Tallahassee Fitness

A Strong Week

It’s not even Friday and I must say, I’ve had a pretty good week of working out.

A couple of milestones for me this week was getting out and doing things on my own. I do love having a workout partner especially for the tough workouts but this week, Jerritt, my workout partner for the most hideous of workouts, was busy with his job. At least that’s what he told me.

Easter Sunday, I got out for a trail run with Peyton, my wonderful, beautiful, sweet pup. We walked and ran for just over 3 miles. It was a beautiful day. Instead of beating myself up for walking more than I wanted to, I decided to absorb the moment and enjoy the day. I even went without my music and instead, really tuned into the beauty around me.

Monday, Jane and I went to my gym for a 30 min circuit training with Ropes, Kettlebells and TRX.

Tuesday, Jane and I went to Piney Z for a run. I love this trail! There is nothing quite like running while dodging snakes, seeing alligators and relocating turtles. This doesn’t happen on every run, but just the thought of the adventures we might come across make the run more exciting.

I like to use my Nike + GPS app on my iphone for my runs. It tracks distance, times, pace (which is depressing) AND it connects to Facebook so that when my friends, “like” my “I just started a Run with Nike +” post, I hear cheering through my headphones. Not sure how that works, but it’s pretty motivating and fun.

On the Nike app, you can choose from several options, one of which is time. You choose the time and it will tell you your half way point. That is when we turn around. The most we have done is 45 mins with a turn around time of half that.

I had my phone strapped to my arm so I asked Jane to push the 45 min option. Since Jane is also pushing 50 and can’t see anymore, she ended up pressing the 60 minute option. I didn’t find that out until we got done with our run.

Since we didn’t get a 22 minute notice to turn around, we kept running further and further up the trail. We ended up going into unchartered (for us) territory. It was wonderful. I kept wondering how anyone could possibly spend their running time pounding away the miles on the streets or sidewalks, inhaling fumes, listening to and dodging traffic when we have such incredible trails available.

We ended up turning around because we weren’t sure how much further the trail would take us. We ended up running 57 minutes. We didn’t walk much and I actually ran longer without stopping than I have in a very long time. It was a huge confidence booster.

Wednesday was my Joe day. We went to the stadium for ramps and swings. I love workouts like this. Doak Campbell has a 5 level ramp system that leads to the top of the stadium. Here is what we did.

Run up and back first ramp level
Do 100 Kettlebell Swings
Run up and back 2 levels
80 Swings
Run up and back 3 levels
60 Swings
Run up and back 4 levels
40 Swings
Run up and back all 5 levels
20 Swings.
Repeat the 5th and work you way back down the ladder.

You can do this workout on a hill or even a straight road. Just add laps each time.

Thursday is my tire day. I actually started sweating about this workout on Wednesday night. I had nightmares about it.
I dreaded it because I knew I had to do it alone. I had to depend on myself to push me through a workout that is just plain horrendous. I thought of every reason to put it off but finally decided to suck it up and do it.

My goal was to do 5 sets of 5 flips for a total of 25. I wasn’t worried about time because I know I’m going to slow down half way through the work out.

I really worked on my form so that I could get by with as few bruises as possible. I consulted with my “tire coach”,
Bud Jeffries about the bruising and he assured me as my form and strength improve it will get better. He also said that I will adapt. I haven’t posted pictures because I know my mom will freak out a little and begin questioning my sanity. Come to think of it, it won’t be the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last, so here is the picture. Sorry mom!!

My first few flips I was able to avoid setting the tire on my thigh for the transition, as I get tired, it became hard to avoid.

I managed 4 sets of 5 flips and then 1 set of 3. It took just over 25 minutes. I had to rest longer between sets and reps towards the end. I was exhausted but it felt great to get through half of my goal with 9 weeks left for my 50 flips for my 50th birthday goal.

This is the first exercise that I have found that works every muscle, head to toe. I know it’s not for everyone; actually, I know it’s not for most people but there is something about flipping tires that appeals to me. I think it must because it’s something I can do that requires everything I have mentally and physically. To set a goal of doing 50 for my 50th birthday is part insane and part awesome.

I have to admit, I am researching World Records and unorthodox feats of strength done by women. There isn’t much info out there. Maybe, just maybe, I will trail blaze this area of strength.

