2011 resolutions and expectations

2011.

It’s almost here.

And I’m psyched.

I have a new job.

A new outlook and perspective – those notes to self will be firmly planted on my fridge for the duration of the year.

2010 was incredible. How on earth could 2011 top that?? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I just know I’m ready to embrace all that the year has in store for me. Bring it on, baby!!

But before 2011 hits, it’s time for some resolutions, shall we?

  • I can and I must kill the fat talk for good. It was my 2010 resolution and one that I sadly did not meet. I let fat talk control me some days, and other days I kicked it to the curb. I’ll say that I’m better at identifying those negative fat talk thoughts and pushing them aside quicker than before, but I’ve not broken the habit for good. In 2011, I will.
  • I will learn to swim and will hopefully get my first tri under my belt. I’m trying to curb my expectations here a little bit only because I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew. First up – learn to swim. If i can conquer that one, and feel confident that I can put enough training in to complete a tri next summer, then I’ll commit. For now, one gigantic goal at a time, right?
  • Speaking of which, I DO want to run another half marathon in 2011. It might be the Wicked Half again. It might be another half entirely – and maybe even in a different state! Time will tell. But I know I want to do it again. Nothing compared to how I felt crossing that finish line after all the hard work and hours spent training. I miss it. I crave it. I want to rock the socks off my next half. I really do.
  • I want to overcome the “I have no patience for yoga/pilates, etc. funk” I throw myself into every time I think about adding it to the mix. To that end, given the experience I had with Core Fusion recently after just one week’s worth of dedication to it, I’m going to embark on the Core Fusion challenge after my STS rotation ends in the middle of January. That means doing a Core Fusion workout 4-5 times per week, in addition to some cardio. And that’s it. It’s time to find my inner strength, something I definitely lack in some ways and I feel confident (especially after reading about Dori‘s experiences with Core Fusion this past year) that this is my best route to finding inner strength. More on this to come, for sure.
  • And finally, I want to give myself a break. Kind of seems counter-intuitive given some of my resolutions above, huh? But what I mean by that is that I want to learn to let go a little bit more, learn to go with the flow, be a little less Type A. All of the things I’ve been blogging about more often, lately. Learning to live versus living by a routine 100% of the time. Letting go and giving myself the green light to sleep in and skip a workout if I feel the need. But without the guilt that normally accompanies it. Life is too short to live that way. And I’ve found myself living that way a lot this year…and I realize that it’s not entirely healthy. There’s something to be said for routine and structure and all that jazz, but there’s also something to be said for living in the moment and being spontaneous now and then too. Most people don’t normally associate “spontaneity” and me, I’ll tell you that much. 😉

I feel like there are probably tons more resolutions and goals rolling around in my head, but we’ll save those for a bucket list or a mid-year resolutions check-in or something like that, I’m sure.

For now, this is my list for 2011.

Most of all, I just want to enjoy every last moment. Savoring each day as a gift, and giving it my all.

Cheers to you all – I promise you, 2011 is going to be some ride, that’s for sure.

Nearly ten years ago to the day…

…I went on my first date with Scott.

And as far as I’m concerned, it was the first day of the rest of my life.

So tomorrow, on our official 10 year anniversary, our new years’ eve celebration will hold an even more special place in my heart. I’ll be reminiscing about the last 10 years, while also celebrating all that 2010 has meant to me and to us,  and cheers-ing big time to 2011. A year bound to be pretty damn amazing if you ask me.

For now, happy (almost) 10 years baby, here’s to many, many more. 🙂

I have news

Today is my last day at my current job.

Nearly six years later and it’s time for a change.

A much-needed change in my book.

I want to feel challenged and refreshed.

I want to shake up my “routine” and define my “new normal.”

So this is it.

I start the new job on January 3. Giving me just a few days to get used to the idea of an entirely new job, a new commute, new scenery, new EVERYTHING. And to celebrate, of course. 😉

Probably the biggest adjustment for me this time around?

(don’t laugh)

I won’t be working with my sister anymore.

I know, seems trivial in the grand scheme of things.

But after almost six years of working together, commuting together, IM’ing eachother throughout the day (from two offices away, no less). And THIS is a big change. Especially since she is also leaving the company we’ve both been with for 6 and 8 yrs respectively, for a job that will take her to California often (as in at least once per month if not more). That means big change for us as sisters. We’re going to have to redefine our own version of “normal” and I’m SURE that will mean we’ll enjoy eachother’s company that much more…because it’ll be a little bit harder to come by. *shiff*

So of course, now that I’m in the final days of my current job, it’s all now hitting me that huge change is around the corner. Not just change in the type of work I’ll be doing (similar to what I do now but in a much more focused role than my current job) or the environment I’ll be doing it in, but even the simplest of things – my day-to-day lifestyle will change.

