Well ladies, Spring time is here and the sun was shining so brightly this morning, I decided to dust off my gym shoes and go for the first run I’ve been on for a long time. I am no newbie to running, but I’ve never been what I would consider a “runner”. In fact, as a rule (except when soccer is involved) I’ve mostly hated running. Unfortunately, as someone who has always been a diet, running has always been the kind of activity I’ve absolutely needed in life.
Back in 2008, I was participating in Weight Watchers for probably the tenth or eleventh time since the age of 9 (true story, they could make an After School Special about it, “The 9-Year Old on the Scale”). I had been on the message boards and was looking for something new to focus my fitness efforts on. I’m the type of person who likes being told what exercise to do because if left to my own devices, I’d forego the arm curls and settle for cheese curls instead. I found the Couch to 5K running plan that promised to take me from geek to chic in nine weeks. I had many doubts in my mind as to how the hell I would ever run 3.2 miles after only nine weeks of training, particularly because I was a smoker and was (and still am) a fan of the alcoholic beverage. I’m not going to say it was easy as pie, but I will tell you it was a lot easier than I had expected – in part, because I had a community to speak with on the Weight Watchers message board and also because I used podcasts to get me through it.
It’s hard to believe that it was only four years ago when there weren’t a ton of options for podcasts to listen to or smartphone apps to help keep my eyes away from the dreaded treadmill clock. The one podcast that had been available was nice enough but the music drove me crazy. So, as a music lover who had access to a good amount of songs I wouldn’t get sued for using, I started creating my own podcasts for the Couch to 5k program. I’m not saying you’ll enjoy the music I use (I don’t even like all of it) or that you won’t want to punch me in the face as I tell you to keep running, but I’d like to put it out there in case it’s something you’d like to try. What I’m hoping for is we set a goal to run in the Proud to Run 5k (or 10k) together as an L Stop community team and then celebrate with some tasty cocktails afterwards. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Of course it does!
For those of you here to accept the challenge, here is a link to the Cool Running Couch to 5k Program. I’m going to tell you to think of the “Weeks” as being “Intervals”. To think everyone will start and end at the same time when life and physical differences are involved is ridiculous. So, don’t beat yourself up if it takes you more time to feel comfortable moving on to the next “week’s” run. The easiest way to psych yourself out of doing something, is to 1) tell yourself you can’t do it and 2) over-exert yourself the first few times until you feel like crap or, worse, injure yourself. So, pay attention to your body and what it’s telling you. That being said, don’t be too easy on yourself either. Kick your own ass – this is for you, not for anyone else. Check back here at the L Stop each week for another podcast and, who knows, maybe we’ll even find some time to go out to the paths at Lake Shore Drive some weekend and do some training together! If you have any questions or need some encouragement, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as I can. Also remember, listen to your body and speak with your doctor to ensure you’re all set to start any type of physical routine.
For week 1 we start out with a 5 minute walking warm-up followed by alternating 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of brisk walking for a total of 20 minutes. Afterwards, reward yourself with some water and a nice pat on the tush for a job well done.
Download the podcast here (right click save as)
Thao & Mirah – “Eleven”
MNDR – “Cut Me Out”
Maximum Balloon ft. Theophilus London – “Groove Me”
MEN – “Off Our Backs”
Making Friendz – “Situation”
Aranda – “It Ain’t Easy”
Sick of Sarah – “Bittersweet”
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Mia can probably call herself a professional when it comes to blogging, music listening, whiskey drinking, French bulldog cuddling and sarcasm. She writes two weekly music columns for After Ellen and is psyched to be part of The L Stop and have the opportunity to write for fellow Chicagoans. Mia loves almost nothing more than dancing with old people at weddings and bar mitzvahs. You can find more of her randomness at ChubbyJones.com