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 just something peaceful about morning running. Maybe it’s the quiet of the day or the darkness that hasn’t quite conceded to the bright glow of the majestic day ahead. There are not many cars around nor other runners where I am or even people walking dogs. It’s just quiet almost to the point that I can hear my thoughts out loud. I love that first breath in of fresh crisp air that purges my lungs of night air and fills my soul with brightness. It calls me to it, envelops me and makes me its own for 30 minutes of bliss. I can see the glow of a dawning day in the windows of my neighbors and see those who have started their day. I can smell those ambitious enough to cook something that appeals to my palette as I run on an empty stomach thinking about the pancakes and eggs I’ll make when I return. As dawn lights my way, revealing my form I realize this is the best run that I’ve had in many days. I enjoyed it a lot and am happy I didn’t wait until tonight to go. When I run in the morning I have no worries, no problems, no distractions. My phone isn’t ringing, I’m not tied to the internet and I’m not trying to organize anything. It’s just me, in the dark blending in with what remains of the night. Free as a bird and not weighted down by life at this very moment.
Today as I make my way through my neighborhood wondering who knows I’m passing by, my mind is on my race on Sunday. I’m running The Falmouth Road Race and thinking about how the race will go and whether it will be my race. It may not be. Because of the time of the month it may have to just be fun. I’m not expecting it to be a stellar race because I just don’t do well a few days before I get my period. 2-4 days prior, my legs are heavy, it’s hard for me to breathe and it’s just a struggle. Even if it’s a struggle, I’d like to beat last years 1:18. I’m much stronger this year in my core than last year which will be helpful. Nonetheless, if I go into it not expecting too much and not trying to be faster than last year I think it will be fine. Slow it down and I’ll have more fun. My friend who runs this race with me might like company for the entire 7 miles rather than being dumped at the starting line like I usually do. I well know how not fun running alone is so that might be the way to go I think. It’s all about the fun and the experience.
The show is over, the sun is up late into the evenings, it’s warm out in the morning and now at night too…oh the workout options I have just gained for the next 6 months! I miss it when we do the shows because days become a blur of lost nights and weekends creating, building and painting sets for the show. It’s months and months of work both at home and at the school that pretty much eliminate my ability to workout at night. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting up and out early in the morning and getting it over with first thing but I like to switch it up sometimes and do my workouts at night instead. I also like to do two-fers (working out in the morning and at night) a couple of times a week. The responsibility of the show as much as I love those days restricts me to mornings only. That works and I do it because I have to but now that my day is mine I feel really good about having my nights back. Today, because yesterday was such a hard workout on my body, I’ll do my Tabata workout after work so I have a few extra hours to rest. Having nights backs is wonderful since mid days are now headed into summer weather and the “too hot and dangerous to run outside” weather is upon us. Between the gym membership that rarely gets used but is handy to have when I need it and an available schedule, I’m excited to once again step it up and take it to the next level in strength training. Let’s see what I can do! I need to work on core a lot if I am going to improve my pace enough to seriously tackle my new goal. I need to work on my legs to round out their ability to hold me up for 26.2 miles and I need to cut extra body fat where it truly is extra. I can do more of that now that I have the time and have options on what I do and when. It’s like a breath of fresh air and I always look forward to this time of the year and I will push myself to do my best to be my best because I don’t have a trainer by my side helping me stay the course.
What things do you appreciate that you don’t always have the opportunity to do?
I have had a few goals in my time running and a few in my life. I read a lot about running and about other people’s running goals and trials, successes and failures. If we don’t set goals we don’t have a reason to push ourselves to improve and to step out of our comfort zone in order to achieve them. When I weighted 200 lbs and wanted to lose weight the goal was to lose weight simply by running. I did it. When I wanted to run a half marathon I signed up, trained and I did it because I set the goal. One thing I know about goals is that if you are afraid of them you should definitely put it out there for everyone in the world to see, tell your close friends and just do it! The thing about the running community is that we have all failed at some running goal at least once so if I fail I don’t feel like anyone would have anything but encouraging things to say. Runners are just like that and that is one of the greatest things about us. So I’ve talked about the big “M” for a little while now. Wanting to, hoping to, thinking I might but not quite yet because my son is still in High School and I feel like training would take away from the time I feel like I want to give him as I did his siblings. My time is coming make no mistake about it and I’m looking forward to it. At this point it’s about a year and a half before I could even make my first attempt. The improvements that need to be made in order to successfully achieve this are great in that I will have to work my ass off to get there. I’m willing and willing is all you need when you marry it with determination and Ukrainian stubbornness.
