How about a photo Friday?

New levels of accountability: posting a photo every Friday! I hope some of you will join me–post your photos every Friday on the FFG FB page.

Here’s the Part of the Blog Where I Share a Picture Just Taken This Morning:

(after getting my ass kicked during Circuit Blast)

Samm made me laugh.

Samm made me laugh. But the workout was no joke.

So Circuit Blast is a little insane, especially after the workout I did yesterday morning at 6am, which included a total of 32 pullups. Which is a pretty big challenge for me. But I did it and am feeling it today for realzzzz…definitely making today’s workout that much tougher.

It’s 45 second strength intervals (stuff like trap bar deadlift, push press, TRX rows, pushups, pullups, chinups) followed immediately by a 20 second metabolic interval (burpees, high knees, climbers) then 15 seconds “rest” before the next strength station. 16 stations total.

Of course I put “rest” in quotes because it’s barely enough time to stop gasping.

Along with my weekly photo, how’s about a little goal check-in too?

The Part of the Blog Where I Update You On My Progress Toward Goals:

Reduce bodyweight goal:

Well, I kinda refuse to weigh myself that often, and I haven’t yet. I will NOT judge myself by a number on the scale…but I do need to reduce. So I’ll be weighing myself maybe once a month to check progress in a healthier way than scale obsessing on a daily or weekly basis. (PSA: if you obsess over the scale, please stop. It is kinda bullshit.)

But I have been training hard and eating clean about 85% of the time, and I know those are the steps I need to take to reduce. So I’m feeling good that there’s progress happening there.

Strength goals:

  • Pushups: Today I did 15 consecutive pushups at the end of a workout that really challenged my tired body. Considering in the past I would squeak out maybe 10 in a 45 second interval–probably with multiple 1-5 second “breaks” (lame)–I feel like this is solid progress.
  • Deadlifts: I definitely pushed myself on deadlifts this week, and pulled more than I have in the past for the amount of reps we did. (Thanks to encouragement from some awesome partners! Shout outs to Meaghan and Kathrin!) Still not sure what my max is, and hoping we’ll be doing that soon enough so I can get more specific on this goal.
  • Pullups: See above. Definitely feeling good about progress here.

Endurance/Metabolic goals:

Technically this goal isn’t really in the forefront right now, as I want to build strength NOW and then work more on endurance in the 3 months before the Mudder.

However, I did count my burpees during the intervals today and made sure that I did as many on my last round as I did my first round. So I have an idea of where I am now and will continue to track these types of things so I don’t stagnate during this time that I am more focused on strength.

So talk to me, peeps. Share your photos. Update me on YOUR progress towards goals. Let’s hear it.


They Lured Me in With a Girls’ Weekend…Otherwise Known As, WTF Am I Thinking?!?

It almost sounds like the start of a bad joke: two runners, an Olympic athlete, and a fat girl stand at the bottom of a mountain…

Wait, let me back up.

Last year, a bunch of awesome people I know did some mud runs. They got muddy, and it looked like fun. I thought maybe this year, I’d like to do some mud runs, too. But as they new year approached, I became more and more focused on this idea I’ve had of doing what I love, of only saying “yes” to commitments that make me shout, “HELL, YEAH!”

So when I revisited the idea of mud runs, I was kind of meh. Frankly, I hate running. I didn’t used to hate running, but since I took up HIIT training, I have come to find it deadly dull boring, and it makes me feel like I’m slow and fat when everyone else is quick and lithe.

Yes, running is hard, but all my workouts are hard. One key difference has stuck with me, though: after the workouts I do now, I feel strong. Empowered. Totally badass. When I finish a workout that involves running, at the end I really don’t feel any of those things. I feel exhausted and defeated and miserable, and it sucks.

Here’s what I feel like, after running:

To be clear, I'd be the one on the left.

To be clear, I’d be the one on the left.

And here’s what I feel like after one of my current workouts:

Word, bitches.

Word, bitches.

Why wouldn’t I stick with the workouts that kick my ass the most efficiently AND that make me feel like a rockstar afterward?

