Monday, February 23, 2015

Workouts: Week of February 16

Another strong week has come and gone, another week where I felt like I was doing the workouts that I was meant to do, rather than the ones that I felt like I had to do. I modified my week as I wanted to, so I could sleep or have lunch with coworkers or whatever, and that led me to feel like I accomplished a lot, which was much needed. At this point, I feel like each week that I move through is a success. I suppose that is where the key is. If I am having a successful week, I need to be pleased with myself for making everything work. I have to.

So, let us take a peek at my schedule from last week and see how everything played out.

Monday: Legs (home workout, including some plyometrics!)
Tuesday: 5.5 miles, speedwork
Wednesday: 5 miles, easy pace, arms
Thursday: off
Friday: Legs (at gym this time)
Saturday: 5.75 miles with three at tempo effort (7:30 pace)
Sunday: 7 miles, easy (treadmill) 8:30 pace

Totals: 23.25 miles run. 3 strength workouts

Another kick ass week in the books. I am not sure why I am suddenly back to lifting with a vengeance, but I am so glad that I decided to screw running for now, not worry so much about the SUPER long distances, I just have not been interested in them, so why should I spend so much time focusing on them?

Friday, February 20, 2015


I know that I never really set any goals for 2015. I typically LOVE to have an "end game" when it comes to goal setting, etc. Right now, I do not have one. Not even a little. No marathon. No competition. No weight gain or loss goals. No races. No books to read. I set zero 2015 resolutions or goals. Zero.

That is something that I am struggling with. I tend to have a very much singular focus when I get something in my head that is some sort of goal. Obviously, that is not a super healthy thing. I need to be a well rounded adult. And the way that I tend to react to things, it might be better for me if I do not have any super solid goals or plans for the year. It will hopefully help me to focus on myself and getting "well" and getting "balanced" which is obviously what I have had a ton of issues with over the last few years.

I know that my singular focus can interfere in most ways of my life. Certainly, it can be in the way of me having solid and healthy relationships whether it is with friends or anything else.

I know that generally goals are a positive thing in life, but when they tend to completely overtake your life, that is when you have issues. And I am definitely one of those all or nothing type of people. I know that it is something that I need to really work on, so that is pretty much my ONLY resolution for 2015.

Do not set goals. Figure out what you want to do/enjoy and do it. Have fun. Work out for fun and leanness, but don't obsess about it. Enjoy.

So here is the ACTUAL planless plan.

  1. read books. for fun. not a certain number, but when you want to.
  2. run races. any distance. any times. have FUN with it.
  3. lift weights. I love lifting weights. so do it.
  4. don't freak out over a missed workout. it is ONE workout.
  5. play with addie. she will be 3 before i know it.
  6. be honest when i want to do things or NOT do things. be upfront about my feelings.
So there you have it. 6 goals that have no parameters around them.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A grown up little girl!

So, Addie is older than 18 months. The child is more than a year and a half old. I have no idea where all of the time has gone and how she got to be so big, so quickly. It just seems crazy to me. I am definitely struggling with how quickly time has gone.

Here are just a few shots to give you an idea of how much this baby has turned into a little girl!

She is fantastic.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

working through stress

So what are your thoughts on following your dreams? I know that my dreams have significantly changed and updated over the years. I mean, for example...

  1. When I graduated from college it was all about career. I wanted to be a partner in a firm, and that was it. It was the only real goal I had.
  2. Time passed, and I decided that maybe a family was the way to go.
  3. I have the family now, and I need to spend some more time reaching out, figuring myself out and finding a balance in my life between the above things...
So it has been a long and winding road. It can be difficult to think about the fact that I have been through years and years of therapy, and that is necessary for me to really dig in and try to figure myself out. 
Using what I am learning in therapy through emotional brain training is really helping me to dig in and figure out where my stress wires are. I likely tend to lean toward the stress in my brain, rather than the potential joy (what is considered to be the highest brain state in this training). I know that I need to spend time working through my states a little bit better than I have been, and I need to pay more attention to myself and "check-in" more to make sure that I am staying on track.

Obviously, I am not a therapist, and if you need help with issues like I have needed, please seek out the help of a professional, but I definitely recommend looking into EBT, because it has done a lot for my mindset recently.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Some more relaxed racing

So even though running a marathon is not on my calendar for the current year, I am still running. I am running a Spring half as my goal race, but I am also planning on running and racing for fun this year. I am not 100% on all of the races that I am going to do in the current year, but knowing that I am spending some more time focusing on getting strong, there are definitely going to be more shorter distance races this year. Those are more fun anyway (at least, that is how I feel at the moment. Ask me again in a few months).

Charlie thinks with all of the strength training that I have been doing, I should be able to get FAST for more 5K and 10K distance. I guess we will be testing that out this year.

So here is the race plan for the year, tentatively.

