I Actually DO Like Running!

I stayed after work today to walk a few laps around the parking lot. I was maintaining a very (VERY) brisk pace, and realized that if I were moving any faster, I’d be running… so, with no bright lights and no one to see me even if there were, that’s what I did. I only lasted about thirty seconds, and my legs felt like they were burning, and I wanted to just STOP completely… instead, I dropped back down to a walk, and kept going.

When I got to the same spot on the next lap, I ran again. And it hurt again, and I only lasted about forty-five seconds. And then again on the next lap. And the next.

On my final lap, I got to the same spot, and tried again. And it didn’t hurt. In fact, it was kind of awesome. I had to slow back to a walk when I hit the part of the lot where there are no lights (because there might be potholes, or twigs, or raccoons to trip over, and that would suck).

The terror that stalks the night behind our building.

The terror that lurks in the shadows.

I have to admit, after thinking about it and talking about it and investing money in it, I was worried I would still hate running, and that I had certain expectations that weren’t going to be met. Nope. I love this. I didn’t love it the first or second or fifth time, but I love knowing that I can do this.

Next time, I’m trying for full laps.

But My Excuses Are Valid!

Haven’t been back to the gym since testing the shoes. Friday and Saturday I had to get up early and got off work way too late (but made a point of parking far away everywhere I went so I could at least get some walking in). Yesterday… well, yesterday, I just went full-on kitty-mode. I was either flopped out in a chair or sleeping all day. Definitely going tomorrow night, though.

I also spent a good portion of yesterday changing my hair from pink to purple.

“What does that have to do with your quest for fitness, Kitty?”

That’s easy. It’s a reminder that my body is mine, to do with as I please, whether it be odd colored hair or pushing it another mile. My life, my body, my choices.  And it makes people smile. I like that. It makes me smile. I like that a lot. And when I’m happy, I want to do nice things for myself, like eat better and get in shape. So there you go. Completely related.

 

The Importance of Proper Footwear, Part 2

“Why, Kitty!” I hear you say. “Are those the Asics Kayano 19 I see on your feet?”

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Yes. Yes, they are. They are like wrapping your feet in marshmallows and walking on tiny feather pillows.

I took them for a test run today. Well, test walk. I was able to walk at double my usual pace, and maintain it longer, with minimal pain. Unfortunately, still not one of my better workouts since I ate too soon before I went to the gym and ended up with some nasty pains in my side. But I was able to “walk” at a near jogging speed. I’m on my way to running.

See Kitty Run (Run, Kitty, Run!)

All of this started sometime in November. I’m not sure how or why, but I decided I want to be a runner. (Really, I can probably blame my friend, Tammy, as she was busy completing marathons and whatnot.) The only viable time to run would be at night, so I made arrangements to run in the parking lot after work. I bought the necessary gear for winter running, set up my playlist, downloaded a C25K app, let my coworkers know where to find me if I didn’t check back in within two hours, and then I set off.

“Begin walking at a brisk pace.”

Okay, sure. I can totally do that. Look at me walking briskly! There’s just no stopping me!

“Change to a run for two minutes.”

Two minutes? HA! That’s ridiculously easy… umm. Wow, that kind of hurts my side. Yikes! What’s that pain in my leg? OHMYGOD two minutes has to be nearly finished!

“One minute, thirty seconds remaining.”

Right. We’ll just walk at a slightly brisker pace. Or maybe just slow down a little more on the “walking” sections.

 

It didn’t take long to realize that a Couch-2-5K was not going to work for me. I could barely manage a couch-to-refrigerator. I probably would have given up after that, but I came home that night to find a flier in my mailbox for a new gym that was opening nearby. I checked the location– not just “nearby”, literally half a block from my apartment. And cheap! I mulled it over for approximately half a day, told a coworker about it. She was the fourth signup for the location, and I was the fifth.

There have been setbacks. I stopped almost entirely between December and February. My usual seasonal depression kicked in, and my doctor recommended tanning in short increments to get the simulated sunlight. My gym has tanning. And hey, since I’m already here, I might as well get a workout in.

Between March and May, I lost 25 pounds. That’s some pretty good incentive to keep going.

It’s so easy to just say, “I’m a grown-up, and I don’t have to do anything that I don’t want to do,” and skip my workouts. When I finish up a 12-14 hour day at work, the only place I want to be is home. But that’s all the more reason not to give up.

I can’t run away forever, but I can run away for an hour or two a day, literally. I can take off and go and not have to think about anything but my heart rate and my stride and the next step.

Running Out of Excuses

The Asics are starting their final leg (ha ha) of their journey and should be here this week. I think that was my final excuse for skipping workouts, and now that’s eliminated.

Oh, sure. There are a lot of other excuses I could use. But there are responses to all of them that present a stronger argument.

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Speaking of excuses, this subject is a great excuse to post a cat picture!

 

I’m too tired!

Of course I’m too tired. My metabolism is tanking because I haven’t worked out in awhile. And the longer I go without working out, the worse it’s going to be.

 

I’m sick!

See “I’m too tired”… exercise helps my body fight off infections and viruses. Even if I’m feeling under the weather, I need to at least do a little bit, or I’m not going to feel better.

 

I don’t have time!

Yeah. Eliminated this one when a 24-hour gym opened half a block from where I live.

 

I can’t afford a gym!

I have weights at home. I have a huge, police-patrolled parking lot at work that’s empty when I leave.I live across the street from a park. And, really, if I can afford fast food 2-3 times per week, I can afford $10/month for a gym membership (or $20 in my case, because tanning and hydromassage).

 

I don’t know how to work out properly!

It’s 2013 now, and the internet is totally a thing. There are websites, videos, how-to guides, all from professional trainers who know their stuff. Not knowing how to do something is no longer a valid excuse.

 

I’m too fat!

Well, duh. I’m fat because I’ve sat around on my ever-growing backside, doing nothing for a couple of decades now. This excuse only works if I want to continue in my present state (I do not). Yes, I probably am too heavy to run. But I can walk. I can cycle. I can lift. And I can keep doing these things until I’m no longer too heavy for running. And then… I can run.

 

Choices (And Why Sometimes the “Bad” Ones are Okay)

This is a picture of 200 calories:

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So is this:

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I had both of these today. One is healthy and filling, and the other… well, not so much. The key is moderation. The trick is not letting “This is my favorite snack, so I’ll just have a few” turn into “Ohmygod, I ate the whole bag.” Some people can’t do this, and that means the snack foods are banished. I’m not one of those people.

Well, except when when it comes to mini cupcakes. Or chocolate-covered cherries. Or half of a footlong instead of the whole thing.

Okay, I sort of am one of those people. But I learned a couple of ways to keep it in check.

  • Log everything. Calories, activities, emotional states… everything. There’s a very good chance you’re taking in more calories than you think. There’s also a good chance you burned enough calories to make up for that scoop of ice cream. Logging moods helps you see if you might be eating more or making poor food decisions/skipping workouts when you’re especially stressed or tired or bored.
  • Don’t keep tempting foods around. If you’re craving chocolate cake, buy a cupcake, take it home, and eat it. Don’t buy a whole cake, because you’re going to eat it all. Whether it’s in one sitting or over the course of several days, it will get eaten, so don’t even let that be an option.
  • For every “bad” thing you consume, drink an extra glass of water. No additional junk food goes in until the water’s gone.

I guess it comes down to just one thing:

Pay attention to what you’re doing and be aware of the consequences.

It really is as simple as that. And it really is as hard as that. But it’s worth it to feel better and have more energy and not be hungry all the time because the bowl of super sugar-frosted sugarpops you had for breakfast took up half your calorie limit for the day.