Everyone Needs a Joe

I am always amazed by people who are self motivated when it comes to working out. I can’t help but stare at people running alone and even more mind-boggling, without music and gadgets.

I admire people who do P90X alone in their living rooms or those who workout in garage gyms with equipment tucked between lawnmowers, paint cans and rusty tools.

Unfortunately, I am not that person. I have a home gym that rivals many commercial fitness studios. I have a top of the line Landice treadmill, a Precor elliptical and a fancy pants brand named recumbent bike. I have a Smith Machine, squat rack and a Hoist cable system. I have several sizes of Kettlebells and Dumbbells. I have plyo boxes, medicine balls, bands, balls and every other gadget you can think of. Best of all, it’s air conditioned.

Do I love it?? Yes! Do I use it?? No!

You are probably scratching your head about now wondering what the heck is wrong with me. I wonder that myself. I have an awesome home gym complete with a kicking air conditioning system and yet I get in my car and drive to my dirty, dusty, hot, mosquito filled gym to workout.

If you are one of those self motivated types, this makes no sense. You see, I admit, I am NOT self motivated. I hate working out alone and I don’t like working out at home. I’ve tried. I’ve schlepped my way up stairs, got on my treadmill, turned on the TV and started to run. It only takes a few minutes to realize I forgot my water. I get off the treadmill, go downstairs, grab my water see that there are dirty dishes in the sink. I quickly wash the dishes, grab my water and then decide while I’m here I might as well do a load of laundry. I grab my water, start heading up stairs and notice I have an email….oh and then I just have to check Facebook real quick. While I’m here, I might as well check Twitter….You can see where I’m going with this.

I just can’t workout at home. There are too many distractions. I get in my car and head to my work gym. I got my music and workout picked out and I’m raring to go. I put on some music and begin my joint mobility. I start looking around and realize the benches aren’t stacked on a straight line. It will just take a second to stack them and straighten them. I get back to my warm up and I can’t help but notice the Kettlebells aren’t in straight lines….This goes on and on and before I know it, clients are arriving for class.

I can’t fight it any longer. Call me what you will but I am not self motivated when it comes to exercise. I hate working out alone and when I do my workouts suffer. I don’t workout as hard as I could, I cut it short, I take long breaks, my mind wanders and I just end up finding something else to do.

I know me. I know how I operate. In order to be successful, I have to take who and what I am and make it work for me. I can’t just stand in an empty gym and will myself be self motivated. It’s not going to happen.

What I have done is to set myself up for success. I know I do better with a workout partner so I have workout partners. I have a lot of them! I have Jane, who likes, or rather dislikes running as much as I do. We go to the trails a couple of times a week and run. If needed, we walk and we don’t feel guilty about it. We don’t run for time, we run for exercise. We do have a running goal but if we don’t reach it, we really don’t care.

If you know me and you’ve been reading my blog, you know, I like to do some weird workouts. I like to do stuff that normal people would run from. These kind of workouts are just pure suckage. They must be shared with someone who likes to do things that suck. I have Jerritt or Ricky for that. Jerritt and I just started this new suck fest so I’ll see how long he lasts.

Last but not least are workouts that fall somewhere between social and suckage and that is where I have Joe.

My workouts with Joe are some of the training workouts for his May 50K run in the mountains of New Mexico. Joe runs. He runs far. He runs fast and he can do it alone if needed. Joe also has Megan for his ultra long distance training runs.

Joe and I meet once or twice a week for endurance training that doesn’t involve much running. In addition to stadium workouts, we meet once a week at Trinity Catholic School to run the hill and do Kettlebell swings. The running part is fun because it’s straight up hill. We are up to doing sets of a 100 Kettlebell swings alternated with 8 trips up the hill (Joe, not me). Running the hill gives him some hill experience while the Kettlebell swings gives him a ton of endurance training without adding more impact on his joints. The swings also strengthen his glutes, hamstrings and trunk.

Today we arranged to meet as soon as school got out. I was exhausted. I hadn’t slept much the night before and I had a very busy day. Last thing I wanted to do was workout but I couldn’t let Joe down. As I got closer to the school it started to rain. Secretly, I was glad. The hill is very steep and would be dangerous in the rain.

