Mile 397.25: Getting Back On Track…Kind Of


“Paint me in a corner, but my color comes back.
Once you go black, you never go back.
I’m a black sheep.”
–Gin Wigmore, “Black Sheep”

Miles since last time: 288.25
Miles Total: 397.25

Yes, you read that right. In the last (sadly update-less) month, I’ve been able to go nearly 300 miles. My method to upping my mileage ante is actually quite simple.

But first, some explanation.

During my last check-in, I was in a bad place. I was on week four of my 1,500 Mile Project and in a lot of pain. I was on my treadmill trying to do six to seven miles a day with the goal of doing it almost everyday, but usually about three, maybe four, times a week. My legs would kill me for nearly three-quarters of my walk–seriously, I had to stop and shake them out every few minutes–and my feet could barely move afterward.

It was not pleasant. I would tell myself that if I kept at it, it would get better. That wasn’t working. May 1 was a particularly bad day, and I barely even made it to five miles. I know this because I keep a daily log of my miles and drew this angsty face next to the date:

May 1 was not a good day.

May 1 was not a good day.

My theory on this is that the shoes I was wearing were probably not optimized for long periods of time on the treadmill. Nonetheless, I knew I had to do something different or I would have no hope of achieving my completely doable goal.

I made myself do something I had no real desire to do. I started going to a gym.

I tend to have mixed feelings about gyms. On the one hand, I understand that they are good because they have a variety of fitness equipment. On the other, I’m already pretty self-consciousness. Put me around a bunch of gym rats and my self-consciousness doubles, then triples, then quadruples. Everyone watches everyone in a gym–even though we all pretend we don’t when we get caught–and sometimes I don’t know how to work the machines and embarrass myself and some guy whose neck is thicker than his head smirks at me. That’s probably a story for a different day…

Anyway, I sucked it up, bought some new insoles, and went to my local YMCA, where I knew I would find ellipticals, bike machines, and gliders (OH MY) that I hoped would be a low-impact enough to staunch the urge to self-amputate my legs because really they might be more trouble than they’re worth.

View from my elliptical hovel.

View from my elliptical hovel.

Two bits of good news:

  1. Alternating between the bike and the elliptical seems to be working. I’m able to go a lot of miles and burn a lot of calories. So, yay!
  2. I think my stamina is improving. I’ve been focusing on doing intervals, and I don’t feel like cutting off my limbs most of the time. Score!

One bit of bad news:

I haven’t really lost any weight. I mean, maybe a pound or so, but basically zero. Uh oh.

I can think of two reasons:

  1. I play pretty fast and loose with the rest days, averaging about two or three a week. You’re apparently only supposed to have one about every three days. Oops.
  2. I haven’t been terribly focused on healthy eating. I’ll snack on granola bars and fruit and such, but all bets are off at dinnertime, which probably means a big giant influx of calories. I’m trying to get through this without going on an extreme diet, but making a few healthier choices could go a long way. Double oops.

Until next week–when I will for sure make my next check-in–I have to focus on starting to fix these two things. Will I succeed? Stay tuned.

4 responses »

  1. Good for you! Sticking to any routine in the beginning is hard, but you’ll get to where it is second nature. You will find your groove. Congrats on joining the Y also. I really enjoyed going there. Keep it up and most importantly keep writing!!! I love your blog! 🙂

  2. I think it is great what you are doing. My hubs and I have recently decided that we are tired of sitting on the sidelines when it comes to playing sports and such with our kids so we are trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle too. I whole heartedly agree with you that getting into a schedule is tough! I admire you blogging about it too. It keeps you more accountable when others know your goal rather than just making a mental note of it. Major kudos to you! 🙂 Good luck! I really enjoy your writing. You are very talented.

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