Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sprinting into summer (and bathing suit season)

Since I last wrote, I feel like it has been forever.  And I guess it has been over a week and lately I have been blogging a bit more consistently so that is a little bit of time.... BUT... I also just feel like it has been a while because it's been a busy week and mostly, an amazing long weekend that has me still on a high from how great it was.

This past Friday morning, I left with a group of about 20 people from the running group I have been getting more and more active with for a "Runcation" down to Tampa, Florida.  They'd been promoting it at the regular weekly runs, letting people know that anyone was welcome, they'd be getting hotel rooms and carpooling down, and we'd be running in different neighborhoods and then going out for food and drinks every day.  One of the times that they promoted it, the guy who organizes the group said that it would be a chance for everyone to bond.  And when he said that, I was sold and had booked my hotel room for the trip.

Thursday after work I did a short run and then went to the Nike store at a local mall for their free Thursday night Nike Training Club workouts.  My run wasn't too interesting as I just ran by the Chattahoochee River near work, BUT, it was pretty exciting because on the run I hit a milestone of running 40 miles so far that month!  It was the first milestone of the challenges I am tackling this month... 40 miles, 50 miles, and then of course, 100 miles.  Woohooo!

Later at the Nike Training Club workout, the whole time that I was doing it I felt like I was on The Biggest Loser doing a "last chance" workout since I knew I was going to the beach over the weekend and would be wearing a bikini.  If there is magic in the world, maybe it would somehow leave me with a smooth stomach and no muffin top by the end of the 1 hour class!?  Unfortunately, it didn't work, but I did have fun and sweat a lot with some friends.

Friday morning I was up early and met with the rest of the group to carpool down to Tampa at about 8:30 a.m.  I'm actually going to write a whole blog post about the trip on its own so I am not going to get much more into it here, but I had an AMAZING weekend in Tampa with what I will now refer to as my "running family" here in Atlanta.  Beaches, beautiful runs, booze, and lots of belly laughs.  Stay tuned!

I got back from Runcation late on Sunday night and plopped right into bed.  Monday I had decided would be a rest day for me because I had run for 6 days straight and had worked out for an even longer stretch!  It's funny because it felt a little unnerving for me to do nothing for a whole day.  I can't believe that is becoming my norm!

It was nice to sleep in a bit and then right from work I drove into the city to go to Turner Field for the first time to see an Atlanta Braves game!  I had some work colleagues/friends in town this week and we were originally going to just grab dinner on Monday night but decided, what the heck, the Braves are in town, let's go to a game!  And in fact, you guys know my friend who was visiting, as she lives in Kansas City and was there to witness, celebrate, and partake in my marathon weekend back in October!  I realized that I never posted any pictures of us then, but here she is!  Funny thing is, Kansas City was about to win the World Series back in October and then here we are again at baseball season.

I texted her on the way to the game asking, "Is it okay to wear a Boston hat to a Braves vs. Marlins game?" and she wrote back with, "I am wearing a Kansas City shirt..." -- so it turns out we were good!

Tickets were $20 and we had pretty decent seats that were covered, which turned out great since there was a lot of rain on Monday (and this whole week...) which caused the game to have some rain delays.  Luckily, it was nothing that a little beer, hot dog, and chili cheese friends couldn't help to entertain me through!

I definitely need to get myself some Braves gear and study up on the stadium traditions such as the tomahawk "chop" that everyone does a million trillion times during the game.  I am excited to have a home team to cheer for and although I will always be a Red Sox fan first, the home team has got to be who I root for while I am here!

It was so exciting and fun to be able to go to a Major League Baseball game in the middle of the week.  You guys know I love baseball games and used to go out to the minor league games whenever I could in Albany, but it is just way cooler to go to MLB games and to live in a city with a team and a stadium right here!

Tuesday was a long day that consisted of work, about 5 miles of running, a spring workout, and some legs and abs at the gym.  I stopped at the grocery store on the way home to load up on fresh fruits and veggies.  Last week I had been eating salads all week that were really delicious.  I actually forgot how delicious a well made salad could be so I decided to do that again this week.

I didn't actually get to PREP any of the food that I bought on Tuesday until Wednesday, but I'm just trying to fit things in where I can, okay?  On Wednesday AM I went back to the gym to do an arms workout in the morning, and then in the evening I ran a hilly 4 miles that I was cursing the entire way.

Coming back from Runcation has me feeling like I am on a roll right now.  I mean, minus that food on Monday night at the baseball game, but I am feeling pretty strong about wanting to stick to my diet and exercise routine.  I felt better about myself than I thought I would while in a bathing suit at the beach and it sort of made me realize that maybe I am closer to my goal of how I want to look/feel than I thought I was?  I just listened to a TED talk that pretty much explains that people work harder if they can see the end/goal in sight.  And it makes sense to me too.  When I am running a race and I can SEE the finish line, I sprint.  Even if it is just a straight section of the race and I am sprinting for a while - I sprint when I can see the finish.  Whereas if the finish is unknown and around some corner or something, I don't know when to kick it and I don't get that late last minute end of the road adrenaline.

I think I have a little of that end of the road adrenaline.

We'll see how long it lasts!  But I have never in my life felt confident in a bikini.  I always have said that I just once in my life wanted to have that experience.  I initially said that it would be this summer.  But then that goal got out of sight as bikini season approached really quickly here in the south.  However, thinking realistically.  If I push hard for the end of April and May, which is about a month and a half.  I will still have at least three full months of bathing suit season.  Hell, even if it takes me April, May and June -- I still have July and August!  So I am going to try my hardest to stay focused throughout this time.

So, bring on the (delicious!) salads and 2 a day workouts, please!

Well, let's be realistic too, there is going to be some messiness in here along the way as well.  I exercise to look good but also to be healthy in general and because I like to eat a lot.  So, we'll just see how long I can keep this up.  I always tell myself, and anyone else who happens to ask me for random advice, to use the motivation when you have it.  I mean, we all have days that we want to just sit on the couch and do nothing.  We ALL do.  Those are the days that you have to dig deep and force yourself to move a little bit, which I advocate for most of the time.  However, I do also advocate for rest.  On Monday, I did NOTHING. And going into the weekend, I had at first been talking with some of the others going about doing extra miles or workouts on Saturday.  But my body was TIRED.  I had been working out a lot the week before and we were having long days and nights, so I rested.  While other people got up early on Saturday morning I went and sat and did nothing on a lawn chair by the pool.  On Monday while others were putting in miles, I sat with a plate full of french fries that had been smothered in chili that was then drowned in cheese sauce.

So, when it comes to me this week doing two workouts a day... do I recommend working out 2 times a day always?  Hell no.  I think most people that do that are crazy.  If I weren't me, I would think I were crazy.  I just want to put that out there.  But heck, right now, I have the time and I have the motivation, so I am going to roll with it while I can.  I know it's not going to be around forever!  I know what I am doing is not sustainable or a long term plan.  But right now I am on a straight away and I can see the finish so I am going to try and sprint while I can.

I did 2.5 miles today and then another Nike Training Club workout.  I've been eating healthy the past couple days and feeling positive!

I know next week is going to be a challenge already, so I am trying to prepare myself for it mentally and physically as well, with a little bit of padding going into next week by working out hard this week.  I have dinners out planned for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  Likely that will spill into later in the week as well since there are more visitors in town (yay!) which means more things to do!

Anyways, tomorrow I am going to write all about runcation.  I can't wait to relive it in my mind and share pictures and tell you about the runs and restaurants and bonding.  I hope you're having a great week!!

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