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Knowing when to cry Uncle

If you asked my husband, he would tell you that I choose to learn everything the hard way. It’s a trait of mine that drives him crazy.

One of the reasons GPP appealed to me when I first discovered it via Janetha’s blog almost two years ago was I was tired of being injured. As a runner, cross training and strength training bored me to tears and I’d do anything I could think of to avoid it. Combine that with my overzealousness and I dealt with my fair share of injuries and often needed to take time off to heal. I think I was injured just as often as I was healthy.

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Since starting GPP in May 2012, I’ve not been injured once. Not once. I attribute this change to a lot off cross/strength training (I’m not sure I would call myself a runner anymore) and learning when my body’s telling me to back off.

Where am I going with this?

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I got a new pair of Reebok Your Flex cross training shoes for Christmas. They’re pink, lightweight, and have a smaller toe-to-heel drop than my previous Nike Free Runs. I love them. But, in typical Maria-fashion, I got a little too excited to start using them and went at Hellth Week full-force this week in my new shoes, giving my calves little time to adapt to the lower heel drop.

I knew better.

I might have gotten away with it if every workout this week hadn’t involved some type of explosive movement. But Monday’s high knees, Tuesday’s burpees, Wednesdays side-step kettlebell swings, and yesterday’s box jumps caught up to me. My calves were extremely sore Tuesday and Wednesday, but seemed to be close to normal yesterday, minus a little tightness during a tough leg workout. I woke up this morning expecting to be so sore from yesterday’s shenanigans. But, surprisingly, I wasn’t sore at all. I thought I had somehow outsmarted Hellth Week and was about to emerge a Champion.

I was wrong. So wrong.

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Today’s workout involved burpees and pushups. I hate burpees, but was psyched to see it was only a 25-minute workout. Most of the workouts this week have had me going for 45+ minutes, which is pretty rare for GPP. As I began the workout, I noticed a weird pull in my right calf. I shook it off and kept moving, though. After a few more rounds, the pull had become a throbbing sensation, so I decided to forego the hop at the top of the burpee, in an attempt to complete the workout. A few more rounds, minus the hop, went by but my right cal continued to throb. Which immediately told me it was time to say, “Uncle” and stop for the day.

I’ve extended the life of injuries so many times by letting my pride get in the way. It pains me to start something and not see it all the way through. It eats at my very core. But I’ve learned, the hard way of course, that it’s a lot more painful to take weeks and weeks off because my stubbornness and pride caused me to keep going when my body was giving me clear signs to stop.

Even though I’m pissed I didn’t finish that workout, I know at the end of the day GPP isn’t about RX-ing every (or any) workout. It’s about being fit and healthy enough to do all the other stuff in life outside  of the gym. And sometimes that requires knowing your own limits and crying, “Uncle.”

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I’m taking it easy for the rest of the day and RICE-ing (rest, ice, compression, elevation) in hopes of finishing out Hellth Week tomorrow with the rest of my GPPeeps.

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I’m sure these guys won’t mind the extra cuddles.

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Life As of Late

Five months, the last time I really blogged, is a long time, all things considered. And yet, I feel like almost no time has passed and nothing of much importance has happened.

But I guess it isn’t completely true to say nothing has happened in those five months, so let’s catch up to where I am today.

 Work
Friday, I ended my employment as the Service Director of the gym I’ve been working at since last September. I’m extremely thankful to have had this year of learning and growth and insight in the fitness industry. I do plan to continue working in the industry, but not on the management side of things—my focus moving forward is to put my personal training, GPP training, and spinning certifications to good use and begin building my client base.

As of this moment, I am still working from home a bit and teaching my spinning class until mid-December.

Home
My husband, Jeremy, and I realized only a few months after moving to Michigan that this probably wouldn’t be where we’d settle long term. There’s lots of reasons for that, but I can’t deny a big one is the weather! The winter is just a bit too cold and too snowy for our Kentucky blood. 

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Jeremy will graduate next month from the University of Michigan with his masters and we’re jetting out of town and back home to live with his parents for a bit while we both work on figuring out our next step and finding long-term employment. It will definitely be weird to not be “on our own” after so many years of living away from home, but I think it’s the right thing to do for now.

Fitness
I haven’t done much running since the 5K I PRed at in July. I went out to Utah later that month and attended a weekend-long certification for GPP that really sparked a fire within me to continue pushing myself hard with their programming. I have seen such great results and feel so good following their workouts, which makes it really easy to be passionate about GPP. I’ve also gained a lot of muscle and strength in the last few months thanks to learning a lot about how to fuel my body better.

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I’m currently wrapping up a Skin In the Game Optimal Health Challenge with GPP that ends next Wednesday. I’ll be sure to recap after it ends and tell you more about my experience.

Dogs
Link and Magus are doing great! 

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They really have become quite the two-some. Most days they play and play together until one, or both, pass out or a nap.

Magus joined our family in June of this year and he’s really settled in well and holds his own. I think he’s pretty content and living the good life (if I may say so myself).

Blogging
I’ve been a stay-at-home dog mom (hah!) for less than a week and I’m already going nuts inside. I hate boredom and not feeling productive more than almost anything. So, it seems it’s time to start writing a little bit more and get the crazy outside of my head.

Three becomes four

Last August, Jeremy and I adopted our first dog, Link.

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He was 3 months old when we brought him home from the animal shelter. Raising him for the last 10 months has been a blessing for Jeremy and I. Not only is he a great dog, but he feels, to me, like a child. I know that drives some people crazy… but judge away—I’m not pushing any babies out in the near future!

