Thursday, December 6, 2012

Staying Fit When Away From Home... Don't follow my example. :(

[The lengthy first part is all of my excuses. If you want to see what I actually DID do, just skip to the end. ;) ]

So, just weeks before we headed off on this great adventure, I completed my first marathon. Yeah, had to drop that in there - still pretty geeked about it.  ;) 

Literally, days after the race, we got the go ahead to travel and life started moving at lightening speed. Regular exercise of any kind flew out the window. There was NO time. I worked through lunches and a few times after hours. We had to take a day to go to Chicago and sort out stuff with the kids. It was a B.U.S.Y. time. 

I brought some work out clothes with me to Colombia and had great intentions. I knew that the likelihood of running regularly was slim, but hoped to go a few times. Further, I thought for sure that I could do some basic core/strength work at least 4-5 times a week to keep up fitness.

Oh, how wrong I was. : / 

Well, it started out simply enough. We got to Mocoa and took custody of Jhon right away. That first week was tough. He tested us out a lot, my Spanish was still very rusty, and we just had to figure out how to function as a mini-family.

Things started to settle down a bit for us and I seriously thought about sneaking in a run.  But it was SO HOT. And the humidity was just utterly unbelievable  And there just didn't seem to be a great place to do it. I could have just run down the road I suppose, but I really didn't feel comfortable. I never felt unsafe in Mocoa, but this just didn't seem like a smart choice.  Further, there is no such thing as a road shoulder around there.  ;) And people drive like maniacs. 

Then came Bogota, Can't beat the weather but the altitude? Yikes. Further, I don't feel like I can leave Jhon at all. Ever. The other families have graciously offered to watch him for short periods (like to walk a few blocks to the grocery), but he has not liked the idea of me leaving him. Which is excellent from an attachment perspective. But tricky from a "I'm leaving you to run" perspective.

So, it's been close to a full month with no exercise. Well, not quite. I do walk much more frequently here than I do at home, so there's that.

Also, I decided to jump into a couple of "December challenges".  I happened to come across the "Holiday Squat a Thon" via mom vs marathon, which I think is hosted by fitspobook.It's pretty straightforward and, well, you can squat pretty much everywhere! Today I successfully completed day 5. And you know what? It was just the slight kick in the pants I needed to want to get back into the fitness swing of things.

 I also picked up on "plank a day" via Run with Jess.  And I decided to add my own personal challenge of 10 push ups each day.  I was doing that pretty consistently through much of my marathon training and I miss my shoulders  :) So, today I did 40 squats, a 60 second plank, and 15 push ups (no girlies here man - the real deal).  AND I managed to not eat rice for the 2nd day in a row.

If you have ever been to Colombia, you would understand how big a feat this is.  Since I ate the provided french fries instead, I'm not sure this was a great trade off, but whatever.  ;)

Anyway, I'm still a bit disappointed that I "let myself go" so much this past month. And yet, I'm not. This month was NOT about fitness or being healthy (although there is no need to abandon completely)  This month was about my son. It was about experiencing his country - the food, the culture (which does mean rice every day, usually paired with another starch ), amazing juice and fruit, and, most importantly, HUGE bonding time.  So, I'll count the month a major success and I look forward to resuming running and a bit healthier lifestyle upon my return.

I'm just glad my pants still fit.  ;) 

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