Shoot! I had to slow down.

Shoot! I had to slow down and then stop for a moment. The last post, I told you that we had to intensify our training for the mile. Dorian and I had 3 hard workouts that week. I am so proud to say that I did it! It is always exciting to accomplish a challenge you aren’t sure you will be able to complete. It was over the top though. My whole body was fatigued. I started having squiggly lines in my vision. They are ocular migraines, and they last about twenty minutes. That is a sign that I am stressed and pushing myself too hard. I need to back off for a bit. I reached out to Dorian and told her I would need to reduce the intense workouts to once a week for a while. Last Friday, we met for a 45 minute workout in Huber woods. It was hot, but felt great to be back running the trails. Now, my left leg is feeling wonky. I put on my toe spacer and I am doing Foundation Training. It will help put me back into alignment and strengthen the muscles of my back, feet and ankles. I will be back running soon!

Our plungette season is over. The ocean temperature is 62 degrees. It is no longer a therapeutic cold plunge. It is now beach season. I just listened to Shelby Stanger’s podcast Wild Ideas Worth Living. She interviewed the Boogie Board Wave Chasers They are a group of women in San Diego who are between the ages of 55 and 95. They meet 5 times a week to Boogie Board. It is a great workout that uses all the muscles of the body and makes you feel like a kid again! This is will be a good compliment to OutdoorFit and my track workouts. I think I have an old boogie board in the garage that I can dust off and take for a ride. Want to join me? I am excited!

Love,

Mary

I try not to whine about it.

It has been two months since my last blog post and the beginning of my mile training. While it has been exhilarating to try something new, it has been difficult, yet satisfying. I feel like I need to keep going. My friend Dorian and I are training together. She is in charge. I show up at the track and she has planned the workout. I just do what she tells me, and try not to whine about it.

I will let you in on my progress. I am not quite sure what to think about it. I started training on March, 17. On March 31, I did my first time trial. I ran a 8:38 in the park on a mile course. 8:38 is nowhere near 5:55, which is the time I need to break the National record for my age. I wasn’t expecting much because I had not been running and had just started the track workouts.

Fast forward 2 months. I have been training hard twice a week on the track. We had our second time trial on the same course in the park. I ran a 8:28, only 10 seconds under my previous time. I called my brother Paul to tell him about the time. He pointed out when you start something new, you improve quickly and then it becomes so much harder to make any progress. That information doesn’t discourage me. I am thrilled at 68 to be able to complete the workouts. I notice a difference in my body. I feel leaner and stronger. I am starting to feel comfortable running again.

According to Dorian, it is time to up the intensity on our training. I am not quite sure how I can do that. I have gotten this far, so we will see what happens. We need to work on strength and endurance. Hill workouts are now on the schedule. I will work on not whining too much.

The key is to not overdue things and injure myself. I am prioritizing recovery. I am cold plunging, foam rolling, getting massages, taking Epsom salt baths and making sure I am eating enough protein. Naps are important too. I tend to eat too many carbohydrates and push through when I am tired. I don’t want to do that.

Thanks for reading,

Mary

PS. We end all of our track workouts with crunches and Foundation Training. I always include ab work and Foundation Training at OutdoorFit. Are you interested in getting stronger with me and the Fabulous OutdoorFit ladies? It is not too late to start. You will be amazed with you can do.

The perfect stretch after a hill workout!

This is Exhilarating!

Last week’s blog was about feeling flat and a bit depressed. So much has changed in just a week. I reached out to my friend Dorian. I wrote about her in the blog 5 years ago. She was training for an ultra marathon at the time. A few weeks ago, I saw that her store, Shore Footed, was closing. She has been a great sneaker resource for years. I was sad to see the liquidation sign in the window. I asked her about the store and what was next. She told me she was training to beat the National record for her age in the mile. She is now 63 and needs to run a 5:37 mile! Training for the mile is totally different from training for a 100 mile race. I told her I wanted to train with her. I love Dorian’s enthusiasm, so I thought why not give it a shot? I need to do a sub 5:55 mile for my age at 68! I could run that 35 years ago but, it has been a long time since I have been on the track.

