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Sunday Funday – Going Back To Basics with C25k

By on August 11, 2013
in Sunday Funday

So, I had planned for this post to be about all the fun I had running the Run or Dye race yesterday. But someone (that would be me), didn’t read the Groupon she purchased correctly and didn’t actually register for the race. Whoops! Attention to detail is clearly my strong suit.

Anyway, I think it turned out for the best that I didn’t run. I was in no way, shape or form prepared for it. And that needs to change!

Let’s back up a second. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that over two years ago, I started a journey towards better health by joining Weight Watchers and exercising. In a year, I managed to lose 55 pounds, which was awesome. Then came last summer’s plateau.

Realizing that Zumba wasn’t cutting it, I decided to try the Couch to 5k running program There are a ton of great apps that make it really easy to follow (search for C25K). I prefer RunDouble but there are free ones as well.

Now, let me preface this by saying that outside of “running” the mile in gym class, I hadn’t run at all since high school. But for some reason, this program worked for me and I found myself enjoying running. Not something I EVER expected to say. I wasn’t losing weight but I also didn’t gain while enjoying fun summer foods and my favorite craft beers.

Then, my friend Katrina convinced me to join the Liver Life Challenge program to run the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. I’ll admit, I was a bit into my cups when I agreed but I registered sober. As daunting as it sounds, the program was actually an amazing experience. I met some great people, raised money for a worthy cause and, thanks to the training program and the best coach ever, Heather, I was in the best shape of my life.


Then came the harsh, harsh winter. My clumsy ass was not about to break something running in snow and ice. I had already injured myself tripping on a perfectly clear sidewalk (just another in a long line of falls), so I wasn’t taking any chances. So, when I returned from Disney in January I threw myself, head first, into spinning. I have a great gym nearby and spinning is a fantastic calorie torch.

Oh, but spinning five days a week in no way prepared me for running outside once the weather turned nice and my gym membership expired. I went out, all cocky, thinking I could blow through a 5k with no problem. Um, running a mile made me want to pass out and die. Pathetic! So what did I do? Did I rally? Hell no!

Some major, life-altering shit was going down at the same time so I hung up my sneakers, found comfort in food and essentially buried my head in the sand (as I tend to do). I’m sure you noticed that posting was lax, to put it nicely, from April to June. Yeah, there’s a reason for that.

So that brings us to today. After ignoring the inevitable for way too long, I stepped on the scale yesterday. To no one’s surprise, it wasn’t great. It was, in fact, a giant reality check. Without running and exercise to offset my not-so-great, of late, eating habits, a few pounds crept back on (more like 10). Well, that’s just unacceptable. I worked too hard to go backwards.

So, starting tomorrow, rain or shine, I’m getting back on track with exercise and healthy eating. I’m going back to Day 1 of C25k and tracking everything I eat in my WW app and when I do my next 5k, I’ll be running the whole way.

Have any of you completed C25k? What about a half marathon? When you slip in your healthy living routine, how do you get back on track?

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There Are 43 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Nancy says:

    The main thing is you’re catching yourself before 10lbs. turns into 20, then 25, then oh, WTF I might as well eat my way back to 50! You know what you have to do…and you can do it. Happy to kick your ass any time you need it, lol! ;)

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Oh Nance! I know you’re always willing and available to kick my ass and you know I love you for it.

  2. Lam says:

    All the best in your journey!! After some sobering blood test results I am cleaning up my act also. My SIL did C25k with great results, so I am giving it a try combined with a Zumba class. Keep us posted.

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Thank you Lam! I think a post like this not only serves as motivation for myself but it makes me accountable. I will definitely keep you updated on my progress.

  3. Kara says:

    Go, you! You can totally do this! I tried the C25K program a few years ago to get me ready for my career in the military. I don’t use the program anymore, because work forces me to run about three days a week, anyway. I ran my first half marathon last weekend on a whim. It was the first time I’d ever run more than 7 miles, but I did it! I took it at a pace that was comfortable to me, and just made it a goal to not walk. That was it. My only goal. I wound up surprising myself and not met that goal, but finished the race in just under two hours! So. You can do this!

