Resolution Check-in: Month 10

It has been over 1 month since I last posted to this blog. The longest I have ever gone since I started this page. I have a reminder that goes off every weekend nudging me to write but the days have just gotten away from me juggling multiple obligations and trying to stay sane. 4 days into the new month and I am able to write now because I have been off of work the last 2 days and have been away from other obligations. The last few days have been a nice break for me to ‘catch up on life’ and I would love to have a few more days like this but for now I will provide an update on my resolutions. I have written for 9 months, I can’t stop now so here goes:

to train for a marathon: Nothing has changed with this since last month, I will not run a marathon this year, but I have my sights set on registering for the Wineglass Marathon for Fall 2017.

to find my true purpose in my career: For the remainder of the year, I will utilize this section to provide a brief update on my fitness coaching, which I started in September, and my Leadership Program.

First, fitness coaching. I am starting to not feel nearly as overwhelmed as I did 1 month in. I had a little break through a few weeks ago, realizing I don’t have to spent every free minute of my time working on this, but rather quality time than be done with it for the day. I am struggling trying to find the right market and be myself vs doing what others do. I continue to work on daily personal development and am seeing it carry over to various aspects of my life. I really want to help others reach their fitness goals, as I believe in the programs. In fact I just finished a 60 day program, and lost 2.5 lbs and 7 inches – pictures and full recap of the program will be another blog post.

I had 2 leadership days this month, the first day was focused on Arts (theater, music, arts council, mosaic, etc). It has been my favorite day so far. “The Arts” is so much more than arts and crafts, and there are many skills that can be transferred to a career. Plus it reminded me how much I enjoy being around the Arts. I was in band from 4th-12th grade, and enjoy watching Dancing with the Stars now and I just didn’t ever make the connection that because I enjoy those things, means I appreciate the arts. So I would like to attend more arts events in the upcoming year, and am starting now because in a few weeks I will be attending a play with a friend.

The 2nd Day was Education and Recreation. We spent half the day touring a local BOCES and learn about the various programs that run through the school- ranging from Adult Education to Alternative Education to Career & Technical education. It was really interesting to learn about the different program available to mainly middle school and high school student to help them be successful in an education environment. Some kids don’t do well in a traditional classroom, but thrive in an alternative environment. It was interesting to learn about and made me wonder how my life would be different if I participated in something other than the traditional schooling and made me open to supporting it.

For the Recreation portion we spend time with the owners of the local Double A Baseball and AHL Hockey teams then got a tour of the hockey facility. Both teams has or will have changes so we learned about what that means for their future and how it impacts their marketing.  It was a very informative day.

to treat others better and think before I speak– It is depending on who I am around, but I feel like this was a better month for me then previous months. It’s a continued work in progress.

to do things outside my comfort zone– I did 2 Facebook lives on my Facebook page; one introducing myself and sharing a short version of my fitness journey and another about Running tips. Check them both out here

This was a big deal because I was trying something new to connect with others and challenging myself to provide value every time I turn on the camera.

Read 25 books in 2016- I finished “The Ramblers”, so I am up to 16 books. I started “Go Pro” which is a pretty short book I bought to help with the development of my fitness coaching. I anticipate finishing that book in November and then starting “It Takes Two” the newest Nicholas Sparks book.

to reduce clutter in my life– When I transitioned from my spring/summer to fall/winter clothes. I ended deciding to donation or toss out a lot of clothes that I had for YEARS, and are no longer in style. It feels really good to decrease the amount of clothes even if it means I have to go shopping to replace them.

I also wanted to share this article that references how clearing your mind (what you can’t see) is equally if not more important than physical decluttering. Clearing the Clutter you Can’t see

to eliminate excuses and procrastination– Unfortunately I did poorly with the procrastination as I signed up to give a presentation about ‘Lean In’ and Women in Leadership, in 3 days and although I have the outline done, I need to still work through the powerpoint and practice, so I had a bunch of work to do in the new few days, not my normal style.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading! Look for a Piyo recap and my before/after pictures within the next few days (hopefully).

Have a great weekend!

 

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Marathon Training: Week 9 7/31-8/6/16

I am writing this update as I watch the Olympics. I love watching the Olympics, and become close to obsessed with it and watching coverage every day. I look forward to the swimming, beach volleyball, women’s gymnastics and this year will have more interest in the Track events since my interest in running has grown since 2012. What events do you look forward to watching?

As much as I could go on about the Olympics, I will write a quick update on my training week.

