Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Week 1.1; Day 3

Last night C went with me (and River) again and we did very well, running the entire 60 seconds of all eight times. We even went a little faster than we have before. We ended on a 60 second run, past my house and continued about 1/3 of the loop (.1 mile) which is the farthest we've/I've gone in the 20 min time.

Total distance traveled ~1.8 miles. Still stretching after warm-up and at the end. Oooh how I enjoy that ending stretch session. My legs ached last night but nothing abnormal (I don't think) and my foot was hurting, which kind of worried me, but it doesn't hurt today. My knee is still doing well.

I think I'll start the week 2 instruction (longer jog/walk intervals) on Thursday and see how I do.

I'm happy with the progression so far but I'm feeling sad and unhappy in general for other reasons... a separate post on that soon I think. Maybe later today...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Week 1.1; Day 1 AND Day 2

Thanks for the supporting comments on my last post, I was REALLY not feeling it on Thursday. And it only got worse... but I did go. I am happy I went. I decided to re-do the week 1 instruction which is "Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.", so "Week 1.1" was born.

Week 1.1; Day 1 (Thurs 3/26/09)
Got home and it was raining.

Me: "Should I go even though it's raining?"
R: "No."
Me, thinking: "Ok, that sounds like the excuse you need! Ugh, no, I really should go. I really want to go. If I don't go, I probably will make an excuse for the next time too."

I didn't know what to do. So, without even really making a decision, I grabbed the leash and a flashlight and went for the 5 min warm-up loop. I figured I could decide after that and if it sucked really bad at least I did something.

It was somewhere between drizzling and a light rain so, not too bad. When we got back around to my driveway river was shaking off, and I decided he would be way too wet after 5 more loops, so I put him in the house, stretched, and continued alone.


Water was dripping down my face, my glasses were all fogged up so I could hardly see and I felt like this was my very first time out running instead of my 4th. Blah. I was discouraged but I kept going. My 60 second intervals of running looked something like this:

1 - ok, but tough (full 60)
2 - ugh, i'm going to stop, no just a little farther... (full 60)
3 - i can't do this. no, seriously, i can't. (full 60)
4 - sooo tired. (50 of the 60 secs)
5 - can't breathe. that's important, right? (40 of the 60 secs)
6 - a little more energy (full 60)
7 - only 1 loop to go (full 60)
8 - holy crap i'm so glad this is over! (about 50 of the 60 secs)

I felt like crap but I went about the same pace as Week 1; Day 1 and ended up going the 5 laps for approximately 1.5 miles. I wasn't in pain, it was just unpleasant. I had no energy.

Week 1.1; Day 2 (Sat 3/28/09)
This time was so completely different. It was such a nice day. I had been up doing things all day: gave the dog a bath, cleaned the house, grocery shopped with C (my sister), made dinner, and baked carrot cake cupcakes. My feet and legs hurt already from the day but I wanted to go anyway. I really don't want to start making excuses for not going and procrastinating. I'm such a bad procrastinator I'm afraid if I do it once it'll all fall apart.

C was still with me and was good for goin' with, and even though it was already after 11pm, we went out.

I jogged for all 60 seconds all 8 times (I've found that at my current pace, 8 times is what I get in the 20 mins required). It was still tough but it was so much easier than any previous time. River even did great staying on his side and not getting distracted by C. We went the fastest yet, the last 60 seconds (at the end of the 20 mins) took us past my house and into a 6th loop. We completed the 6th loop at a slower walk, since it was past the 20 mins, for a total of ~1.8 miles.

Tonight is the 3rd day of my second week and I'm proud that I'm still at it. I think I'm even starting to feel better and have a bit more energy, though I'm not positive. It could be all in my head at this stage of the game. I do wish I was picking it up a bit faster but I seriously started this from no regular exercise at all so even the bit of progress so far is promising. I'm happy :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

No thanks, I'll Walk.

Ok, for some weird reason, I'm completely dreading tonight's "run". :(

I have been looking forward to them up till now. Yesterday I even went for a mile walk with river so that I wouldn't be going out tonight after having done nothing for two days.

I really hope tonight doesn't kick my ass. I'm definitely doing week 1 over again...


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Week 1; Day 3

Last night's run went well, overall. River and I went 6 loops for a total of ~1.8 miles.

Normal warm up loop for 5 mins, I tried to push myself to walk faster that the past two times. I felt like I did but we still completed the loop in about the same time. While I was walking I actually wanted to run - I was looking forward to it. My legs felt like they could go faster.

Came back into the house to stretch. Kinda weird that it feels like the "warm-up" wears off by the time I stretch so I'm not sure if I should just be briefly stretching before the warm-up or keep doing it afterwards. anyone know anything about this?

