Run, Tina, Run

I refuse to run outside. Why? Because people might see me and notice my not-so-good form or my lack of endurance. In fact, right now, I’m only able to do intervals–60 seconds of running followed by a 90-120 second walk. Anyone who sees me start up a jog only to stop a wee bit later will probably wonder “Was it a mistake? Is she just trying to run away from a bug?”

But I gotta run somewhere and I don’t have a treadmill in my apartment. That’s probably good for the people who work in the office below me. I’m fairly certain they wouldn’t like hearing the awkward clomp-clomp-clomp of me on a treadmill doing jog-walk intervals.

The other problems with running outside: I’m a fair-skinned girl with a family history of skin cancer. Don’t really feel like slapping on the sunscreen fore a 30 minute run. Also, the weather this June has sucked–tons of rain. I find running outside more tiring and a little awkward. Even on a track. I’ve ALWAYS hated running. In high school, I played volleyball and we ran laps around the gym or (in nice weather) the school to warm up. I dreaded those laps. A volleyball court is pretty small–I couldn’t understand why we needed to increase cardio endurance when our movement area was relatively small. Afterwards, I had corrective surgery on my left foot, so I convinced myself running could further injure myself. When I was heavier I convinced myself that I was too fat to run.

All of these has served as excuses for me NOT to run. Although I may not be good at running, I am awesome at coming up with excuses to get me out of running. Somehow something changed. I saw 250-350lb contestants on The Biggest Loser sprinting 7mph on treadmills at the ranch. And then–the big convincer–ladies at my Weight Watchers group were talking about running on their home treadmills. Ladies who were 55 and 65 years old!

So… if they can do it, I can too.

I’m gradually breaking down these barriers. Saturday morning, I woke up early thanks to a chorus of birds screeching outside my bedroom window. I was tired. My achilles tendons felt tight and inflamed again. I was seriously considering bagging my workout for the third day in a row. Or giving myself an “easy” workout on the elliptical.

An hour later, I convinced myself to get to the gym and sneak in a run. Yes–I spent more time convincing myself to do it than I actually spent workout out. But the feeling good part lasted much longer.

I’ve gotten over my fear of letting people see me run. It turns out the treadmill feels easier on my joints and the shorter running area helps me keep shorter strides which is better for my back and always-too-tight hamstrings.

I’m still amazed at how out of shape I still am. I continue to have to find new ways to challenge myself in spin so I can maintain a higher (150s-160s) heart rate. Yet, when I jog, my heart rate reaches the 160s within the first 20-30 seconds only to fall back to the 140s once I start walking.

When people have heard I’m doing the Couch to 5k program, they’ve asked me if I’m planning on running a 5k. Oh, helllllll no! At this point, I’m simply looking to include more high intensity cardio in my workout routine and gradually increase my endurance. If I could run a mile without stopping to walk, I’d be happy.

Now, it’s Monday, weekend travel is over and it’s time to get back to my routine. The week already feels like it’s slamming me. Planning time!

 MONDAY: grocery shopping immediately after work. The fridge is bare!
I have a quick dinner of turkey hot dogs, baked beans and green beans planned.
6:00pm Workout: weights, abs and a 45 minute spin class
TUESDAY: I have writer’s group in the evening. I don’t have anything new written (I haven’t had time to write this month), so I’m going to bring in an old article I wrote during my journalism/reporter years.
Dinner: grilled salmon with a mustard glaze, salad, roasted beets
Lunch: leftovers from tonight’s dinner or tuna salad (homemade, low fat) on a pita with lots of fresh raw veggies and some fruit.
6:00am workout: C25k
WEDNESDAY: possibly movie night with a friend
Dinner: Weight Watchers TV dinner and a side salad.
Lunch: Tuesday’s leftovers
6:00am workout: weights & stairmill
5:30pm workout: spin & abs class
THURSDAY: Evan’s coming over. Can’t decide whether to grill something or go out for dinner.
Lunch: taco salad (ground chicken, LF cheddar, diced avocado, lettuce, diced tomato, diced onion, diced green pepper, corn, salsa vinaigrette dressing)
6:00am workout: C25k
FRIDAY: Fortunately, it’s another Friday off for me. Weight Watchers day!
morning workout: Stairmill, weights, abs
Lunch: may convince E to try out a new place in town
Dinner: Taco salad leftovers
E will need to leave for work around 4ish, so I’ll go to a nearby trail to walk along a local river. (Goal: 6-8 miles)
Saturday will be a long walking day and maybe the morning spin class. Perhaps along the river again. I’ll spend some of Friday working on my food plan for the weekend and throughout next week. Sunday will be a rest day for me or I’ll do the morning spin class.
Breakfasts: the usual egg and cheese (and sometimes veggies or lean, low-sodium ham) on an Arnold’s Thin or oatmeal w/egg whites and chopped nuts.
  • Greek yogurt and fruit
  • LF cheese, veggies and crackers
  • Cottage cheese & fruits or veggies
  • Weight Watchers yogurt with Cocoa Almonds
Also… my nighttime snacks will be a small serving (1/4 cup) of homemade frozen yogurt. I brought home my mom’s ice cream maker and plan on making some kind of frozen yogurt this week. I’m experimenting with lower fat and lower sugar recipes without using chemical laden ingredients (like artificial sweeteners or things that have HFCS). Recipes and photos will be posted if I have any success.

6 responses to “Run, Tina, Run

  1. Fro-Yo! You may be interested in the Cooking with Trader Joe’s blog! Specifically:

    I have (and love) their cookbook and I think it’s great that they continually supplement it with new things on the blog.


  2. Jess–you’re my new best foodie friend. I just made pina colada frozen yogurt. I’ll post the recipe and pics later in the week.

    The nearest TJs is actually 35-45 minutes away from me, but I just learned that they’re finally going to open up a store up the road in November.

  3. Hahaha, that was a fun read-around! I especially liked the part about spending more time convincing yourself why you shouldn’t run then it would have taken to just get it over with. But isn’t that half the battle, the mental part of losing weight besides the actual psychical part of doing it? Also, I think you look fly when you’re running, but maybe that’s just me unable to look at you in any other way that isn’t you being some form of adorable. Good luck with the couch to 5k program, i’ll be cheering you on from the starting point aka the couch!

  4. You should sign up for a 5K… many people walk them so even if you can’t run the whole thing you won’t be the only walker… and about running… don’t think just do.. when I think I don’t run… when I don’t think I run and I feel great afterwards… run on the treadmill thinking about frozen yogurt combos or how someone at work is bothering you or what you’re going to write about next… when you’re thinking about soemthing else you’re not thinking about running which is the only way i can run…

  5. You can look up 5K’s here:

    go to events and search NJ… the shore has a 2 mile fun run every summer… after 2 miles it’s free miller light for an hour… i did it when i lived there…

  6. Like I said… I’ll stick with the treadmill. No races for me. But I’ve been on that site before (for the C25k training program)–it’s a great resource.

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