2,000 Days of MyFitnessPal

Today my log in streak on MyFitnessPal hit 2,000 days.  Another 1,000 days later I’m a bodybuilder and 2 time marathoner. 🙂

mfp2000

If you’re interested, here is the link to my first 1,000 Days of MyFitnessPal.

The previous blog left off with a hopeful and excited Bethany looking forward to training for her first marathon.  That initial excitement triggered one of the most rewarding and frustrating projects of my life.  It took me almost 2 years of training to complete my first marathon.  I had my sights set to run the Twin Cities marathon in 2015 and wound up not running it due to an injury.  That injury was detailed both on this site and also on my YouTube channel so I will just leave that there for what it is.  I learned to listen to my body, as cliche as that sounds.  I learned when to pull back.  I learned how to really treat recovery like it’s own sport.

I rallied and instead focused on another race as my first marathon, the Delaware Marathon in May of 2016.  I ran it, I finished it.  But… I was about a minute over the official cutoff time.  I was still awarded a medal.  I still ran the distance.  But it just left me feeling unsatisfied.  I registered for the Twin Cities race again to try to improve my time from my first race.IMG_0085

Through my training for the Delaware Marathon I had also put on a bit of weight (20 mile long run = 2 million extra calories right?).  I felt heavy and sluggish.  Through some research, and knowing what I already did about training I knew I needed to put some strength training back in my life.  I was terrible at doing it on my own though.  My best friend recommended Fuse Fitness Coaching.  I started strength training regularly at Fuse and really enjoyed it.

Image may contain: 3 people

For the first time in a long while I started looking forward to working out instead of dreading the next run.  I realized I was not very good at balancing cardio and strength and the running and training became less of a priority.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing, shoes and indoor

I started running only when I felt like it which was a few times a week and no long runs.  By this point I had planned to skip the Twin Cities race (again) up until a few weeks before the race.  I wondered…what if I showed up and just did my best?  More on this on my YouTube but spoiler alert:  I was able to run and finish the Twin Cities marathon.  I PR’d my Delaware Marathon time and finished under the TC cutoff.

636118700528962627.jpg

This leads us to October 2016.  I wanted a new goal, something strength focused as that was where I was having the most fun.  I still had some weight to lose and decided to just focus on fat loss.  Aforementioned best friend and I had a girl’s trip to Costa Rica planned and we just really buckled down, tracked our macros, hit the strength training hard together at Fuse.  We both hit our fat loss goals for the trip!

Image may contain: 1 person, ocean, cloud, sky, water, outdoor and natureThis was incredibly rewarding and I wanted more.

IMG_7217

I decided to see how much fat I could lose for a photo shoot.  At the time it felt like a pretty vain goal but I wanted to see if I could achieve that toned fitness model look you see in magazines.  I worked with my amazing coach at Fuse for nutrition advice and daily workouts.  I tracked everything in MyFitnessPal.  I was able to cut a significant amount of weight and fat.  I had so much fun at the shoot and was in the best shape of my life.  I got my proofs back and was so proud of how they turned out.  But I still thought I could push myself more.  I wanted a bigger, badder goal.  At this point I’ve learned that what makes fitness fun for me is having a giant goal with an end date to work toward.

B95F5A77-1627-447B-8095-B258216CCFBC.JPG

I decided to register for my first bodybuilding show (bikini division).  I had been researching and following competitions for years as I trained for other things… always with this wistful thought of “those girls are amazing, I could never do that”.  I never thought my body could actually look like one of those ripped girls on stage.  But through my other fat loss challenges and the photo shoot I had a taste of what training hard and losing fat for a goal looked and felt like.  I knew this challenge would test my limits more than ever before.  I knew it would be expensive.  I knew it would be time consuming.  I knew it would be as emotionally and mentally challenging as it would be physically.  And I wanted it.  I wanted all of it.

october to october.JPG

I registered.  I trained and dieted relentlessly all with the help and guidance of my coach at Fuse in a safe environment.  I learned how important it is to balance both weight training and cardio.  I weighed and tracked every gram in MyFitnessPal.  My prep lasted a total of about 20 weeks.  (If you’re interested, I documented this journey on Instagram @b.chan.fit.)  I stepped on stage at an all time low weight and body fat.  I was extremely proud of this accomplishment.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing

I’m currently registered and training for my 2nd bodybuilding show this May and could not be happier and more excited to get on that stage again.  You’d better believe I’ll be logging into MyFitnessPal…every…single…day.progpics11-26

Advertisements

The Annual Idiot Run!

