Running Man

I’ve been trying to run at least three times a week since September. Most weeks I find a way to squeeze all three runs into an overly busy schedule. You can’t possibly be as impressed by this as I am.

Going to Zumba is a priority because it’s so much fun. I love dancing like a dirty girl with all my Zumba pals. I’d keep doing it even if I didn’t have my Zumba King title to defend.

Running is different. I always run by myself, and frankly, it isn’t all that fun. I keep running because it’s about my only outdoor activity, and it’s supposed to be one of the best ways to eliminate belly fat–my arch nemesis.

Sometimes every step is a battle. I’ve learned to ignore any pain or discomfort in my knees or shins for the first mile or so. But if it persists, I cut my run short. The last thing I want to do is hurt myself to the point I’m unable to run or go to Zumba.

Lately my shins and knees haven’t bothered me at all. I’ve quit worrying about improving my time to focus on increasing the distance. Running slower is easier on my knees and shins. Without the pain, I feel like I could run forever.

Another equally important factor is that I’ve changed what I listen to when I run. Up to last week, I’d been listening to either live broadcasts from National Public Radio or podcasts of my favorite NPR shows. I like talk shows because the conversation keeps my attention which keeps me from thinking about things like my knees, my shins, how much I’m sweating, how long I’ve run, and how soon I can quit.

Last week I switched from NPR to audiobooks. Well, so far it’s just one book–an unabridged, 18-hour version of The Help. I loved the movie so much I decided to read the book. I’m a third of the way into it and can say it’s much better than the movie with lots of laugh out loud moments.

Being immersed in the book has made a big difference. Last week, on two different outings I ran more than five miles. That’s not a cumulative total–I ran more than five miles each time. I’m so proud I can hardly stand myself.

Yesterday morning I drove up to Charlotte NC for a conference. I brought my iPod Nano (with The Help on it), my running togs, and shoes because the hotel advertised a jogging track on the roof. This morning I got up at 5:30 and ran up to the roof to run for an hour before the conference started.

When I got off the elevator, the first thing I see is the door to the roof all taped up with a “Pardon our mess” sign taped on it. Wah! Since I’m already up, I head to the fitness center where a young guy is running on one of two treadmills. I hopped on the other one but couldn’t get it to work. So I jumped on the elliptical, set the Nike Trainer on my Nano to sixty minutes, and started ellipticalling.

Thirty minutes later, a colleague jumped on the other treadmill and got it to work. Silly me. I kept at it for another fifteen minutes which was a good thirty minutes longer than I thought I’d last.

I’m definitely a fair weather runner. For me to run, I prefer a temperature between forty and sixty–cooler if the sun is out, warmer if it’s not. If it’s too cold or too hot, I don’t even try.

Exercising right out of bed in the morning hasn’t been for me. I need coffee and time to make sure all my parts still work. But with warmer weather coming, I’m going to have to change my ways.

I’m almost always awake by five. My partner often gets up and goes to the gym for either an early morning workout or a 5:30 class. I think I’m going to try to start getting up and getting a run in (note all the waffling language) before I go to work. It will mean changing the morning routine I’ve had for the last twenty years. Considering the old routine created the donut around my waist, I’m thinking this will be a positive change to make here in…

My Glass House


2 responses to “Running Man”

  1. “Considering the old routine crated the donut around my waist, I’m thinking this will be a positive change to make…” I love it! Good for you. Hopefully you’re dedication to the fitness in your life will rub off on me and the pedometer that stares at me from my jewelry box every morning.