24 Day Challenge: The Results

Hey yo.

I’m late to this party, but post 24 Day Challenge by about a month now and I’m happy to say that I’m still seeing the results. On the left, is me on day 1. On the right, day 24.

I didn’t get the flat stomach I was hoping (completely unrealistic, but a girl can dream!) but it did go down noticeably. But it wasn’t about the fat loss. Well not just about the fat loss.

24 Day Challenge

 

I felt SO much better during and after. I felt happy and healthy and strong. Coach Sam even said I was a different person. It honest to god made my workouts much better. I was faster and quicker and I could breathe better. My workouts during this time were more running, but I’m pretty sure it helped me get to my 10 Miler.

The hardest thing about it was the fiber drink at the beginning, but with a little Spark, it wasn’t that bad. Also taking all of the supplements was a little tedious but after a day or two it just became routine. So minor things that made a huge difference. I’m looking forward to doing another one soon!

My Not So Triumphant Return to Crossfit

Hey guys! So, now that I’m a few weeks post race, I’m putting my focus back on CrossFit. I had made the decision that I was going to be all CrossFit, all the time again, and then Florida BFF called me and asked if I wanted to do the race. So that pushed back my full time CrossFit return a little. I’ve been back regularly for about a week and I’ve definitely learned some things after taking a hiatus from my normal 5-6 time a week (sometimes 2-a-days) routine.

I am weak.

Sure I can breathe a little better. Running helped my endurance a lot, and I find the WODs that have running in them bearable. I no longer fear them. I’m still slow as a pop up loading on a dialup connection, but I’m just better at it. So thank you running for that.

But, fuck you, running, for what you did to my strength. All of my lifts but my back squat are where they were 3 months ago. I’m not even kidding. I was adding 5 lbs every 2-3 weeks on all my lifts, and now I’m right back where I was. My friend that I work out with frequently- she and I were at about the same pace as far as gains go. But now she’s added 30lbs to her clean, and I’m the exact same weight as when I started running. It’s so frustrating.

I’ve found a real pride in getting stronger. Like I’ve said, my original goal was losing weight (we’ll get into that in a second) but now it’s also become a goal of getting stronger. There is an incredible woman at my gym, who is a mom of 2 in her 40’s, and she is so strong. She seriously inspires me all the time. I want to be just like her. So it’s frustrating when I haven’t moved forward at all. But what about your back squat, you say. I said it was the only one that wasn’t holding steady. That’s because I did 30lbs less than my one rep max and almost dumped it forward. And I haven’t tried to max out in MONTHS, so I’m sure before I stopped doing WODs I could squat more than 185 but I didn’t try, because little did I know I’d become freaking Gumby with Gumby arms and legs that can’t hold a clay sammich. Ugghhh.

I know, I know. It’s like starting over….Sam told me this would happen and that I wouldn’t have PR’s for awhile. But man is it tough to swallow.

Speaking of swallowing (food, perve), I’ve switched up my diet a little. My weightless has just stalled the heck out. I’m going down some, but for the most part, it’s a slow go. So what I’m doing now is eating to my macros. I used a calculator to find out what they are, manually set them in MyFitnessPal and I’m trying to figure it all out. The problem with being Paleo is that so much of my food had a lot of fat. Good fat, but with my macros, I have to keep my fat intake to a certain number. But all of my foods put me over my fat allowance with, like, 1000 calories still on the board. And I just do not do well with grains, or with dairy….so I’m shoving sweet potatoes down my face, and yucca, and bananas and broccoli and anything I can get my hands on that has no fat in it so that way I’m nourishing my body and aiding my recovery. But I’ve planned, I’ve bought a food scale, and I’ve gotten better with figuring it all out. Now I’m meeting all my numbers, but man, am I sick of chicken.

Soooo, we shall see how I bounce back over the next couple of weeks. But my best advice, if you switch up your workout routine for another, don’t be too hard on yourself when you go back (easier said than done). But like THEY always say- uhhh….I forgot what they say. But yeah, be patient.

