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Slow And Steady Does It

Monday, August 19, 2013

I've been pretty patient with myself for the past 2.5 years getting through all these life transitions, but I've kind of come to the end of my patience.

I know, though, that suddenly forcing myself to make a bunch of radical changes after something like this, isn't going to work out in the long run.

So I decided what my priorities are, and I made a bit of a plan (understatement). The plan involves making changes in other areas of my life, slowly and steadily. And it also involves a solid re-focus on my health...slowly and steadily so the changes stick.

Last week, I signed up for the Distance Challenge. It's 6 races between October and February. There are different tracks you can do. In 2010-2011, I did the Marathon track. Last year, I did the half marathon track. This year? I'm going to try for the Marathon track again.

I had about 27 weeks before the marathon when I signed up for the challenge. I downloaded a marathon training schedule that takes up the last 16 weeks ending in the marathon, printed out empty monthly Google calendars, and wrote it all in there.

The person I've been for the past 2.5 years would just sit on my a$$ until that 16 weeks started. Then she'd make a half hearted attempt at training, and ultimately blow off the training, just showing up for, and walking all the races. How do I know this? It's exactly what I did last year. Yes, I walked 3 half marathons without training for them.

But I'm putting a focus back on my health because I really DO realize it's the key to everything else I want to accomplish.

There are a few other challenges here that need attention if I'm going to succeed at this. I haven't really been working out consistently, and I CERTAINLY haven't been running. I also weigh quite a bit more than when I did it the first time. My bone density is poor, my nutrition sucks, and my sleep patterns are radically bizarre.

So I also created another training schedule for the 11 weeks before that 16 week schedule. The goal of THIS training schedule is to create the habit of showing up for my workouts every time, and to get myself from walking to running.

I started on the training schedule last week. I bought new running shoes this weekend, after my first walk/run made my feet hurt so bad I could barely walk. (2 year old shoes = bad idea!)

And I'm slowly going to add 2 components into this that I've never really consistently added before.

1) I'm going to start lifting weights. I hate lifting weights. But I have to build my bone density back up. My bones are too fragile. I'm going to sneak up on it, by setting a goal for now of doing one single weight exercise, one set, low weights, one time this week, along with one set of squats, just a few, two other times this week.

2) I'm going to do something about my nutrition besides tracking it and burning calories off to accommodate poor food choices. I'm going to do some research this week into marathon nutrition, and while I'm not likely to abide too strictly by that, I'm at least going to educate myself on it. In the past I've noticed that if I'm just reading about healthy eating, and tracking what I eat, I end up making positive changes.

I'm guessing getting my health slowly in line, combined with the other life changes I'm making, is likely going to help me with my sleep as well.

1) I still have a pretty solid habit of drinking a lot of water. I'm just going to put the habit of tracking it in place again to make sure I get enough of it.
2) I've lost 5 pounds in the past few weeks already, just from showing up more than I was for my workouts and making a few other smallish changes.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good luck with your plan CJ! I'm glad to see you back "sparking" your blogs are great reading!

    Love the shoes too...and being in marathon training myself, I think you have a great plan there, build up slowly, and consistently and you'll rock it!
    1767 days ago
    Congrats on your first five pounds, you are making progress. I have always loved reading about the plans you put into place to reach your goals. Planning is such an important part of the process.

    Here is an interview with Nancy Clark that could give you some good ideas on nutrition, training, and weight loss:

    I'll be following your progress and helping you be accountable!
    1769 days ago
    You got this! Stay focused!
    Hugs, Wendy
    1769 days ago
    I LOVE those shoes! Sounds like an excellent plan.

    1769 days ago
    The only way I've found to get the dreaded strength training in is to use DVDs... I've tried quite a few and always come back to the Slim in Six series as the best. You build up gradually and the instructor is positive but not annoying, giving lots of tips for proper form. They start out using resistance bands and the later, more difficult ones also use free weights. I do 40-60 minutes 2-3 times a week (alternating with running days) and it works out great for me. I think this is the reason I've been able to take up running in middle age without injury.

    Good luck with your plans!

    1769 days ago
    No problem - I am excited that someone else had the same idea. I look forward to hearing about your results. Something that I failed to mention earlier is that I never increased the number or push ups in one set but I did alter the positioning of my hands and the speed/intensity of each pushup (ie fast, slow, pause in the middle) as I got stronger. I was pretty impressed with the arm/chest results just doing pushups and my thighs are like iron emoticon At least the front - we won't talk about the rear view....
    1769 days ago
    KRHEMMER - I love that you did that! That's the idea I had as well. I decided I was going to start with squats, as they get a bunch of muscle groups. Then I was planning to add girlie pushups.

    It's a great motivation to me that you did this and noticed a change so fast....also that you were able to continue adding slowly to it all the way to full blown ST workouts!

    Thanx for sharing your story. :)
    1769 days ago
    I did the same sort of 'sneak up on strength training' myself the past few weeks. I have only been walking for the past 1.5 years (at least 3 miles every day) and I knew that I needed to add some muscle training which I am not too fond of, either. I decided that I would add push ups. I did sets of 10 full push ups throughout the day and would end up with 8 or 10 sets. That was it. After 3 weeks I could see some significant changes in my arms. I am now about 8 weeks out from that and I have the most developed, awesome triceps ever! I added in wall sits about 3 weeks ago and have doubled the amount of time that I can hold those - now it is around 2 minutes with minimal problems when at the beginning I was whining after 30 seconds. I have now begun doing full blown ST workouts and really enjoying them! I know that it was that idea of 'easing into it' that led to overcoming the block I had in my mind. Good luck to you because you can do it!
    1769 days ago
    Sounds like you're doing good - take it slow, and be persistent. And great job losing those 5 pounds!! emoticon
    1769 days ago
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