13.1

In November it seemed so far away, and the idea of it was just so fun. An excuse to buy a sport watch and make color-coded Excel training schedules. The Half Marathon I insanely committed to. Starting was easy, and working up to a few miles was fun-fun-fun! And then January happened. I injured myself the week before going to Vegas for Jonathan’s 30th birthday. A minor stress injury to my foot, but I further aggravated it by hobbling around in high heels up and down the Strip because I sometimes think I’m a bad ass (but really I’m just not that bright).

It threw off my training so much I felt back at square one. I decided to at least cross train and strength train if nothing else, until the weather cooperated and I could run outside. I had a new workout space to push me along, but I still thought I had all the time in the world to be ready to face it.

It was HERE before I even knew it. I was back to only logging 3 mile runs on a treadmill, stressing from school workload and job turmoil, trying to get my garden ready and feeling guilty that I wasn’t properly training. There was this moment when I almost bailed out. Then I calmed down and thought maybe I would be ok – I was cross-training after all- and should just lower my expectations.

And so I did. I gutted it out. I completed a 13.1 mile run, hobbling in the last 4 miles because I reinjured my foot.

It may not look like much, but when the top of your foot is bruised from the impact you put on the bottom, it hurts a lot, and it still hurts a week later.

Admittedly, everything hurt the next day. EVER-y-thing. And it was slow. I finished near the last in my gender/age category. An 80 year old man passed me during the last mile while I was limping along. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it. I ruined my yoga form temporarily, lost my favorite hoodie, and limped on an injured foot for several agonizing miles (I almost cried. A few times. Really), but I’m so glad I finished it.

Don’t let the smiley photo fool you. I am in in pain here at the finish. I was just so happy it was over.

And the first several miles were great fun! There really is nothing like that race day excitement, and now I get it. (Don’t mind the watermark. The event photog wants me to pay $20 for a digital copy of this. Umyeah, no thanks.)

^Mile 3ish? Before I wanted to die.

My second biggest concern, pre-race (first being, obviously, don’t die) was.. what if I run out of things to think about? It’s not that it’s generally a problem for me (the opposite, actually) but I’m talking.. what if I ran out of ways to distract myself from the pain? What if by mile 4 I’m already hating it and can’t think of anything beyond the utter suck?

I’m happy to report it’s nothing like the training. I made so many temporary friends during the race. Everyone was so encouraging. The scenery was so pretty I got lost in it a few times. The drink stations were surrounded by spectators cheering us on. My iPod playlist had me pumped up. It’s truly a memorable experience, worth doing to say I did and to understand why people do it in the first place.

Enough to make me try again, with the knowledge of what I’m getting myself into? Maybe. Probably. (No really.. I’m not that bright).

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fear.less, Pt. 1

How would your life be different if you didn’t fear the unknown? Or didn’t make excuses why you shouldn’t try something new? What would you be doing? Would you live where you live? Would you hold the job you currently have, or be doing something different? Would you feel anchored to your possessions or more confident without them? What would you be doing?

Like most everyone, I’ve been held back by fear my whole life in one way or another. Choosing the practical over the fabulous. Not even taking a shot at something I want for fear I won’t get it. Holding off on things until I lose 10 pounds.

Lately though I have felt the overwhelming urge to start saying YES to myself. The last two years have been the healthiest in my life. I went vegetarian. I (re)started practicing yoga. I started training for a half marathon. I started cooking mostly vegan. I’ve been inspired to do more good for myself and my health. Finding reasons why I should instead of shouldn’t. Some stories:

Late last year, I took a yoga workshop. I’ve taken yoga classes off and on for almost 10 years, and have been consistently doing it twice a week through all of 2011. I’ve wanted to advance my practice but was feeling nervous about leaving my comfort zone. I went for it and signed up for the workshop (it helped I didn’t go home and think about it but registered on the spot). This studio is on the creaky third floor of an art gallery, run/frequented by advanced yogis, and exactly the atmosphere I told myself I would some day practice yoga in (as opposed to the all-levels class next to the racquetball court at my gym!) This was by far the best yoga experience of my life. An entire hour was dedicated to understanding the history and healing powers of yoga. (As someone who healed my gimpy, weak, chronically hurt wrists, I am already a believer!!). Followed by an hour of practice more advanced than I am used to, but that I happily could keep up with. I’m so glad I didn’t talk myself out of going.

In November 2011 I took my first belly dancing class. Ever since seeing belly dancers as a kid, I wanted to do this. It’s even on my list of 30 things to do before I’m 30. But I never did because I was afraid I would look silly. I LOVE dancing of all kinds but there’s just no place in the adult world for it, unless you MAKE a place for it. My notions about it were so wrong. I thought everyone would be very good at it and I would be the awkward girl.  Truthfully, once I was there, I didn’t compare. I noticed and appreciated the talent of some of the others, but it didn’t make me feel inadequate. It made me feel inspired. It makes your curves, the same ones you curse and pick apart in the mirror, look beautiful – you need curves to make belly dancing look good. Empowering! I went back for more until my school schedule changed and overlapped the class. However, it got me in that door and I frequented lots of weird things at that studio since. Pilates, Zumba, candlelit yoga. In a studio run by a renowned pole dancer. Really. When my wrists really strengthen up I’m going to try Pole. Can’t wait.

I’ve since been bouncing around from obsession to obsession, getting my fitness on in weird and awesome ways. I just finished Ripped in 30 {Jillian Michael’s program} and moved on to p90x this week. A year ago when my husband started p90x I said there was no WAY I would even try it. It took a year of baby steps but last night I was doing pullups from a door frame in our basement and chanting “FIGHT FOR IT!!” over and over. Who is this girl?

