The Second Day

There really is nothing like a steaming hot shower after a good workout. You never feel cleaner. Right now I simultaneously feel energized and relaxed. I forgot about this feeling. I also realize that I’ve missed this feeling. My legs already feel stronger which makes me feel really good about this whole thing. Now, I understand that a lot of running newbies may not have this feeling after their second run. A lot of you may think more along the lines of “Why, god?! Why me?! Can’t you just end it all now?!” Well, that’s common and you shouldn’t feel bad about that. After all, if you have that feeling, you probably haven’t been very active for a while and your body is angry with you for making it do hard work. Trust me, your body will get over it. What’s important right now is that you get control of your willpower and make sure your body does what you want it to. Your body will throw obstacles at you like aches, pains, fatigue, cramps, shin splints and, if you work hard enough, you might even puke. Well, take heart. That doesn’t last forever. And if you need to dial it back a notch during a workout every now and then, that’s fine. At least you’re working out. You weren’t doing that before! It’s progress no matter how you slice it.

This morning was a very pleasant run. This area got some rain last night which helped to drop the humidity level and cool the air a bit. I’m always a bit amazed to see other people out there before 5 a.m. doing their morning workouts whether it be cycling or running or a nice brisk walk. I gotta tell you, I am not a morning person. I’m doing this because I have to run early to avoid the heat. I suppose their motives may be similar, but it’s still pretty astounding. It’s also sorta reassuring and a little reassurance can’t hurt. I wonder if seeing me out there has the same effect on them. I haven’t seen any looks of terror yet, so at least they don’t think I’m trying to chase them down and mug them. Which is good because I’d imagine pepper spray is not a party in a can.

One thing I have noticed since starting this up again, and I was reminded of this during my 5K training a year ago, is that my body is starting to change the way it does things. No, I’m not talking about the way my muscles feel. That’s all obvious. The human body is truly a wonder. It’s already changing the way my body processes food and water. Unfortunately, that means dealing with some discomfort. Diarrhea and such. Gross, I know, but you need to be expecting this stuff because it is not a problem and you shouldn’t stop because things like this happen. It’s just a sign that your body is acclimating to your new habits and that’s definitely a good thing. It means that after a little while you won’t have such a tough time with your workouts.

One thing I’ve neglected to mention so far is that the first day of my self-imposed marathon training was also the last day I had a cigarette. Now… my struggle may not be so tough because I honestly don’t smoke that much. I would have maybe five cigarettes a day unless I was out at a bar or club having some drinks. At that point, I can blow through a whole pack in a night, no problem. I don’t go out all that much anymore, so recently my smoking has been pretty light. I know I’ll have another cigarette at some point in the future, but everything is fine in moderation and as long as I’m not smoking even a pack a week anymore, I think I’ll be fine. I’m willing to get out there and kick ass during training, but if anyone thinks I won’t have a few drinks and a few cigarettes to unwind now and then… well… those people are, quite clearly, nuts! Yes, it is important to exhibit healthy behavior at times like this, but depriving yourself of things you enjoy will make you hate what you’re trying to do and you will give up. Even in your diet, you can still have a few junk meals each week. Think about that. Every other day you can have something you love for lunch! Hot wings? Pizza? Go for it! It is your reward for all your hard work and perseverance. Don’t go overboard, though. I wouldn’t recommend going out and eating an entire pizza while sucking down a 12 pack of imported beer. That’s pushing it. And, trust me, when you moderate it you will enjoy the moderate amount you get when you allow yourself to have it way more than you ever did before.

I will touch on all of this as this blog goes on, but you can do some of the research for all of this on your own. Google is a great tool and you can find anything you want if you know how to search. I encourage you to do that research because it sinks in better when you find it on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, though. I know I’ve been pretty vague so far and that the reader may not understand how much experience and knowledge I have on these subjects, but I’m trying not to come across condescending  Rest assured, I know a great deal about fitness and diet and I learned most of it before the internet was really a household thing way back in my early teens. I’ve only built my knowledge exponentially since then. You also may find it reassuring to hear that I ran 45-50 miles every week for over 10 years before work and life got in the way. That is why I may not seem to empathize with beginners all the time because I already know what to expect and my mind is ready for all of this. I’m doing my best to look at it from the viewpoint of the novice, though, so I hope I do a good job and you can all take what you need from this blog.

Until next time. *tips hat*

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