10 things I learned over the past 21-days

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Well, today is my 21st day.  I ended it at boot camp, which is appropriate since it is this boot camp that inspired me to try this in the first place.  Also, today’s class instructor was The Vince, see my post from my second day to learn about The Vince.

It was an exciting challenge; some days were harder than others, but every day was worth it.  Here are some things I learned over the past 21-days –

1.  Your body is an amazing machine; it will keep going if your brain tells it to keep going.  I am now a firm believer that the brain is the most important muscle in your body.  Never say never!

2.  There are an infinite number of ways to do a push up.

3.  There are an equally infinite number of types of squats.  And according to Vince he has several creative ways to do Burpees, I do not ever want to learn all of these.

4.  What you are putting into your body is important,  if you are going to work hard to get fit, you also need to change your diet.

5.  Support from family and friends is important, and any time you can get them involved it is also fun.

6.  Age is just a number.  Our classes at the gym range from folks in their 20s to folks my age and older; and certainly at races I am smoked by several folks in more advanced age groups than mine.

7.  Every time I had a new pain in my body, I found a new way to overcome it.

8.  Stretching is important.

9.  Physical exercise leads to better mental health, or at least takes so much effort that the small stuff seems less important.  In other words “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, sweat OUT the small stuff.

10.  I am important, you are important, we all matter, whether you know it or not someone is looking up to you.  You are inspiring someone and may not even know it.  I have met people over the past three weeks that inspired me to keep going, I will remember and be thankful to those people for the rest of my life.

Thank you for joining me on this journey!  My journey “from here to me” is not over, it is just beginning, this bridge to better habits has been fun and full of learning and today I am going to start to plan my next challenge, 21-days of eating better.

As for tomorrow, I am taking a vacation day!  I am going on my morning run and then I am going to come home, shower, and take a nap.

So today I will not say until tomorrow, I will say Until Next Time…

 

Bedtime Story

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There was an ambitious lady who thought it would be a great idea to work hard for 21-days straight so that she could be more fit and more consistent in her workouts and blogging.

She washed her best running tights, laced up her best running shoes, and loaded up her spell check, and off she went on a grand adventure.  Along the way she discovered that she was stronger than she thought she ever could be, and that with hard work and commitment one could do most anything.

While on her adventure she made new friends at boot camp, learned it was easier to run in cool weather than hot weather, that people will be positive and encourage you along the way, and that a lot of things are mind over matter.  You have to train your brain while you are training your body.

The end of her story has not been written yet, she still has a little ways to go, but like in all fairy tales I am sure there will be a happy ending.

To be continued…

So, I am getting this entry up late in the day and I am ready to go to bed, so I thought a little bedtime story would be nice :).   Sleep tight everyone.

Until tomorrow…

One week to go

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One week to go, two-thirds of the way there, almost done.  These are all things I am thinking today, I am tired today, not so tired that I am not going to keep doing this, but definitely tired.

Boot camp this morning was early and a tough workout, 60-minutes of any activity other than sleeping at 5:30 am is not easy.  It was good though, exciting, certainly much better than trudging to the gym to lift weights on my own or to get on the elliptical.  There is just something about being told what to do and sweating at the same time ;).

Two new habits I have formed out of all of this are getting my workout clothes ready the night before and putting my work outfit together as soon as I get home from the gym or from my run.  Those little steps of preparedness leave me far less frazzled in the morning and make the routine of getting ready much easier.

Something you may not know about me is that I am not very organized, so putting clothes out the night before is a big deal for me.  Normally I would be cursing about not being able to find a shoe, or a shirt, or something 5-minutes before I walk out the door, getting ready beforehand relieves me of worrying that this will happen.

“Organization is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up.”  ― A.A. Milne

Here’s to being less mixed up.

Until tomorrow…

The first time

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These two shirts represent the very first 5k I ever raced and the 1-year anniversary of that race.  They really represent for me the beginning of my journey.  The journey that is leading me to challenges like 21 straight days of exercise and blogging, the journey that lead me to sign up for two races over the next two weeks, and the journey that is driving me to get and stay healthy.

Day-12 of my 21-day challenge to blog each day and workout each day.  I also committed to eating healthy each day, but have decided to make that the focus of my next challenge.  It is not that I do not eat well, I stay away from most bad foods, but I want to really focus on clean eating and think that deserves its own time.  So, for now workout and blog for nine more days.

I can already recognize the change in me; before I would try to use excuses, now I just get up and do it.  I prepare my clothes for either boot camp or running the night before, I set my alarm, make sure I understand what the next days activities are.  All of these are things that feel comfortable and have easily become part of my day.

The blogging has been a challenge on a few days, just thinking of something to talk about.  But I know this is something I am doing to keep me focused on being more consistent, not something I plan to do every day forever ( you would all certainly be yawning if that were the case).