I left off Week 8 with my hip feeling better and I hoped I was on the road to recovery. Unfortunately when I went for my run on Monday 8/1, what was supposed to be an easy 5 mile run, was anything but that.

When I started running, it was slow, I was limping and I know my form was terrible. I had hoped that after the first mile I would get in the groove like it did on Saturday 7/30, but I was running so slow I felt like I would’ve gone faster if I was speed walking. So at 1/2 mile I was getting frustrated and had to stop and stretch my hip out. After a couple of minutes of that I started back up again, and it felt a little better, but at 16 minutes I had to stop again. I STRONGLY thought about quitting, chalking it up to “at least I tried”, I finally succumbed to realizing that after 3 weeks of this pain/discomfort I should probably really go and see a doctor. After the stretch session I continued my run trying to at least finish 3 miles and hoping it would eventually get better. Which it did, and I was able to finish the 5 miles. Not anywhere close to the times I am used but I finished. During that run I was listening to a “Running on Om” podcast interview with Zach Miller, it was good timing because one quote from him was “Some training days are for physical gains and others are largely about mental gains”, and that was how I felt this run was.

Tuesday 8/2- I took the afternoon off from work in order to get myself to a doctor, not that my pain was any worse but I had the time so I stopped making excuses and just went to see if they could tell what was causing the issues. I was being so stubborn to see a doctor because I didn’t want them to tell me no running. That was exactly what I was told: stop running until I see a physical therapist for muscle issues ūüė¶ That day I also had an X-ray done, because even though I didn’t fall and knew that my hip was broken, I wanted to make sure I had covered all bases so I could have more than enough information. So with that news, the only workout I did for that day was some upper body and core work for 30 minutes.

Wednesday 8/3- I replaced my interval running day with 45 minutes (2100 yards) of swimming. Even though this was non impact, I still could feel discomfort when I twisted my body a certain way or did a flip turn and was pushing off the walls. So I had to use a pull buoy aimg_7628 lot, and just do open turns. It felt good to be swimming again, and I was especially grateful that I work at a place with many different fitness and wellness facilities to utilize.

 

 

Thursday 8/4- It was a first Physical Therapy appointment, and it turns out that part of my discomfort is coming from a maligned Sacroiliac (SI) joint. So my therapist worked to fix that. Since the pain started I told friends that it just felt like I needed to stretch my hip and pop it back into place, and it turns out that I was right. This PT session was more an evaluation to see where the pain was stemming from and then coming up with a plan to fix it so I could get back to running ASAP.

Even though that appointment was in the morning, I still worked out after work completing some new circuits of upper body and core (battle ropes, curl to press, pull ups, rows, lateral shoulder raises, push to plank, planks) and I also made time for some hip flexor stretches.

Friday 8/5- Even within 1 day of PT and taking some anti-inflammatory, my hip was feeling MUCH better, not 100% yet, but I am able to walk normally for more than a few minutes. I have been having this discomfort for so long it weird to remember that I can walk without having pain!

After work I swam again- 2500 yards in 52 minutes. It felt better than Wednesday, but I still didn’t do a lot of flip turns.

This pool will be my sanctuary until I can run
Saturday 8/6- It was felt sooo weird to be able to sleep in today and not go for a long run, which was supposed to be 16 miles. Instead I went to see my PT. They administered some heat therapy, massage, realigned my SI joint again and I did a handful of exercises to help strengthen my hips. Each day I am feeling better and better so I hope by next Saturday, at the latest, I will be able to run again. I want to do it even more because doctors have told me not too! It’s been hard to follow orders because I don’t want to get behind on my training, but at the same time I know if I don’t complete commit to taking care of my body, I could develop chronic pain that would stop me from running indefinitely. I have a little wiggle room in my training, and I figure if I could get a 3 hour run in 2 weeks before my marathon then I will be able to run the race. Otherwise I will have to alter my plan.

With only 6 weeks to go until Race day, stay tuned to see what happens!

Recommended Read: 3 ways to make up for a missed long run

 

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Fitness Friday: Body Revolution Week 7

Wow, was this week was so much better than last week! I started Week 7 of Body Revolution, which meant a new set of DVDs to do. The moves are not at dynamic this week, but rather isometric and combination moves, so they are just as hard. Everything is still fairly doable, the hardest move was a crow push-up, but I continue to see slightly more definition in my arms, core and legs as the weeks go on. Getting into this program, I did think I would see more progress by now, but I am trusting the program. In addition to the DVDs I also had 2 very positive fitness experiences this week.

