Tag Archives: working out

Challenges anew.

I give up.

I need a new challenge.

I love ‘running to run’ and I love my commitment to the barre (and recommittment!) and continued focus in a healthy, fit and happy lifestyle. But I feel like I am going into a bit of maintenance mode and whenever I hit that I fear one thing: stagnation. And challenges are what drive me, let’s face it. Everyone needs a break from a challenge, whether it be physical, career or life-related, but then there are times where you want to – as one of my besties says – amp it up and challenge yourself.

So, this is me, challenging myself anew.

There are a few things I am toying with, mind you. One of them?

Running, of course. Relearn to breathe in humid conditions. Don’t let myself get to the panic point where the only way to calm myself is to stop running. (sometimes that’s just unavoidable but most times, it can be controlled before it gets to that point – that is the point I need to get to). And? Run farther. I’d love to hit 10 miles again. And I’d love to do it ‘sherpa-style’ and run with my sister on one of her long marathon training runs. So that’s my goal. Fix the breathing. Hit double digits. At least once before the summer is over. Just to prove I can do it (again). Faster, stronger, more confident.

The other challenge I am toying with?

Getting a road bike and – gulp – ride…clip-in style, to boot. (go big or go home, right??). I have a bike, but it’s not a road bike and I don’t even need a fancy one, just something beginner, something used, no bells and whistles (friends! any suggestions on brand, type etc?? Locals – recommendations where??). I want to ride. I want to feel the air rush past my face as I whiz past those runners (since I always swear at them as they glide along past me as I am trudging along feeling uber slow in comparison!).  I just think it would be the perfect complement to running and barre and an opportunity to also go long. Explore the area I live in. There are SO many great areas to ride here and running can only take me so far. 

So that’s my goal. I need to investigate and do some research but any tips and suggestions would be awesome. I think M will get one with me and it’ll be such a fun way to work out together, in addition to running together.

Challenges anew. Let’s do this!

(hop on over to NEW half marathoner (woohoo!) Melissa’s blog to see the Weekly Chase in Action – I completely forgot to add this earlier when I blogged this, so here you go! Mini update! Check it out and get motivated!!)

Every single time.

Every single time I walk out of barre n9ne, I feel like I am finally starting to hit a good stride as an instructor. That I AM an instructor.

It’s been a little almost six months (!) since getting certified, and while there is a LOT more to learn, refine and develop…I just love teaching. Every single time.

Every single time, I feel that rush of adrenaline and excitement. I feel awake, alive, and refreshed (even if I may be crawling out of bed at 5:09 am – yes :09 to be exact – and wondering how on earth I’m going to be AWAKE enough to motivate, instruct and push!).

 

When I have a conversation with a 60-day challenger and see their elation over how well this program just works and how fit they are becoming and how motivated they are…it makes me proud. It keeps me motivated myself. Every single time.

And every single time, when I hear a groan, gasp or see someone shut their eyes and push through the burn, I smile. And then I push them more. 

When I look around, at my life, at my (busy) schedule, at my body, at my eats, at everything, it all comes back to barre n9ne and this lifestyle I’ve built for myself. I smile again. Every single time.

And every single time I have the opportunity, I pay it forward, my way of giving thanks, of spreading this passion, this life, this happiness. Because it truly is the balanced life I have looked for, strived for, yet never achieved the way I wanted. Until now. 

“Follow what makes you naturally curious…it will lead you to your passion and purpose.”

Expect many more pictures like this…fair-warning ;-)

My 6-month run challenge: a retrospective.

So, my 6-month run challenge came (quietly) to an end last week and I have been racking my brains on how I wanted to recap my journey. As I look through post after post of the last 6 months of running, I see a few common themes:  consistency, run-volutions and…as much as I hate to admit it, the frustrating head case that I *still* am from time to time whenever I run.

I do, however, think the biggest progress for me in this journey has been this: being at peace with running happy miles and not *for* mileage. Yeah, there are days that I wish I had the endurance and distance in me that I once did. Sure, my mind meanders to ‘what-if’ I try again (to work towards another half marathon). But at the end of the day, I really really still have a big issue with running a mental run. Even though I have improved substantially in not panicking, steadying my breathing and focusing on…less focus when I run, it still happens. It still rises up in me in certain instances (heat, and conversely, cold!), up hills, on longer runs, etc. And until I really beat that, I honestly think that running another half marathon will end up in the same result – frustrating, panicked and running a race I am not proud of.  Not that a half marathon is even my goal or end-all-be-all. Because it’s not. We all know racing is not for me. But it still is something I want to do. There, I said it. It is. I won’t deny it. But it’s not the main goal. The main goal remains…not to run a mental run.

So while I still have a problem with the mental (run) game, this challenge has done WONDERS for me, because I have finally gotten to a point where I embraced the dreadmill (in the winter), AND intervals (and rocked them several times), AND running outside IN the winter, AND sustaining some good mileage (5-7 mile range in the winter whereas previously, it would have been 3-4 – max). I am also finally at a point where I trust running to be my main cardio source (with a dash of spinning sometimes to mix it up), because not only do I truly LOVE it, it is ultimately the best workout for me and magic bullet with barre n9ne. 

