Tag Archives: 2014

Sunday Runday

13 Jan

I was dealing with some serious internal conflict on Saturday night about what distance I should run on Sunday.  First world problems all up in here.  Earlier that day, I had decided that my 2014 inaugural race should be the Ole 5K again.  I plan to train harder than I did last year as I think I’m a bit more advanced this time around as the beginner program seems too easy now.  So, Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 5K Training Plan it is!  The problem is the first week’s scheduled long run is 5 miles.  I’ve peaked at 3.5…

I was hesitant on Sunday because I had been on the treadmill all of last week.  I had serious doubts about 2 miles.  But, if I want to build up to 5 miles before training begins then I have to jump up to 3.  There was really no point in putting it off, so I knew I had to swallow my fear of failure and just try as hard as I could.  I took a water break after 2 miles at the car, then pushed onward into Frick Park. #blueslidepark

Frick-Park-Pittsburgh

And guess what?  I friggin’ did it!  I’m not putting any pressure on myself about it.  For the next 27 days I will see how far I get with base building and go from there.  With a little practice and a lot of persistence, I just know I can beat my previous time for the Ole 5K.

I went home and rested for a few hours, hydrated, and watched some extra greasy reality TV.  A few hours later, Liberty and I hit the road to meet up with some of our friends.

Riverfront-Park-South-Side-Pittsburgh

Actually the dogs had never met before, so they weren’t friends before the walk.  Katie was my roommate in college for a few years and is one of the only people I am still in touch with.

Dog-Walking-Pittsburgh

It was really fun! We discovered some homeless people camps and also a dog park, which was super muddy.  Just the way Liberty likes it.

South-Side-Dog-Park

This trail is part of the Great Allegheny Passage, which I’ve written about before.  If we had kept going, it would eventually connect with the trail that I run down at the Waterfront.  Pretty neat!  Since we were walking with absolutely no concern about speed or distance, I was able to give my muscles a nice cool down.  I am going to stretch out like crazy tonight after work and hopefully get 2 in in the morning!

Just a bit of self reflection…

10 Jan

Yesterday afternoon, I noticed that I still get that knot in my stomach as my car slowly climbs the hill leading to the gym.  It’s a nervous, excited feeling that I get anytime I do something new or am faced with a decision.  It’s a strangely good yet uncomfortable feeling:  like butterflies exploding followed by a feeling I can only describe as swimming to the surface of water but being jerked back by something.  Anxiety is fun, isn’t it?  It’s a constant battle within myself.  Do I want to take the risk of what could happen?  Will I sink or will I fly?  Oftentimes, the situation results in neither.  Instead, I am gifted an anti-climactic exhale in which I realize I have again made a big fuss about nothing.

I parked my car, climbed all of the stairs, and entered the gym last night.  I could feel my breath get caught in my lungs as I realized that there were NEW PEOPLE there.  New to me anyway.  Did I mention that I get the sinky feeling every time I have to deal with change as well?  Change and choices.  Thank God those aren’t common.  Fun times up in here!

The anxiety-riddled half of my brain is off-set completely by the other ultra-competitive half.  A few of my acquaintances have been talking about working out on social media and I mentioned to a mutual friend that I didn’t think the one girl (I’m not in her fan club, let’s just say that!) would stick with it.  My friend disagreed, stating that the girl in question happens to be a very determined person and once she set her mind to something, she usually achieved it.  I was immediately offended, of course, because who does she think she is prancing around leaving FB statuses peppered with all that determination.

frenemy-somecard

I began 2013 feeling  determined, but ended feeling like I had forfeited along the way; obviously this has left me feeling resentful of other people’s success.  It was now up to me to out determine my so-called “determined” acquaintance because obviously I have to do better than her.  Oh, wait, you mean that’s irrational?  Don’t care.  When I wanted to bolt from the new gym people, my mind flashed to her and I picked my favorite treadmill despite there being 2 people in its circumference.  In your face, Facebook friend.  Bonus: anxiety completely forgotten.

