As my first post involved a recipe for a not-so-healthy but delicious chicken wing dip, I felt it was appropriate to counteract the calories with a discussion about some of my healthier life choices, specifically running.
It started about a year ago when I was involuntarily signed up for a 10k. Please be aware that, at that time, I severely questioned my ability to run a single mile without throwing up and/or passing out and the mere thought of 6.2 miles was incredibly daunting.
I was out of shape. Seriously out of shape. That freshman 15 I gained out of college hadn’t gone anywhere, and I sure hadn’t changed any of my old habits (ie, eating anything within a 5 foot radius and never working out). Now, I was never overweight by anyone’s standards. In fact, I was still at a healthy weight for my height. But I just didn’t feel healthy and I wasn’t really excited about having to spend a small fortune on new pants because my current ones were starting to feel a bit snug.
So I was off to get healthy (or at least healthier). Prompted by an impending race date and the sheer desire to spend my hard earned money on something other than new pants, I started out in the wonderful world of running.
In the beginning, here’s what I knew: I needed shoes (old pair of Asics – check), I needed some sort of running outfit (stretchy pants, old t-shirt – check), and I knew I needed to start out slow and work my way up. And believe me when I tell you that I took that last one to heart and started sssllloowwww. Seriously, I’m pretty sure old ladies with walkers could have passed me that first day.
Now, I also knew that it wasn’t just a change in my fitness level that was needed – my diet needed some revisions as well. After some excessive Google-ing, I decided to utilize the website and app called My Fitness Pal.
This website/app calculates what your calorie intake should be, depending on your fitness level, height, weight, and weight you want to lose. You then log your food for that day and try to keep under or around your allotted calories. Its like a game – a really irritating and eye-opening game. I was appalled that I was typically eating almost double what I should have been. No flipping wonder I had gained weight. It was not fun saying no to the ‘bad’ foods. I live for all the ‘bad’ foods in life, and I felt pretty bitter when I had to refrain. But, you do what you got to do, and surprisingly I started shedding some pounds.
Following about 3 months of restrained eating, & mediocre training, I “ran” the 10k. Ran in quotations because near the end, I’m fairly certain that I was more or less waddling along like an actual, but very un-sassy, Swan. But I finished, damn it. Who cares that my time was less than stellar (1:11:03 thank you very much) or that I could barely bend my knee? I had just finished a 10 freakin’ k without dying. Yay for not dying!!
I consider the above experience the humble beginnings of my life as a runner. Following the 10-k, I really started to divulge myself into what it takes to be a halfway decent runner and will be doing my first half marathon in April. More on that adventure another time. Until then, Let me introduce you to my FAVORITE running buddy: