Sunday, August 11, 2013
As a part of my Health Journey, I've been adding more exercise to my life. I started with walking at lunch. There is nothing as relaxing as a nice loop around the complex, earbuds in ear, listening to my audiobook and finishing out my walk with a nice cold Americano at a coffee shop.
But sometimes I didn't have the chance to walk at lunch. Fortunately, my apartment complex has a nice fitness center with treadmills and an elliptical machine and a bike. So, in the evenings, when I'm stressed, it's nice to head on over and pound out some miles on the treadmill. Or if it's too busy, my sister and I will walk around the neighborhood. (Another great thing about this apartment is that it is in a great area for walking.)
I can't say I remember how long I've wanted to try to be a runner. It definitely has been longer than a year. In fact, back when I was heavier, I did try to do a modified "Couch to 5K" training regiment, but like with many good intentions, I slowly lost interest/made excuses and stopped training.
With losing 100+ pounds, I knew that now was the perfect time to train again. And so these last few weeks I have - slowly and surely, I have gone to the fitness center 2X - 3X a week to run/walk.
At first, it was painful. I would only be able to run for maybe 6 minutes in a 40 minute segment (and 5 of those 40 minutes would be cool down). I panted and heaved and sweated like you wouldn't believe.
But I kept coming back and trying harder. Slowly, I was running more (I define running as anything over 5mph). I would warm up with 3 minutes of fast walking then alternate running and walking (2 minutes each). Before I knew it, around 16 minutes of my workout was running.
This last week has brought a lot of accomplishments. For the first time, I ran for 4 minutes straight (5.2mph) with 2 minute fast walking (4mph) breaks. I ran a whopping 22 minutes in a 40 minute segment - best yet!
I was super proud of myself, but I was finding myself quite tired for the day afterward. A quick internet search showed me I might be pushing myself too hard. So Thursday and Friday I took a break from running to recuperate.
And then the biggest accomplishment yet: 10 minutes of solid running with a 2 minute break to amount to a whopping 28 minutes of running out of a 40 minute segment!!
It wasn't anything special; I just said, "I'm going to do four minutes". Then when I got to four minutes of running, I said, "I can do another minute...and another...and another..." until I had 10 minutes of solid running!
Now, this has all been on the treadmill, which is easier, so I'm told, than running on pavement. But what I've learned from this is something special:
I love running! I love feeling my feet pound that treadmill, the sweat pouring down my back, getting that rhythm, feeling like I'm pushing myself to new heights. It's an incredible rush to accomplish a session and be tired and yet invigorated.
I would never have thought I would like running; I thought I'd be a biking girl. But riding my bike has never given me the rush and exhilaration I feel when running.
I still have plenty ways to go as a runner. I want to be able to run for a solid 30 minutes. I need to start running on pavement and I want to sign up for a 5K event. But I have found something I love to do that doesn't involve ingesting calories.
I am a Runner. I love to run!