inspiration

Life Without Boot Camp…

“I found every single successful person I’ve ever spoken to had a turning point.

The turning point was when they made a clear, specific unequivocal decision that they were not going to live like this anymore; they were going to achieve success.

Some people make that decision at 15 and some people make it at 50, and most people never make it at all.”

Brian Tracy

haha you know it's true!

In case anyone is wondering (or worried) I am continuing to survive my time without boot camp (just barely 😉 ).  Only one more day to go, and it will take nothing short of an act of God to keep me from class tomorrow night!!!!!  I have been continuing to use my Jackie Extreme Timesaver Workout DVD and adding additional exercise reps to keep myself from completely withdrawing.  Meanwhile, I continue to wait for my Insanity DVDs to arrive (it’s taking FOREVER!!!- or maybe it just feels like it and I’m being dramatic…).

As an added workout, Adam and I hit the climbing gym today.  It was the first time I had been there in a long time, and I was surprised that my harness was really loose when I pulled it on. (I’d say Woohoo for boot camp weight loss, but I have actually gained (stupid muscle weighing more than fat!)…so instead I’ll says Woohoo for inches lost in all the right places!)  Luckily, it still fit once I synched it down.  I was a little nervous about my arms being fatigued after all the upper body work I did in my morning workout; however, once we began climbing I was excited to find that my endurance was dramatically improved.  Unfortunately, my technique was totally off- apparently rock climbing is not like riding a bicycle.  Shocking, I know!

Prior to boot camp, I had to rely primarily on maneuvering my body efficiently to get up to the top.  Now that I have significantly more strength, my initial impulse was just to power up using my new and improved muscles.  Of course, this was not nearly as effective.  Looks like I’ll be needing to brush up on my skills.

Overall, it was still lots of fun. I would definitely recommend rock climbing to anyone looking for a fun, challenging total body workout.  This is definitely the most sore I’ve been in a long time!  Hopefully I can still move tomorrow!

Finally, in case anyone needs a laugh or a little inspiration, I wanted to share a couple links.  The first is a blog called “My Time is Now”  (also now located in my blogroll) which is written by a friend and fellow boot camper.  She is truly a thriver in my book –in addition to being one of the most inspiring, driven, caring, and compassionate people I’ve ever met. She’s risen above circumstances that would have caused others to crumble, and actually has a second blog I’d recommend that chronciles her mother’s battle with stage IV lung cancer.

Then- to help you clear up the tears– all my runner friends out there should check out this post by the Tortoise Runs for a good laugh.

One more funny thing for good measure:

Oh, I would also like to point out that I have added my trainer/boot camp instructor’s blog to my blogroll as well.  He was jealous insulted that I had added Kelly’s first, in spite of the fact that I regularly rave about how awesome he and boot camp are and frequently link to his page in my posts… (You knew I would call you out, right? ;-p I know, extra burpees tomorrow. Bring it on! lol)  Seriously though, his blog has some great advice and recipes.

  That’s all for tonight folks!  I hope you all are enjoying what’s left of your weekend!!!!

Post Marathon Ick

“There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon.

There will be a lifetime of knowing you have.”

Unknown

Life post marathon has been slightly less than riveting.  I have been experiencing what some (including Adam) have dubbed post marathon ick.  My body has developed a cross between mono and the flu with the result being pure general discomfort, associated nausea, and exhaustion despite sleeping most hours of the day.  Yesterday, I didn’t even feel well enough to check my email (gasp!) let alone blog.  Luckily, I think I am on the mend.

I have still not had my post marathon epiphany.  I think it’s because I didn’t feel like I conquered the distance the way I did with the half.  I knew I could have  run it better- especially if I had stretched my IT bands better the week before.  The back- to-back boot camp sessions the Monday before definitely left my legs fatigued, but I can still say I don’t regret having done it.  It was great mental prep, and I was still able to finish.

That being said, I am already trying to sort out what marathon to run next.  Initially, I didn’t want to ever think about pursuing that type of torture again.  Through more than half of the run, I was telling Adam it was my first and last.  However, just a couple days out from finishing, I have noticed that I’m not sore.  The only thing that bothered me afterward was my IT bands- which are already much better thanks to my trusty foam roller.  This absolutely tells me I could have run harder.