This challenge…is not over. I am still a work in progress. But I am okay with that, because a physical challenge should always be just that: a challenge. It should never get ‘easy’ and it should also push me out of my comfort zone. Thus why I love to run. And thus why I *will* rock the mental game too.

Thank you for all of your support, friends, I have loved sharing this journey with you all, even if you aren’t a runner, because I truly think some of the messages and learnings here are universal. Now I think I will pick myself up and dust myself off and go for a kick ass run tomorrow, with M by my side. Pushing myself just a little bit farther.

 

“Shift your focus”

Shift your focus.

Sage words from my friend Steph as I was sharing with her and my sis my thoughts on this very blog post, as I start to slide into a bit of ‘dread mode’ heading into traveling (again) next week to California. As I’ve said many times before, these trips always take a lot out of me, from the cross-country travel, to the adjustment (or lack thereof!) to the 3-hour time difference, which not only messes with my sleep pattern but most importantly (lol) my eating patterns (since I feel hungry allthedamntime, hungry when I wake up, hungry when I get to work, hungry all afternoon, given my meals are at such different times there vs. here. The time difference just sucks, plain and simple, for eating!). And don’t even get me started on how much it messes with my beloved routine. ;-)

But I am going to try something new this time. I am going to shift my focus. Focus on where I am, not where I am not.

Rather than look at the 7-day forecast (which we all know will change, anyway!) and seeing 82 degrees on the day I fly out and already wishing I wasn’t going to miss such beautiful weather, I’ll look at the 7-day forecast for Costa Mesa and realize that hey, it’s warm there *too*. Score.

Rather than be missing the rundates and the barre dates and the barre n9ne classes I won’t be teaching (or taking), I’ll focus on the classes I am taking in California, adjusting to the style of classes I may take, and experimenting with my very first outdoor run near my hotel (it’s always been uber dark in the morning when I’ve traveled there the last handful of times, but no more!), and a long-awaited dinner date with this awesome chick.

Rather than stressing about each and every meal and disliking that I am eating out more than I’d like, I’ll embrace the new places I plan to try, and request a mini-fridge in my hotel room and stock up on a few things at Trader Joe’s. And I’ll make every effort to make the best damn mock oatmeal bowl of goodness that I possibly can. Perhaps the best ‘mock’ bowl ever (next to homemade!).  Shifting my focus on adjusting to my environment, rather than wishing I was elsewhere.

Rather than missing M like whoa…well, I guess this one just won’t change, because let’s face it, I know I will miss him like whoa, but the goodbyes are the worst part and the welcome back hug and kiss are by far the best part, right up there with getting into bed, snuggling close, placing my face into the crook of his neck, where it fits just ever so perfectly, and falling to sleep smiling, happy to be home, but also happy to have focused on the here and now, not the there and future. 

 

My 6-month run challenge: weeks 14 and 15: putting the fuel back in.

I am in a bit of catch-up mode on writing about my run challenge, and part of the reason for that is that I just haven’t had much to say, because things have felt a little ho-hum for me, a little bit of a struggle intermixed with being uber focused on barre n9ne training and getting myself completely ready for my first class (thank you all so much for your comments and support, each and every one of those made me smile to read!!). So I shifted my run challenge into maintenance mode…I got all 4 runs in each week, but did not do my longer run.

And intervals. Oh, intervals. I kinda kept them at a ‘just good enough’ field goal pace. I didn’t push it too hard. Why? Because I plain ‘ole didn’t feel like it. And also because the one I’ve made for myself recently is more about ‘rolling hills’ and keeping my pace steadily faster but not balls-to-the-wall fast. But I’ve done that one the past three weeks. When sure, I could have gone to one of my more puketastic variations (that I’ve been borrowing from some of you fabulous runner friends too!), but I didn’t. Because I didn’t wanna and because training for barre n9ne has been tiring. Mentally. Physically. All of it.

But then I read a post from Tina (again with a great post at the right time!) and now that I’ve gotten through my first class (next one on tap: Sunday! woohoo!), and I feel less anxious about it and more excited, I am ready to put the fuel back into this challenge and push myself…because I know I can do it, and not shy away from it so much. Because I’ve taken it a little easier the last few weeks (completely warranted IMHO), but it’s so easy to then just slide into routine/maintenance mode, too. And to think you ‘can’t’ or have gone as far as you are gonna go.

But already, this week, while 2 of my 3 runs haven’t been the most enjoyable, they were outside. And outside is where I need to be. Because it’s harder. Because there are more elements to battle (hello freaking wind from hell today!), and because the weather...is starting to get warmer! 63 degrees already today, people! This is incredible!!! And because daylight savings time is right around the corner. (wheeee!).

So, with all that preamble aside? I am ready to get back to it. To hit month FOUR with a vengengence. To run more outside. To get back to my long run (once I can run outside for these runs consistently, I’ll add on to the 7 miles I’ve been hovering at). And yes, to get back to some puketastic intervals. Anyone have any suggestions on goodies for me to try? I have a few tucked away, but am always looking for more. I know you got ‘em, share ‘em, will ya? ;-)

**asslap to everyone adding some sweat to their lives, no matter what form it comes in…yoga, running, walking, swimming, kickboxing, barre, you name it, it counts ;-) **