Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tomorrow's gonna hurt

that might be a clever reference to Smashmouth, or it might just be a very true statement for my future.

Another title for this post could easily be "Ow! Pilates!"

I got the Crunch Fat Burning Pilates DVD today (well technically, last night) from Netflix and used it today. HOLY JABLONSKI!! I will say that I am able to keep up with the pace of the cardio part quite well, and that I actually did finish the workout - both the cardio blend, and the mat portion. I was really surprised each time one workout ended: I honestly thought I was only about halfway through. So, go me!

On the other hand, I have NONE of the "control" that the instructor talks about for Pilates. I just toss my limbs out all over the place. And the entire first ten minutes at least (probably more) focuses on squats! NOOO! That's just MEAN.

I also find it funny that they do exercise modifications for those of us who suck (er, I mean, who are just starting out) - which is great, don't get me wrong - but those modifications are led by a woman who, I kid you not, I thought was a very buff man with long hair at the start of the video. She's that ripped. YEAH, lady, YOU really need modified poses. Oh well, thanks for letting me slack off. ;D

The mat stuff is the most interesting to me. I did most of the exercises with modifications but I think in another week or so I will be ready to try them without modding (key word: TRY). I like the "Hundred" one - I've tried that before and I suck but seeing it demonstrated made me understand it a bit easier. Also, boys I was drippin' sweat at this point and my legs were all slippery. Not an easy workout!

So my initial response: if you are looking for a home workout and you really want to start Pilates, start with something easier! If you've got some background with Pilates, or you just REALLY want to push yourself, this is pretty good - the pace is good, and like I said it went more quickly than I thought it would, but it is definitely going to take me a while to learn to isolate my muscles etc etc. I got no rhythm, either.

Also! Today was day 2 of the Hundred Push-ups challenge! I forgot to check the chart to see what I was supposed to do, so I just did this: 12, 12, 10, 10, 8. I think that's right, and if not, it's really close. Total is 52! Ay caramba!

Listen folks I'm guaranteed to have my ass in a sling tomorrow I'll be so sore. And I claimed I was going to run sprints! We'll see, friends and family (mostly if not entirely the latter). We'll see.

Oh for the record though, I did start the workout with a mile at 2% elevation. Hooray! It showed me one thing: I will NOT be able to run the same at 6.5 mph on Friday. Instead I'm going to try to do that speed at 1% and if that's too hard I'll drop it down to 0 after a half mile. I'm sticking to the speedy though. It is in the cards! (I miss Magic 8 Balls.)

Quickie edit: I checked and I was wrong on the very last set of the push-ups, it was meant to be 10 again. So I should've done 54. Fie on that, though, I'm pleased with 52 (and 8 really was my max). Friday I'm supposed to do 15, 13, 10, 10, 15... I don't know about that. :P (63 total! Last week the highest I got was like 45 and at the end of this week I'm supposed to be up to 63! That's just special.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I am so giving up on the outdoor running until September.

Bleah! I had hoped that I would have osmething good to say today like "Wow, new record for me!" or something along those lines. Instead what I have to say is that I had a lousy run and although I made roughly 4 miles total, it was split over three different runs with a rest in between.

I dislike pinning performances like this on external factors, just because I feel like I'm making excuses, but I do have to acknowledge that the humidity was weighing me down like I was a sponge, that it was 85 degrees outside and felt hotter, and that I just don't have a lot of experience running in those conditions. I also hadn't had a great deal of liquid immediately before running (I am always confused as to just how full of water I should be before running).

On the other hand, I didn't stop running at 1.6 miles because I *had* to. I let myself stop, because I was tired, and I could have pushed myself harder and kept going and I might have felt less tired in a while. But I've had times when I've nearly felt sick but up until feeling that way I've been actually enjoying myself, and the truth is that I just wasn't enjoying this run. Except for hte first mile or so I just didn't like it. And bleah! So now I'm cranky. >:P

My total today was just under 4.0 - I think - I'm approximating, as usual. I believe that I did 1.6, then walked .4, ran 1.1 and walked .7, and then ran another 1.2 or so. All told my running time wasn't so bad - I think I probably could have gone slower and run for longer - the 3.9 or so miles I did in about 37 minutes (all times approximate), which is REALLY fast for me, so I probably was pushing myself a little harder than I should have. Another reason I'm sticking to the treadmill for a little while after this. Unless it's raining and/or really mild, August is a no-go for outside runs (except the 5K at the end of the month, which I'm about to start really training for, hardcore).

Anyway, I'm not looking for support or cheering-up messages; I know what I'm able to do. I've BEEN doing really well on the treadmill both in terms of mileage and in terms of speed, so I know it's not like I'm slacking off. I just want to be able to say "Yay! I had a breakthrough and did this new thing I haven't done!" and I'm not getting to. *pout*

Meantime my plan for the rest of the week is to re-introduce running as the focus (after taking a mini-breather the past two weeks). I'm still going to only do a mile on Wednesdays and Fridays, at least to start, but they're going to have a focus to them; I'm still going to take Mondays off from running entirely, I don't plan on changing that. But I'm going to try to start really focusing on hill training.

My plan for the rest of the week is this:
W - 1 mile run on 2% elevation (6.0 mph)
Th - speed intervals
F - 1 mile run on 2% elevation (6.5 mph)
Sa - Distance run
Su - hills workout

Next Tuesday I'm going to focus on my mileage again, with the intent of getting up to 4 miles without stopping as soon as possible. I'm quite close! :) I guess what I'm really training for is the 8K that is in September. I'm really looking forward to that one.

