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!
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,
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.
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!
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.
I am running with Mom and Dad at the Maple Leaf Half Marathon in Manchester, Vermont.
I have been struggling with how to grow the OutdoorFit program. The majority of the OutdoorFit ladies are in their 70’s and 80’s. I wouldn’t be attracted to what is typically described as an older population workout . That sounds like a low impact senior aerobics class. So how can I promote OutdoorFit? I decided to meditate on it. The other morning, I woke up at 6am, made myself a cup of coffee, and set my phone alarm for 10 minutes. I sat in the darkness. What came to me is that I need to embrace the OutdoorFit women. They are exceptional! I am proud to be promoting them. And, I am 68, which is getting pretty close to 70! So, why not?
There is an image issue that I am struggling with. Do I call OutdoorFit a bootcamp? What 70 year old is going to say yes to a bootcamp that includes mountain climbers and burpees? Last Sunday during my church’s coffee hour, a group of people were talking about the CROP walk. It is a 5 mile walk to raise money and awareness about hunger in our area. A women said she has been walking 2 miles but at “her age” she doesn’t think she can walk 5 miles. She mentioned her ankles, knees and “her age” several times. I usually don’t say anything in a social situation about what I do . I could feel the emotion rising up in my body. I had to say something! I pulled her aside and asked her if she knew what I did. She said,”no”. I said, “I run an outdoor bootcamp”. Her immediate reaction was there is no way I am going to a bootcamp. Do I need a new description? Senior Fitness with Mary just doesn’t cut it. I sent the church women my website and a video of an interview with Elaine. She is 84-1/2 and comes to OutdoorFit 3 times a week.
OutdoorFit is an exceptional workout because of the ladies that show up. We are a very special bootcamp. You can be like Jane at 78 and still be doing pushups off the ground. You can come back to OutdoorFit after a hip replacement like Mary and Meredith. You can be like Elaine who keeps showing up and is in amazing shape with her 8 pound weights! In the video, Elaine talked about Sissie, another OutdoorFit regular, who at 83, still plays a mean game of tennis and pickle ball. Andrea and Elena, the OutdoorFit youngsters love a great workout and are inspired by the older women. We also have a fabulous group online that I know are thriving as well!
Strength training and muscle building is so important as we age. The ladies bring their own weights. They quickly advance from using 5 # weights to 8’s, 10’s and 12’s! I am there to help every step of the way.
The workout is outside all year long. The cold or heat does not stop us. We do go in for rain or snow. I also live stream the workouts if you are not in the area or just like working out in your basement.
We are Fit and Fabulous…Aging Optional!
Reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Come give us a try!
I started OutdoorFit 16 years ago in the back parking lot of a local gym. I wasn’t a trainer at the time, but I knew how to work out. I was in my early 50’s, and I was winning some of the gym’s fitness challenges. The owner asked me if I would like to work there. I didn’t want to be a personal trainer that focused on one on one workouts. I have always loved running and being outside, so I decided to start an outdoor class with a few brave women from the gym. The ladies were up for doing something new and different. They all loved that we were outside all year long. It is now 16 years later. A few of the originals are still training with me with me today at 70 and 80 something!
I have made some changes as we have gotten older. Recently, I have introduced mobility exercises to the program. I am taking classes with Petra Fisher, a movement coach. It has been so helpful. I am noticing a difference in my body already. This morning at OutdoorFit, we did wrist flexion, extensions, and circles. It feels like a dopey thing to do, but it was amazing. I didn’t have discomfort in my wrists like I normally do when we did our pushups. AND, I could hold my hands in the proper position without pain.
My intention is to be the best version of myself. I want to feel strong and energetic throughout my day. I can’t do that if I am in pain. I am constantly searching for new ways to bring more mobility to my body which is so key to feeling fit and fabulous. I am honored to be still teaching the OutdoorFit ladies to do the same.
My sister Kathleen, has started taking ice baths. She’s been adding 30#’s of ice to her bath water. She sent me a text on Saturday. “Just got out. Thank you for this. I am the best version of me when I do things like this.” Kathleen lives in NC. I wished she lived next door. We would have a great time together and I could send Thomas over there to hang out.