As soon as I pulled into the school, it started to pour. I called Joe, who was just pulling into the parking lot. We stayed in our cars talking on the phone trying decide whether or not to stay. I was trying to be reasonable and responsible but my real motivation was to get home and get my nap on.

Joe started telling me about his new running shoes. I couldn’t see him but I could tell by the excitement in his voice that he was not leaving until he took the shoes out for a trial run.

The rain let up just enough for us to grab our Kettlebells and get them under the overhang. The rain let up as we started on the hills. We were actually a little disappointed. I did 2 hills to his 8. I had to take it slow. Since I was wearing my Vibrams, I ran around the outer edge of the hill and down the path rather than running straight down hill.

We ran to our Kettlebells. He did 100 swings and I did 80 snatches. I can’t even remember the last time I did snatches. I was so happy!

Then came the torrential downpour. As Forrest Gump said, ” Little bitty stinging rain… and big od’ fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath”. Water gushed into the overhang and rivers formed around our Kettlebells.

It started lightening. We looked at each other, paused and headed out for another lap. We were like little kids. We ran though puddles and mud. We dodged rivers and ducked with each thunder clap. It rained so hard that I couldn’t see where I was going.

Joe finished a total of 50 hill sprints and 500 Kettlebell Swings. I did 12 hill walks, just over 100 snatches and around 300 swings.

It was awesome!! No way I would have done that by myself. I would have left and I would have missed out on an incredible fun workout. And, that is why I have Joe.

Who is your Joe?

Super Strong Weekend

I’ve taken 4 naps today and still don’t think I’ve fully recovered from this past weekend. Not sure where Monday and Tuesday went either.

Me and my gym, Boot Camp Fitness and Training hosted the Super Human Workshop with Bud Jeffries and Logan Christopher. It was a weekend of learning techniques to improve strength and endurance using some very unorthodox methods. Lectures were followed by hands on learning and I am pretty sure everyone in attendance set strength PRs.

Friday afternoon was spent preparing for the workshop and also the Strongman performance that was held Friday evening. Watching the process was both fascinating and alarming. Bud and Logan live across the country from each other so Friday afternoon was spent learning and practicing some new stunts. Let’s just say that Juggling Kettlebells of Death was aptly named.

I don’t want to go into a whole recap of the weekend. I am editing a video that will give you more information than you could possibly handle.

So, let’s talk about me!!

I threw most caution to the wind as I just had to try out some feats of strength. I am happy to report that I did hold back in certain areas due to my healing, but not much.

First thing I just had to try was taking a bowling ball to my stomach. I’m not sure how many people would watch that being done to someone and then immediately want to try it. It wasn’t that bad. I have some strong abs and it’s all about maximum contraction and trusting the person dropping the ball on your stomach. We started low and went higher. I didn’t get it on video but later that weekend, Logan took a few steps up the ladder and dropped the ball on me.

One of the things that I really wanted to be able to do was to bend a nail. I have tried several times in the past year and wasn’t even able to put a kink in it. I tried again on Friday and couldn’t do it. On Monday and under the careful instruction of Bud’s son, Noah, who can bend thick steel rods, I bent my first 3/16th nail! It wasn’t easy.

One of the great things about hosting the workshop was having access to so many experts. Everyone hung out at my house each day after the workshop. I talked to Bud about some ideas for celebrating my upcoming 50th birthday with some crazy feats of strength and insanity. We came up with a plan and he wrote me a workout.

My goal is to flip our 400 pound tire 50 times! But first, I had to learn the proper technique. Thanks to Bud, the tire goal seems reachable.

This weekend really helped get me excited about working out. Having a really cool, unique goal to achieve is the icing on the cake. Traditional workouts just don’t excite me and this workshop was just what I needed both physically and mentally to light my fire.

On Tuesday, I got with Noah one last time for a bending lesson. I bent 3 nails with ease. Since we didn’t have a thicker nail, Noah duct taped a 3/16 and a 1/8 together for me to try. That was tough and I had to use some different leverage to bend it but I did it. As you can see in this video, the 3/16 nail bend was easy. It was bent before I actually used all my strength.

