Plan #2 – Baby steps

IMG_5505A few weeks back, while at a scrapbook retreat with my girlfriends, I made a pact with myself: in November 2016, right before my 50th birthday, I am going to run a 5k.

This is a good goal. I’ve always said I wanted to be a runner! Sadly, though, the whole running thing has never really happened for me. Years back, pre-MS, Deb and I decided we were going to start running. I quit before the end of that summer, totally demoralized; she kept at it and now runs marathons. (I am extremely proud of that girl. Go, Deb!)

I’ve tried a number of running schemes before, but – to be perfectly honest – I was too out of shape to even do the “Step 1” of any of the plans. Now, though, I have the Health app that came with my iPhone. It tells me how many steps are in every mile I walk. So I broke the whole thing down: 5k = about 3 miles = about 6000 steps (according to the app). I tried a bit of jogging to see how far I could go, and discovered I could easily run for 50 steps. Yep! 50 steps. There’s nowhere to go but up!

I told myself I had to get out there and walk three times a week – either Monday or Tuesday, either Thursday or Friday, and either Saturday or Sunday – and run the assigned number of steps somewhere in that walk. That was three weeks ago, and I haven’t missed yet. Week 1: 3 days x 50 steps. Week 2: 3 days x 100 steps. Week 3: 3 days x 150 steps. Today was the first day of Week 4, and I ran for 200 steps. (I misjudged how far that would be and ended up running the last 50 steps uphill. Yikes.)

I’ve run the whole plan by my MS neurologist (Ha! Inadvertent pun!) and he’s all for it. Exercise can really wear me out, so he is glad my plan has me increasing my exertion in such small increments, but besides that, he believes that anything that makes me healthier can only help with my overall well-being. He tested my leg weakness and evaluated my walking stride yesterday; I haven’t gotten any worse since I’d last seen him, so as long as I am careful, I should be fine.

Look out, world! By the end of April, I predict I will be able to run a mile. A whole mile, people. This is unprecedented for an out-of-shape diseased person like me. And by next fall, I’ll be up to three miles. Yowza.

I need to keep my eyes peeled for a Turkey Trot going on this month so I know what race to register for next year. I’ll let you know if I find one, and you can all run it with me. It will be the ultimate 50th birthday party!