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Monday, November 28, 2016

Good Lord, two months?

It's been a busy fall semester and blogging has taken a back seat. I haven't even had a lot of time to read other people's blogs. But a quick look this morning and I saw that my last post was the end of September and I couldn't believe it.

So just a quick drive-by to say I'm still alive and exercising. Diet sucks and weight has been gained but I am still meeting with my trainer once a week and generally exercising at least 2-3 more times a week as well (some weeks are better than others).

There's just nothing that's been pressing in my mind to blog about. I hope you all have a lovely holiday season and I'll be back on if inspiration hits me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Just say "la no" to artificial sweeteners

Well, at least cut down on them.

As mentioned, umpteen times before, I have embarked on a mission to cut out the diet sodas. I only had one last week and it wasn't too bad.

I decided to try sparkling water again as an alternative because I heard multiple people (which means at least 2 in my world) talk about their love for the overpriced La Croix.

After going through a case I have decided that I do not love it.

To be fair, I've never liked sparkling water/club soda/tonic. There's something about the carbonation that adds a taste to the water that I don't enjoy. Just like I don't like spring water but love filtered water. Yes, I'm unbelievably picky about my water.

La Croix is ok: not awful but not great either. I bought another case of it in the orange flavor to see if I liked it better (I don't). I like it on ice more but I also like soda on ice more so that's not too much of a surprise.

But it does give me something else to drink besides plain water all day long. A little variety is good. Along with the sparkling water I'm also back to drinking a good amount of unsweetened iced green tea in the morning (brewed at home so I don't burn my fingers at work again).  And since La Croix is no artificial sweeteners, no caffeine, no calories, no carbs, and no sodium it's far better for me than popping open a coke zero can.

Mondays with M
Finally got through a whole training session with my trainer - no long breaks because I thought I would pass out. Winning!

We mostly worked on arms on the weight machines in our rec center. I was happy to get through the session, and there were some reps that definitely pushed me to the limit for that particular muscle group, but it was also kind of boring. I'm not criticizing because I really do need to do more of that kind of work if I want to see greater change in my muscle definition. Not every workout is going to be entertaining after all. But it reminds me of why I like going to the group classes so much. I'm a little sore today but it's not too bad and my hamstrings and glutes are almost back to normal (after Saturday's workout) which is a relief.

So far diet is back on track after some weekend indulgences. Weight is about the same. It was actually up yesterday when I unexpectedly had to weigh in with M (I've never done that with a trainer before beyond the first and last assessments) but I wasn't worried as I knew it was late afternoon and I was water bloated. I stuck around 189 all last week. I'm not expecting to see huge/quick changes in weight so I'm not worried at all about it not moving much for now. Even being a few pounds up I'm still able to comfortably wear my size 8 jeans I got over the summer. Which I'm totally wearing to work today because it's the first day since April where it's cool enough to wear jeans and not feel like I'm suffocating from the heat.

Fall!!!! La sigh....

Monday, September 26, 2016

You've picked a fine time to leave me Lucille.

This is NOT the time to cut back on Coke zero and caffeine in general.

My brain is not working right now. And if my hamstrings could, they would jump out of my leg and punch me in the face. 

I focused on leg work for my workout on Saturday and it hasn't been pretty since then. The real culprit of my current pain/soreness was doing Romanian deadlifts with a 50 lb barbell. It wasn't heavy at the time but now it's a pain that lingers.

Workouts for last week:
  • Monday: elliptical warm-up and then training session, which didn't last too long since I somehow overdid it
  • Tuesday: TRX (focus on chest, shoulders, and arms) and 1 mile run
  • Wednesday: Kettle
  • Thursday: 1 mile warm-up and Abs and Tone
  • Friday: Elliptical
  • Saturday: 1 mile warm up run, all kinds of leg exercises - some with weights
  • Sunday: complete rest day
It was a good week for working out. The weekdays were good for diet. The weekend had some bad moments since I decided not to track on the weekend but even though it wasn't perfect it wasn't a total loss either. And I only had one coke zero for the whole week.

The hardest part about today, and my lack of brain function, is that people still expect me to hold intelligent conversations at work.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

If I fall off the wagon blame S.L.

Y'all it's killing me. I can't stand it.

Fall flavored cake donuts!?! Sign me up for 3000!!! 3000 dozen that is! I have also saved the following links over the past month:

Every day it's deliciousness and boozy dreams coming through my Facebook feed. I should probably stop following them. (The tiny house plans link is for my other dream to own a little cabin in the woods so we can escape this stupid heat. This plan just requires that we win the lottery. #goals)

I did, however, repeatedly say no to an apple cider donut that some evil kind person brought into work today to celebrate the beginning of fall. It was not easy but I'm still in a stage where just one indulgence will probably lead to a binge. So it's easier to just say no initially than have to say no to continued eating.

