Friday, July 26, 2013

why you really should be posting all your workouts on Facebook....

I started going to the gym last April.  I committed to going every day – that was actually my daughter’s idea because she has more energy to dream up stuff like that than I do.   And every time I went, I checked in on Facebook, even though there wasn’t much exciting to say.  I was doing an hour on the elliptical.  That’s it.  Every.  Single.  Day.  And I was posting about it.  Every.  Single.  Day.  
Seriously, what would we do without Facebook??  :)
I have since branched out – WAY out – and am now running, going to yoga, core, and pilates classes and even lifting some weights.  And I still post about it.  Every. Single. Time.  

Many of you have been kind enough to share that my incessant posting on Facebook has inspired you to start working out.  (And I’m sure there are also those who are sick to death of it, and they have probably long since blocked me and surely aren’t reading this either!)  I am really grateful to think I have been able to help anyone, but the truth is, all that posting is really mostly for me. 

I’m not gonna lie—I love having a cheering section!  Over the last 16 months, I have truly appreciated every like, every comment, every single person who has ever said, “you GO girl!”  I can tell there are those who check on me regularly to see if I’ve worked out, and there are others who just chime in occasionally.  I love every one of you.  You’ve kept me going, you’ve kept me motivated, you’ve inspired me on days when I just wasn’t feeling it myself!  And there was always something about not breaking that “streak” of checking in at the gym every day. 

I don’t go to the gym every day anymore.  And there are even days I forget to check in!  (It’s rare, but it happens.)   But I always, always log my workouts.  I log everything I do into Fitocracy because it’s a fun app and you earn points for every activity you do in a day!  (Even moving boxes, which lately, has been a thing…)  As you accumulate points, you level up, which is a great motivator if you’re into online games (I’m really not), but the best thing is the people—everyone on there is incredibly positive and encouraging.
This is the Fitocracy guy.  I think his name is Fred.  Go check it out! 
I also log all my running miles with Nike+ I love the app and the fact that it does all this math for me.  It’s not quite as social as Fitocracy, but the app itself is very encouraging, especially as you’re starting out!  In the beginning, pretty much every run is your new fastest and/or longest!  

And it also keeps track of how often you run, how many miles you log this week compared to last, and how you compare to other runners your age—seriously, for the first three months that I ran, Nike+ found something exceptional to cheer about almost every time!  (Full disclosure, as you progess, Nike+ moves from encouraging to more baiting, telling you which of your friends has run farther than you this month, that sort of's still fun, but in a different kinda way.)

Besides logging on Fitocracy and Nike+, I also  screenshot each run on Nike+ and post that photo in an album on Facebook, so I can see them all at a glance.  

A quick look and I can review my pace, distance, where I ran, which shoes I wore...  If you look close (you don’t really have to) you can even see the temperature that day.  And when I post the pics, I usually add some kind of comment about how it was that day, if I felt good, did I see any flashers, you know, the usual…  

On today’s run, I realised there’s another really important reason I need to post all my workouts, especially my runs, on Facebook: 
I’m forgetful!  
I sometimes have a hard time remembering exactly where I started.  I don’t always recall how awkward I generally feel at the beginning of a run (because I mostly remember how great I feel at the end!)  And I definitely lose sight of how great my legs feel right after a rest day! 

When I started out today, it was not great.  It’s unseasonably mild for July here, but by 10:30 it was getting pretty warm.  I was on an unfamiliar trail that was much sunnier than I prefer.  And I was cursing myself for going to spin class yesterday!  Actually, my hamstrings were cursing myself—and I could hear every word!  

On my training plan today was a 30-45 minute run.  I always like to shoot for a little longer, but I’ve got a long run planned for Sunday, so nothing crazy today.   At the start, I found myself thinking I might struggle to hit 3 miles.  (And right when I started, Nike+ flashed something about moving up from “Green” to “Blue” –whatever that means—if I could just run 3.8 miles… see what I mean about the baiting??) 

I don’t always feel great when I’m going to run.  Some days it’s a hassle to fit it in, I’m always negotiating with the forecast, and as I tell people, the first mile or two I usually feel like August Booth on a bad day in Storybrooke.    (That’s not a good thing if you’re only going to run a few miles!)  My kids laugh because when I get home from a run, someone always asks, “How was your run?”  and I always reply,  “Awesome!”  Because, honestly, no matter how it starts, that’s always how it ends.  

But today, I truly had the thought, “OK, this is the day I realise I don’t always enjoy running.”  I’ve been expecting it to happen eventually.

And then I remembered all those times I’ve posted about how I always feel wonky for the first mile or two.  How many times I’ve told someone that it takes me a while to warm up.  So often I’ve posted on Facebook about a run that started off awkward and ended up “Awesome!”  See, I’ve said it so many times on Facebook, today it was easier to recall, even with my faulty memory.  

And before I knew it, I was closing in on mile 2, feeling no pain at all.  I settled in to a pace a good bit faster than I’ve been running lately, and finished 4 miles with energy to spare! 
And Nike+ approved...
apparently this is what moving up to Blue means.

So post away, friends!!  You never know who you might be encouraging.  And more importantly, you never know when you’ll wind up encouraging yourself!!   

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