endurance

I’m Seeing Double!

“Run with your heart instead of your mind.

When you think with your mind, you think of the things you can and can’t do.

But when you run with your heart you forget about what you can’t do, and you just go out and do it.” 
-Gerry Lindgren

 
Double digits that is!  Woohoo!  Today I ran 10.3 miles as part of my training for the Colchester Half next weekend.  It was the first time I covered that amount of mileage since the Marathon in October.  I have run periodically since then, but never more than 8 miles, so this was a big deal for me.
Up until now I was pretty nervous about how my IT bands would behave during the half, and whether I would be able to finish at all.  After a lot of talking myself in and out of going, I ultimately decided to run to my mother’s house.  I picked it based on the fact that it’s a tough, hilly ten miles (almost every street on the route has “Hill” or “Mountain” in the name if that helps you get an idea).  I figured if I could get through it, then I’d probably be okay this weekend.  Plus, it’s straight shot instead of a loop, so I knew I would have to keep going.  Quitting early wouldn’t be an option, unless I called for a ride.  I was extremely grateful that Adam offered to pick me up if my knees acted up, even if he and I both knew I wouldn’t.  In reality, I think he could tell I how nervous I felt and was, thoughtfully I might add, trying to reduce some of my anxiety.  He also gave me a big hug before I left, which I appreciated IMMENSELY.
The first mile of the run only served to strengthen my fears.  I had to walk a few times to get up the hills because my quads were burning.  I instantly started kicking myself for picking such a challenging run when I was already doubting my ability.  However, once my legs were warm, I ate those hills like they were breakfast!  I tried to visualize myself as a little Pac Man munching up all those little tenths of a mile.
Overall, I was surprised at how strong I felt, especially after my painful Vermont run.  I did some SERIOUS training last week and really beat up my body, but it didn’t seem to affect my run at all.  Not to say I wasn’t miserable at times, but it was SO MUCH BETTER than my previous ten miler on the same route.  It only took 1:48- less time than my previous attempt with more distance (since I couldn’t see Runkeeper in the sun, I ended up running extra because I was so afraid of coming up short on miles). 🙂
I was BEYOND GRATEFUL that all the Insanity and boot camp have been paying off.  I felt so much stronger than I expected.  I was able to keep
my form for almost the entire run.  It was such a great feeling to run easily so long into the run- especially when I was able to let go of all that anxiety!  I was so glad I dragged myself to do it!
The best part was the look on my grandmother’s face as she drove down my mom’s street and watched me run toward the driveway.  She asked where I came from, and her jaw dropped when I told her “from home”.
In the end, I outlasted my hydration pack which sprang a leak at some point during the run.  It actually turned out helpful as the cold water and weather effectively iced my lower back. 🙂  However, by the time I finished I was soaked (and stoked!).
It was a small victory, but a victory none-the-less.
I hope everyone else is having a terrific day and going after some goals and dreams!

Still Sick, but Not Defeated

“My greatest strength in life is that I am constantly underestimated. 

I am so much more than you perceive.”

The Running Thriver

It's that simple

Hello fellow bloggers, fitness fanatics, and people who clicked on this page by accident.

This morning I woke up still sick, but did my next Insanity workout anyway.  I am sure there are a lot of people who think that’s a really bad idea, but I am going to choose to tune them out. 😉  The truth is, that most people will  measure what you are capable of by their own perceived limitations.  It’s hard for other people to view the  amount of training I do as healthy, because they can’t see it as possible for themselves. 

For example, when I told my family I was going to run a marathon (which I only decided after running a full half in training) the response consisted of how concerned they were that I was training too hard and would injure myself.  I also heard from numerous other individuals that it isn’t healthy to run anything more than a half marathon and people who do are crazy to put their bodies through that kind of stress.  It’s like will live in a world filled with walls and barriers; and the fact that I’d rather go over them than live within them seems to make people nervous.  The thing is, I finished that marathon and didn’t injury myself.  In fact, it got me in great shape.  I did suffer from a few days of the flu afterward, but it certainly didn’t kill or maim me the way people predicted it would.

I have been told on numerous occasions that the limits I push myself to are insane.  People hear about the boot camp workouts and assume it’s unhealthy just because of the intensity and number of reps.  (I think it’s also hard for them to picture me doing some of the workouts because I’m petite and not visibly ripped)  Likewise, they can’t comprehend how going for a 3 or 4 hour run could not be damaging to my joints.

Damn straight!

