Tuesday, December 26, 2006

This is Not a New Year's Resolution

OK. 227 pounds (yikes). Can't run more than a quarter of a mile at a time again (sigh). My heartrate takes forever to drop down when elevated (grrr). No one to blame for this predicament but myself.

Years ago, I was like most dieters. I would do everything perfectly but then once I did a single thing wrong, I would throw up my hands and exclaim, "Well, that does it! I might as well eat three pints of Häagen-Dazs super premium ice cream of the coffee variety!"

These days, I know better. Every day is a new day. If I mess up today, I have tomorrow to do better.

For the past two and a half months, I began every day knowing that it was a new day and a new opportunity to take better care of my mind and body. And, every day I would make the same decision: Reese's peanut butter cups for breakfast (or similar) and the day would go downhill from there.

Today, for the first time in a very long time, I went for a run. (I had to go running before January to make it clear that it wouldn't be part of a temporary New Year's Resolution. Yes, I have issues.) During the warm up my lower back complained and it didn't stop. Now, this could be that I'm visiting relatives and my lower back doesn't like their mattress, but I'm not so sure. I hadn't programmed my Garmin because I had two voices in my head. One insisted that I would bound out the front door and run 3.1 miles (5k) without stopping. The more reasonable voice countered that I should be pleased to be able to run in half-mile intervals.

Reality was worse yet: after a quarter of a mile I had no choice but to return to walking. For two miles that's what I did: run a quarter of a mile, walk a quarter of a mile. Including warm-up and cool-down I traveled a little less than 2.5 miles. Most depressing: during my ultra-slow (didn't think I could get slower, did ya?) runs, my heart rate reached the 170's. At the end of the quarter-mile walk my heart rate was - wait for it - in the 150's. Oh, this is not good. Three months ago my heart rate would drop to the 130's within a matter of seconds.

Surprising, isn't it? The weight annoys me enough (but it's not like I didn't know). The inability to run saddens me (but I expected that). What angers me the most? That I've lost this much cardiovascular health.

Maybe that's a good sign.