Happy Monday! I just wanted to give you all a little update on my training status for the Rookie Tri which I included on my list of goals for 2014. I worked out 5 days this past week, which I haven’t done in a long time, and I have to say, it feels really great to be back in the saddle! But even though I had a really great week training, I realize in order to prepare for a triathlon (rookie or otherwise), I should probably have an actual training plan geared towards what I’m trying to achieve, to be most effective. I also thought maybe some of you who’re reading this blog might be planning to attempt your first triathlon, too! So, I did a little research for us, and I found the training plan (below) courtesy of RippedNFit. Enjoy!
Monday: 1 Hour Bike Ride
0-20 min: Warmup
20-50 min: 5x 4 min high intensity, 2 min low intensity, recovery
50-60 min: cooldown
Tuesday: Run 30 minutes easy (am); Swim 1 mile(pm)
Warmup: 500 yards easy
Mainset: 4 x 50 freestyle (20 sec rest after each 50), 100 easy kick, : 4 x 50 freestyle (10 sec rest after each 50), 100 easy kick, 4x 50 freestyle (5 sec rest after each 50), 100 easy kick
Cooldown: 150 yards easy
Wednesday: Off or active rest (yoga, light jog, etc)
Thursday: Run 50 minutes (sprint intervals)
0-15 min: Warmup
15-20 min: 30 second sprint, 30 second jog easy
20-25 min: 40 second sprint, 40 second jog easy
25-35 minutes: 1 minute sprint, 1 minute jog easy
35-50 minutes: Cool down
Friday: Swim 30 minutes easy followed by 20 minutes total body workout:
Repeat the following 4x for total body workout:
• 1 min Air Squats
• 1 min Pushups
• 1 min Situps
• 1 min Burpees
• 1 min Rest
Saturday: Brick workout- Ride 30 minutes; run 10 minutes. Repeat 3 times, while remaining at 65-75% max HR (slightly uncomfortable pace)
Goal 1 // FULL-TIME COLLEGE
So as most of you know, I’ve been doing college part-time in conjunction with my full-time professional gigs for the past three years, and I’ve done pretty well at it (continually maintaining a 4.0 GPA). But I’ve discovered something: It drains my soul. Like dementor-esque soul sucking. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m getting older, but I had to put a stop to it for the sake of my health. I’ll admit that the idea of going to school full-time has been incredibly daunting. It’s not something I look forward to, specifically in terms of accumulating debt via loans, but it’s pretty much fish or cut bait time. I’ll be 30 soon, and I’m (finally) willing to admit that I can’t do everything.
GOAL 2 // MORE YOGA!
I really love CrossFit, SUPing, kayaking, hiking, and the occasional cycle class, but yoga pretty much trumps all of that, purely based on how ninja sauce one becomes when they master it. The last time I was doing yoga consistently, I got really bendy and strong. I remember I couldn’t do a forward bend for 2+ months, and then one day, it was like a light switch – I bent over and my forehead touched my knee. Boom! CrossFit is awesome for its versatility, and the fact that I LOVE olympic weightlifting, but it takes a backseat to yoga this year. Ninja mode, here I come!
GOAL 3 // COMPLETE & PUBLISH MY BOOK PROJECT BY JULY
This is one of several book projects I’ve been planning, and I happen to think it’s a pretty good one. And so do some of the people who I’ve shared the idea with (to be fair, that list is short). I have already requested submissions for this book project, and I’m really excited about some of the works that will be submitted by people who inspire me most. I can’t really go further into it just yet, but rest assured, when I complete this goal (and I will), you’ll be the first to know.
Goal 4 // DONATE MORE BLOOD
The American Red Cross is filled with a bunch of vampires, apparently. They can’t seem to get enough of my blood! In fact, they call me about 6x a week inquiring about the next time I’ll donate. They just love the sweet, sweet taste of my O-negative blood type, I guess. No, but seriously, my blood type is universal, and can be donated to anyone in need, so I really owe it to the world to share my gift. Since there’s an 8 week limbo time between donations, I think my lofty goal of 10 pints last year will be dropped down to 5 pints. So, get excited ARC! I’m giving you that B.
