Sunday, October 7, 2012

Couch-To-5k! Are you with me??

Yep. That's me. I am not a runner. But, you know what?? I am running!

This summer a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was embarking on the Couch-To-5k Program. I commented that I would join her; it's always easier to exercise together. That led to us creating a Facebook group of people from all over that were going to start together, called "Couch to 5k: The NAFTA Challenge". And you know what? Lots of the group members are running 5k races already!

I must say, the group is a little thin on those of us who are south of the border. So, if any Puerto Morelians want to join in that would be great!

For those of you who haven't heard of Couch-To-5k, it is just what it says it is. It takes you from the couch to jogging 5k (3 miles) in 10 weeks.

Couch-To-5k Training Program. Click to View Larger Image.
What I love about the program is that it is extremely gradual. As tempted as you may be to jump ahead -- don't! If you are like me: I say I am going to start exercising; I re-start at nearly the level where I left off; I get sore; I quit. With this program, I didn't get overly sore, and it's one less excuse to keep me from doing it.

I began the program this summer, but took a hiatus while we were away. In September, I jumped back on the treadmill, and I am full steam ahead!

While running isn't my exercise of choice, I have come to understand that it is my only choice. And I have also learned that I hate running so much that if I have any excuse, I won't do it. So, my solution has been to remove ALL excuses so that my lazy @** has no choice but to run.

Here's how I have eliminated my excuses:
  • I don't have time!

    My kids are off to school at 6:30 and 8:00 am. I start work at 9 and am home at 6. Then between 6-8 it's: supper, homework, kid time, showers/teeth/pajamas/bedtime story/bedtime. By 8 o'clock, the absolute last thing I am going to do is workout. So, I am getting up at 5 am. It's done long before anything else creeps into my schedule and sidetracks me from getting it done.
  • It's too hot/humid/windy/rainy & I don't have time to go the the gym!

    These two excuses were eliminated in one fell, spendy swoop: I bought a treadmill, and I set it up in an air-conditioned guest bedroom. I even splurged on a really nice Lifestyle treadmill so that crappy equipment wouldn't become a future excuse!
  • I get shin splints.

    This goes back to: If I get too sore, I won't keep going. Since I was young, I have always gotten painful shin splints. However, I might have this one beat! I have learned that if I run barefoot, I don't get them! So, while I have had tender feet until the calluses built, I haven't had shin splints.
  • I am bored.

    Honestly, I think this remains my biggest obstacle to running. It's totally a head game for me. The entire time I am doing it, I am thinking about how badly it stinks to run. Watching the news and listening to music both help to distract my mind, but if anyone else has suggestions on how to make the time pass more quickly, I am certainly open to suggestions.

With every conceivable excuse removed from the equation, I am running. Frankly, I'd love to be surfing, beach volleyballing, doing yoga, or some other form of glamorous exercise. But all of those options are loaded with excuses and easy ways to get out of doing them. So, my fellow friends, that leaves me with running. I can get up, be on my treadmill and done in 45 minutes, and then be on to the rest of my day. It's feasible, effective, and quick. And it's the only way I am getting myself back into shape.

I wanted to share this with you for three reasons:
  1. It was a post from a friend that got me started. I feel that I have a moral obligation to do the same. I hope that this post might inspire some of you!!

    If it does, feel free to post in the comments section of this blog post! I'd love to hear if any of you decide to join me! Keep me posted on your progress!! I'll be posting my progress in the comments section as well! You are also welcome to join our Facebook group, if you'd like.
  2. By sharing it with you, I am hoping that you all will support me on my journey. Like a lot of us, I am not as fit as I ought to be. Kids/Job/Life have put a kabash on my former athletic ventures, so I was getting really out of shape. I want to be a good example for my kids, and I want to stay fit for a lifetime for myself!

    I also hope to lose 15 pounds. If I do that, I'll be back to the size I was before I had children. So -- folks -- are you ready, I am putting it all out there so that peer pressure (if nothing else) will keep me going: AT THE START OF THIS PROGRAM I WEIGHED 15O POUNDS! I am currently at 148 lbs. My goal weight is 135. I'll keep you posted on my progress!
  3. I also wanted to share some important news -- particularly for women -- that I learned as I started on my exercise program.

    As some of you may know, I began the attempt to get active about one year ago. However, fatigue -- beyond the norm -- thwarted my efforts. As I began to step up the pace, by body wasn't keeping up. I was short of breathe (I read: out of shape); I was dizzy (I read: really out of shape); I was tired (I read: Isn't everyone?); I was losing my hair (that freaked me out enough to figure out what was going on). Finally, I crashed in a big tired mess and didn't have the energy to get out of bed. I hauled myself to the doctor where I learned that I was experiencing severe, chronic anemia.

    Here's what I learned, and it's an important take-home message, particularly for us ladies who tend to be more susceptible: YOUR BODY LOSES IRON IN YOUR SWEAT. I had literally sweated myself into chronic anemia -- not from exercise, but from everyday living. Moral of the Story: You may want to strongly consider taking an iron supplement if you are going to be living in a tropical environment.

    It's taken me almost a year to get back to nearly-normal iron levels. Now, I am cleared for exercise, and I am ready to get back to it!

Keep me posted in the comments section below if you decide to take the Couch to 5k Challenge!! I'd love to hear from you!

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Amber Pierce-Schulz is the Broker/Owner of Mayan Riviera Properties, specializing in Puerto Morelos Real Estate and Puerto Morelos Vacation Rentals. We are members of AMPI and Federally Certified Realtors.