Sunday, March 16, 2008

I Need A Bath!

As I've mentioned a few times now, I'll be the maid of honor for a friend's wedding on May 3, and we're wearing *gasp* satin. And my friend is a size 4. Needless to say, I've been trying to flatten my tummy since so wonderfully inspired by Dawn Meehand of Because I Said So!

Thinking about the activities I could do that would melt off pounds (HA!), running immediately came to mind. Mostly because I'm insane. I've never been a runner. I've never run. I remember when I was in grade school and had to do the Presidential Physical Fitness challenges and passed the situp portion only, if I remember correctly.

For the running part of the test, we had to run around the school three times. I had no chance of running even halfway around it, as I just couldn't or didn't run even as a kid. I remember my goal was always to finish ahead of certain kids just to save a miniscule amount of pride while Ben Nelson and Lizzie Lebens were done before I finished my first lap. Gee, I wonder why I never thought running was fun.

So let's fast forward a couple years.... One of my first posts discussed how winter just wasn't ending, and I couldn't start running until it did because my only option is to run outside, and I'm a wimp. As a brief update, after the crystalline snow last Saturday, it truly snowed on Sunday. Monday just a fake snow, but snow nonetheless. Later in the week, it slowly started to warm up AND the sun came out, too!

On Friday, my parents took the kids for an overnight visit (which turned into two nights, but that's another post) around 4pm, so I decided to start my running right then, as it was still sunny and relatively warm. By warm, I mean 42 degrees. My sense of heat and cool is truly warped after this winter.

In preparation for running, I had discovered a website that had podcasts for each week of the Couch Potato to 5K program. Being the lazy person I am -- ironic, no? -- I asked my husband to kindly download the podcasts from iTunes (free, yay!) and put them on my iPod. Sexist, maybe, but making my iPod work is his job.

I grabbed my iPod and started searching for the podcast, as I figured I'd better do it then, as I didn't want to look like a geek standing outside my house trying to figure it out. I found one podcast, but not all nine weeks. As I started playing it to get a sense of what I was going to be listening to while running, I realized that this was the podcast for week nine. Definitely not going to happen. Went through every part of my iPod and that was the only podcast on it. Patient me, I turned on the desktop (it's over 5 years old and slower than me jogging) to see if it was on the computer but somehow magically didn't make it to my iPod. I spent about 10 minutes searching for the podcasts but could find only week 9.

Now I'm starting to get discouraged, and I'm wondering if someone out there is trying to tell me that I'm just not supposed to run. Ever. But I'm stubborn as all get out, so I persist and open up my browser to find the podcasts again. Except that the Internet connection isn't working on that computer. I go through all the options I can think of to try to reconnect, but no dice. I don't even have the option of viewing my wireless networks to disconnect and connect again. After 20 minutes, I call hubby to ask him but he's no help over the phone and can't figure out anything beyond what I did. To be honest, I still don't know if that computer finally submitted or is still refusing to acknowledge the Internet.

I do have a laptop, but it's my work laptop, and downloading things is somewhat frowned upon. However, I figured that I could at least download a file. That's when I discovered that to download anything from iTunes, you have to install a program, which won't happen on the laptop. But knowing how everything is available somewhere on the net, I don't give up. Did I mention that I'm stubborn? I finally found an mp3 file that I can download. Except that I can't connect my iPod to my laptop. Fortunately, I have a jump drive, so I load the file to my jump drive and transfer it to the desktop. From that point, it only took me 15 minutes to figure out how to get that file onto my iPod.

By now, it's 5:30, and it's definitely gotten cooler, but I'm not giving up! I refuse! So I go outside, turn on the iPod and start my brisk walk. I actually survived all 8 one minute runs and the intervening brisk walks. I did the whole thing, and I was really proud of myself. My chest of course felt like there were iron bands being wrapped around it and squeezed, but I still did it.

I have since found out that a neighbor saw me and wanted to know why his wife wasn't running with me. She's not a runner either -- or at least not since college. To me, she's a runner. For God's sake, she plays soccer! Voluntarily! But I explained the program and what I was doing, and now I have a running buddy on Fridays and Sundays (during the week, we'll be running on different days). Way cool.

Except for the part about how I have to run again on Sunday. Hmm, that's today. For some reason, when I woke up this morning, my quads were really sore. Like the tops of them were being smashed with a spiked iron bar every time I took a step. Apparently running on Friday and then doing yoga on Saturday were not what my quads had in mind and they were on strike. Plus, today was again one of the days where winter tried to make one last push, so we didn't get out of the 30s today. And my friend has an uncle in the hospital with massive blood clots, so she wasn't going to be able to join me.

So what did I do? I ran errands this morning, went to my parents in the afternoon and had dinner there, then came home with the kids around 6. So of course, that's the time to go running. Not that it's gotten even colder, the wind has picked up, and the sun is over the houses. But I still went. And I survived again. Other than my quads squealing with every step, it actually went a bit better today. The iron bands squeezing my chest were now at least just made out of aluminum.

Until, of course, I sat down. Now I really hurt. And it's getting worse. I'm actually limping. And as my title suggests, I need a bath! Any guesses where I'm headed in about thirty seconds?

Oh, and for anyone who's thinking they can't run but has some sense of insanity and thinks they may want to try, it's totally doable. Find the podcasts at for each week and go for it. It's so much better than trying to find mile markers or looking at your watch every third second to see if your sixty seconds are up yet.

I will say that I don't have the courage yet to figure out when my nine weeks of getting up to speed (ba dump bump) are up and I could possibly see how well I'm really doing by entering a 5K. A friend of mine sent me links for the cool 5Ks in Chicago that she wants me to enter with her, but I'm not quite ready to figure that out yet. I'll get there eventually though.

Oh yeah... and somehow I gained two pounds between Friday and today. I think my quads bribed other parts of my body to sabotage my efforts!


Amanda March 18, 2008 at 2:10 PM  

You are much more brave than I am! I can't stand running and would rather do something else, almost anything else, other than run. (I do a Gaiam Cardio Toning Fusion video instead.) I hope you have success with your future running!

Michelle March 18, 2008 at 4:51 PM  

Funny, I think you're braver than me for doing the cardio toning video. Running has always been an anethema to me, but facing my demons hasn't been quite as bad as I thought it would.

Of course, I didn't go today, but that's only because I'm trying to kick the flu since I can't be sick for the Easter Egg hunt here tomorrow! Really. I swear that's the only reason.

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