Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September Cardio Challenge


Cardio Challenge:  To improve my time over the 5K and 10K distance.  I will run both distances within the first week of September (a few days apart).  I would like to improve my time this month by at least 1 minute for the 5K and 2-3 minutes for the 10K.  To do this I will be running more consistently and reintroduce some of my old buddies (sarcasm!) hills and intervals.

Nutrition Guidelines:  I will be following the Weight Watchers plan.  The old plan, not the new one (I don't understand that one).  To earn my daily point for this challenge I will need to stay at or under my points target (22).  I will allow myself additional points in the form of earned activity points.  I will not be using the additional 35 weekly points as I do not find I lose weight when I do.  I will adhere to the healthy eating guidelines with the occasional moderate treat (i.e. not eating 22 points in doughnuts! haha).

Planned Workouts for Week One:

Sep 1 - Timed 5 K plus hours of casual walking at an event
Sep 2 - 14 mile cycling, Strength workout
Sep 3 - Rest / Walk with a friend
Sep 4 - Timed 10K
Sep 5 - Hike
Sep 6 - Bosu Ball class & Bootcamp
Sep 7 - Interval running, 14 miles cycling

Last night I slacked off a bit and "only" did the Bosu Ball class, not the Bootcamp as well.  My heart wasn't in it and my friend was leaving on vacation the next day and had her mind in other places.  Still loving that Bosu class.  My balance is HORRIBLE though.  I really hope it improves over time.  The worst is when we have the ball turned over and stand on the flat side.  We're "supposed" to stand on one foot while doing upper body strength moves.  I'm just going from standing on two feet FAR apart to moving them in close together.  And I shake like a leaf in a hurricane, it's quite funny to see.  I should be doing some additional balance work throughout the week.  Hard to believe I was once a gymnast who did not so bad on the balance beam!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Action Plan - Week ONE

Before I get into the details of week one of the Action Plan, I want to share just my weekend run with you.

On Saturday I (once again) did my longest run of the year.  A few weeks ago I had planned to run 13.1 miles, without stopping, before the end of the month.  My target date was to do that this past weekend.

I have to be honest and say I am not quite there with my running to cover that distance without rest breaks yet.  My mind wants to be there, but my body isn't there.  I accept that and will continue to work towards that goal.  So, my revised goal was just to run 13.1 miles, with whatever breaks were necessary.

When I started out on my run on Saturday, a couple miles in and my tummy reacted to the early morning start that I hadn't gotten up early enough for to prepare.  So, I had an unplanned stop early on.  Lately my friend has been running from her place and we meet halfway (which is about 3 miles for each of us), then we run together.  Because I had to stop, she ended up running 4 miles and I only ran 2.  This would mean that with the route we planned, my overall distance would be shorter.  So, I figured I'd end up with 11-12 miles and that would be that.

My friend is training for a full marathon, so we've been meeting up, running a loop together, then I get my bike and ride alongside her to finish up her mileage.  As we finished up our loop together, I was at 12 miles, but didn't feel like I was dying.  I really wanted to run at least the 13.1 miles, so decided to tack on another "little" block.  Whoops ... didn't realize that "little" block was 2 miles.

I ran 14 miles!  And I actually felt pretty darn good.  That's my longest run this year, and probably the longest I'll do as I'm not interested in longer distances.  I still want to do the half without stopping, but for the next month I want to work on intensity and speed over the 5 and 10K.

Now, onto the Action Plan Details .....


Action Plan - Week One

I have e-mail a link to the spreadsheet for anyone who was interested in joining along.  If anyone else is interested, or you didn't get the invite to the spreadsheet, let me know.  Remember this is NOT a competition against each other, it's only against yourself.

Each item below is worth 1 point.  And if you choose to skip an item, your choice.  Week One will have a little more to record as it's all the starting info.

