GUEST POST: Couch to 5K: The REAL OFFICIAL ACTUAL FINAL END-ALL-BE-ALL Review

Hey guys! So this has been a particularly exciting week because we’ve got a SECOND guest post on my little old blog. My roomie, Alex, just finished the lauded “Couch to 5 K” program and because I am the PROUDEST of him, I asked him to write a guest post. Which was a bad idea because, as it turns out, he is funnier than me. So enjoy this post, but please don’t stop reading my blog because it peaked at this guest post. 

[Disclaimer: Katie generally likes to keep this blog PG, to which I’d normally say SCREW CENSORSHIP! But considering she’s someone I don’t not care about, I’ve decided to tone down my language, and replace any of my expletives with Crayola crayon colors!]

I once lived a proudly sedentary life, where the only “marathon” I knew was one in which I’d watch entire seasons of television shows in one sitting.

And this was a fully nutritional meal as far as I was concerned.

Fortunately, I was born with a supersonic metabolism so it all worked out. And until this year I’d chalked that all up to my superior genetics, until I started noticing I have a family of relatives (<– sometimes I write fancy things in an effort to sound intelligent and only realize mid-sentence their redundancy… “period of time” “cacophony of sound” “bouquet of flowers”) with a tendency to have both diabetes and an addiction to powdered donuts (and the body shape to prove it).

And like a sprinter who over-exerts himself in the first 50 meters and craps out the last 50 (look! I’m already making running metaphors! I should start a fitness blog) I’m aware my metabolism is bound to forsake me & the diet I’d become accustomed to, and decide to leave me chubby and with low blood sugar.

This is something I found on the first Google Image results page for “chubby with low blood sugar”. This is also a portrait of several of my uncles. Many of my uncles.

(Quick pause: Ya know, four paragraphs in and I’m quickly realizing I should probably introduce myself. Hello! I’m Katie’s roommate, Alex. We became friends in high school because of how much we had in common. One day she told me she had a crush on me, and I kindly told her that we had one more thing in common: I too have crushes on boys. Tears and heartbreak later, she eventually got over it and we’ve been lyk *~*bEsTiEs*~* ever since. And now we live together! She makes me dinner, I make her do my laundry. Being roommates is all about compromise.)

This is a photograph of me, I presume. I told Katie to just pick a picture of me to go here… so I’m guessing she did that.

Anyway, I crunched the numbers (did I mention I’m a Statistics major? I’m a Statistics major), and determined I had about 1.3 years (±2 months) before I gained 214 pounds on the spot (±2 pounds). Well, fuchsia that! Determining I was too smart to stay unhealthy, I decided my first step to good health was the Couch to 5K Program. (See training plan here.)

(Sidebar: Katie specifically asked me to write a guest post reviewing the Couch to 5K Program I just finished. Part of me is sorry it took this long to get to the actual review. Most of me doesn’t give a cerulean.)

So the review: I’m like 80/20 on it. 80% positive, 20% negative.

The man is me. The brick-red who doesn’t understand the term “standard deviation” is Katie.

I shall divide the percentages as follows (did I mention I’m a Statistics major? I’m a Statistics major):

Positive
20% for being just 30 min. runs, 3 times a week — super manageable for a busy mother-fuzzywuzzy like me.
16% for providing you with a downloadable playlist on iTunes that you can follow along with as you run! — I didn’t use it because I’d rather listen to trashy pop music while I run, but to each his own.
22% for organization! I liked being told exactly what to do on exactly what day, and it kept me on a strict schedule. That said…
14% for encouraging you to take things slow if needed — I got some fierce kind of shin splints three weeks in so I took a week off, then was back at it and never looked back.
8% for costing me absolutely nothing. Some training plans make you pay for them and I’m not into that scarlet.

As for the Negative…
19% because before this I had never run a full mile without stopping and they make you go from two .75 mile runs on a Wednesday to 2 miles straight on a Friday — I did it, but not without feeling like Lucifer himself was repeatedly stabbing my lungs, for Shamrock‘s sake. But from there on out though it was a breeze.
1% because they don’t tell you what to do after — I felt like directionless immediately after my first 3 mile run. Katie caught me wide-eyed on RunnersWorld.com looking for training plans saying “What now!??”

So I’m continuing on my track to good health by starting Body Revolution this week (nothing inspires me for fitness like a hot lesbian), and starting training for our 10K that a big group of our friends are running together in the fall!

That’s Jillian Michaels with her hot lesbian friends. Already this picture makes me feel like doing 320 jumping jacks (± 3).

Lastly, while I have you dozen or so readers (if we’re being generous…) at my disposal, I figure I’d mention a couple things that have frustrated me about being active that I’ve since overcome:

1. Let’s talk about runner’s highs. They don’t exist. People who tell you they do are lying periwinkles. The only good thing that comes from running is a sense of accomplishment after a particularly long/hard run. And even that might not always come.

Let’s be real: Running sucks. I only do it because people tell me if I, like, want to keep living and stuff, I should keep my body moving.

(Sidebar: Initially I left out a word and that sentence read “I should keep body moving”, which is how I’m officially referring to “working out” from this point forward.)

So when I started, I used to run almost 7mph to just get the run over with. Don’t. Do that. Take it slow! Enjoy this time to yourself! When you’re body isn’t gasping for breath, it can sing Britney Spears songs at the top of its lungs! I didn’t think I’d make it through this training program until I started running closer to 5.6mph instead.

2. Lastly, being healthy is confusing and hard and frustrating but worth it. I used to think foods could just be classified as “healthy” and “non-healthy” but I’m quickly learning that there are so many pros and cons to any food that involve words like “complete proteins” and “probiotics” and “omega-3 fatty acids” that I am no where close to understanding.

But that’s okay! Just follow Katie’s blog and you’ll get a good sense of what food is okay to eat. And Katie’s teaching me to accept that everything is all about balance, and sometimes it’s better for your overall health to not deny yourself that ice cream sandwhich!

To which I say: Awesome! So that’s why I’m having an entire tray of cookie dough for dinner… with spinach!

Later days, friends.

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