Finishing up my running program


For those of you even moderately interested in what happens when a former couch potato publicly declares she is starting a running program, here’s an update. Tomorrow is the last day of the program. I can’t even believe it.


Oh, I’ve missed a few days; the one in week 3 or 4 when I had trouble breathing. The day on my trip when there was a thunderstorm. Last Friday when the temperature resulted in an “air stagnation alert” (I have no idea). I should have been done on Saturday but had to add those few extra days back in (since the program is based on building on intervals).


I am happy to confirm that I ran for 28 minutes today (well, by running I mean jogging that looks slow but totally rocks my heart rate). Tomorrow, I run thirty minutes and give myself a pat on the back (it’s OK, I’m going to call it stretching). Also, I’m going to keep running.


Aside from the fact that I have obviously built lung capacity and muscle tone (which may or may not be covered by a layer of other stuff), I think the biggest change has been my state of mind. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not all ridiculously optimistic when I run (though running at noon today in sauna-like heat, I did try to think of it as multi-tasking…who has time to go to the sauna anyway?). Hitting the midpoint and having the ability to “count down” rather than “count up” means my glass is exactly half full and half empty (as if there’s a difference) and it tips about 15 minutes in. I need that midpoint, because it means I’m half way there. As my walking minutes tick away and I start my running minutes, I believe I still let out an audible “ugggh”. But when I start, there’s no doubt in my mind that I am going to finish. Even when I am adding on extra minutes, I think “well, you added on extra minutes yesterday and got through it, so just keep getting through it”. And also I think “don’t be a baby, other people are passing you on the track!”.


I’m not sure that I will ever get to the point where I love exercise. For me, it’s kind of like shopping. I like getting new stuff and shopping is what you have to do to get it. I like the way I feel after I exercise and I do feel like I need to burn off some energy every day….kind of like something is tugging me onto the track. So tomorrow is going to be the official last day of the program and now I need to figure out what it means to keep running. Six days a week seemed like a lot…maybe I’ll cut back to five.


This has been one situation where my intense need to finish what I have started has paid off. Some of those laps on the track have been through force of will (seriously, I used to do NO exercise). Plus I got to buy cool new running accessories. I’m going to try to find a 5K to run to give me something to train for and I’ll let you guys know if I do it. I may even provide photographic proof (whatever photos don’t include a pained grimace).


To all of you that have provided encourgement, thanks! Yuo definitley gave me something to think about as I was chugging around the track.

Comments (17)

  1. Coleman says:

    I’m reading this, literally, as I’m putting on socks and shoes to go to the gym.  I’ve missed some time myself recently, but am trying to get into a habit.  I notice I’m grumpier when I don’t get to the gym when I’m supposed to (guilt?).  My goal is 4 more pounds by 8/5, which coincides with a trip to Disney World for my family.  So, when I meet my goal, I actually get to say "I’m going to Disney World!"  🙂

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    Coleman-that’s a great goal to have (and a fun thing to say). Heck, if you can resist the fried stuff there, you’ll probably lose extra weight just walking around the park.

    I feel the same when I miss work outs. I think (or maybe choose to think) that it’s chemical, the whole mood thing. I think there’s something to the dicussion around endorphins (sp?). It’s kind of an undefinable feeling of well-being when you have been working out.  

  3. My favorite part about running? Being done.

    You want to know the most motivational piece of running equipment that I ever purchased?  One of those little runner’s GPSs

    I have the simplest/cheapest one

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001ILXGQ/sr=8-4/qid=1153791280/ref=pd_bbs_4/103-1956445-8140659?ie=UTF8

    But there are much better/expensiver ones

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=br_ss_hs/103-1956445-8140659?platform=gurupa&url=index%3Dblended&keywords=garmen+forerunner&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&Go=Go

    PS.  Congrats… good job.

  4. Congratulations, Ma’am. A job well done. But didn’t you say something about Madonna when you started? How’s progress been in that neighbourhood. Running won’t do it. However, squats will.

  5. Congratulations, Ma’am. A job well done. But didn’t you say something about Madonna when you started? How’s progress been in that neighbourhood. Running won’t do it. However, squats will. (Since this is Madonna I’ll add taht no off colour reference was intended. I meant it literally).

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Adam, I’ll have to keep that in mind for a future purchase. Right now, I wear a heart rate monitor that tacks time and heart rate. Now that I am finishing the program, calculating distance will be more of a priority (as I try to run a longer distance in my half hour). There’s also something called Rundo that I think is interesting (someone from the company contacted me via the blog). We’ll see how my accessory purchases progess as I go along (OK, I admit that I just bought new earphones and a clip for my audio player as well…and workout clothes were 50% off at the ProClub shop today…does this mean I have a problem?).

