EX2 Fall Series: I didn’t finish last!

I’m a little behind the curve writing about last weekends Lake Fairfax 10 miler by EX2 Adventures.  In a word it was AWESOME!

This past spring I had run at Lake Fairfax and it was, well, a train wreck.  That was the race where I may have pushed it a bit too far and paid the price by getting hives…from the pollen….yeah…ANYWAY….I was looking for some redemption.  The great thing about fall in the mid-Atlantic is that you never know what you are going to get.  Sure enough, the morning of the race it was a balmy 24 degrees.  Super, just super. I broke out the ColdAvenger and my regular balaclava not sure which I was going to need.  Nothing says running with asthma like looking like you’re going to rob the nearest convenience store.

Perry and I started off the race at the back of the pack where we are always.  I was just hoping to finish without having an asthma attack.  I learned long ago to keep the goals small when the weather isn’t cooperating.  I think this spring taught me that.  Ok, so secretly I was hoping to finish sub-2.  Living was my first priority though, definitely.

Immediately I noticed a difference in the course.  Did the hills get smaller or am I in better shape?  The hills that kicked my ass this past spring weren’t so bad now.  We started ticking the miles off.  As we came through (and by) the finish line for the 5 milers I looked down at my watch 1:05.  Holy crap, seriously??

We started around on the second lap and my head began to wander.  This is NOT good when you are running a rooty/rocky trail.  I know it, but well when you are ADD and you’ve already seen this course before your mind just can’t help it.  I then proceeded to pay the price (twice) for my mind wandering by going full on superman right onto my left knee (twice).  I even managed to rip a hole in my tights as well as bleed through them.  Meh, the price of trail running I suppose.

What struck me most, though, on this particular course is that I uttered these words; “Oh 4 miles left, that’s an easy day.”  HOLD THE PHONE.  What???  When did 4 miles become an easy day??  No seriously.  I want to know when that happened because holy crap on a cracker, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think 4 miles would be EASY!

God bless Jim and his team, but they always seem to finish their courses on an uphill (those rat bastards).  As I climbed up the last incline and peeked around the timer my soul dropped a little.  I may have even uttered the phrase, “Sonofabitch are you KIDDING me?”  2:02.

I’m thinking if I hadn’t gone all Superman and thought I could fly I would have finished sub-2.  That is, however, just for the record a new PR for me.  And for those of you who are math geniuses, yes, I had a negative split!

OH!!! And the biggest news?  I wasn’t at the back of the pack! Wasn’t even close.  I was 109 out of 121.


I’ve gone to the dark side and they don’t have cookies

Four years ago Shooter Girl started CrossFit to help her shooting game.  At three years Karlaand 362 days she started begging, cajoling, coercing, imploring, asking me to join CrossFit.  I resisted and then I resisted some more.  I made every excuse known to man to NOT go to CrossFit.  First, I was too out of shape (true).  Then it was that I didn’t want to get hurt (also true). Honestly, CrossFit scared me.  Shooter Girl had gotten rhabdo which only further intensified my distrust/dislike for CrossFit.  Yet, she went back and she persisted in her dogged goal of getting me to join her.

A couple of weeks ago Sainted Mary mentioned to me, “You know you really need to start adding weight training.”  Followed almost immediately by my wonderful osteopath saying, “So, have you started adding weight training yet?” Followed by Katie G (spin goddess and Biker Barre co-owner) saying, “I agree, you really need to start weight training.”  What?!?! Who are you people and why are you all separately prodding me to start weight training. No!!! No. No. No. No. No.

After three of the most important folks in my life all told me this within two hours of each Yes-Neon-Light-Bianca-Hall-from-Kiss-Herother I saw the big freaking blinking neon sign from the Universe.  Ugh.  (sighs and hangs head) Fine……FINE.  I get it.  Thank you Universe.  Understand.  Taking care of it.  Can you get off of my back now???

I texted Shooter Girl and said, “So, not that I am committing to anything, but how does one even begin to CrossFit.”  I amount of squealing that I got in the return text was palpable.  Yes, after four years she was finally getting her way.  Good Lord, what have I done?

It took me another couple of weeks for me to convince myself that this was a good idea.  I know that this particular gym has an EXCEPTIONAL reputation for putting safety and form first.  This runs counter to most of the CrossFit gyms in the area who, well, don’t have the same reputation.

