Archives

You Have to Start Somewhere

Many people want to head straight for the finish line before they have even gotten to the start line or even started training.   I, myself, am no exception.   Patience isn’t always my specialty or a virtue that I posses.   To be honest, I’m not sure that I have any specialty but live by the expression Jack of all trades. Master of none.   That’s me.   I’m cool with that.    A little of this.   A little of that.

Right now like so many people staying at home, I’ve got a lot of time on my hand.   I’ve filled a lot of it with baking.   This week alone I have made Mocha cupcakes with espresso buttercream, Rose Water Cupcakes with Rose Water buttercream, and today I’ve made bagels for the first time.   That is a lot of goodies.     I need to balance out these extra calories with a more sedentary lifestyle by adding more exercise.

I’m not sure if I mentioned that we semi converted our garage into a home gym.   We don’t have a lot but we’ve got more than others and enough to get the job done.   I’ve also been dabbling with the Nike Training App which currently has free upgraded access to the premium workouts.    I’ve really been enjoying the workouts.   They have all different types of workouts.   I’ve done tried all the different types (endurance, mobility, strength and yoga).

I will further say that I enjoy the endurance workouts on days that I am not running which due to the weather has been a decent amount.  I feel that these will help me push myself while running.   The Mobility has been great for cool downs, hip opening, and general flexibility.    What I’ve really been spending some time on is the different yoga routines.  Several years ago, I regularly practiced at a Hot Yoga studio.   It was intense.   It was a workout.   It helped with flexibility and balance which I could desperately need.   I loved it and I really don’t know why I stopped.  As I said before, I let other workouts fall to the wayside as I focused more on my running.   I’m reminded recently how these all go hand in hand and can be beneficial.

What I also noticed besides how tight my legs are is that I forgot how strong you must be to do yoga.   I remind myself that when I am holding my body with up that is a pretty decent amount.    I also thought that in order to improve, I will need to continue to practice because as the saying goes practice makes perfect.   Although is their perfect in yoga?   Just good form which I don’t have either.  A work in progress.

So I will practice.   I will remind myself that as cool as it would be to be able to a handstand or any of the inversion movements that I must start at the beginning.   Like a marathon, you can’t just show up and expect to get to the finish line.   So I begin at the beginning with the basics.    The basics for me are not so basic anyway.   I need to find muscles that I forgot to use.   I need a core which has gone MIA.   I need to start at the beginning.

It is these beginning steps which make crossing even the smallest finish lines worthwhile.   If everything came easy, they would be no sense of accomplishments.   And while I have a long ways to go, I am still proud of how far I’ve come even if that just means entering my garage to practice yoga or any workout.

I further admit that I needed to remind myself of all of this because it is easy to throw in the towel and say, “Well I can’t do it.”    Really what we need to say is “I can’t do it today but I will eventually be able to do it and if I can’t I enjoyed the process.”

So here I am enjoying the process.

Out of Balance

amazing balance blur boulder

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

I’ve been in better shape.

I’ve been in worse shape.

I’ve been stronger.

I’ve been weaker.

I’ve been in better shape.

I’ve been in worse shape (really).

I’ve been so many things and I will end up being so many more.  Things ebb and flow.   Up until a month ago, I seemed to be right on target for my Birthday Half Marathon right up until the world stopped.   Since then, training has not been training but getting a run in here and there as allowed.   Races right now are non existent.  Although, I think I might still try to do the  virtual run, but I don’t think I will run the full half.   Probably just the 8K.

Since formal training has come off the table and I have been trying to not loose my mojo.    Not just me but my whole household.   You know when you have nowhere to go and nothing to do, you really have time to squeeze in a workout.    We even cleaned out the garage.   Bought some equipment, mats for the floor and are in process of turning our garage into a home workout space.   It helps that many are sharing workouts online.   One that I have found that I like is the Nike Training App.   During the Stay at Home orders they are even allowing you to view workouts for free.   Yeah.