  1. Record your starting weight
  2. Record your starting measurements (suggest at least Chest, Waist, Hips, Thighs, Arms).
  3. Take a beginning picture
  4. Choose a cardio challenge and post what you are doing.  Remember to note what you did, where, maybe even what time of day, as you will want to duplicate this at the end of the month to note your progress
  5. Record time for cardio challenge
  6. Strength workouts - Earn 1 pt per strength workout (up to 3 times) - the fitness test can count as one
  7. Daily Activity - earn one point that you do 30 minutes or more of activity.  If you do a 30 min strength workout you double your points because you'll get one for a strength workout and one for activity
  8. Daily Nutrition - earn one point per day that you stay within your personally established healthy eating guidelines.  It would be interesting if we each posted what we're doing, but that's not required.
  9. Do the following fitness test and record results:
    • Count # of push-ups in a 1 minute period
    • Time how long you can hold a plank
    • Time how long you can hold a wall sit
    • Time 1 mile run (ran as fast as you can)

If you have any questions I'm always happy to answer.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Action Plan! Are you in?????

WOW, I'm an idiot.  All those years in Honours Math (with a minimum of a B) have obviously not served me well in my adult years.  Apparently I can no longer do simple math.

Yesterday I said that I had gained 21 lbs.  Later in the day I was thinking about it and realized my math was wrong.  It's "only" 17.6 lbs.  OK, so not a whole lot better, but maybe not quite as bad.  Actually, it does make me feel a little less of a failure.

So, I've been chatting with Syl about doing a September Challenge.  There also seems to be a number of my bloggers buddies out there who are currently struggling in one way or another.  Maybe we all need some sort of a challenge.  I'm doing this for me, but would love the support of a few friends.  Anyone who wants to join in is welcome.

Here's the gist of it:

  • Challenge runs from September 1 - 30
  • First week of September you will record a time for a cardio challenge (run or bike or whatever cardio form you'd like to challenge) over whatever distance suits your fancy.  The last week of September you will challenge this same route/distance and record your improvement.
  • Same thing with a few strength, flexibility, and maybe endurance tests.  These will all be posted by the end of this month.
  • You will also record weight & measurements at the beginning and end of the month.  No need to report them if you are not comfortable with that, but it would be interesting to see everyone's results.  I'd also strongly recommend taking a picture of yourself from various angles at the beginning and end of the month.
  • You will earn points for activities (i.e. min 30 min activity, completing a strength workout).  More importantly (for me and maybe some of you), you will also earn points for staying within your chosen diet.
  • You can do whatever you choose for training along the way, but I will suggest some challenges along the way for bonus points.

I will create a Google spreadsheet for us all to keep track.

This is NOT a challenge against each other.  Rather just working together towards success.  The earning of points is simply for inspiration.

Also, it's completely open to whatever your personal choices are.  For example, my cardio challenge will be a timed 5K and 10K, and I will be following the Weight Watchers plan.  Someone else might be to improve their time on a half marathon, or 10K of cycling.  And maybe their eating plan will be counting calories, or South Beach or something they have personally developed to suit their needs.  The idea is to have a plan, and follow it.

So .... are you in??


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Revealing the Truth

As I've been mentioning lately, I've gained weight.  A fair bit (we'll get to that later).

I spent a number of months at the beginning of this year living in a cocoon.  Zapped out by stress and instead of turning to the healthy eating and exercise that lowers stress, I turned to cookies and (as my friend loves to say) "sittin' on the couch letting my ass grow".  Not ideal!

It took me a while to start to get my groove back.  In June I challenged myself to 30 Days of Activity.  This was definitely the moment where things started to turn.  I finally began to get active again.  I'm now at what I call my "Happy Activity Level".  I'm exercising most days, getting a good variety in, and for the most part enjoying it.

So ... what's left?  I gotta get this weight off.  Now, for the revealing moment.  While I have been pretty open that weight has been gained, I'm pretty darn sure numbers have not been mentioned.  You may have noticed there has been a significant reduction in pictures of me in quite some time.  That is because I can not stand to look at myself in pictures right now.  No, I don't think I'm disgusting, but I am not happy with where I am compared to where I was.

