Friday, August 31, 2012

Today's Run (or Technology Bites)

Today was a free run day--run where it made sense. I would have loved to say that I did amazing things. I did not. But I did go.

First off, 83 degrees before sunrise is just madness. When I wake up with a sheen a sweat, I am not the picture of motivations.

Secondly, the GPS on my phone was wonky. I can (and do) fix it by going in to Runkeeper later, but I don't do as well without the immediate feedback. I know I made good time at the beginning, but pooped out the second half. All in all, only a minute faster than I usually do.

Tomorrow is a rest day--completely. Mister is keen to try a recipe for vegan French toast, so I got that going for me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Empress Has No Clothes (or At Least the Wrong Ones)

In theory, running should involve an able body, decent shoes, and a place to go, right?

Ahahahahahahaahahahahahahahaha … ::wipes tears:: Yeah, I thought that was funny too.

Some things are worth the price. Paying more for shoes I sort of get. Your feet are part of your toolbox, so it makes sense to support them.1 Going to a place where I was actually fitted was pretty awesome, and it did make a difference in my runs. Likewise, the sports bra was worth the investment.

As for the rest, I guess it’s a good thing I do most of my running in the dark. Right now, I tend to grab a random t-shirt or tank top2 and either a knit skort2 or a pair of shorts.3 That I have upgraded to socks specifically designated for running is a step up.4

Again, I’m seeing a distinct parallel between running and parenting.When I think about the things I bought for my kid when she was a baby, I would ditch about half to two-thirds of it in retrospect. This seems to me to be the same thing--there’s money to be made off my inexperience and insecurity.

Unfortunately, I’m beginning to feel the pressure the more I look and the more I read. I am also overwhelmed with my ignorance and budget constraints.5 At some point, I’m going to need a fellow Amazonian to take my hand in Target or somesuch and play What Not To Wear.6

Other thoughts while looking at women’s running clothing:

  • I know I’m a girl, but I like other colors besides pastels.
  • I know I’m a big girl, but I like other colors besides black.
  • Why are there no pockets on women’s clothing in general? Gah!

Because we all know, it doesn't matter what you do as long as you look good, right?

1 I won’t tell anybody that I spent my first two months running while wearing Reebok Freestyles. Except that I just did.
2 I have read in two separate places that wearing cotton raises one’s n00b quotient in the running world.
3 I won’t tell anybody that this is a pair of maternity shorts that I can’t seem to let go because they are so comfortable. Except that I just did.
4 That I got them in bulk from Costco is evidently a step down.
5 Wow! This is EXACTLY like parenting!
6 Sample dialogue: “Yes. No. Oh, HELL NO!

Today's Run (or Ow! and Wow! But, Really, Ow!)

Training day--17 minutes walk/run then walk home. Eleven seconds faster than on Monday.* Found my groove pretty quickly and settled in. Came home to my family who seemed to fall into their own school day rhythms, which is comforting on many levels.**

As for tomorrow, we'll see. I'm really feeling yesterday's weight training. By "feeling," I mean my thighs/obliques/arms are screaming at me. During the run, it was fine, if a little achy around the edges. However, walking from the garage to work (and during my shifts and up stairs) is uncomfortable. I guess that means tomorrow is a forced rest day.***

Friday I'll do a free run (no timer, just running when I feel like it). On Sunday I'm scheduled to run 1.5 miles.

A little less than two months to go.

* I blame a stall on doggie poop.
** My husband is awesomesauce.
***Maybe I could get a little walk in. I really love the solitary time. Plus the dog was so glad to go this morning. Plus I'll be going out to eat tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Today's Workout (or Thanks to George Lucas I Still Have My VCR)

On advisement of counsel,* I decided to mix up things by tossing in some weight training instead of running several days in a row. I dug up an old VHS tape I still had and went at it.**

Um, not as satisfying as I would like.

I got a good workout, yes. (I'm feeling it in my shoulders.) But several things I didn't like include:

  • It's 50 minutes long, which is tough to work into my schedule beyond the mornings I am off. I really need 30 minutes at the most.
  • It involved a lot more thinking that I like to do first thing in the morning.
  • On a walk/run, no one can get a hold of me. *** The solitary time is a huge mental reset.
When I was in the middle of things, Miss came in, talking away as is her habit. Mister tried to keep her contained, but after a while I asked her to join me. I wasn't able to concentrate well, but at the same time, I want Miss to see that making one's body strong is important.

