Psyching myself up to run

I’ve been meaning to start running again and have made a couple of false starts over the past month or two. Today I tried again.

I’ve actually signed myself up to run a half-marathon. Something I haven’t done in almost five years, and since many pounds ago.

Now that I’m finally over my cold, today I took steps to get myself outside to run. It took an extraordinary amount of mind games to do so.

Step 1:
I brought my running shoes in from the car yesterday and left them by the door where I could see them.

Step 2:
After a missed workout and headache this afternoon, I napped and then ate veggies and perked up.

Step 3:
I put on my running gear and went outside.

Step 4:
It started to rain literally the moment I went out the door! A sudden heavy rain. Way to test my resolve! Did I continue or go back inside? Would the rain last long? I knew it had taken weeks to get me to the point of putting on my running shoes and getting out the door, so I decided to continue. I looked in the direction I was planning to run and there weren’t so many clouds that way, so I hoped for the best, telling myself that I would simply run around the block if the rain got heavier.

Step 5:
It turned out to be isolated showers so the beginning was the worst of it. I was glad I had continued on. I started running towards the paths as I’m not so close to them anymore. I ran past people on their lawns and had it in my head that they were laughing at someone as fat as me out trying to run. I kept going.

Step 6:
I set out to run four 5-minute sets with one minute walking breaks in between. Set one: okay. Set two: okay. Set three: my heart rate was really elevated and I was out of breath, I ran two minutes and then walked a few minutes. I passed a lot of young people who I again had in my head as laughing at me – and I said to myself – so what? I could notice that my walking breaks were jauntier and I had to start somewhere. If I let what other people thought (or what I imagined they thought) get in my way, I’d only get more and more out of shape.

Step 7:
I was getting tired but I decided to fit in more spurts of running. Run two minutes and then you can walk again, run from this stoplight to the next stoplight and then you can walk again, one more block to get home, you can run that.

So I did it. I ran and walked for a total of 3.44 kilometres in 31 minutes. Sure I used to run 5 km in the same amount of time with longer stretches of running. But that wasn’t important.

Running is a mind game as much as it is about your body. Today the real goal was to just go outside and run however far I could get in 25-30 minutes.

Mission accomplished.

Next goal: to repeat this within the next two days.


An effort to eat better

One of the terrible side effects of depression is that I gained a LOT of weight. Around 55 pounds since my breakdown. It is literally weighing me down.

This week I’ve started to try to tackle the weight issue. I haven’t been exercising as I sprained my ankle and I had so many other things to do, but what I have tried to do is eat better.

I really eat badly. I never learned to cook and am often eating some kind of packaged food. For those of you following me since I first started blogging, you also know that I had a very unfortunate addiction to Haagen Dazs ice cream in the fall.

I’m not going to change my eating habits over night, but this is what I have done:
– Proactively eat a banana and two apples during the work day.

I haven’t done anything else really in terms of meals, but I think it is a really good start. I lost 2.2 pounds in the week since I bought my scale, and that was after a night out eating poutine, which is oh so tasty and oh so full of calories.

Anyway, what I like about the banana at breakfast and apples in the afternoon is that it seems to prevent most sugar cravings. I only had chocolate one afternoon when I was having a super stressful day.

This week my goal will be to add some fresh veggies to the day as well.

I don’t want to go on a diet. Rather I want to eat healthier foods, whole foods.

If you have recipes for tasty healthy foods with very little prep and time required, I’d love some tips. 🙂 (Just no fish or seafood.)

One Week Challenge – Day 1

I had an extremely slow start today, but I finally got things going and successfully completed the first day of my challenge.

I slept and dozed all morning. I was just so tired. I will have to think about why that is, as I had more than enough sleep. Finally, at two pm I dragged myself out of bed. I wasn’t sure that I had the energy to do anything, but I applied my “minimum bad day plan” to at least get myself out of bed. I had a shower then went to the living room, opened the curtains and the watched some TV while having a snack and some caffeine. It worked! I slowly got things moving and completed each part of the challenge over the afternoon and early evening.

Exercise: one hour, check!

I joined a nearby gym today. I hadn’t gone there before but now that winter is on its way I decided that I needed to do something that would make it easier for this fair-weather person to stay active. While there I did 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes on a stationary bike. It was tough! It was very humbling to have my poor shape driven home. Whereas I used to be able to run for over two hours, today I struggled with a few minutes. My original plan was to run short intervals of two minutes, with walking in between. But my body was definitely not up to that much cardio, so after two running intervals I switched to speed walking for the remainder of the time. I ended up walking a total of 3 kilometres in 30 minutes. I’m satisfied with that. It is a good baseline and right now the important thing is just to do something. My abilities will change soon enough as long as I don’t push too far too soon. This was followed by 30 minutes of an exercise bike, which was much easier.

Career: 20 minutes, check!

I have a telephone interview tomorrow so for today’s task I focused on finding my desk under the clutter and setting out only those papers I will need to have on hand for the interview.

Self-Help: 20 minutes, check x 2!

I read the first chapter of yet another depression book in my collection. I have the bad habit of buying self-help books and then not reading them. This one, “Listening to Depression”, is a short one, so perhaps I’ll have more luck with completing it. I’ll write more on my reading in a separate post.

Clean or Organize One Thing: check!

In addition to organizing my work area, I also did laundry.

So there you have it. Day 1: a success! 🙂