Today marks nine weeks since I officially started my attempt at fitness. It seems as though I have been doing it much longer. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing but there it is. In nine weeks, after about three or four weeks of no movement I have lost about eight pounds. That is not exactly earth shattering, but I am less and less concerned about that all of the time. Maybe it is because I can now fit into almost everything in my drawer. In the beginning of the summer I had exactly four pair of shorts, capris, clamdiggers whatever that I rotated through. Now I have an additional four or five pair of shorts I can wear plus one pair of nicer white pants. I haven’t been able to get into these shorts in about two years so I am pretty happy about that. At least I don’t need to buy new clothes right now. I know this isn’t suppose to be about losing weight, but it is nice to be able to fit into your clothes again. Along those lines I have lost a little more than an inch around my waist. I really don’t see it, even though I feel it when I get dressed. Maybe it is because when I lean over I can still rest my gut on my thighs. Not as much, but still there. And here are the before and after pictures. This little activity is called Find the Difference! Can’t? Yeah, that’s how I feel. But I am stronger.
I started by running a minute and walking for two. I worked my way up to running two minutes and walking for a minute and then hit a wall. For weeks I couldn’t go further than half a mile, with the occasional mile thrown in. I was getting desperate. But then, after some advice to slow down and a hit on my pride, I was able to do three miles. Today I topped off at five and a half miles in about fifty six minutes. I was able to do five of those miles in about fifty one minutes, which means I am averaging about a ten minute mile. That feels pretty good. And I am not wiped out all day the way I use to be. I have started to have a love/hate relationship with running. I dread going and then I have started to enjoy whole sections. Today, as I was passing the five mile mark I really felt wonderful. My body felt fluid and I felt as though I was flying. That is the first time that happened.
Biking, which has been something I enjoyed from the beginning, has continued to be a real pleasure and the days I look forward to the most. In fairness, when I first started biking around the neighborhood it was hard. The hills were daunting. I feel much better about the hills and even though I am sometimes out of breath when I come up a steep hill, I am not super tired. I can feel myself getting stronger. And, on a bike, you can actually look down and see the muscles that have developed on your legs. I love that. I think my legs are actually bigger than when I started, but I feel very strong. I know the time is coming when I will only be able to bike on weekends, but that is okay. I will continue to work on my stamina and speed at the gym and look forward to a time when I can enjoy being outside.
I have only just started working on the machines at the gym, so there really isn’t much to say here. As much as I resisted going, and I still do, especially with such lovely mornings, there is a certain sense of satisfaction to having completed a circuit. Muscles at rest burn more calories than fat at rest. Period. Also, it is part of the pursuit of being stronger. I want to be able to participate in one of those crazy races where you pull yourself over walls and stuff. I want to be strong.
Kayaking, well, kayaking is another thing that I have only tried once. I am hoping to go again, but it is definitely the week link as far as the Endurance Challenge is concerned. I think it is going to take at least three hours to complete this part of the challenge. So, not going to make it to kick off for sure!
Over all I feel pretty good. The Challenge is about five and a half weeks away, but more importantly, the shift to back to school mode is only four weeks away. That will be my first big test in holding this all together. Especially since before a race you are suppose to lay back for a few days. I am hoping my passion for my new lifestyle will carry me through.
On to new goals:
1. I need to work on my core if I am ever going to get through three hours of kayaking, so I need to schedule that work out in.
2. Flexibility needs to become at least part of the routine, so I have to work to find the joy that so many others seem to find in yoga. Or, maybe just find a good stretching routine that works for me. Taking any and all suggestions. I can appreciate yoga, but maybe it just isn’t for me. I don’t feel relaxed at the end. I feel annoyed. Please stop telling me to smile when all I want to do is smack you upside your head for being able to get into that totally unnatural position.
3. Taking a day off. Or more. This continues to be difficult. I am worried about losing my momentum, but I also feel bored and restless when I take a day. The personal satisfaction is missing. I thought I would take a day off every four days. Which means on the fifth day no running, biking or lifting weights. I think kayaking is okay, because I suck at it, so I’m not really working out. But during the winter I thought I would stretch and go for a walk.
4. Stop comparing myself to real athletes. This would seem like a no brainer, but when I am reading along on the Internet and I see the suggested activity for a light day is a five mile jog, I feel a little crest fallen. Really? That’s a light day? Don’t they know how hard I have to work to get to five miles? Geez!