Even though I set quite a few PRs this weekend and got to hang out with some very cool people including my girls in strength, Adrienne Harvey and Melody Schoenfeld. I also got to meet and learn from, Ryan Pitts of Stronger Grip. He makes the coolest grip and strength tools I’ve ever seen. I already have an order ready.

It was a great weekend but I must say, the best part was seeing my best girl, Ava..oh and finally getting the FSU Kettlebell that Ryan has been working on for months.

Flying By the Seat of My Pants Workouts

I’m in my 3rd week of working out again and I must say, I’ve never felt better. I’m still dealing with a few physical problems but mentally, I am stronger than ever.

I’ve put aside all of the strength goals I’ve had in the past year and I’ve just decided to be more intuitive with my workouts. Normally I wouldn’t recommend just “winging it” but for right now, it’s working. It’s been a long time since I haven’t had a goal. For the past few years my workouts have centered around getting my RKC, (check), getting my RKC 2, (check), achieving the Iron Maiden (no) and various other strength goals.

I’ve always had a workout that I HAD to do taped to the wall at the gym. I had to do specific workouts on specific days and I stuck to it no matter whether I wanted to or not. Some days I dreaded going to the gym. I would get so stressed out about my upcoming workout, that I would be covered in sweat before I ever got out of my car. I did whatever workout was scheduled and planned for the day no matter how I felt. There were quite a few times that I don’t even remembering working out. I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted and yet I pushed through. I was going through the motions. My motivation was gone and so was my strength. I was in pain and yet I stuck to my workout plan because I had a goal to reach and had a date to reach it by.

You know the rest.

This afternoon, I met a friend for a workout. I planned what we were going to do on my way to the gym. How crazy is that?

The great thing about Ricky is that he is game for anything. The crazier the better. We decided on doing 100 rope slams and then carrying 1 heavy chunk of concrete from the back of my gym about 100 yards and setting it down. We did 100 more rope slams and carried another chunk of concrete. We repeated this until all the slabs of concrete were stacked on the other side of the parking lot. We repeated this over and over until all of the concrete was stacked back up behind the gym again.

We didn’t set out to do this as fast as we could or do it in a certain amount of time. We just went until we were done. We talked, we laughed and I even managed to bust out a few of my old school dance moves. Fifty minutes later I was covered in dirt, sweat, bruises and cuts. My butt was kicked and I was in heaven!

Writing this, I realized why working out like this appealed to me. I was doing the kind of stuff I did as a kid. I was outside, picking up heavy stuff, carrying it around and putting it down. Even though the workout was hard, it was exhilarating. It was spontaneous.

I knew I was going to do some sort of hard workout and I had a general idea of what I wanted to do but it wasn’t set in stone….actually, I guess it was, just in that I was picking them up and carrying them.

Driving to the gym, the trail or the stadium is now filled with anticipation and excitement rather than dread.

I know I’m not going to work out like this forever. Eventually, I’m going to set some goals, and to reach those goals I will need a plan. Just for now though, I am going to be spontaneous. I am going to work out because I can. I am going to do things that excite me and that are fun. I am going to think outside of the box. I don’t need treadmills, ellipticals or dumbbells to workout. I can carry heavy rocks, climb hills, flip a tire, swing a bell, lift some logs, walk my dog, run with friends and so much more.

I’d love to hear about your experience with tossing the plans and schedules and being more intuitive and spontaneous. I have a feeling it’s going to help me come back stronger.

Because Someone Said it Would Take 2 girls

The second I heard that this size tire would be good for 1 guy or 2 girls to flip, I knew I would have to do it.

After a workout of

5 Heavy Kettlebell Deadlifts
15 20k Swings
20 Rope Slams
4 Heavy Tire Flips repeated 5 times. I gave the big tire a try.

Super Strong Nana is making a comeback!!



I’d like to introduce you to Nastasha

Today marked my 3rd workout post cast.

One of the things I’ve been struggling with besides getting started again is having a plan of action for my workouts. I have goals of course, but unless I couple that with action, my goals remain just a dream. I think that is a famous quote because it sounds familiar.

I have to set myself up for success and one of the ways I have done that is to make plans to meet someone for workouts twice a week. My friend and boot camp client, Joe is training for The Jemez Mountain Trail Runs in New Mexico. I agreed to come up with several workouts to help him train for the steep terrain and the ever increasing elevation that he will be running.