My commute is much longer.

Which means I may need to reconsider my current workout routine/time of day. But time will tell on that one (phew).

I don’t know anyone at all yet in this new job at a company much larger than my current employer.

But that also means the potential for new friendships to bloom, never a bad thing in my book.

I have to prove myself – I’m the newbie, not the long-timer whose reputation preceeds her!

Which I’m sort of looking forward to – I can shape my “reputation” however I want to shape it. No preconceived notions. I’m as new to them as the new year is to all of us. Why not show ’em whose boss, right??

Hell, I don’t even know who I’ll eat lunch with…or if I’ll eat alone at my desk like I do now.

But that’s ok. It makes me uncomfortable the “not knowing” part, but that’s partly what I dig about the whole concept of a new job.

The unexpected.

It ALL seems sort of daunting and scary and new. But daunting, scary and new in the best way possible. It means I’ll be challenged. I’ll be way outside my comfort zone. It means I’ll be presented with new opportunity. And that I can shape my future however I want it. It’s mine for the taking.

And I’m ready. For all of it. I really, really am.

Change. Is. Good. (but scary).

Learning curves

I’ve recently discovered that I have a learning curve – as in a “learning to love something I previously hated.”

(hat tip to my sis for helping me come up with the idea for this blog post today)

Case in point #1: The dreadmill

You all know that I cannot stand the dreadmill. The time goes by so s-l-o-w-l-y. It’s painfully boring. It’s not at all exciting like running outside, the wind rushing through your hair, the birds chirping (well not in the winter, but you get the idea), the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the run. Nope. The dreadmill is surely some form of torture chamber for us fitness and running nuts.

BUT, I learned something this weekend. I’d rather run on the treadmill than not at all. In other words – there will be times this winter where it’s either “put up and shut up” and get that run done on the treadmill or face no running at all. And you know how I feel about not running. I miss it WAY too much to avoid it this winter on days when running outdoors is just not an option (like this weekend, hello 18″ of snow!).

So yes, I’m learning to suck it up on the treadmill. But only when I HAVE to. This weekend I managed a 5.5 mile run at a 6.7 mph pace or faster (topping out at 10 mph at the very end of the run for about a minute) and it felt awesome! I won’t lie – the first THREE miles were torture. The only thing getting me through it was the Hawaii Five-O episode I watched On Demand.  I’ve figured out that the magic number for me is getting past the 3 mile mark on the treadmill and I’m golden vs. the usual 1-mile mark it usually takes me to get my groove when running outside.

Case in point #2: I tend to get really bored when lifting super heavy and taking long rests between sets.

Enter STS mesocycle #3 this morning. Normally I dread the leg workouts in this mesocycle because there is a full 2.5 minute rest between each set. That is a LONG time in my book. But today was different. I made sure I was lifting as heavy as I could safely lift for 8 reps. And I felt it. Like whoa. My legs were deader than dead by the end of the four rounds of each leg exercise (squats, deadlifts, front squats and lunges). And it felt awesome! Normally I’d be sitting there with antsy pants the entire time, so tempted to fast forward through the rests. But today, I NEEDED that rest and it made all the difference in the world. Totally worth the 68 minutes it took to get that leg workout done.

Silly me tried to “stretch my legs out” by doing a short jaunt on the treadmill (see? look at me go on that treadmill, ha!) but ended up having to walk most of that 25 minutes because my legs were so tight that I was giving myself a nasty case of shin splints. Not good – especially since the temps are supposed to get to a “balmy” 45 degrees later this week. Hello outdoor run, you’re calling my name! 🙂

But I digress…what have YOU learned recently about your workout style that surprised you? Any interesting learning curves you’ve experienced lately?

A note to self as 2010 draws to a close:

Please be good to yourself. Kick the negative self-talk for good.

Enjoy every moment, even the annoying little things that you have a habit of turning into one gigantic annoyance.

Embrace change, there’s lots of it to come. It might be scary, daunting, even uncomfortable at times, but go with it. Live it.

Appreciate your friends. They are part of your family, the good ones, that is. Treat them as such.

Continue to seek balance, and yes, that might mean two rest days in one week, or an extra glass of wine during the week after a particularly rough day. It’s ok.

Make sure to tell your husband how much you love him. Every day. Not just out of habit, but say it and mean it. Every time.

Try new things, challenge yourself. Not just things you want to do in 2011 like the half you keep thinking about, but really get out of your comfort zone and learn to swim, dammit! Maybe even find a way to appreciate yoga or pilates. It’s good for you.

Get over yourself. Stop trying to be perfect all the time and just be who you are. Who you aren’t ain’t half bad, y’know.

