Thursday, November 29, 2012

How do you find the time?

Today's post is one looking for answers.

I work a lot -- maybe too much. Monday through Thursday I typically work from 6am - 8pm with time before and after to get ready for the day and drive to and from work. By the time I get home around 9pm, I'm exhausted and I'm already getting up at 4:30am to get to work.

I try to make it to the treadmill for at least a mile everyday, but that's not always possible. I'm trying to get back into a training groove because I really do LOVE running races, but lately I feel like my training has been slacking.

What strategies do you have to just get it done on long days? I know my problem is more mental than anything else because I have opportunities. I've found running groups that run later in the evening, but I can't seem to get myself to go there rather than home. Do you feel a mile a day on the treadmill is decent enough when life just gets in the way? I can absolutely get longer runs in Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but feel like I'm not consistent enough and I don't want to fall into the "weekend warrior" group. I would love to hear what you have to say about this dilemma because I know I'm not the first busy woman to face this challenge.

Until next time...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Why exactly I am addicted to fitness (most of the time)...

So I decided I should take a moment and elaborate on why I exercise and try to eat right.

As is the story with many of us that write about fitness and our journeys, I always struggled with my weight even though I played Varsity Field Hockey and Lacrosse throughout high school. College food didn't help the waist ling one bit and by the time I was 23 years old, I was unhappy and fat. I was over 220 pounds, but to be honest I'm not exactly sure what my highest weight was. It doesn't matter what it was, all I know is that I was way too heavy for my 5'4" frame (and that height is on a good day) and I was embarrassed every time I needed to go clothes shopping or do any type of physical activity.

In an attempt to escape, I decided not to get a typical engineering job upon graduating form Georgia Tech (go Yellow Jackets!) and joined the Peace Corps. Long story short, I lost about 60 pounds while in East Africa due to a change in diet and regular exercise just to get through a day in a developing country. I didn't diet, I didn't exercise excessively, and the weight came off.

I returned to the states happy and proud to be who I was. People were shocked when they saw me because many of them hadn't seen me in over two years. I enjoyed food and started falling back into my old ways. It was during that time that I realized the effect of the American lifestyle on our bodies and health. I gained 20 pounds back during the first two months back in the US. That's when something snapped and I decided I needed to change, and I needed to do it quickly.

I joined a gym and my first day there I ran a mile and a half. I went back the next day and tried to do it a little bit faster. I was determined to not get fat again. This continued for months when I decided to train for my first half marathon. I skipped the 5Ks and the 10Ks and dove head first into the half marathon. I finished with my PR (which I still haven't been able to break) of 2:19:something and an irritated IT Band.

My IT band sidelined my running for a while so I started Crossfitting, still terrified of getting fat, again. Over the past 3 years back in the US, my weight has fluctuated within 15 pounds of what it is. I still run, which I am learning to love all over again, but currently don't Crossfit due to scheduling issues (working 3 jobs makes it hard to get in classes). I justify the juggling of activities as a way to not be bored and that in the long run they all meet my goals. My goals of being healthy and recognizing how far I've come.

I do all of this for me. Not to impress anyone else. Not to get into a certain pair of jeans. Not to be considered sexy or hot by anyone else's standards, but to know deep down inside that I am living the best life I can be for myself. I am happy when I look in the mirror everyday now, even if I'm up 5 pounds. I love knowing that I can throw on a pair of sneakers and get out the door whenever I want to and not have to worry about not making it home. I love being an inspiration to my friends and family who struggle everyday with self-esteem and weight issues (which may or may not led themselves to one another). I love when people ask me what I've done and how I've kept it off. But I'm just an average woman working hard to keep herself sane. Helping others is just the icing on the cake.

I do this for me...why do you do it?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey Week Recap

So...maybe it wasn't the best of ideas to commit to holding myself accountable right around thanksgiving. I mean seriously, who does that.. Well I did. So I'm going to have to fess up with what I did (or didn't) do this week fitness wise.

To begin with: I'm participating in the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge AND the Runner's World Winter Running Streak in hopes that maybe I'll stick with it through New Years. For the most party I'm doing okay, however I still don't know how some people are getting so many points on the #HBBC. Oh well. This week also saw me signing up on Daily Mile as a way to compile all my various run tracking devices in nicely displayed graphs. In addition, I am doing a virtual half marathon and want to start getting out for 5am runs with a local group of women from Black Girls Run!

So here is my week, as pitiful as it was:

Sunday (11/18): 
I didn't run, but I was on my feet all day. My family makes just over 1,000 raviolis by hand for the holiday season and this year it was this past Sunday. It was a long day of cooking, making raviolis, and spending quality time with family. I wouldn't say that it was a wasted day at all. Maybe I'll just call it a rest day!

Monday (11/19): 
Today I knew I had to get out there and do something so I walked around during work and banged out a mile. Only one, and not as good as running, but any movement is better than nothing and I told myself I had to do something. And something is always better than nothing.

Tuesday (11/20): 
I had a little bit of time between job #1 and job #2 of the day so I went ahead and ran a mile. Only 1, and it was on the treadmill, but again I am working on getting out and doing something almost every day.

Wednesday (11/21): 
This turned into a rest day. Not because I didn't have the time, but because I was exhausted from shopping for Thanksgiving and knew I had a long week still ahead of me. I relaxed for the afternoon, but did dance for a while when I went out with family and friends that evening. Score for creative movement!

Thursday (11/22):
I snuck in a quick treadmill run again. Only to justify the food fest that was going to happen later on in the afternoon. I also made sure I walked around as much as possible.

Friday (11/23): 
Again, just 1 mile...something is becoming habit forming, when it really shouldn't be. Oh well... I guess 1 mile is better than nothing. I did spend the whole day cooking and cleaning for family day #4 of the week...this time at my place.

Saturday (11/24): 
Saturday was a good day to relax. My boyfriend and I ran errands and just got stuff done. Another Rest Day!

Sunday (11/25): 
Today was the most exciting day of the running week! The bf and I did our first interval workout for his training for the Walt Disney World half marathon and it was fantastic.  We ran 3 minutes and rested for 1 minute. The intervals were a bit slow for me, but this training is more for him than me. He pushed his heart out for an hour and completed 4.76 miles. I am super proud of him and got in a half way decent run. Here's to hoping he continues his progress since I feel like he's behind schedule for his training. Then again, I probably am too.. But that race is completely for fun.

Total Running Mileage for the week: 7.76 miles. Not bad, definitely not great. Here's to hoping it gets better!

Until next time...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why a blog? Why now?

So where do I start? Who am I and why did I decide to try to update a blog every now and again? And what in the world am I going to talk about?

I'm an almost-30 year old woman who has fallen in love with fitness despite one crazy schedule (is 3 jobs enough?). I love to run and I love to crossfit. I try to eat well and keep the weight off, but lets face it...I LOVE food! So when at all possible, I try to cook clean and paleo to keep the fat off. I have a friend who has an amazing blog and I'm mildly jealous of her musings and I thought, why not give it a shot. I kept a decent blog alive while I was living in Africa (did I say that I love to travel?) and figured why not give it a shot again! I will use any excuse to travel, but lately my excuses have been fitness and running related.

I've start diet and fitness plans throughout my life more times than I care to count. I, however, love to work out and love how I feel when I've exerted that energy after a long day at school. I want to use this space to keep myself accountable and document my my hopes, frustrations, and joys of continuing down this road of health and fitness in a crazy world!

Hopefully you'll come along for the journey!