After one of my workouts a couple of weeks ago, I made a decision that I would not be posting about my workouts anymore. It was just depressing, and I was frustrated and feeling pretty hopeless about ever getting back into the kind of shape I was in a few years ago. I think this afternoon’s workout changed my mind on that. Right now, I am on top of the world!!!

Several years ago, I was in training for my black belt test. I was running 3 miles 3 or 4 times a week, in addition to working out at class 3-4 nights a week, often taking 2 or more classes back to back. Needless to say, I was in pretty good shape. On the heels of that, I let myself slack off a bit, but then a couple of years later, went through a very painful divorce, and to cope with the pain, I once again buried myself in my training. Since I had been kicked out of my home, and I was staying with my sister at the time, the dojang became my “home” for that time. As a result, I was in the best shape of my life, and even once the divorce was over, I felt more at home there than anywhere else.

And for the first time in my adult life, I was confident in my body and in who I was on the inside, all at once. I had stood true to myself through everything that was going on. I had done everything I could to save the marriage, and had no regrets. And I walked away with my Bachelor’s degree, a newfound appreciation for the strength I didn’t know I had, and a killer body, and even I have to admit that.

All of that changed with the dunebuggy wreck a few years ago. Nate still feels horrible, and we had a discussion about it a week or so ago. He feels like he ruined so much of my life, but what I can’t get him to realize is that he didn’t ruin anything. If it weren’t for the wreck, I would have never let myself trust him. I would have never given him the chance, because I was proud of my strength and afraid of getting hurt.

Still, after the broken ankle, I babied that leg for a long time. I didn’t go back to karate. I didn’t go back to running. I didn’t do anything. And slowly, the pounds crept on until I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the woman staring back at me. Worst of all, I still know that ankle is weak, by comparison, and so I am afraid even now of hurting it. So now that I have started trying to run, I constantly worry about that sort of strain on a weak ankle. I mean, 200 lbs coming down on it can’t be good for it.

I’ve told myself, in my head, that it’s this catch 22 situation- I need to lose the weight so that I can work out, but I can’t lose the weight unless I can work out. I know that I can control some with diet, but for me, working out has always been what really worked… which is exactly what I can’t do too much of because it truly does hurt (in a bad way, not muscle soreness) sometimes.

But today’s workout was awesome. I was trying to do the Couch to 5K program because I’ve heard so many good things about it. For whatever reason, it wasn’t working for me. Every time I got off the treadmill, I wanted to die. I felt like I must not even qualify as a beginner, but I think I know why now. I don’t do so well with alternating short periods of running… In my head, if I’m only running 90 seconds, I’m going to push for them to be faster than I probably should, where if I mentally prepare myself for a slightly longer run, I tend to pace myself more appropriately for my level. Since I’m going for duration, and not speed, I felt like going with how I would pace myself better was important. So with that in mind, I decided that I was going to do today back like I did when I first started running years ago.

I walked a 2:30 warm-up, and then jogged as long as I felt my body could reasonably handle. That turned out to be 2:30. I could have gone longer, but I was trying to listen to my body while still thinking about the fact that I was not in for a 10 minute workout, but for a 30 minute one, and what would be a more appropriate plan for that timeframe. What I ended up with was alternating 2 and a half minutes of walking, and then the same of running. I ended up on the treadmill for 25 minutes, and adding a couple of minutes of ab work for a grand total of 30 minutes and 353 Calories burnt. There was also no pain in my foot today, but my legs did start to really burn. I did step off of the treadmill for just a second midway through one of my walking portions to stretch my calves.

Still, today’s workout makes me think that there is some hope there. This was the first time in a long time that I have ran more of the workout than I walked. I know that I have a very long way to go to get back to where I once was, but I feel like I’ve found at least a way to start down that road that works for me. Will there be frustrating workouts- sure… but not every single one. And knowing that makes me much more hopeful about becoming a runner again, losing the weight, and maybe even going back to karate at some point.