I didn't write anything about it earlier because I didn't want to jinx it, and I am aware that the plural of anecdote isn't data, and even if I wasn't, it's not even multiple anecdotes, it's just one . . . which is that my seasonal, environmental and animal allergies don't bug me NEARLY as much as they used to when I get my hour of cardio a day.
I don't think it's just generally improved health (although last night when I was procrastinating from studying for my Mandarin exam tomorrow I did a chin-up for the first time in my life, and then two more just to make sure the first one wasn't some sort of fluke). Some mornings I still wake up with the familiar runny nose and whistly breathing. But then if I go for a run or a paddle, it disappears, and I'm fine for the rest of the day. It's pretty great, because I don't like having a crappy nose, and I don't like taking anti-histamines because they interfere with my drinking habit. And while nettle tea helps me, possibly psychosomatically, you can't get nettle tea everywhere. Running, however - well, that's easy.
Anyhoo. I forgot my watch at Magnum's after taking it off to use the hot tub (good Lord, a hot tub on a chilly night in the middle of a spruce forest is one of life's great pleasures) so today, for the first serious time, I ran based on distance instead of time. I have no real idea how fast I run anymore, except that it's slow, since I always just run for an hour, and the times I've measured my distances afterwards have varied from around 7 km to around 12 km without me really noticing the difference in terms of effort.
So today I mapped a 10 km route, and ran it. It was a pretty route, but running to distance was somehow a little bit more tedious than running to time, possibly because I'm stressed because today is a Thursday, which means I have a shitload of shit to do, and tomorrow is my Mandarin exam, so that's even more shit to do (so of course I go for a 10 km run and of course now I'm blogging because that will really help me with my workload). It was nice, though.
I'm starting to grasp - and it's starting to scare me - what people, especially women, mean when they talk about "controlling their bodies". My body and I have always had an entente cordiale, and I've done pretty much whatever it's wanted, and it's done pretty much whatever I've wanted, and frankly what I'm doing now by getting an hour of cardio every day and eating a little less shit than usual still feels like what my body wants. But there's no doubt that so much exercise is having a rather sculpting effect, and while I've always looked in the mirror and thought I'd make a pass at myself if I was someone else, now, well, I'd probably propose a nicer restaurant. And there's the cause and effect - the cardio and the nice body. I think it could create an illusion of control.
And I do think it's an illusion of control. I think that if I overdid it, or stopped eating dairy or yummy carbs or other things my body likes, my body would take the reigns and fuck me up and send me to the couch and break out the s'mores. But I can imagine that if women had a more antagonistic relationship with their bodies - an antagonism I think our culture really encourages - they would underestimate what their body would be willing to do to get what it wants, which fundamentally is probably a comfortable stability, with any increases in exercising or decreases in food consumption having to be quite a gradual, gentle process if your body is going to tolerate, let alone enjoy it.