Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I Think It's Time...

For the last two years I have lived by the motto ‘love what you do.’ I try to apply it to every aspect of my life; especially fitness.

I am of the belief that if you don’t love what you are doing you will only be able to muscle through it for so long. And for me, in the past when I had reached my breaking point it usually meant some kind of over the top reaction which caused me to not only swear of said activity but usually all activity in general.

I remember back on times when I was using workout videos to get in my activity and I would get so pissed/frustrated/discouraged by how little I could do, how much it hurt, how embarrassed they made me feel that I would just stop doing them. And pretty much anything else.

A logical person would just move on to something else.

Eventually I learned that.

I learned that just because others can do it/enjoy doing it/are successful doing it does not mean that I will be too.

I learned that trying to force myself to doing something I did not enjoy made me miserable which is pretty much not what I needed to be successful.

I needed to find something that I loved to do (even if at times it was challenging, there is a difference) because then I would be more likely to do it, happier with how I was choosing to spend my time, and life would be better overall.

And that worked for me.

For the first time I am active AND happy. I live a life that enjoy; all of it. What I eat, the activities I choose, my social life, my relationship. – it’s all good. This- what I’m doing now, and what I’ve been doing for the past 2 years, works for me. It is sustainable. If the rest of my life goes just like this I will die happy.

Not to sound like I’m bragging. I’m not. Really I’m not.

I am writing this as a reminder to myself.

See, some days I still struggle with how my body looks (re:flabby arms, jiggly belly) and wanting to lose more weight and how I should go about changing that. I definitely need to lose another 10-15 pounds.  That point isn't up for debate. However, how I get there is.

I know I could start hitting the gym twice a day, I could start taking some spin classes, adding in weight lifting, run four times a week plus do yoga and boxing. I know I could really focus on getting leaner, put in the work, and I will get the results and probably pretty quickly.

But I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to spend what little free time I have in a gym. Morning and night. I just don’t.  

I like to think I am a fairly active person. I eat pretty good foods. I think I am making good choices for my body. But it’s not all about my body. My mind (spirit) has to come into consideration too when I mak these decisions.  And so it comes down to this question- do I want to muscle through a few (or more) months of doing things I don’t enjoy, missing out on time with my friends, making many personal sacrifices just for the sake of losing 10 pounds.

Or do I want to keep on doing the things I am doing and accept that any progress I make will be slow at best.

I think I have to stick with doing what I love. Not only am I in the best physical shape I have been in for quite some time but damn am I happy. I am probably in the best mental headspace of my entire life. Why would I want to change that?

Why should I change that?

I think it’s time for me to stop chasing skinny and just keep chasing happy. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Training Tunnel Vision

Most days, getting my training run in is my number one priority.

Ok- maybe not most days.

I’ve been in a training rut lately and have probably missed more training runs that I have actually ran since I started this program up 7 weeks ago. If you’ve trained for a half before then you know that sometimes you have to skip runs (injury, illness, time constraints, etc) but most likely you focused on at least getting in your weekly long run. I’ve missed two of those. Eh, it happens.

But…training for this half is still super important and something I think about all the time.

This weekend I am heading home to attend my cousin’s wedding. Just a quick trip though, I’m flying in on Friday and back home Sunday. Of course the first thing that popped into my head when I bought my tickets/RSVPd was how will I get in my long run?

I reached out to some local runners the other day to see if they could recommend some good running spots and came up with a game plan for my 9 miles I was hoping to get in on Saturday morning. I was all set.

Until my Dad emailed me to point out that if I run on Saturday morning I won’t have any time to spend with him. He’s right. He isn’t going to the wedding. Friday night I will be out with friends. Spending the night Saturday where the reception is then driving basically straight from there to the airport. If I spent my time Saturday morning running then I wouldn’t get to spend any time with my Dad-whom I haven’t seen since February of last year.

So even though I know that when you are training for something you really should make it your number one priority this time I really just can’t. I want to hang out with my Dad. Who knows when the next time I will see him.

I’ll try to get in those miles (or at least some of them) at the hotel Sunday morning. Hopefully I can slip out while my family is still sleeping and go for a run around the hotel/vineyard. That would be cool.

Running, especially when following a training plan, is a great metaphor for life. It’s not always possible to stick to your plans no matter how great they are. So I will be flexible, be adaptable, but most of all I won’t beat myself up. It’s just one day, one run. And time with my Dad will always trump running.


Monday, March 11, 2013

I'm Over Here...

I forgot to share this with you on Friday so I am playing catch up now. My lovely friend Alexis from Diva on a Diet featured me on her blog last week as part of her 'Featured Fit Friends Friday' series. I was so honored that she asked me to do it. Alexis and I 'met' through the interwebs over a year ago (back when I was still a WW member) and she has been such an inspiration to me ever since. She is a weight loss rock star- she is even on a commercial for Weight Watchers. That's pretty damn awesome. So if you haven't yet seen the interview here is the link. While you are there make sure you check out Alexis' blog- hers is one of my favorites!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Battle Royale

When Paul left for OCS in the fall I worked very hard to fall into a new routine that allowed me to do all the things I wanted to do (run a half marathon, group bike rides, spend time with friends) while figuring out how to do all of the necessary household things. Now, I know that there tons of single women out there who do amazing jobs finding this balance and kicking butt every day. It's not easy. I totally get that. But it's also not easy to go from living the married life to living a somewhat single life back to being married again. I'm not complaining- I know I have it easy. But it is an adjustment and that doesn't happen overnight.

When Paul left I had no choice but to quickly figure out a plan. He took out the garbage, did all of the laundry and walked the dogs most of the time. None of those things could have been skipped over- I had to figure out how to do his share plus my share and fast. This part was actually pretty easy because I was able to do all of the household stuff (minus walking the dogs- they dictate that) on my own terms. Laundry on Tuesday night- sure, grocery shopping on Friday- perfect.

