Imperfect Athlete–Week 3

I keep thinking of new things I want to do.  I want to play roller derby. But this week, I just seem to have come to the realization that it isn’t all about skates. I also want to belly dance and swim and bike and run and trampoline and kickboxing and yoga and . . . well, you get the idea.

Also, I’ve decided I’m not a wannabe. I am what I am, already. So, I’m widening the reach of this little experiment from Roller Derby Wannabe to Imperfect Athlete.

Today marks the end of week three of the Imperfect Athlete journey. Here’s the highlights:

1. I have shin splints. At the beginning of the week, I started my regular 2.5/3.0 treadmill intervals, all excited to add five minutes. My right leg has been feeling stiff about halfway into my workouts, from the outside of my foot to my knee. At first I thought it was my new running shoes correcting for my under pronation. But this time I had to actually stop walking. The pain was pretty severe, and it started on my left leg as well. Shin splints. I recognized them immediately, even though I haven’t had them in 20 years or more. I finished that workout on the bike and didn’t experience pain unless I tried to lean forward and get all aerodynamic.

2. As a result of shin splints, I’m all thrown off my plan for getting to where I can walk for an hour at 3 mph by the time we move to Carson City in June. I can’t walk at all at 3 mph. Suckage. The elliptical trainer is easier on my legs, but way harder in every other way. I was able to do ten minutes mid-week, between 15-minute stints at a slower pace on the treadmill. I was a sweating, gasping mess! But it felt awesome. The bike is also doable.

3. Yesterday I was able to walk for 45 minutes at 2.8 mph with five minutes for warm up and five for cool down (so 35 minutes at 2.8 mph.) I walked 1.9 miles! I was tempted to push it to 2 miles, but decided against it, since I add five minutes to my workout today and will bypass that distance. Let each week have it’s own victories, right? But I totally could have done it. I had some stiffness in my right leg, especially when I went to 2.9 for a few minutes halfway through…the stiffness turned to pain and I backed off to 2.5 for a few and then back to 2.8 and was fine the rest of the workout.

4. I have still been unable to stop weighing myself everyday. But I think I finally had a breakthrough yesterday. I had this awesome workout. I walked almost twice as far as my first attempt on the treadmill–and I didn’t feel like dying. I felt energized and amazing. Then I stepped on the scale and the number was half a pound higher than yesterday. Never mind that in all I’ve lost 8 pounds in February. My mood plummeted. But then . . .

5. I stepped outside and the cool/cold air hit my bare, sweaty arms and blew down my neck and I had this feeling. It’s hard to explain, but if you’ve ever been the sporty type, maybe you know it. Just this feeling like I’d used my body well. My muscles were warm and a little sore. But, maybe more importantly, my head came back into the game. I had a really good workout. I did more than I could have three weeks ago. I pushed myself just far enough, but not so far that I was in pain. I haven’t felt that in a really, really long time, and it felt so damn good.  And then . . .

6. I realized that I’m not going to weigh myself anymore. Not daily, anyway. That scale has no business diminishing my high. There are better ways of measuring my progress. I think how good I feel when I step out into the cool air is a kick-ass ruler. How far I can walk. How fast I can go. My heart rate. How strong I feel. How many sitting leg presses I can do. How far I can stretch. All work well as measurements of progress. The scale? Not so much. This is my break-through of the week. The scale isn’t going to harsh my fun ever again.

7. I found an affordable and super-fun looking belly dancing class in Carson City. I’m so in. Not only do the women involved look like they are having the time of their lives, they also seem to be forming relationships with each other, which appeals to me. I need friends. Also, they dress up and perform at the killer two-weekend renn faire at Lake Tahoe every year!

8. I really love my workout playlist.  I added a song this week, because my workout expanded by five minutes. I added Alanis Morrisset, You Oughta Know, just before my cool down to Free Bird. I think I’m going to work on a second play list this week, so that I don’t get burned out on the first one.

9. I’ve been gluten-free for a month this week. I’m noticing the regular positives: no leg bloating. My feet look like my feet all the time, instead of sometimes looking like someone filled them with water. I’m sleeping better and waking up rested. The dark rings around my eyes are less, but not totally gone yet. My hair isn’t falling out like it was. My stomach feels better, but not 100 percent yet. Also, prior to going gluten-free I was waking up at least once a night, and sometimes more like two or three times, with horrible charlie horses. Sometimes they were in my calf, sometimes in my shin. Sometimes both at the same time, which had the not-much-fun effect of feeling my like my legs were in a vice and making it so that stretching out the charlie horse on one side made the charlie horse on the other worse. Fun stuff. I haven’t had ANY charlie horses since day two or three of gluten-free. Even with shin splints. I’m wondering if I might need to be more diligent in making sure I’m not ever cross-contaminated, because I’m still dealing with some stomach issues even if they are considerably less severe than before.

10. I’ve been thinking for the last couple of weeks about how I might make a page for my blog for this Imperfect Athlete experiment. I don’t want to just repost what I’m already posting. That would be pretty boring. I’m thinking that I might list the weekly posts for anyone who wants to read those without wading through the rest of my ramblings. Also, I think I’ll put up my weekly goals/plan. This is as much for myself as anything else. I do well with accountability.

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