As a fitness instructor and personal trainer, I truly feel I have one of the greatest jobs in the world. Being a part of someones journey and life transformation is amazing. I’ve been through quite a few transformations on my own, and have been in love with the feeling of accomplishment, and pride.
But, like everyone else, even though this is my job, I fall off track. A lot. And the past 2 years have literally kicked my a$$. So I’ve slipped, and slided, and fallen off track. And it wasn’t like it happened all at once. It started as skipping a few runs to catch up on sleep; which turned into a little more wine at night; which turned into not working out with my class in the morning; which turned into not planning my meals for the day; which turned into being more tired….and the cycle continued.
I’m literally fed up.
I took a long hard look at some fitness pics from a few years ago, some running and workout stats, and then took a long hard look in the mirror.
I can no longer tell my clients to make themselves a priority when I’m not doing the same. I’m tired of not feeling my best, and I’m ready to get that part of myself back.
And luckily, I am in the right business. And although it’s not knowing what to do, it’s actually doing it…I have the resources to make that happen.
So as our new Max Challenge begins…I am ALL IN. All in with our clients, and all in with myself.
I know I will succeed, because that is my only option. The meal plans are amazingly delicious and do-able with my wacky schedule, the workouts at the studio will be easy for me to hop into a class, and the at home workouts will be great when I have limited time.
So I will be posting about my journey here, and I hope you follow along. And if you live locally, come do the challenge with me!!!
CLICK HERE to learn more and register today! We start on Monday, August 10th.
Wow…..it has been a while. And by a while I mean way too damn long since I have been here to write. And you know why? The state of my running relationship is dire. Like, really bad. Like if we ran into each other at a bar I think we would pretend we didn’t know each other. And not because I know running is a jerk and we should never speak again, but because I know running is one of the greatest things in my life and I feel like I’ve walked away.
Walked, because I can’t even run away.
Tomorrow I am running the OC Half Marathon, although my race bib reads marathon. I know I will have to explain to all of the kind spectators who try to tell me I made the wrong turn at mile 11.5, that in fact I am meaning to run the half and not the full. Will I over explain that I have an injury? Or just simply wave a thank you but I know? Like I truly think anyone watching will give it more than a nano second of thought to my decision. But I will. I loved this marathon so much last year. So much so that I told myself, next year I’m coming back and taking this sucker down!
But instead, this last year of my life took me down.
And only because I let it.
And to be honest, it was a good thing, and what needed to happen.
However, the aftermath of it all has been rough. And I fight everyday to get back on track. Back on track with the things that make me happy, that add to my life, that make me proud of myself. And as important as running is to me, it falls pretty far behind other priorities in my life. My girls, my family and friends, and my business.
As I get a grip on the first 3, and I feel as though I am getting there, I can’t wait to get back on track with running. I have a lot of goals still left, and I have no intention of abandoning them for good. So for now, I will head out in the morning for the OC Half and plan on enjoying every minute. Showing my girls I will still go for it even though I know it won’t be the best; spending the time with my friends and sharing it with my family; and maybe even chatting up my business in the beer garden at the end.
Running, please know I want you back more than anything, and I promise I’m working on it.
The girls and I are on our annual trip up to my parents house in Grant’s Pass Oregon. I like to do it up right, lol! See, my idea of a vacation is one in where I take a break from what I do everyday. A time-out if you will, so I can calm the crazy ranting, up tight mom, and well, person to be honest. I let things take a toll on me, I get tired, I don’t relax, and before you know it I look like a person I don’t even know. Or would even want to be around. I know I need to get better at correcting this on a daily basis, but for now, my trips up to my parents quiet house, outside of a small town, are what’s working for me.
As we were sitting outside the other night, I was talking to my Mom and Dad about how much I hate how high-strung I have become over the years. The things I don’t let go, the points I stick to with my kids, all seem a little ridiculous, even to me. But there I sit, harping on Meadow for the 100th time to chew with her mouth closed, and sit normally at the dinner table and I can hear myself saying in my head, let it go! Who the F cares?! But I can’t stop.
