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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Improvement: Sept 19th-Sept 30th, 2016

I’m aware that I haven’t been writing as much as I was early this year, but as I mentioned in my last post I want to get back in the habit. In all honesty, I just haven’t felt like I have any thing worth sharing. I have been over thinking many things lately, and my brain just feels a little overwhelmed. If you happen to be overwhelmed too, check out these 11 tips to help overcome it.

Writing has always been my outlet to process, but I just haven’t sat down and done it, even though I know it would make me feel better- it’s a bad cycle!

So this is just a general short update on my workout routine (with pictures, so if you can’t see them, be sure to click here).

In general, over the last 10 days, I have woken up early (6:30ish) to get my PiYo workout done before, and if I am not (swim) coaching I will also workout/run after work.

When I started PiYo I was really skeptical on whether I would get the results I wanted. The first workout (lower body) was 25 minutes and I didn’t even break a sweat, and it wasn’t that challenging. But 3 weeks in and I can now say I have not been this excited about Home DVD program in 4 years, when I completed P90x. At the 2 week check-in I had lost approx 4 inches overall, with 2 inches of that being in my hips (every girls problem area!). I get out of bed every morning with little delay because I am excited to try something new, and the workouts are about 30 minutes long (but clearly effective). They are also low-impact so I don’t have to worry about whether I am waking up my downstairs neighbor.

My schedule has been as follows:

9/19: Core

9/19: Core Day, doing PiYo pedals

9/20: Define Lower Body (Warrior Variations)

9/21: Buns- Various Lunges and Squats

9/21: Buns
9/22: Core


9/23: Define Lower Body

9/24: Rest Day for PiYo, but had a great day running, only my 2nd run for the week. I was short on time, so I started running faster than I have been. Throughout the run I felt the positive impact PiYo is having on my form. My hips feel better aligned, and my stride felt smoother. I FELT like a runner today, and the progression of my improvement can’t be denied. I am not completely back to where I was before, but each day I am getting closer, and I am confident I will come back stronger.

9/25: Sweat

9/26: Strength Intervals

9/27: Sweat in the AM. I had an appointment, so I was home an hour earlier than usual, which mean I was able to fit a run in before heading to swim practice. My plan was to run for 3, but halfway through my legs were feeling fatigued, seeing as I had worked out earlier in the day, I was just going to stop after 2, but then I went for 2.5 and eventually finished up at 3.  It was really nice to have a chance to run outside and clear my head some, and I appreciated the ‘extra’ time in my day, it made me wish for a job closer to home to get the commuting time back in my day.

Still smiling, after doing Sweat in the morning, then 3 mile run after work
9/28: Hardcore on the Floor: This was a bonus video that came with the my order. It is harder than “Core”, but it’s suppose to be! It’s fun to try different exercises.


9/29: I had Day 2 of my Leadership Program today, and didn’t have to be out the door as early as I usually do, so I did “Drench” today vs tomorrow because it’s a 45 minute length workout.

9/30: Buns


Other improvements: Besides the running and thanks to the couple of inches lost already, my pants are fitting better, and my ‘skinny’ jeans, that I had put at the bottom of my pile not thinking I would fit into again, now fit comfortably. That’s not meant as a brag, but rather an example of what happens when I changed up my fitness routine to something new. I took a chance and invested in a new program, and its paying off.  Don’t be afraid to try something new, you may just really like it!

I’d love to help you achieve your fitness and health goals too. Reach out to me on Facebook, Instagram or here

Have a great weekend!

Dedication: Half Marathon Training Week 5

I will try to keep this update short and sweet.

I left off last week, having run 7 miles. On the schedule this week was lower mileage for recovery. Many training plans will build up your miles for 4 weeks, then a lower week to help with muscles recover.

I started off my week on Sunday by doing a circuit routine:

A1. KB Goblet Squat 5×5 reps
A2. KB Swing 5×10 reps
*Rest 45 to 60 seconds between sets then move to part B.

B1. KB Single Leg Romanian Deadlift 5×6 reps/side
B2. Walking Lunges (bodyweight or loaded with KB’s) 5×10 reps/side
*Rest 60 seconds between sets then move to part C.

