Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Running won't kill me...

Well, so far, I've run for the past three mornings. I sure hope I can do it for the next two and have a running streak of 5 days in a row.

I was at the gym yesterday and day before but today I was out in my neighborhood. Boy what a difference it is on the treadmill than on pavement! I started out this morning and thought "oh my gosh, my legs are so heavy!". :D

Ran for a total of 30 minute and, of course, walked for 5 minute before and after. I wish I could get my lazy butt up out of bed in the mornings. I keep oversleeping and it's cutting my exercise time in half.

I guess its okay, though, because I've been burning anywhere from 400-500 calories each morning. That's spectacular! On average, I've been burning between 300-400 calories running and then I've been leaving my heart rate monitor on for the next half hour to hour (before I have to get ready for work) and I'll burn another 100-200 calories depending on what I'm doing. Like on Monday, I was baking breakfast for the office when I got back from running and I burned 200 calories just moving around the kitchen.

I talked to Jason at and he said that's the effects of the running. That my legs muscles get so revved up that they keep burning calories long after I've stopped running. Can't beat that—burning 200 calories from cooking!! Love it!

There were a few of you in the comments from my last post asking about how I got started running or saying they wish they could run but are leary. Well, I have to say that I didn't get this way over night. Absolutely not! It was a very long process.

I first started out at 275 pounds and a couch potato 20 months ago. So exercise was excruciating. I first started out walking. Weight Watchers had this GREAT walking plan that I did to get me started. It is six 8-week parts and if you stick to it, by the end of a year, you'll be able to walk a half marathon (13 miles). It's really a great plan because it starts you out so slow. Like the first day, you just walk for 10 minutes. The 2nd day is 13 minutes, then the 3rd day is 15, then 20 on the 4th, then 10 on the 5th and 6th days and then you don't walk on the 7th day. That was totally doable for me. I actually followed the plan through the first part—8 weeks (I actually went 9 weeks).

But then I got bored with it. I tried everything, listening to audio books, listening to sermons, listening to new music, memorization. I just couldn't get past the extreme boredom of walking and walking. Was so monotonous for me. I know it was all in my head, but I just couldn't get past it.

So I found a walking buddy. I think it was more the accountability than it was the boredom. So that helped me out so much. But then she had to quit walking. It took no time and I was able to find another walking buddy, then two, then three. So there are four of us now, that walk 2 days a week. (Actually, I just had to quit walking with them this week (permanently) but that's a whole other story.)

By the time I found the three walking buddies, I'd been walking for about a year. On my off-walk days I would try other forms of exercise. Mostly running and biking. I got hooked on biking for quite a while and actually can't wait to get started at it again (soon as the weather in the mornings starts getting warmer—I got sick the last time I went biking in the cold). But at one point I started running.

I started the C25K program (Couch to 5K). This is literally starting out as a couch potato and being able to run a 5K in 9 weeks. I have to say this was very ambitious of me. I don't think I made it past the 2nd week. For me, I had a mental block towards running. I thought I was going to die—literally.

Last night on the Biggest Loser (which by the way, I HATE right now after the stunt they pulled last night at weigh in!) and there was one woman running on the treadmill who was crying. She was so scared. Jillian didn't understand but I do. I was literally scared I would die if I ran. I was afraid I'd trip and fall and break a leg. I was afraid I'd drop dead of a heart attack. I was afraid that I'd just quit breathing because I was breathing so hard. So when I ran, I was extremely tense. I would hold my fists tight. I'd hold my shoulders tight up against my neck. And I'd be breathing like I was running a 500 mile marathon!

I was freaking myself out!

Then when I realized I was going to be okay (after about a week), I realized I just need to relax. So I focused on my breathing and would wobble my head around while I was running to loosen the muscles in my neck and shoulders.

That worked, but I was still so out of breath that I quit doing it and switched to biking. There I found a great friend. I could get out and ride my bike around the neighborhood like I was a kid. Wind in my hair. Sun on my shoulders. What a blast!

