Category Archives: Keeping It Real

the Siren Song of the Rabbit Hole

Or, alternatively, “When It Feels Like Life is Kicking Your Ass.”

It’s inevitable.

There are those days when it just feels like you were shuffling along, already feeling down, then life creeps up behind you in the hall, pulls your shirt over your head, pushes you over and kicks you while you’re down.

And some days, there’s no fight left, so we lay there and take it, almost as though if we are quiet, if we embrace it, if we let it happen, then somehow it will go away and things will be better. Or maybe it’s the idea that if we can feel something else, if we can let it seep in, then the physical ache will match the internal ache, the exhaustion in our hearts and minds will be too real to deny.

Some days we need that ache. The reality check of emotion never ceases to force us to both look deeper inside and take a step back to view the bigger picture. We both fall within ourselves and scream tearing off our skin as though trying to escape from a hell we were somehow bound to yet cannot explain how or why. As we fall deeper within, there is comfort in the darkness when it is familiar. In the same breath, we recognize where we are, where we are going, the potential chaos it will unleash and grasp at any fiber of our being that is willing to fight, that remembers how, that can somehow rally hard enough to not let the vacuum of the rabbit hole win.

Today, the mouth of the rabbit hole looms large. The further I think I am climbing, the more steady I think my footing, the stronger it becomes, it’s gaping void inviting me to cease the struggle, to relax and allow myself to be enveloped and wholly consumed by the void.

For but a brief moment, I relax my body. I release my breath. From furrowed brow to curled toe, I let go and imagine disappearing into white noise and letting all that I have carried in me, with me, go, once and for all.

 

The warrior woman within refuses. She’ll jam her spear into my own heart if it means that I will feel, that I will awaken. The overwhelming roar of life is loud — but the fight within has to be louder.

And we go on.

Ekiden Coaching: Week 3

After just three weeks of remote coaching, I can understand why folks swear by it. There’s something rather lovely about both the accountability factor and receiving a daily text reminder about what the training plan is for tomorrow.

WEEK THREE: HOW’D IT GO?
This was a last week of “building” before heading into a recovery week in week 4.

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Ekiden Coaching: Week 2

After eeking out a surprise 10K personal best to cap off my highest mileage week in too long, I wasn’t sure how week 2 would go. However, my coach definitely seemed to have paid attention to what I had done during the base week and it felt like my workouts for the week had been dictated accordingly.

Null Monday’s workout.

While I still in many ways find myself a relatively new runner, I do feel like I’m educated and established enough to understand what the goal of any given workout is, and how to be smart about both workouts and rest days. We shall see as time goes on, but I can already see how Ekiden’s coaching format can be very beneficial for runners like me. (If you missed it, you can read about my first week with Ekiden here.)

WEEK TWO: HOW’D IT GO?
Coach Jenny gave me my first workout that would test my half marathon goal pace. My current personal best is from 2014 – 2:07:04 – and I would love to see my next half marathon time start with a 1. This would mean that I would need to run at a 9:00 pace to hit a 1:58, so I was thinking that 8:30-9:00min/mi pace seemed an attainable goal.

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Ekiden Coaching: Week 1

In 2009, I ran my first race. In 2011, I finally declared myself a runner. Now, in 2016, I am now lacing up for the first time with guidance from a coach.

WHAT IS EKIDEN COACHING?
Ekiden is a relatively new coaching company with a great concept: it allows runners of all levels to receive personalized coaching for as little as $49 per month. Runners can link their Strava accounts to Ekiden to ensure coaches are getting all the data they need to cater coaching accordingly.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
After filling out a thorough survey, they match you up with a coach based on your needs and wants, and provide workouts, coaching tips and check-ins accordingly. Their online model plus flexible pricing makes coaching very accessible to those who may not normally think it something they could attain.

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Oh Say, Can You Sing: an unexpected challenge at the Across the Bay 12K

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With mini flat Dani, Emmalouise. Ashley and Dani pre-race.

This year, I was very excited to get to run the 12K at Represent Running’s Across the Bay race as last year, I was pregnant and chose to stick with the 5K instead.

