- Covert Bailey, Fit or Fat
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I like to listen to Diet Girl and MizFit's podcast Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone. They're usually talking about a subject I find interesting, and even when it's not one of my fav topics I enjoy the banter betwixt the two. Plus, they bring on guest speakers who always have something good to share.
I enjoyed their last post, and the guest speaker, Julia Jones, had a lot of good things to say. Except... one thing she said gave me pause. And gave me depression. And made me wonder if I'm doing this running stuff all wrong.
A woman called in a question about recurrent shin splints, and she asked if being 5'3 and 210 was too heavy to run. Julia said "Yes. Wait until you're about 160 before you seriously consider running."
What? Huh? But... damn it, running is the thing that's causing me to shed the pounds in the first place. Cycling isn't doing it (though it's great for the cardio) and dieting merely makes me slow down energy-wise. The only thing that's causing a shift in the scale is running, and I'm supposed to stop it?
I googled sites like Runner's World to see what other people thought on this subject. Filtering out comments from big beefy men whose weight was mostly the result of being heavily muscled, the comments seemed evenly divided into two camps:
- Yes, it's okay if you take it easy.
- No! Don't do it! You're doomed! You'll be going along just fine, feeling great, and suddenly your knee will collapse and you'll be in pain for the rest of your life you fool!
I think perhaps we're talking about two different things.
"Running" can mean anything from moving at any speed that's faster than a walk, or it can mean taking less than 10 minutes to cover a mile.
To me, what I'm doing is slogging: jogging at the speed of slug. A walker moving at a brisk pace could easily keep up with me -- or even pass me, quite frankly. And the slightest twinge to an ankle or knee causes me to slow even further. I don't think I'm going to do anything seriously hurtful to my body. Plus, one nice thing about being out of shape is that even moving at a slug pace gets the breathing up, the sweat flowing, the pounds shifting. (Ha! You thin-and-fit people have to work a lot harder than I do to get a workout!)
I'm worrying about this subject just now because I am starting to move beyond the speed-of-slug running. Without thinking about it, I've been naturally moving to a faster pace. And it doesn't hurt; instead, it feels good.
(Yes, there are even times when I feel good about running. Not every time, but sometimes. Stop laughing, Marie!)
This is dangerous because feeling good about running leads to the desire to push myself further, faster, which I think I'm still too overweight to do safely. I'm not sure the knees and the joints are ready for that even if the rest of the body (and mind) think it's a cool idea.
I've decided that I'm going to keep up with my slightly-faster-than-slug pace, but I am not going to try anything like serious running yet. And if I do end up screwing something up, I'll slow down. Go back to Ellie the Elliptical or Rhoda the Rowing Machine. (Yes, I name my exercise equipment. I'm weird, but I enjoy it.)
I went back and listened to the podcast again. Actually what she said was that the 211 pound woman needed to be at least under 200 pounds, and to "seriously consider" running she needed to be under 160. I'm going to assume that my kind of running is the more frivolous type.
Exercise du jour: 2 miles
Done! A day late, and I probably owe somebody a dollar, but done.