It is so exciting to be working at something that you are not sure if you can do it or not. Last Friday, we met at a high school track. She asked me if I have been running. No, not really, except for a few short trips around the neighborhood with Sophie the dog. Our first workout was 9-200’s. We ran them slow, medium and fast. OH MY! I did it and I felt good while doing it. The soreness set in quickly. My whole body was SORE for 5 days. I spent the weekend foam rolling, stretching, napping and taking epsom salt baths. I also plunged twice in the ocean. Tuesday, we met again. Our second workout was 6-400’s. We ran them slow, medium, and fast. My fastest one was a 2:05. If you do the math, it is a 8:20 mile if I could possibly keep that pace going. It is a long way to 5:55. That’s okay. It is all about the process, and I am doing something fun with Dorian. Dorian is an amazing athlete and I appreciate her running tips and encouragement. It feels great to be doing something different. I am eager to see how my body changes and how much faster I can go.

Tuesday, I plunged after the workout and then had a massage. I have no time to feel flat or bit depressed.

I do have my limits with Dorian. After the workout, she likes to warm down with a few hand stands and flips into the pole-vault pit. I told her that I wanted to finish the workout standing up and to be able to walk out to my car.

I also attended a Native plant workshop at our local library. It was very interesting. I am not sure how much time or energy I will have for gardening this year. I am working on being a 68 year old track star!

What have you been up to? I encourage you to try something new. It is exhilarating!

Love,

Mary

What do you do when you are feeling flat and maybe a bit depressed?

What do you do when you are feeling flat and maybe a bit depressed?I start decluttering and cleaning in the corners. Last week, I had my son Sam pull the refrigerator out so I could vacuum behind it. Oh my! I live with a Golden retriever and there was so much dust and hair behind the refrigerator. It was so satisfying! It didn’t stop there. I cleaned my oven door with boiling water, baking soda and a ball of aluminum foil. I sent before and after photos to my sister Patty and my niece Katie. They too appreciate a clean and well taken care of home. I also got out the carpet cleaner. I cleaned the bedroom carpeting and all the rugs. It gives me peace when I come home to a clean house. I am getting the urge to paint our bedroom. It is a pale yellow, Benjamin Moore’s Windham Cream. I am over my yellow phase. I am leaning towards my latest color Feather Down. “An eye-pleasing off white that verges on beige.” Most of our home is becoming Feather Down. I also made wash and wear linen curtains. I don’t want heavy curtains that need to be dry cleaned. It is all very soothing to me.

Simplicity

The work is all great and keeps me busy. I end up with a cleaner home. There is part of me that feels like I am wasting my time and it is a distraction from more meaningful work. I reached out to my friend, Andreea of Little Bites of Joy. She is very wise. She said, “I think we process a lot when we declutter.” She said follow your heart. So, for now, I will keep decluttering and cleaning. Painting our bedroom Feather Down is next on the schedule. Photos to come.

What do you do when you feel flat and a bit depressed? I would love to hear.

Thanks for reading.

Love,

Mary

Finding Joy in the Ordinary.

I listened to Simon Sinek’s A Bit Of Optimism Podcast. It was called Guaranteed Joy with Richard Curtis. I love the title. Who doesn’t want that? Richard is a writer and sometime director known for optimistic, funny, and uplifting films like Love ActuallyAbout TimeNotting HillBridget Jones’s Diary, and many more. These are the types of movies that I love. I am going to look up About Time. I haven’t seen that one.

I listened to the Podcast twice in the same day. The conversation between Simon and Richard made so much sense. It put words and meaning to my actions. I am a little embarrassed to admit I love watching movies over and over again. How boring does that sound? Am I learning anything new? Not really, but it is bringing me an hour and a half of Guaranteed Joy! We don’t go out to eat much but when I do I usually order the same thing because I know that I will love it. Now, I know it is guaranteed joy!

