I have a love-hate, on-and-off, breakup and get back together again relationship with exercise. When I was 24, I lost 40 pounds by combining Weight Watchers and serious exercise. That was the first time in my life I tried running. I was inspired by John Bingham's book about getting started as a runner despite being middle aged and overweight. I love that he dubbed himself "The Penguin". I went to Alaska for one of his running clinics and it was awesome.
Because this is a blog post and that was 14 years ago, I can fast forward through all the sweat and side stitches and hours on the treadmill, and say that I went from no exercise at all, to a ton of walking, to running a 5K. It was glorious - I was thinner than I ever had been as an adult, I actually started to love running and working out and I gained some serious self-confidence in the process.
You know how the story goes. First it started with a new consulting gig where the gym wasn't so convenient and lots of dinners out. I eventually gained some of that weight back. In 2004 after I got engaged, I got my vanity on - I wanted to look *good* in my wedding pictures. So back to the gym I went. I got a trainer and a nutritionist and got back to running. I ran another couple of 5Ks in Seattle and learned to love running again.
But again, the lazy won out. I did work out fairly regularly, but stopped running. When I got pregnant with T, I stopped going to the gym entirely because I was SO tired all the time. I dropped my gym membership and haven't had one since (5+ years now!).
Two pregnancies later, the situation is not pretty. I have about 20 lbs to lose to get back to pre-T-pregnancy weight. And that was not a healthy weight for me, so it's more like 40-mumble pounds to get back to something actually healthy for my height.
One of my goals for age 40 (next year - arghhh!) is to get to a healthy weight for my height. I don't have a lot of time, and I do have a lot of work ahead of me. And yet I have been unmotivated to DO THE WORK. I can talk a good game, I can make charts and lists and motivational collages, but actually getting down to the treadmill and walking? Naaah.
And then my friend A told me about Beat the Blerch. It's a crazy running event hosted by the guy who draws The Oatmeal. There will be cake, and people in costume chasing the runners. This appealed to me. Plus, I love The Oatmeal.
So in a fit of crazy, and encouraged by several friends, I signed up. The shortest distance is 10K. Which I've never run. The last time I did any running was in 2005. What have I gotten myself into?
I started where all new runners start these days. The Couch to 5K walk/run program. Now in our fancy age of smartphones, there's an app for that. It's fantastic- it gives you prompts to start running or walking over the music you're listening to. I really could have used this back in 2004. Or 1998.
I completed a week of running workouts before I got this horrible cold which I've had for about 2 weeks now. (Sigh). This means I'll probably have to start over. I couldn't even DO the Week 1 of that program - I'm so out of shape that even running for 1 minute 8 times was too much. So I scaled it back to running 35 seconds and I'll add more time slowly.
I've got 5 months before the race in September so I should be able to work up to 6.2 miles by then, *if* I can be consistent. That's the hard part, right?