Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Round 2

It's raining. I can't do it by myself. I should have started 2 months ago, it's too late now. I need to clean the bathrooms. I just ate dinner. It's getting dark. I can't find my pants. I don't want to carry my keys. I'll have to start all over.

That last one. That last reason is the one real reason I knew I didn't want to run today. All of those other things were reasons my brain came up with to try and talk me out of it in a "it's not your fault" kind of way. I have a lot of will power, just not the kind that gets me to do things. My will power is great at talking me out of stuff.

So here I am, a mere what, 6 months later? Six months ago I ran my first 5k race. Six months ago I was on top of the world. Six months ago I told myself I'd keep running. Six months ago I quit.

It really is depressing. It's amazing to me how many excuses I can come up with. You know why I didn't keep running? I told myself it was too dangerous to run outside in the winter. There was too much snow. "But you could run inside," I thought. But I HATE the treadmill. I'll just do workout videos during the winter. But I didn't. And as the weeks went by I kept thinking I should run again before I waste my efforts, but then there was this nagging voice in my head telling me it was probably too late and I'd have to start over again. Looks like another self-fulfilling prophecy.

So here I am six months later. Seth sent me a text today daring me to guess what he'd just done. For some reason I immediately knew he'd gone running. Maybe it was because we'd driven past Brigham City the day before and Seth said, "Remember when we ran our 5k?" Yeah I remembered. I'd brought our running shoes with us on our trip to Idaho this weekend. Not to use for running... just to have in case we needed to do lots of walking or something. Seth unpacked the car when we got home and handed me the pairs of shoes to put away. I saw a certain look in his eye when he gave them to me. I felt a twinge of guilt and pretended not to notice.

After Seth told me he'd gone running, it immediately gave me a little nudge of motivation. I thought maybe I should go running when I got home. But on the way home it was raining. Ok it was barely sprinkling and by the time I got home it had stopped. Then I was hungry. So I made dinner. Then I wanted to watch my shows. So I did. It's definitely too late to go out now. I'll do Muscle Motion again. In fact by that time I'd given up on the idea of doing any sort of physical activity for the day. My plan was to watch more tv. Then Seth sent me another message suggesting maybe we sign up for another 5k. I cringed at the thought. I'd have to run again if we did that. But then something clicked in my brain. YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO START. YOU WILL NEVER RUN IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO. YOU WILL NEVER START WORKING OUT AND YOU WILL ALWAYS BE OUT OF SHAPE.

For some reason that woke me up. I knew I needed to sign up for another race because otherwise, I would never accomplish my goals. It worked last time and I knew it would work again. So, before I even signed up for a race, I put my running clothes on and walked out the door.

As I began to walk down the street to warm-up, I thought, "Maybe it won't be that bad. Maybe I'll still be able to run good." But, after about a quarter mile of running, my chest and throat hurt too much to keep going. At that point I realized I was going to have to start all over. I would have to start at the very beginning. Run for 1 minute. Walk for 4. Upping my running gradually one week at a time. I'd finally procrastinated for so long that I'd made myself start all over.

At this point I should have been congratulating myself. You're finally doing it! You're running! You're outside and you're trying! Seth isn't here to cheer you on and you're still doing it! You're doing it all by yourself! Look at this beautiful place you live with the green grass and blooming flowers and towering mountain views! You did 40 minutes of physical activity! But all I could think was how much I'd lost. How far I'd fallen and how far I was going to have to go to get it all back. I told myself I'd never get back to this point and here I was. Sigh.

It's no wonder I've talked myself out of running for so long. Who would want to with this brain throwing out guilt and belittling comments for a whole 2 miles? I know I'm not going to get very far with this attitude. So I'm using this post as a way to vent my frustrations. A way to get rid of all these negative feelings and to just start over. Again.

I can do it. I know I can. I've done it before. This time is going to be harder. I'm on my own. No Coach Seth around every night to make me get off the couch. It's all me. But I can do it. And I'm not going to quit this time.


It's Me said...

I love this post. It was really fun to read and you captured how almost everyone feels about excersize! You are getting to be a very good writer! Good luck with the running. It's a good time of year to start.

heidi said...

Your sis is right! I think everyone does feel all these things!