C1. Push-ups 3×10 reps
C2. Assisted or Unassisted Chin-ups 3×3-5 reps
C3. Hanging Straight Leg Raises 3×10 reps
C5. Plank 3x :30
*Perform this circuit with minimal rest between exercises. Rest 45 seconds between sets then stretch out.

This was only supposed to take me 30 minutes, but ended up taking me closer to 45 minutes. It was a good circuit, so much so that I could hardly walk for the next 2 days! Walking lunges are brutal!

Monday I had my tempo run, which I did outside. I was hoping the campus track would be open, but it wasn’t so I had to figure out a fairly flat/fast route to be able to hit my goal tempo of 8:30/mile. I ended up just running back and forth across a flatter part of campus. I am still getting used to my new GPS watch (Garmin Forerunner 230), and I have my settings to show pace (vs average pace) so it was new for me to feel like I was going a certain speed by my watch was telling me something different, so as I was running I wasn’t sure how everything would shake out at the end, even though I was notified of my mile time after each mile. Turns out I was right on my goal average pace, so that made me feel good.

Tuesday I did a runners body weight routine. Wednesday was a little different from the previous 4 weeks as I am starting to incorporate some hill training, and rotate it with intervals. So I ran a little over 3 miles of a .75 mile loop that had a good up and down hill section. It was challenging, and I am not very fast and it’s something I know I need to do more so that it becomes easier.

Thursday turned out to be a rest day because I was up late from the night before due to a work commitment and having to pack to go out-of-town for a long weekend. Then straight after work I had a drive to get to my destination. So I just made up for it on Friday, when I made the time to get the runners workout in even though I was visiting with family. I felt so much better about my day having made the time to complete it. After consistently completing this routine for the last 2 weeks I have definitely noticed a difference in the ease of completing the exercises, so it is always nice to feel the improvement.

Today (Saturday) I went for a 4 mile run. It was a little slower than my 7 mile pace last week 9:20 vs 9:15. Unlike being at home, when I know various routes to get that distance, I had to take a little time to map out a route, then memorize it so I that I could run without having to constantly looking at the map on my phone.  The route I did was challenging because it was a few rolling hills that I normally try to avoid on my “long run” days. But it was good. A few hours after my run, I end got a few more miles on my feet as I went to a nearby zoo with my family. By the end of the day I had taken 17,000 steps! Which means my ankle ended up being a little sore, though it doesn’t hurt every time I run now, so I know its improving.

I will wrap up this week with a couple quotes:

I just felt like running- Forrest Gump (it was on tonight as I was writing this post)

Once you have commitment, you need the dedication and hard work to get you there- Haile Gebreselassie

What are you dedicated to? How are you making the time to achieve that?

Have a great week!

Motivation: Half Marathon Training Week 4

The best motivation to keep running, is the feeling you get after finishing a run. The satisfaction of knowing you were brave enough to start and strong enough to finish will leave you wanting more.

I hope you had a great week since my last post. My week started off a little frustrating when it came to this blog as I made some steps to transition this blog to a new domain name under WordPress. I have sure learned a lot from the process but should be good to go for the future. It was just a pain!

Anyway, Monday was good when it came to my running. It was a nice enough day out to run outside even though it was slightly windy. But I reminded myself that I may not have ‘perfect’ weather on a race day, so why not conquer that and feel comfortable in that weather now. Even though I recently purchased a new GPS watch (Garmin Forerunner 230), I didn’t have it in my hands yet, so I tracked my tempo run by running on a track and taking a lap time. I surprised myself with being able to keep the goal pace (8:30ish mile =2:07 or less per lap) as that was the first time I ran a tempo run outside vs a treadmill. I ran 2.5 miles. I felt SO PROUD of myself when I finished my run that I almost danced my way up the steps back into the locker room… yes I know I am a dork! But it gave me hope that I could do well on the half marathon! It also gave me motivation to keep going on the training plan I’ve made.

After the run I did wonder why I would even need a GPS watch since the stop watch worked fine but I know it’s much easier to track training when everything in one place, plus I won’t always be running on a track!  But I know the GPS watch will be worthwhile investment.

