Thoughts on two months of fitness.

It’s hard to believe that the halfway point of this challenge has already passed. In two months, I’ve cried from both frustration and happiness following workouts, sat in the parking lot outside the gym arguing with myself about getting out of the car, completed a 5k, lost 8lbs, gained new friends, tried so many new things, and learned a lot about the difference a real support system makes.

I’ve also spent my fair share of time on treadmills, holding planks, and engaged in all manner of physical scenarios wherein my brain attempts to keep me distracted enough to keep going just one more second, one more minute, one more set. The following are a few of my assorted thoughts over 60 days of fitness.

Sometimes working out is like an out of body experience. Well, more like I spend it trying to figure out how to get out of my body until it’s over.

I learned you can get so sweaty that your sports bra becomes one of those chinese finger traps, except you know, not for your fingers. Someone ought to invent a removal tool for them before I have a very awkward and floppy accident in the locker room.

They say that sweat is fat crying. I’m pretty sure most of the time it’s just me crying.

Some days, not puking is the most exciting part of your workout.

Ladies, occasionally you will only be left post workout with enough flexibility and stamina to shave one body part per shower. Choose wisely.

If you are one of those people who say, “I only run if something is chasing me,” and then you decide to try running, eventually there will come a day where a bee will actually chase you for nearly a minute on your run. Consider this a funny little inside joke between you and God, and try not to think about what you look like to passing vehicles.

Learning to face the mirrored gym wall objectively is often more challenging than mastering the movement. Learning to accept that reflection is the hardest of all. It’s a work in progress.

Getting fit doesn’t always feel easier as the time passes. Some days are so very easy, and others are frustrating and long. Learning to keep going anyway is it’s own challenge. That IS getting easier.  I’m a work in progress, too.

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I might be trying to make a metaphor here. More likely, I just thought you might enjoy a picture of a me in a hot dog costume eating an apple.

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Running is still stupid. All 5k of it.

On August 20th, I did my first day of Couch-to-5k. On October 5th, I completed my first 5k (The It’s Glow Time! 5k).

My first 5k. The medal even glows in the dark!

My first 5k. The medal even glows in the dark!

The lame, Inner Critic Me wants to tell you: Don’t be impressed. It took me 40 minutes. I only jogged about 25 of that, and never more than 10 minutes at a time. My jogging pace on a good day is about a 15 minute mile.

There was a whole 4 minutes I jogged and could not manage to pass a group of gossiping women in tie-dye tees, and I wanted to lay down on the track and have a glow in the dark tantrum. I should have run faster. I should have run longer. I should have done better after 7 weeks of training.

At least, that is what she has been going on and on about in my head since. I am SO tired of her nagging. Here’s what she left out:

It rained before the race started. Buckets. Little girls in light up tutus frolicked in puddles and downpour like it was the best day ever, and some of us grownups secretly thought about just going home and forgetting this whole stupid idea.

But the rain stopped. And we walked, and jogged, and did that weird hobbling not-sure-if-this-still-counts-as-jogging thing with wet shoes and socks. When I saw a mile marker, if I was jogging, I talked myself into running as fast as I could for just a few seconds past it. If I was walking, I talked myself into jogging. I crossed that finish line jogging. And I LIKED it. (I mean, not as much as napping and cookies, but still, it felt pretty awesome.)

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to call myself a Runner. I’m slow, and it’s always a struggle when I’m out there. I still think running kinda sucks. But now, it sucks for LONGER when I try it, and I think that is pretty cool.

Plus, this is my after-run photo (with the awesome teammates who stuck it out with me)…I would have NEVER guessed 7 weeks ago that I would actually look HAPPY after 40 minutes of walk/splash/jogging.

I'm smiling? After running? They must have drugged the fog machine.

I’m smiling? After running? They must have drugged the fog machine.

Sometimes I just need a little help remembering that it’s not about being perfect, it’s about not giving up:

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Running is Stupid and It’s Hot Outside.

I’ve had a lot of really dumb ideas lately. One of these little gems struck me a couple weeks ago, and I signed up for a 5k.  A 5k?? C’mon guys, you’ve heard me say, “I only run if something is chasing me, and even then–it depends on how painful of a death I’m looking at if I get caught.”

Why didn’t one of you stop me?! Alas, you did not, and now I’m “training” for a 5k. Day one of this training consisted of recruiting a 6′ Blonde running “partner” and then puking outside on my lunch break.

Today was week 2, day 3 of my little plan. It meant we needed to run six 90 second intervals with 2 minute walks in between. In case anyone forgot, it was approximately 6000*F today. I believe the dewpoint was 200%. My running buddy hates the treadmill. So outside we go. Luckily she is cute, and we get to have conversations like this:

Me: Oh God.  What is the deal with the sun?! It’s hot!

Her: SO.HOT. I don’t feel like running.

Me: Me neither. Screw this, lets walk. It’s SO FREAKING HOT.

But, we’re idiots. Every time our interval came up, we ran. Every time it was time to walk, we repeated various f-bombs and curses upon the indecent heat. We repeated the above conversation at least twice. BUT WE RAN.

She finished ahead of me, well, because I have a 22″ inseam. As I was running my last interval, co-workers were leaving for lunch. They all waved and smiled encouragingly (or, perhaps the way you would smile at someone who has completely lost their mind). Jerks. Smiling and waving. I’M DYING OUT HERE! I fought the urge to flip every single one of them off. Non-running, not sweaty, too happy a-holes.

At least the end was in sight–I decided if I just run to the front door, I could go inside to the glorious air conditioned work gym and cool down in there. You know, I never really noticed how reflective our office windows are until I found myself running by them– sweat flying off of me, extreme mouth breathing, beet red, sad little legs pumping. Today I learned what I looked like when I run. Some things you cannot unsee. Some things your coworkers cannot unsee.

So, in case anyone was wondering, running sucks. The sun sucks. It hurt, and it was too hot outside. I hate it. No part of it was fun. But none of that matters, does it? Because today I ran. And I’m going to do it again.