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

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Peeing Like a Boy: The Painful Story Of How I Learned To Run

me and the assEveryone has their story, here’s mine.

I didn’t run track in high school. I didn’t run cross country either. Until I was thirty-two, the farthest I had ever run was two city blocks, and that was only because the police were chasing me out the back door of a party.

For me, running happened by accident. After my first child was born I became a bit of a cardio junkie in an effort to lose the baby weight. When I became pregnant with my second child, I did the elliptical five days a week up until my due date. When he was born I resumed the elliptical with a passion.>elliptical

For my 32nd birthday my husband bought me an IPod Shuffle. I was so pissed! What the hell was I supposed to do with an IPod? I watched TV when I worked out. I was never one to have headphones on and listen to music…I just didn’t care about music.Ipod shuffle

So one day I showed up at the gym, dropped my kids in the gym’s daycare and headed for the cardio room. The kids were only allowed two hours at the daycare so I had to hurry to get my workout in and shower before my time was up. When I got to the cardio room, all the elliptical machines were being used. I waited and waited and no one got off the machines. UGH! I was upset, this was eating into my two hours!

So I looked at the track. track2
I figured I could go walk the track while I waited. I grabbed my IPod Shuffle and headed out at a brisk pace. The music really pumped me up, so much so, that I actually broke into a bit of a jog. I had never jogged before.

Amazed that I made it around the track one entire time without stopping, I decided I would run around as many times as I could without stopping until I couldn’t run any more. With music blaring in my ear I started running. I ran one lap, then two, then another…I felt like I was dying but at the same time I felt like I was the most awesome person in the gym, cause I was RUNNING!

I finally came to a stop after reaching five whole laps. I was euphoric. I was on top of the world. I looked around to see if anyone else saw just how fricking amazing I was. I mean, they were just walking, but not me…I ran. I toot

I assumed I had run a couple of miles. I mean, it was five laps, maybe a lap is a mile, I didn’t know. I approached a little old lady walker to see if she had any idea how far a mile was on the track. She was really nice, probably honored to be talking to a runner, and explained that eleven and a half laps equal one mile.

WTF! Actually, I didn’t use that acronym, it wasn’t really around at the time but in my head I was saying the real words. How was it possible that I hadn’t even run a single mile!? I didn’t even make it one mile. I was so bummed. And then I decided to set a goal. One mile, non-stop.

I gathered up my will, cued up an especially inspirational song with a great beat and set out to run eleven and a half laps without stopping. I was a little smarter already, after my first five laps I had already learned the lesson of starting off too fast. With a much tamer pace I ran one lap then another keeping a focused look on my face and desire in my heart. As I entered the virgin area of lap six I tried not to let the unknown drag me down. By the time I was on lap eleven I was convincing myself that if I could do a mile, I could be president. I could literally do ANYTHING, if I could just run this mile. presidents-slideshow

The point marking eleven and a half miles was in my sight, I thought I would die before making it there. My legs were on fire and I could hardly breathe. I damn near pushed people out of the way so I wouldn’t need to waste any energy going around them. You could hear my sickly gasps for air all the way in the weight room…I was sure of it.

I did it. I made it eleven and a half laps, came to an abrupt stop nearly tripping an old man behind me, and held my hands up as if cutting the tape on a marathon. I did it. I was the BOMB! I simply could not wait to tell my husband, friends, and family (especially those on Facebook…poor thangs) just how awesome I was. I RAN A MILE!!
bragging<

My life has been forever changed since that day I ran eleven and a half laps around the track at my local gym. Despite the fact I was unable to descend stairs without sitting on my butt for a full week after running my first mile, despite having to pee standing up like a boy because I could sit without assistance, despite the delayed onset of excruciating pain…I continued to run and still do to this day. It's been over six years. I've run every distance up to the marathon and evolved into a triathlete. Amazing how things can change so dramatically in one silly day.
peeing like a boy

That stupid IPod is to blame. Had it not been for my silly husband buying me a stupid gift that I would NEVER use, I probably never would have run on the track that day. My husband’s gift, gave me a gift that I am forever thankful for.