This is my morning prayer on the way to OutdoorFit.”Please help me be the best version of myself today.” It is a good reminder to do my best work. I know the importance of taking care of myself to allow the best version of me to come out.
September is my birthday month. I am now 68. I am strong, healthy and fit. I am not accepting getting slower as I age, I am getting better. There are so many things we all can do. I am taking a joint mobility class with Petra Fisher, which has already been so helpful. I started with the cervical spine and I am working my way down. I want my joints to be healthy, and have committed to moving them daily. It will help eliminate and prevent so many muscular aches and pains. Of course, I am sharing the movements with my OutdoorFit ladies.
I am focused on reducing inflammation in my body. It was my birthday and I enjoy indulging in special treats. Who doesn’t love a big bowl of Butterfinger ice cream? After a few days of overindulging, I wake up with a sugar hangover, I feel tension in my face and jaw, and I have itchy patches that make me feel like I am going to jump out of my skin. The sad story is that too much sugar is toxic to my body.
Here are 7 things I focus on daily to reduce inflammation and support my health.
Eat organic balanced low glycemic meals.
Eat 80 grams of protein.
Get a Good Night Sleep.
Have a good attitude.
Take my supplements.
Practice Wim Hoff breathing.
I get in a cold plunge when I can. Cold plunges are an excellent way to reduce inflammation! I usually end my shower with cold water. I am easing back in to the season. The water will be getting colder soon! Kathleen joins me in the ocean whenever she comes back home to NJ. It is always a crazy fun time.
Were my tips helpful to you? Are you aging well? The OutdoorFit ladies are aging well. We are all in this together. Please reach out. I would love to hear from you.
Last week, my friend and former OutdoorFit partner, Christa Lippert asked me if I wanted to go kayaking or get together for lunch. We managed to do both on our adventure! It seems like it would be a lot of fun and I felt I was in shape enough to do it. I kayaked once about 25 years ago. I really don’t know much about it. I live by 2 rivers and an ocean. It is about time to take advantage of that.
I met Christa at Victory Park in Rumson to launch the kayaks. Christa had everything! She was unfolding two kayaks, that she learned about on Shark Tank, when I got there. I thought there is no way I am getting into that thing. But of course I did, because I trust Christa. She always has a good system in place for everything! So, I tried to help her strap the kayak together along with snapping the paddles together. Christa is always prepared. She had a waterproof bag to put my lunch and towel in. She had a waterproof case for my phone and a whistle to wear around my neck in case I was in trouble. Apparently, I was going to get wet. We threw the lifejacket in the back of the kayak just in case.
I pushed the kayak into the water and got in. Christa is an excellent teacher and a great trainer. She googled how to kayak and was teaching me! She said, it is all about your legs and core. I would push the foot bar with my right foot and then push the paddle with my left arm. I tried my best to stay focused. We went under the Oceanic Bridge and kayaked over to an island where we had lunch. It took us 45 minutes to paddle to the island and 15 minutes to get back to Victory Park. Once we got back to the park I was a little stiff from my adventure and felt like I had a second workout for the day. Getting out of the kayak was a bit of a challenge. I got out and back into the kayak okay when we were at the island. This time I ended up to my waist in the Navesink River. I need to google how to get out of a kayak with Grace.
I am going to stay strong, healthy and fit so I can plan more exciting adventures! Are you in shape for the adventures in your life? You can be strong, healthy and fit at any age. I can help you. Click here to learn about OutdoorFit!
2022 has been a busy and stressful time. My Dad went into hospice and my Mom fell and broke her hip getting my Dad a beer. Yes, he stills enjoys a martini and an occasional beer in hospice. They are both, 91 and have been married 70 years. They have lived a wonderful life together. There have been so many special moments these past 4 months with my parents. Dad and I have liverwurst sandwiches for lunch while watching Gunsmoke. I spent time with my Mom in the hospital drinking tea and watching A League of their Own together. It has been nice in so many ways.