Despite not having a major life changing moment, actually completing a marathon has dramatically changed my perspective on a few things. First and foremost, it has lit a fire under my you-know-what.  Initially, I viewed the marathon as an end point.  It was my last big goal before some much need rest.  However, now that I did it (and know I can do better) I am already scheming for my next big race.  I knew I would want another challenge, but never imagined it would be another marathon- not in a million years.  Instead of being an endpoint, my first marathon has become a spring-board to a world of endless possibilities. After all, even though it may have been torture for 5 hrs, it didn’t kill me.  Truthfully, it didn’t even make me that sore.  I was in far worse shape post 1000 rep boot camp than I was after the marathon, so why not keep at it?

It took 26.2 miles to make me realize and appreciate just how driven I am.  I made it through 5+ hours of absolute suck- in spite of the pain, tears, and exhaustion.  I set a goal that took months of dedication and training to achieve, and I accomplished it.  Sure, it wasn’t my best running day- but I have my whole life ahead of me.  Even Adam took over 5 hrs to finish his first marathon.  I wanted to make a difference, and I did.  I raised money and awareness for a cause I believe in, and that makes finishing so much more meaningful.  I don’t know that I could have pushed myself as hard as I did if I wasn’t constantly reminding myself of the physical and emotional anguish that the victims of domestic violence endure on a daily basis.  My discomfort during the race was nothing in comparison to what these women go through; and it was a small price to pay to show them I care.  That is why I plan on continuing to run in honor of victims of abuse and continuing the Running for the Color Purple Campaign. 🙂

On the Edge

“We all have a comfort zone where everything feels safe and familiar. We tend to not want to venture beyond it, however if we allow ourselves to stay there we will not be challenged, experience personal growth, or learn new and exciting things. In other words, we would stagnate.”

It’s taken me a little while to get to posting.  Besides the usual being super busy, I just wasn’t sure what to write about.  I have been really on-edge lately, and that has really been bugging me.  Wednesday we leave for California and my first Tough Mudder.  As excited as I am about getting away and finishing my first obstacle race, I am also equally stressed.   I have been pushing myself way outside my comfort zone recently, and this will be another HUGE step.  I know I can finish, but I am terrified of a few of the obstacles- specifically the electric shock and under water tunnels.  Being underwater makes me claustrophobic.  I even hyper-ventilate when I snorkel.  I am a little worried that going into a dark tunnel, underwater is going to give me a panic attack.  On the bright side, I know that Adam will be there to look out for me; and that is a huge relief!  Just knowing he’s there gives me that little boost to push myself a little firther than I would have otherwise.

It is so easy for me to get frustrated with myself for being worn out and stressed, while completely overlooking all the progress I have made recently.  I have been more social- spending time not only with my own friends, but with Adam’s.  I have let my guard down and really enjoyed the company of new people in my life.  I also have tried knee boarding for the first time, and even picked it up quickly!  I didn’t think about falling or hurting myself; I just went for it.  Adam and his friends were all impressed- they told told me I looked like a professional. lol  I think that was a little gracious.  They were also all very supportive of my marathon training. It meant a lot to me, since a few of them are marathon and obstacle race veterans!

Tonight I have Boot Camp Session #3, and tomorrow the plan is for a 17 mile run (GPS watch permitting).  I have my new hot pink compression sleeves to try out.  🙂  I am hoping to squeeze in a morning Boot Camp Session before we fly out Wednesday too!  Saturday will be the first of the three big races milestones (Tough Mudder, Diva Half Marathon, and Hartford Marathon) I have planned for the fall.  I feel like everything is starting to happen so quickly now!!!  I am looking forward to getting through all of it and taking a much need break. lol

As far as my missing tapeworm post- it was about how all this training has turned me into the “hungry catepillar” (complete with picture!) and what a chore eating all day has become.  I am always hungry!  If I don’t eat every 2 hours, I get light-headed and my stomach growls loudly like it has a mind of its own.  Training and eating have taken over my life!!! I don’t even want to look at food anymore.  There’s no fun in eating.   It’s become a challenge to shovel in protein wherever I can get it, as frequently as possible; because despite stuffing my face all day everyday, I still seem to be losing weight.  lol

Anyway, there are far worse things I could be plagued with than binge eating and still losing pounds.  I hope everyone takes a step outside his/her comfort zone this week!!!  Thank you for reading!  Questions and comments are always welcome. 🙂

Here's the proof!

