Bitter Or Better? My Choice

imageThey say that you have two choices when faced with a crazy blow that life will sometimes deal you. You can either get bitter and assign blame, pout, get nasty, angry, and stay stuck. Or, you can get better and take responsibility, make a plan of action to rectify/change the situation, and move forward.

What happens is most people initially do get bitter. We’re angry. We ask, “Why?” We look for people to blame. If you stay in this mentality, the situation doesn’t really change. In fact, it may get worse. You could really dig yourself into a hole, or fall into an abyss that’s really hard to climb out of. I know, because I’ve been there and it wasn’t that long ago.

Three years ago, this month, March 28, 2013 to be exact, I blew my left knee out in a freak misstep when performing a move that was shoulder to overhead. I had not lifted that weight before so it was slightly difficult. Initially, I blamed my trainer who told me that the weight was “light” and that I could do it. I didn’t think I could, but I did do it once, so I believed I could do it again. Well, what resulted was me misstepping or landing incorrectly, and the way my foot planted tweaked my knee enough that it completely tore my left meniscus and severely bruised my ACL. I don’t believe that I ever really “healed” from that experience. What do I mean? Well, I know that my knee healed. I had surgery, and they removed my meniscus and I eventually went on to recover and get back to baseline, but my mind never really recovered.

imageI lost my shit when this happened. I seriously Lost. My. Shit. I was angry. I was depressed. I couldn’t function. I made the mistake of stopping all exercise as suggested by my orthopedist. It made sense because I could not truly bear weight on my left leg, couldn’t squat, blah, blah, blah. This lack of movement proved to be detrimental to my mental health. (You can read about it here.)

I think about how low I fell last time, metaphorically speaking, and I can tell you that I was NOT in a good place. I became very irritable. I gained weight that I have not yet been able to shed. I lost my fitness. And, worst of all, I became suicidal. Seriously, I wanted to die. I just wanted to die. I had become someone that I didn’t recognize. I was lost and frustrated. And even after my knee was repaired, I tried to make my way back into my fitness game, but it was far from the same. Where I once was running 25 miles/week, lifting weights 4-5 times a week, and even kickboxing 2-3 times a week, I was no longer able to workout as I had been. I believed that I would just get right back onto that horse, and what happened was that horse quickly bucked me off and laughed at me right in the face.

imageThis time is a little different because I know what to expect. My plan is to NOT fall into that same abyss that I fell into the last time I injured myself. How do I know it’s different? What am I going to do that’s different? Well …

It’s only been 4 days since I re-injured my knee. I was fatigued during the workout, so when it came time to squat clean 135lbs, I was already tired. I should have passed on attempting to lift it, but on a good day when I’m not fatigued, I can do it. I should have listened to my gut, but, I didn’t. I let my head and my ego get the best of me and I knew that I wanted to try. I only tried once and that was all that it took. It took me down immediately with my knee buckling inward.

I did not try to hide, mask, or pooh-pooh my injury. I cried out in agony, something that I would have never had done in the past. I let others help me. Someone got me ice. My trainer aced wrapped my knee. Last time, I did not seek medical attention. I had an appointment with my Physical Therapist the next day, and he was the one who convinced me to seek medical attention. I was naive in thinking that I would be able to fix and heal myself. This time, I knew what to expect, so I brought myself to the ER and requested an x-ray, then requested an MRI and an orthopedic consult. I had my MRI yesterday. I also immediately started working on the surrounding muscles of my knee by using a muscle stimulator. Along with compression, ice, and the use of my hinged brace has made a huge difference. I really haven’t had much pain. If anything, it’s 3 out of 10 on a 0-10 pain scale, and that’s really only when my knee is unstable and moves laterally. Something that I have already done this time that I never did last time, I reached out to my trainer and explained the consequences I may have if I limit or stop my movement. I asked for workouts that would instead focus on my core and upper body and cardiovascular exercise that would not require the “stabilization” or movement of my lower body, more specifically, my left knee.

I take full responsibility for what happened. I know the risks and benefits of doing the things that I love. I would not be me if I sat back and watched others do the things that I love and did not participate in the activity myself. Quite frankly, I am tired of people telling me, “You know you’re not a youngster anymore. You really should be careful. Maybe you should find another hobby.” Are you kidding me? I know exactly how old I am. And I know what I’m doing. I am doing what I need to do to feel alive, to feel happy, and to live my life. I don’t owe anyone any explanations at all. Like I said, I take full responsibility, and I will continue doing things that I love, that make ME happy, and that make ME feel alive. I’ve watched the video of what/how it happened. It serves me no purpose to keep rehashing and reliving it over and over again. What’s done is done. I can only learn from what’s happened and move forward.

So you can see, I have chosen to not become bitter this time around. I’ve already had my cry in my last blog post. I choose to see it as another learning opportunity. You see, things will continue to happen in your life until you understand the lesson that it is trying to teach you. I cannot yet tell you what the lesson is that I am to learn from all of this. I can tell you that I am open. I know that in order to figure out what’s happening to me on the outside, to understand why this lesson is being brought forth to me again, I must turn inward. I need to seek the answers within myself because the answers are inside of me.

I am different this time around. I am more open and vulnerable this time around, and I am also showing more of my vulnerability without shame. I am attempting to remain calm as I ask others for help, or when I tell my story, and not feel humiliated. I know that people are talking about me, saying things like I was stupid to even attempt that, but that’s their opinion. It’s not the truth. I was not being reckless, I was putting myself out there and doing something that not many women my age do.

I will not fall into the abyss this time around. I have a plan and have already began to institute it and illicit the help of those who love me.

So … Bitter or Better? I say BETTER. My attitude and my outlook are both different this time around. More optimistic, and realistic. I believe that things WILL get better. I believe that I WILL once again be restored and made whole. I believe that I WILL once again run, jump, lift. I believe that I WILL figure it out and healing IS already taking place within me.  Things CAN and WILL only get better from here on out.

Stay tuned.



The Dreaded Email From My Doctor.
The Dreaded Email From My Doctor.

It’s the middle of April 2014 already! How does this happen? I’ve looked in my que and I can see posts from 2013 that I haven’t posted or even finished. Such a lagger, and I have no excuses! Yeesh! Let’s see how this goes … Everyone and their uncle knows that 2013 was not exactly the “Best Year Of My Life” kind of year.  I really wanted it to be, and I really thought it would be because “13” is my favorite number.  It started off well, and just sort of ended just before it even really began.  Towards the end, however, it started to pick back up and I started to get into a groove – I was starting to CrossFit again, and I even ran a half marathon, but I just never felt “right.” I still felt out of sorts and even discombobulated. I thought I would elicit the help of my doctor to help me.  So I emailed my doctor in December to ask her if I could have a simple blood test to see where my hormone levels were. I know that in times of stress, hormones can get out of whack. I knew that my adrenals were fatigued, so my cortisol levels were skyrocketing. My doctor did email me back, but her response was NOT what I was expecting. It was no where near sympathetic, not even close. She basically told me that she did not believe that what I had was Adrenal Fatigue, rather she told me that I was depressed! What. The. Hell?!?  Wow! Just like that. She wrote a prescription out for some sleeping pills, and referred me to Mental Health. Wow. Needless to say, it set me off on a tangent and it fueled me to seek my own answers and get help for myself.  I can only imagine other patients emailing her and getting the same response and BELIEVING her and buying into the bullshit that they’re depressed, and taking medications that they don’t need! Wow. Just wow! I have no words to describe the disappointment that I feel in my primary care provider. I can only offer you this advice: YOU are the expert on your body.  YOU know yourself better than anyone else regardless if they have a medical degree. YOU KNOW YOU. Seek your own answers, don’t take the word of an “expert” who’s supposed to be on your side helping you. Just because they went to years of school, doesn’t make them an expert on you! God, help us all. So … I did what I believed was best for me. I fired my doctor, and I went on a quest to find my own answers to help myself.

