Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Children are great workout partners.

Who knew a job running around after kids would be such an effective workout regime? My only exercise lately has been my job, and yet, I'm actually loosing weight right now. Not a ton, but small increments, steadily.

I have plans to return to the dojo soon, hopefully as soon as later this week. It's mostly a mater of timing right now.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ran Today

Only one mile, with a second mile tacked on as a hike, but it felt good. Going to try adding the fitness thing back into my life a little at a time. I'm going to try to take it slow so I don't do anything wonky that requires me missing work. Since work involves a lot of movement and lifting small children, I need to protect the machinery. Adding Yoga back into my routine will be part of this plan. oh yes it will!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Falling off the wagon

Seriously. I tumbled good. After our move, I got a job right off the bat working with kids at a daycare, which is awesome. I still haven't hit my stride as far as my schedule though, and between a packed schedule and lot of tasty but horrible for me foods, I'm in serious need of a weight management makeover.

I've started to get exercise again, at least a little here and there. Swimming laps after work, or going for bike rides. My consolation is that my job is very active. I'm on my feet all day running around after kids, doing a lot of bending down, squatting, and lifting. So it's a lot more active than sitting at home on the computer doing design work.

I'm hoping that once my schedule solidifies in the next couple of weeks that I'll start being able to add a bit more in the way of exercise back in. The swimming and bike rides are awesome (I forgot how zen swimming laps can feel) but I really need to get my butt back to the Dojo, and start running again. Especially since the weather is starting to get a bit cooler, which makes for perfect running weather.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Knockoff Fitness Shoes

I was at DSW and saw that they had the Reebok Easy Tones, but at $100 they were still a bit out of my price range right now. Later I was at Payless and saw they had the Champion version of the Easy Tones for only $30.

I've done a few long walks in them (very long in a couple cases), and so far, I have noticed a marked difference in how my legs feel both while walking and later. My knees don't hurt as much after a long walk, but my calves and thighs are sore the day after.

I'm going to hold off on a formal review of them for a while, to see if, once I resume my normal workout schedule, they add anything to my fitness level or not. But so far, I'm really enjoying them.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Getting bendy again

Just did the first yoga video I've done in a while. Oh man was I stiff! The plan is to ease myself back into it, doing the easy video every morning this week, and then moving on to the slightly tougher video next week.

This is the last week of our membership at the gym down here in NYC, so we'll have a one week gap where we're still in NY, without access to a gym. With the way temperatures have been down here, that may be an issue.

It may be time to do a 2 week trial at another gym ^_^

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Just trying to keep myself in the game.

I had a good run yesterday, although I think there's something up with my Nike+ sportband. I did 3 miles according the sportband, but close to 3.5 according to the treadmill. I was running at a 5.5 pace according to the treadmill, and I ran for over 35 minutes. I don't understand how that only totaled up to 3 miles, but maybe the sportband just needs to be re-calibrated. Who knows.

I'm basically just trying to get to the gym enough to maintain my level of fitness right now, since everything else is eating up so much of my time and energy. Between getting ready to move at the end of the month and a sudden influx of possible design projects, I'm swamped. It's awesome, but it makes for not a lot of drive to get myself to the gym.

After the move things will be quite different, fitness wise, well everything wise really, but fitness wise I will have a lot more motivating me. I'll have my Running Buddy to get me up and moving, and just as importantly, I'll have the Dojo again. It's been literally years since i practiced Martial Arts, and it's going to take me a while to get back up to speed, but oh man am I excited to get back to it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pushing on through the heat and humidity.

Went back to the gym for the first time in a while on Tuesday, in 102 degree heat. Yeah I'm a tad crazy, but at least the Gym had A/C.

Got in a decent run, some squats and some strength training. Two days later my legs are still sore. I'm hoping that it won't affect my run today, but I know it will.

As much as I want to go to the gym and get myself out of the house, I'm not looking forward to the trek to the gym in this hot sticky smelly mess of a city. But with only a window unit providing A/C at home, there's no way I could work out here.

Ah well, hopefully this heat wave will give up soon.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Heat and a broken toe

Many things have conspired lately to keep me from the gym, chief among them are the heat and my toe.

It is blastedly hot here in NYC. Not only hot, but humid. Walking outside feels like wrapping yourself head to toe in hot wet towels. Just going about your day is exhausting. We have minimal A/C here in the apartment, so working out at home is right out of the question.

Even with the heat I was managed to get to the gym a few times last week, until on Saturday, while getting ready to go to a friends party, I kicked our scale while walking past it. We have one of those glass topped, square, scales. I kicked the corner of it with my second to last toe.

I swore a lot, sat down, and tried to put my shoe on. The act of putting on my shoe caused a nausea level pain to shoot through my body from my toe. There was more swearing, followed by a heated debate between me and my S.O. as to whether I was OK to go to the party. When I still couldn't put pressure on my foot half an hour later without loosing several shades of color, my S.O. called it, and spent the next two days making sure I was as immobile as possible by waiting on me constantly.

Having broken several toes several times, I am almost positive (as positive as I can be without an x-ray) that this toe is broken. So I'm doing the sensible thing, taping my toes together, splinting it, and staying off my feet as much as possible. This also means little to no exercise.

Today I'm going to attempt a return to the gym, but I'm going to stay away from running. I'm going to be demoted to either the bikes or the row machine. Both of which are far from my favorite machines. But hey, at least it's something.

Stupid toe.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Running in pants makes me hot.

