September 21st, 2010


The saddle

I went running yesterday at lunch for the first time in about six months. I don't know why I stopped, but I started again because I want to try to get in shape enough to run a half marathon in mid-February in Galveston. I think I can do it, but I have a long, long way to go.

Yesterday, I just ran about two miles. It wasn't impossible, but it wasn't effortless either. I didn't really think that I wanted to go too hard, too fast, and my heart rate really wouldn't let me, even if I wanted to. I was just getting back into the swing of things, really. Still, it wasn't terrible. After I finished my run, I took about 15 minutes on the speed bags to get some agression out.

This morning, I showed up at the gym 10 minutes early to get a little bit of a run in before my workout. It wasn't very long, just about 5 minutes or so, but it felt good, and then I had a decent workout with Wooch and my mom.

I'm going to a spin class tonight. I haven't been in a few weeks due to various work obligations, fireplace renovations and vacations.

Earlier this summer, I found my workout diaries from 2006 and 2007, and I reproduced the workouts into an excel spreadsheet and got a real good idea of how I got into such good shape then. I would like to get back in the habit of working out at least five times a week. Not necessarily hard, difficult workouts like spin class and five plus mile runs, but enough so I feel it's more of a habit beyond the two days a week I already have scheduled.

I don't love running. But I think my body likes what running does to me. I will never be particularly good at it, never be fast, never be thinking "oh boy, I get to run!", but I think that it's just such a good cardiovascular workout for me. And I know the more I do it, the more likely I am to start feeling good about it again.

This is always the hardest part of training: the starting. It's always discouraging to not be able to do what I used to be able to do. But the only way to get past it is to keep going. I won't be able to do the MS150 next year, because Graham's brother is getting married that weekend. But I can put my shoes on and pound the pavement a bit and get my heartrate up.

I always struggle with the conflicting ideas of health and self-esteem. I understand the "healthy at any size" movement, but I don't necessarily buy into it for myself. I know that I personally feel better in the physical sense and the self-esteem sense when I'm in good shape. That doesn't mean that I am a size six with a perfect ratioed body. It means that I can walk any distance, any flight of stairs without getting winded. It means that my waist is defined and my figure is hourglassy. It means that I can fit into certain pairs of jeans and that my collar bone sticks out a little more than it does now. It means that my cheekbones get higher and my chin is more defined. It means that I don't get exhausted during acrobatic sex.

I'm not suffering for lack of love and attention from my partner. He genuinely thinks I'm beautiful, and he's been pretty damned consistent on this point from the moment he met me through a dress size or two up since we hooked up. I do suffer from his eating habits, though, which are based on a strict protein (beef, chicken and pork), "bad" carbohydrate (pasta, potatoes and rice) and dairy (mostly ice cream) diet. Oh, and butter. Lots of butter. He, of course, spent the majority of his life with a ridiculously fast metabolism, very physical jobs, and consequentially, a rail thin physique. It hasn't been until very recently that he's ever given a second thought to his consumption.

So, after a little less than three years of less exercise and more food than probably advisable, I'm looking to modify my habits back to when I really thought I'd achieved a good balance. And like then, I start by hitting the treadmill. And as I go along, I'll figure out the diet stuff, this time with the help of someone who hasn't met a vegetable that he could stand, or seafood that he could stomach, or nuts that he could endure.

It'll be an interesting ride.

I'll be off to spin class tonight.