Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Learning to Run

Not too much academic work has been happening at Cornerstone Home Learning during the last few weeks. The learning continues however - lots of library books all around. We are enjoying the lazy days and praying that God continues to allow the children to learn at home during the next year.

I have been learning something new this summer though. I've started jogging!

Yes, at the age of 42, I've decided life would be better if I could run a 5K. This is due in no small part to my good friend Jennifer. She also started running during the last year and has HER sights now set on running a half-marathon!

For those of you who have shown interest into my fitness venture, I've decided to write it out here. If you could care less, please feel free to skip! LOL

In December, I decided that 2009 was the year in which I would get into shape. I started working out in January and haven't missed a week of workouts since. At the time, I didn't imagine jogging as something I could do, however.

My first few weeks were focused on short aerobics workouts I'd recorded off ESPN years and years ago. I felt comfortable with The Fitness Pros, since I'd done the workouts all those years back, and they were only about 20 minutes long, easy to integrate into my life three times a week.

I was using sparkpeople.com to record my calories and faithfully recorded each workout at that site as well. I highly recommend SparkPeople, a FREE website with TONS of tools for learning and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. (Thank you to Marla, for telling me about it!)

After several months, these short aerobics workouts were no longer a challenge, but the weather was rotten and I had no money to join a gym. I started doing aerobics moves in front of the television, while watching a DVD, so as not to get bored. I increased the time gradually until I was working out for 45 minutes three or four times a week.

But Jennifer's constant discussion of her running had niggled its way into my brain. I moved from aerobics in front of the TV to running in place. Then one nice day at the end of May, I stepped outside and started running for real. Wow, running for real is a LOT different than running in place, in case you ever wondered!

I found a quiet place to run and measured off a half-mile loop. At first I jogged a little and walked a little - alternating using the songs on my MP3 player as a guide. (Mostly the soundtrack from High School Musical 3. I know, I know....) I think I began with 3 loops, plus the distance back and forth to my home. After a few weeks, I was running two songs and walking for one. I kept increasing the time jogged, and alternating with walking.

Running two days in a row proved to be more stress than my muscles and joints could take, so currently I jog three days a week. Another friend told me about a local kickboxing class that only costs $1, so I've started going to that two days a week. (If you're local and interested, let me know and I'll give you the details.)

Yes, it's true - Lisa working out FIVE days a week. Who'd have thunk it?

A couple weeks ago, I marked the milestone of running an entire mile without stopping, just about two months after I first ran outside. I am amazed I can do it, thought Jennifer had told me I could! (And now she tells me that she TOLD ME SO. lol) I was logging just about 3 miles in a workout (the distance of a 5K) - alternating jogging half miles and walking quarter miles.

However, last week I realized that my hips were really feeling the strain of so much exercise increased over such a short period of time, so I took four days off to let my joints recover. They felt better after the rest, so Tuesday I did a mile of jogging/walking and today I did the kickboxing class. I'll continue to take it easy this week and next, but I have high hopes that I will be able to resume my 5K training within the next couple weeks.

My goal is to run a 5K without stopping, and once I can do that, I'll find one to run and I won't look back!

Oh, and the health benefits? Those are great - I have more energy and less desire to nosh on unhealthy foods. I've lost 27 lbs, 4 inches off my waist and off my hips, and have gone down two sizes in jeans.

Now, you may be saying, like I did, "Well, that's all fine and good, for HER. But that won't work for me. I'm too busy, too old, too fat, too big-busted, too tired, [insert excuse here]." However, I am telling you - if *I* can do this, YOU CAN DO IT TOO. Really. I had every excuse in the book for years and years. Start small and keep going. You won't be sorry!

And to pull it all together with our home learning perspective, I am hoping to get the kids into running as well. When it was a novelty, Suzy and James each took turns going with me in the mornings. When they realized it was EXERCISE, they decided not to go along. However, I plan to schedule each of them in at least once a week, and Emily too, though she is resistant to the idea. David has been jogging a couple times on his own, as training for his soccer team. So there you go - my kids are learning to have an active lifestyle and so am I!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, you are inspiring ME! Love, Mom

Denise said...

You are inspiring me, slowly anyway. :) hehehe

Niffercoo said...

"Constant discussion"??? Hmmmm...

By the way,

I TOLD YOU SO!!!

So proud of you! Wait until you run your first race, you'll be hooked! :)

Jen