Day 3: Did It Anyway

100runningdays day 3

Starting off with a Runner’s Log:

Day 3  of #100runningdays and today was a tough one. Maybe they all will be. My body is feeling the soreness from having run; getting out bed was achy from the first movement. My routine was wonky. And then, after dropping off my son at work, I felt that familiar fatigue that makes my spine and blood feel like a lead weight fell and just let all the air out of my balloon.

Hashtag: Did it Anyway.

The Forest Circle Loop:

My route today was a drive-to since I was already in the car early. I’ve heard several recommendations for a riverfront neighborhood known as the “Forest Circle Loop”; shaded estates with oaks draped in moss, dog watering stops, and no traffic. That’s the destination. Since it’s at the end of a series of suburban neighborhoods, one has to park and go. The only parking I found was in a small strip mall at the end of the main road–the kind of place with such limited parking that the business owners probably don’t want non-customers using. Still, the pizzeria wasn’t open that early so I took the risk.

Pro’s: running path style sidewalk, watering stop, dappled shade, nice length.

Con’s: the majority of it is dangerously close to fast traffic, the sun sections are HOT, and it’s morale-busting to have to start and finish with the con-sections after enjoying the pro-middle bit of the actual shady loop.

Interesting lesson learned: Being unfamiliar with the route required continual curiosity and an organic stretch of my distance covered. Without milestones to psych myself up with (or talk myself out of) and only one way back to the car, I had to press on. 

My dog is a champion. 

Savannah loves every second of this. She runs better and longer than I can. She’s incredibly obedient– even ignoring other dogs while running that she’d whimper over if we were walking. True, she’s pooped out by the time we get home but this has meant less chewing on naughties later in the day. I’m wondering about her nutrition. If I’m paying attention to higher protein for me, maybe I also should for her. And shade or early/late hours are just going to be a must. That hot pavement just seems painful on her pink pads, even though she refuses to choose the grass.

100runningdays day 3

Up by a mile today.

It’s Already Hard to Get Up and Run on the Second Day

I was staring at the ceiling but with my eyes closed– have you ever done that? I was seriously debating not getting up to run on DAY TWO under the reasoning that we are planning the beach tonight after work and I could run then.

Which, often gets cancelled if our work runs late. The chances are pretty high that if I put it of in the morning that it’s not going to happen. Day 1 would have be Day Only. And then my phone blitty-blipped with a Map My Run notification reminding me to get up and go.

Sigh. I don’t like running. I do like sprinting but not when it’s hot. End of June in Florida is HOT, even at 7 am. As soon as the sun is up in Florida the cicadas are scratching in the pines and the birds are getting their whole day accomplished before 9. Once it’s full on morning even the animals know to keep in the shade. The cat will lay aimlessly under the bushes and flick the tip of her tail and watch a squirrel walk on by. Neither of them will bother to play chase.  Why? Because running takes too much work!

And yet, there am I, running dangerously close to 8 in the morning with a deliriously happy post-heartworm treatment pup who thinks this is a great new game we’re playing. True, I’m not alone. While the real runners were up before daylight and are probably chugging back peanut butter protein kale and raisin smoothies by the time the sun is up, I’m out with the elderly folks walking their powder puff purse dogs.

Day 2 discovery of something pretty.

Day 2 discovery of something pretty.

I need to remember my “why”.  I’m doing this to lose weight because I’m on the threshold of “fat in my forties” or “toned in my prime” and I’m chased at the ankles by two diagnoses that are maintained through lifestyle. Gaining has been consistent, hormonal, and hard to control for the last 4 years no matter my best efforts at gluten-free, paleo, sprinting, fruit water, Fitness Pal discipline and only part of that is because there were also lots of birthday cake and red wine french fry appetizer pizza and beer days in between. The other part is that because I don’t like real “exercise”: I like playing outside. Playing is fun. Working out is not. Working out is work.

So why run? The first time I gave consistent running a try, I was 19. French fries and fruit punch pounds slid off my body faster than cold butter on Florida pavement in July. The results made an impact on my mind and convinced me that when it really matters, start running. It’s possible that had more to do with being 19 than in the mile I put in each night.

We’ll see. Day 2 of #100runningdays is in the books. We even found a pretty side trail right here in our suburban boredom. Also, #runwriterepeat.

Day 2

A run/walk pace that allows time for sniffing.

100 Running Days

#100runningdays

I don’t want to run for 100 days. I don’t think I wanted to be happy for 100 days either though. Not really. I like a little anger and sadness once in awhile the same way sweet frosting requires a dash of salt. From the surface, being happy for 100 days sounds like a syrup glistened crust over an authentic life, right? All that happy-clappy sunshine masking over the realities of how things truly are? Only, that’s not how it went once I actually tried it.

It turns out that happiness is the inclusion of every emotion, the way light with shadows creates form. It also turns out that 100 day goals and projects are good for the way my brain works.

Today is an ideal Day 1 for something. I just turned 42 on Friday and am still savoring the party. I love my birthday. I’m grateful for the privilege of getting to be on the planet for 42 pretty great years.  I love the milestone of a birthday and the permission we get to celebrate our lives. My goal had been to climb trees by my birthday and I spent a much of May trying to hoist myself up the oak and magnolia branches in our yard.

Around the first of the month some autoimmune symptoms I live with resurged, laying me flat for a few weeks. I’d already stopped exercising to the point of exertion back when my dog started confinement for heartworm treatment in April. Here’s some uncomfortable math: bloating + loafing +wine and birthday cake = double digit weight gain within a month.

True, a lot of it is water. But I know how the story goes if I don’t intervene. I know plenty of women who hit their mid-40’s, got some hormone and autoimmune complications thrown into the stew pot, kept their focus on taking care of everyone else, and ended up borderline obese and to sore for even a short walk. If I don’t do anything, that will be me, guaranteed.

If I do something, that could still be me. But it also might not. There’s at least a window of a chance I can stay athletic, keep moving, keep some body definition and toning– I know plenty of women in their 50’s like that too.

So my go-to is a goal. #100runningdays. Here’s the run down:

  • get up 100 days in a row, at some point in the day, and run/walk for at least 2 miles; try working up to 5
  • take the dog when I’m home based
  • finish with 100 crunches because I love them
  • 22 pushups for veteran suicide awareness. Pray for them while I count
  • 25 squats
  • side stretches and yoga to cool down

I have two immediate obstacles. Here they are with my proposed solutions:

PROBLEM: I’m utterly bored with my neighborhood loop. I’ve been running past these suburban houses and calling it “training” for over 5 years and I’m sick of them.

SOLUTION: So I need to drive to some better paths but it can’t be far or I’ll quit. I know myself. Jacksonville friends who see this: please send me suggestions.

PROBLEM: I’ve gained so much that my running clothes are tight and constricting. There’s no budget for new ones and I resist buying “fat” running clothes that I’m hoping to shrink out of quickly anyway!

SOLUTION: I’m going to try to push through the embarrassing discomfort for a few weeks. If I’m not feeling some slack by the end of July AND if I’ve been consistent with my #100runningdays to that point, I’ll treat myself to new work out clothes.

If anyone wants to join me, I’ll be posting on Facebook, Instagram, and here occasionally, using the hashtag.

#100runningdays

Getting started on Day of #100runningdays