Posts Tagged With: thai kickboxing

Weekly Workouts and My Gold Belt!

IMG_7827Hi all! How was everyone’s weekend? This Friday, I was FINALLY promoted to gold belt in Taekwondo — super exciting!

It typically takes me way longer to graduate to the next belt level than it should because my piano teaching schedule makes it hard for me to make more than one class per week. It can be a little bit frustrating to feel so behind…especially since all of the “grown-ups” I joined with are now at the green belt level, and I often have to take classes with kids!

However, I really do enjoy martial arts. Don’t get me wrong — it’s no running or anything! — but there’s something about the whole “mind-body connection” aspect of Taekwondo that really appeals to me, and the lessons in discipline really have trickled down into other areas of my life.

Meanwhile, Thai Kickboxing has helped me discover both my inner and outer strength, and taught me how to defend myself…which as a newly-single woman I think is always very important. Not that my recent dates have given me any reason to bust out my sick moves…yet!

There’s nothing that eliminates my stress like punching and kicking and elbowing and kneeing a wavemaster until there’s a puddle of sweat at my feet and my heart is pounding out of my chest, or working one-on-one with a partner to see how these techniques might just work in a real confrontation. I have to say, hearing classmates and instructors call me “the tough one” always makes me feel really good. I may have never been the “pretty” girl or the “popular” girl, but, today, I absolutely revel in being considered the “strong” girl.

IMG_7749Monday (17th): 6 milesIMG_7772

Tuesday: 3 miles

Wednesday: 4 miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Taekwondo class and graduation

Saturday: 4 miles and Thai Kickboxing class

Sunday: 3 miles and Thai Kickboxing class

Total weekly mileage: 20 miles

I’m planning on getting in a long run today or tomorrow (most likely tomorrow, because I am SORE), since I once again missed out over the weekend! I figured I’d focus on ramping up my volume this week to compensate for being a little behind in my Dumbo training plan.

I’ve noticed that trying to juggle my addiction to both martial arts and running tends to pose a few issues when I need to be getting in those longer runs during half marathon training. I can only make Thai Kickboxing classes on the weekend, typically, which is when I really need to be focused on pounding the pavement.IMG_7829 And, let’s face it, neither activity is particularly gentle on the body, so when I don’t wake up feeling sore and stiff, I almost feel like I must be doing something wrong!

Trying to squeeze all of the martial arts classes I can into each week along with whatever runs are scheduled on my training plan really isn’t easy, but I’m trying to make it work!

Anyone else have a favorite fitness activity besides running? How do you juggle them both?

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Getting Back to Business

731267-1049-0041sFirst, I want to apologize for being MIA for the past few days, and thank you all for your kind words and support with regards to the news I shared in my previous post. I really do appreciate all of your well wishes and words of encouragement, and they really have helped me a great deal in making this transition. I’m so incredibly grateful to be part of this community. So, thank you!

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I’d be lying if I said that my running has been a bit off schedule, at best. After taking on the Superhero Half Marathon last month as my third half over the course of six weeks, I decided I deserved a bit of a break. I was EXHAUSTED, and each race seemed to become a whole lot harder than the last. I’ve been keeping up maintenance runs — 3 miles here, 4 miles there — but my training plan has sort of fallen by the wayside.

However, my crazy half marathon streak did earn me acceptance as a Half Marathon Fanatic! Meet Half Fanatic #4358!734267_3145089682661_410711098_n(1)

Now I’m getting back to business, and have jumped right back on the training bandwagon to get my butt in shape for Dumbo Double Dare! I’m pretty much going to follow the same beginner plan as I did for the Princess Half Marathon (since we all know I don’t participate in runDisney races to set PRs), but I’m incorporating some back-to-back longer runs on Fridays and/or weekends to help gear up for running the 10k followed by a half.

As for cross training, I’m continuing with martial arts (Thai Kickboxing and Taekwondo) and cycling. I’m supposed to test for my gold belt (FINALLY) in Taekwondo this month!

Meanwhile, the thought of my impulsive decision to sign up for the Dopey Challenge is still looming over me. As thrilled as I am by the prospect of taking on my first full marathon — and, let’s be honest, scooping up so much runDisney bling in one weekend! — as the weeks pass, the thought of ramping up my training FOR REAL becomes more and more terrifying.

Deep down, I know this is something I can do. I know this is something I WANT to do. All I can do now is make a plan, get psyched, and hope my body cooperates when I begin my official training!

