Pre-2007: I was large. Technically I was extra-large. After the birth of my son in 2003, I had to venture into Lane Bryant to purchase an outfit. This was only once. I somehow skinnied down to be able to fit into the largest size in regular clothes (most likely vanity sized clothes).
Then one day in the summer of 2007 I had lunch with my Soul Sister from middle school and high school. She is the girl who understands when I reference Pink Lemonade Snapple and purple sunglasses. She understands and can analyze any alarming dream that I have. She gets it. The people who truly knew you when you were fourteen are powerful and wise. You can't lie to them; they can't lie to you. The relationship is too old to deal with those sorts of shenanigans. She and I need to have lunch soon. Adulthood often interferes with plans like those.
That day at lunch upon parting I told her that I had parked a couple blocks away. I made an off-hand remark that I needed to start walking to lose weight. She reminded me that I said that last year. I had said it. And I never acted on it.
But that summer I did. I struggled through 60 second intervals of running sandwiched between 90 second or two minutes of walking. I can't remember exactly, but I remember thinking how hard it was. I proceeded through the very popular Couch to 5K program. I can remember my dread at imagining running a five minute interval; I can remember my delight when I accomplished five minutes of running.
Repeat that pattern of dread and delight for the next four years as I progress to 20 minute runs, 30 minutes runs, a 10K, a 10 miler, my first half marathon, my first 14, 16, 18, 20 mile training run, my first 21 miler, and my first marathon. And I took delight in every new shopping trip as I slimmed down size after size after size.
Now that I've shown to the doubting me that I can cover the distance, I need to refine my training in so many areas.
Area #1: Speedwork and Tempo Runs. I'm actually going to run the tempo runs at true tempo speed this time around. I've promised myself that I would. No more cheating myself. I'm not sure I am ready for track workouts though. Ugh.
Area #2: Hills. My "hill" isn't long enough. I plan on taking advantage of my four-week fellowship at the University and run the hill from the parking lot up to the library multiple times in the 3 pm summer heat. It will be awesomely painful.
Area #3: Long Runs. I need to run them slower. This is actually hard.
Area #4: Cross-Training. I'm weak when it coming to doing anything other than running. I'll use the elliptical, but if I were being honest with myself I would realize that I am essentially running. I have a rowing machine, but I am just continuing to strengthen my legs. I need to work on my core and arms.
My gams are smokin'.
Nike helped me with the initial foray into running. I used that Nike+ system for two and half years religiously to record my mileage. Somehow that data was motivating to me. It still it. I know that I have logged over 2,800 miles since starting running in 2007. I like knowing those numbers. I am looking forward to hitting 3,000 miles because that is essentially the distance between San Francisco and New York City Halls. I like imagining that. I dumped Nike for Garmin; Garmin is a better training partner. I just have to use it more wisely.
But Nike just might be my savior yet again. They have this free iPhone app called Nike Training Club. I just tried it out today. I did the 15 minute Ab Buster workout.
That was bloody hard.
Clearly, I have no strength. I am a wobbly mess. Running for three hours straight seems easier than those fifteen minutes.
Clearly, this failure and weakness is extremely motivating for me because I will conquer these damned workouts. I will.
Clearly, I have a twisted version of what to do for fun.