Category Archives: Couch to 5K

Year End and a New Beginning…to Be a Better Me…

Time to get this blog caught up!!  I seem to have taken a break for about…seven months.  Not on purpose, things just happened.  What happened? Well, my mom passed away, a good friend passed away, I took a vacation to New York City, played summer slo-pitch, enjoyed the warm weather and basically took a break from blogging.  I apologize.

That said, I also took a break from my fitness efforts.  That is going to change.  It is the start of the most “dangerous” month on the calendar, December.  The month where there are endless parties, trays of cookies, baking and goodies.  Chocolate seems to fall from the sky!!  I am determined that I am going to get myself back to the gym and committed to a regular workout schedule.

New shoes, gear and a book on running!! Awesome!!

I have to thank my friends at SportChek for helping motivate me.  They heard about my Couch to 5K efforts and wanted to inspire me to continue my journey to better fitness and good health.  They were kind enough to send over an “Inspiration Kit” to help motivate me to get back to the gym, as part of their #MyBetterMVP initiative.  I can hardly wait to get back in the gym and give my new Nike Free Run 3 runners a try.  They feel awesome on my feet!!

How could presents in this paper not inspire you!?!

The good news for you is that they want to help inspire you too!! I will be talking about my adventure back to the gym over the next few weeks and I will also have some stuff for you to “win” to help inspire you to, “Be a Better You”!!  Keep your eyes open for an upcoming post which will have all the details, just in time for Christmas!!

Couch to 5K – Week #8 – Almost Race Day!!

It has been a while since I wrote a post about my efforts to run a 5K.  It’s hard to believe that so much could happen in 9 or 10 weeks, but it did.  I trained for a 5K.  I found out my Mom was sick; Really sick. My entire world changed.  It felt that anything that could happen did and all at once!!

My Mom, Beverley Anna Vollick, lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on March 29 at the age of 70 years old.  The period between March 11 when she went into the hospital and March 29 seemed to pass in the blink of an eye and I sort of lost my focus on training.  I plan to write more about my Mom in another post, so keep your eyes open for that.

When I started week #8, (the final week) of the Couch to 5K program, I figured I was in good shape, even though I had had a two week break between runs.  I ran day #1 and day #2 on the treadmill and actually felt pretty strong.  I was pumped and ready to face the challenge of getting to 5K and getting outdoors mid-April for the final few weeks of my training.  For day #3 of that week I decided to go for an outdoor run and see how that went.  It was tough.  Really tough.  It seemed that all the cardio training I had done to build up to that point was lost and I wondered what had happened.  I found out the next day when I woke up with a cold!! So much for a few weeks of outdoor running.  My cold stuck around for just over a week and that meant no real training outdoors.  Not the way I drew up the plans for my 1st race!!

I still stayed committed to my goal of running in the GoodLife Toronto Marathon 5K, on May 6 and to her credit, a friend of mine, Amanda committed to running the race with me.  This was probably a good thing, because with the cold and everything that happened, I likely would have said forget it and skipped the race.

My gut told me that I could do it and I believed I could to, even if it meant I had to walk part of the 5K due to the obstacles that I encountered in March and April.  I wasn’t going to let them stop me and I was going to get to race day and the finish line on my own two feet!!  Stay tuned later this week for my thoughts on my 1st 5K race and the race day experience!!

Couch to 5K – Week #8 – Stalled – Cancer Sucks…

This week has not been a good week. I ended up with a week off, which was not planned.

Six weeks ago, we found out that my Mom has cancer and two weeks ago she was admitted to the hospital. My mind is still comprehending how things deteriorated so quickly in the past six weeks. I can’t believe that it is my Mom lying there in a hospital bed. I don’t want it to be anyone’s Mom, especially not mine.

My Mom is a kind, gentle and caring person and this thing has knocked her on her ass…fast.  That’s the part that surprises me the most.  Six weeks ago she went to Curves and was shopping.  Today she is struggling with a minimal amount of activity.  I have had no up-close experience with this disease until now and this has been a real eye-opener.  For those of you that have lived through this in your own lives, my heart goes out to you.  I never realized how tough it was for you.

This week was filled with hospital visits and truthfully I just didn’t have the energy to head for the gym when I left the hospital. Family comes first and that won’t change. I had planned on at least getting a run in when I was out of town for work, staying in a hotel. That fell through too, since I my day ended up being quite long.

Sorry to be ranting here this week, but I really have nothing else that I can write about. Cancer sucks. The good news for this week, is I did register for my first 5K and like I mentioned in my last post, I am going to run that race on May 6.  I feel like I want to kick someones ass, so it may as well be my own, across the finish line!!

