I'm feeling a little euphoric today. I went on a RUN! Yes! I RAN! What's the big deal, right? Well...I haven't run for many years because I have trouble with my knees. I was an athlete in high school and whenever I was on a "work out kick" after I graduated, I would run the treadmill at the club. Somewhere in there, the knee pain started. It disappeared miraculously during my military basic training, but then it reappeared. I went to a physical therapist, tried shoe inserts, exercises, etc. But, the pain still held me back.
I've always had a high metabolism and haven't had to work too hard to stay at a healthy weight. I do work hard on eating really clean, but any form of regular exercise routine has been lacking since Matt and I got married 10 years ago. I've always wanted to start again...and I've admired friends who gain such joy from running (...a big shout out to my girl Heather...who just signed up for her second marathon! Woot!). Running seems so great for me because it's a "portable" sport and a simple way to stay healthy! Perfect for someone who is living in a small space without much room to exercise indoors.
I read somewhere that people were having good results running in Vibram FiveFinger shoes (the "barefoot alternative)...even those with knee/hip pain. I was thrilled and ordered some "Sprints" from REI immediately. After trying a couple different sizes, I finally settled into my very own pair of "gecko feet", as my friend Christine calls them. They are different....but good. The reason they are supposed to be better is because your foot strikes the ground differently when you run in them...they strike mid-foot instead of heel first. This apparently lessens the impact on your body...and that's about all the technical stuff I know about them.
I love being able to really feel the ground under my feet. I've always enjoyed going barefoot...but barefoot can hurt!! Yes, I have wimpy feet. This way, I can have the best of both worlds (I can't write that phrase without singing Hannah Montana). I've been wearing them around during the day as well...not just for running. I can definitely see more of these in my future. The Classic version is so cute. Oh, and this purple pair...you know I love purple.
I've heard people talk about the Couch to 5K program for a long time, but I never paid much attention. "I'm not a runner", I thought. But now, I'm on board with it! It seems like a perfect way to start back into a routine. I've even downloaded the iPhone C25K app. On my days off, I plan on doing yoga and resistance exercises. This morning I set out on my first run...through the back country of Texas. The wildflowers were beautiful, the horses abundant, and the sunshine warm. The only thing about running out here is that people let their dogs roam free-range style. A very large white dog (resembling a horse) ran right up to me and freaked me out for a second. Luckily, he wasn't hungry and he let me live another day.
I flew through the workout with very little pain and moments of great happiness. I'm sure I got a few weird looks from passersby as I belted out Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, and Elton John. But I loved every minute. And now that I've told you all of this, I'm obligated to stick to it. Maybe someday, I might even run a 5K race!
I've started a DailyMile account...is anyone else on there? If so, be my friend! :) I love any type of tracking program...it keeps me motivated. I'm also trying out the Two Hundred Squats program for iPhone as well. I'm gettin' serious now! :)
I would love to hear about your experiences with the C25K program...and any thoughts you might have on running. I need all the encouragement I can get...Run, Sara, Run! :)