I’m often asked if I get bored of doing Experiments, if I ever tire of looking for new ones or if blogging them ever gets tedious. My answer: Nope, not ever and I looooovvveee it! Truth to be told, I’d be doing my schizophrenic fitness thing whether or not anyone else wanted to read about it (although I’m sure glad that you do – it’s so much more fun with company!). So hopefully you will forgive me for already starting October’s Great Fitness Experiment without telling you about it.
Thus far, all 5 days of my Experiment has already found me sitting at the end of my treadmill having an adult tantrum. I’m ashamed to admit there were tears and a towel was thrown. Mercifully, Gym Buddy Megan snapped me out of it before I could really embarrass myself and told me sternly to get over myself already. Y’all, she used her mom voice on me. I had to shape up; I feared getting sent to time out. (She’d do it too.) So what would cause this kind of gym hysterics?
Running. Of course.
And not just any running! This year the Gym Buddies and I will be running Monster Dash. Two of my favorite passions combined: fitness and costumes! (Plus this race is known for its sick swag! Check out the finisher’s medals!) Both Gym Buddy Megans are running the half marathon, Allison, Jeni and I are running the 10 miler and Krista is (probably) running the 5K. We’ve already stocked up on sparkly tutus, knee high Halloween socks and colored hairspray! I’m trying to talk them into fake facial tattoos. It’s going to be a freakin’ riot. So why the tears?
See, I’ve taken running for granted. It used to be one of those few athletic endeavors (after yoga and the circus arts) that came relatively easy to me. Oh not at the beginning it didn’t – I began my foray into fitness by running up the hill next to my condo in Seattle in the predawn darkness, slowly and painfully – but eventually it seemed like one of those things that while I’ll never be a pro at, I can at least do with some confidence. I could look someone in the eye and say “I’m a runner” and have them actually believe me. Most of the time.
But having the Jelly Bean 11 months ago (yes, it really has been that long!) has really thrown me off my running. You may recall when I was pregnant, I had to give up running around 6 months because of terrible hip flexor pain. That pain, which made it hard to even lift my legs much less do it repeatedly, continued for several months after she was born. (Side note: for those of you curious, I finally figured out the hip pain was from my abs being so weak. Once I stopped with the crazy ab routines – P90X, ahem – my hip pain completely went away! And I haven’t had any problems since and have even been able to return to doing ab work.) All of this resulted in the farthest I’d run in about a year was maybe 3 miles.
The Monster Dash is ten miles.
At first I told myself I just wanted to finish. That I was just doing this for fun. But then my competitive streak took over – running 10 miles used to be a piece of cake, darnnit! – and while I don’t plan on PR’ing, I’d like to stay under my goal time. That treadmill tantrum was because I’d only been able to maintain race pace for 6.8 miles. Today’s run was better – nothing was thrown and the Gym Buddies didn’t need to send me to bed early – but I’m still not confident I’ll be able to run the race that I want. So, October’s Great Fitness Experiment is to train for and run my first race post-partum. (And also to learn to chill the heck out and just enjoy the experience instead of making everything so hard for myself.)
September’s Great Bootcamp Experiment went (and is still going, actually) fabulously! It’s made me toilet sore at least once and our Smiley Trainer kicks my butt every single time. I love bootcamps and I think the best thing about them is their versatility. It’s a different workout every week and you can shove practically any exercise under the umbrella of “bootcamp.” Kettlebells! Bosu! Sprinting! TRX! Track drills! It’s like a smorgasbord of fitness! You should definitely try one if you get the chance.
So – any of you signed up for fall races? Have you ever taken a particular ability for granted only to discover later that it doesn’t come back as easily as you’d expected? Anyone else ever throw a gym tantrum?? (Please tell me I am not the only person who’s done this!) Any tips for me on how to mellow out the crazy and just have fun with this?