I am a firm believer in writing life lists and making goals. Had I not put “belly dancing” on my 30 before 30 list, I wouldn’t have gotten around to trying it, and I’d be missing out on a positive, women-centered, empowering experience.

I’m writing my bucket list right now and plan to post it, for accountability/cheerleading/inspiration purposes, knowing it will evolve, grow, adapt, but also knowing that putting it in print helps me make great things happen.

I challenge you all to try something new, or start working on your bucket list now. Let me know if you do! We can cheer each other on.

2012 resolutions//to do list

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wishing you all the very best for this upcoming year. We ended our year right with a fun party, bubbly drinks, and lots of laughing.

I recapped 2011 and all the resolutions I made for it yesterday. I am so excited to work on my 2012 goals!

And here they are:

  1. Finish the half-marathon & the Dirty Dash
  2. Fit in fitness 4 days a week {I already do this – just a goal to keep it up!}
  3. Get my goal weight and stay there {I have been doing Weight Watchers and I am getting there!}
  4. Take 4 classes for my MBA
  5. Pay down $6,000 on my student loans
  6. Save $ for a trip to NYC for my 30th birthday {June 2013}
  7. Write 2 blog posts every week
  8. Live super frugally! Scrimp on the unnecessary to pay off student loan debt and save for trip. Some ideas:
  • Limit “extras” to $100/month. Includes clothes, shoes, books, alcohol, coffee runs, household items like décor, kitchen stuff, gym stuff including passes
  • Make my own dishsoap, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, etc.
  • Start a garden
  • Eat $1 dinners twice a week (pasta+sauce, veggie+rice, grilled cheese sandwiches, baked potatoes, pancakes…)
  • Make menus every week
  • Be a better couponer
  • Come up with a free or VERY cheap date once a month
  • Buy or make Christmas gifts months ahead
  • Reuse//revamp
  • More DIY//craftiness!
  • Blog about this monthly!

9. Lastly, some house projects that are our highest priority in 2012*:

  • Build a shed
  • Put in a vegetable garden and an herb garden
  • Paint interior doors and trim
  • SUPER organize the garage
  • Re-caulk shower, and get new or fix up old shower door {maybe frost it?} in master bathroom
  • Hang curtains in the office and spare bedroom and figure out something for the bay windows in the kitchen
  • Get outdoor lighting
  • Replace kitchen faucet
  • Make the laundry room also a functional mud room

*PS: It might seem like a lot to take on with all those penny-pinching plans, but it’s how we roll. If there’s one thing we do well in our household, it’s save on the little things so we can pay cash for the things we really want to do. The last two months of 2011 I fell out of the mindset and went rather crazy on the spending {compared to my norm} and it’s time to get back on track!

What are your resolutions and plans for 2012?

harder.better.faster.stronger.

I signed up for my first ever half marathon yesterday!

Just ten days ago when I wrote this post I was mulling over the idea, not wanting to commit and sure I would talk myself out of it. But I decided to go for it – I need things to work toward. And for me, this is a big deal! I have always been the slow kid. I can kick some booty on the elliptical machine or yoga mat, but even looking at a treadmill gives me a sideache and shin splints, I’m serious. NOT a runner, so I thought.

But I’ve been working up to it in the last month and I kind of sort of don’t hate it. I kind of like breathing the chilly air all bundled up and hitting the pavement. And I especially like that there are no rules – that every day is completely different. That on a Monday I can be tired after 3 minutes and Tuesday I can break my own record – I’m so new that it’s unpredictable what kind of day I will have and I’m so new that I’m frequently still surprising myself that I CAN do it. Even though I’m not running great distance yet I feel like it’s ok to say “I’m a runner” and just that in itself motivates me to go go go (so far!).

I’ve got six months to train, and I’ll be using this guide to get me there starting in December. November plan stays the same as my last post with maybe a few more runs and less cross-training. This is just what I need to avoid total hermit mode all winter – here we go!!!!!!!!

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” -Mark Twain

some fitness goals – here goes nothing!

You know me. Always making goals. I’ve been workin’ on my fitness these past couple months and finally to the point I feel I need real structure again as I’m in the exercise habit! (getting to the gym regularly was a general goal that worked for me – just get there. HA!).

So posting for the world to see, my weekly workout schedule. This is what I’ll be working with through November. I plan to change it up for each new month. This is roughly what I’ve been doing for the last 2 months with a little less cardio.

If anyone’s wondering about my fitness facility access, I am SUPER DUPER spoiled with options. I work in a building with a little gym right down the hall (good for lunchtime workouts), and work on an Air Force base with 3 different gyms, 2 outdoor and 2 indoor running tracks, and a pool. The gym use and *most* of the classes there are free (the ones that I do are) for my use. I’ve been doing the yoga class for 6 months or longer, twice a week, and I can’t imagine life without yoga now! As for my home workouts, I live in a safe, flat neighborhood but it’s unlit at night, so that’s a factor for winter running as is the iciness! (so I’ll be utilizing the indoor tracks on base). I have space at home for most floor workouts and free weights but no other gym equipment.

My fairly loose (as in, we’ll see as I go) plan for the next couple months (yay Holidays!) is as follows:

November: above. Still getting used to exercise so trying to keep it fun and diverse while upping my cardio.

December: step up the cardio. Fit in more running and less cross-training workouts. LIFT ACTUAL WEIGHTS. (:

January: Aim for running 5 miles/week

oh yaah and um – and I love this (new motto):

How’s everyone getting their fitness on?