Cue The Hallelujah Chorus
Holy cow! I did it! I FINISHED The Couch to 5K running program!!!
I went back a few days ago and re-read some old posts. One of the one's that I re-read was C25K:Week One. Here I was starting out week nine, running non-stop for 30 minutes. It seemed unreal that only eight short weeks ago, I could barely run for 60 seconds at a time. The program didn't lie. It really could take a non-runner and make them into a runner in only nine weeks. And I'm living proof! Wow!
In the last several weeks I've had several people tell me that I inspired them to run or to get healthy...to change their lives. REALLY?! ME?! It just seems a little far fetched. For the last eight years I've been fat and unhealthy, battling and struggling against depression, panic attacks, fatigue, and weight gain. It's only been this year that I've gotten my act together. I don't talk about being depressed that often because of the stigma that goes along with it and many people don't understand how you can be a Christian and be depressed. But it happens. It started after Abigail was born...postpartum depression but I never got it taken care of, never really dealt with it. So about a year later it reared it's head again. I had lost my job, had a falling out of sorts with a close friend, and I had been trying to lose weight...unsuccessfully. I had gone to the doctor for the results of a blood test and he told me that my sugar was slightly elevated and that if I didn't lose some weight, I could eventually become diabetic. I completely broke down in the patient room, sobbing, my pain and disgust bubbling out all over the place. He let me cry and basically told me that I was depressed. He put me on some medication for the depression and something else to help me lose weight. It wasn't long before I began noticing a difference in my mood and in my weight. I didn't stay on either medication very long. I kept the weight off for over a year before it began creeping back up. I'm not saying that I don't have days when I don't feel down every now and then but I haven't really been depressed since then either. I haven't had a panic attack in years.
The fatigue and constant weight gain still plagued me. But as I've said in earlier posts, I'm an emotional eater and a food addict. Food was my companion and friend. Food relieved my stress and made me feel happy when I was upset or angry. I was tired all the time. I had no energy to do anything but eat and watch T.V.
That all changed this year when I took a close look at my life. Something I had intentionally been avoiding. I didn't like what I saw and I knew that my obsession with food had become a stronghold, a sin in my life. I didn't want to recognize it as what it was before but I had no choice but to do it now. The path I was on was going to lead me to an early grave if I didn't change my ways. The difference this time, from all the other times that I tried to lose weight, was baby steps. Someone asked me my secret the other day and that was my answer...baby steps. I started out slow, making small changes here and there. The only real goal was to drop weight, it didn't matter how much as long as the scale was going in the opposite direction...and it did.
In the middle of May, I decided to take things up a notch. I came across my now friend, Clara's blog and it encouraged me and inspired me. I also decided to give the C25K plan a try again. I set some goals and made a plan. There have been a few bumps and bruises a long the way but I'm still headed in the same direction that I started out in. I haven't made a u-turn and I don't plan on making one either. I have energy like I've never had before. I'm at peace and I'm happy. A huge part of it also has been finally getting settled into a church here in Louisiana. We love our church and our Sunday school class. It feels nice to be making friends after a year of living here.
I didn't intend for this post to become a look back at how I got here but it did. It's a scary thing to share your struggles and frustrations but if it truly inspires, helps, or encourages someone else, then so be it. I thank you all who have been on this journey with me from the beginning. Your kind words as I've completed each week of the C25K have been such an encouragement to me. And it was you who kept me running some weeks when my legs felt like they might fall off and I wanted to quit. So again...THANK YOU!
Here is how my final week went down:
I got up early last Sunday morning like usual. It's always hard on Sunday's because I know that as soon as I get back, I have to get ready for Sunday school which starts at 8:30...I don't think I'll ever get used to that! It's so EARLY! :) Day one, my first 30 minute run, went off without a hitch. It was great! And my pace was a little faster than it had been being. I was excited.
On Tuesday, I woke up a bit late, but I was determined to get my run in. It was very HARD. My breathing felt off and I was tired. VBS will take it out of you! I finished but I was a little bummed because my pace had been so great on Sunday and it wasn't near as good on Tuesday.
I was supposed to get up and do my final day on Thursday but as you know from my last post, it didn't happen. So today, I was going to do it even if it killed me. Today was my Friday off so I went out a bit later than normal to run. I was thankful for the overcast weather since it was cooler out than I thought it would be. My pace was excellent at the beginning but I eventually had to slow down some. At some point during the run, my stomach started to hurt and I developed a headache. I pushed through with nothing but shear determination. When my run was over I was almost sick to my stomach. I'm not sure if it was from the run, my lack of sleep the last few nights, or if I'm really trying to come down with something. One of the kids at VBS threw up all in the classroom last night so it could also be my hypochondria setting in! LOL!
So there you have it....nine weeks down! *insert happy dance here*
My first 5K is next Saturday evening in Dothan, AL. My parents live near there so we're going for a visit. I have family from GA coming to cheer me on. I'm so excited. My mom and my uncle are running with me as well! I have but one goal for the 5K. It has nothing to do with time but everything to do with finishing. I just want to finish without having to stop and walk. After that, I plan on continuing to run and working on increasing my speed and time. I hope to get back on a good gym schedule so I can continue strength training and I want to take a spinning class.
I never thought I'd see the day where being healthy and exercising was fun and exciting! But here I am!
Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,