Tuesday I woke up before work and completed the runner specific body weight exercises. It only take about 20 minutes. Nothing really exciting there!

Wednesday morning I ran before work on the treadmill.It was Interval day and I started at 7.6 speed then increased by .1 speed each round, doing 7.9 twice, once at 8.0, and decided to get one more interval in and went 8.1 (7:24 speed) for the first time. I did end up using my watch to track my run for my first test run, it was cool to see what happens during runs- such as giving me my miles splits. I think I pushed my speed a little took much because my ankle has been a little sore since, so I have had to break out the ice.

Thursday I was a little distracted in the morning as it was my parent’s 32nd Anniversary so I used my time before work to find a good quote and posted a throwback picture on social media. It was nice to just have some time to relax since I have had something going on every night for the last 2 weeks (I coached swimming Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week). So I planned to workout after work, but that didn’t happen as I actually cooked a decent dinner vs leftovers, so it became my rest day.

Friday morning I did the same workout as Tuesday except I added a set of pull-ups, which I have been slacking on in recent weeks.

Saturday was my long run day- 7 miles. I was excited to really use my new watch. I completed the run on a path walking path because it flat, vs the rolling hills around my apartment. Thankfully even though my ankle was a little sore after the run on Wednesday, it doesn’t hurt to walk or run on it so the run went pretty good. The 7 miles seemed to go pretty fast because I kept getting distracted looking at my watch checking my speed. It was interested to compare my pace to how it felt to run… I felt like I was running a lot faster than my watch was telling me, so its going to be a learning curve. I finished the run with an average 9:14 pace, which I was satisfied with.

After my run, I was in a car for 2 hours traveling to celebrate my Grandmothers 80th birthday. Almost all of my Dads side of the family was there -aunts, uncles, and all of my cousins, we were just missing 2 of my brothers. As I was talking with some of my cousins whom I haven’t seen in a while, I realized how nice it is that we are all able to come together for one person to celebrate and enjoy each others company. Not to be a downer, but I realized I have yet to have an event -large birthday party, engagement, wedding, shower, etc where everyone comes just for me. I am looking forward to that overwhelming love and gratitude that comes with being the ‘guest of honor’. I am also at the point in my life as my grandparents get higher in age that it’s even more important for family to get together as often as possible to celebrate life greatest moments and milestones and create these fun memories. The party was a success.

In other news this week, I am still plugging away at 4 different books; The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry- which I am trying to finish by the end of this weekend, Running for Women- which I haven’t made much progress on in the last 2 weeks, 7 Steps of Closure – my fiction/chick lit book that entertains me during my lunch hour, and Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria- a book that I am reading for a diversity discussion being held at my workplace. I also found some great articles I wanted to share; 7 Spiritual laws of Success and how to apply them and how to live a Year of Fear.

I hope you have a great week, I know I am looking forward to my 4 day weekend next week! What do you have to look forward to this week? What helps to keep you motivated?

 

Make Time to Run: Half Marathon Training Week 3

TGIF! It’s been a full week for me. I don’t like using the word “busy” because I feel it’s overused and is used as an excuse, because to me you are never too “busy” to make time for what is important. I have had something going on every night this week, and as I sit down to write this on a Friday night I feel like I finally have some “me time” to relax and watch one of my favorite shows (Gilmore Girls).

My week 2 post left off with plans to get a 5 mile run last Saturday. It was a perfect day to run outside, mid-40s & sunny. It had been a few weeks since I had run outside and after running on a treadmill I was prepared to feel like I was moving slow (for me). I was guessing my distance as I ran and when I mapped it out I finished 4.8 mile in just over 46 minutes. It felt so great to go through the rest of my day knowing I completed my long run! I enjoyed my rest day on Sunday.

Monday, I was up early to get a tempo run in before work. I did debate completing this run outside, but talked myself out of it since I don’t have a GPS watch to help me keep pace. As I write this out I realize I would’ve used an app for this, but at 6:15 on a Monday morning my brain wasn’t fully functioning! So it was a treadmill run, I split my 20 minute tempo run to 12 minutes at speed 7.1 & 8 minutes at 7.2, a shift from last week of a 15/5 minute split.

