Baby Steps: From Cane to Running Shoes

Welcome to my first-ever blog post! Over the past 6 months, I lost 40 pounds with careful diet (super low sugar, and rather low carb) and exercise (strength training). For several weeks now, I hemmed and hawed about trying the Couch to 5K program, but am really afraid.

You see, I am not a runner. I mean *really* not a runner. I hated it as a kid during phys ed, and get asthma with exercise. And also, I am still quite overweight, and have serious knee and foot problems. About a year ago, I was walking with a cane due to the joint issues (in my early 30's). I got custom orthotics from my podiatrist, and did physiotherapy, and can now walk unassisted on flat ground. After losing the first 20-30 pounds (of the 40 have now lost), I discovered I can also walk on stairs without leaning heavily on the rail for support. I still have weak knees, but with my special insoles, I can walk pretty normally.

I decided that maybe, after losing a bunch of weight, and exercising several times a week for 6 months, I might just be able to start running.

I was terrified I would not even make it to "Couch". I actually did two practice "runs" around my living room for one minute each with lots of rest, just to be sure I could do even that. I was scared that I was in such bad shape that I would fail, and would know for certain I could never be healthy or able to do what everyone else can do.

My partner graciously agreed to train with me, even though we both know I will be the slow one. We went to a running store and got our gait analyzed and bought shoes. We picked up cheap MP3 players, synced our audio, and committed to doing the 9 week program, so that we can both run 5k.

In fact, I do not expect I will manage it in 9 weeks, although it will be great if I do. Instead, my goal is to run 3x/wk, using the pod-casts. If I am ready to progress, GREAT! But I may need to do some "weeks" for more than a week, so I hope to be up to "Week 9" within 12-15 weeks. Also, I am sure I will be super slow, so I don't expect to be up to 5k until even later - hopefully week 18. After 18 weeks, I will see if running is really my gig, but I am in it until I can do 5k.

This blog will chronicle my experience. Wish me luck!

8 Replies

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  • Well done for getting this far and good luck to you both!

  • Good luck!!! The hardest step is starting and you're doing that. You'll find that the majority of us didn't get to 5k in 30 mins when we finished the programme :)

  • Its true, the most difficult step is the first.

    Just take it slowly, if it takes 90 weeks it doesnt matter, you'll be doing something that will impact on your life in so many ways.

    You'll be surprised how blogging helps too.

    Believe in the programme, trust what Laura says and be sure to take your rest days. I look forward to reading about your journey.

    Good luck and I'm sure you'll be hooked in no time.

  • you can do it, you've already shown will power, strength and commitment to routine. It may feel hard but you can give it your all. Well done with all of your hard work to get to this point. That's Ace!!!

  • What an inspiration. Loads of us complain about being a bit stiff from time to time, but you've already achieved more than most. I reckon if you've done enough to throw away your cane, you have what it takes to get through the programme. What the others say is right - it doesn't matter how long you take. It's tha fact that you're taking the tome to do it. I'm sure you can succeed, so please just keep in touch and let us know how you get on. Go for it!

  • Wow, thank you so much for the support! Thanks to all of you for the support. I had no idea that there would be such an outpouring of warmth and hope. What a fantastic community.

  • Well done on achieving so much already, you've clearly got the determination to succeed so please keep us updated with your progress. Good luck and congratulations :-)

  • Having the belief that you can do it is, I think, one of the major factors in achieving it so good luck you will do it!!! :)

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