As has been the case over the last month, I went swimming at my Alma mater high school on Saturday at 7am. When I got there, the Girls Varsity team was there. They usually don’t ¬†start until 8am, so I wasn’t sure what was going on and whether I would have to go home. When I talked to the coach, who I know due to being a swim coach for a club team, he said I could still stay because he didn’t have a full team today and there was room for me. I swam for about 45 minutes, and just as I was ready to get out, the Coach invited me to join the girls for a set they were doing 25 50s(yards), on a specific interval. I said I would give it a try, but after only being back in the pool for a few weeks I did not really know how fast I was. But I challenged myself to try to keep up… I did 5 50s, and then I wasn’t making the interval anymore so I called it a day! As I was leaving, I realized how nice it was to feel a part of the team again, even if it was for only 10 minutes. I felt a part of the schools swimming community as a former swimmer for the school and now a coach that works with the swimmers when they aren’t in their season. I left the pool in the best mood I had been in for 2 weeks!!

On Sunday, my good mood continued as I challenged myself to a 24+ mile hike the Finger Lakes Trail at Letchworth State Park. The hike took nearly 10 hours, and even though we got lost a few times, I enjoyed being outside on a beautiful fall day and I am glad I decided to go. Along the way I thought of a few life lessons a long hike can teach you about life. “Belief got me started, determination and desire got me to the end”. For pictures, more details on the hike, and life lessons, check out Lessons of Letchworth.

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”

Monday morning I woke up and could barely move/walk from the day before, so instead of getting up before work to go for a run, I decided I would run after work. The run didn’t happen, but I did complete the Cardio DVD from Body Revolution assigned for the day, and my joints felt A LOT better after that.

Tuesday morning I was back on track working out before work, but my downstairs neighbor decided she didn’t like it and complained to my landlord about my ‘jumping’. Its a very long story, but the other tenant is being very unreasonable and has requested I not workout at all in my own home, so Wednesday morning I tried to be quieter ūüėČ We will see how long this ‘compromise’ lasts.

Thursday I made it out for a run for the first time in 2 weeks. It was 40 degrees, and it felt great! I only ran for about 18 minutes, but I was determined to get out the door since I didn’t make it Monday or at all last week. I would like to run a 5 mile race Veterans Day weekend, because it supports Veterans, and I have done it for the last 2 years. So I need to get my butt in gear for that!

This upcoming week I do not have any major fitness endeavors planned, but I want to enjoy the fall weather.

What do you have to look forward to this week? What can you challenge yourself to so you can grow?

 

“If you never push yourself to try something new, something a little uncomfortable, you will never really know your potential”

Just be yourself

As many of you may¬†know by now I am a swim coach. It is something I started doing 2 years ago as a way to ‘get out of the house’, as¬†swimming has always been something I have enjoyed.¬†The extra income didn’t hurt either. Since I started I have learned¬†a lot on how to be¬†a good coach, new drills to improve technique, and hopefully have made a difference¬†to the kids. Seeing them improve and finally complete something they have worked on is the best feeling! A few weeks ago, I learned another lesson;¬† to always be myself….

Our team was hosting a large swim meet, and all of our coaching staff was there, including 3 coaches that just started in the last 1-3 months. One of the coaches is about 5 years younger than me, and is very enthusiastic. I overheard my head coaches¬†talking about¬†how much the kids ‘love him’ because of his energy and how attentive he is. Hearing this honestly made me feel a little inadequate. Over the last year I have become more involved with the team; volunteering to give ‘dryland’¬†workouts to the kids before swim practice, I¬†am reliable and show up on time for practice,¬†I attend as many meets as I can while completing grad school and I keep my coaching certifications up to date. I also work with the youngest group, the most difficult due to their skill level and attention span. I enjoy doing all this, but for a moment¬†it didn’t feel like¬†I was good enough. I wondered why I was doing these¬†things, if all the kids want is someone who is enthusiastic. Should I change to try and be more like him? “Comparison is the thief of joy and self-confidence”