Yes, fall officially begins today in case you didn't see this in the 1 billion other places on the web - AND it's still 90+ degrees and humid outside. Cursed September.

In other news, on Wednesday I did go to Kettle which is taught by my trainer and I'm happy to report that I finally got through a workout with him where I didn't feel the need to upchuck. I was getting worried about my street cred. And today I went to an Abs and Tone class that I haven't done in a long time but always enjoy. Additionally I got my annual flu shot so I don't know if my arm is sore due to working out or the shot.

All I have to say is that the shot better work this year. I do not want a repeat of what I went through in February when I managed to get the flu in spite of having the shot last year. That was awful. I still have a shrine to Tamiflu in my house. Which I'm totally willing to move to my tiny cabin in the woods.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

TRX part deux

Ah the smile that comes after a workout where you didn't feel like passing out.

So the plan for Tuesday was to have a rest day and just go to yoga which was supposed to be on the schedule again. Sadly, there was a miscommunication about that and there will be no Tuesday morning yoga anymore. This makes me very sad. But my co-worker wanted to go to TRX at lunch time and convinced me to come along (actually three of us went together and had a pic taken which is where the one above comes from - I just cropped them out since I'm not sure they would want their faces up on the inter-webs outside of our Facebook circles). This is just the second time I've been able to make it to the TRX class and it was a new instructor for me.

When the instructor showed us all the exercises for the day my first thought was, "crap that's a lot of arm and chest work after I just did a lot of arm and chest work yesterday." I wasn't sure how I'd hold up during the class. But it went great! It was 5 variations of chest presses and chest fly exercises with one round of battle ropes thrown in just for fun. Sure there were a couple of exercises where I had some good ol' muscle fatigue and couldn't quite keep up the pace (push ups and pull ups) but I made it through the whole circuit (twice) and felt good afterwards. I even then went and ran an easy mile upstairs on the track before going back to my office. And all the time I thought, "and why am I not rocking it like this while I meet with my trainer - UGH!"

My shoulders are wicked sore today so I don't know if I'll go to my planned Kettle class. I might instead focus just on leg work on my own. 

My diet is amaze-balls right now. Right on track for everything and I'm not feeling a grudge against any of the restrictions. I'm just appreciating this rare moment while I have it. I'm right around 189 pounds right now. Which in perspective isn't too bad of a gain (7 pounds) given my lack of exercising and many binging moments of the past couple of months. I'm not hung up on a +/- of a few pounds because my weight can fluctuate so rapidly. I mean one cheat meal at a Mexican place and I'm up 3 pounds but a couple good days of diet and exercise I'm back down again. My biggest frustration with myself right now is not reflected on the scale but rather in my mentality about the whole thing. That I  have so many moments of just not feeling "it" and therefore saying "f-it, I'll eat what I want" even though at that point it's completely mindless eating. And knowing that this mental fight is the real battle I'll have for the rest of my life, that it's not something that will magically go away if I ever hit my goal weight. 

So for the next 12 weeks (which is the amount of time I have with my personal trainer for this semester) my goal isn't to lose "x" amount of pounds but just to do the following:
  1. Exercise 5 times a week. Even if one of those days is low intensity such as a walk or elliptical. It will take me a while to feel like I'm not "wasting" the other two days but I'm sure I'll get over that feeling pretty quickly.
  2. But at least 3 of the 5 exercising days are strength training days. I'm far more interested in muscle definition than losing pounds or hitting a certain running pace right now.
  3. Do my best with diet. It's not about never having a treat but it is about not grabbing a half dozen snack bags of candy from the office drawer and plowing through them as if that will help me somehow. It doesn't help. Ever.
That's it but that's enough. It's my hope to start working towards this just as a new lifestyle rather than a temporary mini-goal to get me to that next magic scale number. I assume my weight will naturally go lower if I'm doing the things above but if I stay in the 180's so be it. It's about the journey rather than the destination right? Or some other motivational crap like that... ;)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

That time I sustained an injury while trying to give up Coke Zero...

It's fine - I didn't need skin on those fingers anyway.
I know you can barely tell, but humor me by totally agreeing that you can see the red burnt skin on my pointer and middle fingers (below the knuckles). In the glass is "iced" green tea, with melted ice. The evil villain in this whole story.

So part of the initial conversation with my trainer last week was that he really wanted me to give up Coke Zero. I know it's horrible for me but I love it. I also knew I would have to give it up if I was going to be accountable for my food/drink intake with the trainer. So while it was of no surprise it still is a little sad.

