Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mommy Workouts

The gym and I don't have a good history together. When I discovered that years ago, I learned to accept it and found many other ways to get in my daily workout. Ok, daily may be a bit of an exaggeration. Certainly some weeks it is daily, but other weeks it is every few days, and there are some weeks where it is nonexistent. I try to keep a positive attitude towards working out by reminding myself weight loss is not the most important goal, rather I try to focus on workouts making me more heart healthy. It's my one little way of trying not to focus on the number on the scale too much. It's totally mental, only slightly works. When you look at those little charts at the doctor's office, I've generally been in the "normal" range, but high up on the normal range. I've always strived to be more in the normal to low end of the "normal" range, but never could seem to get there.

Then pregnancy came into play and for once, I didn't feel the need to agonize over my weight as we women tend to do. I gained a little more that you are supposed to when I was pregnant with my son, but not to the point of being unhealthy. I was eager to get back into my workouts to lose the baby weight post pregnancy. Let's just fast forward to 8 months later and despite my daily walks, runs, aerobics, or weight training I still was not back to my starting weight. I know that they say it takes 9 months to put the weight on, it will take just as long to take the weight off, but I guess I was hoping I'd be the exception to that rule. Somewhere in the midst of all this I decided to purchase the Insanity DVDs. My brother and sister-in-law completed the programs with amazing results. At first it felt impossible! I had never felt so out of shape in my life. But I stuck with the 6 day a week for 2 months workout and I was amazed by how progressively stronger I got. Every few weeks I completed a "fit test" where I did the same 8 exercises and recorded the number I was able to do. What a great feeling to see that number increase throughout the program. And to see the number on the scale decrease throughout as well! I finally got down to that "normal" range on the charts I'd been hoping for. I mean, my heart feels really healthy ;) I'm trying not to sound too much like an infomercial, but I do recommend this program for anyone who needs an intense daily workout to reach their fitness goals.

I completed the program. Now what? I needed a new goal, something new to motivate me. How about a half marathon? Was I nuts? Yes, slightly. I had never run a half-marathon; 10ks were my limit so far. I'm not much of a runner. I can't say that I love it the way that so many do. But I figured if I spent the $80 to sign up that'd be a good motivator. Plus I decided to run one in my hometown of Detroit so I would have a good excuse (not that I need one) to go home and visit my family.  So I signed up and recruited a couple of friends and my cousin to join me so we could help motivate each other. After approximately 35 runs with my son in the stroller, 12 solo long runs on the weekends, 2 pairs of running shoes, and a 600 mile flight,  I completed my first half-marathon! It went great! I feel like my training really prepared me and I achieved my goal of about a 9:45 mile pace. No, I do not feel any desire to run a full marathon now. For the time being 13.1 miles is more than enough, but I do need a new challenge to motivate my workouts. In the meantime, I'm sticking to some easy runs and walks and the occasional workout dvd. For now, this is working.

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