Tuesday was a strength training workout- push-ups, jump rope, various upper body exercises and a little core work. I repeat it 3x through and it takes me about a 1/2 hour to complete.

Wednesday it was back to running before work. It was an interval day, so I kept up with the routine of .25 mile on, .10 off. I started the high interval @ 7.6, increasing each round by .1, and even pushed it on the last interval running it @ 8.

Thursday I did a Runner specific strength workout, a set of 12 exercises for a minute each, it includes walk out push-ups, curtsy lunges with a hop, glute marching bridges, side planks with leg raises and superman planks, etc. I have decided this will be my regular routine for a while because the last time I did this routine consistently I noticed an improvement in my core strength and hip flexibility.

Today (Friday) I slept in a little because I planned to run after work. I usually run on Saturdays, but tomorrow I will be at a swim meet all day. So I had to be flexible to change my plans to fit in the run. Then I proceeded to debate ALL day about whether to run outside or complete the run on a treadmill. My dilemma was because it was 14 degrees out with a bitter cold win, and wouldn’t be able to complete the run before it got dark out. I know it was making excuses, which I wanted to try to improve on as one of my resolutions. But the treadmill was appealing because I wouldn’t freeze my butt off, AND I could distract myself with watching Fuller House (now on Netflix). I ended up deciding on the latter, what can I say I am a dedicated 90s child! Anyway, I knew looking at the miles tick up would make the run seem slow, so I covered it up and could only see the time elapsed. The first 25 minutes or so were harder until I got in my groove. Watching Fuller House was keeping me distracted so much that at one point I almost forgot I was running. A run begins the moment you forget you are running -Adidas. I run the 6 miles at a 6.5 pace (~9:13), and then stretched out and did a little core work. When I got home I felt really good knowing I had finished the 6 miles. It would have just been too much to try to squeeze it in some time tomorrow.

Other than running, as I mentioned my schedule was full,  I coached 3 nights this week, started late at work one night, but I still made time for running since my half marathon is in 65 days. It makes the weeks go by a lot faster when there is something going on, but I am looking forward to enjoying a long weekend of relaxation at my cousins in a few weeks.

In other news, I did finish all of the Fuller House episodes already, and felt it got a better the more episodes in. The first episode was too forced and some actors overacted, but then it improved, so we will see whether there will be another season. I think they should.

My blog site is currently down as I write this, so only those on WordPress and my email subscribers can read this for now. Hopefully it will get fixed soon. It has been frustrating to try to make the complete shift to WordPress Hosted site vs having my domain name through BlueHost. I get 1 step forward and 2 steps back….

I plan to write my Month 2 Update on Resolutions by Monday Night, so you can look forward to that!

Have a great week and consider this…. We are all created with equal amounts of awesome. It’s up to you to decide how much of it the world gets to see.

Run & Be Happy: Half Marathon Training Week 2

Where to start? I always find my first sentences of anything to be the hardest to write! To recap the week it was a pretty good week. I hope yours was the same.

Week 2 of my training included a tempo run, intervals and the long run will be tomorrow- It is supposed to be 45+ degrees out, my perfect running weather!

Monday I did my tempo run, even waking up early to complete it before work. It was on the treadmill. I started off with a 3 minute walking warm-up then cranked up the speed to 7.2, after about 5 minutes my legs were starting to get a little fatigued and I wondered why, so I checked the per mile pace (as I had the screen locked on the distance instead), and turns out I was running an 8:20 pace, which was too fast, no wonder I was tired so soon! So I bumped down to 7.1 (8:27) and felt better. You wouldn’t think that 7 seconds/mile would make a big difference but it does! I ended up running the 7.1 for the next 15 minutes. Then I cooled down and headed to work. It wasn’t until I checked what I did last week (20 minutes @ 7.0, 8:34) that I realized I was already increasing my fitness level. I have also noticed my jeans fitting better, not that I have lost any weight, but after running 3 days a week for the last 3 weeks, it is making a difference.

