Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 – The Wrap Up and On to the Next One

As it has been so long since I last posted, I thought I’d just beat the clock and get a year-end wrap up posted before the clock strikes 12 on 2012.

The lack of posts is definitely NOT because I have not been busy working out and meeting my goals – in fact, it is more because I took a break from trying to force the blog posts in order to focus on those goals. This year, I have found a really great place in my weight loss/fitness journey. While I have a goal weight range, I’m no longer concerned about the exact # on the scale. My primary goal is to be fit and healthy. To achieve this goal- I have to continue to work hard and fuel my body purely. If I work on those things, I will achieve that goal eventually. I had posted earlier this year about being frustrated with a plateau. The reality is, I’ve only lost about 5 lbs since then, total. The good news is : 1)have maintained a 70+ weight loss for over 2 years and 2)have accepted that I have to do something different nutritionally if I want different results and 3)I’m capable of WAY more than I ever thought possible physically.
In late April, I decided I wanted to sign up for some races again and fill up my race calendar to be consistent. I had a goal to do at least 1 race per month through the end of the year. That goal meant completing 8 races. I’m very happy to report that I completed 10 and attempted 11!

Here is a quick rundown of my races of 2012:
  • 500 Festival 5K Indianapolis - FINISHED
  • Dirty Girl Mud Run Indianapolis - FINISHED
  • Tap N Run Indianapolis - FINISHED
  • The Color Run Indianapolis - FINISHED   
  • Ragnar Napa Valley - FINISHED
  • Disaster Dash Indianapolis - FINISHED
  • Wine at the Line Indianapolis - FINISHED
  • Monumental 5K Indianapolis - FINISHED
  • Drumstick Dash Indianapolis - FINISHED
  • Jingle Bell Run Indianapolis - FINISHED
  • Santa Shuffle Half (DNF- 8.5mi completed, injured foot)

I’ve also continued with CrossFit since beginning at the end of May. Today, I ended 2012 with a kick ass WOD at Church of Iron. I was on a workout high for at least an hour afterwards. I love the little CF family I’ve become a part of. Lately, due to work, I’ve not been able to be as consistent with my schedule- but I’m back, and I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months brings.

On that note- the next 6 months. It’s going to bring A LOT!
I have 8, that’s EIGHT, races scheduled between 1/1/13 and end of May.
2 5Ks, a 10K, a 15K, 1 half marathon and 2 Obstacle Course Races (including a Spartan Sprint in April!)
A goal of a minimum of 3 visits to CrossFit each week (sometimes 4).
A renewed focus on my nutrition and feeding to fuel and little else.

While I don’t believe in resolutions that are made to be broken- I commit to being mindful of the goals I’ve set and allowing myself to move on when I momentarily lose sight of them.

What goals have you set this year- and how will you reach them? 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Cosmic Shift

Still here- another month later. Sometimes I wonder why I blog at all- knowing full well it is mostly for myself anyway-  but a month flys by and then I realize I haven't put things I'd like to remember down in the blog.

Since my last post- I have continued with Crossfit 3x a week (except last week, missed a day). I still love it- it is very challenging but very rewarding- I often think "I'm paying someone to tell me to do this shit"- but I like it! I'm already seeing major changes in my body from an inches lost and muscular shape perspective. Most people wouldn't notice it on me yet- but I notice and that's what keeps me going.

I've also continued trail running when I get a chance- if I'm lucky I get to do that once a week. I NEVER used to run on Sundays that was always a rest day (rather I worked out or ran 2 days or 5 days+, I always rested on Sundays). I've found this has become a trail day for me. Today, it was 95 degrees - hot and muggy- yet- I didn't care that the only time I'd get to run was 1:30 or so- I HAD to get out there. I was craving a good sweat and exertion. The heat affected my pace- slowed me down a bit- but when I'm out on the trail, I actually don't care what the pace is- I just want to get stronger and more fit. Ragnar Napa is in 2.5 months- and between the crossfit, trail running and regular running training- I think this may be my best effort yet.

Finally feeling like I'm getting back to that "at my best" fit feeling again- I still have off days- but it's nice to get a glimpse of it again.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Finding the WTF sweet spot

As I write this, I've got some pretty sore arms. Not "can't move" sore- but that kind of sore that makes you proud, you know you worked hard- you earned it. There are muscles in my legs and butt that will be pretty sore by tomorrow. I like it.

In the past 2 years- I've come an amazing way on my journey (so far) to lose weight, move towards getting fit and never stopping. 75 lbs down (and maintained loss for a year)- I hit a plateau about this time last year. I think my body was not getting enough muscle confusion. In training for the half marathon last year, I focused so much on my running that I let my strength training slide. Then as it slid further away, my strength wained and so did my running intensity. I never stopped running, just wasn't improving and increasing like I had been. Then winter came.

