Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Ran 10 Laps!!! (2.5 miles)

As promised, here's the story:
I have always hated running. I was always athletic (played soccer, softball, field hockey, swimming, track, cheerleading, power lifting, water polo, AND lacrosse), but never had that super-fit athletic drive that would have propelled me to being more than simply good at any of these sports, and
I hated running.
My side hurt, I had trouble breathing, and my mind wasn't into it
(I hated it!)

After graduating from high school, I had one month to build up some strength and endurance for entering Air Force Basic Training (read: the ultimate full-body workout program!). Enter "running" - more specifically, my father, sister and I trained to run the Peachtree 10K Road Race in Atlanta. We ran it, more importantly, we finished it! The next day I entered the Air Force.

So here I sit, not doing much of anything. In fact, I haven't done anything athletically strenuous since college (19 years ago). I'm not out of shape, per se - I mean, I have carried babies, chased kids, played games, gone camping, etc., but I can get winded if I have to go up more than one flight of stairs.

Last month, my husband proposed a running program for himself and the older girls, and BOY was I thankful to be left out of that little family project. The girls were excited about it, but returned home from the first day at the track in "high whine" mode. The high drama persisted so long, that that once-upon-a-time athlete in me started getting a little perturbed. All my pep-talking was met with, "You just don't know how hard it was!! (whine, whine, cry, cry)" So, the next day I put on the ol' running shoes, so I could show them I DO now how it feels, and if I can do it, so can they (all the while CRYING inside because - I hate running!!) I ran slowly jogged-walked 3 laps, and it just about did me in. But I didn't give up! I decided to stick with it, mostly because I'm tired of not recognizing the person in the mirror when I catch a "profile" shot.

My husband designed the program:
* on M, W, F we go to the high school track and run laps (we started with 4 and each week we add a lap - right now we're up to 8 laps) and stretch afterwards [the 10 laps was a special "push yourself to see if you can do it" exercise about 3 weeks in]
* on T, Th, Sa we walk a brisk 2 miles (with the dogs) around the neighborhood, and come home to do sit-ups (YEAH!!)
* My husband and I have to wait one hour after exercising before eating (let's our bodies "snack"on themselves for faster weight loss)
* everybody has to eat one serving of raw fruit before breakfast and one serving of raw vegetables before lunch and dinner
* we drink PLENTY of water throughout the day
* we're getting to bed earlier/on-time and taking a half hour nap in the afternoon

It's pretty simple actually, but the effects have been dramatic!! First of all, in the four+ short weeks we've been doing this, my energy level has more than doubled. I'm cleaning, getting things done, multi-tasking more effectively, and just feeling better. Instead of wanting to sit and just watch TV from 8:00pm on, because I feel exhausted (even though I haven't done much); I actually have energy (and time) to be creative, think and read (the fun, fun stuff of life!). It reminded me of something I had learned in one of my many previous lives - ordering the bulk foods for a health food store.

There are two different meanings to feeling tired, and it's important to distinguish between them, becuase they have two VERY different remedies. Being physically tired comes from, duh, exerting yourself physically - solution: rest. BUT, being mentally tired, from the stress and strain of life, requires physical activity to remedy. Resting, doing nothing, increases your feelings of exhaustion, if it's mental. So next time you feel tired, ask yourself if there's a physical reason you SHOULD be tired, and if not, strap on your shoes and meet me at the track!


Ok, Where Was I? said...

I wish I could meet you at the track! You seem like the kind of person that can inspire others to get off their chubby duffs and get going on those things they keep meaning to do.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a great program you've designed.

I'm also a former athlete who hates running. I'm much happier with the elliptical and the t.v. these days.

Debbie said...

I'm seriously jealous you have a hubby personal trainer. I need someone to physically pull me outside to walk. You are totally right on the "tired" theory. How can I be tired? I haven't DONE anything. Congratulations to you and your family for getting off your butts! My son is always doing physical and tells me to DO something.

Great motivational post! I do not run, but I sure can walk!

Mary Alice said...

Good for you. That is inspiring. I hate to run, plus I am ummm well, fairly well endowed, so that's painful right there...so I hike or use the eliptical. Less jarring.