Heart Mini - 15K - Cincinnati, OH
Glass City Marathon - Half - Toledo, OH (goal race)
Little Kings Mile - 1 Mile - Cincinnati, OH
Flying Pig 5K (potentially with coworkers for their first race ever) - Cincinnati, OH
Flying Pig Marathon Relay (I will run leg 1)
Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back with team Bird Machine - Wasatch Back to Park City Utah
Bourbon Chase Relay - ending in Lexington KY

Obviously, most of this is subject to change, but I am looking forward to having FUN racing this year. I think if I spend more time enjoying it, the pressure will be off, and running will become what it was to me in the past. Something that I did because I loved it and it relaxed me. Not something that I was doing with certain time goals or qualifying standards to meet. I know that it can happen. After all, it happened as recently as thanksgiving this past year! Look at my face in this pic for proof!
So here is to FUN racing in 2015!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week of workouts, February 9

Another week has flown by, and so I have gotten through another week of workouts. This is the second week in a row where I did my training, but the focus was not on the running despite 4 days of runs and following my plan (well, as far as number of runs, miles, and speedwork. I mixed up the days a little bit). So let's look at how the week shook out, and see where I can maybe make improvements rolling into a new week.

Monday: Strength - leg day. Followed a workout laid out to me by an old coach. Definitely already feeling stronger, as I was not sore for days after this workout like I was following my first leg day, despite the fact that I increased some weights and really focused on squatting deep.
Tuesday: 5 miles of speedwork. Warm up, 6x400m @ 6:49 (supposed to be at 6:44, so I will try for that again another time), cooldown.
Wednesday: 3 miles easy, upper body
Thursday: off (took a rest day to go eat sushi for lunch with my coworkers. Then 2 of my faves and I stopped for ice cream on the way back. It was a well-enjoyed rest day)
Friday: strength - leg day again!
Saturday: 6 mile long run
Sunday: 3 miles, easy, and upper body strength

Another solid week of workouts are under my belt. Another 4 runs, another 4 days of strength training. I am very pleased that I was able to get through workouts again for another week. Adding strength training to the mix is absolutely making me feel good and strong. I need that feeling, so I am really happy to be able to be able to make the time to make it work. It is the only thing that is really helping me continue to be inspired to keep working out. I was so burnt out on running that it was making all workouts difficult. And now I am feeling like I am getting back to it. Phew.

How were your workouts this week?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Seeking balance, one day at a time.

In addition to making some changes to my workouts that were much needed, I am trying to make more changes in my daily life, that will hopefully lead to higher productivity and additional things accomplished. I am spending time before I leave for work in the evening trying to plan out what I need to get done the following day, that way I have a good starting point right off the bat. Hopefully, that will help me nail workouts, get blogs written, do other writing, get my daily work done, and maybe, hopefully, with a little smattering of luck, spend some time with my family too.

Of course, this is a daily struggle for me. Finding time to do everything that needs to be done is not easy, and this blog is a fantastic example of it. After all, I wrote that first paragraph about making time on Tuesday morning. Tuesday! It is Saturday now, and I am still attempting to get it written. And I think that Saturday morning may be just the ticket. Maybe this is the day that I should get up early, make coffee and spend a few hours writing a week's worth of posts to try and be more "updated". It is worth a try (today it did not happen - I slept in until nearly 8 am and it was worth every second of not being productive!)

But since I have coined 2015 as the year of finding balance, sleep will be important too, right? And when I am up half the night coughing up a lung, despite various OTC medicines, sleep is going to be necessary to make sure that I feel better faster and am able to continue on in the year of balance. Not to mention, be productive at work, which is unceasingly important.

So yes, before I leave work in the evening, I have been trying to create my list of to-dos for the next day. That at least gives me a plan of attack for when I come into the office in the morning. Granted, with the way that this week went, it was not necessarily the winner of ways to go about it. Things change so quickly there and priorities just shift dramatically. But at least if there is a moment of downtime in the nonstop that is my job currently, I know what I can be working on. Because I have to get everything done at some point in time,

I am considering taking today and tomorrow and trying to compile an all-encompassing month of February list, in hopes that I will be able to hammer through all of it and have a successful month despite the craziness. I know I have some travel coming up for work, maybe a trip with my mom and Addie, and hopefully some vacations in the summertime! So for now, I just need to get through everything and make it work from now until it is done (or until the next things comes, which at the rate things are going, will be what happens first!)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Workouts: Week of February 2

So last week's workouts varied a lot from the workouts that I had been doing for a long time. I am grateful for the self-realization that I did not have to push myself to do something that I truly did not want to do. It seems so simple, but I truly was struggling with this for weeks. Pretty much since Columbus, I have been struggling with this concept. So whatever happened last week that made me step back and re-evaluate, I am thankful for. I am happy that I was able to shake off my self-doubt and focus on the things that I wanted to do.

So let's look at last week's workouts and see how we feel about them.

