I have already set my 2018 fitness schedule through March. I have a half marathon on the books for March so my plan goes to there. I have set a weight goal that I would like to hit either by my half or by my birthday in May. Seventeen pounds that I want to shed is a little harder now that I’m older and doing some weight training to tone. I seem to hover around 165 these days which in my pants feels great but my eyes are still from the old school that start the name calling when I look in the mirror and still see cellulite on my legs and ass that make me wonder if I’ll ever get rid of that. Better happy and healthy and hovering at a healthy heavier weight than to be deeply depressed and either 200 lbs or 150 heading to very bad places. That was my swing not long ago. I’ve pretty much made peace with my current weight but I fight old demons that lurk in the mirror every day.
I have a meal plan of sorts in my head for this year one month at a time. ( THIS IS NOT ME BTW but I’d like it to be LOL!)
When I say meal plan I mean less sweets, more protein and less snacking. I want to up my effort in the weight training arena to really put in a full body effort with more focus on toning to try to cut just a little more body fat. My husband keeps saying I’m tight but when you’re feeling my ribs, OF COURSE, I’m tight. Not much fat there at all. LOL. I don’t really argue with him because it makes me feel good that that is the picture he sees of me and not the one I see in the mirror. I am going to try overnight oats this coming year to see if I can stomach them. They look awesome but something about oats that sat overnight kind of boges me out.
In terms of running, I don’t think this year will be as full as last year. I believe I’ll fall somewhere between 3-4 races not the 7 I did this year. One for me, one with my friend and one with my Bad Ass B’s for sure. Maybe one other but I would like to focus on strength training this year more than running to see what I have in me and how “tight” I can actually make this old body. I want to be amazing at 50 which is my 2019 birthday number. One reason I want to take it easy on the running THIS year is because I want to run a full marathon next year for my 50th. That goal scares the shit out of me because it’s bigger than I’ve ever attempted. It’s overwhelmingly ginormous and intimidating but it’s on my mind. I think even if I DNF (WHICH I HAVE NEVER EVER DONE BTW) I will have attempted what in my mind is the coo de ta of races. Can I do it? I do believe I can and I want to push myself to see if I can. So this year I’ll focus on strength to prepare for the BIG ONE next year. Get ready B’s because I’m going to need you there when I make that attempt. I’ll need my girls to help me get there and to be at the finish line with hopefully one or all of my kids cheering me to the finish. It will be a year of preparation and focus one month at a time. Watch out 2019 because this girl is coming for you with a vengeance. This girl is going to be ready when you arrive!
Here’s to the next 367 days until 2019 gets here!
There’s something extremely empowering when you become the example, mentor, developer of someone’s love for working out. It fills me up with such joy to see someone I’ve known for their entire life coming out to try a little fitness and to be doing it with me. Now maybe it’s because classes are free at the moment that is the reason she came but honestly I don’t care. I invited my niece (childhood bff’s daughter) to come to spin tonight with me. Part of me wanted to see how serious she was about getting in shape and part of me wanted company in spin class and an even deeper part of me wanted to light the fitness fire that might be smoldering way down inside that just needed a little breeze to spark up a bonfire! She’s at a point where she feels out of shape and wants to drop some weight and tone up some parts. That’s the time when you can influence someone the most because the want to is there. She wants to, feels like she needs to and is making the effort to do it. All you need is a little want to and you can achieve anything in the world. So tonight we did spin for the second time together and she stayed right with the class and never stopped. I better watch out or her that little chickadee will be hard to keep up with soon! Tonight class was hard! I was literally dripping all over the ground and my bandana wasn’t helping keep the sweat from dripping down my face. I was a sweaty hot mess and so hot that I whipped my shirt off and spun 2/3 of class in just my sports bra! I feel like you have to adjust to that boldness gradually but I’m at the point where I just feel good enough that I’m not giving everyone around me that “Puke in your mouth” feeling when I bare it all. Now, I’m no spring chicken but I feel like I work hard to be in decent shape and that it wouldn’t be like “OH MY GOD, look at that fat lady letting it all hang out!” Like I said, all you have to do is get to the want it stage and you too will have big ol’ kahuna’s too! So we finished class successfully, neither one of us fainted, puked or died which is good. I am hoping that she and possibly her mom, my lifelong bff, will join the gym so I can have my own set of gym peeps. Who knows. All that matters is that I am helping her to want to work out and helping myself find a reason to work harder toward a better me! Good things come to those who …..put forthe the damn effort and make it happen! I mean to those who try. LOL
