Friday, April 13, 2012

One Step at a Time

You'll have to pardon the pun that's in the title, but I thought it was kind of appropriate. After being a couch potato for the past month and a half-with the occasional visit to the gym when I felt guilty-I have managed to get in two beginner's workouts in the past two days. I feel really good about them.
Wednesday I headed to the gym, which is about a fifteen minute walk both directions. I count this as a part of my warm-up because Glacier, my guide dog, and I don't meander. When we are walking, we are on a mission and we walk at most people's jogging speed.
My workout would probably be considered a light one, considering I used to be able to run between six and seven kilometres without stopping, but I was happy with it. Just getting back into things, I didn't wan to over do it. Over training can lead to injury, fatigue and illness. I want to be healthy and ready to go on Monday when I have my first workout with the running club. So, I took things a bit easier than I would have liked to.
I started off with a 12 minute  warm-up on the rowing machine. It was supposed to be 10 minutes, but the gym staff forgot me and I was left rowing for a bit longer; not necessarily a bad thing. I think I went around 3.5 kilometres and I was feeling pretty good. Then I hit the treadmill for the first time in nearly two months. Every other time I've ben to the gym recently, I've avoided the treadmill; using the bike, or the cross trainer, anything to stay away from the treadmill. Knowing that I'm going to start actually running though, motivated me enough to get back on the treadmill.
My run was only 25 minutes long, with me going 2 minutes of walking and 3 of running. I only cycled through that four times and walked the last five minutes at a very brisk pace. I had thought to push through the last five minutes, but I told myself that I had set the workout out originally with the last five minutes just being a fast walk and that I should stick to that. No point in doing  it so that I wouldn't be able to come back the next day.
The intervals felt good, surprisingly, but I could tell that I was working at the same time. It's amazing how quickly you lose your fitness you've worked so hard to build up. However, I know that with a little consistent work, I'll be back there in no time. I think I'm lucky in that way: I don't know if it's because I was an elite athlete for so long or if my body is just meant for sports, but my body responds really well to physical activity and I am grateful for that.
Yesterday's workout was not at the gym and was just a very long walk. One of my friends and I walked from her flat all of the way into the down town area, which was calculated to be 2.7 miles each way; giving us a grand total of 5.4 miles. I'm sure with the extra walking we did downtown  that we hit the 5.5 mark. Again, she is a fast walker and I think a long, controlled walk like that was actually beneficial at this stage. Perhaps when I'm at the point of being able to run 8 miles it won't be as beneficial, but I think it was useful at  this stage.  The walk was  also refreshing because the sun was out and it was nice to be outdoors and not stuck in the stinky, stuffy gym, running on a machine that makes you feel  like you are on a giant hamster wheel. :)
All in all, I think the last two days were a good start. I actually wish I had a pedometre as I did a lot more walking than just the 5 or so miles into town. It would be interesting to know how far I really went.
As for today, I'm not sure what the plan is, but I definitely have to get some kind of workout in. My friends and I are planning for my husband's birthday and need to do a lot of grocery shopping, so perhaps I'll have to get a gym run in before we set out for the day. Either way, I'd like to exercise   today and tomorrow and take Sunday off,  but we'll see how it all pans out. If I mis today, or tomorrow, I'll be going in on Sunday. I figure I can have one day off; I'm just not sure which one it will be.
Now that I've managed to figure out this whole running club thing, at least it seems I have,  I have one more concern: I need to find running pants with a draw string. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but sizes here in Scotland are designed bigger and my gym pants fall down when I'm running. Do you have any idea how awkward it is to have to keep reaching around to yank your pants-or trousers as they call them here-up while you are running on the treadmill or outside with a guide? We stopped in at one running store yesterday, but all of the "trousers" they had in were much too big. Even with the draw string, which I thought I could just tighten up, the pants were sliding down. Maybe I need double sided tape or something? I may need to pick a few runners' brains to see if anyone else has this problem and if they do, how they go about fixing it; especially since I will be getting smaller if anything.

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