At the time, last week, I still had a good portion of my normal 12 pack box that I buy so that I can bring a cold can with me every day for lunch. My campus has a contract with Pepsi instead of Coke and Diet Pepsi is just so nasty that the only way I can drink it is if it's in a fountain drink and I hate over paying for fountain drinks in our student union. So I have to bring my addictions with me to work.

So I now have one lone Coke Zero in my fridge and I decided to hoard it for a little while (or at least until my husband notices it and drinks it making me justifiably mad and causing an argument). Monday I went the whole day with just my one cup of coffee to start the day. The rest of the day I downed a ton of water. Predictably I had a massive headache at 4 p.m. due to caffeine withdrawal.

Tuesday morning I decided to make some green tea. Then I had the brilliant idea to turn it into iced tea. See, I don't like un-sweetened hot tea but I'm fine with it if it's iced. My weird brain at work again. This was all a great idea until I poured half the cup of brewed hot tea onto my fingers while trying to transfer it into the cup with ice.

#$%* it.

But the highlight was tons of leftover fruit and veggies in the work fridge from an event we had last night. So my morning snack was much more exciting and colorful than normal. Maybe it will help me forget the pain of my scalded fingers.

Mondays with M
So I finally had my first training session with my trainer and it didn't go great. Not his fault - my body decided that it could only handle battle ropes, push-ups, and squats before my heart rate sky-rocketed and I felt like I was going to puke (just like a couple of weeks ago when I did kettle). He was kind about it all. He said it was more likely to come from the fact that I was switching between different positions (like push-ups to squats) pretty quickly and that changed my blood pressure and heart rate. So he'll change up some of that stuff - keeping me in one vertical or horizontal position at a time. But it cut short some of the exercising because I had to give it some time to recover and not want to puke or pass out. I hate, hate, hate feeling like that. Even if it's out of my control it makes me feel weak and out of shape. Because those exercises are things I should be able to handle without feeling like that. But I'm dealing with it and moving on.

Last week I started off fine and things again went downhill. So far this week things are going great and I'm really trying to control my eating. Looking at sodium levels has been pretty annoying but I'm trying to make some changes to my regular staples in my diet and progressively cut down on my daily intake.

We also had a conversation about my coffee creamer. He said, "But that's at least 70 calories a day and if we multiply it by 7 days and then by 10 weeks just cutting that out would help with weight loss."

I replied, "I'm a white girl in her late 30's. The pumpkin spice creamer is staying until Thanksgiving."

Monday, September 12, 2016

Mondays with M

Sorry it's been quiet on here. Last week was crazy busy at work. Quick recap on the little bit of exercise I got:

  • Spin on Tuesday
  • 1 mile warm up run and weights on Friday
  • Walk, Run/Row routine on Saturday
Yep, that's about it.

But today was my initial meeting with my new (to me) trainer "M". First to give a little background, my university has a wellness program so for the low cost of $200 I can meet weekly with a trainer (for about 15 weeks) plus I get a pass to as many classes as I want. It's a heck of a deal. Many times, however, their trainers are students who may have a couple certifications but they're still in school and so very young and inexperienced.  I've always liked everyone I've worked with but there have been a couple that I wouldn't pay to have again. So I specifically requested M for this semester because I've watched him work with other clients and he's been doing this for 15 years (rather than a few weeks...).

I have no running goals right now so I told him I want to concentrate on building strength and trimming down again. It's not so much that I don't know what to do but I'd rather have weekly accountability and advice from someone who knows more about this stuff than I do. We went through a pretty detailed history and his initial comments were pretty interesting.

  • If you want to keep from yo-yo'ing on your weight and exercise activity you need to cut back to 3-5 days of exercise. - Awesome, already doing that.
  • 30 minutes of cardio max per session, the rest of it is weights/strength training. - Okay, willing to mix things up especially since I'm not going long distances right now.
  • Minimum of 1500-1700 calories a day. - that will take my brain a bit to get used to but I know he's right.
  • No more Coke Zero.
Fine, I'll cut down and then cut it out. Or at least I'll try.
  • He didn't set any other macros yet (carbs/fat/proteins) but he thinks I need to cut down on salt, to 1500-2000 mg/day.
This truly is the hardest thing to accept and deal with. Not because I love salt so much (although I do) but because most of the things I have picked to eat diet wise to fit my macros have higher amounts of salt in them. These aren't bad things necessarily - but cottage cheese has a high amount of sodium, as does single package oatmeal, healthy cereal, salsa, hummus, egg whites in a carton, yogurt, etc.

