Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Commitments

Dear blog, I have missed you. I have missed writing blog posts, reading others' blog posts, and reading comments. I have missed having a forum like this to share my thoughts, struggles, victories, failures, fears, ideals, and ridiculous mothering moments. I have missed feeling connected to people all over the world who are trying to be the best mothers they can be and who are willing to admit that it's not always perfect.

I'm not sure how I'm going to get back into blogging without giving up something vitally important to me like eating, sleeping, or showering, but I really want to make time for this in my life. I'm not ready to make a commitment here, but you should know that I am determined to find a way. I don't know if I have any out there reading anymore, but I need this regardless.

However, I am here today to make a commitment to you, whoever you are. It is not about blogging, but about something else that is important to me. Something that needs to change. It is about my struggle with getting regular workouts into my life. There are several reasons that this has not been happening-- five of them live at my house and expect to be fed and clothed and educated and overseen during all of their waking hours. But there is more to it than that-- I have really been working to focus my energies (and time) on the things that are most important to me, and sadly, I have let exercise slide waaaaaaaay down that list. On a daily basis, it doesn't seem as important as at least half a dozen other things that I am trying to do with regularity, but I know it is going to be impossible for me to be healthy and live at a healthy weight if I don't make it fit.

I've resolved so many times to change. I set goals to exercise 3x a week, or 4 x a week or every single day. I set goals to lose 1 lb a week or 5 lbs a month or 50 lbs in a year. But life catches up with me and I have a bad week or two and then those goals are cast aside and it takes me weeks or months to recommit.

This year I am doing it differently. This year, I set a goal to run 500 miles. And to RUN a 5k. This is a huge deal for me, as I'm not a runner. But I want to be a person who runs. I know that running on a regular basis will help with weight loss, which I really need. I may not ever love running, but I know that if I work on it, I can build up my endurance. At the moment, it looks something like this for 2 miles: jog jog jog walk jog jog walk jog jog walk walk jog walk walk walk jog jog walk walk jo- walk walk walk walk jog.

When I went out today during Jared's lunch break, I saw a little montage in my head as if they were making a movie of my journey. Today I am an overweight jogger, bouncing and jiggling all over the place and gasping for air after a quarter mile, wanting so desperately to walk instead. But in my mind, I could see the weight dropping off, the jiggles firming up, my form improving and the distance I run getting better. This little image helped me keep going, although it was occasionally interrupted by the other movie-in-my-head where someone finds me collapsed on the side of the road unconscious and wonders why I went out to run without any ID or a cell phone. Yes, I am a bit dramatic-- why do you ask?

Here's my plan: I will run an average of 10 miles per week. During January and February, it will count if I run for half the distance and walk briskly the other half. After that, only miles run will count towards my total. I expect that at first, this will mean five 2-mile runs a week, but will eventually be three 3 1/3 mile runs or two 5 mile runs (could I do that?) in a week, which will allow me to do other workouts sometimes as well.

This plan means that although bad weeks will come, weeks where the entire household is ravaged by flu or weeks when I have too much to do, if I let them stop me from exercising, I'll be piling on miles to make up later. And instead of setting a "resolution", which has such connotations for "wish" that might never be met, I am committing to you that I will do it. I'm going to put a ticker on my blog so you can see my progress. Sadly, it's not much to brag about so far, but it's going to get better.

So please check my ticker once in a while. If you see me, ask me how many miles I've run. And if you pass me huffing and puffing on the road, just look the other way and let me keep my dignity:) My running in 2011 should look a whole lot different.

19 comments:

Tamara said...

I will run that 5K with you! I guess that means I'll have to start running sometime this year...

Prudy said...

That's such a great idea. I'm a reformed dieter and a lifelong runner. I need to come up with a numbers goal for myself for the year. One thing that works for me is a number of miles, like you are doing. If you need to go slower one day-or even walk- it doesn't matter. I like knowing that the number of mile is what I'm really after. Anyway, my kids are squabbling over the bathtub right now-first they didn't want to go first, now they both want in. Calgon, take me away!

Michal said...

prudy,
i think of you so often and that resolution you made a couple of years ago to run every single day that year. not to mention that the only other time in my life when i've tried to teach this body to run was the year we lived together. you were a great coach! i can still picture us on the byu tracks plugging away.

your kids fight over the bath, too? i picture them as way too grown-up for such things:) just goes to show i need to come visit more.

