Bored with the gym, try something new

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Are you bored with going to the gym? Tired of endless miles on a treadmill where you just don’t seem to get anywhere.?

 

Why not try something new. It is a workout with the same intensity as doing burpees over and over again combined with the cardio output of a marathoner’s speed workout.

 

There’s more snow in New England, grab a snow shovel. Can you dig it?

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One Goal

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For me there wasn’t much running in 2014. Getting injured early in the year can put a damper on any plans for running. And getting a really fun injury does more than put a damper on running it puts a cloud like the one that hangs over Eeyore on your running plans.

 

Last year my friends participated in a wide variety of races. And it looked amazing. There was the Ragnar, Marine Corps Marathon, Newport 10 Miler, tons of races in VA Beach and Florida. As I looked at the pics on social media I was a little envious because everyone was having so much fun.

 

So now that we are onto a new year I decided I need to find a realistic goal. My race calendar is currently very wide open and I plan to keep it that way for quite some time. And while I would love to have some grand goal of getting a PR in a 10k or running another half marathon my goal is much milder.

 

This year I have one very simple goal, I want to run a 5k. I want to be able to run all 3.1 miles. And I want to do it without really hurting myself.

 

To my friends who are onto big races, good luck. I will see you at the finish line.

Shhhh………

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When Jim changed his diet and started logging his food I jumped on board. I find that when both people in a couple do something together both people are more successful. About a month ago I started logging my food.

 

Writing down everything I eat made me very aware both the good and bad things I eat. It was pretty eye opening.

 

One of the side affects of logging your food is losing weight. Over the past month I’ve dropped 2 pounds.

 

This is something that I should celebrate. There are television shows dedicated to people celebrating their weight loss. But instead of celebrating I’ve been rather quiet about it.

 

I am a pretty fit person. I surf and do yoga. I have run marathons and half marathons (something I can’t wait to do again.) Sharing these things is safe; people are okay with hearing about it.

 

But people are less receptive (and sometimes critical) when they hear about a thin person losing weight. My goal wasn’t to lose weight, it just happened. Shedding some extra pounds is good for my knees, back, and ankles. It also is a sign that I am making better choices with my food.

 

Unfortunately sharing this may come across as bragging, vanity, or showing off. So this is something that I’ve quietly done. (Yes I know the irony of sharing this now.) But it makes you wonder why some people are offended by seeing someone become healthier.

 

Shame on people involved in skinny shaming, what’s next healthy hating, thin threatening, fitness frowning?

 

Let’s celebrate each other’s accomplishments and encourage one another.

 

Stop tearing other’s down, instead let’s build each other up. Then we’ll all be better.

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Dangerous calm

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Most people when they think of yoga picture meditation, breathing, and chanting “OM”. It is the picture of peacefulness and calm. Nothing dangerous or risky about it.

 

And it can be.

 

But yoga can be risky, dangerous, and make face your fears.

 

How you might ask?

 

There is a risk of falling on your face, literally. (And by the use of the word literally I mean it. If you fall on your face in yoga the rest of your body lands on your face. If it gets recorded you not only risk physical injury but emotional injury because you could be on an episode of MTVs Ridiculousness.)

 

For years I avoided the more challenging yoga poses. But one day I picked up a book that explains the anatomy of the body in a yoga pose. Of course I haven’t read the whole book but I looked at a lot of the pictures and found inspiration, I wanted to do a headstand and some of those poses where you support your body on your arms.

 

Those poses not only look cool but they are also a little dangerous. In order to do these poses you have to be able to focus all of your energy and attention on the task at hand. You have to be willing to face the fear of falling and go for it anyway.

 

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It is all in a name

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For some reason when I find out the name of my injury it makes the injury less scary.

 

This week my knee pain got a name, Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. After countless MRIs, poking, prodding, and x-rays we finally have a diagnosis. It makes the pain less scary because now it is not just something in my head, with a diagnosis it makes it real. (Not that the pain wasn’t real before it’s just frustrating when your tests come back normal, people begin to wonder if you might be a little loopy.)

 

So now that we have a diagnosis that means we can move forward to treatment. Unfortunately I found out there really isn’t much we can do except strengthen and stretch. Which I’m good with, I also have to make sure I use solid form when I run and no deep knee bends for me.

 

The other unfortunate piece of information is this injury can be pretty debilitating. The doctor told me there are a number of Marines who get medically separated because of this type of knee pain.

 

So while I am super stoked with a diagnosis I have to be mindful and respect this type of pain. It sounds like it can impact my favorite things to do list. At least with a name, now we know what we are fixing.

 

 

I can start a plan for pain management and therapy. But I also have to be mindful that this type of injury has the potential to wreak havoc on the activities I love. But now that we have a name for the pain, we can stop diagnosing and start fixing.

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Write it down

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It is really easy to claim you eat healthy but until you really keep track of the food you eat you can’t be too sure.

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Jim had a recent trip to the doctor where he discovered yet again he has high cholesterol. He’s actually known this for years but to the doctor who looks at the blood work it is quite a discovery. So Jim gets advice to change his diet and start exercising. After this visit Jim did something different, he downloaded My Fitness Pal to start a food diary. He said that once he started writing down what he was eating it became a little harder to have junk food because now he is accountable. Since he’s started logging his food Jim’s lost 8 pounds, pretty impressive because he hasn’t increased his exercise.

 

Once Jim told me about it I decided to give it a try. While writing down what I eat didn’t steer me away from the Fruity Pebbles I did manage to stay away from the chocolate treats. So far I’ve learned I consume too much sodium and I need to increase my protein. And I have to agree with Jim I do feel more accountable now that I’m logging what I eat.

 

Now we both get to see if this helps us both stay mindful of what we eat during the holidays.

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The first steps

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In February I thought I might never run again. Now I am open to the idea that I may never run the same way again.

 

Last weekend I decided it was time to lace up the shoes and go for a run. Okay- go for a jog. Okay- go for a really slow and short shuffle around the block.

 

Jim and I were shooting for about half a mile and we went just a little longer. I have to say after sitting out for this long half a mile was enough to make my calf muscles really sore. And yes to answer the question you are thinking of asking my ankle did feel tender both during and after the run.

 

Today we went out again, this time we made it almost a mile. After today’s run I am confident that I won’t be going much longer distances for a while, I still have quite a bit of rebuilding of muscles and confidence to do.

 

I think the confidence will take longer than the muscles. As Jim and I were running I kept imagining falling. Then after my imaginary fall all I could think about is how badly my leg hurt when I injured it.

 

As with all healing it takes time. But these two runs mark the first steps of healing.

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