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Wow, what a story! I can’t believe you did a half without training. Though I’m sure your work keeps you in great shape. I try not to set time goals for myself. I’d rather be surprised at the end and leave it at that.

  4. Zorbs says:

    fear of regaining has kept me running for the past 6 years, working up to marathons. I live in Canada and run outside year round – I am super clumsy and I’ve only fallen twice in the 6 years, and almost 12000 kms run.

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      I’m impressed! I wish I could say I was injury free but I fell, running, on a perfectly clear day and cut the heck out of my hands and knees. I have a good fall about once a year, if not more, so there will be no running on snow and ice for me. I know they make the equivalent of tire chains for running shoes but I don’t trust myself enough to go there.

  5. Bird says:

    I love C25K. Everytime I fall off the exercise wagon I use it to jump back on. I went to a health fair weds. And while some of my numbers went down my weight and bmi were so not good. I will keep trying.

  6. Maria Cuesta says:

    Hi Michelle,
    Reading your post has motivated me to try once again to lose weight. Last year I managed to lose 85 pounds but when I started gaining, unlike you, I didn’t manage to stop at 10 pounds gained and now I have regained 70 pounds and am almost back where I started. I must increase my exercise levels but I don’t think we have C25K here in Spain. Still I can do the training nonetheless, even if I don’t enter a race. I wouldn’t be able to run at my current weight anyway as my knees would not be able for it but hopefully soon. I will follow your progress and hopefully get back on track myself. Thanks for posting this great kick in the a** message.

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Hi Maria! I’ve been in that exact same place. I lost 45 pounds about 12 years ago for a wedding I was in. The dress was motivation but, after that, it all came back. It took me all this time, plus back problems and all sorts of other issues to get my ass in gear. When it finally happens, it will click for you. Please let me know how you’re doing as well.

  7. CandyPaint says:

    I am on my last day of the c25k app!!! It’s taken me 12 weeks instead of 8 to get here but I MADE IT! I haven’t lost all too many lbs but the look of my body has changed. I dont love running but I love having run. When I started 60 sec runs made me feel like I would die, now I can run 30 consecutive minutes and I feel so proud :-) I love this app only wish it would track tge miles you run. Good luck!!!

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      All that matter is that you made it, congrats! The first time I did C25k it took me longer than 8 weeks as well. It just feels so good to finish. Your app doesn’t track the miles? Which one are you using because mine does. Though I also have a Garmin running watch to track my time and distance as well.

      • CandyPaint says:

        Thanks! I’m using the iPhone edition, unfortunatly, rundouble is only for androids :-(

        • Michelle Mismas says:

          Oh boo! I didn’t realize that it was Android only. Usually Android gets apps after iPhone, not before.

  8. Heather says:

    Good for you for getting on the scale – that’s always the hardest part for me!!

    We forgot to register, too, but luckily they registered us on Friday at packet pickup since we still had the confirmation email…….

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Oh I wish I would have known. I remember we talked about signing up when the Groupon came out but, when I didn’t hear from you closer to race day, I figured you didn’t sign up.

  9. SusyS says:

    I LOVE Couch to 5K. I live in New England in an area with no safe options for winter road running, but every spring I start back up.

    I had tried running so many times in the past and could not make it passed a week or two, and certainly not without pain and soreness. Couch to 5K eliminates that and sets reasonable goals. I never would have thought there was a program that could get me running and be happy to lace up, but it does! I was pleasantly surprised to see you write about it.

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Susy. I was really intimidated by running but you’re so right, C25k makes it much easier to swallow. I went out this morning and it felt great. I was a sweaty mess but that’s a good thing, right?

