Everything you ever needed to know

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The path of less resistance

Not least - just less.

Went to the rec for my pre-class run. I went two miles of straight running at a 10 m/m pace. I had hoped to do a 10:30 pace so I was really happy with the faster pace. From the inside track I can see a corner of the group exercise room and I discovered that the Kettle class was going to have a sub again - the one I really didn't like from last time.

Now, sure I could have sucked it up and went. You know, really push myself. But then I thought about the big picture. I had already worn myself out a bit with the increased pace of the run and I still wanted to go to Zumba tonight. So if I pushed myself to do that class I might have a slightly better lunch workout but it would have jeopardized my overall calorie burn. So I allowed myself to skip class and just do my own weight/strength training stuff. I did some ab work, calf raises, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, squats, and lunges. And I'm still feeling worn out after a "lesser" workout so I think I made a good decision.

Then this happened when my husband stopped by while I was eating my morning snack (the trail mix I made up: almonds, wasabi peas, and yogurt raisins). He wanted to share. I wanted every little calorie for myself. I shared two almonds and a couple of wasabi peas. I thought I was quite generous.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Monday's workout

I recently found some interesting workouts on Pinterest. One was a run/row cardio workout that I wanted to try out the other day but both rowing machines were being used at the rec center. And then there was a 10 minute ab routine and some different toning options for arms and legs.

Yesterday I pushed my workout back to after work rather than my normal lunch hour because I wanted extra time to do a variety of things. At first I thought I would just do the typical run and weight room but I put together a routine that seemed daunting at first but in the end wasn't too bad. The ab part was the hardest and I could have increased both the meters for the rowing (300 meters took less than 2 minutes to row) and the weights on the barbells for the leg work.

Also, even though I went after work to have more time, I still couldn't get all of this done within an hour. I needed to stop by the store before heading home. So the Abs and final walk were done separately (about 45 minutes after the first part).

The best part of this was that I was excited to work out and try it out. I also got back on a rowing machine for the first time in a few years. I think I'll try to incorporate this more into my cardio routines. And this morning I was back at 193.6. I haven't seen 193 in quite a while - the scale has been hovering mostly between 196-198 since January. Also, according to my measurements my fat percentage has dropped again. So I'm finally seeing the benefits of the past couple of weeks.

Warm Up: walk briskly about ½ a mile

Run/Row Cardio (total 2.5 miles)
.5 mile run then 300 meter row (11 min pace)
.4 mile run then 300 meter row (11 min pace)
.3 mile run then 300 meter row (10 min pace)
.2 mile run then 300 meter row (8.5 min pace)
Run 1 mile (11 min pace)
Walk .1 mile, cool down

17.5# hand weights
Bicep Curls x 10
Shoulder Press x 10
Tricep Kickbacks x 10
(Repeat 3x)

30# barbell
Stiff Legged Deadlifts x 15
Barbell Squats x 15
Lunges x12 (one side each time)
(Repeat 3x)

Bicycle Kicks 30 sec
Elbow Plank 45 sec
Straight Leg Lifts 10 rep
Russian Twists 16 rep
Mountain Climbers 30 sec
Rest 15 sec
Superman Planks 8 rep
Side Plank – Left 45 sec
Windshield Wipers 8 rep
Side Plank – Right 45 sec
Bicycle Kicks 30 sec
Mountain Climbers 30 sec

Extra Mileage

2.3 mile walk

Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekly Review 3/14-3/20

  • Monday: 2 mile run, weight room, 2+ mile walk
  • Tuesday: Personal trainer (legs day) and 2 mile intervals
  • Wednesday: 2 mile run, Kettle Fit, and Zumba
  • Thursday: 3/4 mile run, Spin, and 2.5 mile walk
  • Friday: Kettle Fit and 1 mile interval (but more walk than run)
  • Saturday: 3.5 mile interval (mostly run a few minutes walking overall)
  • Sunday: 2 mile interval and 1.6 mile walk
Mileage: 18.61
Total Calories Burned: 5356 (avg 765/day)

I didn't do a mile test on Friday because I didn't have enough time to fit it in before Kettle and my body was beat after Kettle. It really was pushing myself just to get a slow mile (13.5 minutes) around the indoor track afterwards. Also, I never got a test swim in this weekend because they had the pool closed for a swim meet on Saturday and I couldn't make it over there on Sunday. I had hoped to get to 20+ miles for the week but really I think I did enough since I ran and/or walked everyday.

