Thursday, February 01, 2007

From couch potato to runner - day 2

Well, I suppose today is day 2. The plan clearly states that you should
never run 2 days in a row. But, yesterday I really didn't run. So,
maybe today is actually day 1? Nonetheless, I went out this morning. I
almost didn't make it. I felt terrible when my alarm went off at 4:30
am, at such an ungodly hour. But, since I'd slept in my workout
clothes, I had no excuses. I pulled a sweatshirt on, grabbed my inhaler
and iPod, and was out the door. It was really cold this morning - about
15 degrees - and I was glad I'd be running inside. But, when I got to
the clubhouse, my key wouldn't work again. I'd tried it last night, and
it worked just fine. I'm thinking that maybe there are certain hours
when my key doesn't work.

I was really annoyed that I couldn't get in. But, not wanting to waste
another early wake-up, I decided to just run outside. I knew it would
be difficult. I have exercise-induced asthma, that is worse in the
cold. I knew that I'd use my inhaler more than if I'd been breathing
warmer air. And I really wasn't dressed for 15 degree weather, wearing
only a sweatshirt and no hat or gloves. But, I'm hearty and can handle
the cold. So I set off. The training this week calls for 60 seconds of
running followed by 90 seconds of walking. I didn't have a watch or
anything so I counted 60 steps of running followed by 90 steps of
walking. I probably walked too long, since my walking strides were
slower than my running ones, but it would have to work. I was amazed by
how good it felt. I'm not a very good morning exerciser (I do better
about 4pm). I really notice fast the fact that I haven't eaten for
hours, and my energy level drops fast. But, I was able to complete the
20 minute session on schedule for today. Towards the end, I did start
to feel a bit drained, and my left calf felt tight. But, after some
good post-run stretching and a long drink of water, I felt much better.

Ben has decided that he's going to train with me. He's going to the
running store to be fitted for some good shoes. We're going to find a
race in May to train for - I think with a goal in sight it will be
easier to stay focused on training.

I've also decided (thanks to a wonderful blog Kristina alerted me to
yesterday) to focus on increasing my fitness level, instead of weight
loss. Obviously, if I stick to my running goals, weight loss will be in
inevitable result, but I'm going to focus on increasing my stamina and
pace, instead of how much I weigh. I didn't grow up as a very athletic
person. I've always had bad asthma and worse knees, so in school I
usually had a doctor's note for gym. I'd usually sit out of any
activity that required me to breathe or use my knees (basically
anything). I don't really blame my mother, but I guess its kind of her
fault. I did have bad asthma, that even required hospitalization -
sometimes for weeks at a time to get me breathing again. I'm sure she
was scared for me to have an asthma attack at school. But, I grew up,
moved 2000 miles away from home, and realized that I didn't have
limitations. I discovered Advair, and realized that by taking daily
maintenance meds I could control my asthma. And I had knee surgery on
both knees. But, suddenly I could run, hike, backpack, snow and water
ski, etc. You get the picture. I could enjoy being physical, and I
loved it.

More than anything, I want to get my fitness level back to my college
days. I know that I can do it. It may take me a bit longer than the
average person to get in shape, but I can do it. One day I'd love to
run a marathon, or even an ultra. But for now, my sights are set on a
5k in May.


Megan said...

Good idea to stick to the fitness level & not the scale... the scale is an enemy... don't you notice that it determines what kind of day you will have? Shouldn't we be in control of that & not some stupid scale??

You will get in the habit of working out in the morning & after a couple of weeks you will notice an increase in your energy level throughout the day (for the first bit you will have a late morning energy drop.) I LOVE the way I feel when I get my morning workout in! I have a really hard time exercising on an empty stomach, but it's worse on a full stomach. I found something that puts something in your stomach, but doesn't bounce around & make you sick..... Citrucel (or generic orange flavored fiber supplement) Yeah, I know what your thinking (I don't need help in that department.) Well americans don't get enough fiber in their diets anyway... it's a great way to start your day off (with a good dose of fiber.) And it sort of thickens up after you mix it with water & let is sit. (So make sure you drink it right after you stir, don't walk away & forget about it.) So it totally thickens in your stomach giving you a little energy to last through your workout & it even helps you get by for a later breakfast! You can think I'm crazy, but buy a small container & give it a week or 2 before you right me off as insane! Hehe.

Everyday Superhero said...

I always found that the hardest part was getting out of bed. Because, dude, 4:30am is not a pretty time of day. But doesn't running before the rest of the world is awake feel right? I gave up running when I got pregnant and can't wait to get back (in, what, a year from now? More? But still.)

I think it's very admirable that you are training for a marathon. Won't it feel so validating when you cross that finish line??!!

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