So I won't get to a magic >2000 mg of sodium right away. I have to readjust my pantry staples and shopping list first but I did switch up my breakfast plans in an attempt to work on it. 
  • Overnight oats (old fashioned), almond milk (still higher in sodium but more tasty than water), blueberries, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. With a scrambled egg and coffee.
Another problem is the amount of time I need to cook since Tuesdays and Thursdays are consumed with tennis games and something seems to come up on the other days as well. I guess weekly meal planning can be done but I don't want to find a temporary solution for a longer term problem. I know myself well enough to know that I could spend a few weeks prepping weekly meals but soon it would get old and I will want more daily variety. But for now....

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The I'm not really going to race but then again... 5k race report

It was gorgeous on Saturday morning. Even if I was awake far earlier than I would prefer on a weekend. At 6:20 when I left my house the outside temps were 62 degrees and it didn't feel humid at all - though how humidity feels in the south is pretty relative to what you're used to.

The night before I wondered if I should wear a tank or t-shirt. Then silly me realized that the mid-60's are still pretty darn warm once you get going and a tank top was used. And while I did get sweaty I never felt overheated.

The 5k didn't start until 7:20 but I was worried about getting into the parking lot and settled since the 10k started at 7:00. Then they only had 4 port a potties set up so that line took quite a while. While there a friendly gal behind me was trying to chat and I still was in my, "this is too early and I need coffee" mind fog.

I was surprised to find that I only knew like 1 or 2 people at the race. I guess other people had better Labor Day weekend plans. But since I wasn't feeling up to being chatty and friendly it's probably for the best.

After a while my brain had woken up enough that I really did appreciate the beautiful morning, the chance to be healthy enough to race, and the spirit of the community. I started the race in a good mood and hit mile one at 10:33 which is far faster than I had planned on going. So I thought, well golly, let's at least do this within 11 min/mile splits. Even if it wasn't going to be my best 5k it didn't have to be my worst either.

Mile 2 was slower with a 11:30'ish split but I could still finish within my new goal. And I was able to get through at the end just barely squeaking by with an overall pace of 10:59, finishing at 34:03.  And then since I still felt kind of bad (stupid brain) about switching down to the 5k I went to Zumba afterwards for an extra cardio burn. And after that I was super tired for the day and took a nap and was grouchy at everyone in my family for the rest of the day.

Aah the life of a kinda runner.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Fall may come after all

It's been a decent week. Enough soreness has worn off that I can walk again without shuffling like a one-legged pirate so that's good.

And look! Here is the forecast for tomorrow morning.

Running a 5k in 60 degree temps? Oh the bliss! 

Even with much lower temps I'll still probably have a pretty slow 5k. I have no goals for this race at all. I'm just treating it like a normal easy run, which means walking breaks as needed and an overall easy 11-12 minute/mile pace.

Far more workouts this past week than I've had in previous weeks:
  • Saturday: 4 mile interval run
  • Monday: 1.5 mile warm up run and Kettle-Death Class
  • Wednesday: Zumba
  • Thursday: Spin
  • Friday: 1 mile warm up run, abs, and arms (weights)

I already got in my workout this morning because I'm naturally a morning person and love to work out before going to work.

Or not.

Actually, my son now has a Friday morning choir practice which starts at 6:45 in the blessed a.m. Good thing I love that kid.

And it means I get a second breakfast. So it's not all bad.

And I talked with my trainer and we've picked out our weekly time. Since it will be on Mondays I get another week before the suffer-fest begins. Thank God for Labor Day!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Keeping the magic alive

I knew the DOMS would be bad from Monday's Kettle class and they are. I didn't have a chance to work out on Tuesday so they were really bad by that afternoon and evening.

I had to stop by Walgreens for some other things and went ahead and bought a tube of generic BenGay.

I came home and whispered to my husband, "I'm going to smell like an old man tonight!"

He advised me to go sleep upstairs. Guess that's not what does it for him.

Which is probably a good thing in the long run.

Tonight is Zumba and then taking it a little easy until Saturday's 5k. I want to go all out this week and get my exercise mojo fully back but I need to be able to run and not hobble by Saturday morning.
Apparently not my husband's type.

Monday, August 29, 2016

I'm awesome! Oh wait, nope - going to throw up...

I did it. I got back to Kettle Fit.

There's a new instructor this semester (well he's not new to the rec center but he just started teaching this class back in August and I haven't been there until now). But I've had him once before when he subbed for Kettle and I've watched him as a trainer with some other staff members. I knew it would be a good work out but I underestimated how quickly my gains had disappeared.

