Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'm a Runner?

I did something today that I have not done since I was about 13 years old. I ran today!

Actually I did a combination of walking and jogging for about 2.75 miles (when adding the walk to the track it may even be closer to 3/3.5 miles - yes, I will be counting my distances) because of the differences in my body from that active 13 year old to this "mostly active' 36 year old. First, and basically most important is that I know have chronic asthma that so bad that a little cold for me can easily turn into pneumonia. Second, I hadn't working out consistently in over 2 months - it's been very sporadic - so while I knew I had some endurance and strength in the tank, who knew how that would translate to me running outside on a track as opposed to doing 20 minutes on my new mini-stepper or lifting hand weights.

I usually don't get nervous about a lot of things, but I admit I was. I knew there would be people there - especially considering the time of day (2:00) - who would be there, watching, judging, and possibly being straight up a-holes, so I didn't want to find myself in a situation where I'd have to directly deal with anyone's attitude. Unfortunately we live in a world so full of criticism where you'll have someone talking shit even though they aren't doing anything themselves, and with the change of climate in my neighborhood, I just wanted to avoid it all together. But you know what - I pay my taxes, so that track is just as much mine as anyone else's, so I put on my running pants, sports bra, t-shirt, y\Yankee hoodie (bought at Yankee Stadium for a ridiculous amount of money - hey it was freezing that day and I was desperate!), my sneakers (with insoles), set out to purchase a fanny pack, made sure the J. Cole album was synced to my iPod (I need my rap music when I'm working out hard - regardless of how ridiculous the music has gotten), and I got my ass moving.

And it was great!

I was so scared about the possibility of an asthma attack, but I didn't want to not do this because of that, so I did a combination of running and walking - I don't know all the running lingo, but it was like interval training. I was in constant motion for about 40-45 minutes (even when folks decided that the track was a perfect place to play touch football or soccer), I monitored my breathing - never forgetting what works for me (in through the nose, out through the mouth), engaged the core (but I wasn't anal about it), maintained my form, and when I accelerated, I jogged (I could have very easily got into my head and tried to compete with myself, therefore ending up doing something stupid like running at full speed, but I paced myself). I am so proud of myself. And I feel good - feel like I got a good workout (who knows how I'll feel later, or tomorrow morning, but I do like the burn so to speak).

Here are some of the benefits of jogging:
  • Strengthens the heart*
  • Increases the capacity of blood circulation and respiratory function*
  • Speeds up digestive system*
  • Increases metabolism*
  • Strengthens muscle and bone density*
  • Reduced blood pressure**
  • Increased HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol which helps control cholesterol levels)**
  • Improved endurance**
  • Stronger immune system (as is the case for exercise in general)**
  • Improved sleep**


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