I took my sons (17 &19) to yesterday as the last fun mom & sons / brother & brother thing that we do this summer. I really wish it wasn’t that time because my heart is breaking knowing I only have Johnny for one more week. Part of life but one that I just am not adjusting to easily. I hate this time just as much as the first time last year that we left him. Anyway, I thought it would be a great way for me to do something super brave that they would be proud of and something that would give them a morning full of fun that they will talk about. That it will be. It also turned out to be a learning lesson for me as I found out my youngest son James is afraid of stuff in the air that wobbles. He’s my 225 lb gentle giant who has actually zip lined before. John and I surprised him with this because we thought he would love it. He didn’t. He liked the challenges but hated being high in the air on wobbly wires and wooden planks. He did one full course then decided it was more fun to cheer us on from solid ground. I really felt so bad because now it’s only “fun” for two of us and for me it wasn’t so much fun as a sense of accomplishment overcoming my fears to buck up and dig deep for bravery. I wanted the boys to see, and now especially with James on the ground, what it looks like to be so afraid of something and do it anyway. In fact, when we went up on the most challenging course at the end, I heard James say from the ground “if my mother can be brave, I can be brave”! WOW! Very proud of him for attempting another time by himself. He got half way and had to get down but he faced it on his own terms and tried again. Me, I’m just a stubborn Ukraninan but I did it! I Effing Did it!!! I was so scared, I cried at some points, I took deep breaths but I did it. I climbed vertical rope ladders with wooden round rungs that went straight up 5 feet / 10 feet to a platform that was 20 feet in the air. I ziplined 35 feet in the air (thank God for the canopy of trees below that lessened the look of how far up we were). I walked on wires, holding wires, across a span of 20 feet that was 30 feet in the air. I walked across a wire navigating my way around obstacles. It was a day of dusting off muscles in my head that I haven’t really used much…the ones for creative problem solving and concentration to do a challenge while not looking at it which required looking down which I couldn’t do. I sprained my finger on the last challenge because I wrapped my fingers in the nylon strapping that lowered us to the ground. Not a good idea since when it adjusts for your weight and snaps taught it yanked my finger and probably pulled some ligaments in there. That’s what happens when you’re scared. I couldn’t have done it without my sons. I pulled bravery up from somewhere in my gut to be a good life lesson for them. Johnny stayed with me and waited for me at EVERY obstacle. That’s us right there. In this selfie, the only selfie I could manage, we are about 15 or so feet in the air. If you look between us, there’s a wire. THAT was the kind of wires we were holding on to and ALL we had to hold on to most of the obstacles. No safety net, just two industrial hooks only one of which would lock at a time, strapped to your harness. I actually felt safe in the harness. I don’t look afraid here but I was. I just wasn’t looking down because I was distracted by a moment I needed to get for my memories. Johnny was amazing! He told me how every obstacle was designed, the best way to navigate it, how to stay steady and then went first so I could see it done. He’s not afraid. When he got to the other side He fastened himself then turned and encouraged me on. Just looking at him I felt ok. He just kept telling me that I was doing great and he coached me along what seemed like 1,000 yards to the other side of every obstacle. So grateful he helped me and waited for me with a kiss to the forehead and a “good job mama” when I finished each one. James was my safety net. Hearing him tell me that I was doing good, to keep going and that I was almost there was like having a blanket of courage wafting up from below me to help carry me to the other side. It was like a hug from below and it was the thing when I was at the highest point on the course that made me let go of the tree and try again. Yes, I was a tree hugger …literally! At the highest spots I had to hold the tree because the platform wasn’t super big and fear was poking at me big time. What I liked best about hearing James voice was that he knew how afraid I was…he lived it so his words were the words that someone so fearful, like me, neede to hear. He didn’t tell me not to be afraid because he knew I was and that those words wouldn’t help me move on. John didn’t say them either for the same reason. James didn’t say too much that would distract me, just enough for me to be reminded that I could do it. I am sort of happy that he decided the ground was the place for him because I had Johnny up top with me guiding me and helping me and James below me keeping me steady. God I love my sons so! I’m so lucky!!!
Today I am stiff in places that seem hard to believe have muscles, like across my ribs on my back. Not sure I really think about having muscles there but I clearly do and they are letting me know I irritated them with my little overachieving escapade. Many of my invisible muscles are whining today but it feels good when that happens because I worked another set of muscles to stay strong.
I have had a much more aggressive workout routine now for 10 months. Except for this week that seems like a struggle to get any double sessions in but I’ll just roll with it because Sunday is The Falmouth Road Race and I don’t need to have a exercise injury now simply because I am only giving half effort. Anyway, compared to a year ago, I bike, I run, I do strength training too. In my strength training, I have about 15-20 exercises that I rotate between when I work out, not all of which get done every time. It’s good to switch it up so your body doesn’t ever really plateau. I know continuing with the same exercises is still good but for fat burning it is not. I try to switch it up without building so I don’t use heavy weights or too many reps, just heavy enough to be some work without exhausting me. A few days ago I randomly added a few rounds of boxing to the Tabata workout that I was doing and today I can feel it in my back and chest! My abs have that “Please don’t cough” pleading going on which makes me laugh so hard…but not because it hurts, in a good way. It feels great to be sore because I know I am making improvements which get harder and harder to make the older I get. AAhhh the joys of aging! Next up on my radar is trying something from Les Mills called Body Combat which looks like kick boxing which I suck at but really want to try out! Just gotta keep switching it up!
