So yesterday marked the 27th meeting with my awesome personal trainer, Karen. It was supposed to be my last (12 sessions followed by 3 sessions followed by 12 sessions) because though I've made great progress in my form and endurance, my asthma is pretty well under control, I've experienced a decrease in the number of migraines I get any given monty, and I'm very rarely sick; my two major goals of losing weight and getting into a running routine remain unattained. My weight has not budged a bit since last year, which I guess is good I suppose as it had been creeping up steadily since I got married. "You're nesting!" my friend LeeBob told me a couple of years ago. "That's so sweet!!"
I've examined where I can cut costs during this time of economic uncertainty and have determined that Karen is indespensible. Both her and Shannon keep me positive, refuse to let me get down on myself, and never show the least bit of disappointment when I fail to make progress. Without getting too melancholy I can tell you that I have had YEARS of letting myself get so down that I can't see the light from the hole I crawled in through from above - a very safe but very lonely and sad place I can tell you. I think I still have my foot near the hole in case I need to make a quick escape - old habits die hard - but I'm wholly out of it now. Besides, I probably wouldn't fit.
Though I do miss the endless supply of Portillo's cheese fries I kept stashed in there. mmmmmmmmmmmmmcheeeeeeeeeeeeese friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiesssss.....
It goes without saying that I loveloveLOVE to be home with Shannon, but there's no excuse for my not taking advantage of the multiple paths and running tracks that surround our home for an hour or so a day, maybe a bit more at the weekend. I have running gear for all seasons. My ORANGE!!! Asics running shoes - sold to me by Fleet Feet - are incredibly light and supportive and comfortable. I have a heart rate monitor and a Nike + chip. My 5+ hours "ORANGE!!!! Running Mix!!!" is loaded on three iPods - each of which is outfitted with a running clip of some sort. I spent several weeks compiling that running mix, carefully choosing songs from running playlists posted on the Webbersphere, listening to months upon months of backissues of IndieFeed and CB3 Radio Songs of the Day in order to find fresh new tunes to infuse into my tired old playlists; and, more recently, bellying up to the iTunes Genius Bar to see what songs I might like based on songs currently in my library.
I have. The most awesome. Playlist.
Which I have used exactly twice since I created it.
I'm not sure why I'm having such a hard time getting started. It's like I've hit The Wall before even getting out the door.
So I spoke with Karen about it and asked her how she keeps going, how she picks herself out of a slump or recovers after a break in her routine. (I imagine a break in Karen's routine would be, like, a month on a cruise ship. That might set her back, like, two days. The flu might set her back a week. On the other hand, hitting the "SNOOZE" button on my alarm clock ONCE resulting in a day skipped at the gym can set me back 3 and a half months.)
One excellent point she made is I tend to set my expectations too high. If I imagine myself running - and enjoying running - a marathon in 6 weeks, I'm probably not going to make much progress. Unlike Simon Pegg in Run, Fatboy! Run! I'd do best to set reasonable goals and think LONG TERM rather than my usual "Well! I ran three blocks today! I think I'll treat myself to a Starbucks, a Venti mocha, I think, and a 4-piece fried chicken meal at Popeye's to congratulate myself on a job well done!"
I. Cannot. Eat. Fried foods. Or ice cream. Or buttery stuff. Or cheese fries. I. Just. Can't. Even if I limit the portion size (which in itself is hard), there are some foods that simply make me gain weight, even if I only have them once in a while. I have gotten into the habit of slacking off at the weekend when I'm usually pretty good during the week. Eating whatever I want at the weekend can undo the entire week's progress and then I'm back at square one. [insert Elton John's song from The Lion King here]
Today is, how you say, not so busy at work so I've been catching up on my Runner's World magazine. Well, it's the October issue so I guess I'm not too far behind, though I think they've sent out issues through, like, April, 2009. I KNOW I have at least one or two more at home. On page 88 is a quote from a guy in Ohio by the name of Chris Beck:
"I've never regretted going for a run, but I have regretted skipping one."
I'm ALWAYS REGRETTING skipping a run. Or a trip to the gym. I have to stop regretting and (not to sound like a Nike ad, but all the same:) just do it. Even if I look like Simon Pegg did at the beginning of Run, Fatboy! Run! for a few weeks. Incidentally Karen loved that movie. I've recommended she see Brad Pitt's trainer character in Burn After Reading next.
This is SO ME, down to the "I'm RUNNING!" grin and the BOWIE!! shirt at the start of a run:
....1/2 block later:
Okay, you'd never catch me running in those shorts. I'm just a bit more modest. But one day I'd love to be able to wear one of those cute running skirts!