I can run* for eight minutes without dry-heaving, fainting, or thinking that I'm going to die. This is such an accomplishment. Not only can I run for eight minutes, after two minutes of walking I can repeat the eight minute running/two minute walking pattern *twice*. Thirty straight minutes of exercise. And today, after I got done, I felt *good*. Not just "thank goodness I'm done", but really, really healthy and, you know, not ready to keel over.
An even bigger accomplishment? That I'm on week five of this program (found through one of my favorite homeschooling blogs). I have never stayed on an exercise program this long voluntarily. They used to make me try to climb ropes, dodge balls, and touch my toes in gradeschool. Pttthhhbt. Hated it. Never could do it.
I've never really been that motivated, though. I decided that I needed to do *something* to get my body feeling better after a long winter inside. I also have some excess weight around my middle that I wouldn't mind releasing. If only so that my daughter would quit asking if I have a baby in my uterus. I chanced onto the suggestion for this program right when I was looking for the right exercise. I'm so glad I didn't just start running aimlessly. For one thing, I have no idea where I would be right now. For another thing, I would have given up without clear guidelines and goals. So here I am.
The first week - two minutes running alternated with four minutes of walking - had me gasping for air. Dude, it sucked. And my puppy was lapping me. Many times. To be fair, he's still lapping me at eight minutes of running, but he's lapping me more slowly. I almost gave up about ten times in the first two minutes I ran, but one of my proudest accomplishments so far is that I have never yet stopped running in one of my 'run' segments. When I switched from five minutes to seven minutes, I almost did. You wouldn't think that that would be hard, and if you're a runner, you're laughing, but that nearly killed me. Even so, I just kept running until that beeper went off.
This last weekend, after I'd stuck with the program for four weeks, I went out and got myself a new sports bra. If I stick with this program for six weeks I'm buying myself some running shoes. You'd think I'd buy the shoes first and the bra second wouldn't you? If you did think that, you're not a woman. On one of the early morning runs, I ran without a bra. Luckily, I was on a back road so the sight of me keeping everything from bouncing around while running wasn't seen by anybody. My other runs have been in normal, everyday (read: nursing) bras. I needed a sports bra.
If I stick with it for eight weeks, I'm getting myself something to measure time (something besides my kitchen timer) and distance. If I stick with it for ten weeks I'm buying myself a sundae. With cherries. Or I'll get the sundae tomorrow. That sounds really good.
I started running in the evenings, using the back farm roads through the pastures around our house. It was really nice because the scenery was good and running out there meant that if I gave up, I would still have to get back to the house on my own two legs, so exercise (either running or walking - even crawling or rolling if necessary) was a given. 'Tis the reason I don't like treadmills. Too easy to give up on. Plus they're so boring, even with tv to watch while running. In high school I fell off of a treadmill because I was so bored. I think I fell asleep. I ended up at the end of the treadmill with the tread taking the hide off my outer thigh. I've never liked treadmills since, even if it was nice not having to shave that section of leg for a few months. Back to the present, the problem with this evening schedule was that with my husband's odd work hours I often ended up being asleep when he got home, with no chance to run that day, or awake but it being too dark for me to safely run on those rut-filled roads.
So I decided (morning person that I am) to run before he left for work. That didn't work out for two reasons. He has to leave so early that I would still be running in the dark. And I'm not a morning person.
My next plan was to run when my baby went down for his nap. He sleeps for about 45 minutes, so as soon as he went down for a nap, off I went, running circles around our property. It's not a big property, so that's a lot of circles, but my girls can play outside and watch me run past them every so often and stop me when they need something. They also join me on my walk portions which is nice. (And it kills me to see my 2 1/2 yr old spitfire running towards me when I start my walk portion with her little arms pumping on her little square body with her chin tucked down saying "I run, Momma, I run! Wait for me, Momma, I run with you!") The sheep and goats have gotten used to me and no longer follow me down the fenceline bellowing at me the whole time. The horses still frolic as I run past, but that's because it's spring-time and frolicking is required. So far, this plan has worked perfectly. Gray's never woken up while I've been gone, even with Hannah noisily checking on him for me. Having little ones to be accountable to (since I'm asked if I'm going running every time Gray even yawns) has also made me more determined to stay on track.
So wish me luck! The thought of being able to run for thirty minutes straight makes my head spin - will I really ever be able to do that? If I can finish this program - stick with it for ten weeks - I can't tell you how proud of myself I will be.
* please loosely interpret 'run' as 'moving faster than a walk' - I'm sure at some point I will actually be running (I think I got close tonight, actually), but for right now, 'run' is ... not so fast