When we switched gyms in January- I left behind a great trainer as well. He really helped me know fitness again but schedules and money. . . .well, it just didn't make sense anymore. As it is, I need a second job to fund my race fantasies (half-kidding). In the winter, I started to psych myself into getting back to that really fit, ever improving, state I had been in a year ago. I WANTED to feel that great again and I knew I craved it- but yet, I couldn't get it kickstarted. I needed my muscles to scream WTF at me for awhile- because that's how I know greatness is happening.

So- I started looking around at options- martial arts, kickboxing, group fitness classes, CrossFit, cycling, back to swimming. . . . . .CrossFit was the one that caught my attention.
If you don't know what CrossFit is, there is a ton of information on the internet- and I'm not about to regurgitate it all - but I found a great video to explain it to some of those close to me- so I'd like to also share it with you.

The great thing about CrossFit is that it can be customized to fit anyone's level - there are modifications to any of the exercises you see here that make it manageable. I was apprehensive at first- because most of the people you see in these videos are ultra fit. Which is EXACTLY how I knew I had to try it.

Thing is- it isn't cheap. It isn't a $9.99 gym- it's a work till you want to puke kind of exertion that you pay someone a lot of money to teach you. Sounds great, right? I thought so too.

But given that I left the last gym and trainer because of money- I didn't have the chance to try it yet. I even wished, publically on Twitter, that Groupon would offer a CrossFit offer soon. Lo and behold, less than 2 weeks later- my dream came true. A Groupon for CrossFit at a box with a schedule and location that work for me! Heaven! Church of Iron- here I come!! (you can find them on Twitter at @Church_of_Iron as well).

After having a few questions answered over email, I made the plan to start today at 6am - and so I did. Planks, side planks, push ups, squats, pull ups, sled pushes were all part of my reality today- modified to my current ability so I NEVER felt like I couldn't do anything. The group was welcoming, challenging and definitely a place I'm looking forward to spending more time.

At this point- I see myself doing a pretty hard core beginner schedule for the first 4 weeks (to use the Groupon as much as I can!)- and then hoping to take advantage of it 2-3 times a week after that, in order to keep up my running training as well.

I definitely have the plan now to move forward in the next phase of this journey- I couldn't be more excited!

(While I know barely anything about CrossFit at this point- I'm happy to share my experiences and answer any questions you might have and I am looking forward to documenting this tranformation)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Finding the Fun!

I realize I have been taking the "occassional blogger" title way too seriously since my last post. After my hip injury, I had to take a few weeks off. Turns out it was not actually from weak muscles but actually hip bursitis. With a couple of weeks of rest and a very slow ramp up back to mileage (an a shoe change)- I'm back out there and feeling great!

While I took the time off from running- I did a few things;
  • I found pleasure in exercising in other ways- cycling, Arc Trainer, getting back into regular strength training.
  • I got crazy about creating my race schedule for the year.
    • As part of that planning though, I decided I wanted to have lots of FUN races intermixed with the more serious ones this year.
I have at least one race, per month, through the end of the year. At least 11 races planned- and that started on May 5 with the 500 Festival Finish Line 5K. It was definitely no PR, but with 94% humidity and still being cautious with my hip, I am pleased with a sub-38 minute finish.

Some of the really fun races I'm doing?
  • May 12 (TOMORROW!!) - Dirty Girl Mud Run Indianapolis, a 5K obstacle/mudd course
  • June 9 - Tap N Run Indianapolis, a 4K with a beer chug at each K and a full at the finish!
  • July 29 - The Color Run Indianapolis, a 5K with blasts of color at each K- resulting in a rainbow of fun at the end!
  • September 14-15 - Ragnar Napa! Can't wait to get my 3rd Ragnar Race in! I'm runner 12 this year!
I'll also be attempting my 2nd and 3rd half marathons this year- Aug 25 and Nov 3. In planning for this during my recovery, I also decided to do some shoe and form research. I was very drawn to Newton Running in my search. The concept is easy to understand and who doesn't love the fun colors?! I also was happy to see that they have a guidance trainer for those of us who overpronate. I was hesitant to move away from my Strong Stability style shoes but longed for something lighter and brighter. I landed on the Distance U model and placed my order.
I mean, who couldn't love those colors?
I've been running in them for about 3 weeks- pushed past the initial adjustment phase and ran my first 5k of the year in them. I haven't had ANY hip pain since starting to run with them. So far, I think they are amazing.

All of this renewed energy and planning for my running really helped me find the fun and the joy in it again. I had begun to feel very weighted by the monotony of training - I'm enjoying it so much- I might say that the injury may have been for the best!
Happy Running!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


For the first time in 2+ years of consistent running- I have a real injury that stopped me from completing a run I was on. I'm both frustrated that it happened, happy that it helped me to recognize a few necessary changes required and antsy to return to my routine.