I have gained .... 21 lbs since February.  At least 15 of that was gained in a 3 month stint.  That is a pretty short time period to put on that much weight.  My weight as of yesterday morning was 164.2 lbs.  Sharing this is a hard pill for me to swallow, but it's time to get it out there in the open.

During bootcamp yesterday I revealed these numbers to my friend during our warm-up run.  She was actually shocked and didn't realize it was that much.  She asked me if I had not lost ANYTHING with all this exercise we've been doing - which the answer is not only NO, but that I have gained a bit more.  It's all about what I'm eating.

I can NOT gain anymore weight.  Any more and I will not fit into my clothes, and I can NOT afford (mentally or financially) to shop for new "fat" clothes.

While it's sad and frustrating to have let myself go this far, at the moment I'm actually past that.  I'm not wallowing in it anymore, which is why I'm finally sharing.  I'm mad and ready to take action.

Yesterday was successful.  I planned out my meals for the day, and even though some logistical problems derailed the supper I had planned to make, I made adjustments and stayed within plan.  My life will ALWAYS need adjustments.  I just have to want this bad enough and do what is best for ME.

Please ... feel free to ride me.  Nag me.  Ask me constantly how I'm doing.  I can not hide this weight gain behind a screen anymore.  It's real and it needs to be dealt with.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Less time, more effort?

I wanted to do a little follow-up after my CrossFit review from last week.  For anyone who was considering trying this, but is now discouraged because of my review ... please do NOT be discouraged.  Go out there and give it a try and form your own opinion.

Also, since our experience, I have received some feedback that perhaps this particular location is a bit known for being rather eccentric and extreme.  Apparently this is not a fair example of what Crossfit really represents.  While they may, in general, follow some of these opinions to a certain degree, this location seems to be known for being a little more closed-minded.

That said, my friend and I have decided NOT to go back for our 2nd session.  I bounced the idea around for a few days, my friend had left the decision up to me.  When I told her yesterday I didn't really want to go again she seemed relieved.


In other news, did a 10K run on Sunday morning that was absolutely sucky.  I really struggled through it.  It was quite muggy and I just ... struggled.  I think I had to walk 4 times and had someone offered to pick me up I just might have taken them up on it.  I'm really noticing these days that this extra weight has slowed me down substantially!  My mind wants to go faster, but I just can't make the ol' bod' do it - then I get frustrated and shut down.  It's becoming clearer and clearer that if I'm going to have success (and enjoy) running again, I NEED to lose weight.

After the run we visited some friends who made us the most amazing Prime Rib dinner.  It was too die for, and I completely overdid it.  This is something I get to enjoy maybe once a year and I didn't regret it - despite my revelation that I really need to get serious about some weight loss.  I know I keep saying it, and you know .... one day I'm actually going to mean it.


Last night I spent a little time doing some meal planning, and I've really been pushing my family to ride my butt about eating better.  I know it's up to me, but I'm needing their support right now.  I actually WANT them to call me out on my bad eating habits.

Started my day off well with 2 pcs of light bread and an egg.  Trying to incorporate protein throughout the day to keep me from hitting the hunger highs and lows.  Lunch/snacks today consist of: vegetable soup, crackers, a kiwi, cucumber slices and 10 almonds.  Planned dinner is spaghetti (portion controlled) with a meat & vegetable pasta sauce.  And I've even planned to have ONE cookie tonight - better to be planned than to crave and binge.   Exercise today is my beloved Bosu Ball class.  Not sure if I'll add on the bootcamp class as well, or just push it as hard as possible for the one class.

Although I already try pretty much my hardest when I workout, I'm wondering if I can put in a little less time but a little more effort and still get the same results.  I think that's possible.  My mind is turning that way for running right now.  Perhaps at this point I'll have better success in weight loss if I focus more on running shorter distances faster, rather than just trying to 'make it through' the longer distances.  Any thoughts?  Is less time but more effort more effective?  I'm just wondering how much more effort I can give - there must be a little in there.

Oh ... and go check out Jamie at Sweaty Hugs who has just completed her first ever relay triathlon.  She did the bike portion (17.5 miles) and after just beginning riding 6 months ago she did a FANTASTIC job.


