Yesterday I read the first chapter of Running Like a Girl. It was about Alexandra's first run and it was honest but not demoralizing, told like a friend would tell a story over a cup of tea. It really made me think about what I'm getting into. I'm old. And fat. And really, really not used to moving. Yes, I used to run, but I was younger, in better shape and the only time I sat down was in class (after running around campus for one thing or another, toting a stack of library books so high I could rest my chin on it) or at work (in between running between the offices of colleagues, popping in to the building across the street for meetings or equipment pick-ups, heading to various locations for presentations and workshops...).
When I ran then, it was easy. I used to do it for fun, to de-stress, to chase away my little demons (that job I talked about? It turned out to be the kind of emotional roller coaster that has more deep, deep downs that ups. I used to get home after work and go right to the treadmill, trying to outrun the sadness and the loneliness and the fear that clients heaped on me every day, and trying to forget the disinterest, pettiness and lack of compassion that my colleagues often displayed. I just kept running until I felt better). I knew going in that this time would be different, so I decided my first goal would be to get back on my treadmill and see what I could do.
That happened this morning. And it turns out, I can't do much. Jogging even the length of one song is impossible. My lungs burn, something in my side aches, and my throat goes from feelin' fine to painfully parched in less time than it takes a teenager to make a bad decision. I ended up doing a walk-slow jog combination for as long as I could without being sick then decided I need a plan and some new goals.
So my goal now is to just walk at least 30 minutes a day for now. If I can fit in a minute or two of jogging, great. If not, I'm not going to beat myself up. I'm also going to start drinking more water. I think I do a pretty good job of it now (usually 3 glasses a day and I choose water over other drinks because I like the taste of all that straight-from-the-tap chlorine-y goodness), but I need more and I know it. Over the next few days, I'm also going to rethink my dependence on convenience foods and start paying attention to myself - I often forget to have a meal until I'm really, really hungry and that turns my eating process into "what can I put in my mouth right now." I want to be more thoughtful about the foods I eat and put time into preparing meals instead of just consuming whatever is handy.
What are some of your favourite healthful meals that are easy to cook (I can bake, but I can't cook - not even scrambled eggs)?