Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The ‘Zone’



I fell off the wagon. My name is Tania and today I ran for fifteen minutes.

Don’t tell the Mr.

The new-ish pair of trainers was the final straw. I’ve spent the last ten years being a Sooky La La – grumpily, doubtfully looking around for an alternative exercise high. Nothing beats running. Just ask this lady and this lady. They talk about that place you go once you find your rhythm: the zoning in to the thud of your stride, the beat of your drum; the zoning out – letting your mind run empty, the ideas come.

I’m three years overdue for the prescribed knee replacement and staying in old lady denial as long as possible. High impact, jarring exercise has been delegated to the distant days of youth (someone find me a violin).

Some years back, I found an outdoor pool, lap-swimming almost-replacement, but had serious issues pulling off the chlorine-green hair look. Cycling is always too hunched over and strangely claustrophobic; walking or cross-trainers or steppers are all low impact ‘goodness’ but, to me, high on yawningly boring. Still, when it comes to going to the gym, rowing is the absolute PITS. It takes the big, fat, cake. I hate rowing.

Rowing may be the answer to my prayers. The challenge is to love it. Two weeks ago I could flail about for five minutes before my forearms exploded. Today I lasted twenty minutes. I caught the whiff of a ‘zone’.

’Course, within a swig of a water bottle, I was on the treadmill chasing down the real thing. I’m not even remotely within spitting distance fit of what I used to be but, (weirdly), running is like riding a bike. Same easy stride, same easy rhythm: fifteen minutes of heaven.

My knee is killing me. Don’t tell the Mr.

28 comments:

crzylady said...

I so want to run! I too have bad knees (was told at 20 I have 40 year old knees and by 40 would probably need them both replaced) of course being WAY over weight doesn't help..

better get that ace bandage around a pack of frozen peas and wear a very bohemian skirt to hide it from the Mr.

lesthook said...

My daughter insisted I go to the gym with her yesterday. She wants to get an elliptical machine and wanted to see if I could use it with my bad knees. We worked out for an hour and somewhere in there I lasted 5 minutes on that machine. Hey ! Not bad cause I can build on that. So god luck to both of our knees!

Smitonius said...

Nope, although whilst I was reading that I felt the thrill of the run and zone... it is not going to happen. Even purple trainers wouldn't drag me off the sedentary zone

kellyi said...

I need to get fit. I was really good at getting back in it with baby number three, but this time and with the home educating, I don't seem to find the time (excuses, excuses, I know.)

I have started to do sit ups each night before bed, and I used to get up at 6 am each weekend to run but it's cold, wet and dark at the moment. Oh, and I run like Forrest Gump apparently. Nice.

Kirsty said...

This gave me goosebumps.

I'm sorry about the knee but I know it wouldn't stop me either.

The Date & I have discussed rowing at length & my brief flirtation with it many years ago makes me think it could possibly be an even better "zone". But really truly on the water...meet you in Hawthorn?

sue said...

Wow you are so good doing running! My sister used to run half marathons but eventually gave up as she had a lot of knee pain from the stress of it all. I just joined the gym on Monday and boy was I sore after a workout. I felt like I had been hit by a truck but I am back there this morning for my next workout. Being 41 and trying to lose weight and get fit is an effort in itself I think. Good luck with the running!

Christie said...

i never thought i could run, but last year i learnt to love it

i can't stand gyms. i love being outside, running by the beach or the river

it's also nice to have some time alone with my own thoughts

PS happy to yell at you & kirst through a megaphone from the riverbank!!

Casie said...

I tried to give up running, I did. It seems I love it more than I hate it. But I have the luxury of ok knees.

Me thinks you should seriously consider the rowing, getting around is pretty important you know ;)

Take care.

Michelle said...

Walking and bushwalking is my exercise of choice, but with bad feet (plantar fasciitis) I can't do that. So I swim. And I ride - I got an Electra Townie which makes you sit up straight, and that helps with the crushed-chest-breathing issues.

I loved your post. I totally get where you are coming from.

Andi said...

My version of being in 'the zone' involves feet up on the couch, a good movie on TV and a large-ish block of cadbury's.
No danger of knee injury there!!!

Fer said...

Oh yes, The Zone!! I miss running too, but dodgy knees and now bunions have made it impossible. Walking is the best I can do (and the cheapest!).

Sandrine said...