It also has emphasized how important it is to take care of yourself. I witness what a struggle it can become. Things, I take for granted like putting on your shoes and socks or going to the bathroom. These activities are now very difficult or impossible for Mom and Dad. I want to stay strong and fit for as long as possible. I have begun to work on some new exercises for myself and my OutdoorFit ladies. We are working on our glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. These are the muscles that you use getting up off the toilet. Do you want to stay out of the nursing home? Keep your muscles strong!
Here is an exercise to get you started!
Let me know how it goes! If you are interested in joining us online or in person, please CLICK HERE to learn more.
I started ocean plunging back in September. Unfortunately, since the beginning of January, it has been too windy, and the air too cold for me to do my plunging in the ocean. I have been taking 5 minute cold baths 3-4 times a week, to keep in plunging shape. Andrea, one of my fellow plungette takes a cold bath almost daily. I’m doing my best to keep up, but I don’t bother with the baths on the days I have OutdoorFit. Training outside in the cold is enough for me.
Sunday, Sophie, our golden retriever woke me up too early. She likes to get up at 6am and I wanted to sleep in. I was annoyed and cranky. I knew if I took a cold bath, I would have a quick change in attitude and feel so much better. I filled the tub with tap water. There is no need to add ice when the tap water is 40.8 degrees. As soon as you get in, you forget all of your problems except that you are sitting in frigid water. I sit upright for two minutes and then try to muster up the courage to get my upper body in as well. I stay in for two to three minutes more. I wash my face in the end. Andrea actually dunks her whole head in. I am not quite there yet.
My husband, Dan is getting tired of the noises coming from the bathroom. Sometimes, he will come in to talk me through. He coaches me to get to the next step. He encourages me with helpful phrases like, “Suck it up, Buttercup.” I am so grateful for his support.
I am obsessed with the plunge. I had an immediate shift in my attitude on Sunday. I felt so much better, Cold, but better. I know if I wake up achy, a cold bath will take care of the tension. I have lost weight. I am sleeping better, and a friend told me that I looked ten years younger. It is a powerful tool. I know it is crazy and that is part of the appeal!
I love the connection with Andrea and Rosanne, my fellow plungettes. I text them every time I am heading into the cold bath. I need all the support I can get. When we started last September, I told Andrea we are going to be best friends. We don’t need to eat or drink together. All we need to do is to jump into the ocean for 5 minutes. We have formed a strong bond. Doing something with a touch of craziness will do that. Do you want to read more about the benefits? Head over to the previous blog post.
I asked my fellow plungettes to share what they love about plunging.
From Andrea: “Plunging has a few fantastic benefits that keep me coming back to this seemingly crazy pastime. First and above all, it lifts my mood. Instantly. And after I do it, my brain feels sharper like when I’ve had a great nights sleep but better. When we go in the ocean as opposed to the tub, there is a feeling of connecting with the planet. And I believe it has sped up my metabolism a bit which is always nice. Finally, it has been a bonding experience with the two ladies who I do it with.”
From Rosanne: “I started to plunge this spring in my pond upstate as an entry into releasing fear around diving into a cold, sometimes dark body of water, after learning about Wimm Hoff and his ice baths. I began his breathing methods and found it’s benefits very helpful which led to my interest in having friends do the plunging together in the Atlantic ocean. The experience of being emersed in nature, with the brilliant sunshine and piping plovers encircling us was an amazing experience and has led me/ us to continue the practice. The bathtub is getting me through the winter and I am excited to return to the ocean with my fellow plungettes once the weather improves.”
This is my from my sister Kathleen who plunges in North Carolina: “Addicted to the plunge. When Mary first told me she was going into the icy waters of the Atlantic for 5 minutes – I thought she was nuts but also knew I had to try it. I have not had the chance to go into the ocean but live near a lake and have been in the sound. It’s exhilarating. My body thanks me every time. The aches disappear and my senses come alive. I’ve been able to do it most weeks – sometimes twice a week.”
I encourage you to give it a try. You don’t need to start with a cold bath. Turn the shower temperature to cold at the end of the shower. Breathe through it for 30 seconds. You will feel invigorated! Let me know how it goes.