I even went so far as to dust off a no equipment workout from my CrossFit days.   Let me just say that while I did the workout, it was not pretty and it made me think.   I realized that while I’m not sure that I would want to be doing CrossFit now that I was in the best shape of my life when I was doing it.   The cross training was key.   I further realized that I gave my all to running and allowed everything else fall to the wayside.   Time was limited and I chose running over yoga, CrossFit, cross training, and everything else.  It seemed like a necessary tradeoff but it wasn’t a smart one.

On top of that I realized that by letting everything else go, I was missing out.   Now I realize that I am now in my early 50’s, but I have lost a lot of upper body strength.   A lot.  Yes, I can run marathons.   Yes, I have endurance.    Yes, I can get to the finish line.   All those things are true, but I lost balance.   Balance in life is good.   Balance in life brings harmony.   Balance is easy to loose.   I could still run a marathon but I had to push harder than I should because of all that I stopped doing.

When I had balance with running, biking, HIT workouts, weight lifting not only was I in great shape physically but I was also able to run faster and further without injury.   Now I realize that I am getting older by the day, so I may not get faster but I can certainly get stronger and find the balance that I lost.   And since I am getting “older,”  my body needs balance more than ever.  I also realized I missed it.   Yes, I’m a runner but I’m am more than legs especially at 5 foot 2.   In thinking about it to, saying I am a runner made it ok not to be anything else.    I used it as an excuse not to do other things even things that I enjoyed doing.

Often our lives become out of balance with out us even realizing it.   We take more responsibility at work, our families require more of our energy, volunteering for important causes takes time, pets, responsibilities and one and on it goes until we realize we don’t have time for “self care.”   We become out of balance without even paying attention or noticing.

Now some people hate the phrase “self care” or view it as hokey.   Some think it’s selfish. Some think that there is no time.   Some don’t understand that it doesn’t necessarily mean bubble baths, salon visits, or even running.   Self care is what is necessary in order to recharge your batteries what ever that may be for you.

Right now most of us have a lot of extra time.    There is no where to go.    There is no better time to give yourself some TLC because you deserve it.   Right now the world is raw, emotional, and tender.   Everyone is worried.   Everyone is stressed.   Everyone has their own baggage that most people have no clue about.    There is no better time to add balance and self care to your life because you can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself.

So with that said,  I’m looking to control what I can in my life and bring balance to it where I can.    For now that means adding full body workouts.   Taking time to do more than just lace up my shoes.    And the good thing is that right now I have to the time to see where this will take me.   Hopefully it will take me to a more balanced approach to my running.

Do you have balance?

 

 

Getting Back into Step


As you know for months now I have said that I am getting back to basics.   I took my running back to square one.   I did the same with my non running workouts.   In January with a friend, I started going to a beginner core class.   It has been good offering a good core workout with a combo of stretching and balance.    My friend and I maybe the younger ones in the class which at my age is nice.   Don’t let that fool you, these grandmas have better abs them me.   I’m still working on finding mine which I’m working on.

Now that we have done this class for a while, we thought we would take it up a notch by adding a class before it.    We added a Step Class.   Yes, your read that right.   So not only am I taking my workout back to the basics, I am taking it back to the 80’s!    Although I realize that I might not be as coordinated as I was back then!    This class also utilizes some weights for a nice full body workout.

It’s funny because years ago when I was doing Crossfit, I would have laughed if you told me that I was going to be doing a step class and low impact ab class.   You know what?    I like it.    I have no desire right now to do the hard core workouts of Crossfit.   I am more concerned with getting a good workout it and make no mistake a step class is a good workout.   I know that some might think it’s a dated workout, but like jumping rope and basic push-ups, what works works.   Bigger and better is not always required or even better.

Again my mindset of what I am looking for is different now.    I have nothing to prove.   I have no need to explain (although isn’t that the point of my blog).    My goal now has become to be well balanced.    I do not need to go from zero to 60.   I just need a good cruising speed to keep me active, use my muscles in a different way than running, and maybe fit in my jeans better or in some cases just in them.     I think for now these classes will help with that.   We all know that core and glutes  are important to running.   These are things that I’ve ignored.   I don’t need to be able to deadlift or squat huge amounts of weights to do that.

