Today is an Opportunity

A month ago I was working out at Rise and the trainer was giving the usual spiel about form and then she switched gears and said that each day is an opportunity. Okay. Sure. We’ve all heard that before.

Then she said this opportunity that you’re taking right now? You’ll never have it again. *mike drop*

I was floored. She was 100% right.

Which is why I am struggling to rest and recover my knee. I have all of these big goals, for now, and for the year in general. The current one is 200 miles during the Fall. Then my mid term goal is a Spring half marathon, and the longer term one is a Fall marathon.

I’m trying to remind myself that absolutely none of that will be possible if I don’t recover first. I can not begin to tell you how hard that has been. I ‘rested’ for 2 weeks and now I’m slooooowly getting back to it. And maybe taking ibuprofen every day so I don’t walk like Frankenstein’s Monster.

But you won’t tell my coach, right?!?

Rise Fitness vs Orange Theory

I’m four months into my newest obsession. Typically I’ve lost interest by now and have just accepted the fact my credit card is going to be billed an embarrassing amount of money until the end of my contract for me to do nothing.

I have held off on mentioning it in case that happened yet again. (I’m 41. I have lost count of projects I’ve given up on.)

Somewhere in what I pray was the middle of Covid (please make it stop) my friend Michelle and I were comiserating that we really, really missed the gym because of working from home. Our workplace offers free classes with a $15/month membership.

We wanted something super challenging that was convenient for both of us. I live near downtown and she is in Hilliard. I like buttcrack of dawn workouts and she prefers after work. And of course we didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg plus a butt and a thigh.

Her suggestion was Orange Theory. Cool! They have locations near each of us. They have varying hours. The classes look intense. I reach out via Facebook messenger to see if they have any promos. Nope. Okay. No biggie. I decide to do my first class anyways to check it out. It’s free and maybe they’ll have some offer that I like.

I download their app and try to verify the code to log in and sign up for my first class. It doesn’t work. I try it 3 or 4 times. Nothing. I email their tech support. Nothing.

I decide to check out Rise Fitness Community in Upper Arlington instead. They get back to me immediacy, I choose to buy a 3 month package without trying the first few class. Everyone is super friendly. The place is very clean and well storages out for Covid protocols.

Zero problems other than my lack of fitness. Seriously. The first two weeks I went 2-3 times a week and had to pace myself to make it through the class.

After my first month, I’m in love. I try to convince Michelle to join me and she says she can’t spend the $ right now. Totally understand.

Then orange theory IT reaches out to see if my case was closed satisfactorily. Umm you’re emailing me a month later after I’ve joined another gym to help me with a problem I asked about 4 weeks ago? I ignore it.

Two more months pass. I’m loving Rise. I’m noticing a huge change in my fitness. I’m now going 3-4 times a week and pushing myself in ways I never have before.

I’m at the grocery store with Nate picking up protein powder jk I was picking up rice and my phone rings. It’s Orange Theory. Some super perky person is super excited that I’m interested in Orange Theory and they’d LOVE to have me stop by.

I very politely tell them with a huge smile that I was very interested but they never got back to me for 3 months so I went with Rise Fitness who DID get back to me quickly.

It is month 4 now. I loved it enough to buy another 3 month package (and love the fact I’m not stuck in a contract) and am challenging myself to go 4-5 days a week. They’ve added more class times, so it’s totally doable as long as I get to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Columbus Marathon

I started out this year with the goal of running my first marathon ever. I was turning 40 in the first bit of October, and the Columbus Marathon was turning 40 in the second bit. It was serendipitous, totally meant to be.

And then life happened. Mom was in and out of the hospital, spending 8 weeks getting around the clock antibiotics for a spinal infection. She was home for a short bit and ended up back in the hospital under a medically induced coma because she was in so much pain from her congestive heart failure.

Nate was looking forward to the holidays for the first time in ages (his father passed away 3 years ago immediately after Thanksgiving and we lost his mom in November of 2017.) I didn’t expect my mom would make it through the the holidays. (These days I’m hopeful, but not taking it for granted.)

The stress of this plus the trips up North made me realize there was no way I could dedicate 6+ hours running on the weekends. I switched to the half, and continued to half ass train for it. It wasn’t pretty, but I was going to make it happen.