I so relate with the belittling brain stuff. When I was in my late teens--college age--my body did what ALL bodies do, and stopped growing so much, and needed less calories. I really listen to my body's signals and started eating less. And my dad observed, and was like, "You need to exercise more!" The message I took being, (and I DON'T think he intended it), "If you don't EXERCISE you don't deserve to CONSUME CALORIES." Like, if you don't MOVE you barely deserve to LIVE. That's a useful message, huh! But I think not that unusual. There's so many signals societally about how we're worthless when we're out of shape... and I'm a worrier so I'm really alert to all the dangers of NOT exercising. Anyway, the point I think I'm heading toward is...

YOU RAN TODAY! HOORAY! (AND on top of being sleepy from your weekend with us! Double good on you!)

I think you're really onto something with the shift away from the self-belittling focus. It's taken me like, a DECADE, to shift my focus from the crap I absorbed (at least in part) from my dad/society into something more self-affirming.

Also... well... I don't know if this is useful, but... Paul loves to applaud the uses of an "off season." It's good for the joints, it's good for the spirit--exercise being so much more fun if you DO get occasional breaks and can return to it like a well-missed friend... I don't know. I guess I'm saying I'm so proud of you, sweetie, and I think extended breaks are inevitable and are healthy in their own way! But once you're on a roll it's so friggin' aggravating to LOSE MOMENTUM! UGH!

But... every minute of working out counts and isn't lost, even in an extended "off season." The gooderness of all that work is stored up somewhere, I think. Probably in the gooderness organ.

I hope all my rambling made sense! It's nice to know I'm not alone in my exercise angst.


heidi said...

p.s. I'd totally love to go run with you some time! It'd make you feel awesome. I am SO SLOW!!!!

Budsly said...

I'm in with you this time. I said I would, so I'm going to do it with you. Once you get going again, it won't be that bad, and you'll feel that feeling of accomplishment again. Eric feels the same way about exercise as you do, so I'm not sure I'm going to be able to convince him to do it with me. He HATES running. Maybe if I bat my eyes, and pucker my lips like this....., okay I don't think that will even work, but I'll see what I can do. Good luck, you can do it.

Karen said...

Thanks guys for your comments! Heidi I think my gooderness organ is faulty! :D

Anyway, the training schedule I used last time worked really well for me and it was simple. I didn't feel like I was going to die so that's always a plus. If any of you are interested it's here.


Annie, tell Eric it's AWESOME for beginners.

heidi said...

When's the next 5K? Who knows... maybe I'll be in town?! That would be a cool goal for me, too! I've never run a race before... Okay, that's a lie. I ran the 400 meter dash in 6th grade and I TOTALLY took 4th place!

I'm a better dasher than long distancer, though... But maybe it'd inspire me, you know, like to write about the experience... How hard core I am, running by myself with no Paulie nor Kay to urge me on... I could call my piece "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner."

The word ver. word? "Atefulut." Is the 'puter making fun of me, do you think?

XO hj

Karen said...

Oops, the whole website didn't get posted, it's http://running.about.com/od/getstartedwithrunning/ht/getstarted.htm

But this is basically what it says:

Week one: Walk for 6 minutes, then jog at an easy pace for 1 minute. Repeat 3 times. Aim for three sessions with that same sequence for week one.

Week two: Walk for 5 minutes, then jog for 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times. Aim to do three sessions in week two.

Week three: Walk for 3 minutes, then jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 4 times. Aim for four sessions in week three.

Week four: Walk for 2 minutes, then jog for 5 minutes. Repeat 4 times. Shoot for four of those sessions in week four.

Week five: Walk for 2 minutes, then jog for 8 minutes. Repeat 3 times. Do four of those sessions in week five.

Week six: Walk for 2 minutes, then jog for 9 minutes. Repeat 3 times. Try to do four sessions for week six.

Week seven: Walk for 1 minute, then jog for 11 minutes. Repeat 3 times. Do four sessions this week.

Week eight: Congratulations on making it to week eight! For your first run this week, try walking for 5 minutes to begin and end the workout, and run for 20 minutes in between. By the end of the week, try to run for 30 minutes without stopping.

Aim to run for 30 minutes four times a week, and you'll notice that your stamina and fitness will continue to improve. Soon you'll be ready to run your first 5K!