Three Weeks In

Today marks three weeks that I have been steadily working towards the Pocono Endurance Challenge. In the past three weeks I have run/walked or biked an average of six out of every seven days. I haven’t lost a pound, but I have lost half an inch. Since this is suppose to be about getting stronger, I am trying not to focus on the weight. Although, I admit, it is a little disheartening. This week I mapped out an eating plan that I am trying to stick with. It does include counting calories, but it also focuses on eating more fruits veggies and lean proteins. One of my goals this summer is to return to plant based eating. Slowly and with no fanfare. So even though this isn’t about being skinny, I know that losing the extra weight I carry would help me be healthier. And, total transparency, I hate being fat. It really depresses the hell our of me and assaults my self esteem daily.

On to the highs! I started three weeks ago working towards running a minute and walking two. It was hard. As of Sunday, and man I was exhausted Sunday, I am up to running two minutes and walking for ninety seconds in between. I have also been able to run a mile full out on flat ground. My longest running time around my neighborhood, which is pretty hilly is about four minutes straight. This week, I plan to continue with running the two minutes and walking for ninety seconds and try to put in one longer run. This normally comes around a hill. I have a rule that I never stop running at the top or the bottom of a hill. I stick to it almost religiously, although there have been times this has made me want to throw up. Next week I am hoping to expand that to two and a half minutes and walking ninety seconds. Or running two minutes and walking for a minute. I don’t know. I’m making this up as I go. But I am really hoping to participate in the Mother’s Day run next year.

We started by biking five miles, and then moved that to around six on our neighborhood runs. We biked seventeen and a half miles this past Sunday and this morning I did about ten in under an hour. Unless the biking is totally up steep hills I feel very comfortable with this part. In fact I love, love, love, love biking. I can’t get enough of it. Saddle sores aside, and those puppies hurt like hell in places that were just never meant to feel that way, I just can’t get enough of biking. After Sunday’s longer ride I felt great initially, in a few hours I was really tired. But it was a lovely relaxed full body tired. I can’t wait to do that again. I really want to push myself in this, especially when the Endurance Challenge is over. I think that I would like to find more bike riding events. For now, I need to get my family’s bikes in riding shape so we can do more family outings. But I also plan to take on some new trails alone. There is something so spiritual and therapeutic about biking in nature.

Preparing for the rowing has continued to elude me. Although I have, just last week, started to work out on the Total Gym, I feel very lost in this area. I would really like to take a class, which is expensive. There is one near me, in Manayunk, but it is $100 per person. I don’t know how else to make sure I know what I am doing. And it would give me a sense of how to train. I know I will have to join a gym eventually, but I am holding off on that. So far this challenge has cost me money in gear, and entry fees. There will also be the gas fees going several times this summer and the expense of staying over the weekend of the race. This wasn’t meant to be hard on the budget. So, when I think about where and when to spend money, I try to keep it to parts that I think are really necessary for the long term, such as stuff for my bike and my backside and not small parts that I may never use again. Reality: even if I decide that I love, love, love, canoeing, the chance that I will get to indulge in that hobby in the upcoming future is slim to none.

And that’s it. Three weeks in, same weight but pushing further and doing more. And, I will say it is getting easier. At least that is the way it felt this morning, but by the end of the week, who knows? One thing I have learned in the past three weeks is that there are highs and lows and they can come out of nowhere. Just when I think that I will never get ┬ápast a certain point, I push through. And sometimes, just when I start thinking I can definitely do this, it gets really hard. It is a hilly journey, sort of like my neighborhood. But I am loving it.