Becoming A Runner ~ Couch to 5K With The Kids


A few weeks ago, I decided that my kids would like to start the Couch to 5K running program.

(Kind of me, don’t you think?)

Why did I decide this? Simply, I wanted to add a new activity to gym class in our home school curriculum and I felt the need for a third party to defer to in times of resistance by the participants!

I know for a fact that both my children are great runners. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes – beautiful, natural, easy stride. Especially my daughter, the eldest. It’s enviable.

They’ve taken track & field camps before. Those kids can run.

However, for some *strange* reason, when mom wants them to “go for a run”, it’s a whole different story. The whiny pants come out… the “I can’t”s are uttered… the “I’m so tired” is dramatically expressed. Brother. Whose children are these?!

I decided they should take a more serious crack at running. Shoot, if they were in school they’d have to, right?

Thankfully, it’s about more than just “keeping up with the conventionally schooled Jones-es”! I’d love for them to someday love running like I do.

Yes, it’s for their health. But more importantly, God willing, it’s something they can always do… always count on… always have for their own, no matter where they go or what they do. (Same is true of walking, of course.) All they need is some decent shoes and they’re good-to-go.

Running is my number one activity of choice for freedom, stress reduction, pain reduction (yes, you read that correctly!), processing, burning off steam, anger management, “me time”, prayer time, thinking, and creativity….

I often joke that, if I could just run more, I’d soon solve all the problems of the world… and write more books! (My first two books and several other products were “written” or created as I was running. I dictated them into a small digital recorder to be transcribed later.)

I also made it through my mom’s sickness, and eventual passing, by becoming what I consider a “real” runner… someone who truly loves to run… craves running. I credit God and running for teaching me how to take things (literally) one step at a time and to take notice of the blessings along the way… no matter how small or well hidden they may be.

This is what I look forward to when I run.

I want my kids to have something like that as they get older… something that connects them to what’s big and important.

So, why did I choose Couch to 5K (C25K)? I didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about this or researching it. I have several friends who did the C25K program and loved it. These are all people who swore they’d never be runners. And now they run. I think they even smile when they do it!

It’s a super simple program to turn a non-runner into a happy runner!

Even though the kids run, per say, like kids do… when they feel like it, I wanted them to learn to push themselves.

So, we’ve been hitting the trails for the last 5 weeks.

Heading out for a run...!

I learned really quickly that the BIGGEST CHALLENGE is not at all about the physical act of running. It’s all about “head space”. Self talk.

I did not anticipate that I’d be granted such a perfect opportunity to work with the kids on this through this program! (And to work on improving my own skills in this area, of course!)

This has actually become our primary ‘theme’ of our running time – to control our thoughts and self talk – to intentionally “plant positives”. Science has proven for years that our thoughts effect our physiological function – whiny, negative thoughts lead to poor performance and physical difficulties, while positive, empowering thoughts enhance performance and function.

Plus, let’s not overlook the obvious here: thinking in a more positive, empowering way just FEELS better! Duh.

Being intentional with our thoughts and self talk is the name of the game. How well they run – time & distance – although an important part of their physical education and health, is secondary to becoming the master of their own mental and emotional domain!

We use running as our time to practice this with the intention to apply it in other (less-controlled and predictable) areas of our life.

We’ve failed miserably at times… and the whining takes over… or the former-coach mom becomes a little too intense for a moment or two… or ten. But, each time, we talk (pre, post and during the run) about intentionally placing proactive thoughts in our head and playing an active role in creating our reality. We get back on track.

It has been extraordinary to watch the kids grow into runners in just a few weeks. They are unequivocally better runners, but it’s the secondary effects of running that have made their mom proud. They’re both more confident, more positive, more determined… and I haven’t heard “I can’t” since week one.

I’ve taught them how to find that elusive “groove” when running – the place where your body takes over, your mind relaxes, there is no pain, and you could go on forever. We tend to find that groove when we’ve gotten our self talk on the right track and we’re nicely distracted – having a nice conversation, or taking notice of nature around us, or singing, or talking about something funny… that works most of the time… until the laughing becomes too intense and mom is bent over at the waist in a fit of laughter.

It happens. These people are funny!

Several times now, each one of them has confided in me during a run that they “feel like a real runner”. It’s an awesome thing to witness!

They are runners. They met the goal of the entire 9 week program in week 3 – to run 30 minutes or 5 Kilometers without stopping. I just wanted them to know they could do it, so I pushed them beyond the outline of the program… just for fun! They were SO proud of themselves – it was great!  They’ve done that a couple of times since then, but mostly I just let them follow the general flow of the program now… enjoying their running time.

Oh, my favorite quote of our running so far?

On one rather warm day when we were all pretty saturated after the run, I made a request to cease excessive bodily contact with the coach due to the sweaty condition of all participants.

My son responded with, “Mom, this isn’t sweat… it’s AWESOME SAUCE!”


* * *

How about YOU? If you’re a runner, what do YOU love about it?

If you’re not a runner, is it on your to-do list?

What’s YOUR stress-busting exercise of choice?

Please share!

Hacked, But Now Back! It’s Time To Focus On Health Again!

