First Class of 2015

Thursday meant two things for me: 1. A day off. 2. Ballet is BACK! It was so great to get back to class after, what felt like months off. In reality I think it was actually just over two or three weeks. And man what a turnout we had! All of our usual class (there are five of us) plus FIVE MORE PEOPLE. Our class doubled in size over the break! I hope that at least some of them stay with us. I remember when we started last summer we were busting at the seams, but then it went down to four, then we gained one back in October or so.

Class was lovely. We started out back to the basic basic basics because several people were absolutely brand new to ballet or had not done it for years and years and years. I used the time to really hone my technique: pointing toes, pulling up, engaging core and quads, you know the drill. It made me realize that I let a lot of things slide when I do more complicated movements, and I even reached out to my teacher to enquire about additional lessons to focus on technique. I’m serious guys. Srsly.

A couple of girls and I in our class would love to do pointe work one day, and I know that using strong technique is very important, especially as an adult beginner. You need a strong foundation, even if you don’t progress to pointe, which is a distinct possibility for me.

I would like to try to do some progress points throughout the year. A little report card if you will. Just to show myself that I can improve, even if it is a small amount. I’ll be recording myself (after class or some kind of activity so that I’ll be the most warm) in picture form doing arabesque, pirouettes, and balances. I want to focus on form, extension, turnout and length of balances. I’m not a good turner. Some of the time I can maybe get one clean pirouette from either side. Forget about pique turns. But I am determined to improve my technique so that I can absolutely nail one perfect controlled turn most of the time. I think that’s fair. Oh! And I’m going to get my splits back. I used to be a gymnast as well, so it hurts my soul that I’ve gotten so out of shape that I lost my splits.

Do you look at specific points to note your changes? Do you measure progress or just feel things in passing?

I feel a little Type A by measuring things directly, but hey, you gotta do you.

xoxo

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Weeks Two and Three

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Super flattering selfie outside of tap class. Got my sugar and caffeine to make it through.

Alright. So there’s plenty of updates to be posted so let’s get to it.

Monday 12/8: Nada. Migraine = no soup for you.
Tuesday 12/9: Same.
Wednesday 12/10: Ballet, 1 hour.
Thursday 12/11: Ballet, about 30 minutes.
Friday 12/12: Barre, about 35 minutes. Can’t really count our ballet recital, because we only did the dance once (it’s like a 2 minute song) and I only marginally warmed up before hand.
Saturday 12/13 and Sunday 12/14: Nothin’. Fail.
Monday 12/15: Tap, 1 hour.
Tuesday 12/16: T25 Cardio, 25 minutes.
Wednesday 12/17: Yoga, 15 minutes.
Thursday 12/18: T25 Speed 1.0, 25 minutes.
Friday 12/19: Nope. I was sore and lazy.
Saturday 12/20: David Howard Ballet for Beginners DVD, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. I’m not really sure. You have to rewind most of the sections to do the other side and I also had to do it in two parts. Some of those sections are hard. The frappé, I’m not great at anyway, and I smashed my left big toe straight into the ground. The glissade and assemblé section, very fast. And I’ve already discussed how my body was not made for petit allegro. Give me adagio and grand allegro any day kgreatthanks.

So like I said before I probably won’t hit 40, but I’m super pumped about how much I’ve actually done. And this will be a good way to stay in dancing shape until we get back to class.

Later taters!

xoxo

Week One in the Books

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Hooray!

Here’s a day by day breakdown of how this fitness went down.

Monday: Tap class, 1 hour
Tuesday: Yoga, 15 minutes
Wednesday: Yoga, 15 minutes
Thursday: Run, 2 miles; Ballet class, 1.5 hours
Friday: General dancing and carrying on at our unit Christmas party
Saturday: Nadda. I didn’t plan so it didn’t happen.
Sunday: Yoga, 15 minutes

So that’s seven workouts so far. Not too shabby. Typically if I work I just settle for some pre-bed yoga and don’t stress out about it. I walk a lot at work anyway. Duh. It’s in the job description.