Goal 5 // WRITE OUT A BUSINESS PLAN FOR A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
I’m really big into philanthropy. I really believe if you’re not giving, then you’re not living. And as I ask myself more and more what I want to do with my life (besides the obvious: writing), the phrase “help others” always comes to mind. So, I asked myself, “How can I help others without giving up having a roof over my head?” And then someone told me a little bit about how non-profits work, and that’s when it occurred to me! I have a few ideas off hand, but I really need to spend more time fine-tuning my strengths and how they might apply to these ideas. Either way, by the end of this year, I will have written out an entire business plan for this non-profit, and I’ll update you guys!
Goal 6 // COMPETE IN AUSTIN’S ROOKIE TRI
There’s a rookie triathlon happening in Austin in early May, and I’m going to give it a whirl. It’s a 300m swim (in a lake mind you), an 11 mile bike ride, and a 2 mile run. I’ve done all of those things separate of each other, and I think if I can finish a Tough Mudder at 6,000 ft elevation with a sneaker filled with blood for 12 miles of inclines, then this mini tri should be a piece of cake. Right?
Goal 7 // RUN A HALF MARATHON
This was actually on my list of goals last year which admittedly I did not complete. So I’m putting it back on the list. I hate running alone, and that’s really been my issue. Trying to get someone on board to train for a 1/2 with me is not easy. But that’s an excuse, and I hate excuses. So come hell or high water, I’m training for a 1/2 marathon. Thank the baby Jesus for the 8tracks app, y’all.
Goal 8 // FALL IN LOVE
This seems like a silly goal (and it probably is), especially because I don’t have control of whether I meet someone I could fall in love with or not, but since I’ve spent the last two years doing some major work in the personal growth department, I know I’m ready for love. The kind of love where you’re best friends, lovers, partners in crime, snuggle buddies, and the dynamic duo, all rolled into one. The kind of love that comes from a place of desire, not desperation. The kind of love where you allow them to rest their worries, woes, fears, joys, accomplishments, and everything in between, on your shoulder, and you don’t mind at all. The kind of love where their presence in your life is a compliment, not a place holder. A conscious love, derived from a place of intention, not autopilot. “I love you in a way that will always make you feel free.” - Thich Nhat Hanh
Goal 9 // KEEP UP REBECCA THE RED
I’m not even sure who reads this thing anymore, especially since I basically booted my CrossFit demographic, but I know that when I write something on my blog, it usually makes me really happy. I love sharing this stuff with you guys, because I like sharing my heart with the world. I love showing you that I’m vulnerable, so you can be vulnerable too. I just want to lead by example, and I think this blog has always done a pretty good job of that. I vow to write in this blog more often, even if it’s just a quote here, and a blurb there, because writing has always brought me joy.
Goal 10 // MEDIATE, MEDITATE, MEDITATE
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, meditation is the bomb dot com. There’s really nothing I can think of in this world that beats it besides maybe truffle, risotto, and kobe beef. More and more scientific research is proving that meditation is extremely beneficial for the human psyche, and all the baggage that comes with it. So, then why is it on my goal list? Well, despite how beneficial I know meditation is for me, I still put it off sometimes. It’s like exercise and eating right; I know they’re good for me and usually make me feel 100x better, but when the day gets the best of me, they somehow slip off my radar. Luckily, my best friend suggested this cool new app called Buddhify Squared. They have meditations you can do as you wake up, when you go to sleep, while you’re at work, while you’re on a walk, if you’re stressed out etc. And the best part? Some of them are only 5 minutes long. Since I tend to be an all-or-nothing type person when it comes to things that are good for me, I fall into this trap of, “If I can’t meditate for 30 minutes, then forget about it.” This app has brought me back to reality, and back to consistent meditation, and I love it!
I read an article recently on the Good Men Project website about “10 Ways To Make Life Better”, starting today. Since today is almost over, I thought I’d tackle tomorrow instead. One of his suggestions was to write a list of things you will say “no” to today. The reason why this particular piece of advice stood out, is because the word “no” has had such a negative connotation for me. I spent so much of my life saying “no”, but not in a productive way. I said no to things that scared me, even if they were potentially beneficial. I said no to new experiences, because I wanted to stay comfortable in a box I created for myself. Then to combat that, I became a “yes” girl. I vowed to myself to be up for just about any adventure, and to be more flexible in every aspect of my life. After reading this article, I realized that “no” doesn’t necessarily have to come from a negative space, so here is a list of things I will say “NO” to tomorrow to make my Monday awesome.
