Tag Archives: c25k

Exercise

I hate exercise. I truly hate it. I know I need to do it, and I try. But it sucks. So when I vowed to blog about my C25K progress, I hadn’t really thought through the entire thing. What the heck am I supposed to say?

Each day, I’m supposed to run and walk. Slowly, I increase my speed and/or distance. If I get stuck, I can repeat the previous day. But in the end, it’s just running. All I really have to report is what my dogs found to eat (recent finds: a waffle, a large bag of basil, a bag of Cheetos, gum). Otherwise, my exercise blog posts will pretty much offer the same thing every day: I ran or rode the stationery bike. I hated it. Maybe I wheezed. Maybe my dogs did something stupid to trip me up. Maybe I cried a little.

Do people care what shoes I wore or which sweatpants I wore? I doubt it. I must admit that when I see people posting their runs or their reports from Nike+ or other technology, I just breeze past it in my Facebook feed. Sometimes I press like to be nice, but it’s nothing that means anything to me. (That said, I always press like and look at photos of friends who have completed a race. I’m proud of their 5K, 1/2 marathon, or marathon accomplishments.)

What other things can I discuss when I talk about exercise that would be interesting to anyone? Suggestions are welcome. Otherwise, I’m not sure what to say and am rethinking my promise to talk about it.

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*GASP*

The change in environment has really taken a toll on me physically. While I still had allergies in the desert (stupid golf courses!), they were not nearly as bad as they are here in Colorado. Last time I lived here, I went to a great allergy clinic and got immunotherapy injections, which greatly reduced my symptoms. Then we moved, and I had different allergies in a Pacific Northwest climate. Also, my allergist (the only one in the county) closed his practice and I was unable to complete the process.

So here I am, back in the place where I needed an inhaler regularly. I only used an inhaler twice in the last three years away. And the allergies immediately returned. Since I’ve been back, I’ve been congested and sneezy and my eyes itch. I take over-the-counter medications and use a nasal saline rinse, but sleep is still rough due to the symptoms.

Today things reached a head. I’d had tightness in my chest and some coughing recently, but during today’s run I had a full-on asthma attack. My asthma is, as a physician explained to me, ‘cough-variant’ asthma. It is brought on by allergies, and it manifests not as wheezing but as terrible coughing. There’s a little wheezing, but mostly coughing, making those around me think I’m a contagious monster. It’s great!

Health care coverage kicks in soon, so I suppose I’ll be at the doctor soon to request an inhaler. In the mean time, I’m taking herbal tea, OTC meds, and just trying to lay still and ride it out until the coughing subsides.

As for running, I’ll have to adjust some things. Exercise can bring on the asthma, and I think that going outside into the cold weather might make things worse. So I might have to bring it inside for a while. I can go to the fitness center in my building and ride my exercise bike.

But I promise that I will NOT quit. See how dedicated I am? I’m willing to STOP BREATHING before I stop exercising.

Things found/encountered on recent walks:

  • A group of gentlemen waving what appeared to be TV antennae (metal detectors?) around the park
  • Jerky
  • A cyclist laying on the sidewalk (someone was already tending to him, so I didn’t approach him with two curious dogs)

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Still going…

We had some setbacks, but pups and I are still on our fitness regimen. We’re repeating the first few days of Couch to 5K just because there were some bad days. We awoke Friday to find a light mix of rain and snow, with temps in the mid 20s. Of course, I did not check the temperature before we went outside. So we went outside, pups naked as usual and me in shorts and a T-shirt.

In the desert, there were two options in the morning: warm or HOT. So I got out of the habit of checking the weather since it didn’t vary. Now that we’re in Colorado, there could be clouds, rain, snow, or hail. It can be 80 degrees one day and 40 degrees the next. I’m re-learning to visit my friends at http://www.weather.gov for current conditions and the daily forecast. I’m also remembering that I can look out the window or go out on the balcony to check the conditions as well. (In the Coachella Valley, our blinds were always shut because the sun was so harsh and would wake us up at 5:30 AM.)

