Running for my Life

Ok. So, I talked about starting Couch to 5k earlier in the summer. Well, I think the universe heard me because we got some really hot weather down here after that. Now, I grew up in Georgia, so I am used to functioning in typical Georgia heat. Normal Georgia heat is no problem for me, but when I was growing up, I only once remember having the kind of heat we have had over the past few summers. This well-over-one-hundred-degree heat with roughly-one hundred-percent-humidity makes me want to hibernate. Bears hibernate when it is cold, I tend to hibernate when it is hot, which is also the reason I haven’t posted much to this blog in the past few weeks.  No, I don’t hibernate in the sense that I eat a lot and then sleep for a long time, for that would defeat the purpose, since eating creates energy and energy creates heat. I’m only half kidding. Sort of.  I do stay inside the house, where the air conditioning has some chance of dispersing some of the heat.  I grew up in a house that wasn’t air conditioned, also in Georgia, so I figure I’ve paid my dues. I am very hedonistic in this matter.

Needless to say, then, I tried to get myself in gear to run in that type of heat, but it didn’t work. I tried running early in the morning, when the temperature was a balmy 88 or 89 degrees, with roughly one hundred percent humidity. I tried running later in the evening, when the air had cooled from the heat of the day, or even after we had had a shower to dispel some of the humidity. That didn’t work either, largely because I don’t find it motivating to exercise in a sauna, where the air is so thick that breathing is difficult, nor do I find it particularly beneficial to expose myself to heatstroke for the sake of staying healthy. Kind of defeats the purpose, in my opinion. In fairness, one of the reasons it was so difficult is the extra weight I am carrying. When I came back from Peace Corps seven years ago, I was used to running regularly there, and I drank plenty of water, so I had my own type of internal air conditioner. But, I was also in my late twenties, and that was before I spent years working too long in my classroom, and caring for a terminally ill family member (the events otherwise known as gaining sixty pounds). So, that was the state of the C25K program in my life until recently. I thought my 5k running adventure had ended before it really got started.

Enter Chubby Jones. Chubby, whose real name is Mia, has created a series of podcasts (or three) for the iPod, with voiced over music for the C25K program. They are really nicely done, and I find them quite motivational. Since the unusual weather pattern we are having means that the heat has subsided into a wet and very nearly chilly-in-the-morning August, (shh, maybe the universe won’t hear me) I started the program again. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It only sucked a little. I am pushing myself, but I am also going at my own pace, acknowledging what my body’s limitations are. I still run like Forrest Gump, but at least I am running. It is one positive change that will lead to others.

What kinds of obstacles do you face during your exercise routine? How do you overcome them? I will look forward to reading your stories in the comments section below.