Fitness Bucket List

Looking to 2016

SNOWMAGEDDEN!

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Sunday morning we awoke to snow in Portland! And not just a light dusting of white, but actual snow! However, it was not a “blizzard”. The above news article is pretty hilarious because people tend to freak out when it snows here. Which doesn’t happen a lot. But it was kind a nice start to 2016!

We had plans to take maternity photos Sunday morning and what’s funny is that our friend, Christi, who did our engagement pictures, originally wanted to go up to Mount Hood to take the baby bump pictures in the snow. Instead I found a nearby park that had covered areas because we were all sure it would be raining when we planned on doing the photos…So it’s pretty funny that she got her wish in Portland–snow. We were going to cancel the photos and reschedule but…it seemed a shame not to take advantage of snowy Portland for our photos. So we did it. 🙂 I’m happy we were able to do them (and get snow photos!) and I can’t wait to see them.

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Since the new year is off to a pretty good start, I’d like to make some goals for 2016 even if I’m a little wary of doing so. I mean, I have no idea what it’s going to be like suddenly being a family of three. I don’t want to set myself up with unrealistic expectations, or feel like I’ve somehow been lax in my goals. Really, my big goal for 2016 is to give birth to a healthy baby, recover and learn how to be a mom.

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But in the spirit of goal making, feeling nostalgic for past New Year’s Eves and wanting to have something on my radar for 2016 I will make a small list.

Run a 5k.

5k’s are a good distance for me. My body doesn’t seem to rebel against it and I can train for a 5k without injuring myself. In 2015 I ran two 5k races (both while pregnant!) and would LOVE to run another one this year. Obviously that will depend on how my body heals and how the training goes but it’s my goal. I like doing the Portland Parks and Rec 5k series so I will probably pick one of those and I’ll do one at the end of summer or early Fall. That seems to give me an adequate amount of time to train. Wish me luck!

Lose the baby weight.

I’ve talked about this a lot throughout my pregnancy–I dislike the pressure that is put on women to lose the baby weight IMMEDIATELY (and to also not gain very much weight while pregnant). I hate it. I hate the pressure, the expectation; I hate the judgment, the side-eye you often get from other people. I do NOT expect the baby weight to melt off the second I give birth.

During my pregnancy I still counted my calories. I was definitely eating more calories but I did my best to be reasonable about it. I was NOT “eating for two”. I was eating for ME and for the baby, who only needed like 300 extra calories a day. I followed my doctor’s instructions and counted my calories (without beating myself up if I did go over once in awhile) and I tried to make good choices about the food I was eating. Which was a lot easier once I got out of the first trimester. I still worked out (even during the worst of the morning sickness). I listened to my body and did what I could. Sure I modified a lot of things and wasn’t going at the same intensity but I was still very active. Overall I am happy with how I’ve maintained my health while cooking this little bug.

Now that I’m in the last few months, I’m trying to enjoy my changing body. I’m looking forward to the “after” too, because honestly, the biggest adjustment being pregnant for me was my body was no longer my own. I’m looking forward to getting that back–in whatever shape it ends up being in.

All that being said, I do want to lose weight because I am healthier and happier at a lower weight. I lost 110 pounds, kept it off for 7 years and would like to get back somewhat close to what I was at before getting pregnant. I’m not going to be crazy or restrictive about it. I’m simply going to go back to doing what I did before: continue exercising and reduce my calories in a reasonable way.

I know it will take time. I’m willing to do the work. The hardest part will be the mental aspect of it. My body shape being different. The weight coming off slowly. Clothes not fitting quite right. I hope I can adjust ok.

This goal won’t start for awhile. I’ll be following my doctor’s advice, listening to my body and not rushing back into anything until the time is right. My goal is to breastfeed and I know that trying to lose weight while that is happening is not wise, so this goal might be for later in the year. I know *I* won’t be the focus for a long time–but at the same time, I think it’s important for mom and dad to be healthy and take care of themselves, too. So I won’t just be letting things go–taking care of myself is important just like taking care of the baby. I will try and find balance.

Don’t forget about my fur-babies when the real baby gets here!

I really really want to give them all attention and love. I know it may not be the same or the same amount of attention but I’m going to try my best. Bella, Fat Kitty and Maya are family and they will still be family.

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I’m really looking forward to getting back into hiking. Bella loves it. I want our baby to be exposed to nature and grow up loving tromping through the woods. I am inspired by the blogger at Trail Snail, who hiked throughout her pregnancy and has THE most adorable little girl who has been going into the woods with them since birth! Love it! I think getting back to hiking will be a good goal for us as a family and a good way to give Bella attention.

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Focus on Slowing Down.

I saw this article:  Healthy Habit Forming Gifts to Give Yourself that suggested practicing things like awareness, forgiveness, focus, patience (I need this one!) and community. Those are good categories to build resolutions around as well!

