Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Run, Baby, Run

I am sick at home and feeling sorry for myself, which is probably NOT the best time to blog, but I have time and my computer so. . .

I am suffering from a case of half marathon blues.  Sadly, it is not because I ran the half marathon, which was my BHAG - big hairy audacious goal - but because I didn't.  Remember my bold announcement back in May?  Here is the link if you missed it:  Sticks and stones

Fresh off the glow of my 10k, the half seemed possible, easily within reach, actually.  It actually turned out to be the start of a B-I-G slide into injuries, poor eating and a ginormous pity party.  I hate when that happens.

Figuring out the long term strategies for staying with my workouts, runs and healthy eating is proving to be a rather large challenge.  Not insurmountable, but hard work.  Harder than I anticipated, perhaps that is why I have never gotten this far before.  Typically I give up after about 2 months - the longest was about 4 months, and God help me if I ever encounter any roadblocks - that is for sure a sign from the universe to give it all up.  As mentioned in previous posts - I am shockingly lazy at times, and always up for a good excuse. It's a talent I have.

I am nine months in and I still haven't given up.  That is a good thing.  I am finding ways to regroup, and pull myself out of the hole and keep going.  Apparently I AM learning how to do this, because that wouldn't have happened before.  I would have simply given up and ate myself up another 10 pounds.  Another good thing. ( I am starting to sound sound like Martha Stewart - but my good things are actually important!)

Sunday I ran (I use the term loosely - mostly a very S-L-O-W walk run thing that looks ridiculous but I actually don't give a crap) the 8km race instead of doing the half marathon.  I even got a medal:

I am proud of myself for doing the 8km - after all 8km is nothing to sneeze at and even though I was almost the last person in my age category, I still finished it.  I didn't just throw in the towel when I couldn't do the half.  And I am still working out with the amazing folks at BDHQ - I am getting stronger and healthier each day. 

This is the real transformation - not necessarily the one I was thinking about when I started this journey ( that was more like "I am going to look like Jillian Michaels - perhaps just a tad optimistic!).  I am so much more resilient, and able to bounce back, refocus and keep going.  Pretty good life skill, even if I have waited til I was 45  ( soon to be 46) to get it.

Yay me - those half marathon blues are not quite so blue, and I am rebuilding my confidence in my ability to carry through and actually change my SELF, not just my weight.

Oh and by the way - I signed up for the Victoria Goddess Run Half Marathon in June 2013.  Sounds like the perfect half marathon for me! ;)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hell's Bells

So I have been feeling pretty unsuccessful lately - too much work, too much stress - too many not so fantastic choices.  I have been trying to get back on track, but basically spiraling into a grumpy "I suck" kinda space.  Not good.

Today I felt the beginning of a real turnaround - a "maybe I can actually sustain this for longer than I think moment" - all because of what I have privately ( ok, publicly!) referred to for the last 9 months as "Hell's Bell's" - aka kettlebells.

Don't know what I am talking about?  Let me enlighten you.  Kettlebells are a special kind of torture used by BDHQ ( and other) trainers to work your abs until they scream and your arms and shoulders til you can't lift them anymore.  (For more history than you probably want or need - check out  They look like something the circus strongman would use - oh wait - they used to -I know I have seen that on Bugs Bunny cartoons!
I started the year with the pink kettlebell - it weighs 8kg/18 pounds.  I found it really challenging - who knew swinging and clean pressing ( I know, it even SOUNDS hardcore) only 18 pounds would be so hard.  My arms hurt, I tired easily, and it was work.  But I really hated using the pink.  It just seemed so, well, girly, which is dumb and also sexist, but hey, just keepin it real!   I  wanted to use the blue (12kg/26lbs) kettlebell, like some of the other women I had seen at the gym, ones who looked a hell of lot more fit than me.  Surely I could swing 26 pounds - it couldn't be that hard, right?
Wrong.  It took me about 6 months to even summon up the courage to TRY the blue bell.  It really was a LOT more work.  And I couldn't do it consistently - the last set of reps always ended up with me picking up those damn pink bells.  I was disappointed in myself, but I couldn't seem to get past that milestone.  I made it my goal to use the blue bell consistently, all the time, for all sets, by the end of the year. I figured I had a slight chance of doing that, and at least it wouldn't too disappointing if I didn't succeed.
Today I hit the gym, still feeling discouraged with my progress, with my commitment ( and how it has been faltering), and saw that kettlebells were a big part of the circuit.  James ( of West Coast Kettlebell Club fame!) my amazing trainer had pink and blue and yellow bells out to use.
In a moment of "screw this, I am going to prove myself today" also known as insanity, i picked up not the pink, and not the blue, but the yellow kettlebell.  After all, I could always drop down to the lighter weight if necessary.
But I surprised myself. And probably James.  And I know Lovisa will fall over when she reads this.  I used the yellow kettlebell for the entire circuit - every swing, every lift, every row.  3 sets of 20 and 30 and 20.  Me!  16kg!  35lbs!  The yellow bell!  Success!  Unbelievable.
It is amazing how good success feels.  And an important reminder to me about why I started this journey in the beginning.  It was never about a certain weight, although seeing the numbers go down is great.  One of my big goals was to build strength and feel strong.  Today I do - actually today I feel like this guy:

Not quite as buff, but a better fashion sense and a much happier face!  Thanks to James for encouraging me to feel and be strong, and for cheering me on and taking a pic of the event! 
I am SO done with pink.