My goal going forward is going to try to be more balanced.   Balanced in my workouts.   Balanced in my running.   Balanced with my family, friends and life.    Life that is not balanced can leave you feeling dizzy.   As with all things, it is a work in progress and as long as I’m moving forward; I’m ok with that.

I’ve learned that it is very easy to let things fall out of balance. You give to much with not anything in return. You push too hard without allowing downtime. You listen without being able to talk or the opposite can be true. Sometimes it is necessary to take inventory of where things are and adjust because if it’s one thing about balance….. If you don’t find it, you will surly fall.

Do you have balance and how do you maintain it?

Embracing It

Like millions of other people in the country, the beginning of the year marked a time to get off my behind and start moving again. Start eating healthier and just overall taking better care of myself. I didn’t make a resolution because that’s not what it was all about. I admit that it has been helpful that this was also something everyone in my household wanted to embrace.

A month in and I have to say it’s going good. Although I will admit that it is extremely frustrating that my husband has been able to drop almost 15 pounds already. I’ve dropped 3. Maybe 4 depending upon when I weigh myself and if I want to admit what my starting weight really was (and no I don’t). To be honest, I am not being obsessive with weighing myself. I will have to do it tomorrow. I don’t actually care about the number too much (ok, yes to a point but I know the number isn’t everything). I want to be able to fit in my clothes again and the ones I still fit in fit in more comfortably again.

I will further admit that I am very happy that my husband is embarking on this heath journey as he just turned 50. I’m turning that number in a few months, so we really need to be making healthy choices. And while I am so happy for him and see the changes a month of steady exercise, healthy eating and portion control had done for him, I admit that I’m pissed. Not at him, but at how I too have gone on this journey of healthy heating, portion control, and getting back into and exercise routine and there is not as big change. I’m trying. I’m really trying.

I have to remind myself that is all I can do. Keep plugging away. Don’t give up. Don’t compare to others journey. Don’t give up. Take it one day at a time.

WA WA WA

STOMPING FEET

POUNDING FISTS

IT’S JUST NOT FAIR!

Ok every woman around my age knows this to be true. Many of my friends joke that their husbands can loose 2 pounds just skipping dinner. At a certain age which I think I’m almost 10 years past, a woman’s hormones/metabolism stops. I say stops, because I think it definitely more than slows down. Add to that the thyroid issues and I know I’m going to have to fight hard to fit back in those jeans.

WWWWAAAAAAA WWWWWAAAAAAA WWWWWWWAAAAAAAA

STILL STOMPING FEET

STILL POUNDING FISTS

STILL THINKING IT’S NOT FAIR!!

That being said, I’m still plugging along. Still working on my couch to 5k program which I’ve got to say I’ve really been enjoying and will talk about more another day. This week, I even added to the repertoire a Beginner Core Strength class. I went with a friend. We had some laughs. We did what we needed to do. On the plus side, we felt like the youngings in the class as it seemed like most of the people in the class where 60 plus. Hey it’s not often I get to be the youngin any more, so I’ll take it. Plus it was a good core workout utilizing Pilates exercises.

I’ve decided that what I need more is to cross train. I’m not talking other cardio exercises. I’m talking core, yoga, stretching, and weights type of things. I get enough cardio with my job and running. I need to find my core because I’m sure somewhere underneath that fluff in the middle there might just be one.

So how are you doing in the New Year with your fitness journey?

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com


Be Where You Are

And so it begins…..

I am committed to this.   I am all in.   It’s only been going on day 2 of the DASH diet and it sucks.   It’s not that I’m not eating yummy foods or even enough of them.   I am.   It’s the breaking my body from the unhealthy choices.    After this rest stage it will be easier and it will be better.   It helps that I lost a pound.   They do say that it is ok to weigh yourself every day in the initial reset stage as it will give you motivation.   This one missing pound is keeping me strong and I’m hoping that he takes many of his friends with him these next few weeks.

