Torture Report: Starting and Stopping

(G): Hallelujah!!! Today is my 62nd day straight of burpees and after the 31 I do today I am officially calling the 2-month long challenge complete. It has been a slog, a battle, a face-to-face meeting of my weaknesses every day. And I am better for it.
But I am more than ready to give up the daily struggle and instead commit to doing burpees just a few days a week. I’ve come so far in my ability to do them it seems wasteful to stop completely. So I am sticking with 3 days a week. Right now my goal is 2 sets of 10 but as my training ramps up we’ll see. I may need to adjust on certain weeks.
All told, I call this one a win!

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DCIM999GOPRO

So that’s the good ending. But I have a somewhat daunting beginning that kicks off today. After weeks of running intervals that left me gasping for breath, sweating like I was in a sauna, and realizing that three minutes is an eternity my next cycle of of training has arrived.

I am feeling strong after a few days of easy running and a rest day yesterday but will it be enough for this next phase?

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I hope so. I am out on a new limb this year, trying new things, testing out hard challenges but also abandoning the tried and true. I am pretty far outside of my comfort zone but that’s the only place we learn. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

The next several weeks, I am embarking on what’s known as steady state training. It sounds all important and technical and flashy but let me break it down. While out for a long run, you kick up the pace a bit for 30 minutes at a time so it feels harder, more taxing, more difficult, well just plain more. I love more when it comes to ice cream, pie, and sleep but I am guessing these next few weeks aren’t going to fall into that same category.

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This is my sanctuary where I roll out, press out, foam roll whatever is unhappy.

No time to wimp out now. Our first race of the year is 67 days away.
That happened fast, didn’t it?

(L):  Sometimes we just get sick of the voice inside our own head.  We finally rise up and tell that voice to just shut up already.  I like to call it a come to Jesus meeting with all of the obvious participants; me, myself and I.  It’s that moment when we can’t stand to look at ourselves in the mirror or muster up one more reason for NOT doing and being what we want.  Often we have to hit the proverbial bottom before we begin to get real with ourselves.  Occasionally, we catch hold on the way down and are able to pull ourselves back up.  If we are lucky, we remember there is another way. Sure, the other way is much more difficult; there isn’t a lot of chocolate, wine or other numbing-out vices.
Fortunately, I have never fallen too far from the wagon to remember there is not only another way, but I am actually still tethered to the wagon.  This would explain the road rash and overall disarray of my life.
This is how I felt as I finished 2016 and began this fresh new year of 2017.  Things in my “workout” world had not gone according to plan and I needed to figure out what was wrong.  I threw myself into the new year as you will recall with weights, running, walking, yoga and an energized spirit.  I decided my theme for the new year was going to be, “In training.”  I felt like this encompassed everything that I wanted to do for the year.
What exactly do I want to accomplish?
I want to train my body into a stronger, healthier version of myself.  I want to be strong from the inside out.  I want to be lifting weights at least 3 times per week and running 3-4 times per week.  I want to feel good about where I am physically and mentally.  I want to do hard things, but do them well; to the best of my ability.  This past year, I did the 50k that I said I was going to do, but it didn’t feel the way I wanted it to.  Yes, I endured and I know I have a strong will, but I want more.
I told G a couple of weeks ago what I was doing and she offhandedly said, “it sounds like an intervention.”  I don’t think she realized it at the time, but that is exactly what happened in that moment.  Sure, I had been kind of having an intervention with myself, but I wasn’t calling it that.  I was still kind of pretending that I just needed to get back on track.  There was something about that moment though that kind of kicked me in the gut.  I mean she had endured the slugfest with me so if anyone knew I needed an intervention it was her.  In that moment I let go.  I accepted the fact that I wasn’t where I wanted to be, but I could start where I was.  My revised theme became, “Training Intervention.”
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This is where I began.
This month has not been perfect.  I haven’t found my groove yet, but I know it’s there.  I have been to Nirvana before.  You know the working out, eating clean, endorphin highs and tons of energy?  Yeah, I love that place, too.  I am doing everything I set out to do this month, it just doesn’t feel like I am where I wanted to be at 4 weeks in.  Some days I have killed it in the gym and other days I have been less than stellar.  While we always check in weekly on the torture report I am also going to add a monthly check in on my Training Intervention.  I want to get to the end of each month and feel like I am just a little bit closer to my goal and a little less likely to fall off the wagon.
So, here’s to February and a stronger, healthier all of us.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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