Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Life on Water

It occurred to me the other day that I have never really gone into what I do, or why I "run on water". I can't go into ALL the details (non-disclosure agreements being what they are), but hopefully what I can discuss will be interesting.

I work for a well known comedy theatre, doing contracts on a well known cruise line's various ships. As someone who has loved comedy and travel their whole life, this is an amazing job and it has been a life-changing opportunity.

It got me out of a desk job that I hated (and didn't belong in, frankly), it helped Greg and me realize that we wanted to get married, and over the last year (although I've made excuses to the contrary up until last year), it has also given me the time and the means to focus on losing weight, training for the races we've done, and getting fitter in general.

Now, I say I made excuses. Those excuses packed about 40 pounds onto my body in about 4 years. It went up and down, but the end result was me running the Princess Half literally 40 pounds heavier than I was when I started doing ships. That was frustrating. I had started running partially to lose weight, but the weight just wasn't moving.

I blamed the food. I mean, people who go on a a cruise gain an average of 5 to 7 pounds in a week, and I'm here for 4 months at a time. How did I stand a chance?

The first thing that I had to change was my relationship to the job. Everyone around me was on vacation. I was not. They could afford to cut loose, eat the "naughty" food and drink the yummy cocktails. I could not. They could take the week off from the gym. I'd never been a big gym-goer. So everything had to change, or I could not change at all.

We have access to the gym on each ship, and now we've made it a point to work the gym into our schedule every day, even if it means forgoing time ashore. When we first started going to the gym a couple of contracts back, it was very basic, then we started using Jillian Michaels' programs. But all the while, we would see people following an impossible looking video on their computers.

They were doing P90X.

It may be old news to a lot of people, but it keeps mading the rounds on the cruise ships like a secret handshake. Once you know what it is, you see it everywhere. A group of dancers here, a customer service guy there, an officer over there... They all look impossibly fit. The workout seems impossible and moderately terrifying.

And so we started.

Greg completed the 90 days the first time we attempted the program on our last contract. I got 60 days in before other health issues threw me off all my training (both P90X and training for the Disneyland Half Marathon). But I could see and feel a difference even through the health garbage I was going through, and I ended up running a 10K when I got home at a pace that I thought was a pipe-dream goal at the time.

And so here we are again. No race to train for (which is still freaking me out a little), but I'm 4 weeks into P90X and feeling stronger than I have in a long time.

And thanks to the head start I got from Weight Watchers, and the ongoing accountability I achieve using MyFitnessPal, I've lost over 20 pounds since the Princess Half in February 2012, at least ten of which have come off while we have been on the ship these last 4 weeks.

I'm proud of that.

I'm also proud that I did a running experiment this week. I'm an interval run/walk/run Galloway gal - you know that. But this week, since I haven't run in almost a month, I thought I'd try something new. I warmed up and then put the treadmill at 5.5 and just ran straight. I wanted to see if I could get to a mile.

And I did. In 9 minutes 30 seconds.


My nemesis. Legs and Back.

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