If you want to do it…

Thursday, December 1, 2011 Permalink

In early-mid August, just before the last round of my weight-loss program ended, I joined a little gym near my workplace as after nearly three months of weight loss and increased exercise I felt brave enough to try some group classes in a gym setting.

Keep Running PosterAt the same time I decided to embark on the Couch to 5km (C25k) program, which purportedly gets you ‘up off the couch’ and running 5 kilometres in eight or nine weeks, depending on the program you follow.

I’ve never enjoyed running. Even when young and fit I didn’t ‘jog’. Out of necessity (and obsession) I did endless suicide runs (aka shuttle runs / windsprints) at the nearby basketball courts. But even then, short sprints were one thing; lengthy jogs were entirely another thing.

On this weight-loss program I’ve come across many who LOVE jogging. And, I follow blogs of those committed to fun runs and marathons. So, naturally (cos, why wouldn’t I?!) I felt an obligation to learn to run. And to learn to like it. Dammit!

So back in August I did my first week of C25k, although had a few days away before embarking on week 2. I joked a bit about how easy I expected it to be. Week 1 involved 8 x 1 minute runs with breaks in between. Week 2 required 6 x 1.5 minute runs. ‘No problemo!’ I said.

And yet… I struggled. And I hated it. It brought back all of those horrible memories of the much-dreaded and much-obsessed-about suicide runs of my youth.

So, in mid August I pondered on whether to continue. “Sure,” I said at the time in this post, “I can do this.”

But… you know what? I didn’t. I didn’t go back.

And I don’t think it’s mattered. I’ve been doing circuit classes, hip hop classes, exercise bike interval sessions, Zumba, Pump and some boxing. I’ve exercised six days a week for the past few weeks. I’m back into a routine… but I still read other running-related achievement-tweets and feel a sense of failure. Now, I know I shouldn’t compare… and perhaps some avid runners couldn’t do a Zumba class to save themselves, but there has to be something to this running gig as SO many people do it and love it. (I don’t think it is quite as cult-like as the lycra-clad cycling mafia, but it’s close!)

So, a week or two ago I restarted the C25k program. It took me just over a week to fit in the first week’s three runs – given my schedule of other exercise, but I’ve ‘kinda’ settled into a routine of running on the treadmill on a Tuesday and Thursday. (Am definitely not confident / brave enough to run in public!)

I was required to do my first week 2 run on Tuesday this week. I was mightily nervous given that I crashed and burned at this point last time and I still remember feeling shocked at how hard I found the 6 x 90 second runs.

Sure, this time around my knees are still feeling the strain of every step and I have a permanently sore right ankle… but I coasted through the six runs on day 1. In fact, I got to the gym a bit later than planned (pesky work interfering with my exercise routine!) so had to short-cut some of the 2 minute (between-run) walks, to get the whole program in before I needed to catch my train home.

I’m loath to get too excited because things can come back and bite you and I’m tired of making promises I can’t keep or sprouting crap I don’t live up to. But… I was thrilled that it seems that I’m getting fitter. I’m mixing up my exercise a bit BUT despite (or because of) the variety, it seems I’m fitter than I was just a few months ago.

Today I’m due to do Week 2 run 2, so I hope I haven’t jinxed myself and that I again find it (at least vaguely) comfortable.

For some extra motivation I will leave you with this which I came across in another blog recently.

As Ben says… If you want to do it…. all you have to do is do it.

  • Julia @ Boyfriends Make You Fat
    December 1, 2011

    You are right, Deb, I couldn’t hang on in Zumba if I tried, but running a half marathon isn’t such a big deal to me. If you aren’t into running, don’t do it. One of the reasons its so popular, I think, is because it is so convenient. BUT if its not for you, its not for you (remember that step post I wrote about?).

    I’m so glad the Ben video has given you inspiration. Its amazing!

    • rockafellaskank
      December 1, 2011

      I do remember the step post. I think the thing about running at the moment is that IF I quit, I will feel like a quitter…. if that makes sense!

  • beanfruit
    December 1, 2011

    Running definitely isn’t for me either. Like you, back when I was an athlete and in decent shape I ran if I had to, but it isn’t something I really enjoyed. I’ve felt that sort of guilty “why don’t I like this, too” feeling – more so related to why don’t I enjoy getting up at 6:00 in the morning to work out before I get ready for work. You know what? I exercise after dinner instead and that’s what works for me. Just “be you” – and if that includes running and enjoying it, go for it! You can do it!

    • rockafellaskank
      December 1, 2011

      Good suggestion. I’m going to give this running thing a couple of weeks and IF I decide to give up I will try really hard not to give myself a hard time over it as I am doing other stuff which is probably just as good for me AND which I enjoy a lot more.

      I’m impressed that you exercise after dinner – I eat quite late so don’t think I could get motivated then.


  • Shelley B
    December 1, 2011

    My thoughts about exercise are that you have to like it. I like running. I would not like Zumba (I have zero rhythm and hate to dance), so I don’t do it. Elliptical? Bores me to death. So again, I don’t do it. There are enough different activities out there that someone should be able to find something they like, but heck, no one has to do what they don’t like (well, once you’re out of school and don’t have to do stupid P.E., lol).

    • rockafellaskank
      December 1, 2011

      Very true Shelley! I’ve decided to give the running thing a few weeks and then NOT to feel guilty if I don’t want to pursue it… you’re right… there are so many other things I enjoy more!

  • Emily Segal
    December 1, 2011

    First time visitor and one of the running-lovers. No need to force yourself to do something you hate BUT it might get better. I hated yoga so much when I first tried it that it made me all angry and stressed, pretty much the opposite of all it’s supposed to be, right? But I kept doing it and after a little time the hate went away and the like started.

    Good Luck with it!

    • rockafellaskank
      December 1, 2011

      Hi Emily and welcome! I’ve decided to give the running gig a few weeks and see how I go. I’m prone to be a ‘quitter’ if I think I won’t succeed or will fail… so while I’m doing okay I should be able to hang in there!

      Thanks for dropping by!

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