Friday, August 1, 2014

Headwinds, tailwinds

Woo-hoo: it's time to buy a pair of shorts one size smaller! Since February I've been tracking my calories for the first time in my life. I love that various apps make it so easy to do that! I don't do well tracking when I eat out - I made up a "restaurant meal" entry and then take a wild guess about how many calories I ingested. I eat out maybe four times a week, so this isn't an ideal thing, but it's working okay for now. I've also been exercising a lot, and I have to say it's motivating to be able to get caloric credit for the exercise I'm doing!

Last week was the first time I tried running intervals. I did six 6-minute cycles; each cycle consisted of 3 minutes of running fast, and 3 minutes of walking/staggering/trotting. It was really really hard but gave me some payoff immediately - the next time I ran (two days later) I cut a minute off my average speed, and I cut another minute off this week! Now I'm down - temporarily, anyway - to an 11:30 mile, and it's still hard but it's starting to feel like I'm actually running. Crazy!

All in all it's been a great spring/summer for me on the health & exercise front, but I'm realistic and know it's not like I'm suddenly a new person. I typically go long months with little to no exercise, and then may have a biking season or something before resuming my slothful ways. Right now it's feeling pretty natural and good to get out there and exercise, and it's likely it won't always be that way.

A billion years ago I subscribed to Utne Reader, which is a magazine that compiles interesting stories from other media sources. This was in the early 90s, and I remember reading an article about time and how we perceive it and how we cycle through it - sometimes we are sluggish and everything is effortful and takes forever, and sometimes we are a whirlwind of productivity and everything comes together and time is our magical friend. I picture it like a sine wave of effort with the uphill and downhill chunks not really in our control, but hopefully ours to recognize and seize upon.

So, right now, I'm in the downhill curve of the sine wave, in terms of exercise - for the most part it feels good to get out there, I enjoy the activity (even when it's hard and I'm tired and sore and... I swear, I DO enjoy some element of it!), and I look forward to the next round. One of these days I'm likely to encounter the uphill, headwind, don't-wannas and I will have to deal with them when they come.

Also: I'm not giving away my bigger shorts just yet! In truth I'm just at the bottom of my typical twenty-pound average weight range, and chances are I'll bounce back up and my new small shorts won't fit. Maaaaybe I'm really going to keep losing and stay down... or maybe not!


  1. I totally love the running/walking aspect. I do this on the treadmill (my town is WAY to hilly for me to do it outside). I'll run 3 minutes, at 6.0 and then walk at at 3.8 for 2 minutes and I'll do that for like 30-40 minutes - I can tell that by the end the running part gets easier! Hooray for smaller shorts! :D

  2. I can see intervals being a good way to hit the track and not get SUPER bored, too! I currently don't belong to a gym and I don't think I'll join one this winter, but hopefully there will be enough dry days each week that I can get out and run/walk some. It'll be interesting to see!

  3. Intervals can be really FUN but they can also be AWFUL. LOL