Tag Archives: exercise

A Race Against Myself – It’s Marathon Time Again

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After I ran the marathon last year, I was on a high. For me, it wasn’t a tick-off-your-bucket-list kind of thing. I enjoyed running and despite finding the 21 K quite challenging, I wanted to do it again. I really did.

Except, I didn’t expect that time of the year to come rolling by so soon. Because no matter how much you run otherwise, training for a marathon requires dedicated focus for at least 10 weeks (if not more). The fact that I ran last year has no real bearing on this year, because I have to build up my stamina again.

So here I am, almost a year later, wondering if I can do it again. I mean, I know I can do it again, but this time, it’s not that simple.

Why? Because, as they say, I have a rep to protect. And it’s all about the timing. Last year, I was baggage-free. I was a novice, a mum who’d decided to run because she needed to do something that made her feel a little better about herself (let’s face it, that’s always a part of it) – I needed to get away and do something for myself and do that whole stereotypical thing about feeling a sense of accomplishment and getting the high of having pushed your body to the limits. All that good stuff that runners love to say. Yes, it’s all true and I felt all of it.

That, however, was then – a year ago. This year, it’s a whole different ballgame. Now I am racing against myself.

If you are a runner, or if even if you vaguely know one, you will know that there is one thing that is of supreme importance – and that is the timing. Anybody who tells who that it does not matter is basically fooling himself or herself. It matters big time. I cannot possibly take longer to finish than I did last year. I mean I can, but I am not going to be thrilled about it, especially when all and sundry ask me what my timing was.

And it’s really not about other people either – I have a benchmark, and most people don’t like to fall short of it.

So I have little choice but to train hard again. And it’s not that I don’t want to, but this year has brought a big change in my life – I have started working, which leaves me little time to run. Yet, I will try, because running changed me in many, many ways. Not physically (though toned legs are always welcome) but mentally. I feel it made me stronger mentally – I learnt to push my mind to believe that I could do it. And that’s half the battle won.

I am not sure I can repeat last year’s magic. I want to, but it’ll take work – more than last year in a way – because, as I said before, now it’s a matter of reputation 🙂

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I found my old wardrobe. Now for my old self.

Can there be a better feeling in the world than fitting into old jeans? And I mean, old, old, jeans, like the ones you used to live in before marriage, let alone kids, were anywhere on your radar. Nope. Few things beat that.

Ok, there can be better achievements, I know, but for me, right now, in my limited world (yes, I admit it) this is a great milestone. I say milestone because it represents the larger, I-will-get-my-life back outlook that I am trying to instill into myself these days. I wasn’t really fat-fat earlier, but thin is something else. And I’d forgotten what it feels to be thin – to not think about bulges (it’s not like I never think about a bulge here or there now, because you can’t be too thin now can you?) But, I can walk into a store and have the lady lead me to the small section. Priceless.

How did I do it? The gym. I go to the gym four days a week, never more, because I don’t want to. I do forty minutes of intense cardio – mix of treadmill, stepper and cross – trainer, then sit-ups (45, three sets of 15), back stretches, knee exercises, a few weights (not much) and out. So it’s about an hour spent. I drink on weekends, eat what I want – I want to have a life and while I may not be setting the town on fire, I do like a good movie and a good meal. So husband and I eat out most Saturdays and I don’t bring my weight to the table.

I know I could lose more if I really watched what I ate, but that’s not worth it. I am not shooting for the ramp. Am happy just to be thin and to stay so, because harder than losing weight, is keeping it off. I think I’ve said this sometime in my blog before!

Now, all I need is to get a great job with an understanding boss, and a publisher who’d jump at my book. Then I am all set – thin, accomplished and successful. That’s the aim.

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