Thursday, February 25, 2016

What limits?

Last post, I talked about pushing and breaking my limits. My posts have been pretty fitness heavy because well, that was my main focus for 2016: health. 

On Sunday, February 21st, I did something that I have never in my 28 years been able to do. I ran a 5K without stopping to walk. I ran the whole thing and it was amazing! I was using the Run into Spring 5K as a diagnostic for the Broad Street Run. I wanted to know what I needed to work on and what running bits were doing just fine. It was a chilly morning. Fortunately everything was running on schedule. Bronx did his business quickly. I had time to eat breakfast. I arrived to the race an hour and a half early (oops). 

The race was small so I knew I'd end up in the back eventually. As the clock started we began to run. I took a slow pace so I wouldn't lose my breath so quickly. Two senior citizens passed me. I thought for sure I was last. I started to psyche myself out because it was so embarrassing to be last but I quickly realized there were a few people behind me. By mile 1 I felt pretty good and hadn't stopped to walk. I decided my focus wouldn't be speed but endurance. Typically, after Mile 1, I get so happy I ran a mile that I stop to walk. I find it very hard to pick back up and run again. So I thought...let's do this. Let's run without walking. 

By Mile 2, many of the runners had begun the loop back. I started getting high fives and thumbs up. Once again I felt that many of these runners probably thought this was my first 5K when in fact its like my 12th or something. I was still grateful for the support. By the time I reached the water station, I huffed as I grabbed my water and said "I haven't stopped to walk! This is amazing!"

I continued on my slow as hell pace. As I neared the end of Mile 2, my left knee started to hurt and my hip hurt. I wanted to walk but instead chose to stare at the yellow lines in the road and run alongside them. I let my mind wander, thinking about anything except breathing and running. It worked! I couldn't look to far ahead because I'd get discouraged and want to walk. A few people were behind me. I slow but gradually approached the finish line. I started to get emotional because I was actually going to do it. I was going to run 3.1 miles without walking. As I crossed I screamed I DIDN'T STOP TO WALK!!!! and accepted my finishers medal from a toddler. It was a huge accomplishment. 

I look like hell and maybe like I'm 45, but I did it!

Riding on the high of that accomplishment made my day perfect. I posted it on Facebook and also on RUN 215's Facebook group. By the end of the day I had almost 600 likes and 50 comments. Talk about support. 

I spent my afternoon hiking Wissahickon with my best friend and Bronx. This Sunday was also Bronx and my 1 year adoption anniversary. He loves hiking so I thought a nice hike was an appropriate way to celebrate. Turns out our total hike was 8 miles! So I ran a 5K and hiked 8 miles. Brilliant, right?

Here is me and Bronx one year ago on a cold, snowy day in February and Bronx and I now at Wissahickon. 

After that insane hike which was mildly treacherous thanks to some lovely snow/ice/mud, David and I went to our favorite buffet place to reward ourselves for such a fit day. It was delicious. 

I took Monday off in advance so I could recover from my spike in physical activity. I spent the day doing laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping and made sure I got a pedicure and did some yoga too. It was a perfect way to set the tone for the week ahead. I'm so grateful I did because come Tuesday morning some major changes occurred at my job and I received a heaping pile of new responsibilities. It has been an exhausting but exciting week. 

I feel strong. I really do. To prepare to Broad Street, I'm going to participate in 2 5 mile races in March. That should help me build up my mileage and determine what exactly happens after 3 miles. 

What an amazing weekend. It was perfect. 

Until next time...

Monday, February 15, 2016

Pushing and Breaking the Limits

The mind really has ultimate control over what you can and can not do. Friday night I was home eating pizza and drinking beer. One of my kickboxing instructors challenged us to take a video of us doing 30 burpees in a row. I hate burpees. I'm bad at them, I dread them, I can barely do 5. However, I was inspired by all the poor food choices I made the past week and I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. So I did. Actually I did about 55 burpees because my first two video takes I just about made it to 10 burpees and had to stop. 

I did 30 burpees on a full stomach in my apartment on a Friday night. BAM. 

In the spirit of continuing to push limits, I did something I've never done before last night. It was Valentine's Day and I had a great weekend. I went to a kickboxing event on Saturday and on Sunday cleaned the apartment and watched Valentine's Day with Bronx. 
Well, Sunday night I did a Valentine's Day Run with Philadelphia Runner. I've ran before. I've ran 5K before. I have NEVER run 3.4 miles in 14 degree weather! It was exhilarating. I finished in my normal time and made some new friends along the way. What a great Valentine's Day!

To top it all off, this morning I found out I got into the Broad Street Run. I'll be running 10 miles on May 1st! Now is the time to take training seriously. I mean, last year I winged it and finished in 2:26. This year, I'm hoping to finish in under 2 hours. I'm going to have to push and break my limits. But if I can do 30 burpees and run in 14 degree weather without dying, I can certainly train and crush my Broad Street Run goal. Right?

I think so. 

Until next time...

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Today is one of those days where I find myself awake and alert but also swimming in a sea of emotions. This morning on my drive in to work, I had a few moments to declutter my head and heart and really think about things. I contemplated my losses, where I'm at in life now, what I want to do. I realized that these feelings were free to bubble to the surface because for the first time in awhile, my mind was calm. I keep myself very busy. My work days are 8.5 hours long. My commute takes 2 hours out of my day. Two weeknights I kickbox so I get home with just enough time to get a shower and get to bed. My weekends are full of errands, chores and usually at least one nap to recharge. 

"You never sit down. You're always doing something," a friend of mine said over the phone last week. She was referring to my Facebook and my constant string of activities. I thought about that for a moment and realized she is right. Most of my time is accounted for. 

So when you've got an hour drive ahead of you and a CD with some emotional songs, all those things you push down have a chance to resurface. I keep myself busy because I don't want to think about things. You really don't realize how much shit you've been through until it all comes back at once. Then you're like "I have a pretty good life but damn I've been through some shit."

Anyway, that is my deep thought for the day. Life is fine. I'm coasting through the year. My fitness goals have been up and down. I entered the lottery for the Broad Street Run and I'm hoping I get in. If so, it is serious training time. My main goal for 2016 besides making it the year of health is to run the Broad Street Run in under 2 hours. Kickboxing has been going well and I've found I work better with certain instructors. I love everyone there, they are all amazing but some nights I do a lot better when I have certain teachers. 

Running....well...I ran pretty well last week. Speed sucks but endurance is getting better. Yoga...I got to get back on that train too. Last night I tried a new video and I had a hard time concentrating. The instructor was good and I think the flow was right, but I got super ADD about it and wanted to do a million other things besides the yoga so I had to stop halfway. Woops. 

Work is fine. Still crazy since we're in a whirlwind of transition. I'm getting more responsibility and tasks to do so that is good. 

Bronx celebrated his 3rd birthday on Sunday. I made him a peanut butter carrot cake. He was quite the happy boy, especially when we went to the Pretzel Factory for some birthday pretzels. 

His adoption anniversary is next weekend (after Valentine's weekend). I'm hoping the weather holds out. I'd like to take him back to his shelter for an alumni visit and drop off a few donations in honor of our year together. I think that would be the best way to celebrate his Gotcha day. 

He continues to be a phenomenal dog. He makes me laugh daily. Last night he ran into the bedroom, jumped on the bed, shoved his nose into my neck and burrowed his head under my covers. Snuggle pups with a cold nose. I was laughing and then tucked his blanked around him and fell asleep with his head on my arm. Love him. 

I guess that is about it. Nothing new to report. Maybe I won't be so nostalgic next post.

Until next time....

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