Ambition and Training

I decided recently that I was all 5K’d out.  I ran 6 of them since last May.  They began getting ‘easy’ even tho I’m still a ‘slow’ runner.  I’m not too concerned about speed, tho.  The challenge is to finish.

So – I have gone a bit over the top, and signed myself up for a half-marathon.  But wait, I haven’t even done a 10K yet!…..Never fear, I signed up for one of those too, set before the half.  Running can sometimes be tedious, especially in the winter – when you’re often limited to a treadmill.  I’ve learned that I need to keep setting goals to keep myself in consistent training.  I need an assignment.  So this is how I’m going to keep myself on the treadmill this winter.  Of course I’ll run outdoors when it’s unseasonably warm-ish (nah, there’s no global warming!).

In other news, I’m NINE months sober now. How gratifying it is to escape that trap!  I’m still trying to decide what my ‘reward’ will be when I hit one year.  Suggestions?

My band is about to record some music for you all.  Oh, did you not know I play in a band?  You can check us out at http://www.facebook.com/atomicdisasters. After a lot of downtime, it’s time to get back on the ball with that.  I’m excited that we finally got our own little studio setup to use whenever we want. Can’t wait for you to hear it!

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My pre running chubbier days w/ The Atomic Disasters.

Lastly, I want to leave you with this commercial break.  No really.  This ad is pretty amazing. Let me know what you think of it.  Well done, Adidas.

Six months!

Lots to catch up on!  I’ve been holding out on you all tho, because I wanted to wait for today as a special surprise!  As of today, I am six months without alcohol.  Let me tell you something. I don’t miss it at all. I don’t miss being tired. I don’t miss feeling dehydrated.  And even tho I had mostly stopped hard liquor, and stuck to red wine once or twice a week….it still drained me.  Quitting completely was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

I replaced it with weight lifting and running to relieve my stress. My thought patterns at the end of a work day shifted from “I could use a martini” to “I can’t wait to run!”. Six months ago today, that switch flipped for me, and I couldn’t be happier.  I’ve never felt better.

Physical therapy has been a challenge after hand surgery, but today I finally got my hand to sit flat on a table.  That’s big progress! The skin and scar tissue is getting less sensitive, finally.  I’ve been weight training with gloves on, so that’s helped protect it, and given me some extra grip.

My weight training is going well, too.  I’m consistently lifting heavier, to the point where I am changing the weights on what my personal trainer expects me to lift.  He’s impressed and proud of me. 🙂  That’s always nice to hear.

Things are coming together well!  I want to accentuate the point that you can make positive life changes no matter how long you’ve incubated a bad habit.  In my case, it took finding a new love and replacing the bad things with that.  Even tho I was going to the gym “occasionally”, I found that running was “my thing”.  In turn, as I started feeling better – physically AND mentally – I got more into the gym as well.  Now I’m lifting and/or running a minimum of 5 days a week.  It really is a great stress reliever, especially when you can have tiered goals to keep reaching for.

So let me show you something.  I found this picture of me from Chicago a few years ago.  At the time, I had thought nothing about my weight really…..til I saw it again the other day.  Holy crap, have I made changes!   This is what hard work and determination can do for you!

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M.I.A.

Sorry, I’ve been in MIA.  I really meant to get a blog out a few weeks ago before I had surgery.  I had to have surgery on my right hand on Aug 2, and I’m still recuperating.  I am able to type (albeit slowly), but I can’t write with a pen yet.   I was correcting a case of trigger finger in both my middle and ring finger.  So there are two incisions healing, and I will need some PT to get my fingers moving normally.

I also had to quit my normal gym routine and running schedule due to being tightly bandaged up.  They didn’t want to risk infection if my hands got sweaty.

I got back to running class Saturday, but I didn’t do so great.  The heat and humidity took down most of us, but I particularly had a hard time.  I made a point to run 3 miles last night.  Gotta pick back up and keep going!

Anyway, I still have a real blog brewing.  I just am not able to type for long periods of time. So maybe I will write it in small chunks to get it out faster.

Til then, ciao!