Friday, August 19, 2011

CrossFit Review - Distance Running makes you fat???

All week I've been alluding to this new activity I was trying.  Yesterday was the day.  Unfortunately, as I posted yesterday, I was beat!  Luckily mid-afternoon things picked up and I felt a little better.  However, arriving at the facility I was still feeling pretty apprehensive.

My friend and I signed up for 2 free trial classes at a CrossFit gym.  I'm having a hard time explaining what CrossFit is exactly.  I did find this video which might give an idea:

... and this explanation:
CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.

Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.
Though that still doesn't really give you an idea.  So far I can really only describe the experience we had.  Our class was really quite short, but very intense.  We started with a warm-up of the following:
  • 5 chin-ups
  • 100M sprint
  • 5 burpees
  • 10 squats
  •   ..... x 3 sets
The chin-ups are done on a bar and are to be done from full hanging, quick thrust, to head above bar.  Luckily they had these assisting bands that you could put your feet into which would reduce your body weight that you had to lift.  There is absolutely NO WAY I could have done this with full body weight.  I had to use the strongest assistance band they had ... and it was still tough.

After this, we were told that our squats were way, WAY too slow and our burpees were too slow and not intense enough.  We then began "the workout":

  • 5 chin-ups
  • 5 burpees
  • 10 squats

Doesn't sound like much, does it?  We were to aim to do 15 sets of the above in 15 minutes.  My friend and I made it through 10.  Everything is done fast, fast, fast - deep, deep, deep - hard, hard, hard.  The exercises themselves don't sound that hard, but when you are going that hard and deep, they are killer!  In 15 minutes I was dripping a ton of sweat, probably more than I've ever dripped in that short a time period.  It was intense!

Burpees are all the way down and out, chest to the floor, back to feet and jump up - and done quick, quick, quick!  The instructor demonstrated them this quick ... mine weren't so quick (fast forward to about 1 minute into this).

Now, in review, I completely understand and appreciate the benefits of these types of workouts.  I KNOW they change your body in very positive ways.  I'm working towards doing more of this.  Apparently their workouts vary every day (as they should) and while we just did a short, intense workout - another day could be completely different - yet always intense.

In knowing how great these workouts are ... I'm not completely sold on the program.  First off, there is very little I like about the instructor.  Not that he's there to be liked, that's not his job.  He knows his stuff and I'll completely give him that, but he came off as very arrogant and cocky.  He knows best, his methods are best, and there is no other way.  They offer a 6 week program, which he admits should really never be 6 weeks because this is for life, not short term (and I completely agree).  But he made the statement that "if you can't stick to a 6 week program then you should just shoot yourself".  What????  I get what he's trying to get across, but really???

Then there was the woman who did our consultation afterwards.  I will give her credit for having an amazing body and she seemed quite knowledgeable.  However, there were a few things that irked me and I can't wrap my head around them.

She asked what our goals are and what we're currently doing fitness-wise.  After we told her she pretty much sat back and said "well, when you're ready to get serious about changing your bodies and are ready to give up the distance running ... then come back to us."  She said that long distance running is only making us fatter and reducing our muscles and that the more we run, the less chance we have to see the changes we want in our bodies.  She said if we wanted to follow their program, we would have to give up running and cycling like we are currently doing.

Now, I do know that I see better results when I'm running shorter and faster, and incorporating lots of muscle building activities.  So I will agree with her to a point. But to say you have to give up an activity that you love in order to achieve a better body is just nonsense.  Besides, I'm looking for balance in my life.  I'm not looking to erase every "unhealthy" morsel from my diet just so that I can look model perfect.  I know by not going in 100% that I won't get 100%, but I'm happy with 90%, heck I'm probably happy with 80%.  I'm not going for elite athlete with a perfect body.  I want a decent body and to be in good shape.  It just didn't sound like there was any wiggle room there.

