Three Friends

Three Friends
Three Friends

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spinster Beth's First 5k

I, Spinster Beth, couch-potato extraordinare, am facing my first 5k. In about 36 hours. Realistically, I expect some of this 3.1 mile course will be walked. I only started jogging at the end of August, so I'm not quite up to running 5k straight ... yet. I have made a lot of improvement over my August self, but my October self still runs at a slow pace ... say, "Snail with Tail on Fire." But even when I stop to walk, I only walk a short while, until I recover enough to continue. No quitsies!

Since starting this jogging journey, I have noticed a lot of changes about myself, physically and mentally. Physically, I've lost 14 lbs and I have ankles again. Mentally, I'm more alert, happier, and more energetic. I stand up straighter. Physically, I don't creak as much as I used to. I was afraid jogging would make my old running injury, plantar fasciitis, worse -- but it did just the opposite. My sore feet are much better, and in the morning, I don't hobble down the stairs, I just walk down. I had no idea ... I thought exercise like jogging would make these old injuries worse! Losing weight is a big part of it. I have lost about 6.5% of my mass, and for knees and ankles, that's significant!

Me, in Wales, in cooking oven at some castle -- Sept 2010

I spent much of the last four or five years making excuses to not exercise. My weight had finally settled in one place, I was happy with that. I didn't want to join the gym at work, because I'd have to haul a big backpack around. After a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is stick around longer. Etc, etc. Well, I happily haul around a big backpack now. I look forward to that time on the treadmill. Yesterday I had afternoon meetings, so I went to the gym in the middle of the day and it really got me past the afternoon sleepies! (Although I suspect the icy cold shower I had to take afterwards had more to do with waking me up ... thanks, Facilities Maintenance, for insisting there was nothing wrong with the boiler).

One great benefit of the extra activity, at least for now ... guilt-free carbohydrate consumption! I had spaghetti for dinner (a childhood favorite). I need the carbs for the run!

Me in front of some old building ... May 2010

I know eventually I'll hit that plateau, and the pounds will be harder to lose, and I'll have to go back to scrutinizing my diet. But I was starting from a point where I was eating too much, drinking too much alcohol, and not moving much ... just getting up off the couch helped! But this is not about weight loss so much as it is about health and fitness. I want my 40s to be awesome. I want to go clothes shopping and enjoy it, not endure it.

I look around me at work, at older women (say, late 50s to 60s) and I see three different types; impeccably groomed, stick-thin career women who wear suits and 50s hairstyles every day; overweight, sad women who stare at the floor and wear short, unflattering haircuts and elastic-banded clothing; and fun, funky, happy women who go gray with defiance and laugh at life. Guess which one I want to be? 

Me in Anne Hathaway's garden, England (Sept 2010)
So, Slick and I will be at the starting line (or behind 300 people) at 0900 Friday morning. Wish us luck!


  1. I'm so excited for you guys. Have a great race!!

  2. Congratulations Beth! On everything. We are the same, we knit and run and we are going into the 40s in the best way! I bet there is a pattern to support that :).

    So excited for you!