Friday, February 6, 2009

Health Kick: Part III - Fitness

Before the the start of 2009, I had started some kind of irregular workout routine... It consisted of playing racquetball with my nemesis once a week and I would occasionally work up the nerve to hit the gym (which is all the way downstairs of the building I live in) maybe once every other week. Now that the health bug has taken over, the time came for me to up the ante. Additionally it seems like everyone I know, including my nemesis, is training for a half-marathon (a concept that still seems completely ludicrous to me - why would anyone want to run 13 miles in a week, let alone in one session?).

I should start by saying that I absolutely love playing sports - baseball, basketball, racquetball, whatever. It's exercise, but more importantly it is enjoyable. I can run all day long playing sports... but just going to run is possibly my least favorite thing in the world. I take no enjoyment from running for distance. It doesn't make it any more helpful that treadmills are designed for people considerable lighter than I am - so when I run on a treadmill, the tread slips for a split second with every step down, which is... not helpful. Since everyone I know is running, I eventually caved in (somewhat) and have tried to mix in a little running as well.

The old routine of racquetball once a week (1 1/2 hour session) and cardio in the gym for 20 minutes every other week was pretty light on exercise. The new routine now is two racquetball sessions a week (1 1/2 - 2 hours per session) and two 30 minute cardio sessions followed by another 30 minutes in the weight room every week. That's right, workouts four days a week.

On racquetball days, I have done some running and I can now run a little over a mile without stopping. I am pretty sure that the last time I tried to run for distance was in high school, so distance running is slow coming for the time being. For some reason, at my heavier weight, I have always been afraid to just start a running routine. I am completely paranoid about blowing out my knees. So for now, the plan is to run only occasionally (about once a week at most), and do the elipical routine in the gym until I have pared down my weight. As the weight goes down, I'll try to mix in more running... and maybe, just maybe I'll be in half-marathon shape by the end of eternity... or maybe more like by the end of the summer.

For now the weight room routine consists of mostly toning type exercises - more repetitions, lighter weights - again until I pare down the weight. The areas I am trying to focus on are shoulders, arms, pecs and the all important core muscle groups. Like I said in an earlier post, this is basically my last chance to get into shape, so I am going to make this work. So far, so good.

SIDE NOTE: I realize that a mile is basically only nine to ten minutes of running at a slow pace and, yeah, I can do a thirty minute routine on an eliptical machine without ANY difficulty at a relatively quick pace. So, why on earth is it so freaking difficult to run? Why? It has to be at least somewhat psycological because listening to music definitely helps plug out an extra couple minutes... but damn do I hate running. Maybe it'll get better... I'll let you know.

Coming up (Monday - the end of Week 4!)... Health Kick: Part IV - Progress Report #1


Jim said...

Hi Andrew -- This is Lori. First of all, I want to say: good for you! You may (or may not) know my obsession with fitness and nutrition. Two things: I now work for Weight Watchers, so if you ever want some ideas on nutrition, I have tons of yummy healthy ideas. Also, I ran several 5ks and one 10k (just over 6 miles) and want to work my way up to a 1/2 marathon. Unfortunately, it took a toll on my back and it may be awhile before I get up to that. So be careful with running, it's a bit boring but man does it help you drop weight. Anyway, keep posting and let us know how you are doing. I've lost 20 lbs in the last 20 weeks...and am only 5-7 lbs away from being back to where I was before Lucy was born. And I'm not working out regularly right you can definitely hit your goal. No doubt about it.

Andrew Skaff said...

Lori - Wow! I'm impressed at how fast you've returned to your pre-pregnancy status. That's really amazing! I'm sure that I'll come to you for some healthy cooking ideas when I start to get bored with what I'm doing now (which might not take too long). Thanks for the support and I hope that you have continued success with your plan!

lestlie said...

Is 'nemesis' the nice way of saying 'highly competitive a-hole who enjoys the merciless beating of everyone at everything'?

Because that's definitely how I read it.

Andrew Skaff said...

Lestlie - man you nailed that one... Ha. But I also didn't ask him if it was ok to use his name. I can still hold the chess title over his head and I know that kills him! Boo yeah!

How is "nemesis" doing today? Sucking down some pedialite?

lestlie said...

'Nemesis' is doing better after downing two bottles of Pedialyte this morning. Bottles of Pedialyte that I had to go to the store and pick up for him, might I add.

You'll have to give him hell for that one on Monday.

Andrew Skaff said...

Lestlie - I'm sure you've already given him plenty of hell. Maybe I'll just let this one slide... and just crush his soul on the racquetball court instead!

lestlie said...

Just don't let him break his ankles anymore. I He gets so whiny when he can't walk.

Andrew Skaff said...

I'll see what I can do.

kilax said...

The running is difficult because there is much more pressure on your body/joints, than using an elliptical. But you'll get there! The elliptical will be good training - getting your heart rate up and down, etc.