New Year & New Beginnings ……

I haven’t been publishing much as of late.  I’m in a zone where I’m helping Aby & her friend train for the Little Rock Marathon and that means lots of long runs, not so much racing.  Too many blogs do week by week training recaps.  I’ll let you read one of those if you are interested; you won’t find it here cuz really, who cares besides me?.  But I’m running.  In the cold, in the snow & we’ve had some surprisingly nice days too!  Running.  That’s what’s  happening.

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I’ve also been lifting dumbbell weights & trying to increase my strength without aggravating my back.  I ruptured 2 discs in my back last June and they don’t seem to want to repair, despite many sessions of Physical Therapy, Chiropractor, anti-inflammatory meds & several special cocktails of cortisone type shots in my low back & SI Joints.  I was asked to stop riding & swimming from September 12th thru December 26, 2016.  I did as I was told and I didn’t complain.  I didn’t get any better.  I eliminated all exercise other than 2 slow, easy runs per week.  I gained weight.  I lost strength.  I became frustrated.  I ate too much sugar.  No need to write about that. 

The first of the year (2017) brought a new beginning.  I started adding in more running & strength work.  I’m seeing slow improvements.  I can lift a gallon of milk.  I carried the laundry basket up the stairs today.  I can function, as long as I don’t have to sneeze.  Then you might actually see tears. Why does sneezing HURT so badly?

We’ve ran up some hills.

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We’ve discovered new trails.

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I finally got a new bike & started riding again.  Michael thinks its “the best bike ever” and was yelling the same when I took this pic.  Love that kid.  Pure joy.

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I started getting up earlier on Monday’s to go to Chicago “early” so I can take advantage of a Master’s Swim class before I go into the office.  That lead to my buying some training devices.  And believe it or not, I even know what to do with these things!  My swim WILL improve this year!

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2017 is off to a solid start.  I’ve really got my head down and am working on building strength & skills at this point.  I’ve registered for a few spring marathons & a few 70.3 triathlons over the summer.  My fall season is wide open so far because I had planned for over 2 years to do Ironman North Carolina in October 2017 but they canceled it after last year’s race.  For some reason, my fall is staring at me with wide eyes asking me “what’s up”?  And I just don’t know.  I have no idea how much I can build.  I have no idea how much will be taken out of me with what I’ve already committed to racing.  I have no idea how my back will feel as my training progresses.  I have no idea what I want to do in place of IM NC.  My “real life” schedule & the races in which I have interest, just don’t seem to be meshing this year.   I refuse to force races into my schedule.  Running & Triathlon is fun for me.  Its about fitness and challenging myself.  Its social.  It stops being fun if it causes stress or makes me miss something that I want to do in real life.  The family, in particularly the kids come first.  I fully agree with the Trace Adkins song, “You’re Going to Miss This”.  Time flies and kids grow up fast.  I don’t want to miss anything.  So maybe I’ll be racing this fall, maybe I’ll just be following Aby around from one Cross Country venue to the next.  Who knows.  Only time will tell.  I refuse to force the schedule.

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Wishing you all a healthy, happy and fun filled 2017!!  Chase those dreams but don’t forget what’s important along the way!

** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

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Back to Reality…..

Although today I am confronted by going back to work reality, yesterday was a busy and productive day on the home front as we tried to squeeze in as much as possible on our last day off.  I was fortunate that Hubby took one for the team watched the kiddos so I was able to meet up early, but not too early, with the F’N Running Club for a Monday morning run.  This was a total luxury for me because I am usually sitting on my ass at my desk early each Monday.  The Monday morning New Year Crew:  Julie, Joe, Jeni, Susan & Jennifer E.I want to give a huge shout out to all of these runners, as well as sending them a great big THANK YOU for getting up and out of their cozy beds to come for a run.  I laid in bed all night listening to the 50 mph winds and rain/sleet pelting the windows.  When I got up it was snowing, we had freezing temps and MORE wind, so I was surprised that anyone besides Susan show up.  Thanks, you crazy F’N Runners!  I would have never been able to do it without you yesterday and had already copped out of my Jan 1 run due to wind/cold so I really needed this!

The temps were around 20 degrees in the early morn but felt much colder due to the wind.  However, being on the trail, the trees provided us with a lot of wind cover and it really wasn’t bad after that first mile.  It was snowing pretty good at times too but there wasn’t any accumulation, the trail was in good condition with good footing.  Not too slippery.  

  Julie & Susan looking strong as they are approaching the turnaround: 

Joe, Julie & Me at the turnaround.

The group ran between 3 and 7 miles at a leisurely pace.  A few stops for road crossings and turnaround/meet-ups.  I never stop my watch cuz I will forget to restart it so I had 7.01 miles in 1:10:48.  Great run!

After my car defrosted from the snow and ice which had accumulated during our run, I returned home and hubby and I set up my dining workout room again.  The workout equipment had been evicted to the basement while trying to fruitlessly sell the house, then to make room for Tacky Christmas.  I am back in business now! 

I even managed to squeeze in some bike miles and a short weight workout during Michael’s nap! 

So the NEW year is going strong for me so far.   I am trying to refocus on fresh foods and veggies to lose those extra 5 lbs, core/weight work, and more cross training.  I am sore today so something must be working. 

Are you off to a good start this year?  Are you doing anything different or just refocusing on some good habits which may have fallen to the way side over the holidays?

Think and BE Healthy this year!

Amanda – TooTallFritz