couch to 5K in seven years

first 5K for me with @swansonswanson (long time runner) and @naswanson who got meI ran my first 5K race on August 9. Andrew ran the same race. He finished ten minutes before I did, so I can’t say that we ran together. But he drove 2.5 hours to run the race, so that counts as together. Nancy came and cheered for both of us.

The last time I tried to run for fitness was the summer of 2011. Two or three times in a week that summer, I ran and walked about a mile. And then my knee started to hurt in a damaged way. I went to the doctor. He said to stop the high impact of running. So I stopped. And decided that my knees would never handle running.

In July 2014, Nancy decided that she wanted to try running. We ran to the end of the block and back. It was challenging, but my knees didn’t hurt. So we tried again. A couple nights later, I ran a bit farther. And a bit further. By July 18, I ran more than three miles. Not fast, but not stopping. And so I set my sights on a 10K by the end of September and a 5K on August 9. It looks like I went from not running to a 5K in about 6 weeks.

But there is a much longer story here. In December 2006, Nancy said to me and I said to Nancy, “Should we go walk at the mall?”  We weren’t exercisers. But we both knew that we needed to do something and that we needed some time talking.

I think we walked a mile that first time. We talked the whole time. And we’ve been walking and talking since then. Up to four miles a day. We’ve walked through several major job changes, the death of a parent, the ongoing illness of three more parents. We’ve walked through more than forty pounds of weight-loss for me, one high school graduation, two college graduations, one wedding, and many other events.

That’s a lot of time walking. That’s a lot of time talking. It laid the foundation for a 5K in August 2014, and a marriage relationship that has strength and endurance.

I understand the eight-week fitness plans. I’m using one now to get ready for the 10K. But long slow simple routines can bring about significant strength when we  just keep talking. And walking.