On top of eating better, I have been consistent with my training going on my second week now.   I’ve done some cross training, outside running, indoor biking, and even some treadmill running.   It’s just keeping my eye on the prize…..   The prize right now is getting my stamina back.   Feeling like I can do this again.  Feeling like I know what I’m doing.   One day at a time.   One workout at a time.

Here is one thing that I noticed today….

Ego and pride need to be checked at the door.   They serve no purpose and only hold you back.   I knew that today that I wanted to do a 5K on the treadmill today.   I wanted to run it faster than I have been running and use this indoor running time as a speed workout.    Here is where it gets dicey…. Speed workouts today are not where they were before.  It also doesn’t help that my body is adjusting to lower medication, so I could feel that I needed my cal-ez today.

My ego today wanted me to go full force.   I figured that if I had a calcium crash at least I would be at a public place:)   Luckily, I checked my ego.    Now this is not to say that I didn’t push myself because I did.   I just did it smartly for where I am today.    You can’t live in the past and you only have the day before you.  So today, I warmed up with a brisk walk and then took the treadmill up to 5.5 which is now really fast for me.   Then at the beginning of every mile, I would walk again in the beginning of each mile.   It helped me count down the miles too.  Then I sprinted the last part of the 5K.    My heart rate was up.   I was sweating.   It was a good run.

Run where you are, so that you can get to where you want to be.

One day at a time.

One Run at a time.

This is so true in all that we do..  Often we focus on where we used to be or where we are going that we forget to just enjoy where we are.   I’m trying.   I encourage you to try to.

life-quotes_8702-0

 

 

I’ve Got a Feeling

You know that feeling that you get when you are so tired of being sick and tired.   I’m kind of there right now.   Some of it out of my control, but a lot in my control.   I can choose to eat healthier.   I can choose to do nothing which is kind of where I have been recently or I can choose to do what I can to be healthier.   While training will be different this time around, I know what to do and I know that I can do it.

While I am not officially starting a program till January, I am trying to start getting back into healthier habits.  I also am preparing myself both mentally, physically, and researching best way to achieve my goals.

I will say that I do not plan to start on January first as I don’t want it to be tied to the New Year.   I plan to start the second week of January at least food wise.   This will give me time to stock the house and read up on the DASH diet which is what I’ve decided to go with.  It seems like a good fit for me.   It’s more of a lifestyle change, but I will be following their weight lose program.   I ordered recipe book and plan today.   So I will have time to actually to be prepared.    I want a plan that isn’t going to starve me and that will fuel me to get back to training.

That being said after weighing myself and taking my measurements today, I have decided to start  being more mobile today.   Although I really didn’t need to do this because I could tell by having no clothes that actually fit me.  It will be cheaper to get back in shape than buy new clothes.   This is the biggest I’ve ever been unless I was pregnant.   It’s not even the weight, it’s the measurements that I will be watching.

I even went to the gym today.   I ran just 3 miles and doing some weights.   I am a long way away from both my Crossfit and Marathon days.   So out of shape.   I purposely want to ease back into this slowly.   It takes a long time to build up your stamina, but no time at all to loose it.   Here is to gaining stamina while loosing inches and getting back into my closet.

fit-stop-giving-up

Good Thing Come to Those that Wait

I’ve been good for the most part.   I wisely only did one  race out of the four this past weekend.    Then yesterday I went for a nice six miles with friends using the walk/run method.

Today I went for the umpteenth visit to my Podiatrist.   He was VERY pleased that I did not do the 26.2 Festival this past weekend.   He is also VERY pleased with how much the inflammation has gone down due to following his advice.     When I said that I did not do the 26.2 three day event and only one of them, he thought that was a good idea.   He then asked when my race season was over this year.    I told him that the Runner’s World event was the last one that I had for the year.

Since I’ve been a good girl, recovery is going nicely.  In the last 2 weeks, I have ran a total of 10 miles with zero days of cross training

Yup.

Well to be fair, I really have been very busy with other things these last two weeks.   I’ve also been formulating a plan and my comeback.

