When I started this whole "journey to a healthier me," I don't think I completely knew at the time I would be stepping out of my comfort zone as often as I do. It started with my first 5k, a mud run, that started my crazy love of running. The back of the race shirt said, "The comfort zone is a made up place". I laughed to myself and thought, "obviously they have never been in my shoes, I am queen of the comfort zone." That race tested that idea. I did every obstacle, I faced fears, I let go of misconceptions of what I could do, what my overweight body could do, and when I crossed the finish line I knew my life was going to be different from that day forward. And it has been.
As I have stated in my other blogs, I am still learning, I am still trying to figure things out and I am still running, albeit slowly. With my latest leap out of the perceived comfort zone, my insane idea to sign up for a half marathon, I am pushing my body and my mind to do things the old me would never have thought possible. In the process I am also learning I need to take better care of myself. I need to figure out how to fuel my body, how to rest properly and how to get aches and pains taken care of before they become serious issues.
I live with a disease that is under the umbrella of Inflammatory Bowel Disease called Ulcerative Colitis (the other is Crohns) and so fueling is still a difficult thing I am trying to figure out and hopefully I can get it settled sooner than later. It is an autoimmune disease that makes me tired all the time because my body is constantly fighting itself. While I am still trying to focus on how to fuel and rest properly to have enough energy to run, I figured I should focus on the things I know I can do something about and that is taking care of the aches and pains.
Thanks to some encouragement from fellow sponsored athlete, Addie Green, I have stepped way out of my comfort zone and gone to see a chiropractor. I have always thought that they were for "real athletes" and was honestly scared of the snap, crackle and pops (although I have always been okay with those noises from Rice Krispies.) Anyways, after hearing from her that I would feel a million times better and having her calm my nerves a dozen times or so, I found someone who fit the criteria she gave me. I needed to find someone who did A.R.T. and preferably was a sports chiropractor. After some googling and review searching, I settled on
Active Chiropractic. The doctor is a triathlete and he never once questioned my motives for wanting to do a Half marathon. Instead, after one visit I feel like I can conquer the world and maybe even a triathlon one day. I will probably blog more about my trips to the chiropractor the more I go, but so far, I think I may have found a new way to feel better.
Once again I stepped out of my comfort zone and it hasn't been as scarey as I thought. Maybe that shirt from that very first race was right: The comfort zone is a made up place.
Run, walk or crawl, just keep moving forward,
Please click below to read Addie's awesome blogs including about her running the Boston Marathon!
Music has played a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. I started singing and taking voice lessons in middle school and went to college on a voice scholarship. I understood the importance of training my voice with vocal and breathing exercises and took special care to not harm my "instrument" as best I could. I am trying to use that dedication I had then for my training now. I recently started training for my first half marathon and I have to keep reminding myself how hard it was when I first started singing when I get discouraged with my running. I had a lot of naysayers when I told people of my dreams of singing solos and being in the spotlight the same way I have people look at me like I have three heads when I say I am going to run a half marathon. It isn't going to be easy, I am going to hit a few "wrong notes" here and there but I am going to make it to the end.
Since music has played such a huge part of my life, it only makes sense that I am driven by music when I run. Just like I have my favorite songs to sing, I have my favorite songs to run to. When those certain songs come on, a whole new feeling takes over my body. It is almost easier to move, easier to breathe and I am determined more than ever to finish what I started. It is an out of body experience, I can just let go and let the music run for me.
My playlist is full of songs that do something special for me, a driving beat that makes me want to dance, an 80s song that reminds me of my childhood when I could run in the woods with wild abandonment, a heavy metal song that reminds me of letting loose at a concert, or a song that reminds me of my late father, who was my biggest cheerleader when I was singing. I have carefully picked each song to push me forward, make me happy and try and keep my attitude positive when I am feeling like I can't take another step. I am trying to make this training as painless as possible and when I cross the finish line, I am sure I will remember exactly what song was playing on my playlist.
My 5 "must have" songs:
When I first started to seriously get moving, I tried everything. I knew I wanted to be a runner but I also know I wanted to get fit fast (I was a bit delusional). I pushed myself out of my comfort zone at the gym as much as I could and tried spin class, swimming, yoga, Body Pump, Body Combat, Zumba and lifting free weights. I finally settled into a routine. During the week I would either take a spin class or would lift followed by running or swimming. Saturdays I would do a 30min spin class followed by an hour of Zumba and on Sundays I would do yoga. I loved my gym routine. Then I hit a wall.
I suffer from an autoimmune disease and had kept it in check, for the most part, for about 10 years and out of the blue it rebounded with a vengeance. I was exhausted ALL of the time and I couldn't drag myself out of bed for my early morning workouts. None of the medicines that had worked before, were working to put it back into remission, so I wound up getting immunosuppressive infusion therapy. I was (am still) exhausted all the time but wanted to get back to the gym, only problem is every time I would go, I would get sick. So I have thrown cross training out of the window, along with my gym membership. So what now?
Now I am focusing on my running. I am looking for a quality yoga DVD I can do at home and sometimes doing Zumba on my Wii (my dogs watch me like I have lost my mind) I am also looking at adding some other type of exercising I can do at home. The big thing for me right now is figuring out how to be a better runner. I know cross training is important but until I find more interesting ways to work out without having to step into a germ gym, I am gonna try to literally run my butt off ;)
So, what are some of your favorite at home workouts?