For those that might have heard - I'm running a 5K on March 12th. This has been a 6-month process leading up to this race.
Last August, I started an individualized workout plan with a heart-rate monitor. The heart-rate monitor and the workout work-up were a thank you gift from my brother for helping with his son last winter. I started off slow...walking with the occasional jogging. As my fitness level improved, I had to jog more and more of my workout. Soon, I was jogging 15 minutes at a time, 20 minutes at a time, and then 30 minutes at a time. Slowly but surely, I could go further and further.
The first time I ran 2.5 miles, the average speed per mile was 17 minutes.....I could have walked faster, but that wasn't the point! The next week, it was about a 16 minute mile for 2.5 miles. Now, I'm hovering around a 15 minute mile for 3 miles....still not the fastest I'll ever run, but it's 12% faster than I used to be :)
I could still probably speed walk as fast as I'm jogging, but I'm jogging it.....for 3 miles at a time! I will continue training the first half of March and pushing myself faster towards the goal of averaging 14 minute miles on race day. I'll have the support and running buddies of my brother, sister and soon-to-be SIL.
Not everyone would admit to running a 17 minute mile the first time they tried, but I think people should. Some people are naturally gifted runners, and then there are the rest of us. I have friends that have seen my genesis into a runner and voiced the idea that they couldn't do it, they're just not a runner. So I want everyone to know how slow I started (and continue to be not as speedy as I will be someday). I didn't run 3 miles the first day. I didn't run it the first month. I didn't run as fast as the track teams that regularly use the same route, I might not ever be really fast.....after all, I have short legs :P
Believe you can do it too. I was depressed, seriously out of shape and overweight when I started my workout program. I had lost a pregnancy a few months before beginning and hadn't really expected much of my body since then. I started out slowly and cherished and cheered myself along the way, proud of each new accomplishment my body achieved. The first time I ran a mile, I focused on being thankful for the ability to run with a plate and screws in my ankle. That gratitude made it easier to focus on the beauty and workmanship in me. Many times I repeated to myself either running or around the house, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made". I'm still working to improve my fitness and find a healthier weight, I will continue to set new goals and celebrate my success at each step.
Recently as I've been running, I've contemplated what ways this stronger body will serve God, an idea first sparked when reading Life Giving Love by Kimberly Hahn. I know my first choice for ways this stronger body could serve would be to bear many more children. I don't know where I'll be called, only that I will be more ready than ever because of my renewed physical strength and stamina.
There was no secret trick, no easy way to transform myself.....one day at a time, still working to trim down and speed up. I've worked hard to get where I am and am looking forward to March 12th as a celebration of everything I have become and grown into. My weaknesses have been made in strong, and I praise God for a body that still has the ability to be trained and active.
Wave when you see me running by....or better yet, join me next time because you can do it too.
For a beginner's running program, check out Couch to 5K.