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

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┬áthat 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!!!

Rain Run

Last night was… interesting.

For those of you who don’t know, I have spent the last few weekends getting my long runs in on the treadmill. Yes, this includes my 20 miler.

Yesterday things were looking fantastic in the morning. I packed my gym bag, super excited to get a little trail run in outside. Finally! Outside!

As the day progressed on the skies got more and more dark. Around lunch time my beautiful sun had morphed into something resembling a rain/snow/sleet monster.

So. Sad.

As I finished up my work and headed outside, I called my husband to let him know that I would be on the treadmill. Again.

Don’t get me wrong- the treadmill is a fantastic tool to use intermittently for some weather proof running! But, everything in me wanted to go outside.

So I did.

As it turns out, the Run Club over at Lifetime was thinking the same thing, and even though it was a little rainy and misty they were headed out. At the last minute I flipped my switch and went with them.

I’m so glad that I changed my mind. There’s nothing wrong with being a fair weathered runner, but I don’t want to be that person. I would love to be someone that takes my sport seriously enough to go out there and get my task accomplished no matter what the adversity!

I hope that when you come to an obstacle that feels like it will just roll you over, that you’ll give yourself a pep talk and go out there and get it!

No one fights harder for you than YOU. Be a fighter!

PS we also rescued 2 dogs. win-win!

Nerves

I’m getting nervous, guys.

My marathon is only 18 days away and to say I am starting to freak out would be an understatement.

I’m having dreams (nightmares?) about the race- things that don’t even make sense.

I need to calm down. I need to relax. I just need to breathe.

 

I’ve done my training- I know it will be fine. Right?

How do you calm down before taking on a huge, life altering task?

Help!

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