Sunday, January 08, 2012
I've been Spark sentimental lately. Maybe it's all the reflective and goal oriented blogs. It just is that time of year. Or maybe it's because it's my mental Sparkiversary.
A friend told me about Spark in Feb. 08 and I used certain tools and it helped. Throughout my pregnancies I used babyfit.com but always missed Spark. A year ago I started logging on daily. I joined more teams. Some challenges. I read blogs. I finally started commenting on blogs. And then I even wrote a few of my own. And it's incredible how those simple acts have changed my life.
I signed up for a 5K because of so many inspirational c25K blogs. I fell in love with running along the way. It was not that long ago when I struggled to run 5 miles. I remember when that distance was my PR. And it was hard. 5 miles is far. Then I read some more blogs. I got the courage to sign up for another race, a 10 miler. I joined the HM team. Reading those threads, those blogs made me want to run that distance. They gave me the confidence that I could. And I did.
Somewhere in the midst of all this my dad asked me if I would run Grandma's Marathon with him. Yes, it had always been a lifelong fantasy for me. And yes, Spark made me think this was a normal undertaking. I truly do respect the distance. And I have laid out my training plan carefully and know that it will be a challenge. I think I forget what a big deal it is because I read so many blogs about training and races that I feel, "everyone's doing it. so can I!"
I've been running 8 miles with two new friends early Tuesday mornings. They've both completed an Ironman. My sparkfriend's encouragement helped me take the risk and meet them for the first time. It was a tough morning and I thought about your words as I pushed through with these athletes. Every week it's gotten easier. The body is amazing; it does adapt fairly quickly. So does the mind. I mentioned running 8 miles at work one day and a friend said, "You did WHAT this morning??!" I wasn't trying to brag. It really has become normal for me. 5 miles used to be hard and now 8 is easy. In a relatively short time. Remember, everyone on Spark is doing it! It's not a big deal, right?
It is a big deal. Spark has become such a big deal to me. Just this week a few significant things happened.
A sparkfriend sent me a message with a link to some rundies (look em up!) that made her think of me. How cute is that?! Such a simple gesture made my day. Thank you.
Another friend opened up to me about a part of her and her family's story that is life changing. There aren't words to describe this one. The only thing I can say is that I desperately wish I had a way to fly to Canada so I could give her a hug and then we'd go on a run together. I'm not trying to be cryptic. Just trying to convey how meaningful these Spark friendships can become.
I joined a new team and mentioned something about working on push-ups. A sparker that I was not yet friends with wrote to be and suggested a challenge. I'm in! For the past 3 days I've been sick and missed my cardio, but you better believe I got some push-ups in! Some new sparkfriends are being made.
I love this site. I never thought I'd say that about a website. But, truly I do. And I love how it spills onto life outside the internet.
At the starting line of that 10 mile race in October I was nervously & happily bouncing around to keep warm with, oh, about 8,000 other runners when I heard my name. It was my best friend from high school. We had a falling out our senior year of college and hadn't talked since. We chatted for a minute and she said that we should get together for a celebratory race drink sometime. Sure, I thought, that'll never happen. But then, you guessed it! I read some Spark blogs and I contacted her. What did I have to lose? We got together and talked for hours. We talked about running and we talked about what happened 10 years ago. It was very therapeutic. We got together again with our kids. It's a friendship that feels right. Today we're meeting for a run. Pretty cool, huh?
Thank you Spark.
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dais
This book is great. It's an easy, funny read. The author was not a runner, not even someone into fitness, when she decided to train for a marathon.I'm not recommending that. I'm just saying that this book is super freakin funny.
She has run-ins with sports bras, Bodyglide, peeing in bushes and those perfect looking perky always smiling runners. (she is not one of em)
Thought I'd share the fun. I got it at the library this morning and am half way through. I also picked up:
First Marathons: Personal Encounters with the 26.2 Mile Monster
Runner's World Complete Book of Running
Becoming an Ironman
And, no, I'm not thinking of doing an Ironman. Well, in my fantasy life of no children and no job and endless hours to train and workout... in that life I'm totally going to the National Championship in Kona. In the meantime, I'll enjoy my reality: an amazing family and a job I love 95% of the time. And with that I'll focus on the challenge of one marathon.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Looks like one of my 2012 goals is going to happen sooner than I thought. Yesterday I had my "formal-ish" interview with the fitness director at the Y. I've taken bodystep for 5 years. I always thought that's what I'd teach. Turns out, learning the choreography is way harder than I anticipated. Takes much more Practice time than I think I have right now. I'll get there, but, wow what a tangent.
Tabata. That's what this is about. I said I was interested in learning more, taking a training, something for the future, etc. She said, "wanna teach sat mornings 10:30?" ummmmmm, OK! So that's new and exciting and unexpected.