    Canadian-my fitness progress is good. Strength training is going well. Thanks for asking!

  7. You’re right… that Rundo looks sweet.  I’m going to borrow my buddy’s BT GPS, and try the demo.  I’ll let you know how it is.

  8. Jim S says:

    I started running in spring and haven’t looked back. I went from a 40" waist to a 34" through the old fashioned "eat less and exercise".  Are you exercising to lose unwanted weight or for the general health benefits?

    And yes, I feel like Tommy Lasorda.

  9. Mike Boze says:

    There is an old saying that Nike used for years as a part of their marketing.  "There s no finish line"  Running is a life long pursuit.  Keep up your good work.  Fall running is the best.  The Marathoners are out building their training base and the days are cooler.  Keep running.

  10. HeatherLeigh says:

    Adam-cool, definitely let us know how it is.

    Jim S- Wow, good for you! That’s great progress. I’m going for fitness. That’s not to say I couldn’t stand to drop a few (which I have and probabluy still will), but it’s not the goal. Just want to be healthy and fit.

  11. Ed Kuryluk says:

    Great Job! Definitely let us know how the 5k goes. You’ve inspired me to start running again (used to run track in middle school, like a lifetime ago).

    Recently I dropped 25lbs by elimating all foods with processed sugar and 95% of my carbs. Replaced those with fruits and veggies (nothing really replaces ice cream though!).

    But I want more tone and stamina, so after ready your running chronicles, I think I will be taking the plunge.

  12. Patblue says:

    Congrats HH!   That is a great accomplishment.

  13. HeatherLeigh says:

    Mike-thanks. I have to admit that I am looking forward to some cooler days. Thankfully, the temperature is dropping as we speak (as we type? As I type?)

    Ed-sounds like you and I eat the same kinds of stuff. I replaced the white stuff with whole grains (I almost never have ice cream, but I do love it so). I’m glad to hear that I’ve helped inspire you to start running again. You probably don’t need to couch potato to runner program that I used, but just in case, it was Prevention’s RunningFit program. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

    Patblue-thanks buddy!

  14. sponng says:

    I’m a fighter, not a runner.   Can’t stand it.  I’d rather rope for 60 minutes than run for 15.     That said.    The point of exercise is finding something that you enjoy doing and benefits you.    For me, that’s punchy – kicky.    Running just seems…. weird.    But, when the Zombies attack, you’ll be better off.    From what I understand they are easy to run from, but hard to fight 🙂 🙂 🙂

  15. tod hilton says:

    Ditto on what sponng said! You need to find an exercise that you enjoy [as much as you can anyway :)]…running, biking, yoga, aerobics, weights, etc. Pick one or more that fit your lifestyle and then stick with them. Even alternate between them if you like to keep things from getting boring.

    My motivation is threefold:

    1. It’s a great mental release for me after a rough day at work.

    2. I like the way I look & feel afterward.

    3. Seeing the gains my wife [an amateur bodybuilder] has made makes me want to emulate her.

    Congrats Heather and keep up the good work! We’re all rooting for you! 🙂

  16. Raquel says:

    Congratulations Heather! But it’s no surprise to me that you could do it. Want to sign up with me for August Session of Boot Camp at the Pro? We run 2 days a week and it’ll really help you build your distance. I’ll be there for moral support and pushing through it myself. Come join the fun!

    Also, how about the Woodinville 5k on Oct. 15th? We should be able to rope Suzanne in by then. Hee hee!

  17. HeatherLeigh says:

    sponng- fighting sounds fun except the part where someone else hits you back. The weird thing about me and running is that I never liked it but I wanted to see if I could get myself to like it. Maybe I’m a sick puppy, but that just added to the challenge. Hopefully the zombies don’t go any faster than 12:30 a mile. Perhaps I should pursue skillful hiding as well ; ) I will say that having completed this (when i say completed, I mean the program…I intend to keep running, but taking today off!)

    tod-your wife makes me want to emulate her too! Plus I love that rush after the workout. I even think "cool, I am sweating like a pig!" You should have seen me yesterday when I finished…sweaty, flushed, with a big huge smile (I did it!). I appreciate the encouragement tod!

    Raquel-the idea of bootcamp scares the heck out of me. Let me look into it and let you know. Oh crap, I’m scared ; ) Let’s plan on that 5K. That should give me enough time to improve! And Suzanne must participate. It would even be fun to get some of our other staffing buddies to join. Sounds fun!