Mother, Wife, runner, social butterfly & happy employee who has turned social media it into a passion, a job and an experience. I share what I know and what I learn about social media for business from the many networks I frequent with all of my followers so they may incorporate it into their world. I am always learning in this ever changing environment that never stops and enjoy the non stop pace probably because I don't either. Connect with me and we can share the path!
So last night I got a face full of reality. I convinced my friend who doesn’t workout regularly any longer to come to spin class. I figured if I could do it she could. She said she had taken a spin class before so I assumed she was prepared for the task at hand. She brought her daughter who is all of almost 18 and has the world at her hands. I gave them the run down of the instructor who actually wasn’t the instructor for the class come to find out. I showed them how to manage the bike settings and the seat and handlebars settings. I told them to do what they felt they could and that no one else would care where they were on the dial because it’s dark and we’re all struggling to just get through it ourselves. So we embarked on what I had hoped would be the catalyst to them joining and some gym friends going forward. This was not to be. My friend had to leave class 15 minutes into the session. It was hot in the room but heat combined with the bike and not working out very much made for a disasterous end to the class for her. She had to leave class, remove her shoes to cool off and go outside and lay in the cold air on cold cement to cool off her body. I left class a few minutes after her to make sure she was ok and then returned to class. Her daughter finished with me but it was a good reminder that just because I can do something fairly easily meaning without DNF-ing, doesn’t mean that someone else can. I’m in better condition to a spin class and probably have now pushed back her intentions of joining the gym or getting in better shape, back a bit. She and I are very different people. I’m a pig headded Ukrainian who will trudge through the fires of hell to reach a goal and my friend is more the type who lets setbacks be more discouraging than they should be. I used to be that person a long time ago. So long ago in fact it feels like I’m talking about someone else and in a way I guess I am. I don’t make excuses, I don’t let defeating moments define my path and I don’t quit. My friend is someone who, if motivated by someone or something, will go gangbusters all in but she needs to find it again. I need to remember that just because I can do something doesn’t make it easy and saying “you can do it’ is all relative to the baggage someone is carrying. Everyone can’t do everything and everyone doesn’t want to do everything. All I can do is try and remember that age and experience are key to inviting the world to join me on this crazy fitness path I’m on. You can’t go around inviting people to things blindly without a little thought to whether or not they can really do it…. Sometimes the “CAN” is actually a mental hurdle they need to leap and not so much a physical limitation. Anyway, my lesson is learned but keep in mind that at some level it’s up to the person trying it to make the ultimate call on whether or not they can. For now, I’ll still keep inviting.
Tonight I finally got my chubby girl ass in the swimming pool. If you haven’t seen Real Blunt Blonde, check her out on YouTube because she’s fricken hilarious even with her potty mouth but her potty mouth is part of what makes her …well her! So anyway, tonight I donned my slightly snug Speedo one piece swim suit that at the moment kind of squishes my hips out the leg holes like toothpaste but whatever, and I went to the gym and plopped my butt in the pool. The last time I felt all brave and went to the pool I got about 8 half laps done and I was done. I was so tired and out of shape that it was all I could do. Tonight however, I’ve got two or so years better fitness under my belt, more races, a weight routine, spinning and eating well that has built a better foundational me to work with. My goal was to do 10 ful laps if I could, figuring that the last time I could only do 8 so 10 would be an improvement. I got to 10 and pushed to 12, 13 then 15 and then it was all out war with myself to hit 20. I mean what the hell could it hurt.
I already felt like some jerk in my squeezy suit with my stupid bathing cap and rediculous goggles so why not give the parents waiting for their kids to finish swim lessons something else to watch. I mean I am mostly kidding about how I looked…probably not as bad as I say but I wasn’t really quite comfortable in my get up yet. This picture is NOT ME btw LOL. I pushed through and did it! I finished 20 full laps in that pool and felt like Wonder Woman. I am most impressed by how I felt when I was done. I wasn’t struggling to get out of the pool. I didn’t have that burning lung sensation and wasn’t craving water or air for that matter. I felt good and that is what I feel best about tonight. I felt good and worked it good. I feel like I might have made myself stronger which is my goal between now and November 5th when I have to climb that MOFO hill in the VT Innaugural 10 miler. Gotta work it hard to ready myself so it’s now in high gear training. I’m focused and ready to take on just about anything that will strengthen my lungs, legs and core. Swimming has been on my list for like 3 weeks and I hadn’t worked it in until today. It’s been a good day …I swam a half mile….A HALF MILE!!! Hats off to my friends who do Ironman races because that’s 2.4 miles and an amazing accomplishment I think. So I’m proud of me today and look forward to making myself even stronger tomorrow in Spin class. Until tomorrow…..