I finally bit the bullet, gulped my fear, and signed up for their baseline class.  Of course, I told Shooter Girl and I thought she was going to jump the moon.  I mean, it’s not often that I cave on certain things, and for me to cave on something that she had been working on me for that long she probably should relish her victory.

The morning of my baseline I showed up a little early and it was, well, intimidating.  WOW.  I totally felt out of place.  My comfort zone had definitely been left in a big way.  Yikes.   What did I get myself into?  Knowing that this particular facility also has a reputation for being welcoming and community I just hoped that I would be ok (and not die that would also be lovely.) I survived baseline and was told to come back for a fundamentals course before I would be allowed to take any classes. Again, safety first.

Showing up my second time wasn’t really any easier.  I like my comfort zone.  It’s comfortable there.  This, this definitely is not my comfort zone, but I am pushing forward.  The fundamentals class went well and I was blessed off to start taking regular classes.  As luck would have it there was an endurance class that night.  Well, might as well bite the bullet….

The endurance class was smaller than the regular class which made me feel a little less overwhelmed.  Granted, I was coming in way later than the rest of the folks who had been working this particular round of endurance for six weeks, but I tried.  Most of the moves were things that made sense to me so that made the transition a bit easier.  Plus there was running.  YAY running! (Wait, did I just say yay running, who is this person???)

Going home last night I was sore which is a good thing, but not so sore that I couldn’t move (which is also a good thing).  I woke up this morning and could definitely feel the glutes that we were working last night via Bulgarian Split Squats.  I’m very glad I have a healthy relationship with my roller.  First class completed, check.  Didn’t die, check.  We will consider this a minor win.

I am not about to give up Biker Barre nor running.  HECK NO!!!! I am, however, going to use this to push myself so that I can improve.  I  just think that it is going to take me some time to get use to this new environment.  All the new language.  All of the new people.  All of the new equipment and moves.  It’s overwhelming. I know why I’m there, though.  I just hope that Shooter Girl isn’t too embarrassed by me.


53 pounds later

Yesterday I celebrated hitting a major milestone of hitting my initial weight loss goal at Biker Barre.  I say initial because when I walked into Sainted Mary’s office I had two goals.  One was a specific size of clothing and the other was a specific number on the scale. As this process has gone along I wanted to lower the number on the scale by an additional 10 pounds.  Sainted Mary said no.  Her reasoning and rationale was strong, “With all of the crazy hiking, running, and other stuff that you do you need all of the muscle you can get and if we start taking too much off you are going to start loosing muscle.”  I may have been a bit of a brat, but after hiking over 20 miles last weekend in Colorado at altitude and not batting an eye I must begrudgingly admit that she has a valid point.  While I have 5 more pounds to go to hit my second weight loss goal she and I have decided to take this second set of weight a bit more slowly.

The funny thing is as I sat there sweating my ass off with some of the most influential people that I have had in my life over the last year who have encouraged me, cajoled me,IMG_1111 and smacked me into reality when I have needed it I really don’t feel any different.  I still feel like that fat girl who decided a year ago that she needed to get her shit together.  I still feel like the fat girl.  Which is ironic when you consider even when I was carrying around an extra 53 pounds I still hiked, ran, kayaked, and did everything else I do now.  I just did it much much slower.

It’s not until I put clothes on or I see new pictures of myself that I truly realize just how much things have changed.  Yesterday a good girlfriend of mine, Shooter Girl, gave me a huge bag of her “baggy” clothes.  They were size 6s.  I scoffed when I told her there was no way that those were going to fit me.  After spin class (and a shower) I started to slip on some of the pants never in a million years did I think they would actually fit.  HOLY BISCUITS AND GRAVY!! Who IS this person????

Now I know that size doesn’t define a person, but when you haven’t been a size 6 since middle school it certainly is a defining moment.  This would also explain why everything is falling off of me, but I digress….

What this 53 pound weight loss has allowed me to do is to do all of the things that I love to do, but take them to the next level.  I’m still adjusting to this new body with all of it’s new bones and new muscle, but I’m hoping that eventually I will figure it all out.  Oh, and I’ll stop pulling bigger clothes off of the rack than I should be wearing.  In the mean time I finally got fitted for a bra.  I went from a 38D to a 34C.  To quote a dear friend of mine, “That’s a lot of lost boobage.”