Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

On Running

February 2nd, 2015

We are capable of far more than we imagine.

Yesterday, for the first time, I ran six miles on the treadmill and I did it in 55:28, which works out to an average pace of 9:15/mile — not a big deal, but still, not bad for a fifty-four year old woman of no great height or running ability.

I’m not much of a motivational speaker, but I do want to say that if you’re interested in fitness, in getting in shape, in getting stronger, go for it! (Usual caveats — check with a doctor, etc. — you know yourself better than I do.) But it’s very likely that you are capable of far more than you imagine. That’s been the case for me. I was well into my forties before I started running somewhat regularly. I remember being astonished when I was able to sustain a good pace for thirty minutes. Now I’ve almost doubled that.

I think the key is to start slowly but keep it up. I started by running on the road. It’s a country road, so there are reflectors along the side. I’d run for the distance of four or five reflectors, then walk for two or three. As the days passed I’d extend the running segments and reduce the walking segments, until eventually I was running the whole thing.

My muscles were very sore when I first started. I don’t work out when I’m really sore. I let my body rest and heal. But I do workout when I’m a little sore — and usually I feel a lot better the next day. I tend to push myself pretty hard. But I also have a history of not exercising for stretches of time, sometimes because I’m traveling, or I’m sick, or I’m just so busy…but I always get back to it.

Time Issues
I don’t ever work out “all the time.” If I get three good workouts a week (gym or running), I’m happy. It really doesn’t take that much time, if you’re using your time well and challenging yourself. Just a couple months ago Ron and I finally acquired a treadmill, and it’s proven to be a terrific investment, because it takes away some of the barriers to exercise. Before, I would have to drive to town to run at the gym, or contend with sun, traffic, and steep hills to run on the road. The treadmill makes it easier to exercise, so I’m more likely to do it. Still, I don’t recommend investing in expensive exercise equipment until you’ve already established a habit. I suspect that most home equipment, like most gym memberships, will sit unused.

The psychological battle
So…the biggest battle most of us face when setting out to get in better shape? Yes, that’s the psychological battle. Especially at the beginning, it takes a lot of resolve to work out regularly. If you’re lucky, you’ll have someone who will encourage you, or who might even work out with you. Ultimately though, I think it comes down to an individual endeavor. I work out because it makes me happy. I like being strong and fit. I feel better, both physically and emotionally, and I’m more confident.

And it’s important to measure yourself against yourself. There will always be people far faster and stronger than you are. Cheer them on! And cheer yourself on too, because if you’re working out at all, you deserve it.

Do you like to run? Would you like to? Let me know!

Posted on: Monday, February 2nd, 2015 at 4:10 pm
Categories: Fitness.

Comments are closed.