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Workout #1: In Which Running Does Not Kill Me

May 5, 2010

Here is where I talk about ABSolution! Workout #1.  Except I have to talk about running for a minute.

As Swen suggested, I started some interval training to pair with the core workouts.

This means running.

I have never liked running.  I have always avoided it whenever possible.  I used to think it was because I had size 40H breasts, but once I had those reduced last year, I still realized I didn’t like running.  So I kicked rocks and shuffled around after Swen suggested I try sprint intervals (“SPRINT INTERVALS????  Does she want me to die?”) as a lead-in to the core exercises.

(I should say that while I was shirking my running assignment, I did go ahead and do the entire first chapter of ABSolution! on stretching, so I was familiar with the moves in Workout #1.  I told myself I was being precautious and prepared, but it was really because I was being a giant weener about running.)

I finally geared up and did it.  You can only justify and recite mantras and procrastinate and write in your courage journal for so long, you know?

I figured I wouldn’t pressure myself to sprint – that mere jogging would suffice until I had built up some stamina.  Let’s not go crazy, right?   As I could barely jog, I would have to leave sprinting to the Olympians.  Swen would understand, right?  I used the indoor track at my YMCA where 15 laps equal a mile.  A mile would be a good place to start.   Plus, the fitness gods were smiling on me, because there were no other humans on the track to witness my possible humiliating flame-out.  So, I walked and ran, alternately, for 15 laps.  This took about 20 minutes, which I assumed would be Pure Unadulterated Frying Hell.

But guess what?  It was so damn cool.  The last time I ran was about 4 months post-surgery, so perhaps I was still a bit sensitive and shouldn’t have pushed it.   But this running?   Was actually fun.  And I didn’t jog – I sprinted.  I ran as fast as I could and I was smiling while I did it.  Though I ended with a stitch in my side – I can’t tell you long it’s been since I’ve felt that unpleasantness – I realized that the 4.5 lbs. of boob fat that I no longer have really does make a difference.  I enjoyed the running.  I could have gone longer, I think. All of my working out on the elliptical and the stationary bike for the past two years have built up in me some endurance and stamina, which sounds ridiculous not to have realized, but I guess, in my head, I had built running up to be a Herculean task. I haven’t felt the crazy bliss of running since I was 9 years old, before my giant boobs first appeared and then made me slow down with from discomfort and insecurity.

Because enjoying running was such a surprise, I went into core exercises with quite a bit of confidence in myself and compared to the cardio blow-out of energy, it was a treat to stretch afterwards.  So a big thanks to Swen for her casual mention that I – Carrie Who Heretofore Hated Running – actually try it.  (Note to self:  get some workout pants that are tight.  Jacking those slouchy yoga pants up to your armpits as you round corners is not cool.)

At first, I thought that mat-work wouldn’t equal the running, but I was wrong.  I felt the stretches and pulls at the time and felt them the next day.  But it was a good kind of sore – it involved the awareness of my muscles and reminded me of their abilities, their purpose in helping me in everything I did the next day:  bending over to pick up something on the ground, squatting to pick weeds in my flowerbeds, reaching for and juggling bags of groceries  from the car.  When you consider that you are on a mat and making such small movements, it seems at first as if the workout will be easy.  But it’s subtle – smaller, repetitive movements that energize parts of my core and torso that I am often not aware of in my daily life.  I loved the Shoulder Blade Squeeze especially – a great, delicious stretch!

Workout #1 was 2 sets of 4 exercises, but I felt great afterwards and was eager to add more sets and movements.  I had planned cautiously, thinking that running would destroy me, but I plan to add more core exercises to my next session (and maybe more running, too!)

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