Monday, July 28, 2008

In the evening, by the moonlight

Recap of workouts from weekend. I will make it brief. :)

I did a long run on Saturday, increased my mileage to 4.2 total - 3.7 straight, then a minute and a half of walking, and another half mile run.

I also walked to the grocery store that morning. Because I am fabulous.

Saturday night was a bachelorette party, in Richmond, which involved the consumption of a great deal of sushi (of all things) and a sudden craving for french fries at 2 am, but also a lot of walking around and some dancing. In high heels! You barely would have known me, I tell you.

I did, however, have to skip my workout yesterday. I really had to. Not only was I uninspired in terms of what to do but also I just was truly, truly exhausted. I got to bed at 4 am and felt guilty sleeping in past 8, since I was crashing in a living room, and Dorothy was weird about naps yesterday so there was no real chance to relax (although Dan did watch her and keep her mostly quiet for about an hour in the afternoon, but still, it was a tiny little hour of dozing). I hope I can make that lost sleep up, because I think I might need it, and it's SO hard to feel rested right now... Long gone, those days when I could stay in bed until noon! Boy.

I did end up surprisingly NOT over-done on Saturday night, I thought, and as a result while driving back I gave myself permission to have a "splurge" day. This is different from a "binge" day because it's not non-stop uncontrolled eating, it's just going ahead and eating the things I know are really bad for me that I don't have very often. That means it was mostly carbs - not that I stay away from carbs, but I try to balance usually, and stick with the "good" ones. Yesterday we're talking about donut, convenience store cupcakes, zucchini bread (I made this!), and a Slimfast meal bar that was NOT for a meal! (I have such a weakness for "nutrition" bars. It's like if it's in bar form I want it.) Anyway unlike the days last week where I totally failed on controlled eating, I felt like yesterday was okay. I hopefully won't feel a need to do it again for a while though. ;)

Today has been okay so far. For a workout I did a Raquel Welch exercise video - the portion that focused on a lower-body workout - which is weird because she does a handful of easy yoga stretches, some leg lift kind of things, and in between these tells you to "do five minutes of aerobic activity of your choice". Um what? Then she hops on an exercise bike. I mean, it's okay, because I have a room full of equipment so I just step on the elliptical, but I'm all used to Jane Fonda and her trippy bounce-around-the-room choreographed workouts... not "figure it out for yourself"! Anyway Raquel's workout is alright, I did it mainly because I wanted to do something that had even a tiny bit of strength training in it. My pilates video did not come over the weekend and is now scheduled to show its face on Tuesday. Bah.

I did, meanwhile, start the 100-pushups challenge today. I did day 1! Lucky me, right? :P 10, 10, 8, 6, and then another 8. 42 total today! We'll see if I can do day two on Wednesday.

I have nothing more to say that is the slightest bit interesting.

Friday, July 25, 2008


When Dan and I got our economic stimulus check we decided we would splurge on a few things. So we each got $125 in cash to do with as we will. I promptly bought "Peter Pan" with mine and then realized I was down to just $100 and therefore must. save. money!

Anyway, this mostly means shopping on TV's "The Internet" which I hate doing for the simple reason that I loathe paying shipping. Plus you never REALLY know what you're going to get. Plus I can't make up my mind what the heck I want, anyway!

But I just broke down and shopped a bit on which is generally a good site; I trust it a bit more than I do eBay, for reasons I can't explain, especially since eBay owns anyway.

I bought Minna Lessig's "Tank Top Arms" video at long last - now I'll always have SOMEthing I can do to work out! - as well as two Robbie Williams CDs, "The Ego Has Landed" and its follow-up "Sing When You're Winning". Dan is horrified to know that I've become quite the Robbie Williams appreciator - I wouldn't say out and out FAN, but I appreciate him quite a lot. Enough to buy two albums! Especially when one was only a dollar and the second, about two. ^_^ ...But then there's that blasted SHIPPING cost. >:P Oh well, for all three items it was only just over $20 so I am not complaining! I still have about $80 to stare at and think "Only $80?! What is worth spending on?"


It just seems easier to split these really long posts up, so that's what I'm doing for the second time this week.

Just to cover the rest of the week, here...

Thursday I woke up with an incredibly sore neck, like a pinched nerve or something. Don't know if it was from bowling (by the way, I suck at bowling... on my second game I broke fifty and I did a pathetic little dance) or the way I slept Wednesday night but whenever I lifted my left arm I got a pain up my neck. It's still there today. Advil helps a bit though. Naturally I've put the push-ups aside until this is over, as well as most any other strength work; I did try holding weights while I walked today and could feel it so I didn't do much.

Anyway all day yesterday I flirted with the idea of getting my work done nad leaving early, so I put off working out until the afternoon. At lunch time I went out on a walk and it was so gorgeous out that I knew I had to go running outside. I did end up staying the full day, so I went out at around 3pm and ran a different route than my usual one, going in the opposite direction. It was not my best run: I probably could have done better if I'd pushed myself, but I was underhydrated, hadn't eaten too recently, had overeaten the day before, and ultimately didn't WANT to push myself. So I totaled about 2 miles running with another 1 or so walked. It was a very nice day outside, though.

Today, finally we're up to today, today I ran a "fast" mile (7.0mph), then did 20 minutes of intervals on the elliptical; I set it on "hills" at level 10 and did five minutes of steady work and then five minutes of "bursts", the ones where you do 8 seconds hard work and then 12 recovery. I repeated those and it was pretty good, especially because it was already on the "hills" setting so I was getting intervals no matter what I was doing. After that I went back to the treadmill and ran another 1.1 miles, this time with sprint intervals. I did three reps of 2 minutes at 6mph and 1 at 8mph, then did one last minute at 6mph.