So a few posts ago, I told you about someone who told me “yeah, good luck with that” in retort to my statement that “anything you can do I can do better”. It’s been in my craw ever since just stewing and brewing and marinating itself into obsession. Don’t tell me I can’t because I will make it my mission to throw it in your face. So there it was like this horrible dangling participle floating in the air begging me to take it on. How can I not chicken out of this? If no one knows then I could just forget it for a while or even forever and no one would be the wiser! But what I would never want to happen is to get old and never have tried to do it. I can live with failing at it because at least I tried to and that is respectable. So today, I put that goal up on my wall to look at every day. To keep in the back of my mind every minute and to take with me in my heart on every run. It’s now up there for real people to see other than me. It isn’t a secret any longer and even though this scares the shit out of me, @KellyKKRoberts made me believe that trying is what we do and that to give it your all is all we can do. Fail or succeed to meet the goal is less important than having tried. So here it is. The 9:30 average paced runner, 2:14 half marathoner is setting a goal for the big M. No date yet but training and working toward this goal starts now. Hanging on my wall at work and now here for the world to see… my marathon goal times now on the proverbial record…
God help me!
Fitness is about dedication, determination, acceptance, fortitude, routine, consistency, learning, application, switching it up, flexibility and so many other things. Learning to work within all of these words to be the best and smartest athlete you can is a process. Sometimes you give it your all and other times you give it all you have in the tank. Knowing when to do either of those things is really important. Being able to accept the days when you just can’t give 100% for whatever reason is something that takes a lot of effort, at least on my part, to wrap my head around. You won’t get very far if you don’t learn to work within the boundaries of what can and cannot be accomplished on any given day. You do what you can and accept that one day at a time.
My struggle to decide what fitness routine I want to do every day at 5:00 am isn’t always clear. Sometimes I don’t even know until that morning what direction I’m going to take. Sometimes I end up doing exactly what I want and other days I just do what I can because time isn’t always on my side. I can’t complain because I work out 7 days a week most weeks and switching up my routine with a schedule like that is really important to staying healthy and not wearing myself down too much. Today I had another fight with my body. We got home from rehearsal at 11:45. Thank god I did lunches earlier in the night! Anyway, my alarm just seemed to go off way too early. I fought with my body, which will be another year older in a few weeks, for 15 minutes after the alarm went off trying to decide if we were headed out or headed downstairs. I wasn’t really keen on even getting out of bed today. Sleep was laying on me like an elephant today and I wasn’t really fighting it much. So after several minutes of consideration and deliberation about what we were going to commit to, downstairs won.
For those who haven’t read my previous blogs, my husband and I build, paint and manage the sets for the high school musical productions put on by The Raynwater Players made up of the students at the school. The show is tomorrow and its ridiculously big this time with too many sets, too many pieces left to finish and too many late nights. Making this all happen is cumbersome and there is just so much prep each night to make the most of every minute. Making dinners and lunches and getting supplies and things grows daily and takes more and more time away from sleeping as we get closer. Today I can’t even go in to work on the show because I will be picking my son up from college for the summer (WOO HOO! SO HAPPY!).
These things all take my time putting a choke hold on free time / me time. These days during show prep I do what I can and accept that for now. The show will be over soon and I can go back to two-fers soon. So today the bike won the draw and it’s actually probably good that I stayed in because my knee felt a little wonky. It didn’t hurt but it just felt wonky today. I believe in signs so I’ll chalk that one up to a sign that bad things would have happened today if I had gone outside to run. Thirty minutes is thirty minutes whether it’s running or weight training or riding the bike. It all goes to reinforce the same thing and that is keeping me healthy and agile. Some days you do what you want and other days you just do what you can because something is better than nothing on any given day.
