Sunday, April 27, 2014

I'm not a runner....and I'm okay with that...

In the past, I always thought of running as the ultimate in fitness. I have thought that to prove my fitness, I need to run more and more. I needed to build endurance and run longer and longer events. To me, if I couldn't run more each week, I was failing at building my fitness. Everyone seemed to be a runner. I subscribed to running blogs and read over and over about all the great things people were doing, thinking that I need to do them too. I knew I would never be fast but at least I would have endurance. I felt that the only way to prove my increased fitness was to continue running.

Recently, I am finally becoming convinced that I can't do everything and that I am probably at danger of over training again. I need to get a handle on things. I can't run, lift weights, and do all the other things I like. AND most importantly, I just really do not like running. I still have issues with my foot/ankle from last summer. Running aggravates it. So, I have decided that I am not longer going to attempt to be a runner.

There were a few reasons I chose to run. First, my friends were running. I will still be there to support my friends. I will be seen in the crowd holding signs. Second, I like to be outside running but I can be outside walking, hiking and doing other things. Third, I like events. I will still be doing my stair climbing events and walking events but I will likely not be doing another running event for some time. I can always volunteer at events as well.

While I still may incorporate some sprinting (well, running intervals) from time to time, training for running events will not be a part of my life. I will not say that I will never train again but right now I am accepting the fact I can't do everything. I am going to concentrate more on my strength training because I want to be stronger. I want to lift heavier weights. I want to do what I enjoy, which involves lifting. With strength training, I have gained an immense amount of confidence. I want to continue to work on that. I love kettlebell workouts and I want to work with them more once again. I want to work on my cleans, my kettlebell snatch, and some day perfect the Turkish getup. I also want to learn additional lifting movements. I want to learn more about how to improve the lifts I already know.

This does not mean that I won't be doing cardio. I will but it will not be the focus of my training regiment. I will train with my heart rate zone intervals but it may not be with running. I will be doing body weight workouts. I will be working on mobility and flexibility.

Today was my last "running" event for some time. I really did not run much but I felt good about it. I enjoyed my time with friends on the course. It was okay that we walked a lot. I no longer feel like I need to prove anything. I am not a runner...and I'm okay with that.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Brussels Sprouts and Massages

These two items may not seem to have a lot in common but to me, they are both signs of how much my life has changed. Somehow I have become a person that likes Brussels sprouts....and massages.

While there have always been some vegetables that I have liked, things like Brussels sprouts, asparagus, zucchini, snap peas, kale, chard, and several other things are relatively new to my lifestyle. It is still a bit strange when I actually crave things like Brussels sprouts or some other vegetable or when I actually prefer to have "zoodles" for dinner. I have totally overhauled my diet and, although I still struggle with a few things, I feel so much better eating whole and real food. There is very little processed foods in my diet.

Having gone through a few elimination diets, I have found a few things to which my body reacts negatively. Not satisfied that I had enough information, I just followed up with a food sensitivity test. I found out a few more things that could potentially be causing inflammation. I am now working on eliminating these things for a few months in order to see how I feel when I reintroduce the foods. One of the biggest items is all dairy products. I have kind of known that I should give up dairy but have not been able to do so. Now I am committed to doing this, even though I have not found a protein powder yet to replace my whey protein.

As far as massages, well, in case you didn't know, I am an introvert. I am not someone that feels at ease with strangers. I especially do not like being touched by people I don't know. I am not a huggy feely kind of person. A few years ago, I started to step out of that comfort zone. During a visit to a spa in Utah (a week where I stepped out of my comfort zone over and over again), I decided to get a massage. To me, a massage was something I never considered. I was not looking forward to it at all. In fact, I contemplated cancelling the appointment several times. Speaking with some other women at the spa (another step out of my comfort zone in that I was actually interacting with other guest of the spa, sitting at the community table at dinner, going on hikes), they convinced me to follow through with it. I did....and I loved it.

Since then, I have gotten a handful of massages. Last night I had my latest with a masseuse that I have been to twice before. I like her. She is learning a lot about my muscles and what pressure to use on my back. We talk about my training and how things are going with my workouts. I fill her in on the most recent pains and such. It's a new experience for me but, even though I hesitate and consider cancelling each appointment, I am following through and my body is happy about it. I find it much more relaxing than I ever thought I would. Of course, the financial aspect of massages does not allow for this to be any more than an occasional indulgence.

So, I am stepping outside of that comfort zone over and over again. My trainer continues to push me out of it. I have friends that push me out of it over and over. I find that I am putting myself out of that comfort area more often as the months pass. With each step outside it, I discover more about myself and realize that I am much stronger than I think I am.