Above all else, be happy, be healthy, and strap that seatbelt on tight, 2011 is gonna be a crazy year.

Signed,

Your crazy inner self who strives (and usually fails) to be anything less than Type A

 

So this is (was) Christmas…

Christmas is over already??

Totally went by in a blur, so much so that I barely took any pictures!

Well, correction: I barely took any pictures of the actual Christmas Eve and Christmas Day festivities other than some pre-party baking with my sister and the little one and a couple of randoms with Scott.

Pre-baking fun with the cutest niece on the PLANET. I can’t even stand how cute she is. Check these out:

Couple things I learned while attempting to bake cookies with my sister and niece. One – baking and 3-month olds don’t mix. But that’s ok. I did the baking while Jen and Isabel kept me entertained. And two – OMG Isabel is just the cutest, she’s found her hands and loves to suck on her fingers or anyone else’s fingers if they’re within reach. And she’s just SO much more sturdy now than before, makes this auntie far less nervous about hanging out with her, that’s for sure. 😉

Let’s see – what else did this holiday include? Lots of food and cheer to be had. And I’m proud to say that there were very few moments of guilt over the Christmas indulgences…I dare say I did manage to avoid overdoing it for the most part, at least (hey I’m not perfect, right??).

Including a few of these on Christmas morning:

Not gonna lie, not a bad way to kick off the holiday while the hubs and I opened our gifts to eachother. This was an awesome holiday season for us – we hosted both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day which yes, was a TON of work, but totally worth it. Our families appreciated all the hard work we put into the food and drinks and enjoyed themselves so much. From this hostess, that makes me ONE very happy girl, fo ‘sho.

Another great way to kick off the holiday? A cold, wintry run on Christmas morning. Scott and I ran an easy 5k on Christmas morning and it was perfect. It let us get out there and enjoy the cool air and quiet morning (there was NOBODY out there that’s for sure!) and gave us some peace and “us” time before the holiday truly began. I even remembered to take a pic (though failed at taking many pics of the actual parties, DUH!):

And now today, post-holiday buzz, we’re hunkering down for a pretty damn big blizzard that’s planning to hit later today. We’re also without water at the moment (water main break at the foot of our street – what luck, right??). This has put a bit of a kink in my plans for the day which did temporarily put me in a wicked funk (again, not perfect!) but I’m now “over it” and resigning myself to a day on the couch where we’ll definitely be “conserving” water and drinking wine. I mean, that *is* the smart thing to do, right?? 😉

2010: In pictures. In a word (or two): damn good.

2010: I must say, you were good. Damn good.

Somehow, though, I have a sneaking suspicion that 2011 may top you.

But time will tell.

Until then, let’s celebrate 2010 for all that it was and all that it still is…in pictures.

Kicking off 2010 surrounded by friends – annual NYE bash at our place:

There was Kick training…and our eventual certification.

Lots of time bonding with my sisters…in this picture, Jen is pregnant with what will turn out to be the cutest, most lovable niece on the planet.This was taken on Memorial Day weekend, a gorgeous weekend as I recall. Nice ‘n toasty.

Lots of epic-ness with fantastic friends…and a bar crawl or two.

There were anniversaries to be celebrated and lots of date night’s “in” on our back deck this summer. Here, we’re celebrating six years strong. It was a great night.

Endless weekends (and weeks!) spent lake-side in Maine. Ahh, just seeing this pic (isn’t my hubs so cute??) makes me giddy. Oh how I heart (and miss) summer!

(and just had to add this pic too, of Scott and I “rescuing” our floaties that went MIA during an overnight thunderstorm one night this summer…hysterical)

The Cathe Road trip – how can I even begin to describe it? Working out all weekend with my favorite workout instructor AND my favorite bloggy buddy of all time?? What could be better?

The birth of my niece, the precious little one I never knew I could love THIS much. She is my little peanut and I love her so…would do ANYTHING for her. The little one.

Conquering the Wicked Half, ‘nuf said.

EPIC vacations – aka wine country, my “mecca” and the place I was meant to live and die in!

And alas, the holidays are upon us…first up: Friendsgiving. I am so thankful for my girls, my “sister friends” – they truly are what makes the world ‘go round.

First outing with Isabel – the aunties showed her all about the wonderful world of shopping. Isn’t she just the sweetest??

Whew.

Here we are.

The year is almost over.

And yet, I’m not quite ready to wave good-bye. It’s been an incredible year. Of learning. Of challenges. Of perspectives. And I KNOW that 2011 will bring even more of that than this year and I’ll tell you why…well, not yet. But soon. Good changes on the horizon for 2011 is all I’ll say for now. That and bring it ON!