It's okay ...
It’s okay …

In January, I could feel that I wasn’t 100% … I felt as if I were half-assing the WODs at CrossFit. I also felt as if I wasn’t giving anywhere near 100%. My body may have been in the box, but I really I felt as if I were not really progressing. I felt as if I were just there, taking up space and going through the motions.  I wasn’t dropping the weight that I gained throughout out the last year. And I was fatigued – mentally, physically, spiritually … I was spent. Drained. (Hello, HIGH cortisol levels!) So I knew that something had to change, and it was up to me to make that change. After a little, okay A LOT of soul searching, a few talks with my husband, and some others whose opinions I highly value, I made a few decisions to start the process of “resetting” myself and set if on an quest to restore balance within myself.

Tiny Smile Half 2014
Tiny Smiles Half 2014

Two things happened in February … I ran my first half-marathon of the year, the Tiny Smiles Half in Galt, and then the next day I started Bikram Yoga. As much as I love the power that my body emits during a long run, that feeling of pushing my mind to get my body through to the finish line, I really love and enjoy the peace that Bikram gives my mind as it restores my body from the “punishment” I bestow upon it. I love that it’s a open eye meditation.  I was just getting back into practice last year when I got injured and had to put it, as well as everything else, on the back burner.  This time I made a commitment to myself to practice two to three times a week. Within the first week, I was hooked again and felt amazing. I love the heat, but what I really love is the intense focus that I give myself for the 60 to 90 minutes that I am there. As easy as it is for me to get into a zone while running, during Bikram yoga I am able to easily transcend while there, and I come out of that hot room a different person than when I walked in.

Bikram Buddies
Bikram Buddies
Addicted to needles.
Addicted to needles.
Manual Adjustment by my Chiro.
Manual Adjustment by my Chiro.

Initially, the plan was for me to take the month of February off from any and all “hardcore” training. I wanted to miss CrossFit, and I did, but as February came and went, I still didn’t feel “ready.” March was to be more of the same – yoga, kickboxing, and working out in my own home box which I dubbed the “STAT Box.” I met up and consulted with a Compounding Pharmacist who was able to verify that I did indeed have Adrenal Fatigue, and was able to prescribe some medications and supplements to help me in my quest to restore balance. In this time, I went to see my Chiropractor and my Acupuncturist regularly and just continued to relax and wait.

Classes & Mindset Therapy.
Classes & Mindset Therapy.

I missed CrossFit. I missed my beloved box 209. I missed my trainer. I missed my body when it does CrossFit. But I wasn’t ready to go back. I was content to just keep on what I was doing. I felt rested. I felt better. I planted plants in my garden.  I watched my husband go to CrossFit and workout without me. I took a lot of classes that enriched my mind. It was ironic that the classes that I found and registered for were in line with my goals to stay focused, stay happy, and find balance. I love that I was directed to take a class on happiness entitled The Secrets of Happy People. There was a series at work that was offered as free for employees that I was able to register for. I was able to connect with a Psychotherapist who specialized in CrossFit Athletes, and I was able to sign up for online coaching to “reset” my mindset.  And the most interesting of all was a class on meditation that I was led to by complete accident.  Well, I don’t believe in “accidents.”  I believe that things happen for a reason, and that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Wow. Things were just all in alignment for me. Through all of these classes I was able to learn things that I felt in tune with. So it was an amazing two months of self-discovery and rest.

Running Of The Elk Half 2014.
Running Of The Elk Half 2014.

But here it is … April already, and I’m starting to get the itch. I’m ready to find my way back to my trainer and to my box. I feel mentally stronger. I feel as if mentally, I have always been strong, but the compounding stresses that I experienced in 2013 really took a toll on my and beat me up psychologically more than physically. It’s time to test the mind again, and I did that recently with another half marathon that I was totally unprepared for physically. The Elk Grove Running of The Elk Half Marathon. Ugh. Never have I wanted more to just stay home and in my warm bed.  Never have I gotten into my car and just thought, “I’m just going to sit here,” until 15 minutes to gun time. I seriously sat in my car and had to talk myself into walking to the start line. Wow. But I did it. I got out of my car and I walked to the starting line with NO time to spare after having to use the porta potty! Throughout the ENTIRE run, I kid you not, I prayed. I seriously believe that God wanted me to be in church that day because all I did was pray. I knew that my body knew what to do to get me through to the finish line, it was my mind that I had to tell to STFU! Time to move on. Time to get serious about training again. Time to let go of the past, and move forward with myself. I’ve hit the “reset” button and now it’s time to put what I’ve learned in motion. It’s time to start rebuilding Row.  I’m not going to say much about what I’m doing, rather I’m just going to let the results speak for themselves.  033121

Stronger than ever ...
Stronger than ever …


Alone In The Gym

My husband and I are complete opposites. Where he is tall, I am petite. He is blonde, I am brunette. He is outgoing, I am more of an introvert. He is vocal, I am written. He is aggressive, I am passive. He watches television, I read. He is yin, I am yang. I could go on and on and on, but you get the gist of what I’m trying to say about our relationship.

Our relationship of being opposites works. In fact, our differences actually compliment each other, so if you believe me to be complaining, you are far off base. I love my husband, I just wish that at times we actually shared some of the same passions besides our children.

I have always – ALWAYS – been an athlete, so it was always natural for me to believe that I would have a partner that was an athlete also. However, that is FAR from the truth that I live.  Athletics bring together such a sense belonging, of being a team, working together, encouraging each other, motivating each other. I need that sense of belonging, and although I feel as if I “belong,” I don’t feel as if my needs are truly satisfied.

Me and The Man - see how he looks so ... "pained"?
Me and The Man – see how he looks so … “pained”?

My husband works very hard to please me and keep me happy. He will do anything to support me in my endeavors regardless of how insane or far fetched they may seem. He has survived me dragging him, kicking and literally SCREAMING, to various gym workouts, kickboxing, CrossFit, and even running. All ventures short-lived, none actually got him in any shape. I know that I cannot “make” him do anything. I can suggest, and most times he’ll pacify me by agreeing at the time, but not really follow through. I’ve tried encouraging and motivating him, only for him to tell me that I am obnoxious and demeaning. Regardless, I keep asking and suggesting, but I know that it’s NOT going to happen – my husband is just NOT ever going to be the athlete/gym partner that I always thought I would have and have so desired in my life, and I have to learn to stop setting myself up for disappointment and let it go of my desire, my dream, and move on … ALONE in the gym/Box.

Gabe & Kirstie
Gabe & Kirstie
Andrew & Lindsey
Andrew & Lindsey
Dom & Vanessa
Dom & Vanessa

I see pictures and read stories or posts of couples enjoying themselves in the gym and I can’t help but feel a teeny pang of envy. Couples – bound together by their love and enjoyment of physical activities, glistening in sweat, smiling. More than any of that it’s the envy that they are doing things TOGETHER.

Exercise is such a HUGE part of who I am, so it’s hard to know that I am to forge on this journey alone. I feel selfish at times for the amount of time that I would love to spend in the gym because it’s time away from my family. It’s hard for me to see my husband struggle and just give up, but like I said, I can’t force him to do something that he doesn’t want to do. It’s hard for me to see him out of shape, unhealthy, and hiding his medications from me. Yes, I know that he does this because I’ve found prescriptions for medications. Yes, I know I’m a nurse. Yes, I know that I am his wife and should know his medical history, but seriously, if he wants to “hide” that part of himself from me, for reasons only known to him, then who am I to demand that he share these things with me? He must not believe that I am important enough to share these pieces of IMPORTANT information with me, right? I mean, we all have our secrets, right? It’s just that when something happens to him and the Emergency Department asks me about his health/medical history, the information that I will be able to provide will be very LIMITED and I’ll look like the countless number of idiots that give me that Kanye shrug look when I ask about their loved one’s history.

Oooooh … I’m waaaaaayyyy off subject now. How did that happen? Freudian slip? Ahhhh, I digress. I guess, it’s just harder for me to accept than I thought it would be, and it saddens and frustrates me more than I let on.

