Running, Tattoos, And Muscles

Yesterday I made a trip back to see my sports doctor. I haven’t seen him since last summer when I was in for my running injury.

I bit the bullet ’cause the crazy thing has never gone away.  After seeing him, then my visits to do Airrosti in December, it was still hanging around.

And being a runner my stubborn thought was…. “well, if it’s gonna be there and bother me whether I’m running or not, I might as well run. If it doesn’t get any worse…. go.”

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Did I say I was stubborn ? Head strong? Willful ? Why do I hear my mother in my head ? haha

Realistically, I know it needs to be fixed so I can really get back out there and run like I want to run.

So… it was back to see him… to see what was going on.

The first thing he says,  grabbing my arm, “that’s cool… you got a new tattoo!”

Seriously? A doctor that remembers what ink you have on your arm ? And that you got a new piece ?

I did get new ink a few weeks ago… and it looks like this… I totally love it.

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Did I mention he’s cool ?  He’s also an athlete so he understands you not just from a medical perspective but an athletic one as well. He asks about goals and plans you have.

A quick assessment put me right into the (still) diagnosis of insertional Achilles tendonitis.  Ugh.

Soooo I will be icing…lots of icing it several times a day … using a topical ointment…. and…. rest from running…. as in….none.

Whatever.

So that puts me more into being confined and focusing on strength training… as in lifting heavy things and working on building those muscles while my feet recover.  I will also incorporate boxing into it ( great cardio) and I can still be out on my bike as long as it doesn’t cause any pain. That at least lets me get the miles under me that I  crave. I really wanna get a rowing machine since that is the perfect all over body work ( in my opinion) and it’s something else to add to what I do.

Actually, since my miles have been so reduced these past months, I have added more muscle ( ha… not burning it off)  😛 I don’t mind having the muscle… I just need to adapt with my jeans =)

Adapt.

Sometimes I embrace that word, other times, I loathe it.

The definition says to make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify. To change so it functions better. Interestingly, it’s a verb.

Adaptation and adapting are active processes.

My body ( yours too) and the activities we put them through can definitely be an adapting process.

Weight loss, weight gain, building muscle, getting older, exercise, strength training.. so many things make our bodies change… aren’t they amazing things?

But then there are these times I have to adapt to what is going on with my body.

Recovery is not a patient place for me. Therefore, I am learning to adapt even more.

No running means using other activities to get in my cardio. It also means spending more time in strength training… and this activity will change my body differently from running.

I’ve learned these past few years as an athlete that my body can change a lot depending on what I’m doing to it.

I loved how I looked at the peak of my marathon/50K training last year. Lean and chiseled running 55-65 miles a week, I was burning off way more than I was taking in… and truthfully…sitting in the very low end of my weight range.

The reality is, I can’t stay in that top “peak” of training all the time. Our bodies aren’t designed for it. I’ve learned my body will change a bit in off season.

I’ve learned to adapt to that reality.

Now I’m adapting to the constraints of injury.

Adapt. Change. Transform.

It’s a big part of life isn’t it ?

What about you? Have you learned this process, whether in life, or in the way you have to handle your body ? Do you fight against it or embrace the change it brings ? What has adapting taught you ?

 

 

 

 

 

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Transformation And Body Change

October… the month that heralds in Fall, crisp air (hopefully), hot coffee, big sweaters, leggings and boots.. well maybe.. here in Texas I’m hopeful for that 😉  October is always a milestone celebratory month for me as it’s one more year on my health and fitness journey to claim success.

It’s hard to believe it has been 8 years since I made a choice to do things differently. To get off my butt and make things happen.

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Me circa… thicker days…. before I started my journey…in the double digit sizes…

As I’ve shared with you before the plan was simple.

Make more choices in my day that were good and led to my goals over ones that didn’t support getting to my goals.

Don’t beat myself up for days that bombed. Don’t make excuses for myself or any laziness that would hinder my progress.

Be realistic about what I wanted to achieve.

Learn to eat better foods all within appropriate moderation.

Listen to my body’s natural signals.

Move every day to work my body ( for weight loss and because our bodies are designed to be active and move!)

Don’t allow myself any sense of entitlement that I “deserved” to have something.

Love and be kind to myself on my journey.

Take one day at a time.

8. Years.

Heck yes, I’m thrilled. But you know, I’m not just celebrating the fact I lost enough weight to make a hefty size toddler, or the fact I dropped 6 sizes and who knows how many inches.

No, what I celebrate is that I’ve kept that weight OFF… it left… and never bounced back. That to me, is worth celebrating.

You know why it has ? Because along the way I was building new habits, rewiring my mind to embrace new things and make them so habit forming I wouldn’t be able to think of NOT working out or making the choice to eat veggies ( more likely, wanting to eat them now over other things) or learning to balance occasional treats, to look at food as fuel and consider the kinds of fuel I was putting in my body. To find physical activities I enjoyed and wanted to keep at. To learn to eat enough food to support my goals and satisfy my hunger, and stop when I was comfortable.

A daily, consistent, relentless, pursuit to reshape behaviors and habits that had been a part of most of my life.

Today, I am more convinced than ever, if someone wants to be successful and have a lifestyle change they must build new, consistent daily habits that will become second nature to them. Then the weight goes away… for good…

Is it challenging? At times yes.

Does it happen over night ? no.

My body’s transformation has been a slow, steady work in progress of losing fat and building muscle.

Consistency. Patience. Not being focused on it  happening in a short time.

Besides the fact in 8 years I’ve kept off  weight, gained muscle and strength, I also like to focus on new things I’ve been able to do. Challenges I would have run from and laughed at 8 years ago. Running for casual distances somehow morphed into distance running, which somehow led to me doing a second full marathon Dec 2014 and then on to two half marathons in March of this year (7 so far) followed by a 50k at the end of the month. I’m cycling more than ever now getting in 20-22 mile bike rides at least 3 days a week, sometimes shorter ones too. I can lift more weight and push my body harder than I could even a year ago.

I’m a woman smack in middle age territory and I have less body fat, more muscle,  strength and mental toughness  than I  had 20 years ago.  Basically, I’m in the best shape ever and look ahead to continuing that course.

So as I celebrate another milestone year…. I celebrate so many other victories and goals reached on top of “just” keeping my weight gone.

evolving arms 2010/2013
evolving arms 2010/2013
Dec 2014
Dec 2014
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Feb. 2015… abs…. such a work in progress….
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leg building….

I would say to anyone, wherever they are on their journey, know transformation takes time. Settle in and know that other things are going on too.

How you mentally feel, your increasing confidence and empowerment, your new strength and abilities to take on new challenges, your thought process on eating better, your improving lab work, new habits that begin to feel “normal”… so many things that are good. It’s a win/win thing.

I want nothing more than to encourage you on your journey. To remind you that you can do it. That it’s a slow and steady process but more than worth it. Change does take time but really, are you on a time limit to make it happen? The goal is to get there… to get to your destination and celebrate your victory…. for a lifetime.

Are you on a journey to a permanent lifestyle change ? Where are you? Close to goals ? What steps are you taking to reach them ?

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Oct 10, 2015…. it still freaks me out I can buy size 4 dresses now.