For the last couple months leading up to racing # 50 and for sure after I was done, I was constantly bombarded with the nagging question "what's next?" When the infamous question started pouring in I would get all giddy and say it was time to rest. After more time passed I started to get annoyed thinking 'why does there have to be a next, what is so wrong with just being normal afterward and not having anything to focus on?'
After I was officially done it was a mix of emotions, but the most prominent feeling was loss. Let me rewind....
Last December I lost all motivation to work out so I just didn't. Then I decided to do the ultimate reset the first 3 weeks of January where you can't work out, so by the time it was over I had gone a whole 6 weeks of practically zero exercise. I went stir crazy and the first week I was able to get back on the horse I ran 39 miles in 5 days (thats a LOT of miles for me) I had a focus to get back into shape, became diligent in my workouts again, picked up yoga, and finally hit a big PR for state #40, Maryland in May. A few weeks later I got injured in my calf and from June - September it hurt to run. I did just enough during the week to get by, but my fitness (and physique) declined over that stretch.
By the time I was healed I just didn't care that much anymore- I had less than 5 states left and I was just going through the motions to make sure I finished what I set out to do. The only thing that kept me "motivated" was to finish my goal.
Now here I was, goal finished, still out of shape, and I have zero focus on what to do. I need a break from the half marathon, yet I'm not wanting to race the shorter distances either. If I'm being completely honest, the only time I've been excited about running in the last month is when we have a break in the weather and the sun is shining. I started going to classes offered at work to occupy my time again, yoga, kettlebell, RIPPED- just looking for something different to see if any excited me.
About 2 weeks ago I was getting ready for work and was putting my hair up in a pony tail when I noticed I had some definition without flexing going on in my arms- how had I not noticed this before? Like a middle school boy I started flexing in the mirror staring at various parts of my body to see what was sculpted and what was not (legs and arms, check, everything else... needs some work). It's crazy how I've been 'active' for so long, yet was so marshmallow soft in lots of different areas.
I started to think about how I've always had skinny arms, and if some kettlebells and workout classes can help me start to see results... what can I do if I actually put forth some real effort and have a focus again?
I decided to come up with a plan, sexy by summer, or #sbs if you follow me on instagram to sculpt my body. I know there are tons of ways to go about this, but for me I need something that was convenient, had definitive check points, and was easy to follow. I was up late one night watching infomercials and one for Beach Body's T25 came on. I own p90x and I have a ton of beachbody coach friends that blow up my newsfeed, so I'm familiar with company and the program- I decided 25 min a day, 5x week for 10 weeks was doable because just like my 50 state quest, there is a definitive date to shoot for.
I realize 10 weeks out is May, but here in the south, thats summer! I went ahead and purchased and due to travel this week (I'm en route to Phoenix today for Ragnar Del Sol) I started week 1 on Sat so I could go Sat - Wed and get my first 5 days in without interruption. Aside from not being coordinated with some of the moves.. pretty sure I nailed it for a beginner.
I just stepped off the scale and proud to be 4lbs down- winning.
The biggest thing for me isn't about the weight loss or watching my body change, its about having a focus again. What's great is my roommate is doing it with me since she is currently injured and can't run, so we're motivating eachother and planning our day around when we can do it together- finally some accountability.
So my 'what's next' is getting my body back- following a workout routine diligently, and just seeing what can actually happen if I put some hard work in for the next few months. I'm not trying to bulk up or try to fatigue my body just being more aware of how my body responds to certain types of exercises. If I don't feel like running, I won't- with exception of 2 Ragnars already planned durring the time frame.
My other focus is being more aware of how my body responds to food- cheese, too much oatmeal, brussel sprouts- all bad news for Lisa. I'm good about cooking my food, but I have a busy schedule so its so much easier at times to just go out. I'm allowing myself 1 night out a week of restaurant food and if it has to be more I will have to choose healthier options on menu. I'm also cutting out alcohol on weekdays. Contrary to popular belief, I don't drink that much- when I go out I may have 1 beer or two because I enjoy it, but I'm really good about knowing my limits.
Lastly is I want to be more flexible. For the last month I've been doing a yoga class 2x week and I can already see a difference in my progress, plus it just makes me feel better and more aware of my pain points- hamstrings and it bands.
Overall, my focus has shifted to just treating ME better and getting my body back. I'm tired of feeling like I should be lighter or skinnier based on all the miles I put in over the years. I finally realized that FOR ME, running just doesn't cut it. I'm not going to hang up my running shoes by any means, but it will no longer be my main priority for next several months.
1 week down, 9 more to go!