Friday, August 10, 2007

My Boot Camp Finale

My horoscope for today reads:
The encouragement you've been waiting for will finally arrive today, from a very comforting source. A group of women will cheer you on and enable you to get out of your comfort zone a bit more, which will open your eyes to just how capable you actually are. People are looking out for you right now, and they want to give you the help you need -- whenever you need it. You are an important part of someone's life, and today you may finally start to understand just how important.

I'm not so sure about that last part, but the cheering women, the "encouragement I've been waiting for" and emerging from my comfort zone came this morning at approximately 5:51 am when I finally beat my stagnant mile time of 9 minutes 27 seconds.... fitting since this was my last day of Boot Camp (sadly, I can no longer afford the VERY reasonable $200/month.) I would like to preface my record time by reminding you that when I first started Boot Camp, my mile time was 11 minutes 04 seconds- f***ing SLOW!

My time this morning: 8 minutes 47 seconds.

For all the math whizzes, that's 2 minutes 17 seconds faster than the first mile I ran when I started Boot Camp in May! Still, that may not be impressive for you runners out there, but I was stuck for more than a month at around 9 minutes 25 seconds. I am SO proud! It makes me want to run everyday to keep beating it!

I cannot recommend Portland Adventure Boot Camp more. If you want to jump start your fitness program, get fit while having fun and get great support while doing it, you should try it! Daniel (previously referred to as "Sergeant") is seriously the best, most knowledgable, patient and positive trainer I have ever known. Everyday I went to camp, I would ask myself WHY I got up at 4:45 am (there is also a 9am class) to work my ass off. But after about 10 minutes of being there, I knew why- because I never have a bad day when I go to Boot Camp, I feel so energized afterwards (I don't even get sleepy at work!), Daniel gives fabulous tips and information and it is so great to be outside that early in the morning! (No, Daniel did not PAY me to write this.)

As for improving my mile time- the things that catapulted me this morning were:

1.) The first 1/4 mile is the most important. Daniel always told us to pace ourselves for the first 1/4 mile, to take it easy- but its a lot like your first semester of college: it's easier to keep a good GPA if your first semester is good, but it is REALLY hard to bring your GPA up if you have a bad first semester.... so I challenged authority and ran my butt of that first lap. (I also pulled off a pretty good sprint at the end.) My first split was 2 minutes! As long as I didn't totally run out of fuel in the next 7 minutes, I would be sittin' pretty. Which brings me to my next booster:

2.) Fuel. I drank lotsa water and ate lotsa carbs the night before. Mmmm.. leftover lasagne! Thanks Ali!

3.) Mood/Attitude. I was so discouraged by my times the last few previous miles and I know it affected my attitude. If you don't THINK you can do something, of course you can't. But if you KNOW you CAN do something, well....

4.) Music: I recommend M.I.A. My friend, we'll call her Miss Fitness, told me NOT to listen to my iPod while running because she said I needed to concentrate on my breathing. It may be true that I need to concentrate on my breathing (especially because I was getting a lot of sideaches at the beginning), but I need a distraction! If I didn't have good music, I would be concentrating on the texture of the track or something totally stupid instead of my breathing- I would be bored out of my mind!! Once again, I challenged authority. Music is emotional- it makes you feel relaxed or sad or happy or really frickin' motivated! ...and anyway, I think that the breathing thing just came naturally from all the great training that Daniel gave.

Thanks Daniel!! You are the best!


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