1. I will say NO to FEAR.
So as most of you know, I recently moved to Austin, Texas. My decision to move here was pretty abrupt and was a result of some significant life changes that took place right before the move. It was a hard decision because I built a great life in Los Angeles, and it would be hard for anyone to walk away from that. My first week here was really, really rough. I cried for almost 4 days straight and texted / called five of my closest friends telling them I thought I might have made a huge mistake by coming here. I was terrified and afraid. Then one of my friends told me: “It’s normal to feel overwhelmed the first week that you move halfway across the country. You need to be more selfish about this whole thing and enjoy and embrace YOUR decision, YOUR happiness, and YOUR goals. You said it yourself, the universe has reinforced your decision many times and so you owe it to yourself to follow through and start kicking some ass in Austin. Don’t get caught up in the little stuff — you have big dreams and big results when you apply yourself.” I stewed over her text, and slept on it. The next day when I woke up, I completely snapped out of it. Something inside of me said NO to the fear I was feeling. So I went out and applied myself. I went to a Meetup for people who’re new to Austin, and made some new friends. I’ve since met those friends for coffee, brunch, and yoga. I went to three job interviews last week, all of which went really well. I even went on a date with an incredible man (sparks like whoa) who I’ve been excited to meet for some time now. So, today, tomorrow, and thereafter, I will say NO to whatever fear that arises and tries to convince me that my path is not the right one.
2. I will say NO to NEGATIVE SELF TALK.
Despite all my personal growth, I still occasionally catch myself auto-piloting with negative internal dialogue. It makes sense, given my history, but the fact that I’m even capable of “catching” this kind of talk indicates my consciousness surrounding the topic, and consciousness indicates, to some extent, a level of self-control, because half the battle is knowing, right? So tomorrow, I will say NO to any words or phrases that don’t serve my self-esteem or personal growth.
3. I will say NO to PETTY SOCIAL MEDIA.
I love social media (Facebook in particular) because it’s allowed me to stay in touch with some of my closest friends who live thousands of miles away, but with the growth of social media, so goes the growth of news and all its petty, fear mongering headlines which seem to slip into my feed somehow. Occasionally, I’ve indulged, because it’s like watching a car wreck, right? It’s terribly sad, yet you can’t look away, but you never feel better for having done so. So, tomorrow I say NO to stories that do not serve to inspire me to be a better person.
4. I will say NO to UNHEALTHY FOODS.
I love food. In fact, I’ve had some food that was as good, if not better than sex. I have a heavy draw to sweets in particular, and that’s a shame, because after all the research and experimentation I’ve done with cutting out wheats / grains / glutens / added sugar / alcohol, I know just how bad sweets are for the human body (scientists are basically equating sugar to that of a heroine addiction). So why on earth would I put that in my body? Tomorrow, I will say NO to foods that do not serve my physical and emotional health.
5. I will say NO to PUTTING OFF MEDITATION.
I truly cannot even begin to tell you how beneficial meditation has been for me. There was a time at an old job where I was having to expend copious amounts of energy just to convince myself to go into the building to start the work day. I was getting physically ill as a result of the stress. And then I remembered how much I enjoyed meditation, so every day at lunch time, I would go to my car, put a towel over my eyes, recline my seat all the way, and listen to a guided meditation for 15-30 minutes. It completely turned my perspective of my job around, and made it so I could actually go into work without feeling like I was going to get an ulcer. Sometimes life gets in the way, and like exercise, I can sometimes put it off. But knowing just how powerful it has been in my life, tomorrow I will say NO to putting meditation off.
So, I’ve moved to Austin! After some recent life changes, I thought it would be best to be closer to my family. I love the new Cameo app for iPhone (which I used for my snowboarding video), so I thought I would use it again to document my road trip from Los Angeles to Austin. AND my video was featured yesterday on their app! I’m thrilled.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending my friends’ annual snowboarding trip up to Mammoth Mountain. Having skateboarded when I was a kid, done standup paddle boarding recently (ocean & harbor), and demonstrating consistent balance in both yoga poses and olympic weightlifting, I felt like I was going into the sport with an advantage. There was one problem though: the mountain was pretty barren! In fact, when we arrived late Thursday evening in Mammoth Lakes, California, my friends were pretty vocal about their dissapointment at how desolate the snow coverage was, and how the spots around town with exposed dirt and rock were usually completely covered in white fluff. Despite my seemingly awesome advantage, I still had momentary visions of my body sliding off the mountain and falling to my death, partially because of the lack of snow fall, and partially because well, snowboarding is just as scary as it is exciting / awesome. So of course I had to do it!
