Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Exercise Endeavor -- One Foot in Front of the Other

By Tawny Weber

For years, one of my exercise mainstays for first losing, then maintaining weight was my treadmill. I love to run. I love to run indoors even more because when I first started, I had an infant who slept very sporadically and poorly, so my only running time was during her naps. I’d worn through two treadmills by the time she was 6.

Then in 2006 I broke my foot. In 2006, I also sold my first book and discovered the wild world of revisions, line edits, real deadlines, promotion demands and writing under pressure. I’d like to say that if I hadn’t broken my foot, I’d have used the treadmill and exercise as a stress-release tool, but I’m not so sure that’d be the truth. We hauled the treadmill out to storage and I dabbled at a number of other exercise programs, but none seemed to give me that ‘you can do it’ motivation like running had.

So last weekend, I cajoled my ever-so-patient husband and my owes-me-for-years-of-free-babysitting brother into hauling that very heavy treadmill into the house and upstairs. I dusted it off. I spent a half hour searching for the power switch. Then... I was back in business.

After the first day and a minor shoe issue (next week’s blog) it was like coming home. I’d figured it’d take me awhile to get back up to speed –and it really will –but by day 3 I was up to a nice walk/jog interval combo and I can see that within a week or so I’ll be up to a walk/jog/run interval.

It just feels right. There’s no angsty mental whining that I ‘have to’ go force myself to workout. I just want to jump on and do it. Which is a huge relief, let me tell ya. Because I know exercise is the key to my losing this weight.

How about you? Do you run or jog? Any ‘here’s how to love it even more’ tips or hints?

Progress (Trish): Would you believe a second pedometer I had refuses to work? Ugh. Granted, this one was a freebie from the bank, but still. I'd never used it before. So, I need to do some research on pedometers, find a really good quality one that has good accuracy ratings. Anyone have one that you absolutely love? I really hate not having that step number to look at. It's something I can check throughout the day to see how I'm doing. I was going to go by a sporting goods store today after I finished some interviews for a freelance story I'm working on, but they took way longer than I anticipated (though the story is interesting) and I didn't make it to the store. Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to get a new pedometer and do another healthy thing and get my flu shot.


Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on November 5, 2009 at 9:18 AM said...

Ow on the broken foot. I bet it takes a long time to heal from something like that.

I'm not a runner, but I feel this same way about hiking.

Michelle Butler on November 5, 2009 at 9:31 AM said...

Tawny, good for you for getting that tread mill back! It sounds like you know what works for you. Enjoy running! I've been dabbling with incorporating some running into my fitness routine in 2010, but I don't recall every enjoying it. I know some other readers of this blog do, and I look forward to their tips.

Elise Hayes on November 5, 2009 at 11:27 AM said...

Hey Tawny, Congrats on getting the ole treadmill out!

I do run, and I've been running pretty regularly for about 20 years. Can't say I've ever really loved it, but it has worked for me (low cost, I can do it anywhere, I can do it anytime--and I just don't have the patience to walk!).

A tip for starting running (or starting back, if you've been away from it for a while. This is also my recovery process when I'm coming back from an injury):

1. Pick a distance or running time frame that is ridiculously low. For me, that's a 5-minute run (about half a mile).

2. Increase that distance approximatly 10% every day (that's an extra 30 seconds every day for about the first 10 days). And, yes, that means you should run every day--or, more realistically, 5-6 days per week.

That's it. What this strategy does is get rid of the "I don't have time to run today," excuse. Really? You don't have 5 minutes?

And it makes the running a *habit,* because it will take you almost 2 weeks before you're running even for 10 minutes (once you get to 10 minutes, start increasing the time by 1 minute a day--the 10% rule).

So this plan eases you into the running and lets you establish it as a habit by setting the expectations for the run itself very, very low. By the time you've built up to, say, 20 minutes (when you might actually start thinking legitimately, "Hey, I don't have the time for this"), the running is a habit and you're set.

Good luck with the treadmill!

Michelle Butler on November 5, 2009 at 12:11 PM said...

The cool running Web site has a plan for "from couch to 5K" that lays out a running plan for several months. Some of the younger ladies at WW have recommended it. I've thought about following it when/if I start running. It may be very similar to what Elise just shared, but it's another thing to look at for ideas.

Tawny on November 6, 2009 at 3:01 PM said...

Michelle, Elise, thanks so much for the resuming running tips! What great tools.

So far I've been doing something similar - I'm on the treadmill for 45 mins, and started out fast-walking for 90 seconds, jogging for 30 and keeping that alternation going. At this point I'm up to fast-walk for 1 min and fast jog for 2 min alternations. So far, so good! I'm going to look at these other methods to incorporate too.

Tawny on November 6, 2009 at 3:02 PM said...

Trish, I was amazed (and not in a good way) at how long it took for my foot to heal. After 3 years, I still can't wear stilettos for longer than an hour, and can definitely feel the break after any time spent on my feet.

Tawny on November 6, 2009 at 3:05 PM said...

Michelle, I think one of the things that I do enjoy about running is I can do it *g* I'm the ultra klutz (hence the broken foot) and this requires no knowledge of dance steps, no intricate footwork, etc. I tried the elliptical for a few years, but never lost any weight on it. I think because it does so much of the work for me, I just, well... let it. Running requires I do the work.

And it clears my mind and lets me work through plot issues and story problems. Maybe that's the real appeal. I can do it on my own, no perky video trainer or even worse, real life perky trainer talking so its just me and my thoughts. Which inevitably turn to my story...

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