Because of our success with Link, we’ve known for some time we wanted to adopt another dog (and give Link a brother or sister). We’ve been visiting the local Humane Society and checking their website daily to see what new dogs were available. After one heartache (barely missing out on a wonderful dog) and a few visits with sweet dogs that just weren’t right for our family—or small apartment—we finally found the one.

Meet Magus:

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Magus is a 1 year old Beagador (Beagle+Labrador Retriever).

We adopted Magus on Friday afternoon from the Humane Society. I saw his photo on their website Thursday and immediately left work to go over and visit with him. He was incredibly sweet, but also hyper during our visit… I wasn’t 100% sure if he would fit in with Link’s laid-back attitude. Jeremy and I took Link to the shelter on Friday morning to let the two dogs meet. The meeting was a success and Jeremy agreed that Magus was joining our family.

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I don’t get the impression that Magus has ever had a home of his own before—Jeremy and I are currently in the house breaking phase and are attempting to teach him some basic commands. So far he can sit and is doing pretty good with “stay.” He’s also great on a leash.

I believe Magus is going to make a fine addition to our little family.

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Link is mostly happy with his ‘little’ brother, with the exception of sharing his toys. They play rough together, but Link keeps coming back for more, so I think he’s a fan.

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Our little family is complete—for now.

Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.

Forgive me for the Kanye West lyrics (and the month break from blogging), but they really do describe this exact moment in my life. I’m training harder than I ever have, feeling better than I ever have, running faster than I ever have (even with less effort!), and my body is stronger than it has ever been in my whole life.

GPP training, running, and eating well 80% of the time has become a natural extension of me and it’s not something I put much active thought into anymore. I just get up each day having already made the decision that I will workout before I start work and I will eat clean, with 2-3 treats each week. It is working for me. I have never been happier with my fitness or running program.

I’m currently doing 5 GPP workouts a week, scaled by 1/3, and running 3X a week. My goal is to run a sub-2:00 half marathon this fall. I’m not currently registered for anything, but I am starting to train. I’ll find a race when I get further into my training. I tend to register for races and then something comes up and I can’t run them, wasting my registration money… not doing that this time.

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This afternoon I ran 4 easy miles at Gallup Park—2 were on a running path and 2 were on the trails. Everything about this run reminded me of why I first fell in love with running: the weather was awesome, I felt like I was flying, the environment around me was breathtaking, and my body felt strong.

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I finished the run in just under 37 minutes.

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Truly, the trails were a stunning sight this afternoon and a welcome break from the daily grind.

A few hours went by between breakfast and my run, so I decided to try out some Pro Bar Bolt energy chews before taking off. These were a (free) sample I received while at Blend last weekend.

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My opinion on the energy chews? I would (and will) buy them with my own dough. They taste great—like candy—but even better, they have fantastic ingredients that I can read and pronounce. They were easy on my tummy and gave me just enough *oomph* to knock out my run. All around winner!

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Back home, I demolished some Annie’s mac ‘n cheese leftovers along with half a package of Alexia red potatoes, carrots, and green beans. The Alexia frozen veggie mix has become a fast favorite in my house.

It was such a nice, spring day. A few hours later we hopped back in the car for another trip to the trails.

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This time with Link by our side.

Sunday Funday + Week Recap

I think I could actually get back into consistent (3-4 times/week) blogging if I’m able to let go of what blogging should look like for me. For the three years my husband and I lived in Japan I had an abundance of spare time and blogged almost daily. That’s not the case anymore. But I DO miss writing and sharing my life with strangers on the internet (not at all creepy, right?).

I digress.

So here is how my Sunday went down:

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Woke up to a rotten mutt stepping all over my face and licking me. Once he goes out to pee in the morning he thinks everyone needs to be awake. He does this to me every. single. morning. that he is awake before me. Rotten to the core.

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Had some delicious coffee and hot oats, cooked on the stovetop, before heading to church for the Palm Sunday service. I haven’t had oats cooked on the stovetop in months because I’m too lazy to dirty an extra dish and would rather microwave them. But they taste so much better and have more volume. Volume=staying full. Held me over for four hours.

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After church, I dropped into my gym’s Sunday morning vinyasa yoga class. Yesterday’s speedy 5-miler didn’t kill my legs as much as I had expected, but I knew I needed to stretch out to prevent injury. It’s been too long since I last practiced yoga and today’s downward dogs were rough—recommitting to once a week yoga practices!

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Made a quick swing by the grocery store after yoga because we missed a few things when we went grocery shopping yesterday. Never thought I’d buy Grape Nuts… feel like an 80-year-old grandmother.

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For lunch, Jeremy and I redeemed a Groupon we bought for a local Japanese restaurant. We started by sharing some shrimp and veggie tempura.

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After eating all 4 of the gyoza that came with Jeremy’s ramen (he doesn’t like them), I was only able to eat about 1/4 of my curry rice. Will make a fun lunch this week, though.

link and mommy ready to run

After lunch and doing some chores I felt quite worn out… so I crashed for an hour. When I woke up I decided to head out for 2 easy recovery miles. Link has been getting so frustrated that I’m not taking him to run, so I decided to bring him along today. He was not at all cooperative and I had to cut the run short at 1.14 miles. He’s usually great running with me, so I’m not sure what his deal was today.

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He totally crashed when we got home.

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salmon and broccoli

For dinner I had baked a big salmon fillet and roasted some broccoli. My eyes ended up being bigger than my stomach and I couldn’t finish all of the salmon… more leftovers for lunch.

A Quick Weekly Update

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Ran 12ish miles this week—3 easy runs and 1 speed run.

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Still getting the hang of maintenance. Lots to think about and try.

Time to relax for a little bit before bed and catch up on some TV shows with my husband.