Thursday, August 26, 2010

Zig and Zag

I must have accidentally cursed myself last time with all my trying to be clear. I had to go and say tunes were a constant, and then the Universe said "oh yeah?? Bam! iPod dead!"

And so it was when I showed up to run at the gym on Wednesday. Swallowing hot workout saliva AND no tunes. I knew I was in for it.

It went something like this:
Crap! Really? Dead? Let me just make sure the lock switch is really off.
Dead. Ugh. This is going to be fun. I can just tell.
Oh crap again! They changed the direction of the track. More fun!
Better get going! [running finally commences, with iPod earphones stuck in my ears to block out various and sundry gym noises]
OK. I'm only running 15 minutes! Not 20! But I'll do it without stopping! ! ! !
I can't see the mountains from this track direction.
Why is that guy walking in my path? Walkers are supposed to stay to the inside lane. Hello!?!
I wonder if today is the day I will run into this pole?
Oh, that's where my shins are!
Well, I guess I could count laps. But that might just be an acute form of torture in this music-less condition. I can't be sure.
I seem to be making more eye contact with gym goers today. I wonder if they can tell I'm not really listening to music because of my shifty eyes. . .?
Is someone calling my name?
Why is that elliptical chick staring at me?
Why are the walls painted that horrid blue/green color? Blech.
Man, I'm tired. But I refuse to look at my watch!
No, seriously! Is someone calling my name?
And now a basketball is being bounced below. That's gotta be one of the most annoying sounds, right?
Man, back to back sucks! Note to self: yoga workout the night before running = not a great idea!
I wonder if K from my office can see me running. She probably thinks I'm cranking the tunes. Little does she know I'm bored out of my ghord.
Oh great! I can see the wall clock from this track direction! That should make this all go much faster!
Ugh. Tired.
Oh look! Walking Girls! Quick! Pass them before this lap ends!
That was fun. But still (more) tired!
OK. Concentrate on form. Relax your shoulders. Heel strikes up to toes. Neck pulled back. Arms loose. Abs pulled in. Breathe. Breathe.
Maybe it's easier to concentrate on form when music isn't distracting me?
Maybe, but I still miss music.
Wait! Am I really ANSWERING myself now? Oh, this is bad!
Walking Girls ahead! Quick! Pass them again before the lap ends!
OK. Am I done yet?
A few more minutes. . .
No, seriously! Back to back workouts really sucks!
Is that a stitch in my side??? What the. . . ?
Want. to. spit!!
Man, I'm really running slowly. Where are those Walking Girls?
Halfway around the track from you. If you hurry you could try to pass them again.
Am I done yet?
Almost, but what is it you are going to do after 15 minutes is up?
Speed walk, of course!
Walking Girls! Quick!
Man, this pretty much sucks. Make sure you charge your iPod next time.
Aaaannnnnnd speedwalk! (Finally!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Once Again (and Again After That)

It was Friday the 13th when I ran for the first time since. . . let me look . . . since Thanksgiving 2008.

After the Cake Day Incident of 8/1/10, on which I gorged myself on waaaayyyyy too much retirement party cake, I sat down and identified some eating, workout, and weight loss goals. Given the heat, I decided I would run once a week (indoors until the weather is cooler) and do a yoga workout dvd two days a week.

So, on my first day back, I decided to see just how long I could run without stopping, and whatever I could get in within 20 minutes was good. I was running on the indoor track of my local gym, which is 1/16 scale of a normal track, and was enjoying the air conditioning. Then, all the sudden, I was exhausted. I stopped.

5:40. That's how long I had run. I decided I would walk just one lap.

9:50. I stopped again. I walked two laps.

17:05. I stopped again.

I really really really wanted to spit. Really badly. I think I may have mentioned how much I spit when I run? Maybe? It's the only constant other than music. There's nothing worse to me, besides running without tunes, than swallowing hot workout saliva! For serious. But as I was indoors, I was forced to be civilized and not spit. Oh, the things I do for air conditioning!

I walked one lap.

20:30. 20 minute goal reached. I walked a cool-down lap.

My legs felt rubbery. My shoulders ached from tensing them up. My head pounded. My shins felt splinted. But. . . I felt good!

I ran again the following Wednesday. This time, I ran for 15:45 before stopping. Now, don't get me wrong, I was wicked tired and wanted to stop several times, but I slowed my pace and pushed through.

I walked a lap (or two?) and then ran again until it was 20:30.

Head? = less poundy
Shoulders? = less tight and achy
Legs? = less rubbery, but still splinty

Another thing I miss about running outdoors (besides the ability to spit at will)? The fact that I have the white line of the bike lane to help me push through fatigue. At the gym, I'm always worried I'm going to get too tired and run into a wall or a support beam or another person.

Also? I can't easily track my distance. The track is 1/16. Meaning I'd have to go around it 16 times before I run a mile. Given that it only takes me about 50 seconds to run it and about a minute ten to walk it . . . .(hold on while I do the math) . . . I ran about a mile and a half. Best guess. (because it could really drive a person mad counting laps! and I utterly refuse to try it.)

I decided that if I really want to ramp it up a notch, I could add another run in per week. That would definitely get me back to a 5k by Labor Day (hey! that rhymes!). I might really need that after my crash and burn food day yesterday. There were chips. There was candy. Both were in obscene amounts. (there were also carrots and nectarines, but not nearly enough!)

Either way, I can't wait to do it again next week!