Better or Worse

9 09 2010

One of the great things about having Godfather as a trainer is just when you feel like giving in, he says something that just clicks. On Wednesday I walked into the gym thinking I was going to have a somewhat mellow hour. I was super exhausted and pretty sore after a Tuesday filled with an hour session with him and then returning that evening for my first ever Boot Camp with my friend Jessi (who by the way has her own blog HERE and you should totally go over and give her some love). Godfather pushes me to the limit each and every time. Add to that boot camp and Tara = TORE UP! I had planned on just doing something totally mindless for an hour and getting the hell out of there. Godfather had a different idea. He invited me to work out with another one of his clients. I love working out with this particular person and when he asks you to participate…

you don’t refuse

So here I am, exhausted and feeling physically like I’m at the end of my rope but I warm up and off we go. About 30 minutes into the session I begin to have a mental breakdown. There’s something about being in the gym super early in the morning, having so much sweat and snot on your face that you can’t tell what’s what and being told to move faster that makes you feel like sitting down on the floor and refusing to move until someone brings you a blanket and a teddy bear. That’s where I was. I needed that blanket. I needed that Teddy Bear. I needed for Godfather to give me a break. Since I wasn’t going to get any of the fore mentioned I just started crying. But I was moving. In fact I was running. Running in between two cones. I don’t know if he saw me crying. I don’t really care. I just want to keep moving. I want my body to get stronger. I want my body to get fitter. I want my body to get leaner. It’s not going to happen by giving up. It’s not going to happen by asking Godfather for a break. As I’m having an internal conversation with myself (more like begging my body to not give up) I hear the following words come out of his mouth:

“In any situation, you’re either getting worse or you’re getting better”

I’ve never heard a truer statement than what I heard at that exact moment. Yes, I was a sweaty snotty mess. My shirt didn’t have one dry place on it for me to wipe my face. My legs hurt from the TRX sequence, my arms hurt from weighted push-ups and my lungs were about to collapse from the one minute sprints (and still trying to recover from boot camp) but I was making myself better.

Everything we do we’re either making the situation worse or we’re making it better. Every decision, every choice and every conscious effort as we move forward and take control of a life we once thought was lost forever. This is how I need to look at my life. No, this is how WE need to look at OUR lives. No matter where you on this journey you can always asks yourself: does this help me to be better or does this hinder and lead me towards being worse? If you’re stuck in a binge, if you can’t muster up the energy to break a sweat or you just happen to pull up to your nearest Jack in the Box stop and ask yourself:

Will this make me better?

Will this make me worse?

I didn’t stop crying as soon as he bestowed this wisdom on me. In fact, I continued to cry pretty much right up to end of our time together. But what I did begin to do was say to myself, (and out loud I might add) I am getting better. All the exhaustion, all the struggle to keep moving and all effort I put into this journey is making me better. A better athlete. A better mentor. A better person.

It’s all I’ve ever wanted to be.

Isn’t it what we all want to be?

This week has been about as physically demanding as I’ve ever experienced. By the end of the week I’ll have seen Godfather five times, done boot camp twice and run about 12 miles.  I’ll have cried and prayed my way through multiple hours of movement despite being tired and my muscles will seize up after sitting for a even the shortest periods of time. But when I ask myself if these situations are making me better or worse…

I know the answer.

What’s your answer?

The Great Kilted Run / Mush

24 05 2010

I’m not even sure where to begin talking about my experience yesterday. It was fantastic. It was emotional. It was hard. It was awesome. It was challenging. It was fun. It was inspiring. And it was damn near the toughest thing I’ve had to do in a long time (except for today’s session with Superman…keep reading).

When one is getting ready to run their very first race, I highly suggest preparing by donning a Transformer band-aid to remind yourself WWOPD!

Unfortunately this placement didn’t last very long since I was a nervous wreck and sweated it right my wrist on the way to Seattle. No worries though I’m a McGyver athlete so I rigged it onto my finger with a strip of 3M/Scotch lint roller (RAWR!).

I ran the race with my friend Elizabeth. This would be the first time I’ve actually run a long distance with someone else. Elizabeth would prove to be a great running partner. She’s getting ready to do an ENTIRE MARATHON (Rock and Roll San Diego) June 6th. Unbelievable!

