I’m a runner, not a racer

I’m going to preface this post by saying that I hate exercise — it is not fun. Yes, some of you will say that it can be fun if you find something you enjoy, to which I will agree. I played on a basketball team in grade 6, played doubles girls badminton in junior high and high school, and I just spent the last four years performing various dances on stage. All of these were very enjoyable.

Once a woman hits her thirties (i.e. me), her metabolism decides to stop chugging as efficiently as it once did and she has to work harder at keeping unwanted weight away. This is where I am at the moment. Almost mid-thirties and my metabolism has noticeably decreased. Nowadays, when I want to exercise, I want to get it over and done with and I don’t feel like leaving the house to do it.

This is where our lovely treadmill comes in.

We bought a used treadmill from one of my co-workers a couple years ago, and I’ve done a good job at ensuring it gets used as a treadmill and not a place to store things. In the beginning, I mostly walked on it while watching Netflix until my FitBit vibrated when I reached 10,000 steps. I noticed my stamina increasing during this time, but eventually I started to get bored.

Then I got this crazy idea! What if I actually tried to run on the treadmill?

I had participated in the Learn to Run program at Runner’s Soul one fall and actually enjoyed the walk/run intervals — though I think I only stuck through it for about the first four weeks of the eight week program. I think my excuse for quitting was that it was starting to get cold out. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that was it. I’m a wuss.

But in remembering my enjoyment of the program, I searched for a similar program, found Couch to 5K, and downloaded an app of the same name. I started, stalled, and stopped a few times, but this summer I actually stuck through it for the entire eight weeks and finished the program — huffing and puffing — in early August.

Then I got an even crazier idea! What if I signed up for a 5k run?

I didn’t sign up for one right away. I thought I should try to maybe increase my pace a little bit before I dive in completely and pay the registration fee. I downloaded a pacing app and kept up with my runs three times a week — for about two weeks. Then I started to not enjoy running.

“Why am I doing this?” I asked myself. “Why do I want to do a 5k run?” I wasn’t interested in the t-shirt, the medal, or breaking a personal best. The more I questioned it, the more I realized that my reasons for wanting to race were quite arbitrary — I had finished the app, so the next natural step was to sign up for a 5k, right? Is that what I wanted to do or was it just something I felt I was supposed to do?

In the end, I never did sign up for that race, and I haven’t stepped on my treadmill much since then except for a few days here and there to reach 10,000 steps. I do want to get back on it and run again, though. But I want to do it for the right reasons, and I don’t feel like I’m quite there yet. I definitely feel like my stamina has decreased and my “running muscles” have withered a little bit. One day I will get back there and enjoy it again, but that time is not now.

So as not to leave this post on a somewhat sad note, I did want to share a running playlist that helped me push through when I thought I couldn’t keep going (I’m looking at you, 35-minute run intervals!)

Let me know if you listen to any of these during your runs or if you see a song you’ll be adding to your workout playlist. I’ll also indicate which Couch to 5k interval (run/walk) the song is good for.

  • Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand (walk)
  • Footsteps by Pop Evil (walk)
  • Runnin’ Wild by Airbourne (run)
  • Roots by Imagine Dragons (run)
  • Ready to Go by Republica (run)
  • I Wonder by Tom Cochrane (run)
  • Whistleblower by The Arkells (run)
  • What You Waiting For? by Gwen Stefani (run)
  • Saving Grace by Tom Petty (run)
  • I Feel Free by Belinda Carlisle (run)
  • Mess Around by Cage the Elephant (run)
  • Square Hammer by Ghost B.C. (run)
  • Doom and Gloom by The Rolling Stones (run)
  • Stayin’ Alive by The Bee Gees (walk)
  • Unapologetic Bitch by Madonna (walk)

 

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2016: A Lethbridgian Review

I’ve only been blogging on a regular basis for the past four weeks, so it may seem a little silly for me to write a year-end review. But I assure you, it can still be done!

I’m going to fill you in on what I was doing before I came back to the blog in November.

January

2016 was going to be the year I would finally lose weight. Forget the past nine or so years I have been saying it, I was actually going to accomplish it this year — and I did! Most of the kudos belong to my treadmill (for getting me off the couch) and my Fitbit (for helping me track my progress). I still have a little more weight to lose, but I have formed a pretty solid foundation as far as my eating and exercise habits go, so I just need to keep going strong into the new year and I may finally reach my goal in 2017. I can’t wait!

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February

For the first time since I don’t know when, I experienced true tranquility when I visited the feature pyramid dedicated to the Year of the Monkey at the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton. Something about the sound of trickling water, the feel of cool air on my skin, and the sights and smells of the surrounding plant life made me never want to leave. The sense of calm I experienced actually brought tears to my eyes. After coming home, I knew that I needed to see the garden one last time before it changed over to a different theme, so I dragged my family up for a day trip on the final day. The trip was exhausting but worth it.

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March

This was my third year dancing in the Ammena Dance Company‘s annual show, An Explosion of World Dance & Music. I chose to be in a circus-themed burlesque piece set to Circus by Britney Spears and Applause by Lady Gaga. I wore a ringmaster’s outfit as my costume, and was thrilled to learn that this piece would open the show. It was A LOT of fun!

(photo credit)

April

This year marked 15 years since I graduated from Catholic Central High School (feeling old, now), and since plans for our 10-year reunion fell through, a group of classmates decided to organize a 15-year reunion at Average Joe’s instead. It was a night of drinks, appetizers, and a lot of catching up. Unfortunately, not many of my high school friends were able to attend, but I enjoyed seeing everyone who could.

May

There is not much to note from May aside from finally being given the go-ahead to move my desk at work to a new area. My new space is larger and has more natural light than my old desk. Plus I get to look out of a huge window every day. Not too shabby!

June

My husband and I got to dress up all fancy and attend a ball to celebrate our 9-year wedding anniversary. We clean up pretty good, eh?

July

For most of the first half of 2016, our daughter was obsessed with the children’s show Peppa Pig. My husband’s cousin tipped me off about a Peppa Pig meet & greet happening at West Edmonton Mall, so we decided to plan a whole trip around it. In addition to waiting an ungodly amount of time to meet and have our picture taken with Peppa Pig, we went to the World Waterpark, Galaxyland, the sea lion show, and observed the marine life at Sea Life Caverns.

August

For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to take our daughter to Calaway Park during the August long weekend. Nope, not doing that again. But I felt the need to have her experience a right of passage of almost every child who grows up in southern Alberta. She had a blast, so that’s all that matters. Not the line-ups, or the expensive food, or the heat, or all the walking you have to do, or…

September

Another first that our daughter got to experience this summer was her first ride in an airplane. My sister-in-law was getting married just north of Vernon, B.C., and we decided to skip a lengthy car ride in favour of an hour-long plane ride and a little bit of driving. This was one of our smarter ideas out of all of our summer excursions. I’m happy to report our daughter is a natural flyer who enjoyed every minute up in the air. It was nice to be back in B.C. again too since the last time we were both there was shortly after our wedding in 2007. Beautiful, as always.

October

I took a break from social media in October to focus more on myself. The steady decline in sunlit hours wreaks havoc with my mental health and I was not feeling great. I feel the need to take a break from social media every once in a while so I can recharge my batteries (hello, introvert!) and get away from all of the voices on my various social media feeds. It helps me retain my sanity, really, even though it pisses off my friends and followers when I disappear with no warning. But I think it’s better to go on a hiatus than to constantly post depressing updates.

Your turn!

What have you enjoyed about my blog so far?

What would you like to see more of in 2017?