Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday, Schmaterday

Inner Dialogue

Saturday is the day we bump up to the next running level in the couch to 5K program. I had forgotten this. It was a very difficult run today. Of course I know that a great many of my problems are in my head. Sure I know that I am overweight, but most of my problems come from inner moaning and carping. Usually I enjoy the inner dialogue of how awful the run is because I feel more virtuous at the end. Today the inner dialogue almost "gone done me in."

We decided to run at the school track so that the Dear Husband could calibrate his little running widget. That man would find a tech gadget to help him breathe better and a program to help him inhale for maximum efficiency if was on a breathing and lung capacity regime.

Let's Do The Time Warp Again

As soon as we started on the track it was a time warp back to high school. I could practically hear my old gym teacher saying, "Pick it up people! Push! There is no walking here! Get it done!" I expected to have to climb a rope next.

The run just kept going. According to how far my song had gone we should be walking already. And still we kept on running. Finally, we were walking. Finally. Far too quickly we were running again. It kept going and going. My calves began to ache and I fell farther and farther behind the Dear Husband.

Rounding the track again, my flashback to high school continued. Two skinny women came jogging on to the track running easily with matched strides. The lightly tripped around the track and I struggled and puffed and panted and in general thought dark thoughts about them.

"Get off my track, get off my track, get off my track." I chanted. They got. Dear Husband is now a good 1/4 of the track ahead of me. Darn it. He is so far forward I must run when he does because he would see me walking if I began to walk. My run has deteriorated to a mostly bouncy step. I made it. I kept moving the entire time. I count that as a win.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

In Brightest Day, In Darkest Night

I am feeling missing Monday's run.  We were supposed to run Wednesday night but had baseball practice and portfolio conferences.  One is surmountable but not two.  Because I love to hear praise about my children, which I take as my due, we pushed the run back to this evening.  If we had missed the run tonight I would not be able run on Saturday.

Tonight was the return of the desperate need for deep breaths and the mouth full of saliva.  The Dog would drag at the most inopportune moment.

Monday, March 26, 2012

No Jogging for YOU!


I woke up this morning when the cat jumped on me. It being a running day, I immediately began my satisfying ritual of mentally grousing before I arose from the confines of my bed. I should have sprung from my bed with a cheery smile and gone running. Instead I fielded a call from my sister - the Littlest - on the return from a sleepover had broken out in a rash all over her body.

Pediatrician, Ho!

Instead of a mid-morning jog. I went to the Back Door of Ostracism at the doc's office. The verdict: Strep Throat. No school. Antibiotics. Should I be worried that my 6 year old can toss back shots like a college kid? (Albeit shots of strawberry flavored medication)

Instead of bundling the kiddo off to school and having a belated jog, my plan "B", I was faced with a choice: run by myself or not run. Hmmm Tough Choice!! On one hand, no running! On the other hand, if I don't run today, it is the first step of a slippery slope of dogging out on my part of the 5K program. I did not run.

Smart Alek

"Hello! Did you know it has been 421 days since your last visit?" yeah that you know of stupid exercise program. "How is Harris? I haven't seen him lately." that's because he is outside playing real sports you Skynet wannabe. "Did you know your dog is happier when you give him attention?" The scary thing is, I never told the Wii I had a dog. I, for one, welcome our robot overlords!

2500 steps and 1/2 hour later . . .

"You did great! Would you like to do that again?!"

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My First Chase Vehicle

Something Strange

I was not sure that I was going to make it today when the Dear Husband showed me the run requirements.  The run doubled the run time we did last week, which was a major grind.  Then something strange happened: I didn't have any problems running it.


The Boy is gone on camp out.  The girls slept over at friends' houses but the Littlest came home early.  Full of vim, she decided to bike along with our run. Five minutes down the road we noticed her tire was flattish and her seat off kilter.  I could not convince her to ditch the bike and run along with us.  "We'll get it on the way back!" I pleaded.  No dice.  My pleading lasted all the way through the first run period.  Still the littlest kept trucking along.  I looked up and the Dear Husband was walking.  Holey Moley!  I wasn't even breathing hard.

The kiddo just kept peddling.

Could I do this the whole run?  Was I just to self centered to be a successful runner?  If I focused on the kid could I run 5K right now!!

I mentioned the ease of the run to the Dear Husband.  "Well," says he, bursting my bubble, "we're going real slow." Oh.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Just Call Me Gloria

Energy Miser

I have decided that "Energy Miser" sounds better than couch potato. It's not that I have an objection to moving per se, rather the use of energy is worth the effort of expenditure. Perhaps "energy conservationist" is better. It sounds forward thinking and virtuous. Makes me think of wind farms.

The Dear Husband is working from home today as The Boy crosses over to Boy Scouts from Cub Scouts. This is good because it means no night run tonight, when my legs are tired and my enthusiasm is dim. However, I promised to help a friend with Many Toddlers (none of which belong to her) because my mouth once again operated independently of my brain. This means I woke up earlier than I wished to "fit in" my run. Just typing that sentence makes me think I am stuck in a weird alternate reality.

