Sunday, March 17, 2013

"May the Road Rise Up to Meet You..."

Spartan Shape-Up, Day 606:

There have been too many things out of my control lately (losing my apartment, not finding a new place right away, having no money, etc.), that I've been letting take over, that I finally stopped and reevaluated what was happening. Yes, there were things I could not force into being different.... but that was no reason that I needed to be unhappy and unable to continue my pursuit towards better health and fitness.

With much sadness, I had to cancel my CrossFit membership (hopefully, temporarily) recently, because of finances and living situations. However, while this was a real blow to my motivation, I also know that I have ALL the equipment I need at my disposal, and a huge network of inspiring friends and family, that are there to assist with my forward progression.

No more excuses. Just work.

Arriving home from my 1.5 hour drive from The Office, I felt stiff and tight. I've been spending FAR too much time in a car and at a desk, and no where near enough time being mobile and active. I was (am.) feeling it. The real kicker was when I bent over to pick up a sock on the floor and my damn chronically tight hamstrings were SO tight that I had to bend my knees to pick it up. This HAD to stop.

Half an hour later, I found myself in front of my TV, Yoga DVD in and ready to get bendy. My preferred "yoga"... DVD right now is currently the one with Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser (Biggest Loser, Weight Loss Yoga). It's easy, made for not bendy people, has a few different levels and leaves me feeling stretched out and good. Yeah, it's not P90X yoga, it's not Bikram.... but it's real yoga that I will DO (that's key!), that doesn't feel too frustrating.

Off I went. Downward Dog, Triangle, *twisting* triangle (ack!)... I did the best I could. My body was so locked up that it sounded like I was making popcorn, every time I'd move into a new position. My back was cracking, my knees were popping and my muscles were stretching. I admit, it felt AWESOME.

Oddly, I think you never realize how immobile or not flexible you are, until you restore that flexibility. After doing the light half hour of yoga, I felt like my hips could move again, my legs didn't feel stiff, and my body felt more relaxed. Clearly, I'd done the right thing.

The feeling of satisfaction for getting back on track really helps to propel me forward. So, yesterday, in the beautiful bright afternoon, my running buddy rallied from her lingering cold, and we headed out for a run.

BlogLand, it wasn't pretty. I've definitely taken a few steps backward, as far as my running abilities. However, here's a good time to remember that I was at least OUT THERE and doing it. Doing work is the only way to make more progress - not sitting on the couch lamenting how good you USED to be. Do. Work.

We were aiming for an easy 5K. I knew this was a distance I could fight through, but long enough to get in a solid 30 minutes of work. I didn't feel too bad for the first 2 miles. My brain was happy to be outside, my body felt good in motion and all was well with the world. Mile 2 brought some more work, though. I did have to take a couple of short walk breaks, but each time, I resolved to get back to running and keep going.

I have to acknowledge the fact that I'm heavier than I was this summer, haven't been running and need to respect the fact that my body needs to get back at it. Walk breaks were unavoidable.

Nonetheless, Stacey and I got it done and arrived back at my house, sweaty and accomplished. Not our best time, but right about 34 minutes (3.2 miles), averaging about an 11:20 pace - which, quite frankly, is better than when I first started running, so all is not lost!

Later, after looking at a great housing potential (thank you, Karma!!), The CG and I headed out to hit the climbing gym for a while. Got my run on in the morning, time to work out a lot of the upper body in the afternoon!

I fought with several tricky routes. I'm still learning technique, so while some should be "easy"... they're just not for me. I'm learning to climb with more finesse, to make the most of what I do have (powerful legs) and work around what is not an asset (t-rex arms). My forearms and back were crying by the end of one route in particular. I was metaphorically banging my head against the wall over and over, until suddenly, the moves clicked and my body rallied and got to the top.
To round out the day at the climbing gym, the CG and I did some grip work (dead hangs) and core stuff (knees to elbows, L-sits, etc.). If you're going to dead hang for grip purposes, you might as well make your body work in other places too.

It was a good day. I slept well, my body felt used and tired, and I had made good choices all day.

This morning, I rolled over with a groan and a sudden desire for a bunch of Ibuprofen and Tiger Balm. LOL. But, what are you going to do? STFU and keep at it. I know from experience that it GETS BETTER the more you do it. Yeah, you're going to be sore. You're going to feel stiff... but you recover faster, you get better and it's much more manageable. You just have to get over that initial ugly hump.

So, I'm working on my hydrating (don't forget it, BlogLand! Your body needs it to recover!), taking my daily Multi-vitamin, getting in some extra fish oil (decreasing inflammation and helping with weight loss), and eating correctly.

Also, tonight, to wind down and have a little light recovery, I'll be hitting up the Yoga again. Race season is upon us and I work for one of the coolest companies in the world - time to represent!

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