9 Weeks and Counting

At work, I’ve just completed an intense, high-visibility project and the pressure of the past two months has lifted. But, having been glued to my chair for the duration to take care of deadlines and deliverables, the time has come to take care of me.

Seeing as the only exercise I’ve gotten since my project started involved dashing up and down the stairs for coffee refills, followed by swan-diving onto the couch, exhausted at the end of so many long days, I needed a plan of action – one that would have me up and running in time for the Turkey Trot 5k in November.

Enter the Couch to 5k program, promising it’s users the ability to run 3 miles straight without stopping in just nine weeks.

Sedentary to sensational, right? We’ll see.

I had read online that the best way to get through the program is to find a buddy. When my husband begged off, my nine year old stepped up.

I was skeptical. I’ve “run” with him before. He’s a whiz and can run circles around me. On the track, he does just that – literally. But he’s the most kind-hearted little man I know, oozing encouragement by the bucket full.

The first workout of the first week’s first night is this: warm-up for 5 minutes, then jog for 1 minute, walk for 1.5 minutes. Repeat for the next 20 minutes. Cool down with another 5 minute walk. Easy right?

We trekked out just before dusk. Five minutes later, we were at our destination. The full moon was rising and my knees were starting to ache before I even stepped foot on the course.

My mini coach dashed passed me, calling, “C’mon!” over his shoulder.

When he was a full half lap in front of me – about 15 seconds later, he turned to flash me a thumbs-up. As he passed by me on the next go around, between my desperate gasps for air, I could still hear his sweet voice calling out, “Looking good!”
I turned my head, figuring that in the deepening dusk, he must have mistaken me for a sleek, fit athlete.
If I only felt as good as I looked. My lungs felt like they were about to burst into flames and I was already certain that my knees wouldn’t let me complete this program without the intervention of an orthopedic surgeon. 
I checked my watch. One minute done. Time to walk. The next minute and a half passed by at warp speed. 
Eighteen and a half minutes later, my coach and I left the track. I was winded, sweaty and red-faced. He looked like he had just hopped off of the couch after enjoying a cartoon marathon.
I can’t begrudge him his youthful fitness. But, boy oh boy, 9 weeks from now, I had better be able to keep up with the little squirt.
Stay tuned.

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