Thursday, October 28, 2010

Move Past Self-Consciousness

In one of my favorite episodes of Friends, Phoebe embarasses Rachel by running with wild abandon, arms and legs flailing with joy.

Rachel is too self-conscious to be stared at and avoids Phoebe, until one day she decides to try it herself. "This feels great. I feel so free so graceful," Rachel concludes.

There are so many things that are good for us that we don't do, because we are too self-conscious. Simply stretching at work or undulating on a bus would make a world of difference in our physical comfort. Think of it this way. If more of us were willing to enjoy the free movement of childhood on a regular basis, it wouldn't be so weird.

Monday, October 4, 2010


On Sunday I ran the Salmon Days 5K Fun Run sponsored by the Rotary Club of Issaquah. Jogging, a personal challenge for me, has been a lesson in many areas. Most importantly, it is teaching me to pace myself, which I need more and more as I get older.

I took three short walking breaks, but ran most of the way. In my definition, the word “run” encompasses the wide range of movement that is faster than speed walking. I run/jog on the slow end of the spectrum. Others are swifter. For example, just a few minutes after the 5K started the 10K winners were sprinting toward the finish line.

If I had been able to jog the entire way, I would have met both my goals: 1) keep one, consistent pace, and 2) to finish in 32:00. Instead my time was 33.27. Still, not too bad, all things considered. My jogging partner, Kristy, was able to go the entire distance. Congratulations, Kristy!

This has been a long lesson in pacing. I first entered the Salmon Days Run in 2007 and walked half and jogged half. The following year, I was sure I could avoid walking. Nope. Not the next year or this year either. As I plan for the 2011 run, I figure I have a few pacing options.

1. Increase my jogging practice from once a week to twice a week.
2. Keep jogging through the cold, rainy winter months. (I usually start in April or May.) An idea: if I entered another 5K in June, I’d have incentive to keep training.
3. Jog slower from the start of the “race.”
4. Accept walking for part as my destiny.

Post Script. My friends who know how much I hate to jog always ask why I do it. Partly, it’s because aerobics are my weakest fitness link so I know I need it. Also, jogging is free and flexible, no gym membership or class time to keep. Mostly though, it is because I advise my clients to do things that they hate to do, like stretching or undulating or exercising at all. I try to not be a hypocrite.