Because we live in Florida, our options for elevation training are pretty limited. We decided one day a week will be workouts at Doak Campbell stadium, the other day will be running the hills next to Trinity Catholic School. Joe had never been on those hills and I had been a regular, pre-injury.

I told him that these were some of the steepest roads in Tallahassee and are at least a mile long. I was a little embarassed when Joe told me that he drove the hill and it was a mere quarter mile. It seems like a mile

On Tuesday Joe ran the hills while I patiently walked. Even when I was working out on a regular basis, these hills were challenging. Walking them for the first time in months was tougher than I’d like to admit.

After walking the quarter mile hill several times I decided to try a little bit of running. There are several cut through streets between the hills that are about 40 yards in length. I jogged those. My inner 20 year old, kept goading me into running up the hills. I tried hard to resist but ended up running some of the downhill portions. I felt fine but forced myself to stop while I still had energy. It felt great to workout again.

Today I met Joe at the stadium. Earlier in the day, I emailed him several hellish workouts designed for the stadium and the ramps. I told him to cut them up, fold them and open one when he got there. Doing that will help keep the workouts interesting and help him prepare for the unknown. He ended up with a ladder workout of the stadium steps and the ramps. The workout was one trip to the top of the steps and 1 run up the ramps. He added to the ramps while continuing to run one set of steps in between until he was running up the ramps 5 times. While he did this, I started walking up the steps. I watched Joe run past me several times. I had to force myself to stick to my plan of going slow, resting as needed and stretching throughout.

I went in to walk up the ramps that lead to the upper levels of the stadium and that is when Natasha appeared. I’ve decided to name my inner 20 year (that is trying to kill me), Natasha. The name conjures up the imagine of a raven haired assassin. As the new, smarter me was focusing on gradually building an endurance base while continuing to baby my newly healed foot, Natasha was whispering in my ear, mocking me.

I began to run. It was a constant battle. I ran up one level to shut her up and walked up one level to satisfy the new, smarter me. My big compromise was to stop even though I felt I could do a little more. I do have to admit though, my legs were shaking and I was beginning to feel a bit nauseous.

I left feeling on top of the world and with lots of energy to spare.

One of my goals for tomorrow is to write down my workout plan for the next couple of weeks. I am still being treated for shoulder pain so any upper body work is out. I am going to start adding squats, deadlifts and swings a couple of times a week in addition to meeting Joe for hill and stadium workouts.

The prospect of getting back into a regular routine is exciting. I just have to keep an eye out for Natasha.

 

 

It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll

I am free!! I am cast free, boot free and dorky walking shoe free. It’s been since late November that I have been able to wear matching shoes. Today I gathered up all of my right shoes that have been strewn around the house and paired them back up with long forgotten left shoes.

The only thing holding me back now are my painful shoulders which I just started a new treatment for and a pesky hamstring that I re-injured trying to deadlift in a cast.

Other than that, I am good to go.

Tonight was my first workout. I was giddy with excitement all day. I met a friend at Doak Campbell stadium to do the steps. As usual my inner 20 year old, that is trying to kill me, wanted to take off and run to the top but my new smarter 49 year old shut her down.

I walked to the top. I was very cautious with my newly healed foot, making sure I planted my feet firmly on each step. I was able to the top 3 and a half times. I could have done more but why risk it? From now on I am taking care of this body of mine. It’s the only one I have and the only one I will ever have. From now on I will train smart. I will do adequate movement prep and joint mobility before every workout. I will not train in pain. I will not train when exhausted. I will properly fuel my body and give it adequate nourishment. Last but not least, I will take rest days.

One of the things I thought about during my short little workout was that there are so many people who can’t train. I thought about a new friend I met on Facebook, named Nancy who is a trainer and an RKC in CA. Nancy has been on bed rest and crutches for 16 weeks due to major foot problems, foot surgeries and non healing surgical wounds. She is so positive and is always looking at the bright side.

Tonight’s 3 and a half trips to the top of  stadium was for her.

Heal fast my friend!

