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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I’m Ready to Shoot the Ironman #Boom!

I turned 13 today.  And it really pisses me off.

See, about 15 years ago, when I was in college and surviving on Raman noodles and day-old French bread, I decided I needed to own a scale.  I went to the local Wal-Mart (back when they weren’t all SUPER) and purchased the cheapest scale they sold.

Over the years, this scale has become a friend.  Each day I’d step on it just before my shower and make sure it was telling me the same thing it had the day before, and usually it did, give or take a pound.

Over the years, the scale has become less accurate.  I know this because after my daughter was born I started attending a gym on a regular basis and used their fancy scale.  It always said I was exactly 7 pounds more than my scale at home did.  This fact made me love my old scale even more.

Through my second pregnancy my scale told me I was gaining less weight, topping out at a smaller number and recovering from my pregnancy even quicker than that damn clinic scale.  And thanks to my trusty old scale, I’ve been back to my pre-pregnancy weight for almost six years now.

I’m not stupid.  I know my real weight.  I know I am about 7 pounds heavier now than I was before getting pregnant, but I still love the sweet lies my scale tells me.  And when I am bloated and carrying an extra 4 pounds I can just reach down, adjust the dial on the scale and boom, just like that I am still at my pre-pregnancy weight.  #ScaleLove.

Six years ago, after my son was born, I started #running.  Shortly thereafter I started #swimming again and a couple years after that I started road #biking.  I became an athlete.  And as an athlete, I became even more obsessed with my #weight.  I started wondering about my body fat and found the generic calculation for it.  If I took my weight and my height it basically said I was 23% body #fat.  I was not impressed.

After perusing a Runner’s World Magazine one day I came across and advertisement for The #Ironman Scale.  I became fascinated with it.  I went on-line and learned about all the information it could give me by just standing on its beautiful glass surface.  It would tell me my weight, Body Fat %, Body Water %, #Muscle Mass, Physique Rating, DCI/BMR (whatever that it), Metabolic Age, Bone Mass and Visceral Fat!

So I started hinting to my husband that I might want one for Mother’s Day.  I knew it was way too much money to spend on a scale, easily 32 times the cost of my current one.  But just like magic, it arrived and he gave it to me. #HusbandLove.

It took a while to input my data.  It needed to know my age, gender, height down to the half inch, and it also wanted to know if I was an #athlete: YES! Yes, I am thank you very much.

I stepped on the scale.  I was instantly insulted by the weight it reported; approximately 6 pounds more than my current scale.  But my anger dissolved the next instant when it reported my % body fat: 14%! Damn right!  I was in love.  It rambled off the other numbers, it said I was hydrated, I didn’t care about muscle mass, my physique rating was 8 (thin/medium build with muscle but not a waif), it gave the BMR, and it said my metabolic age was 12!  That’s the lowest it goes.  And my visceral fat was a 1, and just so you know anything under 12 is considered healthy.  This scale was whispering beautiful things to me; it was my new best friend.

It didn’t take long for the excitement of the scale to wear off.  The only number that changed was my current weight, which would fluctuate by a couple of pounds, but all the other numbers pretty much stayed the same.  Most days I didn’t even bother to read them.

Today I hung around to read all the numbers.  That may have been a mistake.  My weight was up a whopping five pounds, my body fat was 17%, and my age was 13! The most astonishing number was my visceral fat: it was 2.  What in GODS name is happening!

You have to understand.  My visceral #fat didn’t just go from 1 to 2, it doubled.  It may as well been 25 to 50.  How was I suddenly a year older?  I’m 12 not 13!

And it isn’t like I’ve been slacking either.  I’ve been biking and running and swimming…in excess even.  I grabbed my husband, told him to get on the scale.  I instantly felt better.  He went from being 12 years old to being 17, HA!  At least I’m not that old.  His body fat was up to, from 9.3 to a staggering 15%.  Sadly, his depressing numbers made me feel a lot better.

Maybe there was some electrical glitch affecting the scale, maybe we ate something really wrong the day before, who knows?  But at least I wasn’t the only one who aged overnight.  Still, I felt a little like crying.  This stupid scale and its twisted honesty was bringing me down.

I did what any sane individual would do in this situation.  I went to the closet, pulled out my old rusty scale, adjusted the dial so it was just a few notches less than zero and stepped on it.  Boom! right back at my pre-pregnancy weight.  I love my old scale. #OldScaleLove