In May I started the c25K running program and was able to talk a co-worker into joining me. This served two purposes – I had some one to hold me accountable but I also was able to make a stronger connection to some one I worked with.
Having a proven, structured running program was great. I can’t imagine I would have been able to stick it out without the app. I was so frustrated, at the beginning, that I could barely run 2 minutes straight without being out of breath. When I finally was able to run 5 minutes, it felt like a great accomplishment but 35 minutes still seemed out of reach.
Fortunately, I had great friends offering a ton of encouragement. My co-worker was exceptionally encouraging. And when I got discouraged with my 13 minute mile running pace, a friend who was training for an Ironman offered his encouragement!
In the meantime, I met up with a college friend and expressed to her my ongoing interest in an annual “Ride to Montauk” bicycle tour. I told her how excited I was to be getting back in shape and that my goal was to ride in the tour next year. She suggested we both sign up and do it this year – in 2 months. Fortunately, in addition to the 135, 100, and 70 mile options, there was a 33 mile option. Two days later we signed up.
We got out our bikes (her mountain bike and my hybrid) and started to ride. Sort of. Attempted to ride. I was so weak and out of breath on my first ride that runners passed me while biking up a long, steep hill. But I stuck it out. My friend was in better shape than me – but not by much, so we were great training partners.
While all this was going on, a friend who is a teacher at another school told me about a special deal for teachers at a gym with a lap pool. She joined and I decided to join to. I loved swimming and missed it terribly since moving to New York. So now I had a swimming partner. She and I met twice a week after work to swim. And, once again, I was reminded how far out of shape I had fallen. But now I was committed to improving. I had seen the progress I was making in my running and was sure I’d be back in swim shape before long. I even started thinking about training for a sprint triathlon like the one I had done in 1999 in Colorado.