Today, I ran
Health and fitness… Not a subject of this blog, really. At least, not lately. But I think about it a lot.
I think I used to be pretty fit. I cycled literally everywhere, including my work commute, danced regularly, went to the gym three days a week. Three years ago I was training for the London to Cambridge bike ride. I got shingles, and never made it to the race itself. In fact, I've hardly cycled since.
The shingles segue'd smoothly into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which wasn't diagnosed for a full 18 months. I stopped dancing, stopped cycling, stopped going to the gym – pretty much stopped exercising. I was incapable of spending a full day at work, and I got very, very depressed.
Fairly unsurprisingly, my weight went up significantly – from around 68 kg (150 lb for you who are still fighting the metric system) to something over 83 kg (183 lb). It's still not really come down again; I'm hovering somewhere around 77 – 78 kg (c. 171 lb).
I still have fatigue issues – starting my new job has been very, very hard indeed. But anyone can make excuses, right? I've done my time reading inspirational websites, and it's about time I started making my own changes.
Lilith has inspired me. So has PastaQueen. Neither of them know, though, because I'm too shy to comment (some blogger, eh?). For anyone that doesn't know, Lilith has just completed a 5k run – following CoolRunning's Couch to 5k programme. PastaQueen has lost more weight than my TOTAL BODY WEIGHT HAS EVER BEEN. She has lost a whole 'me' at my heaviest, and then some. I cannot even begin to imagine the fortitude it must have taken to take that first step on what she knew – right at the beginning – was going to be a really, REALLY long journey. Oh, and she's just completed a half marathon1.
So yesterday, I took the plunge. I tried to talk myself out of it so many times. My heart rate monitor has no battery – it would be a shame to start training with no record, wouldn't it? The ladies' shower is on a different floor at work – am I really allowed to use it? Oh – maybe I should just walk to the shops instead, because I've just realised, I have no tampons at work – shouldn't I maybe buy some, just in case?
OK, we're getting ridiculous now. But those are *all* 'reasons' I tried to use not to start, not to take *my* first step. Because I want to be able to run 5k, too. (Actually, I want to complete a triathlon one day, but let's start small, OK? I've always been a good swimmer and a competent cyclist, but even at school, running made me want to throw up. I also want to lose the last of that illness-weight, which is why I'm drinking a beer right now…)
So. Couch to 5k. First workout: jog 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds. Repeat for 20 minutes. Sounds like I should be able to do it, right?
Except I thought the first jog was going to kill me. The second and third were better, especially after I realised that the total set was going to be eight 'reps' total, not thirteen (don't ask). The fourth was *hideous*. I really had to fight even to keep walking after it; I had a truly evil stitch. So I slowed for the fifth, but kept the 'rhythm' going. Then, the sixth was done, and I was on the next to last! And I DID it! I totally managed to finish the workout!
Today, my biceps are sore. Huh?? Tomorrow I get to do it again. Um, good?
1This woman is really, really awesome. Seriously. I am now a total fan-girl, and if I don't win a copy of her book by entering her competition, I will most definitely buy one. Once I found her website, I *had* to finish reading the *entire* archive. I did not do any knitting last night because I know me and these addictions, and if I didn't get through the archive, I'd find myself secretly reading it at work today. Like I did on Friday. You can witness her amazing transformation (twice!) here:
..and enter her contest for yourself, too.