Did you know that I was gone and needed a comeback?

Ha!

Yes, I know that I just ran Chicago but I didn’t run it well.     I’m not talking about my finish time.   I’m not talking about that I walked.   I’m just talking about how I felt.    I did not feel strong running it and that’s what I need to work on.

I’ve got some thing mulling around of what I want to do next year, but my focus right now is to get into a place where I have my confidence back.     So this will mean running a few miles a week until I’m completely healed.     I want to get back to Yoga which is perfect because my friend has been asking me to go.    I also plan on hitting the gym again.   I do miss those weights.    And if I have to I might sign up for a swimming class because then I will go (Blah).

My thought is that this will put me where I need to be long term.    I imagine in a few weeks, I will get the ok to run further and push myself a little.   I will balance that with the other cross training.   This way when it’s go time, I will be ready to go.

What do you do during your off race season?

For the record -There is no off running season just off race season:)Patience

Nothing to Prove; Nothing to Loose

Ok this isn’t entirely true.  As with millions of others, I do have a little bit to loose after the holidays.   Who after indulging all through the holiday’s didn’t notice their buttons on their jeans a little harder to snap?   Come on, hands in the air!

Although not counting calories nor going on a diet as I hate those things, I am making better choices.   Getting back to adding more fruits, veggies, and better meals into my weeks.   That being said, if I want to have french toast with whipped cream and banana foster I will.

16195377_10210610456130081_6299874348633716765_n

I did.

I still think that once I’m back into my new running/exercise routine things will fall back into place.  NO you can’t exercise away a bad diet, nor is it a good idea to train and run a marathon on crap food.   So as I start fueling with better things, I start running more miles, and I start adding cross training the jeans will start to feel better:)   I went to the doctors yesterday and got on the dreaded scale.   I’ve got my reality check.   I go back in two months, so I will know how things are going.    It’s called eating for life.

I’m getting energized about my exercise plan too.   Too often many of us do nothing but run.   I am pretty guilty of this.   But there is more to training than running.   I know, scandalous.    I’ve just finished reading Mastering the Marathon, Time-Efficient Training Secrets for the 40-plus Athlete.   Well that’s me!   Had a lot of great information.   One of the things that I really am going to embrace is the use of brick workouts.  I have decided for the NJ Marathon, my goal is not a specific time goal.   This will make training a lot less stressful and allow me a lot of wiggle room.   My goal will be to finish and finish well.   Since this is the first marathon where I am 100% on my own for my training, I would like to use this training time as a way to find out what works for me.   I am going to try different things – brick work outs, possibly less miles since I will be doing brick workouts, and lots of cross training.   Then I plan to take the things that I learn from NJ and take that to my Chicago training.

Living

Learing

Moving on

 

Do You Have The Time?

I’ve been trying to get my act together.   To not miss any workouts.    To be better.

I said to a friend not too long ago that it’s not that I don’t want to run the NYCM, it is that I don’t want to train to run it.    Well even though I have the cape, I’m no Wonder Woman and will need to train.  That being said, it also occurred to me that I’ve got some other things coming up before NY.   One of them being the Sandy Hook Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon.    It is the race that started it all.    It is the race that led me to discover the joy of running.  It is the race that changed it all.    I’ve done it three times now and it holds a special place in my heart.    It will never be as good as the first time when a bunch of us ran it, but I still love it.

Iron Girl 3

Today my training plan called for 40 minutes of swimming.   I haven’t been really good about getting my swims in.   My coach might have even said (yes she did) that I was treating the swims as optional.    It also occurred to me that I’m only two weeks or so away from Sandy Hook and I really need to get my swims in.   Plus swimming really is a prefect cross training activity for running.    It was also made that much easier to go because hubby had a house full of work friends over to do their Fantasy Football Draft.

The hard part of any training is actually getting out the door.   Once there and in the pool, I wondered why I hadn’t done more of it.    I got into a rhythm of swimming my laps.   A rhythm that will leave me once I hit the bay with no floor, breaking waves, and a mass of other swimmers.   The swim is my least favorite part of the Tri.    I end up loosing the rhythm and strokes so easily done it the pool.   I panic a little and end up doing too much back stroke, head out of the water, gasping for air, and looking like I don’t know how to swim.    Yet, I still do it.