Where am I? Oh, yeah … letting go and acceptance. Letting go of the dream. Letting go of the control that I want to have over my husband to “make” him want better for himself. Accepting my husband as he is. Accepting that I will always drive to the gym/Box – ALONE. But that’s just it … I feel alone and that makes me unbalanced, sad, and disappointed among other things. I understand that life is about disappointments and picking yourself up and moving on, I just didn’t think I would always have to, or didn’t want to do it alone because it’s so much funner/easier/better when done together with someone you love. I guess, though, that if this is the only thing that I can pick apart about my marriage, then I can live with that. Mind you, it will be with a heavy heart, but I’ve done it for so long over the course of our relationship that it feels like an old hat. Like I said before though, I must STOP setting myself up for heartbreak and really let it go. Forge on knowing that my husband will be behind me, supporting me regardless of my decisions to keep running, workout harder in the box, or if I decide to take up underwater basket weaving. I just know that giving up exercise is NOT something that I plan to do ever, so I guess that my husband will just have to remain a gym widower.

What do other couples out there do when one is a gym rat, and the becomes the gym widow(er)? I wonder if there’s resentment?  What about if one looks amazing and in shape, while the other does not?  Does it tear their relationship apart or if they just deal with it? I mean, I get it, I do, I’m just so sad. I also know that most times, it’s the other way around where the husband is the gym rat, and the wife is the one who chooses to stay at home and is the gym widow while the gym is the mistress. I understand that I  I know that there’s more to life than in the gym. I just can’t fully express my guilt over this whole issue and  because I know, and because I believe that it’s what holds me back from reaching my full potential. It doesn’t make any sense to rehash it, I just really either have to accept it, live with it, and let it go, or continue to let it consume me as it has been for so long.  In the choosing to let it go, I fully understand that life just goes on …  and I just go on to the gym … ALONE … (heavy sigh).

2013 Racing Schedule

I am still in awe that November is just about to end, and that 2012 is about to come to a close.  I swear that I just started planning and writing in my 2012 planner, and now I’ve already purchased and began to write in my 2013 planner. Yes, that IS correct … I have a paper calendar. I like my paper organization. I like to write things down, it makes things more tangible for me. Sure, I like electronic organization also, but when it comes to goal setting and date planning, I like to be able to write it down and see it.  Besides that … I actually like my penmanship. Don’t judge.

I haven’t decided yet just exactly how much racing that I want to do for 2013. I’m not sure if I want to do one race a month, or just run sporadically.  So far, I’m thinking one/month works for me right now just because in 2012 we were running ALL OVER the place ALL THE TIME it seemed like. It was fun, but on the other hand it was a lot of work and I have a few kiddos that I have to think about here! Maybe 13 for 2013, I don’t know. We’ll see. I’ll play it by ear and see what happens. 

What I’ve learned about myself is that I truly enjoy trail running.  I love the feeling of running thru different terrain and up and down hills, so my hope is to do more trail running instead of road races which tends to put a lot of pressure on the joints in my feet. 

This is what I have planned out so far …

January – I’m thinking that I’ll do the Brazen Racing Series again for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  I really found those two races to be challenging and actually a lot of fun. It’s the same course, but we run in opposite directions.  Plus, there is the lure of the really cool bling bling! That’s always a nice incentive! Of course I’ll run Stockton’s California 10 the 10K again. That’s a nice COLD 10K run after working all night.

February – I’m registered to run the “tiny” half marathon in Galt, CA. Galt?! I know, right … Galt, Califonia! The race is in memory of “Tiny,” an infant who had a congenital heart defect (CHD) in an effort to raise awareness for U.C. Davis’ Mended Little Hearts Program. I’m looking for races close to home here, people! Also I really liked Brazen Racing’s Bay Breeze Half Marathon last year, so if I can get that Friday off I’d really like to try and run that race again.

March – Of course I’m running Sacramento’s ShamrockN’ Half! That’s a nice fun run that my running bud, Mac, introduced me to. I like that race. The venue is fun! Also in March, I plan to run Stockton’s Shamrock Shuffle 5K. It was the one and only 5K that I have ever raced in my entire running career and I really liked it!

April – I’m contemplating running Ragnar Relay So. Cal with my original group. I’m late getting back to them as to whether or not I’ll run but … I think I want to do it again. As far as individual races I haven’t found any yet.

May – I was lucky to have gotten a discounted entry to a race in Santa Cruz called Surfer’s Path. It looks like a really fun race, and plus it’s at the beach so how could I resist?

June – Nothing yet.

July – Nothing yet. Maaaaaybeee the S.F. Marathon Second Half again. Not sure.

August – Nothing yet. Contemplating Brazen’s Summer Breeze Half Marathon.

SeptemberRagnar Relay, Napa Valley and the Half Moon Bay International Marathon, of course! Not 100% about doing another Ragnar, but never say never, right?

October – Rock N’ Roll San Jose, Nike Womens Marathon, St. Joseph’s Stockton Half Marathon. This time I really want to run the Tarantula Run! That race sounds like a lot of FUN! Crazy, but fun.

November – Nothing yet.

December – Nothing yet. Maybe the CIM Relay. I really enjoyed that race.

2013 is going to be another GREAT year. There are soooo many race venues that I want to experience. I’m not as crazy as some of my running friends. I’m crazy, yes, but not as obsessed as they are.  There are a lot of other things that I desire to do other than solely running so I plan to pick and choose my races wisely this year and I plan and have a lot of FUN!!!

You ready to come along for the ride … errr … the run? If so then let’s train HARD, train SMART, eat WELL, and let’s go have some FUUUNNNN!!!

Losing Myself, Finding My Inner Beast

SF 1st Half Marathon 7/2011.

One year ago almost to to the day, I was broken. I had run a crappy race in San Francisco, and I was in such an ugly funk that I didn’t know what to do. Coupled with the SF Half “fiasco”, I had been overtraining, and felt as if I had fallen into such a deep, deep hole and couldn’t find the will climb my way out. I never felt so defeated! After I was done crying and feeling sorry for myself, I remembered that a friend had given me something months ago that I should use before it expired.  A Groupon. Yep, my friend, Ly, had given me a Groupon months before to CrossFit 209 Sport, a local “box” here in Stockton. She had tried it, however, did not enjoy the type of workout that was offered there, so therefore she passed it on to me, and I tucked it away in my planner, not knowing just how valuable it would be for me.

That day a year ago, I dug out that Groupon and called the number listed and timidly spoke to the man who answered on the other end. He introduced himself as Gabe, and over the phone he seemed non-threatening.  I explained that I was given a Groupon, and that I was interested in making, that I NEEDED to make a change in what I was doing in my training. Gabe was patient with me and my questions. He assured me that I would not die, that he would work to my ability, and that it would change my life. He gave me the schedule and we made a plan to meet. He assured me over and over that I would be okay.  I said that I was intimidated and afraid. He said be excited, that I’d have a good time, and he promised again that I would be okay.

Little did I know that that one 30 day Groupon, and that one phone call that I was too intimidated to make would really change my life. You see, I had heard of CrossFit and CrossFit 209 Sport.  I had seen these athletes who worked out there.  I watched them from afar, in awe, working out diligently, running up and down Thornton Road, and never believed myself to be of their caliber.  I was too afraid to step outside of my little box, thinking that I would just be scowled at, and the joke of the gym.  My friend, Gina, worked out there, and encouraged me over and over throughout the years to try. I did make it out there once when she invited me, however, she didn’t show up, so instead of me walking in, I stayed in my car and eventually left.

I showed up the next day, looking for the man I spoken to on the phone. I didn’t know what to expect. Over the phone he seemed non-threatening, but what would he be like in real life I wondered?! Walking into the box overwhelmed me. The music was loud, and there were fit bodies EVERYWHERE! It took everything I had to not run back into the safety of my car. I asked the first person I thought might be Gabe if he was Gabe – he was not. Instead I was directed to an individual who was standing at the opposite end of the building. He scared me at first … buff, fit, bald guy. I knew I’d be okay though after he smiled and reintroduced himself.  After a quick tour of the facilities, he had me fill out the waiver which I jokingly remarked, “Oh, you mean the ‘If I die here it’s not your fault’ waiver.” Then it was time to get moving. He directed me to a rower, showed me how to use it, said he needed to go eat because he was on a strict schedule, and left me alone to warm up.  Just like anything new – new job, new school, etc. – I felt sooooo out of my element, but lucky for me someone that knew me spotted me and reassured me that I would definitely be okay.  After a few minutes of the warm up, Gabe returned and led me to the area where workout would be held. There were quite a few people in that class and I remember thinking, “What the hell did I get myself into?” I don’t remember the strength portion of that day, or the WOD for that matter.  Gabe assessed my fitness and scaled my workouts to me. What I do remember of that day was that I didn’t feel that out of place. People were working out to their own ability and Gabe oversaw all of us. He explained everything thoroughly, demonstrated appropriately, and helped all of us. When it came to the WOD (Workout Of the Day), I felt as if I were part of a team. I didn’t expect the encouragement, especially from people who I had barely introduced myself to, but I got it … and it made me feel “at home.” I couldn’t wait to go back. I was hooked after the first workout.

