We Go Back

Have you ever heard the phrase “glory days”? Do you have any of them?

I have had when I like to call Glory Kicks throughout my adulthood. I identify these as times when I made choices and did things that moved the ball of my life forward. In all of them- I learned lessons about myself, but as their title would indicate, the lessons were sometimes short lived- a kick I was on.

For a period of time in college I was on the Atkins diet. This served me well- I was a carb addict and by tracking and limiting the carbs I lost good weight. Unfortunately I also began an unhealthy obsession tracking my ketosis. Like constantly.

What I learned: Carbs make me gain weight and cutting them out helped me lose. Meat and cheese is took expensive for a poor college kid. Tracking sometimes makes me a little nuts.

Also while I was in college, I enrolled in a tae kwon do class to get an extra few credit hours. I learned a ton and I had so much fun in the process. I earned a medal in a form competition and I got a green stripe when I tested at the end of the semester. Unfortunately, when the class ended I couldn’t afford individual lessons so I stopped.

What I learned: I love the discipline and fitness required for martial arts. Martial arts have a significant cost associated for lessons.

After college and after the job that helped me gain 100 pounds I stumbled on Nerd Fitness. I jumped into the community and challenges. I started running and tracking my food. Eventually I realized I had an issue with gluten. I lost 100 pounds and was so happy. Then things went sideways and I had conflicting goals. After I ran my marathon I was stuck with- Do I run? Do I lift? Do I eat to train? Do I go back to calorie watching? How do I keep doing what I was doing when I just got married and our eating and fitness habits re so different? Slowly I started putting weight back on… then I had a baby.

What I learned: I don’t need the quantity of food I had been consuming. Some running was great for me. Gluten is bad. I like being strong. Too many goals makes me stop achieving any of them.

Most recently I completed a DietBet challenge. Normally I don’t just shoot to have a weight loss goal, because there are so many other and better markers of health, but I needed to do something to motivate me out of my slump. This plan worked- I woke up early and went to the gym 3 days a week, tracked what I ate, and lost 9.4 pound in 4 weeks.

What I learned: Money can be very motivating. Working out early helps me start my day. I still don’t need to eat like I’m nursing.

So here’s what I’m getting at- our lives are races that we run and we have these power bursts (or kicks) that propel us forward. We just need to be able to look back at what we learned and put those ideas into practice when we need a jolt.

For me this looks like: Eat only what you need; not too many carbs and avoid gluten. Choose a sport or activity that allows you to be disciplined; don’t just go willy nilly and play it by ear (have a plan). Get up early and either workout or at a minimum get your head right. Have a financial stake in your success.

These rules are specific to me, not a blueprint for everyone. They can get me where I want to go because they are time tested.

I think that anyone who is willing to look back with a discerning eye on their life, like I did, will see patterns of what worked and what didn’t that they can lay over their current circumstances to help define a beat path.

Also, I think I’m going to go back and try tae kwon do again.

Advertisements

Commitment Day 5k 2013 Report

I don’t normally write up a race report for my 5k’s. Not because they are insignificant (they aren’t) but because I do enough of them that they usually start to meld together in my mind…

This one was special.

Resolutions don’t work for me. In thinking about it, I’ve tried to come up with a reason why- and maybe this will ring true for you as well. When I think of what it means to resolve something I usually go to math or problem solving. When an issue is resolved it’s fixed- no further action is required.

I don’t know about you, but nothing in my journey leads me to say I’m fixed. And more action is always required.

In January 2010 I made a different choice- I committed to be a better me. To realize that I had inside me a strength that needed to be acknowledged and tapped into. To understand and admit that I stumble and fall but that I can also get back up and keep going.

I didn’t resolve to be/do/change anything; the simple changing of a year on a piece of paper does nothing to “fix” my life.

Any kind of life change that happens requires me to be an active participant in the process- to commit to the plan.