What they’re missing is just how good really pushing hard feels.  A 3 or 4 hour run is as refreshing to me as sleep is for other people.  An intense boot camp session is like instant prozac for me.  Pushing my body to the limit is a constant reminder of how strong I am inside.  It’s an exercise in mind over matter.  Distance running is a mental sport.  It’s you pushing your body to keep going long after it wants to quit.  Boot camp and Insanity are no different- which is probably why I enjoy them as much as running.

I admit that there have been times when I have probably pushed my body a little harder than a should have (like back-to-back boot camp sessions less than a week before the marathon).  However, I have not had an injury in the past several years– DESPITE training harder and more frequently than I ever had in the past.  My point- if there is something wearing me to the point of being run down, it’s in spite of the exercise NOT because of it.  That is why sick or not, I was going to get in my workout this morning.  It’s a matter of starting my day on the right foot.  Plus, if I really was feeling awful, I would have stopped; and I have the whole rest of the day to take it easy… at least until boot camp.

If there is some far reaching goal that you have wanted to work toward but have put off out of fear (or fear of criticism)- JUST GO FOR IT.  Victories are won in inches, not miles.  Start today and make some progress.  When I first saw the ads for Insanity, I thought I would never make it through the workouts.  They had fitness instructors complaining it was too hard to finish.  Then I signed up for boot camp, and just a few months later I’m finding the program EASIER than what I’m already doing.  I didn’t just wake up one day and find I was in great shape (measured more by improvement in strength and endurance than appearance).  I built momentum over time.  I started with a 10K and worked up to a marathon.  I was terrified to do my first Tough Mudder, and then realized afterward that it was not nearly as hard as people made it out to be.  YES, it was all very difficult, but it wasn’t impossible.  Don’t let let anyone- including yourself- talk you out of what you really desire in life.  It can be yours if you’re willing to work for it.

I have spent a lot of my life being underestimated by other people.  I’m small, soft spoken, and (usually) polite.  These are all qualities people associate with weakness- but I am not a weak person.  I may be quiet, but I am also resolute.  I survived an abusive relationship and rebuilt my life.  I have endured a Tough Mudder, marathon, and boot camp.  People frequently ask me what I’m training so hard for, expecting me to list a bunch of races.  However, what I’m training for is life. Exercise and running has made me much more tough mentally than physically.  I am prepared to take on whatever life has to throw at me because I have pushed through every self imposed limitation.

Aside from my drive and motivation to meet my goals, there is nothing different or exceptional about me.  Anyone can do it.  Give up the excuses, crutches, and lingering doubts and just go do it.

Keep on Keeping on

“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”
– Edward Stanley

I am a little annoyed with my body today.  Not in the typical female-picking-myself-apart way; but in the I-can’t-believe-I’m-F-ing-sick-this-is-totally-cramping-my-style way.  I spent most of my morning trying to convince myself I am fine and didn’t catch anything, but just finally broke down and bought some pseudophed.  Apparently, a fit lifestyle is not a free ticket to completely avoiding illness… bogus, right?

What?! That's right! All done with week 1.

In reality, I should be glad I have avoided getting sick this long, especially when everyone at work has been calling out with the flu ever since the new year rolled around.  However, I’m am hoping I can still head it off now that I have drugs, especially since I took a power nap today.

I can tell you one thing though, this icky sinus thing DID NOT keep me from my workout this morning!!!!  That means I am finished with week 1 of INSANITY. (woot woot!)  The workouts definitely get harder the more of them you do, and I think it’s primarily from your muscles getting fatigued.  I definitely found the cardio pylo harder today than I did the first time I did it, but that could be partly because my body is too busy fighting off this bug to cooperate…  I still got through more reps than Adam though, so that made me feel a little better. 😉  (In his defense, he’s chronically sleep deprived, and I give him props for doing it with me two days in a row now… especially when he knows I’m going to make him look bad. j/k)

It was SO NICE out today that I was more than a little bummed about napping instead of running, but I think it was for the greater good.  I would rather miss one run than get more sick and miss work.  Plus, I want to get over this thing and back to pushing 100%.  I am just keep telling myself that spring is around the corner, and there will be many more beautiful running days.  It’s so hard when you have that itch to get out there though!!!

Tomorrow is a rest day for Insanity, and I have to work (no boot camp for me 😦 ).  That means rest day in general- probably the only one this week.  Unfortunately I can only make one boot camp session this week (it would be none if I didn’t end up swapping  a day), but at least I will have Insanity… and –fingers crossed– some running!

I guess I could try to...

PS. Mike- even being sick, Insanity was STILL not harder than boot camp today.

It’s Here!!! It’s Here!!!