Simon and Richard also talked about happiness. They said: “Truly happy people appreciate the little things.” Richard’s Dad’s motto was, “You can’t be happier than happy.” If you are happy don’t try to up it. It is about Finding Joy in the Ordinary. I need to be grateful for the times when my sister and I laugh until we cry over something ridiculous. I am going to keep looking for these small moments.

I am going to watch Grace and Frankie while I am making dinner this evening. This is my fifth time through. It always brings me a little joy.

Here is a link to the Podcast. Enjoy, and let me know if you are inspired to make popcorn and watch Notting Hill for the tenth time.

Love,

Mary

Simplicity

This is all so much fun!

I love being a 68 year old plungette! My friend Andrea took a photo of me in my bathing suit, so I could post about it. 50 years ago, I never would have had the confidence to have my photo taken in my suit, let alone post it. Of course, there was no posting back then.

Today was another great plunge. It was 65 degrees and partly cloudy in February. I picked up Andrea and headed to the beach to meet Lauren and Elena. I have the beach car. I don’t care if my car gets full of sand because I belong to the car wash club at the Shrewsbury car wash. As we drive over the Sea Bright bridge we can see the water. I check for white caps, hoping that it will be calm. It always feels surreal to me and is unbelievable that we are about to get into 40 degree water. We do it. We stay in for 5 minutes and 30 seconds. We talk, laugh and sometimes have waves crashing over our heads just to add to the excitement. Being in the water is not the difficult part. The hard part is getting our wet bathing suits off, and dressed as quickly as possible. Your hands stop working well because they are so cold. We all have big coats, so we can get changed under them right on the beach.

My brother Paul gave me snack packs of seaweed. He couldn’t believe that anyone would enjoy eating seaweed. I brought them to the beach to share with my fellow plungettes. Can you think of a more appropriate snack? Everyone loved them.

This is all so much fun! What are you doing for fun this winter?

Love,

Mary

Be The Exception.

It is January. It has been a cold, dreary, damp month. I have been listening to podcasts about enthusiasm and optimism. It is a push to feel that way. I am taking baby steps every day to choose what feels better. This morning, I started my day with OutdoorFit. I had two new ladies join the workout. Last Friday, I did a Fit and Fabulous… Aging Optional presentation at the Little Silver Library. These two brave souls decided to give the class a try. It is not easy to start during Winter Warrior season, yet it is the best time. It is empowering to do things that most people won’t do. Be The Exception. It made me feel good to introduce the new ladies to the seasoned OutdoorFit athletes who are in their 60’s,70’s and 80’s!

I am still plunging with the Plungettes! Plunging in the ocean with your friends in January really boosts your spirits. One of the ladies suffers from seasonal depression. She has been fine this year. We are still able to stay in for 5 minutes and 30 seconds. 11 minutes per week is the magic number to receive the optimum benefit from cold plunges according to Andrew Huberman, PhD.

In order to feel enthusiastic and optimistic, I need to feel strong and empowered. What I eat is very important. I am increasing my protein intake and decreasing my snacks. We will see how this goes! This is what I had for breakfast today.

Who knew scrambled eggs and cottage cheese was so delicious?

What are you doing to feel good? Any inspiration to share? I love simplicity. Are you inspired by eggs and cottage cheese?

Love,

Mary

Why do I want to post this photo?

Why do I want to post this photo? It is not very flattering. I just finished a 5 minute plunge in 56 degree water and I am feeling amazing! I am wearing my plungette cap, which apparently can make my ears stick out. I am hunched over because I’m a bit chilly. My arms have sagging skin on them in spite of bumping my weights up to 15 pounds for my OutdoorFit exercises. I have skin bulging out of the top of my bathing suit and I am thicker around the middle than I would like to be. I am 68 and pretty much go by how I am feeling rather than how I am looking. It is better that way! I am also growing my highlights out. It feels like my hair no longer goes with my face. Can you relate? I don’t feel bad about all of the above, and I am not giving up. I feel a sense of Freedom. I want to have great energy and strength. I want to feel fabulous!