Love Prowler Pushes!

Those 30 days flew by like *that.* In that short amount of time, I learned that I was not in the best shape that I thought I was in, that there’s always something more to learn, that there’s heavier weight to be lifted, that I had muscles in places that I didn’t know I had muscles in, that I am so much stronger than I ever believed myself to be, and that I wanted MORE! I wasn’t happy just running anymore … I had burnt myself out on that. And I loved MMA (mixed martial arts), but I knew I needed to mix it up. I knew that I needed a new challenge. That “challenge” found me when Ly handed me her unused Groupon. Exercise for me is like crack for a drug addict. I had found my crack, and I signed up for a three month commitment, then three more, then three more, and so it goes.

Deadlifts! My FAVORITE!
Me with my trainer, Gabe Subry and with the “special” birthday WOD he made for my birthday!

It’s been a year now. I’ve climbed out of that hole I fell into and buried that sucker!  I can tell you that I have grown and gained much in this last year – both literally and figuratively.  It’s been a year of ups and downs – I injured my shoulder in December, and Gabe had to modify a lot of my workouts/lifts/WODS for a few months until it healed. I’ve made a lot of new friends who all inspire me everyday! I workout with some really, FUN, awe-spiring, motivating, kick ass individuals. I could sit here and tell you my 1RM for the deadlift or the squats, or I could write down my times for the various “Girl” WODS, but it’s all irrelevant. They’re irrelevant because what I’ve gained is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than the numbers … My self, my sanity, my sense of belonging.  I’ve gained a little weight in the form of muscle – I’ve got a little more muscle mass and a lot more definition than I’ve had in the past. I’m eating better, and I feel better.  I can tell you that I walk a little different – more with my head held high, and with a little more confidence. I’ve impressed myself with the amount of weight I can lift/squat/snatch/whatever, my first pull-up, my first hand stand push up, and how much I can endure without throwing up.  I can also tell you that I feel sooooo much better about myself, not so self-conscious as I have been in the past.  I view and see myself so differently. I am truly much happier with my little body. I’m far from close to being finished. I have so much more work ahead of me. Different goals to hit. Life is good.

Subry at the 2012 CrossFit Games!

My trainer, Gabe Subry, is NO joke. He is the REAL DEAL.  As a CrossFit Games Competitor – The 18th Fittest Man on Earth! – he trains us as he would want to be trained.  He treats us all as athletes, and pushes us so that we can see that we can always do more, lift heavier, run faster, etc. All of the trainers/coaches at CrossFit209 Sport– Gabe, Vince, Xavier  “X”, and Zach – are exceptional. I see them encouraging and pushing their athletes/clients to help them better themselves and to help them reach their goals and surpass their expectations. No workout is the same. Every day is something different and I love that.

Amazing Grace!

CrossFit 209 is a family-like atmosphere – they treat you like family there. Not only that, but my family works out with me, including my special needs daughter, Grace, who LOVES CrossFit Kids Coach Tara! She is excited about her CrossFit sessions and talks about it constantly. I’m really proud of her and love her enthusiasm! I never believed that she would be so passionate, but she is and it makes me happy!

My CrossFit 209 Family!

Would I do it over again? Hell yeah. Would I still be as intimidated as I was? Oh yeah. CrossFit has taken me out of my comfort zone over and over and over again. Every day.  However no matter how many times I ask, “Is it going to get easier?” My trainer says, “No. It will not get any easier. You should always push yourself to where you feel uncomfortable. It will not get easier, but you will get stronger.”  And he tells me, “Get comfortable with the uncomfortable.” I know that it’s the only way that I will improve so on most workouts I dig deep and push thru until I’m done.

Feeling awesome after our workout!

What would I say to those just starting? Remember that everything new takes time. Don’t be afraid.  Ask questions. Always ask questions, especially if you don’t understand the movements.  Don’t be intimidated by those people that you see when you first walk into that box.  I had to remind myself that these individuals have been training for 1, 2, 3, or maybe even more years and that I couldn’t expect myself to do the moves or lift the weight that they could lift after just a few months.  I had to humble myself and not be so hard on myself when I couldn’t finish WODs in a certain amount of time, or that I couldn’t lift the weight at Rx.  What I have learned is that these people that are my Box-mates, they all work and train very hard. They’re people just like you and I – mothers, fathers, those with full-time jobs, or extra responsibilities, etc. But they’re all down to Earth, very motivating, and always helpful. I have never experienced being laughed or scowled at.

Learn the terminology. I wish I had done more homework prior to starting CrossFit. I didn’t understand a lot of the terminology when I first started.  I had lifted weights and weight trained, however I really hadn’t performed a lot of the movements that they were doing.  There were a lot of named WODs – Fran, Grace, Elizabeth, Hero WODs – that I had no clue of the significance. The movements of the WOD were all written out on the white board so I always knew what the WOD consisted of, therefore I never worried about that. In the beginning I felt out of place and fumbled a lot. With time though, I have improved and have started to settle in.  I found these two articles recently that would have helped me immensely had I read them before I started: Know Before You Go: CrossFit by Laura Schwecherl, and The Ultimate Guide To CrossFit Lingo by David Tao, both of which can be found on the Great List website. (Click the titles to access them.)

Seeing changes.

When you walk into that Box, regardless if it’s just your first workout  … Consider yourself an “athlete” because you are. You have accomplished what many people only think about and wish for by walking thru those doors, and when you finish that first workout I promise you that you WILL feel accomplished and leave you feeling like a million bucks despite the fact that you may felt as if you thought you would die. Yes, it is scary and intimidating, but after some time, you will find that it is not. The battle is half won once you walk thru those doors and finish that first workout.  To be able to say, “I did that!” is an AMAZING feeling.  I promise you that!

You ready?  3 … 2 … 1 … Gooooooo!

What Am I? I am BEAST MODE!

Obsessed or Addicted?

Resting is an IMPORTANT part of any training ...

The last two months have been rough on me and my body.  I’ve been sicker than I have been in a really LONG time.  But I’ve worked through it and I’ve gotten considerably better and am at almost 100% … because I’ve actually taken the time to rest and take care of myself.  Being sick was actually more like a “forced rest” for my rib joints that have been injured, and it was a blessing that I finally went to  see my Physical Therapist.

I’ve gotten a lot of flack from people though about my exercise habits, especially while sick.  Not a little, but a lot.  People like to say things to me like, “You’re obsessed.” Or, “You’re addicted.”  Really, people?  Maybe I am, but which one am I?  Let’s look at the definitions and then figure out which one I am, obsessed or addicted …

The World English Dictionary defines obsessed as: (noun)  A persistent preoccupation, idea, or feeling.  In psychiatry, they say it’s a persistent idea or impulse that continually forcesits way into consciousness, often associated with anxiety andmental illness.  Ohhhhkaaayyy … so an obsession is something that dominates your thinking or your thoughts, right? That can’t be all that bad.

Addiction, on the other hand, is defined by as: (noun)  The state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.  So, of the two, obsession or addiction, this is the worse of the two, right, because it implies that it affects your mood and behavior negatively. This is BAD.

