Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mind over Matter- it really is true.

There are so many times that I have talked myself out of working out - or continuing my fitness routines- but something this year really has clicked. Even if it is all at my pace and sometimes slower than I'd like- I'm able to enjoy life and really have found out how much I enjoy being fit.

Today I was planning to do a 5k run after work- but after my strength training session on Tuesday morning (which included LUNGES!) I was pretty sore- especially the hamstrings. All day at work, I kept telling myself that it would be ok to skip it and relax a little. But you know what? At the end of the day, I told myself it was NOT ok to skip it - and that I had to at least try- and if it meant I walked more than normal- then so be it. I did walk a bit more than I really hoped, but my overall pace was still so respectable.

It might be a full minute per mile slower than yesterday- but the real positive? when I was running- I was actually running faster than on Monday- I just took more walk breaks. Nice! I even threw in a few small hills. That's two 5ks this week so far!

When I got home, my husband was just arriving with the kids- so we decided to head out to dinner. While I may have eaten a bit more than planned while out- I decided on the way home that I was going to cut the grass when we got home. So that's what I did. 30 minutes to push mow the front and back yard- I'm beat but I feel good!
My oldest daughter - she approves!!
Actually, this was in response to her first-ever root beer float- but it made me smile, so I hope it does you too.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Get OUT and RUN!

Oh, open road, how I have missed you!

I am a total wuss when it comes to high heat and humidity- preferring the hamster wheel-like treadmill to run in relative cool. I can handle anything under 85 degrees with lower humidity - but above that and I'm miserable.
I have not run outside in some time- probably going on almost 2 months of only running on a treadmill.
However, today's forecast was 81, sunny and not too humid- and I heard it calling my name.

I think my feet were kissing the road with each heel strike. Those dips are short walk breaks - and I walked for the first 2-3 minutes to warm up - my average running pace during the run portions was around 10:00mm! I didn't look at any of my gadgets while running because I didn't want to feel the need to keep up or move faster- just wanted to listen to my body and respond - and I'm so glad I did.

This graph shows me that I've made real improvements in my fitness. I know there will still be "bad run" days- but this distance, this pace - it was not possible for me 1 year ago. It is really satisfying to know that if you really stick with something, you can truly amaze yourself.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Focus. It is a smallish word with a lot of meaning.
Sometimes I have a lot of it, sometimes I have very little of it. Still other times, I can focus so intently on 1 or 2 things, but can't seem to even focus a little bit on other things.

I am at a place in life right now where focus seems to be a bit of a commodity and a rare one, at that. That's not to say that life is bad- it isn't -but I'm spending so much time being serious about so many things that focusing on any ONE thing to do it very well has become very taxing.

This weekend (and probably the 2 weeks leading up to it) has been one of the times in my life where I feel like I am below the "adequate" line in every aspect of my life. My home is a mess, I feel like I lose my temper far too often (especially where my kids are concerned) and I have so much on my mind that finding FOCUS has become a real challenge. Simply forcing myself to sit down and write this blog post is challenging. I should be: cleaning, preparing, budgeting, sleeping or so many other things.

I know that I'm not unique in this - many other people have a time (or times) like this in their life. I can look through the muddy water and see that my unclear moments are due to all of the shifts in my life, specifically the techtonic-plate-shift that was adding my 2nd child to our family. She is 9 months old now and we are in simple survival mode. To get anything done, it becomes a major event. We've got the basics down- like going to visit someone or going out to eat- those are "easy" things today. The challenge is the things that USED to be easy.

Cleaning my house.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I am no Martha Stewart. I'm not even Martha Stewar'ts 2nd cousin who got half a cleaning gene. Clutter is part of my life. However, I do like organized chaos in my clutter and I do not have that now. To clean ONE room in my house now is a major ordeal. While my husband and I use to be able to work together on that, it isn't possible anymore. One of us has to be with both kids while the other works to exhaustion to clean a room- you know it is bad when you start to bicker over who gets to clean so you can escape the kids for awhile. . .

This is the one area that I have maintained focus. Even with all my chaos- I'm proud that I've kept up. I make it to work out a minimum of 4 days a week, more likely 5x and some weeks, even 6 days. I'm now strength training 2-3x a week. In terms of the scale- it isn't budging (but at least it isn't going up either). I hope that that is mainly due to building muscle and trading out some fat for it right now creating a neutral situation. Admittedly, I could be more clean with my eating- there was a State Fair incident yesterday. I have not been running as many miles as I used to when training for races, but I'm focusing on overall body fitness and have added other activities like swimming and biking into the mix.

State Fair
All excuses aside, I don't regularly eat that kind of stuff even once a week in small doses- so one day of really off the charts stuff can be reversed- but what a difference a year makes. One of my (former) state fair faves - fried veggies - was on my list yesterday. We always share it- and usually finish it off. Yesterday- there was at least 1/3 of it left before we threw in the towel- the grease was making me feel ill. I don't even think I want to get them next year. We also did the fried butter, yes- I said it. Fried Butter. I wanted to know what the buzz was about -it was way over the top. Good, but not something I'd eat again either. My favorite thing at the fair was the 3 chocolate covered popcorn balls we bought and brought home and are stretching out over several days.

It is definitely time to get more serious on the food-focus front.

While I know I don't "owe" anyone a blog post and that I started this for myself - the point of starting it was so that I kept myself focused and accountable - even when some things are going well, I think I was avoiding the blog to have to put some of it out there.

It may not be fully linear- and some of it may not make full sense either (in my defense, it's getting later in the night) - but I feel a bit of relief having unloaded a lot of what's been floating in this head of mine.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I mean it, really, I'm not

I promise- lots of blogging updates this weekend and then I will get back in the saddle next week and update at least 3x a week- that is the new goal I have set for myself.
In the meantime, you need to know 4 things:
- I have not fallin' off any proverbial wagon
- Life is good- just busy and kind of crazy right now
-Still swimming, running, biking, lifting- details to follow!
- Thanks for still following me even though my updating skillz are a little on the lacking side of the meter.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I am not M.I.A.

I have been really bad about getting to my blog to update it. However, this past week and a half have been very busy, and stressful- but also good and full of fitness and great workouts (well, except for a couple/three day break during my trip to PA).

When my husband and I joined the other gym near our house to maximize our workout time- we received 2 free training sessions as well. We used those to help develop a plan in the ActiveTrax system that the gym uses. It is helpful because it keeps me focused on what exercises to do and have a plan for when I walk into the gym, rather than wander around trying do decide which machine looks less scary. I did my first ActiveTrax workout on Monday - and my calves and triceps are still screaming for mercy. Looks like I've got lots of room to grow there.

I am still swimming and running for my cardio workouts - and I just have to say that I am so pleased that I got back into swimming. I really had forgotten how much I LOVED to swim and I have always kind of felt like a fish in water- just comfortable and confident. When I swam competitively I was good- not champion good, but I held my own at swim meets. I swam with one of the best at that time - a girl I came through school with and swam with - Dawn Heckman. She was made to be a swimmer - and from what I hear, now owns (I hope that's right) - a very cool (and custom!) athletic swimwear company/site. When I am able to comfortably fit into the sizes she offers (which won't be long at all) I will own some of those super cool suits. I even kind of like the fact that I smell chlorine all day after my morning swim (I do shower and try to wash it all off- but it lingers, what can I say).

Today is day 2 of strength training - and I'll be working opposite muscles from day 1 - so maybe that will help stretch out those really sore ones (I'm hoping!).

Sorry for my silence of late- I'll try to be better about that.