‘Remember when I use to be, I don’t know, so care free and laid back? I miss that ME.’
Both of my parents started to laugh. ‘Well Angela, you were never really ‘care free’, I mean there was always a plan, always an agenda.’
Ok, I’m sorry, but that sounds a little creepy. Always an ‘agenda’? I felt like a politician.
Turns out we were a little lost in translation. My idea of carefree: riding with the windows down, belting out a song at the top of my lungs, not stressed, and no responsibility at that given moment. My parents on the other hand picture carefree as floating through life with no real set direction. Yeah, that I guess I never had.
So here I sit on vacation, trying to tap into that girl, still getting uptight about a few things my kids were doing, but trying to ignore them and let my parents take over. I was kind of there all week. Fleeting moments of pure bliss, sitting out back sipping coffee and being silent; waking up when I felt like it; taking a glass of wine to bed and indulging in reality TV; catching up with a good friend on the phone without them having to listen to me insanely scream at my girls.
Yesterday, I got to feel that calm, carefree girl, 100% and it was amazing. We decided to head down to the Rogue River at about 9:30am. It has been ridiculously hot this week, so playing outside is hard after 11am. It would be cooler on the water, we could relax, let the girls play, and watch the boats go by. Yup, that is the exciting activities that go down up here, and I love it! No cell reception down at the water, so after a few pics, the phone was put away. I reclined my chair back in the water, cracked open a beer, and sang along to the 80’s on 8 my Dad had blaring from his truck. It was heaven for me. I LOVE being on the water. We grew up going to the river and lake (not this river), and I am at peace feeling the motion of the water, the wind in my face, the sound and smell of boats. All of it reminds me of being care-free. I wasn’t screaming or up-tight about the girls going a little too deep in the water; I wasn’t irritated at their yelling, or put out when they constantly asked for snacks. I was just normal. Like I should always be. I didn’t want to leave.
So we stayed at the river all day. I have the sunburn to prove it. It was what I came up here in search of, a little reminder, that yes, I do have a calm person hidden under here somewhere, I just have to remember to bring her out to play once in a while.
I am finishing up what has been the fastest week of my life, and I can’t believe we head home tomorrow. Who is going to feed my kids, now?
As I was prepping for the OC marathon a few weekends ago, my husband stopped to ask me, ‘hey, are you running the full, or just the half tomorrow?‘ To his defense, I haven’t been super vocal or very disciplined during this training, so I can understand his confusion. I replied, the full, and he was less than enthusiastic. ‘Really? Aren’t you done? Haven’t you already proven your point?’
I had to stop and pause. I wasn’t sure what point he was talking about. I hadn’t realized it looked like I was trying to prove something.
After a minute, I just decided that he really doesn’t understand why I run.
When I first set out to train for and run a marathon, I think there was something to prove. Something to prove to myself. That dammit, I had talked about it for so long, it was finally time to follow through on my commitment. And while, crossing that finish line I did feel that sense of accomplishment, as I continued to train and run marathons, I realized it is about so much more. And this OC Marathon reminded me of another aspect of running that I love. Something that adds to the happiness in my life. I got to enjoy the marathon from a completely different perspective than I ever had, and it was so much more beautiful than I imagined. I know, sounds odd to describe the marathon as beautiful…but hang with me here, K?
The decision to run the OC Marathon came out of complete FOMOM (fear of missing out on a marathon). My dear friend Barb had decided to make her One and Done marathon year, this year, so we had a group of friends signed up for the OC Marathon, including 2 more girls that would be running their first. Of course I had to be a part of it! We trained together, enjoyed fun new routes, and bonded over blisters and beers. During the training runs I spent a lot of time running with my good friend, and partner at Moms on the Run Fitness, Michele. Our RD, and nutrition guru, she and I were able to spend time chatting while running, mixing in some much-needed social time since we are usually consumed with our latest programs. It felt good to have training partners. I had fun.
