Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday Runday Funday

I find it disheartening every day I log into Facebook and see a plethora of "I hate Mondays!" status updates.

I, for one, love Mondays. I may even say that I adore them and look forward to them. Mondays might be the best day of the week for me,due to the fact:

1. No class on Mondays!
2. Chance to watch crappy daytime TV
3. Can nap on Mondays
4. Day with the best chance of waking up Hangover Free, as Sundays tend to be relatively sober due to excessive binges Saturday brings.
5. Did I mention no classes?

The Monday Class-Free thing is fabulous because it's a forbidden day that I can do whatever I want! I might start referring to the day between Sunday and Tuesday as Cariday, as my stolen Mondays are self-serving to the extreme. I don't have the stress and homework that comes with being in class and production, no obligations of cleaning and grocery shopping that the weekend brings. Mondays are luxury, my wonderful gems. As of late, Mondays have become my running day.

Don't get me wrong, I do run other days during the week. I have not forgotten my pledge to do a half marathon next Spring and a full marathon in 2012. I am still "training." I only get out about 3-4 days a week, and it is sporadic at best. However, I can always count on my Monday runs to be there. Lately, though, there has been a change in the dynamic of my Monday Runday Fundays.

Last Monday damn near got me banned from the community I run through. I decided to take my Boris Hound Dog running with me as he has been breaking into the pantry lately and is looking pretty rotund. Note: Child locks have been installed on all cabinets, doors and the refrigerator, limiting Brown Hound's binging abilities.

We set off, keeping a fairly slow but steady pace. I look like an Olympian compared to the struggles my brown hound is having, but all the better for me. We are slightly over halfway on our loop when he gets an incredible burst of energy. His stumpy little legs are moving as quickly as they can, and he is pulling so hard that my arm is feeling stretched to capacity. I am fairly winded and tired at this point and Boris Hound senses it. He keeps pulling, bursts with energy at the perfect time and is lose! All I can see is 43 pounds of pissed-off hound sprinting away.

I try to make out what it is he is running for, squinting into the distance. There seems to be another brown object. My first thought is that someone left a cache of leftover Valentine's Day Chocolate, and perhaps I should start sprinting with all of my might to get there. Then I realize people (most people) do not walk their chocolate. Also, Boris Hound is more likely to eat a chocolate cache, not mount it.

Crap. My dog got away and is now humping a complete strangers dog.

I ran over as quick as I could, and I see that Hound dog is in the zone, intensely enjoying this afternoon delight with a cute Cocker Spaniel. Personally, I'd prefer to set out a bowl of Tequila and give them privacy, but the geriatric lady who owned the Spaniel was not thrilled. She was yelling at me about my "Mongrel Dog" ruining her baby as it she was in heat. (The dog, not the old lady. I assume...)

Not sure if you've ever seen animals in heat enjoying each other's company, but for those of you who have, you realize what a terrifying prospect separating them can be. I again expressed my advocacy for picking up some Cuervo, but this lady was hysterical at this point. Finally, I muster up all the courage I can and grab Boris and pull him away, his hips still gyrating in the air. I leash him up, apologize to the lady, explaining that Boris is neutered, therefore no damage was done. I also mentioned, less than politely, perhaps she should reconsider taking her bitch in heat outside in such an active area.

I believe I was reported to the neighborhood association. Boris smiled for a week.

This week, however, I had a much more positive experience on my Monday Runday Funday. I had a breakthrough, based almost entirely on my clothing attire. As loyal readers know, I believe a snappy outfit is the key to a great workout, provided it is appropriate to the exercises. Typically I see runners wearing spandex tights, shorts, and either a long-sleeved T or a sweatshirt in this weather. However, I am a Fat Girl. No one wants to see my Milkshake in a pair of spandex tights. So for my outdoor jaunts I tend to opt for the standard Ohio U. hoodie and some wind pants. Yes I said Wind pants. They were awesome in 1992 and they are STILL awesome. If only mine had a matching jacket, I would be set.

Anyway, I pick that attire because I do not want to actually look like I am trying to run. There are passing motorists, cyclists, runners, and cross country skiers (No bullshit!) always out in the area I do my exercising. The last thing I want them to see is this tubby girl struggling for oxygen as she inches along in spandex with David Bowie playing inappropriately loud from her iPod. It's a horrifying image that I would not wish upon even the staunchest of Republicans.

