Why I Chose Running

It seems totally contrary to what I should be doing: running. Running is notoriously hard on your knees, the slamming impact bursts your joints, not to mention the discomfort of flopping skin and burning lungs… And I am not a tiny person to be running around the block at 250 (or now, 240).
At first it was the bad-assery of it that made me want to run. People who are serious, run. None of this pansy assed walking or sauntering, or machine exercise – as if?! Run on the street, run for a goal, no walking – it’s hardcore and romantic, right? So at first, it was just to see if I could. Guess what? I can.
After I established that I can do this running thing, I started noticing a side benefit: calories burned! When I ran, I could come home and eat a giant sub sandwich and STILL not have met my calorie allowances for the day! Running burns calories like nothing else! I run for 20 minutes and I’ll burn over 600 calories. Usually I run for about 40 minutes, so I’m really burning a lot! As I lose weight and my chassis is weighing less, I’m also burning fewer calories, but running is far superior to any other activity that I could find. Then I found this little graph:

[I have to be honest and say I don’t know the original source for it – I found it at another running blog, so please A. don’t take this to your doctor as scientific fact or B. sue me for copyright. I’ll take it down if you ask.]
The numbers align somewhat with what I supposedly pull and comparatively it makes me feel like I’ve made a smart choice in exercise to assist the rapidity with which I would like to shed the pounds. Remember: 40 before 40!
Which brings me to my last point… My obsessiveness with weighing myself has turned into my obsessiveness with burning calories. I have to run. I MUST run. Back in the day when I walked and Bradley ran, he would walk with me often but never officially count it as his exercise. It always seemed somewhat insulting- unintentionally, of course. Now I understand. According to this graph walking burns less than half the calories as running. Unless I run, I feel like I haven’t worked out for real. The stationary cycle seems too simple, walking seems too unsweaty and the Wii fit, while fun, seems mostly just fun now. I must run every day, it seems like. That drive is exciting, but I need to keep it in check so I don’t injure myself.
Yesterday I just had to run and forced Bradley out the door with me. I needed to burn some calories or I was going to pace like a panther all night. Because we were going for a shorter run,* I asked Bradley to push me to a better pace. He did. My second mile was at a 10:30 pace, but the first mile was in the 9:40’s! Both miles kicked the booty of my previous miles, telling me yes, you can, girl. Yes, you can!
With that run, I hit 10.75 towards my goal of 12 miles this week. If I take a 5K on Saturday I’ll exceed my goal. How proud would I be?
I’m tweeting my runs these days if that sounds like something you’re interested in. Follow me, if you want to know my mileage and splits and all that good stuff.
(Someday we will activate the twitter button, but for now you can play it old school)
*I laugh inwardly all the time about how I call half a mile ‘easy’ now, how a short run is ‘only’ running a two miler. TWO MILES?! Who am I? Sorry, but what the hell is happening with me?! Ha ha ha!!!

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