Lucy and the Glory of Couch 2 5k

This is the first of five posts that will honor one of my dearest friends, Lucy. She’s an über-running badass and is running the Chicago Marathon THIS COMING SUNDAY.

Let me first just say: This will not become a running blog. I swear.

Moving on… Yes. I started running.

Duh.

Seems to be the thing to do this year. My friend, the Cobra, said that my just starting to run (at age 31) is something very “thirty-something woman of me” which I think originally offended me – though I know he didn’t mean it to be offensive – but now makes a lot of sense to me. But let me back up a bit and tell how you how it all started.

I suppose you could say it began when I decided I was going to (finally) use my regular, sane, normal business hours (for the first time in my working career!) to my favor and start working-out more. That went splendidly, so I was ready to up the fitness challenge. But what would I do? Spin? Bike? Yoga? I basically considered anything but running because, well, I hate running.

Enter Lucy.

A former stranger to running herself, Lucy started running around last September? October? November? I can’t remember when. Let’s just call it fall of 2010. She ran a 5k, a 10k, pledged to run a marathon in 2011, then ran a half marathon, signed up for her marathon, ran a 10 miler, and logged eighty-bazillion miles of running. She’s unbelievable, that one. She simply decides she’s going to do something… and then she does it. Basically the opposite of me.

So one night in January, when Lucy came to town to take me out for a birthday dinner (Woodberry Kitchen, holla), I pelted her with questions about running. How did she start? Get faster? Work through the pain? Deal with the crying (there is crying in running)? Fuel for long runs? Pick the right shoes? You get the point.

By the time she was done talking about her journey with running, I knew I was hooked. I had to try it. I had to see if I was (finally) ready to try something that would truly challenge me. Then, in Molly fashion, I waited four months before actually trying it.

Enter C25k.

Yep. Just a bunch of letters and numbers. Only so much more. The C25k – or Couch to 5k – program is amazing because… it works. Period. It literally takes you from sitting on the couch and watching people run and thinking they are dumb… to running a 5k.

Which I did: First a test-5k on June 22. Second, my first timed-race ever: Run to Remember on September 11. (official chip time of 35:40. That’s basically an 11:28 second mile. Not too shabby for my first race that ended with two ginorm hills. But I can, AND WILL, do better.)

Then I signed up for a 10k in October (gulp, two weeks from now), a 15k in December, and a half-marathon in January!

You see – If you put it up and out on the world wide webs, it sure does make it real. So I’m counting on all of you to hold me accountable. Don’t let me down, Internets.

Back to what Cobra said: I get it now. I’m officially into my thirties. I’m cool with it, but I am getting the distinct feeling that I am capable of so much more than I’m doing now. I was searching for more, and running gives me that confidence, clarity, serenity, and – frankly – the strong, kick-ass legs (fingers crossed), to live a fuller life. (I know. CHEESEBALL. Stop gagging, you’re nearly done reading this post.)

So yes – I’m officially addicted to running and honestly? I owe it all to Lucy.

Dear Lucy: This time next week, you will be a marathoner!!! NO BIG DEAL!

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