Well, I think I finally found a way to workout on non-run mornings that doesn't irritate me. I gave the YRG (Yoga for Real Guys) a good try, and it's a good workout, for a video workout. But I think we've established that Karen can barely tolerate a video workout before sunrise. So, Doug, I'll be bringing that back to you with a big THANK YOU for letting me try it out!
Meanwhile, Stacy found this simple little thing on Pinterest and sent to me. I can do it in the quiet, in the dark, with no evidence of other human beings daring to exist on my planet...and I don't have to THINK at all - which makes it, like running alone, the perfect pre-dawn workout. It goes like this:
10 jumping jacks
10 push ups
10 jump ropes
9 jumping jacks
9 push ups
9 jump ropes
8 jumping jacks
8 push ups
8 jump ropes
...And so on, down and down, until you're at 1 of each. Very basic stuff.
This is a nice place for me to start. I'm rusty on these sorts of exercises, and this little 15 minute wonder will be just the thing to get me back in the swing (and made me sweat as much as 15 minutes of running would).
It was an awkward beginning. I haven't done a jumping jack in a long time. When I was way up over 250 pounds, I completely stopped jumping. The thing was, my body was telling me ALL THE TIME that we were running over capacity, and one of the indicators was knee pain. I didn't even have to jump - just any extra impact at all on the knees set off danger alarms. So even though I'm now a lot lighter than that, I have tended to continue to be exceedingly cautious about anything that might be impact on my knees.
My first 10 jumping jacks had basically no bounce in them. They were slow motion, with actual STOPPING between each motion. It was partly being out of the habit, and partly fear, and partly awkwardness.
But I'm pretty blown away by how fast I recovered from that - by the time I came around to 9 jumping jacks, I did them in a bouncing, continuous motion. Still awkward, but it ACTUALLY LOOKED LIKE jumping jacks! That got me so excited that I was able to press in a little harder.
For now, I'm using my exercise ball for the push ups and crunches. I've never been any good at either, and the ball seems to make them easier and for sure more fun. I'm not ready, at this point, to condemn myself for not being able to do correct military push ups and crunches. I can give up the ball later, when I get tough enough. For now, I'll work from where I am, with what I got, and trust that my form and strength will improve as I remain faithful to the process. That's been working for...what...2 years now?
Also, at this point I don't own a jump rope. Who cares? I know how to swing an imaginary jump rope, and I was surprised to be able to do the hopping for that so easily, too...it's another item on the list of things I didn't do for so long.
I don't have to worry about getting bored. Recently over at the Shut up and Run blog (which is endlessly entertaining to me - thanks, Laurie, for the tip - despite the fact that I feel I will never be even CLOSE to in that lady's league!) I learned about some workouts called "Quick and Dirty" - had to go to the tribesports.com page for that. I'm not ready for them YET but I think the above workout will get me there, along with my running.
I'm gonna feel this thing, later. I could tell that while I did it. It really, really worked my knees and also the fronts of my thighs (would be a PERFECT workout if my butt and arms hurt as much as those do right now). I predict it's going to be a day of having a lot of trouble getting up and down from the potty. Been stretching and stretching since the workout, but my muscles are still loudly reporting to me that we are changing.
Bring it on.