the wonderful world of veena.

22 July 2013

1/2 marathon monday: minor improvements, but I'll take them.

Recap of Week 2:

Monday: 45-minute Get Lean Beginner Crunch + Burn on the NTC. some squats, a lot of variations of planking, some Russian twists and crazy Ivans [ab stuff with a medicine ball. ouch], and some ski jumps. there was only one exercise I had trouble with in terms of getting the form down; otherwise it was pretty ok.

Tuesday: 2mi run. I woke up about 15 minutes earlier than usual to try to beat the heat, and I'm glad that I did. even though it was still a bit muggy when I set out around 5.40, the sun wasn't in sight, so there was still a little bit of a breeze. other than the final incline on Bazemore around the 1.4mi mark, it was a pretty uneventful run. I'm definitely glad I got up earlier, and I think that will continue, at least through August.

Wednesday: Carmelita Jeter's 15-minute intensity workout. slightly easier than it was on Sunday, but those mountain-climbers-into-tuck-jumps still hurt.

Thursday: another 2mi run, completed 1 minute faster than on Tuesday. it's not much, but I'll take it.

Friday: 45-minute Get Toned Beginner Tighten Up. I am a big fan of any workout that does not involve planking. I also had an extra adrenaline rush because I knew the faster I completed my workout and got ready, the faster the brother and I could hit the road to Little Rock to hang out with our peeps.

Saturday: rest day! I went for a few leisurely swims at Maggie's house which were great for stretching out my muscles.

Sunday: 45-minute Get Strong Beginner Magnum workout. because the brother and I drove back from Little Rock Sunday morning, I did my workout around 6 in the evening, which was something new and different for me. the workout itself wasn't too bad, and I think I slept better having done the workout later in the day.

Overall, I can feel myself getting a bit stronger with each passing day. I still greatly dislike Russian Twists and especially Crazy Ivans, but my form is slowly improving. As is my running form. I notice that I'm having to correct my posture less and less when I run, which is something I'm just a little bit proud of.

I bought a new set of orthotic inserts for my shoes to add some extra arch support to my ridiculously flat feet, but I am yet to actually put them in my shoes. One step at a time...

Additional Notes, on eating and such:

I ate nicely over the first weekend, but I also controlled my portions, particularly when we went to Cheddar's on Friday night and with the Indian food on both Saturday and Sunday for lunch. And I was pretty diligent about logging my food as well, so that I could just generally keep track of what and how much I was eating. I'm not counting calories necessarily, but I do find it interesting to have a log of the things I eat on a regular basis.

This last weekend, however, I did not log my food. It wasn't really a conscious decision, it was more that Maggie and I picked up food on Friday night, and I didn't have access to wifi until we got home at something stupid like 2am. And then again on Saturday, things were hectic with preparing food and whatnot, and I didn't have the energy, so I decided that I was giving myself the weekend off.

Why do I run?

I realised I've not really written on here about why I run, only about my runs. The Oatmeal recently published a hilarious cartoon about why the illustrator runs, and it got me thinking about how I started running and why I keep running.

Growing up I always hated exercise. It's not necessarily that I was lazy, although that was part of it, but I didn't like going to the gym. Part of it was being self-conscious and not wanting to have to work out in front of other people, but part of it was also that I just didn't enjoy the exercises that we had to do, especially lifting weights. My lower body has always been stronger than my upper body, so I didn't like having to do bench presses and the like.

Because of this, I was never a regular exerciser as an adult. In college I played random intramural sports, which gave me just enough exercise to keep me happy. While I lived in India, I went for aerobics classes with Amai in the months leading up to her wedding, but I wasn't interested enough to keep up with it after the wedding. At one point I got into the habit of going for 30-40 minute walks every evening when I got home from work to unwind from the day and to have some time for myself.

When I moved to Little Rock in 2011 for grad school, I knew I needed to get myself into a regular exercise routine of some sort, but that hatred for the gym runs deep. When I heard about the Little Rock Marathon [and half, and 10k, and 5k] and found out that a number of my classmates were running various events, I decided that the 10k would be a good option for me. I knew that once I paid the registration fee, I would be hell-bent on getting my money's worth, aka finishing the race. So I registered for the race, I downloaded the Couch-to-5k app on my phone [I was starting from scratch], and I got to running.

And to my absolute surprise, I found that I enjoyed running. I would often get up and run around 6am, which was really nice when I didn't have a lot of schoolwork. When school got busy, I would take myself down to the river on the weekends and run there, enjoying the crisp, cool weather and the time to myself to be alone with my thoughts. And come March, I ran that 10k. I didn't run it fast, but I finished the race, which was my goal.

But then once I didn't have a race to train for, and with school getting busy and Catherine and Drew's wedding to get ready for, I didn't stick with it. I kept telling myself tomorrow I'll go for a run. tomorrow. tomorrowwwww.... And then I didn't. I kept putting it off. Every few weeks or so, I'd run for about 20-ish minutes, but my heart wasn't really in it. I wasn't enjoying it anymore, and there were too many other things going on, and the weather was warming up, and I always seemed to have some excuse or another as to why I didn't run on a given day.

And then I went back to India and didn't run. It's impossible to run on the roads in India, it was hot, and often Shonali and I would stay up watching episodes of New Girl until 2am, which means I wouldn't get up at 7 to run like I intended. When I was in Delhi for 2 weeks and Rob and I were staying together, we would get up and run at Lodi Garden in the mornings, but I got out of that habit, too. In Bombay I got swept up in the lifestyle and excused myself by saying that I walked to the railway station and back, so that was good enough. It wasn't.

So when I got back this spring, I was determined to get back into a routine with my running. The first month was pretty sporadic, since I was back-and-forth between Memphis and Little Rock, but since returning to Memphis I was pretty good about running 2 or 3 days a week. And then came the surprise email notifying me that I would be running in San Francisco, and the rest, as they say, is history. [kind of. it's only Week 2 of training]

So that's the history of how I started running. But why do I keep running. To put it simply, I actually enjoy it. Yes, it's often difficult, it's pretty slow, and it's never pretty, but I have such a feeling of accomplishment when I finish a run I set out to do, regardless of how long or short it is. And it's been a great stress reliever for me, particularly when I was in Little Rock and school got busy. It was a great way for me to get half an hour / an hour / however long to myself to sort out everything that was going on and to just think some things through. Since I've been back and living at home, it's been a nice way for me to get some solid alone time. And it's a reminder that once I set my mind to something, I can follow through on it.

I've now followed through on 2 weeks of training. Only 13 [I think?] more to go.

1 comment:

  1. Reading this reminds me of the few (maybe 3-4) longs runs I had while training for my half that were GLORIOUS. The weather was Fall cold and sunny, the leaves had changed color, and tons of other runners were out doing the same thing. I was alone (ie, without the baby boy) with my This American Life podcasts with nothing else going on.

    There were hard runs too, of course, but the good ones are what keep people signing up for marathons, I'm convinced.