Monday, March 12, 2012

Up and Running

Well, I’m up, but not exactly running anymore. In the past 6 months I’ve had a sprained ankle, stress fracture and tendonitis in my ankle (that actually put me on crutches!), so I’ve decided I’m just not cut out for running. And I’m not talking marathons, either. Not even half marathons. Just 3-4 miles. My co-worker attributes it to my "bird legs." Anyway, this is part of the reason I’ve been in a bit of a slump. Oh well. I’m looking on the bright side.

If you read my recent post, you'll know that for National Nutrition Month, I set a goal to start getting up to exercise in the morning before work again. I used to run before work, but over the winter, coupled with injuries, I let this habit slide. Needless to say, I haven’t been exercising as much as I used to and I can feel it's affected more than my body composition—my mood and energy level too.

While I was still on crutches and nursing my ankle, I decided to do what I tell my clients, “Focus on what you can do.” So I hit the gym and started weight training 2-3 times per week for 45-60 minutes each session. I dreaded going over to what I used to call the "guys side of the gym," but now I really love it! I feel so much stronger already and can see the difference.

A week and a half ago, when I decided my ankle was well enough to start getting back into cardio, I decided enough was enough! The alarm got set and so did my mind. Last week I fulfilled my mission of walking every morning--for a rockin' total of six days! I have found that I get just as good of a workout power-walking (4-4.2 mph) and I actually enjoy it more. It was hard for me to slow down from running and I've really had to talk myself out of pushing it! But my hamstrings killed me for the first two days. And I mean that in a great way.

Even though it can be really tough to drag myself out of my warm and cozy bed at 5:45 a.m., it is really peaceful outside in the morning. It’s quiet and serene. So nice, in fact, that I don’t even need my iPod sometimes. I love starting my day this way, actually. Here’s what I get to look at:

Beautiful! Thank you Mother Nature for the temperate St. Louis winter.

Morning exercise clears my mind and gives me time for random thought before the hustle and bustle of my work day begins. Otherwise, I don’t get much time for random thought at all! I also have more energy at work, a clearer head and more patience. It’s nice to not be dragging. Perhaps the biggest bonus of all? I don’t have to worry all day about pushing myself to exercise AFTER work! Nice. I would definitely recommend it.

How are you doing with your National Nutrition Month goals?