Thursday, December 4, 2014

Train how you want to train

This week started the training for the Lake Effect Half Marathon (I will have more about this race and the cause I am running for next week!). I’m pretty sure that I have mentioned before about my hatred of training plans. See, I always think they are good idea. I mean they look good on paper and stuff. But then something happens and I miss this day, or miss that day, and POOF…training plan is no longer being followed.

That may very well end up being the same case here. But I am trying not to do that. I am *trying* to be good and stick to it. And one of the ways I made sure of that is to modify it to MY liking!

Thanks to everyone's awesome & super sweet comments on Social Media, I am never taking this jacket off again
& all pictures from here on out will be in this public bathroom.
Here’s what I got going on in my head when it comes to training plans…*I* am the one running!! Not you, not her, not him…ME!! I am the one going out there and putting in the miles. I am the one showing up on race day and crossing that starting line and (hopefully) that finish line. I am choosing whether to run for a PR or to just run for fun or to just run and hope not to keel over and die. SO therefore I would like my training plan to be a reflection of what I enjoy about running. I want it to be something that I know I will most likely stick to. There are so many elements in certain training plans that just drive me nuts and they are not to my interest. And I’m not paid to run…so why do something with running that I don’t like to do? Running is for my health & enjoyment…not to be forced into.

Training plan says- 2 X 200 then 4 splits of 10/3 then take that and circle it around for the 40X400. 
Suzi Says- I’m sorry…did you say banana split??

Training plan says- Tuesday: Fartlek run
Suzi Says- Heeheehee…you said FART!!

Training plan says- HILLS!! RUN ALL THE HILLS!!
Suzi Says- Awwwww HELL NAH!! Suzi don’t do no hills. Nope.

Training plan says- Cross Train
Suzi Says- I don’t know our local train schedule. And crossing an oncoming train sounds kinda dangerous, dontcha think?!

Training plan says- 1 rest day
Suzi Says- Awww, you’re cute!! Byebye training plan! 

But Suzi…you are not challenging yourself! But Suzi…you won’t have a great race without a great training plan! But Suzi…training isn’t supposed to be fun! But only get out what you put in!

But…NOTHING!! Look, many of you know that I am pretty good at challenging myself & striving to make myself better. I get it that certain types of runs and workouts will make me a better runner…I get that. I really do! But that doesn’t mean I HAVE to do them. I like to have a guideline...a flow that I can go with and can make changes to. I can still run great races, chase and set new PR's with the kind of plans that I follow. I have done it before and I will do it again! 

My training plan is based off of the Hal Higdon novice ½ marathonplan. I picked novice 1 because while even though I have run a bunch of half marathons (one just this past October) and have even ran a marathon, I am still adjusting to being a runner again. My progress is going a little slower this time so I wanted something with the flexibility to amp it up but not the pressure.

How did I make it my own? Well first off…I took out one of the running days. It calls for one day of the week to have a 2 or 3 mile run or cross. I took that out and added a day of rest. Actually I have 2 days of rest in there, with a possible 3rd. I have always been a 3-4 days a week kind of gal when it comes to running. I have zero desire to run every single day. By having an option to add another day of running leaves me more in favor of ADDING a day of running instead of subtracting a day. I have a cross training day in there and I have a stretch/strengthen (aka Yoga) day in there.  

Yes, my training plan has 3 definite days of running with a possible forth. *I* like this…*I* want it like this…*I* am the one running. I run Mondays, Wednesdays and my long runs will be on Saturdays. I like that. I can definitely do that. That is feasible for me. And there is much room to add in another run or workout without it feeling like a job.

This is how I train. This works for me. That doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you, but who knows! Don’t feel like you have to follow some strict crazy plan if that isn’t your personality. I've tried really detailed plans before and I always drop them. I don't like them and I don't have to like them. Some people need that structure. They need that kind of plan to stay disciplined, and that is great….for them. Remember, this is *your* journey…your race…your run. It doesn’t have to look like others. The only one it should be benefiting is YOU. Unless you are getting paid to run you should be trying to make this as fun as you possibly can because lets face it...the only real fun parts about running are the parts where you get to eat lots of carbs and wear a medal.

So who else is starting a training plan soon? Who wants to start a bet going on how soon I quit this training plan and just run whenever I feel like it?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My plate is GREAT!

As a member I always hated the Weight Watchers “Great Plate” week. If I am being 100% honest here (and I always am) it is literally my most hated topic in the history of topics. 

The great plate…a way to manage and control your thanksgiving meal. That's all fine and dandy but really it would be nice if we could just relax. 

My plate is greater. Why? Because I will put whatever the hell I want and however much I want on my plate.

Listen, I am not saying go balls to wall here. I am not saying to grab the pan full of stuffing and RUN! I am not saying when someone asks you “would you like a piece of pie?” you say “no, I want the whole damn pie!” What I am saying is…this is a holiDAY. It is ONE day. A single date.

