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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

Let me just start off with hearty BWAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! There. I did my first Zumba class on the Wii and let me just say, not only did I feel completely ridiculous, there was more shakin' goin' on than Jerry Lee Lewis at a Jell-O convention!! I mean seriously!!

I've checked out Zumba before and I was not really interested at the time. Then I started hearing more and more about the Zumba fitness craze and how it really works. So...we bought Zumba for Wii. It was the only option for me since I was not going to look like a fool in front of *other* people. Just my family. They already think I'm crazy.

And crazy it is!! They call it a "game!" HAHAHA!! So...OK. I open the box and out falls out the fitness belt you wear to hold the Wii remote. I bellow in laughter because the belt is so huge!!! I actually felt a little offended. Do they really think that people who work out at home are *this* large?? Well, at least it fit. With a few clicks, I had my profile set up and was learning how to bust a move. I have years of dance experience, but that was in theater! No hip-hop or salsa (well I had one meringue lesson in Miami, FL....wooo...that was a *long* time ago) so this was all new to me.

I set up a workout calendar and began with the Beginner 1 class which is for 20 minutes. Oh. My. Word. That was like nothing I've ever experienced before. I was trying so hard to keep up with the teacher while trying not to poke my eye out from jiggling Jell-O. I moved one way...the Jell-O was still behind. My feet felt full of lead after about 10 minutes. And I'm supposed to rack up points, too? Oh, c'mon!

After all that, I have to say that it was fun and I hope to see results soon! I hope this helps in the running department. I wonder how long it takes to stop the jiggle? I let you know when Jerry Lee Lewis has left the building!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Breathe...Breathe...Br - ACK!

No. That's not a typo. That's the sound of a new runner experiencing what it's like to go from her neighborhood where there are hardly any trees to a footpath that runs alongside the woods...and gagging on a bug!! I think it was a gnat. Gross. But I kept running!! I did not stop...and I did not throw up!

I am on week 3 of the C25K program and, I must say, it's not going bad at all! I feel stronger. I can run upright and not all hunched over, if that makes any sense. I feel confident. I like that. gadget husband found some things to load me up with for my runs. He found an arm band that holds my iPod Touch. It fits snugly on my arm and my iPod hasn't fallen out yet! I wear it so the pocket is on the back side of my arm and I thread my ear buds through my shirt sleeve to my neck so that I don't have cords flopping all over while I run. It's so nice not having to hold on to that thing while running!

Gadget-Man also bought me a heart monitor to wear. I don't have heart problems, but wearing the heart monitor allows me to check my heart rate while running/exercising and to make sure I stay in my target zone. It came with a "watch" to wear and I can save the data from each run: calories burned, % of fat burned, how long I was out, and what my HI/LO heart rates were. Very handy, I must say, to be able to check your heart rate while exercising and compare how you did from last time. I was quite surprised to see that there were times that I went below my target zone while doing the program. What?? Then there were times that I was sure I was going over my target zone and I was only in the middle. I guess I need to work a little harder to stay in my target zone in between each run. I guess I can handle running after all...

...except for the bugs. ACK!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The First Step

Running. Can I call it running if I'm not really running the whole time I'm out there? I was telling a friend yesterday that I went on my first run...but...I didn't really run. I mean, I did run...8 times...but in 60 second intervals with 90 seconds of walking in between. So what do I tell others that I'm doing - that I went on my first fun-walk this week.

Day 1 of the Couch-to-5K program wasn't too bad. I had my C25K iPod app and I downloaded some running music. That was the fun stuff. The other stuff was not so fun - I mean, I felt so awkward running. Am I doing this right? Is my form right? What is all that jiggling back there? Plus, it was hot outside. We had a warm day and when I got out to run, it was close to lunch time. When I got back, I was miserable and my kids thought I was going to pass out.

Day 1 recovery was awful! I felt like I got hit by a truck my body hurt so bad. I just kept stretching everything and I paid a visit to my chiropractor to talk about running. He gave me some ways to rub out the "kinks" in my muscles after I run and we're going to keep an eye on how my hips are handling the running. I may need to schedule a massage. I like being able to tell my husband that I need a massage!!

Day 2 of running was awful. I went earlier in the morning to avoid the heat - which worked out fine - but now I think I may have gone too early. I felt so heavy! My feet were even scraping the pavement at times, especially up-hill. Will I ever feel "lighter?"

The good news is that day 2 recovery is better! I don't feel like I've been hit by a truck. Only my lower back is a little tight and my inner thighs are sore. Tomorrow (Monday) is day 3 of running. If you're a runner, what was it like when you first started running? Did you feel heavy, awkward, uncoordinated? Please tell me it gets better!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Right Fit

I was on a mission today - to get my running shoes. Mission accomplished thanks to Runner's Retreat in Winchester, VA. Runner's Retreat is a running specialty store that caters to those who have been around the block a few times or are just putting foot to pavement (like me). I knew that if I was going to be running I needed a good pair of running shoes and I went to the people who know their stuff. I didn't want to start out and be discouraged over knee problems, shin splints, or foot pain.

