After retiring from derby, I said I would concentrate on speed skating. But I have put off recreational sports until I am back on my feet after moving halfway across the country. To replace my cardio conditioning, I started running.
If you’ve known me for years or known me for five minutes, you would know that I actually hate running. It is not my cup of tea. I don’t like the high impact. I don’t know how to breathe properly. I get really bored if I have to run longer than 20 minutes. If I were an Olympian, I would rather sprint like Usain Bolt than run a marathon. You get the point. But now that I am in foreign territory and there is a whole lot more to look at here in the PNW with such a mild winter, I had no excuses.
When I first started running 4 weeks ago, I could barely make it a mile. I was frequently losing my will to live and awkward pains shot up my legs. And that old Joanie Utah knee? The one that cries in agony all the time? Not happy. My boyfriend would constantly remind me that I was a trainer and assumed that all trainers enjoy doing every type of workout. Wrong. Like normal human beings, trainers also have preferences for workouts. I have a preference for cardio conditioning that involves being on wheels. Skating, biking and spinning. If I knew how to swim, I would probably do that too. But you can’t tie a rope around my waist and throw me in the pool, can you? So how did I manage to stick to it for 4 weeks?
I had wrote out a simple plan. It started extremely light. 30 minutes of light jogging on day one, then having a goal of 2 miles on day two, then switching it up on day three with stair climbing (272 of them). From there I would slowly pick up the pace or add intensity/mileage depending on the day and monitor how I felt after each run. My pace has picked up, which I am very proud of and I need less breaks. My longest run so far has been 4.5 miles and I’d like to think that when I get to 5 miles, I won’t have the desire to run any further.
I don’t have a goal of running a marathon or becoming a distance runner. The goal for starting running was keep up my cardio conditioning. That was a good enough goal for me. As I wrap up my 4 weeks, I plan on taking a nice recovery week from running all together, then seeing if I can translate that work into getting back on my bike and tackling these mighty hills that were non-existent in my 15 years as a midwest biker. 60 miles was no problem in Chicago. But let’s see how far I can get here in Seattle and how long it takes before either my quads or my bike explodes.
Lesson of the Day
Even if you know you hate a particular type of training, give it a try. Mixing up your training will challenge you in different ways and keep you intrigued while making physical gains. When in new territory, always start smart and ease into it. Then, after you’ve gotten the hang of it, mastered it and realize you still hate it, you have now earned the right to loathe it with your own two feet.