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New RoutineJanuary 5, 2008

I love routines. LOVE them. I can get into a routine in two days. And then I look forward to the next day, when I can do it again. It's flexible, though. I can fall out of a routine just as quickly.

I have some new routines. Doesn't everyone? It's the new year, after all! Even if I don't make "resolutions," there's a certain clarity that comes with a new year, a fresh slate. A new blank notebook of a year.

And while it's only the fifth, I've already been to the gym three times! That's a miracle right there. I'd actually canceled the gym a few months ago, after I hadn't been in SO LONG that it was completely embarrassing. I felt good about the cancellation. Proud of saving money that would be otherwise wasted.

Then I started wanting to start running again. Runagogo has a Ravelry group! 100 miles by April 1st! I had to start keeping up with runagogo-ers (how great is it that it's taken on a life of its own?). But with the winter light, and me getting to work long before dawn and leaving after night falls, there was no way I was ever going to be able to run on work days (I won't run at night, no matter how safe the area feels -- did it a couple of times and hated it, even with Clara at my side). And I wanted more than just one run on the weekends. So I signed back up with the gym (they'd frozen my account so I didn't have to pay joining fees again), and I have a new thing now: I run before work. There is no justifying that level of crazy, except to say that getting up at 4 am really isn't that much more painful than getting up at 4:40. Seriously. It sucks either way. But three times this week I've rolled out of bed at four (or a little before -- I always wake up before the alarm -- highly annoying), fed the cats, put on my gym clothes, grabbed my work bag, and headed out.

The gym is so different at that time of morning. I go to a really huge 24-Hour Fitness in San Leandro, right on the way to work, and it's usually packed day and night. I like it because EVERYONE goes there. Men, women, gay, straight, every race, every body size, every age. I love that there will be a twenty-year old guy as big as an Oakland Raider wearing a black tank and black running shorts running on a treadmill, and right next to him will be a ninety-year old teeny-tiny Asian woman wearing a full-on pink polyester pants suit, holding her purse with one hand, the rail with the other. (The little old ladies of every race are the ones I love the best -- they always carry their purses with them, and they come in pastel-colored flocks. They perch on the weight machines and chatter and then walk very slowly and carefully on the treadmills, gossiping as they go.)

And always, when I've been there before, you have to wait for a machine (because the little ladies are gossiping) and people hover behind you, making sure you don't go over your 20 minute treadmill time limit. But that early in the morning? No one is there! Just me on the treadmill with maybe one or two others, and three or four guys pumping iron, scattered in various areas of the huge room. No one cares how long I'm on the treadmill. I'm the first one in the shower for the day, so the shower and locker room floors are blessedly dry. No one else has been in the locker room with me at all. No one's in the pool, although I don't see myself really using that -- I know how to swim, but it seems counter-intuitive to work out in an environment which doesn't support my breathing lifestyle.

I'm doing the Couch-to-5K program, using the awesome Robert Ullrey's podcast (free from iTunes). He tells you when to run and when to walk, and the music is just my style: gay-bar disco-rific. Erika, you would like this music. Yes, I could do more than this, yes, I could run farther for longer than the program has you start out (jogging for one minute, walking for 90 seconds), but I haven't been running in months, so I'm starting out again slowly. No hurry. Just want to get there in the end. You know? And it's nice to not time yourself, to have someone else doing it for you.

So yep. A couple-three times at the gym during my work week, and one longer run outside with Clara on my weekend. That's the goal. Nothing big, but it's something.

Plus, I'm eating so damn healthy right now. I've eliminated all sources of soy from my diet* for a couple of weeks, and I'm here to tell you, all good things have soy hidden in them somewhere. Even most gum has soy lecithin. It's everywhere. I am so bored without chocolate and ice cream (and by that I mean Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and Ben and Jerry's, not extra-dark chocolate and organic pumpkin frozen dessert). Gah. I kind of feel like if I'm forced to eat like this, I might as well work out.

