Jonathan Billings submitted this story as part of our Rise to 5K story contest. Jonathan won second place with this story of the Rise to 5K training schedule getting him back into running for good health!

I wanted to share my story to say thank you for the online 5k tools. I’d originally signed up for the ‘in-person’ Rise To 5k in St. Albans, but my calendar felt maxed and I just couldn’t prioritize exercise given work demands, so I dropped out before it started. However, when a blood test value came back on the wrong side of healthy, I adjusted my priorities. By then, the in-person approach was underway, the time I could clear in my day was 4:30am to 6am, and my target race (Corporate Cup, since I had to go anyway) was only 5 weeks away. I went online and found the Rise to 5k plan and adapted it for the time I had left. It was a great guide. I suck at athletic moderation, so the format let me ease back into running without overdoing it while still getting in ready in time. Thanks to RiseVT’s measured approach, I glided into race day feeling confident and feeling healthy. The run was a gentle delight – thank you, Rise to 5k! I’m continuing to run — my eyes on getting to a healthier weight, resetting that troublesome lab value, and completing my first sprint triathlon later this year. Life is good.