getting reacquainted with my rose-coloured glasses

Our minds are unbelievably powerful. How we interpret things, how we react to things, how we perceive things …it’s all dependent on our mindset.

I had a shitty week last week, and the funk lasted through most of this week, despite drinking Green Smoothies and eating Tasty Sludge. Yes, it’s true that there are some external circumstances that are causing me some grief right now, but those circumstances haven’t substantially changed in the last week or so.

So why was last week so tough? I think, for me, it’s because sometimes wallowing feels good. Not good in the way happiness feels good; rather, it just feels good to not have to pretend to be “on”, to just feel shitty, and sad, and scared — and allow those feelings to exist. To respect that they exist.

Now, had I checked my calendar, I would have noticed that my hormones were also raging last week, culminating in the joyous visit from my favourite friend on Wednesday. I hate that bitch. And she shows up every.fucking.month. Like clockwork. PISS OFF ALREADY.

It’s awesome that Dr. Google was wrong, and that I’m not clinically depressed. It’s ridiculous, however, that at soon-to-be 47 years old I still haven’t figured out how to read my mind and body, and figure out that when I start making mountains out of mole hills, I should probably stop and just check the calendar.

Against better judgment I decided to go for a run yesterday, during the 2nd day of Her Bitchiness’ visit. And even though it felt like my uterus was falling out.

I decided that I would listen to my body, despite the C25K‘s suggestion that on Week 7, Day 1, I should walk for 5 minutes, run for 25 minutes and then walk for 5 minutes.

So I did. Listen to my body, that is.

I walked for as long as I felt necessary (which turned out to be a little over 3 minutes). I stopped to take a picture.

The trail leading to the beach.

The trail leading to the beach.

Then I ran for a minute or two until I got to the bridge, overlooking the lake, and providing the ramp down to the beach. I stopped to take another picture. (And, yes, the app was still running, so this did technically make my pace slower than actual. :-))

View from the pedestrian bridge overlooking the beach.

View from the pedestrian bridge overlooking the beach.

I set off on my run, determined not to watch the clock or the mileage. I ran for as long as it felt good, then walked until I caught my breath. Then I ran again.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I pulled out the phone only to check if I’d reached the midway point so I’d know when to turn around. But I couldn’t help but make note of how far I’d gone and my average pace. Those looked pretty good, so I kept on doing what I was doing.

And then during a walk break, I decided to do a side shuffle step that I remembered from Bootcamp. It’s basically like skipping, but sideways. It’s silly and fun, and – it turns out – actually improves your pace because you get more mileage than you would walking. I also dare you not to smile when you’re flying into the air sideways with these quick shuffle steps.

The older couple I passed while doing this certainly thought it was smile-worthy. 🙂

I looked down at my phone just in time to stop the timer (35:03). When I got home and looked at my run history, it turns out I ran farther (4.6 kms) and faster (average speed of 7:38 min/km) doing this run/walk thing than I did during my previous run where I obediently walked for 5, then ran for 22, then walked for 5.

For my body, it seems, running in shorter sprints, then walking fast for a quick recovery, achieves better results than just heads down running, which gets slower and slower in pace the farther/longer I go.

I was doing it the other way because the app prescribed it to me as the right way to train. And because I’m a good, little soldier, I followed instruction.

I think it’s also because there is a sense of glory in straight-through running. But that’s actually bullshit, because I’ve already proven that I can run for 30 minutes straight [albeit slow as molasses].

So, if the end result is to finish a 5k in as quick a time as possible, then clearly I need to start doing it my way. In a way that feels good to my body, and leaves me feeling happier and more successful. Side shuffle optional.

The added bonus is that everything I’ve learned about cardio conditioning tells me that getting your heart rate up, then bringing it back down, then bringing it up high again is a better overall way to burn calories and gain better cardio health. (Think HIIT style workouts.).

So thanks C25K, but no thanks. I’ll do my 5k my way. And I’ll be wearing my rose-coloured glasses, because the views are much better with them on.

Get moving!

xoxo nancy

22 thoughts on “getting reacquainted with my rose-coloured glasses

  1. this is awesome 🙂
    all of it…the bit where Dr Google was wrong…(I don’t know where he studied…I think he is a charlatan) the bit where you decided to listen to your body and the bit where you ended up with such awesome run stats 😀

    I also love the side shuffle idea!!

  2. “PISS OFF ALREADY.”—Made me laugh out loud. 🙂

    I love to vary my pace as well (for those workouts I am relegated to running), and I do a lot of HIIT DVD workouts. Tabata style, too. I think it’s easier to stay motivated with brief bursts of all-out intensity. Not sure why.

    • I am dying to try Tabata-style workouts. I’ve seen a number of them posted on Pinterest, etc., but I don’t know how you’d manage the short bursts without someone timing you. And doing it yourself (with a stopwatch) seems like it would be clugey and time-consuming. Maybe I should invest in a DVD. If you like it, that’s a ringing endorsement!

      Hope jury duty isn’t too gross. Assuming you’re doing that this week.

  3. Aaargh! I am currently in a tizz about exactly this. On race day, do I run the lot and feel great that I RAN 5k? Or do I sprint and recover, sprint and recover, because my times are always way better that way?? What to do, what to do!!!

    Don’t you just hate it when you run on your period and it feels like your uterus is going to fall out? (I laughed at that part 🙂 ). It’s things like that that make me feel so completely different from a man that I know they could never really understand what it is like to be a woman!

  4. Hi Nancy…yes, I think we all have times when it feels good to just have a pity party…and guess what? Even when you little friends stops visiting you will STILL find other reasons to wallow. But CLEARLY you have a good solution…just do it anyway. And best of all–always listen to your body! ~Kathy

    • I read a book many years back, as part of a corporate development thing; I believe it was titled, “Learned Optimism”. One of the big takeaways for me was the idea that it’s okay (and perfectly normal) to have a setback, fall into a rut, feel sad and angry — but what differentiates a positive/optimistic/hopeful person is that they bounce back from those ‘down’ periods quickly, and with a fully renewed sense of hope and optimism. i.e. Okay, you lost that big sale. It’s okay to veg on the couch and eat Doritos and drink beer tonight. Tomorrow you’ll dust yourself off and jump right into the next deal, which (of course) you’re going to win! 🙂

      I try to remember that whenever I find myself in a shitty spot. When I shake the crap off, I know I’ll always come back to ME. The me who knows she can and will be happy and successful.

      p.s. Your post today on Hope was perfect timing for me!

  5. hahahaha! I was in the third paragraph and just starting to ask “is it that time of month for her” and then I burst out laughing when I got to the fourth paragraph. Apparently we are on the same cycle (and if you hadn’t noticed, the same as the full moon’s). Way to listen to your body and let her take the lead!

    • I do need to remind myself sometimes how lucky I am to have one of the Great Lakes 50 steps from my front doorstep.

      Big bodies of water and tall mountains, I find, are the perfect gut-checks on those days when your problems seem insurmountable. They put everything in perspective, including the fact that my stuff is peanuts in the grand scheme of things.

  6. Pingback: a grateful nancy is a happy nancy | my year of sweat!

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