Monday, February 28, 2011

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Everything's hard the first time you do it.

Well....most of the time, especially when it comes to working out. Whether its going for a run for the first time in a while or joining a cycling class that is burning your legs to smithereens, it always hurts the first time you try something new because you don't know how to handle the pain just yet.

For me, the first time I run after an extended vacation from it, my stomach feels funny, I cramp and I don't know how to breathe right. It feels so awkward and uncomfortable. What's funny is that after a few different runs, I feel great. My legs don't hurt after I run, and it just feels natural. To me running feels good.

Now try adding some cross training to the mix. I attended my second cycling class ever last week and thought I was going to keel over in the first 15 minutes. Ugh - I had 45 minutes left to go. I thought about sneaking out at the 30 minute mark for water and then never return. It really, really hurt. Or was it because I didn't know how to tolerate this burning sensation in my legs? It was definitely the latter. After I stuck out the first 30 minutes, the last 30 felt much more doable and my legs adjusted to the burning as not something foreign and evil, but something empowering and invigorating.

However, I was still a little timid to try it again - a little scared to get out of my comfort zone of running - but I did a 60 minute session of cycling Wednesday night and another at 6am this morning. This morning was my 3rd cycling class in the past week and definitely felt much more doable.

During my 5 mile run on Tuesday night I experienced my first sign of shin splints during my training, which hurt so bad and made me a little upset that I needed to ease up on the running. I did my normal cross training on Wednesday and then did another 60 minute cycling class again today to make up for the 4 miles I was supposed to run. I'm hoping that giving running a break for 2 days will make put me back in running's good graces for Saturday and Sunday!

Other than incorporating cycling and other new strength training classes into my routine, I want to add one more thing to help break me out of my comfort zone - exercising in the morning! Waking up at 5am feels crazy, but really once I'm up I feel great!

I recently read another runner's blog about how they just get things done and the main tip I'm taking away is:

"Run/work out first thing in the morning. I know we’re not all morning people, but trust me, you can adjust! Working out in the a.m. not only frees up the evenings, but gives you lots of extra energy throughout the day (hello, endorphins!)"

I'm excited to start waking up early to fit in my runs and exercises. My first attempt at this was this morning. It was quite an invigorating feeling and I did love every minute of it! However, I definitely made up for the hard earned calorie burning by going to the Cheesecake Factory tonight for a double date with Landon and Lori! I was good and got one of their lighter salads, but I followed it up with a delicious traditional cheesecake! Yum!!

PS -- Is anybody else still watching Teen Mom?? I'm currently watching it and couldn't imagine being a teen mom and trying to get through school, pay bills, and deal with baby mama drama! It looks pretty dang tough!! I do love Leah though :)

PPS -- back on topic - what are you doing to get out of your comfort zone? What seemed so hard at first, but made you realize you could actually do it?


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