Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Running {Errr... Jogging}

For someone who ran a marathon not too many years ago, I have been struggling immensely with running/jogging these days. Mind you, for the last couple of years, I haven't run very often, and over the last 6-9 months I would say that my jogging has been extremely minimal - really, non-existent. When I was training for the marathon, I was on a mission. I was determined to run, and to finish a pretty big goal, but after it was over, the running/jogging slowly went out of the routine. Part of it was people (doctors and other experts) scaring me out of it. The reminders of how large I am and how I could be creating unnecessary strain or even injuries to my legs/knees wasn't helping matters. I had pretty much decided that walking, elliptical machines and bicycles would take over for the cardio portion of working out. The problem came in to play when I realized that I had nothing to be working towards. No one does elliptical races or elliptical distance trials (or maybe they do, but I've just not heard of them).

When I picked up kickboxing in March of this year, I allowed that to become my main source of exercise (except for biking). The problem with that is that while there is definitely a lot of sweat and heart pounding action taking place, I don't ever really get to work on sustained aerobic activity. Exercises are done in fairly short segments and are done more for intensity than anything else. It's not surprising then that when boot camps started a couple of weeks ago and I was expected to run, I really couldn't do it.

"Man am I out of shape!" I keep uttering to myself as I attempt (and subsequently fail) to keep up with the others. "How is this possible?" I know very well how it's possible as has been outlined above, but I suppose I figured that somehow my ability to sustain some kind of kickboxing work out would spread to running... Yeah, I'm not horribly bright. It doesn't help that every few feet we have to stop running and do lunges, jumping jacks, or some other exercise, which only slows me down more. I have considered the fact that maybe I'm trying to fight a battle I just can't win. I wasn't a fast runner even when training, so perhaps I'm expecting too much?

There are plenty of running plans out there I could be doing, but I suppose most of it has to do with time. What am I willing to give up in order to be able to run again, or do I even care that I can't run? I suppose that is the biggest question. Part of me thinks that perhaps I will find motivation to run again when I drop a bit more weight, while the other part of me thinks that it could help me if I'd get back into it and I just spent more time now running. The biggest obstacle for me is that I never really enjoyed running - it was just a challenge for me to try to complete a marathon, and if I'm not enjoying it, that means I won't really stick with it for the long term... and isn't it more important that I find something I can sustain, rather than feeling like a failure for not currently running?

2 comments:

  1. There isn't a right or wrong exercise for cardio. The "right" one is the one you will do regularly. I loved to run at one time, but things changed and first running, then walking, became exercises that didn't work for me. I always loved riding a bike, so that's what I do. As for goals, well, with a bike you do have choices. The easiest for me was to set up a loop ride that I could do easily in an hour, then I made myself ride it faster until I could do it in less and less time. (My husband, always the traditionalist, actually thinks in terms of what the bike computer says was the average speed. Me, I have to count the minutes to chase the carrot around the loop...) Whatever you decide to do, good luck!!

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    1. I agree, Marsha. I think that I've felt a bit guilty about not running simply because it's been expected of me for the last few weeks, and when I don't do it, I have no ability to carry out that task. I think it is far more important to find something that one can maintain long term, than to worry about one kind of cardio work out.

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