I complete this run once a year.  I’m calling it the Annual Idiot Run.  It’s that run where I think I’m a superhuman bad-ass, immune to the heat, humidity and sun that is summertime.  This year’s run went a little something like this…

I woke up, realized I had over slept and woke up the husband.  We picked up the boys from different sleepover locations from the night before, met back at our house and were off to the kids’ golf lesson.  On the way we stopped at the gas station for some breakfast and I grabbed a protein bar and an iced coffee.

While the kids had their lesson, the hubs and I hit the driving range where we spent the hour mopping our foreheads and complaining about the heat.

After golf we went home and I realized I still needed to run.  We had some other things going on later in the afternoon so I just figured I would quick change and head out while I had a chance.

Should I bring my phone?  Nah, it’s just 5 miles. I’ll quick crank that out in about an hour and be back no problem.

Should I bring water?  Nope, it’s just 5 miles. I’ll use the water fountains around the park. But I probably won’t even need that because… well, duh it’s only 5 miles.

Should I eat first?  Totally not necessary.  IT’S ONLY 5 MILES!  I’ll be back in time for lunch.

So I sprayed on some sunscreen, grabbed my watch and my sunglasses and was off.

Mile 1 was warm but I powered through it just fine.  The first mile is really just the sidewalk and bike path that leads into the park.  Once I got there though, the park was just empty.  This is a huge park is usually teaming with families and fitness enthusiasts, especially on a Saturday afternoon.  But there was nobody there.  It was at least 90 degrees and about 11:30 am, extremely humid.  Seemed a little odd but I kept running.

IMG_3722

Mile 2 was really just terrible.  I was starting to feel every bit of the heat, wished I brought water.  I kept running because I still had that tiny voice telling me, “It’s a little warm but who cares!  You’re a superhuman bad-ass, remember!?” Grabbed a drink from a drinking fountain at about 2.5.

Mile 3 I realized I had made a terrible mistake and really wished I brought my phone.  If I had, I would have called my husband to come get me.  It was really just awful.  I started to feel light headed and slowed down to run/walk intervals.  If you can call them that… it was more like run when I could, walk when I had to.

Mile 4 I found another fountain and just made sure to get as much of it in me and on me as possible.  It really wasn’t pretty.  I just wanted to get out of the park as fast as I could.  I tried to run whenever possible but down to mostly walking at this point.  It was really scary to realize the park was seriously empty so if (at that point I really thought it was more like when) I passed out, there wouldn’t even be anyone around.

Mile 5 I just walked out of the park and back to my house.  Went straight for the ice and water and just sat there feeling sorry for myself.  I re-hydrated.  I showered.  I ate a giant plate of pasta for lunch.  I took a 2 hour nap.  I promised myself I would never ever ever take the heat lightly again.  I’d follow all the rules from now on.  Just like I did after last year’s idiot run.

Two good things came of the 2016 Annual Idiot Run.

1.) I realized I’m actually not a superhuman bad-ass who is immune to the heat and humidity.  I learned my lesson.  No more runs at noon when it’s 90+ degrees.  Runs will now be very early or very late until sometime mid September.  I will remember to take my phone and some water.  I’ll hydrate before I go.  I’ll carb up.

2.) I also realized I was not having fun out there.  On that run I had a long time to think about running and the summer.  I realized I was completely dreading training for another marathon.  I just wasn’t looking forward to hours and hours away from my family.  I wasn’t looking forward to feeling broken for three days after an 18 or 20 mile run.  I was excited about the adventure of training for such an epic event when I was training for my first marathon.  It seemed like an awesome thing to do.  But I realized now that I know what it takes, and I’m just not in a hurry to do it again.  I’ve been marathon training for almost 2 years now and I’m just tired of it.