“Exercise is good for your mind, body, and soul.”

– Susie Michelle Cortright

So excited!!!!

So this morning I did my usual Jackie work out and then headed over to my mom’s for some long overdo quality time.  We hit our favorite store Marshalls and I was able to pick up some awesome new workout duds for a great price 🙂

"Is that all you got?"

It’s funny how reluctant I always am to buy regular new clothes, but when it comes to workout clothes, it’s a-whole-nother story!  I guess I rationalize it as a reward for working hard. Plus, I spend more time in exercise apparel than everyday clothes anyway. 🙂  Besides, have you ever noticed how great new workout gear is for motivation?

I can’t wait to try them out at boot camp tonight!

I’m also glad to report that I FINALLY went grocery shopping today, so I’m not tempted to eat garbage.  I’m not sure why I always put it off so long.  I’m pretty certain, though, that if it were not for the fact that I’m on my last roll of toilet paper, I would have put it off even longer.  I have to admit that it pretty nice to actually have food (and healthy food at that!) in my cabinets!

Needless to say, I was already having a good day when I got home and found a package on my door step.  My Insanity DVDs came in a whole day early!!!! I’m SO PSYCHED.  I know I have boot camp tonight, and I already worked out this morning, but I can’t wait til my next day off to try it!!!!  I’m sure I will be kicking myself later (especially since I’m still sore from the climbing gym), but it will be SO WORTH IT!!!

Have an awesome Monday everyone!

 

I've been eyeing these shorts for a while...So colorful!

Love my Whale 🙂

One week with no boot camp…

The key to successful training is comprised of motivation, determination,

and a healthy fear of your trainer.”

-The Running Thriver 😉

makes me a sad girl. 😦

My work schedule is in complete conflict with boot camp this week, which essentially means two things 1) I need to find a new job that is more accommodating of my boot camp addiction, and 2) I need to seriously kick my own butt this week.

I spent my entire morning running around in circles (on the phone, not literally…unfortunately) between ticket master and the Hartford XL Center trying to track down my missing hockey tickets (it took NINE separate phone calls and multiple emails) before it was finally decided I could pick them up at “will call”.  Keep your fingers crossed for me; I have a feeling it’s not over…

After all that drama, I truly needed a work out!  I popped in my trusty Jackie DVD and sailed through the workout.  Of course, now that I am a hardcore boot camper, I didn’t stop there.  Instead, I did the 1000+ rep ab workout I missed a few weeks ago from class.  I had been wanting to try it, so I was glad to have the perfect opportunity.  Luckily, my fellow boot camp addicts members were kind enough to post the full workout online. I had to look up a few of the exercises on YouTube to figure out how to do them, but that only took a few minutes and I was good to go.

The one part of the workout I didn’t do was the sprints.  I figured shoveling snow this morning and doing the DVD would make up for it.  I did do the rest though!!!  In fact, I am pretty sure I did a couple hundred extra reps because there were several points when I lost count and started over. lol  I also assumed that the flutter kicks were in the typical sets of 4 (counting 1-2-3-1, 1-2-3-2, 1-2-3-3, etc) and did 800+ total, which may or may not have been the intended amount.  There were a couple times I wanted to quit out of boredom with the high number of reps and general disdain for a few of the exercises (SKI ABS- BOOOO!), but impressed myself that I had enough discipline to complete everything without someone standing over my shoulder.  I have to admit though, that I did not get the same warm, fuzzy feeling after finishing that I do after a real boot camp session.  It was certainly better than nothing though!!!! I am going to just have to take what I can get until Monday…

AB workout Maximum Results Boot Camp Style

In related news, I am to breaking up with Jackie.  We had a lot of growth together, but she just doesn’t challenge me the way she used to.  It’s always the same routine with her, and I’m really ready to try something new.  I’ve officially invested in Insanity and am hoping Shaun T. will take me further in my fitness journey.

Joking aside, I really am looking forward to a new challenge; and I am hoping that these workouts will be a good substitute for the days I can’t make boot camp.  Hopefully my new DVDs will arrive soon and help with my withdrawal!!!!

Oh It Hurts so Good!

“Clear your mind of can’t.”

