Monday, March 25, 2013

the slow burn.

i know i've been missing for a while and for that i am sorry. sometimes i have to allow myself to walk away from the internet so that i can focus on less, be less distracted and frazzled, and be more intentional and present in my day to day life.

but i missed it over here. and i swear i thought about you ;)

lately, i have been thinking a lot about sharing with you my passion for jogging/running.
i've been getting so much encouragement and hurrahs from friends about the miles i've been racking up. just recently i was in the company of some of my best friends from high school and at one point the conversation turned to my commitment to running. one friend in particular said that i have inspired her to start running and that meant a lot to me. usually i don't really think that what i share or have to say on my blog/instagram/facebook makes that big of a difference to people out there who i don't even know are listening. but when someone does tell me that i have inspired them, or something i wrote spoke to them or made them feel less alone, it really touches my heart and is such a humbling and rewarding experience.

most people have been saying things like, "i can't believe that you just go out and run six miles. i could never do that!"
and my response is always, "yes, you can. you just don't know it yet."
then i tell them my story and how i got to where i am today...

last summer i really wanted to get back into shape after a two year break from consistent exercise. i had been doing zumba here and there, sometimes i did strength training, occasionally i would get on a kick and obsessively work out at home with Jillian Michaels, etc.
BUT there was no consistency. i didn't have a routine. and i need a routine to stick with something.

so i decided to start jogging/running again. i first started it up a year before my wedding and really liked it a lot. i ended up quickly losing about 15 pounds for my big day (thanks in part to a super strict diet of clean eating-no dairy, red meat, artificial sweeteners, or processed foods), but i wasn't invested in it beyond getting fit for that ominous deadline.
and i never ran outside. it was always on a treadmill. there was once or twice that i tried jogging outside and my lungs felt like they would burst into flames. i couldn't handle the air... or something. i honestly don't know what it was.
at that time i also didn't know that running on a treadmill is such a chore. it is the most boring thing ever. and yet at times i still wondered why i gave it up right after i became a mrs. and waited two years before attempting it again.

this time around i decided to try jogging outside. well, it wasn't really so much of a decision as a necessity. i don't have a gym membership and my mom gave away her treadmill, much to my chagrin. looking back, i couldn't be more thankful that she did.

so i started off just by walking around my mom's neighborhood for 20-30 minutes (we have been living with her for almost a year now during our ongoing search for a house). after a few days i started to add one minute of jogging for every five minutes of walking. a few days later i began to increase the minutes i jogged. i kept at it until i finally increased my jog to an entire mile without stopping to walk. i can't remember how long it took me to get to that point, but that doesn't really matter. i just listened to my body and let it tell me when i was ready to keep going. i have a tendency to push myself a little too hard in almost all areas of my life, but i knew that in order to stick with this and make it a priority, i needed to take it slow or i would just get tired and give up on it altogether.

in September i got the Nike+ app on my phone (i highly recommend it) and ever since then i have been tracking all of my runs. so far i have ran 276.1 miles, including this morning's run. sometimes i run 2.5 miles and sometimes i run 6 miles, but on an average day i run 3-4 miles, depending on the kind of time and energy i have. i don't try to go faster as much as i try to go farther. for me it's all about the distance. i try not to beat myself up for having a slow average and eventually i would absolutely love to be able to run a 9 minute mile, but that's just not happening any time soon and i'm okay with that. just as long as i get out there and i keep at it, that's all that matters to me.

if you are someone who hates jogging/running and you don't think you could ever do this, take it from me and don't listen to that nagging voice in your head that's telling you that you can't. because you can. years ago i never in a million lifetimes would have ever dreamed that i could just go out there and run a mile like it's no big deal, let alone a few miles. i absolutely loathed and dreaded running. even last summer when i first started i never imagined that i'd be running 4 miles on an easy day.
it's all about baby steps. if you haven't exercised or ran in a long time, or ever, the last thing you want to do is lace up your shoes and kill yourself trying to run a few miles out of nowhere. you'll rarely, if ever, put those running shoes back on. and dang they are expensive, so you better get your moneys worth. take your time, don't push yourself too hard, be patient, and i promise you will reap the benefits and do more than you thought you could. you'll go farther and faster than you ever imagined.

and not to mention you'll be able to experience the coveted runner's high. boy, oh boy, is it addicting. i can't get enough. and neither will you.


Katie said...

Thank you for writing this! I love it so much. I even sent you an email about it :)

Kasey Lynne said...

SO needed to read this today.
I've been putting off the exercise for far too long. I loved that you shared that you started out walking, and gradually adding jogging into your workout. That's exactly what I need to do.

This was so encouraging Andrea. I can't thank you enough!