I decided that I wanted to run the marathon with Michele. For a couple of reasons. 1. I know what Michele is capable of, and how strong she is, much better than she knows herself. 2. The conversation would be so fun. 3. She gets really hilarious when the runners high hits. 4. Having the experience of running the marathon I could assure her at mile 19 that the wall she’s hitting is completely normal, that yes, she will still in fact cross the finish line, and yes, we are having FUN!
She was rightfully nervous when I told her we were going to run together. Remember, I don’t have the best track record at pacing people during races. But since there was no time expectation, the pressure was off.
We met up at the start line with all of us girls, ready to make some great memories, but mainly ready for the party we had planned for after :) We started at a decent pace, the pace I was expecting to keep- or maybe it was a tad faster than I had intended ;) But the pace felt great, we chatted the entire way, and before we knew it, we were passing the halfway point right at 2 hours. A whole 3 minutes faster than Michele’s half marathon PR. And while I thought we were trekking on at a great pace, I think Michele got a little nervous in her head about the speed. And, after a longer than anticipated stop to take off her long sleeves, causing her earphones to get all crazy, I’m afraid her legs couldn’t quite get back into the groove. Not exactly the greatest thing that can happen when you are still 13.1 miles from the finish line.
And this is about where I began to see the beauty of it all. From there on out, Michele’s race became almost purely mental. Sure, she was dealing with cramping legs, a numb ankle, and tummy issues (sorry Michele, but it adds to my story), the greatest battle was going on in her head. And I had been there….maaaaaaaany times. I went into cheerleader comedian mode, that some people find incredibly annoying at this point in their race, but I do believe Michele enjoyed it…right Michele, right?!
We saw her family around mile 14, and she needed it. Her sweet son came running up with his arms wide open, her mom gave me a big hug, her daughter looked slightly concerned with the look Michele had on her face, and her husband (a marathon vet) whispered some encouraging words in her ear. It was beautiful. I reminded her how proud they were, and that even though she might be doubting herself, they, and especially her daughter, knew just what a super hero she was, and knew she could do anything!
We saw them several more times on the course, and always right when she needed that extra boost. And I was able to be perfectly present for all of it. Had I been racing, it would have been a quick arm up at the friends we had out on the course cheering us on. I wouldn’t be able to stop, or look for too long for fear of getting out of ‘the zone’. What an inspiration it was to see and hug so many familiar and smiling faces. Out on the streets, some with their kids in tow, and signs made, just to watch us go by for a few seconds. Wow.
**I am missing pics of Erika at mile 18, and Candice at mile 25**
Michele was crazy giddy around mile 19 to about 24. And we had a blast. Again, right Michele? I reminded her to look around when she felt like walking, to notice that everyone was feeling it. We played leap frog with the same group of people for those final 7 miles. The plan I had for what time I thought could be possible was long thrown out, in exchange for soaking it all in. For reminding Michele that at one point, she never thought she would be capable of running a marathon, and yet, here she was. And the hard parts of the marathon, the parts that just absolutely suck, are what make it so magical.
I took pictures, drank a beer given to me by the 70 year olds, and watched Michele push through. We joked about the couple running together, and if I would caress and hold Michele the way he was to her. I called her baby, and love, and sweetheart, and am sure that everyone around us thought we were a couple. It made it that much more fun.
When we finally came into the final last 1/2 mile, and saw all of our girls cheering (with beers already in their hand…omg go get me one and have it ready!) it was still rough. We had to circle around, and not being able to see the finish line really makes you question if it exists. Or if you were going to see a ‘just kidding! You still have 3 miles to go!’ But we didn’t, and as we rounded that final turn, there was the finish line in all of it’s glory. And as we sprinted those last few steps in together, and I promised to catch Michele’s completely cramped body the second we did, they called out our names. Clear as day. Giving us the last boost to cross. And we did. Together, like we had said those short 26.2 miles ago. And I caught her, as her legs said WTF!!!
