Monday, August 16, 2010

Hello! my name is

Heather. I started running two weeks and three days ago. This is significant because I never imagined in all my life that I would have any desire to run. I was never athletic. Oh I played kickball once in a while in grade school and got hit in the face once trying to catch a softball in the eighth grade, but mostly I steered clear of anything that involved running. My one memory of running really hard as a kid involves sailing through the air and falling flat on my big (yes, I was a fat kid) round belly, knocking every bit of air from my body. I try not to ever think about it because I can still feel that pain in my stomach and throat.

Don't get me wrong. I'm no longer that chubby little girl and I'm no stranger to cardio. I was doing cardio dvd's about three times a week before all of this running craziness started. I don't like it, but I do it. I do it because I know I need to. My heart and lungs and body will thank me. I have asthma and I find the more exercise I do, the stronger I become  and the less time I spend puffing on an inhaler. But like I said, I'm not a big fan of cardio and I suck at it. I spend cardio mornings huffing, puffing and swearing at Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper or Tony Horton for about thirty minutes then I walk the dog.

The key word here being walk. I am (or was) a walker. I walked Tucker about a mile each day, up three hills and down one big hill. Sometimes we would do it again in the evening.

Then, for whatever reason, one morning I just took off running. Looking back I have no idea if I just felt extra spunky that day or if my mind was clogged up with stuff or what was going on. It just seemed like the right thing to do. I think I made it about a block before I was huffing and puffing so hard I thought my heart was going to pound right out of my chest. Oh, and the dog bit me. He's an Australian Shepherd and has a tendency to nip* at anything that attempts to run.

We continued this cycle of huffing, puffing and biting for several days before I got online and found a beginners running plan. The plan had me start by running 1 min. and walking 2 min. I was all cocky at first thinking "One minute, I can run longer than that, I've been running every day". Yeah, right. After that first minute I was sure I was going to die. And that running is definitely not for me. But for some reason, I couldn't stop. Every time my timer beeped after my two minute walk break, my mind told me to run and my body just followed. It was weird.

The next two weeks went okay, the dog has stopped biting me (unless I break into a sprint, then he tries to take a chunk out of my thigh) and I have learned to slow my pace and not worry about speed. I had to add an extra week in between the second and third week of the plan because transitioning from 2 minutes of running to 3 minutes was rough.

I'll get there. As hard and sometimes painful (my calves were really sore the first week) as it is, I love it. I know this because I find myself thinking about running when I'm not running! My goal is to run a mile by the end of August and to be able to finish a 5K by October. I've found an awesome community of strong women who run marathons and work and blog and raise families and they give me hope and are so very intimidating inspiring.

My other fitness goals are to get into a regular strength training program again and to eat better. Until about a month ago I was eating a mostly raw diet (this just works for me during the summers because it's so hot and I only feel like eating fruit and salad) and I quit eating dairy to see if that would have any effect on my physical or mental state. I was feeling really good and my body looked a lot leaner. Then we went to the beach and I started eating ice cream every night. This snowballed into me and the kiddos making ice cream about every other day and try as I might, I couldn't stay out of it. I would eat spoonfuls when we where making it, when it was done and any other time I passed by the freezer. I did notice the scale go up a few pounds but didn't notice any real change on my body until my husband took pictures of me for a fitness challenge. Oh, the horror!!!

So, this is where I'm at. I want to become a runner, get into the habit of regular strength training, and eat clean. That's why I've started this blog. I'm going to get strong and lean and all of my victories (and failures) will be posted right here, not only to help me tweak the plan and see what's working or not working, but hopefully I will meet and learn from other fitness bloggers and maybe even inspire someone to embark on their own fitness journey!

nip*  This word comes from a dog breed description, not me. If teeth have enough force behind them to leave a mark or tear a chunk out your son's Crocs, its a bite.

1 comment:

Quinton J said...

You've got this girl. Be patient with yourself and running...too much too soon leads to injury. But I can still remember clearly where I was and who I was with when I said "I can't run 5km" (Actually what I said was "I can't run 5 F*%#in' km's")! Now distances and goals that were so far away at the time are daily recovery runs. Again...You've got this. Keep us posted.