Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Just Show Up

Hey Preps!

This week I am tapering my distance run down to 14 miles...
that means cutting more calories out of the diet.  
I feel great though! 
Cut and taper time = Marathon is sooo soon!

Last night after a Bootcamp class that I teach, I (being the crazy that I am) decided I needed to do a little bit more cardio for the day.  Sure, I had ran sprint intervals for my weekly 'speedwork' workout of the week earlier, but was zoning in on some chub above the knees.  We all do it.  There are always areas of our body that we feel self-concious about.  For me, I know that when I pack on a few pounds, they go straight to my booty and thighs.  Now that I am cutting for the marathon, I am slightly more self-aware of the areas I need to be targeting.  

So I sneak down to the Fitness Center by taking the back staircase from my classroom to avoid anyone who wants to talk to me for an hour.  The problem with being a trainer and teaching classes is that everyone wants your time, even when you are not on duty.  Being as busy as I am, I really can't talk to people during my own workouts.  That doesn't mean I am standoffish to people, it just means that I am matter of fact with them.  I love working with people and hearing their stories, but not when I have to crank out a run or a good solid lift (which I hardly rest in between sets) and someone comes over to me to tell me about the new helmet for their bike they got, I am supportive, but brief.  The point is, sometimes I struggle with getting in my own workouts because I am in the environment that is my profession.  

As soon as I enter the Fitness Center, a lady I work with comes blubbering in.  Gosh, I love her.  She has been kicking her own butt into shape and I am so proud of her dedication.  The issue was that she gained a pound in a month.  She gained instead of lost.  With anyone I am working with, I recommend that you don't obsess about your weight daily, but instead, weigh yourself once a month.  I also take my client's measurements so we can see where they have lost their weight.  To me, this is a more accurate count of how well you are doing...since the goal is to build lean muscle and lose fat...and fact known is muscle weights significantly more than fat.  

So, I got caught up in motivating her in other ways.  We measured her, and I asked her how her jeans were fitting.  She said loose.  I explained the muscle/fat ratio, and promised her that she would lose weight in the next three months if she kept up with her nutrition and workout plans.  

By the time that was over, it was an hour later.  I was cold from being sedentary so long after my class, and had to go through the motivation process again.  After finishing my run it was 10:30PM.  The fitness center had already closed, but since I work there I do have the advantage of staying after hours occasionally.  

I went home and ate something light since it was so late, and passed out.  

This morning, my alarm clock screeched at 5:30AM and I felt like I had gotten zero sleep.  To get up?  Not to get up?  I made the terrible decision to sleep in longer...I woke up at 6:30, and moved at a turtle pace to put on my swimsuit and make the trek over to the gym.  

"At least Janell and Heather will be gone by now..." 
I thought as I slipped into the locker room and stripped off the layers of sweats I had on.  

"Oh Kalyn! Good! You are here!  Heather and Ann are just getting in the pool!"
I turn around and there is Janell, a mother of two, a physical therapist, and an incredibly talented distance Triathlete.  

"Great. Busted."

Before I knew it, I was in a freezing cold pool pounding out sets of 200s followed by 50 sprints.  I was killing it.  I mean, they couldn't even keep up.  It was like every stroke I could pull even more water, as my legs propelled me forward in a fury of unsettled water.  Thank goodness I ran into Janell, or I would have been very lazy today.  

All three of the ladies I swim with are accomplished Triathletes.  They all have incredible careers, families (Heather is pregnant, and still keeps up with me in the water), and are some of the most dedicated athletes I know.  Do you think they have time to do a lazy workout?  Definitely not.  

I know there are days where you dread going to the gym.  It happens to all of us.  It happened to me today, yet getting up and showing up are the hardest steps in the process.  Sure, you will have to battle through sweat, pain, and really push yourself sometimes.  Yet, that's better than not showing up at all.  

For myself, I have found that the days I have little or no expectation about my workouts sometimes catch me by surprise and I leave the gym knowing I really did kick my own butt.  That's a really rewarding feeling.

I challenge you, to just show up.  No matter how hard it is, or what time limits you have, find a way.  I promise you won't disappoint yourself.  

P.S. to those who were wondering, yes, I am running the Pittsburgh Marathon!

