Faster, Fitter and Freakier at Forty

me and danny

I’ve been getting quite a few side-long glances lately, and I don’t mean from strangers. No, its mostly been my long-time friends and a few relatives that have been looking at me curiously. They aren’t quiet sure what to make of it, this new me, the old me but different.

My friends that expect me to drop everything and rearrange my schedule to go for a sixty mile bike ride or the friends that expect me to show up at the local race are wondering what has happened to their cardio junkie that could never get enough miles and their overly competitive buddy that could never acquire enough trophies to convince herself she could actually run.

The other homeschool moms are asking why I’m all dressed-up. What’s the occasion? My sister quit waiting for a fight, because I stopped starting one. My kids even stopped being afraid to ask a question, because I stopped jumping down their throat with the answers. My husband still does a double blink expecting his old wife to appear after he clears his eyes. But she hasn’t returned (thank the gods). And the new me is still here. Get used to her, because I’ve fallen in love with her (and so has my hubby).

Don’t worry world, I’m just as vain as ever, I just care less about what the world thinks and more about what I think about myself. If I fall asleep knowing my husband loves the hell out of me, my kids think I’m a superstar and I like myself, I’m gonna sleep well.

You may wonder what the hell all this has to do with running, biking and all the other bullshit I like to blog about, well here it is. I’m fitter, faster and freakier than ever at forty. That’s right, I am faster and fitter and freakier than ever. If you care to be the same at forty, I will attempt to explain what I’ve done without elaborating on how the transformation came about. Just think of it as a transformation that took place because I was exhausted of being my old self.

I may no longer care if the community knows I’m a fast runner, but I still care that I can run fast. A matter of fact, I am running faster now, just shy of age forty, than I have ever run in my life. My latest training run pace was the same pace as my fasted 5K ever. I’m proud of that (and yeah, I did just kind of brag about it). If you are wondering how it’s possible here it is in a nutshell: I run less, do more core and weights, and spend less time working out.

I used to average about 35-40 miles running, squeeze in about 100+ miles on my bike and a 3000 yards swim each week.

Now I run about 17 miles a week, do core/cardio 30 minutes five days a week and swim about 3000 yards one day a week. I work out no more than one hour a day and take off Sundays.

Here’s the thing, I used to run distance because I loved it. I would run away from my problems, contemplate life, indulge in my alone time. I would return refreshed but tired, too tired in fact, to have the energy to keep up with my two growing children. I would drag myself through the remaining portion of the day, dreading chores and schoolwork. By the time my hubby got home I was not only too tired to converse with him, I was resentful that he got to come home and relax while my day was still going. I was a resentful bitch and absolutely no fun to be around.

So now I workout for different reasons. I’m no longer escaping my life, quite the opposite really, I hate to leave for even 30 minutes because I don’t want to be away from my family that long. No, now I work out for my physical health and to look the way I desire to look. That last statement seems really vain, I know, but it is true. My personal happiness is directly related to how I look (so shoot me) and providing I have any control over that, I will work out to meet those needs. My husband appreciates it too, so why not?

Do I worry about gaining weight? No. I figured out a long time ago that weight has nothing to do with how much you work out. I was my heaviest when I was training for my marathon. Weight has everything to do with what you eat (not how much you eat). A calorie is NOT a calorie. If you want to hear more about this, you may have to wait for another blog.

Here’s another tip for those of you pushing forty, especially the cardio junkies: you need more weight training and less endurance training to maintain your lovely figure, especially you ladies. I promise to write a blog about my take on looking hot into your forties next.

So to wrap it up, here is my new me and the philosophy I live by:

Go short and fast (running), do more core and weight training to be leaner not meaner, ride for pleasure not distance, never use a workout as a reason to eat, carb-up, or replace calories.

Always look your best. I don’t care if you are going to the grocery store or to the homeschool co-op, look and be the best you can be. Why the hell would you want anything less for yourself?

If you are too damned tired from your workout to listen and keep up with your kids, then you are being a selfish bitch. Cut it out. They will grow up to hate you.

If you don’t have the desire to jump into your husbands arms and kiss him all over (literally) when he walks through that door, then it’s time to stop and evaluate yourself. Nuf said.

