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On Running

Tonight, I ran 1.15 miles at 5 mph.. as verified by my GPS.   Downhill; I ran the uphill at 4.2 mph.  "Ran" is a loose term.. I was never sure that I qualified to use that term, but once I got to 5mph.. yes, i feel I can call that running.  Or jogging, or whatever.

I was surprised at how easy it was, and how hard it was.

It was easy in terms of my body - all I did was put one foot in front of the other.  My ankles did not hurt much, my breathing was okay.  I could tell my heartrate was quite up, but not at the place where I could not maintain it.

It was hard in terms of my mind.  My old self kept saying - you should walk now.  Stop already.  You've made it to the lamplight, that's good enough.  There's no rush. Don't push yourself so hard.

These are all valid "points", which are well fitted for the person I had been.. before. 
That's no longer good enough.  I KNOW I can be a person who jogs 2-3 miles easily.  I KNOW I can be trim,  easily around 172 lbs, perhaps even 156. 

I have a choice - I can be the 195'er, who struggles with going up to the 200's, or I can be the 172'er. 

So, as a 172'er ... what would I say to my old self, were my old self to choose to jog?

#1.  Get some good shoes.  Go to a shoe store that videotapes you as you jog, figure out that under/over pronation stuff.

#2.  Tie your shoes loosely

I struggled with shin splits for a long time.  I tried so many different things.. but nothing helped all that much.  Till, one day, I loosened up my shoes.  I use these fancy elastic lace thingies, but it works for shoelaces too..  The *first* knot does NOT have to be tight to keep the shoe in place.   The second loopy one is the one that needs to be tight.   Loose shoes.. can easily kick them off without my hands.. and wow, the shin splints went away.   Holy crap. That was simple.


I had to build up my ankle muscles and other such stuff..  I find that my current range with walking is around 3 miles before it starts to hurt (a little).   My guess is, jogging is 3-4 times harder on your joints than walking, so be able to walk 4x the distance before ya try to jog it.

#4Heart Rate Monitor.

I used to freak out with "omg I'm over exerting myself" and get out of breath really easily.  Put a HR monitor on, and what do I find.. my HR is hitting 90% of my max.  Yep, that's a little too hard to maintain.. really, perhaps, running at 7mph is not my thing yet.

#5. Start running very slowly

Embarassingly slowly even.  Like, 3mph. Slower than I could walk.   Bob on the Biggest Loser said - most people start running way too fast. That was me.  I wanted to show off that I could run.  It wasn't about actually being the 172'er, i just wanted to show off (mostly to myself, felt embarrased at how awful I felt, wanted to cover it up with good numbers)

#6. Intervals.

Jeff in MN told me his secret - he'd run for 2 minutes, walk for 2 minutes, run for 2 minutes.  Granted, my old mind used that as a crutch.. "only run for 2 minutes then stop".    But initially, it was a way for me to get some feeling of success in (especially when struggling with the shin splints)

So, here I am now.  I've done it, twice now - run the full mile, without stopping, in what I would consider a decent time (for my old self).  What now?

#1.  As a 172'er, I see myself able to run in the same way that I consider walking now.  3 miles, 4 miles.. no problem!  its just as easy, one foot in front of the other, my body has no problems with it. 

Today at the movie theater, I sprinted to go get the car.  It felt like I was floating.. I had so much power available to spare.  It was georgious.

#2. I see myself walking or jogging to and from more places.  Like, from Church to Home (2.15 miles) or from Q's school soccer games to home (3 miles) or from home to the gym (3 miles).

The walk, or the jog, gives me much needed time to just be.. hang out with myself.  Enjoy nature.  Chat with the doggies whom I meet along the way.  Its beautiful. AND, its not taking away from time that I could be with my family.

#3. I see myself bicycling to work faster, and easier.   My old self, took about 2 hours to ride the 10 miles.  as a 172'er, I'd say a little over an hour.   

That means, leave at 8am, be at work by 9:30 (including shower n stuff) - that is VERY doable.   Better than the leave at 6:30, work by 9 thing that i did last summer when I bicycled.

Added benefit - on the days that I run, its VERY easy for me to both a) feel full, and b) come in at about 1600 net  calories for the day.   At 1600 net calories, that's about 400 under, about 0.7 lbs weight loss per week.   Perfect. 

So, Sunju, here's to you buddy.  We are a 172'er, and we are soaring. 

(we'll talk about being a 156'er at a later time.  That will involve, y'know, a marathon or something.  *cheeky grin*)



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