Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Going, going... Gone (and Goofy for good!)

Three Goofy runners the night before it all began.

 The morning of the first race was so cold! I couldn't feel my hands and we were at the start by 3:30 am. I was shivering until we actually started at 6:15 am. Winter racing is unpredictable, even in Florida!
Goofing off at the halfway point for the half marathon!

 We did it! We all finished! It may have taken me longer, but I didn't quit!
The medal have to be this pretty to convince people to run 39.3 miles!

work out ideas

one legged (squats, pistol squat or figure 4 squat)
bicep curl
tricep extension
push up (static push up or moving)
superman static hold
squat jumps
single arm side row (handles intertwined)
straight arm press/row
one arm bent/other straight press, row
overhead press
feet in straps plank knee pull into chest or pike

plank transitions
plank saw
one legged plank
side plank with rotation under
side plank
windshield wipers
v ups
full rollups
leg lifts
reverse crunch
ball slams
ball transition

Full body
mountain climbers
push up with rotation
inch worm
ape crawl
everest hops
medicine ball wall toss with squats
turkish get up

reverse lunges
walking lunges with rotation
lunges with medicine ball on one shoulder
step ups
box jumps

Push ups
push ups with rotation
ball push ups
tricep push ups
static push up
one hand on ball push up
kettle bell swing
tricep press with weight/kettlebell
shoulder press
overhead press
big ball: roll out, push up, knee in
bosu: planks, push ups, squats, burpee with press, toe taps, 

Goodbye & Good Riddance 2015!

I know that hard times cultivate the most growth, but this year was almost too much to bear. I started 2015 by turning 40 and running a marathon and a half in two consecutive days. Returning home from that race, I was tired. I didn't want to run any more. I wanted to rest, to eat, to drink, and to just be. I did all of those things, and then my world was turned upside down. I have had more stress this year, than ever in my life. I am not sure that I have coped with my stress in the best way. I ate too much, drank way too much, and got a bit lost. In short, I think this blog is perfectly titled as I am still seeking my strength.

Looking back on 2015, I find that I made it through and thankfully my family is still intact. We all survived. I am ready to move beyond the lessons that 2015 brought, to say thank you but no more!

I am ready for the dawn of 2016, and I am excited. I am not waiting for January 1st to make the changes I desire. I felt the pull to start at the winter solstice. Working out again, eating healthy food, drinking more water, and avoiding alcohol. Last week wasn't easy, but this week has been better. I am sleeping better, and have more energy. I am ready for my head cold to be done so that I can slowly get back into a running routine. I will be joining the Yoga Camp, a free online yoga class starting January 1st, and I have also signed up for the 8 week whole body makeover from the DailyOM (a sliding scale for payment).

I am most excited about the upcoming learning experiences I have scheduled. In January I will be taking The Way of the Shaman basic workshop. I have chosen my drum materials and will be making my drum this weekend. It will be buffalo and willow. The buffalo signifies abundance, healing and peace and the willow bark is for mental clarity. Taking this class is grabbing hold and owning my Lakota roots. In February I will be taking level 2 of Craniosacral Therapy, and I am really looking forward to that weekend as well. I feel my skills are deepening, and I am increasing my capacity to help others heal.

I am reigniting this blog to chronicle this year and the changes that occur. It will be a mixture of fitness, healing, and growth.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Daily Battle of the Bulge...maintain not gain!

Meeting my goal of a family photo shoot

I was reading my US weekly mag today, aka "girl porn", and came across the "Life after Loser" article by Eric Anderson & Brad Witter. It was, as expected, a puff piece celebrating the 10 yr anniversary of the Biggest Loser show and spotlighting 5 contestants and their 600 lb collective weight loss.

I have been a fan of the show for the last 10 years and even began my weight loss journey using their pay program with great success. I still cook from their cookbooks and the other recipes I got from their website frequently. However, I have always been bothered by the extreme weight loss contestants experience during such a short period of time and the complete lack of support they receive after their season wraps. It seems they gain a significant portion of their weight back.

At this point in my journey I am highly concerned with maintenance. I would love to drop this last 20 stubborn lbs, but as long as I am maintaining I am happy. In fact, I recently had another Fitness Assessment done at Miramont Lifestyle Fitness and I was pleased to find that although I have gained 10 lbs, it is 10 lbs of muscle and my body fat is actually 2% lower than it was at the conclusion of Dare to Lose,  my VO2 max has improved significantly, and I even brought my biological age below my actual age! My marathon training is paying off, a good thing too considering I will run my 1st marathon in less than a month.

I have personally found the key to my success is: never stop. I always need a goal. I find that it is also important to continually reevaluate the goals that I have set as they will need adjusting, and that is OK. In fact, it is better than OK, it's normal and healthy; life happens. Hitting my goals keeps me feeling successful and happy rather than disappointed and wanting to give up. Speaking of goals, I had set one in an earlier post around wanting to look good in family photos and for my friends' December wedding. Well mission accomplished! I just came back from this amazing wedding. I love the photos, and loved the compliments even more. I am riding high and feeling good. It will help carry me through my Goofy Challenge 39.3 miles early next month. Here's to health and happiness in the New Year!  Here's to becoming 40 and fabulous!

Carri and I at the reception! She has always been a fitness inspiration of mine. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

No Setback, only Comebacks

Today is a new day!