I’m neither.  Seriously … I do think about my exercise habits, but not to the point where I think I’m going to kill myself trying to do it.  Honestly, in the last couple weeks, I have NOT exercised consistently at all.  My trainer has sent me texts wondering if I have fallen off the planet.  I’ve run a few races, but not at 100%.  The last race I ran, I practically had to walk because I was so sick.  So … I know my limits.  I understand and know when I can’t push and should stop.  What most people are seeing though are my Facebook posts that I “ran” a race or that I went to workout.  It’s not consistent, people.  Yes, I love my workouts.  I love working out and getting physical, but I know when I can and can’t and shouldn’t  … I know.  Ask my friends that I workout with … They will vouch that I have NOT been in the box hitting the gym consistently at all.  Ask my running partners … They will tell you that I have not been running as far or even as much as I should.  My husband will tell you that I go to races sick and gagging, but I still run because 1) I already paid for the race, and 2) I wouldn’t run if I really physically couldn’t.  Ask my trainer, and he’ll tell you that I’ve been missing in action, and he’s been big on me getting better so he tells me to get better then get my a$$ back in the gym. Over the last few weeks, I could be found lounging on the couch or in bed chillin’, and taking more vitamins and even a round of antibiotics that I usually would NOT take.

There ya go ...

So obsessed or addicted? I believe that my behaviors border on obsession, but … I believe that the word we’re looking for here is dedicated.  Defined, dedicated means: (adjective) wholly committed to something, as to an ideal, political cause, or personal goal.  I have fitness and training goals, and I LOVE training and working out, however not to the point where I’d say I’d kill myself if I didn’t.  I like to joke that I am somewhat “OCD” about my workouts, but I’ve been known to be lazy at times, so “addiction” does not fit me.  It’s dedication, not obsessed, nor addicted … I am DEDICATED.

Shhhh! Shut up already!

I also would like to point out that the people who are such “experts” on letting me know that I have obsessed and addicted behaviors, have BMIs over 30+ and are no where near active in any way shape or form and they should just keep their mouths shut – verbally and physically to keep the crap that they say from spewing out, and to keep the crap that they feed themselves from getting in! Really, don’t people have better things to do than comment on MY behavior, when they have absolutely NO room to talk about their obsessions and addictions with lack of exercise and with their love of carbs and junk food?

Bitter much? Naw, just tired of people who think they know everything about me when they don’t even know me … Let ME worry about ME.  Okay … I know that I’ve really gone round and round with this over the last few posts so I’ll get off my soap box now.  I’m done. Before I sign off, have a peek at this article … It’s a really good article on foods that can help you heal and recover.   Have a great day, everyone!

Updated Racing & Workout Schedule

Here it is, the second quarter of 2012!  Yikes, where have the last three months gone? It’s been a great year so far, can’t complain.  I’ve been doing what I love and having a great time with some awesome people.

I’m ramping up my training schedule, people! Time to get even more serious about what I’m doing and put more thought into what I desire to achieve and how I’m going to get the results I desire!  I have a ton of aspirations and goals, and believe you me, I am going to attain all of them!!!

If you’re looking for me during the week, you can find me in the mornings with my gal pals Alexis, Lisa, and Becky, along with our BAD A$$ trainer, Gabe Subry, in the box at Cross Fit 209 Sport.  This is a great box to workout in, and we have a lot of fun as we get fit and super strong.

In the evenings, when I’m not working, you can find me at Central Valley Krav Maga/American Martial Arts Academy.  I’ve been a member here for 10 years now, and I love the atmosphere and the people!  The instructors are awesome, and I truly have made some great friends here.  It’s a great place to workout your frustrations, build your confidence, and just have FUN!

With that being said … This next quarter of my running brings me to some really great venues!

Starting off on April 1st, we’ll head off to Elk Grove for the Inaugural Running of The Elk Half Marathon.  This should be a fun little event.  I’m looking forward to seeing my friend, Shiloh, and running with Chris!

The following Saturday, I’ll be heading off to Hollywood with my gal pal, Alexis, to run the Inaugural Hollywood Half Marathon!  How cool is this?!? Running with the stars, down the walk of fame, and a Red Carpet finish? I’m really excited about this race!

On the 21st, Alexis and I and our boys, Connor and Noah, will be making an appearance at the NorCal Survivor Mud Run in Lathrop.  3.5 miles and 16 obstacles!!! Yeah!  TONS of people are going to be at this crazy venue, and I’m excited to see how it all plays out.

The next day, Chris and I will head up to Calistoga to run the Inaugural Napa Valley Silverado Half Marathon.  I am certain that I am in for a treat for this run.  It’s going to be a BEAUTIFUL venue!

Finishing off the month, I’ll run the Asparagus Festival’s Great Spear It Run 5k! I’m looking forward to running this crazy race with my gangsta gal, Erika Rae!  She’ll get me in top speed condition! Lots of inaugural races in April.  It’s sure to be a great month!

May will bring me to San Francisco as I run the The Diva Race Half Marathon with my friend Rosie.  This will be Rosie’s first half, and I am honored to be running beside her.  She’s worried, but I am sure that she will do far better than she expects.  It’s going to be a fun weekend!

Next, you’ll find me in Fresno on the weekend of the 20th for my oldest son’s college graduation (yes, I did say COLLEGE) and for the 2nd annual California Classic Weekend! I ran this fun half last year which took the runners on a nice little tour of Fresno.  My favorite part was running thru the zoo!  So much fun!

Then I’ll close off the month with a crazy 10K run on Memorial Day for the Stockton Rotary’s Run to Eradicate Polio.  Last year I ran with Erika and had a really fun run.

In June, we’re heading up to So Cali!!!  It’s the beginning of summer vacation, so we thought we’d take the kids up to the beach.  Chris and I will be running the Ojai to Ocean Half Marathon!  I may consider changing this to a full marathon, but I haven’t decided just yet.  It’s all up in the air as of yet. I’m registered for the half for sure which will be a great run regardless!  That and I can’t wait to spend some time at the beach!  =)

I’m considering running the inaugural She Rocks The Trails run in mid June along with my pals Alexis, Becky, and Lisa!  If not this race, we can always run Brazen Racing’s Trail Quake Half Marathon which is part of their Ultra Half Series!  Either one will be a FUN venue!

If you’re looking to keep up with me and my crazy adventures, you can always find my racing schedule here at My Racing Schedule.  I update this site regularly. It’s a great tool to use, it’s easy and it’s free on iTunes! You can also find me on Daily Mile and on!  =)

That being said … I’ll do what I always do … Ask you to come along for the wildest, craziest ride ever!  It’ll be fun, and we’ll get in shape and get strong in the process!  Together!  Trust me … I’m crazy fun to workout with!  Just ask those that do … they’ll tell you!  Train HARD!  Train SMART!  Eat WELL!  And, most importantly, have FUN while you’re at it!

Strong Shoulders

My AWESOME back & shoulders! Yep.

It’s not a secret that I’ve had issues with my shoulders over the last few months. It’s been a rough road rehabing them also as I’m not quite the best patient, nor am I patient … at all.

It started right around the time of my birthday in October. I’m sure that I injured my left shoulder while doing dumbbell thrusters, most likely from doing them with a heavy weight. I got it checked by a couple of the ER Docs and PA’s that I work with and they were all in agreement that I strained my subscapular muscle. I wasn’t great at resting it though, and I ended up impinging my infraspinatus muscle. When it swelled, it really swelled, and it impinged the nerve also and would cause such shooting pains down to my fingertips!!!  I got adjusted by my chiropractor several times which helped immensely, as it started to affect my neck and head.  It was difficult for me to workout and watch others perform moves that were once sooooo easy for me. Push ups HURT. Throwing a left hook HURT. Pull ups? Forget it. And lifting weights over my head had me wincing like a girl. Seriously? Yeah.

In the middle of November, I had had enough and told my trainer that I needed to defer my training for a month. I couldn’t bear to workout and watch others, knowing that I could not, would not be able to do the moves that those that I workout with would be doing. It sucks to be there and have my workouts “modified” by my trainer. It sucks to have the pain that I have in my shoulder, but the resting helped and my left shoulder healed to about 80% after resting for a month … and I was ready to go back to the box … But something happened … I injured my right shoulder!!! Seriously!

