Sometimes I get turned off to blogging because I want and feel the need to add pictures, but pictures take forever to upload/format on blogger so I'm going to skip 'em when I feel like it, and instead you can get all the latest on my Instagram account if you wish (pretty much the same photos I would end up posting on here anyway lol)... Cool?
Ok, January update.
I'm kinda loving this running stuff. I love working toward a new goal in a new way with the run. And before I say what I'm about to say, just know that I'm still 100% dedicated on the marathon/run focus so far this season. But, just as I get in a groove of running, all of a sudden I'm loving my bike again, in moderation. I've been on just three outdoor rides this year (and a bunch of random trainer sessions), but even in that limited quantity each ride has given me a level of happiness that I haven't felt in a while. For a while when I was burnt out and still not back to ideal health, at times I was sorta kinda forcing it. All those years, you just get so used to the routine of training, the data, and all that being part of you and it's hard to think of doing anything but all that, ya know?
But if you've been following you know I wised up. Let go a bit, took time to heal, and man it did wonders. Now that my body/mind are thriving again, it's all just fun again. It helps that I'm not even concerning myself with "performance" on the bike nor is there a looming race. Although, for the record I felt dang strong these past two weekends -- whether the numbers showed that is another story, but I don't care. I don't want to "train" on the bike, I just want to ride it when I feel like it. Go hard when I want to. Cruise when I want.
It works well with my run schedule of 2 days on, 1 day off running; the bike can fit in nicely to add volume for my lower mileage run training (I have yet to run over 31 miles in a week). I actually did kinda cheat on "no the more more than 2 days in a row" of running, ah! Last week I fit in 2 miles easy on Thursday, 6 miles on Friday, 12 miles Saturday... that 2-miler was the unplanned one that got squeezed in around a gig I had down in SD. Oops.
So, ya, run training = love. I feel great most the time, and there's just one little hiccup, but that's my next post....
The team 22-day clean-eating/detox challenge. It is still going on and almost done! In doing this with my clients, I've noticed some interesting things about myself. First off all, let me reiterate that I am not doing anything hardcore in terms of a limited restricted deprived diet, and I don't think I even pulled out the juicer until yesterday when I made a potent ginger/turmeric tonic concentrate. (However, I am using my new crockpot a lot -- how is it that it took my nearly 30 years of life to own one of these especially as a busy gal.) This challenge was flexible for each of us, and for me personally it was simply to get back on track after having "too much fun" over the holidays while also helping to provide support and be a good example for my coached athletes who are all working very hard with their own respective detoxes -- there's power in numbers. I'm helping some of my athletes make BIG changes and adopt new healthy habits -- I gotta give it to them, this can be hard to do -- and I'm proud to witness their progress. Especially those who have BIG goals for themselves this year, which is pretty much all of them :) I'll share some success stories once we're done (next week).
For now, what I observed personally on this "detox":
Mood/energy: Almost immediately I saw an improvement in my energy and mood when I got back to my healthy ways. You don't really understand this shift until you start living healthy and feeling vibrant, and then you ask yourself, "Why do I ever slip up and not live this way all the time?!" My energy stays high and stable through the day, no fatigue in the late afternoon, and into the evening I'd still have good energy up until I entered our dark bedroom and hit the sack, then out cold. I don't even recall craving a nap at any time (except the day I started my period and went for a long run, ouch; sorry if TMI). Meanwhile, I am working out/training 10-12hrs a week these days, so I am putting my body under some training stress -- but not trashing myself, #MAF. The takeaway? 1) I'm pleased I didn't go through that "withdrawal" phase you sometimes hear about when having to break a bunch of addictions to sugar, carbs, caffeine, alcohol. It was a fairly smooth transition for me. 2) With that extra energy, came more focus, and more work productivity, more quality... and that makes me happy knowing I'm giving it my best.
Sugar/Sweets: I'm not a sugar addict and I can easily say no to anything with sugar sources of which I don't approve. I just have no desire to partake in such things in excess or it all in most cases. But my body still likes something sweet-style every now and then, I am human, so I just make sure to include meals or snacks that satisfy those desires and this month stevia as my sweetener 9/10 times. Sometimes raw honey, like in these "cornbread" paleo muffins. With the things I include regularly I avoid crazy cravings for sugary sweets, ice cream or whatever. Instead, I regularly make a mean chocolate pudding with raw cacao (instant), plus breakfasts of sweet potato or kabocha squash mash, mmmmm. Drink wise, I have a great assortment of cold and hot teas that are killing it when I add a dash of almond or coconut milk and pack of stevia, soooo good, or sparkling water with a drop of liquid stevia. I try not to crack out on stevia...for the record.
Alcohol: It took me about 6-7 days to kick the habit/craving of an evening glass of wine. I didn't realize how much like clockwork that evening wine craving had become, and how easy it is to just give in and pour the glass when you have no reason to say no. I will admit, it was hard to give it up at first and overcome the urge to drink, but at the same time saying no felt empowering. And I got to give myself props because all the while John was enjoying his nightly beer, and we've been in situations where alcohol is somewhat synonymous: a concert, dinners out or with family/friends, Saturday night (need I say more lol)... all that takes willpower for a girl like me to say no! But I just ignored the urge, and pretty quickly the urge disappeared. It really did... one day I thought about it and was like, "Oh I didn't even think about wine the last couple days." Man, substances are scary. I don't even drink a lot, and in fact I wasn't drinking much of anything most of last summer and fall (not even in kona!), so it was just over the holidays that my brain got used to that habit... maybe that's also why it was rather easy to break it; short time frame?
Body comp: I noticed a bit of fat loss in the belly/love handle area. (Like my anatomical references?) No weight loss, and I think some muscle gained. Perfect. I never like being under 130 lbs. I can attribute these results to 1) training (um, ya, it works!), and 2) not having any poor habits -- food, drink or otherwise -- slowing down my metabolism and robbing my precious physiological adaptations to training. I also noticed better skin quality/complexion; however, there are other variables in that because I will admit this year I'm taking steps to take care of my skin above and beyond what I've done in the past and am crazy about sunscreen these days, as well as moisturizing and lots of nice things for my skin.
The Plateau: Now this is what I found most interesting. I felt like I was making progress and feeling better daily on every level for the initial ~12 days, then after that the progress stopped. Don't get me wrong, nothing bad happened, and I didn't feel worse nor regress, I just felt like that after ~12 days I got what I needed out of this cleanse: energetic (and steady energy), feeling clean, firing on all cylinders, mentally sharp, sleeping well,.... Normally you hear full detoxes taking ~21 days, and I'm sure I've still been making subtle progress, but the noticeable stuff seemed to be a quick process for me. I am not saying I'm "perfect" right now.... heeeeck no. But it seems like the "crap" is out of my system, and that's nice.
So, can I have that glass of wine now?
Lol... jk ;)