Walk/Run – A First Try

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Exercise continues to be my difficulty. My weakness. I do not have discipline in this area. I am continuing to loose weight, but at a slower pace. I have had a rough winter, health-wise. I had extended stays with my parents to help out in Florida. Then a sinus infection, which went into an ear infection. Shortly after, I had a major allergic reaction to something, probably a med. For several weeks I was in pain and itched! The meds for it were worse than the rash. I had a cyst removed from my underarm. Then a molar pulled. And then a virus that turned into bronchitis and another ear infection. My immune system has been under attack!

All that to say, my meager exercise routines got trashed during the last few months and I am trying to get back into routines. I am doing Pilates, which I really like. My core muscles are starting to respond with some strength! It is not cardio, but I really feel like I’ve had a workout! I’m trying to get out walking. Last week, when I was walking in the neighborhood, a bee kept buzzing around my head. I walked faster. It kept up with me. Then I did something I haven’t done in many years- I ran away. And it felt good, so I kept running. It wasn’t far, but it caused me to think of what has been the impossible for me- to run for exercise.

So what do I need? How do I start? These questions came up in my therapy session (I am still dealing with food issues, mindless eating occurrences, emotional eating and the like) and I was told all I need is a sports bra and running shoes. The suggestion: walk for a while, set as goal to run when I get to an object I’ve picked, and then run until I get to the next object I’ve picked. That’s what I did today.

I started out in the neighborhood on pavement. I chose the cul-de-sac intersection on the next block for my first run, and chose the traffic cone as my stopping point for that run. And so it went, setting small goals, working on running short distances, and walking fast in between.

First mistake: not planning a route. I ended up on a forest preserve path that took me quite far from home, making it quite a walk to get back. Second mistake: forgetting a bottle of water! Duh!

But, on the whole, I did what I started out to do. I ran. I walked. I set small goals. I achieved most of those goals. What gave out first? My lungs. Given I’ve just gotten over bronchitis, that shouldn’t surprise me.

I was out running/walking for over an hour! I remembered to start a stopwatch so I’d know how long I was out. I had my Striiv pedometer to track steps, effort, running steps, climbing and calories burned. (4 miles, 717 calories, 9200 steps including 1500 running steps). Part way through I remembered I had an App that would chart my run, speed, distance and the liked and started it. It charted 17 of the 60 minutes.

About 45 minutes into the walk/run, my hip and knee on the left side began to hurt. Not injured-hurt, just sore and tired hurt. So the last 15 minutes was walking at a normal pace. I am now home with ice on the hip and knee. Sigh.

What did I learn? Overdoing it isn’t the best way to start. Walk/running is actually enjoyable. I need shorts or light weight capris. The shoes are a good fit. The sports bra actually worked. I might do this again, but in a bit more imited, controlled exercise until my lungs and hip/knee are stronger.

So, after 40- some years, and minus almost 60 pounds, I am starting to run. For exercise. I have no delusions about becoming a marathon runner, or running long distance. But for daily exercise? This may work.

My current plan: Pilates once a week. Bike once a week. Walk/run once a week. That sound almost doable!

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