Anyway, back to the cold snap. The dogs did not cooperate. They wanted to sniff everything. They shivered. They darted back and forth across the sidewalks, putting cyclists and runners in dangers of tripping on a leash. And I was freezing. So we headed back inside after they did their business, and I hopped on the stationery bike. I still followed the C25K program, pedaling faster during the ‘run’ portions of the workout. I sweated more than I’d sweated during our jog/walks. It felt good.

I think the bike will be a good alternative when the weather is rough. Our building has a fitness room with treadmills, but the bike is more entertaining to me.

Things found on our walks:

Instead of a list, I’ll share photos of a strange sight we encountered recently. As we approached the park, I noticed what I thought was litter strewn across the park.

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As we got closer, I realized that the ‘litter’ seemed to be methodically placed, and each piece was uniform in size.

Then we saw it up close and realized that it was foam of some sort. It was throughout the entire park.Image

The dogs sniffed it once but left it alone. I hurried them along and tried to avoid walking on the grass in case the foam was toxic. When we returned for later walks, the foam was still in place six hours later and hadn’t dissipated. I noticed tire marks indicating that the foam might have some from the exhaust pipe of a vehicle.

Anyone got an idea about what they might have sprayed all over the park?

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Couch to 5K

Day 3.

I’m still doing it.

My running partners (Pierogi and Uszka, pictured below) are not helping. Born and raised in the desert, Uszka has discovered the delicious joy of eating clumps of mown grass. I’ve discovered the frustration of stopping mid-run so she can vomit the grass back up. Pierogi throws in a few extra sprints when she spots a squirrel (another creature the pups never saw in the desert).

Today our cool-down became a sprint when they spied a squirrel running from a trash can with a tortilla. Small game and carbs are Pierogi’s two favorite things. (She learned to love the latter when we lived behind a pizzeria. Ravens would ravage the dumpsters and leave pasta and pizza bones around the neighborhood for her to find.) The idea of a squirrel burrito had my pup riled up. Luckily for the squirrel and for me, squirrel and tortilla made it up a tree trunk before we could get to them.

I think I’ll end my C25K posts–or heck, ALL my posts–with a list of things found on that day’s walks. It could be interesting, and who doesn’t love lists?

Recent walk finds:

  • dead rat
  • dead pigeon
  • homeless man trying to sleep in what he thought was a hidden area beneath some bushes
  • belongings of another homeless person
  • a pile of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

Dogs tried to eat four of those five things.

Did I mention we’re enrolled in a leash-walking class?

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Applying the shrink ray

Everything needs to get smaller in my life, and none of it will be easy.

I realized last week that we have moved into the smallest apartment that we’ve ever lived in–not counting the time we shared my studio apartment for 3 months before we officially moved in together. We’ve always had two-bedroom apartments until we moved back to Denver into a one-bedroom place. It’s a great place, and there’s really plenty of room for two. But in six years of larger apartments, we’ve accumulated enough stuff to fill those two bedrooms, living rooms, dens, and the garages we had to go with them.

In addition to accumulating possessions, we’ve also accumulated POUNDS. Rural and suburban living, driving everywhere, and living in a climate where it was too hot for physical activity contributed to weight gain. So now we’re in a place where we need to scale down. We did a good job of shedding possessions before we moved, but there’s still more to discard. We’re working on it.

Today I also started on the effort to reduce my physical size. The two of us discussed a fitness plan last night, which will include exercise bikes, Wii Fit, and hiking. And this morning I started the Couch to 5K program.

Each morning I walk our two small dogs (17-pound Pierogi and 10-pound Uszka). They don’t like their new dog park, so they don’t run around much. Our walks are their only exercise. So I thought that doing the C25K with them would help us all get some cardio without overworking anyone.

Day One went…okay. For the uninitiated, C25K starts with alternating periods of walking and jogging. For most of the 30-minute session, the dogs were good about walking and jogging at appropriate times. But since moving to Denver, the pooches have discovered fascinating things like long grass and squirrels. A squirrel spotting resulted in an extra sprint; some delicious grass stopped us abruptly; and there were two tricky moments where I learned to jog in place while picking up dog poo.

To keep us accountable, I’ll try to post about our C25K progress here regularly.

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