The subject of this blog post has long been a joke for a long time. As I kid asthma prevented me from many over-strenuous activities, including running, and it’s something I’ve avoided ever since because running? Hah! I don’t see any lions!
But over the summer I had a tough time health-wise, and I’m now on some medication that is linked to weight gain. Since the wedding in April I’ve put on 20 lbs and low energy has caused increased inability to get myself to the gym on a regular basis. I’m now in this unhealthy cycle that I’m really unhappy with and trying hard to break.
Unfortunately, I hate exercise. I like swimming for fun, so I joined a gym that has beautiful outdoor pools. I then realized that swimming takes up a fair amount of time (more prep and cleanup than other exercise) and the pools at the gym are often crowded if I go at peak times. During non-peak hours I find I’m just too tired (even if late evenings are beautiful times to swim) or otherwise occupied (working during the day). So I ended up mostly using just the gym, going to the pool only a few times a month.
I also hate being on a restrictive diet. Eat more fresh vegetables and fruit, fine, but once you start telling me I have to stop eating pizza and cake I get grumpy. I love food and I live in an amazing city for it. Yes, I’ll have dessert, and pass me the beer list again.
It’s been pretty obvious to me that I either needed to gather the energy to get back on the gym bandwagon, or figure out something else. At first I started thinking about joining a gym that’s closer to home, which would lack a pool but I’d be more likely to go if there wasn’t an obligatory 1 mile walk each way. Then I started feeling mopey about the idea of living in a beautiful city and cooping myself up in a gym again to torture myself. Then I thought about a torture-starving, “I hate my life and want cake” diet again, but thought better of it.
Now here we are, “I think I’ll go for a run” has turned from a joke to actually a pretty decent idea, all things considered. I have a number of friends and family members who are runners and have found them to be a pretty friendly crowd, assuming they forgive me for the years of “running, are you CRAZY?” comments. Oh, and that beautiful city! I have an amazing array of options for places to run. It also takes pretty much no equipment, toss on some sneakers and my gym clothes and walk out the door, exercise begins immediately. Also, cheaper than a gym. I did buy a heart rate monitor though, because I’m a geek and new toys for new hobbies are a thing.
This week I started Couch to 5K, and now I’m blogging about it so I can hold myself accountable. The first week of workouts is 5 minutes of brisk walk warm-up, then 20 minutes of alternating 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of brisk walking, then a 5 minute cool down. I survived, but I didn’t have fun, it was not easy for me. My calves were sore and I was totally making fun of myself for it. The internet assures me that this is normal for us newbies and it’ll get easier.
Tomorrow morning I’ll do another 2 miles of running and walking. And because I’m the queen of timing, over the next three weeks I’ll be spending a week in Florida and then a week in Perth, Australia. Here’s hoping that I can aim for running early in the morning so the heat won’t kill me.