Learning Curve (Week 6 of 9)

 

For fear of saying the same thing every week (‘it was hard but I did it anyway’) I’ll keep this brief. This week features my first 20 minute run and the hardest run I’ve had to do yet. Which was not the 20 minute one.

The second run of this week was simply a straight-up 20 minutes of running. Alison assured me I was ready for it but I don’t think I was quite mentally prepared. The staggered 18 minutes of the run beforehand had done me in well enough and even though this was only a 2 minute increase it was a big push to not have the walk as a safety net. To force myself not to clock-watch I switched the screen on my phone off and let the app and my music do their combined thing. As I set off my thought process went something like ‘Yeah! Let’s do this! I can totally- uh- fucking- wha… how long has it been? Five minutes!?’ I seemed to go from pumped up and ready to rock to ohmygodwhy within the blink of an eye. After 10 minutes I was fairly certain I was going to have to run into a wall and knock myself out for the release.

But after that something weird happened. The next 5 minutes shot by in a blur. I think I fazed out or something or else I was really into my frigging awesome playlist but it felt like it passed in half the time. I mean, granted, the last 5 minutes were still a total and utter bitch but yeah, improvement? Maybe. You have to remember I have no idea what I’m doing.

For example, I’ve been told that chocolate milk is a really good thing to drink after going running because it gives you back all the sugar, water and protein you need post-workout. That didn’t sound right at all. Surely there can’t actually be a benefit to drinking chocolate milk. Another friend told me that it didn’t provide the right kind of sugar so it was a bad idea but by then I had already stocked up on cartons and cartons of the stuff because, come on, I’m not going to pass up the opportunity to drink it and not feel bad about it. Then I realised the stuff they make in these parts is called ‘chocolate milk beverage’. That’s a worry. That’s similar to ‘meat-like product’ or ‘not entirely unlike food’. Is there a better option? Let me know if you know the answers because I cannot stress enough how dumb I am in this department.

Feeling productive and having stocked up on water and chocolate milk I decided it would be a good idea to go for a run at about 10.30 this morning. This is unusual for many reasons. Today’s routine, the last of week 6, was 15 minutes running, 3 walking, 10 minutes running, upping my total running time by a further 3 minutes. Whether it was because I was listening to the wrong music, hadn’t warmed up adequately or because of the blazing sun beating down on my pink mush of a body I do not know. All I know is it was stupidly difficult. I don’t mind telling you I was dizzy when I was done. I stood, attempting to stretch out during the cooldown wheezing and panting like a gibbon and I got a little bit of ringing in my ears. Apart from one other time, on an uncharacteristically cooler day, I have run exclusively at night. Fewer people, cooler, less chance of people seeing how awful I look. Today, at the points in my route where I stepped out of the shade and ran through bright, hot open areas I felt like I could feel my life draining out my pores. That’s the last time I run during the day.

After I staggered back to the flat and stood nigh-naked in front of the air conditioning with my chocolate milk (yeah, carry that image with you throughout the day) I noticed in the mirror that my belly was significantly smaller. Now I’m sure I can take care of that again after a couple of meals but for a brief time I looked how I wanted to look. And isn’t that the reason I wanted to do this in the first place?

DH.

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