Pounding the pavements: thoughts from a first-time jogger

The other day, I had what I could describe an “‘oops’ moment”, when I realised I… er… well, there’s no use beating around the bush: I missed out a blog post last week.

I assure you, no-one could beat me up about this better than myself—especially after I “downgraded” my blog from “PostADay2011” to “PostAWeek” after one month of increasingly frantic efforts, I hoped I’d find weekly posts a bit more manageable. Instead, a combination of a fairly hectic schedule and dearth of rip-roaring ideas for posts, conspired to keep me away from WordPress for more than seven days.

Dear reader, I can but beg your forgiveness, and offer my hopes that the following may begin to restore your resolve to keep my humble blog in your feed-reader a while longer…

…OK, grovel over. Let’s go.

About two weeks ago, I started making a concerted effort to (a) lose weight and (b) improve my diet. My wife has been dropping occasional-but-heavy hints throughout our married life that I really should shed some pounds, so far to no avail. Finally, the other week, she announced that she is going to take up running with immediate effect, and so would our daughter and I, because I wouldn’t let her go out after dark on her own, would I?

After a moment’s smarting at apparently being fed an underhanded slice of emotional blackmail, I decided that it was in fact well-intended, and that I would try and make the best of the prospect that I could. So, we located enough vaguely sporty-looking attire we could locate in the bottom of our wardrobes, and set off on our first jog around the area.

Fast-forward to the present…

You may be as surprised to hear this as my two-week-ago self would’ve been: not only have I managed to keep up the daily jogs ever since, but combined with making a Herculean effort to cut out the junk food, we are already seeing results. I appear to have lost about three kilograms in as many weeks, and more subjectively, Joy tells me I am already starting to look less flabby (or as she put it the other day with her customary tact, “less like Santa Claus”—presumably without the beard).

At the moment, I am slowly building up the distance I run each day—at time of writing, I am managing just over three kilometres on the route I take, and if time (and/or my physiology) allows, I would like to work my way up to being able to handle a “5K” run.

Being a lover of gadgets—yes, you just knew they’d come into this somewhere, didn’t you?—I’ve been using my Nokia N8 mobile phone to help keep track of my various workouts. Sports Tracker is a really handy app, which uses the phone’s various systems (GPS positioning, accelerometer, etc.) to turn it into a “sports computer”. It logs your route and speed, paces taken, and other such data, and then calculates the distance you have covered, with an estimate of the calories it believes you have used up. From there, you can do various things with the workout data; you can upload it to your account at the Sports Tracker Web site (with a 250-character “tweet” you can add about each run), and even “relay” it to Facebook, if you can brave your friends’ comments 🙂

As well as jettisoning about three kilogrammes’ ballast in two weeks (which encourages me to keep up the good work), I’ve also found that I don’t want to go near the old fattening, calorific snacks and treats I used to love so much, although I admit to the odd “relapse” (which I do penance for with a few more hundred metres during the next run!).

So, to anyone thinking they ought to take up a bit more exercise, change their diet, or otherwise start shaping up, I’d say: go for it. If a lazy old blob like me can start pounding pavements, then anyone can—just start gradually, and work your way up, and if in doubt, get some advice from your doctor (and your local leisure facilities, if you like).

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2 thoughts on “Pounding the pavements: thoughts from a first-time jogger

  1. Wow, seriously impressed dear sibling.

    Having run a half marathon distance once, and been a regular 10k’er, I’ve not run for over a year now, and could do with shedding a few Kg myself.

    Maybe your post will motivate me to follow likewise. Now, back to the junkfood, where did I leave those crisps??

    1. Hi bro’ 🙂 It’ll be a whole lot easier for you to restart, than it was for me to start in the first place. 10K? I’d be happy to reach 5K at the moment, and a half-marathon is the stuff of dreams…

      Oh, and I can barely look at a bag of Kettle Chips these days; I bet they’re wondering why their profits have slumped 😉

      Thanks for reading!

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