fitness and nutrition

A Year of Endurance

52 weeks. 52 workouts. Some as short as a half hour. Some as long as 90 minutes.

Learn how to manage your energy. Focus on your pacing. From easy to comfortable to moderate to hard to very hard to sprint. Can you figure out the difference? Then, can you apply it?

As it is with most of my challenges, the number one rule is just show up. Many of these workouts were done early in the morning on the C2 bike at the gym. Often, I opted for them when none of my friends could make it to CrossFit or when I woke up extremely early and could fit it in before class.

And I’ve made it to the end. 52/52. The program is designed with initial tests and retests. How did I progress? In all of the tests I took a solid percentage off of my times from last January. Almost a minute in some cases.

Many days I didn’t feel like it. Many days I struggled. Many days my paces were slower than what they should have been. But I kept at it. I did not quit.

And honestly, the real sense of victory came on a recent fat tire snow bike ride. A lot of the first 90 minutes of the ride were up, up, up. Gentle inclines to moderately steep. All of it on SNOW. Keeping in mind this is a klutzy girl who actually fell off the bike before we even made it out of the parking lot, I was pretty anxious about riding on snow. But once I got the hang of it, I was all good, especially going up. I could just keep going with a few breaks here and there. Even figured out most of the uphill hairpin switchbacks. Being able to do long endurance outside of the gym is a different sort of test, and one I feel I passed with the high five at the top from our guide.

There are many in the SP endurance community that are on their third year with no misses. Will I continue? Probably, but I will also probably branch out into other bikes or rowing or running. A goal to think about. For now, I will smile as I relish the rewards of just showing up, time and time again. A new badge in my app and a medal in my mailbox. All it takes is once a week. Just keep doing it. Give what you have that day. Consistency really is key.

fitness and nutrition, friendship, Uncategorized

Challenge Finale

The middle of the challenge hit and I made it over 50,000 meters. I was excited. 62,000 or a little more to more realistic. I wasn’t the top in my group at this time, but I was being consistent and that was my purpose go this challenge. The picture below shows me celebrating with a ruck in in very cold weather while stretching my aching shoulders.

The next holiday week was going to be different. Out of town for travel. Extremely cold temperatures, but I was purposeful in choosing activities that I could track my efforts on fitness while trying new things like snow shoeing and snow biking. Both firsts for me but both were trackable. 

I used the bike erg. The rower. The air runner. The assault bike. The ski erg. I even filled a ruck with 30 pounds of weight to lug around for my activity credit. I didn’t discriminate on the methods I used but I completed the most on the bike erg and the assault bike by a long shot. I’m glad I have a gym that has a variety of equipment to use while tracking 100,000 meters. Otherwise I might go insane.

I grew more tolerant of the bike erg. I adjusted to longer times in the bike saddles. I regained my desire to put in extra work a second time a day even if just 20 minutes of cardio. I walked more with purpose. I enjoyed completing activities outside even in the cold temps. This is something I have been missing for a good while now. Glad to be back in the mode of moving and pushing myself even in extreme conditions.

The picture above shows the stacking of 30 pounds in the backpack to begin the ruck. Based on my body weight, the 30 pounds was the requirement. It’s harder than one would think when you are trying to achieve distance. All in all it helped me prepare for my physical and mental days ahead.

As I wrap up the month and the year of 2022, I can say I logged over 100,000 meters in addition to other workouts like crossfit and tennis. I am proud of myself. I am excited to make this an annual challenge as well. I’m glad I had friends to do this with. All in all this was a great experience and I’m looking forward to my next challenge already. No matter what it is.

This challenge taught me rain, snow and cold weather are not excuses to get your fitness in. There are always options if you just make your fitness a priority.

fitness and nutrition

Challenge Time

At the end of November I decided I would post a fitness picture a day online or a combo of days online to show my activity in December 2022. The main reason for such was to document a month of consistency to me, but then I thought sharing my story may inspire others. That’s how I ended up with this post. It somewhat accents my online photo reel.

As my plan was put in motion, out of the blue a virtual challenge was mentioned in one of my fitness groups. Off I went to conquer my updated goal. For me. To add another layer to my consistency plan for December 2022. A few friends joined in on the virtual challenge. I made my first entry and I was hooked. It was the entry that got me. A light bulb went off of how being active is one thing but tracking it is another.

A national leaderboard holds you somewhat accountable. The logging of an activity holds you accountable. Doing it with friends adds an accountability layer. Much like tracking your nutrition, tracking your exercise is critical to long term success. What gets measured gets done. This added layer will justify those holiday cookies I suppose.