Tuesday morning I worked out before work with some body weight exercises- jump rope, push ups, squat with shoulder press, a little core work and assisted pull-ups.

Wednesday I was back on the treadmill for intervals. I did better with starting off on the right speed this time! 3 minutes of a warm-up, then .25 sprinting starting @ 7.6, .10 of walking. With each interval I increased the speed .1 until I reached 7.8 then maintained that speed for each interval until total time reached 22 minutes, then I jogged @ 6.5 for 3 minutes.

Thursday I repeated what I did on Tuesday, so nothing too exciting there. I rounded out my week just having a light day today (Friday), riding a stationary bike for almost 20 minutes then getting some much-needed core work in. It was relaxing and it was nice not to feel rushed like I feel when I run in the mornings.

I am looking forward to running outside tomorrow, though I know I will feel so slow after running on treadmills for the last few weeks! It will be a 5 mile day, and that will mark 2 weeks down in my training. I feel really good about where my training is headed and excited to see what this year in running will bring.

Besides my actual workouts, I am staying inspired by finally reading “Running for Women: From first steps to Marathon” by Kara Goucher, a book I’ve had out from the library since the Fall! It’s a very easy read. It’s structured to provide short tidbits to make up the chapters, vs just full pages of writing. Since I am not a new runner some things I already know-invest in a good pair of shoes, stretch after running, mix up your runs and routes to prevent boredom, etc. I am only 3 chapters in, but think I will learn some new tips later on.

Besides a running book, which is my lunchtime reading book, I am continuing to read “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce for my bedtime reading. I am still enjoying it, it’s an easy read, but I do have to set a timer every night so that I don’t start reading and then all of a sudden it’s midnight because I get too into the book!

Last point on this week’s entry… this weekend marks ONE YEAR, since I started my blog! There have been times when I wondered whether I have really wanted to continue. Some blog posts have been read more than others, but just like it one takes one person to make your day, the few pieces of feedback I have received keeps me going. A very sincere THANK YOU to all those who follow me on WordPress or via email. Thank you for those who have taken the time to comment. Thank you for supporting me in this experiment of mine. I will continue to keep writing for the foreseeable future. I like writing, and I like sharing and in the end if I make a difference to one person; if I inspire you to run, to keep running, to start working out, whatever it may be,then I will have accomplished what I set out to do.

Have a great weekend and I will leave you with this thought:

Whatever you want to do, whoever you want to be, wherever you want to go: decide, commit, and be consistent. Work to close the gap between what you say you want and what you actually do, and change will follow every time.

Embrace the Effortless

It’s late on a Friday night as I write this, so I am going to try to make it quick, but even as I write that I know that won’t happen because my stories always turn out much longer than they need to be!

As I write I am also catching up on shows from this week and it includes Grease:Live. Did anyone else watch? What did you think? My review is that is was the best “Live” show that has been produced (others being Sound of Music & Peter Pan) and although there were times that I thought ‘they said this line wrong’, or ‘that’s not what happened’, it was enjoyable. So kudos to Fox.

For my weekly fitness recap, I started my week by getting a new toy… a FitBit, so that has been interesting to see how much I am really moving (and sleeping) each day.  I was able to get 3 days of running in this week of 3-4 miles each. Monday was on the treadmill, doing intervals of .5 miles at 7.1 speed, then .10 mile at 4.2 speed. Wednesday it was SOO nice out (50 degrees.. in February.. in NY), I just couldn’t pass up the chance to run outside. Plus one of my resolutions is ‘no excuses’, so I headed outside because thankfully I had something other than shorts and tank tops in my gym bag. I started off slow but steady, running 2.5 miles on a track but steady but around mile 3 I felt really good and felt like I could keep going for a few more miles. However, I reminded myself that it’s better to end a run early than go too far and risk injury due to overuse. “Accept the days when running seems impossible, embrace the days when running seems effortless”, that day was definitely an effortless day! Even though I was not as fast as on the treadmill, I knew I needed a steady run after interval running on the treadmill the last few times I have run. My ankle felt great during the run but was sore after, so I had to ice it. That night I realized that this may just have to be my routine for a while (run then ice at night), and I am ok with that as long as I can get the miles in since I only have 85 days until my half marathon. I also ran today (Friday), it was a little colder than Wednesday (only 30 degrees), but I was better prepared this time and had my underarmour packed. The track wasn’t available, so I ended up running loops on the hills around the campus that I work at. It does feel good to be running more often and see my body get back into running shape. This weekend I plan on really figuring out my training plan for my half and then subsequent marathon in the fall. Any advice?

