Monday, January 11, 2010

l33t runnings.

Of course, most people resolve to be healthier in the New Year. Me too.

My motivation isn't really weight or shape or any of that... but I know how I feel if I'm healthy.

I know if it I'm eating right, getting enough sleep, and working out - and if I have the energy that comes with all three of those.

This doesn't come naturally to me.
For example, I am definitely not a running pastor.
Despite my height, i'm not a basketball-playing pastor.
(I'm more the sit-on-the-couch-and-watch-hockey pastor... maybe flood-my-backyard-for-a-rink even, if I had one. ).

That's as far as it goes... for a few reasons.

My depth perception isn't good.
My peripheral vision ain't so hot.
My balance is... questionable.
My reaction time and reflexes are sloooow.
And while I don't have asthma or anything like that, I have the natural aerobic capacity of a particularly narcoleptic sloth.

This means, of course, that watching me play volleyball is an awful spectacle - and pencil-and-paper gaming is more up my alley.

But not entirely. There's been a progression here:
  1. Elementary-age track and field competitions (Long jump was great, high jump was fine... unfortunately I could only make it halfway running around the 400m track before dropping down into a walk.)
  2. Jr. High gymnastics (except for being 5'7" at the time, that could have worked out. No leotard stories... this time. If there are still pictures, I'll provide bribes ;))
  3. Everyone's favorite.... Grade Nine gym class (and the no-name shoes that slid me into the walls on every suicide drill.... a ray of hope hit with buying my first pair of brand-name shoes - Nikes - and realizing that shoes with traction and cushioning might help things out a little...)
  4. In Grade 12, finding a sport I could play... rugby. - I don't need depth perception or speed. I run and hit people, someone else deals with the catching and speed. And the running drills got me up there.. a little. And I bought some trusty New Balance trail runners that are most certainly are far too worn out for me to still be wearing.. but I do.
  5. Discovering strength training. With the decidedly-not-for-my-age-category Strong Women Stay Young I also discovered dumbbells and rowing machines around this time
  6. Dorm life with a gym downstairs - and learning to run - my first real routine. I moved to Toronto. The Couch-to-5k got me running - for the first time in my life - for 45 minutes to an hour at a time at a good pace... four days running a week, three days of weights - doubling up on Saturdays, with Sundays off. I even worked at the Nike store for a while.
  7. Then I moved to Bathurst and Sheppard and did nothing exercise-related for a year.
  8. The year of glory - I got married, we moved closer to downtown, and we bought Goodlife memberships - and spent a great year and a bit using them at several shiny Toronto locations. Lifted heavier and heavier weights. Even did some personal training. And it fit in seamlessly before/after work and school. Too bad it was not to last...
  9. Then we moved WAY out to a lovely and very rural area... the equivalent of Winchestertonfieldville. It offered me the potential, should I choose, of an 11k bike ride to work over some very exciting hills... and that was about it. (I did it a few times though).
  10. Moving back to civilization... where I've been for a few years now. And it's time to get back at it. There's a lot of good side streets and trails nearby - and I need to do this. I walk a lot, but the strength training's gone out the window, my back enjoys complaining a majority of the time now, and I'm now only able to huff and puff my way through a few minutes' running.
But that's ok. I've been "out of it" before and got back into it. I can do it again. (and living at the top of a 3 story walkup does help quite a bit - especially when one has to carry their groceries up it. my muscles are in good shape, just not my lungs so much)

So tonight I started fresh.

Back with the Couch-to-5k.

Back with the 60 seconds jogging/90 seconds walking.

Back out in the fresh-fallen snow and (surprisingly) beautiful night. (Though I'll go for mornings most days). One drawer's full of my workout clothes again, and my dumbbells lie in the closet, waiting to be moved to a more strategic spot later tonight.

And it was awesome.
It hurt. It was tough. I'm so out of shape it isn't funny. I shouldn't be out of breath after running a minute or two. But that's ok... I'm starting from scratch again.

And the time flew.
I went up every flight of stairs at home feeling lighter than air.
I stretched out every muscle feeling a good burn.
Endorphins are a nice bonus.

And even in a day or two when it gets stiff and sore, that'll pass - and my body will build up the muscles that have broken down, bigger and stronger - along with bones and lungs and the hundred(s) of other benefits (This isn't the specific list I use to motivate me, but it's close enough.)

And if I keep doing this, it will continue to be awesome.
And if I keep doing this until the spring, I will get new running shoes and let the old ones retire.

That's just about all the motivation I need.


chRistine said...

that looks really cool - i started to run in the summer, then had a blood clot scare and some really weird leg symptoms and let it go.. i'd like to start again and maybe this plan will work...

thanks for sharing!

Nancy said...

Cool! I am going to try your plan too :) Thanks!