They say that the key to a successful workout program is variety. I’m normally a creature of habit. Nevertheless, I have tried something new.
Running. Ok, its not that new. Its not like every gym teacher though grade school didn’t make us run. And I’ve always hated it. Running is just so…boring. It’s the same motion over and over again. I always did prefer something choreographed. For the past couple of years I’ve been doing step aerobics once a week at the Y, and I’m not giving it up. But I do need a change now and then.
At the end of last summer, I staked my claim on a second night a week to workout. Charlotte had soccer practice after school on Mondays, so I had time to exercise after work before picking her up. After soccer ended, I started taking her with me and dropping her in the “hub”—their school-ager activity room—for forty five minutes or so while I hopped on a stair stepper and lifted a few weights. The problem there is that I pick her up from school at around 3:30, and the hub doesn’t open till 4:15. With drive time, forty-five minutes isn’t enough time to go home, but its too much time to just change clothes. So I have to entertain her for ten or fifteen minutes before she can go color pictures and play on the Wii (or whatever she’s going to do that day).
We started going to the indoor track that runs above the gym. We bring a pair of tennis shoes for Charlotte, and she takes off her school jumper (leaving her blouse and shorts, just like in gym class at school), and we walk or run around the track. Sometimes we talk (read: Char jabbers my ear off). Sometimes we race (she insists on winning). Sometimes she just wants to hold my hand and walk. Even on days where we arrive late and the hub’s open by the time we get there, she insists on having her track time.
Last week after I signed her into the hub, I decided to go back to the track and actually run it. Yowch. I think I’m a nut. It felt good, sort of. Until the sideache kicked in. And I totally lost track of how many laps I was running (after six or seven I noticed the sign saying there were eighteen laps to a mile…) I ran/walked for about 20 minutes and then did my weights and sit-ups. My legs hurt all week.
So last night I did it again. I lost track again of how many laps somewhere in the teens, but I think I hit at least a mile and a half. My side didn’t ache quite as bad. It helped that I bought a new armband for my iPod. (Insanely cheap because I’m now 2 models behind and the few places selling this size are practically giving them away), making the cords easier to manage than with my clip-on case.
I think it’s a good change from the stair stepper. I am definitely noticing aches and pains in muscles I haven’t been using lately. And I might have enjoyed running earlier in life if I’d been able to blare Nickelback or Bon Jovi or Evanescence while I did it. (Though I forget to count laps when I’m busy listening to the music). And for those of you who know my husband, no, I don’t intend to train for a marathon (or half marathon or even 5K).
So, yeah. Voluntary running. Next thing you know I’ll be volunteering for public speaking.