Diet and Weight
For the first time in a while, I logged all of my food and I'm meticulously tracking again. It mostly helped me to make better choices but I went on a bit of a sugar binge on Sunday. I am eating higher calories but then again I'm exercising more too. Weight was going down through the week which helps keep the momentum going. If I chart my weight from Monday to Monday I lost almost 3 lbs for the week. However, this amount is still within my "ping-pong" range so I'm just keeping an optimistic eye on it.

This Week
  • Monday - 2.5 mile run, weight room, and 2.5 mile walk
  • Tuesday - Personal Trainer and 2.5 mile walk
  • Wednesday - 2 miles, Kettle Fit, and Zumba
  • Thursday - Spin and 2.5 mile walk
  • Friday - Kettle Fit, mile test, plus mile regular run
  • Saturday - 5 mile intervals and Ult Sculpt
  • Sunday - rest day
I'll get at least one swim in sometime this week. I'll just have to see which day works best.  Next week (after Easter) we're going on a family vacation so food and exercise will be a crap shoot.

I did go bike shopping on Saturday and found a nice used road bike but it was more expensive than what I hoped to spend (about $1000). However, I'll probably get it as it would be better to get a decent bike from a reputable source. As a result of ME bike shopping though my daughter was also anxious to get her own bike (she's had to deal with hand-me-downs from her brother). But she still hadn't learned how to ride without training wheels so I made that a condition. After 30 minutes with her dad she figured it out. We also realized that the bike we had for the kids was way too small so they both got new ones and spent as much time as they could working on improving their skills. Both need work on starting off on the bike with their own power but we're getting closer to being a bike riding family.

Friday, March 18, 2016

It's madness!

My university during March Madness and beating Michigan today (except we don't wear orange - orange is for that other Tennessee University who somehow didn't make it to the playoffs....):

What the what!?

My Zumba instructor introduced us to this on Wednesday night.

At first I was very against it but it actually was pretty fun for the minute or so that we did it.  I was eager to try more of it. But here's my reaction after seeing the whole routine...

Still going to try it.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Then again, maybe I will...

As I was driving to a doctor's appointment yesterday I saw a sign for the ADP Tri-athlon which will be on my campus in mid-April. This is a sprint triathlon: 300 meters swim, 10 miles bike, and 3.14 run (3.14 because it's hosted by Alpha Delta "Pi").  This is a race I wanted to do when I thought about my 2016 goals. But then forgot about because I haven't been swimming - I'm still worried about how my scar from thyroid surgery will do in long water exposure. Also, I still need to buy a road bike. Remember I learned my lesson about using a borrowed mountain bike in my last (and only other) triathlon.

But after seeing the sign I kept thinking, I could do this. My time would be slow but I could finish it - I have enough strength and endurance built up right now.

So this weekend I'm going bike shopping and I'll hit the pool sometime in the next couple of days to test out the scar. If that all goes well then my workouts for the next month will change to build in more pool and bike time.

The swim will be the hardest part, 300 meters is 13 lengths of our indoor campus pool. I think I had previously thought it was 8 or 10 lengths so I'll definitely need to get some lap time in and practice pacing myself so that I can get through the 13 lengths and not feel like dying.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I can't even...

Another insomnia night.

