Run Less, Lift More?

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, Denise chose: Write about 3-5 things that you used to love, enjoy doing, etc., in the past but now you don’t like. Or, write about stuff you used to not like but have grown to enjoy. And feel free to throw in one thing you’ve always loved and always will.

When Denise told us the topic, I told her how I’d been thinking that very thing during a drive recently. When I was a teenager, I couldn’t wait to get that coveted driver’s license. I even conjured up a blog topic for all of us regarding my first driver’s test (and fail) and how exuberant I felt when I could finally hold that little plastic card in my hand and man a vehicle all on my own. There was freedom. There was this undeniable cool factor attached to me, attached to anyone in their teen years who can say with pride that they have their own car.

My first driver's license
My first driver’s license

I don’t feel like that anymore. I could care less about being the one behind the wheel. If someone else wants to drive, so be it. I don’t really enjoy driving anymore, no one cares that I am toting around an SUV with two kids (and now, sometimes a kitten), and I don’t feel undeniably cool or as though I’ve got this pass to freedom. Not that I don’t enjoy road trips. I do. As long as someone else is driving me to our destination.

This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning fitness, and how much it’s changed my life for the better. I haven’t always been this obsessed with health and wellness. A lot of what I’ve had to say in the past relates to my rocky journey, those first shaky steps on a treadmill which ultimately led me towards running two marathons. I’m not naturally gifted when it comes to being fit. I’m naturally clumsy. I still enjoy sweets and I’m not overly crazy or psycho about counting calories or trying to get back into some tiny size I used to wear when I was a young adult. I merely try to live a healthy lifestyle, to participate in activities that I enjoy. Running was never on the agenda, but it grew on me and became a passion of mine, opening doors to other arenas.

Lately I’ve felt more tired and sluggish, though. The last several months I was heavily focused on cardio and wasn’t really seeing, or most importantly, feeling a difference with my body. I focused on eating a well-balanced diet, trying to cut back some on the carbs (if I could, and not that I haven’t, but if I could that’s all I’d eat, those delicious carbs). Eating this way made me feel weak, shaky, light-headed. I didn’t feel right. I was doing some research online and found a website regarding reverse dieting. A woman my age wrote about the same thing I was going through. She was really focused on a heavy cardio lifestyle, was cutting back on carbs and eating super healthy yet not seeing or feeling the results she expected. From the before photos, it appears she’s thin and “in shape”, but skinny doesn’t necessarily = healthy. She started a reverse diet plan, where instead of holding herself to a strict caloric diet, she focused more on consuming whole foods, healthy foods and increasing her caloric intake while counting macros/micros, along with a heavy weight training schedule. Building strong, lean muscle. This went against everything I’ve ever participated in for the past five years. Running multiple miles had always been my motto, but it was obvious it wasn’t working for me and I was searching for something different. I’ve done weight training classes in the past but it wasn’t my cup of tea. I did it merely to supplement my marathon training. My husband had recently purchased a weight set for me for my birthday so branching out and doing something different, something I’m not used to was the direction I decided to take.

For the past two months I’ve been incorporating the weight training routine from Corina Nielsen’s site. I started out with the sample weight training workout she offers,  changing it up every few weeks by browsing various work out routines online for different areas of the body. Here’s the one I have for the next few weeks.  I lift as heavy as I safely can, gradually increasing the weights weekly. Here’s what I’ve done so far for September. While I haven’t noticed much of a difference in my weight (which is fine, I am at a healthy weight), I have noticed I feel a lot stronger and I have a lot more energy. I’m not tired or sluggish. I still eat healthy but I’m not restrictive on carbs, as long as what I choose are healthier options, like whole-wheat pastas, etc. I still practice yoga daily, focusing on my compulsory poses . I still run, too, just not into double-digit miles. The workout in it’s entirety takes anywhere from 60-90 minutes depending on the day and what I’m doing, all of which can be done in the morning before the rest of the house is up (I’m an early riser) or I can spread it out through the day, which I’ve had to do for various reasons. It’s been a really flexible plan for me and if I miss a day or have to cut it short? It’s no biggie.

July

With all that said, however… I’m still a runner at heart. I’m not opposed to training or running another marathon. It’s marathon season here in Omaha, and I’m starting to feel that itch in my Brooks to pound pavement. Don’t be surprised if you see me blogging next year regarding the next big race and the training it will take for me to get there. Ultimately, I feel blessed that I’m physically able to run, to lift weights, the yoga… to be a participant in all of this and continually branch out in an effort to discover and to become a healthier me. 

the first race ever- the Omaha marathon. Ran a half
my first race- the Omaha 1/2 marathon, 2009. I’ll be back!

 

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