New City Resolutions

As I mentioned in my last long post, I did not make any New Year’s Resolutions this year. I did, however, make some New City Resolutions. It seemed fair enough since I moved in February. January was such a whirlwind of tying up loose ends and getting ready to move across the continent that I don’t really think that I would have been able to stick to anything anyway.

Every year, I resolve to floss more and it never really works. I mean, it’s not like I NEVER floss, but I’m sure my gums would be happier if I flossed even more. Given that I tell myself every January that I should try to floss more, I don’t really count this anymore.

It was a new year and a new city and I decided to make it a new me.

The first major goal that I set for myself was to become a runner.

This was, rightly so, greeted with much scepticism from those who knew me well. I am many things but I am not a runner. Still, I’ve been wanting for a long time to develop some kind of exercise habit and running seemed like one of the easiest and least expensive avenues to take. Living in the Northeast for virtually all my life was never really much motivation for me to start running. There are lots of hills and then there’s winter and summer. Portland is relatively flat and rarely gets below freezing. People here complain when it goes below freezing but barely below freezing is quite different than -40. Also, summers here are much more mild and much less humid than back east. We’ve had our share of steamy days but it’s generally been in the 70s or 80s with much lower humidity than I’m used to back east.

So, two weeks after arriving in Portland, I bought a book about running, a pair of running shoes, some shorts and a shirt, and an iPod nano with the Nike+ attachment to track my progress. I decided to follow Cool Running’s Couch to 5k program, the idea of which is to take someone who has never run and get them used to running 5k (about 3 miles) on a regular basis. I was the kid who walked the mile when we had to run it in gym in high school. I’m not much of a couch potato but this seemed like the right program for me.

It started out fairly well until I developed some serious pain in my knees and shins at the end of the second week. I figured the best thing to do was not to run until the pain subsided. That took two weeks.

Then, between trying to get used to working two jobs and moving twice and generally trying to settle into living in a new city, I was running much less than the three times a week prescribed by the program. In fact, I’m still on week three of the program, which is nine weeks long and which I started almost 24 weeks ago. According to my Nike+ profile, I’ve run 17 times. That’s less than once a week. The last time I ran was the 8th of July, which was almost a month ago.

And yet, I keep trying. I haven’t entirely given up. When I first started and was running regularly, I was enjoying it much more than I expected I would. I just haven’t been able to get back into that initial groove for some reason.

So, I don’t want to say that it’s been a total failure since I have yet to give up. My work schedule has finally¬†stabilised¬†and last week I sat down to look at my weekly schedule and I set aside times to run. I’m supposed to run this evening, in fact. And I will after I finish writing this post.

As I said, when I first started and was going on a regular basis, I was actually enjoying going running much more than I expected I would. To go for a run or a walk or a jog is a very easy-to-accomplish goal. And when you set a schedule for yourself to go so many times a week, it feels really good when you get it done. So, I guess I just need to think about that more often and not look on my running days as things to dread. It definitely has gotten more difficult as I’ve let it slide, even with just keeping at the week three stage of the program. I tried to progress to week four and found out that I was definitely not ready to run for five minutes at a stretch yet. That’s okay. The important thing is that I keep going. Even if I stay at week three forever, I’ll be running more than I used to. Something is better than nothing.

And, once again, I’ve gone and written a long-ass post about one topic when I’d planned to cover three. More to come about my other Resolutions: organisation and writing. Obviously, this is part of the writing bit so I’m doing okay at that too and despite the lack of ability to see the surface of my desk, I am actually getting better organised too.