Thursday, March 29, 2007


I did Day 2 of Week 4 of C25k last night. I waited a half hour later than I have been going out, and that was a good idea; it was a bit cooler going out at 7:30. (I live in the Southern US, so 'sunset' technically is something like 8 p.m. right now, and it stays somewhat light until 8:30 or so. I exercise in the park, so road traffic is only a concern on my way there and back.)

Honestly, Day 2 of Week 4 was hard for me. I got a stitch in my side with my first 5-minute run--despite me running slowly and trying to breathe deeply-- and eventually I put my mp3 player on pause and walked/deep-breathed it off. Then I started running again. I did manage both 3-min. runs and the second 5-min. run with no stopping. I am going to try (*try*) exercising in the morning before work tomorrow to see if an earlier, cooler, less smoggy start (Atlanta has terrible smog when it gets hot/humid) helps me out. If tomorrow's run/walk is as difficult as yesterday's, then I'm going to do Week 4 over again. It is easy for me to feel anxious, frustrated, or competitive with myself for not being able to skip straight to Week 5. I am taking time to remind myself that this is a journey toward being able to run, not a competition!

Doing C25k is good for me in that way. I remind myself I'm learning to do something that I'm not good at. There are many things I won't be instantly good at that I want to try. This is the first one I can remember in a long while where I am recognizing I'm not good at it and gradually working toward the goal of doing it better without getting frustrated or flustered to the point of giving up. What will I try next? I'm not sure, but I guarantee you I'm on a roll.

For some reason, I have kept putting off getting a trainer for upper-body work. Now the end of the semester isn't terribly far away, and I can only buy sessions through the end of the semester at my husband's school. I'm considering not getting a trainer and buying resistance bands and a ball to use at home instead. I wanted a trainer to help me exercise in the park, but the heat and pollen (high pollen count = 120, pollen count in Atlanta yesterday =5300) are making being outside not terribly enjoyable. So now I think I would like to do stuff at home. I want to do things that don't require going to the gym at all, so I've been researching at-home, weight-less exercise. I'm thinking some plyometrics, some exercises that use my own weight and gravity (like push-ups), and some resistance work-outs would be a good upper-body combination. Until I get through C25k, I don't need any additional work-outs for my lower half. My core has been amazingly strengthened by running--I can't believe my hard obliques!--and will also be supplemental support for the upper-body stuff I'm looking at.

I have realized something important in this process of learning to run. Ladies, some of you will understand how major this is. I have realized that if I am going to be someone who works out regularly, if I am going to be some kind of athlete, I have to take care of my body to the point of giving up some of my shoes. During the workweek, it's not unusual for me to wear shoes that have stretched out to be slightly too big (I hold them in place by occasionally tensing my toes or some such--which I didn't even realize till recently) or that pinch my foot a little, or something like that. But if I go to exercise after wearing those shoes, my feet are, of course, still uncomfortable from the shoes I had on. That's not cool. It looks like I'll be purging my closet this weekend. This is not a small thing: we are talking about some of my most beloved shoes. My husband is in awe of the fact that I'm considering giving up my favorite red clog Doc Marten's, which are, these days, a smidge too big, and slide around on my feet a bit in a way that's not entirely comfy for much walking. But I'm thinking about giving up those shoes and probably half a dozen or a dozen others because part of this whole weight-loss thing, and part of this whole exercise thing, and part of this whole becoming-a-better-me thing is realizing that I want to take good care of myself in every way possible. I mean, really--I've recently started flossing every night, and I hate flossing. It's the same thing, at heart, the rest of this: I want to be a happy, healthy me, the me that is nurtured; and that means doing things that ultimately take good care of me even if they are not the easiest to do initially or in the short term or even if they change my life a bit or alter my relationships with some people or whatever. I'm taking time for me and making energy for me in a variety of ways, getting healthier as I go. No one else can nurture me if I don't nurture myself.

There are times in life when things are falling apart and you do what you can to hold them together. You cling for dear life. You grudgingly make whatever changes you have to make to keep going. It's all a struggle, and you are brave for just making it through the best you can. Then there are times in life when things are coming together for you, and you can either sit complacently or take those times for all they're worth. I'm in one of the latter times now: figuring out grad school plans, working on a great relationship with my husband, calming down my complex relationship with money (a subject due its own long post, whenever I manage to finish the one I've started), simplifying my life so that what is really important to me is in the forefront and what society tells me should be important isn't as prevalent in my mind. I want to take this time for all it's worth and make some big strides towards the person I want to be . . . even though it's not easy to do that.

When it got hard for me yesterday on my second 5-min. run, I pictured the little girl I was when I was three. When I was three, I loved my tricycle. I cycled my bright red tricycle everywhere I could: I was a tricycle speed demon. I was full of energy. I was full of possibility. "I'm coming home," I told the little girl in my head. "I'm getting back to the you you thought you'd be."


gaga said...

Actually I think the final count yesterday was 5935. But who's counting? A neon yellow-green dust covers my truck and everything in my house.

Again I have to tell you what an inspiration you are. What a great attitude and point of view. Keep it up!


Kim said...

I am really really proud of you. :) Keep running little girl!!

Linds said...

Wow... I'm so impressed and very very inspired by today's blog! Thank you for posting this! I find it so motivating to read about your journey in the couch to 5k program. It makes me want to jump up and go for a run...right here and now. (Ha our weather is a lot colder than yours right now!) I know how hard it is, and I know it's not an easy thing, but knowing that someone is doing it, it makes it seem doable... it's an attainable goal. I just want to thank you, and let you know that you are very motivating, and just keep up the fantastic work... i'm rooting for you big time!

Lol oh yes, I will be in a bikini by October!! Something's gotten into my lately, and I want thin really badly. Actually, I wouldnt' really say I want thin, I just want to be healthy, much like you mentioned... I want a healther me. Of course thiner me will follow!

Take care, and keep up the great work!

KL said...

Thanks for the nice comment! I didn't know you were here in Atlanta also. I bet the pollen has affected your training the way it's been hitting everyone. My car is yellow, and the blacktops look like there has been a moldy snowstorm. Yuck.

Sonya said...

Keep it up - you're absolutely amazing! And only a true athlete would keep pushing through a stitch, while running.;-)

Weight Master said...

Great job!!! Keep it up.

PastaQueen said...

Heh, I used to have a big wheel that my mom stuck a big flourescent orange flag on the back of so I wouldn't get run over. The wheel was plastic and eventually got dented, so no more big wheeling after that :(