I had some time before the class started to hit the indoor track. I took it easy and got about 1.5 miles in 15-16'ish minutes (I wasn't really even paying attention to pace). I was mostly just amazed at how much better it felt to run inside as compared to my outside run on Saturday where it was 85 degrees and the humidity was at 4,000,000,000%. I spent THAT entire 4 mile run (which was done in intervals even) thinking, "thank God I switched to the 5k." Actually that outdoor run - because I took it easy - wasn't too bad. It was nasty hot but I actually had a good attitude throughout the run. However, I did feel very good about my decision to switch down to the shorter distance and the chance to enjoy the race more rather than just suffering for the sake of suffering.

So back to today, I did my mile and a half and then skipped down to the kettle class, expecting it to be just fine and the first 10 minutes were (warm up, squats, lifting the kettle, some planks, more squats). Then the next 5 minutes got harder, then the next 8 minutes were spent with me trying to catch my breath, not pass out, and not throw up. It was going to be like "Day One" on the Biggest Loser except there were no buckets for me to use. Thankfully, since I did take my effort down several notches I got through the crisis without embarrassing myself and was able to finish the class. But it was dicey there for a while and I'm already sore.

During those 8 minutes I just kept thinking, "crap - I just requested that this guy be my personal trainer this year."

But no really, it's going to be good. I need someone who's tougher than my last trainer and I imagine that every session with this guy is going to seriously push me out of my comfort zones. Sessions don't start until next week and the first week is always just an initial assessment so expect further, "I'm dying" blog posts to be written throughout the semester.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Two things

  1. I switched the 10k to a 5k. Now I at least can attempt to enjoy it. I feel really good about this decision - especially since I'm getting no exercise at all this week.
  2. I'm a winner!! I won a fuzzy purple robe from a give-away on Monica's Run, Eat, Repeat blog. Awesome sauce.
Every day this week.

Right now, I'm in that slump where you're so tired that you don't want to exercise but you know that not exercising is actually making you feel more tired. But this week has been difficult to fit in workouts (not impossible but difficult enough that I have made excuses). Next week is more normal again. This will be a slow 5k but whatever, it's also going to be hot and humid.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

So about that 10k...

In 18 days I'm supposed to run a 10k in under 60 66 72 minutes. I'm even thinking of switching it down to the 5k because 6 miles is hard.

Yes, I'm a whiny baby. And proud of it.

I always forget how awful it is to run outside in August. When I took my walk on Sunday it was hard just to walk, forget about running. On Monday I ran 3 miles inside doing my run 4 minutes, and walk 1 minute routine. Even inside it felt harder than it should. But the run 4/walk 1 is the only way I'll get through a 10k right now. I had hoped to keep consistent with my training and be faster but it's just not going to happen that way.

I'm a little bummed but really, it doesn't matter in the bigger scheme of things. I'm never going to be a fast runner. Sure I can get faster but I don't see myself as being someone who will place overall or even within AG. One, I really am not competitive enough. Two, I don't thrive on that kind of drive and discipline. I'm not saying either of those areas are bad - I love reading about other people's "beast modes" but it's not a part of my DNA. Seriously, I watch dystopian or apocalyptic type of movies/shows and think, "Yep, I'd be the first one dead." 

And the past (almost) 10 years of running have shown me that I have times when I'm doing really well and times when it might be better for me to just go ahead and get a hover chair.

Instant Coke Zero?! Sign me up!
Thankfully, I'm not at the hover chair stage right now. I do still enjoy running, albeit more slowly than at the beginning of the summer. And most likely, when October rolls around and temps are lovely again I'll bust out the "maybe I can get a sub-???" thoughts again. For now, it's just about finishing the race and doing the best I can.

Monday, August 15, 2016

My minor problems

This is not really product endorsement but I am pro-Dunkin Donuts coffee. Especially after being woken up at 4 a.m. by my neighbor's annoying car alarm. Which kept going off throughout the morning. It may still be going on even now but thankfully I'm at work and can no longer hear it.

And no, I didn't take that extra two hours of being awake to exercise. I spent it being grumpy in my bed trying to go back to sleep - unsuccessfully.

I am however, doing well on my 30 day "do whatever kind of yoga you want to" challenge - hereby abbreviated to DWKoYYWT. Hmmm maybe that's more complicated... This is day 9 and while I haven't done anything yet for today, I'll fit something in before bed time. Every day has been a little treat and my session Thursday night probably kept me from maiming my husband who I was extremely frustrated with. Instead I stretched and envisioned peaceful mountains, fall sweaters, and pumpkin spiced lattes.

Other exercise last week was so/so. I ran 4 miles Monday, Zumba on Wednesday, 2.5 interval miles on Friday, Zumba again on Saturday, and a 3.5 mile walk on Sunday. Just my gentle yoga on Tuesday/Thursday.  A class was cancelled on Tuesday and I didn't push myself to do something on my own. Then Thursday ended up being super crazy as we found out at the last minute that Middle School tennis tryouts were that afternoon and my son would need a physical first. But we worked that out and I'm now a tennis mom.