And the best part…..she was smiling. And I started to cry. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a sense of pride and accomplishment in someone’s eyes. I love it. It’s what I have based my career on.
Oh, and she said she wants to do another one. My work here is done.
**Barb and Michele, marathon virgins no more**
My running has been extremely lack luster in the past few months, which means my drive to write about running was even lower. Take both of those away, two things that bring me a bit of relief and stress therapy…and watch out. Not pretty. Add in me not drinking wine for a phase of a new program we are beta testing, and well, as my husband said- no wonder you have been such a grouch towards me!!!
Actually, now, I am feeling better than I have in a long time. Phew. Who knew it would be possible, even with cutting out, and then backing off on my wine consumption. I seem to have crawled out of the little hole I was hanging in, and found a renewed sense of my mojo.
A lot of it has to do with the changes and movement in my business, and seeing some goals and plans starting to pan out. I have a sense of pride in my work that excites me. But, my running was finally revamped, get this, by some other girls… not me.
I have been witness to some big break throughs in running these past 2 months, and it has been so inspiring. From watching a close friend CRUSH her half marathon PR, to following along online as 3 other close and amazing girlfriends ran their first full marathon… I am ready and willing to put races on my calendar, and start running like I mean it.
I have decided that my running goals need to have more action behind them. While I love coaching, and will continue to do so, I also need someone to push me- and my limits, to run where I want to be. Luckily for me I have 2 partners ready to go! A super fast friend ready to run the Long Beach Marathon, my next full marathon on the books, and we can actually get in some training together. A I finally got the guts to run with my friend’s husband. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up, and he would have no problem talking trash to me as I sucked wind, but instead I was able to keep his pace, and even enjoyed the chatting along the way. Lucky for me his wife doesn’t mind us running together….Mike on the other hand wants to be able to take his wife golfing with him in exchange ;)
So here I am, opening my mouth again with my lofty goals. But they are goals that I will make happen. After all, if you have goals that you accomplish on the first try, you aren’t setting your sights high enough. A BQ will be mine.
If we are friends, then you know that my oldest daughter, Meadow, started Daisy Scouts this year. If you are like me, and unsure of what that is, it is the tiniest version of the Girl Scouts. Cute, right?! Well, I wasn’t totally sold.
I never did Girl Scouts. I guess I never wanted to, according to my Mom. But I feel like she probably Jedi mind tricked me into that one, cuz what little girl doesn’t want to be a girl scout? God, I still have so much to learn from her. I just never pictured myself as a Girl Scout mom, that’s all. Well, the be honest, I never pictured myself as a mom with girls, so there is a lot I have to figure out. I just assumed my girls would be into sports, soccer mainly since that’s what I know, and that would be that.
Instead, I am now involved in Daisy Scouts. Don’t get me wrong, I think the organization is amazing, and what they do for charity, and the strength and independence of girls is amazing as well. I am being a bit selfish here. I don’t want to stand out in front of the grocery store and sell cookies; I don’t want to take a bunch of little girls camping; I don’t know how to sew on patches; and I am little help in the craft department. Fortunately for me I am good at sucking it up, so I can make anything work if it makes my kiddo happy. Plus, I already know the other moms in the troop that drink wine, and we met up after the info meeting so it was actually enjoyable.
I got an email after the first official meeting from the assistant troop leader (there are actually 3 all together…no joke our troop is legit) and I was a little overwhelmed. She talked about everything the girls did, about the commitment of the girls scouts, attached a bunch of pictures, and exclaimed how excited her daughter was, and that they were both already working on their girl scout scrapbook pages. Oh boy. Ummm, I still have loose pieces for Meadow’s baby scrapbook in a box in my office closet. As soon as I get past month 1 of her life, we are all over her Daisy Scout page. At this point, I am just hoping she is over Daisy Scouts by next year, and we can pull the ejection cord on this entire operation.
