Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Reflections on a year of training with JRP

Today marks the one-year anniversary of working with JRP at the gym. (See http://unblob.blogspot.com/2008/05/met-with-trainer.html) His methods, approach, and personality are such a good match for me and I remain humbly grateful for all he has helped me learn and accomplish. I appreciate that he's very detailed, methodical, and research-oriented, basing his decisions on evidence. He's open to new ideas and suggestions, reserving judgement until he's checked things out. He pushes and challenges me and keeps the workouts creative and fresh. We work toward multiple goals in a focused and planned-out way and he really invests himself in achieving those goals. And in my case it helps that he has experience with injuries and rehab (and he's gaining experience in counseling the injured athlete too :-). I have a lot of confidence knowing that in my busy schedule, my gym time and splits are optimized and I can leave the planning to him.

This is a good time to do some reflecting on the last year. It's been a full and rewarding journey that's far from over. I have not yet begun to peak!
  • Ran about 1000 miles (48 weeks x 20 miles/week)
  • Did over 50,000 (that’s FIFTY THOUSAND) reps at the gym*
  • Bought 6 pairs of tennis shoes (Nike, Asics [2], Brooks, Mizunos, New Balance)
  • Completed seven races (2-5ks, 10k, 10 miler, 2-Half Marathons, 15 mile trail race)
  • Competed in a bench press competition (benched my weight 120 lbs)
  • Lost 25 pounds
  • Met lots of cool new people through running and the gym
  • Worked through injuries (IT bands, foot, piriformis, torn ligaments, stress fracture)
  • Learned a lot of stretches, how to use a foam roller, and best ways to ice
  • Bought two cases of peanut butter from the farmer’s market
  • Acquired a taste for a good steak (filet actually)
  • Bought (and fit in) pants in size 2 (and have a closet full of clothes that don’t fit)
  • Learned that I like running in the cold weather, in the dark, and very early in the morning!
  • Watched lots of running movies and read lots of running books
  • Met my goal of 8 pull-ups
  • Got really picky about the socks I wear
  • Added 3 people to the group of those keeping me in one piece (in addition to chiropractor -massage therapist, physical therapist, orthopedic doc)
  • Ran a 5-K with Spencer
  • Referred to as “an athlete” (who, me??)
  • Learned to eat like an athlete and recognized connection between food and how I feel
  • Became a morning person, up before 6 am regularly
  • Got a cool GPS running watch to obsess over numbers
  • Worked up to swimming a mile
  • Learned about (and did) speedwork and intervals. Love/hate relationship with it!!
* 52 weeks/year x 3.5 workouts/week x 8 exercises/workout x 3 sets/exercise x 12 reps/set = 52,416 reps/year

So what's ahead this year? Who knows, but here are some ideas:
  • Summer -135 bench, 6-minute mile, swim for BCC swim team
  • Fall - triathlon, marathon
  • Winter - bench press/powerlifting
  • Spring - Pittsburgh Marathon! (and of course I can hope for Boston)
Regardless, it's about the journey not the destination. Do I regret training for the Pittsburgh Marathon? Absolutely not. Those efforts gave me confidence and mental readiness that remains with me.

What a year it has been -- looking forward to the next one!