  10. girlygirl says:

    Yes!! I can totally relate!
    In December, I got a wake up call via some medical news that got my butt off the couch and moving. I also overhauled my eating habits. To date, I’ve lost 55 pounds. I started with walking and did my first 5k race in April. Now I run 75% of my mileage. Next month, I’m doing my first 10k. I’d love to do a Disney race!
    Thanks for sharing your experience – sounds like I need to hit the dreadmill in the winter at least twice a week to stay in condition.

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      That is fantastic and so inspiring. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your weight loss. I can’t do the treadmill, it hurts my shins, which is why I started spinning. I’ll have to get on the indoor track regularly this winter instead.

      • girlygirl says:

        Thanks. I have about 10 more pounds to go.

        The treadmill hurts me too! My physical therapist said it is probably because the treadmill is steady speed which may alter our stride vs the variable speed we use when running outdoors. My indoor cardio of choice is the elliptical. Apparently that can help keep running muscles conditioned but does nothing to keep your bones up to the challenge of high impact.

        Which Garmin do you use and do you love it? I need to get one before my race.

        • Michelle Mismas says:

          I have the Garmin Forerunner 110. I wanted one with a HRM so I could use it for my spinning class, to track calories burned, as well. I do love it. It’s not as detailed as some of the others but it’s not bulky on my wrist and it gives me the stats I’m looking for.

  11. This is great inspiration! I just got home from the gym…my friend and I started our “Get serious about working out and eating better” plan today. :)

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Good for you! It’s great that you have a buddy. They boyfriend does Weight Watchers with me, which definitely helps on the eating front. Except when we’re both feeling lazy and just want some easy takeout.

  12. Andrea says:

    I just finished a Run or Dye of my own Saturday morning (first 5k), and I too used a C25k app! I highly recommend them…just make sure to turn your volume up to max on your phone, sometimes the announcements are hard to hear. Congratulations on your progress, and best of luck!

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Did you do the one in Cleveland? I know so many people who did it. I’m sad I missed it but I’ll run it next year.

  13. Galliesallie says:

    I ran a half once. Never again! This body is not built for distance. I haven’t run for about 8 years now but my husband bought a treadmill so I should get on it. I do love a 2-3 mi run. My weight has stayed steady however due to a complete “diet” overhaul. I’m doing sort of a paleo thing (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) for gut issues and it hurts when I cheat, so have been on it for 3 years and am getting very healthy! Its a lifestyle not a diet, right?

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Absolutely! I don’t see myself doing another half again. I’m happy I did it but, unless I do Disney again, I doubt I’d run another. Disney kind of spoils you on any other race. I went to cheer for the Cleveland Marathon and while it was fun, it so doesn’t compare. I think a 10k or a 10 miler are the longest races I will sign up for. I like the fun ones, like Run or Dye or the costume ones. My friend did a superhero run in Pittsburgh and dressed with her friends as the Powerpuff Girls. That I can get behind.

  14. Lisa C says:

    Congratulations! Happy for you that you are starting again! I just had weight loss surgery and am interested in starting to walk/run. I hope I have the fortitude to actually do the run part. I wish you all the best!

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Congrats to you as well Lisa! I wish you well on your journey. You know what they say, “you have to walk before you can run.” Just stick with it. You’ll get there.

  15. Sierra Delta says:

    I lost 40 pounds about six years ago, and I have NO intention of ever being that heavy again. I know from previous experience how easy it is to have cheesecake take up permanent residence on my thighs, so when I gain more than two pounds, I do something about it STAT.

    It’s too easy to get discouraged and to slip back into old eating patterns when 10 or more pounds show up uninvited. Life is full of tradeoffs and choices, but I’m the CEO of this body, and it’s my obligation to myself to maintain it so that it works at peak efficiency.

    Good luck to all of us who struggle with weight. Find the number that’s right for you, and ignore all of the cultural messages that say “You’d be so pretty if only you’d lose x number of pounds.” The only response to that is “You’d be so much smarter if only you didn’t open your mouth.”

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Thank you for sharing this. I love, “I’m the CEO of this body.” It’s so true and something I need to be more mindful of. Great phrase.

