Let me be clear- I don’t go to the gym to look good. I go to the gym to make my body look good, so when I leave the gym and take a shower and put on some nice clothes and make up, I look good.
Maybe it’s because I was an athelete when I was growing up. When you play sports, you workout in jerseys and ugly shorts. You wear t-shirts that you don’t care if they get dirty or sweaty. You focus more on the performance than how you look while doing it (obviously, pretty people sports like figure skating, synchronized swimming, and UFC fighting are exceptions…).
I have yet to really embrace the transition into adulthood where people seem to care about what they look like when they’re at the gym. It’s confusing to me. I’m not there to be seen. I like to be quiet and anonymous. I don’t want to be noticed. I want to be not bothered.
I don’t understand the obsession with matching gear. Some days, I’m proud of myself for having a cute outfit that goes together, but that’s like once a month after I’ve done laundry. After that day, I’m lucky if I can piece together all the necessary items to get in a good workout. I try not to mix things that blatantly don’t work together, but if it’s all I’ve got- I’d rather go looking like a 5-year-old who’s mommy let them choose their clothes for once than not go out of vanity.
Having said all that… I have noticed when I look better at the gym, I sometimes will work harder because I’m motivated at how my body looks in the rocking workout clothes.
Then again, maybe I just look at myself in the mirror more when I look nice than on the days when I have eye gunk still in my eyes, an oversized-t-shirt, football shorts I stole from my high school, and a rat’s nest on my head.
It’s time again.
I took my wonderful little hiatus from running to focus more on lifting and loved every minute of it. But reality called. And I have a race on August 18th. Of this year. A half marathon. And I haven’t run distance since the last one.
I should give myself 12 weeks to train, but I didn’t. I liked lifting so I wanted to wait to hop back on the running wagon. And I have now officially waited until the last possible moment.
It’s go time. So we go back to running.
I have my little training program up on the wall ready to be highlighted with every successful day finished. If I do all the runs properly, I’ll be totally confident and ready for this race in August. If I don’t, I will have a shit time during this race in August.
I want to do well at the race for three reasons:
1. It will be the first race I run as a 28-year-old (my birthday is 3 days before… you may begin wishing me happy birthday now).
2. It is the third in a series I’ve been running called the Triple Crown, so I will get an extra medal at the end of it and that will be awesome.
3. I’m competitive with myself. I always want to do better. So I want to beat my PR. The race is relatively easy compared to La Jolla. Then again, pretty much anything is easy compared to La Jolla. The elevation chart, though, shows that the majority of the race is downhill or flat, though the last miles is uphill. Not great, but manageable. So the only thing I’ll be fighting is the “hotter” weather (which is the main complaint on yelp for this race). It’s hard to tell what “hot” weather is, though, because Southern Californians are pretty sensitive when it comes to weather changes so I don’t know if this will actually be “hot” or if it’s just Southern Californians being pansies. Having said that, I’m kind of a weather pansy so maybe I should listen to their complaints…
Anyway, I ran my first training run yesterday- three miles on a treadmill. I thought it was going to be a lot worse than it ended up being. My body missed running. It likes it. My mind likes the relaxation. I know what I’m doing when I’m going for a distance. I’ve done it before- it’s like I just fell right back into it.
And because I’ve loved lifting, I’m going to try and incorporate both. Yesterday, I ran my three miles and then I went upstairs and did my normal lifting. I didn’t get it all in because of a time crunch, but it felt really good to do both.
So I’m gonna be setting aside a serious chunk of time to get all this done at the gym every day. Which means I’ve got to be more protective of my mornings and my workout time. Which means I have to get better about waking up when I need to.
Which means I should probably go to bed.
Nighty night, pumpkins. Happy training.
I’m just gonna throw this out there.
I don’t like spinning. I’ve never liked spinning.
Normal biking makes me nervous. I’m too neurotic about traffic to bike in the city. I’m too anxious about getting lost or getting chased to bike in the country.
I don’t like the isolation on your legs that biking requires. It hurts my legs.
I don’t like the yelling in spinning classes. It makes me feel bad about myself.
I don’t like that it makes my butt numb no matter how many times I do it.
I don’t like that I’m supposed to be trusted to turn my resistance up and down on my own. I will not do it. I will fake like the resistance is really high when it is not because it already feels really hard to me, I don’t want to make it any harder.
I don’t like that we’re pretending to go up and down rolling hills in a dark room with loud music playing.
I don’t like the instructor telling me “up” and “down” and “up” and “down.” I like to take things at my own pace.
I don’t like how close I am to the other people in class. They make it harder for me to slack off. I don’t want that motivation.
