I was at brunch a month ago when I told some friends I was thinking of trying to take up running again, a failed endeavor a year earlier due to work commitments. The coming snow storm caused me to consider starting a week later, but cajoling from my friends pushed me to start the Couch to 5K program that Monday and to prepare for a 5K around the Bronx Zoo.
I hadn’t run since high school and needed a good training program to do it properly. My friend Lucius Kwok wrote the iPhone app for Couch to 5K, a program that is supposed to train any one who isn’t used to running and prepare them to run 3.1 miles over the course of nine weeks. I have started week four this past Monday and my training is going a pace. By coincidence, the race falls out at approximately nine weeks after I started the program.
Since I started training, I set myself two goals. The first goal is my realistic goal: To be able to run the entire 5K. Starting out barely able to run one mile, I feel like it is an achievable goal thanks to Couch to 5K. The second goal is to be able to do it in under 30 minutes. I didn’t know if I could do it, but measuring my training using the iPhone app and a Nike+, my current mixed running and walking time is at approximately 40 minutes now, so the harder goal is possible.
The best part about this run is that in trying to mess with me at brunch, most of the people I was eating with got talked into the run as well. We’ve created a great support group for training, a Facebook event to plan the run for the group and invite others, a Google doc for anyone who is doing Couch to 5K to report in how they are doing, and a running team called #GFY for the event itself. So far, 30 people have signed up on the Facebook event and it looks like it’ll be a great experience for all of us.
I’m looking forward to my first race and can’t wait for it. The training has been an amazing experience so far and April 24 can’t come soon enough. If you want to join us, let me know and I’ll give you the team info to join up. And if you don’t want to race, but want to help me raise money to save tigers, you can donate to my walk here.