I've been thinking of some possible solutions. I'm going to raid the library/Netflix to test drive some workouts that would better fit into the schedule. I'll also look for videos that I can do with Miss (although trying to do yoga with her was less than peaceful). I may also consider walking in the morning, and doing these kinds of workouts in the evening when I can think better; trickier to time, however, between dinner and bath and going over homework.

My brain is still in the mode that thinks good running comes from just running. I know mixing it up will make for a better run in the long term.

* You know who you are.
** Thanks to George Lucas not rereleasing the original Star Wars in the cinematic form we remember as kids, we held on to our DVD/VHS player. A boon, really, since I still have some old Disney videos that Miss is now discovering.
*** Not entirely true. I carry my phone with me, which I also use for my GPS and to listen to music/NPR. In a pinch, I could get a call.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Race Fever

I can't stop looking at races!!!

Here are my general requirements:

  • Is it a simple 5K? (Longer races will come, as will trail runs, but let me stick to my level for now.)
  • Is it relatively local?
  • Does it fit within my sticky schedule?*
  • Does it give me a unique experience?
  • Does it support a charity that means something to me?
  • Can I afford it?
Like many areas in my life, I like to window shop and create wish lists.** Right now, the wish list includes:
  • Something superhero/comic book related.
  • Something involving a tutu, like this.
  • A night run, like this.***
  • The Color Run. ***
  • A run I can do with my dog, Belladonna, since she's out with me every morning. (This one looks okay, but awfully short.)
  • Eventually, a team run with coordinating costumes.
  • For now, obstacle courses scare me, so I'm not entirely keen on trying a zombie run yet. I'd like to work toward it, though.
I'm sure the list will grow, as my world tends to be filled with people who love to tempt me. I'm already planning on two 5Ks in December. I've been nosing around for a Veterans Day run, but none that do it for me. Sunday runs are tricky, as we do go to church (and Mister is a lay reader). World Run Day is at least cheap and easy, if kind of boring.

Feel free to spam me with shiny races to consider. But let me at least finish one before I go to far.

I think I'll start a Pinterest board ...
* As I mentioned before, I have to work every other Saturday. For another year, my husband has Naval Reserve duties. This usually brings it to one weekend a month, unless I can either figure out childcare or a way for the Girl to participate.
** My Etsy Wish List is a huge self-soothing activity.
*** I can't do this one this year due to schedule conflicts.

Today's Run (or Beginning of the School Year)

Training day--15 minutes solid run/walk followed by 15 minutes walking home--a blend that works well for me. Made okay time, but felt sluggish getting going. I feel like I stay more in the groove if I run a little every day. At the same time, shouldn't I be allowing my body to rest in between? Maybe it's a sign that I'm not pushing myself hard enough.

I took the day off so I could get Miss settled in her first day of school. I could have put off my run until later, but I wanted to know how it fit with the new schedule. We did okay, all things considered. I think I'll be secure with the whole flow next week.

In a related note, I've discovered that reading about running is a little like reading about parenting: if I read cover-to-cover, I get overwhelmed by the feeling of UR DOIN IT RONG. Better to skim, find pearls, listen to supportive friends, and trust my instincts.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Guest Blogger: John Hodgman (or This Explains Everything)

"These sports are the opposite of the second type of sports, THE SPORTS OF SOLITARY PERSONAL PERFECTION. These are intensely physical sports that are profoundly antisocial and nerdish. While I cannot actually participate in these sports, I can certainly understand them, because you are not forced to talk to or work with anyone else, no one ever sees you naked, you get to wear goggles, and, as in most nerd pursuits--including ROMANCE--your true opponent is really yourself.

"For example, there is very little difference between an obsessive weight lifter and a man who spends his day painting lead figures of orcs.

"Just as there is little difference between the Ironman triathlete and the man you breaks the world high score in GORF: Both require that the participant endure endless hours of completely isolated training, never seeing his or her family, in pursuit of a goal that may be personally transcendent but is ultimately arbitrary and meaningless. At least GORF doesn't make your heart explode.