I’m not sure how or when, but I’m sure it’s from the fact that with all the babying that I did for my left shoulder, the right one got the brunt of the pressure to perform and to pick up the slack that the left one could not do. That and coupled with the fact that my work backpack weighs as much as I do and I wear it with a single strap slung around my right shoulder … but seriously, I am not sure how I injured it.

Here’s my theory … I always pray for my children. Always. I pray for their health and safety. I pray for their happiness. I pray for their protection. I pray a lot. I pray that if they are sick or hurt or injured that they do not suffer. My boys play baseball. My Nathan is a pitcher. He is a very good high school pitcher. At the beginning of December, Nathan was playing baseball for a travel ball club and he did a lot of pitching. A LOT. He played in a championship game in which he pitched both days. Usually after he pitches, his arm and shoulder aches. Instead, he did not have any aches or pain … I did. My right shoulder ached and I know that I didn’t do anything to injure it, and it was the pitching motion that really hurt to perform. So it is my belief that whatever pain that Nathan was to endure was transferred to me. I’m okay with that. I have strong shoulders and can endure the pain, so yes, Lord, give it to me. I used to think that I carried my stress in my low back, but I don’t it’s up in my shoulders where it’s tight and heavy. Yep, here I am trying to be like Atlas and carry the weight of the world on my shoulders when I should know better.

Regardless of how I injured it, my right shoulder aches. It hurts even worse than the left one did. I’m smarter this time around though, and will not work it out, or push it to the extreme. My trainer is smart to not let me do any upper body at all. None! You can’t believe how crazy that makes me, but I know that it’s for the best.

Over the past weekend, I had an enlightenment as I cared for a little old lady who came in with a dislocated shoulder. DISLOCATED … I mean, seriously hanging there unattached. Yet she did not whimper, nor did she complain. I started her IV, gave her some pain meds that seemed to help, but the Doc that I was working with was leery to put her “under” to put her shoulder back into place because she had some underlying conditions that would not allow her to tolerate the medications that we use in the ER to put people to sleep. She agreed, and I watched as my Doc gave her a local anesthetic combined with some Morphine into her joint, then I gave her something to help her relax and some medications for pain … and he manipulated her shoulder for several minutes until it “popped” back into it’s socket. She whimpered not once. She complained not once. We’re talking about a 75 year old woman here.

She amazed me … giving me NO reason to complain or cry about my shoulder that is only mildly strained! So … I will NOT. I will not complain, nor whine about my “minor” injury. Because that’s exactly what it is … minor compared to the problems that others have with their shoulders. I’ve seen people with dislocations that cry and scream out in pain. I’ve had patients with chronic shoulder issues that don’t bother to take the time to take care of it so it’s chronically injured. I’ve had patients who have had shoulder surgeries, some multiple times. I will NOT be this individual. I will take the time to let my shoulder heal. I will take the time to rehab my shoulder correctly. I will love my shoulders because they are strong, and beautiful, and awesome. I will no longer pretend to be Atlas and let the weight of the world be distributed evenly among all of us.

As I write this, my shoulders are both healing. I can tell that they’re getting better. I’ve been good about letting them “rest.” I have strong shoulders. I’m good at healing my body – at telling it what to do. I’m workin’ hard on sculpting myself an awesome back and shoulders. My shoulders WILL ROCK! Just you wait and see …

Marathon Training – Week 19 … Decisions, Decisions

As of today, I have not fully committed to running the California International Marathon.  I have less than one month, and I have not decided whether or not to run this race, or to say, “Eff it!” and let it be my very first DNS!

This is where my Libra personality truly shows.  As a Libra, I have such trouble with making decisions.  I want so much for the answers to just come to me, and for them to just come easy.  I am ashamed to admit that I want decisions to be made for me so I don’t have to think.  I want things to be cut and dry.  It’s too difficult for me to be able to see both sides, and they both weigh so heavily on my mind.  I think too much, is my problem.  I can’t be one of those individuals that doesn’t think and just does, just takes a chance and goes for it.  Instead, I think, and think, and then over think as I weigh the pros and cons in my mind.  I can’t ask anyone what they think because ultimately the decision is mine and only mine to make, and I will have to live with that decision.

So … here I am.  Undecided with only three weeks left to go.  Not only that, I’m currently undertrained and slightly injured.  I haven’t run more than 15 miles in any one given run.  I am also suffering from a lot of issues with my ankles in which they start to give out on me at around mile 13.  I know.  Lots of things to think about, and I better think fast.  Oh boy …

Before I get too deep in thought … Let me recap my week for you …

40% chance of rain ... 60% chance of sunshine & clear skies. I should've banked on the sunshine!
Such a great venue! Loved it! Hoodie & Bling!

Sunday:  Sunday you would have found me in Fresno, California at the Two Cities Marathon.  You will recall that I had spent an awesome day with three of my kiddos on Saturday milling around the Expo and eating dinner, etc.

What can I say about the Two Cities Marathon?  They predicted 40% chance of rain … so what did I do?  I didn’t bank on the 60% chance of sunshine.  I dressed for wet and cold, and instead it was dry, warm, and sunny.  It was a perfect day in Fresno and I was overdressed!!!  Seriously OVERDRESSED.  Wow.  Capris (I haven’t worn a capri since February!!!), tank, long sleeve, and a lightweight jacket (in case that 40% chance of rain falls, y’know?).  Oh, and I can’t forget that I was asked to wear a fox beanie by my son for good luck.  It didn’t rain even one single, tiny drop … It was beautiful and sunny for my entire run.

It was great that most of the hotels offered shuttle service from to the start.  I came alone, no husband, and I didn’t ask my kiddos to come tag along and wait until I was done running.  I didn’t know anyone there, although once I got there, I could see on FaceBook that there were a few people that I knew who signed up.  There were thousands of people at the start.  I had my coffee and breakfast while on the shuttle.  I had some random person snap my picture while waiting for the start, used the Porta Potty, and then made my way down to the corral I was assigned to.

The course itself was really nice.  I can tell you that the crowd support was awesome, as well as the entertainment along the way.  It’s become somewhat customary that I use the porta potty at mile 2 – so I took a short break and went.  Throughout the run, there were ample aid and water stations, there was no shortage or long lines for porta potties either.

I had a great run.  I enjoyed running and interacting with the crowd.  I got a lot of compliments on my son’s beanie, and since our bibs were custom, most people gave me a shout out as I ran by.  As usual, I thanked as many volunteers as I could for being out there to support and help us, and I encouraged most of the runners that I ran alongside.  I have found that it really helps me when I am able to do that for others because I know how difficult it can be.

I ran a fair race.  I can tell you that I started to have ankle issues around mile 7.  Since I’ve had PF, I haven’t really been able to find the correct orthotics to help with the way my ankle turns in when I run.  I’ve kind of been neglecting it because it really doesn’t bother me until after the run.  However, running a half marathon and suffering is going to be much more difficult than running a FULL marathon and maybe having my feet fall off and the ankles.  It may be a real problem!  I’ve been trying to get into see my PT so that he can help me figure out how to stabilize my ankles.  I have also been experimenting with different shoes to see if that will help.  So far nothing.  So … my hubby’s suggestion is that if I do decide to run CIM, he will meet me at the half way point (exchange #3 for the relay) with food and a change of shoes.  Which may be something to consider.

Anyhow … back to Two Cities Half Marathon … the finish was incredible.  LOTS of people cheering.  And a short recovery walk from the finish until you got your medal hung around your neck, water, chocolate milk, and a very warm hoodie!  YES, I said a hoodie!  Immediately after, you are surrounded by tents with people cooking breakfast – HOT meals – pancakes, bacon, sausage, etc., and a tent with ice cream sundaes.  It was incredible!

Getting from the finish, back to the place where the shuttle bus driver said he would be was amusing!  I got lost.  I asked several volunteers and they all steered me in various directions except for the right one.  My only option was to pull out my iPhone, and use my GPS to find my way back.  It was only one mile and some change, so I wasn’t worried.  I had thought about calling my son to pick me up, but road closures and getting my daughter out the door would make things difficult so I opted not to call him.  I would trek my way back, and as I did, I prayed to God that I would somehow meet up with the shuttles so I would not have to walk long.  As luck would have it, I didn’t have to walk far.  God heard me.  I walked smack into the the shuttle bus driver.  Thank you, Jesus!  I got him to take my post-race picture then he drove me back to my hotel without incident where I was able to take a very long, hot shower, and checkout on time!