But I like my new routine. It feels good. (As does the fact that Lala and I made a bet that the other one wouldn't go a whole month meditating every day. All right, I guess that's more of a challenge. But I like to call it a bet. And there might be financial gain in the offing, but that might be anti-Buddha to those Buddhist types, so I won't mention that part. But I like that new routine a lot, too.)

*I forgot my face soap at the gym one morning and used their soap dispenser instead. Turns out it was Dial Facial Wash Soy & Almond (no label on it). My eye blew up. Go figure.


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You are making me feel guilty for not doing better at exercise, which I know I absolutely need to do. Go for it!

Oooh! Thankyouthankyouthankyou for the podcast link for the couch potato to 5k program. I've done the training program before, but like you, the only time I have to run is at 4 in the morning. And it's dark(!) then and hard to see a watch. Listening will make it ten times easier. And I should be ready for the St. Patrick's Day 5k race again this year for my birthday. Thanks again.

Thank you so. much. for the podcast link! Woot! This is ingenious. I've done the Couch to 5K thing long ago and am just wanting to get back into running. I've always been a little irritated by the fact that I couldn't listen to my ipod because I wanted to hear my little watch beep at the right intervals. Now I can try this and have the best of both worlds, bwah ha ha ha!!

Good luck with your new routines, I think you're fabulous. mwah!

I've just subscribed to the Couch to 5K podcast. Thanks for the ammunition to use in my battle of the sedentary bulge.

Thanks also for prompting me to start a blog (when I signed up for the writeagogo challenge last year). I didn't complete the challenge, but I did start writing again, so thanks!

Well congrats on the new routine! I have some fitness issues to attend to myself.
I feel your pain concerning the soy allergy, welcome to my world. In my case I am allergic to whey, which is in everything as well! No packaged food in my house. My big challenge this year is to eat locally and since I live out in the middle of nowhere it is particularly challenging. So I am going to have to grow a bunch of it myself. I have just finished drawing up my garden plan and will be implementing it very soon (hopefully all that tilling will take care of the fitness as well ;) and just a little nag... please if you haven't already been, go see an allergist for the tests.

Don't feel bad about not running everyday, the more realistic goals are the ones that get kept, and not feeling guilty is good for the soul.

I am also embarking on a new way of eating, and right now I still feel as though I'm deprived, but I've been told that after a while, the bad stuff doesn't taste as good anymore.

Keep up the good work, I'll be trying to do the same.

Good for you and the new routines! I've committed for another 100 by April 1st, and hubby and I have been getting back to the gym, plus there's a gym at my office where I can get in some quick cardio during lunch - sweet. I'm not dieting but I am making a point of eating enough of the right foods - which doesn't eliminate but does reduce consumption of the wrong ones!

Sorry you can't make it to Becca's knit-in tomorrow - you'll be missed!

Loving the new routine. I am not a runner so that is my goal this year - already have the podcast, the shoes and the Nike+...and to start swimming again. I am a swimmer and before breaking my ankle badly I was doing a mile in 29 mins. Ahhhh those were the days. I have the tools just need the motivation. Hubby needs to be dangling those carrots so to speak.

Thanks for posting about the Runagogo group on Ravelry, I just joined :) I too am a knitter and a runner...I completed my first 10K in October and am hoping to do a half marathon next, although the cold weather training is tough. I never thought I'd run in the snow like I did last weekend, but it was incredible. Very peaceful and quiet - winter running doesn't seem so bad anymore!

You found the podcast, yay! (was I supposed to send you a link? probably, and sorry, oops!) Isn't it the best, makes it all so eeeeasy. When we get together to do Nova/soup night we'll have to compare notes. mwah, let's make it happen.

I just started week two of the C25k program today, using the podcasts, and I LOVE it! I've literally never jogged or run in my life (though I can walk for miles and have done the 3 Day) and I actually feel like this program will make running attainable to me.

Not sure that I can reach 100 miles by April 1st, but I'm going to give it my best shot!


Hey, there's nothing in Buddhism that's anti-financial gain. AS LONG AS YOU'RE NOT ATTACHED TO IT!!! Isn't that a fun kind of paradox - make a bet, use it as incentive - but oh no, don't be attached to winning! Just FYI, a lot of the Tibetan Buddhists around here gamble on games of chance and the pool hall is always full of young monks.