So on January 1st, 2013, exactly 3 years and over a hundred pounds lost later I stood at the starting line for the Commitment Day 5k in Denver, CO. As I stood there with my friend and my fiance I thought back to the beginning. I thought about how hard it was to walk around the block and how I never thought I would ever be able to get around my neighborhood. I thought about each race I have participated in, getting faster and faster and how each finish line was a sweet reminder of the person I was becoming. I thought about how blessed I am to have such loving and supportive friends around me.

If it weren’t 12 degrees out, I would have cried.

Krista, Me, and Brad

On our bib it had a spot to make a commitment, so here’s mine:

Bib

The race starting line was full of people (1,500 they said), but they did a great job of making it pretty easy to see where things were and what we should be doing. There was a banner with markers where we could all sign our names and next to that there was a person taking pictures of runners, walkers, family and friends. Even though it was frigid outside, the feeling was warm and light hearted- everyone seemed so excited!!!

The race wasn’t chip timed, but there was a time clock at the starting line. The race course was a pretty straight forward out and back. The streets were plowed (we had recently gotten some snow in Denver) so there weren’t many slip danger spots.

At Mile 1 they had a water station, which you then passed again at Mile 2, and while I didn’t stop I know a lot of folks who were just like me 3 years ago loved having the refreshment!

Some races do a really great job caring for the runners and then turn around and slight the walkers, but Life Time did a great job making sure everyone was cared for well.

As Krista and I were coming down the final stretch the Run Club coaches (who I’ve been running with for the last year or so) ran by us shouting FINISH STRONG!!! It was the last little push I needed to do just that- finish strong and PR.

The swag bag we got went way beyond my expectations. I’m one of those people who doesn’t like all the little coupons (I never use them) and granola bars (I’m paleo) that most finish bags have (and those are usually in a grocery bag).

This race had an awesome hardcover journal- the kind with a calendar, tips, hints, encouragement etc (not just a printed cover and some lines):

Journal

….a nice back pack:

Swag Bag

And best of all, my most favorite race t-shirt ever (seriously, I’d wear it every day if I could)

The super awesome shirt!

At the finish line there was a lot of fanfare, and I recognized that most of it was from the staff at Life Time, which I thought was really top notch.

As Krista and I crossed the finish I looked down at my Garmin and realized that even on this freezing cold day, just one day back at altitude I had PR’d

My PR: 29:59

Again, if it hadn’t been so cold I would have cried.

My friends and I finished up, waiting for the last of our crew to come in and then headed off to breakfast.

On the way there, my training twin Amanda  sent me her time from the Commitment Day in Houston (we are running our first full together in Dallas in April this year)

Our times

That’s right- we are seconds apart (never mind the 1,000 miles).

All in all the day was so special to me, I just had to write about it. I was so proud of myself and all of my friends and all that we have accomplished.

I just know that 2013 is going to be big- but it’s not about that date on the calendar. Life is big. And I’m here to LIVE it!

Me and Krista

Forward

Today I completed my second half marathon. That in itself is huge, and I know that, but I’m frustrated.

For the last 3 months I have trained hard, lost a few more pounds, started eating cleaner and truly expected today to be phenomenal. I had in my mind how it would go and how I would cut a half hour or more off my first half’s time.

But I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong- I still PR’d and I’m happy about that, but the thing that has me upset is ME. And for once it’s not the mental part of me, rather my body.

The race was going great until mile 6 when that familiar pain I trained so hard to avoid started to creep in. Before I knew it both of my knees felt like they had a peg jammed into them. It was all I could do to keep going forward. I stopped numerous times to do the stretches I had practiced at home, but nothing provided relief. As I continued mile after mile it got worse. At mile 11, for the first time ever, I cried while running.

Why?!? Why was my body failing me? Why now? I felt robbed. Robbed of my big bang PR and robbed of the elation I imagined it would bring.

I will continue, my ego slightly bruised, but just like I finished the race, I’ll just keep going forward- one foot in front of the other.