A little over 6 years ago, I was a consistent runner. Then I quit. We moved to Georgia and it was hot and humid and I just couldn’t deal. So I quit. What I didn’t realize was how much my mental, physical, and spiritual health were suffering because of it. For the 30 minutes that I was putting foot to pavement, my head was clear and nothing was stressing me. I was simply focused on hitting my mile/time goal. I was doing something just for me. And, oh my word, it felt so good.
Lately, my sleep patterns have been all over the place. I mean, I’ve always been a terrible sleeper, but I was at the point where I was averaging a little over 4 hours a night and I felt like my stress level was over the roof. I’m not a crier, by any stretch of the imagination, but if the wind blew too hard, I could feel the tears brimming. And I gained a lot of weight. I’m 5’5″ and I was topping out at 178 lbs. My nurse practitioner also told me that I’m pre-diabetic. And my blood pressure was a little elevated. Not high, but high for me. Except for the cancer thing, I’ve always been healthy.
This was an eye opener.
So I went back to what I know. Running.
It’s funny for me to say that because the whole time I was in the Army, I would darn near cry when I heard “Double time. March.”
Since I hadn’t run in a loooong time, I decided to use the Couch to 5K Running app by Active. I did a variation of this when I first started running with the Run for God group and it worked out really well for me. I was able to build up my endurance and speed without injury because the group I was with took a holistic approach to running.
With the C25k app, you get your choice of “coaches.” For now, my coach is Billie. I didn’t pick her for any other reason that she’s wearing purple, which is my favorite color.
Week 1 was hard because I was trying to figure out where and when I was most comfortable running. There’s a park around the corner from my house, so I started off there but then a running group started showing up and I found it distracting and intimidating. I know, weird, considering I used to be part of a running group.
For week 2, I decided to run in my neighborhood and I’ve found that I’m much more comfortable here. There aren’t groups of people or kids to avoid, so I can do my walk/run cycles without too much interruption. On 22 June, I actually ran at 6:30 am and, y’all, morning runs are a good thing. I don’t know if I can do a pre-work run, but I do know I felt good all day and slept really well that night.
Not only has my sleep improved, but I’m down 2.2 lbs in the past two weeks. I’ve eliminated sodas from my diet and am cutting back on fast food. My goal is to completely eliminate fast foods. Notice, I’m not just counting on running to lose weight. I’m focusing on my diet as well. Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand, y’all.
I know some folks don’t like the app because – while they agree it gets people moving – there is concern about injury and the lack of a strength training component. If I hadn’t done the Run for God program and served in the Army, I think I’d share those same concerns. But since I have that experience, the app works for me.
I did do a bit of research and I think an alternative program for those who want to run is None to Run.
Let’s get healthy!