I woke up this morning, the day after Thanksgiving, with a sugar hangover. I didn’t sleep well and I felt very achy. I decided to start a Free 30 day Feel Fabulous Program. I will be sharing daily Fabulous tips on Instagram, Facebook and my You Tube Channel. Why not do December differently this year so you won’t need to start a detox in January!

Sophie is always up for a round of Mountain Climbers!

I hope you will join me. It is always more Fun with Friends!

Love,

Mary

It Has Been An Emotional Time.

It has been an emotional time. My Dad passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 5, 2022. He was buried last Friday, November 11, 2022. Dad had a traditional viewing and a lovely funeral. My brother Paul gave an amazing heartfelt and funny eulogy. There was not a dry eye in the house. When Paul finished, everyone stood up and applauded. He received an impressive standing ovation in a Catholic Church. We had a funeral procession through town with a Mountainside and Westfield Police escort. We left the church, drove through town, went through red lights, and stopped traffic. The procession paraded past the house we all grew up in, and drove through Mindowaskin Park on the way to the Cemetery. It was a spectacular send off. I am sure my Dad loved it!

Saturday, my nieces put together a run to celebrate my Dad. It was so healing. I wasn’t sure if I could do it. It was only 2.25 miles, but I haven’t run that far in years. We ran from my brother’s house, which is the house I grew up in, over to my Mom’s. We high fived Mom and then ran back. My niece was my running partner. She had a baby 6 weeks ago, but she’s in the Army and very tough. We ran at a very slow, a ten minute pace. We were in the back, and lost the pack, but it felt great! I was so happy that I could run that far in my Xero Minimal sneakers without stopping. Afterwards, I stayed for a cup of coffee and a scone. It is interesting how you want sugar at times of emotional stress. It is very soothing in the moment. It is too bad that pecan pie is not good for you. I went home and plunged in the Atlantic Ocean with my friends, the Plungettes, in the afternoon. It was a great day! I will stick to exercise and movement to soothe my soul and stay away from the sugar.

I come from a big family. We will all grieve in our own ways. We will take care of Mom. Her house is very quiet now. I will continue to take care of myself and look for signs of Dad’s Love. I have seen them already. Thomas sees Grandpa in the sky. I know he will be a powerful comforting angel for all of us.

Don’t worry, Dad we will give you a few weeks of Resting in Peace.

Love, Mary

I am running with Mom and Dad at the Maple Leaf Half Marathon in Manchester, Vermont.

I love that Dad has a smile on his face!

That was a tough hilly beautiful course.

What does it mean to be in your sixties?

What does it mean to be in your sixties? It feels surreal to me. I am 68, which is pushing 70. The OutdoorFit ladies are in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I gear my OutdoorFit workouts to how my body feels. It is important for my own well being, and the well being of the women I coach. . We have one youngster in her 50’s. I have gotten very good at listening to my body. I have shifted our workouts to less burpees and more joint mobility work. I was having issues with my right shoulder and it was affecting my pushups and weight lifting. Since I incorporated mobility work into the workouts, my shoulder and arm are now pain free. I think it is so important not to keep pushing through pain, which I would have done in the past. I now investigate why something is hurting, fix it and carry on with my pushups! I know so many people give up as they grow older, and just stop working out. They might walk in their neighborhood and think that is enough. Strength training and flexibility are so important as we age.

It is exhilarating to try new things. I am so happy that I have found a group of women in their 60’s, and that one youngster in her 50’s, who are willing to jump in the ocean with me! We call it plunging. It sounds crazy, but it has so many benefits! Talking about aches and pains, a 5 minute dip in the cold ocean does wonders by reducing inflammation and making you feel better. Plunging also boosts your neurotransmitters; Gaba, Serotonin and Dopamine! There is an added bonus when the sun is shining. you really appreciate the warmth of the sun. Cold plunges are a great way to boost your metabolism and lose a few pounds! Of course, I love the touch of craziness. The Fall is a great time to start. The water temperature is manageable and your body can gradually adjust to the cold. The weather forecast is for a beautiful Fall weekend. Do you want to try something new (and slightly crazy)? Come plunging in the ocean with me.

Love,

Mary