Wednesday, January 26, 2011

No, I am Not a Runner, But I Wouldn't Mind Being One!

Due to Facebook and a recent picture that I happened to be in, which happened to be featured in the Star-Herald (front page, Sunday, none-the-less), a few of you have gotten the idea that I am a runner. I feel like I need to set you straight and stop this misconception you have gotten of me.

Thus, the title of this post... No, I am Not a Runner, But I Wouldn't Mind Being One!

Last week I wrote this column for the Gering Citizen Newspaper. I usually don't share my columns on my blog because I would rather that you subscribe to the paper and support it if you want to read my columns. Subscriptions are only $30 a year and it is a great local weekly paper. You can subscribe right on line at, but you will need to subscribe to the "Weekly Print Edition Delivered" since my columns are not featured in the eEdition.

I Didn't Know You Were a Runner

How is your New Year's resolution going? Were you one of the many who resolved to exercise more this year or to get into better shape? That wasn't my resolution, but it is always in the back of my mind, that I need to take better care of my body. I don't want my body to fail me before my mind does. I have come to the realization that exercising on my own is not an option because if left to do it by my self, I will not get er' done.

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a friend of mine with “Opportunity to get fit in a group: Couch to 5K” in the subject line. Out of curiosity I clicked on the email to open it up. It was a link to Katie Bradshaw's blog, “SCB Citizen.” The first line of this post had my interest, it reads “I have learned that I need some external motivators to stick with an exercise program.” Well, me too!

Katie went on to write that she was starting a “Couch to 5K” group here in our community. A “Couch to 5K” program is a running program designed for beginning runners. This program can be found at the website According to the website it has “helped thousands of new runners get off the couch and onto the roads, running 3 miles in just two months.”

This intrigued me. I am not a runner, but I wouldn't mind if I was. Actually, back in the day, say some 30 years ago, I loved running! This would be a great opportunity for me to commit myself to an exercise program. I looked it over on-line and thought to myself, that I could probably commit to the schedule. The group would meet on Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings. The workout consists of three sessions each week so the third session would be up to me to do at my leisure. The goal would be to participate in the “Sharin 'O' the Green 5K” in Fort Collins on March 12, 2011.

I thought about it for a couple of days and finally decided to join the Facebook group, WWRC Couch to 5K, that Katie also started in conjunction with the running group. I was anxious and actually a little nervous to see who all would join the group. I was uneasy thinking that I would be the oldest and most out of shape person to join the group. I was nervous that I wouldn't fit in. I was terrified that I would be “out of my league.” I could go on and on about all the trepidations I was feeling. I began asking myself if I was having a “mid-life crisis” or something, and was this “just a phase” that I was going through. Should I back out, before it was too late? As these thoughts were flying through my head, I was busy polishing off some lingering Christmas goodies. Wow, I'd better lay off of those sweets or else I was going to have to buy some new pants.

Well, that did it. It was obvious that I needed to exercise and this was the answer. Katie didn't give us much time to renege on our commitment since the first meeting was only a few days away. After I joined the Facebook group, one of my friends said to me, “I didn't know you were a runner! I run too.” I replied, “I'm not... but I thought I would give it a try.” E gads, what WAS I doing joining a running group. I expressed on the Facebook group wall that I really didn't know what I was getting myself into and that someone had better be bringing the little chocolate covered donuts to the first meeting! Katie replied “We can leave a trail of them for you.”

With constant apprehensive thoughts racing through my head, the day of the first meeting arrived in lightening fast fashion. We were to meet at the Monument Valley Pathway trail head at the YMCA at 8am. I woke at 6am with a gazillion things on my “to-do list” and not much time to get it all done, especially since the afternoon would be consumed with the winter farmers market. I drug myself out of my warm toasty bed and stumbled into the kitchen to get my coffee and turn on the computer, my normal morning routine. Wow, it was cold outside, only about 15 degrees or so. Maybe I should skip this first meeting. Oh no, here I go... hadn't even started and I was ready to throw in the towel. What a pansy. I went to the “Couch to 5K” Facebook page and saw that Katie was already awake and ready for the first meeting. I wrote and told her that I had a gazillion things to do and was wondering how long the first meeting was going to take. She wrote back that it would only take 30 minutes. Hmm, not that long, I had better just do it.

So I went into the bedroom to don my running gear. Uh, what running gear... I'm not a runner. I have some running shoes and a pair of sweatpants, but that is about it. What I needed was some cold weather running gear. I didn't think I could run in my Carhartt bibs, besides, I would look like a dork. I didn't want to stick-out any more than I already was going to. I needed something to go under my sweatpants so I didn't freeze my tush off. Hmm, my hubby had some nice long johns, actually some “Under Amour” which is a brand of clothing that specializes in athletic under garments. Maybe I could wear those, no one would know that I was wearing men's long johns, unless I had a heart attack and had to be taken to the hospital. I grabbed them out of his drawer and put them on under my sweatpants! Then I layered a couple of shirts and a sweatshirt, grabbed my jacket, a hat and some gloves along with a handful of chocolate covered almonds and headed out the door.

When I arrived, there were about ten people there. I'm pretty sure I was the oldest one there, but I definitely didn't feel like I was out of my league. I actually felt at ease and excited to be a part of this group. Some were seasoned runners and had planned on a serious run, while some of us were there for the “Couch to 5K” workout. The serious runners went off their way while the “Couch to 5K” runners went off our own way. We did a five minute warmup walking and then alternated 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking. It was easy and enjoyable. I was thankful I didn't have a heart attack or anything that required the removal of my sweatpants! No one even knew I was donning my husband's long johns!

I am so exited and glad I have joined this group and would encourage anyone else who would like to join, to get off the couch and join us. You can contact me for more information at 787-1111 and I can fill you in on the details of the next meeting and such. Oh, and by the way, I will be purchasing my own pair of long johns before the next run!

So here we are into week three of this crazy mess I've gotten myself into. We are now walking 5 minutes, running 90 seconds, walking 90 seconds, running 3 minutes, walking 3 minutes, alternating the running and walking for a total of a 20 minute workout. I wasn't sure if I could handle the 3 minutes of running, but to my pleasant surprise, I did and it was easy!! Ya-hoo! Look mom, I'm running!

Have I gotten any "Under Armour" of my own yet? Nope... maybe today!

Photo of first group meeting January 8th.
That's me the 4th one from the left.
Photo courtesy of Katie Bradshaw.

Photo of second group meeting January 15th.
That's me clear on the right next to crazy Sarah Pinet, the goat lady!
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Reisig.
(Jennifer, hope you don't mind that I snagged your photo without asking first.) :0

Photo of third group meeting January 22nd.
That's me the 3rd one from the left with my mouth wide open (that's my "frozen" look).
Photo courtesy of Katie Bradshaw.

Front Page of the Star-Herald on Sunday January 23rd!

It's not too late to join the group of you are looking for a good time!

I'll keep you posted on this crazy adventure that this Country Chicken Girl is taking on but right now Dan the Man is rushing me to get off the computer because he wants to move some hay today so I must go. Later-tater!

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