Coming to A Head

Coming to A Head

volcanoLife is kind of coming to a head right now.  There are so many things that are either ending or beginning in the next few days and I’m finding myself feeling a little stressed out over them, so I thought writing about them might help… :/

First, Deb’s dad has been visiting us for the past month.  He’s such a dear, sweet man and we have really enjoyed having him with us. Tomorrow he heads back to Maryland and we’ll be readjusting to a house of three again.  On one hand, I’m sorry he’s leaving – he’s a cool guy and I like him a lot!  But on the other hand, I need to get back to my routine, and eating at restaurants 3 times per week is NOT part of my routine. He doesn’t get our plant-based eating style (he doesn’t like and won’t eat vegetables), so finding things to eat here at home (when we’re not going out) that will work for all of us has been challenging to say the least.

Second, my training plan for Great Floridian Triathlon begins on Monday, and I’m honestly not sure how I feel about it.  I’ve really enjoyed my off-season.  I’ve enjoyed lifting again.  I’ve enjoyed just flying by the seat of my pants and doing what I FEEL like doing instead of being so structured. It’s very different from last year when I was chomping at the bit to get to the training.  I’m sure it’s just a matter of getting back in the training mindset and I’m counting on my body and my mind jumping right back into the groove.

massive-actionThird, the house is still on the market and we are getting antsy to get on with it. There’s no pressure to get it sold, but we’ve found the place we want to move and we’re just anxious to move on to the next stage of the adventure.

Fourth, Unrealogical has gone to the publisher and we’ve already gone through the first round of content review with the legal eagles and are now waiting for phase #2, and that’s a little nerve wracking.

3HUFifth, I start Round #3 of Swim Bike Fuel next week (or Round #1 of 3HU, depending on how you want to look at it) and I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to really GET IT RIGHT this time.  I’ve had great results with both of the previous rounds, but I get a little loose with the rules sometimes and I really want this to be a “third time’s the charm” type of thing.

excitementSo, lots going on and I just feel stressed out.  I’ve been using all my tools, but my stomach feels all knotted up and I can’t seem to unravel it.  Right here, in this moment, I am VERY uncomfortable.  And when this happens, I get excited, because it usually means I’m on the verge of some major life shift.  Something is out there looming on the horizon – something big – I just can’t quite see it yet.

Stay tuned…

Free Week Trepidation

nervousToday at 4:00pm begins a time that I look forward to with all my heart three times per year… FREE WEEK!!

What is Free Week, you ask?

Oh, Christmas is awesome, but Free Week really IS the most wonderful time(s) of the year!

Free Week is a 7 day period where the nutrition and exercise rules go out the window.  There are no food restrictions, calorie restrictions, carb restrictions, timing restrictions, blah, blah, blah, and there are absolutely no scheduled workouts.

In the past, I have looked forward to Free Week because the wine flows freely, we eat out at least once per day, we go to Starbucks a bunch, I cook/bake all manner of yummy deliciousness.  And for 7 blissful days we spike our calories and reset our metabolism for the next 16 weeks of the year.

But today I am filled with trepidation.

I have made so many fantastic changes over the past 4 months that have lead to a leaner, stronger, healthier version of me and I’m nervous about what throwing caution to the wind may do to that progress.

food-benderNervous?  Okay, seriously, I’m scared shitless!!

What if I can’t get it back under control on January 1st?

What if I step on the scale on January 1st and found that I’ve gained back every pound that I released over the past 4 months?

What if…

What if…

So, I have a plan!

I am going to enjoy my Free Week.

bring-itI am putting away my watch and my food journal and my scale and I will enjoy my week – it’s Christmas, for heaven’s sake!!!

But there are 2 3 rules:

  1. No wine!  I’ve come too far to go back now!
  2. Free Week is not a contest to see how much crap I can load into my body over a 7 day period!  If I truly want something I will have it, but I will stick with the exceptional – why even bother with the ordinary?
  3. If I do feel like I’ve just completely overdone it or that I can’t go one more minute without some physical activity, I will go for a run walk on the beach.

I know I can make this the best Free Week ever and be ready to hit training HARD come January 1st!

Bring it!!

Doing What You Have To Do – Even When You Don’t Want To Do It

gollumrunningmemeI confess, I did not want to run today.

Yesterday was a long day – 17 hours, mostly work (although I did have the cool opportunity to see the SpaceX satellite launch from the Kennedy Space Center with my son and then we had dinner together), and although I fell asleep nearly immediately once I finally laid down, I woke up just about every hour on the hour.

So, when the alarm went off at 4:30 this morning for Deb to head off to the pool, running 7 miles was not at the top of my list of things I wanted to do (staying in my warm, comfy bed and pulling the covers up over my head was pretty close to the top, though).

And then I thought about my training schedule and I knew that having a blank spot would eat at me all day if I didn’t just go do it.  So, I got up, did a little bit of work, got Josh off to school, dressed out and went for my run.  The first mile sucked rocks (but then it always does), but by about 10 minutes in I was back in love.

disciplineAnd there is the difference between people who make progress and people who make excuses…

Between people who succeed and people who fail…

Between people who win and people who lose…

The difference is the discipline to do what you have to do – even (and especially) when you don’t feel like doing it.

