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1st 5K done!!! (Finished C25K during COVID-19 outbreak in China)

leonayiluileonayilui Posts: 3Member Member Posts: 3Member Member
Greetings from China!

I've used MFP since 2016 and have stayed moderately active since then. I mainly do strength trainings and group aerobic dance classes (Zumba and LesMills BodyJam) in my gym. I was never really a fan of running because I found it repetitive and was quite self conscious whenever I ran outdoors, until I found myself stranded at my parents' house during the COVID-19 outbreak here in China.

I was also going through a lot in my personal life. I was coping with a break-up, had just quit my job and was about to relocate. With the newly imposed restrictions on going outdoors, I found it hard to stay motivated in exercising and as a result, I started showing a series of signs of depression and anxiety.

I decided to give running another try on a whim. With the number of confirmed cases in my hometown dropping, the parks have been reopened and we are allowed a bit more personal freedom since late February. I knew an effective way to regain my mental wellbeing is exercise. I figured that the easiest way to stay active would be go out for a run, since all gyms were closed.

I started my C25K training on March 4. As I have been moderately active for a few years now, I was able to skip ahead quite a few sessions when I found them too easy. Today, March 24, marks the completion of my 1st 5K run. I went from barely able to run 5 minutes consistently, to running continuously for 35 minutes. I have accumulated well over 50 kilometers of mileage in my training so far. I have rediscovered running as a meditative experience as I focus on my breathing while cruising past familiar streets, buildings, hills, rivers, and parks in my hometown accompanied by podcasts and audiobooks. More importantly, I feel happier now.

I started my first few runs wearing surgical masks, when numbers of confirmed patients and deaths were steadily rising in other parts of my country. During my 20-day journey to my 1st 5K run, I witnessed the trajectory of those numbers change, as early spring flowers started blooming and green buds started developing on willow trees. I was able to remove my mask on my runs as the pandemic got under control and authorities permitted being outdoors without masks on. I'm grateful that I got a personal achievement through this gruesome outbreak.

I share my experience with you, my dearest fellow MFPers, as I know many of you are going through similar struggles that I had gone through in the past few weeks. It's okay to feel lost and disheartened in face of a crisis. But remember to listen to your body and your mind. Do your best to stay active, even if it means to try doing something new (or to dress head-to-toe in protective gear and gasping for air inside your surgical masks, as was in my case). This pandemic, like all horrible things that have happened in history, will eventually pass. We are all in this together. Stay strong.

ps. My first 5K run was finished in 32 minutes. There is definitely a lot of space for improvements. I will continue running to improve my 5k, and to slowly build my way towards a 10K. I will progress through my 10K training at a more comfortable pace. I will use this thread to record my running journey. Hopefully I will have more to share soon.

Leona

↓↓↓Me feeling rather happy after my first 5K↓↓↓
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edited March 24

Replies

  • moonangel12moonangel12 Posts: 444Member, Premium Member Posts: 444Member, Premium Member
    Congratulations!!

    There is so much hope and encouragement in your post, in many ways - thank you!
  • palmetto_dewbugpalmetto_dewbug Posts: 7Member Member Posts: 7Member Member
    Thank you so much for sharing your story! And congratulations on completing your first 5K!
  • glennagaelglennagael Posts: 81Member Member Posts: 81Member Member
    The best story since the virus broke. Thank you for sharing! FANTASTIC job!

    Might have cried a little bit when the mask came off. 😂
  • Sand_TIgerSand_TIger Posts: 126Member Member Posts: 126Member Member
    Wonderful job! And a great thing to hold on to hope and goals through something like this.
  • denisseeriosdenisseerios Posts: 11Member Member Posts: 11Member Member
    Thanks love for sharing that! I actually have thought of taking that up. With the new restrictions, I can’t go to the gym and being cooped up in the house is not always healthy mentally. So I’m thinking of doing it for a breather and to get myself doing better physically. I’m at a weight that’s yo-yo stage and it doesn’t seem to budge. When I went to the gym, I would do lots of weights and some cardio. I really would like to improve. I think that long term speaking, cardio and weights will BOTH do my body justice. On top of it all, I’m using my time better other areas in my life. I have even binged on any TV which is a big change in itself.
  • leonayiluileonayilui Posts: 3Member Member Posts: 3Member Member
    Thanks love for sharing that! I actually have thought of taking that up. With the new restrictions, I can’t go to the gym and being cooped up in the house is not always healthy mentally. So I’m thinking of doing it for a breather and to get myself doing better physically. I’m at a weight that’s yo-yo stage and it doesn’t seem to budge. When I went to the gym, I would do lots of weights and some cardio. I really would like to improve. I think that long term speaking, cardio and weights will BOTH do my body justice. On top of it all, I’m using my time better other areas in my life. I have even binged on any TV which is a big change in itself.

    You are absolutely right! Cardio and weights can both do a lot of good. I believe running solo outdoors aligns with the principles of social distancing. Might want to check with your local policy to see if it is advised at this strange moment! But if you can, go for it! Start slow and easy (there are tons of free training resources out there), and always warm up, cool down and stretch. Listening to your body is the best way to avoid injuries. You go girl!
  • denisseeriosdenisseerios Posts: 11Member Member Posts: 11Member Member
    leonayilui wrote: »
    Thanks love for sharing that! I actually have thought of taking that up. With the new restrictions, I can’t go to the gym and being cooped up in the house is not always healthy mentally. So I’m thinking of doing it for a breather and to get myself doing better physically. I’m at a weight that’s yo-yo stage and it doesn’t seem to budge. When I went to the gym, I would do lots of weights and some cardio. I really would like to improve. I think that long term speaking, cardio and weights will BOTH do my body justice. On top of it all, I’m using my time better other areas in my life. I have even binged on any TV which is a big change in itself.

    You are absolutely right! Cardio and weights can both do a lot of good. I believe running solo outdoors aligns with the principles of social distancing. Might want to check with your local policy to see if it is advised at this strange moment! But if you can, go for it! Start slow and easy (there are tons of free training resources out there), and always warm up, cool down and stretch. Listening to your body is the best way to avoid injuries. You go girl!

    Thank you. From what I know, we’re allowed to go on walks for physical activity. I won’t go far, or anywhere heavily populated. Just by home. I’ll be very glad to pick this up while waiting to be able to use the gym again. I think it’ll do my body good. So thank you for the inspiration to doing this through this horrible time in our lives!!
  • gleonettigleonetti Posts: 2Member Member Posts: 2Member Member
    So inspiring! Thank you for sharing your story. I haven't run in years because I didn't enjoy it but your story makes me want to try again!
  • leonayiluileonayilui Posts: 3Member Member Posts: 3Member Member
    gleonetti wrote: »
    So inspiring! Thank you for sharing your story. I haven't run in years because I didn't enjoy it but your story makes me want to try again!

    Thank you! Same here, I used to really not enjoy running. I felt it was really boring. This time, running was a last resort for me because all gyms were closed and working out at home was really hard because I was already feeling quite depressed indoors. I was surprised to find that it didn't actually feel that bad once I started running. There are definitely things that can make running more enjoyable, going slow and easy, enjoying the scenery along the way, listening to music/podcasts/audiobooks, etc. There are also running games out there where you imagine running away from zombies (there's an app called Zombies, Run, I will try it soon). Technology has definitely made running feel less repetitive. And once you start running, that feeling you get when you finish each run is just wonderful, as with most workouts. So I would totally suggest that you give it another go!
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