No more idiot runs.  No more 2016 marathon training.

There are other goals on the horizon for me though.  I’m really excited about this new goal of mine, which is actually an old goal.  I’ll be talking about it tomorrow on my YouTube channel.  Stay tuned! 🙂

Are there Benefits to Lazy Running?

Getting over this most recent (and honestly very minor) injury, I went out for a 4 mile run this morning.  I started off with what I thought was really good effort.  When I run I mostly think about running.  I watch my pace, I think about my posture, my foot strike, my balance, my cadence, my breathing etc.  The entire workout is a constant physical and mental effort to produce the most quality run I possibly can.

But not today.

After 2 miles of constantly monitoring every breath and foot fall, I was honestly just so tired of it all.

I just wanted to run.  So I did.  I just ran.

I was appalled by my heavy feet and swinging arms but I just didn’t care.  I just didn’t have the energy today.  I bargained with myself that I would just let myself run however I wanted to just this one time, to relax and just make it home.  I promised myself I would put in a better effort next time.

I paid attention to what happened next, but had given up on trying to control it.  My light and skippy, forefoot strike transformed into a very solid mid-foot strike and I gained an exaggerated (for me) oblique twist.  The last little bit of residual pain in my left leg completely dissolved.  And I watched my Garmin in awe as my pace naturally and seemingly effortlessly went from a 13 minute mile to a 10:30 minute mile.

With only 2 miles of this, I’m not sure if I’m onto something or if it’s a total fluke.  But I do know that it felt good.  Really good.

threshold

Marathon Countdown: 5 Days

So… I’m running a marathon in 5 days.  But seriously folks, *I* am running a *marathon* in *5 days*!  I’m freaking out.  Like honestly seriously really really psyched up for this race.  The good news is that this is following all the normal race feelings.  I’m almost always cool as a cucumber until I get “the” email.

(Vlog from this past Sunday.)

“The” email is the one that has all the important stuff you need to run.  It basically says this: You have to pick up your bib and swag, you need to park somewhere for that and you need to park somewhere on race day.  You need to show up on time on race day.  Remember to drink water so you don’t die.  Here’s the giant course you have to run through and here are where we’ll give you said water so you don’t die.  You have to finish by this time or else something not so cool will happen.  You can store your stuff over here and your entourage can cheer for you over there.  You can order pictures from said ordeal at this site. Etc., etc., etc.,

And so I read through this and all I can think is “oh crap”.  I actually signed up for and trained for this giant thing and now I have to go do it.  I talk myself out of the same tree every single time.  Usually it’s just the first time at that distance and this is a big one.

The real bummer about this race is there is a very EASY out.  After you run 13.1 miles you can take a simple turn, get your medal for the half marathon and call it a day.  They’ll give you the appropriate time for the half and everything.  All you have to do is stop running.  Get your banana, take your pics!  You can go home to air conditioning, naps, cupcakes, the works.  Be done in half the time!  That will be, by far the biggest challenge I am going to face on Sunday.  I know that is going to be extremely tempting.  Especially if it’s as warm as it’s going to be.

But I didn’t start this thing to run a half marathon.  Been there, done that.  This is my time, I’ve earned it, and I’m going to do this.  That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.  🙂  If you have any other words of wisdom 5 days out of a big giant thing, please share. I could use it!

IMG_3420

 

Marathon Countdown: 14 Days

Just two weeks from today I will run my first marathon.  I’ve trained as well as I can up until this point and am just getting through the next couple weeks one day at a time.  I’ve also started working on my dissertation for my Ph.D. this week which will make things a little more complicated.  I’m going to focus on balancing adding the grad work back as the running continues to taper off.

As I’m writing this I realize I didn’t write about last week’s Hot Chocolate 15K at all!  No PRs there but it was a fun day with friends and chocolate.   Here are some pics from the event.

hot chocolate

Also found a new bike path this week!  Every time I think I’ve run every road I can get to from my house, this town surprises me.  I really do feel lucky to live in such a run-friendly neighborhood.

img_3307