More than a week ago, I was going to do a link-up for a picture Treasure Hunt - hosted by Wendy at Taking the Long Way Home. But it was difficult to get pictures when your infrequent runs are inside with little scenery to distract you...  But I eventually got around to combining a couple different things and have some pics.

My daily lunch. Salad with about 1 tbsp of light ranch dressing, red bell peppers, cucumbers, edamame, chia seeds, and either chicken or chick peas. I usually eat this post-lunch workout and it tastes amazing because I am starving.

New Asics! It was time to get new shoes and rotate my older ones to regular exercising. My previously rotated shoes were falling apart. The new cushioning is always so fun to feel in comparison to the worn down shoes.

One corner of my indoor track. I wish I could take pictures of a "smell" though because something awful is in the sewer there. It's not too noticeable on the track but walking into the building is really really bad. I have to hold my towel up to my nose.

But I run inside because this is how it feels outside in the morning. August needs to go away.

Loads of construction in my neighborhood. It seems like a new house is being put up every time I take a walk. I will be very glad for it to be done so walks and bike rides are a bit more peaceful.

I have issues with neighbors who don't prune their trees properly and therefore block the sidewalk. I mutter complaints every time I go past certain trees. 

But these are all minor issues and complaints. Even the annoying car alarm. I've also spent the weekend watching the news and Facebook for updates on the Baton Rouge flooding. I have many extended family members who's homes have flooded, several had to be rescued by boat, and even those who are lucky enough to have dry homes are trapped there because you can barely get around on the roads. So complaining about missing a couple hours of sleep, weird smells, and low hanging tree branches feels a bit idiotic.

Otherwise I'm just in a calm period before everyone is back on campus again next week. And then we start another adventurous year. Soon enough it will be PSL and fall sweaters time again and maybe I'll stop being so grumpy and whiny.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

30 days of Yoga

Yoga bear vs Yogi Bear
One of the blogs I read regularly is "Run, Eat, Repeat" - link on my blog scroll on the right.  A few days ago she posted about doing a 30-day Yoga challenge. But it was a pretty low key challenge as in - do the kind of yoga you want to do for 30 days (not like these 30-day push up challenges where you end up doing 5 billion push ups at the end)...


I read it on Monday this week and thought - "Heck! I'm already one day in, let's go for 29 more!"

On Sunday, I went to that Yoga Brunch at our local brewery. I ended up meeting 3 other friends there and it was fun to do as a group but the class itself was definitely different than what I'm used to.

  1. The building was super duper hot and stuffy. The class was held in the warehouse portion where they have the beer vats. Which means limited air conditioning, dusty concrete floors, and I'm like 95% sure I saw a dead rat in a corner which really messed up my zen.
  2. It was crowded. I almost got kicked in the head about 5 times. Also, not good for my zen.
  3. Because of the heat and crowdedness - it got a bit smelly. 
  4. But on the bright side it was challenging but not overwhelming. Some stretches I was able to do better than others, the balance stuff went pretty well for me.
  5. The food at the end was good.
So that was day 1 of my yoga challenge and I didn't even know I had started a yoga challenge.

Day two (Monday) was after reading Monica's post and decided that I liked the idea. I read through some comments on that post and found links to YouTube videos. As my workout that day was 4 miles on the indoor track I really needed something to stretch me out that evening.

I picked this video based on the comments: Yoga for Runners: Pre-Run. Yes, yes - I did this pre-run yoga AFTER my run but it was several hours after so I needed that pre-run stretch again. And boom - day 2 of the challenge done.

This morning (Tuesday) I had to wait around the house for the bug spray people to do their quarterly inspection. That meant I wouldn't be able to go to my beloved Tuesday morning yoga class. This class is awesome because it's not power yoga at all. It's good stretches but very very calming. It's my favoritest yoga ever. Favoritest is too a word...

So instead I tried to squeeze in a "gentle morning yoga" video before the kids got up and going. I picked one out and got about 10 minutes into it before realizing it was just a "breathing" yoga video. I like gentle but not that gentle... I started a second video but the kids were up and I had to wait so we could get all of our morning stuff done and them out the door (school has started again down here).

Finally, everyone was out the door and I had enough time for a 20'ish minute video and I picked this one: 

I would prefer a little more stretching than this one offered. But if you're looking for some really easy yoga in the morning it's not bad. The only thing about her videos is that I have to put on some songs in the background to help my mood.

So in the days ahead I'm keeping my options open for my daily yoga practice. Some days it will be videos like this, or I have a longer more "power yoga" DVD as well. Some days it might just be 5-10 minutes of moves that I choose post run to help stretch out. But I really like the idea of setting aside this time for stretching, reflection, and relaxation.

