Yesterday I went to the gym after work and ran/walked for 2 miles. I alternated 2 minutes of walking with 4 minutes of running at 6 mph. I ended up hitting the two-mile mark at 23:15, which isn’t lightning speed by any means, but it was about a minute and a half faster than my haphazard session on Saturday, which had rocketed up to 7 mph at certain intervals. Someday I hope to look back on these times and think, “Wow, what a noob.”
I had soreness directly after, in my inner thighs and quads, so I stretched a bit in the packed stretching area at the gym. I intended to do some yoga once I got home, but I was ravenous. I downed a dinner of chicken breasts, OJ, tomato juice, and banana bread and took a hot shower. This morning the soreness has subsided, which is a relief. I tend to get mega sore in the first few days when I start something new. In high school, August mornings were punctuated by my stiff clomping down our wooden steps in my cleats as the first days of soccer practice got underway. I’d return home three hours later and have equal difficulty climbing back up the small set of stairs. It was a blessing our house only had one floor.
So in the interest of pain avoidance, my goal is to run three times a week and slowly work my way up to longer sessions and faster times. It’s not a terribly concrete goal, but for now my bench mark is the two-mile mark. Next week it might extend to 2.5 miles per session, or trying to hit 2 miles in under 22 minutes. Having my own fitness plan instead of following a pre-made one means I can be completely flexible in my goals. I don’t have to push myself too hard based on someone else’s prefabricated idea of what an 8-week running program should be. This running regimen has no expiration date, so I feel far less pressure to keep up with what I should be doing on any given day. As long as I’m progressing, I’m one happy beginner runner. I’m hoping this relaxed schedule also affords me the time to work on other fitness areas on the days I’m not running, such as weight training and yoga. And these buns aren’t going to firm themselves, so naturally some 8-minute sessions will be thrown in.
I bought some pants at H&M the other day and got a solid rear-view in their angled fitting-room mirrors. You know when you have one of those, “So that’s what I look like from behind?” moments? The age fairy has started waving her little wand. The inactivity fairy has long been at work, though. Time to bust this booty. If Gwen Stefani and Madonna can pump out some kids and still rock out gleaming abs in their 40s and 50s, then this childless twenty-something should be able to keep up to some extent, no? Who needs a personal trainer when you have the Internet?