I've wanted to hash over Carter's potty training drama for a few weeks now. But I can't write about it while he's in an outrightdisregardtoiletexistence phase. The potty's simmering on the back burner with all our green vegetables. Except broccoli.
::soaking in a proud, little accomplishment rush::
I didn't want to write about exercise. Because in general, exercise sucks.
But I think - after 30-whatever years of cognitive life holding this fact to be solid and true - I'm obsessed with running now.
Plus, I've been blowing up everyone's Twitter page with obnoxious exercise tweets. So, I'll unofficially call this post Twitter Workout Bombardment - Behind the Scenes.
When I was in school, we had two days a year that we had to run a mile. It was timed and recorded on whatever meaningless Phys. Ed. records there were. Yeah, we were allowed to walk it - but nobody dared, for fear of being ruthlessly made fun of by the pompous boys that ruled our class. Trust me, you'd rather heave for dear life than endure whatever those boys had to say about your nerdy blunders. For a week before that run date, I'd feel physically sick to my stomach with anxiety. Anticipating tremendous pain psyches me out like that.
Like a weak, pitiful twig, I ran. And in between thoughts that my skull had developed the pliability of a squashed grape, I swore there was no point to this madness; I'd never again in my life run without reason.
Oh, to just become a friggin' adult already.
I'm not sure exactly how my mind got changed, but if you add all these up, they make a pretty sturdy list of suspicions:
♥My post baby belly pudge has been sitting here for two years. I always look down at it with the comforting thought, If I ever really tried to exercise, I could get rid of that thing, lickety split. That thought made the neglect feel ok. I don't know what my particular pudge is made of (skin? fat? stretched uterus?) or if it can be conquered, but I figure I'll know after I chisel at it for a while. It's there, but it's not that big. I never wanted to find the time to push aside baby Carter for exercise.
Carter's not so baby-ish anymore, and housekeeping makes a lame hobby.
♥For a few months, I was taking long, fast walks. I'd record miles upon miles, but I always felt unchallenged and like I could somehow do better. Falling into a lazy pace is so easy to accidentally slip into when you walk.
♥Almost every window in our new house directly overlooks a gorgeous greenway pouring with young, sweating, exercised hotties. They're running past my house at all hours of the day. Forget tearing out motivational magazine photos of hot bodies to tape to my refrigerator. Living in this house does it for me every time I walk past a window. So many people can do it. They want to do it. Why not me?
A peek at our greenway.
♥Everyone in my small circle of new friends runs. Sidewalks literally line every street in our town; you can't drive anywhere without seeing a runner. At first I thought they were crazy, in an amazing way. Now I'm thinking it was me.
♥ The pool opens this weekend.
Five weeks ago, I started the Couch to 5k program. The point of the program is to start you slowly so your body has time to adapt to running and get stronger. It takes into account that in fifth grade you probably cried when some PE teacher made you run. It knows you're still pissed; it holds your hand and promises to be gentler this time. The program uses moderation as its purpose; it emphasizes not pushing yourself one second further than you're slated to do to avoid burnout or getting hurt, since your body's getting used to exercise.
The PE teacher was your mean boyfriend. Couch to 5K is your sweet husband.
It takes me 25 minutes, 3 days a week to train. I like using the word train because it makes me feel kinda badass. You can pick any days you want.
During the first couple weeks, the whole ordeal was outright painful. I'd run for around a minute, walk for an equal amount of time, run again. My major issue was that I couldn't breathe, but I kept trusting that my body would catch up with my determined mindset. The endorphin-saturated high I floated back into my house on when I finished every day was making it completely, 100 percent worth it. And that doesn't even include how proud and clear-headed I felt for the hours after.
I've just started week five; I'm alternating running five entire minutes and walking three. Yesterday was the first time I actually didn't feel like I was running. I could breathe, my knees didn't hurt, and I sailed down my greenway, stunned at how easy it had suddenly gotten. I'd only heard about this in my life. But to experience it? Oh, man.
Am I really putting a picture of my bare stomach on the internet?
Five weeks doing Couch to 5k.
If there were a way to rank the performance of Couch to 5kers in the history of the world, I figure I'd be at the bottom somehow, that's just how I perform with anything athletic. But hey, do anything, and experience just kinda hits you in the face. I have advice if you want to try it!
I downloaded the free C25K (Couch to 5K) app on my iPhone and hold it in my hand while I run. It tells you - out loud - when to run and walk, so you're not calculating minutes and just focusing on pushing through the workout. I use it in conjunction with the MapMyRun app, because I like to record my exact distance. While the C25K app is running, I live and breathe by what it tells me to do.
I make ice water before I leave and put it on the counter so I can grab it and chug as soon as I get back.
I put a thick lipgloss or chapstick on before I go. The wind dries your lips out within a couple minutes.
I don't run for speed. I'm honestly just proud I'm at some sort of pace that's putting my walking days to shame. I can only handle one goal at time, so I just concentrate on the number of minutes run.
My knees were killing me around week two. I spaced my runs out further, didn't quit, and the pain went away on its own after a week.
I ran in the heat once, and everything about it felt so much harder. Now I wait until about an hour before the sun sets when my husband is home to watch Carter. Even though bugs fly into my face. Ideally, I'd run in the morning. But I'd have to be a morning person for that.
Rain feels good. Don't let bad weather be an excuse.
Breathe down - in through your nose, out through your mouth. My neighbor taught me this; once I figured it out and concentrated, I felt like I could keep going a lot longer.
I wasn't listening to music for four weeks. When I tried music this week, it changed everything. I wasn't concentrating on the rhythm of my feet, the sound of my breath, or the number of minutes left, which I've decided, was all psyching me out. Survivor by Destiny's Child always gets me going.
Ahem. Running away from my tripod. Girl's got a blog to illustrate.
A couple days ago, Matt and I were watching The Office. A commercial came on with a super ripped, hot, tan chick running. Carter sees her and says, Pretty cool! As Matt starts on a smile & nod in approval of his son's good taste, he finishes his sentence ... dat Mommy!