But then I remembered something I learned at a conference I attended last¬†month.¬†One of speakers encouraged everyone to stay true to¬†themselves¬†in their career and not try to change to match someone else. Everyone has different personalities, some are more charismatic, others are more organized, but if we try to be like someone else we are not utilizing our natural strengths and what we have to offer. As I kept reminding myself of this, one of the swimmers (10 years old) had impeccable timing and¬†came up to me and asking where I have been the last few months (as I have cut back my hours), and I explained that I had accepted a new job that required a commute and I was still completing grad school, so I didn’t have as much time to commit to swimming. I jokingly asked him why he asked, did he miss me? and he said yeah he did, and I could tell he meant it very genuinely. Although it was something little, just having the kids notice my absence and wondering where I have been¬†means a lot. Throughout the rest of the¬†day,¬†another swimmer (14) randomly gave me a hug and told me she was glad I was back. This particular swimmer has also asked me for advice on what events she should swim, because I swam¬†the same events in high school. Both her and her parents are glad I have decided to wait to move, as it means I will still be a coach for the team.¬†At one point I also had¬†a lengthy conversation with 2 of the older swimmer (18 &19) about their college plans, where they were going, majors, etc. By the end of the day, I felt a lot better and didn’t leave feeling like I had put on an act by being someone I wasn’t.

I may not be¬†the most energetic coach who leads the kids in cheers but I feel¬†I give them¬†something else… someone they feel comfortable talking to not only about swimming, but life and am a role model for them. At the end of the day, that’s more meaningful to me.

 

“Never change who your are so that other people will like you. Just be yourself and the right people will love you just¬†for being you”

 

Confidence

A little over a year and a half ago I was looking for an activity to ‘get me out of the house’. It was a point in my life where I was a little lost and trying to figure out how to bring more happiness in my life. So I looked into becoming a swim coach for a local club team that I swam for in middle school.

I work mostly with 8-11 year olds in the lower level group and coach them on technique, swim etiquette and ensuring their strokes are legal. But I also have had a chance to work with the more advanced/faster swimmers.

One swimmer started with me in July 2013 and it was obvious she was a natural athlete. Although she had never swam competitively before, she quickly improved and as a 12-year-old she is now training in the 2nd highest training group. She is a hard worker, a friendly, polite kid with very supportive parents and all the coaches enjoy working with her. She sometimes struggles when it comes to performing at meets because on top of practicing 1.5 hrs/5 days a week, she also participates in field hockey, so she is often rundown.

Over the last 2 months of meets, she has not been as successful at getting personal best times on races, and it a little frustrating because the coaches all know how hard she works. 2 weeks ago she finally had a great meet and with a big qualifying meet coming up we were all excited for her momentum.

The one race she has tried to reach a ‘GOLD’ qualifying standard time on is a 50 Freestyle (2 lengths of the pool). The time she needed to swim is 29.39, her best time going into this weekend was a 29.73. Very close. The other tricky part of her situation is that each age has a different standard and she JUST turned 12 two days ago, so although she had met the qualifying time as an 11-year-old, she was shy of the 12-year-old time.

Yesterday, she swam the event and got a 29.52, and we thought that was her last chance to swim it to qualify. Until today the coaches decided to take a gamble and ask permission from the officials to take advantage of a rule that isn’t often used. She was scheduled¬†to swim the 100 Freestyle today (4 lengths), and we requested she get an official time for her 50 split, to try to see if she would reach the qualifying time. To further explain the rules, she would still need to finish the 100 but could take it easy the last 50. But by doing this within the 100 she was giving up a chance to try to accomplish a GOLD qualifying time for her 100 which she needed to drop 3 seconds. So it was a risk.

As a competitor she got very nervous of all the pressure that was now on her to accomplish¬†this goal. This decision of changing the game plan for her event was decided¬†about an hour before her event, so she needed to clear her mind, and focus on the “50”. She became very overwhelmed, but we all knew she was capable of getting the goal time because she had done it earlier in the day in a relay event- but relay times do not count as official times.

As the coaches are preparing for the additional¬†steps that needed to be¬†taken to document her time, her parents were trying to calm her down but encourage¬†her. It was a lot of pressure to put on a 12 year old who often over thinks a race, and as a result doesn’t do as well.

She kept looking at me right before her start and I gave her a smile and a thumbs up… You can do it “Today you don’t need confidence because I have enough for both of us”.

She got on the blocks, had a beautiful dive/start, great form, and as she was approaching the 50 yard mark I was watching the clock and knew it would be close…. she finished in 29.27! She handled the pressure like a champ!

When she finished she was surrounded by hugs and there were some tears by her mom and one of the other coaches. She had FINALLY met the standard after at least 6 attempts which were all within 10th of a second away.

Although she was very overwhelmed when I first told her the plan, along with telling her she had reached the gold time earlier in the relay. I told her she just had to relax, shut the world out and be confident in her ability.

As a quiet 12 year old she could teach a lot of people the power of goal setting and never giving up. I look forward to watching her continue to succeed at anything she tries.