Reality Check

ImageTaking silly selfies in the gym I had alll to myself for my spin on friday.

Over the Christmas holiday, I got to spend an unexpected week at home and got some solid work outs in at altitude. My mom has fortunately put a treadmill in my childhood room, literally a foot from my bed. It was staring me down every time I tried to sleep in and was an impediment when I came stumbling home from the bars on Christmas Eve. I never thought that I would turn into one of those adrenaline junkies who actually chooses to work out on vacations and rearranges their schedule to get one in. But I’m quickly turning into one of those people. And usually I just binge on eating when I’m at home. Don’t get me wrong, I still did some carbo loading at the family Christmas dinner, but it was not like how I would normally eat while at home. I tried to be more self-conscious about what I was shoving in my face. (Ok, maybe I did have candy for breakfast on Christmas morning, but who’s keeping track really?)

ImageOk this is really embarrassing but I just have to share because it’s so hilarious. There have been some updates to my room since I moved out (see crazy cat lady picture on the wall and also the treadmill). I did actually bring my cats home with me so maybe that does make me a crazy cat lady in the making…you can thank my sister for capturing this moment.

Most of my work outs consisted of runs over the holiday. I did most of them on that trusty treadmill in my room because, why not? I was having a lot of pain in my Achilles tendon and it gradually spread up through my leg from my shin to my knee. I had to stop during a couple work outs just to try and stretch it out. Finally, on my spin on Friday my knees were on fire. Then, later that afternoon I did a trail run/hike and my hamstrings were really tired and sore. I really have been slacking on stretching the past couple of months and my muscles are straining. Also, I’ve noticed lately that my left leg has been popping out to the side slightly on my bike. When I went in to get my bike refitted at my lactate threshold test, Craig informed me that this is because I haven’t been stretching enough and my leg is trying to compensate for the discomfort.  This is a reality check that I need to take care of my body and let my muscles fully recover in-between work outs which includes a healthy dose of stretching after every single work out.

ImageView on the way to my hike. If you look straight ahead and to the canyon on the right with the snow, that’s where we went.

ImageView on the way up.

ImageBuddy enjoying some snow.

On that note, my New Year’s Resolutions include another round of Sober January (and possibly until Ironman New Zealand), eating “clean”, and stretching more. I’ve already been stretching since Friday and can immediately tell the difference.

What is this eating “clean” you may ask? Simply put, it is eating whole, non-processed foods. As I mentioned a few blogs back, I’ve been eating a lot of top ramen and lean cuisine meals lately. To put this into perspective, does your car perform better when you put good, maybe slightly more expensive gas into it or when you put the watered down stuff that is slightly cheaper? Over the short term they might perform the same, but in the long run, your car is going to stay healthier for longer and run better on the higher quality gas. This makes sense right? So that’s exactly what I need to do. Fuel my body with better nutrients. This is going to take somewhat of a concerted effort. By the time I go do my morning workout, go to work, come home and do another workout, I’m exhausted and don’t want to cook anything. I just need to plan ahead and make more meals, and in bulk if necessary. I’m so excited to try out the Feed Zone cookbook that I got for Christmas. I think this a great step in the right direction to perform even better.

Also, did some shopping with my mom and sister after Christmas. We went to Lucky jeans, which happen to be my fave jeans and they were having a sale so I went to try some on. I was shocked to discover that I am now a size 2 in jeans…to put this into perspective, in 8th grade I was 128 pounds and wore size 3 jeans. I’m now 25, weigh 132 and wear size 2 jeans. Hopefully those extra pounds are all muscle ;). I just can’t believe how far I’ve come in the last year! To date, I’ve lost over 20 pounds since Sober January 2013, and have never felt better.

Another thing that brought some added perspective over the holidays was when I was sort of feeling down on Friday and reached out for some extra motivation. I immediately received responses from my Team in Training family, which was exactly what I needed. My favorite was from Timmy:

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This is now my background.

This really kicked my butt into gear and got me out the door and on that stationary trainer for 2 hours. I know that I can always count on my TNT family for that extra encouragement when I need it the most. Had these people not been there for me so many times before, I would not be the triathlete, let alone person, who I am.

I recently saw this quote from a fb friend: “The worst person to be around is the one who complains about everything and appreciates nothing.  Life is short so don’t waste it with negative people who don’t appreciate you.  Keep them in your heart, but keep them out of your life.  There comes a time when you have to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t even jump in puddles for you. You can be the nicest person, try your best to please everyone, but at the end of the day all your efforts still go unappreciated. When you’re always there for people, they stop appreciating you because your favors are now an expectation. The sad truth is that there are some people who will only be there for you as long as you have something they need. When you no longer serve a purpose to them, they will leave. The good news is, if you tough it out, you’ll eventually weed these people out of your life and be left with some great friends.”

As the end of the year approaches, I have come to realize who matters and who doesn’t. My family is always going to be there for me no matter what. Aside from a few friends in high school who I can just pick up with exactly where we left off the last time I saw them, I’ve had trouble maintaining some genuine and healthy relationships with friends over the years. So for the first time in my life, I know that I have some friends who I can count on in any kind of situation and who love the real me. So my final resolution for the year is to spend more time cultivating relationships with people who will reciprocate the same time and energy that I put into a friendship.

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So tell me, what are your resolutions for the New Year?

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