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…

One Month To Go…

princessOnly 33 days until the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.

This will be my first half-marathon.  I registered for it back in August, I think ( it was as soon as registration opened at any rate) and I am so excited to just run already!!

This past Fall was littered with lots of niggly physical issues – mostly tendonitis – that kept running on the back burner for about a month and a half.

On November 1st I hired a coach to help me lay out a responsible training program that would get me to the finish line healthy, strong, and meeting my own silly self-imposed time goals (I want to finish in under 2 hours).

My biggest challenge is PATIENCE!  I have never been a patient person, I am not a particularly patient Mom, and I am definitely not a patient runner…

BUT, with Coach Pam’s help, I AM getting better, faster, stronger, and leaner.

I have dropped about 6 pounds (on the scale) since I started working with Pam, and I know I have gained quite a bit of muscle at the same time.  At this point, I am the smallest I have been since 1999 – how crazy is that?

This morning I woke up to an email from Pam laying out my training program for the next 4 weeks.

tumblr_m6409bW3pa1rwcc6bo1_500Final 4 (weeks)
Notes and Details –
Week 12
Wed 22nd – 8 miles
    1 – 10:00    5- 9:30
    2 – 9:50      6 – 9:15
    3  9:45       7 – 9:00
    4  9:40       8 – 8;50
So the goal is you can go faster on any… but not slower….. on any.  🙂
Frid   24th – speed run 
1/2 mile repeats:
warm up easy 1/2 mile run
1/2 mile in 4:10, jog 1:00 min
REPEAT   same time
rest /easy jog 2 mins
run 1/2 mile in 4:00 min  jog 1:00
REPEAT   same time
rest easy jog 2 mins
run 1/2 mile in 3:55 min  jog 1:00
REPEAT  same time
cool down 1/2 mile easy – not time specific
Saturday – go out and have fun – no goal on the run
Week 13
Monday Jan 27th – 6 miles
      9:00 x2      8:50  x 2        8:40  x 2      🙂
Wed 22nd – 14 miles
    1, 2 – 10:00       9, 10 – 9:30     14  8:45
    3,4  – 9:50         11  – 9:15
    5,6     9:45        12- 9:00
    7,8     9:40        13 – 8:50
So the goal is you can go faster on any… but not slower….. on any.  🙂  Patience
Frid   24th – recovery run
You avoid looking at your watch except to start it and stop it.  On the honor system……..
listen to your body- run negative splits and keep the entire run at recovery run pace meaning you are running within your comfort level – never uncomfortable or all out.
Saturday – go out and have fun – no goal on the run
Week 14
Monday Feb 3rd  – 5 miles
      8:55 x2      8:50  x 1        8:45  x 1     8:35 x 1       🙂
Wed Feb 5th – 10 miles  This is a FUN one!!
     1, 2 –  you set the pace – has to be about the same
     3, 4    10 seconds faster – both miles the same
     5, 6    10 seconds faster than 3 and 4   both miles the same
      7,8    10 seconds faster than 5, 6   both miles the same
        9     5 to 10 seconds faster than 7 and 8
       10    5 to 10 seconds faster than 9
So the goal is the first mile sets the stage for the whole run – faster is OK, but not slower – patience
Frid   7th – 5 miles
Bring your watch but don’t worry about it!!
Easy first mile
Miles 2, 3, 4  Run hard your run splits, then jog – don’t walk – your walk splits
Mile 5 easy with true walk run intervals.
Saturday – go out and have fun – no goal on the run
Week 15
Monday Feb 10th  – 5 miles  (not a misprint – doing it again… I reserve the right to check garmin and change the goal times
      8:55 x2      8:50  x 1        8:45  x 1     8:35 x 1       🙂
Wed Feb 12 th – 8 miles  This is a FUN one!!
     1,2-  you set the pace – has to be about the same
     3,4   10 seconds faster 1,2  both the same
     5       10 seconds faster than 4
     6       10 seconds faster than 5
     7       5 to 10 seconds faster than 6
     8       5 to 10 seconds faster than 7
So the goal is the first mile sets the stage for the whole run – faster is OK, but not slower – patience
Friday   Feb 14 th – 4 miles
Negative split each mile on intuition.  🙂
Saturday – go out and have fun – no goal on the run
Week 16
Monday Feb 17th  – 4 miles  
      8:55 x1      8:50  x 1        8:45  x 1     8:35 x 1       🙂
Wed Feb 19th – 6 miles    No watch today – just go out and enjoy your run
So the goal is the first mile sets the stage for the whole run – faster is OK, but not slower – patience
Friday   Feb 21 st – 3 miles
Run slightly uncomfortable 🙂
Saturday – off
strongerAs if all her smiley faces are going to make it all better!!!
I’m going with the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” philosophy.  SO, assuming I don’t die, I think I should be in pretty good shape for the half on 2/23.  We shall see!

OMG! I Did It!!

No, sadly that is NOT me.

No, sadly that is NOT me.

I was the girl in high school who on her very best day could hold the flexed arm hang for about 4 seconds.

It has been my goal for a while now to be able to do a pull-up – a real, honest-to-God, chin up over the bar pull-up.

But, no matter how hard I worked at it, no matter how much crossfit, push-ups, karate, etc. I did, I could NOT do a pull-up.

After all my triathlon training this past summer, I attempted a pull-up one morning and got about halfway up.