-Samuel Johnson

I got my butt kicked (again) tonight… and I loved every second of it

It’s funny how I can feel my mood start to dip when I get tired.  Yesterday I got called in to work the overnight shift because someone had called out (yup, I missed boot camp- TRAGIC!) Luckily I had already worked out once that morning, but didn’t get a chance to nap before going in due to the short notice.  I slept a couple hours when I got home this morning; but I could tell I was still dragging.  It’s funny how my anxiety/PTSD has a way of rearing it’s ugly head when I’m even a little sleep deprived.  For example, today I ordered broccoli pizza.  I specifically picked a new restaurant because I wanted white broccoli pizza (ricotta, garlic, etc), which our typical place doesn’t offer.  Well, they showed up with a regular pizza with broccoli on it, and I kid you not– it almost ruined my day.  I think this is partially because I was starving, but even at the time I thought it was RIDICULOUS to be so upset over a pizza.  Besides, the sent me a new one when I called, so I got a whole pizza for free which should have made me happy.  Instead, I was in a bit of a funk the rest of the day….

Until boot camp.  Boot camp always lifts my spirits.  It’s the perfect combination of exercise and meeting up with friends. 🙂  It’s about conquering challenges and  instantly makes you feel good about yourself (if you survive the workout ;)).  Tonight we did intervals of exercises with the goal of going as hard as possible.  By the time we got through to end of each round, my quads and calves were outright refusing to function.  I attempted to just focus on my breathing and keep pushing.  It was definitely rough, but I knew I couldn’t stop.

1) Mike would have totally called me out, and I am secretly (or not so secretly) terrified of him (jk…sort of)

2) I knew everyone else was suffering as much as I was- probably even more in the case of the new people!– and I didn’t want to cheat.

3) I HATE giving up.  It’s just not an option for me.

Maybe it’s the joint experience of absolute misery (have I mentioned how much I hate intervals?)  that has the group so bonded, but there’s definitely a tight-knit support system- which is a  real comfort when you’re struggling!

In the past, I would have stayed home and avoided people if I felt my mood dipping.  However, now I know better and use that as even further motivation to drag myself to the gym, for a run, or to boot camp.  I’m glad I have gotten to a point with my PTSD symptoms that I can feel them coming on, recognize the source, and do something about it. I am pretty certain that I will never get rid of my symptoms completely, but at least I have gotten better at coping with and managing them.  Everyone has his or her own battle or struggles in life, and I certainly could have worse problems to deal with.  Instead of focusing on how much happier or healthier I could be, I remind myself of how blessed and lucky I am to have not only survived everything I’ve been through, but overcome it.

Sorry I’m so late actually posting this! It took me forever to edit. I hope it’s finally in English!

I Came, I Saw, I Conquered

“You are never really playing an opponent.

You are playing yourself,

your own highest standards,

and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.
– Arthur Ashe

That is how I felt about boot camp Monday night.  Initially, I really wasn’t feeling up to going because my poor Lucy was not feeling well after her vet visit.  She was really making me worry because she looked so miserable and was refusing to move.  She was so pathetic!  Luckily, she perked up before it was time to leave.

The workout consisted of 400 sideways (curtsey) lunges, 400 power jacks, 400 skaters, and 200 burpees.  To be honest, I wasn’t intimidated.  Instead, I was SO RELIEVED there were NO GRASSHOPPERS involved. lol  I was totally in the zone when we started and plowed through the lunges.  I finished ahead of everyone else (mostly because I got a head start) and jumped right into the power jacks.  By the time I got to the skaters I was getting really nauseated and light headed.  I am pretty sure the room went out of focus a few times, but I kept pushing (even if it meant keeping my eyes closed!).  When I finally got to the burpees, I could only manage 10 at a time in an effort to avoid vomiting or passing out.

Despite the fact that the workout was TORTURE, I felt AMAZING when I finished!  All I could think is how much I struggled with my first real 1000 rep workout, and now I was pushing through all 400 lunges without a single break!  Boot camp makes me feel even more accomplished than I did after running a marathon.  I LOVE the people in our group.  Everyone supports and pushes each other.  It’s such a great, positive environment, and Mike, the trainer, is always coming up with new challenges.

That being said, I CAN”T WAIT TO GO BACK TONIGHT!!! lol  I am so thrilled to be able to make all the sessions this week.  I think it’s the only perk of having to work the weekend. 😉

I LOVE looking forward to working out the way I always have about running.   When winter used roll around, I’d get a little down about not being able to get out and run much.  Even though I would still go to the gym, I never enjoyed it as much as my runs outside. Now, I drag myself out to run in spite of the cold and get excited about waking up in the morning and working out as many times as I can fit in.  Most exciting: I found boot camp- the one workout I love as much as running.

I hope everyone has an AMAZING day!  Make the most of it!  If there is something you have been dying to do or try, go out and do it.  If I can run a marathon, I am certain that ANY person can fulfill his or her dreams.

Determination is key. 🙂