I walked into their store in Old Town Winchester and was greeted by Mike Stickley, owner of the store. We got right to work. I told him my mission to begin running and that I was doing the Couch-to-5K program. He knew exactly what I was talking about. (Is everybody in Winchester on this?) Then came the hard part. He told me to take off my shoes so he could look at my feet. EEK!! I am so embarrassed by my feet - I have flat feet and little bunions. I was thinking, 'Oh great! He's gonna say I shouldn't be running.' But no. He just started out with telling me what type of shoe I would need to help my feet. Once we got a pair on we went outside and he taped me running in the shoes. More intimidation! We went back inside, hooked up the video watched my running pattern. After discussing my gait and my ankles wanting to turn in some, we tried on a few more pairs of shoes. Let me tell you, I really felt like Cinderella's step-sisters trying to find the right shoe. But then - go figure - he comes out with....drumroll...a MEN'S shoe. That, my friends, was the winner! HA!! The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11.

As we were checking out, my husband - the witty man that he is - says to Mike, "So why isn't your store called Runner's Advance?" (ba-dum-dum-ching) Poor Mike.

Mike knows his stuff! I thought I was going to "stump" him, but he was on the same mission I get me some cool running shoes! He must see some potential in me since he told me about his race on Memorial Day, The Loudoun Street Mile, to benefit our local women's shelter. Can I run a mile in 4 weeks? Let's do it!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Taking the First Step - Literally!

OK. I told y'all that I am NOT a runner...but...I'm not really a walker either. I mean, when it comes to exercise, I'd rather be in a gym or in a pool. (Again I So....I walked my first mile on Monday and I walked my second mile yesterday. This is not part of the Couch-to-5K running program. This is just me - the lovely couch potato - getting out and pounding the pavement. Literally! Taking the first steps to getting moving...and let me tell you I am GLAD that I'm doing this before I start the program next week. My legs are already feeling the burn. Didn't realize I was THAT out of shape!

My wonderful, in-the-know, tech-savvy husband found the Couch-to-5K running program available as an App for my iPod Touch. (As he says, "There's an App for that.") We are testing it out while I'm typing this. This is pretty cool. It has all the workouts laid out and the running segments timed for you so all you have to do is select which segment you're doing and go! It also gives you vocal prompts in a lovely British accent to encourage you and let you know how much time you have left. While you're using it, you can listen to your favorite music and still be able to hear the cues to start running or start walking. It's really very simple. I'm excited that I don't have to take my stopwatch with me and try to keep up with how many minutes to jog and when to go back to walking.

Today I'm walking another mile. My neighborhood is laid out quite well for walking. I start out walking downhill for turns 1 & 2 then level out on the back side until turn 3. On the home-stretch, and through turn 4, it's a slow incline all the way back to my house. I go around twice and that's a mile. I'll check it with my pedometer today to be sure.

Let's do this!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Running the Race - The Preparation

What. Am. I. Doing? I can't believe I'm even saying the word...running. I am not a runner. So why do I have this annoying - no - nagging feeling telling me to start running? I mean, you've seen the date of my last blog entry. It's been a year since I posted anything. It's been 8 months since I even put workout clothes on. Running? Are you kidding me?

For the last 4 months this running notion has been floating around in my head. I can't even fathom why it's there except that I'm to learn something extraordinary from the experience. I have no desire to run for weight loss and I have no longing dream of running a marathon. I've never even run before...well there were the elementary and high school track & field event days where I ran a 50 yd. dash and a relay I know absolutely Nada when it comes to running distance other than needing some really good shoes and a lot of mental determination. So I find it rather ironic to be sitting at my computer researching running and how to get started.

In my search for how to begin running (OK...I know how to run but I think you know what I mean) I came across a running plan that sounded right up my alley: The Couch-to-5K Running Plan from Cool Running. This was designed just for me - I know it! It's a beginning running program designed to ease you into running gradually so you don't wind up miserable as you take up running. Too many people have been turned off to running because they start too fast and their bodies rebel. The idea is to transform me from couch potato to runner - running 3 miles - on a regular basis in just two months.

I feel there's hope that I can become a runner and that I might actually like it. I know friends who have started running and they say that they feel great and that they love it. Not to mention that they look great too! I think I'm sold on the idea. Can I turn this idea into reality? Yes!! If you are thinking of running, print your own running plan and join me on the quest of finding out what running is all about. Or, you can just join me from your couch.

First order of business: Get awesome running shoes! While I'm looking into that, I've started walking. I walked a mile yesterday. It was approximately 1485 steps on my pedometer. Two times around my neighborhood is a mile. I got showed-up by some young kids preparing to run for the Kid's Bloomin' Mile for our 84th Apple Blossom Festival this weekend. Hmm...that's OK. I'll get 'em next year.