It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

January 21, 2015

Get Into the Groove

 Do you have Madonna stuck in your head now?  If you don’t it’s because you are younger than me :)  It’s classic 80s Madonna!

Anyway, I finally feel like I’m getting into the groove of things again.  With my indoor cycling class (on my bike and trainer) I’ve added cycling back to my schedule at least 2 days a week (sometimes 3 if I go to the Sat class).  The class is TOUGH.  It is supposed to last about an hour, but with warm-up and it usually runs a few minutes late, I get in a good hour to hour and 10 to 15 minutes on the bike. It is similar to a gym Spin class.  It is very high intensity and energy.  My heart rate stays very elevated throughout the class.  Last night was basically interval work switching back and forth between high cadence work and simulated climbs.  The high cadence work really taxes my aerobic threshold.  It is good for me, as I’m not a “high cadence” kind of girl.  
Working out in the home gym...Jack always by my side
I’m continuing to keep my core and weight training going.  Now that Jim and I have a nice little home gym in our basement it’s a great way to get in full body work.  I’m trying to do this at least 3 to 4 times a week for now, though I know once triathlon season is in full swing I’ll probably have to cut it down to a couple of times a week.  But it is helping! I can really see new definition and muscles coming along and that is really cool!

I’m still struggling a bit with my running.  I just can’t seem to get the speed back that I had 6 to 8 months ago.  I know a big part of it is weight and I’m working on that part.  My times are coming down some, but I’m still just nowhere close to where I want to be.  On a positive note we’ve had a nice little warm spell here for some reason and it’s been in the 50s and even low 60s for several days.  I even got in a tank top run on Monday!  That is unheard of in Missouri in mid Jan.  Two weeks ago it was subzero with the wind chills.  It’s a nice little motivating break!
Tank top run with the sun shining magically on my head

So, in the next couple of weeks I need to add back swimming.  UGH.  It is my least favorite of the 3 sports for a few reasons.  1) I totally suck at it and 2) it’s just the hassle.  I actually enjoy swimming once I’m there most of the time, but I hate going to a gym, changing, smelling like chlorine, the extra shower, etc, etc.  It’s just a pain.  Plus it’s often difficult to find a lane by yourself which is always intimidating because – well just refer to #1. 

As of this past Monday I am just shy of six weeks (5 weeks and 5 days) until the Phoenix Half Marathon.  It should be warm and flat.  It would be a great race to attempt a PR, but I know I’m not in that kind of shape.  I need to get some weight off and just keep training and then attempt a PR in the spring.  Realizing the closeness of the race has given me some added motivation to lose some weight.  My goal is to lose 10 pounds.  It is not overly aggressive, but it is not an easy goal either.  If I want to make it happen I need to focus, focus, focus.  Last night after cycle class was my first real test.  My girlfriend asked me to go to my favorite pizza place…where they have the most amazing meatball sub on the planet.  I haven’t had one in a really long time and it sounded so good after a long workout…..but I turned her down…I can home and ate a healthy and light dinner.  Focus!  The struggle is real……….

Just a beautiful pic of the sun coming up during a morning run
How are you doing????

January 07, 2015

Starting Over – Again

It’s just after the New Year and here I am again in the same place.  I feel like I’ve been here so many times before.  The broken record.  You know what I’m talking about.  You have the whole year ahead of you.  It’s time for a change.  It’s time to actually start treating food like it’s something to fuel your body, not a reward.  It’s time to run, bike, and swim faster.  It’s time to lose weight.

But what about all those gains I made last year?  Oh yeah, I did great for a few months, but then it all fell apart and now I’m back to square one……AGAIN.  As most of you know, last year was the most difficult year of my life, so I guess I kind of have “an excuse”, but if it hadn’t been for that, would I really be sitting here today at my goal weight – feeling great??  Maybe, but probably not.  I ask myself why is that?  I have the motivation, so why doesn’t it always come to fruition?  I work out – pretty much daily year round.  I try to eat relatively healthy, but yet I don’t make the gains I want – except in the weight department – that seems to be no problem at all.
I remember doing a workout a few months again and the instructor said “If you want to stop starting over, stop giving up”.  It’s not an original quote, but for some reason it really stuck with me.  How many times do we get frustrated because it’s just so hard to build that run base back up again?  Or it seemed so much easier to lose 10 pounds a few years ago.  Why do we keep starting over??  If we just build on what we have already achieved – just think where you could end up.

Last night I had my first indoor cycle class and it was hard.  I had only been on my bike a handful of times since August.  My friend Michelle looked over at me – and she said “every year” – “every year we say I’m not doing this to myself again.  I am going to ride my bike in the fall so that indoor cycling is not so hard”.  But did we do it?  Nope, neither of us. 
So here I am on January 7th, with a similar list of goals for 2015 that I had in 2014.  It is time to start building again.  I know I’m never going to be perfect, but this year I want to put that quote into action.  I want to stop giving up and starting over year after year.  Yes, sometimes life happens (like for me last year) and you really don’t have much of a choice, but most of the time it’s just a lack of motivation and will power. 

I hope this post doesn’t come across too negative because it’s really not intended to be.  It’s simply reflective.  So I want to end on a positive note and think about some of the things I did manage to accomplish in spite of everything last year.  I kept running.  My swimming and biking were pretty non-existent, but through everything I kept running.  I did miss a few weeks, but I logged running miles nearly every week last year – and even ended with a 36 day run streak from Thanksgiving to New Years.  I started weight training in October and have kept that going.  I’m actually feeling stronger than I have in ages.  I put on almost 20 pounds last year.  I lost 8 pounds in Oct and Nov…but ended up putting most of that back on in December.  But as of this morning I’m down 4 pounds so technically I guess I lost weight over the holidays.  
A little collage I made of my Instagram Photos for my Run Streak

I’m really ready for a change in 2015.  Losing my parents in 2014 really put a lot of things in perspective for me.  It’s not about being the fastest runner, or best triathlete, but it’s about being the best me.  It’s about staying healthy, fit and active to avoid some of the awful things they went through because they were not healthy. 

Remember, none of us are perfect.  If you are sitting here reading this, feeling the same way.  Don’t beat yourself up.  You are human.  This is hard.  It takes hard work and dedication to achieve our goals, but WE CAN DO IT!!!
Happy 2015 everyone!  What are you doing differently this year?  Did you make great strides in 2014 or are you like me and starting over?