Thoughts on jogging…

January 22, 2008

So, for the past two days I have been going jogging in the park, which, lucky me, is five minutes from our apartment. I know I mentioned a few posts ago that I’ve taken up jogging, but these past couple of sessions seem like a whole new animal. Why? Because when I went jogging last week, it was never any colder than 45 degrees out; in fact, on the first day I hit the trail, it was actually 65 degrees and sunny (global warming much?).

Yesterday and today when I went out, it was 25 degrees.

I’m not sure I can even capture the sensory difference between jogging in 45+ degree weather and jogging in 25 degree weather. When it was 45 degrees, I went out wearing three-quarter-length leggings, a long-sleeved t-shirt, and a windbreaker, and did not feel cold in the least. By the end of my jog I even took off the windbreaker and tied it around my waist, because I was too hot.

On Sunday morning when I went out, I wore full-length leggings tucked into lined socks, and a long-sleeved fitted poly undershirt–that was layer number one. Then I added a pair of looser athletic pants and a long-sleeved t-shirt (layer number two), and on top of that, a thin fleece top. Three layers, sounds good, right? This was my outfit at first, before going outside. Once I got outside and felt the January wind slice through me like a prison shank, I went back upstairs for my windbreaker, plus gloves and a wide fleece headband to protect my ears/face. Because, um, holy hell. The cold!

But interestingly enough, once I got on the trail I didn’t really mind how bitterly cold it was. Not only because, well, it could have been worse, but because the jogging itself was so lovely. Yes, that’s right, folks, I just used “jogging” and “lovely” in the same sentence. I’ve officially become one of those lunatics who LIKES to exercise. You know the ones: inevitably arriving on the scene just back from some kind of workout, toting some sort of fitness paraphernalia–racquet, yoga mat, well-worn gym bag–and wearing annoyingly beatific smiles on their smug, glowy faces. That’s totally me now. Well, except for the fitness paraphernalia part, as I don’t really do exercise (yet) that requires equipment. I wouldn’t mind taking up some of those things eventually, though (on my list: skiing, golf, and trapeze–yeah, that’s right, trapeze).

Anyway, so I really enjoyed both bitterly cold jogs. Not only because of the winter sunlight filtering through the tree branches along the path in the park, and the incredible taste of the fresh air, but because it felt so good to move. Seriously, when did I become that person, the one who takes pleasure in physical exertion? Today’s jog, especially, was just fantastic–I warmed up alternating between jogging and walking every two minutes or so for about ten minutes, until I got over to the new track (one of my local park’s many excellent features). Then I did twenty minutes of jogging around the track, then another two minutes of walking, then another fifteen minutes of jogging, a few on the track, most on the trail back home. And then maybe five minutes of cooldown walking. The two minutes of walking in the middle of the two longer jog sessions were actually pretty unnecessary; I could have gone straight through for thirty or thirty-five minutes, I think, but actually I had to stop and take off my windbreaker!

I would say that this athleticism is completely unprecedented for me, except it’s really not–when I was much younger, in high school and college, I periodically went through pro-exercise phases, usually tied to some kind of (unnecessary, in retrospect) weight-loss scheme. Of course, these were short-lived, mostly because vanity historically has been a really bad motivator for me. When I was in graduate school, on the other hand, I was really active almost in spite of myself, mostly in practical ways. I biked to class several times a week, and to the grocery store, and occasionally went running–not jogging, running–along the gorgeous road that ran between the two main campuses. Now I guess I’m back to being that person, only new and improved, because back then I still sort of hated exercise (even though I did it fairly often). Man, did I used to resent those bike rides to the grocery store!

I have been thinking about this exercise thing a lot lately as I think about being pregnant sometime soon, because I really don’t want the physical and personal upheaval that pregnancy creates to derail this healthy place I’m in. It’s a big part of why I don’t really want to pursue Clomid + IUI (which is what the RE recommends for us next, due to my blocked tube) until a little later this spring. There are other reasons, too, of course–I may be on sabbatical in the fall, for instance, so I’d really rather not have a due date earlier than January 2009–but I definitely would like more time to get in really great shape so I’ll have an easier time bouncing back after pregnancy. And staying fit during pregnancy, too, since all the research seems to indicate that exercise while pregnant is safest if you are already in shape. I’m also hoping that making exercise an honest-to-God habit now, while I have all the time in the world, will make it easier for me to get back to prioritizing it once I have no time at all as the bewildered parent of an infant.

Of course, before I get to that point I have to survive the first few weeks of classes–let’s see how well my exercise frequency holds up starting next Monday, when I’m back to the teaching grind. That’ll really be proof that I’ve become one of those healthy people, making time for working out in spite of a work schedule from hell. I intend to do it, and I’ll keep you posted on how it goes when we get to that point!

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2 Responses to “Thoughts on jogging…”

  1. Kenya Says:

    More power to you girl. My lazy butt can’t get with the program right now.

  2. Michelle Says:

    I’m so glad you are liking taking up jogging! I used to be a jogging hater as well but have really come to enjoy it — it isn’t quite like the elliptical or stairmaster. Anyway, your pictures below look amazing. Congrats to you!

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