Would I run it again?  Yes.  It was a really nice venue!  I enjoyed the expo and the post race festivities!  I like the fact that the hotels were able to coordinate shuttles.  I love the hoodies and the hot breakfast.  I enjoyed the course entertainment, and crowd support!  It was a great race.  Not my best race, but it was fun, and I had a good time.

Monday:  I thought I’d rest.  Instead, I hit up AMAA for some cardio fun in the afternoon once I was able to get a good couple hours rest after my kiddos left for school.  You know that I love cardio at AMAA!  I love working out with my friends.  I had to modify a lot of the moves because I can’t throw a left hook because of my bum shoulder, but it was all good.  I had a really great 45 minute session with a lot of leg and core work!  =)

Tuesday:  You found me in the box today with a workout that really kicked my behind!  Seriously … It made me wish that I stayed home.

The warm up kicked my behind … Literally. Thank God for my hubby who carried a little of my weight at the end of the sled pull. Ugh. So weak today!

The Warm Up:
20 High Knees, Butt Kickers
20 Squats, Lunges
20 Kips
10 Push Ups, Pull Ups
400 m sled pull (125 #)
I couldn’t pull the sled at body wt today, so for the last 200m, Chris took a load of 25# off me. Thank God for marriage, right? Sometimes it’s 50/50, 60/40, 90/10 …

Since my workouts are modified to accommodate my injured shoulder, my strength workout was Back Squats. Find an uncomfortable weight and do three sets of 5 reps. Okay then. My “uncomfortable” weight was #110 lbs. Yep – both the sled pull & my back squats were close to body wt. Ugh.

The Work Out:
Row 750m
50 HL Push Ups – for me modified to Jump Lunges
50 KB swings
50 Pull Ups – Modified to GHD Sit Ups
Row 750m

It was a really good workout, but when the warm up kicks your butt there’s a problem!  Whoa!

Wednesday:  The gist of it went down like this …

The Warm Up:

Run 1000m then
3 rounds of
10 Walk Out Push Ups
30 Ab Mat Sit Ups

Back Squats for me – work up to a weight that is uncomfortable and do 5 sets of 3 reps. Yeah. I love squats, so it took me awhile to find that uncomfortable weight of 105# (I think).

The Work Out:
6 Rounds of
5 Cleans (12# dumbbell touch ground, and lift overhead for me)
5 Burpees
5 Push Presses (26# KB swing for me)
5 Box Jumps
5 Front Squats
5 Push Up Deadlifts

Row 1000m

Thursday:  I love working out. There is no doubt about that. Today’s workout taxed me and made me doubt myself for a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, it was an awesome workout, but it was rough.

The Warm Up:
3 Rounds of
10 Burpees
10 Mountain Climbers
10 Ring Rows
200m Run

1 minute L sit
1 minute L hang
1 minute L ring support
2 minutes Hand Stand Hold
10 Skin The Cats

Okay … this workout really had to be modified for me because of my shoulder. I could do the L sits, but the L hangs I could not so that had to be modified. The Ring Support I could do. The Hand Stand Hold, I could not … so … my trainer modified it for me so that I had an upside down Bosu ball that I would put my hands on, and then an exercise ball that I would put my toes on and hold for 2 minutes. He wanted to see if I had plank skills … I have MAD Plank Skillz! I rocked that exercise and I’m pretty proud of myself! I skipped the Skin the Cat move altogether because I’m sure that was one of the exercises that jacked up my shoulder weeks ago!

The Work Out:
4 Rounds
200m Sandbag Carry (45# for me)
Sumo Deadlift High Pulls
Bar Facing Burpees

This. Workout. Kicked. My. Ass! It took a lot out of me, and I had to dig deep to find the strength to finish. But finish I did, and I finished strong.  But I was dying on the floor when I was done!  Although I had a substitute trainer today, I’m thankful that he was encouraging, and motivating.

When I got home from my workout, I had a message on my answering machine from my Chiropractor, Dr. Brian Crawford, telling me that he had read my FaceBook status and telling me that I needed to get my butt in his office so that he can fix my shoulder!  Lucky for me, my kiddos had an appointment so we all headed down there.  He cracked my back, my neck, then adjusted my left shoulder.  He knew which spots to hit in my scapula, the front of my shoulder, and my bicep.  He knew that there was some nerves that were also getting impinged along with my muscle because of the shooting pains I was getting in my bicep.  How did he know?  I didn’t say a word.  Let me just say that I felt instant relief after getting adjusted, then I was able to use the H-Wave for 30 minutes as I waited for my boys to finish.  I have an awesome Chiro.  He looks out for me, and didn’t charge me for my visit.  He knew that I was hurting as I’d been in a few weeks earlier complaining of the same thing.  He takes great care of my family and I and I would highly recommend him to everyone!

Friday:  It’s Friday, and it’s Veteran’s Day. I’m thinking that the box wouldn’t be open at all, but Noah, Chris, and I, and our tag-a-long, Grace, go in hopes that it will be open … and it was! I’m glad we went because we had a great session. Easy and fun. Well, you know “easy” means something entirely different to me.

The Warm Up:
800m run
3 rounds
10 PVC Good Mornings
10 PVC Squat Jumps
10 PVC Overhead Presses

The Workout #1:
11 minutes AMRAP
11 Ground to Overhead (modified to 26# KB swing)
11 Toe to Bar (modified to Ab Mat Sit Ups)
11 Box Jumps

The Workout #2:
5 minutes AMRAP
10 Ball Slams (modified to side slams for me)
7 Burpees

Deep stretching.

It was a nice way to end my week. =)

Saturday:  Nope … Got nothing for ya today.  I’ve worked out all week and I’m done.  Today’s a rest day for me.  Sleep and recover!  =)  Seriously!  Sleep and recover!

It’s been a great week.  I’ve worked out hard, and I can see results and I like that.  You know that my week last week was crap, and although I know that I need weeks like that where I do nothing, it was still mentally devastating that I had such a long rest period.  It threw my game off on Sunday when I ran in Fresno … Okay … It may or may not have, I just know that I wasn’t 100% at Fresno, where a few weeks earlier I had a great run in Stockton!  I just know that it makes a difference in my game and performance when I’ve worked out.

I know that in the upcoming weeks I have some really hard decisions to make.  I’m sure I’ll end up running CIM if just to run.  I have never DNS’d a race and I don’t know if I really want to.  I know that it won’t be a pretty run, but I know that if I do run, that I’ll finish!  So we’ll see …

Maybe I set my goals and bar too high.  I know that my expectations of myself are very high.  I’m hardest on myself and I expect a lot out of myself.  I’ve tried to lower the bar and my expectations, and I’m not just able to.  I am very good at beating myself up physically and mentally.  I am a positive thinker, and I do believe that what you tell yourself plays a big role in how you perform and what your outcome is … I know that I expect a lot out of myself, but I am also kind to myself.  I know when to back off, and when to let go of the dream.  It might take a minute, but I’m a realist.  It’s all good and I can roll with the punches.

As I roll into week 20, I’ll make my decision as to whether I’ll run CIM.  I’m pretty sure I’ve made up my mind.  I’ve had a couple heart to hearts with my good friends Marci (@BA_MarciRuns), and with Erika (@erikarae74).  I have yet to talk to my husband who knows me best, but seriously, I think I know which way I’m leaning.  Like I said, I know that ultimately the decision is up to me and me alone, and I will have to live with whatever I decide.  I’ll keep training hard.  I’ll get a LONG run in next week and see how I feel, and I’ll keep bugging my PT to help me with stabilizing my ankles.

It’s all good.  I know that whatever I decide, I’ll be okay with my decision.  It’s been a great training week for me!  I expect next week to be another good week.  I’ll make it the best week that it can possibly be.  I have a few friends running Clarksburk Country Run in Sacramento on Sunday … One running a half, the other a 20 miler.  I almost … *almost* signed up for the half, then the half relay … but in the end decided to stay home and chill out.  I don’t feel bad at all for missing a race!  =)  Those who have been following me know that I have been racing at least 2x month.  It’s taxing when you tally up my miniscule training runs during the week.  I know that I’m over a 1000 miles for 2011 already.  I’m proud of that.