But then it got me thinking. I know, it happens sometimes. But maybe, just maybe, the, or what I envision is, the over-enthusiasm for the GS from this mom, is a good thing. That maybe, this will be something that Meadow LOVES, and I need the enthusiastic Mom to help guide us through. To show Meadow the love of the organization that I can’t quite share with her due to my lack of knowledge. Maybe Meadow would LOVE to make a scrapbook about their journey through this first year and beyond…and this mom is the one who can help her and encourage her. Maybe, I can get this mom to help me sew on her patches to her uniform.
It’s a reminder, that there are a lot of different moms out there, and we all need each other, to fill gaps where we may lack. Working moms, stay at home moms, crafty moms, sporty moms, bad moms(to make s feel better about ourselves, of course), super moms ( to make us feel like it just might be possible to do it all), and everyone that falls into a piece of all of these.
That being a mom isn’t a competition, but a community. And instead of me judging this mom for being into something I am not, that I need to pull from her strength, and learn from her as another mom on this journey through life.
And I can always offer up my expertise when a mom needs to be brought up to speed on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Or Atlanta. Or any of them for that matter.
5 marathons down. And while you would think that I should be the most relaxed about this one, it was quite the opposite. I think I was more nervous for the Surf City Marathon yesterday, than I was for my very first marathon in 2010. My anxiety was especially high on Saturday afternoon as I was just focussed on resting and relaxing. Not even the (bottle of) champagne calmed me down.
I was nervous because my training was lack luster, my own fault, and it brough on some serious pain on the inside of my left knee. I am definitely no stranger to knee pain/issues. I had them growing up, and have always had to stay on top of my training/stretching/icing/adjusting. But, when you are new-ish to running marathons, you get a little skewed about the type of shape you are in. Meaning, having run a marathon at the end of July, and another at the beginning of October, you forget the kind of mileage you need to keep up. I figured I would take a little off time before hopping right into my Surf City training, and would experience no problem.
Well, that would have worked had I stuck to ‘a little time off’. Instead, I took major time off. Of everything. I still taught all my regular classes- but acted as more of a drill sergeant than an aerobics instructor. I didn’t take classes on my own, and I enjoyed my cocktails on Saturday nights knowing I didn’t have to get up and run.
Before I knew it I had gained 10 pounds, and my training schedule said I should be up to 16 miles for my long runs on the weekend. Oops. So what do I do? Exactly what I would NEVER advise any client of my to do. I went out that weekend and ran 16 miles. I made it. Luckily I am pretty stubborn. I ran the first 8 with a lot of the girls from our running club, and as per usual, I convinced Kelsey to bring her bike and ride another 8 with me after her run. My pace with her on the bike was right on cue, and it felt really good.
Flash forward, to not very many training runs during the week, another 19 mile run under my belt, and during my final long run for Surf City, my knee locks up. I walk it out, stretch a little, but am still in some major pain. I cut my run short, hoping with 2 weeks left I could get it back.
I ran once more in that 2 weeks. 4 miles.
So now, not only did I know a PR was out of the question, I was wondering if I would have my first DNF (did not finish). I know this is not the end of the world, I was more worried about making the right decision on the course. I kept telling myself over and over that my knee was in charge, and if I had to pull myself out mid-race, it was fine. They let you in the beer garden no matter what. Plus, my insurance situation is less than ideal, and knee surgery would break the bank.
So, that leads up to race day. I got pretty decent sleep, and woke up fresh and ready to go. I felt good, and once I got to the start line with Becky, I was feeling very confident. This was my first go at the Surf City marathon, although I have done the half marathon here for the last 3 years. The marathon crowd is much smaller, so it was funny to see no lines at the port-a-potties. I gave Becky a hug (she so sweetly came with me- Amy dropped us off- to see me off even though her half didn’t start for over an hour!) and hopped into the second corral.