"Other sports that fall into this category are ...

--That Is All. Penguin Books, LTD. New York: 2011.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

You Gotta Have a Gimmick

I've gotten a couple of kind offers to come run with people. I'm not ready yet. Not because I don't think I can do it (although I'm hesitant because so many people are faster than I am).

It's the costume.

Let me explain.*

There are a couple reasons why superheroes wear costumes--to hide identity and to be symbolic. In my case, it's a little of both.

At age 17 performing Shakespeare
I've mentioned that I was never remotely an athlete. My tribe was always with the theatre** geeks throughout high school and the beginning of undergrad. By losing myself in personas--aided by costuming--I was able to do bold things because it "wasn't me." That I didn't continue to perform*** didn't stop me from mentally using this technique in other aspects of my life (for example, public speaking).

I was mildly interested in the possibility of running when I started. But when I discovered this whole subculture that runs in costume, I found myself on fire for it! I love cosplay in general, but it seems to be a game for the young and slender (neither of which I am). Plus the opportunities are limited to conventions. Running, however, seems to have a much larger scope for cosplay in both body shape and venue.

At age 20 in the musical Camelot
I looked at many running costume possibilities--and there are plenty of them--but Wonder Woman seems to fit where I am in my life right now. I don't want to be asleep in my life like Snow White or so many of the other Disney princesses. I want to be strong and brave.

At least for now, running is a pretty solitary activity for me. I'm still very self-conscious being slow and overweight. If I'm going to run in public, I'm going to need the persona and symbolism to get me at the starting line. It's a weird psychology, I know.

So, I'll see you in October. I figure a year of running 5Ks as Wonder Woman will help my brain accept that I am a runner now. Then I'll be able to run as myself.

And then I'll consider my next costume option. What do you think about a TARDIS dress? Because I'm definitely bigger (and more complicated) on the inside.

* We'll call this the More Information Than You Need portion of our program.
** Yes, spelled that way and pronounced "thee-ah-TAH" as affectedly as possible.
*** The reasoning as to why not is probably more complicated than it needs to be. I've done mostly choral performances as an adult and left it at that.

Just Between Us Girls

This post is for the girls. You boys, please follow the PE teacher to the gym where you will play an excessively rough game of dodge ball.

Thank you.

Janie, will you hit the lights? This film is only for us ladies.


I have one other thing in common with Wonder Woman aside from being a cute brunette. Namely, a massive rack.

This was my biggest excuse for not running. I made such a joke about it that now when I mention that I actually run, people don’t believe me. Yes, I tried the trick of doubling and tripling up sports bras. But since summer mornings here are usually low to mid 80s, I would get ridiculously overheated just during the warm up, much less the run.

But here’s the secret, thanks to information from a couple colleagues: Enell.* This baby looks like a Kevlar vest, and has eleven--it goes to 11!--clasps up the front. And nothing moves. No.Thing.

And now I am free to run.**

A friend (and another baby runner) bought one on my recommendation. We began discussing it at lunch in tones normally reserved for cult converts. It is that life changing.

By the by, since I've got you girls together, if you are endowed with Huge Tracts of Land as I am, I cannot recommend Busty Girl Comics more; not only do I love the funny-cuz-it's-true humor, there are frequently great discussions regarding bra brands and sizing. And, because I believe in equal opportunity, there's a comic for the opposite end of the spectrum.

The point is, women, love who you are. Let's work together to have strong bodies and support each other. Go, girl!

*This is not meant to be a commercial. This is just what works for me. Unless, Enell wants to use me as a spokesperson and provide me with free products. Then, this is totally a commercial.
** Oh, and I also lost four inches off my bust this past year too! I may actually realize the dream of buying a bra in the normal part of the alphabet.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Change (in Spite of My Resistance)

I had my mandatory health screening this morning. Things have definitely improved.

In the past year:

  • I lost 17 lbs.
  • My waist circumference has gone down 5.5"
  • Cholesterol, blood sugar level, and blood pressure improved.
When all was said and done, the "coach" had nothing to really say. My numbers were beyond good.

In other words, "Suck it, Trebek!"