PS: I no longer run with music, it took me a few years to grow out of the need for music while running. I write books while I run now, the music is distracting:)
triathlon pic<
braggingquotes

#running #triathlon #beginner #track #crosscountry #funny #Ipod #Race #elliptical

TMI on Racing

As I contemplate entering a #race next weekend I find myself reviewing what makes a great race.  I’m not talking about the actual race, though things like a flat course, crowd support, accurate timing and convenient location is all important.  What I’m talking about is beyond the race.

I don’t know if any of this is useful to all of you out there reading this, so I will do my best to make it entertaining. My goal is for you to make it all the way to the end and ultimately share it.

The following is a list of things that can make the difference of a PR (personal record) or a SCR (super crappy run).

1. TOY: Time of year.  Everyone has their ideal running temperature.  For me it’s 50 degrees F.  Here in Kentucky that means my best race is going to be in early spring or late fall.  Some people (freaks) thrive in the heat.  Where running in 90 degrees will add an extra minute and a half to each of my miles, some runners only tack on an extra 30 seconds.  Those runners should race in the heat because they are at a serious advantage.

2. DOC: Degree of Comfort.  I’ll never forget my first (and only) marathon.  I showed up in my #Vibram Five Fingers, faded pick running shorts and home-made arm warmers.  I met this group of girls who had on make-up and brand new outfits. They looked at me like, ‘you’re wearing that?’.  Hell yes I’m wearing this little missy.  This isn’t my first rodeo girls, race day isn’t the time to test out new threads.  Mile ten isn’t a good time to discover that your new shorts’ built-in underwear are eroding the regions down south.  And make-up?  Well, that’s up to you.  I don’t wear make-up very often so I am not comfortable in it, but if you wear it every day and feel naked without it; you better wear it.  Besides, it gives me something to laugh at near the end of the race.

THE NEXT ONE IS FOR WOMEN ONLY DESPITE ITS ACRONYM

3. TOM: Time of Month. Running magazines don’t like to talk about this and you will have a hard time getting a coach to mention it (especially if he’s a dude), but TOM makes a huge difference in your race.  Every woman is different and it is your responsibility to figure out what week you run best in.  For instance, the week before The Beast arrives I am at my all time weakest, most pathetic and slow pace.  But once The Beast has arrived I am, well…a Beast!  I am in instant kick-ass mode and running seems effortless.  So when I schedule a race, I make sure The Beast is in town.

4.  FART: Fans at Race Time. I never would have imagined it would make a damn bit of difference if I knew anyone standing on the sidelines of a race until I actually had friends/fans cheering me on at a sprint #triathlon I did.  For years I would quietly exit my house or hotel room in the morning leaving my family behind then enter a race in a strange town where I knew no one.  The sprint triathlon I did was just down the road in a subdivision with locals that I trained with.  When I found a friend at every corner I was fueled by their words, and it carried me to second place female overall.  My best triathlon to date.

5. FUEL: Food U Eat Lately.  Okay, that was just ridiculous.  But seriously, what you eat leading up to your race can make a huge difference.  If you eat McD’s five times a week with a little Taco Bell on the side, you will NOT run your best.  I don’t care if you are a rock star and you eat that crap three times a day, you will be a bigger rock star if you don’t.  If you go the extra mile and carb load early in the week and get your lean proteins later you will rock the race to the moon.  My advice: google ‘fueling for race day’ and learn what the experts say.  I have yet to master fueling properly, I tend to eat crap the night before and wash it down with beer.  This is not recommended if you are shooting for a PR (personal record).

6. TURD: Thoughts Un Race Day.  Yes, it’s true, even if you haven’t really trained and just randomly show up for a race, your mindset could get you a medal.  Believing you will kick major short-shorts butt will get you farther than the guy who stuck to his 8 week training plan and shows up on race day convinced he is going to suck Under Amour ass.  Don’t let anything convince you differently.  Even if you only get three hours of sleep, are unable to have a good BM (bowel movement…come on!) or you arrive later than you had planned, believing you are a rock star the morning of the race will always give you a great outcome.

Now go out there and choose your TOY, but make sure your TOM is just right.  Plan your FUEL well in advance and make sure you have a good FART.  But remember, in the end, your TURD will ultimately determine your outcome.