But then it got cold and I had to quit. I started doing inside workouts but didn't really like them. Then I came across Jason's blog called Run4Change. And I read his About Me and his story from obesity and realized his story was a lot like mine (except he reached his goal after only a year and I'm going on 2 years and still have 30-40 pounds to go). Then I read his page on how to get started running and it finally hit me. I was pushing myself too hard. I didn't know that you're not supposed to huff and puff while your running. I thought being out of breath was par for the course.

I had no idea.

So I took his advice and I went slow. I didn't let my heart rate exceed it's maximum 60% and took it slow. If my heart rate started reaching the 60% mark, I'd just slow down but not stop running. I was at first just run/walking. I'm sure I looked ridiculous out there. But I really wanted this to work. If I started breathing heavy, I'd slow down. I was amazed at how far I could run like this. Blown away at how easy it was!

This was just last week, so I still have a long way to go, but I truly believe I could run as far as I wanted to and not pass out. Not even come close to passing out. In fact, I'm thinking about running a 5K the beginning of February.

I just found a 5K for that is raising money for underprivileged women to provide mammograms and pre-screenings for them for free. It's perfect. My grandmother had breast cancer and my mother-in-law's sister died from it. I've always wanted to run a 5K and I've always been a huge breast cancer research supporter. And this is a real competition, not just a fun run. They're giving out prizes for the top 3 finishers in each age category.

Now, do I think I can do it? Hmm. Not sure. Well, I know I just said up there that I could run for any amount of distance/time, but here is were I put my money where my mouth is.

I'll let you know what I decide.

I haven't signed up yet. I have until the end of this month to sign up.



Donna B said...

Sign up!
You can do it! Again, you inspired me to get a bike and start riding last summer, anjd I know you will be successful. I plan to sign up for a biking event coming up in April. Great way for all of us to start the new year!

Bre said...

You can so run that 5K - that is how I started and I have now run 2 1/2 marathons and I'm currently in training for my third!

Go team Angie!!!

Dutch said...

Thanks for telling us your story. I have been a major couch potato for to long and I think I will start the ww walk very soon. I have to get doctor approval after Friday since I just had surgery 3 weeks ago. I also know one day I would love to bike and also run. Thanks again.

The Devil's Dance Floor said...

Good luck with your running goals! I have a love/hate relationship with running and DEFINITELY think a treadmill is easier to run on!

-Mommy in Motion

Anonymous said...

I've started running world's beginner program. It helps me take baby steps to be able to run 30 mins nonstop. I really don't like to run but I want to lose weight so I want to maximize my results

mzrichee said...

you should sooooooooo do it! i mean, sign up for the 5k. it's something to work towards. trust me, you'll feel so great once the race comes and after you finish it. i remembered my first 5k, i was so nervous (because i've only been running for about 2 weeks before the event), but i signed up for it anyway and at the end of it all, it felt so good! now, i'm working towards a half-marathon, physcially and mentally. not quite there, but i'll get there some day, soon, i hope. :)

Shari said...

Great story! and yes, SIGN UP for the 5k. It will give you all the motivation to really get out and run. You'll want to prove to yourself that you can run it and not have to walk any. It'll be great fun and race day is such a high!

Go Team Angie!

Sarah said...

Great blog! I started the C25K last Feb and I did a 5K run, you will love it. Its nerve wrecking your first time but than I'm sure you will be addicted and want more.

JC said...

Carla, You are such an inspiration to me. You always touch on something I'm dealing with. Has to be a God thing. Today's post really struck a cord with me about being afraid to run that something might happen to you. That is exactly where I am. I don't push myself in exercise because I've got this notion that I might have a stroke or heart attack. Just crazy thinking on my part.

I have a love/hate relationship with Biggest Loser. I hate it because it is so far from anyone's reality but I can't stop watching it because occasionally I learn something.

Caroline said...

I found the story of how you started running to be *very* inspiring! I'll spend some time on Jason's blog tonight, reading some recent entries as well as the link you posted. I do love my bike (and utility/commuting cycling) but I'd love to be able to run.

Go Team Angie!! :D

countryjacket said...

I know you will be able to run a 5K....keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that I got here again. I have been trying everyday but it has just been taking me to a place where I can't get to you. Great job and I will be coming back