Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Domino Effect

I just LOVE the Domino Effect...

The domino effect is a chain reaction that occurs when a small change causes a similar change nearby, which then will cause another similar change, and so on in linear sequence.

Last week I mentioned that I went to a boot camp class.  Originally I had asked my daughter & her boyfriend to come try out one class.  Then, I asked them to commit to five.  Then I asked if boyfriend's Mom wanted to come, which she did.  So already there, we have a little domino effect.

Now .... my son has decided he wants to come every 2nd week (mostly with the objective of one-upping his sister's boyfriend, who is also his buddy and they are highly competitive with each other).  Last night he even did a workout at home to get in a little extra training before the next class.  He already plays soccer and is fairly fit, but wants an extra edge. HAHAHA.  My husband has also decided he wants to come give it a try and see how he does.

Boyfriend's sister may also join us as she's trying to get in shape.  Then last night I heard that his family had a little "plank" contest to see who could hold it the longest.  His Dad (age 55, and while active, it is limited to his somewhat physical job and daily walks) held a plank for over 2 1/2 minutes.  Not bad!  I'm impressed.

I get so inspired by this.  And of course when it's people that are so tightly knit in my personal community it's is even more encouraging.  Last night I hit up the gym for my own personal bootcamp type workout (limited to my small gym).  Basic format:

Run 2 min at 7 - 9mph .. increasing 1mph at every 2nd set
Upper Body move x 2 sets alternating with Lower Body move
Lower Body move x 2 sets alternating with Upper Body move
*Repeat above 3 times but change Upper/Lower body moves
1:00 - 1:30 minute plank
Obliques x 15/side
Reverse Curls x 20
*repeat all of above for another set

This workout took me about 45 minutes to complete.  In total I ran 1.6 miles in 12 minutes which is an average 7:30 pace (not that I could hold that up for ANY extended amount of time).

It felt GOOD!  And I felt so pumped afterwards.


Friday, November 18, 2011

First Snow

We got out first snow of the season last night...

(picture from this morning, stolen from my daughter)

Not quite enough for us to do our snow removal, but hopefully the start of a long season!

It started just after work last night and came down pretty quick and hard.  There was about 2" of wet, slippery snow on the road last night as we headed out to boot camp, speaking of which...

Last night I took a boot camp class with my daughter, her boyfriend, and his Mom.  I'm trying to encourage my daughter to get more active, and her boyfriend has been feeling unfit since he's not doing much physical work these days.  So I roped them into committing to a minimum of 5 bootcamp classes with me.  Hopefully they will get the bug and continue.

I hadn't taken this particular class in a while, and it was a good one.  It's only 45 minutes long, but you go, go, go the whole time.  As usual I can feel the results of the squats & lunges.  But it's a good feeling!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thumbs Up!

Another positive workout session yesterday.  Did a Bosu Ball class (my favourite) last night and even though I'm still staying on the lower end of intensity, I felt stronger than I have in a long time.  The instructor typically offers up to three levels for most moves, graduating from level 1 to 3.  I've been doing two sets of level 1, then the final set at level 2 ... unless it's a move that I'm stronger at then I follow her through all three levels.  This format is really working for me right now because I'm not exhausting myself and I'm able to complete the class feeling accomplished.

Tonight will be another 30 min run on the treadmill.  One of these days I'll have to cover a little longer distance, but not yet.  I'm happy here!

Over the next few days it's time to get serious about taking down the fall decorations.  Can't have pumpkins & Christmas decor out at the same time.  It's not Costco here!!


Monday, November 14, 2011

A Little Secret

I'm almost afraid to say this .... so, shhhhhhhhhhhh ....

I'm ..... enjoying ..... running .... again!

I honestly don't know what it is.  Maybe cooler temperatures.  Maybe leaving the Garmin behind.  Maybe running with my big dog.  Maybe running alone.

Whatever it is, I'm happy!

I've done 3 ~5K runs this week.  Two on the road, 1 on the treadmill - and I honestly enjoyed every one of them.  Not a clue what my pace was, and I don't care (for now).

Maybe I'm just done feeling sorry for myself.  Done with looking in the mirror telling the reflection what a waste of time this last year has been.  I'm moving on.  Starting from scratch (well, not quite).  But I'm rebuilding the wall.

AND ... I have a goal.  It involves improving on this race in 2012.  This will require some regular, consistent, progressive training, and a definite reduction in weight.  I'm also seriously considering a "fun-run" half marathon for 2012.  While I still have goals in mind for that distance, it's not one I want to focus on just yet - but I do want to do another half regardless of time.  My goals for that can sit on the back burner for a while and be resurrected when it feels right.