  16. Andrea says:

    I’m actually out in California, so I commuted to the one in Santa Barbara. Run or Dye seems to be pretty well distributed throughout the county, which is great. Hoping to catch another one and perform better. :)

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      There’s a Color Run this September and I considered doing that but I think I’ll wait until I’m finished with C25k again.

      • Andrea says:

        I actually didn’t complete C25k before running it – and if you’re running now, you should be able to catch it. :) Jogging/walk breaks are totally okay! Especially if it’s Run or Dye – they don’t have times for races.

        • Michelle Mismas says:

          Oh right. I know they don’t time the races and that you can walk but the next time I do a 5k I want to run it. So I’m waiting until I can

  17. Lindsay says:

    Michelle, it’s pretty inspirational to hear your story and about your continued commitment to health. I actually met you at the Disney Half – I saw your ALU shirt in front of me on the road leaving Magic Kingdom, and I had to say something! You were looking great when I saw you and probably ran much more of that race than I did :)

    I also fell off the wagon HARD after the WDW Half and haven’t really gotten back on. I walked a 5k a few months ago, and have a 10k coming up in October. I used to use the C25K app on my iPhone – maybe I should revisit it! I’ve also considered spinning, but I’m a little intimidated to join a class :/

    Good luck with your running!

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Hi Lindsay! It’s so great to hear from you. It really lifted my spirits when you said hello. The heat took me down during the second part of the half and I was struggling. I ran most of it but had to walk in parts.

      You should definitely give spinning a try. All the classes I’ve been to take place in dark rooms. And everyone is so focused on their ride that they don’t notice if you’re standing or sitting. My first class, I couldn’t stay up the whole time and it took me a few classes to get over my saddle sores but I really love it. I just need to make sure I mix running in with spinning.

  18. Lora says:

    I really admire you for this posting. I agree with you completely that doing so gives you a big dose of motivation and accountability…both very powerful factors! I am a big believer that if you are going to exercise, you should really be all in; there’s no point in half-assing it if you’re going to work so hard! Plus there’s nothing quite like the gratification of knowing you completed the exact workout you meant to. I grew up in the Cleveland area so I definitely think your decision to not run outside during the winter months is a good one! I live in Columbus now so winter isn’t quite as intense, but that’s what my treadmill is for!

    I would love to run the WDW Half Marathon someday, as it seems like it would provide some very entertaining scenery along the way! Congrats to you for doing it and finishing it. I am running my first half this fall – the Columbus Half Marathon. I am very excited for it! I am hoping to be able to raise money for a very deserving non-profit animal rescue at the same time…I would love for someone else to benefit from my running!

    I am such a nerd I even have my nails planned for the Half: Lush Lacquer Clowning Around layered over white. It’s like a neon, 80′s circus on my nails! It’ll bring a smile to my face when I look down and see them during the race :-)

  19. Lora says:

    I really admire you for posting this! I completely agree with you that doing so is a great way to build motivation and accountability. Sometimes (particularly during a run) it feels like running is nothing but a mind game, at which point I have to give myself a mental slap in the face and tell myself to “snap out of it…you’ve done this and more before and you can definitely do it now!” There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of knowing you completed the exact workout you meant to.

    I certainly understand your aversion to running outside in Cleveland during the winter months; I grew up in the area and I think that is a wise choice! I’m in Columbus now so it’s marginally better, but for me the treadmill is my best bet!

    I would love to run a Disney half marathon someday; one of my closest friends is a bit of Disney fanatic and wants to run one as well, so it’s only a matter of time before that happens! I’m sure it is a very fun, entertaining course. I am actually running my first half this October – the Columbus Half Marathon. I’m very excited! I’m such a nerd I even have my nails planned for it already: Lush Lacquer Clowning around layered over white. It’s like a neon, 80′s circus on my nails! Perfect to make me smile when I look down at them while running!

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Good luck with your half. I have friends who ran Columbus last year. I love that you planned out your mani. I matched mine to my Liver Life Challenge team colors, orange and purple.