I suppose this is the “dark before the light” or the “storm before the calm” or some other similar analogy. Over the last couple of days, I’ve been fighting with myself about this whole exercise thing. I’ve even had conversations with my wife because I’ve felt a little down about how it was going.
I mean, I’ve been running 3 times a week for over a month now. I’ve been eating healthier and cutting out afternoon and nightly snacking. I’m drinking a ton of water and I’m doing whatever I can to get over 10,000 steps on a daily basis.
So why don’t I feel any differently?
Physically, I guess I feel different. I did end up jogging for 20 straight minutes last week…so there is no doubt that I’m able to do something I couldn’t do two months ago (I could barely jog for ONE minute two months ago). But I’m still winded when I go up and down one flight of stairs. Maybe not completely “winded”, but I can hear myself breathe heavier when I’m done.
I’m also having heart concerns. Twice in the past week, my heart rate shot up over 200 bpm before going back down and regulating itself over the remainder of a run. Even my normal running heart rate is about a 160 bpm average. Because of that my wife, my friend, and my friend’s medically-trained sibling have suggested I see a doctor just to make sure I’m not pushing myself too hard. I know it’s because I’m 41 and I’ve never done any physical activity for any extended period of time before…but it still sucks that I might be pushing myself too hard when I don’t think I’m even doing much at all to begin with.
I feel that I should be able to visibly notice changes when I look in a mirror. No, I’m not looking for six-pack abs or anything…but I don’t see any real change in my physical appearance at this point. I’m embarrassed when I look in the mirror, and I was hoping to be more comfortable with myself at this point.
I also feel like I shouldn’t have struggled to do a 10-minute session yesterday morning after completing a 20-minute one just a few days ago. In fact, I’m going to re-do the Week 6, Day 2 session just because I didn’t feel strong when I ran yesterday morning. I don’t want to move forward until I feel like I’ve conquered what’s already in front of me.
My whole life, though, I’ve found one excuse after another to NOT follow a healthy routine, an exercise schedule, or anything else that was deemed “good for me”. If I didn’t lose weight after a couple of weeks, I’d just quit and start chowing down all over again. If I struggled to run three minutes straight, I’d just say “eff it” and stop doing the program entirely.
I’m certainly not at THAT point again. I’m not going to quit any time soon. I’m just not feeling as strong as I feel I should after six weeks of the program.
So I guess I just need to remind myself that it’s normal to feel this way. Maybe it’s fear of succeeding…maybe it’s my body not quite ready to give all of itself over to healthier living…maybe it’s simply me having an “off day”.
Whatever it is, I need to shake it. I’ve come too far now to let any little excuse turn into a major setback. I’m running a damn 5K in June…come hell or high water.
FOLLOW UP – I wrote this before going on my run this morning. I re-did the two 10-minute sessions and felt really strong. One more obstacle tackled!