This is how I appear this morning: dead eyes, no make-up, hair done in a half-ass way, large iced coffee from McD's, and my ugly sweater to keep me warm because my body can't regulate its temperature.

This round of insomnia was definitely not caused by glycogen depletion because I had ice cream for dessert last night. It was also not caused by excessive caffeine intake since I didn't have any caffeine after about 10 a.m. yesterday. But I was awake from 1:30 to 3:30'ish and then had dreams that involved giant spiders invading my bonus room.

6 a.m. sucked this morning.

I did come up with a lovely snack last night.  My own trail mix: raw almonds, wasabi peas, and yogurt raisins.

This was my post-workout snack. Yesterday was "legs" day with my trainer. The session was pretty good - some moments of "ugh - just 30 more seconds until this part is over" and "ack - I shouldn't have done squat presses yesterday if today was going to be leg day."  After our session I got in my 2 miles for the day by doing intervals of 60 seconds run, and 90 seconds walking.  I used the indoor track because it got really warm yesterday afternoon - I'm ready for warm weather but not too excited about it being in the mid-80's in March. But I've lived here long enough to know that we'll most likely have another couple of cold spells before summer comes to stay.

The plan for today is to do the Kettle Fit class, get a couple of miles in (I want to do a slower run again without stopping for a walking break), and then Zumba tonight.

Also, at some point today, I hope to wake up.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Suspicious green tea and other random musings

Is this oily film on top of my tea normal? It's sketchy enough for me to dump it.

I also thought about showing you all my recent pedicure but I find feet pictures really odd so I've decided against it. But now that it's warm enough for sandals again a pedicure was definitely required. I always feel the need to apologize for or explain my weird runner's toenails but I never do because I figure they see enough strange stuff on a daily basis.

I had another Health Coach call for my insurance program. I try to stay pleasant on the phone but still feel that these calls are such a waste of time. It would be more helpful if they:

I did pretty good yesterday. Not perfect but nothing off the rails. I would just like to find a balance where I lose weight but can still enjoy carbs without feeling guilty. 

My plan this week is to add some extra walks in after dinner - since the weather is nice and it's light until 7 p.m. This will help add to my overall miles as well. If all goes well I should get about 20 miles in this week.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Weekly Results 3/7-3/13

Exercise -
  • Monday: 3.09 mile walk, 2 elliptical workouts (45 and 30 min), various sculpting exercises
  • Tuesday: 3.25 mile interval run, Ultimate Sculpt Video
  • Wednesday: 2.5 mile interval, killer Kettle Fit, and 30 min on elliptical
  • Thursday: Rest Day
  • Friday: 1 mile at 9:04, Kettle Fit, 2nd mile at 10:??
  • Saturday: Zumba, 4.5 mile interval
  • Sunday: 2.08 walk, Ult Sculpt video plus a few other exercises
A little over 24 miles total in distance (I count both full runs, intervals, and walks in my distance).

All the other stuff (i.e. diet and weight): 
Weight ended up being up about a pound at the end of the week. I'm kind of frustrated but I'm also not at the point where I want to cut out a bunch of stuff just to lose weight. Whenever I have a good day I end up starving the next. I think I'm making some progress in body composition however, so it's not all doom and gloom.

This Week:

  • Monday: 2 miles/run, weights
  • Tuesday: Personal Trainer and 2 mile walk
  • Wednesday: 2 miles/run, Kettle Fit, and Zumba
  • Thursday: Spin and 2 mile walk
  • Friday: 2 miles/run and Kettle Fit
  • Saturday: Zumba and 5 miles/intervals
  • Sunday: 3.5 mile/walk and weights/sculpting