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Movin’ On Up

Wow,  I’ve had a great last several sessions at the gym.  Earlier in the week, I went in for double-duty (weight training / running), and everything suddenly felt…..light?  My run felt incredibly easy. I had to bump up the weight on NEARLY every exercise in my routine.  Today?  I had to bump up EVERYTHING. It’s always encouraging to see that kind of progress, after a plateau.  The best part?  Yesterday, I did my running class without my knee braces.  Today, I also did the gym without them, and I was able to bump up my leg press to 220 lbs.  While I’m sure the loss of 20 lbs was literally a weight lifted off my knees, I’m glad they are also getting stronger!

Not all is so great in the rest of my health, but I’m determined to fix that.  I got a full blood panel done.  It turns out, I’m low on Vitamins C, D, and Magnesium. I’m also VERY low on Cortisol and DHEA-S.  What that really means is that I’ve been stressed out for such a long period of time, that my immune system has gone bonkers, and my body is basically inflamed from fighting so hard.  Tuesday, my doctor wants to discuss some sort of immune system ‘reboot’ that involves an injection to my thyroid…..????  Ouch.  Otherwise, my solution is to start juicing (but not fasting).  Besides my morning Shakeology, I don’t think I’m really getting enough veggies.  My new juicer should arrive tomorrow. 🙂 I’m also taking powdered and liquid supplements.

In other news, I signed up for two more 5K races.  The next one is July 16 at Teterboro Airport.  Yes, we will actually be running down an airport runway!  Flattest track ever! How many times can you say you’ve gotten to do that?  Although I’m sure there will be more races in between, the other one I signed up for is in November – the Rocky Race in Philadelphia – which begins and ends at the infamous “Rocky Balboa” steps.  This one always sells out, and I’m told is always a lot of fun.  That might make a nice weekend trip, now that I think of it.

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Some Peace In An Ugly World

Wow, sometimes you really just have to let yourself escape.  The last couple of days have been really stressful, both personally, and in the world.   My heart goes out to those in Orlando, as we deal with yet another terror attack.  These things always affect me greatly, and I generally suffer from sleep issues every time they happen.  Either I don’t sleep, or I have nightmares.  It’s been this way since 9/11.

So today, I decided to take my mind off some things, instead of marathon watching the news.  I weight trained AND ran for both days of the weekend, and then this afternoon, Mike and I went for a hike at Tourne Park. It was an absolutely beautiful day for it. I grabbed this top photo on our hike.  I may have to hold a contest and see if anyone can spot the doe in it.  There is one in there.

Just remind yourself that love and peace IS still out there, despite all the ugliness in the world.  Be vigilant, come together, and live your life.  ❤

You Have A Choice

 

 

Introduction:

Welcome to my new blog, “Lace Up”.  Allow me to briefly introduce myself.  My name is Courtenay, and I’m nearly 42 years old.  My inspiration to change my life began with a meme that you see below.

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What do I want to be when I’m an old lady?  I’ve never been married, I have no kids – nor do I wish to have any.  Who’s going to take care of me when I’m 70?

I’ve learned from experience that the answer is that I have a choice.  I have watched so many people  become helpless at an early age, due to life choices.  Chain smoking, alcohol abuse, poor diet, or even just plain laziness.  Although there is something to be said for genetics, some things are a choice.  My family has a history of disposition to stomach and brain cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and respiratory issues.  I’ve already received the “gifts” of hypertension and asthma.  However, I truly believe that if you take care of your body, you can greatly improve your odds of beating or even avoiding these conditions.

In the last year or so, I had been *thinking* about taking up running.  But, I had genetically bad knees and asthma.  A few months ago, a beginners running course became available to me.  And right around this time, I saw this meme, and realized….I HAVE A CHOICE!  It was time to stop making excuses.  Use then inhaler, buy some good knee braces and hit the streets!  I recently ran my second 5K.

It wasn’t enough though.  Needing to lose about 35 lbs, I also decided to change my diet.  But I didn’t know how to cook!  Well guess what?  I’m learning how to cook too!   It’s actually amazing how empowered this makes me feel!  I cut out alcohol, cheese, bread, fruit juices (how deceptive those are!), and pasta.  Two months later, I’m down 20 lbs, and I’ve never felt better.

You will never EVER get a cup of coffee out of my cold dead hands, however.  I’ll take it black, thank you.