Revamping my routine

We’re all creatures of habit, but I seem to be especially so. I like structure and routine. I like planning and checking things off the list. I’m an early riser, not sure if that’s by nature from years of not having a choice as a kid, but at any rate I get up far earlier than most would deem normal or necessary. I also go to bed far earlier than most would find normal. But that’s my life and I like it. Though¬†lately I’ve been feeling stuck in my routine and like it’s just not serving me.

I’m big into listening to podcasts on my commutes, I find them more stimulating than music and far more appealing than talk radio because I control the subject matter. One of my regular podcasts is the 5 AM Miracle podcast with Jeff Sanders. It’s all about productivity and geared toward getting the most out of your day by getting up early and hitting the ground running. He talks a lot about routines and your ‘ideal’ morning. Although frequently I’m not into the actual advice given, the spirit of the show is motivating to me. And this week in particular he was discussing 7 things to do before 7 AM. The big one for him is to exercise in the morning, and that resonated with me.

I’m an early riser, but I don’t always use my morning time well. I’m not an early morning exerciser. I’m just not. I wish I could be, but when I’ve tried I don’t get a good workout because I am literally just going through the motions. And while I can get up and go when the situation calls for it, I much prefer a more gradual wake up–I like my coffee and kitty snuggles. Still, I want to use my time well, I want to be productive and go into my day feeling accomplished. So I’ve realized morning is a good time for me to write, to get focused on the day and what I really want before I head to what pays the bills. I can do that with a cup of coffee on one side and a cat on the other.

That said, I’m also an avid exerciser. I love fitness. But even my habits in that realm have slipped. When I was single and my time was purely my own I had a regular routine that I was very diligent about. Flash forward to new marriage with a husband to work around, new day job, new home in a different area (with a substantial commute), and I’ve struggled to create a new routine–in part because I’ve tried unsuccessfully to make it happen in the morning. I take a kettlebell class twice a week after work and most of the time that seems to be an ideal time for me to work out, I have energy, I can get out frustration from the day, and I feel good when I’m done. While many will say the best time to work out is in the morning, and I hear their points, I’m a firm believer that the best time to work out is when you will do it (and the best workout is the one you will do). Doing beats not doing. So for now, post-work workouts will be the plan.

I’m working to accomplish two goals–to write more and to work out more consistently–by flipping my schedule and being intentional. I’m hoping that making my goals and plans public will also encourage consistency by keeping me accountable. Let’s see how this works, shall we?

For the first time in my life I can actually imagine myself at my goal weight. I have never in my life been able to see a number so clearly, or to picture the events leading up to it, the actions that result because of it and the things I need to do to get there.

I’ve always had a hard time just trying to come up with a number. I’ve always thought I’d ‘see how I felt when I got there.’ But I have a number now.

I don’t like time deadlines with weight loss, but (one of) my best friend(s) is getting married in August and it is not inconceivable for me to reach my goal by then. So that’s what I’m shooting for. It works out to just under 8 pounds a month and just under 2 pounds a week until the wedding. Not perfect, not necessarily even likely, but certainly not impossible. If I don’t make it, that’s okay, but I like the idea of the challenge.

It feels…real. It feels like I can WILL do it.

[sometime soon I’ll start sharing numbers with you, I promise. I’m just not there yet.]

Did I set goals for February? I don’t know as I’m wicked bad at tagging and I lack the patience to go through my archives. So, March then?

March Goals

  • Kiss the 160s good-bye.
  • Step up the cross-training (and by “step up” I mean “actually do”).
  • Stick to 100 push ups/200 sit-ups training.
  • Drink MORE water!
  • Drink LESS seltzer.
  • Actually take my vitamins on a daily basis.
  • Go to all my WW meetings.

So, I have a membership to a very nice gym that is very convenient for me. HOWEVER it doesn’t offer classes. And as I really need to work on getting some cross training in, and I’m not as hardcore as Stacey who is the queen of all things DVD, I really want to take a few classes. So I’m thinking of joining a second gym. Just on a monthly group fitness class membership as I’m not likely to go there for anything else. I’m looking at a Zumba class some friends are also taking and a Kick & Strength class (I’m dying for some cardio kickboxing). So I’m looking into that. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Who am I? Running. Running outside. Two gyms. Really? Me?

2011 is going to be AWESOME! (Running edition)

Goals for 2011:

  1. Pittsburgh Half Marathon!–It’s on! They have my money! I just want to finish, that’s my goal, I’m not going to stress about time (other than beating the cut off). But I’m psyched. I do better with training when I have a goal. And if this goes well, I plan to do the CHAD Hero Half up here in late-summer/fall.
  2. Food.–I don’t eat like a runner-and I don’t run enough (yet)¬†that I can use running as an excuse to eat. But a half marathon is serious business. I need to step up my game in the food department and actually fuel my body instead of eating whatever is easiest. I know how I should be eating, and what I most certainly should NOT be eating-time for me to stop talking and just do it.
  3. Learn to like running outside.–I actually don’t think this will be that hard. When I was running the ill-fated Turkey Trot I was enjoying the outside running (on a cross country course). The parts of outside running I don’t like are (1) the cold and (2) the pavement. If I run trails (easy to do in my area) and stay on the TM until the weather gets better it shouldn’t be so bad. I’m sure I will eventually even not mind the cold.
  4. PR at the Run for Empowerment 5k.–Again, this shouldn’t be hard, as last year’s race was AWFUL and I’ve only done it twice. I will also have done the half by then, so PRing at this will be a piece of cake.
  5. Run at least 3x per week.–(barring illness or injury) Now, this doesn’t sound like much as there are many of you who run everyday or almost everyday. And I will be running more than 3x per week for much of my training. BUT, when life starts getting crazy, when I’m traveling, etc. running is the first thing to get shifted out of my life. And 3x a week is a manageable amount to shoot for, so I’m going to promise myself that (barring illness or injury) I will run a minimum of 3x a week for the next year.
  6. Keep my training log.–I know that a real training log is a valuable tool. I will keep mine up-to-date for the whole year. I may not post everything online, but I will keep my paper version up-to-date and accurate at the very least.