I ran a race and I liked it. Hope my box friends don’t mind it.

Just kidding- they were super supportive!

So those of you who read my blog regularly- and it’s like 3 of you, who am I kidding, and I know at least one is my mom- know that I love CrossFit and I hated running. Like a loathe, detest, despise, wish it would die, stab it with a spork kinda hate for running. I never liked the feeling of knowing there were miles and miles ahead of me (or feet and feet). It feels absurd to run when there are perfectly good vehicles to take me those miles in a fraction of the time.

My Florida BFF is a runner, and somehow coerced me into joining a local running group called Running For Brews. You run a 5k and then drink a beer afterwards- that’s my kinda group. So I went along for the beer alone. That turned into being a coordinator for the group on Monday nights, which led to multiple runs per week, none of which I enjoyed. We live here in Florida and it is hot. Hot hot hot. And running but feeling like you’re swimming is awful and I just hated it. Gimme CrossFit or give me beer.  But definitely not running.

Last Tuesday, I got a message from Florida BFF- one of our mutual friends was registered for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler on Saturday with her and couldn’t go, and she wanted to see if I wanted to take our friend’s spot. I quickly weighed the pro’s and cons:

  • Pros- I love Disney and it’s at Disney. I love the Tower of Terror, and it’s FOR the Tower of Terror. I love Halloween and it’s Halloween-ish. I’m stupid competitive, and it’s a race.
  • Cons- It’s a race. As in running. As in I’d have to move my legs back in forth quickly for a long time. Ugh.

I took a deep breath, realized that my love for all things spooky and costumed was stronger than my hate for running and I agreed.

And then I panicked.

It’s been well over 10 years since I ran a distance longer than 3 miles. And it was only recently that I started running those 3 miles again. If you’re new to the blog, I used to look like this. That was only about a year ago, and I still very much see myself as that woman. In fact, while discussing the race, Florida BFF said something that stuck- she said that she was absolutely positive I could do the race because I’m in such good shape. I had to think about that for a second, because I don’t consider myself in good shape. I workout with some seriously IN SHAPE people- honestly, CFTB is full of awe inspiring specimens of human beings, and I am nowhere near their stature. My muscles aren’t ripple-y yet and I can’t lift a small car over my head, and I still have a lot of areas that jiggle like crazy (damn you, stomach). But I did have to stop and consider for a second that I was not in fact that girl anymore and people were starting to see me differently. Which means I had to start seeing myself differently. So I agreed to do it.

To prep, I ran 4 miles on Tuesday, went to CrossFit on Wednesday and skipped anything that had to do with the lower body. I did a modified Cindy for the WOD and replaced squats with sit-ups, and instead of front squats for strength, I did push presses. My coaches were awesome and helped me figure out exercises that wouldn’t stress out my knees or thighs (If you’re looking for a CrossFit gym, please make sure that the coaches are awesome) And then I rested. I know I am a better runner when I am fully rested, so as much as it killed me to not be at the box, I took time off. I also read lots of articles about the race and about being swept. I was/am TERRIFIED of the sweeper bus. I had mental pictures of this monster Zamboni following behind the runners and sucking up those of us who were below pace. The competitor in me was also terrified of the disappointment I’d have in myself if I got swept. ‘Don’t fear the sweeper!’. That kept playing in my head. I know it’s the reaper, but it fits!

So Saturday came, I Paleo carbo-loaded with sweet potato, spinach, eggs, bananas, sunbutter and water, water, water. The race wasn’t until 10 so I had a chance to eat all day and eat I did. We watched Ohio State kick the crap out of Maryland, took a nap, and headed out to the Mouse’s House. I got a ton of great messages from friends and family with well wishes for a great race. They were all so confident in me, and I wasn’t at all.