And for those of you who don’t think I was funny enough in this blog, please check out my new favorite website: www.chocolateanus.com. All my runclub friends are getting one of these this year:)

and please, if you like what I have to say, can you please share my blog with your friends?

#running #forty #biking #relationships #racing #kids

The Coolest Person He Knows

I moved to a minuscule town of 333 people about a year and a half ago.  When I moved here it had nothing except a post office, a bank, a hair salon and a paint shop.  Over the last year the bank closed, the salon shut down and I hear they are closing the post office.

The reason I moved here is a long story and I don’t have time to explain right now but in short: I own my house free and clear and I’m only 25 miles from the city.

As you may or may not know; I #run and ride bike.  When I moved here I instantly fell in love with the area.  Though it is 25 miles from the city, it is 25 mile deep in the woods and hills surrounded by twisty tree covered lanes, lush fields and endless streams.  You simply cannot find a more beautiful place to run or ride your bike in all of #Kentucky.

Me being ambitious as I am, I decided that everyone needed to ride their bikes here.  Sure #Lexington has their Thoroughbred farms and plank fencing but #Sadieville has more!  We have barbed wire and vines that suffocate trees.  We have goat farms (with goats that constantly need rescuing) and possum (some alive) and deer!  Once over a 6 mile stretch of road I spotted 18 white tailed deer.

So I decided to create my own #Bike Tour.  After a year in the making the Sadie’hill’ Bike tour is set to go off this coming Saturday.  Over the last couple of weeks my husband, Danny, and I have been out on our bikes marking the roads for the tour.

Last week we were marking the 37 mile route, me with a backpack on carrying 4 cans of spray paint and 5 different stencils.  As we started out up a particularly steep climb a Red Tailed Hawk took a couple leaps from the grass toward us.  His wing span was quite impressive, he captured our attention as we both came to a stop in awe of him.

“He’s hurt.”

“He’s amazing.”

We dismounted our bikes to get a better look.  One of his wings dangled useless from his side.  He stared at us, daring us to look away first.  Then he hopped into the brush and hid.

Luckily for us we had spray paint.  I took out my can of florescent orange paint and sprayed a big X on the grass where we saw him last with the intention to return with the car.

When we returned an hour later Danny set out into the woods to look for the hawk.  I unloaded the cage and a towel, grabbed my single leather glove (I couldn’t find the other one to save my life…or my hand).

“I can’t find him.”

We looked everywhere.  The amazing creature was young and his colors were designed to blend in with his surroundings, it would take some serious luck to find him at this point.  We were just ready to give up our search.

Then I heard my husband.

“Hey.  Babe.  He’s right here.”

I told my Danny to “keep an eye on him but don’t move in yet”, then I grabbed the cage and the towel to bring them closer.  When I returned we each went to opposite corners and slowly moved in on the confused, yet ever staring, creature.

“You are insane.  I would never get anywhere close to that thing.  Look at the way he’s staring at you.  He wants to kill you.”

I move in on the hawk, he steps onto his limp wing and rolls onto his back, never taking his eyes off of me.  I lay my towel over him, reach my hand under his back and use my gloved hand to pull his wings into his body.  I cradle him in my hands like a football; he can’t weigh more than a couple pounds.

As I pull him closer to my body and start heading over to the cage my husband says the most romantic words I’ve heard in a long time.

“You are the coolest person I know.”

I don’t know what it is about that statement, it kind of makes me worry that he doesn’t know anyone.  But that made my day.  Normally rescuing an #animal is reward enough for me, but having my husband think I’m cool, well that’s just the shit.

 

End Note:  Broadbent Wildlife Sanctuary came to my house the next day to pick up the Red Tailed Hawk.  I was happy that the little guy made it through the night, that’s the biggest hurdle when it comes to a wild animal surviving trauma.  The man got out of the vehicle and we instantly recognized each other.  He was the man that came to pick up the baby possums I rescued just a couple months ago.  I have since put Broadbent #Wildlife Sanctuary in my phone; it is really nice having a place that so readily responds to an animal in need.