The Alternative Transformation Challenge

Several times a year we hold a transformation challenge at boot camp. I’ve been involved in these challenges as both a trainer and as a participant. In the past, the challenges I’ve been involved in have been based on weight loss. Ninety day challenges are everywhere and are very successful…during that 90 days. I think that most of us could exercise our butts off and restrict our food intake for 90 days. Problem is that most of us (me) gain it back within half the time.

I didn’t want to do a typical weight loss challenge with my clients but I did want them to get involved in something that would motivate them to buckle down and get serious about changing. So we are doing a transformation challenge based on a point system AND fat loss/weight loss.

I got this idea a couple of years ago from the Iron Tamer, Dave Whitley. I changed a few things but it’s pretty much based on the same principles, which is changing behavior.

Points are awarded daily based on completing the behaviors that lead to change. The focus becomes on doing the right things. There are just 5 things to do. Yes, changing is that simple.

First everyone must come in for baseline measurements which include weight, body fat, waist measurement and a before picture. Next everyone must write down their 8-12 week goal. The goal or goals must be SMART; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. You can’t just say, “I want to lose some weight” or “I want to run a 5k”. That would be like saying you are going to take a trip without a map. Not very SMART is it?

Everyday our peeps must log into our secret forum and post their daily goals. It’s these daily goals and behaviors that lead to achieving weekly goals, monthly goals and….you guessed it, the BIG goal. I like to go one step further. They must go back online in the evening and post whether or not they reached their daily goal. Accountability makes or breaks most people’s success.

Each day they earn points for drinking 8 glasses of water, keeping a very detailed food journal, exercising and posting their daily goals. Once a week they turn in food journals and points sheets, take a picture and weigh in. Again, it’s all about being responsible and accountable.

The kicker is that on Sunday nights I post my special challenge. It’s a doozy and worth 5 points a day for complying. First week was no sugar. This coming week is weighing and measuring most of their daily food.

I can’t tell you how many times I hear people say that they are doing everything right. They are logging food, exercising and making healthy choices but just can’t seem to lose weight. My question is, how do you know how many calories you are eating if you are just guessing at amounts?

I don’t know about you, but most of the time I end up underestimating the calories I’ve eaten. It became clear to me the day I poured my “healthy” Quaker Oat Squares into my bowl. Before I added milk I thought I would measure it. A serving is 1 cup and is 210 calories BEFORE the milk. I figured my breakfast was 300 calories with my skim milk. It would have been had I not been filling my bowl with more than 2 cups. So my breakfast ended up being around 550 calories. That was almost half of my calorie requirement for the entire day.

Warning: weighing and measuring your food my cause extreme shock coupled with uncontrollable emotional outbursts, which may lead to temporary depression.

Couple that with thinking that your exercise burns more calories than it does and you have a recipe for a weight loss plateau.

The beauty of this type of challenge is that you do not need to be one of my clients (although that would be awesome) to take this challenge. You can do this on your own, with your co-workers, friends or family.

My good friend and fellow fitness blogger Healthy Heather has been known to keep a chart and give herself gold stars for completing healthy goals. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy earning gold stars!

Here is the Transformation Challenge Score Sheet we use. Print out 8 sheets and join us in transforming your life. You may already have your favorite food journals, the ones I love and use are Lose It and My Fitness Pal. Both have a huge data base but even better, you can scan bar codes and add them right to your food journal. I just love technology!

I know your dying to find out what kind of goals Super Strong Nana has. As some of you know in less than 4 months I will be landing in Paris on the day of my 50th birthday. It’s a shopper’s paradise. I don’t want to be just a hot 50 year old, I want to be a smoking hot 50 year old!! I want to look better, feel better and be smarter, wiser and more successful than I have even been.

Where do you want to be in 8 weeks? How are you going to get there? Keep me posted on your progress.

 

Now is the Time to Start Living

I’m writing this blog from the Tallahassee Marathon Expo and packet pick up. Most people are just running in, grabbing their race bib, bag of swag and leaving. I am enjoying the people watching. Runners of all different shapes, sizes and ages have passed through the doors today.

Some will be running their first distance race, while many are marathon and half marathon veterans. I really admire these people. I hate running and can’t imagine doing it for hours at a time. Actually, I shouldn’t say I hate running. I actually enjoy running short distances on the trails with my best friend, Jane and my dog, Peyton.