If you don't know about tabata, google it. Super interesting. It comes from a study done in 1996. Pretty new stuff. I think it's getting popular now because of the Crossfit sensation. Bobyrock is also tabata-ish. It's basically the mother of HIIT. The real tabata is only a 4 minute workout. The Y wants a 30 minute class. 5 min warm-up and 5 cool down.
Tabata is new for the Y. Like I said, I think it's their way of staying competitive with Crossfit. I know that Crossfit is much more than this and i still want to check out for myself.
We'll do 6 week rotations. 6 weeks of cardio tabata, 6 weeks of strength, 6 weeks of mixed. I will team teach at first and we'll see how it goes from there. We make up our own routines. Have you tried tabata? What are your favorite circuits? Mountain climbers? Jump squats? Any websites you'd recommend? I'll take any suggestions!
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Yoovie said brag. So I'm bragging.
pounds lost: technically 40, but I don't feel that's really true since a lot of it was baby weight. I was 155 in 2008 before baby #1 and 160 in 2009 before baby #2. The real numbers, the numbers I'm really proud of, are 14 pounds down. Lost ALL baby weight + 14 pounds. That's awesome. I think it's time to change my ticker.
18467 fitness minutes (average of 51 minutes per day)
382 miles ran since I started tracking mileage on Spark (not sure when that was, sometime this summer??) It's 407 miles from my front door to Chicago. I've done that drive a few times and it takes 7 hours. I've ran to Chicago! That's crazy.
I ran my first 5K in June
Warrior Dash 5K in July
I ran my first 10 miler in the beginning of October
I ran my first HM at the end of October
I became totally addicted to running and races
I began my yoga practice. I love it and need to make more time for it
I can do 25 push-ups on my toes
I completed the Group Fitness Instructor Training at the Y
HM March 17
Grandma's Marathon June 16
Twin Cities 10 miler or marathon Oct 7 (I say 10, DH says 26.2, we'll see how my body and my schedule handle training before I make any type of decision)
HM October 30ish
Some other races may be thrown in, depending on entry fees
Complete Les Mills Bodystep training (in Feb or March, Date TBD)
It's hard for me to write down some number goals for 2012. I'm still a running beginner. I don't know what my weekly mileage will be. Right now it's 15-20 miles a week. That will go up gradually with official marathon training beginning in Feb. But there will also be weeks that I go below.
15 miles a week = 780 a year
20 miles a week = 1040 a year
average those to get 910. That sounds reasonable. Or do I shoot for the beautiful 1,000 number? That seems like an incredible goal. Or maybe I just don't even put a number on it and see how things go month to month.
Some people asked for a pic. I swear I cannot get a good one of me. Someday... In the meantime, here I am before my run on X-mas morning in all my new gear.
It's hard to get a pic without one of my kids jumping in!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
These are some pretties that I've found on pinterest.
This is how I've wanted to dress for years, but didn't feel I could pull it off. (or I was pregnant and definitely couldn't pull skinny jeans off. or ON!)
Some of you know that I've been dreaming about new clothes: jeans that fit, comfy sweaters & scarfs, running gear, oh my! Luckily, last weekend my in-laws gave me some incredibly generous gift certificates for Christmas.
Most of you voted for the running tights. Got em! And on major sale. I guess it pays to wait and shop last minute. I was even able to get a gaiter for me and DH and some running gloves for him. score!
A few of you encouraged me to find clothes that fit well, stuff I'd feel good in. Did it! And again, major sales. It is an incredible feeling to walk into a store, hold up a pair of size 6 skinny jeans and think "whoa, those are teeny." and then there's the double whoa, when they fit. And they fit good. No muffin top, no sucking in to zip. I picked up a few tops too. Size: small. Me?? A small?! This is ridiculously fun!
I went to a family party last night. I was confident and happy with how I looked. I didn't hide from the camera. Clothes that fit are a good choice. They do wonders for your self-image.
I've been having some horrible "fat days" lately. I know it's awful and I know I am not fat. But there are moments when I look at my gut or thighs and think about how much work there is to do. I'm 5 pounds from goal and I know that what I see is more than 5 pounds. arggggg. That's horrible self-talk and I'm done with it.
I'm never going to be a rail thin size 2. I have boobs. And I like em! I have hips and a mama tummy. I've have 2 kids. I'm proud! And while there are those ugly thoughts I mentioned, there are WAY more happy, healthy thoughts.
6 miles has become my "easy run." are you kidding me??! That's far. That's hard. And I can lace up and do it without thinking. how cool is that?!!
ok. enough question marks and exclamation points. But seriously, this is how I feel:
This has been an incredible year and I have much to be merry about this weekend. Merry merry Christmas to you.
Be proud of the healthy choices you make.
Be happy with the body you have today.
And enjoy a Christmas cookie.
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