How I Got Started

In the fall of 2006, I somehow stumbled upon a very 'cool' website.  At least it was to me.  I kept reading and reading and reading, and there it was - my bucket list item #1 - a 'how-to'.  That's all it took.  The website was and the article was how to go from the couch... to running a 5k race.  (I promptly looked up how far a "5k" was - 3.1 miles!?!?  'Phew.)  Since I was in high school, I have always wanted to 'run in a race'.  But I wasn't a runner.  Never had been.  I wasn't athletic.  Never played sports.  No cross country or track in high school for me - much less college.  I was a cheerleader in 10th grade.  That's it.  Took raquetball and golf in college because I had to pick something.  But if you aren't a born runner or an athelete , then that is something you just have to wish you could do .    

I give my hat to the c25k (Couch to 5k) training program.  It really provided a stepping stone for me that was much needed.  And this is how my training went til present  (this might be a little more than you wanted to know - but it's my blog):

September 2006
  • Began W1D1 (that's c25k talk for "week 1, day1) and signed up for my first EVER 5k race: Rudolph's Red Nose Run 5k!
  • W3 or W4 ("week 3" or "week 4") - got up at 5:00 a.m. to run (BEFORE I woke my 2 small boys to get them fed and ready for school and then off to a full-time job) - but just going down the stairs HURT.  I was limping.  
  • Diagnosis:  left knee stress fracture - crutches for 8 (???) weeks. (all I know is I got them off the day of Rudolph's Red Nose Run 5k)
January 2007
  • Attempt #2:  Began W1D1 again......... never really could get going this time... didn't have the spunk like the first time.... I had zero energy.
  • Diagnosis:  I was pregnant.  (WTH?????)  And no running?????  (WTH??)
Note:  You can definitely run when you are pregnant IF you have already been running and don't do any more than you were while not pregnant.  At least that is what I have heard.  I obviously had.... well nothing... under my belt and didn't even think about running while pregnant.

May 2007
  • No heartbeat.  My baby only grew to the size of a 13 week old inutero.  I was 20 weeks pregnant.  D&C that afternoon.
June & July 2007
  • I remember running a little here and there to burn off steam/anxiety/grief/confusion.  Once cleared by my doc, the hubby and I were running the numbers and waiting for the next cycle to try to conceive again.
August 2007
  • Well that was quick.  Pregnant!  (this time... YAY!)  No running for this ecstatic and grateful gal!
April 2008
  • Lucy Christine was born 4.21.08  =D
May 2008 - Jan 2010
  • Pretty much a blur.  BUSY stay-at-home mom of 3.
March/April 2010
  • Attempt #3:  W1D1
May 2010
  • Not again!  Left knee/shin starting to hurt - too familiar.
  • Diagnosis - possible start of another stress fracture - only walking and non-impact exercises for 6 weeks.
I guess I will insert this here:  Here is my experience with the forums - I met some great people and we became very close through our c25k journey together.  If you need some light reading, give it a click.  I think it's only like 94 pages.  ;)

July 2010
  • As much as I fluffy heart the c25k program, I couldn't start it for a 4th time.  I was now bored of "trying" the c25k.  That's when I found Hal Higdon's 5k Novice Training Plan.  Unlike the c25k, Hal Higdon's plan was based on mileage instead of minutes so it was new and more challenging for me.
  • Signed up for my (hopefully) first 5k EVER!  The Hank Thompson Trek N Treat 5k
October 2010
  • On October 16, 2010, I finally ran and completed my first road race ever - Hank Thompson Trek N Treat 5k.  My time was 35:01.  The whole experience was exhilarating.  I finally did it.  Bucket list #1 - check!
My first 5k was in the books.  Did I train properly?  Long enough?  Too much?  Hard enough?  Hell no.  In fact, I didn't even finish Hal Higdon's program but still ran, did an impromptu visit to one of my besties (Hi Angie!!!) in San Antonio the weekend before the race....  ate waaay to much....  drank WAY to much....  didn't rest near enough.  So much freakin' fun!  ;)

I took the winter off - as I've done every winter of my life - and didn't run, didn't exercise, and put on the holiday lbs.

Since my first 5k, I've only done 1 other race - another 5k.  In October 2011, I ran the Hank Thompson Trek N Treat.  Again.  I'm real adventurous eh?  But I set a PR (personal record) and beat my first and only 5k time - 34:16.

After that, I couldn't EVEN imagine training for yet another 5k race.  I was so sick of looking at 5k plans and doing the same thing over and over for the past 5 years.  So, what's next?  A 10k!  Couldn't find any 10k races in my area soon enough to keep me from hibernating.  So, a half??? Neh.  Not near ready.  Or... am I?  

Again, I went to Hal Higdon.  Printed the half training schedule and found a half marathon that was in November.  I was cutting it close.  Too close.  I lasted a few weeks.  The program was too fast and too intense for me and my then current athletic ability.  So I just kept running off and on.  One mile here.  One mile there.  Lots of walking too (which is VERY good for injury prevention by the way).

Then one night I was reading one of my favorite running websites of all time.  Seriously.  I love how this guy talks, how knowledgeable he is about running, etc., how thorough he is about explaining things, YET he can put it all in layman's terms for even the... beginner-est beginner.  (nice word Andrea).

I contacted Jason Fitzgerald of Strength about one of his plans he offers.  I decided on the "PR Race Plan" and to have Jason write a half marathon training plan just for me - based on ME.

Fast forward:  today as I'm writing this, I am in my 4th week of training for my first half marathon (exactly 100 days to go!)  - written by none other than Jason Fitzgerald (you're welcome Jason) - the Rock'n'Roll Country Music Marathon & Half Marathon that will take place on Saturday, April 28, 2012.  I am beyond excited.

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