Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Past Deadline: You're Running? Where's the Emergency?

I do run run run. I do run run. It's even in the paper - Tuesday, July 21/09.

You’re running? Where’s the emergency?

I’m probably going to regret this.

Part of me thinks putting this in print (in the NEWSpaper, no less) will guilt me/spur me/commit me to completing the task. The other part thinks I’m just glad to have a topic idea for the column, no matter how premature it is. A wise woman would give it a minute to see if there’s any hope for success, possibly. On the other hand, what better way to begin than by beginning?

What AM I talking about?

So here’s the thing. I am half expecting a group of people donning long cloaks and muttering Gregorian-type chants to come out and surround me in some sort of weird ritual as I pledge my allegiance to the Cult of Running. Yes, boys and girls, pass the Kool Aid™, I’m going to give this a try. (Shh! I don’t want to say it too loudly yet.)

A couple of years ago I was given a pretty good health incentive to smarten up and improve my diet and get more exercise. For a while, I was so totally on the wagon I could have taught a class. Then came the thing that never fails to derail me – A Change In Routine. After many successful months, all the weight I had lost and muscle tone I had gained was for naught. Bad habits again prevailed and, steadily, I have maintained this trend – developing quite a lovely muffin top around the middle and an increasing propensity for lethargy (Shh! Don’t tell my doctor!).

People who say you get lots of exercise when you have little kids are full of beans, especially when it comes to those of us who also work from home and maintain odd hours. All it means is that when I’m not jumping up to fetch something, I’m firmly planted in a chair in front of the computer trying to stay caught up. There is a distinct lack of cardio in my day.

Lately I have been feeling quite melancholy about the whole thing. My clothes pinch and bunch. Shorts that used to sag are tight. Cute summer things that fit last season now vacation in my closet. We won’t even talk about bathing suits. All I really want is to feel right in my own skin again. Enough of this flab and lethargy – bring on muscle tone!

My good friend Heather, who lives in Calgary, is a runner with some motivational issues of late. A while ago she posted a “Super Beginner Learn to Run Plan” on her blog. I printed it off and stared at it woefully on a daily basis.

See, I have long had a personal policy against running (unless in an emergency). I’m a great walker, but I run like a windmill. I’m easily winded (just like a windmill) and I’m all arms and legs.

Heather and I were lamenting our flabby, unmotivated lots by e-mail. She said, “Get ye some good shoes and we will do your first run together.” So I got me some good shoes that support my saggy old feet. They are silver and red, so I have officially dubbed them my Brand New FancyPants Rocket Shoes™.

Heather stopped in Perth last week en route to a family reunion. I showed her my Rocket Shoes™, but I wasn’t going to suggest actually running in them – after all, “Lethargic” is my middle name. But, bless her, she said, “So are we going on this run or what?”

Man, it was the best 18 minutes I’ve spent all week, all month and possibly all year! We’ve pledged to harass – I mean encourage – each other online to stick to the plan.

So far I’ve learned that when I’ve tried to run in the past I’ve pushed too hard too fast instead of building up to it in order to avoid injury, breathlessness and, worst of all, discouragement.

So. There you have it. I’ve put it in print, galldernit!

It may be too late for bathing suit season this year (not that it has been warm enough to want to wear one anyway), but maybe, just maybe, I’ll be flabless and fancy free for next season. Stay tuned – I’m guessing there will be more on this.


Heather said...

Yeehaw!!! :)

Andrea Frazer - Pass the Zoloft said...

And once again, you and I have been seperated at birth. I made a running pledge a few months back. Um... not doing so well. But I'm sure you will have a long lean body (or probably already do) in no time flat.

PS: For a pagan you read a lot of Christian blogs. Just saying... you're gonna end up on our side at some point. LOVE YOU.

momma's heart said...

Running does feel good! I did it a lot in my teens and twenties. But now my knees aren't so good--so I walk a few times/week. Not often enough.

I know I keep saying this, but I just love your writing style.