For me running isn’t about time, distance or setting PRs. It’s a time to socialize with my friend, exercise for me and my dog and enjoying nature. It wasn’t always like this.

I started running 7 years ago with my friend, Sandra. She had the crazy idea of doing the Disney Half Marathon. I was crazy enough to let her talk me into it. We were pretty clueless on training and the only running we did was on the treadmills at the gym.

Our first run was a couple of miles. We felt like rockstars. We gradually increased our milage. Our first 4 mile non stop run was reason to celebrate. Only 9 more miles to add and we would be marathon ready. Seemed easy enough.

Being novices, we had to learn about proper footwear, dry fit socks, stretching, hydration and fueling the hard way. I also had a problem with staying upright while running. I fell…a lot. I fell so much that I clearly remember getting up from a fall and looking at a motivational sign in front of the school I fell in front of that said, Fall down 7 Times, Get Up 8. I think I was on my 8th fall. I kept scraped up knees and bruised palms for months.

I remember the day we ran 6 miles. We left the gym and ran downtown, to the mall and back. I was amazed that I just ran a route and distance that I commonly drive. I actually ran that far! Sandra fell in love with running, I did not. I did love the gadgets though and bought everything a runner could possible need or want. The more gadgets I had the more I could focus on something besides running. I had ipods, special earphones, fuel belt, key pockets for my shoe laces, runner’s gloves, dry fit clothes, cushioned socks, cutting edge running shoes and my favorite, my Polar heart rate monitor. I loved seeing how many calories I was burning and how high my heart rate was getting.

We were burning so many calories that we were sure we were finally going to lose some weight. Come marathon day, we both had actually gained weight. Too much carb loading (even for our mile runs), too many days thinking that we could eat whatever we wanted since we were running all added up. It was depressing.

After several more races, another half marathon and a lot more gadgets, I finally decided that I just didn’t like to run long distances as a matter of fact, I hated it. It just wasn’t for me. I have nothing against running; some of my best friends are distance runners.

I just wanted to find a way to run that I enjoyed. I love sprinting and found that I’m built for it. I love sprinting up hills. I love going all out for sets of short distances over and over until I’m sick. I love running up stairs. I love running on the trails. For me, running is no longer about pounding the pavement or punishing myself for eating too much. It’s about being able to move, being capable of running if I had to, it’s about enjoying time with friends, it’s about exercising my dog, and last but not least, it’s about the gadgets.

I really admire those people who take up running later in life or who continue running well into their golden years.

Since I write as slow as I run, I can now share info about the finishers of the Tallahassee Marathon. The Male Grandmaster, Alex Steverson age 51 finished the marathon in 3 hours and 19 minutes. The Male Senior Grandmaster, Denji Durden finished in 3 hours and 33 minutes.

Two guys, Bill Larsen and Dan Bowser age 70 and 71 both finished in under 6 hours!!

The ladies were well represented as well. Phyllis Sizemore, Perha Varley and Diana Burton ages 66, 67 and 66 all finished the 26.2 miles in under 6 hours as well.

The half marathon results are equally impressive. Many runners in the age groups from 55 and up ran incredibly fast. The oldest finisher male runner, Bob Keller is 78 years young! The oldest female runners are in their mid 60s.

Even though I am not much of a runner, I am fascinated with the ages of the finishers. I’ve noticed that a lot of runners seem to get faster with age. Just like with many things in my own life, I think it can be attributed to more time.

I spent most of my life taking care of my kids and at least half of that in the car taking them somewhere and dropping them off. My training time and my “me” time was limited to tiny bits of time when they didn’t need me first. Add a full time job on top of kid responsibilities and you can see how many people give up.

Now that my youngest is 17 and driving, I don’t hear from him anymore, unless he needs money. I don’t feel like he will die of starvation if I am not home to cook. I am finding that I have a ton of time for me.

Getting older comes with so many freedoms. This is the perfect time to take up exercise, train for a race or other event, learn a new skill, find a new hobby, learn to play an instrument, learn a new language, travel. The possibilities are endless.

This is the time to put yourself first and start really living.

I would love to hear what you’ve done or what you plan to do.

My First Blog, or rather, Blob as Super Nana

The adventures of Super Nana is off to a slow start. Even though I gained my super nana status in August of this past year, it still takes the work of mere mortals to get a website up and running.

