Couch to 5k

It’s over. Now the training for the 10k begins.

I have a love/hate relationship with running, tipping heavily towards the hate. I somehow ended up on the cross-country team in high school. Oddly enough, I ran for four years. I was never very fast. I was never any better than middle of the pack, but I loved my teammates, and the sport comes with a lot of bragging rights (also, when you run 5-6 miles a day you eat whatever you want).

In college I slacked. I remember running in the rain from my freshman dorm to the music building (maybe 200 yards) and feeling really winded. How had the mighty fallen! Or the mightyish.

Then came Hannah. She is one of the most disciplined people I have ever (probably will ever) meet. She decided that she needed a running buddy, and I was chosen. Looking back, that second semester of college my junior year was one of the most difficult and loneliest times of my life, and I don’t know what I would have done without my morning runs with Hannah.

We ran all winter long. Sub-zero temperature could not slow us (because we were already running so slow)! We would come in after running the Loop (5k square through farmland and woods close to our school) with frost clinging to the hairs on our faces.

With Hannah I went from couch to 5k in about a week. There’s no walking when you run with her. Unless, of course you really need to walk, and then you try to sneakily stop, hoping she won’t notice. Of course she does, and prods you further. Hannah also used military history to push me up hills when we trained for a half marathon. I named three hills after hills at the battle of Verdun. Also, Hannah would say controversial things about literature and then shoot off, knowing that I couldn’t bear to let her think for one minute that Hamlet was a better play than King Lear (this happened, and even though I hadn’t read Hamlet I was pretty sure Lear was better. Now that I’ve read it, I’m absolutely positive!)

Post college when I lived in downtown Hillsdale I would run out to Lake Baw Beese’s almost every morning. There’s something magical about standing on a dock and watching the sun rise over the lake. I miss water. I would gladly trade half our mountains for a few decent lakes.

Boston was a dark spot. My neighborhood never felt safe. My teaching overwhelmed me that year.

Colorado has been better. Of course everyone runs here, so it’s a little annoying (I get passed by old men and women all the time). But my neighborhood is lovely, and I have my comfortable route. My coach in high school would always tell us that you never regret going out for a run. Even if it’s horrible, and you only run a mile, it’s still better than nothing. That’s been my motto these past few weeks: it’s better than nothing.


7 thoughts on “Couch to 5k

  1. I wish you lived here. I have no running buddy. I’m at the point of asking complete strangers to run with me just because i want (need) the company and accountability. I feel the same way–the same love/hate–and gosh darn it i want someone to run with me so i’m not alone!! Mark won’t. Maybe I should sneakily make it a game or competition. He might get into it…Sigh.

    1. Andrea, I often read your blog and wonder how we missed out being real-life friends. I would love to be your running buddy. Currently mine is Life of Pi. Someday, I’ll have a buddy!

      1. Sigh. Very true–how DID we miss out on being real-life friends?! Maybe one day I’ll live in CO (that’d be swell) or somehow we’ll end up closer!! And we will RUN!

  2. I actually have a pair of running socks that say “LOVEhate” on the back! I got them at my first ever 5k – (which I ran at age 30). I have a 4-legged, furry running buddy, which has pros and cons, and I have a great running coach/husband who designs training plans for me. I pick a goal (usually a race, and he charts out three runs (1 easy, 1 fast, 1 long) per week in a spreadsheet, which I usually print off and stick on the fridge. If I do the run and accomplish the goal, I mark it in green. If I attempt but don’t quite hit the goal – yellow. Skip the run – RED. It’s amazing how motivating that is! The thought of putting a big red X on my all-green training plan has gotten me out the door many times!
    ALSO – Some of my past running buddies and I chose a destination race and reunited for a girls’ weekend. Very motivating and very fun 🙂

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