(I don't make it look as believable)
Anywho, since then, Rebecca and I have bonded over things
besides food – one of those being fitness! Like me, sometimes (lots of times)
Rebecca likes to lift heavy things. I love that she knows MUSCLES ARE SEXY. And
let me tell you, her gun show is the best in town.
Recently, we both started to do Kayla Itsine’s 12 week “Bikini
I’ve explained in previous posts
that originally, I thought this
program would be no big deal. I mean, it’s called the “Bikini Body Guide.” How
legit could it be? It sounded like just another trend that would over promise
and under deliver. But as I wasn’t able to run at the time, I figured I would
give it a shot.
Shit that shit was hard.
Leg day? I would be sore for at least 2 or 3 days
Kayla Itsine’s guide isn’t anything revolutionary. She’s
taken a bunch of standard strength and cardio moves and put them into an easy
to follow plan – it’s short but high intensity. You WILL be dripping in sweat
by the end.
As someone who generally despises any and all jumping
exercises – this was especially challenging for me. If I never have to do
another jumping lunge in my life it would be too soon.
I was loving Kayla’s BBG for a while. And then I started
running again. And suddenly the 3X a week commitment on top of trying to run 18
miles a week, swim and fit in yoga got to be overwhelming. I wasn’t looking
forward to the workouts anymore and while the leg and ab routines were awesome,
my arms weren’t feeling challenged.
Not usually one to quit things, especially fitness-based
things, I pretty un-guiltily just…stopped…
After a solid 8 weeks of completing all the workouts, I had
had enough. I felt a little bummed. But I also felt excited to be running
again, and that off-set any “You’re a quitter” thoughts that I was having about
cutting Kayla’s BBG short.
Last week at November Project, I got really excited when
Rebecca arrived and I got to run with her for 2 miles. And again, we totally
bonded over the conversation topic of choice– Rebecca’s statement of, “I’m just kind of
confused on my fitness journey.”
DING DING DING!
Exactly how I have been feeling! And since that run
together, I’ve been thinking about it even more. I’m feeling a little lost on
my fitness journey so I’m going to try to write it out to gain some clarity.
I’m not training for
The fall marathon I
thought I was going to run as an attempt to BQ – that most definitely didn’t
happen. I've been a little sad lately watching everyone around me planning for and running
their long runs – especially when it’s so beautiful out!
Do I want to run a spring marathon? I still can’t decide. I
trained for Pittsburgh over the long winter months last year and it was hard. I
know Peter will be an amazing source of support if I decide to do it again, but
I just don’t know if I have the motivation right now for 7 a.m. alarms when the
thermometer is in the teens. Then again – I want that BQ. The weather for
spring marathons is beautiful. What else am I going to do all winter? So – the jury
is still out.
I have been slowly increasing my weekly mileage and so far
so good – except that it's still frustrating that I
feel like I'm having a fast, strong run - putting in a ton of effort and left
completely gassed after 4 miles - yet my pace is so. much. slower. than a few
months ago. I know I need to be patient, but I may or may not have cried on a
rock in Central Park after Saturday's run. I used to wake up and run the 6 mile
loop at a 7:50 pace pretty consistently while training for Pittsburgh.
Saturday, it took every ounce of energy to run 4 miles at 7:58. Grr.
have a few running-related goals to work towards, however.
I just signed up for the NYC Runs 10K on
Roosevelt Island on Halloween! I want to be excited, but I know the reality of
how much speed and endurance I’ve lost in the past 5 months is going to hit me
like a ton of bricks when I cross this finish line. At the 2014 Scotland Run
10K, I threw down a 45:23 – 7:19 pace. Yikes.
I plan on running a new Turkey Trot this year –
a 5 miler near my home on Long Island. My official 5 miler PR is the Poland
Spring Marathon Kick Off which I ran monstrously hungover last fall – so we’ll
see if a 7:45 pace is something I can top.
With our upcoming trip to Austin, Texas planned –
half marathon is on the calendar. The Decker Challenge is a
hilllllly course that I’m not expecting to PR, but hoping to feel OK running.
It will be my longest run since May’s Brooklyn Half Marathon if/when I cross
Ted Corbitt 15K is the last NYRR points race of
the year – and since I’ve been unable to race as a member of November Project’s
team yet, I want to be out there running! It will be a PR no matter what, as it’s
a new distance for me.
Last but not least on the calendar (for now) is
the Blue Point 10 Miler – which was an AMAZING race I ran last winter. This
year it will be even better since I will hopefully have friends to drink with
after. By then, who in the world knows what my pace will be like – but I don’t
anticipate it being easy to beat last year’s 8:13 pace. Time will tell!
