A goal properly set is halfway reached.

204112158655519431_4d13e7b45a1eThere’s something about being halfway through a training plan that always gives me sort of a start.  Like, how did I do this already, and how is there that much more to go?  Today starts week 6 of Modesto Half Marathon 12 week training plan, which means, of course, that not only am I getting ready to toe the line again, but that I am recovered.  Past tense.  No more silly #stressfracture hashtags.  That’s it.  I’m recovered.

This time, I have taken it slowly, but have incorporated a mean weight training program.  I have a tricep, and also a little pork chop looking muscle that drapes over my shoulders (excuse me, I’m a runner, not a weight lifter).  I now understand why body builders look in the mirror when they lift.  There is an excitement to see something you’ve actually built, and curiosity in watching the muscles course under my skin as they work.  I incorporate Core exercises, and have now successfully hung 15 long seconds in my quest to do one pull up by December 13, 2013.  I do squats.  I am working my whole body.

But my legs.  They are the sticks that will get me to the end.  And, even though I feel twinges of last year’s foot , I simply keep running, nailing all my times and distances.  It’s lovely really, because at the end of the day, I know that I’m taking my body to the best place it can be.

This weekend, I will do my first 5K in this training plan, running a little 3.1 miler in Fresno.  I don’t really care about distances, I care about that surge of energy when you lay out your gear the night before, lace up at 5am, slam down pre-run nutrition, pin on the bib.  That feeling of watching everyone else wait with me until the whistle blows, until I can blissfully fall into my own rhythm of the race.

Halfway there.  I’m loving this training cycle.

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The Path Back: Found.

And so it came to pass that I had lost my mojo.  Somewhere along the path, my heel problem kept me firmly planted in my house.  My running shoes hung up on the outside hook, instead of sitting next to my bed, waiting for me to fly into them each morning.  I wrote and wrote about it.  I wanted to run.  I really did.  But, I didn’t have the energy to really commit to a race.  I had to drop out of the NIKE run.  I couldn’t run.

I started to think I might never run …really run, again.

I decided to try the 40 day challenge:  working out…doing anything for 40 days.  30 minutes of exercise.  It was that simple.  Because writing about it again and again wasn’t helping.  I’m on day 23 today.  Here’s where I found my mojo:

 

  • In my back yard.  In the pool.  Swimming for 30 minutes.  Laps.  Going down to that diving board and doing pull ups.  When I would forget that I needed to do my 30 minutes, I jumped in right there and just…swam.

 

  • The Nike Training Club App for iPhone.  This app kicks ass.  Really keeps me going.  Love that I get to watch a video, it keeps track of my workouts, I can share on Facebook, and I can put my playlists with the workouts.

  • Foursquare.  It’s ridiculous, really.  Check in.  Tell your friends where you are.  Get mayorships.  Badges.  Well…I am really motivated to get my gym’s mayorship.  So, yeah.  I go a lot.  Gotta see if my mojo was there as well.  And, it was.
  • Weight lifting.  11 years ago, I started a program with EAS.  I still use that same upper body workout.  I do the elliptical.   I do abs.  I just. do…anything that will keep me moving for 30 minutes.
  • Running.  And, finally, I ran.  Only 20 miles the whole month.  But.  I did run.  And I finally got up to 4 miles.  Without stopping.  I stopped beating myself up for “man, you used to run a lot, and you’ve run 4 marathons” mentality.
I didn’t start over.  I started again.  I can’t wait to see my progress at the end of the 40 days.  I know this.  There are many paths to finding my mojo.  I had to take responsibility and find it.
Happy August!

The Off Day

My actual first THREE today:


You Sexy Thing, by Hot Chocolate

Lemon Tree (again with the lemon tree)

Crazy, Gnarls Barlkey

I was just doing arms and the elliptical on my off day.  Then this old Johnny Cash song comes on, and it always makes me smile.  Here it is for you pleasure, but I think it’s Joaquin singing.

An Idea Is Born

Finally, I get to the gym.  My inner thighs…well look away if this too much for you.  They are so sore.  Like someone has been hitting them with bricks. 

I was on the elliptical today, when the local trainer from the gym brought in a 13 year old boy.  Mind you, these are my favorite kids:  slightly out of shape, probably eat crap food, want to get healthier, not great scores in PE.  I taught PE in Jr. High for 4 years, and am now doing 1st-6th grade.  This kind of student really inspires me.  Why? 

Because, I see myself in their eyes.  I could never compete, was really uncoordinated.  But, at least we had fitness.  It was the 70s.  It was mandatory…but, where has real fitness and fun gone?

So, I have this idea.  You know how those expensive tutoring clubs meet after school?  They help with homework, and promise to bring up scores?    What would happen if we could help kids bring up their fitness scores, and improve overall health? 

I have a dream.  That all the non-fit great students could actually change their life one day at a time.  Hmmmm….

*Other Activity*

Chick Rock Rocks…

Today, for the first time in a long time, I used my original iPod.  That’s the one with ALL the music on it.  You can tell it’s an oldie because the jack is in the middle. 

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I have an iPhone, 3 shuffles for running (and my kids have one), and the 40G iPod is my home stereo.

On it, I have my Running workout which is crazy and faster.  My workout music is my old elliptical, weightlifting music.  To be honest, I got quite bored with it a while ago, and then always wore the shuffle.   Today, I wasn’t in the mood to run, really.  I have two runs planned tomorrow and Thursday before the 12K on Sunday.

So, I fired up the old one, and did what Runner’s World calls *Other Activity*.  I can tell my lungs are different now.  I’m much faster on the elliptical, at a 7.0 speed, whereas before running, 5.5 was a challenge.

My first song:   Rocked my world.

2-03-candyman.m4a

Enjoy a little Christina

Then Sheryl Crow, Pink, Fergie.  I was jamming and singing (outloud).  I was behind a row of dudes with gray hair, but hey, that’s my demographic now.  Heh.

I did wall squats, push-ups, modified planks, crunches.  Man, that felt good.