I always figured that if I do not dress like a runner then if I stop and walk, it's fine. However, if I look like I am trying to run, and am walking, I am an epic fail. A fat girl walking in her snappy wind pants conjures up thoughts like, "Good for her!" and "Nice to see a fat person getting outside." A fat girl in running tights, however, brings up thoughts such as, "Look at her trying to exercise, ridiculous," or "Now I need to bleach my eyes."

Clearly a big personal hurdle of mine has been getting past what other people think when they see an obese person exercising and struggling with it.

Today I decided to say to hell to my windpants, I wanted to wear typical running gear because it is more comfortable. So I set out, black tights, black shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt. I looked the part, especially since the shirt I wore happened to be from my Lake High School track days. Who knew I even still had t-shirts from high school? Note: I was a Track & Field superstar in my heyday. Emphasis on the Field part. Of course the Fat Girl was a thrower.

I stretched outside and felt ridiculous. I debated whether to change when the Husband said, "Cari. Just go. Who gives a Monkey**** what anyone thinks of you. At least you're doing it." My confidence boosted, Bruce Springsteen started on the iPod and I set off. The Husband is normally not one for words, but he tends to come through in clutch situations. Also, he's a Drill Instructor, so give you 1 guess what **** stands for.

Anyway, the most amazing thing happened as a result of my outfit! I ran! Without stopping! Every time I wanted to walk, a car or passing pedestrian would be coming, and I refused to be the Fat Girl walking in tights, so I kept on running. The fact that I left the house as most folks were coming home from work meant I could not stop. Before I knew it, for the first time, I did my entire loop without walking ONCE.

The Fat Girl Ran!

I realize that the whole Clean Lung thing probably contributed the most to my success, but I believe my attire deserves majority of the credit. Perhaps that is why super heroes wear tights, they harness the awesome power of Spandex and Lycra in the same manner I did.

Regardless of what caused me to have this personal triumph, I am greatly looking forward to what next Monday Runday Funday will bring, whether it's an improved time, less soreness the day after, or a longer distance.It is exciting to wonder what exciting things will happen on next week's Monday run.

And I am pretty sure Boris Hound is hoping that it brings something exciting for him again, too.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Stopping Smoking is Directly Related to Increased Obesity Rates

A recent study conducted by the Cari Institute for Advancement of Left Wing Policies(CIALWP) discovered a shocking correlation between the effects of quitting smoking and the impact on obesity rates. The study, a double blind random sampling of one, found that participants who made the decision to quit smoking experienced a sharp increase in their weight.

The study participant found that giving up smoking after eight years has caused her to, once again, lose a very important battle in her life. "I was finally over the 50 pound mark of weight loss and was never going to gain that weight back. I made a personal promise to my friends and family that when I hit that mark I would quit smoking, and I honored that pledge. However, I am now ONCE AGAIN at only 47 pounds lost," said Cari*

CIALWP has found that study participants experience sharp weight increases when quitting smoking due to two main factors. One, newly-found nonsmokers are regrowing taste buds and regaining their sense of smell, making food taste fuller and more delectable. Secondly, those quitting smoking may be inclined to increase food intake or eat more snacks, compensating for the oral fixation cigarettes provided.

The cost of increased weight versus healthy lungs has some study participants conflicted.

"I am very proud of the fact that I honored my 50-pound bargain and have been smoke free for more than a month. However, now that I am ONCE AGAIN at only 47 pounds, I am pondering if I can start smoking again as the lack of tobacco is affecting my metabolism," Cari stated. "I know my weight increase is smoking related and has nothing to do with the fact I am rarely working out or have taken to eating Italian buttercream with a shovel."

It is unclear as to the long-term effects of living a smoke-free life and obesity rates, but CIALWP will be continuing to monitor the progress of the study participants, who remain hopeful.

"I truly believe this a change that will stick with me and I am done smoking for life. Now, I am entirely addicted to Werther's Original Sugar-Free candies and am setting a personal goal of when I lose 60 pounds to give up the Werther's," stated Cari.

A study is currently being conducted by CIALWP to monitor the effects of Werther's Original Sugar-Free candies and mental soundness and will be released within six months.

*Last names withheld to protect the obese.