I've run a good deal more this week than I did last week, without any real premeditation; I just don't know what to do right now if I'm not running b/c I don't have any plans for other workouts. I've got a "Crunch Pilates" DVD coming tomorrow htough so next week I should have a little more structure. But I also intend to spend the next 4 weeks or so going back to doing hill/elevation workouts in prep for my next 5K. I *hate* hills! SO MUCH! :P

Total mileage for the week:
4.1 Tuesday
1 Wednesday
2 Thursday
2.1 Friday
Total: 9.2

And in a final "WTF" moment I turned on the radio this morning on Light WASH FM, a station I generally hate, and got Christmas music. They're doing "Christmas In July" today, I guess because it's the 25th. TOTALLY screwed with my head. XD

Gonna dance my blues away tonight

Well, tomorrow night is a big bachelorette party at a drag club! Or so I am led to believe! Maybe I'm just being lured out to Virginia so I can be mugged or have my identity stolen or something. :P

Wednesday my office went bowling. I have to use this space now to make a confession, which is about what I ate that day. I keep telling myself I need to get the binge eating under control, I need to "work on that", but I'm not doing anything much about it. I know it's a totally emotional thing and I think my first step needs to be in taking full accountability for it so I'm going to go ahead and list how much I ate there. We had unlimited food at lunch, see, though none of it was great.

I had decided in advance that I was going to be "Vegetarian" so that would limit my options. Not that this, in the end, really changed my intake from the look of things.... the menu was hamburgers/veggie burgers, cheese or pepperoni pizza, french fries, and caesar salad. Dessert was just a tray of cookies and what may or may not have been fudge. Now the good is that I skipped the fries: I had one and found them not to my liking and therefore resistable. I had hoped there would be an option of "naked" salad because I consider caesar to be way up there in the fatty-fat "trick" salad that people eat when they THINK they're being healthy and actually it's really bad for you, so although I did have a plate, I wasn't able to do my oft-repeated "fill up on veggies" trick. I only had one veggie burger, with a bun and some lettuce, tomato, and ketchup.

The bad: my pizza intake was lousy. Not my worst - I recently consumed something like 8 slices of pizza in one day (again at work, over the course of about six hours) - but not great. My plan had initially been "take a lot right away and don't go back for seconds" because I think it's in the going back and forth with just one piece that you start feeling like you're not having as much. Good plan except that I took two pieces, then two more, and then in between bowling sets ended up with a fifth. Taking into account everything ELSE I had on Wednesday that's kind of gross.

The cookies were no cause for celebration either: I believe I had about six (I didn't keep good count) plus three brownie/fudge triangles. Now I refuse to beat myself up and I refuse to dwell on this, in fact I've reminded myself several times that I could have been worse, but I also know I realy need to improve it and telling myself not to feel guilty for what's past and done is a step away from telling myself it was totally okay and not to worry about it at all. So that's why I'm posting about it.

I ate five pieces of pizza, a veggie burger with fixings, caesar salad, and a pile of cookies on Wednesday. Now it looks like an awful lot.

Whew! So any time I do that again I'm going to post about it here so that I have to look at it all together. The problem with buffets and such is just that it's so easy to be bored and go back and eat more. And I DO. Anyway, walking back from the bowling alley (it was only about 2.5 miles from my office and in fact was right near the route that I run on Tuesdays) I thought it over and decided that for the rest of the year I will not eat more than two pieces of pizza in one day. Period, I will not do it. Becuase that's plenty of pizza and it's a totally healthy (as healthy as pizza gets, anyway) amount. Beyond that, well, I'm going to have to just exercise some restraint and if I really have problems I guess I'll have to try and figure out why I feel like I have to eat as much food as possible when a lot is provided, and then how I can change that impulse. :P

For the record on the walk back I did end up running the last mile, despite the fact that I was FULL. But I walked for about a half an hour before I started running and then I decided I had faith in myself and my abilities and I knew I could do one little mile even though I was underhydrated and full of cookies. ;)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The incredible edible egg

The egg is like one of my favourite meal items ever. Yet another reason why it would be hard for me to be a vegan. Then again I did used to say I could never give up beef to go veggie, and I have stopped eating beef, so who knows what crazy wacky things the fugure could show us.

WELL. Tuesdays I normally go outside but I was dreading the thought because the heat has been so oppressive lately. So instead I thought I'd go easy on myself and just do the treadmill again. Treadmill potato that I am. It turned out that was a good decision since right before my workout time we got a big ol' thunderstorm! Go figure. So I just went downstairs and watched the first hour of "Return of the King" instead. Oh technology! We shall never have to leave the indoors again pretty soon.

I do best following a predictable schedule, so I just did another long run, though I did try to mix it up a bit with some sprints towards the end. I went 3.1 miles first, with most of that at 6 mph and the last... ummmm... minute, maybe? at 8mph. Then I took a breather with a minute or so of walking at 3.5mph and another .3 at 4mph. So this totaled up to 3.5, and from there I started running again, alternating between perhaps 2 and 1/2 minutes at 6mph and then as long as I could go at 9mph (usually about 45 seconds), then as long as I could go at 8mph (usually same), before dropping back to 6mph. This worked pretty well for the last mile and then I finished with another 1/2 mile of walking. So I again totaled 5 miles, 4.1 of them were running, and I can't recall my exact time but I think I got that 4.1 in about 40 minutes. Maaaaybe a little less... but not much. ;)

I walked another five minutes just to cool down (at low low speeds, like 2.5 mph) and then stretched, which I never remember to do on weekends so my legs were really tight. Then I did pushups but again no crunches. Lazy. I'm up to 16 in one set now! 16-12-8-9 today for a total of 45. :)

To close this out and make it interesting, here are some-but-not-all of the races I would like to run this year (all conditions remaining viable):

the "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" 5K in late August
Somerset Annual Back-to-School 8K Run
Rockville 10K/5K

There are also several others I can't link to, like the Candy Cane City 5K in November and the Turkey Burn-off around Thanksgiving. Now THAT is an incentive not to overeat! ;D

So who wants to run these with me?