So today my friends and I took in a training run that included a hill. No, it wasn’t just a hill, it was a HILL!!!! Over 1/3 of a mile this hill climbs from -16 ft to 148 ft! it’s so steep that you actually can’t run up it, you have to prance slowly up it. I was taking the tiniest steps to get up that effing hill like I was running in molassas. It was so steep that my breath was ragged way in the back of my throat and my heartrate was at 169 bpm when it is usually between 140 – 150 on an average run for me. It was good for me to do this struggle because the hill I did today just about mirrors the elevation gain of the VT hill that starts our race. It was just hard but I ran that whole hill without stopping once. I wasn’t going fast but I wasn’t willing to stop. I needed to get to the top with all my effort as a matter of principal to myself. I pretty much swore the entire way up that 1/3 mile in my head. I knew it was going to be hard and I had to get up that mother no matter what because VT is 4 miles of that and I refuse to walk it. I may stop every mile but that will be the plan not the contingency plan. If VT is as tough as I think it’s going to be then I need to go into it with scheduled rests built into my plan so I don’t die at mile 4. One of the ladies we ran with today is a self proclaimed whiner. Instead of just training and planning to work hard today and to conquor that MF hill, she got shin splints because she hasn’t prepared well and she quit before even trying to get up the hill we came to conquor.
She QUIT! That makes me so mad. I might not be in the best condition I could be especially since I’ve laid off the core and Tabata the last two weeks but I didn’t quit! My friend Barbara didn’t quit! She ran that hill the best that she could and she did with me NOT ONCE but twice! I’m so proud of her for not quitting! My other friend has a hurt foot but she knows what she’s in for and she is still training for it and going into it with a plan for how to get through it. She won’t quit either because she is a Bad Ass B! and we may not be first but we give it our all every time. Trudging up that hill felt like mountain climbing especially on the last 30 feet from the top. It felt like the Red Bull 400 (pictured here) because as I plowed up the hill I just kept telling myself that I could do this. One foot in front of the other I could do this. Gravity was against me, egging me in the other direction. Begging me to give into the vacuum that seemed to be sucking me to the bottom of that hill. L-R assessment, L-R assessment all the way up sounded like “1-2 I’m ok. 1-2 I’m ok” over and over again. I just kept reminding myself that I wasn’t broken, I’m not dying and with every ragged breath that was burning my lungs with every heavy slow step I became stronger. I became tougher. I became the winner of my little Sunday afternoon challenge. When I was at the top I was so happy to stop and I turned around to cheer Barbara up that mofo hill too! We did it and we did it together which is what Bad Ass B’s do. We challenge eachother. We stick by eachother. We hold eachother accountable when we’re not doing our best and we pick eachother up when we don’t have anything in the tank or when we struggle. I love my B’s because they keep it real for me and keep me centered in many ways. They come and run dumb races with me because they too are crazy but we’re all crazy together so bring on any challenge because I’m a Bad Ass B! and I can do it and so can they!
Last night I had a half hearted effort at the gym. I wasn’t all mentally there so I spent about an hour or just under milling around with less enthusiasm than I would have liked. I was feeling old and fat which just comes along when it gets be near that time of the month. Anyway I was going to just do Tabata but decided if the pregnant lady could be conquoring the stairmaster, I was going to do some kind of hill workout on the DM. I started off jogging at an elevation of I think 4 and every .10 of a mile I increased it by 1. When the mile was done I was at a 14 incline and huffing a bit. I felt good however and I kept it to a mile because it wasn’t really a run day but I wanted to do some kind of hill work. I didn’t think I needed to run as long as I was working harder than a walk and my heartrate was up. I felt accomplished like I had done myself some good in the race prep area…specifically the VT race area. I wish i were working to an actual goal for this race like a 9 minute mile or being able to do 100 squats in a minute or something that I could actually say I had reached. This invisible goal stuff is not my thing. It’s like catching air with a strainer. I can’t measure it so I don’t know IF I’m on track, just that I’m making efforts to be fitter than I am right now and capable of getting up that hill. It’s not even just a matter of getting myself ready to get up that hill, it’s getting up the hill and then continuing on for another 6 miles. How in the world do I guage readiness for a goal I can’t really put my fingers on? All I can do is keep working and stay focused. Sometimes goals aren’t black and white, they are just a concept that you have to achieve in your mind.
Last night I started running with a mouthguard. It was so hard! This VT hill is freaking me out in terms of preparing myself. I want to do as much as I can to ready my legs, my lungs and my head for the challenge.
