[q4s] lift and getting real

I went for a run last night. After averaging a run once a week to once every two weeks, I decided to reboot my Zombies, Run 5K program to Day 1 of Week 4. I even tried a new route (and got lost-ish) so I could better enjoy the sunset during my trek. My speed was pretty slow, averaging about 4.5 during jogs, and probably less than 15 minutes of total running time during the 50-minute session. I think that’s where I was at when I initially came to Week 4, so I haven’t lost too much progress. My right knee and my psoas are the most tender today, but no major pain. Overall, I feel like I’m back in the swing of things. December was a tough month for me on several fronts. It’s over now and I’m feeling refreshed and motivated. Besides, I have a 5K in just six weeks! My goal is to be up to running for 75% of the 5K, I’ll use most of my walking time early in the race when my muscles and joints are warming up since I tend to be able to run easier the further I go. I’m excited for it either way.

Installed my chin up bar over the weekend. I totally cannot do a single chin up whatsoever, but I do hang and stretch my shoulders and chest, getting used to the sensation. I also bring my knees up to my chest in a hanging-crunch-like-thing for 30 seconds. Interestingly, the area that bothers me the most is my knuckles. If my knuckles didn’t feel so strained, I would likely be able to hang longer. Weird.

I follow my monkey impression with circus training: handstand against the wall for a minute. Combined, it’s a lot of stress on my shoulders, so I start on all fours with my feet flat on the wall, go up into downward dog, and then press one foot up at a time so I am completely upside down. I’m not walking my hands closer to the wall just yet, just focusing on form and holding the pose for 60 second intervals.

Strength training three days a week getting consistent. I learned I’ve been doing my kettlebells swings WRONG (I’ve been squatting rather than swinging. Here’s a video of proper form.) so now that I know better I’m looking forward to less lower back tenderness and more strength gains. No wonder I feel like I haven’t been progressing (well, that and the fact that I haven’t been good at being, well, consistent!).

Finally, along with continuing salsa classes twice a week, I’m making a point to do some sun salutations every morning along with 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation.

Sound like a lot? It is. But I’ve built this up over six months and I’ve made it a priority in my life and framed other activities around fitness so my program works for me. At least, it works for the moment. As my interests evolve or change completely, so will my program. For example, I anticipate replacing dance class with yoga class in the event that I relocate; a practice that will help me bring some quiet among chaos as well as give me an opportunity to meet new locals will be necessary while transitioning from a major move.

You’ll notice I only listed one goal (running 75% of my 5k in February). I hope to be able to do one (yes, singular) chin up by the end of February (yes, that’s two months to achieve ONE chin up). I don’t have any goals with regard to my strength program other than consistency. Each week I’ll listen to my body. If I feel like I can push it a bit more, I will. I just want to feel better, be stronger. I don’t have any metrics for what that means right now. Dance, yoga, and meditation are all maintenance. They make me feel best about myself and keep my body and my mind well-oiled. I’m not looking to achieve any specific ends by incorporating these other than they make me feel fucking fantastic.

So, Lift. A few months ago, I downloaded the Lift App to my iPhone after reading a blog post from Tim Ferriss on the 4-Hour Body and tracking its unique activities. Now Lift is doing a four-week study on different diets. You can learn more about it by clicking here. I decided to participate, following the Slow Carb diet outlined in Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body. You know, for science *lol*. Also, to motivate me to be better about sticking and being accountable for my food choices.

Whew, that’s a lot. Wish me luck! If you set personal goals for yourself, whether they be fitness, health, lifestyle, home, relationship, whatever, I dare you to succeed!

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