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21 March 2014 @ 03:21 pm
I'm tired of being fat (though this is nothing new.)

I realize this is a poor motivation for exercise since weight loss is a lost cause but good health is not, but I'll take what I can get.

I've been using the Zumba kinect games (not the first one because it's horrible) and they seem to be good for improving my general well being (getting the kinks out, getting some good circulation) but not really for weight loss or high cardio.

A lot of my friends are running now. Someone said some people find it meditative. I need to meditate more, it's good for my brain. So I bought some fancy shoes that have been staring at me for a few weeks while I waited to get over this cough and for the weather to not threaten to be horrible enough to be an excuse to break any regime I got started. (They are extremely cool shoes designed to have impact protection, but then feel like a flat shoe for the take off, which should be perfect for me since I am most comfortable in flat shoes, but weight enough I need some sort of impact protection. They call them "clouds.") To keep the price down and to have the option to return them, I had to get a color I hate, but that's ok. They're bright enough they catch my attention and say, "hey, we want to go running, don't you?"

I decided to try one of the c25k programs. After hearing crs rant about the brokenness of runkeeper, I went with rundouble.

I didn't find running meditative at all. I think I would be in so much better shape if exercise didn't make me feel horrible. If I got any short term boon.

I am in better shape than my horrific memory form middle school when the whole gym class was waiting for me to finish my 20 minute mile.

I do really like the rundouble data and the updates and being told when to run and when to walk. I think the numbers might be good motivation for me. Here's my little chart. Nothing to write home about, but at least I got out there and I did at least jog for all my 1 minute intervals.

I like the shoes, though they got a little sweaty despite they're super airy tops and I kind wish they were a touch springier, but that might also be that I was too tired to use the form that youtube suggested was correct (more on my toe, so I'm more springy.)

Let's hope I keep up with the program. I need something to get me into shape.
This is a test of the Mugar Omnimax Theatre.dcltdw on March 21st, 2014 07:51 pm (UTC)
That's either a malformed URL or chrome is cruelly not letting me click on the "little chart" link. Charts! How fun are those? (Answer: pretty damn fun!!!) But then, I just like looking at my running spreadsheet and adding MORE BRIGHT COLORS and columns that have MORE BRIGHT COLORS in them, so hey, to each their own.

Are you doing C25K? Or just going running?

Although tech and shoes are, I believe, completely trumped by the most important thing: establishing a non-negotiable routine.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this runner from the prompt start of her appointed run.

When I was first starting, I tried to treat it as a "I have to pickup my kids at x time". Not that I have kids. It was hard when more fun things came up, like "X wants to get dinner together" or "the sun is shining" or downers like "I'm tired" or "I feel whiny" or "the sun has been extinguished by aliens from Tau Beta V". This is where a support network, for me, was key: friends saying, "oh, that's your running slot? Well, of course we can't do then. How about instead...".

Best of luck. :)
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on March 21st, 2014 07:55 pm (UTC)
URL should be fixed. I brain-spazed on doing a link. I'm doing the C25K program, hopefully.
This is a test of the Mugar Omnimax Theatre.dcltdw on March 21st, 2014 07:59 pm (UTC)
Hey, that's neat!

Holy jeebus, hilly much? You're a braver runner than I am. :)

So. When's Week 1 Day 2 and Week 1 Day 3 scheduled for you? (An annoying question, to be sure, but this is exactly what I mean by a non-negotiable routine.)
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on March 21st, 2014 08:04 pm (UTC)
I don't know yet. I know that's the bad answer, but I wasn't planning to start today, but I felt like it, so I did it because it was better than not doing it. I have a taiko gig tomorrow morning, but if I'm not stupid tired, I'll go out tomorrow for day two. Sunday is a bust, but likely Monday for day 3. If not Monday for day 2, Wednesday for day 3.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on March 21st, 2014 08:05 pm (UTC)
And there's just one hill, I think. I think the altitude might be smoking a little.
This is a test of the Mugar Omnimax Theatre.dcltdw on March 21st, 2014 08:09 pm (UTC)
Shhh, it's much more impressive if you say that you're casually running up and down the Iron Mountains of Doom. Well. I suppose claiming they're the Iron Mountains of Reading might be slightly more believable. :)
This is a test of the Mugar Omnimax Theatre.dcltdw on March 21st, 2014 08:08 pm (UTC)
It's also fine to repeat W1D1 until the right point in the week scrolls around or whatever. Have fun now, and then on March X, it becomes Very Serious Time and you have a schedule and blahblahblah. (Me, I'd have a problem that I'd keep pushing back the Very Serious date, but shhhh.)
Nurghringrose on March 21st, 2014 08:32 pm (UTC)
Go you!
We all know I'm not you, but I'll tell you what has worked for me.

