Monday, February 3, 2014

I am a machine

This is my new mantra.

On my run today, I was repeating this phrase to myself...and it seemed it be working. Also, I was thinking about how I'd like to become a machine. And what I mean by this is that I want to overall be a stronger athlete, not just a stronger runner. 

I realize that this is a lot considering I took 2 months off from everything. And I mean everything
I stopped running, eating well, exercising, everything. I slept in, I ate junk food, I curled up on the couch and read some good books. It was a good winter, but it sure didn't involve the one thing that makes me feel really good, and that's being healthy.

I have been speculating as to why I took 2 months off. I was injured for a few weeks in October. And I jumped back on the horse. 2 days after that, I got sick with a cold. And I think that's where it hit a soft spot. I was training for the Old Pueblo 50 (which is in March) and it would be my first continuous ultra-marathon. I was so incredibly excited. But when my first few weeks were so rudely taken away from me, I think I did a mental flip and just said NO. 

Also, the transition from Fall to Winter sucks. Who else is with me on this one? I hate going from nice, warm weather to bitter cold. It just takes all of the energy out of me. 

So...I took 2 months off and now I want to be a MACHINE? Am I crazy.
Probably, but most runners are.  No, I just got my running enthusiasm back...again. 
Now...what's the plan? 

My plan is to cross train. 
I'm going to spice it up a bit. My go-to is always running (which is what I love) but I can't become a stronger athlete if my whole body is not on board. 

Cross Training Ideas:
  • Biking
    • I'm hoping to start biking to work since it will be getting warmer soon. February is a chilly, rainy season over here in the Southwest, so I will have some time to set up my bike. Also, the bike at the gym is where I will bike for now. I was going to look into some spinning classes as well. 

    • Swimming
      • I'd like to start swimming sometime in March when it gets warmer. The downtown gym has a full length pool so I could get in some laps there (it's also mostly indoors when is a plus).
    • Yoga
      • I love my yoga studio, Yoga Oasis. They have $5 classes which is super awesome for those of us who teach! I would like to do this once a week. Also, I've been meaning to try Bikram Yoga at a place called Yoga Vida. During Bikram, the temperature can reach 105 degrees Fahrenheit and has about 40% humidity.  Sounds tough, but challenging.
    • Hiking
      • Not as difficult of a workout, but it can still be challenging! There's a few trails in the Southern Arizona region that I'd like to hike. I'd love to go back to doing some hikes on the weekends with my boyfriend (if his grad school workload permits!).
    My Plan for this Week:
    Monday: Running
    Tuesday: Bike at the Gym, plus core

    Wednesday: Morning speed workout group
    Thursday: Yoga

    Friday: Running
    Saturday: Running (medium distance)

    Sunday: Running (long) + Gym

    Is there any essential cross training workout that I missed? How do you cross train?


    1. I can totally relate to your struggles, Jamie. I, too, often find that I get sick with a cold right after diving back into working out after a long break. I think our bodies are often unprepared for the added stress, not to mention that most of us try to get back into things too quickly. I've been doing CrossFit off and on for a year, and for the times that I've been consistent, it's helped my running so much. I'd suggest you give it (or at least serious strength training—I'm talking barbells and heavy, challenging weights) a try. Yoga is also incredible for helping build the kind of strength that helps prevent running injuries. Keep it up, and keep us posted on how your training goes.

      1. I forgot working out at the gym! Good idea. I would love to incorporate weights into my training. The stress of being injured probably causes a drop in my immune system. :/

      2. I really enjoy reading these blogs

    2. I just started doing P90X3 a few weeks ago!! Short workouts (30 minutes each!), so super easy to fit into a busy schedule, but they kick your ass! I'm loving it!

      1. Is this on video only or do you go into a class to do it? Sounds challenging!

    3. Sometimes you need a break to physically and mentally recover and come back stronger! Love the idea of Cross Training more and I think that's what I will focus on as well, once I'm cleared for working out again. Keep us updated about the progress....oh and maybe one day you will do triathlons!

      1. Oh yes, hopefully! I would like to tackle the Olympic distance one day. :)

    4. New follower here! Found you through your review of Bondi Bands. Anywho, when I was training for the Chicago Marathon last year, I injured my knee and turned to spin class to get my speed drills in. Well it worked wonders! I was already in PT, chiropractor, and getting regular massages. The chiro did the Graston Technique on both knees which helped immensely. But it was spin class that did the trick!

      1. Hello! Glad to have you here. I just got into a spin class. I wasn't sure at first, but it has helped a lot. And regular massages are key for me too. I can't get enough of them!

    5. I think we all need a break (or breakdown) to rekindle the fire : )
      Although I made fun of Crossfit for years...I actually started doing it and I like it : ) I do a 5 am class 5 days a week and I have found my bum...not sure where it has been hiding and it is still 45 year old saggy BUT it has made me a faster runner now that Cross fit has returned it to me...then I do relaxing yoga (low heat the dork group of yoginis) Tuesday and Thursday and now its winter in New England and dark and freezing by 4:30 I have to use the dreadmill more I put it on 15 and speed 4 and just hike hike hike...weekends LOOOONNG runs...heard great things about spinning but my woo just does not like the bike seat : )


    I love what you have to say!


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