Today William (my awesome co-worker) and I went to the gym at lunch time. Normally I do 35 minutes of cardio on an eliptical/cross trainer type of machine. But today I wanted to challenge myself - I wanted to do something that I had never done and had been considering for some time...
You may not know this about me but I hate running. I have always hated running, since I was a child. And I've never run more than tiny bursts at a time - complaining about it before, during and after. Why have I always hated running so much?
- I used to get terrible ankle pain from the impact (I rarely get this now, I think it went away as a result of the weight loss)
- I get out of breath fast/easily
- I hate feeling things moving/shaking on my body (This is one reason why I love tight clothes. I love to feel 'held in'.)
- My thighs are, and have always been, huge - walking is hard enough!
- My punk rope instructor observed that I am a great sprinter in class. He was right - I do run fast, and well, in short bursts (but I need recovery time).
- Since visiting my allergist earlier this year and realizing the cause of my congestion and how to fix it, I can breathe better than ever. (dust covers for my bedding and a nasal rinse)
- I am still so impressed by my amazing friend Jordana, who I mentioned ran the NYC marathon last year. While I have no intention of ever doing that, I am motivated by her accomplishment.
- My WW receptionist mentioned a race she's doing soon. She told me they have to run 3 miles in 45 minutes. I realized that if I can walk a mile in 17 minutes (my normal pace), I only need to push myself a little faster to hit 15 minutes.
Now, I have always avoided the treadmill for two reasons:
- I walk a lot every day already, very fast, which I do not consider exercise. So I couldn't see the point of walking indoors on a motorized track. I would rather spend my workout time doing something I can't do otherwise.
- Oh yeah, I HATE RUNNING.
And I actually DID IT! In total, I ran at least 10 minutes in the 35. My walking pace was 3.6 - 3.8 (my normal walking speed) and I ran at 5.6 - 5.8 for a minute or so at a time. I felt amazing! Even as I was running, I couldn't believe I was doing it and and was even more surprised that I didn't feel like I was going to die.
That, single handedly, is the most running I have ever done in a single day and I'm so proud of myself. At the end of the 35 minutes, I did 2.5 miles, making my average speed 4.28. That gives me a nice baseline so I can monitor my progress next time. (The only weird thing was that when I got off the treadmill, I felt very strange - a little lightheaded and it felt like I was walking on air. Is that normal? William was concerned for me but I was fine after about 10 minutes. I'm just wondering what that was all about.)
So that was a great victory for me today, and I want to incorporate some interval walking/running as part of my regular routine. Maybe one day I'll even enjoy running. Who knows? Stranger things have happened...