See Ya, 2011!

One last post before I hit the road…

Hope you are all having (or will have later tonight) a wonderful New Years!

This year I accomplished a lot. Starting with a small, short personal challenge to run for 21 days, it has blossomed into a newfound passion that has bled into every aspect of my life. My friends, family, and you have watched me transform from a sedentary blogger to what I am today, and for that, I’m thankful.

It was a busy year — In my RunKeeper I posted 333 activities, 1,414 miles, and 130,800 calories burned. That’s major since the prior 12 months I posted probably less than 20 miles.

Next year, I am looking forward to the following:

  • Racing in the 2012 Honda LA Marathon and leading all of my teammates to the finish line
  • Racing in my first 70.3 in November
  • Becoming an ACE Certified Personal Trainer
  • Becoming a CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist
  • Becoming an Usui Reiki Practicioner
  • Becoming a health and wellness professional to help others live healthier, happier, and more wholesome lives
Thankfully, all of the work that needs to be done has already been started. 2012 — let’s do this!!!
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Fitness Friday: RunKeeper + GainFitness 1-2 Punch!

I’ve decided in the short amount of time that I’ve been working out that there are two iPhone apps that I could not live without.

One I’ve been using for almost a year now…the other, I’ve been using for just a few days. What’s great is that I think they really complement each other.

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I use RunKeeper to track all of my activities — swimming, biking, running, walking, hiking, etc. Its GPS tracker helps give me accurate measurements of distance and pace and gives me a really nice interface to view it all in. I’ve been an Elite member since February, which means I get detailed statistics and reports on my workouts. I’ve also enrolled in a few of their running classes, which are really helpful to get you across the finish line for your first 5K, 10K, half marathon, or full marathon.

But, as you probably already know, cardio is just one fraction of the entire picture.

I’ve recently started using GAIN Fitness to help me with resistance training. All you do is put in your height, weight, where you’re working out, what equipment you have, and they’ll come up with a workout for you! They take the guesswork out of everything by illustrating proper form via video or photo.

What’s also neat is that you don’t need to have an iPhone to use their services — the basics of what both services offer are also available as a web-only component to your health and wellness regimen.

What other apps do you find motivating and inspiring?

The Ever Elusive Twenty Mile Run

Just as things were ramping up with my marathon training, winding down with triathlon training, and coming to an end with my academics, things took an interesting turn at my new full time job that totally consumed me.

I have always misunderstood what people meant by not having the time to pursue a hobby or a healthier lifestyle. It is difficult enough to manage your schedule. Something to consider — I learned this from Tony Schwartz, the CEO of The Energy Project — is that what you really have to do is manage your energy levels.

It seems pretty straightforward, right? You can only do as much stuff as your energy allows. Yet, we dictate our lives with arbitrary deadlines, false aspirations, and on a time cycle that is not really calibrated to our natural circadian rhythm. What to do?

I did what most normal people would do. I skipped my training in favor of dealing with some of the immediate stressors that were facing me. Instead of helping, it actually hurt quite a bit. I was not nearly as productive, my attitude was perma-cranky, I was consistently tired and depressed, and I fell behind during one of the most crucial training months.

Each weekday and weekend would go by where I began tabulating how much time I was losing and how far it was setting me back from my goals. A long run missed here, a group session missed there. I began missing 13 milers, 16 milers, and eventually I missed by 20 miler three times. It was demoralizing and worrisome until one day, I gave myself an ultimatum. No matter what I had planned that week or weekend, no matter how stressed I was feeling, I would get my 20 miler in.

That was three days ago, one full week before my first marathon. By the time I was done running errands and procrastinating, it was already 6 oclock. A long run meant braving the dark streets all alone on a rainy and freezing Sunday evening. No matter what, I had to get the twenty miler in, so i had to make a tough decision.

I headed towards the gym. Thats right…I completed my twenty mile long run on a treadmill. It was less than ideal but it would have to do. In an effort not to psych myself out I told myself that I would complete it in five mile stretches with breaks in between. I was armed with my GU gels and nuun tabs. My iPod was charged and my phone was beside me, chirping with motivational messages from my significant other and RunKeeper friends. I took it step by step, mile by mile, and finally caught up to that elusive twenty miler. It felt great!