How is your December going? Keeping up with your goals?

xoxo

#[InsertYourGoalHere]Month

I’m an avid fan and follower of Bangs and a Bun, so when I read about her #80MileMonth I was intrigued. (She is also offering a virtual training buddy program to go along with it, FYI.) She makes every December an #80MileMonth so that she is accountable (by putting it online) and ready to jump start the new year ahead of time. You know, instead of waiting until January like everyone else. Kind of smart if you think about it.

So my version of that is going to be a #40WorkoutMonth. It’s not feasible for me to run every day before work. I know myself and even putting it on the blog and in the internet space will not make me wake up prior to 5am to run on subsequent days. Plus, I’m still struggling with 2 mile runs every other day, so getting 2.5 (at least) every day is just dumb at my current fitness level. So to make it work I am going to push myself to do some kind of fitness activity every single day and more than that on my days off. You’ll hear all about it on here, and I’ll probably complain about it on Twitter too.

Each activity has to be at least fifteen minutes, and in order to include two of them a day they either need to be totally different (i.e., running and yoga) or separated by a substantial amount of time (i.e., thirty minutes of yoga in the morning and thirty minutes in the evening). This way I won’t just do three different fifteen minute yoga classes to cheat. I promise, if there is a way to cheat the system, I will typically find it and exploit it.

I think this is a great idea. For me, making it a “workout” goal instead of just running helps me to meet my terms. But it still pushes me to get active and not just lay around all month. I have been running more recently, so I will be glad to incorporate that into my days off.

So you should probably join me. Make it whatever you need it to be to work for you. I want to succeed, and you should too!

xoxo

Seizing, But Not in a Seizure Kind of Way

So I’m talking with this friend, whom I always talk to about shit like this, and I realize that I’m cheating myself and taking this whole life experience for granted. Instead of embracing all the wonder and amazingness that I can grab, I flit around afraid of stupid shit and making excuses. Why? Why? I don’t know why, but I want to change it.

We’ve had our share of sad and tragic stories on the unit. Young people who are supposed to have their whole lives ahead of them are robbed of limbs, independence, or life itself. It’s terrible. But it can surely light a fire under your ass if you’re slacking or questioning, “what’s the point?”

What’s the point of running a mile every day?
To build up some fitness. To build up some endurance. To help me do the dancing that I love to do. To pump my blood and exercise my body. To help my body be able to carry itself easier and with purpose. To use the legs that I still have. To not take for granted the fact that I am here and I am alive. So that the next time you ask me, “how’s your 5280 going?” I don’t have to laugh and shake my head, admitting that I failed three days in.

So I’m going to do it. I’m going to seize the day, the opportunity, this experience, this life. And it’s going to be great. Who’s with me?

xoxo

Lazy, Lazy, Lazy

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Somehow this doesn't seem right...

There’s really no other way to describe my less than enthused attitude than laziness. On the days that I don’t work or don’t work a full twelve hours, I have adequate time to squeeze in some fitness. Do I do it? No. I don’t. I need some help. I have some kind of mental block. I will literally sit in the house for hours, deliberating on going out for a jog or doing some kind of at home workout. Hell, I could do some barre stretches or yoga, I love those things! But I don’t do them. All I need to do is get dressed and move but for some reason I never bring myself to do it. Yeah, sometimes it’s hard, but rarely do I regret working up a sweat. Not sure what my problem is.

In other news, ballet and tap are going well. Meghan has us trying for double pirouettes now. Haven’t been able to complete any but I think I did a couple 1.5ers. We are doing more complex barre combinations that have been good and bad. The ones I get I like, but the ones I struggle with I feel frustrated and want to do them over. There have also been a couple of across the floor combinations where I just stop, which is bad, because I can’t remember which way to turn or something silly, when it doesn’t matter and I should just turn. Actually, now that I think about it, I got pretty frustrated in tap and ballet this week. But I guess it’s a sign of improvement if I don’t chuck the whole class as a loss just because of some flubs, right?