The start of school is a bit stressful for me (and my son) as he starts middle school. I'm very tempted to eat my feelings and anxiety - as if that will help the situation at all. I did pretty well yesterday - the yoga helped.

Have I mentioned that I desperately want this shirt? Because I do. But I'm cheap.

Headline Shirts - $28 plus shipping

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Happiness is Paul Rudd Dancing

I had one perfect diet and exercise day yesterday. I realize this is completely boring news to everyone else but I feel so dang proud of myself.

It's been a while since I've stayed completely on track and haven't justified any extra sugar or carbs. I'm back to tracking foods and counting macros.

I thought for sure I would wake up miraculously 9 pounds lighter and be back to where I ended in late June.

But alas. Life is so much more complicated than that.

However, I'm only 5 pounds heavier than my low weight now and that is quite reasonable and for whatever asinine reason feels better than being 9 pounds heavier. Four stupid pounds really? I hate the mental crap involved in all of this.

So instead, I try to just think more about the two great classes I took yesterday - yoga and abs. Yoga was lovely first thing in the morning and abs made me remember that I do have some muscles under there that need attention too. I also give myself props that I got on the elliptical for 30 minutes even though I felt I didn't have enough time (I actually did) and it was boring (it really was boring but I got through it).

It also really (REALLY) helps that I do feel emotionally better this week. I'm now 3 weeks into my higher levels of thyroid meds and can feel the difference.

Zumba tonight and rest on Thursday. I'm donating blood again on Thursday and while I have previously exercised after giving blood you're really not supposed to. Friday will be back to running some - maybe 3-4 easy miles.

That's right Paul, we've got this.

Monday, August 1, 2016

My best motivator

Alas, last week started well and ended poorly. I did battle a bit of a virus that knocked me out on Thursday but the other days I could have sucked it up and got some exercise done. So forget about a weekly results post.

But today starts a new month. And even though I too chuckle at the "my diet starts Monday - again" memes on the interwebs, I don't doubt the mental boost you get by starting fresh in a new month.

We'll just call July my rest month. Sure...

But what really has helped me today was looking at this picture over the weekend....

This was mid-April, 2015. I was probably around 230 pounds at this point. The biggest change that leaps out to me is in my face.

Mid-May 2016, around 185
Since I've gained a few pounds back in this past month and lost some of my exercising mojo - part of me feels like I've gone all the way back to step one again. But as I looked at the pictures from our trip to our favorite state park last year I can see the physical changes that still exist. And I also know the mental and emotional changes that I've benefited from by getting active and healthy again.

It's not just about the scale and "image" - it's about knowing that I'm active and proactive about doing the right things for my body.

So today, with the exception of a couple Reeses Cups, my diet has been on point. I wanted MORE chocolate but I calmed myself down. I made up for the sugar/carbs with a high protein/low carb dinner. I did a C25K run on the indoor track and an exercise video at home. I'm pre-planning my meals and exercise for tomorrow as well.

But the thing I'm most looking forward to this week is a Sunday Yoga Brunch at our local brewery. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Weekly Results: 7/18-7/24


  • Monday - My name is no
  • Tuesday - My sign is no
  • Wednesday - My number is no
  • Thursday - You need to let it go
  • Friday - 2 miles, intervals
  • Saturday - Zumba and arm weights (couple of leg weights too)
  • Sunday - 5 miles, 11:00/pace

My, "I should get back on track diet" hasn't been going very well. But we finally finished off the alcohol and desserts in my house. Here's hoping for better progress this week. I had bottomed out previously at 182.6. I weighed in at 191.0 this morning. That's what 4 weeks of eating all that you want and not exercising will do to you. Since much of that is bloat I'm hoping that about half of that comes off easily to show the real gain which I'm sure is at least 4-5 pounds.

This Week
  • Monday - Speed work. 3 miles (1/2 mile warm up and cool down and 3, 1/2 miles at 9:31 pace with walk/jog rest for 1/4 mile in between.)
  • Tuesday - Yoga, Abs, and elliptical
  • Wednesday - 3 miles (intervals) and Zumba
  • Thursday - Ultimate sculpt video and walk
  • Friday - 4 miles easy
  • Saturday - Zumba and weights
  • Sunday - 5 mile "long"run and ultimate sculpt video
I waited to type this post until after my work out this morning to make sure I actually got out there and did it. I've reworked my original 10K plan that I made a few weeks ago and most of my weeks should look like this up until the race. While I'm not aiming for a sub-60 anymore I would like to be as close to 66 minutes as I can (hopefully below). Yesterday I ran inside (33 boring laps) for my 5 mile easy run. I maintained an 11 minute pace without too much of an issue. There were no walking breaks at all. I know the 10K course is fairly flat so it will just depend on how hot it is that weekend. It can easily still be in the 90's for Labor Day here but sometimes we start to get a little relief. We'll just have to see how it goes. 

