Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I am an Athlete (???)

A few weeks ago I decided to finally get serious about exercise and signed up for WILDfit.  I’m just beginning my third week, and I’m really loving the program.  Okay, okay, I’m kind of hating it too - but hating it in a good way, because it’s definitely challenging!!


Basically, WILDfit is a 12-week program to get you in shape and to give you the mindset of an athlete.  The main message is that all of us, even people with diabetes, can be athletes.  There are weekly mantras to remind ourselves that “I am an athlete”.  I’m working hard on that one - although I haven’t quite convinced myself yet.

For Week One I started off strong!!  Although honestly, when I first saw the exercise schedule I was fairly taken aback.  It looked  much more intense than I had anticipated for the first week and I was sure I wouldn’t be up for the challenge.  But I read through all of my training materials and watched my training videos.  These gave me guidelines and information not only for the exercise itself, but also for diabetes and nutrition.  And to my surprise, I was able to complete all of my workouts without much of a struggle at all!!  I.  WAS.  PROUD!!  For the structured workouts (three days where you are given a specific workout to complete) we have the option to walk, run or combine walking and running.  I was able to “run” (sloooowly though)  for all of the segments, which really surprised me and gave me my first revelation.  Why have I struggled so much when training for 5Ks in the past?  PACING.  I never really knew what pacing was or understood how to use it.  The first week of WILDfit gave me a solid understanding of pacing and perceived exertion, which allowed me to complete my training.  Yay!!

Week Two didn’t go quite as well.  I partially blame the weather.  I need to be able to do my structured workouts outside because I don’t have a gym membership and my home treadmill is not built for running (aka: inexpensive manual treadmill that works great for walking but won’t withstand a run).  So rainy weather on the days I needed to do two of the structured workouts caused quite a problem.  I thought about what an athlete would do - and I decided that I would adjust and do the best I could.  I ran in place in my living room.  I matched the “Perceived Exertion” goals, but I still felt like I was cheating a bit.  Luckily on Saturday, the rain was gone and I did my last structured workout of the week outdoors.  However, I didn’t make it through my last run segment.  Okay, I did finish . . . . but I didn’t run the entire segment.  I was crushed.  I hated that I had to walk for several minutes during the middle of my last segment, and I felt like a total failure.  That kind of thinking is something I know I need to work on.  This is a process.  This isn’t supposed to be easy.  It needs to be a challenge if it’s going to allow me to improve.  So, as long as I am truly trying my best, I need to cut myself some slack.  (Hello, easier said than done!!)  I also know I learned more about pacing - specifically that I ran too hard in the first two segments, which is why I was unable to run the entire last segment.

The other thing I haven’t quite gotten down yet is our assignment to (ugh, here it comes . . . . . ) log.  Oh logging . . . . I used to be so great at it, but those days are long gone.  I’m supposed to be logging everything.  Blood sugars, insulin, food, and exercise.  I know this is helpful.  I know I need this information for many reasons.  I just haven’t quite gotten into the swing of it yet.

And here I am.  Week Three of my 12-week program.  Today is a structured workout day involving training on a hill.  I thought about where I can find a hill that meets the workout requirements - I have one in mind but I’m  not sure it will exactly fit the bill.  But I’ll give it a shot and do my best.  I’m motivated by the changes I’m already seeing in myself, both physically and mentally.  I’ve also found that another great motivator for me is the cost of this program.  At $150 for the 12-week WILDfit program, I definitely think it’s well worth the cost.  On the flip-side, it’s a larger investment for exercise than I’ve made in quite a while, and that’s a good thing because it’s driving me to make sure I get my money’s worth.  That is something that lies completely in my own hands, and I am determined to do every workout, read every newsletter, watch every training video, and use the program to it’s fullest.

I am an athlete?  Well, I might not be completely convinced yet . . . . . but I think I’m on my way.


  1. Karen, I am crazy proud of you!!!!!! I would like to send the link to this blog post to all the folks who have done or are doing WILDfit, would that be okay? And are you inside the TeamWILD Membership site yet? (it's free for you, since you are an athlete with us!) I would love to do a live interview with you and see if other WILDfit folks would like to attend!!!! YOu are doing so great!!! ~ Mari

  2. Karen (lovely name, by the way -- you sound intelligent, beautiful, funny, and above all, humble) --

    Do NOT beat yourself up if you're unable to meet a particular goal -- in the case you mentioned here, running all segments of your workout. I've been doing endurance athletics for years, and still have problems with this sometimes! I had to add walks in the middle of runs when not planned on some occasions during Ironman training this season -- yes, it's all about pacing, but sometimes we don't pace correctly even when we've been at it for a while!

    I love that you adjusted your workouts to be inside on rainy days. You can also don a raincoat (or garbage bag, or hey, just get wet if it's not too cold out), but you did something that worked, and didn't miss a workout. You know what that sounds like to me? Like an athlete!

    Nice work!

  3. I'm amending your second sentence from "even people with diabetes" to read "especially people with diabetes!" Why? Becuase we know all about overcoming the hard stuff to get the job done.

    You sound like you are doing awesome. The one piece of advice I have to offer is this : Running, exercising, being an athlete is not about what's going on outside your body, but what is going on inside your brain. You are who you decide to be in every moment. Some days, I am stronger and some days I am weaker. Some days, I have fast races and some days? I get dropped in the race, lapped, and come in DFL. But I am always an athlete. A positive mental attitude (PMA) will carry you further than the strongest legs. You go girl. And yes, you can run in the rain!

  4. A-freaking-MAZING!! That's what you are my friend.

  5. Great job! It is great that you are challenging yourself this way! You are an athlete!

  6. I'm so proud of you Karen! your dedication is awesome! I should take a lesson from you! I never exercise (at least not in a structured way) and perhaps that what I need to keep me on track. I guess I'll go now and reintroduce myself to my treadmill, and make a pact with it to do it everyday!

  7. This is the stuff that inspiration and motivation is made of.
    I think you're doing a great job and you certainly don't need to be so hard on yourself. Becoming an athlete is hard work for almost everybody. :)
    I'm so happy for your 12 week journey!

  8. This is so awesome!!!! I can't wait to hear more about how it's going. You go girl!


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