Oct
08
2011

  Life Is Full of Surprises

After all these weeks of carrying & pushing my sons several miles per day, I figured it was time to give jogging another try. I used to hate jogging, but thought maybe it would be different now. I thought that since my body was used to carrying an additional 32+ pounds on our walks, when I took the same route solo I would be able to float over the gravel like a feather. It was a Saturday morning and so per our unspoken marital agreement, one of the two days (Sunday being the other one) that I can put T in charge of childcare while I get some personal time (although I've learned it's still best to limit the time I leave him alone with the kids, it's nice to get a break for a few hours at any rate).

So I nursed M and put on a super-tight jogging bra. Then while T was making breakfast I put M in his bouncer and announced I was going out for a morning run. T predicted I would continue to hate jogging. I reiterated my decision to give it another chance.

Guess what?

I didn't float like a feather over the gravel. The whole experience was indeed as miserable as I remembered. More like I creaked over the gravel like a coal car with a misaligned wheel over bad tracks. I covered two miles in 29 minutes. I did wind up walking a fair bit of the distance.

I really wasn't expecting this. I truly thought that being over 32 pounds lighter than usual would make it easier to run. When I'm speed-walking, I can go 4 mph, and so I'm not much faster with this combination of running and walking I tried today. Although there is one thing that I'm satisfied about-- the interval training.

Everything I've read lately about efficient exercise involves interval training, which is just combining periods of high-intensity exercise with low-intensity exercise. So after I tried just jogging and hated it, I switched to intervals. So I would run as fast I could for as long as I could (less than a minute of sprinting, for sure), then walk for a ways before I sprinted again.

And my "sprinting" wasn't so fast. Definitely faster than my "jogging" but based on my memories of running when I was in high school, I felt like I was slow-motion sprinting or something. Yet, it was as high an intensity as I could muster. The good thing about interval training is that it calls for intensity rather than some set level of speed. So I can be successful at it even if I'm slow as molasses.

I had a little fun with T when I got home. I pretended like I did float like a feather and that I completed the entire 4 mile run in 29 minutes. He was at first incredulous, and questioned me to be sure I knew exactly how far four miles was (asking me where my turnaround point was, etc.) and I did admit to walking a bit on the hills. But then when he was duly impressed I told him no way did I cover 4 miles, I only finished two and it was miserable. He laughed, because I really had him going, and the truth was more what he expected. But it was nice that he nevertheless congratulated me on having the initiative to wake up and go jogging at all.

I'm definitely NOT going to switch from weight-bearing walking do daily jogging. I actually enjoy taking walks with my boys-- the scenery here is beautiful, and I enjoy walking (even while carrying over 45 pounds live weight). But I might try to work in a solo jog (actually interval training, alternating running fast with walking) once or twice a week. If it's as effective as the recent studies suggest, it shouldn't take as long to get fit by doing intervals as it does with just a steady speed jog.

Either way, I think I'll treat myself to some new sneakers. The one pair I have for running feel a bit too small now after the pregnancies, and the pair I've been wearing is starting to feel a bit worn out. I have a few more pairs but they're all for walking (I have a wide variety of walking shoes left over from living in NYC, different types of sneakers to wear with different outfits, you know). I'll have to see if any of them fit my slightly larger feet now. The fashion of them is irrelevant now since I don't think anyone pays any attention to my feet here on the dirt roads. People driving by are too busy shaking their heads at the crazy woman walking around with two kids strapped to her torso. Once I get used to carrying both of them, I might have to get one of those giant urns of water to carry on my head if I need to kick it up another notch. Either that, or figure out how to carry Terry.