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Weak Four

June 20, 2014

Team Gnomercy

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Fabulous Friday

It’s been over a year since I ran my first, and so far only, 5k race. It was a banner day for me, and somewhere in storage is my number which I plan to scrapbook someday. My time was good, even though I literally had to run a kilometer to the starting line, re-lace my shoes, and then run the actual 5k, with a couple of walk breaks because hills. Using the Couch to 5k podcasts, I’d trained for 12 weeks, running the same 2.5 km stretch of road outside my house in British Columbia every other day or so. I can remember my steady improvement over the weeks, the day when a three-minute run was easy, and then when a five-minute run was a warm up. It was exciting to buy new shoes and, at the race expo and registration, my first runner’s tee.

After our incredibly long winter finally let go here in Northern Ontario, I started running again. It had been nearly a year since I stopped running (last July), but I was encouraged when I began on week two, instead of week one, and didn’t find it too hard — minute-and-a-half runs, followed by minute walks. Week three was alright as well. Week four? Week four kicked my ass. I jumped from three-minute runs to five-minute runs, and for a week I couldn’t finish the entire second five-minute interval. My right leg was cramping up, I think due to some nerve damage I picked up in January, and it felt like lead weights were strapped to my ankles. My face was red for an hour afterward and it didn’t feel good. It felt awful. Last year I never repeated a week, but this year, despite not breastfeeding at night and therefore not sleeping as well, not fighting my gallbladder, not being six or seven months out from a C-section, running is harder.

New Shoes

Last Year’s New Shoes

This week I repeated week four. I gave myself permission to try again, instead of just giving up. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I laced up my shoes, made sure my headphones were snug, tied back my hair, and hit the road. Monday still sucked. I had to walk through part of the second five-minute interval and felt terrible doing it. Wednesday was better, and I finished both intervals without feeling like death. Today was the best — I kicked week four in the pants!

Running is part meditation for me and part exercise. It gives me a chance to check in with my body every few days and see how things are going; it’s a part of my Health at Every Size® mindset and keeps me on an intuitive eating path too. My motto is “Not very fast and not very far,” but I’m working on negating that last part. Feeling the improvements I’ve made in just four short weeks is nice, but the improvement in my mood is even better. Running gives me a chance to be alone in my own head, see the change of the seasons as they march along in their orderly way, and get away from it all for a little bit at a time. I may not have had to repeat a week last year, but having done so this year, I give myself permission to do so again if needed. It was good for me to try again.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Happy Spider permalink
    June 20, 2014 5:00 pm

    This was interesting to me. People say that diets don’t work because they can’t be maintained long-term and therefore you can’t put much stock into what people say when they are only a few months or a year into a diet.

    The FA people are always going on about exercise and HAES. They say how happy they are to think in terns of exercise instead of dieting. But isn’t following an exercise program something that is just as difficult to maintain long- term as a diet? How much belief should I put into the enthusiastic statements of HAES exercisers who only been doing it for a few years or less?

    So I am interested in this post that talks about running after a year. I like to hear about what happens over the long term. I think Atchka recently did such a post, but about climbing stairs not running. Which doesn’t have anything to do with this post, it’s just that it talked about doing something over a period of time.

  2. JeninCanada permalink
    June 20, 2014 11:38 pm

    “But isn’t following an exercise program something that is just as difficult to maintain long- term as a diet? How much belief should I put into the enthusiastic statements of HAES exercisers who only been doing it for a few years or less?”

    I think the goals with someone like me who’s into HAES and intuitive eating and someone who’s dieting are very different. Someone who is dieting is restricting their calories, or fat, or carbs or whatever, in order to force their bodies into what’s very likely an unnatural-for-them weight catagory. This is going against their body’s best interest and it knows it, and this is why diets fail. You cant’ starve your body forever but people will try anyway.

    When I run, and when I honour my body’s food requests, the goal is a healthier, happier me on so many levels, not just something as one dimensional as weight loss. I know I can keep up a health at every size attitude and follow intuitive eating because it’s beneficial for me; it works WITH my body, not against it. Learning to love my body ‘as is’ over the years gives me more and more confidence as the days pass. Dieting may drop a person a few pounds and give them a confidence boost in the short term, but over the long term, as yet another diet fails and the pounds come back with friends, it becomes a viscious cycle of misery.

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