Tagged: progress

Keep Your Eye On The Prize

Light at the End of the Tunnel

When I began this couch to 5k journey, there was an unspoken history of past attempts to get in better shape, lose weight, and lead a healthier lifestyle. Unspoken because obviously those attempts resulted in failure, otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am now.

But is it really failure?

Yes and no. In the sense that those attempts did not result in the ultimate goal, yes it was a failure. However, there were many lessons learned during those times and that has contributed to my shift in mindset that has me in a better place now.

A Long Road

As the picture above represents, the journey to where I am going is definitely a long road with plenty of detours and alternate paths along the way.

Putting myself into that picture, over the last week I have found that I stopped along that long road and was distracted by the happenings taking place down one of the many corridors leading away from my end goal.

There have been changes at work, helping family clean up after flooding, and of course the events surrounding the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.

Keep Your Eye On The Prize

There is no question that all of these things are mere excuses for the fact that I only exercised once this past week. However, there is one key difference between now and all of those other attempts to improve my lifestyle; those attempts that resulted in failure.

I’ve accepted that I don’t have to be perfect.

It sounds silly, but in the past when I would find myself straying from the path I had defined, I would mentally view that as a complete failure and throw up my arms in defeat. I would revert to all of my old habits – lounging on the couch, eating far too many snacks, and generally not doing much of anything.

At least I gave it a try“, I would think.

Now, I have accepted that this long road I am traveling is going to have detours and there will be times that I don’t stick to the plan.

There will be times where I don’t exercise according to schedule.

There will be times where I eat things I shouldn’t eat.

And it is okay!

The important thing is to minimize these times, refocus myself, and keep my eye on the prize. It isn’t a failure. It is life. It is an opportunity to recognize the triggers that lead to these changes in the plan and learn how to adjust. It is a time to celebrate progress rather than dwell on setbacks.

Speaking of progress, despite the above mentioned stop on my journey, I still managed to lose one pound this past week and am progressing towards my first milestone!

There is light at the end of the tunnel!

One Step At A Time

Making Progress One Step at a Time

Watching the accomplishments that so many achieved today in the Boston Marathon can make the small baby steps that I’ve been making seem so insignificant. And in the eyes of many they may be.

But not for me.

For me personally, the small steps that I’ve made since the beginning of April – which include traveling 14.53 miles and losing 7.5 pounds – are monumental.

Celebrating Progress

As part of this lifestyle transformation, I’ve discovered a number of inspirational people.

One of those people is Roni from Roni’s Weigh who just celebrated her own progress with a yoga pose that quite honestly doesn’t even look possible without special effects. (I’ve looked for a support wire and it isn’t there.)

Congrats Roni!

Seeing this celebration is a reminder that we need to focus on our own goals and accomplishments, and not to minimize them in comparison to others.

One Step At A Time

Just two short weeks ago, I never would have guessed that I would have exercised at all – let alone put 14.53 miles and 7.5 pounds between myself and April 1st!

Sure, I still have many, many more miles and pounds to go but I started.

I took action!

It would be easy to get discouraged when Running Wife heads out for a run and travels farther than I do in a week. Or when she maintains the weight that she worked so hard to lose. But rather than get discouraged, I celebrate her progress with her and she celebrates my progress with me.

Together.

Goals are not accomplished instantly – at least not in most cases. But they are accomplished by taking one step at a time and continuing to push yourself farther with each step. And with each step, it is important to take time and celebrate.

With that perspective, both Running Wife and I have a lot to celebrate!

Let’s celebrate together – what progress have you made?

First Day Of Interval Training

After the sobering reality between running inside versus running outside, Week 2 began today with the introduction of interval training (according to my personally modified version of #c25k).

Go hard or go home

Wanting to put the embarrassment of yesterday behind me, I committed to doing 3 minutes at my normal pace (a brisk walk to slow jog) and then 30 seconds at a much faster pace (a legit jog). Once the warm-up was complete, it was time to get down to business.

This isn’t so bad.

Through the first few rounds of alternating between walking and jogging, I felt good. The sweat started dripping and I was envisioning new personal bests in terms of distance traveled and my minutes per mile pace.

Hello wall, nice to meet you!

Somewhere around 14 minutes in, the jogging intervals began to feel more intense and the 3 minute walking intervals were spent trying to catch my breath. But I continued to power through knowing that the end result would be so much more rewarding.

There must be sweat in my eyes

When the final buzzer sounded to signal the cool-down phase, I nearly fell off the elliptical and was convinced that the sweat stinging my eyes was causing blurred vision.

Considering the amount of sweat that was dripping off of me and how I was sucking wind, I thought for sure that I had gone at least 3 miles or more. I was expecting to obliterate the 2.6 miles that I had done last week when I had pushed myself a little harder.

2.8 miles?!? A lousy 0.2 extra miles?!?

The effort was far greater than the distance traveled. The introduction of the intervals absolutely wiped me out and the net gain was less than a quarter mile difference. On the bright side though, my minutes per mile pace was nearly one full minute better than my previous best!

And that’s not all

In addition to setting a new personal best on the minutes per mile pace, I also pushed myself to go farther and work harder than I had before – and I did it.

Right now the important thing is to be consistent and begin adopting the exercise as a routine part of my lifestyle. On the drive home from work, I was beginning to make mental deposits into the excuse bank and was looking forward to just relaxing on the couch. Fortunately, I realized that the excuse bank was closed for the day and threw on my shorts and shoes and got to work!

Small steps continue to build on each other, and before long I will be at my goal!

OMG, I’ve Been Kerrigan’d

A couple of short days ago, I took the first small step towards my goal of running a 5k race with Running Wife in two short months.

And when I woke up the next day?

In Pain

Oh, it hurt!

Okay, I admit that it is a little mean to reference the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, but the way I felt the next morning was like someone had beaten my legs senseless – so it kinda fits.

However, the thing that felt the worst was my feet. It is quite common for me to have pain in my feet, particularly my heels, even when I’m not doing anything at all. My guess is that it may be plantar fasciitis or heel spurs; I say guess because I’ve never bothered to have it checked.

I’m going to share a little secret with you – I don’t like going to doctors.

Fortunately, by the time I was up and moving, things started to loosen up a bit and then the sense of accomplishment began to set in. (After the embarrassment of being so sore after walking for a measly 2.5 miles of course.)

Give me more!

After taking a day of rest, which was thoroughly enjoyed, I jumped back on the horse today and logged another 2.6 miles. In these early stages of transitioning from being sedentary to something resembling normal activity, my goal is to walk every other day and then slowly add in alternating periods of jogging / running and walking.

One thing that has been helping my motivation, and transition, is to reserve my favorite shows on the DVR for my time on the elliptical. It is amazing – and a little sad in a way – that losing yourself in a TV show can completely block out the unpleasantness of exercising!

While I know this is extremely premature, but even after only two days of walking I have also found myself subconsciously making healthier choices when it comes to what I am eating as well.

Last night, while burning the midnight oil on a project (better sleep habits on to do list), I began to get hungry. Typically, I’d grab one junky snack, and then another – and maybe another after that.

But not last night.

Nope.

Instead I cut up a cucumber!

Now, it wasn’t completely healthy as I did sprinkle a little of my cajun seasoning on the cucumber slices to give them a little kick. But considering the choices that I typically make when it comes to snacks, this was definitely progress!

After all, if I am going to bust my ass walking – and eventually running – I don’t want to waste all of that effort by eating a ton of crap afterwards.

Progress baby!