It’s been so long since I’ve written I can’t even remember the last time without looking it up. Suffice it to say my life has been crazy for the past couple of years. Many job changes (voluntary and not), separating from my husband, selling our home and moving. Lots of running but with little to no in-person racing until recently it wasn’t as fulfilling for me. Training for the same goal race for almost 2 years was mentally draining, and not as physically successful as you’d think. That said, I’ve done a shit-ton (dare I even say a metric shit-ton) of work in therapy and I’m in a far better place mentally and emotionally than I was before any of the crap that’s derailed my life.
I finally attempted my big race–the 100-mile ultra I literally dream about–but it was not to be. And I am 100% okay with that. I was a long-shot going in and I knew it, when conditions were less than optimal it threw me. I kept plugging forward for as long as I could and managed to get halfway through the course. More than anything, I’m just glad to have it behind me. I’d already decided to take a break from ultras for the next year–I love them and already know that I will go back to them–but mentally and physically I need to focus on some other things for awhile so I can go back to them in the condition I want to.
I’ve done a lot of work in the past year on my eating disorder recovery–really working on an attitude of body neutrality and respecting my body even when I don’t love the way it looks or how I’m performing. In order to make that mental and emotional shift I had to let things slide from a physical perspective. Loosen the reigns, let go of the rigid control and restriction, learn to sit with my body and deal with the things that are actually wrong in my life instead of channeling them through my body like I had for the past 25 years. And I still have work to do on that front, but far and away I’m in a better space than I have been ever in my life. Focusing on the mental and emotional work has brought me to a place where I can push forward with the physical work in a healthy way–which brings us to Operation Fitter Faster Stronger (or FFS…because I love a good double entendre).
I miss pushing myself physically. That’s something I haven’t done much of for the past year or so. And while I’m not in the worst shape I’ve ever been in, I’m also far from my peak–and I KNOW I’m capable of being even better than that. So that’s my goal for the foreseeable future–getting fitter, faster, and stronger than I’ve ever been. Pushing myself in ways that I haven’t in a long time. Small goals along the way, and no real end date, but I feel like the natural culmination will be my rematch of Burning River 100 in 2023. For the first time I’m training without appearance or weight based goals–this is strictly about performance and getting in the best shape possible. For the first time ever I’m going to focus on the actions and let my body do what it does and be what it will be. My goal is to post about how it’s going on here at least weekly, and to share (almost) daily on Instagram (using #operationffs).
Strength training is something that I’ve sorely been lacking, so I’m committing to complete LIIFT 4 on Beachbody On Demand (I know, I KNOW, but I freaking like their workouts, okay…) in part because I need to see something through to completion right now to build that integrity momentum. My plan might seem a little intense, but I’m not starting from absolute zero, I’m just building on where I was and adding in some things that have been missing. I have 5 performance based metrics I’m tracking every month as a way to actually see progress and set goals to push myself. I want to be transparent as a means of accountability, but also because I want to be able to look back on this and see how far I’ve come, have a record of what worked and what didn’t so I know what to do differently.
8 weeks of LIIFT 4 start today. My schedule for the week looks like this:
Monday–LIIFT 4 workout
Tuesday–LIIFT 4 workout//optional track workout or spin class
Thursday–LIIFT 4 workout//hill workout (running)
Friday–LIIFT 4 workout
Each month I’m tracking a 1 mile run, plank hold (for time), and number of reps in 1 minute for situps, pushups, and burpees–simple but effective. I have my baseline numbers–not my best not my worst–and goals for what I want to see when I re-test next month. I’m not just confident about it, I’m excited to dig in and do the work, which feels good after feeling so lackluster about training for the past year.
More to come, friends. Much, much more to come.