Look at this stuff; isn’t it neat?

I want to talk a little about what I’ve been doing now that I have set these goals for myself. If you haven’t read my first post, you can find it here. Basically my goal this year is to run in at least one 5k (I’m shooting for three of them total, if I get that first one out of the way), and my longer-term goal is to run a full marathon in four years with some other races in between. I know I can do it, it’s just going to take a LOT of hard work and dedication from me. A lot of love and support from my family, friends, and a lot of coaching. I’m lucky, because I already have a ton of support from my boyfriend, which he offers while wincing back the thought of me waking at 5:00 a.m. every morning.

Coaching. Huh. Such a fun word. I haven’t had a real “coach” in years, unless you count the drama director whom people mistakenly called coach when I was in high school. Anyway, I got myself a coach. I took advantage of the awesome personal training programs available through my gym (which I’m still trying to figure out, by the way). We have a meeting soon, but I’ve been doing lead-up training on my own until then.

I started out going for long walks on the treadmill and using the bikes at the gym. I have been avoiding the elliptical, because I hate that dreaded machine, but I figure I’ll have to use it eventually. I mean it simulates running, right? In the same workouts, I’d use the gym’s free weights to do some hip reduction workouts, just because I could. Not going to lie, it felt really strange being the only woman at the gym during those times to use the free weights. It was weird. But hey, I was working out. I didn’t care if anyone judged.

I then started consulting friends here and there about what they thought. I mostly spoke to people who I see often who were/are long distance runners. And the pretty unanimous thing every one of them told me was to not bulk up. Not that I was planning on becoming the Arnold, or anything, but that was an interesting piece to learn.

Apparently you can't run like this.

Apparently you can’t run like this.

So I stopped doing anything with weights, but I’m still doing push ups and crunches and the usual core workouts. Let me tell you: it’s hard to not lift weights. I mean, I’ll do whatever the trainer tells me, but I’ll hold off for now just in case.

I had an interesting realization today while on the treadmill, though. I had made playlists on my iPhone when I first started for when I work out. If any of you know me, you know that I like a WIDE range in music. I put everything on there from The Who, to Mumford and Sons, to Madonna, to Backstreet Boys (yes! don’t judge me!), to various musicals. While I was doing my walk/run alternate workout (I’m not able to run a full mile yet and I’m working on building endurance by alternating for several miles), I noticed something about my music. Apparently, my success was measured by what I was listening to. Usually people tell you to put together a playlist that will pump you up and get you into a good rhythm with your workouts. Apparently “pump you up” is a relative term, because I had 3oh!3 on and I was struggling with my running portions of the workout. Then I’d go back to walking and I’d be fine. Then another really up-beat song would come on while running, and I’d still struggle. Finally something from Godspell came on and I was workin’ it! I had a great rhythm going and my breathing wasn’t labored, and I was smiling while I was running. Then the same thing happened the next running portion. Another musical number came on and I was keeping up, and this was not an up-beat musical number either! Apparently, my love for musical theater and missing it is transcending my need to work out. Which is fine, I’ll take it! It was a little bit of a bizarre realization for me, but then I started to think something else. How loud are my headphones? Can anyone around me hear what I’m listening to? I as having a really hard time NOT singing along to those musical numbers, and mouthing the words here and there. I must have looked like I was talking to myself. Just imagine what it would be like to have someone singing along (out loud!) to a musical in their head while they’re at the gym…

God save the people!

God save the people!

Anyway, it was an interesting experience, to say the least. But I have now updated my playlists to have mostly musical numbers. We will see if this improves my performance. It’s a cool experiment to work with. Maybe I won’t freak out too many of my machine neighbors. Maybe.

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4 thoughts on “Look at this stuff; isn’t it neat?

  1. I love reading this, Chiara! Thanks for sharing your journey and letting us be a part of it! You are smart to ease into it with a walking/running routine. I loved the Couch to 5K program. I *HATED* running when I first started it. I dreaded the 60 second segments of running! But by the time I had completed the program, I was a total running and endorphin junkie. Couldn’t function without a daily run! Broke my heart when I got put on pelvic rest during this pregnancy and couldn’t run anymore. 😦
    Anyway, there’s an awesome 5K on Labor Day Weekend that some of my favorite nuns host! It might pique your interest. Here’s some more info: http://runningnuns.com/
    Also, here are two other running blogs from friends of mine you might enjoy: http://mommysrunningshoes.tumblr.com/ & http://drusnakedfeet.wordpress.com/

    • Thanks so much for checking out the blog! I will definitely look into your suggestions. I especially find encouraging that you, too, did not like running and are now itching to get back out there! Thanks for the tips!

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