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Overly Optimistic

When I look out the window, I can still see snow … but most of it is melted. The big piles next to the driveway and car shelter are hanging in there, but for the most part it is a vast swath of brown as far as the eye can see. Mud season!

I think I’ve mentioned before that there’s a surprising number of dirt roads around here. We spent a lot of time last summer and fall driving around the area just to get acquainted with things; we’d be motoring along in a fairly established area and then WHOMP … dirt road. One of the houses Dave was interested in turned out to be on one. He tried to talk me into it (he really liked the house) but I was firm in my refusal to live on a dirt road. This season right here is one of the main reasons.

So anyway, the weather’s been fantastic. It kind of went from a high of 20 degrees to a high of 50 overnight, and we’ve had about a week of weather in the high 40s and 50s. We even have mid-60s predicted for this Monday. At first we went a little crazy, going out in light hoodies (me) or no jacket at all (Dave), but that wore off pretty quickly. Yes, 40 feels like a heat wave compared to 20, but once you get used to it (and the wind kicks in) it can still feel pretty damn chilly.

C'mon sunshine -- we're ready for spring!

C’mon sunshine — we’re ready for spring!

On the first warm day, we drove over to the riverwalk downtown. This is really the only place we know of around here (besides the sidewalks in town) to go for a walk and rest assured you won’t be hit by a car. We are outside of city limits so there’s no sidewalks on our street, and Dave basically refuses to walk on the side of the road. The last time I talked him into taking a walk, we set out facing traffic, with the added precaution of stepping off the road into the grass when a car approached. Our street isn’t that busy, so I really wasn’t worried. After we got about a half mile down the road, though, Dave turned toward me and dourly said, “You know, this is how Stephen King got hit by a truck.” I gave in and we turned back towards home. Our next walk was down by the river, safely ensconced on the sidewalk.

When we pulled in to park by the river on this fine spring-like day, we saw that there were still big mounds of snow across the sidewalk. Nevertheless we walked, dodging snow and huge puddles of water. After a while, Dave nodded at me. “Go ahead. Give it a shot.” I knew he was talking about jogging. I had been itching to get outside and jog for real, after a winter of jogging inside on my trampoline. I was so proud of myself; I had finished the Couch to 5K program and had gotten to a point where I didn’t feel like my lungs were about to burst out of my chest after 40 minutes of jogging. I was ready to sign up to run a 5K. Let me at it, man – I want to run free like a gazelle, under the sunny skies!

I could see that the sidewalk ahead was clear of obstacles, so I set out at a comfortable jog. We won’t call it running – I do more of what Dave calls the Airborne Shuffle. I made it, oh, I don’t know … maybe 20 yards, and then I stopped and looked back at Dave. “This is hard!” I whined.

I was so disappointed. It felt absolutely nothing like jogging on my mini trampoline. Every time my feet hit the pavement, I felt the shockwave through my body. My upper thighs were screaming and my heart was pounding.

I seriously thought I was just going to float down that sidewalk like the runners I see around town, moving effortlessly, their ponytails swinging to and fro. The transition to outside running was a complete shock to me as I lumbered along.

“Am I doing it wrong? Is there something wrong with my form?” I thought maybe if I changed some small thing, it would feel better. “No, you’re fine,” Dave reassured me. “It’s just a different muscle motion when you run outside. You’ll get used to it.”

So, damn. Guess I gotta start back at square one. If we sign up for a 5K any time soon, it will be to walk the course and not run.

Better than sitting on my butt though, right?


Pushing the Envelope

This time of year has me thinking resolutions, of course. I’m not a big fanatic about New Year’s resolutions – I think of what I’d like to accomplish and then throughout the year I kind of touch base with myself, see how I’m doing. It’s usually always along a theme of ‘My god, get yourself under control woman!” Stop eating so much and lose weight. Stop spending so much and get your finances in order. That sort of thing.

This is the first year that my weight and my finances aren’t out of control. (And what a relief it is.) I don’t plan to abandon my restraint in those areas – barring a disaster, we will still pay off the credit card balance every month and save as much as we can; I’ll still exercise daily and watch my calories and portion control. But those things are habits now, not like I have to make a big resolution-y effort with them.

I’d love to put ‘buy a house in Michigan’ on my list, but that’s too much out of my control, so saving towards one is the best I can do.

I did think of something, though. I started stepping up my exercise last month, as a way to keep off the holiday pounds and also mix it up a little bit – I think my body was getting used to my usual routine. I haven’t had the best luck with jogging; it usually messes up my knees and I get winded so fast. But I thought I’d pull up the Couch to 5K website again, and follow it using my mini trampoline. I’m almost through week 7 now and I can do it! I have no idea, though, if it will carry through to jogging outside. I won’t know until the weather warms up, because I am definitely not a person who feels the need to run in the rain, snow, or frigid weather.

So I have tentatively resolved to run a real 5K sometime in 2015. Dave says he’ll do it with me. I’m nervous about it, but that’s the point of a resolution, I think … do something that makes you a little bit anxious. At the very least, it’ll be a first for me. And maybe I’ll discover that now I like jogging – real, in-the-outdoors jogging. Wouldn’t that be fine?

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