Friday, January 9, 2009

Last Chance Workout!

Tomorrow's weigh in so this morning was my "last chance workout". Though I'm sure it wasn't as hard as those poor people on Biggest Loser doing their last chance workout. In fact, I know it wasn't. But it was a last chance workout for me. That's for sure.

And what a victory it was!

I did something this morning I've been wanting to do for over a year. I finally worked my self up to where I could run outside of our community. So far, I've only been running around the loop in our community (each loop being 3/8ths of a mile). I knew I'd get bored with it, but it's where I have to start.

My community gives me the comfort and the courage to be able to walk, bike, or run distances. And I recommend this to everyone—if you can't start in a gym, find somewhere you can start walking or running that's not far from home. Or choose small distances from home so it's not overwhelming.

When I first started walking, I would only go one lap around my community and I worked myself up to being able to take it outside. I didn't want to pass out from exhaustion on a major thoroughfare. Plus, if I kept it close to home, I could quit whenever I felt I was overdoing it. But once you commit yourself to walking a certain distance in one direction, you always have to be able to make it back home that same distance.

So I'd finally worked up my endurance and my courage to run out in the real world this morning. And what I did was run a huge loop around my part of the city. I've been walking this route for the past year and I've tried running on it, but only for maybe 20-50 feet at a time. I remember the first time I decided to see if I could run, I was probably 50 pounds heavier than I am now, and I only ran about 20 feet and I literally thought I was seriously (for real) going to die—I had to stop after 20 feet. My fear overwhelmed me. It was a long time before I'd try it again.

But now I know I won't die so I wasn't afraid at all to go as far as I did. The loop I took was a 3-mile loop. And what a victory.

I ran the whole way!

I still can't believe I did it. This was a HUGE day for me!

When I first started out, I was listening to Nichole Nordeman's Brave CD (here's a link to her MySpace if you want to listen to some of her music—she's my favorite Christian artist). The first song, while I was still doing my 5-minute warm up, was Brave. Listen to these lyrics:

You're safe and sound and
Until now it's where I've been
'Cause it's been fear that ties me down to everything
But it's been love, Your love, that cuts the strings
So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave

Isn't that an amazing song to hear as you start out to embark on an adventure that you're a little nervous about? From that point on, I had absolutely no fear at all. I felt so brave.

After my 5-minute warm up, I headed outside the community and started down the first big road. I felt fine. Calm. Relaxed. Breathing low.

Then I noticed as I passed by a street sign and got a big smile on my face. That street sign used to be my first marker for a quarter mile when I first started walking. I knew if I walked to that sign, it was an eighth of a mile so if I turned around and went home at that point, I knew I'd walked a quarter mile. I ran past it.

Then I came to the half mile street sign. It was a speed limit sign. I ran past it.

Then the one-mile sign. Was a cross roads. I blazed past it with a big smile on my face.

I was really doing this. I was really running past my old walking benchmarks. And I felt fine.

I blazed past the 2-mile marker, which was 1 mile from home and a major cross roads (4-lanes both directions). But then just after that, I thought I wasn't going to make it. I had started day dreaming and wasn't focused on my music. I started getting bored. And that made me feel tired.

Then I kicked myself in the butt and started focusing on the music and her wonderful lyrics and didn't look back. After that was no turning around because if I did, it would take me longer to go back the direction I'd come from than to just finish the huge 3-mile lap.

I still can't believe I did it!

I'm so signing up for that 5K. It took me 40 minutes to run the 3 miles this morning so I know I won't win any prizes in the 5K but at least I know, now, that I CAN do it!

Actually, after I got back to my community, I really felt like I could keep going. I wasn't tired. I was breathing low. I felt fine. I think I might have gotten bored with it, though, if I went around for another 3 miles. I think that's going to be my major stumbling block is the boredom. I remember how bored I got with walking. That's why I had to find walking buddies. How do you stop from being bored. Am I the only one who get's bored exercising?



Mel said...

That's a great 'last chance workout'! Mine is tonight as WI is tomorrow morning! I get bored walking but if I notice my mind start to wander I focus on my breathing and that usually gets my mind refocused... music, as you've noticed.. also works! Great job!!

JC said...

WOW, I think what you are doing is awesome. As for boredom, I get bored at Curves. Mall walking can get boring but walking in my neighboor never did. There was always something new to discover in my neighbor's yards. But, I walked slowly and took my camera with me. I used to post pictures from my walks.

MaryFran said...

Wow...what a great post!!!! Congrats!!! And yay you for steping out of your comfort zone and as you called it, 'into the real world!"

I LOVE Nicole Nordeman!!!!

Natalie said...

Wow, what a great post, congrats on pushing past your comfort zone, sounds like a perfect last chance workout!

Donna B said...

COngrats on your running. When I bike and walk outside, I take different trails almost every day. I know the approximate mileage and when I head out the door, I decide what scenery sits my mood for the day and go with it. We have great walking trails,so the wildlife I see doesn't bore me most days. Keep up the good work. When is the 5K?

Dutch said...

Way to go on the running. You really inspire me with the exercise. I know I have to start out with just walking and some day I hope to be able to run. Thanks for the inspiration. I really needed it today.

head washers anonymous said...

your blog is really getting me motivated to lose weight. thanks!

as for combatting the boredom, i love books on tape (or on cd). they distract me perfectly when i'm at the gym. oh, and podcasts work wonderfully, too! if you like quirky, human interest stories, check out "this american life" podcasts.

SeaShore said...

Woohoo! That's wonderful! Congrats on 3 miles :)

Karyn said...


I'm so proud of you, I feel as if it was me that ran that 3 miles!

That is truly impressive, in my books.

spunkysuzi said...

I am on the sidelines when your running, cheering you on!!

Lake Mary WWLeader said...

Congratulations and great job!
I also use the books on tape. It has always taken my mind off the walking itself and helped the time to fly by. Keep up the good work and let us know when the 5K event takes place!