So I was kinda shying away from the idea of it, and planned to set some goals just for myself that had nothing to do with running, whether in or out of mud-related obstacles.

Then some friends started bugging me.

Friend: Let’s do a Tough Mudder!

Me: No.

Friend: Come on, it will be fun!

Me: No, it will be awful and I will hate it. I don’t want to do it! I hate running! Leave me alone.

Friend: How about in Vermont?

Me: Eh…

Friend: Just adults?

Me: Ehhhh…still not really into it.

Friend: How about just girls, with a whole weekend in Other Friend’s house in Vermont and we can party and have a blast after we get all muddy?

Me: BLUUURRRGGGG!!! SonofanevilsuccubusFINEI’LLDOIT!!!!!

So here I am, against my will, doing a Tough Mudder in August. On a friggin mountain. With two runners and, oh, did I mention that Other Friend is LITERALLY AN OLYMPIC ATHLETE? What. The. Hell.

Yes, I am terrified. But I’m not terrified that I won’t be able to do the Tough Mudder. I know I will. I could finish a Tough Mudder tomorrow if I decided to…it might take me 6 hours, but I could do it.

What I am terrified of is being the weak link. The one who holds everyone back, or just has to resort to saying, “Just go ahead without me, girls. I’ll catch you at the finish line.” I’m terrified of being the fat girl who can’t keep up.

I guess in the end, things are as they should be. Sometimes, the things we don’t really want to do are likely the things we should be doing, and I think in this case it’s true for me.

And the hard part of this journey to badassery is that the more badass I become, the crazier shit I have to undertake to keep pushing beyond my comfort zone. And this Tough Mudder–specifically as part of a team–is waaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone. When I ran my triathlon, I did it alone. I had no one to answer to but myself. This is different.

As for my goals, it really helps me define them and have a clear deadline and REASON to completely crush them by the deadline, or have to have my fear become a reality on Mt. Snow in August.

229472543485348475_7mY5nOUj_cSo I have just under 7 months before I’m standing at the bottom of the mountain with 2 runners and an Olympic athlete, crapping myself. And in order to make sure that I’m NOT the butt of a bad joke, here are my goals between now and then:

  • Reduce bodyweight by 30-40 lbs (part of my fear stems from the fact that, while I am strong, I am HEAVY. My bodyweight is a huge handicap for me as part of my team
  • Increase my strength in the following ways:
  1. Work up to doing 30 consecutive pushups with good form and depth (currently I am at about 12-15)
  2. Increase my deadlift max–need to determine what my true current max is and then set a specific weight goal
  3. Increase my pullup capacity–I’m not sure what is a reasonable goal to set with this yet, because bodyweight plays such a role in it. I know I want to significantly decrease the amount of support I get from bands and make aggressive progress towards being able to do an unassisted deadhang pullup. I doubt an unassisted pullup is realistic for me in the next 7 months, but I will talk to my awesome trainers and get back to you!
  • Increase my endurance and overall workload capacity in the following ways (goals for the last 3 months of training) :
  1. Work up to run 3 miles consecutively without feeling like I want to kill myself. (Hmmmm, this one could be hard…and I know the Mudder is longer than 3 miles, but the one in Mt. Snow is actually quite a bit of walking since it is mostly up hill, plus the running gets broken up by obstacles.)
  2. Focus on increasing my metabolic workload by counting, tracking, and increasing burpees, climbers, box jumps, etc. during workouts
  3. Run at least once a week with my son, including speed and endurance work for both of us

So this is where I’m starting. These goals could change, as I plan to ask my trainers for input and feedback. But I’m not going to forget about them, and will let you know as they change with my training program.

So now it’s your turn. What’s cooking for you in 2013?

2012 Wrap Up and Stuff

So it’s 2013 and, Happy New Year, yo!

I try not to make too big a deal out of the new year because I want to make sure I remember that really, any day is a fine day for a new start. I used to be one of those peeps to make excuses about “waiting for the new year” just to procrastinate on any given goal I might want to achieve when I was, in fact, perfectly capable of starting to achieve the goal like, right now.

