Battle for the tread: Neither side is giving in

The battle against the treadmill persists. A week into the war and neither of us is showing any signs of quitting -that disappoints me a little bit, I was hoping by now the treadmill would have succumbed to my strength and admitted that I was the victor. You know, so I could stick it out in the shed and never speak of it again.- although as far as signs of fatigue go, I am definitely showing a lot more than the bargain basement treadmill is.

I have yet to complete a full thirty minute workout. What is sad is that there is a part of me that wanted to lie about that here; write that I had completed it so that anyone who happens across this seldom visited page wouldn’t know how horribly out of shape I am. Thankfully I haven’t yet allowed myself to do that. I say thankfully because I really believe that being honest with yourself is one of the most important parts of trying to make a lifestyle change for the better. If it hadn’t been for an offhand remark by a coworker, I would still believe that I was in great shape, if a bit heavy, and finding out that I wasn’t isn’t something that I should try to hide, but something that I should try to correct. If I were to exaggerate my progression in the treadmill war it would take away from the small victories that make it possible to go from the out-of-shape lump that I have become to the slightly-less-out-of-shape lump that I am striving to be. And currently that is my goal (sort of), to just be a bit less out of shape. Ultimately, of course, to be in good shape, but to get from where I am to there, well… If you were to try to put it on a bar graph, the line for what I wanted to achieve would be vertical, and since my line of progress would be horizontal that would be a tough program to stay with.

So I will use the treadmill’s own built-in training programs as a gauge. First attempt was with a 9% incline and lasted for all of 8 minutes (that was in two separate attempts: 4minutes with 9% and 4minutes with 6%), it also left my legs so sore that I wasn’t able to do it the next day (this, again, is from (the hard surface on my shins). I just got off of the machine one week after I started using it and I made it 16 minutes this time. I was able to do it this time without adjusting the speed set by the program, and I probably could have gone on a bit longer if it hadn’t been switching back to running at the 16 minute mark. This, however, didn’t have anything to do with my shins, I was starting to get a cramp in my side.

I will admit that I am a bit disappointed that I have not yet succeeded in doing a full thirty minute program, but I have showed at least minimal signs of progress on each successive attempt which keeps me going. For instance, the previous run ended at 15 minutes, this time I wanted to better that, so I set my goal to make it 1 mile -knowing full well that it would come far sooner than the twenty minute mark. Next time I will probably aim for the 20 minute mark, but allow myself to slow the speed for the last 4 minutes until I am able to do it without modification.

The good new is that while I am not showing any outward signs of the attempts at physical conditioning (another downside to starting such a program; it can take weeks to see any results at all), I am feeling the effects of it. My lungs don’t feel like I am breathing molten fire by the tenth minute, I am starting to perspire more regularly (don’t ask), my shins are barely hurting, and, perhaps most importantly, I am not dreading the task of getting on it to do my exercise. It is becoming routine, and hopefully I can keep that up.

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