Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Humbling..

I have often heard people complaining about their erratic work-out schedules because of winters. Some blame it on lethargy, dropping temperature, lack of motivation etc etc.. To be honest, winters scare me. The last few years have made me realize that I work extra hard in the winters to not to feel lethargic and low on motivation. For every two sub standard workouts there is always a killer workout which keeps me going.  When it was snowing badly and the roads were blocked because of a snowstorm I knew that I had to run on the treadmill. There was no hesitation whatsoever.

Why do I signup for something physically and mentally challenging, and quite occasionally painful, I really don't have to and can certainly take-it-easy.
This was the conversation inside my head last Friday before I went for my evening bootcamp. Why do I stress myself out on days which are clearly meant for hot chocolates and oversized pullovers?

The plan was set for that evening. I was to do an easy 12 miler (same pace or slower than my usual self) followed by 10 kilometers of cycling and 100 squats.



I began my run with some of my regular thoughts - My next painting idea, my next DIY, my next post, 13*17. After 5 miles I started thinking about my progress. The fact that I now don't have to take water breaks after every 3 miles, I don't have to worry about soreness after a long run, I don't even need gels for my long practice runs, How comfortable and natural it feels to run in cold weather.

It has been a good two months. I had three main goals for the first two months - muscular strength, more long and quality runs and posture. I am very happy that I am closer to my goal.
I can’t speak for every self-described runner out there, but a few like me want to improve and have short term goals. I don't think in terms of years. I set monthly goals and then go about fulfilling them.
I don't consider running a hobby anymore. I have said this thing out loud way many number of times but really what the heck - It is my lifestyle.  I want to be better at it. 

Just when I was feeling elated about achieving my first goal of 2016 I ended up with a foot injury. It has nothing to do with running and thats a relief. The flip side is that I am unable to run. I am limping and feeling pretty humbled from this experience. 

I am still working out. I plan to do a duathlon this year and fervently working on my cycling as well.
My new gym is just fantastic. It is just what I wanted. There are 5 different sections and the weights section is just huge. It was quite overwhelming initially to work out there with guys who were pretty good with weights, form and exercises. With time I realized that I wasn't bad either. A little nod here and there, encouragement in the form of well done, fellow lifters waving made all the difference. It kind of renewed my confidence in my workouts.
Today morning when I was killing myself in the weights section a guy (professional trainer) approached me. He came over to complement me on my legs workout the other day. He even suggested a few variations. All this has filled me in with a lot of confidence because I was feeling a pretty low about my "minor" foot injury. 

Running is exhilarating and very demanding. Anybody can run but if you want to see results, be better and improve then you have to follow the process. The process is not easy and at times you want to give up. The human body is built for distance. A lot of people use running and fitness interchangeably and they couldn't be more wrong. Running/ weight training alone does not ensure fitness. You need to strengthen your muscles and of course you can't just get away with eating "ANYTHING". All these things (cardio, weight training, nutrition) have a role to play in fitness and you have to trust the process.  In hindsight I feel that my foot injury happened for good. It has given me time to think, reflect, reassess and re-plan my training. It saved me from crashing and burning out. It gave me a chance to do other forms of cardio instead of skipping my workouts. 

And when the setback hits you’ve just got to take it on the chin..
 
Ciao..

4 comments:

  1. I love your posts about running and work-outs. I think I read something or the other about food, nutrition and fitness every single day and I love it. Now, I put very little of it in practice, except for may be nutrition. My food intake is pretty spot on with focus on whole grains, organic veggies and meat, organic milk, and fewer indulgences than most people. And few are allowed. :) Exercise is one area where I am not all that consistent. Currently, I am pretty much only doing zumba. But I think it suits me really well. You keep going girl. I am amazed and inspired by your dedication to fitness.

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    1. Thank you so much :). I needed that endorsement. I think with time it gets ingrained in your DNA. Remember how we talk about food and the proper way of making and cooking it?You're already there. You just need to take little steps everyday. I guess you will find your calling in exercise when you figure out what you like :)

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  2. WOWOWOW ... 12 kms and squats and cycling oh boy.. Now that is something i can only DREAM of doing.
    I do love Running and do so regularly but then I can ONLY run and cant do the rest ..

    Bikram's

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    1. Hello!! Firstly, it was 12 miles ~ 20 kms :) . Thank you so much :)
      I think it grows on you slowly and steadily. All you need is half a mile extra every other day and you will get there.

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