Michal said...

tamara,

yippee! we could do race for the cure in may or the run to feed the hungry on thanksgiving day . . . or find one in a place we want to visit, like carmel or yosemite. let's plan it!

Jennifer said...

I love your idea of setting a goal to reach by the end of the year. I started running last Sep-Oct. At first it was pure pain. It wasn't fun. It all turned around and now I love it, and have no problem running 3 miles at a time. Wishing you all of the luck you'll need, and I'll keep an eye on your miles.!!

Judy Stohl said...

First of all - I love the picture with you and your girls - made me tear up - so beautiful!
You are such an inspiration to me. I love the miles idea. I am going to go right now and find my pedometer that is somewhere in my drawer. I will never be a jogger but I can walk the miles. Thanks for your great idea.
When I was at your stage of life someone told me, "there is a season and a time for everything" so on the days where you are overwhelmed remember that in just a few years, everything will change. It is so hard to put ourselves first but so important. Thanks again for the motivation. Love you!

The Good Life said...

You looked great today in your running gear. What a great way to start the year. I would love to run with you when the doctor gives the ok to exercise in a few more weeks. I will have to tow my two kids along though. I guess I am in need of a double jogging stroller. Seriously I need to lose 40lbs and I know you will motivate me. ;)

Rebecca said...

I identify so much with you in this post!

I've started eating healthier overall, but need to start exercising again.

Your little Meg is adorable!

Sonja said...

Oh man! I really wish we lived closer so we could go jogwalking together. I started jogging a few years ago and never ever thought I'd enjoy it. After awhile, I really did. I'm still no marathoner, but I do enjoy the endorphins I get, even at my moderate pace. I like to think while I'm outside moving and have found that so many ideas come to me then. I think you are so wise about your goals. I think I'm going to steal your ticker idea. It's great.
You can do it! You'll be so glad you did!

Love love love to you.

Scrappy said...

What a great idea. You can do it!! I will be watching your ticker!

I ran a couple of years ago and never loved doing it, but I am glad I did it. I have never felt better. I had to stop because of what I thought was a bad gal bladder (still haven't quite figured out what is going on there) but I hope I can start up again some day.

sheler412 said...

You can do it! I, like you, am not a runner. I started out last spring at the same pace as you are now and I just ran 5 miles without stopping for the first time! It does help drop those extra pounds like nothing else. Good luck!

Grammy said...

You go girl...sadly I will never set a goal to run I hate it that much. But Tom & I have started walking and I'm trying to go to Curves 3 times a week. I know it's not much but it's a beginning.

Kim said...

I hate to run. But I would do it if I had a friend to go with. :)

When we went to Disney World last year we learned about an annual marathon they do on the park grounds. They have all kinds of half and quarter marathons and call them by different character names. The full marathon of course is the mickey marathon. But there were also a donald and goofy run. EVERYONE who participated got disney medals of the character run they did. The runs went through epcot and other park areas. People travel from all over the world to participate. Talk about a fun family reward for a year of hard work. Or a great get away just for Mom! I will run that race someday. Maybe even next January. Anyone want to join me?

Mimi Nowland said...

You can do it! I loved reading about both montages you had while running, only because you make me feel more sane for having both kinds of thoughts myself! I am NOT a runner and I have no plans to change that status this year, but I wish you all the luck in the world.

Becky said...

Way to go Michal!

My sister in law ran a 5k last year and she wasn't a runner either. She did it following the program on this site: http://www.fromcouchto5k.com/.

Good luck to you. And be sure to get good shoes. Injuries are not cool.

Robyn{Lee} said...

WAY TO GO! You can do it! I too could've written the exact same blog as you! I've struggled my whole life, and it is so frustrating. I have the Nike+ shoes and sensor and I LOVE it! It totally keeps me motivated. I've only really this week started walking, and would love to push it up to jogging.

I have my little Nike mini on my blog, check it out. Are you going to put that one of yours too?

thatredhairedgirl said...

OK so only outdoor running counts, nothing on the treadmill? I love this goal! Run, I run away from running :) I think I might give this a go also (including on the treadmill for me :)

Michal said...

Treadmill running counts. And running as far as you can and then moving to a brisk walk counts, as long as I try to run again as soon as I can conceive of it. I'm so glad that you are going to join me! I'm a little behind on my miles right now, but I'm planning to get out today and do four miles of run/walking to help boost my numbers.

a10cowwoman said...

Yeah Michal! How many miles did you do this week?