I didn't go to Monday's (today's) Kettle Fit class because I wanted a bit of a change. So instead I checked off another "first in a while" marker.  I ran a full 2 miles, no walking breaks. First, it had been a while since I was able to run more than 5 minutes at a time but the last couple of weeks have shown that I could keep going for a full mile. However, since I was going at higher speeds (for me) I was worn out by the end of that mile. So today I suffered on the treadmill so that I could keep a steady pace and I got through two very sweaty miles. I would alternate 1/4 mile at a 12:00 min/mile pace and then 1/4 mile at a 10 min/mile pace for the full two miles. Actually, the last .15 miles I was at a 8:00 min/mile pace so that I could make up for the brief bit of walking I did at the very beginning before I picked up the speed and then finished around the 22 minute mark. So in the wider world of running this is nothing spectacular, nor even mediocre. But for me it's an accomplishment that I'm quite proud of. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday miles - why not...

Maybe this will become a weekly thing - see how I can improve on my 1 mile time.

So I started on the inside track this time around - before Kettle Fit class. I was not thrilled with the thought of being on the treadmill. And honestly, I wasn't planning on trying to improve upon my mile when I first started.

I was just relieved that our normal instructor was going to teach Kettle Fit - more on the sub later. So maybe that perked me up some.

But since I was holding my cell as I went around the laps I decided to use the stop watch feature and mark my laps. I only had time for about 13 minutes worth of a run anyway before class began.

After I got to lap 4 I knew I wanted to try to beat last Friday's time of 9:52. 6.5 laps is a mile so the 9:04 was hit right at the half-way point on the track. It might not be 100% accurate but close enough. After class I pushed myself into doing the second mile (it was tough to convince me mentally) and then further pushed myself into sticking with a 10:00 min/mile pace (I was on the treadmill this time) - that required a lot of effort but I was proud of myself afterwards.

Me on my cool down walking lap.
I felt pretty good through Kettle Fit - except for one ab exercise that I just couldn't do. Mostly because it gave me flash backs of the horror of the previous class where we had a sub.

If you remember, Wednesday was my ramped up day. I started early in the morning with a 2.5 mile interval run, went to Kettle, and then planned to go to Zumba that night (Zumba ended up not happening because of low attendance so I got on my elliptical instead). But on Wednesday, I bounced into Kettle at lunch and saw we had a sub. The first sign it was going to be bad was his overly peppy and enthusiastic attitude. The second sign was when one of the regular attenders came up to the room and was like, "um no - can't make it today, sorry." 

Really, I'm mostly being whiny. It was a good class - just really tough. I don't know that I would regularly attend it if he was the normal instructor - even though it would be good for me in the long run.  But probably my bad attitude is mostly because he made us do burpees at the end.

I did take Thursday off for a rest day - it was much needed after about 10 consecutive days of higher intensity workouts. My plan calls for about 4 miles tomorrow (interval run) - if I can get that in I'll be at 24 miles for the week which is a solid week of running for me. I previously maxed out around 30 miles per week but I had more free time to go for long runs/walks. 

If I need a bright spot to get me through this very gloomy March day it's that my friend and I just got tickets to see Harry Connick Jr in concert this summer. We're kind of fan-girling it over here...

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Exercise Induced Insomnia

I started having sleep problems back in fall. I knew it was caused by my exercise but I didn't really know what to do about it. Basically, I would fall asleep pretty easily but at some point in the night I would jolt awake and then be awake for at least 1-2 (or more) hours. Sometimes I would jolt awake after only being asleep for an hour or two.  Beyond just being awake my body, especially my legs, feel very anxious and jittery when I am awakened. Needless to say, it was annoying and not helpful to maintaining an active lifestyle.

After I dialed down the exercise, due to my thyroid surgery, those spells didn't happen as much - though I did have some insomnia from too much snythroid. Then this week after I've amped up the exercise effort it's started again.

I normally don't work out in the evenings unless it's Zumba - so most workouts are finished by 5 p.m. at the very latest (usually it's just a lunch time workout) which leaves plenty of time for my body to come down off the exercise high before going to bed around 9 or 10 p.m. Caffeine can sometimes be a culprit if I grab an afternoon Coke Zero or green tea.

