Saturday, February 7, 2009

Like Running for Chocolate...

All right! Gearing up to go into this next week, I think I made a decision. It’s time to get serious about trying a walk to run program to see if that will help me get back in shape. For those of you who don’t know me, I used to run. A lot. I ran cross country in high school, and even after I wasn’t running I still ran at least a mile or two a day. I love to run.

Last year I had gallbladder surgery, and I don’t know what they did but now every time I try to exercise more vigorously than a leisurely walk I nearly double over. It stinks. I’ve been trying to stick to the same training regimen I used when I was healthy to get back in shape though, and I think that might be the problem. I’m overdoing it before my body has time to get used to it, which was fine when I was healthy but impossible for my post-surgical self.

So I decided tonight that I’m just going to suck it up and look into one of the walk/run programs designed for people who are obese. It means a nice, slow transition back into running, but should ultimately have the same effect. I’m going to post my schedule at the beginning of every week, not only to remind myself (me and my 5 min. memory) but also so that when I’m whining later in the week you know what I’m talking about!

Here’s what this week’s going to look like:

Sunday-Walk 15 min at a varied pace
Monday-Walk 5 min. Run 1. Repeat ad nauseum for a total of 17 minutes. Walk 5 minutes.
Tuesday-Walk 15 minutes at a varied pace.
Wednesday-Walk 5 minutes. Run 1. Repeat ad nauseum for 17 minutes, then spend 5 minutes walking to cool down.
Thursday-Walk 15 minutes at a varied pace.
Friday-Walk 5 minutes. Walk 1. Repeat. 17 minutes. 5 minute cool down.

Is it going to work? We’ll see. I’m hopeful. I may never compete again, but if I can manage to sneak in a 30 minute run every morning without keeling over in pain I know I’d be a lot happier.

In other news, chocolate is my friend. Trapped in the throes of a chocolate craving for which there is no explanation other than spending way too much time at Alum Springs with the Blosser family today, I felt it was my duty as a friend and as someone with some medical experience (albeit limited) to share with you the potential health benefits of (dark) chocolate that make me feel much less guilty about the number of calories I just consumed:

1) Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that slow the aging process (nearly 8 times the amount found in strawberries, or so they say).
2) Dark chocolate has flavinoids, which help relax your blood pressure.
3) Dark chocolate has been shown to balance out hormone levels in the body, making it the perfect choice for…well, you know.
4) Dark chocolate stimulates endorphins in the pleasure center of the brain, helping you de-stress.
5) Dark chocolate contains serotonin, a natural anti-depressant.

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