I hate interval training. I hate it. I even hate the word 'interval', an ugly little word if I ever heard one. You can almost make the word 'larvae' from it - another one of my most-hated words.
Anyway, I hate it. I hate the stopping and the starting, the extreme exertion, the feeling of my skull unscrewing from the top of my head. I hate it. I hate it to the inverse degree that I love Led Zeppelin and real Coca-Cola and olives and driving with my sunroof open on a perfect day in October. My ex used to rail at me mercilessly about the need to do it if you really want to jack up your metabolism, but usually when he was telling me I ignored him. I thought I was ignoring him because I was trying really hard to do something like read a fascinating article about making snazzy bagged lunches in Woman's World (don't you love it when there's only one magazine left on the rack at the gym?) But I probably really ignored him because I kind of knew he was right, and admitting that ranks up there with sitting in rush hour traffic in the pouring rain with no coffee in a car with no radio. Undoable.
Cut to now, though, when after a solid month of working out, drinking a gross amount of water, parking farther away from my destination and all that shit - and NOT eating a pound of truffles, or real butter every day, or drinking half and half, or any other ridiculous practice which might explain this - I've gained FOUR F'ING POUNDS. I'm retaining water like a pregnant diabetic woman who just ate a bag of Chex Mix, and my knees hurt. It's just too soon for prosthetic joints, I swear.
So tonight, when I read an article about interval training while I was running away on the elliptical trainer, I said, "Okay, screw it. The time has come. I'm going to try this." And I lumbered over to the treadmill, set it on "manual", and started this ridiculous practice of running as fast as my crippled legs would carry me for a minute, and then alternating with a minute of "slow walking." At the same time, I had to keep track of the minutes, and attempt to reset the treadmill speed without being a cautionary tale on some web site somewhere about gym safety. ("Woman attempts interval training: Death by iPod cord strangulation") This is not easy, I'm telling you. Then there's the little factoid that I'm not in the habit of running more six miles an hour anywhere, EVER, even WHEN there's food involved. I'm more a fan of the leisurely stroll, to be honest with you.
I made it for a half hour, doing this interval thing, although there were a few hitches. Running, for instance, does things to one's gym clothing that bobbing up and down on the elliptical does not. Thank God my shorts didn't fall down, because tying them tighter what with managing all the controls and trying not to fall off when the conveyor jacked up from 3.6 to 6.2 was simply not possible. And I won't go into what the impact of running does to my thighs that walking does not. Ouch. I stopped feeling my calves halfway through, and my back is still screaming, "What fresh hell is THIS???" But I'm going to try it for a week. Or at least a couple days. And although I know I should not be scale obsessed, and should pay attention to how my CLOTHES fit, and how I FEEL, as opposed to the numbers, if I'm not down those few extra water-retained pounds by next week, it's half and half smoothies for ALL y'all.