My heart goes out to you on the whole soy thing. I'm allergic to tomatoes, potatoes, bell pepper, that whole family of plants and let me tell you, they are in EVERYTHING all over the world! Except chocolate and ice cream, thank goodness. But I'm not going to think about ice cream 'til I've got at least 20 kilos to go away. Chocolate, on the other hand, isn't something you *think* about - it's a lifestyle. When people send us care packages from the civilized world, our main wishes are the big 3 C's: chocolate, coffee and cheese, all of which are hard to get here at all, much less of tolerable quality. As long as we have those things (and yarn of course) we can survive.

Yay to you for a healthier lifestyle.

You should get some of that good dark chocolate without soy and make your own peanut butter/chocolate concoction. I've seen recipes around for that sort of thing. It'll be better homemade, anyway.

Thanks so much for the info on that running Podcast! Had tried the Couch to 5k before but hard to breath, run and watch the watch! Plus, I adore Gay Disco music, especially if it is from the 80's!

That podcast changed my life. I went from a person who could walk great distances but couldn't run for one minute, to a person would could run for a solid hour.

Today, inspired by your tales of last year's nike+ipod tales, I went out and splurged on new sneakers, nike+kit and arm band. Got it home, hooked it up and found out I don't have a compatible I-Pod. I stopped short of buying a new one on the way home, but am now thinking of giving in and replacing my ipod for one that will work.

The way I figure it, it is cheaper than a gym membership, right?

Go girl go! Run Lola run! (Remember that movie?)

Maybe you should buy an ice cream maker and make your own to make sure it's kosher, so to speak. All that running means ice cream is necessary.

Hey, I didn't know there was a runagogo group on Ravelry! Must sign up. There's a plain ole running group too. I've gotten out of the habit -- working all the time for Nov./Dec. and then the long vacation -- but I brought running gear to work with me today to start up again. And I'll be thinking of you while I do it!

Yay for going to the gym before work! That's what I've done for the past three months, and I love it. There is NO waiting for free weights or the treadmill (I alternate days), I'm good and awake by the time I get to work at 7:00 and, best of all, my exercise is done for the day! After work I can go home, put on my jammies, schmooze my cats and grab my knitting, all without guilt (ACK-PTOOEY!).

Living where I do, running's not exactly okay until the streets are dry and you don't form a mask of ice over your face if you breathe heavy. But I'm totally going to download that iPod program, because husband got me an iPod Touch for Christmas. As soon as I can safely run, I'll try it out.

That said, my ass is fat. I, too, have to fit in the exercise at an ungodly hour because I'm not working at home anymore, and I have to do it quietly, so as not to wake up the sleeping child(ren). So I'm doing a Pilates-cards-in-a-box program (no noisy DVD at 5 am!) and hopefully will be walking home from work when I can do it without freezing to death.

I totally suck at routines. You're my inspiration, you are :-)

Have you read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? I just started it, but the whole first chapter is about the incredible breadth of products made from soy and corn since those crops became boom products after WWII. Fascinating.

You're awesome. I'm starting a yoga class this week!! Hopefully I'll be awesome too. :)

(And I'm super-intrigued by the couch-to-5K, but I think I'll wait till the snow melts.)

That was very motivational Rach! I'm feeling a bit doughy and sluggish and have started to walk on my lunch break with a co-worker, but I want something more challenging (until biking weather starts). This couch to 5km thing sounds intriguing. While I don't like how my body feels when I run, I like the idea of being a runner so I might give it a try. Especially now that the snow has melted.

And Happy New Year to You and Lala!

Thanks for the great podcast link... I think that one may be a great asset!

Thanks for the podcast link. I don't think I will ever get into running, but my husband wants to start. Hopefully this will help him.

The packaged food aisle seems to be a minefield for those with food allergies. I hope you find a way around your soy allergy that doesn't cause you too much inconvenience.

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