Today has been a milestone day. If you haven’t read my Mission Statement, one of the tasks I’ve set myself – beyond just commiting to the Dukan diet – is to learn how to run. This is the only aspect of my personal challenge that my husband was initially happy with, and he very kindly (and perhaps short sightedly) agreed to help me pull a mile out of the bag.
The plan has been from the start that he would run with me, giving me guidance on what and how to do better as we go, providing support, enthusiasm and motivation. Well he hit the target today!
Last night, he set out all of his running gear and asked me if I wanted to join him. There was no pressure, just a simple question. I was frazzled at first because although he helped me to buy certain pieces of kit (running shoes, running socks, jogging pants to wear), with the drama of moving house and trying to settle in, I didn’t know where most of these things were, and I knew I had to take the pants up or risk breaking my neck by tripping on the overlong legs.
He went to bed while I scrabbled around trying to find my things, and I set to taking up the leg length. It took me about half an hour to do them by hand (would have been so much faster if I’d been able to use my sewing machine) and by the time I went back to tell him I would come with him, he was asleep. I was so disappointed.
He was only faking though and as I got back into bed, he prompted me with “Well?”
And so we made our arrangements. The alarm was set for 5.30am as he likes to get his run in early, and I am trying to use him to help me but not in a way that would inconvenience him. When the bell rang, we got straight up and ready for our run. It’s blisteringly cold out here at the moment, and he insisted I wear gloves – something I was very grateful for later.
We’d mapped out a 1 mile (actually 1.15mile) route before we moved here and as that is my initial goal – to complete a mile without having to slow to a walk to catch my breath – that is what we ran.
Our start was slow and easy and I managed to run at a steady pace for what felt like a long stint. It was almost half a mile (actually 0.4mile) which will seem so paltry to some people but is a real achievement for me. I worked hard to get that far in one go! I hope that one day I can look back on that statement and snort with derision at myself, but for now I’m proud of that. I walked for a short distance (0.05mile) and then started running again, and it was harder than before as I’d not quite recovered my breath completely.
I covered the whole 1.15mile having four short “rest” stops where I slowed to a walk and tried to catch my breath. As soon as I was able to have enough control over my breathing to answer one of my husband’s questions, he encouraged me to start running again. I would have something in my mind like “I’ll just walk to the next lamppost and run from there” but he always encouraged me to run before we got to the point I’d picked for myself – and I’m really grateful. I want to be pushed.
My husband was very kind and supportive, he would tell me that I was doing well and to calm down my breathing when we passed people walking dogs or cars driving past (I felt very self conscious about being seen in such an out of breath state) and everything he said was just on the nail and perfect. He made me feel like I achieved something when at the time I didn’t initially feel like that. I will admit that I never thought I would be able to just step out and run a mile in one go – of course not, I’m ridiculously unfit – but I had given myself a false sense of hope after having that 0.4mile start section that maybe I’d be able to do it with just two rest breaks and I was disappointed that I needed four.
Now with a little readjustment from him, I see it as just another opportunity for improvement. Maybe next time we run I can either make it in less rest stops, or I can get further between them all. We didn’t time today (well I certainly didn’t) as for the moment I want to focus just on distance and getting it done without having to slow down, I don’t want to start worrying about my pace too. At a guess I would say we were out for around twenty minutes, maybe a bit less. I don’t know.
The final thing he asked of me was to sprint home from the end of our block to our apartment. I told him I couldn’t do it, and he accepted that and shortened the distance to from the last car before our door to our door (about 15 meters). So I stretched my legs out and ran as fast as I could for that tiny distance and it felt really good. I felt more natural running with long strides than with a short jog, but I know I couldn’t do that for much longer than I did.
Next time we go out, I’m going to do it for him as he asked me to – from the end of the block. It’s about 100 meters all in, and I’ll give it every last drop I’ve got even if it means I fail and I walk in the last little bit – I’m going to try my hardest. I wish I had done it today, but that’s just something else for me to work on improving now.
When we got to the door, he told me that he was proud of me and that I’d done really well. I didn’t feel that way at the time, but I’m so happy that he said those words now as it gives me encouragement to keep trying. Not just for me, but for him too. I want him to be proud of me. He then went off and did the little circuit again at his own speed to bring his run to 2 miles.
I know it was my first go and that there’s a long way on this running journey until I’m in a position where I can just step out and run, but I feel like a success already. I’m rather proud of myself, too. I’m going to claim my prize for my first effort very quickly.
Food wise today has been fine-ish. I skipped breakfast deliberately. After the massive dinner I was served yesterday, I just wasn’t interested in food. I felt bloated and not at all hungry. I couldn’t face eating even a little yoghurt pot. The rest of the day has gone swimmingly, and I’m pleased to say that I’ve bought new bathroom scales now so can continue to monitor my weight loss as it comes.
- Breakfast: Missed.
- Lunch: Dry-fried bacon with all of the fat cut off, boiled egg, chicken slices and mint flavoured cottage cheese.
- Dinner: Dry-fried lean pork loin with a herby fat free Greek yoghurt dressing, and then a flavoured fat free yoghurt as dessert.
My weight just before lunch time today was 161.5lbs, showing an 18.5lb loss since returning to England.