Now back to the real work.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Origin Story

It occurs to me that I should fill out my "origin story" because that's what superheroes do.

At work, there’s been a push to get more fit. This include some tactics with which I don't agree and make me angry.* Any time something becomes MANDATORY, I become RESISTANT.**

I would yell long and loud, “You don’t know what my life is like! Everybody wants something from me, and my schedule is packed! I have to choose between sleep and exercise! So if you want me to exercise, you better damn well provide it!”

Here’s the thing: they did.

A group was started to do a mile of Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds video. I attended. It was okay, except: 1) I prefer to do at least 30 minutes of exercise instead of 20; 2) I really need the time before we open to the public to get things done; and 3) I didn’t like that post-PE sweaty feeling the rest of the work day. I liked the camaraderie, but this wasn’t doing it for me in terms of fitness. However, because I bellyached so much (and I am in leadership), I couldn’t just quit. It had to be this or an alternative.

I chose the alternative, which was forego sleep, get my lazy butt out of bed during o’dark with the dog and get moving. And I better make damn sure it gets posted to Facebook just to prove it.

Funny thing is, I discovered I kind of … liked it. I started walking faster and longer each day. I kept trying to beat my time. I made goals of at least 10 miles a week. I would wake up naturally and just go. I felt better for it mentally and emotionally. I even lost a little weight.

Then one of my colleagues had the audacity to suggest that I should run.

*Just to be hugely clear, these are MY opinions. They do not represent my place of employment. They do not represent my coworkers. They should not be construed as such.
** I don’t know why this is so. I was an incredibly compliant child to the point of being annoying.

Today's Run (or Countdown Starts)

Just a little over two months before my first 5K. Somehow it didn't seem real until the organizers sent me a Facebook invite yesterday. I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't nervous.

Right now I can comfortably run 1/3 of that. I made great time today. I can do this.

My mandatory health screening is tomorrow.* I'm made noticeable improvements from last year, but I'm still anticipating getting a lecture because I'm still not 130lbs/size 2/whatever. The whole thing makes my blood boil, and I've a sudden urge to load up on Wonder Woman talisman.

Breathing. Breathing. Breathing.

* Don't get me started.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Today's Run (or Thank You, Pod People)

Have you ever had one of those nights where you aren't sure if you actually slept? Time passes, and consciousness is fuzzy. There may be actual sleep eventually, ruined by the alarm.

I tell you that to tell you this: I can not be sure this morning was not a hallucination.

Obviously a bad night of sleep, but I headed out to run anyhow. Tweaked Mister's toe on my way, as he had mentioned he had to get up early. Cool morning. Fast time (for me).

When I returned, there were more lights on than when I left. Mister was finishing his shower, and Miss was eating breakfast. Miss picked her clothes and dressed herself without a fuss; there was even time enough to do her hair.* We were out of the house by quarter after. Miss was easily and happily secured at day care. I was 10 minutes early to work.

Just to clarify: I am the only Morning Person in my household. I can only assume the above events are: a) a hallucination; or b) the work of Pod People. But if this behavior is repeatable, I will be extremely happy. With starting Kindergarten next week, mornings are going to be a whole new game. I told Mister very clearly that I am not giving up my morning runs.

Thank you, Pod People, for my new family. You can leave me intact if you like.**

* It's been such a long time since I've done her hair that the part was outrageously crooked. I would like to be able to say her father was involved. Since there were braids as well, no one would believe me.
** Unless, the Pod Person Me is 60lbs lighter. Then, you can totally do that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I've Done It Again

I haven't run a race yet. I haven't received my costume yet. But I've officially signed up for another 5K. You see, there was this Groupon for the Santa Hustle in Galveston on 23 December.

This is madness. Not because I can't run it. It's other considerations.

The first issue is the scheduling. The run itself is on Christmas Eve Eve. While squeezing in one more thing into the Season can be ill-advised, by the time this date rolls around, things are pretty square. The only worry here would be our involvement with the Nativity Play at church, as we would probably miss a rehearsal.*

The other thing is balancing the schedule. I work every other weekend, and then we have to fold in Mister's Naval Reserves schedule. I'm going to have to make some switches as is in order to accommodate his drill on 15 December. I either have to work 8 December (which is the Rudolph Fun Run) or 22 December. Because the Santa Hustle is in Galveston, I'm going to want to drive down there the night before.  That means a full day of work until 5PM, dinner, then an hour or so drive. Tiring, but doable. (Plus I would have a couple days off afterwards.)

