Week 4 – Some days…

I’m half way through my challenge with Sam.   Week 4 was a little rough.  Between the beginning of the year events and not feeling well, it was not quite the week I hoped for.  It wasn’t awful though.

Week 4 was more about self-care than anything else.  I rarely take a day off but I did last week.  I slept a good bit of the day before a friend stopped by later in the afternoon.   I needed the day.  It’s Labor Day and I have not done much over the weekend.  I had lots of plans but I needed some rest and down time.  Life has been hectic and I have finally learned that it is ok to stop and slow down.

Rain and storms got in my way last week too.  I didn’t get to the pool at all because of my day off one day and a storm the other day I usually swim.  I did get to ride on Friday though.  I also made it to IronTribe.

 

I tried some new recipes this week and pulled out some old ones.  Cooking works better for me than just having the ingredients.  I just finished up the farro and chickpea soup today.

It wasn’t the best week but it wasn’t the worst week either.  I remained committed to the process even though I slowed down a little.

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Week 3 – Hello new year!

It’s a new year. What, you say?  No, it’s August!  It is for me though, and for many other people.  The academic year began again this week  For me that meant several events to attend.  Some of them conflicted with my normal schedule and some of them had food so I had to make choices.  I did ok but I didn’t make the best choices 100% of the time.  I am not beating myself up for though and that is a big difference from the past.  I know that a meal that isn’t perfect here and there is not the end of the world.  The key (back to the CATtitude), is consistency.

Last weekend I had quite a few stray vegetables left over that needed to be used up so I made up a soup.  It wasn’t bad and it was a good way to use the okra.  Okra gave it some texture and thickness that it would not have had otherwise.  It wasn’t great but it wasn’t awful either.  It helped to have the soup to grab several days this week.   My go to for breakfast is oatmeal or a mixture of steel cut oats, barley, and quinoa that I cook in the crockpot in large batches.  My mistake this week was that I ran out.  That left me scrambling for breakfast two days because I didn’t have time to cook more during the week.  I did discover that I can batch regular oatmeal and freeze it.  I am going to cook some more this weekend and prepare.  This morning I already made a batch of the steel cut oat mixture for the week.

I missed a couple of workouts during the week because of my schedule but I will be back on track next week.  I did make it to IronTribe three days,  rode my bike twice, and swam once.  I also taught a restorative yoga class and practiced yoga several times this week.

The bike continues to be a work in progress.  It will just take consistent riding to get back to the mileage I was doing a few years ago.  I am riding between 13-17 mph fairly consistently.  The thing is that I am not sure how many miles I want to do.  I rode about 20 miles this week and that felt about right.   The regular route I used to ride a few times a week is 24 miles.  I would like to ride that route again on a regular basis.  I know I can.  I just have to decide where my priorities are right now and where I will spend time.

The Transformation Challenge is coming up at IronTribe.  This is a six week challenge for athletes to measure progress.  It begins before the 8 week commitment is over but it will be a good bridge for me to keep me going, especially with the travel I have coming up for work.

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Week 2 – Another week in the books

The second week is always more difficult than the first week when I recommit.  This week was no exception.  It’s been hard for many reasons and I have been exhausted.  I fought through though and am ready to keep going. 

For the record, I logged:

4 workouts at IronTribe

2 swims

2 bike rides, more or less.

It is more difficult than I expected to get back on the bike.  I went out on a Friday ride last week and did ok.  Sunday was a different story.  It was really hot and I am just not acclimated.  I was also having trouble shifting and getting in the right ring.  Part of that was because I needed a new chain and some adjustments which I took care of this week.  I tried again on Friday but I was exhausted.  I knew it wasn’t a day to ride and I turned out to be right.   I dropped off and spent some time riding around the block getting used to shifting my new chain and then came home.  I’ll try again tomorrow.

I took a different approach to cooking this week and it worked pretty well.  Instead of making X number of recipes and eating the same thing all week,  I prepped vegetables and put them in bags and bowls.  Then I just had to grab ingredients and put together meals.  I mixed things up and didn’t eat the same thing every day.  I had a few work related meetings with lunch that made my eating less than perfect but not awful.  It’s all a process and part of life.

I have been challenging myself in the gym.  I’ve done things that I had not previously, like carrying a weight over my head for 100 yards.  I’m enjoying swimming again more than ever.  The best thing is that I am not pressuring myself with a race.  I can just go swim.  I love racing and may do more but for now, I am just enjoying the process.

 

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Week 1 – Checking in

Last week I wrote about my meeting with Sam and developing a CATtitude.   What I didn’t mention is that he challenged me to stick with this for 8 weeks.  Here is my week one check-in.

Cooking 

I am a creature of habit.  I like routine.  I have people who give me a really hard time about this but it is true and things work better for me when I have a schedule and when I am prepared.  Last weekend I cooked for the week and I am planning on doing the same thing tonight.  Preparation is a key for me.   If I can just grab containers that are ready to go then I have a far better chance of eating well than if I am trying to figure out what I am going to eat or if I am grabbing something on the go.  This week was pretty successful because I was prepared.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was close.   I strive to eat plant based but I am not always 100% on target with that either.  I have made this choice because I feel better when I eat plant based most of the time and because of all the research I have read about the benefits of a plant based diet (see Forks over Knives or Engine 2 for more information on whole food plant based eating).  The photo shows examples of what I was eating over the past week.

