Running: My method of choice

Two female joggers on foggy Morro Strand State...

Image by mikebaird via Flickr

When I first decided it was time to knock my wheezing body into shape, pounding the pavement seemed the most logical move.

I stopped taking PE, well, as soon as I was allowed to. Year 11, I believe, was the last year I did. Like all the other nerds in the accelerated stream, I took seven classes instead of six, opting to take an early-morning PE class which I hardly ever showed up to – dragging my ass out of bed in time to catch the 7.45 bus? If only. My laziness, by the way, led to me losing out on the easiest credits ever: the attendance credits. Pretty shameful.

Although I still did tons of walking – up to an hour a day – I started to languish, physically. Nobody would ever have made the mistake of calling me sporty, or even coordinated, but I’d been reasonably fit up until then. I was almost always the last girl left standing in the beep test in PE class (12 or 13 I think was my maximum); I was a semi-decent sprinter and usually made the top 10 (females) in the annual cross-country run – although given how seriously some of the girls took it, that isn’t saying very much.

To put it bluntly: There just aren’t that many sports that I like. I hate netball with a passion; in any given school you can count the number of girls who don’t play Saturday morning netball on one hand, and that was me. (T reckons that’s why I have a good basketball shooting style; I don’t have years of netball training behind me). Cricket, ugh. Hockey, worse. Like a good Asian, I like badminton, but hate the scoring system. Tennis is also good fun, although I am slightly scarred from years of thrashings by far superior players from other schools. Tell you what though, if anyone actually played touch beyond primary school, I’d be the first to sign up.

As for gyms? They appeal to me about as much as tofu or a Brazilian wax. Rooms where everyone goes to, er, sweat? No thanks. Even when I had access to a free gym, I never went. I detest exercising around others – yes, I know they’re busy focusing on their own workouts and aren’t watching me – but it’s a HUGE mental block. And call me picky, but there just aren’t any machines I like using!

Running suits me – it’s perfect for loners, you go at your own speed, you breathe fresh air and feel the sun on your face…and all you need is your shoes. (I used to run barefoot in school, but that was when we had nice soft fields; it’s a lot less comfortable on hot pavement.) Unlike many, I don’t get bored. Where I live, there are tons of fabulous houses to gawp at, for one (or the picturesque, sprawling grounds of Cornwall Park). For another, there’s also lots of slopes in the mix. Getting into a good breathing pattern takes me a while at first, and by the time I settle in, I’ve usually got a hill to throw me off. I hate treadmills with a passion! Outdoors is the only way to go. When I want to give in, I set myself milestones: just past that tree. To the corner. Up to the next traffic light. It’s a constant challenge.

And that’s pretty much my workout – one long run on a day off and a couple shorter ones in the morning before work, with a few crunches and tricep squats (er, I don’t know the proper term for them!) thrown in.

Which camp are you in – gym or anti-gym? Love or loathe running?

16 thoughts on “Running: My method of choice

  • Reply Brazilian Wax: $28 » Get your daily Groupon deals November 25, 2010 at 01:28

    […] Running: My method of choice […]

  • Reply Lindy Mint November 25, 2010 at 02:02

    I’ve had a few running phases in my life, and I loved it every time I got into it (which says a lot for me since I’ve never been very athletic).

    But there’s always been something that stopped the running phase for me…I guess it’s not in my blood.

  • Reply ndchic November 25, 2010 at 04:01

    I’m with you. I don’t like gyms. I like running, rollerblading, and biking. All three I can do on my own at my own pace. I definitely need some music when I run.

  • Reply Emily Jane November 25, 2010 at 04:26

    I am sooooo like you! I remember hating PE in school; it’s always fun to try and explain things like cross country, netball and Rounders to people over here though πŸ™‚ We had to take 12 credits in high school and I picked all the easy ones like bowling, table tennis and archery… and we had the option to “write about a sport we do outside of school” for one credit. I wrote about something I did ten years ago lol… just didn’t mention any dates!!

  • Reply SP November 25, 2010 at 04:31

    I hate the gym too, but I joined because I can’t stand running in the dark. I’m a wimp, my neighborhood is perfectly safe, but….

    Treadmills are horrible. But effective.

    I like running for the same reasons you mentioned. Any sport that involves a ball (and that really is most of them) is just not for me!

  • Reply Jane November 25, 2010 at 06:44

    I like running, although I recently completely messed up my knee. My favorite “sport” is probably yoga.

  • Reply Stephany November 25, 2010 at 08:43

    I really don’t mind the gym and I wish I could belong to one, but it’s just too expensive for me! I love all the class options, though!

    I hate the dreadmill. Hate, hate, hate it. I just cannot find a groove when I run on the treadmill.

  • Reply gem November 25, 2010 at 09:29

    I miss sports. I thrive best when there’s some sort of competition going on to encourage me to actually try. I worked out best back when I played lacrosse in high school. For awhile in college, when I was in a vain period (slash I accepted I’d gained the freshman 15 and wanted to change that) I used to go to the gym like 3 times a week. I lived with some motivated girls, so they were always asking me if I wanted to go and it was easy enough just to say yes. I would always go on the elliptical though, and I would barely try at all. But I still lost the weight and ended up hot as all else… oh to be that hot again…

    These days I barely manage to do yoga (and sit ups and lunges and squats) like once a month. Some months I get on a kick where I do it 3 times a week, but very rarely… And I haven’t been to a gym in forever. And I tried to run once, but my ‘hood is so not made for runners, haha. (It’s a wee bit too urban. I was dodging people and kids on bikes and grandmas pushing carts and cars and bikes and eeee!) Plus I loathe running. Unless I’m running for an actual purpose, like to get the ball and score a goal.

  • Reply Amber from Girl with the Red Hair November 25, 2010 at 15:14

    Well you know how I feel about running πŸ˜‰

    I used to be a big gym rat though! I would go for 1.5-2 hours a day and do intense strength training every day. Back/biceps one day, chest/triceps another, shoulders/legs etc. I was crazy about strength training.

    Then I discovered running. And now yoga. Now? Well, now I don’t like the gym so much πŸ˜›

    I do LOVE to swim though!

  • Reply Sense November 25, 2010 at 23:28

    Excellent form. I hear you on the PE. I HATED it. and any sport where a whole team is counting on my uncoordinated butt to come through for them–too much pressure! Netball baffles the feminist in me–it looks like they simplified b-ball for women. why not just play basketball?

    I do have a question about your running though: what do you do in the cold windy winter? or when it rains for multiple days in a row in AKL, as it is wont to do? That is my struggle.

    • Reply eemusings November 26, 2010 at 10:30

      Yeah, if you look back on my goal posts throughout winter I got pretty slack. Between illness and rain, it was tough to get outside. It really only is in the last few months since spring that I made any real progress! I don’t know…I’ll have to work something out for next year and let you know.

  • Reply aloysa November 26, 2010 at 07:00

    I don’t like gyms and I don’t like running. I like weight lifting but since my shoulder got injured I cannot do it anymore. So, to stay in shape I have to run. I don’t really enjoy it but I do feel great after running. So it is all worth it after all.

  • Reply Financial Samurai December 19, 2010 at 14:41

    Anti gym, unless there is a lot of eye candy, and I loathe running – hard on the knees!

    If I’m going to bust me knees up, I’d rather play tennis!

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