Chafing is no fun…

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.
Wayne Dyer

Or you could run enough miles to eat the whole package of cookies and still not feel guilty- then throw in some boot camp for good measure. 😉

I debated whether to name this post “I make mud look good” or “Chafing is no fun”… and the title went to the one I felt more strongly about.

Today I went for a 3 hour run.  My initial goal was 15 miles, but I couldn’t figure out how to work Adam’s GPS watch and figured 3 hours would be close enough.  That is exactly how long I made it before my gait started to resemble a drunken sailor, and I called Adam to come rescue me.  I stopped at a gas station less than 2 miles from home.  I knew I could push myself the rest of the way, but it would be at the expense of over-doing it (again).  I didn’t want to risk another sideline, especially when my joints were already screaming from running on the pavement- and I knew I still had a boot camp class to make.  To reward him for the effort of dragging himself out of bed to get me, I bought Adam a pint of Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream (his favorite flavor) while I waited.  I also purchased a package of Vienna Fingers (no not the little one- the big one!), which I promptly dug into while the patrons pumping gas looked on with bewildered expressions (largely, I’m sure, owing to the fact that I was soaked and covered in mud).

I had just enough time in between my run and my evening torture session to grab some lunch with Adam.  I made it a point not to stuff myself with the hopes of decreasing the amount of workout related nausea ahead of me.  Overall the second class went well.  I only got light headed a couple times and barely had any nausea.  The work out was tough, but totally rewarding- I was especially proud to have managed the entire 60 push-ups scattered throughout the hour.  Adam was there to cheer me on and coach me through many of them, which I immensely appreciated.

So today I give myself a gold star for motivation!  My calves feel like jello, but my hot pink compression sleeves are due to arrive tomorrow, and I’m hoping they will help!  I am also hoping to get one more long run in before we leave for Cali and the NorCal Tough Mudder.

The downside of my ambitious workout- I have so much chafing on my back and chest from carrying my weighted down hydration pack that I am pretty much covered in itchy, raised, pink blotches.  I have scars on my collar bones from where the straps cut in; and scars, scrapes, and bruises all over my legs from all the debris and branches I get tangled in when I’m on the trails.  It’s all pretty sexy. 😉

Not visible- my calves completely caked in mud

Thanks for reading!!! Comments and questions are always welcome.  Have a terrific evening everyone!

Weekend Update

Spend the afternoon.  You can’t take it with you. 

~Annie Dillard

Okay, so I have been slacking on the blogging lately.  Life has been so busy!  All good things, thankfully.  I have not managed any long runs since my last post, mostly due to lack of time issues.  However, I did get in some workouts at the gym.  I have spent an hour on the elliptical with the resistance maxed (and my hydration pack on to add some weight) on two separate occasions- the most recent being today.  When I first started running I couldn’t make it through a full hour without feeling like I would pass out or throw up- even without the resistance maxed.  Now I am plowing through that hour- even with extra weight!  Workouts like that help me realize just how much progress I’ve made. 🙂

I have also been spending a lot more time stretching now that I got my foam roller in the mail.  The first time I used it I had flashbacks of physical therapy as a teenager.  The therapist would press on my IT band insertion point, and I would literally jump off the table.  This was the same pain.  The experience can be summarized in one word “OUCH!”  By the time I finished, it was much less tender, but I felt like I had deep bruises in my thighs for a whole day afterwards.  I am hoping this helps with the long runs!  I am also pleased to announce that I did not have any increased IT band issues after my 13 ish mile run, even without the benefit of the foam roller- something I am taking as an extremely positive sign.

Today I will be going out on the boat with Adam and some friends.  We’ve been trying to cram in as much time as possible out on the water before the weather gets to cold (part of the reason I have not had as much time to run).  It’s nice to get a change of scenery and actually be social (for a change!).  Although I have to admit it gets tiring at times to spend so much time around other people- being an introvert and all.  It is so worth the exhaustion at the end of the day though!  So far we have taken out my little sister- who loved every second of it, and a few of my friends from high school.  It was so great to see everyone have a good time, and especially to spend time with some special people I don’t get to see very often. 🙂

That’s all for now!  Boot Camp starts tomorrow.  I will keep you all posted on how it goes.  In the meantime, I will be thriving.  I hope you all do the same and have a happy and healthy holiday weekend!!!!

Me and my BFF

When trails become streams…

I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.” 