Well, I know I haven't updated here since Thursday; it's mostly because i don't have all that much to say that is news and I think I'm getting a little repetitive and boring. :P

But I'll sum up from my weekend!

Friday I didn't do anything interesting, just another 1-mile run and then elliptical. I *did* try to start the workout, like an idiot, with some yoga while I was not warmed up - I only did it because Wai Lana was on public access when I first got there! I was fine when she was doing neck stretches and forward bends. All was well then. But then she gets down and goes into Plow pose and I'm like "My feet are supposed to go WHERE?!" To my credit, I tried it. I got them over my head and even onto the ground. And then I listened to my body, and my body told me "NO WAY, you FOOL!" and my feet came right back up. ;D I was able to more or less do the Shoulder Stand in between returns to Plow... but my back did not like. I'm probably lucky I didn't tear something. ^_^;;

Anyway, I did also do pushups, no crunches though. I forget the break down but nobody really cares anyway; my total was, I believe, either 43 or 44.

Saturday I did a long run in the afternoon, since earlier in the day Dorothy had a friend over (hee!) and when she went down for a nap so did I. It was 4 pm before I got out to the gym. I did another 4-mile run, this time going up to 3.6 miles before walking for three minutes and finishing out another .4 miles at 7 mph. When I returned I was DRENCHED I can tell that; I was literally wringing out my shirt in the bathtub.

Sunday I decided to try some cross-training on all the cardio equipment in the gym. I did another 1-mile run on the treadmill - I forget but I think I worked some sprints in, I *think* it was .8 miles at 6.0 and then the final .2 at 8mph. Then I did ten minutes on the step machine, and I take back what I've said about ellipticals; TRUE evil wears the face of the step machine. :P Going ten minutes on that is a triumph! Then ten minutes on the elliptical and ten on the exercise bike. Since I knew I wouldn't be getting in a workout on Monday (staying home to watch the kid don'tcha know), I tacked on another ten minutes on the treadmill with the elevation up high, though I just walked.

And like I said, no workout yesterday, though the day was full of walking and I have the sunburn to prove it. ...Yes, I know that sunburn proves nothing. Shut up. I also would have done reasonably well in terms of eating habits if I hadn't pigged out on tortilla chips at lunch. Boy! I did do okay mostly on the weekend though. Not "diet" okay but I didn't overdo anything at all. :)

So that's my weekend roundup! In a few minutes maybe I can come back and post about today.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Gotta keep those balls in the air... how hard can it be?"

Ahhhh a montage. If my life rated a montage I'd be in MUCH better shape, just automatically. I mean, they only show montages of people who get really fit, right?

Oh well. I had a kind of aimless day today in workout-ville.

I did run another mile; this time I felt I should mix it up a little so I ran elevations on the treadmill.

0-2 minutes: 6.0mph, 2% elevation
2-4: 6.0mph, 4%
4-6: 6.0, 2%
6-8: 5.6, 6%
8-10: 6.0, 2%

I figure that's probably good for me. Or something. I hope it wasn't too short to do any good.

Then I did 30 minutes on the elliptical, which I must reiterate I HATE, but which is very efficient for calorie-burnin'. I did something somewhere like 500 calories, although I know you can never really trust the readout on a gym machine. Still though. It was on "hills" also, I figured I should stick with a theme.

Afterwards I did some more stretches, and then crunches, this time being good and working hard! 25x2 regular crunches and 25x2 bike abs, so that's either 75 or 100 total depending on how you look at it. :) I skipped the pushups. I'm too sore.

Nothing else really to talk about. Boss is out on a meeting today and tomorrow so I'm busybusy, though admittedly some of that is becuase I am taking it upon myself to be Proactive! and Get things done! like that.

From the "don't say I never did anything for you" department, to those who sit all day (like hmmm, I don't know, me) here's a little mini ab workout that FitSugar posted a while ago. I haven't done it in about a month. But it's mini and you can do it at your desk without anyone really knowing. At Your Desk Abs Workout

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I almost didn't make it but then I did

Had so many meetings and stuff this morning (I confess: one was a book club meeting) that I wasn't sure I would get to work out. I was determined, though! ...One unfortunate side effect is that I didn't get to go on my extra walk either yesterday or today, so that's too bad. But I had that huge run yesterday so that's okay. And I bet it's hot outside. And I wouldn't have been able to watch TV.

Real quick, today's workout:

Walked 3 minutes to warm up
Ran 1 mile at 7.0 mph (total time: 8m40s)
Push-ups and crunches
15 minutes on elliptical, with five minutes "warm up" and five minutes "cool down" warmly sandwiching five minutes of an interval routine that I detest but which is relatively easy: do 8 seconds all-out pushing as hard as possible, then 12 seconds recovery, over and over and over for five minutes. Yikes!
And finish off with ten minutes on the treadmill at varying speeds and elevations, doing fun things with hand weights. "Varying" means I spent about half of it at 3.0 mph on 3% elevation, first just carrying the weights and pumping my arms for about 2 1/2 minutes, then 30 to a minute each of bicep curls, lateral raises, and upright rows. I stopped when my arms told me to. ;) Then I hit the elevation up higher and went to 4.0 mph for most of the remaining time.
Finally cooled down with about five minutes of stretches - not actual yoga, just stretchin' out the legs.

