I’m worn out. Zef and I walked the river trail this morning and completed over eight miles. Z ran with me as I finished Week 1/Day 3 of Couch to 5K. Historically, running has been a struggle for me and generally you don’t see the short, pudgy and obnoxiously endowed crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I think I’ve shortchanged my body though. I took won’t and turned it into can’t.
Like a lot of things I do (blogging, anyone?), I’m entirely too sporadic when it comes to exercise. I get really focused for a while, then something — usually a cold — knocks me down and out. So, once again, I find myself restarting my routine. I’ve been in this position so many times I’m not even really phased by it. I just wish I could find that magic switch in my head that propels me to keep going.
Here’s one thing I’ve discovered about physical activity though: it’s much more fun if you have the right equipment. I hated running when I was in high school because I didn’t have the proper sports bra. The Girls suffered gravely and I was miserable. Today The Girls are taken care of by the Bounce store by Title Nine and are as happy as two bugs in a rug. Excuse gone.
Other things I need/want when working out (and I’ll get a little nutty if all of these things aren’t in their proper place):
1. iPod. I can’t work out without music. It distracts me from the task at hand when things get difficult and gets me motivated. And, let me tell you, I can really kick up the tempo on the bike during the fiddle battle on Devil Went Down to Georgia.
2. Heart Rate Monitor. I have the simplest model from Polar. I don’t think they even sell the model number any more. Yet another motivation tool. When you are being a slacker, it will let you know. When you are being a fool, it will let you know that too.
3. The Proper Bottoms. I was super excited when I bought a North Face Running Skirt. I wore it to spin class yesterday and – yow! – the boy shorts under the skirt didn’t stay in place and my inner thighs took a beating from the bike seat (of course, we did jumps for a majority of the class!). A wardrobe miscalculation to be sure, but the skirt is cute and I wasn’t about to call it quits yet. For spin, I just need to stick with my capri workout pants. I wore the skirt on our run/hike this morning. Same problem! The boy shorts wouldn’t stay in place and I almost lost my mind. I’ve concluded that I bought a size too large; therefore, the shorts aren’t tight enough. A new skirt is on order. I will not give up on being cute!
4. Neosporin. For relief from chaffing. Or at least I hope it works.
5. Wicking Workout Shirts. I admit it, I’m the chick at the gym with the old concert t-shirt that stretches after an hour of sweat. It can take frumpiness to a whole new level. I bought wicking shirts at Target (on sale!) today. I’m not shelling out for the name brands until I get down to the proper size. Hopefully in my swanky Target shirts, I won’t feel like a wet rag after working out now. [You know, for someone that grew up in the South and has always lived in the South, I really, really despise being hot and sticky.]
6. My Inhaler. Asthma bad, breathing good.
7. My Imagination. Sometimes I have to get pretty crafty to talk myself through a workout. I pretend I’m an Olympic athlete, a super spy in training, a castaway climbing out of the jungle back to civilization… hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Things I wish I had for working out:
1. iPod Holder. I don’t like holding my iPod as I run. Sometimes, in a frenzy, I fling it violently across the room/path/road. I need something that will 1) keep the earbud cords out of my way 2) won’t squeeze my chubbiness (like my upper arm).
2. BodyGlide. Need I say more on the topic of chaffing?
3. Visor. I admit it, I think visors are a fashion travesty. But as I ran this morning, wiping the sunscreen and sweat out of my eyes, I could clearly understand the value of having a visor.
4. Running Socks. I’m still debating the value of running socks.
My intention, despite my slightly OCD tendencies toward exercise equipment, is not to be a world class athlete. I have no desire to run a marathon… or a triathlon. I just want to be functionally fit, which is to say, I want to be able to be active without coughing up a lung. I want to be able to run a 5K without embarrassment. I want to be able to kayak when I go to the beach or to a mountain river. I want to be able to roam freely in a new town without the bothersome use of a taxi. It’s not too much to ask of myself at all.