Greetings 2016!

An Instagram New Year’s Eve post by IdeaFit:

 I wanted the first page of my book to be Awesome!  Therefore Day 1 of 2016, in Colorado at 5400ft elevation and nearly freezing temps, I donned warm layers of rarely used running gear and joined my friend for a run, following a trail around a frozen lake with views of distant snow-capped mountains.

  I can’t remember the last time I ran with snow on the ground.  Living in San Diego with its near perfect weather has me spoiled.  However despite the frigid thin air, my breath was steady and my body warmed up as I appreciated the glistening snow under sunny blue skies and the company of a friend whom I haven’t seen in 2 years.


To top it off, I finished my 37 day holiday strength streak (Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day) doing 2.5 pull-ups on this bar conveniently located on the trail in addition to the push-ups and squats I did to warm up prior to the run.  A woman walking by said “Way to go” and I considered it as a congratulatory note for my effort in completing the challenge.

Since it’s the beginning of a new year, I want to introduce my fitness and health goals for 2016.  Some of these goals are already work in progress. One of the books I started reading during our road trip to Colorado is “Meb for Mortals” by one of my favorite elite runners Meb Keflezighi.  The first chapter addresses “Goals”.  He believes it to be one of the most significant aspects in being a successful runner which is why it’s the first subject in his book.  “With the right goals and the commitment to keep pursuing them, you can achieve more in running than you ever thought possible”.

1. Half marathon PR by training consistently and following a plan that includes lactate threshold workouts.

2.  Improve my running form by incorporating form drills 1 to 2x/week. Chapter 2 of Meb for Mortals is all about running form.  Mine needs plenty of work as I’ve noticed poor form on many of my race pics especially those taken when I’m really tired.

3.  Continue to strength train at least once a week.  My strength streak has taught me that even on very busy days I can still take 10-15mins to focus on a few multi-jointed strength movements.  The big 4-0 is also on the horizon this year and the older we get, the rate of muscle loss (sarcopenia) increases.  Conserving muscle and bone strength is a definite must for me.

4.  Eat more whole foods and be aware of the glycemic load of what I eat to reduce my Hemoglobin A1C % and triglyceride levels (see related post).  My plan is to have my blood tested in late spring.

5.  Reduce stress through mindful breathing.  This is a practice I would like to master as I need to teach my body to relax more and let go of useless tension.

I plan to review  these goals every month to assess my progress in achieving all of them by the end of the year.  Happy 2016!

What did you write on page 1 of your 365 page book?

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myRUNweek RECAP

Hip hip hooray!  Three cheers for running three days this week (11/30-12/7).  After a month off, I appreciate the delight running brings to my life even more:)  A couple of weeks ago, I decided to join the twitter world under my blog’s name, ‘myRUNexperiment’ and discovered a wealth of information shared through this form of social media. Sometimes my head hurts trying to sort out who I want to follow, what posts to read now and which ones to save for later.  I did find some fun run challenges to do with the opportunity to win prizes such as The December Run Challenge hosted by RunSteffRun and RunChatHunt (a Scavenger Hunt while out on your run) by TheRunChat.
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Continue reading “myRUNweek RECAP”

Strength Streak Challenge Update

Today is day 5 of my holiday fitness streak.  Motivation is still high and if it ever does reach a low point, I will think of my disappointing lipid profile results (discussed in this post, Am I Skinny Fat) to bring me back to the major reason why I wanted to establish the habit of maintaining a strength workout.  Fortunately, it’s been easy to keep a consistent schedule because 1) I have the support of my family and 2) our neighborhood YMCA has an excellent childwatch program that my kids enjoy.  They play while I workout, a WIN-WIN situation. Continue reading “Strength Streak Challenge Update”

Am I Skinny Fat?

When was the last time you’ve had a lipid panel done?  A lipid panel is a blood test that measures your cholesterol (HDL-good, LDL-bad) and triglycerides.  I had a test a few weeks ago but the last one I did was 4 years back in 2011.  According to numerous health websites (WebMD, AHA, Mayo Clinic) a lipid panel should be done every 5 years for someone who is 20 years or older and anyone over 40 should have their levels check every year.   Continue reading “Am I Skinny Fat?”

Fitness Inspiration from Oprah

“Tell me, what do you know for sure?”  This was a question asked to Oprah in 1998 during an interview with Gene Siskel.  Quite a loaded question and one that Oprah couldn’t answer the moment it was asked.  It’s a question she pondered for years with the outcome of a book she wrote last year, What I know For Sure.

200+ pages, a quick and easy read full of life lessons – insightful, engaging, powerful and simply inspirational.  I can see how she was able to transform herself to become a very successful woman despite the hardships she experienced in her childhood.  In the section under Clarity, she discusses a 10-day business trip where she completely abandoned her exercise regimen due to her busy schedule.  Along with her inactivity, she also made bad food choices.  By the end of her trip, after the inevitable weight gain and feeling drained of energy, she realized:

When you nurture and support your body, it reciprocates.  The basis of that support is exercise, like it or not.  The more essential benefit is more energy; weight control is a bonus.  I know for sure that taking care of your body, no matter what, is an investment, and the return is priceless.

Our bodies are designed for movement.  Observe a toddler such as mine who is in a constant state of motion.  Her bones and muscles are still developing hence requires physical activities in order for them to grow stronger.  Young children seem to be naturally inclined to strengthen their bodies by being always on the go, until alas, we expose them to sedentary habit.

Recently, we’ve been made aware of the risks associated with ‘sitting’ even if you exercise and how ‘sedentary behavior is the 4th leading risk factor of death’.  Therefore incorporating movement throughout the day is key to maintaining a healthy body.  Find an activity you enjoy – walk, run, jump, dance!  Whatever it is that will keep your body moving.  I feel fortunate I no longer have to sit in front of a computer screen all day.  My children makes sure my day is filled with activity (less sitting around).

Going back to the question, “What do you know for sure?” In the context of running, I know for sure To Run is Me Time.  It’s my time to connect with myself, my body, my heart and my mind.  And as an added benefit, it’s also a time for me to connect with friends.  A gift my body gave to me, the ability to run; A gift I give back to my body for strength and preservation.