I don’t know about you but I am pretty damn good most days of the week. I track all of my food. I plan out my meals and snacks. I save my weekly points and earn up extra activity for special occasions that will be requiring eating food. I try to make up for when I have garbage days. I am pretty obedient with my eating. So guess what?? I give myself a f%*king break on the holidays. I do not deprive myself of anything. I don’t put anything “off limits”. Hell, I even get a second helping if I want.  And you know what this allows me to do?? Eat without guilt and ENJOY my meal. And you know what that enables?? Control.

I don’t go absolutely insane. And if I do have that 3rd helping of mashed potatoes (seriously…potatoes…seriously) SO WHAT?!?! It’s not like I go all crazy and eat everything on site just because I’ve decided not to follow some stupid plate or Thanksgiving guideline. I mean holy shit, have we become so obsessed with sticking to plan that we forgot to relax sometimes?! You gotta relax, man. I speak from experience when I say that being that strict and not letting yourself enjoy something as simple as a single.freaking.meal will do your mind AND body absolutely NO good!!

To quote my boy Eric (many of you know him @TheMochnacz )“I think Thanksgiving is truly the one holiday that is about food. And I just don’t think you can happy sitting at that table with your family munching on rabbit food. And if you deprive yourself of all the stuff you want on the big day then you know you would angrily be eating all those leftovers until New Years. It will be a holiday shame spiral!”

I hit my goal and became a Weight Watchers Lifetime member right in the timeline of Thanksgiving to Christmas…I didn’t go crazy and not enjoy the holidays. I did exactly what I do today….enjoy the day. Thanksgiving isn't an eating contest yet we treat it like it is so therefore we put all these strict guidelines one ourselves that really are not that necessary. 

The holiday shame Eric said, not only are you opening the door to possibly having an all out regret fest with food, but by not allowing yourself to take it easy & enjoy some treats you are also opening the door to guilt & shame that can follow & consume you from here till New Years. Don't allow that to happen! Be easy and forgiving on yourself. 

Things I do that ease any guilty that might come along…I always go out for a run in the morning. I have always gone out by myself for a run to help me clear my mind and prepare myself for the day ahead. I reflect on what I am thankful for, and I get to earn some activity points while doing so. I also bring a “safe dish”…usually a side dish that I know the exact points for and is healthy for me to pig out on if I feel the need to. Also, because I indulge in a lot of mash potatoes (Seriously….potatoes) and I basically like to drown them in gravy, I bring my own jar of fat free gravy. No one is offended (and even if they are too bad) and the taste is pretty much just as good.  And yes, I usually do track my points but not always and not everything. And sometimes I just track “100 – Thanksgiving” and call it a freaking day. Maybe it’s way over, maybe it’s way under…either way I’ve tracked, accepted and enjoyed. For those who do want to strictly track their Points then you should check out my girl Dani's Thanksgiving cheat sheet

Just remember that it is a holiDAY not a holiWEEK!! Take it easy on yourself and just remember that YOU are in control of your meal. 

Have a very safe and happy Thanksgiving!! XO

Friday, November 14, 2014

I will be me...

I like McDonalds. I am obsessed with their grilled southwest chicken salad. And their French fries are basically my kryptonite. I even have a phone case that is a mock up of their French fries. I don’t care what people say about them. I don’t care what is “really in them” blah, blah, blah.

I’m a runner but I don’t need to look like one 24/7. I can wear high heels more than I wear running sneakers. I’m still a runner. I can wear clothes other than race t-shirts and running capris. I’m still a runner.

I do not have to give two flying fucks about crossfit. (Sorry to my Crossfit friends)

I do not have to care if my food is organic or not. I don’t have to care about Gluten if I don’t want to (and for the record, I don’t).

I do not have to try Beachbody or Wrap my body up like a mummy…just like you don’t have to care about Weight Watchers.

I don’t have to “stay out of bars” if I want to stay sober. I am a grown ass woman and I can put myself into any situation I want. I know what I can handle. I know what a temptation is & I know when I need to avoid it & when I’m ok with dealing with it. This is my battle, not yours.

I don’t have to pretend to like certain brands because like 99% of my friends on Twitter like that brand.  I mean seriously…I almost vomited trying to consume those things! They are NOT practical!

I don’t have to be an “ambassador” of something in order for my blog and my views to be relevant.

I don’t need to be anything but me. Take it or leave. Love it or hate it. I will be me and you will be you and that is what makes all of this so inspiring. Sometimes I get opened up to something that I didn’t think I cared about before, and vice versa. I don’t judge anyone for taking a different path on their journey…I respect it and commend it. It inspires me to take MY path, and in turn I hope that inspires you to take yours.

Now cue the beat...