What's a Rest Day?

I've been working out really hard to prepare myself for this race and to do some general strength building for the other sports in my life but I've realized I don't allow myself time for recovery. I'm hoping this Sunday after a long training day on the mountain, I can give my body some much needed rest because God knows how stubborn  I am.

The last time I said I would give myself a rest day, I signed up for another gym membership at another gym AND I took TWO different work-out classes that same day on top of running 5 miles. The next couple of days, I was so sore that I was forced to take a rest day. So when I ask 'what's a rest day' I really mean it. And just to clarify when this happened, it was last week. Haha.

When I pour my heart into something, I just really fucking aim for the stars because I love it so much and need it in my life. I invest in the nicest gear. I do extensive research from diets, best conditioning exercises, to recovery techniques. I really put myself out there, at the expense of my own foolishness.

Earlier this morning, my personal trainer with a straight-face asked me if I'm a perfectionist. The real answer is no. But what I actually told her was that "I try really hard." The question caught me off guard which made me reevaluate my actions and what I said in that moment.  Whatever set off this notion may have been due to the fact that I've set such a monumental goal for such a short timeline to prepare and maybe I said something that would exude being overconfident. The thing is, I'm not trying to finish first. I want to surprise myself by finishing at a good race time and not dying by falling off a cliff. To me, that's perfect enough. This is not my first mountain race. I've been down this path before where mental preparedness was a huge part of my regimen even if it comes off a bit superfluous.

 I think we're all different in how we mentally prepare for a race. There are people who get nervous and/or have self-doubt. And there are others who  believe they're winners before the race even started. 

Maybe I'm just a little pumped?

Maybe I'm just a little excited?

Maybe I just need to calm down and take a rest day already!

This photo was taken on that said "rest day."

This photo was taken on that said "rest day."

I'm kinda in love with Zumba

My mom use to tell me how she loved going to the gym because of her obsession with Zumba, and I just remember thinking it's just another cheesy fad and how lame it sounded. Oh boy, I think being wrong warrants some sort of phone call: "Mom, you're totally right about Zumba." There would be no "hi mom" when she answers the phone because I should spare my words for important shit like how much I'm in love with Zumba. No time for small talk.

Anyhow, I  had a super  awesome time at the gym. Ran a good few miles on top of me getting down on the dance floor. The instructor told us to free-style dance in between a series of Zumba moves. And I was like, "LADY, DON'T MIND IF I DO." I pretty much took half of the gym floor kicking my legs in the air, I could feel the judgement coming on so strong from the other girls. Too bad I didn't have zero fucks to give.

Tomorrow morning, I have a personal trainer scheduled who specializes in training for races. Then the following week, I will have another session with her before my race. This is getting pretty serious. I can't even... right now. I should just Zumba my ass through the entire race.

Improving my eating habits

Three weeks ago, I began a pescetarian diet which basically consists of a vegetarian diet but with the exception of fish/seafood. I've gone full vegetarian before, but fish as an almost daily protein and a meat alternative is actually good for you. I can elaborate more later on why I made the switch and how it has effected me so far. The short version of it, was partly due to the fact that I ate red meat for an entire week straight and not feeling physically well afterwards. And then my face started breaking out and it threw my "regularity" off. It was bad news overall.

A few days ago, I wasn't feeling very well. My muscles became weak after a normal evening at the gym and an overwhelmed feeling of exhaustion hit me to the point I had to stay home from work. I knew right away it was from iron deficiency as I've been on this road before with training for a race and changing my eating habits. I started taking iron supplements again to combat it. I'm fully aware that it's more important to take iron organically in foods but I needed to act quick. It helped. A LOT.

I met with a nutritionist at my gym the following morning to lay out a better eating plan for my week. I was told to snack often for the obvious reasons that you should never want your blood sugar to dip too low that your body starts absorbing fat. And packing a work lunch daily would be a good start. I was told that no matter how healthy I'm eating at a restaurant, they tend to add sugar/oil/butter to a lot of their ingredients to make it tastier. I agree. I should really start cooking/preparing my meals the night before.

She suggested that I snack on peanut butter, greek yogurt, fruits, and some carbs. DON'T MIND IF I DO. 

So if you find yourself eating too far between meals, you should probably snack and hydrate often. Note to self.

Spring at the Gunks

A couple weekends ago, we visited New Paltz, NY to enjoy the first real day of spring climbing in the northeast. We first explored the Mohonk Preserve followed with some climbing in the Lost City with new friends. (The Lost City is a less traveled part of the Gunks and a great alternative to the famous Trapps if you don't mind a 15 minute hike-in.) It was the first time in a long time I've felt the sun's warmth on my skin. Everything felt suddenly normal again. Rock climbing was back in full swing. And people were much more pleasant to be around. Oh, it's a great time to be alive.

I'm infatuated with upstate New York. During our road trip across the US almost two years ago, I remember driving through the state and thinking there's so much more to New York than Manhattan. A definite eye-opener as I'm originally from California, and the only time I've visited in the past was to NYC. Also, while binging on Sex & The City. I no longer think of New York as some concrete jungle in a sea of yellow cabs.

NO. 

New York is home to the Adirondacks, Catskill Mountains, world-class climbing in the Shawangunks, and so many more state parks to name you'd go cross-eyed trying to remember them all. It's far more beautiful than most would even fathom, unless of course, skyscrapers and pollution are your thing. It's just that damn awesome.

So without further adieu, here's some unedited photos from that sweet, spring weekend.