(c) 2010 Christiana Lambert

(c) 2010 Christiana Lambert

I don’t know why, but I am always ready to work out hard in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s not even a conscious decision to do so to avoid holiday weight gain, although this year the yoga instructor asked our classes if we wanted to try to lose five pounds during this period and most of us said, “yes”—that is until we encountered her higher energy level classes. Ah well, we’re stuck with them for now, right?

But, actually there’s something peaceful about exercising in December before the new people show up who made some sort of resolution—and who may or may not come back in February. The classes now are full of people who really choose to be there, for whatever reason.

I also like having a really good outlet for any holiday stress or tension. Better to sweat off my frustration than to make other people sweat because I am so cranky!

After one Pilates and one ZUMBA class, two yoga classes, as well as three baby-step runs since Sunday, I’m just a little exhausted. Only halfway through this week, I’m looking forward to getting some good sleep tonight. (Guess who’s getting older??!!)

I’m going to blame some of that fatigue on trying to get my lungs up-to-speed for running. Darn, how their lack of aerobic fitness is holding me back! And all these long months without any hill-running are showing up on my mandatory neighborhood hill climb (yes, I can change my routes, but unless I want to cross busy Broadway, any other way I cut it, I have to run downhill first and finish coming uphill).

Over the years, every time I return to running, I am reminded that running is so much more fun once you are in shape for it! Am I having fun yet? Well, intellectually I’m pretty excited about getting back out there. In fact, with these incredibly-warm-for-the-season days, I practically itch to get outside and use those running shoes. Now for my fitness level to grow to match my enthusiasm . . .

Which, if I keep lacing up those shoes, will happen. I can still report that none of my old, chronic aches and pains has returned with my return to the roads. And, if the weather finally becomes true-to-the-season, my rec card is even loaded up to allow me easy access to the (not-so-great) indoor running track.

This season ‘tis my season to hit exercise hard—and unlike last year at this time—the only protest I’m getting is from my energy level. So I’ll try to increase my energy level with some protein—and, I’m just going to admit—with a little holiday chocolate.