The New Fit Me! – Running 5kms

Day 5

Okay, I did not row today despite my plans.  I did, however, do three hours of housework with squats, lunges, push-ups, and lifting things thrown in there.  It was a workout!  My heart rate got elevated, I sweated, and I felt happily weary.  The bonus is the clean and tidy house.

I did attempt to do the housework yesterday, but after my—awesome for me— run, I couldn’t muster the energy.  I lay in bed this morning trying to convince myself that if I did a row, I would do all the housework as well.  Part of my brain is much more realistic than other parts.  Thus I did folding washing squats, unstacking the dishwasher dancing, putting away things push-ups and so on.  I liken it to an extended walk.  So overall, I am pretty happy and looking forward to getting the rest of the items done on my to-do list.  And the bonus, I don’t have to do anything other than dishes and washing for another week 😊.

The New Fit Me – Running 5 Kms

Day 4

I did my run this morning.  Now, when I say run, I mean I walked, did some running or jogging in that walk and then walked some more.  Today my brain and legs wanted to run.  My muscles may have objected, but essentially, they didn’t get in my road. It felt really good (once my back stopped objecting)!

I took fourteen seconds per kilometre off my personal best with a fastest split of 10 mins and 28 seconds for one kilometre.  I know this may not seem like much to many people, but I am not a runner.  I haven’t been a runner since I lost races in very early primary school.  I would look at Robert De Castella, an Australian Marathon runner and Olympian, run past my childhood house doing training runs and think that he seemed very dedicated to running.  I never particularly understood it.  There were so many things I was good at; why put effort into something I wasn’t?

Here is what I never understood as a child.  I actually love running—well, for the short periods when I can breath easily and my legs stretch out—running is pretty darned awesome.  Today that happened twice. I also know that it is okay to run by yourself. In fact, I would rather run by myself than with others, because by myself, I can do what I need to do, focus on what I need to do, and I don’t have to worry about anyone other than me.

I can see myself running long distances in the Australian countryside.  I can see myself with several acres, running around it to check fence lines.  I can see myself trail running through national parks and state forests.  I have just never been able to do it. This is frustrating because I can visualise it so clearly. 

That is why it was so exhilarating to manage six runs today.  Three runs were long, two were medium length, and the other was short (that used to be my maximum distance!).  I can already see my visions coming closer.  Okay, I may have to replace the Australian countryside with Louisiana parklands, but I am good with that!

I am attributing my longer running sections to remembering to concentrate on my breathing.  Admittedly, I didn’t remember until I was about to quit. Still, then I remembered that breathing correctly will get you the extra distance.  It works (evidenced by only one short run today)!

Of course, this improvement is easy when I am far from perfect, and there is still the issue of hills—Louisiana doesn’t seem to have any.  Thus I may have to spend a day a week at the gym. There, I can use a treadmill and run on an incline.  I shall wait until the weather gets awful again.  It is just so darned blue and cool at the moment. 

The New Fit Me! – Running 5 Kms

Day 3

There was nothing exciting in the exercise stakes today.  I woke with a sore back which means I either slept funny or exhausted it yesterday. My vote is for exhausting it yesterday as I did feel very tired after our jaunt to the zoo.  All a sore back means is that I need to do some strengthening exercises for it.  Which means I need to row and do core exercises.

This is exactly what I did.  I started with a one-mile row and an unimpressive time (around 15 minutes).  Then I did my posture stretches.  The main way to improve posture (from the Youtube video I cannot find a second time) is to stand in a doorway and step forward with your elbows bent at 90 degrees against the door frame.  Oh Boy!  Today was my second attempt at the stretch.  It was a little easier, but what a killer.  I must really bend over when I am at my computer.  After three rounds of twenty seconds each stretch, you lower your arms against the door frame and repeat.  After this set, you do it again with lower arms.

The purpose of this is to open up your chest area from being hunched over to reverse the contracting muscles.  The final stage is to start strengthening your shoulder muscles.  This is done by standing against a wall. Your feet should be about six inches away.  Rest your arm against the wall, making sure your knuckles are always in contact with the wall (the rest of your arm doesn’t really matter).  Then you make angel wings by fanning out your arms.   Think snow angels if you were lucky enough to live in a snowy area when you were younger.  You do this continuously for two minutes.  Oh Boy!  My shoulders are feeling the use.

Anyway, the plan was to jump back on the rower after this short break, but the rower was occupied.  Thus I did some bicycle crunches, leg lifts (still improving on these – Yeah Me!) and a couple of other exercises. This all gave me a total time of over half an hour of exercise.  Not what I planned, but my body is saying that I did well.  I do love that “you’ve worked physically hard Good job feeling”.