The second, and lesser, consideration is What To Wear!

From what I know, wearing the race shirt on the day is a n00b move. Except that the pictures seem to indicate the organizers encourage this. In general, I've been thinking about wearing variations of the Wonder Woman costume for a year of races, and then add variety. In spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about this, I've decided:

  • If I run this by myself, I will wear the Wonder Woman costume + Santa hat.**
  • If I run this with my family, I'll try to coordinate something more Christmas-y with Mister and the Miss. (I'm sensing a look at Sparkle Skirts.) Plus decorate the heck out of the jogging stroller.*** Many photo ops and prize possibilities.

Either way, this is going to be a good Christmas. But stop me before I sign up for more.****

* Unless, of course, it gets moved to Epiphany. Why don't we do that?
** I'm going to have to think of some cold weather options, as we have actually had snow during this time of year. Or it could be high 70s. Just depends.
*** Before you judge, she still fits, and it would be easier to push than a wagon. Plus I think she would have more fun participating this way than just hanging out.
**** I don't mean that.

Today's Run (or Caption This)

Week one of the new training program done. The goal was one mile, half running/half walking. One of the things I really like is that the emphasis is to recognize your body's signals and regulate breathing rather than be a slave to the timer. I'm still not very fast, but I'm able to run for longer intervals.

Speaking of things you don't expect to see, I saw this in the park area of my route. I'm pretty open to public art, and I embrace Dadaism, but really?

Who wants to caption this? I'll think of some sort of prize.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Today's Walk (or Reflecting on the Summer)

Easy does it sort of walk today--the kind that makes me especially reflective.

It occurs to me that I've been getting out and doing some kind of activity nearly every day since May. I usually go out between 5-8am (depending on my work schedule). I've loved watching subtle changes in the season--or at least as much as an urban dweller can observe. There are the natural changes--time of dawn, phases of the moon, position of the stars (the few I can see), migrations of birds. There are the man-made seasonal changes too--frequency of schoolbuses and arena lights for preseason football training.* There are changes in my body, as well. Good changes. Shifting of muscles. Clothes that fit differently.

I wanted to get my walk in early today. My daughter's day care is closed today for teacher training, and Mister has to be in court, so I took a day off from work. It's my Girl's last week before Kindergarten. We have to finish getting supplies and things ready for school. We also have to think about shifts in schedules.

But mostly, I don't want to miss this season in her life.

*This is Texas, after all.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Today's Run (or Poor Choices or There's Gotta Be a Badge for This)

Yesterday, Mister mentioned to me that it was too bad it was supposed to rain this weekend. I agreed, since it looked like I wasn't going to be able to get a run in. Mister said he had a birthday party of one of my daughter's friends in mind.


We did, indeed, have heavy rains last night. Thunder and lightning that could only have originated in mythos.* This morning, however, the rain was light. I was debating whether to try to find a weight training VHS I think I still have, when I noticed the rain had stopped.

Perfect, I thought. Bella was also anxious to get out, as she had been in the house all day yesterday.

Deliciously cool--low 70s. Frogs singing. Lovely, I thought.

About a quarter of a mile, the rain started. I'm not made of sugar, I thought.

And then the rain came down harder. Oh dear, I thought.

At the end of the first mile, I was soaked. I made a bad choice, I thought.

But I did make my runs (12 minutes of alternating running and walking), then briskly walked back. Bella, for once, was not distracted; her one goal was HOME.**

When I arrived, my family was eating breakfast. Mister said that he felt bad that he wasn't able to get a run in. Then he saw me and felt better.

I do, however, feel like I've been initiated into another group: Runners Who Go Out in All Weather. There's got to be a badge for that. Electronic code is fine. Somebody make that happen, 'kay?

