Running is a tool, and it’s a tool I love using.

1. The other day, I broke down and went to Subway.  I ordered my usual.

The guy at the counter, Kalvin, mentions he hadn’t seen me in awhile. I said I’ve been brining lunch. Then I said I realized how many calories was in that sandwich.

“Aw, you don’t need to worry about counting calories.”

2. I ordered my bibs for the Sugarloaf Marathon and the Race the Runways half-marathon this week.

Squee! It’s really happening!

I’m also on week 5 — the first week over 30/miles a week.

The runs are getting longer and I’m still a little nervous about running for 2,3,4 hours alone. I hope I don’t have to do it too much. To me, that’s the hardest part. It’s not so much the effort … it’s keeping your mind occupied and feeling connected with the world for these long stretches.

I think this is why I’ve gone back to morning and lunch time runs. If I had to be alone, that’s the time to do it.

3. Most of the people who aren’t my adoring friends and family come to my blog searching for “Couch to 5K before and after pictures.” Which is cool! But I want to reach out of the machine and say to them — it’s not just how you are going to look after you take up running for 12 weeks. I barely looked any different then (maybe 10-12 pounds lost?)

Week 5 on the left, Week 9 on the right

What the Couch to 5K did is it gave me a tool to lose the rest of the weight. Over the next 8 months after I finished C25K, I lost another 30 pounds or so. Half of it by the time I ran my first half-marathon, and the other half training for my first marathon. I wouldn’t have made that real, significant life change if I just ran for 12 weeks, or I never tried to run more after I finished 3 miles.

Which leads me to …

4. I’ve been really in love with running lately. I feel like I’ve had a breakthrough. There have been times in the past year and a half where it was more of a chore than a joy, but this week, it’s been a joy.

My abs & core feel strong and efficient. It doesn’t take as much conscious effort to hold in my form. And every non-running activity I do, my posture feels stronger, better. Easier. It all feels easier.

Mentally I want to doubt this success because I am not running more than I have in the past, and I know my diet leaves much to be improved upon. How can I be getting so much better when it doesn’t feel like I am working harder? It’s because a lot of hard work was put in for the past 18 months and something just -clicked-.

 

 

Pattie Reaves

About Pattie Reaves

By day, I'm the User Experience and Audience Manager for the Bangor Daily News. By night, I'm a soon-to-be first-time mom and renegade fitness blogger at After the Couch. I live in Brewer with my husband, Tony, and our two pugs, Georgia and Scoop.