First let me say that people’s costumes were amazing. I didn’t have enough time to get one together, plus I didn’t want to costume and look like an idiot that spent too much time on their costume and not enough time on their running, because I was convinced that I wouldn’t finish and I’d get swept up, but it was awesome what people came up with. Every princess and every villain were represented. And there were people EVERYWHERE. And people of all shapes and sizes and level of running-ness. I was proud of everyone there, just for showing up. 10 miles is intimidating, and it takes guts to even make the decision to race.

Tower-of-Terror-Wicked-Witch

This is from a previous year, but it gives you an idea. Via runkarlarun

I met up with Florida BFF and the rest of the group she was running with, hung out for a little, and then reported to my corral. There were so many people in my group, and everyone was laughing and having a good time, so I started to relax from super rigid scared girl to semi rigid scared girl. I met with some wonderful ladies from Atlanta, and hung with them in the corral until it was our time to go. They had done a few Disney races and pep talked me for days. They were just what I needed. Then suddenly we began to move, while lots of ‘Oh shit’ phrases running through my head. We walked about a half mile and got in line, and before I knew it the race started. There were a few corrals ahead of me, so I just took a bunch of deep breaths and tried not to sneak off into the woods and hope no one saw me. We got closer and closer to the start line and I got closer and closer to puking. But the start was pretty festive- lots of music, lots of people pumping us up, fireworks and the Twilight Zone theme.  Next thing I know, we were under the start banner and they were counting down. The fireworks went off, and we were off like a prom dress.

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People EVERYWHERE

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10378554_10102803491991604_2537968263780500836_n Poptart. What the hell did I decide to do?

I stayed with the Hotlanta ladies for a little and I was glad to start the race with really good people. They were running intervals and I was fully planning on doing the same since that’s how I had been training (2-3 minutes run, 1 minute walk). But I chugged a Spark right before I started and I was feeling pretty good, so I kept running. And running. Cue Forrest Gump ‘I just kept runnnaannnnggggg’.

Well, I kept running all the way to mile 8. I shit you not readers, mile 8. I slowed only to drink some water at the stations and to read the text messages I was getting that tracked everyone’s time and that my family was exchanging as they were tracking me, but that was it. I ran. I felt AMAZING. I didn’t even think about the amount of running ahead of me, or my legs, or being done. I just enjoyed my music, the cool night air, and everyone’s efforts. I also enjoyed the sights, which were something else all together. Disney had all the villains along the route and you could stop to take pics with them. it was so cool. I didn’t stop but I still got a smile out of seeing the Queen of Hearts and the Hyenas from Lion King chillin’ on the side, smiling their little fake costume smiles.  And then I saw some lady run towards the woods, only to stop halfway there, in the spotlight, drop her pants and do her business. I was like holy. shit. I just saw all of her galdarnits and she’s like, bathrooming, out in the open for everyone to see. Now, as we know, I am not a runner, and didn’t know this was just part of a race. But I still felt bad for her because she probably thought no one could see her. But we all could. And we could see it all. You have to admit though, the first time you saw it, it was a little startling, haha!

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Atlanta ladies!

I felt awesome all the way through. I set little milestones- ok, just get to the 5k and walk. That came and went so I said ok, just get halfway done and walk. THAT came and went. Then I aimed for the 6.2 mark, and that came and went, along with some texts from my brother about how I had doubled my distance since the last check in and only added 6 seconds. That kept me motivated, and I just kept going. When I got to Mile 7.5, I knew I had this in the bag. I started to smile and cheer myself on. It was down to a Monday night run, one I had done repeatedly. It was then that I realized I was going to finish.

