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Couch to 5K: Taking a break

Natalie Dee - abdominal snowdudesource

I’ve finally made up my mind to take a break from running.  I got out there again last night with every intention of giving it one more week… and then I promptly hated every second of it.  I made it halfway through the first three minute run before a severe cramp in my side had me doubled over on the side of the road.  We walked instead, keeping the pace fast and the distance a little longer than usual.  During the walk, I talked it out with my husband and tried to figure out why this was such a big deal for me.  Why was it a huge issue whether I kept running or didn’t?  Why was I struggling and stressing over it?

I’m afraid of being a disappointment.  I don’t want to let people down.  I don’t want my husband to be disappointed in me, and I don’t want my blog readers and friends to feel like I’ve given up or was too weak to do it.  The truth is that physically, I think I could have done it.  But mentally and emotionally?  Not so much.  I was really hating it, and by continuing to do it I was quickly eroding my hard earned motivation to exercise.  I am still at a point where I have to work to make sure I keep up my motivation, and pushing myself to do something I am not enjoying makes it harder for me to hang on to that urge to do the healthy thing.  So no more running… for now.  I’ve already decided that I will revisit the effort once I’m closer to a healthy weight, but until then I am going to concentrate on finding other ways to keep moving and get healthy.

Can I just tell you how relieved I am?  Once we talked and I decided I would definitely be putting aside my C25K efforts for now, I felt this huge weight lift and I realized I’d been letting the whole situation make me cranky and angry all day long.  I was so worried about looking foolish, about being a quitter, about letting you all down.

I hope I didn’t let anyone down, because this really feels like the right choice for me right now.  I will be replacing my runs with all sorts of things.  My current plan is to get outside earlier in the mornings to extend my morning walks from twenty minutes to thirty or forty five.  I’ll also be starting 30 Day Shred TODAY.  I am nervous about it, but I’m hoping it makes a difference.  I’ve seen some pretty inspiring before/after shots from the Shred.  I don’t have the DVD so I am hoping the On Demand version on cable is the same thing.  My husband is thinking about continuing C25K on his own, and on the days he doesn’t run we’ll still go out and get a nice long walk in the evenings.

So I’m open to suggestions… if you’ve done Shred before, is there anything I should know?  How do I know when to go from Level 1 to Level 2?  Will it tell me?  Am I supposed to do Level 1 for 30 days and then move up?  I’m looking forward to being nice and sore tomorrow!  I have 5lb weights, but from some online comments I’ve read it sounds like that might be too much?  Should I try the weighted gloves I have instead?  I think those are 2lbs.

Thanks again to everyone for all of your advice and support.  I know a lot of you suggested that I not quit, and I understand why.  I know I could have done this if I wanted to, but for me it’s not worth it to push for something that makes me unhappy when there are a lot of exercises out there that I do enjoy.  You have to know yourself, and I know that continuing to do something that I dread once I’ve realized it’s making me unhappy is one of the fastest ways for me to lose all of my exercise momentum, give up, and sit on the couch all day.

Keep your fingers crossed that I get a call back on the job I applied for.  They started reviewing applications on Friday, so I am thinking I will hear something this week if they’re interested.  A week?  Is that reasonable?  If I get the job, I’ll be joining the gym and doing classes as often as I can, so that would be a great motivator for me too.  I’ll report back on any job news, and of course I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about 30 Day Shred.


More from me:

Raising kids without gender bias

French style white wines from Australia and North America

Viognier explained


5 Responses

  1. If you have on demand I would do the 30 slimdown. 30 day shred can get a little boring you’re doing the same thing over and over for weeks and the commentary can get old. The slimdown combines 3 of her dvds and their different levels so there is more variety. I thought it was funner than just doing the 30 day shred all the time. You can download the plan here http://www.exercisetv.tv/workoutplans.aspx?id=1

    For the 30 day shred you are supposed to do each level for 10 days then move on to the next. Obviously you can modify it and do it however you want. But that’s where the 30 day thing comes from. I used 2 lbs weights when I did it but towards the end of some workouts I would have to put them down be cause my muscles were shaking so bad. so just see how it goes then you can gradually build up the weight.

    It’s funny I have the reverse reaction to 30 shred/c25k I started to hate doing the videos to the point where it made me cranky! but once I started c25k I loved it and haven’t used them since. Don’t get me wrong, the workouts are really good and I saw improvement, but I’d take running any day haha!

  2. […] Taking a break from running […]

  3. i completely understand! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE running! But…years of injuries and extra baby weight have made it painful for me. As much as I love it, I had to stop b/c it just HURT every time I went for a run and I realized that it wasn’t worth the pain.

    So…I’ve moved on to other things that I love and that still give me a great workout. (boxing!)

    So you need to find what works for you—you won’t be letting anyone down. 🙂

    I’ve done the Shred and it’s tough! You will know when you are ready to move on to the next level. I would start with the 5lb weights and modify if you need to. Again….trust your body.

    Have fun!

  4. I will say this…it’s ok to be discouraged…nobody said it would be easy. First, you have to realize that you are not running for anybody else. You must always run for yourself. You run because it makes you feel good. You run because it makes you healthy. If you run a 5k it will not do anything for me, but it would do wonders for you. My girlfriend and I got someone to run a 5k with us about three weeks ago. She didn’t think she could do it and i told her that anyone could if they wanted to. You just have to run at your pace and nobody elses. We just wanted her to finish and she did…now she wants to run one every month. That’s how much of a difference it made. Also, forget these weight loss plans…they are not a way of life. Whatever you do to lose weight should become a lifestyle. If you do something you know you will not be able to do consistently, then don’t do it. My girlfriend and I decided over a year ago to start running and lose weight. This is how we did it. We worked out six days a week. We made sure to eat good from Sunday until Thursday. On weekends we could eat anything we wanted…drink soda…any dessert. It didn’t take us long to get to our goal weight. Then, once there, we cut back on workouts to 4 a week and still get to eat anything we want on weekends. We have been successful for over a year, because we did what fit into our lifestyle. You can do anything you put your mind to. I know you will be fine… 🙂


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