Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Couch to 5k launch day!!!

February 14th of this year, Analisa and I challenged our friends, neighbors (anyone would listen, really) to give THEMSELVES a gift and commit to the Couch to 5K program. We convinced Stephanie, the leader of Stroller Warriors, our running club, to allow us to put on this program. We had upwards of 70 women join the facebook page. About 40 something show up to that first workout on Valentine's day. And over 20 ladies complete the 8 week program and participate in a local(ish) 5k.  I know, I know, that's quite a bit of loss, but this is a 3 day a week walking/running interval program for non-runners, and you can't MAKE anyone follow through with their goals no matter how obnoxious encouraging you are. Believe me! I can be VERY encouraging!  
I can't tell you how proud we were on race day when our former couch potatoes showed up and kicked some 5k booty. It was a pretty fantastic day. As we cheered for them like crazies, we reminisced about the first few weeks of workouts. These ladies that could barely run for 45 seconds straight, were now running 3.2 miles!!! In JUST 8 weeks!!!!! 

It was the same program Analisa and I both did to start ourselves off running. I had never run over a mile in my whole life before I started this program, and now 17 months later, I've run 4 half marathons, I'm running another this Saturday, and we're training for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. The first half I ran, was in March of this year- 3 DAYS shy of my one year anniversary of starting the Couch to 5k program. 

My favorite Psalm is Psalm 139. In this reading, one of my favorite verses is "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Can I get an amen??! If you don't fully grasp this scripture- go from never running ever. Living a pretty much lazy life. Eating junk food and generally not taking care of yourself for years and years. Then do this program and go from not running at all to running miles. MILES. With an "S" at the end. Multiple. We are so wonderfully made that we can go from sedentary lives to active lives with really not all that much effort. About 30 minutes a day for 3 days a week for 8 weeks. That's really not too much. Praise God! What resilient amazing bodies we have!

Anyhow, so today our running club launched another Couch to 5k session. Analisa and I have passed on the leadership to the wonderful Candice Carnes and Shannon Reynolds- two of our graduates from the first C25K group! It felt weird not to be heading up this group, but we've got marathon training and the Have to Half monthly half marathon series on our plates and we believe these two ladies not only are going to do a fantastic job, but they deserve the opportunity to lead this program. As much as the C25K was obviously to benefit these ladies, Analisa and I both feel that we got so much out of it. It was amazing to be a part of these ladies' experience and to watch them all do something that they didn't think they could do. It was great to see all the new Couch to 5k newbies out there today. We had a great turnout and I'm just so stinkin' proud of all these women that I don't even know!!

If you're interested in putting aside your excuses and making a change, we'd love for you to join us. For those of you that aren't local- find some buddies and get started with the program outlined here.

Shannon and her "deployment spouse" Katie
Candice and her awesome husband, a wounded warrior that has his own inspiring story (He'll be running right alongside his wife soon- even though he was told walking on his own wouldn't be likely!)
The "pow-wow" before the run. I wish I had a picture of just the newbs! But these are all the Stroller Warriors that made it to the workout today. 
Whitney gets seriously nervous before the race! 

Kara has been officially crowned a warrior after finishing strong!!
 I don't have pictures of all the ladies, but here are some fun shots!

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