fit-full: the gameplan

so yeah, my lame pun (fit-full vs. fitful) from the post where i talked about flashing my way to a life-change parlayed its way into being the title of this venture i've set out upon.

i have one week under my belt. except, after only one week, everything is still very much hanging over my belt. later this week i will recap my progress so far but today i just wanted to outline my fitness plan for now.

the routine i am starting out with is couch to 5k. the idea is to very gradually take a complete non-runner (couch) and get them to where they can run 3 miles straight (5k). not impressed? yeah, i know your kind. jesse hasnt exercised in months and could probably go run a 10k right now with minimal death. i other hand would be willing to cut off my pinky toe in exchange for a nap somewhere around 3/4 of a mile.

some people are natural runners, some people can train their way there and then the third category is: keight dukes.

let me share with you my history of running, wont you?:

-3rd grade: enter and run in first (and last) 5k race at my church. best friend amy runs along with me. they were handing out numbered cards as we finished so runners would know their finishing places. i was like 3 steps ahead of amy and cluelessly didn't grab my card. when i figured out the deal i went back and got a higher-numbered card. i was pissed and forced her to swap cards with me because i was supposed to have gotten her number. i ended up getting 3rd place in our age group and a sweet plaque. i think she was mad at me since 4th place got nothing. (*this story may deviate wildly from what actually occurred, which may have been me just stealing her card...i cant wait to hear how she remembers it). i dont remember this race being hard for me at all.

-5th grade. presidential fitness testing. the fastest runner for the 1-mile distance gets to run in the olympic torch at field day. despite my efforts to be the one carrying the fire, i get smoked by amy (and others) in the mile. consolation: i destroy the world in the sprint and thereby get get the honor of carring the grecian flag to much less fanfare than a hacked-off tiki torch aflame in the elementary gym. this is when i first realize my ample quads may be made for short distances and are no match for amy's awesome calves over a long-haul.

-9th grade. i am playing soccer and volleyball exclusively at this point and its coming time to choose which one to play full-time. one day at soccer we are told we need to do something called "conditioning." it involves running 3 miles around a track. during this death march i contemplate curling up in a ball in the bushes and rocking myself until its over the size of a soccer field versus that of a volleyball court. decide volleyball is the way to go: at 300 square feet how much of this so-called conditioning can they possibly make us do? i quit soccer after that year. that day was the last time i ever ran 3 miles. (unforeseen bonus: i picked the sport that is also in a climate controlled environment!)

-10th grade through sophomore year of college. decision to play volleyball has proven exceptional. only run sprints and suicides this entire time. i am always the fastest at these, even on my multicultural teams. perhaps i am a runner after all and that one day in 9th grade was just a fluke! cockiness inflates since it seems my theory of my supremacy in all things running will never be tested.

-junior year of college. we get put on an off-season training program that involves running a timed two-mile. i was outrageously fit at this point, (though this would be my first distance since having boobs to contend with,) 13% body fat, bench-pressing far more than my body weight, and generally being a machine.

after a few practice runs of this, my world is rocked. softest and least fit chick on the team annihilates me. our weights coach tells me that he wants to give me the iron-athlete award for that year based on all the other criteria, but he can't if i can't do the 2-mile in under 20 minutes. not even joking people. at my most in shape i couldn't run a 10 minute mile. i would run, hunched over the treadmill hanging on the handrails with my torso parallel to the ground. not pretty. i ended up getting the award because i ran it in about 19:52. am some kind of medical freak that i literally cannot beat the distance-monster.

-resign myself to the conclusion that i can outpace almost any female in distances up to 100 yards. i am average up to 400 yards. beyond that i am literally as slow as a biggest loser contestant on her first day at the ranch. i accept that i will NEVER be a runner. oh well, at least i can metabolize sugar, take that biggest losers!

-present day. am outpacing no one. the 23 month old with 20 inch legs can escape from me at will. if i jog from my car to the store due to rain, employees ask upon seeing me if i am alright due to what appears to be my extreme respiratory distress. "no--huff--is not asthma--puff.--is only--gasp--cheese fries buildup--cough--in my aorta--i'm fine--retch--in prime of my life."

knowing all that, you can see why being able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes without the motivation of an axe-murderer behind me or a cheeseburger in front of me (they come in equal on the "most-likely to make me jog" scale), would be a serious accomplishment for me.

if you know this program or followed the link to the C25k site, you can see how easy things start out: 60 seconds of running alternating with 90 seconds of walking. repeat for 20 minutes. they even tell people at the beginning to not do more than the program says to just because it feels easy. they say this to people at the couch phase of training. people who have never been given a college education for free due to their athletic prowess. so i'm thinking it's going to be really tempting for me to overdo it just because it seems so easy. i remind myself before my first run last monday that no matter how easy it was for me, to just follow the program and not run extra minutes or distances in a fit of fatty's-getting-ahead-of-herself-on-day-one delusions. this would prove hilarious.