Oh your post come in perfect to remind me that this year I have promised myself and the Mr to go for 10 Km...I used to do 5 km and could not go longer "mental block" someone said...The glucosamine suplement has been a great help with joints pain like knees but not sure if that would solve your pain?Well done for doing 15 min...I need to get off my *%$#% and do the same:)xx

Mel said...

oh my god ... this is totally weird. I starting writing a post yesterday about running and only just pressed the publish button now! Now it seems like I'm copying! And of course, you have put the feeling of running into the exact words I was searching for but didn't in the end find!

Cherie said...

I won't breathe a word. WOW jolly good on you ... your efforts are so admirable. I'm gone in the fetlocks so the only running I do is from the mouth ;) A walk is my best effort and that makes a huge difference too. Well done but please go easy on those knees ;)

Jo said...

I am currently laying a 'walking-base' for running (another 4 weeks to go) but I am finding my 'zone' walking up big hills (and there are lots of those around my house) it damn near kills me, but afterwards it feels so good, and it's so addictive {and certainly not yawnable - although I think the music pumping in my ears is helping that!)

Jhoanna said...

Honestly, I have rarely reached 'the zone' - I'm mostly huffing and puffing and telling myself "just to the next tree, just make it to the next tree". But when it does happen, it is very cool. Your tenacity and reslience is so inspiring Tania. I'll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from a famous runner who has been running for decades: "The miracle is not that I finished . . . It's that I had the courage to start" ~ John Bingham

Gina said...

Hey T, speaking of the zone, on Tuesday morning I felt so refreshed (despite burning the candle) that I got up and ran for an hour without stopping. 9km. I was on a high all day. I blame youse guys.

One Flew Over said...

If only I could get into the running zone..

Hope the knee holds up!

FWOG. A blog. By Fi and Wendy. said...

running...?

you are a crazy woman.

crazy.

w


craaa-aaazy

Libster said...

im a gym junkie but i do love the outdoors. my knees ache, my joints hurt, my muscles are twitching but do i stop? naaaaaaaah
i have a great group of girls that i train with at my gym, they help me keep going

elly bee said...

long long long time ago I knew what the zone was. then I got an injury under my foot and it had to cure for 5 months. then the easy going running and the zone were gone and i never had the guts to go there again. the effort it takes before you'll find the zone....ppppffff!.

Nikki said...

Myterious brunettes can do chlorine hair treatments....

Are you ever tempted to lose the blondeness in favour of getting into the lap-swimming zone again...? I can highly recommend both swimming and being a brunette - but that's just because I've never been blonde.

Cindy said...

I feel like I should add that my comment are from the side line, I suspect that I have never been in 'the zone', perhaps a 'fuzz' or a 'blur'. I was thinking of attempting the swimming, I think the chlorine will help expanding that lung capacity too

Mr Myrtle & Eunice said...

Nothing takes the 'all seeing, all knowing' Mr Myrtle&eunice by surprise.

Kylie said...

Oh dear... just read post above and all my words have flown away... you've been sprung, babe!
Come to think of it, serves you right too!
I was going to be all so neutral and comment about how walking is the same for me (you know, a good strong walk!) but now I'm tapping my foot...
What were you thinking?! Knees are rather important to the whole able-bodied thing, you know?
Sorry to be such a pain... it's just that I read through the comments and thought someone should say it: Please don't... you will regret it. We only truly know how important knees are when they go. Yes yes... I'm going now.
Sorry to be the boring finger-wagger... I do things I shouldn't too, so let's make that boring hypocritical finger-wagger. Kx

katiecrackernuts said...

I am a runner. Started nearly three years ago and started slowly and like you found it meditative, got the high, the beat, the zone. Love it, but yes, bones are starting to creak. Cycling is OK. Swimming - I hate fighting for space with other lap swimmers who get frustrated at how slow I go (I learned to swim at 17, self taught) so it's always back to running. Gyms scare me. I nearly cried in one when I went to "look" earlier this year and had to run out - looking and feeling hysterical. So, running. I won't be tellin' no one.

Leonie Guld said...

I was just over at mel's and she is doing the same!!! Hilarious (from little things). Run....love....run!!! )i'll meet you for a cup-pa at the end...NO CAKE! xx

tammie said...

ooh, hope your knee spontaneously heals. i've been running for 25 years (and i'm only 34)... it does work wonders for the soul. but if you don't get that immediately healed knee, you will definitely find something else that gets you in the zone.