Valerie Simpson, guest blogger
By Valerie Simpson – wife, mother and health program specialist at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
When MU Health Care contacted me about doing a guest blog post to talk about the progress I have made since the inaugural HealthyU Couch to 5K program, I thought to myself that there was no way that anyone would want to hear about the failure that I have experienced. But, wait, to be honest, it hasn’t all been a failure! I have come a long way and I am too hard on myself. I have actually made quite a bit of progress.
I started the Couch to 5K program a few weeks before the 2012 February 28th training program. When I started, I was not a newbie to exercise. I had dabbled in it for awhile – doing Zumba a few times a week and doing DVDs at home, etc., but I have always wanted to be a runner. I had tried the C25K program before and quit before week 3, but this time, I had a goal – I wanted to run in the first-ever Go Girl Run 5K in May with a few friends. So, I went and listened to Ted Brandt talk about running, forked out the money for new shoes, made my commitment and I did it! I finished the C25K program the week before the Go Girl Run and my friends and I ran it. We did not run the whole time, but we finished it in a respectable amount of time (I don’t remember what the time was, nor do I care). I continued running about 3 ½ miles 3-4 times a week for a couple of weeks, but got bored with it. I felt like I needed a plan. I felt like I needed to push myself. I decided to start training for a half-marathon.
Turns out, I don’t have the dedication for half-marathon training! I have a full-time job, two small children, and a husband. I am also taking classes towards my Master’s Degree and I do enjoy a little social life! Once I stopped the half-marathon training, I stopped running completely for a couple of months. I just recently picked it back up, but stopped again over the holidays.
I love running. I love the way it makes me feel when I am finished. I love being able to say that I am a runner. I love that I can just lace up my shoes and go, but it’s still hard to get on that treadmill when I know I need to do it. I also apparently do better when I have a plan of some sort. So as of right now, I haven’t run for three weeks according to Map My Run (the app I use on my iPhone to track my runs) and I am not sure when I will run next. Maybe I will start the Couch to 5K program over again in February. Then, I can finish up the program just in time for Spring Break….
Have you started an exercise plan? What are your tips for success? Share them in the comments.