Focusing on these shorter distance races will be different
for me and I’m hoping it eases me back into running/racing/going fast and then
if I decide I want to go far – we’ll see about that spring marathon. I have
another month or two to decide.
not being something I’ve been focusing on a lot – but I do really love it! I
love going to the gym and coming up with my own circuits focused on certain body
parts – waking up in the morning and knowing within a minute, “Oh yeah right, I
did triceps yesterday – definitely worked!” Marathon training makes it really
hard to spend a ton of time doing much besides running. And it makes it really
reallllly hard to spend any time at all focused on arms. I’ve come to accept
that I need to include one day a week of leg strength training to keep my hips
and glutes strong. But in the next few weeks I hope to incorporate some more
abs and arms as well, despite the fact that I’m not still following Kayla
If anyone has fun strength training ladders/HIIT/Tabata/etc.
that they’d like to share, please do!
something I’ve been super gung ho about for a few months now. I started saving,
I started researching bikes, I started bothering people with a million and one
questions (sorry everyone). I spent $80 on shoes for spin class that I have yet
to attach the cleats to. I started swimming once or twice a week. And now, I’m
signed up for swimming lessons once a week.
And suddenly – I don’t know if I want to do a tri.
That’s not true. I know I want to do a tri. I think I would
like it. Maybe love it. That “Iron Man” challenge is definitely still in the
back of my crazy mind. But I just don’t know if right now is the time.
Triathloning (yes, it’s a word…) is
I just booked a flight to Austin for a 6 day vacation and half
marathon and it’s probably going to end up costing me less than a bike would
cost me. Not to mention the $200 entry fees, a wet suit, and the tons of biking
things I’m sure I don’t even know about yet.
So, jury is also out on whether or not a tri is in my future
at the moment - but I do still plan on
stopping at a bike store to get myself fitted so that I can properly stalk
Craiglist for a used bike in my size. Doesn’t hurt to keep my eyes open!
And in the meantime, I’ve found that swimming is a nice new
challenge and I’m looking forward to finishing this 8 week course and keeping a
weekly swim in my fitness repertoire.
continues to bore me for the most part – but I
notice a huge difference when I go
twice a week as opposed to, you know, thinking my body will magically be fine
without zero stretching. So, I’ve been trying to be consistent with that!
Unfortunately, writing all of that out didn’t give me any
real clarity on why I’m feeling kind of “meh” at the moment – why I can’t seem
to figure out what I want to put my energy towards.
But maybe the moral of this incredibly long
blog post isn’t, “Figure out what your next challenge is” or, “Figure out what
muscle you want to develop next!” Maybe the moral of it is that I’m going to
accept the fact that sometimes, we don’t know exactly where we’re headed.
there’s nothing calling to me right now, maybe it’s because physically or
mentally I need to take a chill pill. Or maybe the lack of direction is making
room for something else to unexpectedly turn up – roller blading, that field
hockey league I’ve been wanting to join, trapeze school? I’m keeping an open
mind and not ruling anything out.
Some days it makes me a little antsy. Without
a calendar to tell me how many miles I need to run on Saturday morning, who am
I?! Answer: still Lauren.
for a lot of fitness-loving ladies and lads – I think that’s harder for us to
believe than it should be.
So listen up. I’m talking to you and I’m talking to myself:
If you’re ever feeling a little down because you feel “lazy” without a big
shiny goal – stop.
Stop scrolling through your Instagram and getting down on
yourself because you aren’t preparing to run a marathon. Stop scrolling through
your Instagram and getting down on yourself because you aren’t spiritually
moved by downward dog. Stop scrolling through your Instagram and getting down
on yourself because you didn’t do a WOD at the box this morning.
Maybe you enjoyed a walk through the fall foliage. Or a jog.
Or a giant picnic. Maybe you dragged yourself to yoga because you know you
needed to stretch your calves. Maybe you hope to never use the term WOD in your
life. Maybe you slept in.
As long as we are
moving our bodies in ways that feel good and right for us in the moment, and
letting them rest when they want to rest, we shouldn’t feeling anything but
Appreciate that we’ve found ways to move and be active that
we genuinely enjoy. Appreciate that we’ve realized endorphins really are like
drugs. Appreciate that fitness is a great way to connect with your body – to know
when it wants to move and how it wants to move and when it wants to rest.
To know on the day that you’re signing up for a marathon
that you are ready to commit to it.
To know on a certain day that you can go that extra 100
meters in the pool.
To know on a certain day that you are definitely not going
to make it to that spin class you signed up for.
To know on a certain day that the time has come to train for
your first tri.
To walk into the gym ready for a tricep workout only to get
there and see tthe TRX machine is empty and you feel like doing some back exercises instead.
I loved that Rebecca referred to it as her
No two people’s journeys are going to be the same. Some days
your journey is going to be awesomely downhill and wonderful and fun and some
days or weeks or months it’s going to be slow going. Then there are those forks
in the road where you’re not quite sure what’s coming up next.
It’s allllll part of it.
So instead of getting down, embrace
it and keep your eyes open for the moment when your next goal appears on the
horizon. And when it presents itself, you give that goal your all.