As for the push-ups, since I didn't start the 100 challenge on Monday I'm putting it off until next week and seeing what I can do on my own. Today I did one set of 15, then a set of 10, and then a set of 8 followed by a knee-set of 7. So I totalled 40! Not bad! Crunches were far less inspiring: 50 regular but only 20 bike abs. But so what!

The problem is I don't really know what I'm going to do tomorrow. I guess I'll just spend more time on the elliptical.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More information on the Disney World Marathon

The Happiest Marathon on Earth, or something ;D Get more info right here, linked for your convenience because they don't update all their pages at the right times when you'd expect so if you do a Yahoo! search you will get links to the official pages that are out of date ("Register for the 2007 Marathon!").

You can also find more information about their other races if you do some digging, but I've saved you a bit of that trouble, too. For some reason they bury a lot of their race info under "Endurance" sports rather than just calling them "races". Complicated!

Meanwhile here's a map of the Half Marathon course... I love looking at that thing. You go right through Cinderella's Castle! It's amazing to me that people can run that far, you know. Epcot and the Magic Kingdom are NOT that close together; it really brings home the distance involved.

Then again this one REALLY does it. This is the Marathon course. Look at that - you're up to ten miles before you even make it to the Magic Kingdom!! They really have you running around in Epcot more at the start. It looks like the Blue Marathon start is the way to go if you want to see much of the World Showcase (run around the lagoon, mmmm, nice) and Red will get you all through Future World before the two merge. Looks like you hit the parking lot of the Animal Kingdom around mile 15, then do a loop around the outskirts of that park - I guess you don't want to disturb the animals, heh - and then you get within sight of Hollywood Studios around mile 22. Oh and look - mile 24 is in the Hotel District! How niiiiice. ;) (Actually I love Disney hotels. That would be kind of neat.) Then once you get to mile 25, which of course is the easy part (note: that is a joke) you finish up in Epcot again.

Can do I this? Pwease? What an incentive to keep going and finish, man! Think of all the things you get to see!

For the record, there is a "Circle of Life" 5K around the Animal Kingdom that same weekend.

Jelly Legs one day = Achy Legs the next

Oooooh. If I didn't have some minor background in strength training on my legs I'd be feeling those wall squats even more. :P

Not a whole lot of news today. I did my long run outside; I made it a tiny bit farther than I did last time before stopping, maybe an extra .025 mile. It's still progress! If I can do the same next week I'll be that much further along!

Other than that, pretty much the same as ever. Ran outdoors, made it about 2.725 before stopping; walked for a minute to catch up and then did the remaining amount, probably approximately .2 miles, then stopped and walked for about three-quarters of a mile or so.

Apparently Thyme Square in downtown Bethesda is closed and has been replaced by a Comedy Club! When did this happen? How did I fail to notice it since I pass by it every Tuesday? I have blinders on, I swear.

I picked up the running again after perhaps fifteen-twenty minutes, started at the tunnel just before the half-mile sign (I think it's maybe a quarter mile before the sign; the tunnel is a good run) and once I passed the half-mile sign I alternated with some sprints until the next sign. Then I walked again for about two minutes and finally ran the remainder of the half-mile to complete five miles. I estimate that about 4.1 of them were run. :) I think my total time was around 57 minutes including the walking; it's hard to tell, because there were times when I was just standing waiting for a light to change so I could cross the street, and I didn't have a clock the entire time, only at the beginning and end.

I'm going to do my best to get out again on another little walk this afternoon, but it might not happen; at least I got to go outside once already. ^_^ No pushups etc today, I need to recover from yesterday :P Lazy and out of shape muscles that's me!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Long Live the 80s!

Man, I keep forgetting how SILLY Jane Fonda's workouts are. :P I always fail to finish a workout and that is in part because of how quick-paced they are - I don't have problems getting out of breath but I do lack the coordination to keep up with them so I usually just end up hopping and looking kind of disgusted with them - and also the routines are just so... weird! 60s Dances, Irish Jigs, WTH???

She does do a strength training workout before and after the aerobics though - specifically, upper body before and lower body afterwards. You're supposed to do one each day and the aerobics in between on both days. Meh. I find her lower body routine uninspiring (unfortunately I feel that way about most lower body routines) so I usually ignore the second half of hte tape, around when I lose interest in the aerobics. Instead, afterwards I did a few moderate lower body moves on my own, not a whole lot but they made my legs ache so I think it's enough. Just about two minutes worth of wall-squats - you know, where you "sit" against the wall and let your thighs screma at you in agony? That one. :P I did a minute, then stood, then 45 seconds, then stood, then about 40 seconds before I nearly fell down. Then I did some lunges and now I have jelly legs.

I forgot I was going to try the 100 pushups challenge today so I didn't check it in advance, and thus had no idea what I was supposed to do if I tried it. That's okay though because I wore myself out doing lateral raises and bicep curls and so on. I did do pushups but only like 16. But after doing the weight stuff it felt pretty hard. :P

So to compensate and make me feel better about myself, instead I did some extra crunches. This is actually pretty meaningless but at least I feel like I did something. ;) Two sets of 25 regular, then two sets of 25 bicycle abs! (meaning in all, not per leg) So in a way I did 100 crunches today. ^_^ I think it's really more like 75 but that's still impressive! I wish I could say I am definitely doing the bike abs right. I feel it but I might be cheating and doing it just halfway, because I don't feel it THAT much. Well, I'm trying anyway.