Have you ever had a full conversation or debate with your organs?  A mile into my run, my brain said You did great!  You can totally stop at 1 mile, pat yourself on the back and go home feeling good!  and then my legs said Feeling a little sore, but we can def go another mile…  and then my lungs said We are 100% fine!  We’re not even out of breath!  and so then I’m confused.  My brain is feeling like I want to stop, but the rest of my body wants to keep going.  I kept running, taking a mental step back to inventory the situation.  This is what running is about, really, why I chose it.  There will be times when you are done mentally and times when your body will give out.  But I chose running so that I could challenge that little voice inside of my head when she tries to fill me with doubt.  I am addicted to the feeling I get when I rise above that voice, when I chose not to let my fear of flight keep me from taking off.  So, I kept going.  Really, I kept going because of my silly competitive psyche.  That alone would’ve kept me going.  But, I also kept going because I managed to muster up some mental toughness and shield me from my doubts, uncertainties, and that smug bitch in the back of my head who wants me to fail.

running-pinspiration

This isn’t just a little story about how my competitiveness overrode my anxiety, it’s the story of how my biggest weakness provided me with a goal.  I hope that in 2014, I am able to manufacture more of that.  Determination.  Toughness.  Mental grit.  I can’t think of a better replacement for all the anxiety and doubt that’s bottled up in there now.

Why I Love January

2 Jan

The start to the year is an exciting time because it feels like we are given the opportunity to hit reset; it also happens to fall during the time of year in which we may feel like we have been hitting snooze!  We truly are given another chance, another fresh start, another blank slate full of possibilities.  That feeling is like my crack.  Kind of explains my habit of throwing myself into countless new projects and passions, only to quickly get bored and move onto the next new and exciting thing?  I guess I’m like a dog in that way.

photo 5

Such a cheerful note to start the new year on!  Seriously, though, the new year is a great time to jump-start strategies to achieve goals which have been lingering around.  My goal for the last few years has been to change my lifestyle with healthy choices and fitness.  For the longest time, I thought running would be a good vehicle for that.  I still love running, and do have a few new running goals for 2014, but this year my goal is to lose weight.  If I’m being brutally honest, a 50 lb. deficit will take me into a normal, healthy BMI range.  I find that to be shocking, but I’m a real person with real stresses and a history of struggling with my weight.  I hit a plateau during that journey a long time ago, but I’m ready to get moving again.  Literally.

Maybe even up these stairs I found on my run!

Maybe even up these stairs I found on my run!

I am not going vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten-free, raw, or any of the other countless dietary restrictions.  I’m not joining Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, or Atkins.  I am going to get it done the old fashion way – eating healthy, balanced meals and exercising.  For once, I feel prepared for the hard work that’s ahead and I have the determination to keep going even when it’s hard – I’m turning 30 this year!  I feel like I am running out of chances to get it done.  This year symbolically and literally marks a different phase of my life, and I want to start it off on the right foot.  The right foot which will hopefully soon be attached to a much smaller body.

Nene.Diet

Err…lifestyle change.  Whatever.

Six days ago, I committed to a 50 lb. weight loss goal and I challenged myself to do something active every day no matter how small.  Since then, I have logged almost 6 miles, done 2 hours of Zumba, taken a pump class, and done yoga.  The last week has been awesome!  Some little crazy voice inside my head even wonders if I could lose 30 lbs. by my 30th birthday?

It was only a matter of time before Christina got me sick, though.  This morning I woke up with chest and nasal congestion, runny nose, coughing, along with feeling like I’m an iPhone 5 in LTE mode that didn’t get charged overnight and is clinging to that last 4% of battery even though you’ve force-quit all the apps.  Everything in me wants to curl up under a blanket and sleep away this feeling, but I know that I need to take care of myself and push through.