First, everybody repeats weeks in c25k. It's not a matter of "if" you repeat one, it is when. Or two. Or five. It doesn't matter when you repeat one, just don't get discouraged.

Second, nowish is a fine time of year to start C25K. It's cold, but you can wear more layers for the early parts anyway. When it gets harder, weather will be warmer making it easier to decide to run, or decide to run in the evening.

Third, I didn't start c25k for weight loss. I did it because I wanted to be able to go further without machines, more easily. Changing my body shape was a side effect. Even if your end target is weight loss, I suggest you don't even look at it until you've gotten your body to doing 30 minutes. Then, you'll have an important tool: you can exercise a long period of time, fairly easily.

Fourth, I do c25k by time, and I manage my timing by music. Early on you can manage by just counting seconds mentally, but once the periods become long I made a playlist with music of the appropriate length. When the song changes, switch between running and walking. Oh, and I picked a song as an endcap: something which says "OK, you're done." Me, I chose Coulton's "Still alive," followed by "I feel fantastic." Consistency there made me stretch to go all the way, rather than end early.

Fifth, don't care about your pace. Seriously. You can jog really, really slowly and you will. Once you are running 30 minutes at a time Dave can probably give you ideas for picking up your pace, or you can look at it as "ok, I get enough exercise" and your pace will very slowly increase on its own. Because I run by time, not distance, my only hint that my pace is improving is that at the end of the jog I have gone a little further.

Sixth, once you're running more than a couple minutes at a time pick things to think about while jogging. I plot roleplaying games, solve work problems, and all sorts of things. Anything to keep my mind off jogging. Do that and it'll suddenly be much further into the run than you expect.

I tried pretty hard to make good associations with c25k early on. That helped keep me going.

Before I did c25k, I could not imagine myself running 30 minutes at a time. I couldn't imagine myself fighting a half-dozen NPCs for over an hour at a LARP (they got to take turns). When I walk into the red line and hear messages about service interruption, it wasn't an option to just walk right back out and run to work.
Now I can do all of those.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on March 21st, 2014 08:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Go you!
Thanks Rob, this all sounds like good advice.

I'm using the program to time the intervals. It was critical to me doing what I did do. The lady would tell me when to run and then give me a report on my interval.

And I do full expect to repeat weeks, though I think I didn't realize how much repeating there would be, so thank you for that warning.

I still haven't figured out the trick to think about something else. I had this problem with the elliptical machine. I'd be watching a show, but my mind would come back to how much exercise SUCKED.

The big thing for me will be whether my body likes this. Since I have bad knees and 75-80lbs of extra weight, we'll just have to see if I can physically do this without damage.
Nurghringrose on March 22nd, 2014 05:07 am (UTC)
Re: Go you!
Whatever works for you is best.

As for thinking about something else... "what can I think about?" is a valid topic. Use the time you're jogging to come up with something engaging you can think about. As I said, my fallback is usually plotting for a roleplaying game I run because it's so open-ended and creative. It is a little unfortunate that I lack a way of writing the results down, but oh no, I might just have to come up with some of them again next run.
A Sage With a Slight Flaw in Her Charactereccentrific on March 25th, 2014 04:04 am (UTC)
Re: Go you!
Rob's advice is mostly all good. But I will disagree with the don't-worry-about-pace part of it. Worry about your pace. You're probably going too fast and that's why exercise sucks. I have found it extremely helpful to get something that measures my heart rate so that I can constantly check and make sure I'm not going too fast. Heart rate when doing aerobic exercise should be under 130, but if I wasn't paying attention I'd find myself consistently up over 140.

And once I got the hang of keeping my heart rate in the right zone, exercise sucked a lot less and at the same time I started making progress much faster, even though in the beginning it meant jogging so slow that I would have been going faster if I was walking.
This is a test of the Mugar Omnimax Theatre.dcltdw on March 21st, 2014 09:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Go you!
All the above: A++++++++ would read again.

C25K is nominally a 9 week program. I started around July 8, 2008. My first time running a 5K outdoors was March 15, 2009. That's... a lot more than 9 weeks.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on March 21st, 2014 09:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Go you!
Well, I'm not actually planning to run any 5ks per se. (Like if I get that far, I might consider it) but I really liked the idea of the intervals and the structure of improving my endurance. I'm mostly using the program as more structure than just "do a mile faster."
mathhobbitmathhobbit on March 22nd, 2014 12:25 am (UTC)
Good for you!