My goals this week are 3 runs of at least 5K and 2-3 fitness classes.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Back??? ♥

I think I'm back :)  That was a much longer break from blogging than I'd anticipated, but I'm finally feeling a little urge to get back to it.

In my last post I eluded to working on something.  I wanted to see how that went before I talked about it.  Personally, I get sick of writing about all my "fresh starts", I imagine reading about it is 10 times worse.  What I was working on was another attempt at Tosca Reno's Eating Clean Phase 1.  The first week went pretty well, but I can honestly say now that it's something that I feel I just can't sustain.  My lifestyle, my family, my personality ... it just doesn't work for me.  While I'd love to be the model of clean eating, I am not and don't have a strong enough desire to ever be.

So ... what have I been up to???  Well, I went to Vegas. :)  The men had a reason to go there, and we made a family trip out of it (all on a budget of course).  It was great.  A very "filled" vacation and we were constantly on the go, but still fun.  My ideal vacation is a little more laid back, unscheduled, go-with-the-flow - but this was nice for a once in a while kind of thing.  Being there for Halloween was a blast!  Here's a few pics.  I wasn't in a photography mood and didn't take a whole lot of anything so the selection is pretty slim.

 The boys and their hats

 Me & my girl 
(it got a bit chilly one evening, good thing for $10 hoodies!)

This guy was a dead ringer for Johnny Depp
Not only did he look like him, but he acted like him and almost sounded like him.
I laughed and thought it would have been funny if it actually was him and he was just pretending to be an actor portraying him.
The kids asked if they could take a picture with him, to which he agreed and then said, "you know, we do accept tips" in that accent with the most charming smile.  HAHAHA

Lion cub (behind a very thick glass wall).  Sooo CUTE!  When she opened her eyes she had the most amazing lashes.  Just wanted to scoop her up for snuggles.

Now ... don't ask me how in the world this happened ... but I managed to lose 1 1/2 lbs while we were there. As I said, we were on a budget.  And food on the strip is actually stupidly expensive (unless you're eating in a dive at 3am).  Yes, I could have made better choices, but I didn't.  With a family of five on a limited budget, there was no room for splurging.  Sometimes we would eat at a buffet, stuffing ourselves and making it last most of the day.  Often we ate at McDonald's because it was close and cheap.  Even Subway was a rip off down there.  We drank a lot (beer/smirnoff ice is WAY cheaper than water).  $3-4 for an average size bottle of water and $2 for a large beer.

However, we did walk a TON!  I would guess we averaged 10-15 Km (6-10 miles) every day.  Got blisters and a broken back to prove it too! heeheee

After a couple of days at home, and consuming as much vegetables as I can cram in ... I'm down almost 3 lbs from before the trip.  Now, to just keep that going.  If I don't continue with this success, I do have another trick up my sleeve that I will employ in the next week or two.

That is one thing I often find when we're in the USA.  Fruits/Vegetables are way more expensive than at home, often not the greatest quality, and not as easily accessible.  I wish we'd had a car.  There were no "normal" grocery stores nearby.  If there was, we could have filled up on some produce.  If I have to pay for a meal in a restaurant, the last thing I want is a spindly salad that tastes all hopped up on chemicals.  I don't think I've ever had a decent salad in the US.  Here you can get a pretty good salad at McDonald's.  I don't know what they do to them there, but they are disgusting!  Even the buffets we went to were severely lacking in fresh produce.  Any vegetables were swimming in some kind of sauce, or pulverized into something unrecognizable.  The last 2 days we did find one that at least had a good assortment of fresh fruit - which I consumed like crazy.

It was awesome to get away, and good to get back.

The day after we got home (which was a shock going from 20°C to -3°C), it was a beautiful sunny, crisp day.  I took my big dog out for about a 3 mile run and it was absolutely glorious.  It was one of the very few runs I have enjoyed this entire year.  Just me and my dog, no garmin, no watch, no conversation to keep up ... just blissful silence.  I finally felt that "floaty" feeling again that I've missed so much.  I'm holding on TIGHT to that feeling and storing it in the forefront of my brain.  I also went for a 1 hr walk with my friend and my daughter, then later that night a 2 hr walk with my whole family.  It was an amazing day!

That was kind of a long-ish post, but hey ... it's been about 6 weeks!  Hopefully you'll be hearing a lot more from me again.