This winter when things were pretty darn cold and grim Mike and I rejoined the YMCA. He'd been working out at his office gym for a while, but the cold and the relentlessness of winter were starting to get to me as well. At first we skipped around from machine to machine, mostly doing cardio but also playing a little raquetball and admiring the weights. Slowly, we started to focus more on running, in preparation of our first 5K in May. We both got Fitbits and became obsessive about tracking our steps. We started using MyFitnessPal to track calories as well, tho that's fallen aside a bit. Mike has lost a lot of weight. (Think of a big number, now double it.) While I haven't lost weight, I am in much much better shape and have toned up a lot. (I kinda hate the word "tone".) We can both now run 3 miles without stopping and without dying. I am incredibly proud of us both. The biggest issue, by far, is figuring out WHEN to run. My children aren't quite capable of keeping up, and they don't all ride bikes. Plus this is South Dakota, where it's still freezing in the mornings before work. (Literally, freezing.)
The Fitbits have been very inspiring. I have the Fitbit Flex, which is the bracelet that does not cause a skin rash. You sleep in it, shower in it, wear it all the time. I rarely forget it, unless it's charging, which it does about once a week. It tracks steps, miles, sleep and "active minutes." Mike has the Zip, which is your basic pedometer. It doesn't track sleep and you have to remember to pick it up every morning, but it never needs charged. His was about half the cost of mine. They both sync wirelessly to bluetooth devices (not to the iPhone 4, sadly, but to the iPad) or your laptop. Just like any other internet application these days, you can have a friends list and taunt or congratulate each other. Right now we only have each other, so if you have a Fitbit, come find me!
We both agree that the pleasure of running is up and down. Some days we hate every single step. Some days you finish with the legendary runner's high. There's really just no way to predict which way the day will go. We both find that the good days outweigh the bad ones tho, and we are both obsessive about getting a chance to run and browsing for running gear. I've found myself reading running memoirs and talking about it way too much to people who don't care at all. We are both very excited about the race next weekend (May 17th) and just hope to not be dead last. I have always always wanted to be a runner but have never managed to do it long enough for it to stick. I'm optimistic that this will be a lifelong habit. I look forward to the day that all the kids can ride a bike along with me, so that finding time to run is no longer a giant challenge.
How about you? Do you run? Do you want to? What kind of exercise regimen has "stuck" for you? Do you think I'm completely insane? (Don't answer that one.)