[Destination]: 2013

So, I would say we are officially in the Christmas season.  And, I must say, I am loving it!  We have our house mostly decorated, I have Christmas music playing constantly on Pandora, and we will probably burn out the lights on the Christmas tree by December 1st.  We even had our first snowfall of the season yesterday.  Oh what fun it is!

With this time of year usually comes a bout of depression for me, for whatever reason (I have yet to figure out why), and I can proudly announce that it has already come and gone – hopefully for good this season!  So what am I to do with my new attitude and happiness?  Prepare for 2013 of course!  I have a couple of things to do on my fitness bucket list, things that I feel I need to start working on now in order to be ready for them come next year.  

One of those things is to PR in the sprint distance triathlon.  Last year I completed two.  I’d also like to complete an Olympic distance tri, but I have to see how the racing budget looks in order to make that one happen.  The first step toward accomplishing this goal was to get my butt back in the pool.  I figured out that I have not been swimming since my last triathlon last year…in July! At least I can say it felt good to be back in the pool.  And I’m not one to say that because I am NOT a strong swimmer.  But that is one spot I can seriously improve on, so it was back in the water this morning to start building a base.

It wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t anything fantastic, but it wasn’t bad.  I might actually start liking it, but that’s going to take some time.  I did a few drills, some laps, and then decided I was done.  It was probably about a 40 minute swim all tolled.  Much better than when I started swimming last year considering I didn’t have to stop after one lap, and I knew the difference between a length of the pool and a full lap.  (Yes, I made that mistake last year of counting “laps” by lengths of the pool.  Man, I thought I was the bomb!)

I’m hoping to keep improving in the swim section, and maybe I’ll even be good someday.  Tomorrow, I’m hopping on my bike trainer since there’s still snow on the ground.  Tonight, I’m doing some cross-training.  I’m excited to say that I’m having fun.  It’s exciting to start working toward a goal when you have a bunch of time before the actual training begins.  It’s also kind of neat to do things without feeling like I HAVE to.  I know I do have to just for maintaining fitness and losing weight…and feeling good about myself…but sometimes you just don’t WANT to.  I do. I do want to because I enjoy it.  That is a huge reason that needs to be in everyone’s “Why I Exercise” list.  I really love the challenge of bettering myself, of beating my last PR, and of striving to beat others in my field.  I know the last goal might never happen, but it’s something to work towards.

Who knows…maybe 2013 will be my rockstar year.  Or maybe it will just be another year to catapult me to the next level.  Either way, I’m excited to start thinking about those goals and working towards them.

Cheers!

[Destination]: Marathon

Yesterday, I completed my first marathon.  Ever.  It was the hardest thing I’ve done since childbirth.  It challenged not only my physical being but my mental and emotional will as well.  And, boy, was it a challenge!  It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.  And I’m proud to say that I did it.

I joined Weight Watchers (for the third time, mind you) about 2 weeks ago after constantly struggling with losing some of this last baby weight…that’s now two years old!  I’ve succeeded before on the program, so I wanted to get back to meetings and have the in-your-face support that I’ve gotten before.  This is where the “It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny” comes from.  It’s so true!  And this program is all about choices…perfect place for me to learn this.  This morning when I went to my weigh-in, I was excited to see another lb gone.  Not as much as I had hoped for considering my marathon feat yesterday, but excited nonetheless.  However, the meeting’s leader has not been too impressed with my performance over the past few weeks.  He feels that I should have had a big week the first week (traditionally this is the case with new/returning members).  I’m not denying that I “should have”…if I had followed the plan appropriately.  After I told him this morning that I lost a pound and that I ran a marathon yesterday, guess what his response was.  “If I had a run a marathon, I would, well, I’d be dead, but I would have lost more than one pound.”  This really struck a nerve with me.  I get that not everyone understands running or even running for such long distances as a marathon or many of the endurance events out there.  But, seriously?  You’re judging me NEGATIVELY based on a weight loss after such a hard effort?  Do you know what 5 HOURS of straight running (and a little bit of walking) will do to your body?  I was HUNGRY!  I had a light breakfast, no lunch, and nothing but energy gels and gummies all day.  I wanted to puke when I crossed that finish line.  What a buzz-kill this guy was.

I have been struggling with balance in my life lately.  I’ve been trying to figure out my goals, my purpose, and what I wanted to be doing at this point in my life.  I realized today that I can’t do it all at the same time.  My marathon training was intense and stressful for me over the past two months.  I put my body through a lot of crap lately, but my focus was on finishing that marathon.  That was the goal that needed to be in my head for the past few months (year, if I’m really honest).  So weight loss was completely secondary in my list of personal goals.  I haven’t been honest with myself, and it’s caused a lot more anxiety and tension in my life than there needs to be.  When you’re putting your body through the rigors of training for an endurance event, it’s hard to know how much to put back into your body as fuel – for a newbie like myself at least.  I’m doing this on my own.  There’s no one looking at what I’m eating and telling me that I’m fueling too much or too little.  It’s totally guesswork at this point.

So now that the marathon is checked off my list of “To-Dos” before my 30th birthday, it’s onto the next thing.  And now my Weight Watchers leader can get on my case.  Because now it’s time to focus on losing the weight for an even faster year next year.  I have had some amazing accomplishments this past year as my good friend Stacey pointed out to me yesterday.  I’ve PR’d in my 5k, 10k and Half-Marathon distances.  I completed an Adventure Race, and I’ve become a triathlete.  I’ve taken on the job of Mom 24/7 (which is an extremely difficult job and an incredibly tough change to make!).  And I’ve completed a MARATHON, darnit!  

This has all taught me to take one thing at a time.  I will deal with it as it comes and as I’m ready to deal with it.  Goals need your undivided attention.  You start thinking about all the other things you want to accomplish in life, and suddenly, it all starts breaking down in front of you.  You start breaking down and giving up.  One day at a time; one step at a time.  I’m ready…bring it on.