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!
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?
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.
What are you doing to feel good? Any inspiration to share? I love simplicity. Are you inspired by eggs and cottage cheese?
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!
I hope you will join me. It is always more Fun with Friends!
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.
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.
Sunday, I walked the CROP walk with Rosanne, the minister’s wife. She said, “Mary, I think you are being way too hard on yourself. Enjoy your glass of wine with dinner.” It felt like divine intervention. I am happy to say I am back to one glass of wine with dinner. Thank you, Rosanne!
I am a little embarrassed. Last week, I posted that I stopped drinking. I reached out to many friends and trusted family members for support. After stopping for 9 days, I am back to my glass of wine. My one glass did not turn into a bottle. It was turning into a glass and a half. The 9 days off was a good thing to do. I took really good care of myself. I meditated, did Wim Hoff breathing and jumped into the ocean a few times with Rosanne.
Saturday night, I went to my husband’s high school reunion and didn’t have a glass of wine. They were handing out champagne as we were waiting to sign in and get our name tags. I said no thank you. I had a nice time at the reunion. I set the intention to have fun, with no drinking and enjoy a nice dinner without overindulging. It was fine.
Have you heard of gray area drinking? My friend Jessica sent me this video which I found very helpful and maybe you will too.
Jolene Park, the Functional Nutritionist in the video, talks about gray area drinking. It is the area of drinking where there is no rock bottom. You use alcohol to manage your stress and anxiety. You feel bad about how much and how often you drink. She also talks about how naturally boosting your neurotransmitters, Gaba, Serotonin, and Dopamine, can help you if you want to stop drinking.
Here is my plan, and I have had a great week! I am focusing on boosting my Gaba, Serotonin, and Dopamine levels. Gaba has a calming effect. Serotonin increases happiness, and Dopamine is associated with pleasure. I plunged in the Atlantic Ocean with Rosanne 3 times this week. It absolutely makes you feel better to be outside in the sunshine at the beach and jump into the 62 degree water for 5 minutes! It feels like a new day. Every night, I enjoy one glass of wine in a beautiful crystal glass and I feel all is well.
Go out and Boost your Neurotransmitters! OutdoorFit will boost your Gaba, Serotonin and Dopamine!
I was not sure if I was ready to go public with this because it is so new. I decided to go ahead and post in the hope that it will help someone else. I stopped drinking my daily glass of wine or two. It was slowly creeping up to two glasses. I can find studies that say one or two glasses are good for you, or that a lot of centenarians have a glass daily. I could easily continue with my daily glass for the rest of my life, but I know it is not the right answer for me. Wine is starting to feel toxic in my body. Alcohol is also a sleep disruptor. Last night, I slept a solid 8 1/2 hours. A good night’s sleep is the best! I want to be the Best Version of Myself. and a good night’s sleep is important.
This is just the beginning. I am on my 6th day without alcohol. I can feel the anxiety building in my body and wanting to sabotage myself. 5:30 pm, is the beginning of the witching hour for me. I start feeling aggravated because I need to make dinner that is the prime trigger for the urge to have a glass of wine. I am really good at sabotaging myself. I stress eat when I am not drinking and then I tell myself this is not working, and go back to drinking wine again. Yesterday, when the urge hit, I decided to jump rope for 8 minutes and take a cold tap water bath. I felt much better. I poured myself a fancy glass full of kombucha and I got through it. I made dinner without overeating.
I have a great support system. I have a few friends and family members who I can text or call. Thank you to my friend Ivone. I can invite myself over to her house in the late afternoon. We sit on her beautiful porch, and have a cup of Calm tea. I am embracing tea in my life. Listening to the Rich Roll podcast with Dr. Jud Brewer. Breaking Bad Habits while making dinner, has been so helpful. Dr. Jud and Rich Roll, who is a recovering alcoholic, say it is not about willpower. I need to sit in the discomfort and figure out how to do this with ease and grace.
Thanks for reading. I hope this was helpful to you.
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.