If you can make the transition from "running makes me physically ill" to "running is cool and meditative" please let me know. I've given it up as a form of exercise, assuming I'd need extensive professional individual coaching at the least to make the positive physical effects balance the negative ones. (I think I spend as much energy bouncing up and down as I do moving forward. Alternating sprinting and walking feels vastly more efficient -- not that I can sprint far anymore.)
blk: runningblk on March 22nd, 2014 02:35 am (UTC)
I repeat after everybody else: Go you!

I started running several years ago because I was sick of having no endurance. I could not run for more than about 1/4 mile before having to stop, and the first several months it was hard work. I did not get any kind of relaxation/meditation from it until I worked up to being able to run for a few miles at a time. I did, however, enjoy seeing my progress. What kept me at it was that running was lower activation energy than any other active hobbies, as I could basically just roll out of bed, put on clothes, and start from my front door, sometimes without even fully waking up. My motivation to keep up with the program was to sign up for a race many months away, and make it a goal to run the whole thing. YMMV.
kelkyag: appleskelkyag on March 22nd, 2014 04:14 am (UTC)
<cheers and waves pom-poms>
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on March 22nd, 2014 07:34 pm (UTC)
I appreciate the fanfare, but shouldn't it be reserved until I've stuck with it a while? It's not like I don't exercise. This is just an experiment in exercising differently.
kelkyag: appleskelkyag on March 23rd, 2014 07:15 pm (UTC)
Encouragement to do and congratulations for doing are different things. If my notion of the former is sufficiently off from yours as to be disconcerting, course correction on my part is in order. :)

Yay for plans to promote good health, and best wishes and encouragement for following through on them!
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on March 23rd, 2014 10:34 pm (UTC)
Not disconcerting, I was just a little confused.
The Water Seeker: bike rainbowplymouth on March 22nd, 2014 05:45 pm (UTC)
I did a c25k a couple of years back. It was gratifying to be able to DO it, though when I got to the end my running speed was still pretty slow. So I kept going for a while, trying to increase my speed. I was still totally bored by it though, so after a while I gave up. My exercise of choice is still biking.
omphaloskeptic: bondi-bandcthulhia on March 27th, 2014 06:00 pm (UTC)
yay for giving it a try
Just signed up for my 18th annual 15K.
One of the advantages, for me, of taking up running as a post-high-school fat kid is that I learned how to run protectively of my joints, rather than for speed. A lot of other folks come back to running as adults and break themselves while in denial that they're older and have new limits.

Also, running has never really affected my weight, but it positively affects my overall health, and my shape. If you're looking for loss, add weight training a couple days a week. (And dietary adjustment, whenever you're ready to stack further lifestyle changes.)

Something I've noticed with newer runners, it's better to go the distance as walks with sprints than one long running slog that burns you out halfway there. Also, walking or slower paced running, with sprints, is a great way to condition when you don't have the time to run a full 30+ minutes. Like, if you get to the treadmill, and you have 15 minutes, sprints might work better.

Also, admit to yourself if you hate it. There's a lot of other options.

As to meditating? That works best with outdoor running. I find treadmill running dull, but I can maintain my speed better. Outdoor runs end up being sightseeing, and getting into nature. If you're up for trail-running, find a trail. (I'm too paranoid about wiping out on roots and rocks). Otherwise, there's a lot of bike paths through pretty areas around here.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on March 27th, 2014 06:02 pm (UTC)
Re: yay for giving it a try
I'm using a program that only has me run for a minute at time. Not quite sprints, but the same idea.

I don't live in Somerville any more.
omphaloskeptic: blahblahblahcthulhia on March 27th, 2014 07:41 pm (UTC)
Re: yay for giving it a try
A minute a time is a sprint. I do 3 minute cycles: 60-75 sec sprint 105-120 second recovery.

However, judging by your more recent post, walking sounds like the sane option right now, which definitely opens up trails.

And... you do still live in Eastern MA, right? There's lots of bike paths all over. If you have the time for that sort of exercise, maybe try geocaching? If nothing else, it will alert you to neat little parks and trails you might not otherwise ever discover.
kelkyag: appleskelkyag on March 29th, 2014 05:14 am (UTC)
I will second that geocaching has brought me to parks and other interesting places I would never have known existed otherwise.