3 minutes and new shoes

Tonight I completed the 2nd run of week 3 and I can now run for 3 minutes. My goodness it’s hard but I force myself to keep going even though I’m scared that I might actually vomit.

The stitches are still coming but they aren’t so vicious and I can deal with them (so far). I have to say that I’m beginning to understand what the running “bug” is all about. All day I look forward to the run, but the second I start it, I am full of self-doubt and self-loathing. Why am I so overweight? Why is this so hard? I will never be able to run 5k, etc and then I finish. The feeling of euphoria is immense. I feel absolutely amazing. It’s brilliant. So I think I run to get the high afterwards and I wonder if the run, itself, will ever be enjoyable? Maybe it won’t but will it become easier to endure? Maybe it isn’t supposed to ever NOT be hard. Time will tell I suppose. I live in hope but honestly I’m not that optimistic.

This evening took me completely out of my comfort zone as I am in London overnight with work. It’s my night to run so I packed my stuff and bought it with me (are you impressed? I was!)  I have just run (well, run/walked as per the instructions of the terrifying American lady on the app) around the City of London and the big news is that people didn’t point or stare. In fact, 2 ladies running the other way smiled at me as they passed me. When I got into the lift when I came back to the hotel, a man asked me “how had I found the cold?” and “he was about to go out for his run etc”. I am amazed. I do not look like a runner at all, but they don’t see that. In fact, I have been very encouraged by other runners full stop. It’s a club and I am on the verge of becoming a member.

One of my very good friends is a runner and she did the 10k and has run a half marathon. She is great and very determined and she has been nothing short of amazing with me. She has lots of advice and is constantly asking me how I am getting on. I really value the support. I hope to be able to get to a point that I can run with her and we can go out and train together. If I do ever get to a point to be able to run 5k or (dare I dare to believe it) 10k, I hope we can be each other’s training buddy. (Of course I am worried about all our training sessions ending in the pub but we’ll just have to manage that!)

I have also joined a Facebook group called “This Mum Runs” and it’s full of running mums of varying abilities. They run C25k workshops (which I did consider but due to my job I can’t commit to the same night each week which is why I am using the app) and there are plenty of ladies in the same boat as me. I want to know these ladies and make friends with them. I am a very sociable person and this is more motivation. The social side is not something I had considered in the beginning. It was and is about getting fit and setting a good example for my daughters .(By the way, Sporty Daughter is becoming slightly obsessed with the prospect of me running a 5k Park Run and she now wants to sign up for the Junior Park Run herself – so I’m making this my first goal. Can I run 2k in one go to accompany her round the course? I’m sure I will do it. I find it quite easy to motivate myself where my girls are concerned (and it’s only 2k!)

This week I had my birthday and I’m now 41. I don’t feel any different but I’m hoping I will feel different when I’m 42. What I do know is that running is so hard, that if (no when) I get to the point that I can run 5k, I am never, ever, going to stop. It’s such a monumental effort to get fit in the first place, so it will be important never to stop, so I don’t have to go through the pain of starting again. I’m definitely in this for the long term.

I am racking up more steps on my fitbit most days now and I’m hitting 10000 steps more and more regularly. There is a real sense of achievement when it buzzes. Sometimes it makes me jump (people must look at me like I’m insane!) but it always makes me smile.

If anyone reading this is thinking about possibly trying the c25k, I would strongly urge you to get a fitbit, or something similar, first. I’m slowly learning and understanding that this isn’t just about the couch to 5k, it’s more importantly about a shift in lifestyle, and generally being more active. It makes me think about walking when I might previously have driven. I have started walking longer than the app says to at the end of each running session too. I like that the blood is pumping but I no longer have to run! I find that I walk very fast indeed and to my mind, even though I’ve finished the “run/walk/shuffle” I’m still moving so that must be a good thing?

Also, I’m not dieting at all. However, I am religiously logging all the calories I consume on a daily basis using the fitbit app. Honestly it’s so easy and no effort at all. The app has so many preloaded items (including lots of restaurants) and has a barcode scanner too that I haven’t yet not been able to find something, but it also has the option to add your own items too. It also shows you how many calories you burn so I figure as long as I burn more than I eat over the course of a week, I should, in theory, lose weight. Of course the more active you are, the more calories you burn, so the more you can eat, giving even more incentive to walk and complete the runs.

I don’t know how scientific the above is, but it seems to be working as I have lost 15 pounds since the 28 December (when I started this little project). I am delighted. I have still had Sunday lunches and what we, in our family, call a “log box tea” – which is essentially cheese, crackers and pate (my Mum used to put this out on the box we kept the logs in by the fire when we were kids, hence the name) and I have eaten what I wanted, but then was careful the next day, but I am not dieting. It’s important to understand this so I’ll say it again. I AM NOT DIETING. Diets fail and as soon as you stop dieting, you put the weight back on. (I’ve done that twice with Slimming World in my life). I’m making sensible choices and being informed. I have also been out to eat a few times and also had a Wetherspoons cooked breakfast (breakfast of champions, possibly NOT one of my aforementioned “sensible choices!”) on my birthday, so I’m definitely not existing on 1200 calories a day. As a rule I’m consuming 1600-1900 calories each day with quite a few more on a Sunday ( I do love a Sunday lunch) but I have got myself into a routine of making sure that one of my 3 runs happens on a Sunday, before lunch. This way I feel like I have a little reward to look forward to and hopefully means that the roast potatoes won’t be too damaging…

Also I think it’s only fair to say that one of the reasons I might have lost so much (well it’s probably quite a lot of the reason) is that I am not really drinking any alcohol at the moment and have only had 1 beer (on my birthday) since New Year’s Eve. I do love a drink. Champagne and gin are my favourites, but I will drink most things apart from cider which can make me quite gobby (or so I’m told!) I won’t be giving alcohol up so I suspect that this will slow the weightloss down in the coming weeks. Still, I’m enjoying it now.

I have a boozy Saturday night on the horizon this weekend so we shall see if that impacts any weightloss or notloss next week.

Getting back to my birthday, I received some money as a present and Husband knew of a sale on running gear at trusty Sports Direct so we went to have a look at the weekend. I have been running in huge jogging trousers and an oversized sweatshirt and on a run home from work last week, a cyclist (who did not have a light on his bike I add) was about 5 feet from me as I was crossing the road. He didn’t see me, I didn’t see him and honestly he nearly hit me. This was during the last of the runs on the app session and I had zero energy to get out of his way and it was a very close thing indeed. Therefore, I thought some high viz might be a good idea. I had visions of running trousers with matching high viz jacket and looking very cool but unfortunately, when I tried the clothes on, nothing fitted me. I mean nothing. Not even men’s XL. I also tried on some running tights. This was a huge mistake. As sister 3 always says, there are 2 things that never lie, children and leggings. Let’s just say I’m not trying running leggings on again until March…the end of March! I was pretty depressed about it, but was at least accepting that hopefully this would be last time this happens to me.

I did however, get some new running shoes and I am quite chuffed with them. They are very comfy and I also have some gel inserts (as advised by the very encouraging man in Sport Direct) which make them even squishier. I’ve run in them a couple of times now and they are definitely better than my old pair.

The cliché is not lost on me however, that “fat girl can’t get clothes to fit so buys shoes”.

I have over 50 pairs of shoes (in the past I have had upwards of 120 pairs) – many with high heels that I can’t wear because I am too heavy and I also have a considerable handbag collection. As Sarah Millican quite rightly points out, “you’re never too fat for a handbag”.  I love handbags but I also like clothes. I keep reminding myself this will give me the choice of buying either…hopefully.