I finished by doing a few yoga poses that I remembered, mainly a couple of seated poses and then Triangle pose and Proud Warrior. Just enough to open the hips. So I suppose today wasn't a loss, and I'm still going out for a walk, but man I want my Minna Lessig video back. >:P Those moves were so easy to follow and it never felt like I was actually doing 20 minutes worth of lower body work.

Tomorrow's my long run day! I always hate the days when I don't run because I don't really know what to do. Blah. Then again this means tomorrow I have to go outside and sweat and possibly vomit. Why am I so pessimistic? I LOVE running outside. Well, that's enough out of me. ^_^

Weekend Lapse

Well it was not the best weekend for me. Sunday was the hubby's birthday and as a result I spent most of the weekend tossing caution to the wind and eating things that we normally avoid (popcorn at the movies, pizza for dinner, etc etc etc). I also baked a lot though we didn't have much of what I came up with, in the end, since we'd had a HUGE meal at the Silver Diner complete with a free slice of cake for Birthday Boy. (I actually didn't eat more than two bites of that b/c I was so stuffed, but I had had a milkshake, so it doesn't count as "being good".) I refuse to beat myself up for this, even though it's yet another sad example of my binge-eating behaviour that I need to work on changing; but as I know it was a more or less one-time thing I can get over it.

...There IS the fact that we now have a number of homemade ice cream sandwiches in the freezer and an entirely untouched lemon-raspberry cake in the fridge that worries me a little, but I'll live.

More of a problem to me is the fact that although I was extremely active on Saturday - walked to the grocery store AND to the movie theatre, as well as out to get ice cream (shut up it was a birthday thing), AND I ran four miles - I dropped it all on Sunday. There wasn't really a whole lot of time based on the plans we had and so in the end I just let it go, and that would be okay if I hadn't splurged quite so much. Oh well. The real thing that is a let-down for me is that I seem to keep dropping the ball on getting all my mileage in for running. This week I was going to try to get up to 15 miles total and I ended up at about 12. :P

Well, Saturday was pretty good anyway. I did just a general 6.0 mph pace for most of it and felt like I was struggling about midway through, mostly because the minutes started going by more slowly. But once I reached 3 miles it got a lot easier and I started feeling more like I was kinda floating. I got to 3.1 and then 3.4 and though I had planned on stopping to recover at 3.5 before going another half-mile, I started thinking perhaps I could make the full 4 miles nonstop after all. (3.5 is still a record distance for me to go without stopping.) However, as I was closing in on the half-mile point I realized that not only was I feeling floaty, I was actually feeling kind of light-headed. No breathing issues or leg pain or chest pain, but I was beginning to get a little dizzy. The clincher came when I scared myself with my arm. It's hard to explain in words, without a clear demonstration, but what I mean is that my left arm came into my peripheral vision as I ran and I thought it was someone else reaching onto the treadmill to push the buttons. O_o

So I stopped. *G* I walked for a few minutes, about three or so, then ran the last half mile at 7.0 mph. Yay me! My time in the end was 4 miles in just about 39 minutes. :)

Total mileage for the week was about 12m. :P This week I'm planning on running less (though the runs I do will be longer runs) so my mileage should be about the same or maybe a little bit less than that. Today I'm going to do - get this - Jane Fonda workout on VHS. Old school! Go Jane! The choreography on this tape is bloody ridiculous. XD

Friday, July 11, 2008

Not Conducive

I can't spell today either. :P

Today my boss is out of the office and I'm in charge, and naturally that means that the complicated phone calls have been coming in. So I've decided to forgo my workout for today, since I still plan on going outside for a long walk in a little while (yay long walks! and it's nice out today!) and since today is kind of one of my "rest" days anyway. It does mean I won't be doing the Yoga For Beginners DVD one last time before sending it back, but no big loss. I didn't really REALLY feel like I was getting that much out of it. To be honest I really want to work on flexibility in my back, and this DVD doesn't really cover that - mostly it's standing poses and sitting poses. I can do Proud Warrior/Warrior 2 pretty well by now I guess, and I'm glad to have a few standing poses to open up my hips - I REALLY need that! But I want to be able to bend over backwards in a circle. That's sexy.

So I'm forgoing my 1-mile run today, which was mostly just a way to pump up mileage for the week, and I can make tomorrow's run a 4.0 total instead of 3.5 or something. And I won't have yoga or elliptical, but one day a week is okay.

Figures that the office is having a baby shower today so there will be cake. WAY TO COMPROMISE. :P

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Today, and In the Future

Today's workout!

I did the sprints I said I would do, and then after doing some crunches and push-ups I finished on the elliptical for about 20 minutes. Those sprint suckers are hard, though. I've done them about five or six times now and sometimes I can complete them without stopping... but usually not.

It's a routine I got from FitSugar which apparently was created by a celebrity personal trainer just for use on the treadmill. Since, especially at this time of year, I think it's easier to do timed sprints on a treadmill indoors, I have been trying to do this once a week. I do usually work some sprints into the latter part of my outdoor runs, though (the part after I've recovered from the long steady distance run).

