Thursday, March 1, 2012

Long Time No Blog

Hi All,

I'm back from my...let's call it a hiatus. I've been running some, strength training some, and all around just feeling kind of bored and burned out with it all. And, it shows...I've added a good 8 pounds to the 10 that have been hanging around from my original weight loss target. 8 pounds in two years might not seem like a lot, but for someone who struggles with their weight, it's a slippery, slippery slope.

I know I do best with a regimented plan, so I've got one that will carry me through the end of October. Starting in the last week of March, I'm going to devote 90 days to doing Jillian's new Body Revolution, including the meal plan. From all the research I've done, bye bye last 20 lbs! I decided on Body Revolution for a few reasons. First, I LOVE Jillian. Her one-off videos have been key in my training in the past. And this 90-day plan looks amazing! I also chose the program over PX90 or Insanity because her workouts are 30 minutes long. I'm FAR more likely to do a workout every single day for 90 days if it's only 30 minutes as opposed to 60 to 90. Plus, a 30 minute-workout leaves me with energy (in theory) to go for a run before work and do this workout in the evening.

When I'm wrapping up Body Revolution at the end of June/early July, I'll be ramping up training for my fourth half marathon. Yesterday I found a discount code for Rock 'n Roll races for $29 off for Leap Day. I immediately went out and registered for the RNR St Louis Half. Originally it was $90, which just seemed excessive for a half marathon in St. Louis. Seriously, it's not that interesting downtown. But $66 seemed just about right. My goal for this race is to PR! To do that I need to get my speed up. So, I'll be looking for a training schedule that includes track workouts as well (and actually do them this time).

So that's the plan. Before I start Body Revolution, I'll post my before pictures. I'll include updates on how each month goes and the changes I see, and then finally the After pictures. And, once race training starts, I'll have plenty to say I'm sure. Can't wait to get started!

And, lest you believe I'll be sitting idly until the end of March, I will be getting to run in beautiful Tempe, AZ next week while I'm out there for work and preparing for the St. Patrick's Day 5 Mile downtown when I return. I ran this race in 2005 in something like 63 minutes. It was my first race every (and only one until 2009). Right now, I can do 5 miles in a little over 50 minutes. So that'll be a nice PR.

Just having a plan in place makes me feel like I'm back in a good place, back on track!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

How It Works

This morning I went for a bike ride, something I haven't done in a long time. I started out at Creve Coeur Lake park, but the path around the lake was clogged by people strolling along (sometimes 4 or more shoulder to shoulder...). So, I took the offshoot trail that follows the Page extension out to the Katy Trail. Other than the grasshoppers the size of chihuahuas, it was an amazing ride. When I got to the parking lot for the Katy Trail, I thought about turning around and heading back, but it was such a beautiful day that I wanted to keep going. That meant heading down the steep hill to the trail and riding there. No biggie...Coming back up the steep hill would be another story. I made it up last summer, but last summer I was living in the body of a marathon training fitness fool. This summer, I'm somewhere south of there. Could I do it?

For lack of photographic evidence, see my Garmin elevation map...The two spikes were going down the hill and coming back up.

I worried about it the whole ride out, making sure not to go too far that my legs would be too tired to carry me back to the lake afterwards. I rode a couple of miles out and then turned back. When I arrived back at the hill, I shifted gears and started peddling with purpose, I made it up the first switch back easily. I managed the second, even though I had to slow down significantly for a family with small children weaving between lanes. The third rise towered above me...and I made it to the top without getting off to walk. At the parking lot, I paused for a second to drink some water and let my hammering heart catch up. I had done it.

On the ride back to my car, I thought about how succeeding at something hard makes all the other difficult things in a day seem possible. It's strange that the euphoria of a physical feat transfers to easily to other areas of life. But, for me it does. That's why I run. It can be a marathon or thirty minutes around the neighborhood. Pushing myself and conquering the miles, hills, tired legs, reminds me that other obstacles are manageable too.

Do one difficult thing every day. You might not succeed every time, but each time you'll get closer to your goal, and on the days you do succeed, you'll realize that the improbable, the impossible, has become your reality.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Journey

This morning it was tough to get up when my alarm started buzzing at 5:20 a.m. "Why can't we be skinny and healthy by magic?" I muttered to B. I hit snooze more than once, but in the end, I made it out the door for yet another day.

And what a beautiful day it was. The sun wasn't officially up, just a pink glow on the eastern horizon. And, the air was gloriously cool. What a day for a run!

My legs were tired, my Achilles was tight, but I chugged along on the less hilly of my usual routes. On my way home from the out-and-back route, I saw this lady that I see almost every morning. She's 70+ if she's a day. Her run is more of a quick shuffle (but then, hey, so is mine). And, she's out here EVERY morning working it out.

Depending on the day, her presence inspires a different set of thoughts for me...
Thought 1: Fitness is a lifelong battle. I'm going to have to do this FOREVER, even when I'm 70.
Thought 2: Being fit and healthy is a blessing. I hope I get to be out here running when I'm 70.

There's no end to this journey. Sure we might start with a goal weight, a special occasion, a certain dress size in mind. But when we reach that goal, we haven't reached the end of our journey. I can look at that fact with despair (usually when I'm half asleep with my alarm blaring in my ear) or joy. So, on this Wednesday, here are a few things I appreciate about the journey without end:

  1. I appreciate that ceasing to move means going backward to a place I don't want to go. Therefore, every step forward is forward momentum in the right direction, whether it's walking, running, biking, or stationary on my yoga mat.
  2. I appreciate how I feel when I come home, dripping sweat, tired in an entirely different (wonderful) way than when I was trying to get out of bed. 
  3. I appreciate how early morning exercise changes the way I experience and adapt to the stress of the workday.
  4. I appreciate the feeling of knowing I made a good choice and the accompanying desire to build on that good choice with others.
  5. I appreciate that there may come a day when I'm unable to go out for a morning run, but this morning isn't that day. Today I can run. And, with my elderly runner as inspiration, I hope the decision of "today I can run" continues for many, many days into the distant future.

What do you  appreciate about your healthiness journey?