She also said that our bodies (in our late 30's) were much better designed to be slim than hers (at 19) because her body is wanting to have babies and to stay slim she is fighting her hormones.  She said at our age, we are past that stage and our bodies WANT to be slim.  Hmm, never in my life have I heard anything like that.  Ever!

So, I took some good from this, I found some bad - and now I just have to sort through it and use what works for me.  We have another session next week where I will give it another open look.  They do offer a 3 week fat loss challenge program.  It's $97 - but you can go as often as you like during that 3 weeks (up to 5x per week).  It's not something I can consider right now, but possibly in the late fall, when my friend is done her marathons, I might look into it ... just for the 3 weeks, as a challenge.  We'll see.  Gonna sit on it and think about it for a while.

Honestly, I think my workouts have been becoming more well rounded lately.  I could certainly incorporate more of the hard core, intense, short burst exercises like we did at this class - and I aim to do that.  But, I still know that if I'm ever going to see the changes I want again, I HAVE to clean up my diet.  If nothing else, this class did help to pound that into my brain a little more.  I KNOW this is where I need the changes, but sometimes you have to hear (and see) it quite a few times before you're really inspired to make those changes.

Lately I've been working out hard and just wasting it with my diet.  This is stupid!  Really, REALLY stupid.  I'm putting way too much effort and time into exercise, for nothing.  Well, not quite nothing, but pretty much.  I'm fitter, but I'm not accomplishing what I want.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!  My plans are all up in the air right now and I'm not certain what I'll be doing.  With any luck I just might get out for a hike.  Just might have to do some scrambling around to fit it in.  Have a great one!!!!!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Too Much to Do

Today I am really feeling it.  My legs are tired.  My abs are still feeling Tuesday's killer workouts.  My body is just screaming for some down time.  Unfortunately I'm not providing it just yet.  Sometimes when I have days like this I teeter on whether I should give my body the rest it is craving, or push through and demand more from it and see how it responds.  Maybe it's a test?

I do know that I'm not in any sort of pain that would result in injury.  I know the difference.  This is just tired body that's been working hard.

Tonight I'm doing a trial class in something new.  Will explain after I've done it as I'm not really sure what to expect from it or how to describe it.  From what I know it can be a pretty intense workout, but being that it's just a trial (i.e. free) class, they may take it easy on us.  I already know going in that I will not be doing it beyond the two free trial classes.  Even if I love it, it's just way too expensive for me.  My friend is interested in it and I agreed to go along with her.  I'm already dreading the 'sales pitch' that I'm sure will follow.

In other news ... my scale has officially died.  The batteries keep dying and every time I replace it, it dies quicker the next time.  Last time I put a new battery in I said it would be the final time.  For the last few weeks  we've had to beat on the scale to get it to turn on.  It became a gong show - tap it softly, hit it hard, pick it up shake it ... do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around - then maybe it would work.  The last two days - nothing!  It's done.  You can go pretty crazy with options out there, but basically I just want something reliable that will let me measure my progress (or lack thereof....).  Gotta admit, I'm a little afraid that I'll get a new scale and it will show me substantially heavier than the old one.  I've seen it happen.  But, it will be what it will be.  For me it's a necessary tool.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate HEAVEN!

Did the Bosu Ball class again last night .... I'm still in love!  So tough.  Absolutely dripping in sweat and every muscle screams throughout the entire class.  Struggled a bit last night.  Probably because the last two days bike commuting to work I've felt extra energetic and have really been givin' 'er on the bike and working my legs extra.  There was a lot of grunting and groaning going on to get me through that class.  I'm trying to talk my hubby into trying this class one day.  Ther's actually a few guys who take this class, so it's not such a girls only club.

Yesterday was 14 mile bike commute, Bosu Ball class, then Bootcamp!  Phewf!  I felt absolutely, blissfully drained last night.  What a wonderful feeling!  Today I think will be an easy today, because tomorrow should be another hard one.

Oh, and I have another new love.  Though not of the healthy kind.

