Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Run, run as fast as you can

I don't post frequently but in my mind I do.  Kind of like how I feel like I've replied to text messages but in reality I thought the reply but never actually created words and sent them. Um...do I get points for at least mentally replying? Anyway, mild momnesia aside my point was that I organized a group of a few coworkers and a few non coworkers to run a local 5k.  Actually I can't hold a gun to anyone's head and make them run so a few are walking but their participation warms my heart.  Nothing like forced social situations to make us feel guilty about not remaining active!

Actually as silly as it may sound to pay money to participate in running in circles I'm fond of it because it's a good clean healthy thing to do with others that involves no drinking, no arguing about movies and not spending copious amounts of money eating out and trying to accommodate everyone's dietary restrictions and preferences.  It used to be so easy to hang out with people, maybe because we were young and could all eat junk?  Now I'm terrified of inviting people over in case they're allergic to nuts or gluten or chronically dirty houses and suddenly I've poisoned them.  I'm not ready to take on that kind of guilt.

Plus I enjoy the anticipation of a 5K because it really amps up my running schedule.  If left to my own devices I just plateau and don't push especially hard.  Not that I have any interest in pushing it much further than a 5k, maybe a 10k; it seems more like torture to my old-lady joints to go much further than that.  My knees have been cracking since I was a teenager, I think I was just born to be a grumpy old lady. I can run for a little while but I'm not especially fast.  With time I have vastly improved my stamina and ability to continue pushing through that tight horrible feeling of mile 1 to get to the euphoria of mile 2 and 3.  Truly the first mile is the worst and likely why I always detested running.  In school all they ever made you do was 1 mile for the physical fitness test and then you were set free.  They also didn't teach me how to run.  What pace should I set? How should I pattern my breathing? How do I know when I'm pushing too hard? How do I know when I need to push harder?  I appreciate explicit instruction in all things.  I still often refresh my memory by reading recipes on how to boil eggs, something you'd imagine is easy but I still either end up either constantly under or over cooking and if not that then I can't get the shell of cleanly and make a huge mess.

I love eating so sadly I probably won't be size zero any day in my immediate future even with my fondness for the runners high and being able to hold boat position in yoga.  I really love seeing how strong my body is and after having two kids, seriously? A little agonizing eagle pose is no comparison to childbirth.  I definitely have a renewed sense of strength, competency and just overall composure.  In the last six days I've run almost 12 miles and did 3-30 minute blocks of yoga and surprisingly though I'm a tad sore I'm not in agony.  It's a pace I can handle and when I feel overwhelmed by the combination of a full time job, full time parenting, this exercise regime I've taken on and the general upkeep of my days, I take a run rest day and pick it up again afterwards.  Yoga is great in tandem with running.  I was just running prior years and it was fine but I was almost always sore the next day no matter what pace I was going at.  I think that at least for me, it's a great combo to keep my blood pumping.  I know Yoga gets this like hippy new age feeling to it, but that's like saying you don't like comedy.  There are so many kinds of comedy that yeah maybe you don't like slapstick but some dry British humor really gets you going.  It's the same thing with yoga because there are several different methodologies and variations.  I practiced Kundalini in college and while it really worked my body hard I found the breathing technique difficult to keep up with and lately I've been into Vinyasa Flow.  You have to get into something that works for you.  I've never tried "hot yoga" that seems to be popular now but I also don't care for being hot.  It's too suffocating and stifling. Also I just do like 20 to 30 minutes of yoga and it's not quite such a big to-do.

Eating.  I don't talk about food as much in great part to the fact that if I run after dinner I can't be stuffed or I'll want to barf.  I just can't deal with overfullness.  I can't work out on an empty stomach either because I get light headed and faint so in order to be a functional human I have to just cut it down and eat light.  This pains me because I hate eating light and part of me is irritated it works and I feel so much better eating less and eating more fresh foods.  I'm not above admitting that bathing suit season scares the heck out of me.  When I was 20 and never had to work at my flat stomach life was easy.  Now I really got to get some serious sweat in to get my stomach looking where I wouldn't be mortified to show it in public.  There are always people who are WAY more fit than I am and there are people who are way LESS fit than I am.  That is not the point.  I'm never going to be 5'1" and 82lbs.  It's never going to happen.  I can't beat myself up over it because it's impossible to shrink that far even with old age. I try hard not to envy what other people have and just focus on what I have.

I'm not a dieter because I hate it.  I hate being told what to eat.  I hated it when I had gestational diabetes and I hate it now. It is no fun being told what to eat, when to eat it and in what quantity.  It's all a catch 22 anyway because it seems like if you restrict your diet and cut down your calories to lose the weight eventually once you lose the weight you feel justified in finally eating a cookie and gain all the weight back.  That is literally every person I have ever met that has ever been on a diet ever in the history of mankind.  Your body rejects what you want it to do and your metabolism slows to the rate of a slug. Then if you try a different diet you have to work twice as hard to be successful because that first failed diet already took a dent out of your metabolism.  I have no solutions for you, I'm just stating my simple observations.  If you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle FOREVER then it's a different story and you're a frickin' machine and I wish I had your determination. There was an interesting article about how pretty much every single contestant in the biggest loser gained a certain chunk of weight after the show ended no matter how much they tried to fight it. When you go from a situation where you work out 8 hours a day to normal life again where you need to work your body fights your intentions to keep the weight off. No huge shocker but it's good to use such a public example to give normal folks some perspective.