Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Keep It Moving

Yesterday I ran two miles in the hot summer sun with my golden retriever at my side and baby in her stroller.

I can just hear half my family say "What the hell's a matter with ya, girl?!?"

Due to the ridiculous heat and humidity, I really thought I'd only walk a couple miles and be done for the day. However, I was already sweating after I'd walked a half mile so I figured I might as well give it a try. And, to my credit, it was before noon. I am not as crazy as the 50 year old man I saw running through Maumee the other day at 5pm while it was 93 degrees. I was pretty sure he was either going to fall over from a heart attack or burst into flames on the sidewalk.

Frankly, if someone had told me when I was 16 that I would be a regular exerciser when I was 30 years old and post-baby, I would have told them they must be high on something. I'm not an athlete. My physique does not reflect a runner's body. And yet, I've been exercising regularly for the past seven years. It just kind of happened. I joined Weight Watchers and a ladies only gym with my friend and it didn't take long for me to be hooked on endorphins (not so much hooked on dieting, apparently using all your daily WW points on chocolate and wine is not terribly effective). I even worked out during my whole pregnancy, including the last month when I finally had to give the gym up and waddle down the country lane next to our house with my dog.

Because I have grown to love exercise, I agonized while pregnant that I suddenly wouldn't be able to work out after I had Amelia. The stories of how busy your life becomes after you have a child made me go over and over again in my mind what my schedule would look like and how I could squeeze in 45 minutes at the gym a couple of days per week. Since November, I've discovered that exercising is a big priority for me and when something is important to you, you make it work. And I have.

But I still didn't think I would be running this summer. I don't even like running.

No, really, I don't. I love to exercise. I think my step and spin classes are awesome. Running, however, is hard. I started running because it got me outside when it's nice out, and it's a good challenge for me. And, you can take running anywhere, no gym required. When I found out I was pregnant, I thought I would keep running, but the image of my little fetus bouncing all over the place in my womb, along with constant nausea during my first trimester, stopped me from that. So, no running for nine months. Then when I headed back to the gym after Amelia's birth, it was winter and I'm not a big treadmill runner. So basically, I haven't ran regularly for 15 months. It's like starting all over again. Who wants to do that?

Luckily, I have new kinds of running motivation.
  • I'm not a fan of the morning daycare lady at my gym. I'm pretty sure she's going to let some toddler run over my baby. Then I'd have to punch her and I'm not ready for the big house. And, I don't like evening workouts in the summer. I want to get it out of the way so I can sit in the air conditioning for the remainder of the day.
  • I like to take our dog for a daily walk, especially when I'm not working. If I'm already spending 45 minutes of my day with tennis shoes on, I might as well be doing my workout too.
  • Aforementioned dog follows me around obsessively if I don't walk her. It's rather annoying. Hence the running when it's so hot that I could melt. It's better than having a 75 pound canine up my butt all day.
  • Amelia generally enjoys our walks down the country lane, but sometimes she's just not in the mood. I call her my personal trainer because the more she fusses, the quicker I run. Picture Jillian Michaels as a baby and with less swearing. Or maybe my daughter IS swearing at me. I can't really tell yet.
More important than all of that, Amelia is seeing me work at something that does not come easily to me, and I think that's important. I was able to jog 4-5 miles at one point pre-baby, and I would like to get to that point again, if not beyond that. Maybe some day down the road she will even witness me train for a sprint triathalon or a half marathon. The sky is the limit when you have great coaches like I do:

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