Year End What’s Up/ What’s Next

Well, 2014, it’s been real.

This year has been a huge tornado of firsts and changes. Sometimes, a few life path alterations keep us pointed in the same direction, but I have had so many this year that I truly feel like my life has started in on a new journey.

The year started off in an epic way- my first lifting meet! I flew down in January to Dallas Texas to meet up with some of the best people on the planet- other Rebels from Nerd Fitness. We met up at a Crossfit gym, and cheered each other on towards a mountain of PR’s. Hanging out with them was a highlight for me, and now that it’s almost a year later, I miss them all so much. Such good people.

Nerd Fitness Crew

In May my best friend and I did our very first Spartan race. It was one of the most challenging things I had done. The water was freezing, the obstacles were difficult, and the finish was epic. I’m thinking I might even shoot for more in 2015…

Spartan

June brought one of the most epic things I have ever done, which led me to one of the most amazing communities ever. GORUCK. I participated in a Light, and now I have plans to get a challenge in 2015, and maybe a few more events? Hint hint, GORUCK, a scavenger in Colorado would be cool…  My reward to myself and a belated birthday present was Ziva, my GORUCK pack. Easily the most comfortable bag I’ve ever owned.

GORUCK Light Class 322

Most of my summer was spent hiking, 14ers in specific. There are quite a few that I still want to get to, and 2015 has their names written all over it. I’m really excited to get back out on the trails and to keep pushing my limits. I was trying to think of which summit was my favorite, but I don’t think I can nail it down to just one. Catching sunrise on Mount Sherman was amazing. Getting 3 out of 4 of The Quad was challenging and fun. Pikes Peak was an awesome hike and though it was long, it was gorgeous, with multiple different types of terrain. Evans’ summit was quick, and the way down was… trailblazing…

The Quad

In August I took a twist with my 5k adventures and started to Ruck them (ie, carrying weight in a pack, and instead of running I do a quick walk, like a shuffle, but more effective.) I had been shooting for 45 minutes or less with the weight, and at the Esprit de She I clocked in at 44:08!!! I was on fire and I felt amazing!

Esprit de She 2014

In the fall I started attending November Project on Wednesday mornings, before work. The workouts are killer, and though I’m the slowest person there, I never feel unwelcome, and I always get a good burn. Free fitness? Hello. I’ve even been given the positivity award twice, which is crazy because THEY are the ones who keep me positive!

NP5280

I finished up the year taking a massive step towards a Life Quest goal of mine (Becoming a Search and Rescue K9 handler). This December, I completed my Wilderness First Aid certification. We spent 2 days in the mountains working through lessons and scenarios, and the scenarios specifically showed me that this is what I want to be doing.

Med Training Group

Unrelated to health and fitness, my life took another huge turn. In September, I felt like I was being called out of ministry. I had been working at my church full time for almost 8 years, and the thought of leaving my job scared me and made me sick to my stomach. But, God provided and showed me where he wanted me to go- and confidently I went. The change has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but I know it was the right thing.

Related to health, I also started to see a chiropractor. I am feeling great, and I am hoping that the long term benefits to this are everything that I hope they will be. My Chiro showed us our X-rays and walked us through all the different aspects to them; I feel sort of like an expert on my spine! All the areas where it Zigs instead of Zags directly relate to issues that I have physically and emotionally. It’s amazing.

Upcoming for 2015:

1. More Spartan! I’m thinking a Super?

2. More GORUCK! A challenge in June for my birthday!

3. More November Project! Ya’ll good?

4. More 14ers! Bierstad, Quandary, Democrat…

5. More safety! I’m applying for my church’s safety team!

6. More lifting! I am determined to get my 500# club patch this year!

I’m preparing for a wild ride…

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Spring into a Fresh Start

I love spring. I’m not going to lie. Everything about this time of year makes me happy- from the cool mornings to the sunny afternoons, to the clear evenings. Most of all, I love doing fitness outside.

With spring comes new change, growth, and excitement- and I’m not just talking about outside. I’m talking about what’s INSIDE of me.