As I took off down PCH I was feeling great. I wanted to focus on a smooth clean run, and stay really comfortable and stress free during the first 10 miles, taking my girlfriend Lisa’s advice. And I did. I was with a good group of girls, and I liked the pocket I was in. And the super fit/thin/dolled up in LuLu/amazing legs girl who was right in front of me was good motivation. And yes, when I caught up to, and then passed her I told her I was staring at her legs. She didn’t seem like she thought is was creepy at all. (we actually went back and forth a lot during the race and became motivators for each other.)
My mind started to wander as we headed back out on PCH after the loop through central park. My knee wasn’t hurting all that much, but my mental attitude was starting to fade. Now, Huntington Beach is gorgeous. And yesterday was so beautiful – the sun was out(a little hot, though) the sky was clear, and the water was a perfect blue. But, the course is basically the same for the last 16 miles. Not kidding.
I knew what was ahead, and I was trying to break it up the best way possible in my head, but it wasn’t working. Because also in my head, was the ready to bail on the race because of my knee out. Did I want it to start hurting more? I couldn’t stop because I wanted to and blame it on my knee, or could I? Ah the battle that occurs in your head when you are participating in anything endurance wise. Can.I.Actually.Make.It.
I decided to take it easy as my knee did start to flare a bit around mile 12, and decided from there on out I would walk every water station. Plus, this was my first marathon running without my water bottle, and with the heat I wanted to make sure I stayed super hydrated. So I spent the next few miles running with the 3:45 pacers, and then walking, and catching up to them again. Wash, rinse, repeat.
I did have to make 2 potty stops for a different issue (and no it had nothing to do with having to go potty), and the 3:45 pacers disappeared out of sight. And just as I did in Seattle, I started playing leap-frog with the same(new) group of people. I would pass them, get to the water station and walk, they would pass me, and then I would pass them when they were walking. I think it worked out for us all, a little motivation to get us running again.
And it was needed, while it is gorgeous to run in HB, the double dose of the out and back can be brutal. It was at the start of the second out and back that I knew I was going to finish. Because honestly, there was no way an ambulance was going to take me back to the start line with just an ouchy knee- at least not with all the other issues I saw going on with people on the course. So, if I headed out, I had to make it back no matter what. Even if I walked the whole way. But, my knee was fine with running at my normal pace between the stops. And that is how I took the race for the final ten miles. I just focussed on getting to the next water station.
Finally, as I can up to just about mile 25, I passed cute Lulu girl for the final time and told her, we can make it….1 mile to go. And she said, ok, ok, we can make it. Promise it’s just a mile?! As I got my stride back, I saw my sweet friend Bernadette jumping and cheering the marathoners on- on her birthday too!- and I ran full force into her arms for a big hug and kiss. Seeing her gave me that final push. I made it back onto PCH as we meshed in with the half marathoners, and on to the finish line. Which, by the end of a marathon, .4 miles looks like 6 miles. Saving my final push until literally the last 20 seconds, I saw 2 more friends, Sandra and Lisa, cheering from the crowd. I waved and then turned on my turbo boosters and fired through the finish.
I was so happy to have made it, I was so happy to be done, I was so happy I wasn’t limping and falling over with a bum knee.
My final time was 3:52. Not my worst! So I’ll take it. No wait, I am more than taking it. I am so pumped to have made it in that time, regardless.
It’s amazing to me how easy it is to find everyone(well almost) in a crowd of 20,000, but we all found each other. We hugged and cried….and then we headed to the beer garden where we belonged. And the last few hours of the morning are history. And the afternoon and evening too. Thanks to the Superbowl watching I did from the hot tub.
Day after update: My knee is a little stiff, and I have a super sexy blister on my toe. But all is good, and I am ready to start training for what the next few months have in store…Ragnar, and believe you me- #6 is on its way :)