency. It’s something two pregnancies left as a souvenir. Usually I know just how to pop the rib back and then I know to take it easy for a few days. This time I was a good 20 minutes away from the house and I had to walk back holding my arm against my chest in an effort to keep my rib stable.
And it scared me.
Because while I was fine a few days later, the memory of that excruciating walk home stayed with me.
But it bugged me that I’d done so well again with the Couch 2 5k program and that I was once again on the way to abandoning the training part of the way through. And I missed running. Missed the high. Missed feeling strong. Missed knowing that I was doing something great for my heart and my head.
I tentatively started walking again, even running a bit. I stayed to ‘safe’ spots, running tight loops around the neighborhood so I wouldn’t be far from home if I hurt myself again. I even started to relax a bit.
Which is when Summer rolled around, dumping the children at home, leaving me somewhat stuck there, unable to go out for 45 minutes by myself.
I did the only thing I could think of. I joined the YMCA.
The thought of running indoors made me sad, but not as sad as the thought of not working out all summer.
Isn’t it funny how life sometimes throws you a bone?
Because running on a treadmill is my new crack.
Seriously. I can’t get enough.
The treadmill offers a much softer surface for running. My knees and back are thanking me. And even though I run daily, I never go anywhere, so that fear of being stranded far from home and hurting myself has completely vanished. Heck, should anything happen, there are even trainers and physical therapists a few feet away who could come to my rescue.
With the fear gone my inhibitions about running have vanished.
And it feels so good to watch the miles tick by on the screen. So good to see how much faster and farther I can go every day. So good to know I’m getting stronger.
This week I woke up early four days so I could go run before M had to leave for work. Yesterday I slept in and took the kids with me to the YMCA so I could get in my daily run.
By now I’m running fast enough and far enough that I could have easily published a cheery “I just completed day 3 of week 9 of the Couch 2 5k app!” to my Facebook wall. The only thing keeping me from doing that is the Y’s 30 minute limit on the treadmill. (With the 5 minute warm-up and the 5 minute cool-down the last run in the program is a full 40 minutes long.) I’m OK with that. In my heart I know I’ve reached the goal. And more importantly, I know that I’m not giving up any time soon.
And that, my friends, is the only thing that matters. Maybe they should rename the app ‘Couch to Runner.” Because I doubt anyone reaches week 9 without being hooked for life.