It seems to me that in the spring I land on new fresh goals for the year, not in January like most people. Spring revives me and ignites a desire to be and do more.

This spring I am training, still for the Spartan Race (May 4th) and the GORUCK Light (June 7th). I also have a slew of mountains (specifically 14ers) on my radar for this year. It’s funny because in addition to all of this outward stuff, I feel like I am internally focused as well. I am still tweaking my nutrition, trying to find my optimal diet (noun, not verb) and in doing so I am learning a lot about my body. This thing I have been living in for 31 years never ceases to amaze me.

My plan for the next 6 weeks, as we spring into a fresh start (taken from my 6 week challenge on Nerd Fitness here) is as follows:

Training– I am using the Spartan Boot camp 31 day training plan. Some days are plyometrics and sprints, other days are long slow runs. There are hills, stretching, and weights. All of this is designed to get me in the optimal shape for the gun that I am staring down the barrel of that is the Spartan Military Sprint in Colorado Springs.

Water– I have lost sight of my water consumption and it’s starting to manifest in my workouts and runs. With the warmer months and huge amounts of hiking, I need to get back to basics!

Joes– This is a really weird goal, but there is an amazing group of people that I envy. They are a part of It Burns Joe Fitness, a free workout offered at Red Rocks. Whenever I am there doing my haphazard Goruck training, I watch them, wanting to be them. They work hard and look like they are having the best time. I am going to make an effort to try it out at least once, and potentially 3 times to see if I can hang with the cool kids and if it helps me get to my goals!

Blog– Last but not least, I am going to make an effort to touch base here once a week, and post about how I am doing with my goals, what challenges I have had, and what I am doing to get through them. Maybe I’ll even throw out a giveaway! You never know!

I hope that this spring is as much of a game changer for you as I am planning on it being for me!!!

Adapt and Grow

As the year starts to draw to a close I figured now would be a good time to update on where I’ve been and where I’m headed.

Up until this fall I would’ve classified myself as an endurance athlete. I love running, and that was where all of my focus and energy was spent. But, ever since my full marathon in April, my passion seemed zapped. I still did some races, but the “fun run” part of my training just wasn’t there. In addition, I left my gym that had a run club, and switched to one next to my work to help save money.
Around the same time I started listening to more podcasts about training and fitness- I think I was looking for something to get me going and unstick me. In one of the paleo podcasts I listen to a trainer was being interviewed and was talking about the women he trains. He was explaining that you can only serve one master in the gym, and it hit me. I wanted the results of someone who strength trains, but I was doing the work of an endurance athlete.

In October I made a conscious decision to start strength training, and only do a couple fun run races. As a part of the Nerd Fitness Academy I had access to the workouts, and chose the Barbell Battalion to start my training.

Many ladies will attest, moving to the free weights section of the gym can be a scary thing, so I enlisted the help of my best friend, who was also a runner and wanting to get strong. We started small, not even using the bar, and opting for the lighter preset weight bars. Over the past 8 weeks we have worked our way up to some great PRs and we are both growing and learning

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2014 Planning
So with my weight workouts doing well I have a few things on my plate that I’m excited about for 2014.

First, I have been selected to be a Girls Gone Sporty Goal Getter. Over the course of the first quarter of 2014, I will be working towards getting my first pull up! Never in my life have I ever done one and until I started my NFA workouts, I couldn’t even hang on a bar. Two days a week I have hanging knee tucks on my training plan, so my grip strength has improved greatly! Starting January 1st, I will be sharing with the world (eep!) my progress!

So far, I can at least hang and bend my arms! Hooray!

(I will add a YouTube link, as soon as I can make it work!)

Next, in May I will be participating in a Spartan Sprint in Colorado Springs. I won this entry from Amanda at Mommy Go Run. My best friend won one as well! We are super excited to get to try this together!

Lastly, a bunch of us are training to do a Go Ruck Light in June! This will involve being a part of a team training that lasts 7 hours or so. We train with a backpack full of bricks, that we’ve wrapped carefully…
Here are mine:

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So, that’s where I’m at, with some great goals for 2014! I’m super excited to get going!

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