So back to motivation. I was so inspired by the runners at the Iron Horse. I have been inspired by my coworkers, who exercise even on days where we work 12-13 hours. I am inspired by my dance classmates, by the dancer blogs that I follow, and the fitness bloggers that I follow. I want to do better in my classes, I want to feel more fit and healthy, I want to have better endurance and strength to provide for my patients. So why don’t I do anything about it? I’m not sure. I don’t know if I’m afraid that I will fail or afraid that I will succeed. Am I afraid that people will criticize? That they will laugh or talk behind my back? I don’t know. Those thoughts don’t enter my mind directly but I worry they are simmering in the background and influencing my choices. I know I shouldn’t give a single fuck about what other people think, but I can’t help but worry that these irrational and petty fears are what hold me back from myself.

How do you get or stay motivated? Have you ever had a serious mental block that held up your training or progress? Does fear show up in your periphery? Or are you just an all around badass and liver of life?

xoxo

Restriction

Wednesday's Workout

Wednesday’s Workout

I’m a few days into my challenge and I’m feeling great. I’m doing really well with getting active every day and making mindful choices about what I put into my body. I’ve had a few indulgences, sure, but I haven’t gorged to the point where I feel bad physically or mentally. I know that it has only been a few days but this has been a very good jumping off point for me. I can’t wait until my Shakeology comes (either Friday or next week, I’m guessing it will depend on this crazy weather we’ve been having) and my new program as well, so that I can really get busy.

I’m not going to share the program until I can show some results, which will really force me to adhere to the schedule and eating plan. I’m determined to make a change in my health, that will help me on the inside as well as the outside. Since I have shared that I’m restarting Shakeology (which I cancelled before based on budgetary concerns while I was still in school), you probably guessed that the program I am starting will be a Beachbody product as well, but that is where the clues end!!

One thing that I have found that does not work for me is restricting foods completely or changing to a “healthy” version of them. I’m not talking about organic things versus conventional, but fake foods that are just made from chemicals and additives. I would rather eat real food in a smaller amount and prepared in a more healthful way, than to fill my system with diet foods that taste like nothing. That is why I have such an issue with a lot of plans out there. I want an egg, I don’t want a bottle of egg white product. I want cheese, not a fake cheese spread. See what I’m getting at here? So while I am being careful of portions and how many grams of carbs/protein/fat I’m taking in, I’m not restricting myself to certain brands or weird food that I don’t like. How can I sustain a food plan if I don’t like the food in it? I like eating, and if I’m miserable doing it, I’ll just go back to what tastes good, even if it isn’t actually good for me.

I’ve also been doing great with my only spending money on essential items goal for the month. I love saving money! It helps that I have a lot of gift cards from Christmas that I can use instead of my income, to save a little bit. Now let’s just remember how great it feels to save money the next time I walk past a Finish Line… I’ve also been thinking about switching over to a cash system, or to only use a credit card (once I pay them off) and pay down the balance every month. All things that can be decided in time, but for now I’m just paying down my debts and cushioning my bank account a bit.

How is your January going? Are your resolutions still holding up?

xoxo

Undertraining the Day Away

My doormat, which signifies taking the first step out the door. Even though I go through the garage.

My doormat, which signifies taking the first step out the door. Even though I go through the garage.

I’m on track to post about once a month, so I better make this good, right? Mmmkay. I had a loosely sketched out, bare bones plan to get “ready” for this race on Sunday. The culmination of which should have been yesterday’s 10 mile run. That’s right. 10 miles just 7 days prior to the 13.1 mile race. Taper be dammed. Well don’t worry, it didn’t go down like that. Last weekend we painted all weekend, so needless to say I didn’t feel like making training a priority. So the furthest I’ve run is ~7 miles. Yup. 7 miles, give or take, as training prior to a half marathon. Foolish? Maybe. But it’s what I’ve got.

I also found the hole where Christopher Lloyd comes through to terrorize Dennis the Menace's town. True life.

I also found the hole where Christopher Lloyd comes through to terrorize Dennis the Menace’s town. True life.

