July 30, 2012

Hooray Fitness!

New things are brewing and it's getting very exciting over here!

First off, I signed up for Big Sur International Marathon at the end of April. It's a race I've always stared at in the magazines with pictures of the beautiful coast. It won't be a race to make good time, but instead a race to simply have a good time. It is definitely not flat and who would want to whiz past the gorgeous views anyway. (Though I do HOPE I am able to increase my speed from my marathon debut at MCM).

I've finally adjusted to life here in Colorado, just to have it shift again. I've been enjoying my leisurely mornings of sleeping in, making coffee and lazily lounging around the house until I need to clean, do laundry or cook. There has not been much exercising going on. I think I am slightly mentally scarred from my past year of running to convince myself to get back out there and tackle some miles.  Instead, I've been eyeing the cross fit gym that is just a couple miles down the road from the house. Since taking one cross fit class long ago in Macon, GA, I have been interesting in joining the cross fit family but I just haven't been able to commit. It's a lot of money and it never seemed to fit in with my racing schedules. I know you can technically pull up the work outs yourself and manage, but I KNOW I have crap form and I want someone to be there to tell me to squat lower, hold the bar here, etc...

Well, I finally have a job that will begin sometime in the next week. Yay money! This will afford me the opportunity to indulge myself with cross fit classes, buy a bike, and join an indoor pool so I can hone my freestyle swimming skills.  So today, my alarm went off at 5:20 for me to get dressed and head to the gym for my 6am Crossfit Elements Part One of Six intro. We covered air squats, front squats, back squats, overhead squats and burpees, and after we got a hang of everything we did 10 min AMRAP of 5 front squats, 5 burpees, 5 overhead squats.

10 min feels long when you already did tons of practice squats and burpees and then all of a sudden have to throw a workout in after. I completed almost 10 rounds, just shy with 3 overhead squats remaining. I more than held my own, being the only girl in the intro group and narrowly missing the lead amount for completed rounds in our group. Not that that is what cross fit is about, part of what I love about it all. You do it for yourself, you are your only competition. It felt SO good to sweat like that and feel like I was actively moving towards building more muscle and changing my body...which has gotten slightly soft over the past two months I've taken completely off from working out O:) Plus, what a great way to finally meet people in our town! I get to go back again Wednesday morning for part two, pretty excited.

So why would I want a bike and to learn how to competitively swim? Well...I just finished reading a book called Finding Ultra, by Rich Roll...a great, great book about a man who turns forty and decides to change his life around and accomplishes some amazing feats of endurance. He does some Ironmans in the book. Previously before reading that book, I read another book...one of my favorites, The Long Run. Such a great book and very inspiring. He completes an Ironman. I am now reading Heart of Iron and I am quickly moving through it because it is just so good. The things this man is able to overcome and accomplish...just wow. So in the very beginning of the book, he is describing competing as a special interest registrant in the Ironman Championships.

These themes start to get into your head a bit when you are looking to workout again but aren't entirely sure of jumping back into the ultra running scene just yet. Since we moved here, I've been wanting a bike so I can cross train and just recreationally ride. That somehow took on a new life when I started reading Heart of Iron to me just browsing online at the half ironman list in the USA. Then I noticed one that is driving distance, 8 hours, from here in Lawrence, Kansas. And it's in June...so it provides ample time for me to build up my body through crossfit, get endurance on the bike, and become a better swimmer all before the try season rolls back around next year.

So long term goals to work towards, Big Sur Marathon and Half Ironman Kansas.
Short term goals: work on swimming, biking, and running endurance. Keep straightening up my nutrition.

Registration hasn't opened yet for Kansas, but I'm pretty convinced that I will sign up when it does!

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