Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jogging My Memory

A couple of years ago I took up jogging. I challenged myself to complete the Couch to 5K program and was well on my way to running (OK, jogging slowly, but jogging nonetheless) for 30 minutes straight. A cruise, a cold that didn't want to go away and some creaky knee joints derailed my efforts and before I knew it I'd given up on the idea of becoming A Jogger.

Face it, I told myself, you weren't meant to run. Remember when you were on the soccer team in junior high and you could barely make it around the field once? Don't you remember how hard it was for you to walk/run a mile for those Presidential Fitness Tests they made you do in gym class? You're just not a runner. Why even try?

I convinced myself that running wasn't my thing and happily went back to walking, yoga and elliptical-ing. But for some reason, I just couldn't get the idea of me jogging with ease on the treadmill or running gracefully along a wooded path out of my head. Another voice was reminding me of how much I liked that feeling of being able to run. The accomplishment of making it just a little longer before having to walk, the excitement of knowing that my body was able to do something I had convinced myself it couldn't do, made me want to keep trying.And so I'm jogging again. Slowly, in spurts, with rest days in between for my knees which are already protesting slightly.

I can't seem to find a link for it, but I saw a report on CNN a week or so ago that said the best way to start running is very gradually, as in very short intervals of jogging (about 30 seconds) and walking (about 1 minute). Apparently too many people jump in full tilt and end up injured, exhausted or burnt out because they worked too hard, too fast. The shorter intervals give the lungs and joints time to adjust to the change in movement, intensity and impact. I've seen evidence of this myself. I started my own jogging routine three weeks ago with intervals of 2 minutes jogging and 3 minutes walking, and that seemed to be going well. When I tried a Self program to increase my endurance and speed after just two weeks of my 2 to 3 intervals, my knees started creaking and clicking like crazy. Maybe that guy on CNN was right. I'm going back to my 2:3 jogging to walking ratio and I'll stay there until I'm good and ready to move on. My goal is still a 30 minute jog, but there's no hurry. After all, it's taken me 32 years to get this far, what's a few more months?

10 comments:

Angie Ledbetter said...

Slow and steady, you'll reach your goal. Me? I jog to the 'fridge often. ;)

Melissa Marsh said...

Good for you! I hate to run, although I have looked at people who are running with their iPods down park paths with a certain amount of envy. Hmm...maybe I should give it a go?

34 Years said...

Lord, I HATE jogging. I'll walk fast, and work out with all types of machines, but straight running...ugh.

But - with that said, I will accept the programs on the treadmill that include a minute or two of sprints...but seconds have never ticked by so slowly...

Ami said...

Angie - Me, too. That's why I decided I should try jogging to something else every now and then. :)

Melissa - Sure! What's the worst that can happen? You realize you really do hate it and you do something else instead. Can't hurt, right?

34 Years - I have my moments of jogging hate, and the hate may win out in the end. But I've never given it a fair try and I really think it deserves that. As for the intervals, I like them, too, so I may end up staying there for a while. I've found that when I'm doing longer periods of jogging once I get past the first couple of minutes, I don't feel like time is going by so slowly anymore. As cliche as it sounds, I kind of get into a zone and it's not so hard for a while.

Erin said...

First of all, can I say I'm so proud of you. Way to go. You know, I hated running/jogging with a passion because I couldn't make further than from my house to my neighbors driveway without busting a lung. When I started "learning" how to jog last year I think I started with jogging 30 sec/walking 5 minutes. It felt retarded, but it worked. And today I ran my first 2 1/2 miles of the year. I'm so pumped. I've finally reached my goal of being one of those people who can just run. : ) Keep it up. I can't wait until you reach your goal!

Ami said...

Thanks, Erin. This gives me hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel and reminds me that I can start slowly and still reach my goal.

MommyK said...

I used to run regularly, but then some health problems, a nasty stomach flu and a knee injury sidelined me and I never got back into it. And now my kids are huge and I can barely push the jogger with them in it, much less run with it. I decided to go out last night in the rain while my H put the kids to bed. I ran as far as I could before stopping and walking to catch my breath. I did that over and over until I reached my goal spot and then I walked home. Let me tell you, it felt good! I'm going to try again for tonight. Good luck to you!

nejyerf said...

to paraphrase a line from forrest gump....

"run, ami, run"

Sugar said...

I absolutely lov jogging the trails around my house. They're everywhere... just right outside... but I don't jog them as much as I could. I know I'd feel tons better if I did. Weather has been a factor. It's cooling off some, which is nice. Hard to jog in 80 or 90 heat. And I can't wait to feel those endorphins kick in again!

Ami said...

mommyk - If only we could bottle that good feeling and open it up when we're feeling less than motivated...

nejyerf - I'm trying :)

sugar - I'm super self-conscious, so while I could be outside jogging in the gorgeous early fall weather, I'm jogging on the treadmill at the gym instead. I guess the endorphin rush is the same wherever I run, though. Thanks for stopping by!

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