Monday, March 28, 2011

Gettin' back in the game

I'm back. No, I didn't fall off the face of the Earth. I was sick a couple weeks ago with a bad cold and all last week I was on a cruise. While I had my cold, I wasn't able to run and I hated it. I knew it was better for me not to so I could heal faster but it was not easy. I started feeling antsy toward the end of each day and my body knew something was missing. On my cruise, however, I was able to workout some. There were a couple days when the ship was too rocky and I could barely walk without falling over let alone run, so I took a break those days. On the days I was able to workout, I did fairly well. I tried the treadmill which was different and, to me, a lot easier than running on the street. My second day on the treadmill I was able to run a full mile without stopping! It felt really good, so when I got back into my normal routine today, I tried testing my theory. Sure enough, I still only made it a little more than a half mile before I had to stop. I then continued on for another 1.5 miles running/walking. Although I did not make my full mile goal by the end of this month, I am still improving, which is important. 

The gym on the ship was nice and made me even more excited to buy a gym membership with my tax return. Since I have been exercising more, I have also been reading up on some tips so I make sure I am doing things right. One article I read said that it's not good just to have cardio in my workout and I need to build muscle to support my activity as well. It makes sense to me- if I want to run more and get stronger, I need the muscle to do so. I had put off buying a membership for some time because of the following:

1. I wanted to make sure I stuck with exercising before blowing a bunch of money on a membership I wouldn't use. 
2. I didn't want another monthly payment. 

Well I solved both of those problems since I know I have stuck with it for 2 months and do not plan on giving up and through Costco you can buy a 24 Hour Fitness membership for two years for $300. $300 is a fantastic deal and since I will be paying it up front, it will eliminate the need for monthly payments. I will be going to Costco with my friend this week since she has a membership and check this deal out. 

I said I would talk about the friendly encounters I have when I run. Today is a good day to mention one. There is a lady I pass a lot who lives on the other side of me and she walks her shaggy, black and gray dog everyday. She says hi a lot and makes little comments to me every once in a while. Today she told me that every day she sees me run, it inspires her. She had made a comment like this before to me, which is extraordinarily touching, but today I stopped and talked to her and her adorable dog. Her dog's name is Coco- Coco Chanel that is. Coco is a very loving dog and made sure to give me plenty of kisses because she loves me so much. Or maybe she was just trying to clean my sweat off me? Either way though, I love that dog and her owner (whose name I do not know yet), is very kind. 

Spring is here and the weather was beautiful today and I hope it continues to be like this. It feels so good to run with the sun on you and it not be crazy hot. Although I wasn't able to do a full mile worth of running today, I still feel really good about it overall. I will be doing a quick run tomorrow (probably only a mile) because I am going to see a friend of mine. Then Wednesday, I hope to be doing my 3 miles again. Since I start school next week, I will have to figure out a good running schedule. It will be a little more difficult since I have school 3 days this quarter rather than 2 days. Nothing I can't handle though ;)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

5k training time

So today I was convinced to do a 5k, which will take place at the end of June. I am super excited about this but realize I need to start training a lot harder than I currently am. Tonight, after I got home from class, I went for a quick run to test how far I am able to go right now. I am proud to say that I made it almost a half mile before I felt like my heart was going to be beat out of my chest. A half mile! I thought I was able to do about a third, so I am definitely happy to be able to do more than that. To be fair, I was literally 10 seconds away from making it a full half mile. I am sure that will be remedied within the next week though :) 

My next goal is to be able to run a mile straight by the end of this month. It sounds like it will be difficult, but I think if I make sure to run at least 4 times a week, it will be doable. After all, I need to make it to 3.1 miles in 3.5 months!

I am tired, so I will cut this entry short but will try to post more often once finals are done. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Getting Started

A little over 6 weeks ago, I finally decided to get my life on track, health-wise. I am not sure what prompted this sudden change after 25 years, but I am pretty sure it had something to do with my parents. You see, my family and I are going on a cruise in a couple weeks and both my mom and dad have been on this kick of losing some weight before the cruise. In doing so, over the past year my dad has started running. He is 57 (ish?) years old and can run about 8 miles and does so a couple times a week. When he told me that, I was astounded. He is more than twice my age and can run 8 times more than me. Still, after having run for 6 weeks, I cannot run a full mile without stopping. I think my mom and, especially, my dad's dedication inspired me to turn my life around. 

To get healthy is also a necessity for me. For the past year I have been having stomach pains. My worthless (and I say this because he's a jerk) doctor cannot figure out what it is that's causing pain and I am supposed to see a G.I. sometime soon, hopefully. It may be IBS, which could be triggered by stress. Although stress is also part of "being healthy," that is something I do not foresee leaving my life anytime soon. The parts I can control, however, is what I put into my body. I would like to give my body as few reasons as possible to be giving me pain. One large thing I had to cut out of my diet is dairy. This isn't necessarily for health reasons but more because I just can't take it. Lactose intolerant AND IBS- what a joy it is eating for me!  

I have always been a bigger girl and embraced that for most of my life. While it is fine to be comfortable in your skin, no matter what that skin is, it is not fine to be un-healthy. So, for the first time in my life, I have decided to start eating healthier and exercising regularly. In addition to cutting out dairy, I have also cut out a lot of carbs and sugar and added a ton of fruits and vegetables. What I like about this new way of living is that I do not consider myself "dieting" but changing my lifestyle completely. Because this is NOT a diet, I do let myself have some treats in very small portions every once in a while. By treats, I mean sugar substances. I have not had any greasy or fast-food in 6 weeks and I would like to keep it like that as much as possible. 

As far as exercising, I have gotten into running. I have always kind of enjoyed running and that has always been my go-to exercise. Do I love running? Not so much, but I enjoy it enough that I am doing it 3-4 times a week. There are times when I get excited to go running but most other times, I really am not looking forward to it. It isn't until about my 2nd mile when I start to have fun. By then, my muscles are starting to hurt which let's me know I am working my ass off. Not only that, I start to get into a zone and my surroundings seem a lot more peaceful and my endurance seems to increase. 

The point of this blog is to track my progress. I realize that the beginning of this process will be the most difficult, but I want to keep at it and hopefully be a healthier me until I am nice and old. Some goals I wish to accomplish in the near future are:

- lose 30 pounds (so far I am down 22 so this will change soon!)
- run a full mile (This is tough since right now I can only do about a third of a mile.)
-try a new healthy recipe at least once a month (I have already tried two this month)

Another reason I wanted to start this blog is because I have run (literally) into some really amazing people while out exercising and I feel it's something that needs to be put down for others to see. It is truly touching to have a complete stranger route for your health and well-being. Hell, I have known some people my whole lives who I couldn't say the same for them. I will get introduce some of these people next time, because if I don't stop typing not, I may never...