Tag Archives: walking

Mile 349.5: The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

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“When all you got to keep is strong,
Move along, move along, like I know you do.”
–All-American Rejects, “Move Along”

Miles Last Week: 46
Total Miles: 349.5

Last week was a bad week, and for a lot of reasons–except for Friday. Friday was good.

We don’t need to talk about most of the reasons that some people might have seen a slightly murder-y glint in my eye at times. We should, however, reflect on a couple of things:

I felt like I was dying every day at the gym.
There was pain. So much pain. And soooo much sweat. Even though I didn’t change any of my workout, my legs were on fire halfway through it. I didn’t want to sacrifice any miles, so I slowed my speed and upped the incline just to feel like I was doing something. I still felt like I was slogging through a tar pit–a tar pit on fire. Every day. I did make myself go the usual distance, but my legs were definitely not happy about it.

I ate terribly (well, slightly more terribly than usual).
There may have been a few too many snacks… and Reese’s peanut butter hearts… Goddammit, why are they so delicious? I might also still be eating emotionally due to the Sherlock finale. It was intense, guys.

I gained two pounds.
I know that people fluctuate and that it’s silly to dwell on a relatively small gain, but the most frustrating thing is that I knew before I weighed myself yesterday that I had put on a couple. I could feel it. Of course, I feel exactly the same after losing fifty pounds, but when I’m a little bigger, suddenly I’m like “WHAT IS GOING ON?”

I’ve had bad weeks throughout this project, but nothing quite like this so far. I don’t recall regaining that much weight in one week or having that much trouble on the elliptical since I started this thing last April. And to top it all off, I can’t honestly say that I’ve lost fifty pounds, anymore.

Much like Alexander, who had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day in Judith Viorst’s children’s book, I am just going to accept that everyone has bad days/weeks at some time or other and move on. Even if there are people who have perfect weeks all the time, I think I’ll just lie to myself about it. Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with a little denial.

The good news is that there were no invisible, inflamed tar pits at the gym today–that I know of, anyway. We’ll see about tomorrow.

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Mile 661: Treat Yo’ Self

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“It’s a low, low road you gotta roll down
Before you find your way, my friend.
And it’s a high, high hill you gotta climb up
Before you get to the top again.”
–Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, “Low Road”

Miles Last Week: 51
Total Miles: 661

In Parks & Recreation’s October 13, 2011, episode entitled “Pawnee Rangers,” Donna (Rhetta) and Tom (Aziz Ansari) celebrate their “Treat Yo’ Self” Day, during which they completely pamper themselves with massages, new clothes, etc. As a viewer, this sounded pretty genius and I’m still shocked that it hasn’t been instated as a national–nay, INTERNATIONAL–holiday.

We would probably really need two days so that people who work in spas and such could enjoy it, too. Still, I’m down.

How does this relate to fitness?

This week is the first week in my 1,500 Mile Project that I have put in miles every single day with no skipping. Actually, it’s been everyday since last Saturday, but who’s counting besides me?

Call me crazy, but I was pretty excited when I realized this. I’m on a streak!

I thought I deserved a little reward. I needed to treat myself.

Scratch that. I wanted to celebrate. I could be wrong about this, but I’m pretty sure that Tom and Donna’s “Treat Yo’ Self” Day is meant to be a celebration of how awesome they are.

Smarter people than myself have expounded long and hard about reward systems. It’s pretty simple: getting a reward makes you want to keep doing the thing that you associate with getting that reward. I guess I’m arrogant enough to think that I already have enough incentive to keep going to the gym (not embarrassing myself on my blog, health, blah blah blah). I just wanted a small celebration for myself. But what kind?

In the past I’ve been advised against food “rewards.” A former boss of mine who was a major fitness/health guru once pointed out that that kind of system doesn’t help a dysfunctional relationship with food. You can’t celebrate a fitness accomplishment by having a milkshake, especially when you and milkshakes have a bit of an abusive history. You have to find other ways to treat yo’ self.

I immediately knew that I wanted a new CD. I’m not much of a spa girl, but lately I’ve been in desperate need of some new tunes, man. I used to frequently purchase new music whenever I felt the whim, though a recent personal crackdown on miscellaneous spending has trimmed that down quite a bit. The last album that I bought was The 2nd Law by Muse, which was a graduation present to myself in December.

So, yesterday I fired up my iTunes account and downloaded The Lion the Beast the Beat from Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. I’ve been pining over it for over a year and now I have it and I am super excited for my commute on Monday. Treat Yo’ Self.

The first time I recall hearing of Grace Potter & the Nocturnals was when I listened to “White Rabbit,” their song on the Alice in Wonderland-inspired album Almost Alice. Then I heard “Falling or Flying” on the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack. Then I heard “Paris (Ooh La La)” and rushed out to get their album. Then I was fortunate enough to see Grace Potter & the Nocturnals perform live and I’ve been mildly obsessed ever since. The band’s 70s pop-soul-rock flavor is defined by the amazing Grace Potter’s raspy voice and retro swagger. I have to say, the girl has plenty. When my sister and I went to the concert in 2011, we both left exclaiming about how amazing the show was and how Ms. Potter danced and shook her way around the stage for an hour and a half. Seriously. It was a little difficult to get a good picture of her because she NEVER. STOPPED. MOVING.

If you think about it, she could really be a fitness inspiration. Someday, when we’re BFFs I’ll be sure to tell her how her shaking in a little mini-dress (that I would never have the courage to wear even if I looked like her) really helped me through many miles on the treadmill. I assume a massive dance break will ensue shortly after.

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, 2011 in OKC.

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, 2011 in OKC.

