Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The unexpected joys of running

As some of you might know, I decided to join a running school this year and it's been 5 weeks now that I'm going. Albeit not completely regularly but as an Aquarian with so many self-inflicted obligations, the only way I can live with them if I skip them sometimes.
Therefore, it is obvious I am not 100% regular, but I do make it to 2 out of 3 weekly trainings.

I can see the smiles as you read running schoold. :) This is the second year Adidas is organizing this in Zagreb (this time in other Croatian cities as well) in order to promote running as a healthy choice for city people. After initial testing, we were separated into 3 groups and are following a program made for each group. The program is difficult enough that if you skip more than once, you will feel it the next time you're there (so I try and keep to schedule, but honestly life does interfere).

Anyway, today's training was a bit eye-opening in the manner that I enjoyed the running for the first time. Up to now, it's been a constant battle with my body over the fact that my lungs seemed to have a problem with oxygen. :) And then, my stiff shoulders protested and tended to constrict even more so I was leading a battle between my mind and my body.
My shoulders are finally easing down (and my pilates instructor can't believe that running is helping me after all the effort she put into that) and my breathing is getting a rhythm my body can follow and now to the joys.

Well, there are the obvious joys of meeting new people, doing something good for your body, feeling your levels of fitness actually rising (I find it incredible how fast you can the signs of improvement, little, but they're there), enjoying the fresh air (as we are running alongside the river running across Zagreb), releasing stress...

The unexpected joy happened today - someone in front of me was it seems wearing a tuberose perfume - which wafted in front of my nose for the duration of our running stretch. A good tuberose perfume I should add. :)

The other unexpected joy was meeting a friend from my university rowing days running in the opposite direction.

And the third unexpected joy is realizing you can actually do it (I'll see if I'll get into enough shape to run the half-marathon they are certain they can shape us up for) - and coming home realizing you keep smiling for no reason, but out of sheer joy. :)

Before you all go thinking it's all fun and joy, I should add there are some unexpected problems as well.

Like, realizing your feet aren't used to running so they ache during and after (it passes quickly). The same goes for your legs - it's not your muscles which get overworked but some strange aches appear in tendons and parts I don't know how to name.
Not to mention the fact that 3 times a week gets your body exhausted and you don't have time to recuperate completely (hence me skipping some - and that helps me a lot).

But the basic line is, it's a great body-mind exercise and if you listen to your body - it becomes joyful and fun fast. :)

P.S. Of course I'm using it as a way to lose a bit weight as well (as the pics of me from the school demonstrate I'm in dire need of that, even though they are a bit exaggerated, I hope) so it came as a great coincidence that I was pointed to this site yesterday in order to finally be able to count what I eat and its exact contents.  So Slim Kicker, I hope it works as a diet tool for me.


  1. Ines, you are the coolest. Considering how busy you've been with your thesis and all, I am quite impressed that you've been doing this. And you describe the joys (and the aches) honestly and perfectly.

    May I ask how many miles or kilometers they have you putting in at this stage -- and when they think you'll be ready for a half-marathon? I think that's quite ambitious ... just doing ten miles every couple weeks wears me out and I'm always so happy to return to five the next day.

    1. Thank you Suzanne! :)
      It's not difficult to describe the aches as I'm still feeling them. ;)

      Last week we were averaging a little over 5km per training (with warm-up running, exercises and the main part of the training) - I believe this week we're getting close to 6km but didn't ask yesterday.

      The half-marathon is planned for October or November, I'm not sure exactly, but after some 8 months of running school (we're supposed to participate at the annual Zagreb half-marathon).
      My friend is eager we do it, but I'm not sure at the moment (it seems a lot from this perspective).

  2. Good for you, Ines! I'm envious that you're finding time to go running, something that I need to start doing again. It is fun, and it really is wonderful to be outside moving your body and meditating in your mind.

    1. Thanks Doc Elly! :)
      I hope you find the time as well. And eventually, it becomes a necessary routine (I still haven't reached that stage though). ;)

  3. That is so good! I would like a similar program, because I can never convince myself to start running alone - too boring.
    If I am not impolite, what do you consider a nice running/exersising perfume? I am always afraid to use any.
    Keep it up and enjoy!


    1. Marianthi, I knew I'd never get myself motivated to run regularly which is the biggest reason why I joined this.

      As for a nice exercising perfume, I sometimes use a cologne by Jo Malone and I find Eau Dynamisante by Clarins a good choice (to make you feel more energetic).

  4. Running is supposed to be one of the greatest exercises out there. Kudos to you for being able to do it. I get winded too easily when I run, but I do like biking and swimming. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you Joan! :)
      I got winded easily as well but after 5 weeks, I finally got my breathing in sync with the rest of my body and now it's much easier for me to run.
      Now oyu mentioned running being one of the greatest exercises - my pilates instructor said that combining the two is the best thing you can do for your body (pilates and running).

  5. I hope you can stick with it for as long as you thought you should. I admire you from afar :)

    1. Thanks Undina!
      I do hope I'll be able to stick to it once the summer hits (I'm usually looking for cool places then).

  6. Ah Ines, "power to your elbow" - or your feet, rather! By which I mean good on you for taking up running in this pretty darn systematic manner! When I was in my 30s I used to run regularly and got up to 10km at one point. Maybe I should get out there again and see if I could manage even a short distance...

    1. Thanks Vanessa! :) Some days I still need to work on my motivation, but the school has a good way of making you come regularly - each session is harder than the previous one and if you miss even 2, you'd have a hard time catching up. :)
      So far we only had one longish run - last Saturday we did 5km in one running stretch. Usually we cover that much but in shorter periods.