This year I signed up for Snows Bend’s CSA so I receive a box of vegetables every week.  I never know what I am going to get from week to week so it is an adventure in figuring out how to use the various ingredients and an opportunity to try new foods.   I admit I still haven’t figured out what to do with yard long beans though.

Working out

IronTribe has an app that we use to schedule classes.  In July I scheduled and cancelled too often.  This week I scheduled and went.  I admit there were a couple of mornings when the alarm went off and I was tempted to cancel and sleep another hour but I managed to get myself up and get to the gym for 6:15 class.  There were several modifications for my workouts this week but I also made some progress on a few moves.  I still have not mastered pull ups.  I tried though.   I was on the bike this week instead of running.  I may be the only person who likes the bike.

I also swam twice and managed to connect with the Tuscaloosa Cycling Club ride on Friday.  I have been trying to get back on my bike since April or May but had not made it out due to my schedule or weather.  Starting to bike again in July/August in Alabama is a challenge due to the humidity.   Last week I was rained out on the days I hoped to ride but Friday, though there were threats of rain, remained clear enough to ride 16 miles in the afternoon.  I didn’t manage to make it to connect at the start of the route because I was stuck on University Boulevard in move in traffic.   But I connected with the group on Sanders Ferry Road.  It was really good to ride with other people again after a very long time of very few rides.  I am hoping to continue riding a few times a week.

Developing calm

Of course there was also yoga.  I taught a restorative class and I am taking an online class in iRest Yoga Nidra from Dr. Lauren Tober.   This is a deeply restorative practice that I want to learn more about for my own practice and would like to teach at some point.

That’s it for this week.

 

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CATattitude: Keep me going

I had a check-in with Sam this week.  This is part of the routine – sit down, check in, assess, re-set.  This summer has been hectic for me.  I bought a house, moved, started a different job, and have been traveling.  I have been out of my routine.  When I have as much change as I have had the past few months, something gets sacrificed.  In July it was my morning workouts.  I just was not getting there.  I was doing some workouts – yoga, swimming, a few IronTribe classes – but not with the consistency that I had been earlier in the spring.

Sam always cuts through any excuses I have.  After seven years of working together,  he knows what to ask me and knows when to push and when to back off.  Overall, he wants to see me succeed.

There are things that have been going well, even on vacation.  I’m back to a fairly consistent whole food plant based diet, but there is room for improvement.  I need to plan and prepare on the weekends to be really successful at any eating plan.

Getting to the gym was not going so well.  I go through periods when I look at the workouts and feel defeated before I even begin.  I know that there are always modifications – but then I get discouraged that there always have to be modifications.  If I let that get to me, then I am not working out consistently.  Even with modifications,  I get a workout and I always feel better when I am done. And I have to remember the rule: don’t look at the workouts.  Just show up and do them.

So, I have a challenge to develop  CATattitude  – consistency, accountability, and tenacity.  When I make up my mind,  these three things just become part of my routine.  I’ve done this before.  I can again.   This is my plan:

Schedule workouts

Prepare food over the weekend for the week.

Track what I am doing.

Don’t give up.

I’ll be blogging more here and on my yoga site as part of accountability.  Look for updates.

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Buy the socks

A few weeks ago my friend Leslie and I went to hear Anne Lamott who was on a book tour for her new book, Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy. It was at least the third time I have heard Anne Lamott.  One of the gems I left with was, “buy the socks.” She asked if we would buy a girl friend cool socks?  Of course.  Then do it for yourself.  This might sound like a silly point but I do have a point for the metaphor.

socks

For me it’s more than the physical pair of socks I might buy for myself.  Though aren’t these great socks?  One pair is from a trip to Nashville, purchased in a funky store with lots of kitschy stuff.  The striped pair is from my friend Morgan’s shop in Birmingham and they are made in Alabama.

But back to my point.  It’s more than socks.  Much more.   The socks are a metaphor for experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  I would not know Leslie or Morgan if I had not taken the chance and signed up for yoga teacher training.  Now they are two of my amazing yoga friends.  I’ve thought quite a bit about many of the other things I have done over the years.  I have traveled quite a few places.  I don’t really think about it as unusual though I have had comments made to me suggesting other people think it is.  I’ve stayed in some wonderful places and made great friends along the way.  Triathlon gave me experiences and provided friendships that I could never have imagined.  Though I am not racing right now, I treasure many of the friends I have made and the places I have been to race.  I’ve learned so much about myself and what I can really do when faced with difficult challenges.  I could go on but this seems to be getting a little sappy.

So, buy the cool socks.  Have great experiences.  Take some risks.  Enjoy your life.

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Where did the fall go? Just checking in

I kept meaning to post but things kept happening.  The fall has not been quite what I imagined but that is the way things go sometimes.

What I have been doing

Finished HereNow Yoga Teacher Training

Completed Reiki Master Practitioner training

Spent 10 days in Northern California

Went to the Women’s Dream Quest at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco

Those are the highlights.  There were some low spots of endless medical tests that turned out to discover not much of anything in the end, for which I am grateful.  I will write more soon.

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