Inching Downward

Dear Husband brought my dryer warmed running clothes. (Bliss!) Got the kids eating breakfast and then we left to go our miles (not Bliss). I have no wedgies, no cutting wind, no rain. What delight waited for me today? Falling pants! Yea, a veritable cornucopia of joys await the runner. Monday I wore the same running pants and they behaved the entire trip. I think it must be because the wind was so cold that they stayed close to my body heat, but today? Every time we reached the "jog" portion of the outing, they decided to inch downward with every step. By the time I could feel cool air on the small of my back (as the pants fell so the t-shirt rose) I'd have a hitch in my step as I yanked them back up. Jog, jog, YANK, jog.

The Inner Critic Whispers Stop

Cars drove past on their way to work. There goes the chubby woman - jog, jog YANK jog jog. The inner critic whispers "Stop, just let HIM run. You are having a wardrobe malfunction and it is perfectly acceptable to walk the rest of the time." I am about to give in when another blissful walking period begins.

Toddler Mania

Blessed Man lets me have a shower first. Off to play with 9 preschoolers. There is one gem who has decided to call me Gloria. Perhaps my own name has been forgotten, perhaps she has only misheard it pronounced by adults, but she is confident in Gloria so Gloria I shall be. That's cool, the Gloria I know is full of grace and truth. I've got the truth now I need the grace. perhaps it will stick.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Cutting Wind

Why Me

I had a seriously, "Why Me?" run today.  It was a run that was all promise follow through - no real conviction of purpose.  Now some of you reading in this may say, "How is this any different from any other run she has done so far?"  The answer is: not much.  What is surprising is now much even a fraction of purpose helps you maintain enthusiasm of purpose.

It didn't help that we ran in the afternoon.  I should have sucked it up and run in the morning but I was having a bad morning and so we postponed the run until after we had drug around Oak Harbor and found the little bits and bobs of stuff we needed The Boy's camp out.  By the time we got home, had lunch and pulled stuff out of bags - I was twitching and irritable.  I always get twitching and irritable buying anything other than groceries, so my Up Beat Spouse, enthusing over the bargains we'd found just made me more surly.

I dragged on my running clothes because I had Promised to do this.  I took off my glasses because I didn't really want to look at anyone or anything.  Just looking at something clearly was going to make me angry.  I snapped on the dog's leash and walked outside because I was going to wimp out if I didn't.

It Cut's like a Knife - Ooh ooh ohh

It was so lovely and sunny outside then the wind whipped off the ocean and stabbed me.  I just wanted to cry.  I put up my hood, but my hood didn't want to stay up.  My ear buds wouldn't stay in my ears and my iPod was queued to the wrong song.  I could fix these things but every bit of my energy was tied up in keeping me from running back into the house and finding the Cadbury Caramel Egg, I had hidden away.  I remembered I had given it away the day before and so I  resigned myself to Grim Determination.

Oh Michael W Smith!

Who knew that Michael W Smith made the perfect song to run to in the midst of a pity party?  As we began the next to last jog portion of the program today the iPod kicked up "Healing Rain".  My feet were pounding the rhythm, and since I was too mentally focused on hoovering air into my lungs to converse with my inner critic, I just listened to the song and for a moment caught up with my Dear Husband.

Playlist:  I Would Drown - Chasing Furies, Foggy Dew - Sinead O'Conner and the Chieftains (in honor of St. Paddy's day), God Be Merciful to Me and Sunny Days - Jars of Clay, Lift Up Your Face - Third Day, Healing Rain - Michael W Smith, Set Fire to the Rain - Adele

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Week 2 Day 1: 30 Seconds of Doom

 Unrealistic Expectations

As a couch potato I can tell you that I found a whole new set of unrealistic expectations of this exercise program.  Oh, I have no grand vision of myself ever joyfully bounding out the door for a run with a spring in my step and a  bounce in my erm... ponytail; I don't expect running to be anything other than, at best, extended discomfort for the duration.  No my unrealistic expectations were the thought that adding an extra 30 seconds of jogging to each section would be balanced by the extra 30 seconds of walking that were added to the walking sections. Ha, ha, ha.  I'd laugh but that would take energy, which good couch potatoes hoard like the energy misers they are.

The Worms Were Out

It rained this morning, but thankfully it stopped, because I was not looking forward to another run in the rain.  This just meant the worms issued forth from the ground like an Egyptian plague.  The first few minutes of walk consisted of me dodging worms on the ground so that I would not me scraping them off my shoes at the end of the walk.  Or maybe I'd just run them off the soles of my shoes! Ha ha.  Worms, the perfect metaphor of being ground in to the mud by the soulless cruelty of the running program.  I was the Worm, therefore I took extra care to leave my pitiful fellows in muddy bliss until we started running on the pavement.