Last but not least. I tried TailWind - Raspberry Buzz today. I hated it. Really, really gross. I have one other packet in a different flavor but overall it's too sweet for me. I even tried watering it down a little and I still didn't like it. So I think I'll go back to Nuun and Gu Chomps.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Me v. Me

I'm not completely at square one but I have taken a few steps back. At least mentally if nothing else. My only workouts this week were a 2 mile run on Friday and Zumba plus some weight lifting today (Saturday). Just starting both of those workouts required me to push myself hard. I'm feeling super lazy.

Then again.

It's not all a lack of will power. I'm slowly feeling a bit better with the change in my thyroid meds but the funk you feel when those levels are off is real. Fatigue, depression, metabolism slow down - all are real jerks to deal with.

Then right as I'm climbing out of that pit my body hits me with major sinus congestion and an UTI.

But with the workouts yesterday and today I know that I can get back into the grove again. It's just a matter of getting myself out the door each day until the joy/need to do it feelings come back. Both of the workouts were great, the run went far better than I thought it would and it felt good to concentrate on weights again - it was just getting myself mentally ready to start them. At some point hopefully I will get my diet back under control as well. I know I've written a similar version of this same post for the last three weeks but July is just turning out not to be a great training month.

With that being said, I've changed my 10K goals. There's no way, with only 6 weeks left, that I'll get enough "omph" back in me to get a sub-60 this time around. And that's ok. My real long term goal is not to get certain times in races but rather to just stay active. Heat indexes have been in the 100's here this week (same as many other areas under this heat dome) so I did my run yesterday inside on the indoor track.  Less boring than the treadmill but still not something that's ideal for runs longer than 2-3 miles. However I'd rather be bored than try to run when it's 90 something and humid outside.

I'll run on Sunday (probably indoors again since I won't be able to work out until the afternoon) and then starting on Monday my schedule looks a little better to get back to a couple of the classes I really enjoy. Or I could employ an evil clown as my next personal trainer if I don't pull things together this week.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Finish line

A cautionary tale of looking for yourself in the Facebook photos of the recent Doughboy Challenge 5k.

Here she comes folks. That green blur in the background. Looking good. Oh wait - a kid is beating her. Then again, probably lots of kids beat her.

Oh wait, maybe not so good. Looks like she's in pain. Looks like she's thinking, "I hate running - I hate running so much. I think I'm going to die."

She tries to smile for the camera but it doesn't work. She can't control her facial muscles. In reflection she spends way to much time looking at her thighs and thinking critical thoughts. But at least she matches the race cones!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

4 on the 4th - Race Recap

More on my current state in a later post but first let's catch up a little bit.

A billion years ago it was the 4th of July (or at least that's how it feels in my head). I had signed up for a 4 mile fun run that benefits a local charity called A Solider's Child Foundation. This group helps children who's parent(s) have died while in active duty with the military. They sponsor camps, scholarships, Christmas and birthday gifts to name a few. I had first heard of this race last summer but didn't feel up to trying to go 4 miles in the heat at that point in my fitness journey.

My patriotic crew.
So this year I signed up for it but didn't plan to "race" it. It was really hot and miserable that morning so not "racing" ended up being a great plan. This race is held less than a mile from my house so I didn't get there super early. In fact, I was down to the wire on actually crossing the start line on time but it all turned out well. My family came to watch and play on some of the bounce houses and such while I was running so I actually have some pictures and a video.

While I didn't "race" this course I did want to try and stick with at least 11 minute miles. My first mile was good. I felt energetic and happy to be running for a good cause. I had loaded my playlist with movie theme songs which is one of my new favorite things to run along to. Then I looked at my watch and saw I was over 11 minutes and still hadn't hit the first mile. Suddenly I was exhausted so I walked for the first time. And good Lord it was so hot and humid. Finally hit one mile around 12 minutes and just couldn't understand it. So I thought, "I think mile 1 was marked wrong."

When I hit mile 2 earlier than expected my suspicions were proven correct. After that first walking break I switched into my run 4/walk 1 minute intervals. This worked out well for the remainder of the race. It just got hotter and more awful but I finished up with 11:01 splits so I was happy at the end even though the middle part was pretty rough.

It was a great start to the 4th and also helped me feel better about the amount of food and drink I consumed later. This of course, started my downward diet spiral but at the time two or three margaritas didn't seem like a bad choice...