Until then, I’m living in these final moments of 2010, breathing every last second in. Including what will be a pretty awesome holiday season – kicking off around noon tomorrow at our house. I’ll cheers to ya’ll then, promise. 🙂

Dashing through the snow…

…on a one-horse open sleigh.

Oh wait.

Let’s try that again.

Dashing through the snow…with Scott by my side, sloshing through slushy snow puddles and giggling like a schoolgirl. <—sorry, I couldn’t make that rhyme whatsoever like the Christmas Carol, I tried!

That’s more like it!

Exactly how last night’s first attempt at running on the snow covered streets went.

And after the first mile where my quads took time to adjust to the added resistance of running through snow provided, I LOVED IT.

Runner’s high? We’re officially BFF’s again.

Running through the snow, cool air rushing past my face, the darkness that surrounded us on what was the shortest day of the year yesterday. It was just awesome.

Exactly what I needed last night, and totally re-inspired me to continue avoiding that dreadmill as much as I can this winter. Snow be damned!

So what if I end up ruining my sneakers a lot quicker by sloshing through snow.

So what if my toes are freezing by the end and my face is numb.

So what.

I’m outside.

Breathing it all in.

The fresh (cold) air. The birds (what’s left of them) chirping. The sound of our feet hitting the pavement, and that muted sound when we hit a patch of snow.

Awesome.

I’m totally re-inspired! Maybe training for a half in the winter isn’t as out of the realm of possibility as I thought. Hmmm. 😉

Cathe Friedrich – she knows how to work a booty

Just sayin’.

This is a quickie review but I had to jot it down while it was still relatively fresh on my mind (and booty for that matter, ha!).

I wanted to eek out a couple of extra weight workouts at the end of my STS M2 cycle which just ended this past weekend. Technically, I was supposed to go into “active recovery” after I finished the last of the mesocycle 2 workouts last week but I couldn’t help myself this weekend. I was itching to try the final two new Cathe Friedrich workouts. You saw my review of High Reps the other day, well here’s my quick take on Lower Body Blast.

In a word – AWESOME.

If anyone ever asks me what my favorite Cathe workout of all time is, my answer never changes: Butts & Guts. Hands down (though STS tops the list, too.)

Well – Lower Body Blast is literally an updated version of Butts & Guts, just updated by about six years.  And I LOVED every sweaty minute of the 59 minute blast.

It includes lots of Cathe’s best leg work – including lots and lots and LOTS of paper plate work. Those kill me everytime. She even brought back a fan favorite (kinda) – low pulse lunches. OWWWW. And – in true Cathe style, she keeps your heart rate pumping with cardio bursts sprinkled ever-so-nicely into the workouts. Just when you think you’ve caught a break, it’s cardio blast time. She’s sneaky that way. 😉

This is a great complement to an existing endurance-based weight training program. Most of the leg work in this workout is based on higher rep counts and lower weights so you could easily work it into and STS M1 and M2 rotation, or make one up on your own, including Lower Body Blast, High Reps and STS Total Body for a great full body workout three times per week. I may consider this as a one-month mini-rotation after I finish STS in January, actually.

If you missed my other reviews of Cathe’s newest workouts, you can check them out here:

I’m clearly a Cathlete at heart but even if you’ve never, ever considered one of her workouts, I PROMISE if you try one of these newer workouts as a test-run of Cathe’s style, you will not be disappointed. This is Cathe at her best – hardcore cardio, hardcore weights, hardcore all around.

Call me crazy…

…but after a fun little Facebook exchange with a couple of my favorite bloggy friends, I have to wonder:

Which half marathon(s) should I consider running in 2011??

The exchange went like this:

Basically, my sister, my bloggy friend Heather and newfound bloggy friend Lindsay decided that we should run a race together. Or multiple races. <ahem>

So now I have to figure out – can I really run more than one half next year? Am I crazy to even consider it?? Or do I need to take a chill pill and focus these little challenges of mine a little bit more (I mean I still need to figure out how to swim, it’s definitely on my list for 2011!) like I told myself I needed to?

Anyway, lots of things to consider, but here are the options so far:

  • Run the Wicked Half again (I really want to do this)
  • Run the Little Rock Half in March with Heather (I fear having to train for a half in the dead of winter here in Boston)
  • Run the Napa to Sonoma Half (which sounds like perfection to me but alas, they are sold out!)
  • Run the White Rock Half next December with Heather, Lindsay, Jolene and Michele (check out her blog btw if you haven’t already)

I’m gonna mull this over a bit and figure out what my focus ought to be but for now, the running bug has bit me again so I DO want to figure out which half (or half’s – not a word but it is in my book!) I want to run next year. Y’know me and goals afterall…