I would rather run for two hours than spin for two minutes.
I don’t like spinning.
And you can’t make me.
This week marked the 30th week in a row I’ve been to a gym at least once that week.
I’ve been checking in on Foursquare and several weeks ago, it started making a count of the number of times I’d been there. So I started getting obsessed with making sure I check into a gym every time I’m at one. Just so it knows. So I can keep the streak going. So I somehow feel better about myself- though I have no idea why that makes me feel better about myself (but it totally does).
This week, when I checked in and got my “Congrats! You set a new record! 30 check-in’s at a gym!” there was a little bar that filled up. I don’t know what it means, but it made me feel more accomplished.
Truth be told, that’s pretty much the only place I remember to check in on Foursquare. Except every once in a while, I remember to check into one of the comedy places I frequent (Groundlings, UCB, Second City, etc). But mostly, it’s the gym.
I can’t wait to see the pointless icon it shows me when I’ve checked in 52 weeks in a row (a whole year!) because I have a feeling that icon will make my day. And I’ll have no idea why.
Last week, I wore a bikini. At a pool. In LA.
You wanna talk about motivation? I knew this day was coming for a while (my office was celebrating Man of Steel coming out!) so I knew I’d have to be in a bikini and I knew pictures would be taken.
I wasn’t the best about my diet, but I was great about my weight-lifting and daggummit- it kinda worked. I got some compliments on my abs.
No, the compliments were not “Oh my god, look at those abs, you’re AMAZING” (although I did say that to myself several times in a row in the mirror in order to get the confidence to put on a bikini in LA…) They were more like, “Oh look, girl! You got abs!” The couple people who said something to me sounded as surprised to say it as I was to hear it.
The point is- it’s progress. I used to HATE my stomach. It’s where I hold my weight. It’s the most obvious part of my body to gain and lose weight. I never appreciated having a strong core before because the rest of my could make up for it. I was always convinced my stomach was larger than everyone else’s and gross and yadda yadda yadda.
So I’m in the process of turning my least loved feature of myself into my pride. It’s gonna be a long process, but at least I’m getting closer every day with every grueling crunch.
And I’m proud to say I’m at the point where I’m willing to wear a bikini without freaking out and covering it at every moment.
So take that, bikini! I won the day!
So I drink it all up.
I’m not going to say I’m a fish because of how much water I drink. Fish live in water. They breathe water. They should not be known for how much water they drink unless humans are known for how much air they eat. Come on now, people. Let’s be realistic.
Let’s talk about water for a second people. I drink a lot of it. I carry a huge gallon-like water bottle . I look like a doofus when I’m drinking out of it. I was in class the other day, took a drink from my water bottle, and the teacher literally stopped class to make fun of me. That happened.
But I didn’t care.
Because water is f-ing important.
I am constantly pushing my body. I ask it to perform at it’s best every time my brain says “go.” It’s important I reward it with the thing that it loves most- fresh, filtered water.
I try and drink at least one of my ridiculous gallon jugs every day. I drink two on days when I have a really tough workout or go for a long run. I do it because I can feel the difference in my body. I feel more energized. My mind works better. I have to pee more often.
So drink you water. Or I’ll make you swim with the fishes.
I don’t know why that got all mafia all of a sudden. Probably because this post has been written haphazardly over the course of 12 hours.
Now drink! And you’ll thank me later. But for now… you’re welcome.
I feel weird admitting this, but I’m actually seeing changes in my body.
I started this short adventure focusing on weight lifting with the specific goal of trying to see change within my body. I had been running for a long time and while there are definitely some changes long-distance running creates in your body, I felt it had flat-lined a bit and I was working for hours every week without seeing the results I knew possible.
And I’ve been lifting about six weeks now and dagnabbit, I’m seeing some changes! For me, the most obvious place you can see change is in my abs. I have some definition coming through and there is definitely less fat being held there than before. My arms look a little stronger and more defined and even my tookus is smoothing out.
That’s right. I said tookus. Very scientific. You’re welcome.
These are subtle but exciting changes for me. They give me a little confidence boost that makes me feel extra sassy. Sure, my weight is the same as it has been for years (see my previous post “You Look Like You’ve Lost Weight”), but I genuinely think it’s changing over to more muscle and less excess fat.
And that’s pretty cool.
I’ve been doing the same few lifting routines the whole month and will continue to do them through next week. Mostly because they’re pretty simple, easy to do, well balanced, and work for me for now. I may change up my weights and reps within the routines- obviously- but for the most part the lifts will stay.
Because they seem to be working.