After class, my friend and I decided to stop at Starbucks.  I hadn't had dinner, and I didn't really feel like a meal.  But this little Mini Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcake was right up my alley.  While it was a teensy little thing for 170 calories .... it was worth every single one of those calories - and really, was a better option than the Wendy's Spicy Chicken Burger with French Fries that had crossed my mind a few minutes earlier.  This is the true meaning of indulgence in a responsible, reasonable size.  YUM!  My God I'm almost drooling looking at that picture on my screen.  Mmmmmm!

I am NOT a Starbucks fan - which is amazing since BC has the most Starbucks in Canada, most of them in the Vancouver and surrounding area.  I only ever go there if I'm with someone who specifically wants to go to Starbucks, and often I try to dissuade them.  However ... for this cupcake, I may actually seek out Starbucks on my own.  SOOOOOOOOOO good!

I'm tempted to try to find a recipe and make these on their own.  But, I think I'm safer just spending a little extra on one of these babies once in a while.  At home an entire batch would be likely to slip it's way past my lips.  Better safe than sorry!


Monday, August 15, 2011


This weekend I accomplished another mileage victory for the year ... 12 miles.  Longest run in 2011.  YAHHHHHHOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Also, only took 3 walk breaks.  The first one was unintentional as we were crossing a busy street.  Yes, I could have just jogged on the spot, but I don't do that.  It feels silly and I see no point.  The 2nd stop I needed, plus one of my friends was turning back at this point so we had a little water drink and said goodbye.

The 3rd stop I had intended to take at the top of a hill.  But, for one, there was a police incident at the top of the hill and I thought it best to keep going past, and also I found I didn't really need it quite yet.  I think I could have dropped that break and made it through.

The best thing was that when I was done my 12 miles, I could have ran further and finished up the half distance.  This was the first long run in a while where I didn't feel completely out of gas at the end of it.  Probably helped that it was a bit cooler out and overcast.  Perfect running weather.

EDITED TO ADD:  Oh my ... HOW could I forget this part?????  Last week I did my long run at a painstakingly slow (for me) 10:15/mile pace.  This week (longer distance too, by 2 miles) I did it with a 9:47/mile pace.  Almost 30 seconds/mile faster.  I impress me - heeheeeeeee.  It's coming back baby!!!!

Took a rest day on Sunday, which I think I needed to recharge for this week.  Tomorrow is my beloved Bosu Ball class which I'm stupidly excited for!!

Got another new exciting adventure I'm trying out this week.  Will share later! :)  I'm kind of apprehensive about it and not actually expecting to enjoy it ... but we'll see.  Maybe I'll be surprised.

Still failing miserably on the weight loss.  Just can't seem to stay consistent.  In two weeks I'm only down 0.6 lbs, which is nothing.  Heck, my scale fluctuates more than that in a 5 minute period.  I don't understand why I don't want this enough to make the changes necessary.  I'm certainly NOT content with where I'm at, and despite putting all this effort into physical activity, I'm apparently just not willing to put in just a bit more effort into eating less/better.  I don't understand it.  Perhaps I'm crazy?

Have a great week!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Love

Gee, lately I'm full of all kinds of new experiences.  It's fantastic!

I have a confession ..... I have a new love.  A deep, twisted, kind of love.
 My latest discovery and love ....

♥♥♥ The Bosu Ball! ♥♥♥

Last night I took a full 1 hour class based solely on this puppy.  OMG, core is dying today - in a wonderful way.   5 minutes into class I knew it was going to be killer, and I knew I was in love.  Instant (fatal???) attraction.

This is by far the toughest class I have ever taken.  I was dripping in sweat and my body was crying the whole time.  Lunges on/off the ball, running and skipping on the ball, balancing, weights.

And probably my hardest move .... push-ups with the ball turned upside down.  I have a hard enough time doing a push-up on nice solid ground, never mind when it wants to wiggle around under you.

The intention was to take this class in addition to Bootcamp (which we did after Bosu).  But, I do believe that the Bootcamp was in addition to the Bosu class since the Bosu was FAR harder than any bootcamp class I've ever taken.

My core is certainly feeling it today, but in a great way - not sore.  I can certainly feel it in my abs, but I'm surprised how I can feel every muscle in my back.  Shows how unbalanced I must be.

