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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Running, but not in circles

It occurred to me that I haven't blogged anything about my "running" challenge that I started with the "Couch to 5K" app on my iPhone, so here is all the nitty-gritty...and some of this might be better left to the female persuasion, so men, stop reading now or consider yourself warned.

I realized some insights early on that I will share here, even if they are embarassing, so that others have the benefit of knowledge I did not have. 1) Kris was right when she said SLOW DOWN. It was better to do it and do it slowly than to do it and do it incorrectly. I spent many weeks "fixing" bad habits so that I was actually running correctly. It's worth it now. I no longer feel like a stroke victim dragging one half of my body along. (And yes, I know some of these observations might not apply to people without a strange auto-immune issue, so bare with me.) 2) Running speeds up your digestive system. In a person with IBS, that is NOT a good thing. Getting hit by the trots on a jog is NO FUN. Just keeping it real. I had to learn to really LISTEN to my body about that...and buy stock in Immodium AD. 3) Self-diagnosing the reason for my leg cramps as a need for more potassium was NOT SMART. Apparantly, Potassium is not very bio-available and it too can speed up the digestive system. Talk about your double whammy! I'd take leg cramps over stomach cramps anyday! 4) Good running shoes are a necessity, but new shoes will change the way you run and they set me back about 2 weeks in progress as I relearned how to run again. 5) If you area "D" cup, the importance of a good sports bra cannot be stressed enough ;-).

More random observations/thoughts-in no particular order:

Couch to 5K is great, but their weekly schedule for progress is a bit too ambitious for me.  I have diligently been doing the program since October 10th of last year...and I'm still on week THREE!  Maybe their program doesn't take into the baby steps necessary for people who are really couch potatoes and not just couch sitters.  Who knows!  But I can say that I now spend my "running" part of the workout actually doing so at a pace that exceeds my walking speed, so that is progress.  And I think I am about ready to move to week 4, so pray for me!

Can you really call it "running" if you are still spending more than half you time walking?  I don't know, and I don't really care, beacuse "walking" doesn't describe it well either and interval training sounds high falutin', so I call it running anyway.

I HATE running.  Really.  I am NOT doing this for love.  I am doing this because I am fat and I am sedentary adn I can't afford a gym or yoga or anything fun like that.  I hate every minute leading up to getting out the door on my run, and I count the seconds until each of the running portions ends.  I HATE it.

My friend/mentor Kris had the pounds just melt off her when she started this.  I've not shed one stinkin' pound.  Really.  Every other day for 3 months and not an ounce of weight loss.  THAT STINKS!!!  But I can now walk fast again without feeling like I am going to die.  And I am sleeping better than I have in YEARS, so I'm clinging to that.  On the flip side, my normal dose of heart medicine is not cutting it anymore and I am wondering if the running has something to do with that.  I would go ask the Dr., but that costs money, so for now I'm just making do.

The best, most positive thing about my running is it is also my quiet time.  My iPhone is loaded with praise music (my current "playlist" is The Worship Band Live 3 (CC Merritt Island's worship team-they are awesome) and Acoustix-an acapella men's quartet who is also great).  I listen to praise music when I run, and that literally is what gets me through.  I look like a NUT JOB because I frequently spend the walking portions with my hands stretched high to heaven or signing the song I am listening to, but I don't really care what I look like.  I should also mention I run at night-usually around 9- so it's not like I have much of an audience.  I look at the stars and think about how great He is, and am frequently moved to tears, and THAT is the number one reason I don't give this whole thing up.

And actually, contrary to the title above, I am running in circles.  Or rather, one big one.  We have a local lake (okay, glorified sinkhole) that is exactly one mile around, so I begin my workout heading that way, run around it and then coem homw.  The only drawback is that at the very end of the workout, I have to climb a mammoth hill, but the rest of my run is on mostly level ground (although the first run happens when I am headed downhill, which seems a bit like cheating, but I pay for it on that hill at the end, so I think it balances out).

Well, that's probably enough about running for now, and more than you ever really wanted to know anyway!
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Mrs. Taffy said...

Love the honesty! My problem, besides my cup size is my just doesn't take much movement for a little accident, if you know what I mean...a sneeze, a laugh, a jump...I guess that's what I get for having all these babies, but I wouldnt' change anything! I wonder if that gets better with time too?

Good job! Worship is the way to go! That's energizing from the inside out! And I would be the same way, hands up with praise coming out of my mouth too! :o)

Tiffany said...

Good for you! I am impressed with your diligence.

Melissa said...

Well done! I too have noticed that a trip to the potty is a really good idea before running. A few weeks ago I stopped running and just went back to walking. I was so hating the running. But lately, I've been adding in some running again. I do love the after-run feeling.