I can feel my lungs and my throat burning a little from struggling to breathe and I have a whole new respect for my kids who we made wear mouth guards for every sport. I especially respect my sons who played football and one who wrestles who wear them. Holy God I looked like Hooch from the Tom Hanks movie “Turner & Hooch” as I ran down the street. Spit flying everywhere. Drool dripping down my chin. my nose was running and overall I looked like a hot mess! It wasn’t pretty but it was all for a good cause. I hope this is worth it because the double takes I got running down the road from people in their driveways and those driving by me were priceless. I was like a circus side show. One guy that I know, whom I saw when I stopped the second time after mile 2 as I was gasping for air, asked me if I was ok. From across the road it was like a deaf convention because all I could do was nod my head and mouth the words “mouthguard”, hold it up for him to see, then I mouthed “tired” and he understood what was going on. It didn’t prevent him from looking like he was wondering why the hell would anyone run with a mouthguard especially someone my age. I could tell that’s what was going through his mind but no matter, it was just one of say 8 or so quizzical looks I got as I ran down the road. Mile 3 was so much better because I got better at holding that stupid pink nightmare in my mouth with minimal spittle flying out or dripping down my face. I got better at air intake and exhalation which is exactly what I wanted. So I guess it worked! we’ll see what the next few weeks brings. Maybe I’ll just tell people it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month (which it is) and say it’s my way of supporting the cause….. until next time…
So I have this race in VT in November with this really big 4 mile hill to open the 10 miles we must cover. Out of sight out of mind was great until Saturday. I have had this “can do” attitude about it so far because well I don’t have a choice other than walk or quit if I don’t just get it done. I’m all rah rah about it for weeks since we signed up. Well there’s this “hill” (using term lightly) that the girls in my group have been telling me about for practicing to get ready for VT. I haven’t gotten over there but Saturday I took my son and his friend with me and went to check it out. It’s in Fall River which is one of the absolute armpits of Mass. Not really a good place and the element that hangs there is sketchy. Now if you’re from there, of course you’ll say “oh it’s really not a bad area” but it’s just above the line of somewhere in NYC where stripped cars, grafiti all over everything and trash on the street and walking the street. It’s clearly above that line but not by a whole lot. Maybe that’s the country girl in me but I’m personally not comfortable there. I wouldnt go there by myself ever and the thought of leaving my car parked for a while makes me nervous but the girls seem fine with it and have been there in small groups and alone.
So back to the hill. If you are old enough to remember the TV show “The Streets of San Francisco” you’ll know what this hill looks like. One big giant uphill battle is what it is! My “can do” attitude came down a whole lot as I drove up this hill. Usually hills that are hard to run feel like nothing in a car. This hill felt hard in the truck! The picture I’ve attached is a picture of Presidents Ave. Now, this snapshot from Google does NOT do that hill justice. You can’t even tell how very steep it is but trust me, it’s super steep and reminds me of the horrible hill in the Lynchburg Half Marathon that I ran which had an elevation gain of 200 feet over a mile. If Presidents Ave continued on for 4 miles it would exactly mirror that hill. I thought one mile of that crap was hard let alone 4 in a row! Now I’m nervous not only about practicing on this hill but about our race. I will finish but it gives it a whole lot more perspective about what a hill is and how much mental fortitude I’m going to need to get my ass up that hill. We’re meeting on Sunday to run together and hopefully we get a few runs up that hill before race day just to at least get a basis for the impending struggle. We grow by challenging ourselves right? RIGHT! Let’s get this done!
Sacrificing. That’s what the name of the game some days which this week qualifies as. You see, I should have gone for a run Tuesday. Yeah, how did that work out for me? It didn’t because
I sat all night doing a report for work so I could stay on top of things. The beginning of the month is a hurricane of work because I took on some new responsibilities and the first week of the month is crazy getting the new stuff organized for the month. I didn’t run and that was a sacrifice and it was ok. I ran Wed morning and wanted to do Tabata last night but again I was working on the same report but finishing it up so now that’s made way for otherthings. So again, last night was a sacrifice that I wasn’t really happy that I made but happy because today I am ahead. This morning I was definitely going to do that Tabata because I struggle to get it in anyway, but sometimes certain priorities trump a workout and yet again I did not get Tabata in. I’m ok with it because I’ll go for a run at lunch and if I’m lucky actually get Tabata in tonight. That’s the plan but we’ll see how it all works out. I don’t mind sacrificing my workouts for good reasons or sometimes to make my life easier or just because I need it. I don’t like doing it a lot so this week where I’ve had to switch gears a lot bugs me. It bugs me that it’s been a week since I did strength training but I’ve been sick since Friday so I guess that makes it ok. Clearly I feel better because I’m complaining about it now. Every week won’t be perfect. What matters is that we get back on track as soon as we possibly can and keep going.