Yesterday, I ran for the first time in months. Well, it wasn’t so much a run as it was a walk-run. I woke up feeling like a slug; I’ve done nothing physical in months and felt like it was time to get off my ass and move. I downloaded an app on my phone called Running for Weightloss that was recommended to me by a friend (who also happens to be the author of the blog Vegan Mostly (http://www.veganmostly.blogspot.com). The app eases you into running with walking interspersed with short bursts of running, a lot like the Couch to 5K app that I used last year.
It was abundantly clear about three-quarters of the way through Day 1 that it is time for me to get back to the gym on a regular basis; any stamina that I previously had for running is gone (not that I ever had that much of, but I had more than I do now). I was so pleased with myself after I’d finished and felt such a sense of accomplishment. It felt good to move, to do something physical, to be out of breath.
Today however, is another matter. To say I’m sore is an understatement! Everything hurts: my legs, my hips, my abs. Moving today has been a challenge. But, I’m taking the discomfort as a sign that I did something good yesterday! Running isn’t something that I particularly enjoy. In fact, last year when I started the Couch to 5K program, there were days that I downright hated it. But now, I’m willing to give it another shot and see if it’ll help me reach my health goals. I perused Pinterest for some inspiration and ran across this blog http://m.blogher.com/i-am-fat-runner. I’ve also run across other blogs that focus on “fat runners”. While I hate that term…the fact of the matter is that there are people out there that run who are not long and lanky. And I am decidedly not long and lanky. It gives me hope that if I continue to give running another try, while it will hurt and it will be a challenge, that there are others out there that do it and are of the same structure as me. And it is possible. Attaining goals is possible. I just have to work through it. And I have to remind myself that even the lean and trim people that I see running at the park hurt sometimes. I can do this. Day by day, I can do this.
Spring has sprung here in northern Virginia and I’ve chosen a new means of torture…I mean exercise …to try now that the weather is just puuuurfect. I’ve decided to start running. Ok, maybe not “running”; It goes more like this: start off jogging at the end of the driveway up the small hill and slow down to a walk when I can no longer take a breath and I’m gasping and drawing in breaths through my mouth because I’ve lost all control over the most involuntary bodily function. And then I walk until I can easily breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. And then I run again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. You get the idea.
Generally, I’m fairly repulsed by the idea of running. It makes you sweat, it makes you feel like your heart is going to explode and limits your breathing ability. In fact, when urged to run because of its health benefits by a co-worker, my response was, “I only run if I’m being chased by something with a dangerous weapon.” However, I caught up with someone who I used to date last week (a very bad decision) and noticed a big difference in his physique. He’d started running. I figured if someone like him (trying-to-quit smoker, heavy drinker, non-exerciser) could do it, so could I. I also have felt like a slug as of late. I don’t remember the last time I went to the gym (and I hate the fact that I’m paying for a gym membership that I don’t use) because I hate being on a machine in a humid (yes, for some reason it’s somewhat humid there) gym. Being on a treadmill or a stair climber or an elliptical machine makes me miserable. My reasoning is that I have to do enough things in life that I dislike…why should I force myself to go to a gym if it’s optional and it makes me miserable?
Anyway, once I decided I’d give this a try, I decided to follow through. After all, if I hated it, I didn’t have to do it again. The funny thing is, the first day that I did this (last Wednesday), I was shocked at how very little I could jog before I needed to come to a screeching halt; before my heart felt like it was going to leap up from my chest cavity into my throat. The second day (embarrassingly enough, this was just yesterday. I didn’t feel like moving at all on Thursday and Friday night I needed a girls night with pizza and a movie) seemed a lot easier. I don’t know how, but somehow it felt easier to move my body at a faster pace than walking. I also chose to extend the area of my walk/jog to about 2 miles; amazingly enough, I was able to run longer and further distances before I felt like I was going to collapse. By the time I made it home, I was sweaty and short of breath, but I’d done it! Today (day 3) I did it again…and I even bested my distance again!
I look nothing like this when I run
There’s something very strange about this new “hobby” (yes, we’ll call it a hobby). The pounding of my feet on concrete is strangely hypnotic. I get a sense of pride every time I look back at a section of road that I’ve just run down (this is of course once the urge to vomit has passed and I can breathe again). And, the best of all outcomes is that I feel good after I’ve completed my walk/jog. I have a huge sense of accomplishment and pride every time I finish my loop around the neighborhood (or two neighborhoods, as the case has been the last two days). Those are reasons enough for me to continue this new hobby and pushing myself to new levels.