When I was in junior high I hated any form of exercise.  I hated sports, I hated running, and gym class was the worst part of the day.  Part of that was because I was not competitive.  It’s hard to like completion when everyone else is faster and stronger than you.  It just wasn’t in my genes.

But you don’t have to like competing with others to get enjoyment and benefit from physical activity.  It took me a few more years to learn that.

In high school I had the most awesome gym teacher.  His name was Mr. Madill and he taught me that I could be active and enjoy sports just because they were fun.  He taught me that the only person I really had to compete against was myself.  And that is when I started to enjoy running.

When I first started “competing” against myself I was running a mile in 14 minutes.  Yes, 14 minutes.  When I got sick later in the year with double pneumonia I was running a mile in 9 minutes.  I was very proud of myself and by that time I was really enjoying the training I was doing.  I wasn’t doing it to beat any of my classmates.  I wasn’t doing it to lose weight.  I was just enjoying the thrill of getting better and stronger.

And I’ve been trying to get back to that ever since.

Last year I competed in a local Biggest Loser type of competition.  I was introduced to the treadmill and I instantly fell in love with it.  While my team mates were into boxing and the elliptical machine, I couldn’t wait to get on the treadmill for my run every day.  I lost 17 lbs and I got faster in speed.  I was feeling good.

Then the competition ended and life got in the way and now I’m 15 lbs heavier than when I stated the competition.

Today I got my very own treadmill and I’m very excited about getting going again.  It’s not fancy and I hope it will be strong enough to handle daily runs.  But it is here in my living room – an everyday reminder of my goal.

I want to be able to run a 5K race (or even just run 5K around town!) so I’m going to follow the Couch to 5K program.  It follows an integral training program that increases over time.  Each week you run more and walk less. 

Week 1 has 90 seconds of running followed by 2 minutes of jogging.  You start and end with a 5 minute walk to warm up and cool off.  My plan is to work out on the treadmill Monday to Friday after my children leave for school.  I’ll be adding some exercises as well – squats, crunches, and some core body exercises.

I’m planning to update you here every week.  I’m hoping it will keep me accountable.

If you’re doing something similar I’m hoping that you’ll leave a comment and share your experiences.  Have you done this before?  Are you doing the Couch to 5K now?  Have you had any stumbling blocks?  Share with me!