Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pulse Pilates

Today was my second EVER Pilates class!  Sean took me to a mat class at Pulse Pilates in Carlsbad on my first weekend home.  Having never done Pilates, I was a bit nervous and pretty much had it in my mind that it would be way too hard for me and I would end up looking really silly trying to do all kinds of "weird" stuff.

As it turns out, it wasn't awful and today Sean and I headed back for my second mat class with Natalie Dent.  She is amazing - patient, positive, and challenging!  I was incredibly awkward with all of the movements, especially the ones that left me shaking because my body was revolting...but she guided me through each movement as I needed help.  The class size was small, nine people total this morning, which is perfect for me.

The class is challenging but fun.  It forces you to engage your core and work on flexibility, which I really, really need to do based on the fact that I can barely touch my toes!  So for anyone looking to bolster their training plan, challenge themselves and have fun - check it out!  If you are in the Carlsbad area, I highly recommend you check out the Pulse Pilates studio where you can meet the lovely Natalie Dent.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Running for Stillness

It seems somewhat counterintuitive that I need movement to find stillness.  I'm talking about stillness in my soul, stillness in my mind, and stillness in my heart.  After eight months of going non-stop, or what felt like non-stop, I need to find a way to calm myself.  A way to cease the need to always be doing something.  

I've tried meditating, but I seem to be too restless to calm down.  There are hundreds of thoughts bouncing around in my head and as soon as I push one thought out, there's another one just waiting.  

I've tried yoga...I really love it, but it is hard to work into my schedule and costs a lot of money.
But I always have old faithful - the trails that do not desert, do not cost much, and are always open whenever I can fit them in.

I find that stillness on the trails.  Lacing up my running shoes, tying up my hair in a ponytail, and pounding out the miles is the best way I know how to do that.  

There's no "to do" list when I run.  There's no judgement when I run (unless I'm being extra critical of myself).  There's no requirement to think (well, for the most part).  
It is extraordinary that such a simple act of putting one foot in front of the other can bring such calmness to my mind.  Perhaps it is the simplicity that makes it so peaceful.  I choose not to overthink it and just enjoy the solitude, the break from a busy day, the quietness.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Time for Some Goals

Now that I'm back in the swing of things, I guess it's time to set some goals.  I'm on the hunt for some fall races to do - mostly looking at triathlons right now.  I find that signing up for races helps me focus on training more.  Additionally, for anyone who has read our blog before, you know we are huge fans of setting goals and holding ourselves accountable by posting weekly updates on how we are doing.

Exercise Goals
1) Run 25 miles a week.
2) Swim at least 3 times a week.
3) Bike to and from work at least once a week.
4) 10-dead hang pull-ups.

Nutrition Goals
1) One caffeinated drink per day.
2) One carbonated beverage per week.
3) Keep a food journal...preferably one where I don't cheat and leave things out!

Stay tuned for updates on how things are going!

What goals are you working towards right now?  Anything big on the horizon?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Great to be Back

After a long eight months away, I'm happy to report that I'm back in SoCal and loving it!  The deployment seemed to fly by, but I really, really missed running.  At the beginning of 2012, I was running fairly regularly with another Marine.  The weather was cool and it only rained off and on for about a month.  Then things got busy at work and there was less time to get outside and hit the road.  As the weather warmed up, it was too hot to run during the day and I wasn't able to run alone at night.  So, I settled for a lot of time on the trainer, riding my bike.  Oh yeah, and the air quality in Afghanistan is AWFUL!  I guess I could compare it to Los Angeles...we burn our trash out there and the burn pit is going 24/7.  The wind kicks up all kinds of dust and sand.  Yup, I'm pretty good at coming up with reasons for why I was so lazy!

Well, now that I'm back in Carlsbad, it was time to dust off the old running shoes!  We got home on the 30th and first thing on the morning of the 31st I laced up my shoes and hit the road.  I was completely expecting to be somewhat out of shape, but WHOA...I needed walk breaks.  But it doesn't even matter to me.  I was running/walking by the beautiful Batiquitos Lagoon, not inhaling any dust.

It's great to be home with Sean and Nessie.  Tomorrow it's time to go back to work and that means facing the hills of Camp Pendleton after eight months in the flattest place I've ever been!
Time to get back out there!!!