One man's adventure in life!

Couch to 5k

I've now done my second run of the official UK “Couch to 5k” programme, using the podcast rather than the app. I used to run but it's been over four years now since I was a regular and since then I've put on 20 lbs due to middle age finally catching up with my once fast burning metabolism. Although my mind remembers many 5ks, 10ks and even two painful half marathons, my body will appreciate the slow pace of the 9 week gradual build up to 5k!

I've been meaning to get in better shape for years now. I was at my best when we lived in California, the good weather conducive to starting a running habit in my mid thirties. The local trails started just around the corner from our apartment, with a dip in our outside swimming pool as a reward at the end of the run (especially needed when I left the run too late in the hot, hot summer days!). This route gave me a sub 25 min 5k at my fastest. The local gym was easy to build into our routine as well and even had a fun multi-week fitness challenge we entered once.

I chalked up a number of “San Francisco Beer Runs” out of local micro-breweries with tasty beer at the end of them. A raffle at one led to a free online personal running coach who took me from 5k to 10k, then a paid renewal to take me to half marathon. Every Thanksgiving we entered the Walnut Creek Turkey Trot, with MC Hammer as the race starter (no Hammer Pants but “Can't touch this” on a loop!). It was one of these where I ran a 52 min 10k. We also regularly entered races across Northern California, the most notable being the “Avenue of the Giants” in the awe-inspiring coastal redwoods. Love those trees! That was my first half, completed in 2:36 with some walking and a couple of comfort breaks in portaloos.

Rewinding further, for many years I acted as support crew while The Canadian ran half marathons across the UK. London, Leeds, Liverpool, and the beautiful setting of the Mull of Kintyre. While I really enjoyed this role, I enjoyed running with her in California even more – although she is the better runner (lots of halves and one full marathon completion medals around her neck), we had a similar pace over 5-10k (happy to take advantage of my longer legs there!).

So why did I stop? I guess the stress and logistics of moving countries followed by finding and starting a new job threw the rhythm off and like many habits, breaking it is easier than starting it again!

So why start again now? Well, one of my brothers and his partner have started. The Canadian is also joining in, so we have a little group to keep each other going. The novelty of putting on weight has given away to unhappiness at carrying it. Also, having a baby is a motivator. Both for the short term personal time running gives, and the long term need to stay fit as older parents wanting to keep up and play with our child as she grows. Plus it will be fun to impart good, healthy routines to her!

Fingers crossed then that this is one new habit that will stick!

Entry 49 of my participation in the “100 Days to Offload” challenge – find out more and join in!

2020-12-31 #100DaysToOffload #running #CouchTo5k #BayArea

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