Runnin’ away from “running”

I’ve talked about my hopes and disdain all the same for running, here, here and here, to be exact. I’ve always marveled at runners – how the idea of pounding on the pavement for 26 miles sounds fun, how they’re drenched with sweat and covered with pollen yet they have a ‘runner’s high’, how they consider it FUN when really, it’s effing hard and I’m not sure how I understand how it’s so awesome that people like my office mate wake up at 5 AM every morning to jog around Los Angeles before the sun comes up. I mean, really? What’s better than being in bed? I guess health??? Anyways… despite my skepticism about running, tonight I think I might have unlocked a big reason to why me and running don’t always get along.

I have the high school mentality of running, where in my high school gym teacher would scream, “FASTER!” as we looped around and around the track. I felt like a chubby bunny chasing a carrot, except there was no carrot, just cruel, cruel exercise. On days when I didn’t lie about having cramps to get out of it, I hated the days we’d run “the gold course”, a three or four mile loop that circled around the back of the high school. My best friend and I actually liked the gold course, because we’d be really fast in the beginning, and then stop behind the school, slacking off for awhile, and then cut across the field and pretend we finished with everyone else. HA! I’ve been an exercise avoider for many years — for shame, but also, kind of awesome. Slacking off in PE class was pretty much the worst thing I did in high school, so I’ll take it.

Tonight, I knew I had to squeeze in some exercise, so I donned my fancy FitBloggin’ tee, cranked up the Nine Inch Nails, and set to it. The first few minutes I wanted to die (ok, slight hyperbole. Maybe not DIE but at least go back into my cozy little house and eat tortilla chips from the pillow-sized bag we just bought from Costco). I could feel my boobs jostling uncomfortably with every step, my arms were itchy, and I just couldn’t find a pace. I was out of breath and my chest was pounding within seconds but then I realized something. SLOW DOWN. I slowed down. My bootcamp instructor used to tell us “You can jog as slow as you want, just don’t walk.” So I jogged reaaaallly slow. Like almost speed walking slow, but enough that I had a little bounce in my step. And it got easier. I made it a half mile without stopping to walk, actually starting to feel like, “Hey! This isn’t so bad!”. By the second mile loop, I was doing much better; enjoying the smell of a neighbor’s wood burning stove, seeing the stars light up the smoggy hills of Los Angeles like twinkling sapphires, feeling the pulse of the pavement below me as my body settled into a natural rhythm. So that’s what I’ve been doing wrong with running, I’ve always focused too much on the speed rather than the quality. By slowing down, I was able to keep it up for much, much longer, still get an awesome, sweat dripping work out, and even better, I actually enjoyed my time on the run, rather than how I usually feel, which is trying to run away from running.

When it comes to running have you found you need to alter your pace to make it more enjoyable? Are you more of a sprinter with a need for speed or are you fine being all like “Slow and steady wins the race”?

PS: Whatcha doing tonight at 9:00 PM EST? Join me and the Diet to Go ambassadors on twitter with hashtag #DTG for a live chat with a chance to win tons of cool prizes. We’ll be chatting it up about what it means to be “common sense healthy” and how little tweaks can help you make big changes for your summer shape up. Hope to see you there!
 

Enter for a chance to win Skinny Pop Popcorn!

Yummy SkinnyPop!

Hey Bloggies! You know how I have a loud mouth and asked SkinnyPop for some popcorn to give to you? Well, sometimes asking is a good idea – because the kind folks at Skinny Pop sent over a giant box of popcorn for me to give to you! As you recall, Skinny Pop is my newest and favorite find from Costco. It’s delicious and only 155 calories for four heaping cups. While the fat grams are a little higher than I’d like, this is a wonderful, salty snack that packs major volume and taste for few calories. Let me tell you – it’s actually been kind of dangerous having a giant box of popcorn sitting in my house. It’s not guilt free if ya eat the whole bag. (I haven’t done this yet. But I’ve come close. The whole bag is 699 calories. Not shabby… but I’ll try to avoid eating the whole bag.)

Today, all you have to do to enter to win one of three sets of two bags of Skinny Pop – (I know that’s confusing – basically I have six bags to give away, so three winners will get two bags each!) is leave a blog comment! I know RaffleCopter caused some confusion last time, so here’s what you have to do.

1) Leave a blog comment by scrolling to the bottom of this blog post and hitting “Leave a Reply”. You must leave a blog comment to be entered to win.

2) Press the gray button on Rafflecopter (embedded below) that says (+1 – Do It!).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

3) It’s up to you, but you have a few more chances to win if you follow the directions in RaffleCopter (ie, tweet, like on Facebook) and then just press the (+1) every time you complete a task. It’s easy, I promise!

Let me know if you have any questions! SkinnyPop did provide me with free popcorn for purposes of this giveaway. And it’s delicious. Oh so delicious. The giveaway ends next Wednesday, 7.18 at 12:01 AM EST. Please share with your friends for an extra dose of salty and buttery karma. If you win, I will ship out your popcorn and soon you’ll be on your way to guilt-free poppin’! GOOD LUCK!