I also have to admit that I’m definitely toying with the idea of registering for the new Glass Slipper Challenge. Held on Princess Half Marathon weekend, the new challenge means I’d get to run the new Disney Enchanted 10K and the Princess Half Marathon (i.e. same idea as Dumbo Double Dare) in the same weekend. And, since the Princess Half was my fiHalfFanaticrst half marathon ever, I thought it would be pretty cool to make my triumphant return one year later to celebrate an anniversary, of sorts. It’s especially significant to me seeing as how I was CONVINCED that I’d never be able to finish my first 13.1!

But, of course, I realize it’s slightly INSANE to head to Disney World for for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November, the Dopey Challenge in January, and the Glass Slipper Challenge in February. Or…is it? 😀

What’s everyone training for? For all of you Dumbo runners (that sounds rude, but, you know what I mean!), how are you training?

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Running Makes You Stronger. Period.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! The weather kind of sucked here in NJ (except for Monday), but I did get to spend some time in Atlantic City and catch a Third Eye Blind concert…I’ve been obsessed with them since middle school, and pretty much stalk them every time they come around!

It probably sounds kind of strange, but despite the fact that I’m a blogger and basically broadcast my life all over the Internet on a weekly basis, in “real life,” I’m actually a pretty private person. I tend to keep to myself, and have a hard time sharing my feelings with others…and that includes my family and closest friends. But I am a writer…so stick me in front of a computer, and it all just comes pouring out.

Still, writing this particular post is going to be a little difficult for me, and yet, I feel as though I can’t continue posting with my own special brand of candor and honesty here without at least mentioning that I’m going through a really tough time right now.

I promise, this will not be a “woe is me” kind of post. Instead, it’s something I need to share because it’s a major life change…and my personal weight loss and running journey factor directly into how I’m dealing with it all.

2001

2001

My boyfriend and I have broken up. Out of respect for his privacy, I won’t go into all the sordid details, but suffice it to say that the outcome of our almost 12-year relationship (we were high school sweethearts) has been looking pretty grim for quite some time. We’ve been struggling with various issues for years, and this was honestly the only course of action that was left, unfortunately…I think ending things might even do us both a lot of good.

Since we lived together, it’s hard to say we’re “broken up” when I can sit in my apartment and still see a lot of his clothing and movies and books still lying around, or his posters hanging on the wall or countless framed photos capturing all of our happiest moments, from high school proms to college graduations to vacations and trips (including, of course, our various jaunts to Disney World).

2007

2007

It’s also hard for me because I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the loss of a person who has been in my life for over a decade. He has been there for me through it all…he was my shoulder to cry on when I lost my beloved grandparents, my support system when I began losing weight (for the final time) on Weight Watchers, my cheerleader when I saw my very first published byline in a magazine and crossed the finish line of my first race, the best friend I could always turn to for a laugh or to vent or to hang out and do absolutely nothing.

Needless to say, I am heartbroken. Anger, disappointment, shock, hurt, devastation, disbelief, sadness, rage…you name it, I feel it. I don’t want to be melodramatic, but obviously, this is the man I pictured myself marrying and building a home with and having kids with and growing old together. I desperately wanted all of those things…and I’d thought he was “the one” since I was 16 years old. But right now, let’s just say I have amassed ample evidence to suggest that he simply does not feel the same way about me. And maybe he never truly did. I don’t really know.

2013

2013

There’s nothing I can do about any of this except to learn how to cope. For the first time in my life, I have to learn how to be on my own. And I can’t help but think that there was a time in my life when all of this would have utterly crushed me. I used to hate the sight of my morbidly obese body, and had managed to convince myself that I was worthless. That I had nothing to offer the world. That I was destined to be miserable forever.

There was a time in my life when something would upset me — the bullies at school, a fight with a friend, a bad grade, you name it — and my first (and only) response would be to grab a handful of Oreos or dive headfirst into a bag of Doritos. Eating was how I coped with life’s disappointments, and it was the only thing that could soothe me.

Today, however, I know that no matter what happens — even something as devastating as the end of a relationship in which I’ve invested nearly half of my life —  I will survive. I know that I will be okay. And I’m convinced that running has a lot to do with that.

Losing 90 pounds (and, more importantly, keeping it off) has empowered me to believe that you can change your life, and that your health and happiness are worth fighting for.

My love of Thai Kickboxing and Taekwondo have taught me that, at heart, I amthaifront truly a fighter, and that I am disciplined and motivated enough to achieve anything I want in life.

But when it comes to running…that’s what forced me to realize that I am so much stronger than I ever thought possible.

