Whale Run

Lisa’s Journey, Week 1: I Saved My Treadmill Or Did My Treadmill Save Me?

It’s funny how when you sit there thinking about something, nothing happens.

This is a true raw account of my journey.  I hope that even if only one person reads, relates and realises they’re not alone, then I feel I’ve succeeded in sharing the love!

I’ve been an on and off kind of exerciser most of my life. I was the sporty, athletic kid at school, not the academic (though I once got an ‘effort’ award in English).  Give me athletics, cross country or swimming sports over maths, english and science ANY DAY!!!

My training back then, if I felt like it, was a short run the night before, or Mum would force me out of the car a few blocks back. I think the hardest realisation is, what came so naturally for me at a young age, I now have to work so hard at.  Getting older creeps up on you and things you take for granted – well, I wished I hadn’t. I thought I could eat the same and do the little amount of exercise and life would be good… err wrong!

Plus I’m your typical procrastinator.  There’s always tomorrow, there’s always a good reason, an excuse – I’m too tired, it’s too hot, cold or I simply can’t be bothered!! Then you have children (children can take up a lot of time), you get injuries (these setbacks really peeve you off) and, well life in general changes, and I just started buying a bigger size up in clothing.

So how did I get to here?   I’ve thought quite a bit about this and how not to bore you with the details, but I really can’t promise anything.  This blogging business is new to me.

I think the biggest stir up for me was the earthquake in Kaikoura at the end 2016. Plain and simple 2017 was a shit year.  Something happened.  I still don’t know what, but not only was the ground shaken up, something inside was too. It was a very ‘weird’ time. And before I knew it weight had been gained, personal strains and problems reined prominent for a good part of the year and I was unhappy. Very unhappy. I had a bout of depression and of course for those of you who know, along popped anxiety not wanting to be left out.

It’s a terribly lonely place at the ole ‘Misery Motel’, but I now know when I can’t feel any lower, the only way is up, and I did not get there alone!! You need support.

Thankfully I had my family of course, but my two ‘pillars’ who were strong enough to hold me up while I rebuilt allowed me to be sad, because being told ‘you’ll be okay’, is all good and well, but at that point life looks pretty blimin’ dismal. They allowed me to ride the rollercoaster until I felt I could get off. They gave me their time and, when I look back now , their unrelenting patience, all the while guiding me in the right direction. I am eternally grateful to them!!

However amongst all that emotional, comfort eating rears its ugly head, different for everyone I know, but for me foods always been my comfort and downfall. So yes, quite the cocktail, but not one that I’d like a second round of.

So I checked out of the ‘Misery Motel’ and brought a new bike. It may possibly have been love at first sight, but whatever it was, it was enough to get me out of bed every morning at about 5:30am in the depths of winter to bike with my mate!  They say… “exercise is the most under utilised form of antidepressant”! It’s true.  I knew this, but chose to ignore.  I started biking.  Every day it got a little easier.  We’d go a little further and I’d feel a little happier. It was the start I needed.  I found biking great, as when you’re carrying extra weight the low impact allowed me to do it and remain reasonably pain and injury free. My thigh muscles used to remind me every hill, and my butt the next morning when I sat down on the seat, but these were minor complaints.

So I was feeling great and after three months I was fitter and definitely stronger. It felt good!

After a good lot of snow mid-July, our family and friends headed out for a fun snow day!! It was fantastic feeling fitter and being able to ride the bodyboard at top sped down the slope with the kids and afterwards actually being able to walk up the hill again and not be left behind by energetic children (shout out to biking). Except on one of my rides down the slope I caught my foot, twisted my knee on an angle it wasn’t designed to twist and tore my medial meniscus. OUCH… (^%$#**&^*&%&*^*(&)!!!!!!!! That sucked!!!! Ultrasound, x-ray and MRI and it still didn’t want to get better.  Months and months passed and now I’ve just blocked it out I guess, but it sucked, like a really big fat one.

Fast forward months and after lots of acupuncture, visiting the osteopath etc etc, I was thinking about needing to do something.

Whale RunOne day at work our office administrator finished a phone call from ‘a guy’ who was sponsoring the Kaikoura Whale Run [which is a fundraiser for the school I work at].  He had asked if there were any staff who would considering taking on being trained by him, as he was a running coach. Being an all or nothing type, I promptly agreed as it seemed like a great idea at the time.

Fast forward another few months and I’d forgotten about our conversation that day, and running the 10km at the Whale Run seemed out of reach.  However I continued to ‘think’ about doing it for so long, I think the universe decided to step in and actually help me make it happen.

An online 10 week challenge seemed to keep appearing on Facebook. And then one day I thought “no more procrastinating” and I signed up. I then realised the true extent of my own unfitness and why I did not miss not being able to walk and sit down on the toilet seat because my legs muscles were so sore. But I persevered.

Then about three weeks ago, our cheery office administrator arrived in very excited saying “Ray’s here and would like to meet you”.

‘Ummm, Ray who?’

She refreshed my memory and caught me right off guard.  I went to the office, where of course ‘Coach’ Ray waited.  He was wearing a jacket with NZ Army on it, which set alarm bells off in my head.  ‘Boot camp’ jumped instantly to mind.  I stumbled over my words and got hot and clammy (I’m sure the aircon unit was on 40degs). I was convinced he’d take one look at me and think he was pushing shit uphill.  I certainly feel that way and still wonder how I’m going to run 10kms in four months time. He was pretty straight up and seemed to think we could do this.  He had the faith that I didn’t have. So we arranged a time to talk and get this show on the road. I was actually pretty excited, even my acupuncturist picked it up in my pulse!!

So one thing Coach Ray suggested was a sport watch.  I actually feel silly wearing it, as I am not an ‘athlete’.  However I am enjoying learning it’s functions and keeping track of my steps, among other things. And I feel accountable as Ray can check what I’ve been doing – or not doing!  I ordered it Wednesday and it arrived Friday, which is awesome service from Gareth at Kiwi Multisport all round!!! I have said to Ray he has to make me as professional as my watch (he’s got his work cut out).  I guess you’ll have to “watch this space”…

Whale RunSo, Monday 21 May 2018 s**t got real.  I had my workouts and now I had to do it!!! The first one went good. I realised how unfit I am and that I have to pace myself to complete it. But I enjoyed it.

The week alternates between stretching and running/walking sessions. I tangled myself up in the stretches and they were like a workout in themself. The next run was the same as the first, which I liked. I found it doable. The next however upped the running only by another minute, but it upped the heart rate also and challenged me. I had to fight the negative thoughts of wanting to get off the treadmill. All the while thinking my god this is only week one.

Whale RunI had booked a weekend away to meet up with a friend prior to starting, so this created a little interruption to the schedule. We walked Wellington for two and a half days.  My legs ached and all I wanted to do was put them up, but had a great time.  I arrived home late Sunday and was supposed to run.  I was tired and just wanted to sit down!!! But I got on the treadmill and did my 30mins. It wasn’t what I was meant to do, but I did something and that’s better than nothing!

I’m finding getting into a regular routine kind of hard, as we’ve had a few interruptions, but it’s all about making time for what needs to be done. And this, well it does!!

– Lisa Harris

Lisa will be writing weekly as she continues her journey to achieving her goal of completing the 10km Kaikoura Whale Run. Check in next Tuesday for her next article.

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