Other than fitness this week, I made some progress on my other resolutions on stepping outside my comfort zone, but you will have to wait until the end of February to read about it just in case it doesn’t turn out well!

As the clock turns to midnight, I know it’s time to wrap things up and go to bed.

Thank you for reading & have a great weekend!

 

Fitness Friday: Starting Off Right

Happy New Year! If you missed my post about my 2016 Resolutions, read about why I am looking the year as a continuation, not an end or a beginning.

Just a quick about my week. My ankle is doing MUCH better, I have continued with various DVD workouts, and some days felt better than others. But yesterday when I was able to complete butt kicks without it hurting, I knew I was ready to start running again.

So today- New Years Day, I went for a 3 mile run. It started off slow, and a little stiff, so I wasn’t sure I would be able to go very far, but I did run most of it on an all-weather track, thinking the softer terrain would be better. I also ran without a stop watch, since the batteries were dead on both the stopwatches I had- so time for either a new stop watch, or finally invest in a GPS watch I have wanted for a while. The run felt really good. I don’t know if it was because I have been away from it for 3 weeks so I appreciated it more, or if it was due to the brisk weather (35 degrees) making me feel refreshed, or remembering how going for a run first in the day make me feel so accomplished. I felt like it was a great way not only for me to start my day, but my year.

Later in the day, I also registered for my FIRST MARATHON! I had always told myself that after I finished my MBA I would have the time to train for one, and registering now will keep my motivated for the next 9 months. Its a local marathon, that had a special rate for the new year. Although it isn’t until September, and a lot could happen between now and then, if for some reason I am not able to run it I won’t lose a lot of money. I know the training will take up a lot of my time, but I am excited to challenge myself and am open to any advice or training plan from those who have run a marathon before?

I will leave you with a quote dedicated to the New Year- “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.” ~Neil Gaiman

Fitness Friday: Christmas Edition

First thing first on this weekly Friday post…. Merry Christmas (if you celebrate).

As I wrote about a few weeks ago my Christmas Traditions start on Christmas Eve- dinner with my parents, church, watching It’s a Wonderful Life. Christmas morning is opening presents and breakfast with my parents, than Christmas night is spent celebrating my nephews birthday. I still have 2 more days of family get togethers, but its weird that it hasn’t felt like Christmas. I blame the weather since it’s been in the 50s and 60s in upstate NY for the majority of December. I have gone through the motions of getting & wrapping gifts, listening to Christmas music, but it’s not the same when there isn’t a white Christmas. It also different as my youngest brother is serving in the Army and hasn’t been home for Christmas in 3 years. It’s weird to write about how much I want all of my brothers to be around seeing as my brothers would often tease me relentlessly when I was younger, leave me out of things, and were just being brothers who didn’t want anything to do with their sister. But when it comes down to it, all of my brothers make my family whole, and with one of them away for the holidays the puzzle is missing a piece. If all goes as planned, the puzzle will be complete next year.

As for a more personal side versus general family dynamics, Christmas may be losing its spirit to me some because I am getting older and do not have children of my own to watch their faces light up when they see ‘Santa’ came and they receive something they have asked for. I received great practical gifts this year, so I have nothing to complain about on that aspect, but the one thing I would like to receive between now and next Christmas would be a relationship. I haven’t talked about my relationship status much here, but I have been single for over 3 years, and being completely honest, seeing all of my brothers in a relationship makes me want to be in one as well. Everyone tells me it will come in time, when I am least expecting it, etc and some days I am ok with waiting, and other days I can’t help but wonder when or if it will happen. I see my brothers have children, and I know that someday I want some of my own. I see the companionship and friendship my brothers have with their significant others and I can’t help but want that too. So that is my Christmas wish for 2016….all I can do is wait and hope.