My first blog was supposed to be about my 2012 goals, my training, my diet and my progress. I wanted to start the year and my new super venture with something to inspire all of you who are ready to change your lives, set new goals and break the stereotypes of grandparents everywhere.

The problem is, I’ve been grounded.

In November I went to San Diego for a marketing workshop through Dragon Door. Silly me put fashion and laziness before comfort and sensibility. OMG, I just used the term, comfort and sensibility!! I am getting old!!

Anyway, in order to get through security quickly while looking cute I decided to wear my 2 inch wedge flip flops. Not only did I schlep through 3 airports in my flip flops but I did a ton of site seeing once I got to San Diego.

I started having dull pain on the top of my foot a few days after I got home. After a few days I decided to have it checked. I’ve had a stress fracture years ago and I figured this is what it was. To make a long blog short, I ended up going to a Podiatrist who happens to be a close friend. He put me in this gimorous walking boot with strict instructions to stay off of my foot. That thing was a pain but I actually got to wear my cute 2 inch wedge flip flop to even out my legs. The culprit became a lifesaver.

As usual, my inner 20 year old thought it would be ok to continue my workouts without the boot. Since I was doing mainly Kettlebell Swings, Deadlifts, presses, Squats and Pistols and wasn’t moving around I thought I was safe to take it off and workout.

Prior to the foot injury, I hurt both of my shoulders from overtraining pull ups and presses and yet I continued to train. I kept telling myself that I would do less weight, less sets and less reps. I was a tough chick and would push through the pain. Nightly doses of Celebrex became the norm.

I even went to have my shoulders checked out by a top Orthopedic Surgeon. I was diagnosed with a torn Labrum and given instructions to stop doing the offending activity.

So here I was with an injured foot and shoulders. I thought I was different and that the rules of healing and taking time off did not apply to me. I never, in a million years would let my clients train with injury and here I was training with injury.

I noticed my foot pain was not getting any better and was actually getting so bad that I had to take pain meds. I made an appointment with the Podiatrist. He took an X-Ray and congratulated me for turning my little stress fracture into a full blown fracture. I was put in my very first cast right after Christmas.

Did I let a little ol’ cast stop me from training? No way! Once I adjusted to the height and weight difference, I started doing Kettlebell Swings and rope workouts. I thought I was super human..a beast because I was not allowing a cast or shoulder injuries slow me down.

Then came the hamstring injury.

Not sure why I thought I could walk up to a barbell and do a max deadlift after having not done a barbell deadlift in more than 6 months all while balancing on a cast and my cute little 2 inch wedge flip flop. I honestly think my inner 20 year old is trying to kill my outer 49 year old! I felt my hamstring pull and the pain was immediate. Because of my stupidity and stubbornness, I aggravated an injury that I had several years ago, also due to stupidity.

So, instead of starting my new blog on a super awesome positive note, I am starting by explaining why I am not training.

All of my injuries and lack of progress are my own fault. I am learning the hard way. I hope that sharing my embarrassing training moments and crazy thought processes will help  you avoid making the same mistakes I did.

Although taking time off and allowing myself to heal is very scary, I had to make a commitment. My fear is that I am already turning into a blob of mush. I know that I won’t snap back as easily as I did when I was in my 20s. I know that once I’m healed, it’s going to take a little more time to build up my endurance, strength and yes, my wonderful calluses.

Now is the time to focus on healing and healthy eating, joint mobility and flexibility, as well as emotional and mental growth. In other words, I need to look inside and fix that part of me that is so afraid to rest. I need to see why I have such a need to press on through pain and injury.  It’s time to re-evaluate my goals for 2012.

I promise NOT to work out for 4 weeks or even longer if that is what it takes. That means no working out. No modifying, working around, or sneaking in workouts. I may go insane. I may also end up better and stronger than I have ever been.

I also promise; I will NOT blame this on age. I will NOT throw in the towel. I will NOT listen to people who tell me that I need to start slowing down and that I’m too old to be doing the type of workouts that I love. I will NOT become a mall walker. I will NOT give up my goal of being super strong and I will absolutely NOT allow myself to believe that I can’t come back stronger and better than ever.