In summation:

  1. Grace Potter is awesome.
  2. Treat. Yo. Self.

Mile 38.75: The Old Lady Shuffle

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“I’d rather feel pain than nothing at all.”
–Three Days Grace, “Pain”

Miles This Week:  38.75
Miles Total:  38.75

Little old ladies are kind of adorable, aren’t they?

Source: Inkity

Source: Inkity

The little chains that keep their 1960s eyeglasses around their necks. Their frequent trips to the beauty shop. Hair that can withstand hurricane-force winds. Their gauzy dresses and cardigans from a Stein-Mart close out sale draped delicately over their slightly hunched backs. The laugh lines around their eyes. They way they always look like they’re chewing something. Their bony but comforting hugs.  Their little shuffle walk that can stop all foot traffic within a twenty-foot radius…

Wait–not being able to,take steps longer than a few inches? That’s totally me right now.

A week into my 1,500 Mile Project, my feet seem to have lost all functionality after I’ve been sitting for a while. Seriously. When I’ve done my walking for the day, I pretty much hobble around and spend a good amount of time pointing and flexing just to try to retain some mobility.

I feel like an old lady, minus the adorable.

Plus, every time I stand up and get my Old Lady Shuffle on, I always think of the popular motivational saying:

Source: Polyvore

Source: Polyvore

I’m sure that people with injuries and disease would probably disagree, but I see where these six words are coming from. Pain is breaking your routine. When it comes to exercise, being sore is surely a good sign.

If I have to do the Old Lady Shuffle for a little while, I’m okay with that–but still, maybe I should check Pinterest for some stretches or something.

Mile Zero: The Goal Jeans

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“I’m learning to walk again.
I believe I’ve waited long enough.
Where do I begin?”
–Foo Fighters, “Walk”

Let me tell you a story.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

Not so long ago in a big concrete building full of shops, there was once a girl.  Well, I mean, there have been–and continue to be–lots of girls in this building (which isn’t a castle), but I’m talking about a specific girl.  One day, this specific girl found a specific pair of jeans for a spectacularly low price.

The Goal Jeans

The Jeans

She was elated, but her heart sank when she saw another number on the tag–a number that was not her size.

The girl told her hand to put the jeans back on the rack, but her hand wouldn’t listen.  Then she got an idea.

I know! she thought.  Maybe I could be that size!

But that would be a silly waste of money, a tiny voice said in the back of her mind.  If you don’t shrink those few sizes, then you’ll have wasted two dollars.

I can do it! the girl resolved.  I will buy these jeans and they will be my motivation.  I WILL WEAR THESE PANTS.

So she made her way to the cash register and forked over two dollars, probably in quarters.  When she got home, she hung the jeans on the back of her bedroom door so that they were one of the first things she saw in the morning and one of the last things she saw at night.

I can do this, she told herself again.  I will wear these pants.

Every time she passed them, a small thrill of excitement would race through her.

For a few days, anyway.

The girl got distracted.  Many mornings, she would roll out of bed half asleep and already running late.  At night, she would go into her room and collapse or busy herself reading until she couldn’t keep her eyes open.  Eventually, the jeans on the back of her bedroom door became nothing more than a fleeting streak of denim in the corner of her eye.

One day not so long ago, she awoke to find the pants crumpled on the floor.  The hook they hung on had broken.

The girl sighed, picked them up, hung them in the closet, and began her day.  The jeans stayed on their hanger until she nearly forgot about them.

Not so long ago, in a house not terribly far away, that girl decided to force herself to remember.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

On the whole, it’s probably a bad idea to buy clothes that don’t fit and hope that you could someday wear them.  I know that Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear generally advise against it.  Some might call it altogether stupid.

Well, it’s too late for me.  I’ve already done it, and the only way to justify that two-dollar purchase (I know, right?!  A pair of jeans for two dollars!) is to get myself into them.  I happen to have a plan this time, though.

I’m going to walk/run/bike/somehow go 1,500 miles by the end of the year.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  On my treadmill or a machine, probably.  I’m also probably not going to run so much.  I’ve never been a fan.  I’m not Forrest Gump. 

I’m calling it my 1,500 Mile Project.  Now, how did I get decide 1,500?  It’s really very simple.

Including today, there are 267 days left in 2013.  I decided that I would try five miles a day, which would be 1,335 miles total.  Well, I wanted my overall goal to be a rounder number, so I upped it.  Fifteen hundred miles averages about 5.6 miles a day.  I’m sure I’ll never stick to exactly that every single day, but as long as a I walk/go some distance every day, I can definitely get to 1,500 overall by December 31.

I’ve also made myself a couple of rules:

  1. I’m not trying to fit into a size zero.  The jeans are a very achievable, “regular woman” size.  If I work hard, I can definitely get there.  However, my goal is not to just fit into the jeans, but to get healthier overall–which means making better meal choices, being more active, and having more discipline (which I hope will help with my writing, too).
  2. I’m going to start blogging twice a week–I SWEAR.  Every Monday, I will check in with my progress on my 1,500 Mile Project journey and trying to get healthy.  At some other point in the week, I’ll post something else so that I can keep some variety.  I like variety.
  3. I’m not going to wear a pedometer to count how far I walk at work and such.  Only miles gone when I am consciously making a point to work out count.  To get healthy, you have to do more than what you normally do every day, and that is what the 1,500 Mile Project is for–extra.
  4. I can/will do additional workouts (weight lifting, aerobics, whatever), but there is no conversion of physical activity to distance.  Basically, I cannot ever say, “Well, I did an hour of zumba, so I’m going to say that’s basically my five miles today.”  I must actually be able to count the miles.

I’m going to go 1,500 miles, starting today.

Goal Jeans, here I come.