Friday, January 22, 2010

Remember this feeling

Workout: W2D3, 15 minutes yoga and stretching
Feeling: Great, but getting nervous as the runs will get longer next time
Dessert: Husband is cooking tonight's meal

Off we went in a different direction. We went in search of a route from our new home! We'll be moving in a month to our 4 bedroom mansion (that's a condo in the U.S.). It's only a 3 minute walk from the subway station, 1 stop from JR, and down the road from the highway entrance. It's soon to be renovated and with keys in hand as of yesterday I am psyched to go take the "before" shots! The outside is freshly painted and I felt very lucky when I saw it from the backside as we approached down Gojo Dori.

Now I feel even luckier, because we discovered that it is very close to our river side path. We can easily take back roads with little traffic (aka fuming exhaust pipes) and arrive at the river in about 3 minutes, or 2 once we are running the whole thing. We went and returned maintaining a very nice pace. Our best pace to date. I take my slightly queezy feeling and most gazelle like gait as evidence that we are improving our stride. Makes me think we may be OK next week when we begin the next phase.

I do feel it was a little harder this week, but only ever so slightly. Like if I were to measure it, I would say it was 1/8 of an inch harder. I suppose next week will be more challenging, but if I can remember how I feel right now... I am stronger doing downward dog into a yogi push-up and upward bend then back up to downward dog, I have more energy for life, I am sleeping like a downward dog, and while the scale shows only slight improvement, my clothes, I think, look better on and off.

The biggest challenge will be remembering these great things as the weeks get harder. We already know we can do this. People twice our age do it. So why we do it is more important to recall... remember this feeling!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Come rain or come shine...

Workout: W2D2, 20 minutes yoga and stretching
Feeling: Damn good
Dessert: This post (I waited until I finished writing to add this)

I was totally anticipating running tonight, like a kid waiting for the 3 o'clock bell to ring so she can go home and play. Except, when I exited the train station it was raining. Hiro came to get me and I said, "Well, we can go anyway!" "He laughed while munching on potato sticks. I got all cross and started to proclaim how committed I am to this program, and getting back into shape. He kept munching and laughing. Oh the annoyance!

I told him that I was disappointed in his laughing and that we were both teetering on being beyond unhealthy and into fatty fatville. Truth is, he doesn't look it with clothes on, and even with clothes off he can pass for having a semi-flat spare tire. I probably look "healthy" in the US, but here, I am a cottage cheese mess, a blob of cream cheese in a plastic tube, synched at both ends by a thick chain link fence type metal. A sausage, if you will. I spouted and as I did the sky stopped.

We got out of the car, came in, changed and off we went. It was unusually warm today and tonight was no exception. I threw on a baseball cap, as opposed to my fleece lined wooly, and left the long johns in the drawer. The smell of wet pavement, the rushing river, and a quicker pace with Hiro really kept me going. We went faster than when I went alone, measured by the slightly longer distance we covered in the same time. I guess D2 isn't proving the hardest. Then again, W1 and W2 aren't really hard.

I have one more day left and I am already thinking about when I'll go... Friday a.m. perhaps, or maybe evening before we go to help Hiro's family. They have a 70 bento (lunch box) order for Saturday and we are both off. I could use the day to work on consulting stuff, but they have helped us innumerable times. They help just because. They've contributed funds to us along the way "just because", picked me up at the station and drove me home endless times when we lived down the road from them, paid for things for MY MOTHER, and have been extremely understanding about my pursuit of an MA and career. Plus, his 93 year old grandma, who still works and cooks dinner everyday, is an inspiration to me so much so that by just being around her I feel like I am standing next to history.

Anywho, I look forward to the next post, simply because I will have completed W2 then and will be slightly nervous as I anticipate W3D1.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I looked forward to it...

Workout: Week 2, Day 1. 90 seconds running, 120 walking alternate 6 times. 15 minutes yoga and stetching
Feeling: Really good
Dessert: I saw a muscrat

So today I headed out alone. I was listening to one of my favorite comedians and just soaking in the atmosphere of our little walking path. We always go at night, but during the day there is a whole walking path world out there. People with HUGE cameras taking pictures of tiny birds, tennis players, a unicyclist, runners, walkers, bikers, etc all enjoying our the outdoors. Not to mention the river life: carp, egrets, and my favorite a muskrat! I have yet to see one in Japan, so that was a highlight.