I have set up a page with the Canadian Cancer Society to help them raise funds for the fight against cancer.  I hope that I can raise my goal of $500 for the run and help do some good with this effort.  At least that has made me feel better.

I am going to get back to my training this week.  My work schedule is a little lighter this week and I will definitely find the time to get to the gym for a few runs.  Once the next three workouts are done, it will be time to head outside.  Sadly, the weather is turning more seasonal and it won’t be quite so comfortable to run.  I am sure I will get by, once I get rolling and warmed up.

I know that the workouts are helping me with the stress of everything happening and that is motivating me to get back to them too.  It will help with keeping me sane when everything around me seems to be going crazy.

I hope to have good news about my Mom and my running when I next update my blog.  Fingers crossed for that, for sure!!

Couch to 5K – It’s Official – Help me, help the Canadian Cancer Society

This effort is now, official!!  I have registered for the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon 5K.  I might be crazy, but I am going to run this race and finish it.  Simple as that.

I was pleased to find out that the race organizers have partnered with a number of charities to allow participants to raise money for the charity of their choice.  During my training with the #C25K program, we found out that my Mom has cancer.  That kept me motivated to keep training and in some ways it has helped me stay committed to the program.  It has also helped as a stress outlet for me, I am sure.

I want to tell you a little about my Mom.  She is a retired teacher and is a friend to many people.  I can’t even begin to mention them all here.  Her life has been filled with stories of helping others, caring for others and showing kindness to others.  She has been cheering me on even when she hasn’t felt well.  She has been finding the courage to face news that no one should ever have to face, especially my Mom.  This won’t change that news or the fight she is facing, but it will hopefully make a difference for others in years to come.

My hope is I can turn my hard work and dedication into a positive.  I am going to reach my goal of finishing this 5K on May 6.  It would mean the world to me if you would consider helping me, help the Canadian Cancer Society reach their goal of finding a cure for cancer.  If you would like to help me, you can donate via their secure site here.

I sincerely appreciate the support everyone reading this blog has given me and I will continue to draw on your support as May 6 gets closer.  There is no turning back now and the only option is to run the race.  I can’t thank you enough for believing in my abilities and cheering me on to reach that goal.  I can’t wait to blog about the race!!

Couch to 5K – Week #7

Another week is in the books!! One more to go and then in theory, I will be able to run a 5K!!  I still can’t believe how far I have come in 7 weeks!!

I have to admit, this week was a little tough.  I found the long running intervals very challenging.  Not because I felt weak, but because my back started to get sore.  I wonder whether that is due to bad form or just prolonged running on the treadmill.  I am looking forward to heading outside to run and hopefully that will help with the back stiffness.  I also hope that I will even be able to head out for a run on my “off” days from the gym to increase my physical activity level.  I will admit that I am looking forward to getting back to some weight workouts (I have minimized those workouts due to the amount of time it takes to do a #C25K training session and a weight workout in one gym visit).

Like I said, this week was a little tough, but I made it through each workout with a little perseverance and determination.  My week started with the Day #1 workout, which went very well.  Truthfully, it was probably the best of the 3 days this week.  I actually ran for 25 minutes straight and covered almost 2 miles during the jogging segment.  With a walking warm-up and cool-down, I was near 2.5 miles that day and actually for most of the workouts this week.

Day #2 I will admit that I was not in the groove that I needed to be to run.  I forced myself into the gym and through my workout.  Needless to say I was feeling tired and took three one-minute walk intervals in my 25 minute jogging session.  In the bigger picture, I still consider 22 minutes jogging in 25 minutes (88% compliance to the app) an accomplishment.  Seven weeks ago jogging for 60 seconds seemed like an eternity!!

Day #3 I started strong, but my back got really stiff/sore about 15-20 minutes into the run.  In the interest of finishing the jogging interval, I decided to take 2 one-minute walking intervals in 25 mintues (92% complete).  Not what I was aiming for when I walked into the gym but better than Day #2.  My focus now is to get to the point where I can jog for 15-20 minutes continually and reach the 5K/3 mile goal.  Even if my 5K involves a minute or two of walking, I will be happy.  I just want to see the finish line and say, “I did it” on May 6!!

Once I get to the 3 mile point, it will be time to tackle running outdoors and getting used to non-treadmill running!!  I have already started scoping out routes around my house.  I do think I have found a good one and I am looking forward to giving it a shot in early to mid-April.   By then the weather will hopefully have returned to what we have experienced this week!!

I want to thank everyone that continues to put their faith in my abilities and encourages me after each post.  All the messages have helped me continue to focus on the goal of getting to the end of this program, progress to running outdoors and then finally run a 5K race.  I am looking forward to running with all the people that have offered to join me on May 6 and I am really looking forward to the cold beer afterword!! 🙂