Now that I have been writing about my travels to my many destinations, I figured it was time to write something about home, after all I do live in Chicago which is a destination for many travelers. Don’t worry, I will have plenty more to say about other locations in later posts, and even a bit in this one. Especially since I am elsewhere these days more than Chicago.

One thing all of the travel has not been good for is my waistline. Partly because I tend to eat out more than I should and when I don’t I am often eating quite late and food that is quick to prepare and not always healthy. In addition, it always seems harder to work out on the road than at home, or at least to get to a gym.

Looking at all of this back in October I decided that it was time to start running again. I ran cross country and track back in high school and have run on and off since then, recently more off than on. So I looked around for training information and being in the mobile world now found an iPhone app that I could use as a guide. Then I picked a target race on New Year’s Day, figuring that would be a good way to force myself not to stay out too late on New Year’s Eve.

My first day out as I started my “Couch Potato to 5K” program was to walk 1 minute, run 3, and repeat until 10 minutes. I was so out of shape that that was hard and I really needed those 1 minute walk breaks to get through the work out. Little by little I built up my times and distances yet partly due to being sick over Christmas on race day I had yet to run 5K, so I wasn’t sure what would happen. Well, I was pretty sure I would finish, just wasn’t sure if I was going to have to take some walking breaks. OK, to end the suspense, I finished without walking, I wasn’t fast, but I didn’t care.

Since that race I have continued to build up my times and distances and have now ran for an hour without walking and actually consider a 30-45 minute run easy. I’m not ready for a marathon, I am actually signed up for another 5K and then might look at a 10K. I’m not saying I’m not tempted by the marathon concept, I am, I just think I need to build up to it slowly.

And the idea of having a way to exercise without a gym has actually worked quite well, despite living in two cold cities. Yes, there are days that it has been too cold or too snowy to get out and run, however overall between the chinooks in Calgary and a few warm weeks while I was just back in Chicago I have generally been able to get out a few times a week. This week may be a sad exception as the warmest day is supposed to be Thursday with a high of -9C. Brrr. Of course that might also mean that I need a gym option as well, sigh.