Hiro's knee has been bothering him, so I went it alone, but I am happy to say that he is just taking a break because he agreed to join me in a 6 K run in April. My girlfriend is joining us, and then we are all joining another friend. So, I am quite exited, albeit nervous already! It will be my first race and we just began running.

Well, I think this is what it is all about anyway. I like to have have goals, and that 5K isn't just a number to make myself feel good. In fact, as the race reminds us, it is less than the distance that people all around the world have to walk to get water. So, the race is in honor of those people and will feature water education events, along with live music and of course the run. See here...

So, I have a ways to go, but the feeling that I wanted to go running today, even alone, was encouraging.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gas? Boo!

Workout: Couch to 5K week 1, run 2+3, 15 minutes yoga and stretching
Feeling: Better than Wednesday, MUCH better than Sunday
Dessert: Feeling better than Wednesday

Wednesdays I teach until 8 and get home around 8:45, so I eat a light lunch then snack on nuts, fruit, crackers, cheese, greens, etc until I go to my first class at 5:15. I eat enough that I feel full until the next morning when I wake hungry and ready for a nice breaky. Wednesday came, except when I was slurping my tea during class, I think I slurped in a lot of air, which led to terrible discomfort.

Usually I would take my unrivaled belly-ouch-killer, akadama (red beads: natural medicine that literally clears you up in minutes), but being the curious Cat I decided to see if running clears up tummy bubbles, or in this case an ever expanding balloon! My experiment ended badly. My tummy felt hard, and crooked. I didn't even stretch. I went for the red wonders, swallowed and then prayed. Prayers almost completely answered I shower and slept.

Tonight, on the other hand, my legs felt powerful and our pace was brilliant! I felt like I was running faster, harder, better. The running made me feel a little icky towards the last seconds, but when the walk portion came I recovered and could push a little harder during the next running span. Hiro seemed to think nothing was different, other than that he ate less dinner so felt lighter. I kept asking, "How do you feel?" as if his answer would change and he would say he felt as good as I did. I think I wanted him to, but, well, he is not me.

(An aside: This is a good New Year's Resolution for me... remember that your husband is not you! If he wants to make pancakes after running and eat them, that's his choice. You ate chocolate today. If he doesn't want to stretch for 15 minutes, fine. Stick to what you want, your path; let him stick to what he wants and his path.)

Anyway, we go up in running v walking time next week. I am ready for it. I like the gradual pace of this program. I am not too sore or tired. If anything I feel good and have more energy. All common sense stuff when you exercise, but having been on the couch for so long I almost feel like you might when you rediscover the slide or see-saw in the park. You know you could still do it and that it's always there, but you forgot how fun it was and "adult" stuff just seems more important. Rubbish that; I like the see-saw!

Running tip: Add Stevie Wonder "Part-time Lover" to your playlist.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Couch to 5K

Workout: 5 minutes brisk walk, 20 minutes run/walk with intervals of 1 minute running and 1 1/2 minutes walking.
After: yoga 10 minutes
Feeling: Good
Dessert: Watched "The Blind Side"

This workout seems so much more doable than ones we have done before. We tried the Hal Higgins 30/30 one, but it required doing it everyday and neither of us could keep up with that due to our work schedules. This one requires only a 25 minute commitment 3 days a week. Very doable!

After 3 months I should be able to run for 30 minutes. Also seems like a doable goal, and not one where I injure myself. I have a tendency to do much from the stat, instead of working up slowly. This work out does just that. So, I am hopeful!

I read Murakami's book, Why I Run and while reading the blog of a friend's sister-in-law, who is an avid runner, I felt this sense of I can do this. Simply, if I choose to, then I will. Murakami talks about it just being one more thing he does during his day, like brushing his teeth. It is routine. I remember when my life with exercise was like that. I enjoyed it and it was just what I did. Everyday. Somehow it became a did and not a do. Well, thank goodness I can choose.

Monday, I will do pilates. Tuesday, I choose to run.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Vacation Exercise

Well, California was glorious! Long walks everyday, a yoga class, and then... I got sick. Everything stopped dead in it's tracks. Ah, hell!

Well, then we went to PA. Soooooooooo cold! Second day Hiro and I braved the bitterness of Mother Nature and took a long walk through the neighborhoods of Norman Rockwell. It was so nice to see the old houses. Felt like I stepped back in time. Nice walking back up the hill, too.

Did the treadmill and some yoga on my second to last day, and other than that bathed Mom, changed her, etc, which is a mini workout.

So, looks like I got some work to do now that I am home. Just glad I am no longer sick and have discovered that even a little yoga can go a long way.

Happy New Year!