So tonight in the calmness of the pool swimming my many laps, I was thinking a great deal about my September 11th Triathlon.    I came up with a plan.    A shocking non plan.  Something that is so out of what I would expect me to come up with as a plan.   But once I thought about it, I knew was what I needed for this event.

I am going to run it naked and I don’t mean without my Trisuit!!!

I am going to run it sans Garmin!

Shocked?

I know normally, I would be but when the thought came to me, I knew it was perfect.   I knew it is what I need to do.    I know it might help me to focus on the moment without fear of time.    Besides the beauty of a race is that even if I don’t know my time during the race, I can certainly find out as soon as I cross the finish line.

Here is my reasoning…….

As far as my training goes,  I am really only trained for the run.     I have never trained for it like I did the first year.     I do this race only because I enjoy the race.    I want to not focus on what my watch says that I am doing, but what my body tells me I’m doing.    I don’t need splits to tell me that.    This is not to say that I am not planning to go out there and give it all I’ve got, because I am.    That is the point.    Let my body decide and not my watch.

I guess I will find out the morning of September 11th if this is a crazy thing to do or not.   I do know that if it’s one thing I’ve got is more than enough crazy to go around.

12002121_1633068080275994_1131227085117247127_n

Have you ever run an event without your trusty watch?

 

I Didn’t Ask for any Lemons!

when-life-gives-you-lemons-grab-tequila-salt-6

Yeah, we have all heard the “If Life Gives You Lemons” analogy.   You know what?   I find that a pretty sucky analogy because sometimes you don’t want lemonade.   Sometimes you want a Margarita!    That being said though I tend to be a pretty positive person because I learned early on you’ve just got to suck it up no matter what.   So if you’ve got to suck on a lemon because that is all you got, you better learn to like lemons.

Now just because I tend to be a positive person does not mean that things don’t get to me.   I am not a cartoon character after all.   So 7 days ago when i rolled my ankle, I was mad at myself.    Then when I realized that this was more than just a give it a few days rest kind of roll, I had a what the Hell moment.   I went through the stages (quickly) because as I’ve said I’ve learned long ago that you just have to roll with it.

Denial

Maybe it’s not that bad

Anger

Why did I go out for a run at night?   Idiot.

Bargaining

I’ll rest it a couple more days and I’ll be good as new

Depression

I’m loosing everything I’ve worked so hard to build up.   Why bother?

Acceptance

Well I better do something to give my ankle/foot time to be 100%

foot2

Still not 100%.   Bruising is getting better.  No pain to walk, but do feel it at the end of the day.   Also not good to run as when I stretch it to mimic a run it hurts.  Boo Hoo.

I know that I rolled my ankle pretty bad.   I know I totally jacked up my foot.   Not enough to go to the doctors because he is just going to tell me what I already know.   I need to rest it.   I need to give it time.   I need to do this now, so that I can go about my life.

I will say that nothing compares to running, but I am going to embrace this SHORT recovery time while not letting my endurance slip.    It won’t be the same.   It won’t be as good, but maybe just maybe when I do start running again I will find that what I’m doing will benefit my running.

Sounds like good enough BS that I can buy it.   Although there is some truth to it and cross training really is good for runners.

So today I went to my local gym.    I rode the stationary bike for 15 minutes for a total of 3. 37 miles burning a whole 120 calories.   Whoop.  Whoop.  (inserting sarcasm here).  Then I did some strength training for my abs, back, and arms.   I do need to do this as they say “a woman my age” should be strength training.   I’m sure I will feel it tomorrow which will make me not so secretly happy.

I’m going to plan some things out this week.   Swimming, more strength training, longer stationary bike rides and a combo of all of them.

I may not get any lemonade or Margarita’s but maybe I can learn to like the lemons on their own.

PS   – I miss running