Hero to Zero and back again

Last weekend, I got back from an amazing 5-week trip to Southeast Asia that included lots of sightseeing, adventuring, food and drink. And almost no exercise whatsoever.

The weekend before I left for the trip, I won a 5k with what was undoubtedly my best time since finishing cross-country in high school—22:51, or 7:22 miles. Hard work definitely paid off on that one. Like I’ve been saying, just getting out there and doing it day after day, even if you think it’s not going well, makes a giant difference. None of my training runs had been close to that fast, but on race day it turned out I was in a lot better shape than I gave myself credit for! Plus, you have to thank those endorphins.

But I digress. The 5 weeks of food and fun are over, and now I’m home, arguably lighter weight-wise but with a significantly worse body composition (O, abs, where art thou?). My cousin is getting married in 3 weeks and I need to make sure I look GOOD. I’m not going to lie, it’s been a long time since I was in a state of what I’d consider 0 fitness. Of course, I have residual in-shapeness from having trained so hard for that race, but it’s been proven that it only takes about 2 weeks to lose most of your fitness. I’d still consider myself at a very early stage.

While this is fairly foreign territory for me, I’ve decided just I’m gonna to do what I gotta do to look good again. For me, that means getting significant exercise 6 days/week, including getting back to lifting weights. I really enjoy weight training, but for some reason have not made myself find the time to do it. Now that my 6-pack has turned into a keg, it’s time to commit. The plan is to currently lift 2-3 days per week (after cardio, of course) and use the other 3-4 days for more intense cardio work—think swimming or soccer.

Last week, my first week back, was almost a disaster. I was jetlagged, we had friends in town, and I was still dealing with some remnants of Southeast Asian cuisine. I only worked out twice (but managed to lift both times!). This week, though, I feel 100% and today will be my 3rd day straight of working out. I’m still easing into it, and it’s going to take awhile before I can start increasing the speed AND the distance on the treadmill, but I’m already starting to see progress.

Obviously, I have no results to report, and no way to tell you exactly the key to getting in shape. But I’m going to be keeping a workout log to keep myself honest and on top of my stuff, and I’ve already made a decision to really dedicate myself for the next 3 weeks. So–to everyone who’s looking for a place to start—I’m right there with you! You might notice a little change in tone and subject matter of the blog over the next few weeks as I veer slightly away from giving exercises, advice, etc. to letting you know how I’m getting it done.

I hope I’ll be pleasantly surprised at my results 3 weeks from now. My keys here? Keeping a record, and doing something every day. Here we go!

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