Then I got my number.

I’m seriously thinking about having that number tattooed on me.


10 minutes to race time!!

Donning our skirts!

If you look closely I am dressed in about 3 layers of clothing. It was freaking cold out there that morning (about 48 degrees) and it didn’t look like it was going to warm up any time soon. With the wind coming off the water it felt like it was going to start snowing on us. I’m wearing my shirt from 1/2 marathon, a regular t-shirt and then my Great Kilted Run shirt. I look bulky. I think about what I looked like when I only had one shirt on six months ago and I’ll take this 3 shirt bulkiness anyday.

The race had about 400 participates. We took our place sort of in the middle and just as the race is about to begin, Elizabeth says to me “We’re going to walk the first minute”…


No wait, I want to run. I mean I knew we were going to do a walk/run interval but I thought it would start out with running. I was wrong and it was the best piece of advice she could give me. It did three things 1) it got us warmed up 2) it gave the faster runners a chance to pass us and most importantly 3) it gave me a chance to work through the nervousness of running my first race and forced me to slow down and not jump the gun and start too fast. The minute came and went and we were running. I was hoping for a 40:00 minute race but with our 1 minute walking intervals I was able to keep a pretty good pace. The last time I ran a 3.1 mile distance it took me 43:00 but now I was with Elizabeth and she helped to keep me paced.

All in all the race was a blast. I got passed by runners. I passed runners. I walked when it was time. I ran when it was time. The last mile was the hardest but I continued to talk myself through it and breath. I saw the finish line and I crossed it with a vengence. My time – 37:40. Two minutes and twenty seconds faster than goal and five minutes faster than my last personal 5k (I think the mile sprints every morning are helping too)

And then I almost threw up.

Elizabeth looks smashing. I look like I’m going to fall over lol.

Then I got back to my normal self.

Nice hair!

Then it was time for Bagpipes, beer, and cute dogs!

Not only did I survive my first race. I left there with a smile on my face.

And my hair back to normal!

My next race is slated for June 12th (Sound to Narrows). Now that the first one is out of the way I won’t be nearly as nervous (at least I hope). I’m shooting for another under 40:00 run but I’m not going to try and best my time of 37:40. The route is much different. Kilted run was very flat most of the way (with a few inclines). Word on the street is S2N has a much longer incline during a portion of the run. This Sunday I may run it just to get a idea of what to expect. I’ll go back to running my mile sprints and longer runs on the weekend until the 12th. I’ll reevaluate where I want to take this running business and push myself toward a 10k. I’m hoping to knock one out before the end of summer.

Who would imagine I’d become a runner?


So what’s a girl to do when she’s just run her first 5k? How about see Superman the next morning and damn near get my ass kicked? I’m not sure what I was thinking. Hell, I’m not sure what he was thinking. No lower body work but man oh man did I work my arms to the point of mush. Seriously. Mush. As I write this I think my forearms are having a meeting about whether or not they are going to cramp up on me at some point tonight. Don’t get me wrong, it was pure awesomeness as usual. I think it was just a little frustrating because I was still in la la land over my run and now I’m in the middle of the gym trying to do a bench press and it’s harder than I thought it would be. He let me work through my frustrations and didn’t once tell me to stop because he thought I couldn’t do it. It was me that thought I couldn’t do it and in the end he pushed me and proved me wrong.

He checked my measurements today and while I forgot to write them down I am smaller in all areas. Some places  (calves, arms) I’m one inch smaller. Other places (waist, thighs and shoulder) I’m up to three inches smaller. Not bad for a month’s worth of work.

Not bad at all.

T-minus 6 days!!!

18 05 2010

Short post today. Then off to catch up on blogs. Six days left until race day!


Six days left. I’m trying not to think about it. Impossible. I’m thinking about it all the time right now. Is this normal? I feel like I should be making some major plans but right now I’m just worried I won’t wake up in time to drive to Seattle that morning.