When I stretch, river gets right up in my face since I'm down at his level. Dogs of his breed are sometimes said to be "velcro dogs" because they like to be right with you at all times. Before I met him I wouldn't have given this much credit but it is so true. He puts his face as close as possible to my face and wags over and over while I'm on the floor stretching. He doesn't usually lick but he gets so close I can feel his whiskers brushing my chin or cheek. I let him do it (it's only annoying if I'm already annoyed at something else and want to be left alone) it's hilarious :) Most of the time he's a OMGPLAYNOW dog, not a cuddle dog, but if I sit on the floor he will usually come right up and try to sit on my lap.

Anyway, after the stretching I grabbed his leash (still clipped onto him) and we went out for our jog/walk. **I jogged all 8 times for the entire 60 seconds each.** Around the 4th or 5th time it started getting really tough and I started thinking about cutting the jog times short, but I didn't. I think I was going slightly faster than I did when C was with me (day 2) but not by much. On the 5th loop, I ended on the 60 seconds of jogging, which took me right past my house and on to the start of the 6th loop. I didn't want to stop cold after a particularly hard 60 sec jog so I continued on around for the 6th time, past the 20 min time, at a slower walk than the warm-up.

This one was really tough for me but before I went I was looking forward to it and after I went, I felt good. Now I have two days "off" and I'm wondering if I should repeat week 1 next week as well. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable upping the jog time quite yet.

My legs were pretty achy last night and this morning. I still haven't had any unusual knee pain, which is my biggest worry. Ever since last night's jog/walk, a muscle right near my kneecap (on the left side of my right knee) keeps twitching. It feels weird but it doesn't hurt so I guess I'll just ignore it. My back is pretty sore today but I don't think that's related to the running.

Not going to quit yet! ;)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Week 1; Day 2

I went out on Saturday night, just as I planned! :)

I was thinking about it a lot in the two days leading up to it. I wasn't that sore and felt pretty good so I was looking forward to going out again. But, as it got closer, I got more nervous that I would do worse this time than I did the first.

On Friday, I told my sister (C) about the "Couch to 5K" plan and she asked if she could go with me. So, on Saturday, she came over, we grabbed River and went.

I read that stretching after a warm up is better; so, we went around the circle once for the 5 min warm up, went back into my driveway to do the stretching, and then we were off. The first and second 60 seconds of jogging were about the same - doable, not too bad. Then, I jogged the entire third 60 seconds as well... and the fourth! We jogged every 60 second interval except for the very last couple when we only did about 40 - 20 seconds (~20 secs on the last interval).

We went the same 5 loops all together but in slightly less time - more like 20 mins instead of 25. We actually lost track of loop count at the fourth loop, thinking it was our third :) I'm not sure if the improvement was due to C being with me or due to getting better after only one time but it was encouraging. C is not a runner and although she is not overweight like me, she doesn't exercise regularly. She was just keeping my pace, not pushing to go faster/longer. It was nice to have someone to talk to. River was a pain, being distracted by C, but he did fine and again, barely broke a pant ;)

Tonight is day 3 and C will not be with me. I guess I'll find out if I'm really improving or not. I'm looking forward to going, but have that same nervousness that I'll be worse than the previous night. I think I'm scared of being discouraged and stopping.

Side notes for reference:
- I have not had much pain at all so far. No specific knee pain other than what I normally have on a day to day basis. Only slightly sore muscles which are just fine with me!
- I can still only walk up about 2 flights of parking garage stairs before I'm breathing hard. Stairs are painful for my knee, so I don't do them everyday, but I'll be doing them more often as another progress test.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Week 1; Day 1

If you haven't yet - please read the previous post "Can An Overweight Couch/Desk-Potato Become a Runner?" before you read this one or it won't make much sense.

Last night R and I got home, found something for dinner, but instead of eating I grabbed my dog, a stopwatch, and a flashlight and went for my first run (ok, fast walk ;)).

The first week (every other day for three days) is this:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