Looking forward to a run tomorrow – hope the beautiful Brisbane winter like mornings hold on for a little while longer.

The New Fit Me – Running 5 Kms

Day 2

I started the day with a walk.  I had a companion, and we had things to do, thus it was not long a long walk.  But the air was humid, so I was just as sweaty as I had been the day before on my awesome run.  It wasn’t long, but I was proud of myself because my walking companion did attempt to talk me out of it.  Don’t be too harsh on him; we do have a very busy day and actually appointments to keep.

After all our appointments, we headed to the local zoo.  I think we were the only older people there.  Plenty of mums, dads and little children in strollers which made for a noisy experience.  Turns out five-year-olds get very excited when they see otters swimming.  I get the kid’s point but screaming loudly wasn’t really required.  I also saw condors—never seen them before—and some quite exotic other birds.  My favourites were the kookaburra, cockatoo and the Eclectus parrots.  I haven’t seen those lot for months now.  Walking out of the zoo to the sound of a kookaburra was pretty special.

Add New Post

The New Fit Me – Running 5 Kms

Day 2

I started the day with a walk.  I had a companion, and we had things to do, thus it was not long a long walk.  But the air was humid, so I was just as sweaty as I had been the day before on my awesome run.  It wasn’t long, but I was proud of myself because my walking companion did attempt to talk me out of it.  Don’t be too harsh on him; we do have a very busy day and actually appointments to keep.

After all our appointments, we headed to the local zoo.  I think we were the only older people there.  Plenty of mums, dads and little children in strollers which made for a noisy experience.  Turns out five-year-olds get very excited when they see otters swimming.  I get the kid’s point but screaming loudly wasn’t really required.  I also saw condors—never seen them before—and some quite exotic other birds.  My favourites were the kookaburra, cockatoo and the Eclectus parrots.  I haven’t seen those lot for months now.  Walking out of the zoo to the sound of a kookaburra was pretty special.

I am not sure how long we walked there.  Some parts were faster, others were slower. What I do know is that I was very tired by the end of it.  Given I have been regularly walking five kilometres without a care, we must have walked at least that far, making a total distance of seven kilometres today (about 4.5 miles, but I did that calculation in my head, by estimation, so about is the keyword!).

The New Fit Me—Running 5Kms

Day 1

New goal.  I want to be able to run five kilometres (just over three miles) within 100 days.  This seems a bit daunting to me.  The furthest I have managed to run in one continuous stint is about 500 metres.  This is a long way from 5000 of the buggers.  However, you don’t get to be a ninety-year-old kayaker without some effort in your forties—at least, I don’t think you do. 

When I started the New Fit Me blog, I wanted an accountability partner.  I got that—thanks to my readers and one sister in particular.  I know I stopped posting just before Day 100, but I didn’t stop exercising, aside from the week of no power after Hurricane Ida.  I do not do well in high humidity with no air conditioning!  I did plenty of rowing and had a partner for my walks.  The end thought I came to is that having a goal of exercising consistently is fine, but once I achieved and maintained that, improving became a challenge. 

Why work any harder? I have met my goal!

Thus today, I decided to aim to run five kilometres by the time the next 100 days of blogging are up.  It started well.  I did two decent length jogs and three smaller ones within my four-kilometre walk today.  My total time was better than 5 km/hr, so I am actually rather chuffed with myself. 

I started my walk listening to a person talk about how to improve the length of your run.  Of course, I was listening to it on my phone, and now I can’t find the clip to post here.  The important things I got from it were

  1. A warm-up of gentle movements is important
  2. You can slow down if you get tired or even walk
  3. Breathe in for three strides and out for three strides (and adjust as you get faster)

I practiced my breathing on the longer runs, and it was quite effective. As with anything new, it takes time to incorporate, so it was quite a challenge to concentrate on breathing, but it worked.  I did manage longer distances.

I won’t run every day as I still enjoy rowing which is excellent for my core.  I also need to work on my posture, thanks to a genetic growth disorder in my spine.  Historically, I have found that I improve in my main exercise goal if I cross-train as well.  Thus, running will occur at least twice a week.  Some days I will walk (with a companion); other days, I will row or do weights.  Ideally, I would like to run three days a week.

Anyway, here’s to a new physical fitness goal.  And just because I like to fill my life up with heaps of things to do, I will drop back the artificial sweeteners to only a couple of soft drinks (sodas) a week—when I am super bored of water and tea.