I'm in decent shape. I work out more days than I don't, that kind of thing. But I basically work out to support my emotional eating habit, not because I have any illusions of whipping my body into Jennifer Garner pre-baby shape. Kind of like the way people get part-time jobs to support their compulsive shopping habit or, you know, the way hookers turn tricks to earn coke money. It's a means to an end, or at least some guilt-free chocolate-covered Oreos and a large order of McD's fries. (My kryptonite! YUMMY!)
Anyway, I've been doing essentially the same workout for years. And while it was very effective for a long time, I've been thinking for a while that it was time to switch it up, which I've done in little ways, but nothing huge. Then I read about this Couch to 5K program in People magazine a couple weeks ago (the one with the people who all lost, like, 100 pounds) and a few days later on the lovely Monnik's blog. And then I found out some friends of mine are looking for people to run a 5K in September. It was like the universe was coming together and saying, "Swishy! Run a 5K! You have all the tools! Now use them!"
So I'm running a 5K.
This is a very interesting goal to have because I hate running. I loathe it. (I usually do the elliptical, or walk fast uphill.) It's just really not that fun to me. I see people running down the sidewalk and it all looks very nice and healthy and for a half-second I think, "I should be one of those people!" And then the half-second passes and I go home and eat some ice cream. My high school softball coach made us run a mile before every practice (AND suicides after!) and no one bitched about it more than me. ("Whatever. I'm so sure we need ENDURANCE to run from HOME to FIRST," I'd say, since I felt a responsibility to speak for the people. Unfortunately, "the people" weren't ordered to run an extra lap for being smartassy. Just me.)
Anyway, so my summer project is to run a 5K. My first order of business was getting new shoes. I love my old sneakers. LOVE THEM. I got them for 25 bucks at a sidewalk sale and they were the best little shoes ever. But I'd had them for five (FIVE!) years, and I'd stepped on glass once that cut really deep in the sole, so that when it rained, my sock got wet, and they basically had no support left. They had definitely seen better days.
So I finally bit the bullet and got new shoes on Monday. I could NOT make up my mind. I wanted the new version of my old shoes, but apparently there was a reason they were 25 bucks at a sidewalk sale. Like, they don't MAKE THEM ANYMORE. So I went back to the store like three times and, after much, much debate (high ankle? low ankle? soft cushioning? medium cushioning?) I finally picked these.
I think they're pretty.
Next, I downloaded the podcasts (you can also find them free on iTunes) for the program. These are AWESOME, because there are very short intervals in the beginning, and they tell you when to walk and when to run so you can concentrate on the Lindsay Lohan rehab story in People instead of obsessively watching the clock.
The deal with doing the program is that you do it three times a week, and it builds you up slowly. Supposedly within two months you can do three miles. I can definitely run a mile now, probably more if you held a gun to my head, but I'm sticking to the program because they SWEAR that even if you hate running, you'll at least be OK with it by the end, the thinking being that most people burn themselves out too fast when they first start. Yesterday I did the first workout, and it was good! It was hard enough that I felt OK about the workout, but easy enough that I didn't want to kill anyone when I was done. No killing = good thing.
Now, here's my proposal. I will send an awesome major award to anyone else who gives this a shot this summer and finishes by, say, Labor Day. If I can try it, you can. And then it'll be one of those things you can say you did!
So ... you in?