Wednesday, January 29, 2014

There Will Be Gain And I Must Be Happy About It

     Two weeks ago I was skipping merrily to Zumba classes and running on the weekends. As a matter of fact I finally ran six miles for the first time since my 10K in May. But when I went for a run the Sunday before last, I experienced pain in my leg in the first mile and was forced to walk home. My doctor said that it's my muscle and to take it easy for a while. I had a question for him. WHAT IS TAKE IT EASY? One of the things I don't like to do is take it easy. Of course I have rest days and I now realize how important they are because my muscles need to repair from there wear and tear. But several rest days in a row bring about another issue.


   After many years of being a Weight Watcher, the scale and I have come to an agreement. The scale does not hurt my feelings and I do not lose my temper. The scale is not out to get me, it's out to guide me. In the past I sat through many Weight Watchers meetings with my lip "poked out" screaming GAINED GAINED GAINED in my head over and over while my wonderful leader Melanie was trying to conduct her meeting and my fellow meeting attendees were celebrating their accomplishments. This was wrong. That anger caused me to close my mind to what was going on and what I needed to hear. My negative energy was not making my situation any better. It just made me mean. And I would say some horrible things to myself.
       After a week, the doctor said that I could try and do a few light exercises like walking. I also asked if I could do an exercise DVD and he said yes as long as I am not in pain.[These negotiations were necessary because I probably had the look of a recovering addict when I asked the question. I imagine I looked like Jamie Foxx in "Ray" scratching myself. My poor doctor.] I went home and dusted off my old Weight Watchers Walking DVD. I was frustrated while doing the walking DVD because I was used to doing so much more. I remember that when I started working out it was hard to get through a DVD. Later it was hard to do multiple DVD workouts a week. But I did my workout and I felt like I was on the road to recovery.
            I was able to take Zumba classes the last two days (modified of course). I expect a gain this week. I was averaging 40-60 activity points a week but this week I have 13 activity points. I will weigh in and access my next steps which PROBABLY involves eating less when I am not as active. It also involves a little more restraint around emotional eating.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Will It Go Round In Circles

          I like running. I may not like the first half mile or so but once that special feeling kicks in, I'm there. The weather has been pretty weird in New York City lately. One day it is Spring the next it is winter. I know we cannot have a mild winter every year but I could wish for one. A few weeks ago a snowstorm hit and completely covered the running path that I use near my home. Luckily it was a light snow and maintenance was able to clear the paths. So the day after the storm I talked myself into going for a run. I dressed in some warm gear and was on my way. Despite the snow it was not too cold outside so I started running my usual route. I made it almost all the way around the track and towards the finish line, there was a puddle. My "running high" brain told me that I could run through it. So there I was up to one ankle in a puddle of cold slushy snow water. Clutch my pearls! What was I supposed to do? The old me would have used harsh language and went back home. Okay, so I did use some harsh language, then I back peddled out and ran to the right into some more muddy snow. After a little more harsh language, I was back on dry land running towards my start/finish line and kept on going.
           When I arrived at the giant puddle, I chose to run left this time. The left lead me about a 1/4 of a mile away from the start line so I ran past the start line, to the end of the puddle so that the puddle became my new start line. Since I was missing the patch of ground that the puddle covered I felt the need to make it up some way. There is a small hill on my path that  I love but instead of going up the hill, I ran the 1/4 of the mile around the loop to approach the hill on the back end. Do you know what I found on the back end? A steeper incline in the opposite direction. The muscles in my legs twitched because of the unfamiliar hill. I liked the feeling so I turned around and ran it again and stopped at the bottom of my usual hill and ran up in my usual route achieving two incline exercises running around the same circle twice.
          The folly continued as I ran around the path. I figured why not extend my run by running around the playground near the path once and continue on the path that leads to the diversion at the large puddle. I ran this route many times (maybe a few times too many around the hills). What I initially thought would be a two mile quick run around the snow became a 5.73 mile run. I know what you runners are thinking. One more run around the hill and I would have run a 10K. But the moral of my running tale is that one bad puddle don't stop the run. My track measures .82 of a mile. I usually have to run around four times to complete a 5K.  I have been using my double hill and playground route ever since. I turned a .82 mile into a 1.20 mile and with a little extra circle hill running, I run five giddy miles.
         Of course I still have to talk myself into going for a run. But eventually I have to talk myself into stopping. And one of these days I will run six miles.