I was bummed… I was in the best shape of my life and still the pull-up eluded me.

Well, fast forward 4 months to this morning.  I was waiting for Deb to get ready to lift weights and I looked up at the pull-up bar and thought, “I wonder…”

I started pulling and up, up, up I went – all the way above the bar!

And then I did it again, and again, and AGAIN!!

I don’t think I have been that excited since my son was born!

OMG!!  I did 4 pullups!!

Go Me!!!

A New Chapter

got-coachI am so excited to announce that I am entering a new chapter in my health and fitness journey – I hired a coach!!

Now, Deb and I talk about needing a coach to get you past all your own mental junk all the time – you need a coach in lots of different areas of your life – a business coach, a personal coach, a financial coach, a fitness coach, and on and on.

Up to now, Deb has been my coach in all of those areas.  She has gotten me past so many blocks that I never thought I would be able to move beyond.

Physically, she has coached me to the absolute best physical condition of my life and when it comes to mindset, martial arts, strength training and weightlifting, there is no one I trust more to help me progress in a safe manner, so she will always be my coach in those areas.

And then I found triathlon…

It’s an entirely different animal – 3 different sports, thrown together back to back.  The training is hard and constant, but I love it!

I followed online training programs to get me ready for my first sprint distance triathlon and then to start training for my first olympic distance tri…

…And then I got hurt.

Deb and I had a long talk about my goals.  I told her that I wanted to pursue triathlon.  I told her why.  She told ME that I needed to find a coach – someone who knew what they were doing and could assess ME and MY needs and customize a program to help me achieve my goals.

Deb has never competed in triathlon.  It’s not her goal.

And so, I ventured into an unknown and scary place for the first time since I began this journey 4 years ago – trust someone with my goals and my physical health who was not Deb.

The serendipity of the universe never ceases to amaze me.

Ironman Triathlete Pam Giese

Ironman Triathlete Pam Giese

The morning after Deb and I had this conversation, I was invited to a nutrition seminar.  The person leading the seminar is an accomplished triathlete and just happens to live here in Port Orange.  I looked at her website.  I read the testimonials from the people she has trained.  I understand her approach to fitness and nutrition – it makes sense to me.

I contacted her, we met and talked and I hired her.

You gotta have a coach!!  Someone who sees past all your own mental bullcrap and pushes you beyond what you could ever do on your own.  I am so fortunate to have TWO awesome coaches in my life now!

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Brown Belt Promotion

Brown Belt Promotion

For those of you who don’t know a lot about me, one of my passions in life is the study of martial arts – particularly Chinese Kempo Karate.

I officially started training on January 5, 2010, although I had been watching intently as a mom on the sidelines since my son started training in January, 2009.

I love that Kempo can be in one moment smooth and flowing, and brutally efficient in the next.

Kempo is not a sport with tournaments – you can’t truly show all levels of what you know without hurting someone.  It is a self-defense art pure and simple, with three possibilities if you want to survive – escape the situation, control the situation, or destroy your attacker.

The school that I am affiliated with is located in Virginia.  My family and I moved to Florida in July, 2011 when I was just crossing into the advanced ranks as a Green belt.  My partner, Deb, is currently a 3rd degree black belt within the same system.  She is a fully qualified instructor.

When we announced we were moving, our Senior Head Instructor gave his blessing for Deb to continue my training in Florida.  He also suggested that Deb test me in Florida as well, but that was not okay with me.  Training was one thing, but I needed Mr. Petersen and everyone else who cared to see my progress and KNOW that I was not moving through the system by default.

And so it has gone since 2011.  I am currently a Level III Brown Belt and my next belt test will be in July, 2014 when I test for my black belt – a moment I have looked toward for almost 4 years now.

My training with Deb is rigorous and her expectations are incredibly high.  She sees it as her job to pry me out of my comfort zone on a regular basis,

Last week we had a GREAT class – we sparred (which I really hate) and I discovered that I don’t suck nearly as much as I feared I did.  Then we free grappled and I actually tapped Deb out in 2 out of 3 rounds, which was a HUGE thrill (and not one that I will likely repeat anytime soon).  I left the class flying high and feeling like, “OMG!! I can actually DO this!”

Then there was this morning’s class.  We went back to the very beginning – the material we teach brand new white belt students.  I remembered it all, but was a little bit rusty and in my attempt to recall the material, my intensity was somewhat lacking.  THEN, Deb put me in the front the room and had me lead several series of basics as an instructor, at a pace I am not accustomed to.  My mind went totally blank at several points (Knee sets?  What are those?) and I left the class feeling like a had just been totally schooled.  Black belt?  Who am I kidding!!

where-the-magic-happensBut that’s how it goes right?  If every class was like last week and I won every match and was “comfortable,” what’s the friggin’ point?  If I KNOW it all, why bother to take classes?

Deb is a brilliant instructor and she knows that she has to continually knock me off balance and make me uncomfortable so that I will grow.  It is only when forced outside my comfort zone that I get better.  And getting better is what it’s all about.

For the first time in my karate life, I understand why so many students get to brown belt or black/blue (for the younger students) and quit.  Without someone to explain to them why they keep feeling like a complete and abject failure in the instructors’ attempts to move them forward in their training, most people would just find it not worth the price.

I thank God for my awareness and that I am part of a system that explains that nothing magical ever happens inside your comfort zone!

Remember that the next time you feel uncomfortable and want to quit.