So, the good news is that I’m alive (and well), and the bad news? Well, there isn’t any. I had a complete blast! I somehow managed to do 5 slope runs and not once fall down coming off the chair lift. Yeah, I fell a few times during the descent, but I mostly thought it was funny. I had trouble carving due to my fear of speed, and also because it was really icy on the second day I went, but I only came away with one large bruise on my left knee which I proudly wear as a badge of honor.
Above is a video I made of the trip for your viewing pleasure. I used the Cameo app on my iPhone to put the whole thing together, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Enjoy!
Haven’t you heard? The bird is no longer the word! It’s now been replaced by two new words, and they go by the names of Burpee and Snatch. My, my, my… Castro has done it again! Except this time, he’s weeding most of us out right from the starting line with a 17 minute AMRAP of 40 Burpees / 30 snatches (75/45) / 30 burpees / 30 snatches (135/75) / 20 burpees / 30 snatches (165/100) / 10 burpees / AMsnatchesAP (210/120). It’s like 12.1′s older, much meaner brother. I really don’t mind though; it’s just the way this thing goes. I am, however, still really excited to see where I stack up on the lower portion of our crazy cultish totem pole. I had a plan in place to reach 105 reps, but finished just under that at 102 reps with one casualty - a barbell pelvic-bone smash from the recycle on the last snatch. Like most non-elite athletes in CrossFit, my “plan” always seems to get derailed by fatigue. Either way, I was happy to get in a couple of snatches at 75 lbs! If you’ve already completed 13.1, what was your score? One try? Two? Dare I ask, three? Post in the comments! (Photo Source: www.metconphotos.com)
For as long as I can remember, I was told that I get too excited. I was told that my vigor for life and its experiences was haughty, and that being outwardly ecstatic about something (or obsessed as some might put it) was not humble; it was not becoming of me. I’ll admit that my energy for new experiences can overwhelm even me at times, but stoicism is just not in my nature. Man of few words? Not I. I’m a woman of many, many words, and the emotional range of a Sherwin-Williams paint swatch.
When I was in Air Force junior ROTC my freshman year of high school and (the only girl) spinning rifles on the rifle team, it became my entire world. As soon as I got home from school, I was in the front yard spinning my Springfield 1903 replica until the sun went down. I couldn’t see life beyond this silly wooden rifle. I wanted to prove myself to the boys who didn’t want me on their team, and I wanted to prove myself to all the girls who scoffed at me, a girl, for spinning a rifle. I acquired a ton of bruises, and naturally I dropped the rifle a lot, but that just made me want it that much more. So much so, that I completely submersed myself into it… mentally, emotionally, physically. Much like an actor emulates the character they’re going to portray, I became my rifle. It’s all I could think about, it’s all I could talk about, it’s all I could dream about.
As my passion increased, so did the emotional oppression: “You spend too much time doing that”, “You talk about it too much”, “You told us that already”. The rejection was drilled into my mind again and again. After a while, it seemed like the path of least resistance was the best one, and I could achieve that by surrendering to people’s beliefs about how I should and shouldn’t act. And for a long while that path worked. It didn’t make me happy, but it got me off the radar. I suppressed my feelings to accommodate the world (that’s what it felt like at times: me vs. the world) and in exchange, everyone could be content. (disclaimer: I have no intention of victimizing myself when I share this, and I’d like to acknowledge that I realize that everyone, and I mean everyone, was and is doing their best from their own point of consciousness).
But when passion is in your heart, it will not and cannot die. It can be caged, it can be convinced, and it can be swayed. It can be subdued, forgotten, and it can even be misplaced, but only temporarily.
I thought my passion had died, until I began CrossFit in February 2011. It became very evident to me that it had not only been inside of me all along, but also that it refused to be ignored any longer. It was during my very first workout, and I believe it was somewhere between jumping on a tire and doing abmat situps that I was filled with this feeling of complete. desperate. need. to keep doing whatever it was I was doing that day in the gym. CrossFit was merely the catalyst though. It helped to reignite this fire that was always in me, and it was as if someone was dousing it in flammable fluid – an out-of-body experience. I was filled with this old overwhelming burst of feeling that I hadn’t felt in so long. It was as if these invisible chains had been lifted & I was free again.
That was the day my life changed. That was the day I really began to live again.