Anyway, the routine is:
5m @ 5mph
1m @ 8mph; 1m @ 5mph. repeat 3 times
45s @ 9mph; 1m @ 5mph. repeat 3 times
30s @ 10mph; 1m @ 5mph. repeat 3 times.
5m @ 3.5mph

So obviously it's that last set, the 10mph one, that kind of... kills you. XD I enjoy these, in part because it's relatively brief, and in part because I know I can do it. But today I did have to stop after the first two reps of the 10 mph set. I'm also not sure I timed it all correctly today. Still though, it comes out to about 2.05 miles from start to finish (not including the walking at the end) and that's a good workout! The intervals are really good for fat burning and metabolism too, or at least that's what I've read.

After that I did more crunches and push-ups. Same crunch total as yesterday on both moves. Push-ups I added to slightly, still three sets, still 13 on the first, 10 on the second, but I managed 7 on the third and then 7 on the modified/girly position. So I totaled 37 today! My mother has prodded me to try the 100 Push-ups Challenge which I suppose I will give in and do starting on Monday. I'll see if I can stick with it. I've been really good at going gung-ho with push-ups for a few weeks and then forgetting about them entirely for a few more weeks. So we'll see. *G* The aspect I like of that challenge is where you only do them 3 days a week; part of what tires me out with push-ups is that I do try to do them each day and some days I'm terribly sore from other workouts.


Now for something completely different yet still connected to running! For months now - even well before I was doing 5Ks or could run for a full mile - I've been eyeing the Walt Disney World marathon/half-marathon. (If anyone reading this doesn't know me personally yet, here's a secret everyone knows: I'm fanatical about Disney World. I can go back and forth on Disney products as a whole but the WDW fixation has just grown over the past four years.) You get to run through the parks. The characters come out and cheer you on. OH. MY. GOD. If I could actually run that far, I thought to myself, and actually ENJOY it, doing that THROUGH Disney World would be like... heaven. :O Just looking at the course map made me giddy.

Well. I'm not committing to doing it yet, because once I commit to it I will actually DO IT and I'm not sure I CAN do it. Getting there will be hard, more so because I would absolutely have to bring my family and it's just a matter of coordinating etc. But I've looked at the races they actually have available and it turns out there are a ton more than just the official Marathon and Half. They have a bunch of race weekends spread throughout the year and have been adding more lately.

In addition to the Half Marathon (or... perhaps... dare I say... the Marathon itself? I've thought maybe for my 35th birthday... assuming I could get the training time in by then... NO COMMITMENTS) I would love to run the Tower of Terror 13K. This just started last year and is a twilight run around Hollywood Studios, beginning and ending, as I understand, near the Tower of Terror ride. In addition to starting off with fireworks and taking the runners up to a "VIP" area inside the ride for the post-race party, you get gimmicky stuff like a glow-in-the-dark bib (well... I suppose, since it's a twilight race, that's actually very useful) and a medal shaped like the hotel, with MOVING ELEVATORS. I kid you not. XD

Tell me that doesn't sound like a hoot! An 8-mile run at dusk in October. I sincerely doubt I'll ever manage it, unless I give up entirely on running the marathon or the half (I just don't think my husband would be completely kosher with me spending a buttload on running in WDW races and paying to get everyone down there, etc), but what fun!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Today's results

Forgot to mention today's results.

I had an indoor run on treadmill. Nothing fancy, just two miles. I've been trying to increase my pace a little so even though I do longer runs at 6 mph I've been essaying my shorter ones at 6.5 or even more if I feel I can do it. I did the first mile at 6.5, dropped to 6 for .2, got back up for .5, and did the last .3 at 6 mph. I finished in just about 19 minutes, which is quite good for me!

I think I'll try Friday's 1-mile at 7.0 if I can manage it. Then again maybe I shouldn't... I do need some recovery time and I'm sandwiching it in between sprint intervals and a long run. I guess I'll just do a nice quickie.

Today I also did some yoga from the "Beginner's" DVD, and where I'd found the "general" poses quite simple and easy to follow today I did a full workout that's on the DVD as a special feature. HI I CAN'T FOLLOW YOU LADY. Nothing to make you FEEL like a beginner quite like watching your instructor pull her foot down over her head while you struggle to get it as close to your body as possible: and that is perpendicular to the floor. Oh well. At least I can do forward bends. Backbends? Another story again. :P

And, last but not least, I vowed yet again to put some real effort into committing to stomach crunches and push-ups, because I suck and I just don't do them regularly. Confessing here whether I've done them or not will help, I'm sure.

Today I did 20 crunches, rested, then did another 20. Then I did 20 bicycle ab crunches (20 as in ten on each side), rested, and did another 20. So that's my starting point, 40 of each, but I'm terribly inconsistent with crunches because I always change what moves I want to do.

In terms of push-ups I did 13, rested, did 10, rested, then did 6 before dropping to the modified position and doing another 6. So 29 full push-ups, and 35 total (including girly-style), that's my starting point. I do try to do sets of three and I can see I'm getting better for doing that. Even though I'm inconsistent a little while ago a total of 25, including girly-style, was a strain.

I really need a workout for strength training! The problem is that I hate following anything that isn't on TV because it's static, boring, and I know I'm not doing it right. We'll see what Netflix brings in the future!