It is difficult to form new habits at the ripe old age of 49, but far less difficult than breaking old habits like laziness and smoking.  When I think about my weight a year and a half ago and I think about the fact that I was a smoker for over 30 years and have not had a cigarette for over a year and a half, I know if I can move past this; I can accomplish just about anything.

This is not easy and some days I wonder why I am doing it.  I am doing it because I am moving towards wondering why would I NOT do it.

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Until Tomorrow…

 

 

Thanks! I needed that.

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Boot camp was awesome this morning!  Our instructor had some tough workouts planned and he definitely kept the class going, and kept us challenged.

What was so awesome about it is that I could feel the difference in myself and what I was able to do and what I was able to push myself to do, it is honestly my first experience with that in boot camp.  The way it generally works is that the class is given a series of moves/segments to do, it could be upper body, cardio, power cardio, lower body, etc.  The class is 60-minutes and it is an hour of working hard.  My first few classes I would do all of the required moves but maybe not for the whole count, or I would modify something I thought I could not do, push ups for example or even jumping jacks, or God forbid Burpees!

Today I made myself do several of these moves longer and harder than before.  I did not stop myself when I felt like I was too challenged or it would be too hard.  At the end it was an amazing feeling!  I still have a long way to go, but knowing that I am actually progressing was a great feeling, makes me want more :).

Tomorrow is an easy day, some beginner yoga at home (secretly hoping beginner yoga means lying on the floor and stretching).

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Until tomorrow…

I Can’t do That

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Day-5 of my quest and my 4th visit to my fitness boot camp.  The Vince was not the instructor today but Trenton was definitely as effective!  Today our BC was 60-minutes, 47 different moves of 60-seconds each.  The warm up moves, relatively easy, everything after that, all I could think was, “I can’t do that”.  But Trenton assured me that I could and in most cases I was able to do it for at least 10-seconds or so.

I think that is what I really love about the boot camp experience, it is like a personal trainer but less expensive; and with other people around you work harder so you do not look like a schlep.  When at the end of the hour my legs are so shaky that I have to wait so I can drive safely, that is a good workout!

I do not work for this boot camp and they are not paying me but I have to give a shout out to Body Evolution in Louisville, KY for being awesome.  The owner Walt is a nice guy and he must treat his staff well as they are equally kind and very good at their job.  Infomercial over.

As Day-5 is winding down, I am a little sore but satisfied with my progress so far and looking forward to my run tomorrow; 7-miles to prep for my 15K in a few weeks.

I want to thank my family for being supportive during this process. Love you!

Until Tomorrow…

 

Day 3 – for lack of a more clever title

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Is it too early for this quote?  It is not really LONG after I said I would do it, but it has been three days.

Actually it has been a good three days; still upright, have not really gotten mad at anyone, and I am here typing my blog.  I did not commit to a word count, so this may be short.

Got up this morning at 6 am and was excited for my run.  Well sort of, I had just finished boot camp 12 hours earlier, so excited is probably the wrong word.  But I did run, it was slow and easy, it felt good and surprisingly I am not very sore today from last night’s hellacious squat fest, aka – boot camp with The Vince.

The eating so far has been the toughest part, I have to get better at planning meals.  I am not eating junk or even eating a lot, I just feel like I do not know how to eat to keep myself full.  I am thinking about a nutritionist to help with this.  One of my problems is that I have a sort of addiction to Mexican restaurants, I really like Mexican food, and margaritas.  I will starve myself for the day if it means a good enchilada and some tequila; I have to satisfy this craving at least once a week or I get really cranky.

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Tonight Mexican, tomorrow morning yoga.

Three down 18 to go.

 

Fear The Vince

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Day Two – This is Day Two of the 21-day commitment to workout every day, blog every day, and eat right every day.  See how this “It takes 21-days to form a habit” is going to work for me.

Today was my second day of this commitment and my third boot camp class.  Here is the thing about boot camp, it does not get easier.  You just push yourself harder the more you do it, and some weeks the instructor may be feeling a little more bold than other weeks.

Less than a week ago I discovered a boot camp facility had opened near my home, this is something I have always wanted to try, but really with my commitment issues and all, I knew I would not drive across the city to get to one, so the new Body Evolution location is perfect!

My first class was tough, it was Saturday morning, and by Sunday morning sitting on anything lower than a bar stool was PAINFUL.  But that is the way it is supposed to be, right?  So, I went back for more on Monday, that proved beyond a reasonable doubt that even though I hated Fifty Shades of Grey, at least a tiny part of me is a masochist.

My first two classes were tough, the instructor was a very nice young man, but that does not mean he was easy.  At the end of my second class someone asked me if I had ever worked with Vince, well naturally I said no since my first two classes were with the same person.  Then I got one of the “WELL, wait until you have Vince.” grand statements.  I thought, “not sure I ever want to meet Vince”.