That Time Old Ladies Did More Crunches Than Me…

31 Dec

Are you also sick of reading end of year recaps on blogs?  Pretty sure I get every single one of your posts in my reader’s feed – throughout the year I’ve even commented, liked, and shared those posts.  Please do not make me relive it again with you because you are feeling nostalgic, k?  Thanks.

MOVING RIGHT ALONG…

Since I’m all about flexibility as a means to success lately, I went to my first ever fitness class last night! That’s right, kids. I got in a run early and then I made it to a class.  All fitness classes are included in my membership at the Carnegie Library of Homestead Athletic Club, so I thought it was about time I take advantage.  I chose Total Body Sculpting, which was as a low to moderate intensity body pump class.

When I walked into the classroom, I quickly realized that I was the youngest attendee by about 20 years.  This was very comforting in a way because I knew I wasn’t going to get left behind!  Everyone was very nice to me and one of the ladies helped me find free weights and a mat.

As we started warming up, I remember thinking Oh my gosh, hopefully this isn’t so slow that I feel like I wasted an hour of my night…  Let me tell you – those older ladies can MOVE!  The moves were very easy to follow along and I was getting my sweat on.  They actually did more crunches than I could.  Shame!  Shock!  Motivation!  I was determined not to be surpassed by the elderly, so I pushed myself hard the whole time.  I dipped low during squats and lunges then I kept good form during arms.  BOO YAH!  The only time I had trouble keeping up was during leg lifts and only because I got a crazy bad cramp in my hip flexor?  I don’t know what that’s about.  And oh yeah, crunches because I haven’t worked out my abs in 5 years.  Basically, I got my ass handed to me by an senior citizen named Cookie.  Also, I’m pretty sure that most of those ladies stuck around for yoga afterwards – color me impressed.   I, on the other hand, booked it for my car and a bottle of water!

I was a little stiff last night when I got home and I’m a bit sore today.  Not P90X sore, but I know I was definitely working some muscle groups that haven’t seen the light of day for a few months.  I needed that.

Christina is dealing with a seriously mean head cold, so we spent a lazy morning together and I’m sure will spend New Year’s Eve relaxing at home.  I’m thinking I might do some Zumba today after work to loosen up my hamstrings!

Y’all stay safe out there tonight and enjoy the last few hours of 2013.  I will check you in 2014! 🙂

Declaration

27 Dec

Well I was about to write a really boring 2013 recap for you, but…

mackenzieGIF

So.

In that spirit, I think it’s resolution time!

2011:  I resolved to leave corporate sales world and go back to school for my master’s degree in sustainable systems.  Yikes!  What a scary, exciting time for us.  This is also the first time in my life that I consistently worked out (& to be honest, it was pretty inconsistent).

2012:  I resolved to focus more on sustainability, eat out less, and run a half marathon (specifically a few 5Ks, a 10K, and then lead up to a half).  At this point in my life, I truly had no understanding of what that meant.  I just knew I needed a change.  Looking back on my posts from this time period, things seem very stagnant, with much of my time being focused on opening our business and graduating.

2013: From my postings, I seemed to feel unresolved regarding 2012.  I was disappointed with my running progress and my lack of commitment to healthy living.  While I can say with 100% certainty that I achieved my goal of living more sustainably, I re-committed to my fitness goal of running a half marathon.  I ran 2 5Ks, graduated from school, and we unexpectedly purchased 2 additional rental properties:  certainly nothing to scoff at.

2014:  I’m feeling like I had at least some forward momentum in 2013.  I’ve had the same goal for 3 years and I’ve barely made any headway in attaining it. That’s not a very good feeling.  I’m also staring down 30.  My one and only goal for 2014 is to finally get it right.  I’m not making any specific promises to myself (trust me, I still think about that half every day), but I am going to get it done in no uncertain terms.

2013 was bittersweet.  There’s a humbling balance to that, though.  With all of its highs and lows, I am thankful for every moment of 2013.  I am looking forward to a new year and a fresh start!

change

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