Good news: I’ve been running steadily 3 times a week. Could be better, but life is busy (new job, new boyfriend, classes, moving) and homegirl would like to sleep at some point.
Also, I am linking you all to the beautiful words of my college-friend, Katie, a greater writer, spirit, and runner than I could ever hope to be. After the tragic events in Boston yesterday, I think we all need to read this.
I haven’t been blogging for about a month (maybe more?) which also means I haven’t been running. I could go through the list of excuses I’d made for myself, from bad weather to a busy schedule. The truth is.. I don’t know what happened.
Oddly enough, I’m somewhat of a perfectionist. I try to do things as completely and as well as possible. But when there’s a snag in the fabric, the entire weave just unravels and I completely fall apart. I missed a day of running. One day turned into two and the next thing I know, I hadn’t donned my trainers in over three weeks. With the 5k coming up, I just accepted a big fat ’maybe next year’ as my destiny.
And then last night happened.
My brother was visiting and somehow we got on the topic of my weight. He knows a thing or two about getting fit. This time two years ago, he was teetering on the 300lb mark and was well on his way down the path of heart disease, diabetes - much like our father - and any other number of complications. But through a strict plan and lots of hard work, he’s looking and feeling great and is in the best shape he’s probably ever been in. So I listened to what he had to say. It was hard, answering his questions. I’ve never told anyone in my family my weight. But he said something very poignant to me.
"If you can’t be honest and open about that number, you’ll never really be open to changing it."
After a very honest and terrifying hour, we had a game plan. It will be difficult and I will get discouraged, as always is the case. But this time I don’t feel like I am alone. I have the support of someone who not only believes I will succeed, but expects me to. Sometimes, that’s all the difference.
Me again. Naseem! Please, please, please have no fear of cold running! I ran in Manitoba, Canada, that’s north of Minnesota and am still here. Contrary to what clothing manufacturers want you to believe, you don’t need much specialized clothing either. Cold will not hurt your lungs. Trust me, I ran in Canada for 30 yrs, loooong distances, marathon training. Here’s what you need: wear lots of layers, they keep you warmer than one thick layer. Start with your sports bra, then a cotton or cotton blend turtleneck or just a plain old long sleeve T-shirt will do, then a T-shirt (yes, short sleeves OVER long sleeves) and then a windbreaker if you have one or a fleece jacket or a thick hoodie. If you are too cold in a hoodie, add another thin layes, like a long sleeve T-shirt. Wear a hat or at least a headband. It’s good to have a headband and a hoodie, so that if you get too hot you can slide your hood off. Wear loose track pants, not those tight fitting running pants. The looseness of the fabric around your leg will trap warm air between your skin and the pant and will keep you warmer than those silly tights/yoga pants things. Loose and baggy T-shirts and hoodies do the same thing. Finally, if you are worried about our lungs, wrap a scarf around your face and chin, BUT… the mistake people make is wrapping it tight around their mouth. This is no good, it does not warm you and restricts your breathing. Wrap it loosely, forming a bit of a pocket in front of your mouth, like a little pouch. Again, the air will warm in this little pouch from your breath before you breathe it in and the condensation and cold temperature will harden it so it will stay upright. Play with it, you will figure it out. The main thing to do is remember that cold weather does not like tight clothes, think loose! I never wore specialty clothing. In fact, I reserved my oldest, stainiest clothes for running. Outside of a good windbreaker and good shoes, running is the cheapest sport! I have honestly had some of my best runs in cold weather! I wish I could go out for a run now!
This weather is killing me! It’s been hovering around 3°F for the past week and I have NO IDEA how to run in those temperatures. I don’t have the proper gear and am really too broke to buy anything Under Armor, or whatever. I hate making excuses, but I’m honestly quite scared to run in this cold. If not for the cramping, but because my lungs will suffer. I’m just not that brave.
Should I just suck it up and try treadmill running? Am I really going to need a gym membership for days like this? Ugghhhhh This 5K feels impossible!
Ok runner/fitness types: How the HELL do I beat these shin splints? It’s like my legs are sand bags on fire. I never had this before. What am I doing wrong? Or, be honest, is it the consequence of being a beginner of my size?
Other than the searing pain during the last half of my training, today was probably the best day all week. My pace feels less sluggish already and I’m focusing more on my form and not on whether or not I'm going to collapse. Improvements, yes?
I will no longer live to suit the expectations of others. It’s OK for me to be a feminist. It’s also OK for me to love men. It’s OK that I’m a liberal feminist bisexual who also happens to love pin-ups and corsets. It’s OK that I like the way womyn looks spelled with a y and that I think that patriarchy exists and that I get fucking frustrated. It’s also OK that I think feminism can go too far, that often feminists are so busy oppressing each other and dictating what our behavior “should” be that we don’t actually accomplish shit.
I can love women and love men and want change without wanting to turn the patriarchy into a matriarchy.
It’s OK that I probably won’t marry a nice man and have that big white wedding and make babies. It’s OK if I end up marrying a nice man and having that big white wedding and making babies. It’s also just as OK if I end up marrying a nice woman and having a big dyke wedding and living with a bunch of cats. It’s also just as OK if I feel no need to commit to anyone.
I don’t have to decide my entire future right now.
Ok, so I am failing at a blogger/runner. I haven’t been updating, and if you think I haven’t been running.. Ding Ding! You’d be correct. Ugh.
Anyway, I got with the program this morning and hit the pavement. I made the awful rookie mistake of running cold. Like, literally COLD. It’s something like 20°F out and I wore pants that were a wee too thin. My shins seized up the moment I started to run, even after my 5-minute warm up walk. But I completed C25K Day 1, even if it did hurt and burn in all the wrong places.
Oh, yeah. I’m using the C25K app as a personal trainer. I’ve got about 9 weeks until the St. Patty’s Day race, so I’m hoping that this program will guide me through until race day. I’m trying to stay positive, but I’m really nervous that I’ll fail. Again.
I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions, but this year, I’m giving in. I want to get healthy. Weight loss isn’t my highest priority, but it would be awesome. I’ve discussed on my other blog how I used to be a makeshift runner and have fallen out of the habit for a few years. I’m a big lady (5’9” and hovering around the 260 mark. Yeah my weight is on the internet. That’s not scary at all.) so running has always been intimidating. But I really do love it, as painful as it can be. I’ve always been green with envy, watching lithe and strong cross-country runners pass me on the trails. It’s equal parts inspirational and discouraging. My objective this time around is to have some discipline and stay on track. That’s partly why I’ve decided to tumbl my misadventures in Operation: Fitness ‘13. I will be documenting my struggles, progress, and inspirations as I pant my way through the next year. Wish me luck.
Today was all about easing back into things. I debated getting out of bed at 5:30am and eventually hauled my sorry self out the door by 6. It’s January in Michigan, so it was dark, icy, and freezing. I didn’t run today, but walked briskly, just getting acclimated to the cold and breathing and whatnot. Today was all about breath support, focusing on what all my voice teachers drilled into me: In one second through nose, out two through mouth. Use your diaphragm! That’s always been the hardest for me, keeping my breathing in check. But it was nice, falling into a rhythm and feeling the cold air against my cheeks and in my lungs. I walked for 1.5 miles, and I hope to pick up the pace in the next few days.
I like to listen to music while I’m hitting the pavement. Any suggestions for my play list?