Unless, of course, you break your heel. But that’s irrelevant now.
Yesterday, I succumb to the desire to nap (in my car, classy) before my work out. Eleven minutes later, I spent an outrageous amount of time trying to justify to myself all the reasons why I really shouldn’t go inside the gym. After all, I had worked out Wednesday AND Thursday and since I was alternating my running days that meant FRIDAY I was supposed to RUN again. God forbid I do too much too fast. So, I decided to kill some time (still in my car, in the parking lot OF MY GYM) by going on Pinterest. I saw this quote from this Tumblr person/thing (I don’t know how Tumblr works) and it was a picture of Snooki doing crunches with the caption “If she can do it, I can.” That got my ass out of the car. Turns out that was a great decision, because here’s what I accomplished!
45 min on stairs (3 15 min sessions still with the ten second water breaks between)
Ran 2 miles (steadily increasing my speed, from 5mph and capping out at 5.7mph!)
And here’s the finale: I “lifted weights”! (AKA, I didn’t just leave after my run)
25 lady push ups (the hardest part of my work out)
25 side bendy things (where you stand and have a weight in one hand and then you just tip over working the love handle area. (Can you tell I’m really into lifting?)) on each side
100 leg press things on a machine at like 90 lbs ( I didn’t keep track of the weight)
100 crunches on that one machine where you grab those handles that are on either side of your head and you have to theoretically use all your abdominals to pull your whole body into the crunch.
What I learned was that I need a way of tracking (and appropriately naming) my weight lifting work outs. I literally wandered around like a lost child until I found something that looked appealing. I favor doing leg and ab work outs because that comes more easily to me than those God awful push ups (or any thing that works my non-existent arm muscles).
However, on a brighter note, I did also lift the day before (lower back thingies and some outer thigh thingies also.) Overall, I know I’m making progress and it feels really good to be sore again. It’s kind of amazing how two 15 minute weight lighting sessions, as ill-planned as they were, can change your opinion of yourself. I already feel like I am better prepared for my runs because I’m so instantaneously stronger.
I became a ‘runner’ in high school when my best friends at the time all decided they wanted to do cross country. Prior to this endeavor, I don’t think I’d done one physically active thing aside from climb a tree …ever… I wasn’t in shape, or healthy, or anything. I was 15 and thought my friends were INSANE for volunteering to run ANYWHERE. But, since I had nothing better to do aside from eat pizza (I worked at Dominos) I decided to join. The coach was AMAZING and the first day I ran 3 miles. I was flabbergasted, and hooked. It was as if this entirely new side of me was awakened and I finished the season (though I was last pretty much always) and joined a gym. Ever since then, I’ve worked out. I’ve fallen into ruts here and there where I’ve lost my momentum, but overall I’d consider myself a gym-goer. I was in the best shape of my life the spring prior to graduating college where I was literally on top of the world. I was embarking on the adult life I’d planned for and envisioned my entire life and better yet, I was at my lowest weight ever (EVER). I had attained success in everything I’d set my sights on… and then the rose colored glasses came off.
I hated my job. I worked as a manager at Target, and while it was one of the best experiences of my life, it wasn’t what I had envisioned for myself. I stayed consistent in my gym routine until the Holidays (go figure) where work had to consume my life because that’s what retail does to you! I had gone to school for a very specific industry (supply chain) and learned all these tools through my forecasting economics degree and I felt like I was not living up to my potential. That outlook took all the motivation to work out away (which you’d think it’d motivate me more..) and I focused all my energy to finding a new job.
That’s when I got hired at Dynacraft! I absolutely LOVE my job, and I have from day one. THIS is what I was supposed to do, this is what I was made to do. Ironically, it’s exactly the same month that I started my marathon training! It’s so interesting how when I’m happy, I work out, when I’m stressed, I shut out the one thing that could probably save my sanity. Though, I was only running, I wasn’t lifting or anything so my work outs still weren’t as great as they could have been.
Then, the broken heel happened and that nose dived all my confidence and will power. I still went to the gym, but my heart wasn’t in it. I’ve been an infrequent gym goer ever since (until last Wednesday).
The saying “20-20 hindsight” is true. I have clearly gone through many cycles of motivation before and I’m better prepared to deal this transition now. I want to run a marathon badly, I feel like it’s proving something to myself that I can’t quite articulate yet. But, if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right.
Here’s the commitment I have made to myself:
1. TAKE MY VITAMINS EVERY DAY! Iron, Calcium, and a women’s daily vitamin. Strong bones are so important.
2. Stretch. I run myself so down with my cardio, going for literally no less than 70 minutes each work out, and if I convince myself to lift, by the end of that stint I’m just tired and incredibly unattractive and just want to go home. I need to stretch after EACH work out. It’ll prevent injuries and I can’t afford an injury!
3. Be active 6 days a week. Go to the gym for 5, and then DO SOMETHING on the sixth day. I tend to just veg out on my weekends because my weeks are so tense. Work is insane and I need to be focused on getting that stress out at the gym. I’d like to make hiking regular. The great Pacific NW is the perfect landscape to go for an adventure and I’m totally underutilizing it. I also love hot yoga, but goodness gracious it is expensive!
4. Get enough sleep! It seems like I force myself to function on less than 6 hours of sleep. That’s just not healthy! Thus my need to NAP before my work outs. I know getting 8 hours of sleep would mean higher productivity at work and better work outs.
5. Recommit myself to veganism. It’s not that I’m not committed, but when I first decided to be vegan I was so passionate and excited. I felt so good about this decision (still do) and I had so much fun planning my meals. Now that life is so hectic and ‘go-go-go’ I am constantly grappling for easy, quick, unhealthy vegan meals. IE: I eat a lot of bread. Carbs carbs carbs. I need to plan my meals. When I do get the chance to eat something deliciously balanced and healthy at work, I feel so much better for the rest of the day. When I throw something in a bag or have to go out for food, I feel heavy the rest of the day. Food fuels your body, mind, and spirit. I need to commit myself to being a healthy vegan, not just a vegan!
6. Leave work by 5 every day. I get to work at 6:30 and normally eat through my lunch and lately, I’ve been staying past 5. When I finally do leave, I’m exhausted and it’s hard for me to muster anything but a desire to sit down in a quiet room with my cat. I’m clearly passionate about my job and I feel that if I’m going to lay a great foundation for my career, the time is now. I don’t have a husband, or children, or really any other obligation holding me back. I want to get everything in now. My masters, my Six Sigma certification, getting APICS trained… when is there a better time?? I hear all the time my co-workers talking about how things change when you get married or have children (as they should!!) and since I’m not even 25, now is MY time! However, I can’t just live at my desk. Productivity and success are fueled by more than long hours at the job. Having a work life balance is something that is essential for your long term health and productivity. This is something I learned while at Target. Working almost 12 hour days is ridiculous. Even I know that. I don’t want to burn myself out on the career I love so deeply.
7. Make trips to see my best friends more. I am blessed with the most magical friends one can imagine. They are the most fulfilling human beings to hang around. I feel rejuvenated whenever I get to see them. However, almost all of them live more than an hour away. I need to be better at making an effort to see them. Their schedules are much harder to manage than mine and if I just plan better I could make trips to see them. This is another happy soul life balance thing that will have a positive ripple affect on my life and training.
To bring it all full circle, when I had finally gotten out of my car yesterday and I was reluctantly entering the gym, a woman my age was walking out in a shirt that said “EVERY DAMN DAY. JUST DO IT.” It made me smile. Hello, new motto!