I was out running on a beautiful night- gorgeous. Perfect mild temps just before dusk at a beautiful location on the downtown Canal in Indianapolis. I love running there. I was about 8 tenths of a mile in when I started to feel some tightness in my hip. Thought it was just a warm up thing - this wasn't typical but it wasn't painful either. I kept thinking about it though- just recognizing and trying to pay attention to it- when just over the 1 mile mark, I felt a hard pop on the high outside of my hip and then what felt like a lava-hot poker there as well- just pulsating heat. It was so sudden and hurt so bad that I couldn't even jog slowly to carry on- I had to stop and walk to a point where I could and try to stretch some- but it was clear this wasn't just going to pass. So- I called my husband to tell him I'd be gone longer than expected because I was going to have to hobble back the mile to my car. What took 11 mins to run out, took 25 mins to limp back to.

To be honest, at first I was mad at the whole situation - I've finally gotten back into a very regular running routine- and my running performance was showing that. But after a couple of days of reflecting, I was reading between the lines of the injury to recognize what really happened and what it was telling me. Here it is:- about 6 months ago- I started really pulling back from how much strength training I was doing - and recently, there is little to none of it. So while I'm still pretty active- I am convinced my body is missing this cross training and strength support. The more reading and research I did about my injury- it is likely an overuse injury due to weak muscles. *!Lightbulb!* The pain in my hip is likely caused by weak back/core muscles and weak outer thigh/hip muscles. I've been trying to coax myself back into more strength training- well, now I have my wake up call. It is either that or give up running- and that, my friends, is not going to happen. Especially not now that I've made my dedication to Ragnar's official. There is a Ragnar in all of us- you just have to find it. Mine now resides permanently on my foot.
The weather here today is absolutely beautiful and taking it easy is actually really hard when I want to be out in this and running after kids or biking or anything but being still- but I know I've got to heal before I can get stronger. I pedaled a little on the spin bike this morning to see how it felt- and it was ok- but the hip is still achey and I have to continue to be careful. So I hope you all enjoy whatever active activity you are able to go and do this weekend- do an exta set, and extra mile, and extra lap for me if you can- I'll return the favor some day!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I smell a CHALLENGE!!

I like to blog as a means to track progress, stay focused and have something to look back on when I'm hitting some challenges. I don't always do a good job about posting regularly.
My friend, Eternal Lizdom, posted on Facebook about this FitCity Mom contest :
The selected bloggers will receive:
» A three-month membership to the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis.

» $100 worth of program credits toward classes and programs at the YMCA.
» A massage from Resolve Massage Therapy.
» A grocery store tour and menu-planning recommendations from Alec Smith, RD, of Feel Good Nutrition.
» Two entries in the May 19, 2012 Geist Half Marathon and 5K .

Yes, please! To all of it! I'm a new and current YMCA member- but who wouldn't love program credits and a massage! I've also been trying to decide which spring half marathon to train for- I think fate just told me!
I think I would be an excellent FitCity Mom because- I'm a very busy, working-outside-of-the-home mom of 2 who faces challenges of work travel, business lunches and every day things that get in the way. I've lost 70 lbs in the last 2 years- and I am focused this year on getting to my goal weight but the number on the scale isn't as important as the level of fitness and health I achieve and maintain. I love to encourage others, break the mold and show that anyone can do what they set their mind to. It would give me an excellent reason and purpose to blog regularly again.
Since starting my journey 2 years ago- I've become an avid runner and gym rat. I've had my hurdles and faults but I want to be a FitCity Mom and lead by example!
Let's Go! Let's Go! Let's Go!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Looking Back and recognizing effort

Lately I've been in a bit of a slump. I really think I burned out during the first part of the year and then with various life changes, I had trouble getting back to my peak performance mode. However, as we reach the last few days of 2011- I'm reflecting on what I accomplished this year.
This is a snapshot of my 2010 Nike+ Stats for the whole year:

This is my 2011 Nike+ Stats (updated 1/1/2012):

9 more runs than last year- 93 miles more - 13.5 hours more- and an avg pace improvement of almost 1.5 minutes. I may not have kept up the intensity and frequency of my runs the second half of the year- but by God, I still improved over 2010 and that is something I can be proud of
I had some disappointments this year- choosing to opt out of my 2nd half marathon and not performing as well as I wanted to at Ragnar (due to illness)- that's life though- right? It doesn't always go as planned. You can give up- or you can keep on.
When you're having a rough day and beating yourself up for what you DIDN'T do- remember what you DID do and remind yourself that progress is progress- no matter how slow, no matter how long it takes. Keep moving forward.

My goal for 2012 is to improve on 2011 - run at least 100 times, go for 350 miles in the year and quicken my avg overall pace by at least 30 seconds.