One thing I want to focus more on in the new year is making time for myself and SLOWING DOWN. I tend to overbook my life, over-schedule activities and then when I do get downtime I am burned out and just want to sit in front of the TV and watch Netflix for hours, totally checked out. It’s not a good cycle. But I find that I struggle with just sitting and doing nothing, so I tend to fill my time. ALL my time. I can’t remember the last time Michael and I decided to forgo a scheduled activity and do something on the spur of the moment. It’s time to learn how to stop and smell the roses.

Learn my new camera.

I love the new features of my camera! Michael got me the Canon 760D camera for Christmas and I’ve been slowly experimenting with the new features. I love the photos I’m getting but I need a lot of practice. I have two months to figure out my camera before baby gets here and I’ll take a zillion pictures. 😉

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Read 80 books in 2016.

I’m sure all the parents out there reading my goal are laughing at me…but…I have to have a goal, right? I may not get there with a new baby but we’ll see. It feels odd to have such a low goal set for myself after last year’s monster goal! 2015 I read 150 out of 140 books. 2014 I read 139 out of 125. Each year I’ve read roughly 10-20 books more than whatever goal I set for myself. Last year was the biggest goal I had and I met it. Friend me on Goodreads! And send me your favorite book recommendations. 🙂

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What about you? Any goals for the new year?

7 Things I Learned Training for a Century

7 Things I Learned Training for a Century 

Things didn’t necessarily go as planned this summer. Despite that, I am happy to say I did my first Metric Century, the Salem Peach of a Century ride, and I’m happy I was able to end the summer with a biking event. I learned a lot of things this summer and wanted to share them with you.

1. Sign up for the event as soon as possible.

The last year or so I’ve been wishy-washy about my goals. I wanted to do the Hood River bike ride last spring and drug my feet until it was too late to sign up. I wanted to swim across the Columbia River in the Roy Webster Channel Swim and I’ve worked myself up into a panic over open-water swimming to the point where I don’t want to do it anymore and I have anxiety about doing a sprint-tri. This year, Michael and I planned on doing the Covered Bridges Century ride and I procrastinated signing up for it all summer long. This did NOT help my motivation for training.

Having a specific date on the calendar, paid for, registered for, and planning for has helped me train for so many events. I realized I NEED THAT. I need it written in stone otherwise I flake out. The fire I need to fuel my training is “I’ve signed up for this and I need to be ready by this date.”

2. Life WILL get in the way.

The weather, summer plans, busy schedules, equipment malfunctions…life will always get in the way of training. The trick is to figure out how to get around the crap life hands you. This summer was fraught with jam packed weekends, family events, and flat tires. It also seemed that the weather would not cooperate with my riding schedule early in the summer. Too many rainy days discouraged me from getting out there. As a result, my mileage was not great.

If you want it badly enough, you’ll find the time to fit in training.

3. It WILL be hard.

Training for a Century ride is a difficult thing because it’s easy to talk yourself out of it, or psych yourself out. It’s the same reason that I vowed to lose 50 pounds instead of 100 when I first started my journey. 100 pounds was really overwhelming, yet 50 seemed doable. The same goes for mileage. Start planning for 50, 60, 70, and stop getting freaked out about the number 100!!

4. You need to know how to change a flat tire.

I wish I could say that I can successfully do this. I’ve only done it once and it was in my kitchen after I took a class on bike maintenance–where there was no pressure or stress. I’ve had many, many flat tires and it’s so frustrating, especially when you feel incompetent. Note to self:  take another hands-on class and practice, practice, practice.

5. Food and Rest make a difference.

I can tell when I didn’t eat the right food the night before I ride my bike into work, or when I haven’t given my body enough rest. My body lets me know on those hills I have to bike up to get to work. My heart will be pounding, my legs will feel like they are on fire and I will feel like I won’t make it up that hill.

Like with anything (weight loss, running, etc), exercise is only one part of the equation. The food part is probably even more important. Eating shitty junk food will not get me to my goal.

6. The clothes make the (wo)man.

Having good gear makes a huge difference. If you are planning on riding your bike more than 20 miles at any time in your life, invest in some bike shorts or bib shorts. Seriously. Your butt will thank you. Cycling clothes may be unflattering spandex, but they also serve a purpose. They are skintight to prevent drag and they are made of material to wick moisture from your body and keep you comfortable and cool.

Speaking of gear, take your bike to a professional to get a once-over and make sure you are properly fitted. It makes a world of difference when it’s adjusted correctly and will prevent injuries.

7. The challenge is so worth the sweat, tears, pain, suffering, sore muscles and fatigue.

Seriously–it’s so worth it. Doing things like Reach the Beach, Hood to Coast and the Portland Century have made me a stronger, healthier person and I’ve never regretted challenging myself.

Challenging myself to fitness goals makes me happy. There will always be set-backs, things will rarely go as planned, but that won’t keep me from trying.

QUESTION: What have you learned from training for big fitness events?