Have you had challenges getting your workouts in? How do you make it all work?
So, all month this month I’ve watched my miles inch up closer and closer to 100. Now, I’ve run 100 miles in a month before but it’s been a really long time since I’ve come within 25 miles of that. life is busy and I haven’t been running as much as I have been diversifying my workout these days. I do what I can on a regular basis to stay healthy. My VA trip helped because I got a lot of miles in that week and in fact because of the way the calendar in one of my running apps works, I actually thought I was going to hit 100 about 10 days ago. My bad for not paying attention but I’m glad I didn’t because it made me set the goal to reach 100 miles in April. Even when I realized I was further away from it than I originally believed I still wanted it! I wanted it bad and I pretty much reach the goals I want with very few exceptions. I realized on the 24th that I was still more than 13 miles away from the 100 but I can do that in 6 days easily. As we all know, life is busy and this time of the year I’m painting sets for the Raynwater Players spring production just about every night and weekend. That takes away one end of my day which I was using for extra workouts. I don’t like running more than 3 days or so without giving my legs a break and doing Tabata or using my bike. Night by night my opportunity to hit 100 was dwindling. I can’t forego Tabata because as I found out with a 2 week near void of Tabata, weakness creeps back in quickly. On Friday after my 4 miles I was down to about 11 miles needed to achieve the goal. I knew if I put up 6 both weekend days I could make it with ease. Saturday 6 didn’t happen so I put up 3 which forced me to do 8 today. Now I haven’t run anything over 5.5 in two weeks. I hate jumping in and doing lots more miles than where my routine finds me at the moment. I just feel like it’s begging for injury and I definitely don’t want to be injured because not running would be really bad for my psyche and well, my progress at staying as fit and trim as possible. Anyway, as Genie said I don’t like doing it:
But I set out today knowing I had to do it because I wanted the 100. Off I went on a beautiful day running a pace that felt actually slower than it turned out to be. I tried to just enjoy the day remembering that todays run was simply about putting up miles and not about speed. My legs protested a teeny tiny bit in the beginning because they were tired from yesterdays up and down at my son’s car wash fundraiser but they didn’t complain long or hard. They must have known that I wanted 100 badly and they carried me the whole way home finishing 8 to make just over 100 miles for the month. Funny how something you’ve done before can be so rewarding when you want it so much. So I did it! I ran 100 miles this month and I am one happy camper! I don’t know if I’ll have goal for May or not. I haven’t had a monthly goal like this one before but it was fun trying to achieve it so perhaps I’ll have a new monthly goal going forward. Who knows. You’ll just have to keep reading to find out what happens. What goals have you set for yourself? Tell me in the comments and please share this blog with friends.
Most days I have a plan for some kind of a workout. Today I had decided on a lunch run affectionately known as Runch and had posted my intention on my FB page. That was the plan and honestly I once again wasn’t jumping up and down to head out into 36 degrees if I had a choice. I love running in the morning and in the colder air but lately if I can do a Runch I’m all in for that. As long as I get some fitness in with a majority of those days running, I’m good and also flexible should I need to switch things up. It’s a good thing I’m flexible because my morning transformed quickly from my plan A to an instantly configured plan B. My husband asked me to help him with something this afternoon which now meant leaving work early and no real lunch / Runch opportunity. Clock on the stove said “you have 5 minutes to get ready to fit in a 30 minute run”. There was my opportunity to make a change or call it a rest day. Hell NO! Not a rest day for me, not today. I was already in my room donning thermal running gear, lacing up my kicks and waving goodbye to the fam within those 5 minutes. Out the door I went and it was a pretty decent run I think. I got my 3 cold morning miles in and felt accomplished and pretty good about having to punt. Some days that’s just the way it is. As runners we need to be flexible many times to make it work and get it done otherwise we are just spectators.