~Author Unknown

I’m BACK!!!! It’s official!  Just shy of 13 miles today and only minimal IT band pain.  Wohoo!  lol  I’m so happy to FINALLY have gotten some mileage in.  Initially, Adam and I headed to Hopbrook (my favorite place to run), but it is completely under water.  We decided to do the Bridle Trail instead, which was slightly less damp.  The trail had turned into a fresh water stream in many places, which was actually pretty fun to run in.  Meanwhile, the small brook that typically runs along the gravel path had turned into class 5 rapids (See picture below).  We actually thought we heard traffic coming when we were crossing, but it turned out to be the water.  It was pretty impressive.

when brooks become rapids...

 

 

The first 6-7 miles were pretty easy, but my legs got pretty tired on the way back.  I was getting tangled in a lot of the debris from the storm, and Adam was light-years ahead of me.  He kept stopping or walking to give me time to catch up, and I felt kind of bad that I was running so slow.  I know there is a faster runner inside and I am determined to release her at some point!  I kept reminding myself that no matter how slow I was running, I was moving forward and still smiling- the 2 most important things.  Overall, the run went pretty well.  I was glad to have Adam there to show me a few new side trails and keep me from over-doing it.  Plus, he makes good company; and the view running behind him is not too bad either. lol  He even took pictures for me to adorn my blog.  He is so supportive!

Initially, when I was reading about many of the other bloggers who had run their first marathon, I noticed that a lot of them had a fair number of people cheering them on.  Many of them had photos holding flowers while posing with their finisher medals.  It made me want flowers when I finish!  Then I realized that I have something even better- a boyfriend who is willing to suffer through the 26.2 mile stretch with me to help motivate me and keep me going.  How lucky am I ?!   I am sure there are other things he would have rather been doing today than running through 13 miles of mud and debris, but he knew I would appreciate it.

In related news, I am looking into joining the boot camp program at my gym.  It looks like a lot of cross fit type training, and I’m hoping it will help me take my conditioning to the next level.  I also got an email today that my foam roller and cliff bloks shipped.  I am pretty excited! 🙂

running through the stream

 

 

 

made it!!!

Top 10 Reasons I love trail running

“The trail has taught me much. I know now the varied voices of the coyote—the

wizard of the mesa. I know the solemn call of herons and the mocking cry of the loon.

I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and

cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk,

opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets. It has given me blessed release from care and

worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day. It has been a return to the

primitive and the peaceful. Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my

blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear a coyote

wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me—I am happy.”

—H

AMLINGARLAND, Hitting the Trail, McClure’s,

February 1899

There are many reasons that I love hitting the trails.  Below I have listed a few from the top of my list:

1.  You can’t beat the scenery.  I love the unexpected sight of white tail deer, chipmunks, hawks, and other wildlife during my runs.

2.  The air is clean and refreshing.  There are no exhaust fumes running on trails; you can breath deeply without coughing or polluting your lungs.

3.  The ground is softer than running on the road or a track, and much easier on my joints.

4.  The serenity.  What could be more relaxing than being enveloped in trees and nature? Nothing makes me feel more rejuvenated.

5.  The challenge!  It’s a great workout!  The uneven terrain is great for working your stabilizing muscles, and the steep hills always push me to work harder.

6.  It’s full of surprises.  The landscape is always changing.  I never know who or what I might run into (or run on for that matter!).  I love the scenery changes, unexpected wildlife sightings, and the feeling of never knowing what may lie ahead when running on a new trail.  I appreciate all variation running under shaded trees, to open fields filled with wild flowers, to narrow paths, to steep inclines, to views of ponds and streams.

7.  It’s the only time I can enjoy classical music without falling asleep.  Classical music makes a great soundtrack to the scenery!  Plus, it keeps me relaxed and engaged in my surroundings, and helps me regulate my breathing when I’m working hard.

8. The sounds are relaxing.  I would much rather hear the tranquil sound of a running stream or the birds, frogs, and crickets chirping than the hustle and bustle of traffic.

9.  It’s a chance to enjoy nature.  There’s a connection to the earth that you just can’t get on the roads.

10. It’s fun! It always feels like work to me when I run on pavement; but hitting the trails gives me a chance to relax, stretch my legs, and clear my head- despite the fact that  it’s a better workout.  I miss the trails when I can’t run.  In fact, I get down right edgy.  I need that time with nature; it’s good for the soul. 🙂