So … Week 20’s comin’ up … Get out there everyone.  Train HARD!  Train SMART!  Eat WELL!  And, most importantly, have FUN in the process.

Marathon Training Week 18 – Recipe For DISASTER

I’m sure it happens to everyone, can’t be just me … Or maybe it can be just me.  I mean for the last three weeks I have been struggling.  I seriously mean STRUGGLING.  I’ve felt listless, no energy, no motivation, no drive.  I even considered that I’ve had some serious illness or caught a virus, but that’s been ruled out.  I’m just so freakin’ tired.  Then it hit me …

I have been going NON-STOP for the last few months.  Even when I take a “break” it’s only for a day or two and it’s because I’m working which is it’s own crazy workout, then it’s back to the grind.  I have been hitting the gym pretty hard and regularly, then running various races when I’m not at the gym.  I haven’t stopped at all.

But over the last three weeks, I have been having a lot of difficulty getting started, I’ve been feeling so BLAH!  I’ve had to struggle to get out of bed, then again struggle and force myself to go workout.  I’ve been trying so hard to fake it until I make it, however, I can’t fake it anymore.

I’m not suffering from burnout, what I’m suffering from is over training.  As I have said, I have done no real “resting” even on my rest days.  I’m always doing something.  It’s almost as if I hate to not be doing anything on any given day, thinking that if I stop I’ll fail.  I desire to be invincible, and to just keep on doing what I’m doing.  However …

Overtraining + Lack of Sleep + Poor Nutrition + No Rest = A true recipe for nothin’ but DISASTER!!!  Yeah … three races in three weeks in October, and hitting the box consistently every week … I have finally worked my body into a state where it says, “NO MORE, Row.  Not right now.  You need to take a break and I’m gonna slow you down for a minute.”  Not only do I feel worn out, but my left shoulder has been aching, sore … okay … screaming for some real relief!  So … Let me tell you what I’ve got for this week …

Sunday:  Nothing.  I got absolutely NO data for you whatsoever.  I was scheduled to run the Down and Dirty Mud Run in Folsom, and I never signed up for it.  I let the registration date pass me by, and my husband said that I needed to rest.  So … I chilled out all day doing a whole bunch of nothing.

Monday:  Again … Not a damn thing.  I was going to go workout, but went to sleep instead after working my long 12 hour shift.  In the afternoon, I hit the Chiropractor who gave me a much needed head to toe adjustment.  Dr. Brian gave my left shoulder some TLC, adjusting it, manipulating it, then massaging it.  I got a whole body massage, then laid on the traction table for awhile.  Then … my favorite … H-wave to my L shoulder for 30 minutes.  Ahhhhh … Bliss!  I love how my kids love going to the Chiropractor also.  They get full adjustments, massages, lay on the traction table, and get H-wave if they need it.  Actually, we went to see Dr. Brian because Chris and the kids were in a hit and run MVC on Saturday and Noah was complaining of some neck and shoulder pain, and Nate was complaining of back pain.  Noah ended up with whiplash, and Nate felt better after getting adjusted.  I just happened to be a tag a long today …

Tuesday:  Hmmmm … I did nothing in the morning, but come the afternoon, I had gotten Low Census at work and I hit that box at 1500.  Thank God for LC because had I not gotten LC, I would not have gone to workout at all.  The workout went something like this:

The Warm Up:
400m Run
20 sec Leg Swing (Forward, and Side/Side)
20 PVC OH Walking Lunges

The exercise was to find max Jerk and work 80%, 2 sets of 2, then to work the Power Snatch 3 sets of 2 at 75% … BUT … since I’m injured, my instructions were to find my one rep max deadlift and do a few sets of 2 reps. Ugh! My max today was 150 lbs.

The WorkOut:
2 minutes, AMRAP with NO rest of:
Hand stand walks, or wall walks (Since I’m lame, I got to do burpees – Yippee)
GHD Sit Ups
R arm Snatches (KB swing for me with a 26# KB)
L arm Snatches (again, KB swing was substituted d/t my shoulder)
Then Double Unders.

This was followed by a short run. Yea!

Wednesday:  Nope.  I was going to workout in the morning, then I got started late and ended up not going or doing anything at all … Nothing except sleep and rest up for my long 12 hour night shift.

Thursday:  Yeah … I was going to go.  I had every intention to do “something,” and instead, I went to sleep after working my long 12 hour shift.  Some days my bed just calls to me louder.

Friday:  Spent a lot of time planning for my trip to Fresno that’s happening on Saturday.  I’ll be running the Two Cities Half Marathon and spending the day with my oldest son and my daughter.  It’ll be a Girl’s driving trip, and a day to spend with my kiddos whom I love so much.

My friend, Vanessa, at FGB 2.
My friend, Dominic, at FGB 2.

Saturday:  The plan is to leave for Fresno as soon as possible.  I committed, however, to go to the second annual, Fight Gone Bad, at the box where I train.  I told my trainer that I would come support and take a few pics.  It was great to watch my friends compete.  I wanted to compete, however, my trainer said no, not with my injured shoulder.  Next time, he promised me.  My friend, Becky, who is also injured, stood on the sidelines and found our motivation as we watched others participate.  It was fuel for our fire!

Getting my ankles Rocktaped up!
My Girl, The Last Minute Stowaway, & Fox Boy!

We left for Fresno around 11:00, and made it there without incident.  Oh … we had a last minute stowaway as Noah wanted to come with us.  We met Sam at the Two Cities Marathon Packet Pick Up and Expo at Chuckchansi Stadium!  What a great expo … Lots of vendors and demonstrations.  Jeff Galloway was there!  I got a free 20 minute massage!  I picked up some Body Glide because I forgot mine.  I got a pair of really cool arm sleeves!  And I got my ankles taped up by Chris from Rocktape!  It was an awesome way to spend part of my afternoon.  Chris also gave me some tips for taping up my shoulder that may help with the pain.  Can’t wait to try it out!

At Five Restaurant with three of my kiddos!
Linguine Fruitte de Mare ... YUM!

After we checked into the hotel, we, or I carb loaded at a nice restaurant called Five in North Fresno.  It was great food, and my kiddos were happy to be there!  We had a nice meal, then we hit Target to pick up a few essentials – like a pair of headphones that I forgot, a small box of cereal, and a banana.  I know … Cereal and bananas don’t belong in the same sentence as Target.  Oh well.  I got my customary morning Starbucks coffee from the nearby Starbucks and hit the hotel! It was a nice day and evening with my kiddos!

So … that’s my lame week.  Literally lame.  I’ve been babying my left shoulder and just trying to shake off whatever it is that I have.  It’s been rough going.  Slowly, I can feel my shoulder getting better.  I’ve been stretching it, getting massages, and doing some range of motion exercises.  It’s not as painful anymore, but it’s still irritated.  Maybe another week.

I’m sure that not working out is not conducive to my training at all.  I know that I do need to rest though, and maybe it’s what I need … to just lay around and do absolutely nothing.  I believe though, that if I am not doing anything, if I am sedentary, then my training will suffer.  I can’t get it thru my thick skull that rest is also an important part of training.  I know that in my head, but I can’t seem to follow the advice without feeling weirded out that I haven’t done anything!  Out of seven days, I worked out one.  ONE!  Ugh.  But … I’ll take it for what it is and just move forward, and only look ahead and not back.

Next week is another new week.  It’s a chance to start over.  So … no more worrying.  I’ve got a half mary to run on Sunday, and more chances to make up what I’ve messed up this last week.  It’s all good.  Life is good.  So … As I bid good bye and good riddance to this crazy week … I ask you all to train HARD!  Train SMART.  Have FUN!  Eat right!  AND … Get some rest if you need it.

I leave you with a great blog on The Importance of Rest During Training … I should take the advice … It speaks to me AND I know better.  Catch ya’ll on the flip side!