When discussing this with some friends who have a few races under their belts, I didn’t feel so bad. “Life happens,” they said. Sometimes it’s injury. Sometimes it’s a new job. Sometimes it’s a family emergency. Either way, you aren’t as prepared as you wanted to be, but you’re still healthy enough to at least attempt your goal. Even if you won’t PR. But let’s be real, this is my first race ever, so it’s going to be a PR so long as I finish. Boom. The only thing standing in my way, other than rolling hills and a finnicky heel, is the 7 mile cut off. In order to finish the race in the designated area and along the planned course, you have to keep at least a 14 minute mile for the first 7 miles. I’m 95% sure that I can do that. All of my training that I’ve done since I found that out was to try to keep my miles under 14 minutes. Which is fine, as long as I don’t have to take any prolonged walk breaks. I’ve been averaging about 12-13 minute miles, but I’m not sweating it if I hang out around 13:45-13:55 because I only need 14. And that’s only in the first 7 miles! So I’m good right? I’m good. I’m slow, but I’m good.

Don't mind my headphone cord...

Don’t mind my headphone cord…

Skinny Runner said to take the first half of the race slower than you planned if you undertrained, just to suss yourself out and give yourself time to acclimate. So I was thinking I would aim for 13:00 instead of 12:00 for the first half, but my concern with that is that by the second half of the race I’ll be too tired to try for the 12:00. Eh. I don’t know. Either way I just want to finish. And finishing will give me a PR, so it’s a win win.

This guy has a new PR every week for hours slept during the day.

This guy has a new PR every week for hours slept during the day.

Let’s go back to the ~7 miles I ran today. They weren’t that great. I think because I went for a quick run yesterday, and I never run on consecutive days. But yesterday felt super awesome. I took off a little too fast and thought to myself, “man I better slow down because I can’t maintain this,” but then I thought about it for another couple of seconds and was all, “wait a second – yes I can! I can keep this up for a mile and then who cares? THIS WILL BE MY FASTEST MILE EVER!” and it was!! Hahah, and then I was gassed and had to walk for a bit. And then it started raining at my turn around so I jogged back home, tired and happy, accomplished and beat. It’s the little victories folks, and mine is a 10:47 mile.

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So that’s my running life for now. Maybe I’ll be able to update after the race – hopefully I’ll be alive! xoxo

Last Week of Freedom

Yes, I found this on a grief counseling website.

Yes, I found this on a grief counseling website.

Here it is folks, my last week of freedom before I start orientation for my new (and first) job as a registered nurse! I’ve done well so far getting my workouts in, but I haven’t made studying a priority and I need to incorporate more of that starting today. I am so nervous/scared/excited/terrified/relieved to finally be working again after a long time of not bringing home my part of the income. We have a big massive orientation Monday – Wednesday of next week and then we break into our nursing pods I guess to get more unit specific orientation. At least that’s what we’ve been told.

Continue reading

Hoorah for Cross Training

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I hear so many regular runners talk about how they need to incorporate more strength training. I understand the merits of it, especially on non-running days, and I definitely need more of something in my life. So that’s what I did today. I’ve decided that my running days are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and then I just try to do something else on the other days. So far it’s just been running aaaaaand nothing, hahaha. Continue reading

Week One Complete!

Remember those hot pink shoes I was telling you about??

Remember those hot pink shoes I was telling you about??

Yay!! My first week of training for Run the Bluegrass is complete! I know I don’t move as much as some of you (probably all of you) but I pulled down a solid 6.46 miles this week. Pretty great for not having legitimately run since October. I’ve been making sure to only run the mileage that’s laid out in my training plan (all whole numbers), any additional that you see is from walking back and cooling down. So far it’s gone really well and I’m very pleased with my progress. Continue reading

Back on the Bandwagon

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[This is me. Crushing today.]

This morning I wanted to do it. I wanted to get out there and start my New Year right. I wanted to go out for a jog and feel good about it. No, I wanted to dominate my jog, without stopping, and I wanted to feel like Superwoman. And you know what, I was pretty close! I did some dynamic warm ups in the house and then just set out for my jog. I needed to get two miles in for my training, but I told myself that it would be okay if I had to take some walk breaks, especially since its been about ten years since I ran more than one mile at a time. Continue reading

Holy Breathless Batman

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Evidence: dirty, gross hair

You guys. I did it. I worked out. And it was awkward. It’s like, we used to be friends, but we grew apart, and then we ran into each other at the mall and we did the weird ass-out hug and after the initial excitement died down we didn’t really have anything to talk about. So they went on to Hot Topic and I moved on to Finish Line to check out the kicks, maybe get a pretzel, and then tell Joel about it later. Continue reading