Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Focus on fitness

It's been a long time since I blogged.  Most of you probably know by now that I'm in the middle of a divorce and Nathan moved to Texas a couple weeks ago.  I'm not here to discuss that.  You're welcome to contact either of us personally if you feel you deserve more details.

With such a major life change, I've been focusing on my health.  I've been flossing every day for a month - so proud of that one!  I've been counting calories and focusing on eating better.  I've been exercising.

I started with push-ups on the stairs, leg lifts, and crunches.  Then I moved to little dance parties every night. I was so out of shape that I could only dance for a few minutes before I was dying of thirst.  Of course, I tend to throw myself wholly into dancing so it uses plenty of energy.  I was able to boost my endurance and strengthen my ankles, so it was time to move on to something else!  (I'll get to that later.)

I've been taking measurements and weighing myself.  I'm impatient with the weight loss but at least I can feel my clothes fitting better and the changes in my legs.  I decided to reward myself every 5 lbs.  The first 5 lbs. dropped quickly (probably water weight) and I got contact lenses, which I stopped wearing shortly after I got married.  I adore them.  I've learned over the last 9 years to accept how I look in glasses but I don't like it.  As of right now I've lost 8 1/2 lbs.  My next reward will be a haircut.

I've wanted to run for a long time.  I took a beginning running class in Anaheim.  All I got out of it was that my lungs were killing me and I got super dizzy with the feeling of my heart pounding through my body after running, and I dropped out before the 5k at the end.  Looking back, I don't think the teacher was very good.  I asked for advice and they never thought to mention to run more slowly or cool down and not just immediately stop after running...which the internet has now taught me.

I gave up on running for a few years.  Then I tried it again at some point and my lungs killed me again....once again, running too fast to start.  Someone told me I had exercise induced asthma.  That was depressing.  I gave up again, although secretly wanting to be like that ad in the movie "What Women Want" where it's just her and the road.  Over the last few years my reaction to friends running marathons/Ragnar relays has moved from thinking they are crazy to thinking they are awesome and wishing I could do that.

A few months back, I tried to start walking again with a little running mixed in.  In addition to shin splints, I promptly made my toe so mad that it affected my entire foot and I was in a decent amount of pain.  I blamed it on old shoes but the pain wasn't going away and it re-aggravated just walking up stairs at home.  I visited the podiatrist.  He informed me my big toe bones were at an angle wearing away the cartilage or something like that, and I now had arthritis in the left big toe which would probably also affect the right big toe later.  He told me I could never wear heels again, I shouldn't walk up hills at all, and I needed good shoes with removable insoles and little foam pads around my big toe.  But first I had to recover for awhile.  I was depressed and spent a few months babying my toe and learning not to bend my toes when I crouched, climbed stairs, etc.

My toes finally got happy again.  I spent forever on the internet researching how to start running.  I went to a running store and got fitted for the best investment ever - quality running shoes!  I put in my little foam pads and started the couch to 5k concept with very brief sections of slow running alternating with brisk walking.  No pain!  I mapped out a flatter route in my neighborhood to avoid the hill.  No pain!  I tried increasing each little running time very slightly and running up a slight hill.  No pain!

I know the dancing to strengthen my ankles helped, the shoes are fantastic, and giving my lungs time to adjust to running is going to work.  I am so stinking excited to finally be moving toward my dream, albeit slowly.  I will manage to run.

I have to confess I'm now contemplating Ragnar....an easy section of it of course...but finally it feels like an achievable goal!  :-)


Ryan and Tammy said...

Way to go lady. Running is amazing if you do it right and in the right shoes;) I am SOOOO out of shape but trying to get back at it myself. I hope you are doing okay, I had no idea you guys were seperated. Let me know if you need anything.

Rebecca H. Jamison said...

I'm so proud of you, Cherish. The 5 lbs. was sooo not water weight. You totally lost 8 1/2 pounds. Good job! I saw you running the other day. You and I probably have the same route. I like the flat way too. And you look great in your contacts.

Amy said...

That's a lot of research and work up to a running program. I would have given up way before all of that. I have exercised induced asthma that is only bad if I am running outside. If I do the treadmill, I don't notice it. Weird?!? Anyway, congrats on the weight loss - I would love to lose that much weight. Maybe I'll have to come up with some incentives too.

Lena said...

I don't like running but I love to walk, so if you ever want to have a long brisk walk, give me a call (as soon as snow is gone :) I love how you look in contacts!

Matt and Jodie said...

So very proud of you! You are an amazing woman!

GinaJ said...

You go, girl!

I'm one who didn't know Nathan moved to Texas, etc. I'm sorry. I'm so glad you are taking care of yourself. I'm especially proud of you for figuring out how to make running work for you. Maybe someday, I will follow your example. I relate to your early running experiences, but you're showing me I don't have to believe that's the way it always has to be.

Jaime said...

You are AMAZING. I gave up and never started again. Ha!