The instructor was also, by far, the best instructor I've ever had.  She was so thorough and clear, and challenging.  Plus she was super nice and I'd almost give away my kids to have her body.  Whatever she's doing, she's doing right and I'm buying it (well, if I could that is).  If I had oodles of money to play with I would hire this woman to be my full time trainer, no matter the cost.  Even something so simple as the stretch at the end .. the most effective I've ever had.

At the end of class I asked her what else she teaches.  Unfortunately I can't make any other classes of hers.  But, she also teaches Zumba (which is not a drop-in class, you have to sign up for the session) AND ... she was teaching it later that night.  She offered for us to stay and participate to see if we liked it.  I really didn't have it in me to do 3 classes in one night, but we did stay for about 10 minutes just to check it out.  I was COMPLETELY lost, but it looks like a ton of fun.  It's not something I can fit into my schedule/finances right now, but it's certainly on the radar.  What a blast!

Ever tried a Bosu class ... or Zumba?  How'd you like it??


Monday, August 8, 2011

Ho-Hum and a weekly review

Tried a new class this weekend ... spinning.  The instructor is my friend's new trainer and she was really impressed with her.  We took the class at her suggestion.  Plus, I've never spun before.  Have thought about it lots, but been a little intimidated to try.

Everything I've heard about spinning has lead me to believe it's a very intense class that will leave you dripping in sweat.  Towel absolutely required.  It was a gorgeous day and I would have loved to have ridden my bike to the gym, but as I was expecting a killer workout out I left the bike at home.

To be honest ... it was OK.  Maybe I'm just "bike fit" from riding my mountain bike to work almost daily lately.  While I did get a decent workout, and definitely had some sweat going on ... I would far from label it as "very intense". 

I consistently had my bike in a higher gear than recommended, and at a higher RPM as well.  My friend that came with me was within the recommended gear range and had a hard time reaching the recommended RPM, and she said she found the class very challenging.  This is the same friend that is currently training for a marathon and while we start our runs together, she's running a good 6 miles more than me on the long runs ... and kicking my butt on pace too.  

Just as class was about to start, a woman got on the bike to my left ... it was a woman I know.  Her, myself, and the friend I came with all went to high school together.  That was kind of neat.  Anyhow, this woman also seemed to struggle with reaching the recommended gear/RPM levels.

So, while obviously spinning must be a darn good workout, it would seem that I either need to reach even higher than I was, or it's just not challenging enough for me.  I'll have to try it a couple more times to see.  I did enjoy the class though and wouldn't hesitate to take it again.  Unfortunately I can't be doing a ton of classes so will have to just fit it in occasionally.  I'd rather do a bootcamp/weight class as I find that a lot more challenging.

Sunday I did another 10 mile run.  It was pretty hot out, even though we left at 8AM.  But, I managed to run a little further once again without needing to walk, and took less walk breaks than last week.  And the pace was slightly faster.  So again, more improvement.  

Review of last week Aug 1 - 7:

* Ran 16 miles
* Biked 43 miles
* Walked 2 miles
* Classes - (1) Spin, (1) Abs Only, (1) Bootcamp
* Used 17/35 extra weekly points & all activity points (yes, I'm following the old WW's program again)
* Weight loss - ZIP :(  Maybe next week


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Morning Runner???

I am not a morning runner.  I do not enjoy anything about rolling out of a nice comfy bed any earlier than I need to.  I do not enjoy scouring for workout clothes while still half asleep without my contacts on (it's a small miracle I made it out the door with reasonably respectable attire on).

However ... somehow, the last two mornings I have done all of the above and ran 5K each day, finishing well before 7AM..  And I've enjoyed it!  What's up with that????????

I can't honestly even say what sparked this idea.  I rarely ever entertain the idea of exercising that early in the morning.

