Thursday, October 13, 2011

“Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential.” ~ Liane Cardes

Spartan Shape-Up, Day 84:

Stealing an excellent quote for today:

"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing."

Let's take a minute on that, BlogLand ... Impossible is nothing. I believe that whole-heartedly. Why? Because today was the last workout of Week TWELVE of my Spartan Shape-Up. Twelve weeks. That my friends, is roughly 90 days. 90 whole days that I've I've worked out 6x a week, made myself do things I never thought I'd do, found whole new pieces of myself that I never knew could exist, and begun really changing my life. 90 days in, and it has gotten easier - I don't have to talk myself into working out; I actually look FORWARD to that time to challenge myself. I don't have to try and squeeze in the workouts, because I schedule them with myself and it's just how it happens now. 90 days -12 weeks - of "ripping myself off the couch" (...with a little help...), as Spartan Race would say, has been life changing.

After a whole quarter of a year of this crusade toward a better version of me, here's some things I've accomplished, for the record:

  • Arguably the most prominent accomplishment: I've gone from running maybe a minute at a time, to running a solid 4.15 miles (at a respectable just over 11 min/mile). 
  • I have developed one bad-ass set of squat muscles, allowing me to not get out of breath at 5-10 bodyweight squats, but to easily squat 5, 10 rep sets of 60#, in a Crossfit wod. 
  • I can do a push-up. They're still not pretty, and half of them are still on my knees, but I *can* actually do a full, clean push-up  AND a BURPEE (...of Death), for that matter. 
  • I am a third of the way (ish) to doing a pull up. I have mastered the 'negative' portion... now if I could just get it UP (... that's what he said? lol)
  • I transitioned from 12# db's for workouts, up to handling 24# db's. 
  • Less tangibly, I've stopped caring what other people think. Yes, I'm going running and going to get sweaty. Yes, my goal is to be able to run Spartan Races. Yes, I have a pet rock (who seems to have gotten dubbed "Grover". hmm.). YES, I am doing something you don't understand. 
  • I've begun to accept myself as a budding athlete. (For anyone who's spent any time carrying a significant amount of extra weight, you understand how difficult "seeing" the new you can be. )
  • Perhaps the Most Difficult, I'm learning to Ask for Help, and not feel dumb for doing so. This is a process. A long, painful one ("embrace the suck!!"), of which I often have no idea where to go next. This is to be expected. BUT there are people out there who DO know and who will help (and who have been there before me). Be it my incomparable GT, to the collective knowledge of the Spartan Chicks, to the Crossfit trainer who empathizes with my tight hamstrings, to my Mom who literally, simply told me the other day, "You're doing a good job.
  • Maybe most importantly, I'm HAPPY. I feel well; physically, my chronic aches and pains are gone, and I'm on the right path to reach my healthy weight; mentally, I sleep better (more or less!), a regular supply of happy workout-endorphin can't be bad, and I feel like I have a significant purpose, even when there are other things in my life that aren't perfect or controllable. 
All things considered, I'm thinking this has been a great start to my 29th year (30th Birthday, Watch Out!), and I can't wait to see what I can do in the next 303 days (and beyond!). 

That little bit of record-keeping out of the way, on to today's WOD. To round out Week 12, it was Run Day for me. A real brisk fall evening here in VT, so after finding a few layers, I headed out. To start, I was feeling a bit stiff from last night's CF endeavors, but nothing that wasn't manageable (and really, I was hoping I'd just warm up out of it...). 

Run Stats looked like this:
Time: 40.10
Distance: 3.43
Average Pace: 11.37

Maybe not the most stellar amazing run I've ever run, but considering I could practically feel the lactic acid coursing through  my veins, I'm thinking I did a good job. In my head, at the time, I was feeling it was a bit faster than this, but I suppose I can't argue with the technology. Although, this time I did opt to run slowly, rather than walk, when the calf cramps got ugly.... and I'm thinking that I definitely brisk-walk faster than I slow-run. lol. 
I find it interesting that the calf cramps are worse through my city route than anywhere else. 4.15 miles on dirt road, I didn't feel them at all. Maybe that's coincidental evidence though?

That said, the run felt pretty good. Pushed through some of the stiff soreness (It has joyfully parked itself in my shoulders/lats, instead...), and got the job done. Calf cramps/burning, while still present, were less bad than they have been... so, I came home and sat in a tub of as-cold-as-I-could-get-it water (no ice! boo!), in hopes of remedying some of the ouch for tomorrow. That seemed to go okay, but now, hours later, my calves are pretty tight. Hmm. Ongoing problem in need of a solution. Stay tuned. 

And now, I must complete my Food Log and get to sleep. I am tired, and I think tomorrow may be my last Crossfit Learning class... Oh my. My lats haven't recovered from the LAST one. 

(Time to S.T.F.U.!)

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