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Couch to 5K in 1 day

I have been wanting to jump on my fitness journey for a while now. About 11 months ago I made the decision to “get fit.” Not to be a super fit lady who competes, shows off her body, or just to show off how much I can exercise without dying or gasping for air, but I had one goal… simply my Year of Yes goal to fit back into my clothes pre-baby. I have two young children and my physical activity is chasing and keeping up with them. Whether they are riding their bikes around the neighborhood, at the park running like sprinters from the slide to the swing, or simply got a hold to something they should not have and I am doing the 100-meter dash trying to retrieve it, I call it exercise. All this to say, exercise and I are not good friends. I’ve tried many things with the hope that I would enjoy it, get fit, and hopefully lose weight.

Nothing so far!

I’ve done everything. I’ve meal prepped but always ended up going out for lunch because I didn't want to eat what I prepared. I purchased a gym membership for the workout classes and equipment only to drive by the gym every day and for my son to yell from the back seat, “there’s our gym when are we going back.” Lastly, I bought an elliptical so I would not have to leave my home only to find out I didn’t want to leave my bed.

In May, I decided to buckle down and pay for a trainer. Another birthday rolling around was the realization that I just do not have what it takes to hold myself accountable and continue to work out to a point that I would keep it up out of habit. A month and a half in, I have not been seeing much result (although some people suggest that I may be losing inches) because I was instructed by my trainer to do cardio on my off days and guess what… I have not! I mean isn’t that why I hired a trainer in the first place? I am not disciplined enough (even with a brand new elliptical in my house)!


I think I may have just changed all this…


Friday, I brought a salad to work and surprisingly (joking) I was not in the mood to eat it. I made lunch plans with a coworker and he asked me to ride with him to pick up his 5K Race Packet while we were out. Uninterested, I said sure...whatever it took to get some lunch other than my salad. As we were waiting to retrieve his packet, I learned that this 5K run was a bit unusual and intriguing. It was taking place on an actual airport runway where planes take off and land. That made me determined to have the experience. I also thought it could count as my cardio for the week (ha ha). I SIGNED UP!

Mind you this race was taking place THE NEXT DAY so I didn’t train, prepare, or even know if I was ready. However, what I discovered is, IT’S ALL MENTAL!!


What I learned...


1. Just sign up.

Because I was not trying to win or over exert myself, I knew I didn’t need training. My plan was to walk the race for the experience. However, choose your race carefully based on your goal.

2. Get the cutest workout fit.

Life and hair after 5K

I wore my shirt that I received from entry into the race but some had on running/workout gear. Next time, I will wear one of those cute little workout outfits I purchased 11 months ago. I am not a runner so I would at least want to look the part to feel good about myself. Plus, I am sure that would have been cooler than my T-Shirt.

3. Get your race packet before the race.

Pick it up and get it out the way so you only have to focus on getting to the race in time to run (well walk for me)!

4. Make sure you bring safety pins the day of the race to pin your number to you.

5. Go to the restroom.

I was so excited, I walked right out the door without going to the restroom. So, I had to stand in line behind fourteen thousand people (exaggeration) trying desperately to hurry up and use the portable potty and get to the start line before the race began.

6. It’s not that long.

5K is NOT 5 miles, only 3. YOU CAN DO IT!

7. Let go of expectations.

Initially, I was scared to actually sign up because I was worried about being the only one walking. Although I wasn’t, once I started I simply told myself “you do what’s good for you.” These were a bunch of strangers I would probably never see again so I had no need to impress them.

8. Start in the middle.

Don’t stand in the very front of the line unless you are a true runner and don’t automatically go to the back because you may become ok staying back there. You want to push yourself a little at least.

9. Do not feel like you have to start off running. Pace yourself.

With that being said, run as fast as you care to, pacing yourself for the distance and go for a "challenging" but not "distressing" race.

10. If you are not a runner, like me, bring a good playlist and headphones.

11. It is ok not to run at all.

Just deciding to enter and show up for the race is an accomplishment. I ran more than I thought I would by pacing myself.

12. Don’t worry about time.

My goal was under an hour. For your first race you don’t have to make a goal.

13. Keep a positive attitude and be encouraged.

Tell yourself it is for the experience and/or the exercise. I imagined myself walking around my neighborhood and only doing it to jump start my cardio that my trainer asked me to do a month ago. Regardless of how I did that day, it was the start of something for me that I wanted to do a while ago.

14. If you make it to the finish line before your crew, cheer them on!

15. Make it a family affair.

Although my children didn’t participate in this race, my next race I am signing us all up! It will be family time and instilling the need for physical self-care in my children.

It turns out the end of this particular project might actually be the beginning. I was so motivated to continue that I got up the next morning, downloaded a FREE running app, and did a morning run. I am attempting to become a newbie runner. Though there are several apps I wasn’t prepared to pay for one just yet. The one I have lets you pick your running level and tells you when to run and walk in intervals. It allows you to build yourself up to running longer distances/times and slim you down in the process.

What I also realized is that doing this motivates me to eat right. I actually started using my My Fitness Pal app that tracks my calories/meals. I went to GNC and bought protein meal replacements and rearranged my grocery list for healthier meal options. Last week, I added the desire to eat healthier and continue my fitness journey to my prayer list. Yes, I am praying about it because what I have learned is anything I don’t have the strength and self-discipline to handle on my own, GOD CAN EQUIP ME TO DO! I am excited about my new physical self-care journey.

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