24 November 2013

Too Fat to Run

I'm trying to get my body back into regular movement for health and sanity reasons. So far it's going OK. I've mentioned that I do exercise videos during Jane's naps, and I do them during the week so five times per week. On the weekends I rest (and I'm also usually doing errands during her naps since Shawn is home to stay with her).

But sometimes I feel like moving anyway -- doing a few back kick/front kick combos or a lunge here and there. It's the weirdest thing because I am seriously lazy and would rather lay on a couch than just about anything I think.

But before I settled into this routine that is working for me right now I tried to do a Couch to 5K program. So many people on my Facebook feed and on blogs I read are "mother runners." And I thought it sounded amazing to "run like a mother." And couch to 5K sounded doable.

I found a free podcast that started slow -- mostly walking with a few minutes of running. I set out and got to work. This was probably in April because it wasn't yet SUPER hot here, and it was light enough that I could do the jogs after Shawn got home from work.

I had no trouble doing the actual running/walking combos, and I could really feel the effects on my cardiovascular system, which was great. But after only one week I was having pain in my right knee. I figured it was just a symptom of laziness and wanting to get out of running so I pressed on.

Big mistake.

I could hardly walk for at least two weeks. Putting on underpants or stepping into the tub was difficult. Even driving would leave my knee feeling tweaked! And I had to do all my normal things while caring for a wild toddler. Oh it was rough.

I gave up trying to improve myself through exercise and joked about being too fat to run. Shawn is convinced that my lack of stretching is what caused the problem, although the podcast program included a walking warm-up so I thought I was fine. (Ongoing lesson: I should listen to my husband!)

My knee did eventually get better, although I was halfway convinced that I would have to live with the pain forever. And I felt like I deserved it for being too fat to run! So far with these exercise videos I haven't hurt my knee again, and I hope it stays that way. With some of the strength training exercises I have to concentrate on how my knee holds the weight, and I do jumping jacks and jump rope moves that could hurt, but so far so good.

I think part of my knee's weakness stems from high school basketball. We played on a concrete floor -- seriously I don't think there was any kind of padding between the basketball wood and the concrete like in other gyms at richer schools. I also sprained/hurt my ankle and knee when I was a sophomore (?) and that plagued me the rest of high school a bit. In New York I hurt my left knee when ice skating, so maybe that old injury came back to haunt me too.

I don't know if I'll try running again. Sometimes I am tempted -- especially when the weather is crisp like it is and I feel like moving and getting my heart pumping (and the exercise videos get a little boring and repetitive). But when I weigh that slight desire against the real possibility of even temporary immobility I think I'll just stick with kicking and jumping and the like in the comfort of my sun room. I'll have to lose a lot more weight before I'm in shape enough to try running again!

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