Begin At The Beginning

In trying to become a runner, I’m using The Starting Line as a guide. After a couple of months, I’m still somewhere between steps 1 and 2. And that’s okay.

Whether it’s this plan, one you get from a friend, or one from a personal trainer, it’s important to remember that these are guides. Our bodies are all unique, and it’s up to us to know our true limitations, and not what we either want them to be, or what we convince ourselves that they are.

At the beginning of the year, I’d have told you my limitation was pretty much a trip to the grocery store. By the time I walked all the way around the store and then carried the groceries up to the second floor, I was too exhausted to do anything else for the rest of the day. Or, you know, week. I know now that this was a false limitation. I felt tired, therefore that must be all that I can do. I know now that a little bit more each day beyond what I think I can do is what helps me improve. (For what it’s worth, I’ve improved to the point where I admit that I giggled a little when my husband complained about walking “all the way back” to the other side of the store for something, and offered to go get it for him. Before, I had him fetching things for me all the time.)

I’ve also learned that there are limits, and my body will tell me when I hit them. I know, for example, that if I try to do a mile when I have a severe sinus infection, I will pass out. But my mind says, “Skip the workout completely, you’re too sick.” My body knows that’s a false limitation. I can’t do a mile, but I can do a half mile, or lift, or cycle so that I’m already sitting down if I get dizzy. I can work out at home so that if I do feel faint, I can stop and rest without being in anyone’s way (except the cats, but I’m always in their way).

One of the cats, looking reproachfully at me because I'm in his way.

Cheese looking at me reproachfully because I’m in his way.

One of my favorite quotes is from Richard Bach’s Illusions:

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.

There are enough other people arguing for your limitations already, enough people telling you that you can’t or you’re not good enough or you won’t make it. There are enough other people telling you that you’re not doing enough, that you need to push yourself harder. You can ignore all of that. It’s harder to ignore it when you’re saying it to yourself. Just remind yourself that your limitations are exactly that: YOURS. Only you know what you’re truly capable of, and only you can decide what you’re going to be capable of  a month from now, or a year from now, or five years from now. And if your pace is a little slower than some, so what? It’s your pace, and at least you’re going somewhere.

Anticipation

Sunday was the Zombie Run. Monday, I worked out at home. Tuesday and Thursday I was at the gym, and last night I did laps after work.

For someone who’s been slacking a bit, four workouts in a week is a lot. I plan to get more in this week.

 

I also have an appointment with my doctor on Wednesday.

 

doctor-scale-by-enthalpyy

 

I’m sure these two things are totally unrelated. Nothing at all to do with the fact that I weighed in at 219 last time I was there. I mean, what? Trying to drop a couple of extra pounds before my “official” weigh-in? Nah. (Though, if it matches what my scale says at home, I’m totally taking a picture.)

The (Not-So) Quick and the (Un)dead

If you pay attention to the upcoming events over on the right-hand side, then you already know that The Zombie Run took place in St. Louis this past weekend.

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I chose to participate as a zombie this year. In doing so, I learned a few things, which I will share with you, in the event that you ever decide to take place in a zombie apocalypse on the side of the undead.

  1. Make sure you have all of the supplies that you’re going to need, including inhaler and sunblock.
  2. Being a zombie is fun, but it’s most fun when you put a lot of work into it. It’s also, in many ways, more physically demanding than actually running the 5K. And you are more likely to get injured, as you contort your body into bizarre zombie poses and lurch around in a way that the human body isn’t really intended to move.
  3. Makeup that’s been sitting in the sun for hours adds quite a lot to the “undead” experience, in that it smells a lot like something died.
  4. I feel the need to repeat the necessity of sunblock.
  5. Don’t wear clothes that you can’t bear to part with. The “blood” should wash out, but there’s no guarantee. (Or you could just wear them and look all bloody, which can be sort of cool under the right circumstances.)
  6. Be kind to the youngest runners. This is supposed to be fun for them, not a horrible experience that they never want to repeat. (And if a little zombie hunter shoots you with a water gun, fall down.)
  7. Hydrate! Unlike the runners, you’re not getting water stops, and you don’t just finish and head off to the party. You’re there for the entire race. And growling and roaring without water is just dangerous.
  8. Did I mention sunblock? Because seriously, I can’t stress this enough. Especially if your makeup artist decides to go with the “dark, rotting flesh” look.
  9. Don’t attack the runners. Really, just don’t. It’s rude, dangerous, and completely against the rules, and ruins the event for a lot of people, as you end up with cranky runners further down the line.
  10. It’s not often that you get to dress up in a scary costume and leap out behind trees to chase people down a road (well, I mean, I guess it could happen often, but I’m pretty sure you’d end up with restraining orders against you). Enjoy it, play it up, and have fun!

Next year, the zombies better be at the top of their game, because they’ll be contending with Kitty as a runner!

When Reasonable Eating Becomes a Habit

Something that I find kind of interesting… sometimes (especially on my days off), I’m tempted to declare a “free day” because I either just kind of graze all day, or I eat whatever happens to be in the house, rather than going out and getting something healthy. But I go ahead and log the calories, and find that I’m nearly always under goal. Even if I go over, it’s usually by less than 50 calories.

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Yes, I ate Hershey’s miniatures. Three of them, to be exact, which isn’t bad when you consider that a “serving” is five pieces. They weren’t even dark chocolate (the healthier option). There was a time that I would have eaten the entire bag on my day off. Now, it wouldn’t even occur to me to do so, not because it’s “wrong”, but because it’s just not a thing I do anymore. I also ate a Totino’s Mexican Pizza. And a salad. And another salad, because the first one was so tasty, I wanted another a few hours later.

It makes me feel good to know that my habits are changing. It makes it that much easier to believe that I’ll reach my goals.

A Little Bit More…

Tonight’s workout is brought to you by:

  • the number 2 (for how many laps I walked)
  • the number 3 (for how many laps I ran)
  • and the letter W (for the watermelon cookies I snarfed down, which inspired me to burn some extra calories and were totally worth every extra step).

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Daily Fitbit stats

My fitbit #Fitstats for 7/06/2013: 3,426 steps and 1.4 miles traveled. http://www.fitbit.com/user/24XN7W

 

(This will post automatically from FitBit. It’s one more way to hold myself publicly accountable. If I ever do get any kind of following, I’m going to be pretty embarrassed if every day shows 2000 steps or less.)

Declaring Independence From Old Habits

Got stuck working on Independence Day. I don’t mind so much, since my family celebrated over the weekend, but I felt bad for my coworkers. So I ordered this for them:IMG_6469_2

While I ate this:

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I was a bit bummed, but really? Mine looks way more appetizing. And I didn’t fall asleep after eating it (my usual reaction to pizza). I’ve been told that I eat so much salad, I’m going to “turn into a rabbit”. What? Tiny, adorable, and able to move really fast? I can live with that.

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.