Have a blessed day y'all!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Margaritas on my Mind

(Easter Sunday Outfit: Lilly Pulitzer Dress, Steve Madden Sling-back Sandals, 
and a Vintage, Changeable, Lilly Pulitzer Clutch)
I love spring, it means Pink and Green!

Ok, so I am just gonna vent for a second.  I am so hungry right now.  I am sitting at work and Food Network is on.  Fried twinkies.  Fried macaroni and cheese.  Everything fried seems to be the theme.  Of course someone would want to be watching the Food Network while they are working out, causing me to reap the cons of such a show.

My training for the marathon is coming to an end.  That means this final month is TAPER.  I love tapering because it means less mileage and a higher intensity.  Go hard or go home type of mindset its needed.  However, what I hate about tapering, is the fact that I have to start cutting back on the calories/fat in my diet.  When you are running 60+ miles a week, it's easy to let your diet slide a bit.  Trust me, I have been an eating machine.

 When your mileage decreases though, the diet becomes more important. This means no drinking in season (there goes my glass of vino until October), eating lean protein, and lots of veggies, limiting my sugar/fruit intake, and keeping the closest eye on my carb intake.  Since I am gluten-free, I turn my nose up at most carbs because of what they do to my body.  Yet, when my aunt makes me G-free Pumpkin Muffins, and it's time for me to cut...it's really not fun staring at them and having them stare back at you.

The month before a huge race is when I start watching everything I consume.  If it doesn't benefit my body in some way, and help to make me a better athlete, I don't eat it.  Trust me, it's extremely hard...and it means denying a ton of cravings and sometimes being a little bit hungry.

Last night I was texting my girlfriend, and mentioned how super bummed I was that my race was the day after Cinco De Mayo.  Kids, I love me some mexican food.  Everything I can eat.  Corn tortillas, rice, beans...it's a carb heaven for G-free people like me.  I also love me some Margaritas.  Mucho grande por favor.  

So, as soon as this race is over, and I am fully hydrated and functioning again.  I WILL have a Margarita, and the biggest enchilada I see.  Then it will be back to training and cutting for Triathlons.

What is the point of writing this?  First, I just needed to express my hunger.  Now I feel much better.  Second, I wanted to stress the importance of nutrition.  It is equally if not more important than your daily cardio and weight session if you are trying to lose weight.  I know it stinks sometimes, and isn't easy to always eat well.  Trust me, I am a huge fan of Skittles and Ice Cream.  However, you have to look at how the food you are eating will benefit or hurt you in the long run.  Doing so, will help you make better decisions.  I promise.

So I challenge you to eat well for a week, deny those processed foods, sugars, and fattening cravings.  You will feel so much better...and be on your way to a healthier lifestyle!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Polo Dresses and Stink Bugs

Hey Preps!

(Outfit of the Day: I love my green Vineyard Vines Polo Dress, it's as comfy as sweats.
I paired it with a Lacoste headband, and Coastal Skimmers from L.L.Bean)

Have you ever seen a stink bug?  They practically invaded Pittsburgh.  Recently I moved into a new house, and we have this little issue with stink bugs finding some way inside the house.  Yuck.  So last night I was reading, and glanced up just to see a stinker scurrying up my wall.  I had a minor freak-out, and calmed myself down enough to grab a wad of toilet paper, gently pluck the insect from the wall, and drown it in a swirling fury down the toilet.  Kalyn 8, Stink Bugs 0.  My count was up to eight in a 24 hour span.  Disgusting.  

Did you know that if you smash a stink bug, that they give off an odor that attracts more of the gross little things?  SEE BUG.  FREAK OUT. SMASH BUG.  It's practically human nature for us to attack at first glance when seeing a bug, yet if we do that with a stink bug, we are fighting an uphill battle.  You must wait for the right moment to snatch it up, and dispose of it somewhere far far away, or do the barbaric thing a flush that sucker out of your house.  

I am the weirdest.  After this post, I am convinced I am...but how many times do our impulses attract more hard decisions in our life?  Impatient and stubborn are two words that I will honestly call myself.  I admit they are flaws of mine.  I have always been one who wants what she wants the second she wants it, regardless of whether it is the right thing in the long run or not.  How many times has that hurt me in my life?  Just like the instant thought to squish a stink bug leads to a much bigger problem?  

