I've started a running program.
No, really. You can stop laughing now.
I've been running, albeit sporadically, for a couple months now. I'd A) go for a jog, then B) do nothing for a couple weeks. C) Repeat. It was just enough to keep my body remembering how torturous running can be and how sore I get in the following two days. It would always take me a couple weeks to talk myself into doing it again. And there you have it, folks. A step by step guide to creating a vicious cycle.
I have a friend who is preparing to run the New York Marathon in the next week or two. He's been so disciplined in his running, his training, and being able to say no to more than one beer. Recently, I snagged an old copy of Runner's World magazine off his desk and proceeded to flip through it, catching an article here or a tagline there. One thing that caught my eye was an article about the rise of women marathoners. Women - Girls - my age are training for marathons after injuries, kids, or just a plain ol' change of heart. Women who have never run before are suddenly deciding that running a marathon is a goal they want to achieve. And here I am, thinking I would be satisfied with getting through a whole 5K without stopping. I found it really inspirational. (I know, quell the gag reflex.) The other thing I found noteworthy in the magazine was a small article discussing motivation. Instead of trying to get yourself excited about your run, it's easier for some people to just not allow themselves any excuses. Sometimes when you're sore or tired or just not in the general mood to get your butt in gear, it's easy to say, "I'm out of time," or "I'll workout tomorrow." Whatever. Just don't allow yourself the excuse. "I'm gonna 'git'r'done' and when I'm done it will be over and I will feel good about myself, so shut up with the whining." Yeah, I talk to myself. So shoot me.
Anyway, the last thing that has gotten me going on my kick (and yes, I believe sticking to my schedule for 1 1/2 weeks qualifies as a 'kick') is Mike's dog. Normally, we take him for a 20 minute walk around the block and as we meander, he sniffs and pees on pretty much everything in sight and when we got home, he would be just as energetic as before. The nice thing about taking him out while I'm running is that A) I feel safer - it's dark in the evenings now and B) He's too tired to jump around and get in my face when we're done. A tired dog is a happy dog.
I've only been running 2 or 3 times a week, trying to work up to 4 or 5. On the days that I don't run, I walk with a friend at work on my lunchbreak. Then there's the whole parking off-campus and walking to class because I'm too cheap to get a parking permit. That's got to count for something. And I went shopping for myself last week - granola and yogurt and raw almonds and spinach and oranges. All those things that you are supposed to eat but usually don't.
The result of all this? I feel good. I feel more energetic, more confident and more proud (prouder?) of myself. I envision a metamorphosis of sorts with the me on the inside matching the me of my outside. Who knows if my 'kick' will turn out to be habit forming... All's I know is I'm wearing heels and a pencil skirt today and I feel good.