On another note….back to my regularly scheduled post about fitness related topics.

As I mentioned last week, I am recovering from a sprained ankle. It is doing MUCH better, still not 100%, but I am walking on it fairly normal now with occasional stiffness. My workouts this week were still mostly upper body. Since I am not the greatest of coming up with workout routines on my own I decided to start Jillian Michaels Body Revolution back at week 1 with the idea that it wouldn’t be as difficult as week 11, and I would improvise as necessary if it bothered my ankle. It was surprising how much I was able to do, I only ended up having to slow down or skip some cardio intervals, and I couldn’t quite flex my ankle for lunges but I worked out all but one day this week and I was able to get into a pool this week. I did some ‘aqua jogging’ it felt good to feel like I was running, even though it is definitely more difficult in the water! I figured the water would be good therapy for my ankle, and it was until the end when I forgot about my ankle and went to kick for momentum and tweaked my ankle a bit… oops! So I had to ice my ankle  for longer than I had the last few days. Thankfully the next morning my ankle felt better, but I have decided to keep my ankle wrapped for at least a few more days to make sure it heals as best it can because I do not want to re-injure it and have it impact my 2016 running goals.

As I reflect back on my year I haven’t decided whether to continue with the fitness fridays, though it has kept my on track to write at least 1 post a week,but with my domain name expiring in less than 60 days I need to decide whether to continue with my blog. I feel confident in saying that I know of a handful of people who enjoy reading my blog, but I wonder if there may be a more efficient way to share my life with my ‘biggest fans’. I would appreciate any feedback from you.

“Take chances, take a lot of them. Because honestly, no matter where you end up and with whom, it always ends up just the way it should be. Your mistakes make you who you are. You learn and grow with each choice you make. Everything is worth it. Say how you feel, always. Be you, and be OK with that”

Fitness Friday: Injury Update

Happy Friday, just wanted to write a quick entry for those who enjoy hearing from me on a weekly basis.

This week has been interesting since on Sunday I slipped on a makeshift step and sprained my ankle. It was very painful, but surprisingly I didn’t even shed a tear. I just took a few deep breaths and tried to ‘walk it off’.  Needless to say I have hobbled around all week, and have been completely slacking on working out. I find it a little ironic that last week I was talking about a small injury I had, but this one is MUCH more severe with longer term impacts, but I am glad it happened in the middle of December vs the middle of training for a race. My morning workouts that were going so good last week went out the window this week. I just didn’t have the energy to wake up early since the discomfort of my ankle woke me up throughout the night, but I stayed up late to finish baking some goodies for a work holiday party. I also coached 3 nights this week so I wasn’t home at night much. I know that is not a valid excuse because I could still work my upper body, and I did 3 nights this week. But I found it mentally challenging to think of enough upper body exercises that wouldn’t put pressure on my ankle. I was proud of myself for the days I did get something in despite the injury.

As a result of all of this, I won’t be finishing the last 2 weeks of the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution program anytime soon since it includes plyometric cardio movements and other lower body exercises that put all my body weight on one leg. I’d rather recover properly so I can complete the races I want to this year vs pushing myself and maybe ending up in a cast due to a stress fracture. After 3 1/2 months of the program I did not get anywhere near the results I was looking for and gained what I feel is an abnormal amount of weight in that time period. I spoke with a doctor about this when I had my physical last week, so I am hoping we will be able to find an answer because it’s very discouraging to keep see the scale get higher and higher. Especially because I make fairly good food choices, (other than my sweet tooth which I have gotten better at), I exercise regularly, don’t hardly ever have alcohol, and I always drink water vs soda or juice, I just am at a loss of what to do. I also do not feel that it’s strictly muscle gain since my clothes are fitting tighter, not looser. So all I can do is take it a day at a time and hope for some answers sooner than later.

I would appreciate any feedback on my ‘Fitness Friday’ series, do you want me to continue? Write about something else? If so what topics would you like? Or I would love to have you share your fitness story by filling out the Fitness Questionnaire

 

Have a great weekend & Merry Christmas!!