I'm about to share a little secret with you. Well, a couple of you know about it, but most of you don't.
OK, here it is. I have been working out with a program called "Couch to 5K Running Plan". It's about slowly building up and conditioning to be able to run in a 5K event! My goal was not to run in an event. My goal was just to find a way to bump up my calorie burning. . . perhaps to add a little running (that's a loose term for me.....right now it's a little jog) into my walking routine without falling over in an Elder Heap on the sidewalk.
I exercise fairly regularly....and have for years. I attend aerobics classes where we have the most wonderful instructor who believes in working, not only on cardio fitness, but overall strength, especially on core strength and balance. She incorporates lots of Pilate's and Yoga into her workouts. So, I feel fairly fit for an old gal! However, as I said, I wanted to do a bit more, but not drive to the gym more than three days a week.
The idea of running/walking actually came after class one day. On that day we had jumped rope in our aerobics class as part of an "interval" workout. I'd tried to jump rope forever, but was never co-ordinated enough to do more than a little skipping technique. Anyway, this one day, I finally figured it out, and I found myself actually jumping away for increased lengths of time. It was when I later thought I might get a jump rope and do that at home on my off days of going to the gym that I also thought "why don't I learn how to run"--- that sounded like more fun than jumping rope. Of course I can run, but I mean RUN.....for extended periods of time.
My son is a runner. . . he's been in several 5 and 10 Ks. He's even participated in the Chicago Marathon!!! I'm not a runner. I was always afraid of messing up my knees (that's still a concern. . . so I'm careful) and I had no endurance for that type of extended exercise. However, I kept thinking......if I could maintain a jump rope maneuver for a minute or so, I could surely jog a bit.
Not knowing how to start without hurting myself, I Googled something like "learning to run". In my search, I came upon the program I mentioned. . . "From Couch to 5 K". I was totally intrigued with the concept. It's based upon a time line of 8 weeks, with three days of workouts per week, totaling around 30 minutes of exercise per workout. There is always a brisk five minute warm up walk, followed by increasing intervals of jogs and walks. . . until you end up jogging/running the entire workout. . . and theoretically, you're ready to run a 5K!! (around 3 miles).
So, today, I just completed Week 5, Day 3 of the program. I am a 63 year old granny, who just jogged for TWENTY MINUTES straight!!!!
I took this picture just moments after I returned home. I was still beet red and dripping with sweat, but I didn't care how bad I looked. I felt wonderful inside!!
I have to tell you, the last five minutes of the workout were a major challenge. I didn't go for speed or distance or hills. I went for staying in an upright position and continuing to do my jog/run for twenty minutes without stopping. . . . and I did it!!!
When I started the program (more than five weeks ago, I had to repeat week 3 and I had to skip last week cuz I was sick for a few days and working on my first fall sale). . . I was challenged to jog 90 seconds.
One of the great things about the program is they have a website and are on Face book, too. They frequently post really good articles about exercising. . . diet, hydration, shoes. . . .
I was recently reading about shoes and came to realize mine were too short. They were OK for everyday walking and even my aerobics classes, but too short for jogging. So yesterday, I went to an actual "running store" to get some expert advice on what type of shoes I should be wearing.
We are so lucky to have GARRY GRIBBLE'S RUNNING STORE in a shopping center near us. I felt pretty awkward going in there. . . being old and all, but I had always heard great things about this place, so I went in. It was soon very apparent that lots of smart older folks have found this the place to purchase footwear. I wasn't alone in the wrinkle department! :)
The sales folks seem to know what they're doing. They do a great foot measurement and actually observe you walking so they can determine what type of shoe would best serve your feet. I have since heard there are other stores that have devices that are hi-tech about figuring out your foot mechanics, but this store didn't use that. . . they just eye-balled my feet and how they worked. That was already above any other service I had ever received when I bought running shoes.
The salesman came out with several types of shoes and patiently worked with me while I tried them on, walked around and picked them apart! :) I finally settled on the ones I showed you. . . they are 1/2 size larger than what I had and they SPARKLE!! :) Oh, and yes, they are SO comfortable.
I have one more little tidbit to share. When I was first "dabbling" with the walk/run concept of exercise, I saw one day that my niece, who lives here in the Kansas City area, announced on her Face book page that she was following the same program. . . with the actual goal of running in a 5K in the fall. Recently, I found out that her step-mom, who lives out of state, was also working on the same plan. . . and would possibly be participating in the same event in the fall!! THEN, I found out that my son was already signed up for it....although I don't know in which event. Anyway, that all caused me to rethink my goal. Maybe, just maybe, I could be there with them, too!!! It would be sorta a family thing and the first 5K for us three gals!!! That would certainly be fun . . . maybe.