I actually adjusted to my new routine so well that when Paul came back from OCS I was thrown for a loop. I'm pretty sure I have been caught saying 'well, that's not the way I do it' a couple times. Yikes!

But even that wasn't too bad because we were in the midst of moving, neither one of us were working, and we had so much on our minds that we really didn't care who cooked or who took out the garbage. It was basically a month of chaos and a routine was something in the distant future. At this point, all we cared about was finding a nice, safe place to live and that our household goods arrived in one piece.

Now that we are into our third week in our new apartment (and my third week at my new job) we are starting to get into a routine. Everything is going pretty well. We are almost completely unpacked. We are learning our way around Pensacola. We are both adjusting to our new work schedules. We have been able to make most of our meals at home, we found some nice running trails, we even have a fun weekly tradition of trivia night at Mellow Mushroom.

Everything is great.

Well....everything except this one small thing.

I want to murder my alarm clock.

I can't believe it has made it this far.

I held onto my normal sleep pattern (8pm-4am) for a few weeks even after I stopped working, even while I was in RI/Boston, even during the move but once we hit Pensacola and started living in a hotel I just couldn't do it. I was sleeping until 530-6am which worked just fine because I don't have to be in to work until 8am so I can wake up at 6am every day. No big deal.

But it is a big deal. Ok, maybe not a BIG deal but still. It is the last thing that I haven't been able to get readjusted to. So, on the days when my alarm is going off at 4am telling me it is time to go run I will admit- I have lost that battle more times then I have won. I literally want to rip it out of the wall, throw it out the window, and go back to sleep- because I know I can. I don't actually NEED to get up at 4am. But I WANT to. It's just getting my body and mind to agree on this right now- that's the problem.

I know I'll get there, back into my crazyass 4am routine, because that's what works best for me. That's just the way that my life is now- early morning workouts so I can spend time with Paul at night. That's the life that I want.

But I do recognize that it is sad that I long for the days when 530am was sleeping in. I'm weird, I know.

What helps get you back into a routine? Are you a morning person or a night person? 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday: HIMYM

I love the show "How I Met Your Mother" but there is one episode in particular that stands out as my favorite. It's the episode where Marshall gets hooked on making charts. I love it because not only do I think his charts are quite clever but that episode is a great way for me to explain what I do. I am a charts person. I analyze data and make pretty pictures that help people understand the numbers. And because I am a chart loving dork analyst this episode makes me LOL every time.

I tried to find the whole clip with all of the charts but sadly these were the only two I could find on YouTube. I hope they make you smile and laugh just like they do for me.


"Pie Chart Bar Graph"

Happy Wednesday beautiful people!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Frog on the Treadmill

The other day while watching discussion of the sequestration on the news the analyst speaking used the anecdote about the boiling frog as a way to illustrate the possible effects of the sequestration. I've heard the story before and although I don’t like the idea of the outcome it really fit the point he was trying to make.

The story goes like this- if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water it will just jump out. However, if you put a frog into a pot of cold water and slowly heat it, it won’t think it’s in danger and it will be cooked to death. Gruesome, I know.

Random note: Wikipedia says that “a frog submerged and gradually heated will jump out” so that makes me happy.

Anywho, I have been thinking about the boiling frog anecdote ever since I heard it and today I decided to test out my own version. Instead of a frog in a pot of water I used a human (me) on a treadmill.

As you know, I have been fighting a cold which unfortunately screwed up the latter half of last week’s training plan. Since I am still a bit under the weather and my legs have been out of work for a while I needed a plan to shake out the cobwebs and get back to business.

I decided that maybe what I needed to do was slowly ease back into my running but in a way that would still allow me to push myself. So I opted for the ‘run myself cooked’ method. This isn’t rocket science or really anything fancy or creative. I just thought that the best way to get my ‘sea legs’ back was to start off at a comfortable pace and the slowly speed up, using such small increments that it wasn’t very noticeable each time I adjusted the treadmill. Over the course of two miles (that’s what was on the training plan for the day) I went from a 12 min/mile pace to a 9 min/mile pace. I ran my first mile in 11:45 and the second in 10 minutes flat. Although I doubt I could sustain a 9 min/mile pace for much more than a half mile or so right now it was nice to know that even while sick and after taking several days off to rest I was able to shake that all off and push myself for a bit.

And in the end I didn’t feel tired or cooked. I just felt happy. Probably leaps and bounds happier than a frog slowly being cooked to death that’s for sure.

I guess my point of all this is that sometimes in life we need to jump back into thing full-swing, guns blazing, take no prisoners- style but other times we are better off to slowly ease back into them and today’s run called for just that.

And even though it was a short two miles walking away from them feeling healthy totally makes me feel ready for tomorrow’s seven mile run (3 miles at HMP) in the morning.

How to you jump back into training after a break? Do you go full steam or do you ease back into it? 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Being Sick

Being sick sucks. Even if it is just a cold.

Seriously, is there even such a thing as 'just a cold'? Colds always seem to drain me of all my energy not to mention when I wake up in the morning I can't breathe. Or speak. And I am pretty sure that while I sleep elephant comes in and sits on my chest.

But that's life right?

I knew I was in trouble last week when patient zero came into the ladies restroom I was currently occupying and preceded to hack up her left lung. I was basically trapped in a box of germs. I knew it. I knew it right then that I was about to get sick. Damn that girl!

But I am feeling much better today. Probably the best I've felt since last Tuesday. So yay! Progress.

Hopefully I am back to my old self in no time because seriously-  I need to run, I need to ride and I need to repeat. I'm going stir crazy over here!