So fast forward to 2 hours and 5 minutes, and I’m just about done. I was in the final mile, and all I could think was ‘WHERE THE FUCK IS THIS FINISH LINE?!?!?’. I am a swearer, and I’ve found it gets worse when running. Mostly when I have to dodge potholes in the road or I can’t see where I cross the 6.2 mark, or someone swinging their light saber nails me in the head while I’m in my freaking groove. But especially when I am close to the finish line. We ran all through Hollywood Studios, and there were plenty of volunteers to cheer us on. They all kept saying ‘You’re almost done!’ and I was like ‘You’re lying to me, you assholes. The end will NEVER come’. Again, I was being dramatic, because I was just ready to stop. I couldn’t feel my legs, my feet were starting to hurt, and I wanted my damn medal. But eventually, I turned a corner and I could see it- the glorious finish. Linebacker Lookin’ Dude was there, and he caught this video of me crossing

I may or may not have watched it a bazillion times. That’s LBLD yelling for me. I heart him.

Once you get past the finish line, the real fun starts. There’s food. There’s water. And there’s more food. I looked like a kid in a candy store, snatching up bananas and goldfish crackers. At that moment, if someone had said to me ‘those aren’t Paleo!’, I would have hauled off and punched them in the face. I ate those fishies with absolutely no regrets.

Then I got my medal. I stopped and bowed my head a little to the girl who was handing them out because I wanted her to freaking crown me with that thing. All I got was a look that said ‘if one more of you assholes asks me to put this on you, I’m going use them as a ninja star and finish you’. So I grabbed it, grabbed another bag of Goldfish and went to find my friends.

 

Oh, you guys. Then I got the runner’s high. Like, I was HIGH. LBLD was like ‘your eyes are all foggy and you’re not speaking in correct sentences’. In my head I was like ‘back off dude, I can’t feel my legs’. But one of our friends was like ‘she’s got the runners high!!’. So that was good so I knew I wasn’t having a stroke or anything serious. But that shit is REAL.

So there you go. I did it. I enjoyed it. I even caught a bug. Seriously, I’m sitting here looking at races in the area to run again, even though my knees are killing me and my hips are liken to those of a 90 year old grammy. I want more medals! But I liked it. I LIKED IT. Who the hell am I? My medal is gorgeous and it made it all so worth it. Oh and it glows in the dark. IT GLOWS IN THE FREAKING DARK!

We stayed at Hollywood Studios until 4:30 in the morning, partying and enjoying our time and feeling like we were 22 again. I’m crazy proud of me and for finishing. I’m proud that I went from obese to running miles and miles in a year. It seriously only takes the first step, you guys. Just the first step. From there it’s all downhill. Sometimes literally.

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My super awesome, glow-in-the-dark, mother fuckin’ 10 mile medal.

 

In The Zone. No not really, I don’t get it

Can someone explain the Zone diet to me? For serious. I don’t quite get it. Why the EFF can’t it just be as simple as eat less, workout more, lose weight. Boom, simple, goodbye ass. Nope, instead it’s macros and not enough calories and too many carbs. This stuff is a science that I just can’t seem to figure out.

 

If you can’t tell, I’m having a down day. I ate like crap for 4 days at Disney. It’s kind of unavoidable. Literally, there’s one stand at the Magic Kingdom that sells fresh fruit and things like yogurt or oat bars…things you don’t eat. I was with my mom and it was the food and wine fest and you just can’t be picky at the Food and Wine festival. The food there is an art form, and you eat it and you appreciate it. But yeah, I ate like shit. And then today I had 2 lara bars, 2 beers at Running For Brews and topped the night off with 2 bananas and a scoop of sun butter. In my defense, I had nothing to eat, and I only just started cooking. All I want to do is go to bed right now, but instead I’m cooking. I have picadillo in the slow cooker, yucca boiling in another pot, a spaghetti squash cooking for quiche, sweet potatoes and asparagus roasting and brussel sprouts cooking in bacon fat, with bacon cooling. Again, I just wanna go to bed. I had a terrible run, I feel terrible, I want to cut a bitch….it’s amazing how much food makes a difference in your life and outlook and attitude. And sleep. Sleep does a lot for you too.

 

Do you guys get like this when you eat poorly? Does it affect your mood? I haven’t been to CrossFit in a week either, so that could have something to do with it. I’m looking forward to getting back at it tomorrow.

 

Ah yes, tomorrow. It’s another day.