Monday, July 21, 2008

Pow! Bam! Smack!

When I was a "tween" I did not bother with New Kids on the Block and whatever else those other girls were going crazy for. I know this has something to do with the fact that I am the oldest child and I did not have anyone to mold me into a cool kid. My youngest sister just turned 12 and she gets obsessive over things like Hannah Montana and High School Musical like every other 12-year-old out there.

What did I choose to focus my pre-teen obsession on? Batman, of course. Batman everything - from Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney to Adam West and whoever played the Bat in the awesome cartoon. I watched it all and actively drooled over every version of Batman and Robin. I had posters all over my room and spent my time daydreaming about being rescued by a man in a bat costume and his teenage sidekick. I watched reruns of the old Adam West show every day after school, then laid in bed and used my imagination to put myself into the episodes.

So imagine my excitement when I could drool over Batman again, at 26-years-old, without being considered nutty. I watched Jon Stewart interview Maggie Gyllenhaal a couple of days before I saw Dark Knight. She talked about how exciting it was for her to be rescued by Batman, even though it was on a movie set. She had never gotten into Batman when she was younger, but now she is a convert, and she obviously has a bit of a crush on the superhero now. Just like me! I would have cut off my right hand to be in Maggie's spot when I was 13.

Between my overwhelming crush on Batman and the pictures of Health Ledger that I would tear out of tween magazines and hang all over the place, I was in young-Cali heaven for 2 1/2 hours yesterday. Unfortunately, I don't think I will ever get as excited as I used to... it might not be hormonally possible.

A Whole Mile

Just like I thought, when our friend came into town, the running was put on hold. We got a fair amount of exercise from running around DC and going tubing all day, but we also took in an unbelievable amount of beer calories.

Yesterday I decided that I was taking too long to get back into it, so when we went to the gym I jumped on the treadmill. I ran my ass off for a full mile, which I was pretty excited about. There is some improvement there! When I go to the gym again this week, I will try to go 1.2 miles without stopping.

There is good news from the sundress front. I was digging through my closet for some clothes (but they were all in the laundry, because my housecleaning goes the way of my running when I have guests) and I came across a blue sundress that I bought for our wedding rehearsal dinner four years ago. In fact, it was exactly four years ago to the day. Our dinner was on July 19th, 2004 and I tried the dress on on Saturday, July 19! Ha ha... weird.

Anyway, I put on the dress and it looks great! Better than it did four years ago! After a little shoulder tanning and a pedicure, I will be ready to show it off.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Joy of Icing Calves

My first day of running left me a little beat up for the next two days. I had no idea that my calves would give out on me like that! After a night of Tiger Balm, tons of water and stretching and bags of frozen vegetables, I was much better.

Yesterday Ashley and I went for our first run together. We went down to the George Washington Parkway since it is flat and beautiful and it has mile markers. We started our running and walked when we got tired. We went about three miles like that, and I was exhausted by the time we got back to the car.

I was more discouraged by the end of this run than I was the first time. It seemed to tire me out more and I think that is because 1) it was after a full day of work and 2) my legs were still recouping from my first-ever run on Monday morning. I learned a less this time and went home and immediately stretched and iced my calves. They feel much better this morning.

It was great having someone to run with. It was less boring and I pushed myself more. I did not want to stop running too early, so I would go just a little farther than I wanted to. It was also much easier for me to go on the run in the first place. We planned on going, and I didn't want to wuss out on her.

My next step is to find a 5K that we are both interested in running. I am thinking that it should be two months out. I am confident that we can train to run a full 3.1 miles by the end of August. Then we can move up to bigger races, like a 5 mile, then 10 mile. I am not going to think any farther out than that.

My friend is in town for the next two weeks, so it will be difficult to work my runs into this altered schedule. I just started, so it is way too soon to lose this spurt of motivation!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Day One: Strangely Nervous


It turns out that I am afraid of running. I have never been very successful at it in the past. Usually I put on my workout clothes, then go sprint until I can't move anymore and don't try it again for a very long time. There were a lot of things that I have done wrong in the past, so this time I am trying to be a little more prepared.

Before I went to sleep last night I told myself that I needed to get up this morning and go on my first run. No sleeping in, no hangover, no excuses. Apparently I made myself so anxious that I kept waking up during the night and looking at my clock. It was that same feeling I get when I am starting a new job or taking someone to the airport and I am terrified of being late.

The sixth time I woke up it was finally 6:30. I threw on some yoga pants and running shoes and my MP3 player, drank some water then left the house. My expectations were pretty grim. I figured that I would run past three houses, then stop to walk. Hopefully I could do that for twenty minutes, then crawl back home. Instead, I started running right out of the door and ran all of the way to the park that is about 7/10 of a mile from my house. I rested for a minute, then alternated walking and running back home. (I mostly walked up the hills and ran on the flat part. Running up hills is not fun.)

I am definitely not sprinting at this point, but I am not jogging either. Somewhere in between. And I don't totally suck at it! 7/10 of a mile right off is not bad for someone who doesn't run EVER.

So overall, I feel pretty great about my first day running. Not only did it burn some calories, but it also got me out of bed and moving early on. I ran off sleepiness and a faint hangover. I haven't been as tired and lazy today, and I drank much more water than i usually do. When it came time for lunch, I wanted something healthy because I did not want to undo the work I did this morning. If I can keep this up, I will be in summer dresses in no time.

How Summer Dresses Convinced Me To Run

Summer Dress

Like anyone out there, I want to change some things about my body. Quite a few things, actually. Mainly, I want to be smaller. I enjoy going to the gym and playing with the weights, and I really love riding my bike around. I get a fair amount of exercise, and I have lost weight in the past six months, but there is so much more that can be done.

No style of clothing has made me want to lose weight more than this year's summer dress trend. I love the dresses! There are so many styles and colors and they look so lightweight and comfortable and sexy! I am sure I could find a dress or two that looks good on me, but I want options! I want to feel comfortable in the dress and know it looks great. In order to get to that point, I have some work to do.

I decided that the best way for me to amp up my (not very substantial) cardio workout will be to start running. That is something that I have always been terrible at, and I have always wanted to get into. I don't see many overweight runners... that's gotta tell you something.

Today marks the first day of my cardio campaign. Stay tuned to find out how it goes.