Sometimes, we just need to let go of situations, and know that not everything is in our hands.  There is not a single time that you will be in complete control of your life.  Sure, you can do all the right things to prepare yourself in a way that avoids trauma, but in the end nothing ever works out the way we planned it.  

I have always been one to try to take rein of my life.  Every time I try, I am taught to be patient.  It feels really good to say that for the first time in my life, I am fine with letting things happen the way they are meant to be.  Sure, I give everything my very best, but I know that I can't keep smushing the stink bugs in my life...because they will come back to bite me eventually.  

I am currently in the taper stage for my marathon.  I am anxious for it to be over so I can start fully training for Triathlons again...yet I know I can't over train.  How did I learn that?  A past full of shoulder, shin, knee, and ankle injuries.  I now listen to what my body is telling me, and I know the difference between a good hurt and a "I just fractured my foot" kind of hurt.  Sometimes that means not doing everything I wanted to (which is very hard for me to do), but I know that listening to my body will pay off in the end when I didn't over train and hurt something.  

The same goes for careers and relationships.  I kept forcing my last relationship to work, when it clearly wasn't meant to be for quite some time.  I was up late at night in tears waiting to hear from him, exhausted, and mentally and emotionally drained in class.  Why did I stick with something that was making me so unhappy for so long? I was stubborn.  I kept trying to dispose of the stink in our relationship in all the wrong ways.

Now I am so happy.  I am finally doing things I only dreamed of doing.  I have an amazing support network to fall back on if I need them...and I can honestly say that I am just Kalyn.  Just me.  A little girly who loves pink and green, writing, running her feet off, swimming like a fishy, teaching fitness classes, and appreciating the world around me.  

I recently wrote that when you are happy being by yourself, someone who appreciates you for who you are will find you.  Well guess what?  Mr. Makes Me Red in the Face and I are still talking.  We are taking it super slow, and I like it that way.  Yet, he supports me for the freak I am.  He respects the fact I wake up at ungodly hours to hit the pool or go on a long run.  He wants to be there for me at all my races.  My ADHD stories that are overly enthusiastic and detailed make him laugh...and it is great to have someone who does appreciate the weird Kalyn.  I don't know where the future is for us, but I am fine not knowing.  Who knows if we will ever end up in a serious relationship...but never have I spent time with someone who is so grounded in who he is, and so driven to do his best...not to mention someone who is caring enough to listen to me ramble about my distance run and what each mile felt like and the philosophical meaning behind stink bugs.  

I laughed last night as I was leaving his house.  He is a financial advisor, which means suits and ties and brief cases.  I am a personal trainer which means running shoes, kettle bells, and sports bags. As I was leaving, I picked up my lifting shoes (I never wear my running shoes except to run...an OCD thing of mine) next to his dress shoes, my mesh swim bag up that had been covering his brief case, and thought "oh the irony".  He sees me in sweats every single day, and still likes me.  Now that is saying something.  

The point is, we both have our own paths in life.  Striving for the best is something that is important, and the focus and balance between work, athletics, and relationships is evident in both of our lives.  I appreciate him for the person he is (even if he does prefer gory movies and giggle like no other man I know) and he appreciates me.  

For the first time, I feel no pressure to impress a significant other...if I even will call him that one day.  Who knows, I am taking it day by day...but, I will say this:

I noticed this gent when I first started working at the gym.  I can talk to anyone about practically anything, but whenever he would come in, I found him so attractive, I couldn't even make eye contact with him.  I did think it was a hopeless cause until he asked me on a date a few months ago...but the funny thing is, he thought the same about me.  We both had little teenage crushes on each other and were too nervous to talk to one another.  Not only that, but I was dealing with another relationship that was already a squashed stink bug on the wall.  If that stink bug hadn't finally gotten flushed down the toilet, I might still be a mess...and would have missed out on the opportunity to get to know someone who I have the utmost respect for (and find incredibly sexy).  

So my advice to you?  Stop squashing the stink bugs with impulses, and have the patience to wait for the right moment to gently remove them from your life.  Impatience gets you no where in life.  Take the time to grow up, and figure out who you are before needing someone else in your life...appreciate being single, and strive to be the best person you can be.  Someone will find that drive irresistible, and will love the weirdness in you.  You have to just let yourself be weird first.

Stink Bug number nine comes creeping by the window.  Mr. Makes me Red in the Face volunteers and flushes that sucker down for me.  What a gentleman.