* The dog shoved her way into the bed at one point.
** I may have the only Lab mix who actively despises water. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Today's Run--No, Wait, Walk (or I Like You as a Friend)

There's a reason why I'm a solitary runner--competition screws up my headspace.* But this morning, when my husband told me he was going for a run, I chirped that I'd like to go along. After our daughter was settled with activities at her day school, we decided the plan was that I would run where I could, he would keep running and double back to do the walks with me. Of course, I felt bad about not bringing the dog.

A fine romance, indeed.

First off--running during daylight in August in Houston means monkey-hot.** I started off matching his pace, and then I quickly reverted to brisk walking the rest of the way. The poor dog was disturbed that Alpha was so far ahead and kept trying to pull me along. Plus other dogs and people to distract. Plus my ankles ached a bit.

Rather than let my inability to keep up send me into a spiral, I'm turning this into a secondary goal. Mister offered to run the first 5K with me, and I said no because I wanted it to be mine. I did agree to let him run the second one in December with me. I've got some work to do so that I don't feel like I'm holding him back.

Mister is pretty good about knowing that I take as long as I take to get something done, and the wisest course is to get out of the way and let me do it. He's also very supportive of most of my projects.

However, during the cool down, Mister said, "This running romance isn't going to work."

For now.***

* For example, I nearly didn't sign up for my first 5K because it was called a "race" instead of a "fun run." That's how messed up I am.
** More specifically, 86 degrees with 107 heat index.
*** Wow, that sounds really psycho, doesn't it?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Today's Run (or Listening to My Inner Yogi)

There's a scene in A Discovery of Witches* where the protagonist attends a yoga class full of paranormals.** The protagonist holds her own for the most part until they get to the final pose--Savasana or corpse pose. Even though this is the easiest of all poses (and my personal favorite), for a variety of reasons, this causes the protagonist to have a panic attack. The ancient yogi leading the class quietly comes to her and simply says, "Not for you." The yogi places the protagonist into fetal position, and peace returns. I cried reading that.

I tell you that to tell you this: I took a step back to take a step forward. I changed training programs.

I had been using a pretty standard C25K program. Lots of people had done it successfully. People I knew. So it should be simple for me, right? But from the beginning, none of the runs were solid. I would try to repeat templates while I watched others on the same program lap me. I tried to push harder, but all I was hearing was FAIL.

Finally, I heard my Inner Yogi say, "Not for you."

So I switched training programs. I got one from Runkeeper that emphasizes endurance and breathing.

The first half of my outing was the actual training--20 minutes with warm-up, alternating running and walking. Every single run was solid. I never got too out of breath. The second half of the outing was walking back--brisk but meditative.

And I tossed in a sprint toward the end, just to prove I could.

*No, I haven't finished this. But I'm willing to if someone will lend me a copy.
** If this is the wrong term from this series, it's been a while since I read it. Lay off, fan girl!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Great Hera!

Phase II of The Plan complete--I have just ordered my Wonder Woman costume. It will be created by Helen of This Princess Runs. Not only be customized for running, it will be customized to me (hence, the need for some lead time).

I almost chickened out on this.

I’ve always wanted to dress like Wonder Woman. I saw Helen’s design and was completely smitten (it has a skirt! the skirt has a pocket!). I obsessed over it. I dreamed about it. It got me going in the morning. It was one of my last thoughts at night.

But the self-doubt: I’m not young. I’m not thin. I’m going to be wearing this in a race? A race I’m not going to win, or even finish in the first half of the group? What makes me think I can do this? Just who do I think I am?

I’m Chunky Wonder Woman, that’s who.

I’m not running a 5K to win. I’m running to finish. I’m running to show my daughter that it’s important to work and to try, even though there will be others who will do it better than I. I’m doing this to prove the same thing to myself. And that’s what being a hero is--being scared, and then doing it anyway even if complete success isn’t a guarantee.

The initial investment is expensive, but I’m not wearing this just once. I have another 5K planned in December, and I’ll wear it again (although it may be cold enough that I’ll wear it with black yoga pants, like Wonder Woman in the New 52*). And the inevitable other runs next year. 

Plus, I can wear the tank with a blazer when I do comic book panels.**

So there’s my carrot, my inspiration, and my brand.

* Did I mention I’m a huge nerd?
** Did I mention I’m a nerd professionally?