I also read about some runner stretches to do, so I did these in my house and then went out. I did the first 5 minutes at a pretty fast walking pace. Faster than I would ever think of walking normally. I went about .3 of a mile (or 1 loop) at this pace in the 5 min warm-up time.

~~~ I live on a street shaped like a lollipop. There is a straight road that starts the neighborhood, which breaks into two roads that relink again, making a complete circle. My house is where the "stick" meets the "top candy circle" of the lollipop. The loop is right around .3 of a mile so I know, if I walk 4 times around, i've walked slightly more than a mile.~~~

The first and second 60 seconds of jogging were pretty easy. When I got to the third I was breathing pretty hard and thought about skipping one of the jogging intervals. I did jog a little in the third but mostly walked. I figured it would be ok to push myself a little, nothing hurt yet, so for the rest of the 60 second jogging intervals I jogged as much as I felt my lungs could handle (about 20 to 30 seconds) and walked as fast as I could for the rest of the time.

My dog was barely panting ;)

I finished out the time - going a little over the 20 mins - total time out there was about 30 mins. We went around the loop five times, so approximately 1.5 miles.

When I came into the house I was breathing hard but felt good. I probably could have kept going. I did the stretches again and they felt pretty good actually.

I was really happy I went. I am still happy I went and I kind of want to go again tonight. But, I don't want to discourage myself either - I'm going to stick to the schedule. I think, since I'm not able to do the full 60 seconds of jogging yet, I'll probably stay on "week 1" at least one extra week. I'll have to see how it goes.

I'll be "running" again on Saturday!

Can An Overweight Couch/Desk-Potato Become a Runner?

I want to find out :)

At some point last year, maybe 9 months ago now, I read about a "Couch to 5K" program linked from a blog I used to read. I no longer read the blog since she went private but I admire her for actually using this program and making it to the 5K goal.

Ever since, I've contemplated trying out this program but, although I did start going for some occasional ~1 mile walks, never managed to find the motivation. Yesterday I saw a different "Couch to 5K" link on a completely different blog.

I challenged myself and... I actually took the challenge.


Some relevant facts about me:

There's no doubt about it, I am overweight. If it were easy, I'd like to lose about 80 lbs but I'm pretty sure that's not ever going to happen. My realistic goal is 30 lbs. I sit at a desk, in front of a computer, all day long. Other than usually leaving my office for lunch, I'm lucky if I get up to use the bathroom once a day. After work, R and I make dinner and either play computer games, watch our favorite TV shows or watch movies. I admit it, I am a complete couch/desk potato. I am about as unfit as a person of my weight/height can get. I love outdoors activities - hiking, boating, camping, etc. - but I rarely do them.

On a very regular basis I get restless. I actually feel like running as fast as I possibly can. Even though that seems weird, even to me, it is true. Recently, while at work, I couldn't take it anymore so I got up and started doing jumping jacks in my office to relieve the restless feeling. It didn't really work but I didn't do it for very long, worried that someone would ask what the heck I was doing.

I have a very active dog. I think he is slowly adapting to our lazy lifestyle. I know he would rather be outside running after a ball but he lays around while we are watching TV or playing games without much of a fuss. I'd love to get him out and running around more. I've taken him on hikes that were miles long and he never seems to run out of energy. I know he would benefit from a more active me.

I have bad knees and arthritis. When I was 16, during a gymnastics class, I did a front-handspring (full body flip where, from a running start, the hands go down to the floor in front of the body, the legs go over the head, landing on both feet at once when the move is complete), landed with my right foot slightly crooked and collapsed. I tore my acl, which is a ligament in the middle of the knee. I had several surgeries and my knee was never the same. I have cartilage loss/damage and, as a result, I have arthritis in my knee and ankle of the same leg. My knee is "loose" and can "slip" out of place, which causes pain. This doesn't normally happen if I'm just walking. Last year I went to an orthopedist and he confirmed, amidst many apologies because "someone your age shouldn't have arthritis like this", that there was nothing he could do that would make my knee much better. Ahh well. But... will this lead me to fail at running? I really don't know but I do plan on paying specific attention to knee pain. I'd rather not lose my ability to walk.

I own a nice eliptical machine. I bought it a few years ago and I like it but have yet to use it regularly. I thought I would be more apt to use it if I could watch TV to keep my mind off the fact that exercising sucks but it hurts my neck to watch tv from its current position and there's really no where else I can move it to. I feel bad using it when R is watching TV too because it's kind of loud, or at least it is in my head. It makes my feet fall asleep about 20 mins into the work out. This is ignorable but annoying. I also feel bad when I use it because I look at my bored dog and feel like I should be outside walking with him instead. These are all just lame excuses I know - I don't use it because I'm lazy.


So, I'm going to try to become a runner. At the very least, a more active person.

I plan on posting - at least a short post - on every day I go. This way I can tell, even if I feel incredibly shitty, if I'm making at least a tiny bit of progress. I actually got myself out and on the road last night (see the next post for details on how it went).

Oh motivation, where are you?? I need you! If I could give myself a daily injection of motivation I really would - and I HATE needles *shiver*.

So, who out there in imaginary-blog-reader-land is interested in how this will go? I know I am! :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Long Day

I was at work, in my office, at 8:45am this morning.

I went out to get something for breakfast around 9:15am and was back around 9:30am.