I felt like I was starting to come down with something but got the flu shot anyways. And then I ran a ten mile race. I wasn’t sure about it, but I’d convinced a few of my friends to do it because it’s my favorite race. I got super light headed and considered turning around at mile 1.5 for the 5k course, but decided to carry on. It was ugly. I struggled, but I ended up PRing the race by 20 seconds.

And I came down with a cold. Everyone jokes about the man flu or how pathetic men act with a cold, so maybe I should claim that metaphorical man card, because it destroyed my energy levels for 3 weeks.

Which happened to be how long it took to get to the Columbus Half. Even worse than a DNF, I was a DNS.

Some Days Are Just Going To Suck

Last weekend I was slated to run 11 miles, but my training has been hit or miss the past month so I opted for a 10 mile run (longer than my most recent long run, but shorter than my plan called for.) I got dressed, threw on my cap, filled my water bottle and got at it. I was amazed at the number of people on the trail. It seemed like 60 degrees brought everyone and their brother and their dog out.

About two miles into my run, I felt really light headed and dizzy. I took off my cap because I thought it was holding in some of my body heat. I took a few moments to recover, drank some water and got back at it.

ROTC cadets were training on the trail too, doing lunges with sandbags or doing the fireman carry of another student. After about ten minutes, they’re behind me running with heavy packs and sandbags. I’m 80lbs overweight myself so I feel their pain to some degree.

I’m also not able to speed up to get away from them. We’re in accidental lockstep and there’s no place to go. Their squad leader is blasting rock music, so that’s a plus but I feel very in the way, and overheated. (It turns out the downside to training in 30-40 degree weather over the winter is 60 will kick your ass.) Eventually they get around me after I step off the trail to ‘look at my phone.’

I’m barely 4 miles from my house and I’m flat out of water and feel like death. I try the outbuilding at the park. No dice. I text Nate to give him a heads up that I’ll turn and do 4 miles home, and another 2 in the neighborhood once I grab water.

Long story short, I can’t make myself run after 6 or 7 miles. I text Nate and walk a shortcut home, incredibly frustrated. I whine to my friends, I tell myself I’m pathetic, and I start the process of dropping from the half marathon to the 10K because I’m such a giant loser. And I realize it’s another $30 on a very expensive race that I’ve deferred on twice already to change to the 10K.

Nate being the voice of reason suggests I not dwell on this for an entire week, not to let it stop me from running a race I’ve trained all winter for. That its just a bad run. I protest it’s a bad month of runs, that I’ve messed up my training. That I’m a loser and there’s no way I can do this half much less a full.

Sunday comes, I eat a quick breakfast, put extra money in my pack so I can buy more water if I need to, and I crush it. Seriously. My legs are tired, I’ve never run this much in two days, but I do it. I run my 10 miles the day after I conked out at 8.

My pace was pretty good (for me.) And this really lifted my spirits.

If I can run 18 miles in two days a half will be a piece of cake. I’m a bad ass and I shouldn’t change events.

Moral of the story, bad runs happen. Learn from them and move on.

Slump

I’m in a total running slump right now. I’ve been blaming it on cross training, but I’m honestly not sure that’s the case. I have a half marathon coming up very shortly, and a full marathon in October. I think it just seems like so much work between here and there.

I’m trying to get out there and enjoy the nicer weather, but I’m also frustrated because the bathrooms are all still locked for the winter at all the parks in my area so I need to be 100% I won’t need one while I’m running or I’ll be doing the squeeze and waddle home method. Not ideal.

I’m sitting at the dinner table pounding water trying to get rid of a headache and make sure I don’t need to poop once I get out there. (I blame a lot of this on hormones and am seriously considering going on a low dose birth control with no ‘reminder’ pills so I can stop having periods altogether.)

One of my best friends told me to just bribe myself with something fun. I think that’s a good idea and am debating what that thing might be. I had considered gel polish nails, but after tip my last ones were $48 and I’m cheap so that seems like a lot for 2 weeks with no chips in my nails. Hell, 2 manicures would buy a new pair of running shoes or 4 pairs of running tights.

Feel free to drop suggestions of bribes or ways you get back into the game when you’re not feeling it.