Progress picture one is done at the time of this post. I’ve spent 10 miles on the assault bike already. The first of many I’m sure. Not my favorite piece of equipment but one I will use for this month more than I like. I may even take a hike with a ruck if the rain lets up in my area. Something I wouldn’t normally consider but will entertain due to this challenge of sorts. Off I go.

In addition to the ruck action, I dusted off my Concept 2 bike erg at home. I used to regularly use this back in 2020 pre-corona as my second workout of day but let that go some time ago. Now I’m back in that saddle on the days I can make it outside due to weather or other reasons. 

Six days in and I knocked out some 20,000 meters. Just a mere 79,xxx to go. No big deal. I have a week of travel planned so I must stay on track the half of the month to meet my goal or at least give me a cushion. Look for an update on the coming weeks to see how I fared.

adventure, fitness and nutrition

The Pinellas Trail

It was a sizzling hot summer day in late July. 2 Chicks hit the road on the Pinellas trail in Dunedin, Florida. We hit the pavement by bike. A mode of transportation we enjoy. Today was a good fit and fun adventure.

18 miles were ridden. We might have walked a little funny when done but it was worth it. Recently I wrote about the backside of life on a train ride. Today I again saw the backside of life, but this time a little differently. What I mean is the back of buildings are visible from the trail since its original use was for rail hence the reason it’s called a rail trail. Fast forward to today and the backsides of the buildings are purposeful and used vs left to decay and look like an eye sore.

Keeping with this topic many sections of the towns have eateries or stores that back up to the rail trail. However this view is more aesthetically appealing or inviting. Stores had welcoming signage. Restaurants had patios on the backside. Ice cream shops had spots for pets. Many establishments had bike pumps for courtesy use. Some had sitting areas for those who needed a break. Many offered free water which was so nice on the super sunshiny day we rode.

The backside of life can look different depending how you view it. My perspective here was welcoming and one I will remember. My previous train ride was a little different view of neglect of those backsides many overlook. I often see opportunity in weird places. Some could post fun messages or kind words or advertise on the backside of old buildings for passers by instead of just leaving them to sit idle. Maybe it’s my always on business brain. Maybe it’s my desire for others to see what’s in plain sight or what could be endless possibilities. Clearly I can’t change the world but I can dream of how it could look better or be more useful.

Circling back to now, one of my favorite spots on the trails were the roadway crossings. Some busier than others. Some had stop signs for bikers while others had stop signs for cars. However on the main drags we had red lights and the little bike lights made me smile. I wish every city had a safe pathway like this to enjoy. Many would probably choose to bike to work some days.

Another tiring but beautiful experience was the opportunity to make the climb up a bridge, enjoy a photo at the top and the amazing views and then having the satisfaction of feeling the wind in your face on the way down the decline of the bridge. So many other fascinating tidbits I could share, but I would rather suggest you take a trip to experience this ride for yourself.

Opt outside. Be adventurous. This day was $30 to rent the bike all day. I was able to close my exercise ring for the day. I saw some beautiful street art, great trees, a few parks, and the water was a great backdrop along the way. $30 for a day of memories. 

fitness and nutrition

Dirty Work

Summer time is a time of change.

Schedules change. Daylight times change. Eating habits change and more. I try to just ride the wave and embrace it all.

This summer has also brought a change in my workouts. Street Parking launched the Summer Grind / Dirty Work series program for the summer. These workouts focus on odd objects like sandbags, heavy weighted balls, sleds, rucksacks and battle ropes. I’ve been using my sandbag pretty consistently for about a year and I love throwing that thing around. Otherwise, working with these pieces of equipment is mostly new to me. In a time where I’ve felt pretty restless (and even a little bored) with my workout routine, this has been an energizing change.

Something different, something new. Something to learn.

Rucking gets me outside more. D-ball workouts let me slam new things down. For some reason, I feel like a badass when I do sled pushes. Different muscles are sore. Different senses are awakened. Different skills used.

It’s funny how little changes can actually help me stay consistent. Something new can keep me coming back every single day, but with renewed energy. Plus, Street Parking has me chasing all the virtual badges. I’ve been a gold-star chaser since I was a little kid. Some things never change!

What’s new in your routines? Any little changes breathing life into your healthy habits? If not, what can get you inspired to move? Hiking somewhere new? A new sport or game with friends? What small changes can make a difference in your big picture?