Saturday, September 4, 2010

Running on Empty

Friends, this is a blog entry I posted on Spark People.  Since I've been doing horrible keeping up this blog, I've decided to post some of my SP entries here as well.  At least then it looks like I've been blogging. :)  On both fronts, I am sure very few people read this or care, but I am getting it off my chest and this is my blog, so in this little corner of the blogosphere it is all about me.

(I need to start taking a dictaphone with me when I go jogging or walking. I come up with all these things I want to say while I am walking and then by the time I get home, shower, do a few chores or go to work or something, and then sit down to put my thoughts on paper, I forget half of what I meant to say. I might be the next great American novelist but for a dictaphone...)

I ran four miles today!!! I was so proud of myself. (Note the "was". This will come up later.) We are up at my mom's and I went out and ran the streets around her home. They have hills and everything - no hills in my neighborhood, so that was a nice change. So, I'm out there, I'm feeling good, my HRM isn't squawking at me to slow down, I'm running hills, I've got all the time in the world, so I am adding distance, and life is good. I ran a whole hour.

(Yes, I know - don't do too much too soon. But the hills were really unavoidable (unless I want to run past the neighbors house upwards of 10 times, which I don't) and for once I wasn't trying to squeeze in some quick exercise before running (ha ha) to the next thing on my calendar. And it was cool, so I did not feel like I was going to internally combust, so I kept running.)

At this point I must interject (yet again) and say 1)I could never be the next great novelist because I have too many tangents when I write and 2)I feel dishonest saying I ran four miles and for 60 minutes. I didn't run 60 minutes, I did what someone on one of the message boards has dubbed "wog"-ing. (Kind of like the Mog on SpaceBalls, the movie, but yet totally different) When I run, I am still at the point where I walk, then jog, then walk, then jog, then walk, etc, etc, etc. This week it was 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes jogging. I know Jeff Galloway (and whoever else) says I'm running, but I'm not. I'm walking. I'm jogging. I'm walking. I'm jogging. (Lather, rinse, repeat) Spark People, defender of the reasonable, advocate of moderation, doesn't even consider what I am doing to be running or jogging, as my pace is generally more than 12 minutes/mile. I don't know what to call it, but it ain't runnin'.

Which brings me to the letdown phase of the blog post. Back to me right after I ran: I'm exhilerated. I did hills, I did distance, I did time, and I felt great. At the end of the run, I still had more in me - I wasn't totally exhausted by any means. This is something I never thought I could do and were I not physically there to witness it, I would have sworn it was all a dream. Can't tell you how many times in my life I have tried to run and couldn't make it 1/2 a mile. Including back in my "in shape" days when I would power walk with a stroller loaded with 2 kids, a diaper bag, sippy cups, hats, snacks, etc. And here I am, 38 years young, and I am running. For 5 minutes straight at a time. And not passing out from lack of oxygen. Never underestimate the power of the "I did it!!" feeling you get when you overcome a physical hurdle. It is incredible.

Until you get home. And you realize that in those 60 minutes, you only ran 4 miles. Which gives you the unremarkable time of 15 minutes/mile, your slowest jog/walk logged to date. And your hard work netted a calorie burn that would barely offset a mocha. Why can't I just appreciate that I did hills, extra distance, extra time, all while doing a better job than normal of keeping my heart rate in range?? No, I have to focus on the depressing fact that I "walked 15 min/mile" and burned a very puny number of calories. It totally threw off my groove. (Another side note, I think the cooler temps made a BIG difference heart rate wise - will be interesting to monitor this as we hit fall and I get more conditioned (hopefully)).

I have come to grips with being a scale-oholic and am at a good place on that front, only to found out now that apparently I am a fitness calorie-burn monger who feels like a loser if she doesn't achieve a certain level in the fitness tracker. Bah humbug. What is wrong with me?

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