I have had a great summer. It was so fantastic to travel with my family and feel really good about myself the entire time. However, now that I have returned from my last trip it is time to get honest. I ate unhealthy foods, I drank more alcohol than I needed, and I stopped lifting weights. The result of all of those things is: my clothes are tight, I am tired, and I just don't feel as good as when Dare to Lose ended. The way I see it these are my options:
  1. Let it completely derail all of my accomplishments
  2. Be afraid to go back to the gym out of embarrassment
  3. Get back on track and use all of the tools I have gained to hit my goal
I am choosing number 3. Although I am not going to pretend that I haven't thought about #2 a lot. 

 All of this travel has taught me something about myself: this journey will be a lifelong process and I am never giving up. It is ok, I am ok. I had an active summer full of hitting my running goals. I was able to PR a 5k and finish in the top 10 of my age group, as well as a PR at my half marathon. I hiked, SUPed, and ran a lot. I also took time off of logging my food and drinking all the water I had been. Those were pretty big setbacks, but I am resolved to do better starting today.

I have 17 weeks until my Marathon Weekend at Disney World, and I as my runs increase I am confident that my weight will decrease and my strength will return. I am ready, I am confident, and I will do this! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Vacation...no Problem! PR'ing every race!

Kiddos watching the waves during our family photo shoot.
It has been one crazy summer! My family and I have had the wonderful opportunity to travel a lot this summer visiting our extended family. By the end of this month we will have traveled coast to coast and spent time in Pensacola FL, Atlantic Beach N.C., and Seattle WA. The hardest part of all the travel has trying to be consistent with my workouts and half marathon training.

I started out really strong on our trip to Florida. I went to the gym and lifted weights, did yoga and Pilates. My friend in the picture below and I ran twice. She got me to sign up for a 5k and I was hoping to hit a new PR, but then we went for a 6 mi run that ended up being just over 4 very sweaty miles. I was afraid there was no way I could run fast in the heat/humidity. I am happy to report that I was wrong in underestimating myself. I hit a new record of 27:19 and placed 7th in my division. My first top 10 finish!
At the finish of the Firecracker 5k in P'cola with my friend Amy.
We were back home in Fort Collins for two weeks before we headed to North Carolina. During that time everyone in the family ended up sick at some point and we celebrated 4th of July with loads of shenanigans. Needless to say that all took a toll on my training plans, though I did manage to go to my personal trainer's class a couple times and I always make time for my Pilates session. 
Rocky Mountain Half Marathon! Done
I returned from our 12 day beach vacation on Wednesday and headed to Estes Park the following Friday to run the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon on Saturday Aug. 1st. I was worried about the elevation after spending so much time at sea level. However I finished the race with another PR of 2:20:55. I was so happy with that time on that coarse. It was a great race. Now it is time to relax and enjoy the end of summer.

Monday, June 9, 2014

And the winner is:

So happy!

I am at a loss for words, one of the few times ever in my life. When I signed up for Dare to Lose of course I thought about winning, I am a naturally competitive person, but in the last two months of the competition I didn't think I had a chance of first place. It seriously wasn't on my radar, I had become more focused on completing my goals of moving beyond my plateau and running my fastest BolderBoulder. I did both!  My trainer Ethan had told me that I was was in second. He said it was close. I assumed he meant between me and third. I guess I was wrong. I don't think I have ever been more surprised in my life. When they called second place and I didn't hear my name I was so confused. I even said "wait, what?" Less then one percent separated me from second place. I was so shocked and as I stood to receive first place and all the amazing gifts I was shaking. I felt...undeserving.
It has been a week since the finale, and I am still at a loss for words. I have been trying to adjust to being off the program, interviewing for a new summer job, and trying to figure out the undeserving feelings. I don't know if I have figured it all out, but this is what I do know.
Being done with Dare to Lose is an adjustment. I miss the support and the external motivation. I needed a week away from logging food, to eat and drink what I wanted to realize that logging food is something that I choose to do. Making healthy choices becomes easier now that I know eating healthy whole foods makes me feel better. I am so happy to have a year premier membership to Miramont Lifestyle Fitness. I have also decided to keep taking Ethan's small group training class. It will give me the support and motivation I need to help with accountability and I will have three workouts a week that I don't have to do anything other than show up and sweat.
I have an amazing opportunity to work on a beautiful ranch just outside of Saratoga, WY this summer on the weekends. This past weekend was the first opportunity I had to travel there and check things out. It is breathtaking, but it will be an adjustment. I know that this will also cause an extra stress and disruption to my training and diet. It is part of life, and I know that I have been given tools to be able to be successful in the face of stress. I just need to remember to use those tools.
I have been really trying to get to the root of my feelings. Why did I feel undeserving? During the competition I only missed one work out. I logged my food everyday. I put in the work and I reaped the rewards. I know that I did what I needed to do, for myself. My goal when I started this program was to move off the plateau that I had been stuck on for over a year. I completed that goal! I am so proud. I think that I felt less deserving because I was comparing myself to my fellow competitors, and that was unfair. My journey was very different from theirs. I began regaining my health and fitness (and losing weight) four years ago, where as this competition served as a springboard for many of my fellow competitors. The greatest lesson I have learned from my yoga practice is not to compare myself to those around me, but instead to honor my personal journey. Keeping that in mind I can fully appreciate the work that I did, and feel honored and proud of my accomplishments. I am the winner of Dare to Lose!
I have been having a hard time compiling this post. I think partly because of all that I have expressed here, but also because it seems unfair to make a final summary. I will never be done, fitness has become a huge focus and will be for the rest of my life. I am reaching for bigger goals. I have started my half marathon training, and then will begin training for my marathon.
I would like to say thank you to everyone at Miramont Lifestyle Fitness, Town Square Media, O'hana Salon, and BeSpoke men's fashion. I am truly grateful for this experience. It has helped me get closer to my end goal, and I know that soon I will be in maintenance mode.