Monday, January 2, 2012

Feeling Groovy

Hello dear readers!  I hope you all had an enjoyable New Year's celebration and came out the other side unscathed!  For me, the celebration began Friday evening, but I wasn't celebrating the coming of a new year, perse, more the end of the chaotic, so-busy-I-can't-even-keep-hydrated sale that we've been having since Thansgiving.  I doubled my normal sales in the month of December, and most of what I was selling was 50% off, so you do the math!  So when I walked out of my office on Friday evening, I was ready for some good ole fashioned cheat food. 
We ate at our favorite restaurant, and were seated in a different area, very charming and quaint, and we had a perfectly delectable dinner.  My husband was very exhausted and ready to be home, so we didn't get a sweet treat afterword, much to my (and my kids) dismay.  But I promised them McDonalds holiday pies the following day if they behaved.
Saturday morning I ran two miles in 34 minutes.  I don't know why I was making things so difficult with the kilometers/ miles per hour thing.  If I want to finish a 5K in less than 30 minutes, I have to run slightly faster than 6 miles per hour.  Now that I know what I am aiming for, I know how to get there.  At some point this week, I am going to try intervals and see how minute intervals of 6mph feel, and slowly work my way up, switching between longer runs at lower speeds and short to moderate length runs at 6mph or more.  It will be truly interesting to see where I stand. 
I noticed one thing while I was running this weekend, and now that I noticed it, it seems to be resonating through so many other things.  The first mile is always the toughest.  It's that first mile when the muscles are still a bit cold, and they want to tense up and use more energy than they need, and your heart feels like it's searching for the proper rhythm.  In the first mile, I am aware of the entire mechanics of running, the way my feet hit the treadmill, the sound my shoes make, my hamstring muscle starting to tense, my breath seeming strange and heavy.  Once I pass that mile, and the endorphins kick in, everything feels all warm, I find my natural groove, my breathing and footing seem to come in perfect rhythm, everything seems so in sync.  Life is just like that.  Stepping into the cold,tense beginning of something is always a bit offsetting, but once you begin, it mostly always gets easier.  On this particular run on Saturday, I plugged in my iPod (I am completely convinced that earbuds are the worst invention ever made) and cranked up the Bouncing Souls, and it turns out that melodic punk is really quite perfect for running.  When I finished my two miles, I was so proud of myself that I said in triumph (to no one) "HA!!! SUCK IT!  I JUST RAN TWO MILES IN 34 MINUTES!"  And I knew that whatever else transpired that day, that no one could take that run away from me. 
I did indeed indulge in said holiday pies, and except for a bit of popcorn and raspberry vodka later that night (the All-American way to celebrate New Year's Eve, right?) I ate on-plan all day, which is more than I can say for most Saturdays, when my mentality is anything goes.
I was going to rest on Sunday, due to my legs being sore from the run, but I ended up feeling so restless that I needed to move.  A fresh mix of freezing rain and light snow made it just not intelligent to drive, and I wanted some Diet Coke in the worst way, so I combined my workout with the reward of getting said drink, by walking to the convenience store down the street.  It is about 1 mile round trip, nothing to write home about, but getting some blood flowing into my legs made them feel a little better.  And the Diet Coke was deliciously cold and tingly in my throat when I got it home.  Win-win.
This morning my legs were still a bit sore, so I did some moderate cardio, changing up my intervals a bit.  My diet has been 100% back on plan and I haven't even been thinking about food today, other than the fact that I feel like my metabolism is revved way up and I am constantly hungry.  That is a good thing.  If my legs feel better tomorrow, I will test out the 6mph intervals, running at 6mph for a minute, then walking at an easy pace for 2 minutes.  I wonder if can even run that fast??  Once when I was obese, I started a new year out by joining a gym and I got one free session with a trainer.  I was truly a novice.  When he put me on the treadmill, I had no idea how to get it started, much less what to expect.  It was one of those gyms that looked like it was someone's basement and some powerlifter turned it into a cool industrial gym.  All it patrons were serious lifters, with gigantic muscles, even the women.  My personal trainer was so so very attractive and I was already feeling all kinds of out of place when he set me on the treadmill for my cool-down after a grueling muscle session.  I am sure you know what happened next, in my quest to fit in, I held the speed button down instead of pushing and releasing, and before I knew it, I was thrown against the wall, legs up over my head, showing my bottom side to the world and nearly suffocating on the fat around my stomach.  What a scene!  It does make me more cautious in cranking up the speed on the treadmill.  But if I learned one thing it is that one bad experience is just that.  If I had let that stop me from getting back on a treadmil for good, I definitely wouldn't be talking about running another 5K this spring.  And right now, that is the one thing that is keeping me inspired and fired up.  Chalk it up to an embarassing experience and a valuable lesson learned.  I actually look forward to my morning treamill workouts these days, that is something I would never have expected.  But life if funny that way; get past the first mile and it shows you some pretty amazing things!
Hope you are all finding your groove and feeling groovy!  Happy Monday!

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