A Minor Victory

It was a minor victory that the dog did not give me a worried look over his should every two minutes this week.  Our collie, The Dog They Call Jayne, was vastly worried last Wednesday that I was too far behind.  I needed Rounding Up but he was on a lead up ahead with the Man.  Stymied by the lead, he would just look over his shoulder worriedly.  Today I only got two looks - sweet progress!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 3 - Night Jogger!

I Really Wanted the Bacon Sandwich

This stupid program robbed me of a bacon sandwich and a chocolate croissant.  As any good couch dweller can tell you, there is no better gustatory delight than a bacon sandwich.  I didn't eat it because I didn't want to "run it off".  How quickly that phrase has become the clarion call of martyrdom!  Like an addict denied my fix, I thought about a BLT all afternoon.  The fantasy BLT with: garden ripe tomatoes still warm from the sun, crisp romaine barely patted dry, 9 seed bread toasted with a generous layer of mayo and stone ground mustard, but most of all not 1 but two layers of bacon cooked to that perfect balance between crisp and rubbery.

Wedgies, Really?

It's our first evening jog and for the moment it is not pouring buckets of icy rain.  It is also the first run where I am not just concentrating on dragging air into my lungs.  Instead I have a wedgie attack.  It's like all the worst parts of middle school gym and I am doing it to myself.  How does one discreetly and unobtrusively remedy a wedgie on a public street?  Tell me that exercisers!  If I wanted a wedgie I'd buy thongs.  Wait! Is that why skinny girls buy them?  It's a conspiracy I tell ya!

Monday, March 12, 2012

It is Actually Day 2

I need to start out by saying: I Love My Husband. My love language is words of affirmation - it's important what you say and how you say it. However if this blog is an honest reflection of how I feel he is going to come in for a lot of my exasperated words. So I love ya honey, thanks for being a good sport.

It's actually Day 2

My husband of 18 years decided to begin a couch to 5k jogging program. For some reason I said I would run with him. It was an amalgam of a bunch of reasons that prompted me to offer. I had been half-heartedly toying with some sort of exercise that doesn't include getting out danced by Daisy Duck on the Lion King level of Disney Dance Dance Revolution. Donald, yes, he has the energy and drive of a pugilist- but not Daisy. I wanted to encourage my oft chair bound husband to exercise more. I thought it would set a good example for my three grade schoolers. There were a stack of pants on the padded bench in my bedroom that were just a little too tight for me to wear. All of these rolled around in my head as I opened my mouth and I said, "I'll do that with you."

Here I am on day 2 regretting my mouth's ability to operate independently from my brain. It is fair to say I regretted the words on day 1 too, it's just I had forgotten some things about the Dear Husband on day 1 that remembered on day 2.

Today is my anniversary. 18 years ago today I said "I do" to a goal oriented man. It was a carefully chosen quality - not one that I have naturally myself. Gumption and ambition are part of this quality. I tend to let things come as they may, life is an ever moving river, most of the time I don't care to be the salmon fighting against it. He is also a researcher and he gets manias. Most of the time he researches things like how to create the perfect omelet sandwich, make hashbrown bottom quiche bites or how to efficiently move laundry from the washer and dryer. The manias result when a researched subject captures his imagination. Most of the time it is a one and done proposition - it's the reason I only have one brass steam-punk lamp in my house. Sometimes though the mania morphs into a genuine interest which is why I have four guitars in my house and he plays with our church worship team.

What if this is not a one off mania?

I woke up this morning to the wind howling and a cold rain drumming on our roof. The hurricane off shore was driving a weather system our way. A typical cold March day in the Pacific northwest. Sustained gusts up 50 mph were predicted. "Happy Anniversary!" chirped my husband. "Looking forward to our run?" At least he made me coffee. After the kids got off to school, we went running. I was one of those people. The nutjobs running in the rain. The kind I judged as drove past in my minivan.

I was not running. I was aerobically walking punctuated by a slow jog every few minutes. The cold rain was curving in the hood of my windbreaker and dripping off my nose. What if this is not a one off mania? The horror of that thought sunk in. I may not be goal oriented but I do keep my promises. I had promised. Dang it.

This exercise program bill itself as couch to 5k. But exercise people are not true couch potato people. True couch potatoes would be home making brownies right now. I wanted to be home making brownies. I could practically smell them. Did those exercise people really have any idea how hard it was to jog even this little bit? Stupid exercise people, they probably liked the exercise for itself and not as a means to an end. Exercise people don't understand the allure of cheetos (crunchy, not puffy). They probably wore yoga pants to do yoga-not just because they were comfortable.

Soaked to the skin, we were done. I took the last of the coffee. I earned it.

Running play list: Diving In -Audio Adreniline, Let it Rise - Big Daddy Weave, Your Glory Defined - Casting Crowns, Your Grace is Enough, Sing, Sing, Sing, & You Lifted Me Out - Chris Tomlin, Lift Up Your Face - Third Day, The Cave - Mumford and Sons, Rolling In the Deep - Adele