Any runner knows that our sport can be just as much mental as it is physical, and training my body and my mind to endure 5Ks, then 10Ks, then half marathons — when I used to be someone who would avoid stairs at all costs, and found all of my personal pleasure from raiding the refrigerator — has proven in no uncertain terms that I am STRONG. I transformed myself from an overweight high schooler who physically couldn’t complete the mile in gym class to an adult who runs 13.1 miles like it’s no big thing. I slowly but surely changed absolutely everything about my life, and taught myself how to live as a healthy, active person.

And that’s how I know I can handle anything life throws my way. When life knocks me down, I know I have the courage and tenacity inside of me to get right back up again. I am not a quitter, and I don’t let anyone else dictate my sense of self-worth.

I do believe running has changed the person I am, both inside and out. After the years of torment I endured as an obese child and teenager to the countless failed dieting attempts to hitting rock bottom as a 265-pound 22-year-old, I feel as DSCF3043though running has given me and my entire journey a purpose.

I believe I was meant to discover running as my way of finally making peace with my body, and as a way to love and celebrate the person I am. I feel so incredibly grateful to have found something that fulfills me and gives me a sense of well-being — no matter what happens in my life, I know that I can always reach for my running shoes.

So, in conclusion…I’m going through a tough time right now. And it has hurt me. But I will not let this crush me.

After all…I’m in training. Three months until the Dumbo Double Dare!

Has running ever helped you through a tough time?

In what ways has it changed your life?

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Last Week’s Workouts and ANOTHER Half Marathon!

Hope everyone had a marvelous weekend. We had AWESOME weather here in New Jersey (although right now it’s rainy and dreary and gross), and I’m excited to finally be running in spring-like conditions!

Photo credit: njmarathon.org

Photo credit: njmarathon.org

Yesterday I took the plunge and registered for the Long Branch Half Marathon, which is part of the New Jersey Marathon. I said I wasn’t going to do it. I really didn’t think I was going to do it. I thought that taking on Runapalooza so late in April, followed by the Superhero Half Marathon in mid-May, would be too much…not to mention the fact that my spring races are already costing me a pretty penny, and I’m trying to save for Disneyland!

But then I took a good hard look at my Dopey Challenge-running self — I mean, really, I should probably get used to running A WHOLE LOT OF MILES in a short period of time — and I decided to just go for it. It’s a pretty big deal for us New Jerseyans (well, the full marathon that’s held on the same day is, anyway), so I’m excited to be part of it!

In other news, I am feeling pretty damn stupid right about now. I’ve been whining about pain running along the top of my left foot  for weeks now, and lost I don’t know how many hours of sleep worrying that it was a stress fracture or some other kind of serious injury and I could kiss running good-bye for weeks, if not months (hence my hesitation to put on my big girl panties and see a doctor). Well, after following the advice of countless runners and health care professionals on-line who have written about the all-too-common foot tendonitis (in runners, often caused by too-tight sneakers), the pain is now disappearing…and all because I’m tying my shoelaces more loosely, doing some simple foot and calf stretches, and massaging the tendons in my calf and foot. If that’s really all it was, I am SO INCREDIBLY THANKFUL…but I’m still feeling kind of foolish right now!

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Pretty sure my Disney Princess Half Marathon gear helps me run faster! 🙂

And now, on to last week’s workouts. As you know, I ran my second half marathon last weekend, but I neglected to mention that I followed that up with a local 5K the following morning that was a fundraiser for a few of the elementary schools in my town…and despite running on legs that pretty much felt like lead, I actually PRed! My old 5K PR (from a Halloween race last October) was 27:59, and now it’s 27:18 — and, best of all, I took third place in my age group (gotta love small races)!

Sat., April 20: Runapalooza Half Marathon (recap HERE)

Sun., April 21: Bloomingdale/Orange Ave. School 5K (rescheduled from November thanks to Hurricane Sandy)

Mon., April 22: Rest

Tue., April 23: A second day of rest…I thought it would be prudent given all the running I did over the weekend!

Wed., April 24: An easy 3-mile run

Thur., April 25: Went out for a 4-miler, came home after 3…I wasn’t feeling sore, but my legs felt so heavy and I just wasn’t into it.

Fri., April 26: 6.5 mile run — felt pretty good!

Sat., April 27: Thai kickboxing class and 10-mile bike ride. It was such a beautiful day, so I forced asked my sister to accompany me for a few miles.

Sun., April 28: Thai kickboxing class

I was hoping to get in a long run this weekend, especially after deciding to run the New Jersey Half Marathon, but I’ve decided that it might be best to take this this week’s runs pretty easy to help me gear up for the half marathon. I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me in terms of those final training runs before a big race.

How do you train in the last week before a race?

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