I do know from experience that this feeling will not last, so I must enjoy it while I can.  There will come a day, likely soon, that I will smash that alarm when it goes off and I will not roll out of bed.  I will question my sanity and realize that there really is no logical reason WHY I need to get up that early to exercise.  I don't have a young family, I don't have a crazy hectic schedule that backlogs my day, temperature isn't an issue.  For the most part I can fit exercise into most days without having to adjust my sleep schedule, and I prefer it that way.  This is an anomaly.

Both these runs have been incredible for different reasons.  Wednesday morning marked my first run in I don't know how long that I did not stop for a walk.  Yes, it was only 5K, but I haven't been able to run that without stopping for a while.

This mornings run though was absolute heaven!  I got a new pair of shoes yesterday (I think they are the prettiest thing on the planet so if you disagree then ZIP it!! hahaha).  These are the Mizuno Wave Riders that I used to wear, before getting a more supportive shoe in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS.  The Wave Riders are not as supportive a shoe as I require when doing longer distances and more mileage, but they will be my "alternative" shoe.  To be used for shorter runs and "other" sports (i.e. bootcamp).  That way I can save my "distance" shoes and not wear them down so quickly.  It's always a good idea to have multiple shoes when you are active daily.

While these shoes are not a 100% match for me, they are 10,000 times better than the worn out shoes I've been running in and BOY did I feel the difference.  Or maybe it was just that they are so darn cute!  My pace was much faster today, but even better than that, my legs felt AMAZING!  My legs have been feeling heavy lately, and I've been able to feel the lack of support in my heels and shins from wearing old shoes. Today felt like flying.  I almost wish I had more time to have run longer.  Felt so good!  My "distance" shoes should be here in a few days .... I'm so excited!

Today is a super active day.  Started with the 5K run, then bike to/from work 14 miles total, then tonight is my Abs Only & Bootcamp classes.  I think tomorrow will be an easy day, though I'll still do something to keep the body moving.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

July Recap

Overall I'm pretty happy with how July went.  I made significant strides in being more regularly active on a higher intensity level.  While I'm still climbing back up that running fitness ladder to where I once was, I'm definitely up a few rungs.  As the month progressed, so did I.

July 1-15 .... 3 runs, total 15.2 miles
July 16-31 ...6 runs, total 38.0 miles

for a total of 9 runs - 53.2 miles

I was shooting for 60 miles in July, so I'm a little short, but it's still my largest mileage month since January and it's 21 miles more than last month.  Improvement for sure!  The runs are starting to get a bit easier, but still far from easy.  There is still a mountain to climb.

In addition to the running I have also biked 217 miles (on a mountain bike with big knobby tires which requires significantly more effort than a road bike), as well as participated in 3 exercise classes and many walks (often 1-2 hrs+).  I'm happy with this!


Saturday I did my longest run of the year (10 miles).  Rode my bike over to a friends and we ran from her house around town.  Weather was pretty hot, but there was a slight breeze that made it fairly pleasant.  I managed to break through my first mile barrier.  For a while now I find myself just done at about the 1 mile mark.  I need to stop, stretch and gather my thoughts.  This time when I hit that mile I mentally thought of stopping, but then did a once over on the body and realized I felt pretty good.  Made it to 2.8 miles (just after a hill) before I took my first break.  I'm REALLY looking forward to not needing these breaks anymore.  It's coming!

The last mile or so was TOUGH!  I really, REALLY had to push.  I'm very thankful for my friend because she really helped me through it.  I told her I couldn't talk for a bit, but I needed her to talk to me.  She came through.  I was so happy to get back to her place and finish my run.  However ... she's training for a fall marathon and had to run 16 miles.  So, I grabbed my bike and rode beside her as she finished off her distance.  It was then my turn to talk to her and help her through her mileage.  We make a good team.

Riding the bike immediately after my run actually felt really, really good.  Granted, it was a super slow biking pace, but I think it helped to loosen everything up because I felt fantastic for the rest of the day.


August will be another month filled with even more running miles, as many biking miles as I can manage, and I'm planning to fit in a lot more of those fitness classes (specifically Abs Only & Bootcamp).  By the end of the month I want to be up to running 13.1 miles without needing a rest break.