I left the office at about 3:30pm, stopped and got food to bring back home, and was home working again by 4:30pm.

I took another break to watch a movie with R at 11pm and was back working at 12:45am.

That's approximately 14 hours I've worked today... I'm so tired.

I'm going to bed.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Laid Off

No, not me. I still have my job (darn...).

On Thursday, six people in my department were laid off. It was a weird situation. Most of my department works out of NYC and I, and two others, are in our Albany office. This means we get any news dead last. Everyone in the other office saw the six get called in, pack up, and leave. We (the Albany people) had to guess at who the six were because no one would tell us. So annoying.

Come to find out one of the six was actually the manager for the main case I am working on (I'll call the person F). Good thing the case I work on has been very quiet lately. It would have sucked if shit was hitting the fan and then suddenly F wasn't there to help and give advice anymore. Corporate BS makes me mad. Not that they had to lay people off specifically, but the way they did it and what the higher ups tell everyone. Everything they say is dripping with.. untruths.

Another one of the six was a new employee I had been training for the past five months (call this person T). Grrrr. I spent so much time training and advising and developed a good working relationship with T. I really hope T doesn't think the lay off was because of anything I said to management. Nothing I can do about it now I guess. I know how being laid off would make me feel though and I was really shocked T was one of the "chosen". I feel so bad for T and F :/

I'm totally not scared for my job in the slightest. I know I do a really good job and I'm no where near one of the highest paid in the department. Probably more like one of the lowest! I actually have a great salary imo but definitely not compared to most of the other people.

There was a good thing that came out of the lay offs. Our dept was forced to restructure after losing the six people so I ended up being put under a new manager that I'm happy about. Hopefully things go well.

I have been fired once in my life and laid off once in my life. Both times sucked and were emotional but the firing was wayyyy worse. For the lay off, my husband (boyfriend at the time but we were living together) and I both worked at the same place. Already a very small company, they majorly downsized and both R and I got laid off on the same day. It was kind of scary. We were living in an apt at the time though and were able to get unemployment. I had another job two or three weeks later.

I think if I were to get laid off now I'd start applying for lab tech positions again. Maybe look into getting some certifications to compliment my degree. My current job has nothing at all to do with my degree. My choice to accept this job was based solely on its salary and benefits.

I hope T and F have an easy time finding new jobs and never look back! :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Wow - am I a bad blogger or what?

I read blogs almost everyday and blog surf to find other blogs that seem interesting or that I can relate to. Comments from me are occasional. Most of the time I feel silly leaving the generic "I agree!" or "I support you" comments. Not sure why...

I dream of being one of those writers who post beautiful pictures from their lives and use equally beautiful words to describe their meaningful life experiences. I admire people like this but I am definitely not one of them.

I have found pleasure in writing in the past - college essays that I read and re-read because I liked writing them so much (but don't get me wrong... I seriously dislike "english", grammar and writing classes. I'm wayyy more of a science class type girl), stories I began writing when I was a kid, books of notes that we would pass to each other in middle and high school, beginnings of diaries (i say beginnings because i would NEVER keep up with these). In a very bad time in my life I would take a piece of paper and a pen and write down whatever came to my mind in one very long run on sentence. Sometimes pages and pages of this. And, it did make me feel better... I think. Maybe it was just another way for me to wallow in my misery - hah - I guess I'll never know. I have a few of these pieces of paper still. Reading them brings me right back to that time in my life, so clearly I could practically shut my eyes and expect to be back in time when I open them.

Why did I start this blog if I'm a bad writer? Partly, I have an urge to write things out and plan things, but then my procrastination side takes over and I end up only thinking about the planning instead of actually doing it. *gives procrastinator-jill a swift kick in the ass* I also would like to reach out to other people in similar life situations (and different... I would never turn away a potential friend) and offer my support and receive support.

I think I'm a fairly private person and really, it's not by conscious choice. As you've probably noted from my blog address, I don't feel like many things in my life are worthy of passing on - no one will be interested or I should be asking about you, not telling you about me. Not sure where this comes from but it's definitely there. This blog is attempt to share things about me I would almost never think of sharing with someone in person. An example of this is that no one at all, except R (and whoever has read this blog), knows that I had an HSG done last year. Of people I see or talk to on a regular basis, only R knows this blog exists.

I share everything with R and I do share occasionally with "strangers" and family but mostly I say "I'm fine." when asked and not much more. If someone starts asking questions, I'll gladly answer, almost too willingly ;) but I don't go out of my way to share information. I'm trying to be better about this with my family. I've realized as I've gotten older that I'm not the only one with a "boring" life and that most people who care about you are happy to hear about the little things. I'm sure my mom, grandmother and sisters would be perfectly happy hearing about my latest trip to the grocery store or about someone weird I saw in the elevator. I'm trying to get better about sharing a few of these silly things in order to better keep in touch. I'm hoping this blog will help with that "sharing" learning curve. Life is too short and family is too important not to make the effort.