Monday: Leg day (!!!) Already posted about this one yesterday.
Tuesday: 5 miles, easy. Upper body and core strength
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 5 miles, progressive
Friday: Leg day #2
Saturday: 6 miles, 8:13 average pace
Sunday: 3.25 miles, upper body strength

Totals for the week: 24.25 miles, 4 strength workouts
Total number of days when legs could barely move but I ran anyway: 2

So yeah, I definitely had a few days of struggle fest with the legs, but I am sure that is because I pushed them incredibly hard, much harder than they had been pushed previously. At least for a long time. I am definitely feeling pretty good trying to get back at it with the heavy weights. I am hoping that now my legs are getting back into the swing of things and will be ready for something heavier this week. That would be fantastic!

I think this week I am going to start tracking what I lift, a little more like old times, and see where I start to shake out strength-wise. I think it will be a good week (at least I hope so!)

Routine Changes

As I mentioned in my previous entry, I am really trying to focus more on ME, and things that I want to do rather than on the things that I feel like I have to do. And please, remember, this is not me shirking off any responsibilities, the things that I am skipping are more like training for a marathon. As a runner who is no where nearly professional, I definitely do not have to run a marathon. Why would I pressure myself so much if I am not enjoying it?

Charlie and I were discussing it via our company's internal instant messaging service last week. I told him about my decision to drop to the half in Toledo (I think he was pretty much expecting it, knowing how my motivation to run has been lacking). And we started chatting about the things that I was going to do. I want to focus on things that I enjoy. I want to enjoy what I am doing because I workout because I like it and it makes me feel good about myself. Not because I have to.

Obviously, working out is good for you, etc, but that is truly not the reason that I do it. I really do love feeling strong. Feeling physically fit, etc. It makes me feel great to know what I am capable of in that manner, and so I was feeling unlike myself when training for the marathon and not really wanting to be active at all.

Last week, I lifted 4 times. 4. That is more than I have done in months and months. Heck, maybe years. I am so pleased with how I felt after, and how my body reacted to that much weight on its shoulders in such a long time. Last Monday I lifted legs. I have done a lot of squats, etc, over the last two years, but maybe only one day (or a very few more) where I stood in the squat rack with a weighted bar on my shoulders. I am so grateful for the realization that I was pushing myself to do something that I was not feeling particularly passionate about. I know the desire to run a marathon will come back, and when it does, I will do that. But right now, it is not high on my list. With limited time to do anything, why would I spend a TON of time every week doing something that I do not really love? (And yes, I openly accept that things that I love change with the seasons.)

So my first leg day? Here was the workout:
My weights may not have been quite as high as they once were, but it really felt good to push myself in this way. The full strength will come back. I know that. For now, I want to work on building more consistency. The other thing that will improve is the soreness. I hurt for days after this workout (PS, don't leave squats for the end. That'll kill ya!) but when I did legs again on Friday I felt MUCH better, much stronger, and much more ready to take on a run than I did after the first workout.

I have high hopes to keep it up again this week.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Making important decisions

So, as I have been pretty transparent about over the last several weeks, it has been a bit of a struggle for me to get out there, run, log the miles that I need and want to log to be successful in Toledo running the Glass City and nailing that BQ time. I mean, yes, it would only be my second attempt, so it is not as if I can call it elusive, and yes, I likely would have come close, but my heart is just not in it.

So yesterday, I officially dropped to the half. I think I can run under a 1:45, and potentially (based on recent race times) come close to a 1:40. But I am setting the goal at 1:45. I am really going to attempt to favor fun over really serious goals, as it has been too long since I have really had fun.

All of this kind of falls into place with the strides I have been making in therapy. Focus on myself is not something I have ever done. While it may seem partially selfish, I know that in the long run, being happier myself is something that is going to truly be beneficial, especially to Addie, in the long run. But right now, it is a little painful, as I am second guessing just about every decision that I am making.

So despite the fact that I am a little disappointed in myself for not manning up and getting the BQ, it was not fun for me. I was not enjoying running. In fact, I was dreading the thought of easy paced 4-5 mile runs, simply because they were something that I "had" to do. Since I mentally made the decision to step back, not put pressure on myself to do something that I truly was not feeling like doing, I have started to feel better, happier, about not only logging miles, but about working out in general. Three times over the past week, I went to the gym and I lifted. I lifted HEAVY weights like I used to, and it felt great.

Although this last 6 months when I have been seeing Amy weekly (well, most weeks) have been really tough. Therapy has not been easy for me this go round, but I also know that I am making more progress than I ever have previously. There have been insights that I have reached on my own, some that Amy has helped me with, and I feel like we are continuing to move forward constantly. I struggle, I cry, I wonder why I am tearing my insides up, and then... there is a little bit of peace. That peace is what makes me keep going and keep trying to make changes in my life.

But I am going to keep going. I am going to keep working and trying to figure out my life. Thank goodness I have love and support.