Monday, February 1, 2010

Give Yourself a Break

Dearest Readers,

Awhile back, in a post called Run for Your Life I blogged about needing more cardio-vascular exercise. I made a commitment to myself that each Sunday I would run up a looooong outdoor staircase that we have here in our fair city.

So far, so good. I think I've only missed one Sunday and on that day I ran to the corner store and back to make up for it. For the fun of it, I've also started running to meetings or appointments instead of walking. I don't run all the way, just a block or two, but it gets my heart rate up and I get there faster, too.

Yesterday was an outdoor stair-master day but I decided to mix it up a little. Some friends of mine are out of town and they've asked me to check on their house once a day in exchange for the use of their car. Normally I drive to their neighbourhood, which is about a 45-minute walk from where I live, but why not run there instead?

Because I haven't actually "run" in years and years, I decided to set the bar as low as possible. Rather than pushing myself to run all the way there without stopping I decided I would walk and run.

This walk-and-run system is one I developed in Edmonton, where I once lived for four months. At the time, I had a "yoga" practice that one of my sisters called "Yoga Balboa", named for Rocky Balboa, the character in the Sylvester Stallone films. She once did the routine with me and, expecting asanas, instead got low-impact aerobics and stretching, hence the nickname.

Doing Yoga Balboa everyday will start the body craving for a more rigorous workout. So in order to satisfy the craving I started running. Again, I hadn't run for years, so the walk-and-run system was born.

It's a simple formula: run until you feel like you're going to puke and then walk until it passes. Repeat.

So yesterday I set out to walk-and-run to my friends' house. The weather was perfect. I ran until I was out of breath, walked until I caught it, and then ran some more.

There were moments when I was running and I felt really good! I remembered what it was like to actually go for a jog and enjoy it. My energy and stamina were surprisingly high and it was extremely satisfying to use my body this way.

I managed to make it there and back in less than an hour. Who says you have to jog the entire distance of a run? Taking breaks when we need them is just fine.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I will take breaks when and where I need them. Going the distance doesn't have to mean full-speed ahead!

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