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Well, hello there, stranger! It’s been a long time!

Here’s the short version of where I’ve been: my blog was the victim of a very well orchestrated attack. Stinks. It took us several months to even figure out what on earth happened… then several more attempting to salvage what we could… but no such luck. I pretty much lost everything from the past 5 years. (Nothing *important*, per say… all things considered!)

Yes, we had back-ups, wise guy! Those were ‘contaminated’ as well. Poof. Gone! Who knew just running regular back-ups wasn’t good enough?! Lesson learned.

The same thing happened to every other website we own for our practice and the various books and products we’ve created over the years. I think the very worst part of this has been losing our contact lists… all the people we’ve met online and in person over the years. That part makes me sad. I hope our paths will cross again somehow.

(Speaking of which, please be sure to sign up for my email updates so we can keep in touch… since there’s a pretty good chance I no longer have your contact info you may have previously sent!)

So, this has been a rather stressful, icky experience. I don’t exactly understand all the technical reasons why it happened, nor do I care to focus on the “why” too much, other than to correct what can be corrected as I move forward. It’s just time to move on… to re-create… and re-build. Thankfully, I have a few rough drafts of my favorite articles saved in a totally different place than my ‘official back-up’, so you’ll see those resurface at some point.

(So there, hacker dudes.)

The site won’t look overly lovely for a little while yet – it’s still under construction. However, I didn’t want to wait ’til it’s “perfect” to start sharing again… perfect isn’t on my agenda anyhow!

Like I’ve said a hundred times to myself over the past few months, “Oh, well. What else am I gonna’ do?!”

So, what have I been up to for the past several months, you may or may not be wondering? I think I can quickly sum it up with “going a little bit crazy!” Yes, that seems about right!

It seems like we had some months of condensed stress:

  • first my husband’s dad passed away quite suddenly right before the holidays – of course, that created major emotional distress and heartache that seemed to set the tone for the weeks and months to follow
  • then our only assistant in the practice gave her notice that she was moving right after the holidays… so we hired a new person ASAP… waited a few weeks for her to start… she never showed up… so we started the hiring process all over again
  • in the meantime, I started back in the practice VERY full time… every day for quite awhile… along with the kids… trying to home school at work, around work, while being the doctor AND the assistant … crazy.
  • thankfully, we have a new assistant who has eased the burden… and my poor kids are only there 5 or 6 days a week now, rather than 7!! If they’re lucky, it might only be 4 days some weeks! They have been little troopers!
  • my dad’s health has been up and down. He sold his house that he has lived in for 48 years, mostly due to the financial strain it was causing him. That opened up a whole new can of worms… the stressful kind. Stressful worms are clearly not good for health… and especially not good for cancer. So, we’re working through that process…

Thankfully, there are always blessings. Always – no matter how mucky things can get.

On the very positive side, the last several months have been jam-packed with massive amounts of studying and learning, learning, learning. That’s definitely the part I love the most about what I do!

My hubby and I have continued with daily study in the area of  “Neuro-Metabolic” care – or, metabolic recovery and brain based therapy, primarily as they relate to chronic illness. It’s quite similar to “functional medicine”, in case that rings a bell.

There are so many conditions and pathways for recovery we’ve been studying – thyroid conditions, digestive issues and “leaky gut”, liver detoxification pathways, (true) root causes of cardiovascular conditions, hormonal imbalances, fertility issues, depression & anxiety disorders, autoimmune conditions (grossly misdiagnosed or missed altogether!), and many, many more.

A couple areas we’ve dived head first into with advanced training are Integrative Cancer Recovery as well as becoming Certified Gluten Practitioners.You will flip your lid when you hear the depth and breadth of the gluten issue and food sensitivity in general – it goes so far beyond “wheat” and grains, it’s not even funny!

Of course, the topic of cancer is near and dear to my heart. I’m extremely proud of the training we’ve accomplished recently, as well as the very thorough Integrative Recovery program we’ve spear-headed in our practice, with the help and input of a couple hundred of the smartest docs you could imagine.

I’ll definitely be filling you in on some of the phenomenal information I’ve been studying, and more importantly, how to reduce your risk  for these chronic conditions… or how to manage and/or reverse them if you’ve already been diagnosed. With the advanced diagnostic testing we now perform, we even offer “distance programs” for people all around the world… helping them properly identify the root causes of their health problems, and helping them regain health and function through a strategic recovery program. Exciting times!


As far as home school is concerned, we’re on a roll now. We’re late bloomers this year… but we are finishing strong! Each child has really blossomed in their own way – I’m proud of each of them for who they’ve become this school year, and for the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired.

I’m also a mighty bit relieved that there’s significantly less whining about school from the shortest of the short ones! Makes my life as teacher (and mom) a whole lot more peaceful!

So, that kinda’ sorta’ brings us up to speed here.

Let me know if there are certain health topics you’d like more information about… if you have any questions… or any suggestions regarding how to improve this blog as it gets going again. I’d love your input!

Also, please play nicely and share with others! My mission, both in our practice and with this blog, has always been to reach out to as many people as possible and offer help in any way I can. I appreciate your help in spreading the word!