the C25k plan only has me running 3 days a week, so it's not intimidating at all because i get 4 days off per week. out of 168 hours in every week, all i have to do is wear a sports bra and move myself linearly for 1.5 of them. .89% of every week. hello? is that the lamest sounding thing ever, or what? and yet this was too much for me until i showed turner field my lady lumps.

once i get a little cardio fitness back in my lungs and some muscle in my pants-fillers (formerly known as "legs"), i plan to add strength training/agility stuff in. this is where i thrive. i enjoy it much more than cardio and i am naturally suited to this area of fitness since i gain strength pretty quickly and enjoy the work much more. probably because looking at your muscles (when you have them) in the mirror while you work out in an air-conditioned gym is superficially pleasing. but hey, it's motivation and it's better than hating the guts of whats coming out of the mirror.

my instinct is to add in the weights right now, but i know that starting everything new all at once is wrong for me. so at the risk of sounding like a loser saying, "i will later..." that is what i am going to do.

i got new running shoes for the first time since 2005 (from 2005-last week they would have more fittingly been called "it's raining out shoes" or "it's too cold for flip-flops shoes" rather than running shoes). apparently there have been advances made in the science of cobbling since 2005 because these things seem like they are from the future. every stride i take i feel like i should be hearing the mario brothers sound effect for jumping off of a spring-loaded platform. "look! there goes keight...boing, boing, boing. dang she is pulverizing those bricks with just her fist!! oh shit, that piranha plant just came out of a sewer pipe and ate her!"

there is an AWESOME C25k app for the iphone that lets you rock out to your music and tells you when to run/walk/not die. so you never have to check a watch or anything. it also graphs your progress, has a journal for each day, GPS tracks your route and pace and generally does everything but massage my cellulite (that is the jesse app...still in beta version). i love this thing.

so there you go. that's the unholy combinations of the history, biology, plan and tools that are going into this fit-full transformation. if you see a purple/white lump of freckled dough doing what appears to be tiny convulsive jumps with little to no forward progress on the sidewalk of your suburban town, have no fear! do not call the sanitation department! avert your eyes! it's just me in an all out sprint.


  1. I love it. I'm right where you are - I've actually done C25K (love the iphone app) - got all the way to week 8 or 9 and then puttered out. Running is miserable. I envy people who are natural runners. But you're inspiring me to get back out there and give it a go (again)!

  2. You are so inspiring me. A friend and I are planning on doing a 5k sometime this Spring. Ohh boy do I need to get my butt in gear.

  3. I hate running. Hate it. I saw the C25K plan the other day though, and it almost seemed possible. Best of luck to you, your iPhone, and your shoes. (And thank you for sharing with the blog-world. It's encouraging.) (And, I may have audibly laughed while reading this post, sitting at my desk at work, trying to keep a straight face around my coworkers.)

    [insert some fun mario reference here]

  4. Maybe I should buy an iphone after all.

  5. Your hilarious! I started reading your blog a few months ago, and realized our girls share a birthday :) I just started doing the couch to 5k program like three weeks ago, this is my first time running any sort of distance ever! I figure eventually the wheezing will subside, and I will start to feel less like the monster marshmallow from Ghost Busters. Good luck to you!

  6. Oh you have both made me laugh and inspired me to get my sorry butt off of my couch and try this too. Unlike you I have no thoughts of trying to do more than it says, I will enjoy the snail's pace and hopefully not collapse on the sidewalk from an asthma attack!

  7. Mwahaha. You make me laugh. A lot. So funny.

    I had never run a step prior to April 2004 ... was a fast swimmer but hated sweating (that is just funny now since I live soaked in sweat 24/7) -- hated pain too I suppose.

    I hated running the whole first six months. Something clicked about that time - maybe just the realization that running is alone time and therefore can be God time or thought time or bitch about my thoughts to God time ... anyhoo ... many halfs and four full marathons later I can only tell you that learning to love something I hated was/is some sort of religious experience ... if I miss more than three days of running in a row I am an instant witch and my family hates me.

    You have so got this 5K in the bag Keight ... cheering from my sweaty house ... can you hear me?!?!?!?

  8. Good luck girl! I remember the 2 mile test that was hell. But I also remember you beating Gergen in a sprint.

  9. You and I are running soul mates! Lol! I am speedy in short distances but you might as well kill me if the distance is longer than a 1/2 mile. Wellm that use to be me. I actually did couch-2-5K many years ago and that program taught me I can be a runner (at least for a 5K). Stick with it and I am sure you will be a "runner" soon! And you can always come play on my soccer team! ;-)