But I also recently read an interesting online advice column regarding glycogen depletion. The advice was to not only look at a reasonable carb load (either before the workout or within half an hour afterwards) but also a small amount of real sugar, i.e. honey or fruit, before bed. Goodness knows that I'm not low carb right now but I don't always fuel properly so it's a theory worth checking out. Wednesday is going to be another intense day so I've tried to increase the carbs accordingly and will try the small bit of sugar before bed and see if that helps any.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Weekly Results 2/29-3/6


  • Monday: Kettle Fit and 1 mile run
  • Tuesday: Personal Trainer: track workout
  • Wednesday: Kettle Fit, 1 mile walk afterward, and Zumba
  • Thursday: Abs class
  • Friday: 2 miles on treadmill and Kettle Fit
  • Saturday: Zumba
  • Sunday: 5.3 mile interval run and 3.5 mile walk
The weekend weather perked up and I wanted to be outside. Saturday was still really windy and as I had indulged in the wine tasting the night before my body was struggling just to do Zumba. There was no motivation to do other exercise that day. But on Sunday I enjoyed being outside so much that I got out again. I did aggravate my ankles/lower shins after all of that but felt fine the next day.

No real change in weight, it fluctuated up and down all week and since Friday night was a fairly heavy alcohol night that basically negated any progress I made. But I had fun.  Nothing under 196 for the week. I probably won't bother with weight updates unless I'm either under 193 or above 200. Otherwise, just assume I'm somewhere in between.

This week:

  • Monday: 3.09 mile walk, 2 elliptical workouts (45 and 30 min), various sculpting exercises
  • Tuesday: 3.25 mile interval run, Ultimate Sculpt Video
  • Wednesday: 2.5 mile interval run, Kettle Fit, and Zumba
  • Thursday: Rest day?
  • Friday: Kettle Fit and run
  • Saturday: Zumba and run? - I'll figure it out later
  • Sunday: ? - up in the air right now, will depend on weather.
No personal trainer this week since it's spring break at the university. But I'm doing well on my own and I'll see him twice for the Kettle Fit classes anyway. I'm trying to put together a mileage goal for the month of March. It's still not continuous running, most are done with the C210K intervals. I'm doing better with the intervals but still skittish about planning any kind of races for this spring or summer. For instance, I would LOVE to do the RC Cola/Moon Pie Festival 10 mile run again but that's a brutal race (heat and hills) and I don't think I would want to do it if it took me more than 2 hours. When I ran it before  (2010 I think?) I was in fairly good running shape (for me) and I did well to finish right at 2 hours. But I am thinking about races and looking at what's available.

I've been pretty good with diet so far this week but I'm always one bag of chips away from falling off the band wagon we won't call it a good week until the week is over.

Friday, March 4, 2016


9:52: how fast I ran my warm-up mile before Kettle Fit today.

I was just planning on running 5-8 minutes to warm up, maybe get 1/2 a mile in. But I felt so good running that I increased the speed and kept going. I knew I would miss the first couple minutes of class but since he's just warming up in that time anyway it wasn't a big deal. Since it's been very difficult for me to run for more than 5 minutes at a time for the past 4 freaking months this is a big deal for me.

Kettle was a bit awful as there were burpees, plank jacks, and reverse crunches on the exercise ball. I normally don't hate reverse crunches but I had JUST done another abs class yesterday where she thought it would be fun to do 150 of those suckers. All in a row....

I might have mouthed a few curse words in class today. But after I jumped back on the treadmill again and got another mile. Not as fast this time but it was under 10:30 which is still impressive - well impressive for me.

Tonight I'll be enjoying a lot of wine and bourbon at a fund raiser and thus reversing any benefits my exercise might have given me today. But tomorrow it's back to cardio: Zumba, my elliptical, and probably a run/walk around my neighborhood. The only thing I can promise is that I won't do any ab work tomorrow.