Part two of their three part “Run the Bay” challenge, I had put a lot of pressure on myself to do well after my surprisingly speedy San Jose 408K. Despite all the anticipation, I will fully admit that race day crept up on me. One thing had lead to another, and work and life became easy excuses for skipping out on training well.

Little did I know come race day, running fast — actually, running, period — would be the least of my worries.

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Let’s Get Naked On the Run

Next time you go for a run, get yourself a full dose of vitamin D. Strip down. Goodbye shirts, hello skins. Head out. Revel in it.

Why?

Well, there’s a back story to why I am stepping up and stating that everybody – anybody who has a runner’s body – should feel empowered to wear what they want, when they want, how they want and feel GOOD about it.

Two days ago, I posted this picture on Instagram.
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One of the comments left on it really struck me.

Maybe one day I’ll be confident enough to rock something like this…

It got me thinking about Krissy’s recent shorts post. And thinking about my winning the battle with the scale for once. And thinking, thinking some more. I wanted to reply, but the thoughts kept spinning.

And then, even after I began to draft this post last night, I saw Carlee had posted on Facebook, and naturally I immediately clicked and read a great post from Run Selfie Repeat on “the Secret to Feeling Incredible in a Bikini.” This fueled the fire that has been burning for some time within me even further.

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An Envisioned Fitness Future

Listening to Lewis Howes’ podcast has been enriching, exposing me to people and ideas I would not have otherwise explored. During a recent interview with Michael Hyatt, the two of them discussed the power of writing something down: when we write something out for others, we often get clarity for ourselves. One thing that struck me in the moment was Michael discussing his “envisioned fitness future.”

Here’s what was powerful about it:
– He made the statement in the present tense, “because there’s power in that, like you’re already there.”
– He acknowledged it’s something he’s moving toward.
– It was direct and it included an action plan.

How many times have you had a vision, but it had no action plan? As Michael noted, when you’re clear on the how, the what starts showing up. Giving oneself permission to dream is important, and with that comes the importance of having some clarity on the future. After revisiting yesterday’s CRAFFL, I feel this is ringing especially true for me at this juncture in my life.

There are two recent points in my life that I see as high points in my fitness: when I got married in 2012 and the Fall/Winter of 2014.

 

 

When I got married, I had been hitting up 30 minute TRX classes regularly and was probably the strongest I had ever been. I have no idea what weight I was walking around at, but that didn’t matter because I felt incredible. I had confidence, was strong, and loved pushing myself every day. Sure, it made it such that I was almost unable to get zipped into my wedding dress as my back had grown wider, but that’s okay. I was a fit bride who had conquered eating disordered life and was ready to launch into a new chapter.

In the Fall/Winter of 2014 I was probably in the best running shape I’ve been in as an adult. Longer runs felt fluid and easy, and while I was leaner than I had been in 2012 when I was married, I still felt strong. It was almost too easy to pace two friends through the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. Right after is when I became pregnant — so really, it’s wonderful I did, because I being in great shape put me on the right track to have a fit pregnancy.

As an ectomorph, I lose muscle fast if I don’t keep working at it, and to be frank, while I do feel blessed to have had such an ‘easy’ postpartum ride, I miss how powerful I used to feel. I used to feel fit for anything. I used to sweat and smile and sleep hard at night. I used to feel confident pulling on any piece of clothing, like everything would look good no matter what. Like I was living the best version of my true self.

I’ve gotten to a place where I am tired of missing what I once was. Now, it’s time to focus on who I am and who I am becoming.

My envisioned fitness future looks like this:

I stand tall with confidence. I feel strong in my own skin and am the living embodiment of what I feel is a good role model for my daughter and for other women who also strive to be fit, healthy mothers. Running longer distances at a conversational pace comes with ease, and running the hills nearby while pushing my daughter in the run stroller is a welcome challenge I take on at least twice per week. Alternating cross training of TRX and boot camp exercises (like 22 Minute Hard Corps) and running is my regular routine, with some PiYo mixed in for active recovery. I have made improvements based on what I have learned about my diet, am fueling my body well while still allowing myself to indulge, and look forward to putting in a workout six days per week with one full rest day.

What’s your fitness and health future as you envision it? How will you get there?