Today's Walk

When the alarm goes off at 5:30AM, I have the choice of sleep, walk, or run. In general, I've been trying to do three run days, three walk days, one sleep day. In getting ready for work, I can budget 15 more minutes of sleep or 30 minutes of exercise, and somehow the math works out.*

As I was drifting off, I was considering making this a run day instead of the scheduled walk day since yesterday's run wasn't very solid. But at midnight, my daughter fell out of the bed; she fell asleep again almost right away. I, on the other hand, was up two hours (but discovered a geek parent podcast). So this morning, I considered sleep, but chose walk.

A third of the way through, I saw a wisp of a runner breeze by and wished I had chosen run.** (Sigh.)

* I will post eventually about the sleep vs. exercise conflict sometime in the future.
** Why not just start running? I was wearing the wrong bra for it. I'll post about that too.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Baseline Thinking

Most Obvious Fact in the World: I am not an athlete.

Details: There is actually a physiological reason for why I don’t throw/kick/catch well. The upper half of my body (eye/ear/arm) is dominant on the right side. The lower half of my body is dominant on the left side.

Result: Watching me roller skate is hilarious.

Result: I am always picked last for organized sports.

Result: My playground activities were mostly pretend games. I loathed and feared P.E.

Defense Mechanism: Because I make so many mistakes, I tend to favor intellectual efforts over physical. I do those well.

Defense Mechanism: Because I do not do well at organized sports, I do not take the time to learn rules/scoring/stats/etc. even though there is an intellectual (and possibly interesting) pursuit to them.

Defense Mechanism: I am a self-proclaimed Nerd who looks down on Jocks because I expect to be rejected by them. (See above.)

Defense Mechanism: I participate in physical activities with great anxiety and only under duress. I do not consider them fun. I consider them work, and I do not expect to succeed. (Dancing does not count because that is “artistic.”) Many people have tried to give me “tips,” but this has happened so frequently without results and with embarrassment, that I am aggressively resistant. Aggressively. I’m not a Good Sport, and I don’t want to try. This is annoying. I know.

Irony: I have a daughter who seems to be having difficulties with physical activities. I see her using the same defense mechanisms that I do. I hurt for her.

Irony: Toward the end of my high school P.E. career, my teacher (whom I really liked, strangely enough) told me that she noticed I had the gait to become a decent runner. I wished I had been told this sooner.

Impossible Thing: I am trying to change my thinking. I am trying to run.

Today's Run

C25K Week 4 Day 2 was the template. Runs are a long way from solid. At this point, I need to keep the focus on getting it right rather than getting it done. This can be a difficult mindset for me as usually the two coincide.

I know I can go the distance. I can work on the discipline since I know I won't fail come October.

My longest steady run was about 2 minutes--a long way from 30 seconds when I first started this venture.

My weight loss has finally kickstarted again. I'm down another pound (14lbs. total). I seem to be losing a pound a month, which is really frustrating. But it's permanently off--slow barbecue burn. I can't do this kind of work without something happening.

Heat was low 80s. Moon was a horned crescent when I left the house. Met nice elderly couple who walk about the same time as I go out. Stalled in the park by a doggie meet-and-greet.

Far from perfect, but I'm satisfied.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Suffering Sappho!

I've actually done it! I've signed up!

Great Pumpkin Fun Run

Last Sunday, I did a baseline run--5K in approximately 47 minutes. According to the stats from last year, that puts me in about the next to last group of finishers.

Of course, I did that:

  • Only halfway through the training.
  • in 80 degree weather.
  • with a distracted dog.
  • in some pain.
  • on uneven terrain. 
  • before breakfast.
I'm super-nervous here. This seems like an Impossible Thing for me.

But superheroes do Impossible Things.

All the World Is Waiting for You

Whenever Halloween or cosplay opportunities arise, people always ask me if I am going to dress like Wonder Woman.

My glib reply has always been, "The world is not ready for Chunky Wonder Woman."

To which a friend once rebutted, "The world NEEDS Chunky Wonder Woman."

So this Halloween, at 41 years old and 60lbs overweight, I'm going to be dressed as Wonder Woman. And I am going to run a 5K dressed in said costume.

This is an Impossible Thing.

Superheroes do Impossible Things.