Okay that’s not true I am making some major plans. I need to adjust my work out schedule for the rest of the week to give my legs a rest. The muscles along the shins are really sore…

Oh wait, here is a great opportunity for an anatomy lesson!! Okay so these little red delicious muscles are your Tibialis Anterior and today mine are super sore. I know why. I probably shouldn’t have run that super fast mile yesterday but I did. I had good reason. It helped clear up some frustrations and I needed that more than anything.

So now I need a game plan to help me recover. I’m going to modify my time in the gym for the rest of the week. No elliptical, no Arc trainer and as much as I hate to say it: no running for the rest of this week. I love that one mile run before each workout but unless I see some major improvement in the next 24 / 48 hours I’m putting a hold on it.

That being said, I am still going to the gym this week.  Tomorrow (Wednesday), Friday and Saturday I will swim to my heart’s content.  Thursday is Superman and he is aware of my upcoming run so upper body for that day.

So, any last minutes words of wisdom from my VBB(s) out there? Any advice on first run anxiety?

Speaking of Superman we had our session today.  I have to steal Seattlerunnergirl’s word in order to describe the 60 minutes I spent with him:


I lifted weights, I got to pick up and slam down a punching bag (yes the big one), I rolled around on the floor doing push-ups (girl push-ups) and leg lifts while he yelled “FRONT, BACK, GO, STOP and KEEP MOVING” at me, and I got to swing around on gymnast rings. A total party package if you ask me!

Weigh in #10, geocaching, and perpetual soreness

8 03 2010

This weeks weigh in is a little late. Busy weekend. Keep reading!

Weigh in #10

I wouldn’t even really consider this week a weight loss as it’s so small but it’s not a gain so I’m chalking this one up to a success! My calorie intake was fine. I think it’s the microwave popcorn I ate the day before my weigh-in. Let me rephrase that: I went to the movie’s (Alice in Wonderland 3D) and snuck in 1.5 bags of microwave popcorn (and some fruit of course). The reason I think it’s salt/water retention is because I flushed out my system yesterday and saw a significant loss this morning. However I’m not using it as my weigh-in weight since Saturdays are the days and today is not Saturday!

First the picture:

Now the numbers:

  • Week 1 = 257.4 (-6.1)
  • Week 2 = 255.0 (-2.4)
  • Week 3 = 254.6 (-.4)
  • Week 4 = 253.8 (-.8) *I started c25k
  • Week 5 = 248.2 (-5.6)
  • Week 6 = 247.2 (-1.0)
  • Week 7 = 246.2 (-1.0)
  • Week 8 = 244.4 (-1.8)
  • Week 9 = 241.0 (-3.4)
  • Week 10= 240.6 (-.4)

That brings my total up to -22.9.

I reached my goal of 240 so I did just what I said I was going to do in weigh-in #9 which is buy myself a pair of pants. In case you’re wondering what kind of pants…keep reading!


I bought a new pair of hiking pants as my reward for hitting 240! Then I went geocaching for 4 hours this past Saturday. It was just about the most fun ever! My friend Heidi is an avid geocacher and took me on an awesome series. I’m not sure of the mileage covered but after 4 hours of nothing but hunting and walking I’d say I covered at least 10 miles (AT LEAST). I was so tired (and sore) that it gave me a good reason to move my running days to Monday, Wednesday, Friday instead of Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday.  What a great way to get a great workout!

Perpetual soreness:

Not that this is a bad thing. I’m just always sore. Especially the back of my thighs and calves after sitting for long periods of time (and unfortunately my work has me doing just that). Some days (like Sunday) I’m sore enough in my muscles that I fore-go any type of exercise. I think the most exercise I did on Sunday was to go to my local Metropolitan market to pick up some Sole and organic veggies.

Today was a run day. Week 6 day 1 of c25k. I am 8 sessions away from graduating. I am so gonna buy me one of those shirts.

Lots of people are inquiring about whether or not I’ve picked a 5k to run. The answer is no, not yet. I’m not ready. Both physically and mentally. I want to finish the c25k and then run 3 x week at 30 minutes for a few weeks to build up stamina. I may pick one as my graduation “gift” but it would be in the Summer time before it was happening (Or at least late Spring).  When I do run, I’ll be wearing that shirt up there for sure!!!