Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Getting back UP

It's been months since I've blogged. Running, like blogging, also has languished. Why? Why not? Life has been busy-busy-busy.
Race director-ing proved harder than I expected,
but the race went well! 

I just finished my first year as the Race Director of the Santa Cruz Triathlon. One might think organizing a triathlon would correlate into triathlete workouts. I can tell you, it doesn't. I miss paddle boarding. Evenings normally reserved for yoga class or beach runs were consumed with meetings, paperwork and stress. Lots of stress, which makes it hard to sleep, which makes difficult to rise early and get a workout in before work (I have a day job too). So my fitness has suffered some.

Thankfully (I guess), it's mostly running fitness that's poor right now. Yoga is fun. Our Tuesday morning "Oregon Workouts" of circuits and body-weight exercises feel great. And cycling has never been better. Mike and I just got back from a quick jaunt to Ashland, Oregon, to plan our wedding (240 days to go!) and ride bikes. We knocked out 25 miles and made it halfway up Mount Ashland, which is about 2,100 feet of elevation in a single, steady climb. While we wanted to go all the way up (5,000-plus feet of climbing), the altitude ate up any anaerobic fitness I had, plus we had to get cleaned up for a friend's nuptials. I am sticking with my story that the elevation, not a lack of fitness, did me in because rode the undulating hills here at sea level in Santa Cruz with ease the following weekend.
Conquering Eureka Canyon Road
with Mike and friends in August. 

But the reality is I need to do more. I know that. I'm healthier but, more importantly, I'm happier when I'm exercising and feeling fit. So I've taken three steps to do better:
  1. I registered for a 10K. I haven't wanted to race in years. Really, years now. But I needed something to force me to run, and the prospect of official race results available forever on the Internet is super motivating. Plus, my running buddy Meaghan was already signed up for this one, the Surfer's Path 10K. The race is too soon and I won't be in great shape, but it's a starting-off point to get me back where I should be: able to knock out a 10-mile trail run any day of the week. 
  2. I'm heading back to the gym. This will please my brother, a personal trainer who swears by lifting for fitness and weight loss. He's right, too. Doing weights seems to give everything else a little extra "umf!" So I'm on board: at least once a week, plus those body-weight exercises in the Oregon Workout and yoga on Tuesdays. Someday I may even do a pull-up.
  3. I bought an UP. I never thought I'd be a fitness tracker person, but I love my Garmin and got intrigued about what else was out there. The UP wrist band tracks steps and sleep, and if you want, moods, calories eaten and exercise. So far, I'm just using it for the basics and to remind myself to get up and move around at the office every 45 minutes. I'm interested to see how much I walk and run each day, and really like the the reminders to get off my ass. Too often, I get sucked into whatever I'm doing on a screen and lose track of the time. UP should help with that. 
I feel like I'm starting from zero, which is a huge bummer. It's easy to regret not maintaining fitness when I had it because, man, I had a few good years where I busted out two or three marathons annually. But I also know the commitment it takes to get it back and keep it — and I know I'm capable. 

What are you searching for?

"So be prepared to quit. Do it willingly and with honest resolve. You'll be back. The marvelous thing about running is that you will never become jaded by it. Boredom, injury or anguish may overtake you from time to time, but the reward that first drew you to begin logging the miles remain untarnished and available -- always. Just put on your shoes and head out the door."