I guess I get some sick, masochistic thrill out of doing things that most people just wouldn’t do.

It reminds me of a post my friend, Cortney Martin (CortTheSport.com), made about running in dark and the rain and the freezing cold and how there was an odd sense of satisfaction in doing things most people would call her crazy for doing.

REMARKABLE-PEOPLEAnd that’s that’s the whole point, right?

I don’t want to be “most people” – I want to live a remarkable life and do remarkable things.

I have far too many years behind me where I wonder what might have happened if I had only ____ (and I can fill in the blank with so many things)…

I’m done with regret.  I’m done with wondering “what if.”

If I get some hair-brained idea now, I tend to just go for it.  Seriously, what’s the worst thing that could happen?  That’s how I registered for my first triathlon when I had no clue what was involved.  That’s how I committed to an Ironman in 2015.

And I will get there one stroke, one mile, one step at a time.

But it all starts with dragging my butt out the door to put in my miles when I feel like staying in bed.

No one ever said it would be easy, but I KNOW that it will all be worth it!

So THAT’S What All The Fuss Is About!

HallelujahJust about every time I have ever talked to a runner who runs consistently, they get around to the subject of “the runner’s high.”

In theory the runner’s high sounds awesome – a feeling of euphoria and a state where you feel you could run all day long.

Super…

I’m in…

But I have never experienced a runner’s high before – I thought I MIGHT have kinda gotten there once before, but I didn’t.

I guess it’s kind of like good sex – people can tell you about it or whatever, but you don’t know what, nor can you fully appreciate what they are talking about until you actually experience it for yourself.

I experienced my very first runner’s high on this morning’s run…

omg-horizontalIt WAS quite amazing.

I was out for a 5 mile interval run and I was pushing the intervals a bit harder than I usually do because I had a time crunch, but didn’t want to short my training distance.

On the way back I suddenly felt all the discomfort melt away.

I felt light, my legs felt brand new…

I did indeed feel like I could run all day long, so I ran faster.

It was so cool!

My normal pace for anything over a 5K or so, is about 9:30/mile, but today I ran 5 miles at an average of 8:57/mile and the back end of my run was a full minute faster than the front end.  Pretty cool!

Now that I know what all the fuss is about, it makes me want to run even more!! 🙂

Not really...

Not really…

Random Thoughts

random-thoughts-1A friend of mine messaged me this weekend asking for some encouragement with her nutrition and exercise plan.

She wanted my thoughts on getting through the tough spots when life gets in the way.

I mulled her question over and jotted down some random thoughts, which I thought I would also share here:

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail:  I never leave my food intake to chance.  I plan a weekly menu for  six meals per day, I shop one time per week and that’s it.  The only time I play it free and loose is on a Free Day, because it just doesn’t matter.  But even then, I generally know what (if not when) I’m going to eat.

Put Your Menu on Auto-Pilot 5/6 of the Day:  You may not like this one, but it works great for me.  I am extremely busy and if I had to cook six from scratch meals every day I would lose my mind!  Each week I plan a breakfast, a mid-morning snack, a lunch, an afternoon snack and an evening snack – and I eat the same thing every day.  The only meal that varies is dinner – and even then I cook every other day in quantities that will feed us all dinner for 2 evenings.  My breakfast and evening snack are always the same – I have a meal replacement shake for breakfast and a protein shake before bed.  Mid-morning snacks are usually scrambled eggs and oatmeal or 2 hard-boiled eggs and some fruit – it’s fast and it tastes good!  Lunch is usually a salad with chicken or egg or tuna on top.  Mid-afternoon snack is normally an ounce of nuts and some more fruit.  It works for me and I like the food so I rarely get bored.  When I do, I change it up.

Track Your Food Intake and Exercise:  When I first started all this I found that I vastly underestimated my calories in and greatly overestimated my calories burned through exercise.  That, my friend, is a recipe for a bigger pair of jeans!  There are so many great free apps or online programs that will track both.  I use MapMyFitness.com.  I have also used Livestrong.com’s My Plate feature and SparkPeople.com as well – all are great!!  Track your food and exercise, you may be surprised.

No Excuses:  Either you are going to do it or you’re not.  You have to own your results.  If you decide to sleep in instead of going for a run or hitting the gym – you have to take full responsibility for that decision.  And that doesn’t mean that sometimes sleeping in isn’t the BEST decision.  When you stop making excuses for your failings (and face it, we all fall down from time to time), it is suddenly not so easy to justify slack behavior.

Set Goals:  If you want to see improvement, there is nothing better than registering for an event that will stretch you outside your comfort zone.  I’ve done that over and over again and each time I get better.  Run a 5K or a half marathon, register for a triathlon or a cycling event, find a Meetup group that does what you like to do – the accountability that is built into following a training program is amazing!!

Hire a Coach:  If you’re doing all the above, seek out a coach – a nutritionist or a personal trainer that you really click with – and get their help designing your program.  I have a great wellness coach and she is amazing!  She sees beyond my logic and can spot holes in my plan that I never even thought of!

I hope this helps even if just a little bit!