Tonight I go again, this time my daughter went with me, it was her first night, I spent the ride over teaching her to fear The Vince.  Guess who was our instructor tonight?  That is right, Vince.

He introduces himself, he is very nice, almost mild, and very kind to my daughter when he knew it was her first visit.  He does not look scary, and how could someone so kind and gentle be a tough instructor?

Ha! Kind and mild-mannered Vince had me sweating like a…well lets just say I was sweating a lot.  And he was not merciful, but he was also not mean, and he was helpful.  I have been really enjoying the boot camp classes, it includes folks of all different fitness levels and I do not feel intimidated even when I am the last one back from a run and Vince still makes me do a rotation of 30 squats :).

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Tomorrow morning, 30-minute run, which after today seems like a piece of cake.  Speaking of cake, I did well with my eating today, tracking points with Weight Watchers, and so far so good.

Until tomorrow…

One More Day with Charlie

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Hi everyone!  I have not posted recently, been pretty busy training for my next half in September.  I have not posted mostly because my running has not motivated me to post.  Not that I am not running, that is happening for sure; had one of my best runs ever last weekend.  It is just that I have not been motivated to post about running.

When I started this blog I did it with the intent of blogging mostly about my journey “From Here to Me” and right now involves a lot of running and lifestyle changes.  For some reason I have not been able to write about these things lately; so I am thinking maybe a change for a bit.

Maybe I will post what it is like to be a peri-menopausal 49-year old with the goal of sliding into fifty fit, fabulous, and sane :).

Today my post is going to be about Charlie.  Charlie is our 15-year old Russian Blue, he is affectionately known as Charlie Man around the house.  Charlie came to us about 4-years ago when a neighbor of ours passed away.  Timmons’ (our neighbor) family did not want him and asked if we would take him.  Being an animal rescue household, we were not going to say no; and every day since has been a joy.

I want to tell you first about Timmons, our fantastic neighbor.  Timmons was a WWII vet who had been a prisoner of war in Germany, as a career (he was long since retired when we met him) he was an Ad Man, you know in the 50s and 60s like on Madmen, after retirement he became a fixture in the Louisville area social scene.

Timmons was also married for over 30 years and had children.  30 years into his marriage he let everyone know that he preferred the company of a male partner and from that day forward was able to live his life with a man he loved; they were together for over 30 years.  We loved Timmons and miss him dearly.

Back to Charlie – when we first took Charlie we also took a chair from Timmons family and a pair of Timmons pants.  For a month Charlie laid in our bedroom on that chair and pair of pants.  It took my daughter visiting from college to bring him out of the room.  Since that time we have all fallen in love with Charlie and his charming ways.  A few days ago Charlie, who has been getting thinner, was showing distress in his breathing so we took him to the vet.  It turns out his lungs were full of fluid; so we had the vet drain the fluid and brought him home.  The vet said with medication, which we started that next day, and follow-up he could be fine.

Well, last night Charlie had a seizure, it was scary and sad.  My daughter works part-time at the local animal shelter and she was working today, so we thought we might decide to put him down.  She was working until 6 pm so she asked that we wait until the end of her shift.  But today Charlie had a good day.  He ate some, laid with me while I napped and laid with my husband a bit, this is pretty much his normal routine at 15-years old.  We decided not to take him to the shelter, and I took the day off tomorrow to see how he does tonight and tomorrow.

My daughter’s other job is at a Vets office, so she will talk to them on Monday and see what they say.

We never want to see him suffer, but we certainly do not want to take away his life if he is feeling better.  This is a really tough decision; how do we decide when quality of life is not good and it is time to end it?  I am really struggling with this decision.  We love our animals like family, so on one hand we do not want them to suffer, on the other, we do not want to lose them.

So, here we are, enjoying one more day with Charlie, and perhaps another, or maybe not.

And so it begins…

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Officially started my training today for my next half; I am running the Rock n Roll Half in Philadelphia in September and I am pretty excited to be going back home to run a race.  I have promises from friends in the area to be my Wine Girls, waiting for me at the finish line with a bottle, some glasses, cheers, and smiles.

I am doing an official Half training program with a goal of finishing upright.  I have no spectacular goals for this half except to do better than my last half.  Considering that half was at Disney World with a lot of distractions, this should not be too difficult.

I will train, running three times per week and two days of some sort of strength and/or cross training.  I may add a sixth day if I am not improving in either strength or pace; I want to start off with something I know I will do and add to it if needed.  For me that is better than over committing and falling short of my goal.

I have to tell you I am pretty excited about this next half; I will be home and have familiar folks around to support me, it will be a true race for me as I will be trying to do better than my first time, and it will be a challenge.  Disney was certainly a challenge and an accomplishment, but with all of the distractions I did not have a great finish time.

My first training run was this morning and although it was not spectacular; the first one is the hardest and it is done. 🙂  I am looking forward to an eventful local race season and some good training runs this summer!  I could have never imagined saying those words a year ago.