Fitness Challenge: My First Tiny Progress Report

Fitness Challenge

Since I had such incredible success getting back into the writing habit by blogging about it (it appears that nothing is as motivating for me as saying publicly, this is my daily goal – and no, I don’t want to think about what this says about me), I foresee great things resulting from my participation in the 100-Mile Fitness Challenge.

However, since Ms. Bookish is a blog about writing and reading and books, I don’t really want to post daily about my fitness progress. So I’ll write an update every few weeks (or so – knowing me, you can probably count on it being more the “or so”), but in order to publicly track my progress and keep myself accountable, I’ve added a progress meter to the outer right-hand sidebar, and I’ll keep that updated daily (I hope).

Despite signing up on Saturday, I “officially” started yesterday. I have now stuck with the challenge for two days straight (is that cheering I hear in the distance? It is! It is! Faint, but it’s there). Here are my observations so far:

1. My treadmill actually measures the distance in miles rather than kilometres, according to my daughter, who uses it almost daily. As she put it, “Mom, if it took you 17 minutes to do a kilometre, even just walking, that’s pretty pathetic. Trust me, you’re not that pathetic. It’s in miles.”

(Ah, teenagers. Don’t you just love them?)

So needless to say, I was thrilled that what I thought was a very long-drawn out kilometre was actually one whole mile.

2. There’s definitely a bit of unfairness to this whole running/walking on the treadmill thing. Running takes more effort and exertion, but I find I run at the same speed as I walk, so the extra exertion isn’t reflected in the actual distance measured.

And no, the solution is not to run faster than I’m walking, as my dear husband suggested. See, he works out all the time and to him a mile is piffle-snuff. I make it a practice never to listen to his physical fitness suggestions because they are just highly unrealistic from my point of view.

The real solution is to grin and bear that tiny bit of unfairness and don’t give in to the temptation to not run at all.

3. My initial goal will be to run the entire mile, instead of running for part of it and then walking. After I accomplish that goal, I will look at increasing my speed. Eventually I’d like to be running 1.5 to 2 miles each session, about four times a week.

4. When you get your lungs in condition, they seem to stay in condition. Leg muscles, on the other hand, appear to require continuous help on your part.

When I first took up running about ten years ago, I remember my lungs burning so badly I had to stop. My legs, on the other hand, could have kept on going. (If you’re wondering why I stopped running, feel free to blame it on my youngest, who came along six years ago.)

This time around, my breathing is easy (according to my husband, this means I’m not running fast enough, but have I mentioned, I never listen to him when it comes to stuff like this?). My leg muscles, on the other hand, have turned all wimpy on me.

5. The moment you finish running, and go flop on the bed, is really quite an exquisite moment. I swear, I feel like I’ve just had a massage. It’s lovely. I just wish the running itself felt like getting a massage.

6. Two days obviously isn’t enough to have any visible effect on my writer’s spread (actually, mine is more of a writer’s and reader’s spread). But I can’t help doing what my son did when he first started weight lifting (which was to keep asking everyone, how come I’m not seeing any muscles yet?) My version of this is continually patting my tummy and feeling disappointed that there’s no apparent difference in, um, squishiness.

If I can keep this up for 30 days, I know I’ll be able to stick with it and complete the challenge. So hold me accountable, everyone – I’m relying on you!

19 thoughts on “Fitness Challenge: My First Tiny Progress Report

  1. Margot Kinberg

    Actually, your fitness goals aren’t so different from reading and writing goals. To reach either one, it’s one step at a time. Some of those steps are painful, and there are always setbacks. But in both cases, the results are worth the investment of hard work. Now get back on that treadmill!!! – NOW!! ; )
    .-= Margot Kinberg´s last blog ..Timepieces =-.

  2. Cat Woods

    I couldn’t stop laughing!

    You sound just like me–complete with exercise fitness guru hubby. You’ve inspired me to match your progress. So now, I shall don my tennies and head down to the treadmill.

    Walk on~ cat
    .-= Cat Woods´s last blog ..Close to Heaven =-.

  3. molly

    I am still considering whether I want to sign up for this challenge (but I fear it will just lead to failure) or wait until the new year. I have post ready to go for tomorrow that speaks to this exact issue.

    You are doing GREAT!! Keep up the good work.
    .-= molly´s last blog ..BBA: Book Buyers Anonymous =-.

  4. rhapsodyinbooks

    I’d say it has been worth it so far just to hear your daughter say there are limits to your patheticness!

    My husband is very similar – he is not content to see me do some exercise (on those rare occasions when he sees it): he is inspired to step in and coach, coming up with ways for me to do more, more, more, when I’m just barely doing what I’m doing!

