Running on empty

Friday, August 19, 2011 Permalink

As I was pondering on today’s topic (last night) I spent some time surfing through the (many many) blogs I follow. You will be relieved to know that my original topic (essentially a whinge about how I’m feeling busy and stressed) has – for the moment – been shelved. And… given that the stressors are all in the next two days, that blog post may never ever see the light of day. Which is a good thing. Believe me!

So, during my blog surfing I came across the latest post from Liz on her blog Last Chance Training. The post, Layers of Learning was so topical for me that I’ve continued thinking about it since leaving a comment.

Running On EmptyEssentially in that post Liz (an Exercise Physiologist) talks about a boxing session she did a few weeks prior during which she (in her words) really sucked. So much so, she wondered if it was something she wanted to do again. But she did and to her surprise she morphed into Hilary Swank’s Million Dollar Baby. In her post she talks about turning negatives into positives and the fact that – when you are about to give up – success may well be just around the corner.

I was feeling a bit blah when I got home last night. This was the result of a number of things: the busy days I mentioned above; the fact that I had to meet my Real Estate Agent who I knew would – undoubtedly – try to talk me into accepting a lower sale price than I want for my house; and also the fact that I’d had a less-than-stellar session at the gym.

Banksy in Boston: F̶O̶L̶L̶O̶W̶ ̶Y̶O̶U̶R̶ ̶D̶R̶E̶A̶M̶S̶ CANCELLED, Essex St, Chinatown, BostonGiven that I’m trying to be less of a glass-half-empty girl, I should say here that I was thrilled that I actually even went to the bloody gym. With a full day yesterday (and for the next few days) I’d half-thought that I’d be climbing aboard my rented exercise bike late in the evening rather than finding time to go to the gym. But I did. Go to the gym that is. So, that was good.

I started the Couch to 5km (C25k) program almost two weeks ago. I cruised through week one (8 x 1 minute runs with periods of walking in between) and felt quite good about it. Because I then visited my hometown for 5-6 days I put the running on hold as I’m not yet brave enough to run outside, in public and for such short amounts of time. But… I was indeed stoked that, at the end of my first day back at work, I diligently got changed and headed to the gym next door, all ready to embark on my first day of C25k’s Week 2 program. I’d sussed it out and discovered the runs were bumped to 90 seconds. No worries, I thought, I can run for a minute and a half. One minute was eminently doable, so I was sure another thirty seconds would be fine.

But… can I just say (forgive the language!) Holy Fuck! I only had to endure six 90 second runs but I barely staggered through the first one when I realised that I was going to struggle. My hip ached and my knees felt weak as I walked and ran my way through 29 minutes of music and English-accented instructions (via my iPhone). And… I did it; I made it through but I REALLY didn’t enjoy it. In fact, it reminded me of the days I did exercise that I dreaded so much I never went back for seconds. And… as I pounded the treadmill my little mind was working overtime as I contemplated the notion of giving up on the ‘running-5km’ plan. I mean, who cares if you can run or not? Many MANY people don’t run at all. EVER! I know a lot of people who get through their daily lives without breaking into a trot. Many are fit and healthy and walk or do other forms of exercise. But don’t run.

treadmillsBy the time I got home I hadn’t exactly decided I wasn’t going to return on the treadmill, but I certainly had no plan in mind as to when I would be embarking on Week 2, Day 2 of the program.

Until I read Liz’s post. And it got me thinking.

Sure it’s true I didn’t enjoy my run (if you can call it that) yesterday. Sure I have no desire to do it again. Sure I can lose weight doing other forms of exercise…. Sure it will only get worse and uglier as I progress through the program. But….

At the moment it’s something left undone. I’m sure it’s not meant to be ‘fun’…. But perhaps I could try a few more sessions before I give up on it completely. And I guess you never know, success could be hiding just around the corner.

  • Ange
    August 19, 2011

    Great post Deb. I can relate. I went for a long time where training was un-fun. Early on -about a year ago – I even sat on my exercise bike in the lounge crying tears of frustration, resentment, anger, disappointment… you name it. I did not want to exercise. I was fighting a huge battle with every turn of the wheel. I did not want to be doing it… however nor did I want to continue to be the severely obese, burnt out “stroke victim waiting to happen” as my doctor put it. I was between a rock and a hard place and it sucked. I mean REALLY SUCKED (insert heaps of bad language here that would make comedian Andrew Dice Clay blush!). Over time this shifted…. there were less tears and frustration. Less anger at myself for where things had sunk to. I would not say the exercising was fun at that stage…. but it went through ‘this doesn’t suck as much” phase. By the end of my second round of 12WBT I had build up to exercising 6 days out of 7 as Mish sets out and I had been to maybe the first 3 or 4 Pain in Paradise sessions ever. The first sucked, I was scared but Ruth & co were really supportive and good fun! I had only met them once, for an end of round 2 dinner, before that. Then I started to look forward to Sunday fornightly boot camp. Not for the exercise – for the fun and catching up to chat about 12WBT stuff and see everyone’s progress. By the end of that round I was really really loving going for a run to the beach and back by myself. That was when I realised how much things had changed. That was 6 mths… that started with me doing no exercise at first for 12WBT.. then walking a few times a week, reluctantly and having those awful sessions on the exercise bike!

    I really love your blog post about this and where you have taken your thinking from and to about an un-fun session. Hang in there. It isn’t always fun…. and I don’t think anyone – even Mish – ever gets to the point where they are bouncing wih joy about every single training session. That just doesn’t happen. Everyone has crap sessions and days they do not want to do it.

    See you tomorrow!

  • Vicki
    August 19, 2011

    Don’t give up! Even those of us who run regularly have really crappy runs and well … we sometimes hate it too!
    You are out there and getting amongst it so that’s what counts! Every session gets you closer to what you want!
    Hang in there x

    • rockafellaskank
      August 21, 2011

      Thanks Vicki. Glad it’s not just me. But I’m planning on getting Week 2 runs 2 & 3 done this week… so will plod (trot) away!


  • Liz@LastChanceTraining
    August 19, 2011

    Thanks for the mention! Felt the same way about weight loss – used to look at my rolls of fat and think that 35kg was an eternity away. When I broke it down into small chunks and persisted, it felt like I was lifting a weight off my negative thinking as well.

    I’ve got your back kiddo – you can do this!

  • Julia
    August 19, 2011

    Thank you for your honest. Running gets better the more you do it – and I know you can! YOU CAN DO IT!

  • Julia
    August 19, 2011

    Whoops – that should read thank you for your honesty!

    • rockafellaskank
      August 21, 2011

      Thanks Julia. Am possibly sometimes too honest, but seriously find it helps me get past things if I put them on paper (or screen, as the case may be).


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