A few years ago I decided to challenge myself by taking up the sport of running.  I had never really been a runner but it was something I was driven to do.  I found a track and tried jogging around it a few times.  Not feeling like I was getting anywhere I realized I needed something more structured.  I downloaded the app Couch to 5K on Google Play and everything changed.

The app claims that it can take a person from couch potato and by the end of the program they will be able to run a 5k.  I had my doubts as I had not run that far since my late twenties.  The program starts out slow combining running and walking.  Diligently following the program I worked out 3 or more times a week.  Soon the track was no longer an option because my distance had increased significantly.  About midway through the program my knees started hurting.  I was worried I would have to stop, but I read about knee injuries in a running magazine.  The magazine suggested changing your form by making sure to keep your head up and your posture straight.  The recommendations worked and I continued on to the end of the program.

At the end of the program I was running 3.2 miles without stopping and I signed up for a 5k race in downtown Seattle.  I had been training for months now and was ready to put all that training to the test.  The morning of the race, true to Seattle, it was pouring down rain.  Not a drizzle but a full downpour.  I was devastated.  Not wanting to back out due to weather I put on my running wear and headed out the door into the rain.  I ran the 5k without stopping and by the end was dripping wet.  Running is not just about being an athlete, it is a challenge, it helps you set and reach goals and it is great for ones health.

The year after the 5k I signed up and trained for a 10k.  The 10k is almost 7 miles and a major achievement for someone who was once a couch potato.  This year my goal is to run a half marathon which is 13.1 miles.  I do not run to come in first place, I run to finish.  It will be a major challenge, but I am determined to reach my goal.  All you need to be a runner are a good pair of shoes.

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