    But what you’re doing is a lot! You can do it! Perhaps you can even inspire those of us who are not [yet?] doing it! I love the progress meter. I’ll look forward to seeing it grow!!! (in reverse proportions to squishiness…)
    .-= rhapsodyinbooks´s last blog ..Built-In Bookcases and Shelf Cleaning Giveaway =-.

  5. Jemi Fraser

    Good luck! I’ve been walking home from work every day, which I find much more interesting than the treadmill. I never get bored outside, but I do get bored on the treadmill. Go figure. Any way – I hope you enjoy your new energy levels :)
    .-= Jemi Fraser´s last blog ..Writing from the Heart =-.

  6. Meghan

    I’m with Nicole – even declaring stuff publicly won’t get me to do it! I am not seeing myself joining this challenge, even though I have started to exercise a few times a week with my fiance. He used to be an exercise nut but full time work killed it 4 years ago, so we’re trying to get back into it!

    Good luck!!
    .-= Meghan´s last blog ..Review: The Maze Runner, James Dashner =-.

  7. Beth F

    I hate running and will not do it. But I fitness walk (that is fast walking with arms pumping — yeah, I look like an idiot and I even do it in public!). Just slowly increase your speed and your distance and don’t forget to add some hills (incline). Good luck and think of walking as audiobook time.
    .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday ( October 7) =-.

  8. Audrey

    Wow! Congrats on your fitness goals!
    I wish I could make myself do something like running and stick to it. But I don’t want to run outside here because the air is so icky and polluted, and I don’t have a treadmill.
    I’ve been trying to make myself do the EA Sports thing for the Wii 5 days a week, but I usually find an excuse not to about three of those days. Maybe I should blog about it like you do.
    Your daughter sounds hilarious!
    Good luck making it to 100 – I am sure you can do it!
    .-= Audrey´s last blog ..Waiting on Wednesday (2) =-.

  9. Trish

    Here to hold you accountable (well, mostly to cheer–yes, that’s me in the background saying Yay Belle!!!). I’m one of those people who really wishes she could be a runner but at the same time hates it. :) My legs are fine but my lungs burn and it’s all I can do to convince myself to just keep running 5, 10, 15 more steps.

    You’re doing great and I’m sure you’ll see yourself coming into improvement soon–I’m sure in a few weeks you’ll find that you’re running faster than you can walk. Good luck!
    .-= Trish´s last blog ..The Impostor’s Daughter – Laurie Sandell =-.

  10. Barbara

    I started walking (no running with my artificial knee) and enjoying the foliage here in PA. Then I cleared “stuff” out of the flower garden and threw out my back. What a bummer! I did walk some today but mostly I’m sitting and reading. Oh well, it’s a good excuse to read. I sure wish you luck on the challenge. I’ll think of you when I look at my squishy stomach.
    .-= Barbara´s last blog ..Review: "Even Money" by Dick & Felix Francis =-.

  11. Cara Powers

    This whole blogging thing has definitely affected my fitness level. This spring I was regularly running 5-10 miles for a total of 20-25 per week. Now, I think it’s been two weeks since my last run. I’m slower and for me, it’s definitely the heart and lungs that hurt, not the legs.
    .-= Cara Powers´s last blog ..E.M. Forster Invented the Internet =-.

  12. Belle

    Thanks for all your cheering, everyone! So of course (you knew this was coming, right?) last night I got hit with another hayfever/allergy attack, and had to take allergy meds. Very groggy this morning, and then when I finally shake off the sleepiness, my dear husband comes home with a can of Raid (it’s been a very heavy fly season around here, flies and hornets, basically) and proceeded to toxify upstairs, where the treadmill is. I’ve banned him from ever touching any spray can containing anything remotely toxic ever again (have to teach him the less is more philosophy and show him how to work the fly swatter properly), but it looks like I won’t be able to get my mile done today. No way am I going on the treadmill with those fumes. Plus it’s COLD upstairs, with all the windows open, de-airing the place …

    It figures. But tomorrow, I should be back on track!

  13. Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books

    Congratulations on your progress so far! Even when I’m in a “race” (I do a few a year, but more for fun and camaraderie than to make a certain time), I run/jog/run/jog. I know I’d do better if I found a comfortable pace and stuck to it, but I push, then need to slow down (that burning lungs thing).

    So glad to hear you got a pleasant surprise with the km vs. mi tracking!
    .-= Dawn – She is Too Fond of Books´s last blog ..Winners of *The Listeners* by Gloria Whelan =-.


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