Like I’ve said before, 80% of your journey will be in the kitchen. You will start losing weight and feeling better just by eating better. You will get to a point where you are comfortable with your eating habits and you want more. The “more” I’m talking about is exercise.
Even though I haven’t always had the best diet, I’ve always loved to run. And by always, I mean since college. I remember in college calling up my mom and telling her I was going to run a 5k. She laughed at me. She said that women in our family are not runners. I started running anyway. Fast forward to 2011, my mom and I ran our first 5k together. We’re both runners. She was wrong.
My aunt Sue, mom, and me before our Ft. Lauderdale, FL run.
Since that first race, I’ve participated in quite a few more. I ran my second race while pregnant and then another 8k two months postpartum. That’s the farthest I’ve run to date (more on that in a minute).
Finishing my first postpartum race in Clearwater, FL.
I love to run. I love the high I get. I love how it makes me feel. I love being outside. I really hate running on a treadmill. Put me on a treadmill and in a half mile I’m bored out of my mind. I know it’s not like that for everyone. I also run for my own mental health. Running really is the best therapy.
You don’t need to join a gym or buy some fancy equipment to get a good workout. I’ll talk more about this next week. You run in your neighborhood, bike local trails, or swim in your backyard pool, all for free. Just find something and do it!
I’ve never been a fast runner, but I’m working on that. My fastest race time to date is 34:35 for a 5k. Believe it of not, that was my time from my first race. I’ve got to get my butt in gear. I would actually like to place in my age category at some point.
Since arriving in Texas, I’ve been running more than ever. I didn’t run AT ALL while we lived in Alaska. To be honest, I was afraid. No, I was not afraid of bears (although the thought of a moose lurking around every corner kept me on my toes), I was afraid of slipping on ice. I did try to stay active by pulling Ava in her sled. Walking through 4 feet of snow is a fairly good workout. Shoveling snow isn’t easy either.
I try to run 3-4 times per week. I don’t stress if it doesn’t happen. I take Ava out in the stroller with me. I run for 2-3 miles, then we stop off at the playground for some playtime. I definitely use our running as mommy/daughter bonding time. I hope Ava too has a love for running some day.
I do have a confession. I injured my ankle the day I posted Part 1. I’m not exactly sure what caused it. I had just switched to my Vibram FiveFingers a month and a half before AND I had been working on increasing my speed. I just think I over did it. On a positive note, the day I injured myself I ran a 9:45 minute mile, which is a record for me. I have been pain-free for about two weeks now, but I’m just getting over this nasty cold that’s been going around. I have only been back out twice since then. I did a half mile the first night, pain-free. Last week I ran the half mile to the store, went shopping, then ran back. The next morning I had a little stiffness, but nothing major. I’m just trying to slowly get my ankles back into the swing of things. I’m going to get back out there again this evening.
I so look up to my friend Brittany. She is training for her second half marathon. I wish I could run one with her. Sadly, I don’t think I will ever be able to run any distance longer than 4-5 miles. Why? Well, my legs took a beating during pregnancy. While pregnant with Ava, I developed a nasty varicose vein. There, I said it. I am 26 years old and I have a varicose vein. They are genetic, so I was bound to get one at some point.
I honestly don’t care how it looks, that doesn’t bother me. This. Sucker. HURTS! When I do run 3 miles, by the time I’m finished, my leg is THROBBING. This is what will hold me back from a half marathon. To help the pain, I’m going to get a compression sleeve for my calf (the vein is on the back of my calf). Hopefully this will help. Let me know if you have any other recommendations.
Running is my choice of cardio. Your choice may be something completely different. Whatever your choice is, get out and do it. Make time for yourself; you are important. If you have time to watch TV, you have more than enough time to get out and exercise. You really only need 30-45 minutes. At the same time, don’t completely stress out about it. Some days it’s extremely hot here. I don’t know about you, but I do not love running when it’s 100 degrees out. On those days, I give myself a pass.
Try adding some sort of cardio to your journey to health, you will be so glad you did.
If you’re interested in reading the rest of the series, you can find them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.