Running Schedule

Right now it looks like this (anything not "outdoors" is on a treadmill):

Tuesday: Long Outdoor Run
Wednesday: 2-mile run; strength train or yoga
Thursday: Sprint Intervals (abt 2 miles), other
Friday: 1-mile run/cross-training or maybe yoga
Saturday: Long Run
Sunday: Hill Intervals
Monday: Strength train, yoga, or other

Right now I have a DVD from Netflix called "Yoga For Beginners" that is halfway decent but I'm going to be sending it back on Friday so I don't really know what I'm going to do after that one is done. I like the yoga a lot but it doesn't provide any strength training and to be honest, if I don't have a workout DVD I've found I'm a little hopeless in trying to do that stuff myself. I need to buy Minna Lessig's "Tank Top Arms" video - I kept it for 4 weeks and really enjoyed it. And saw results! :)P

Also, to be honest, this schedule I just posted is likely to change. I'm going to do it this week because I've been upping my weekly mileage; this should get me up to around 15.5 miles total, which is a high for me, and once I'm up to that I'm going to scale back on the running for a while and work on other things for a couple of weeks. So starting next week the revised schedule should be:

Tu: Long Outdoor Run (I'm keepin' that)
W, Th, F: 1-mile run, then either x-training or strength training or whatever is handy
Sat: Long Run
Su, M: Whatever is handy; Sun will also have a 1-mile run but not Monday.

I'll work that out when I get to it. I am hoping to do a couple of cardio DVDs like the ones that incorporate dance moves :D And I'll probably be using the elliptical even though I swear to God that thing wants to kill me. One way or another. So, once I'm doing that routine the mileage for the week will probably be around 11.5 or so.

When I say "Long Run" I generally mean "As long as I can go" which isn't terribly long... I did 4 miles yesterday, broken into pieces. Saturdays are going to be unbroken and I'm going to work on extending my time. My first goal for this Saturday is 3.5 miles but I think what I'll probably do is run 5K or so (longer if I feel like I can), walk a minute or so, then do whatever mileage I still need to get up to 3.5. Then I'll just see about upping that bit by bit. Hey, it worked to get me to 5K :)


Meanwhile! I did get out on my long run yesterday and I'm really pleased with the results, although I still didn't do the full 5K without stopping. But it was effing hot and so I don't care.

I realized that I'd probably be incredibly stupid to go out running for three miles without taking water with me so I took my water bottle from work even though I have no way to carry it while running. It was really, really annoying to keep shifting it the entire time I ran, but I was really glad to have it. Yesterday was the hottest day I've run so far. I made it perhaps about 2.75 miles before stopping - I crossed the street! (I don't remember if I went into detail here about what that means, but it means I made my goal for not stopping) - then walked for perhaps a minute or so before finishing off the last of the third mile. I didn't have a watch with me so I have no idea what time I managed, but I was going for distance over speed anyway.

Anyway, from here on out everything had to be estimated because I had no pedometer or watch; I measure by the signs that mark every half mile on this trail, and I did a lot of odd distances the rest of the way. So I felt I had probably run about 2.8 or so out of the first 3 miles. I walked another half mile or so for full recovery and then ran for a couple of minutes, with the assumption that that got me up to an honest 3.0. It also got me to about 3.5 miles or so in terms of full distance travelled. Then I ran about .7 miles or so, including a couple of fartleks (isn't that the greatest word? Yes), stopped at the half-mile sign, walked for perhaps three or four minutes, and ran the rest of the way to the last sign. I think that last one covered about .3 miles so I'm saying I made my 4-mile goal!

I'm going to work on evening it out: First of all I still want to finish that third mile without stopping. After that I'm going to go ahead and give myself a while to recover and try to get the next mile into one solid block at the end. Then I can try shortening the distance between, and start the final run earlier and earlier while extending the first one longer and longer. And then I'll be ready for my 8K in September! :)

So feeling good about things right now. Which is nice. :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

I No Longer Recall

I don't remember anymore just when I made this. I know that the second post was at the end of November so... sometime before then.

I finally figured out I might as well use this as a running blog, since that takes up a good deal of my attention and I never really feel up to posting about it in my LiveJournal (which tends towards the unfocused mundane and such). So this is going to be tightly themed.

As a short introduction to both me and to me running, here's a history for me:

1) I have been overweight and sedentary most of my life, until recently. I had my first child in early 2006 and in Jan 2007 I decided it was time to get rid of the baby-weight-plus so I eased into better living with a "one step at a time" approach that worked really well for me. In terms of diet it was just trimming off certain calories or foods and replacing them with better options, and in terms of activity it was initially low-key walking, then faster, then longer, then doing other exercises.
2) The running came into it because my sister is a runner and she encouraged me on that path - not so much in a "you should do this!" way as just speaking about it so positively and so clearly loving it. A friend of mine gave me a link to the Runner's World plan to begin running by doing walk/run intervals. It's supposed to be an 8-week program and it took me about a year but as of May '08 I managed to do 30 minutes straight of running... Or perhaps you might call it jogging, at a 6 mph pace, but it's something!
3) In May I also decided I would run a 5K. Just one, to see if I could do it and to say I had. I did it, with my sister, and had such a great time that I was hooked. Since then I've been trying to up my training so that I can do a longer distance race, and also I've run another two 5Ks. :)

So that's my history! I'm at a point of about 14 miles a week, spaced over five days. This week I hope to get the mileage up to about 15.5 and then I'm going to pull back for a couple of weeks - I think my knees need a vacation :P Tuesdays are my Long Outdoor Run days and tomorrow I'm going to try for a total of 4 miles running on a 5-mile course. It won't be 4 miles straight, just total; I've been doing a total of 3.5 miles and that hasn't felt too hard for a while so I'm going to try to step it up. There is an 8K in September that I would like to run and I think 2 1/2 months is enough time to get up to 5 miles. :)

So I will be posting on my progress, on my daily workouts, and if need be on my diet habits (though that will only be if something interesting comes up)!