But it’s still true that we just finished a busy holiday season and the calendar change does provide a good opportunity to assess where we were, where we are, and where we want to be. Let the assessment begin!!!

I was just thinking about this today…specifically, where I was a year ago. Between me and you (and the entire interwebs, I guess), the truth is that last January I was inĀ  a very, very dark place. Here are a few reasons why:

  • I wasn’t working, after leaving a job that was a terrible fit. This terrible job was one I took after much deliberation about whether I should leave my previous job that I loved and hated in equal parts. I had no love at all for the terrible job. It sucked in every way possible and was soooooo the wrong place for me. I knew at the time that leaving this awful horrible j-o-b was the right thing to do, but as three months passed with no offers–including a job opportunity for which I put in more than 60 hours of work to prepare a kick-ass presentation, and got the “wink, wink…nudge, nudge” from the selection committee, only to get a big, fat “no thank you” middle finger a week later–I was really started to feel regretful about leaving the first job, and generally worthless for being totally unemployable and a complete loser. It is a horrible, horrible feeling.
  • I had just lost my aunt. On Christmas Day. Enough said.
  • I was turning to food to cope with my grief, sadness, and feelings of worthlessness (see bullet 1). The more I ate, the worse I felt…causing me to eat more. I starting no showing for workouts, making me feel even worse (and subsequently eating more…you get it.) Instead of fulfilling my goal of continuing to lose, I was gaining back. More serious suckage.

So for these crappy reasons, I was in a place where I felt like I was letting everyone down, including myself.

I was failing my family financially.

I was failing my friends by withdrawing.

I was failing myself in pretty much every way I could think of.

No matter what I did, I felt like I couldn’t climb out of the huge hole of sadness and alternating self-pity/loathing I found myself in.

Life sucked a year ago. Or at least, I was making it suck by my pitifulness. (I just made that word up.)

In my case, a year made a huge difference, and I am grateful for the changes I made in that year.

It was a year of hard work, persistence, and focus.

up and over high

Not a year of perfection, by any means, but a year of decent progress on many fronts.

A year where I truly came to appreciate how lucky I am to have amazing, wonderful people in my life to support me and keep me on the straight and narrow.

A year in which we took an amazeballs cruise–paid off completely in advance (a financial goal, MET)–and it was pretty much the best. vacation. ever. With seriously awesome peeps. (Heart.)

disney cruise vacation

Seriously. Amazeballs.

A year in which I landed myself a job that was waaaaaay better than anything I had applied for previously. I just had to wait it out for the opportunity that was juuuust right for me. (The waiting sucks, though.) In this job, I am recognized for my value and in 2013, I am looking at a promotion and a pretty sweet raise. Ka-ching!

2012 was a year where I steamrolled my fear of being seen as the “fat girl on the stage” and did this:

and this:


So I set some goals, I reached some goals. Others took longer than I expected but I kept the momentum going.

In 2012, I started this blog, and, even though from October on I struggled to find time to keep up with it, I put myself out there, got some interest from all you delightful people, and knew in the back of my mind that I would be back when life calmed down a bit again. (Here I am, and howdy!)

All in all, it’s a year I can be proud of. And I am proud! I rocked a lot of shit this year! (How about you??? What did you rock in 2012? Share in comments or on FB!)

But let us not rest on our laurels. That is so NOT what being a badass is about.

So, the big question is, WHAT NOW? It’s 2013. What’s next? What challenges and goals do we want to rip the heads off of this year?

Honestly, I’ve been struggling to create my goals for this year, so I guess I have to take my own advice and go back to the drawing board. I want them to be specific, and attainable, but still challenging enough to be scary and shove me out of my comfort zone.

So I’ve got some work to do.

Stay tuned, and in the meantime, either share your 2013 goals with me and the peeps, or take some time to do your own work on creating badass goals so we can make 2013 as awesome as 2012.