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For this mama, ‘Couch to 5K’ feels more like ‘Molehill to Mountain’

For this mama, ‘Couch to 5K’ feels more like ‘Molehill to Mountain’

Between being a mother of two young children and holding down a full-time job as manager of pediatric orthopedics at Advocate Children’s Hospital, it is very hard to find time to exercise.

The most activity I get is getting everyone up and out of the house in the morning. I’m always running to get to work on time and then running out of work to pick everyone up. Once we get home, it’s time for our nightly routine of dinner, homework, bath and bed. After all of this, I am worn out. With all of this running, for years I had convinced myself that I was living an ‘active’ lifestyle.

I kept telling myself I needed to do something more, but I just never seemed to have enough time. Then I heard about Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Fitness Center’s Healthy Heart 10-week Running Program, and I thought to myself… I could do that.

Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t stepped foot on a track since high school. And even in high school, I never enjoyed running. But this, this is for me. I want to prove to myself I can do more than just work and take care of my kids. I need to take care of me!

That is why I am committed to running my first 5K ever!

So far it’s been three weeks, and they say things are supposed to become a habit after three weeks. Well let me tell you, it HAS NOT yet become a habit. The Fitness Center has developed what seems to be a simple and easy to follow training program. The schedule includes walking, light jogging, intervals between jogging and walking, as well as pre- and post- stretches.

I have to be honest, it has been hard to stick to the training regimen the fitness center has put together. Not because it is hard, but because of my daily schedule. Life always seems to get in the way. But I keep reminding myself, I know something is better than nothing and “Rome wasn’t built in a day!”

Stay tuned for my next update in a few weeks. At that point, I hope to be cruising along and well on my way to a 5K!

Please, I encourage you to join me on this journey, and remember, you don’t have to do this for anyone but you!

Beth Mikalauskas, MSN, BSN, is a mother, registered nurse, manager of the pediatrics orthopedic program and aspiring runner.

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  1. Dear Beth, I started the weight loss program at Advocate 18 months ago. 3 months later I started the couch to 5k. This is my second try at it. A friend gave me a piece of advice I found helpful…she said the important thing was to keep trying. If it took me 1 month to complete the first week it’s ok. It took me a long time but at 7 months I was running 30 minutes (about 2.5 miles) 3 times a week. It’s hard and at times unpleasant (I’m not really a natural runner) but I’m so proud of myself that I was able to do this. You keep up the good work and with a full time job and young kids…good for you!!!

  2. I just wanted to say “thank you for sharing your story.” I have 4 boys and their are all older now and don’t need me as much anymore and after reading your story you’ve encouraged me to get off the couch and do something. I just signed up for the Yoga class I’ve always to belong to.
    So tomorrow is my first day and hopefully won’t be my last.

    Good luck on your 5k

  3. Hello Beth,

    Congratulations on your accomplishments and sharing your story. I have never run from the front door to the mailbox. But time heals wounds and has a way of changing us. I ran this past Sunday 5K timed in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. I am four years out, and this was a huge accomplishment. I had strong support from my kids, and in-law kids who joined me. My husband was the “chief” babysitter for the grand-kids. Love, encouragement, faith, and a commitment to be healthy is paramount to my success.

    Best of luck on your 5K — You too will do great!

  4. Where can we find details of the Heart Healthy 10 week Running Program if we aren’t able to attend at the fitness center?

  5. Edward M. Bury, APR May 12, 2016 at 2:12 pm · Reply

    Good Day: I’ve been in “training” for a 5K for many months. Hopefully will run one this fall. You can do it! I certainly plan to. Just takes putting one foot in front of the other — many times, of course.

About the Author

Beth Mikalauskas
Beth Mikalauskas

Beth Mikalauskas, MSN, BSN, is a mother, registered nurse, manager of the pediatrics orthopedic program and aspiring runner.