Archive for January, 2011

Thus endeth the lesson

So I said I was going to listen to my body, and my body, my right knee in particular, is not down with the 5K training. It’s a shame, too, because I felt so proud of myself and so powerful for having started this and I really wanted to keep going.

I started week 2 of Couch to 5K yesterday, which is 90 seconds of running interspersed with two minutes of walking. Week one was 60 seconds of running interspersed with 90 seconds of walking and I figured 30 more seconds of running would be a piece of cake seeing as I was to also get 30 more seconds of walking.

Um, I was wrong.

Folks, those extra 30 seconds were tough, and while they did test the limits of my endurance, I finished the workout with every intention of pushing through week 2.  But that damn right knee had other plans and I could not descend the stairs at home for the rest of the day without wincing.

Perhaps where I went wrong was hopping off the treadmill and onto the elliptical for my regular workout. I may have overdone it a little bit there. Today I went easier on myself and walked for 15 minutes prior to my elliptical workout, but the knee is still very much reminding me that it exists in a completely different time continuum than the rest of my body. That knee, and the other one, has aged exponentially-in dog years, really-and I’m being reminded that while I may be feeling younger, my knees belong in assisted living. After today’s workout, I continued to have a problem with the stairs, which took me uncomfortably close to the memory of the two years I had to go up and down those steps like a toddler.

No, thank you.

While this does mean I will not be running the 5K leg of the 53 River Bank Run in May, it doesn’t mean I won’t train for a 5K this year. I had originally intended to lose another 30 pounds before I attempted a running program and have decided to stick with the original plan. Once I drop those 30 pounds, which at the rate I’m going should be about six months from now, I’ll start the program over again and see how the old knee feels. If it’s still a bust, I may have to wait until I’m closer to (or under) 200 pounds before I try again.

Or maybe I will have to admit to not being physically able to run.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to start some strength training. I’m paying for the gym membership and my office at work just happens to be right across the street from the campus rec center, so there’s no reason I can’t fit in at least one upper & lower body workout each week.

Hopefully taking off more weight and building some muscle will allow me to be able to run without the resulting pain. If not, then I’ll just have to be happy with being smaller and leaner.

I can do that.

Anyway, I wanted to thank those of you who served as my virtual cheer squad this past week and encouraged my efforts both on the blog and on Twitter.  It really does help knowing there are such wonderful people out there wanting to see me succeed.


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I experienced a nice moment at the gym the other day when this guy hopped onto the elliptical next to me and started hitting on me.

Ok, so he didn’t actually hit on me nor was he just some random guy. His name was Tim, a former co-worker and the husband of one of the best bosses I ever had and probably ever will have.  I ran into him my first day at the new gym and he’s made a point to chat me up and give me a pat on the back whenever we run into each other.

This day Tim asked how my workouts were going. I told him my knee had been bothering me some and that I’d forced myself to take a two day break to give it a rest. I then made a comment about how it sucks to be getting old.

“Bah, you’re just a baby,” he said. “You’re younger than my youngest.”

This I knew to be untrue. I’ve known the man since I was a teenager and graduated high school with his older son.  His youngest is my brother’s age, but I figured he’s probably remembering me as being younger than I am because he knew me back when I was much younger.

“I’m going to be 40 this year,” I said.  “In November.”

“Really? I would have guessed you to be in your early to mid thirties.”

And just like that I got 5-7 years of my life back.

I do have to admit to wondering whether losing weight would make me look older.  Fat does tend to fill in the cracks some and I wasn’t sure if I’d notice more wrinkles once my face started to thin out. Happily that hasn’t been the case.  Even though I’m not wild about turning 40 this year, I have made a point to tell people I am just to see what they say.

So either they’re all lying to me or I really don’t look as old as I am.  I prefer to to believe the latter.

Regardless of how I look, I do feel so much younger since I started taking better care of myself, and thanks to re-connecting with Tim, I’ve decided to step up my workout with the Couch to 5K training program.

I don’ t know if I have any business training for a 5K since I’m still 100 pounds over my ideal weight, but in discussing that and my knee issues with Tim, he reminded me how the human body has the remarkable ability to heal. His youngest (the one I was supposedly younger than) was hospitalized with meningitis back when Tim and I worked together and made a full recovery in spite of an initial grim prognosis.

So miracles do happen, though I have no intention of running myself into another knee injury. My cardinal rule is “listen to your body” and if my body is telling me I’m pushing it too far too fast then I’ll have to go back to just doing the ellpitical.

But a year ago I couldn’t even do that, so BOO-YA!

This morning I completed Week 1, Day 2 of the C25K program. I’m just trying to take it day by day and not look too far ahead because the thought of running even five minutes without stopping makes me want to wheeze.

Still, there was a time when I worried I’d never be able to walk without a limp, so regardless of what happens with the 5K training, I am happy with whatever progress I’ve made so far.

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