I woke up today and wondered where the truck was that ran me over was. The only thing I did yesterday was run. I ran 3 miles after work, nothing new or difficult or unusual for me. It wasn’t fast or slow, just average for me. Today it felt like I did something out of the ordinary, enough so that I laid in bed wondering if I really wanted to go work out. I didn’t just wonder if I should run, I wondered if I should even work out. At first I thought I would go work out but if I do Tabata I like to have at least an hour in which to spend working all my junk out. So I kicked my ass into my running clothes and when I was finished getting my husband ready for work and making his breakfast I headed out. I decided to run a harder route but one that I’ve run before. It started with a big ass hill which always makes you feel awesome once you crest the top of it. As expected, mile 1 was slow with the typical “why are you doing this” and “you’re super slow, just go home” conversations in my head. The Ukrainian pressed on to finish and as it always does my running knocked the shit out of the tired feeling that was taking over just 30 minutes earlier. Now right now I’m suffering from the post lunch food coma married with the sitting in the sun for :45 minutes slump which has nothing to do with my slow starting morning. I always feel better when I go for a run when I’m tired in the morning. Not every run is great or even good for that matter but every run that happens when your just tired always ends up with me being happy that I went and much more awake. I’ve never been sorry that I’ve gone for a run tired because I feel not only stronger but better and healthy and good. The mental happiness from running is ridiculously addictive and makes me want to do more following every time I buckle down and just get it done. If you don’t love it, don’t do it but do find something that you do love and do that. Strive to be as healthy as you can and as strong as you can every day.
So my friends and I finished the “Run The Year” challenge yesterday. We did all the miles on our own mostly although cumulatively we did some together in race miles and some fun miles too. The last 12 miles we did as a group and it was just great! It was 3 easy miles at breathing pace so we could talk and laugh and just make the most of something fun that we did together. When we finished we took a picture with our medals and felt accomplished and good about ourselves as individuals and as a new group of friends who most definitely will do other things together. We went to dinner, laughed and shared stories and future goals and had ourselves a little celebration of ourselves.
I really like running with friends and feel like I could do so much more with them than I could alone. One of us is a super athlete having run marathons, triathlons, iron man races, brave unique races and just some crazy things. She makes me feel bold and is the reason I consider running something further than a half marathon. Another of us used to smoke like a chimney and has come back from ill health to someone who reminds me that I can achieve anything I set my mind to do. The last of our quartet is someone who makes reminds me that no one can take my cookies away from me and that I deserve to do anything I want to do because this is my life. You see my friends, although they may not know it, are the glue and strength in my everyday life. Each day I know them I realize how fun life can be and how much I have needed friends. These ladies are my special friends and my crazy friends and my supportive friends. They make me strong, make me laugh, keep me realistic but brave and are the piece to my puzzle that has been missing. I love my girls because I am a better person because I know them.
We are the Bad Ass B’s!
Today I was slow. I ran a 12:11 first mile and slow similar miles for 2 & 3. I wasn’t out of breath but I talked and talked and talked. I spent 36 minutes running and could have run another 3 but I stopped. Today was not about me or training or about my race. It wasn’t about time or fitness or bragging rights. Today I ran with my daughter who is at one of the lowest points in her life struggling with weight. I have been there and I know that struggle. I know the demons that close in at night when there is nothing to do but wait it out until daylight when your responsibilities keep your mind busy until you do it all over again. She asked me to help her and how does one say no to someone reaching out for help? I wish someone had been there to help me instead of me clawing my way out all alone. So I put a plan together for her and I got up at 4:45 and we got out the door just after 5am. Together we started and I did most of the talking which consisted mainly of running basics and only concentrating on one step at a time and finishing because today that’s all that mattered. I talked about things to keep in mind about good form and safe running and running for self satisfaction. I think I threw up every running thing I’ve learned as we ran. I just kept talking so she could mainly stay quiet and concentrate on not puking LOL. We stopped and sipped Powerade every mile so she could take a breather and much to her surprise she made it all 3 miles! You see when you’re alone and struggling the desire to stop outweighs the desire to power through it especially when you’re fighting extra weight and a bulging disc in your back all you want is a reason or an excuse to stop so there is no guilt. It’s really hard. Period.
So today was all about a memory for me. It was about being there when someone needed help to encourage them and show them the way. It was like reaching out my hand to help Fat Brenna and tell her that everything will be ok. It felt wonderful to be there for a first all while hoping it wasn’t the last. It made me feel good and made all the normal thoughts about pace and time and form and things that needed me to do them back at home go away leaving only a sole purpose and that was to be inspiring to someone. It filled me with sunshine on a dreary cloudy day and that is something that you can’t buy. May you have days where it’s all about you because you need those days but may you also have days where it’s all about someone else because that is like community service for your soul.