Yesterday's run was educational. My normal workout clothes were all dirty, so I ran in my running pants, instead of the capris I normally wear. I was hot. The entire run that was all I could think about, how hot I was. By the end of the run I was drenched in sweat, and I felt like I had run faster and farther than I had. 3 miles at a 12:13 pace isn't great, but it was all I had in me.

After the run I did some Ab work, my Sensei Mark Specials, some cross crunches, some lying straight-leg raises, some knee crosses in Plank, and some strait leg raises in the captains chair. The machines were all full, so I grabbed some hand weights and did my old strength set of elbow curls/shoulder press and french presses. Nothing too amazing, I was only using 7.5 lbs.

It wasn't a stellar workout, but it wasn't that horrible. Unfortunately the 12:13 pace keeps that run from counting towards my "run faster" goal. I'm now one run behind my target to hit an average 11:00 pace by 7/9. Hopefully the next couple of runs will pick that pace back up.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Keeping myself moving.

Yesterday I did a proper run, and got myself back on track. This weekend did not go well, fitness wise. After walking around a bunch on Friday, I stepped funny walking home from the train, and then spent the next two days nursing my knee back to health. It frustrates me to no end that still, years after the injury, one bad step can cause me to loose almost complete mobility. To that end I have decided that I need to strengthen the muscles supporting my knee. I've grabbed a bunch of exercises and found a workout DVD I want to get (Strong Knees by Gaiam), and once I get health insurance again, I'm going to try to get in to see a sports medicine doctor about some serious PT.

Anyways, trials of the weekend aside, yesterday I got myself back on track at the gym. I've set myself up with a bunch of goals on the Nike+ site, one of which is to run faster. That is, according to the goal, to run a 11:00/mi on average by 7/9. I knocked one run off the total requisite 5 under pace yesterday, clocking a 10:51 pace for a little over 3 miles.

I've noticed a distinct lack of motivation in myself lately. I'm not sure what is causing it, all I know is that it's been increasingly difficult to convince myself that working out is a good idea. I think I may be bored, or maybe it's the lack of a 'goal' like the 5k. I suppose I'm not doing too badly overcoming it, since other than the weekend of immobility, the past week was a decent week workout wise. I just wish it didn't feel so difficult to get myself to the gym!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Realizing progress.

I suppose a proper post is in order. I've been horribly lax since the Lilac 5k about updating. That week, after the Lilac 5k, I went on a bunch of runs with friends up in Rochester. It was great to run with a people, and to have that motivation around when I felt like just skipping a run.

It got tough again when we got back to NYC. We got in really late on Monday night, and ended up taking the following Tuesday and Wednesday to recover and get settled back into the routine. That Thursday, I was starting to develop some sort of post-nasal drip nastiness, but forced myself to go to the gym. I did a tough 30 minute run, only keeping a 12:35 pace, and then did a full strength set to make up for the slow run.

The next three days the sickness was on full force and I coughed and snotted my way through in a haze of NyQuil and DayQuil. By Sunday I was starting to feel better, but wanted to give myself that extra day to make sure I didn't tip myself back into sickness.

Monday's run was awesome. One of those runs where you barely feel the effort, where you run faster than before and feel you could run faster still. I ran 3 miles at a 10:54 pace, and still had enough energy left in the tank to do a full strength session afterward.

Wednesday's run was the opposite. My left calf was bugging me before I even stepped on the treadmill. I paid for every step. I tried to keep my pace up, but ended up barely being able to push through 2 miles. It was a completely frustrating run, especially following Monday's. I did a full strength set minus the ab work afterward, and went home feeling depressed and discouraged.

Today I'm feeling a little better about it. I waited till today to post to let myself get a little distance and perspective, to keep this post from being all doom and gloom. Today I can look at it as: I went, even though I didn't want to. I ran 2 miles on a bad day where once I would barely have hit one. I kept my pace at a respectable 11:15, where once I couldn't crack a 12 min/mile.

This is progress. Hard won, small steps. I am also weighing in below 155 again. Today the scale told me 153.3. The graph of my weigh ins shows a distinct downward slope. I'm refocusing on my goals. I'm keeping better track of my caloric intake than I was before the Race, when my focus was squarely on finishing the Race.

I've set new goals on my Nike+ site. Run 10 times by 7/7, Run 30 miles by 7/7, and average an 11 min/mile by 7/9. I've been toying with the idea of starting one of their training plans, but I think I'll wait until after my friends wedding on the 19th. I think it'll help me to have a specific goal for each workout.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Quick Update!

Oh man I need to update! Life has been so busy lately. After the 5k, I rested for a couple days, then went on a couple shorter runs with everyone. It was so hot! I don't do well running in the heat, but I suppose it's something I'll get better at.

My nike+ system just told me I've reached Orange level now! that means I've run more than 30 miles since I got the arm band. Woo!

I'll post a more comprehensive update later...right now I'm battling a bit of a cold or something and am rather fuzzy headed.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Medved Lilac 5k 2010!

I did it! I ran an actual race, and finished with a PR!

The race was early, well early for me, with a start time of 8am. This meant I was up by 6 and out the door by 6:30 to meet up with my race buddies at 7. We had quite a pack, My usual Running Buddy, her recent training partner (who's done marathons before!), a friend of mine from college, his 6 months pregnant wife, and me.

I was super nervous before the race. This was my first race, EVER, so I had very little idea of what to expect. Also, I've been running at a relatively slow pace, around 12 minute miles, compared to my Running Buddy's close to 10 min miles, so I was worried about keeping up.

We headed up to the corral, with our two spectators in tow: My running buddy's Hubby (who happens to be my S.O.'s brother) and the marathoner's boyfriend (who is *also* a friend of my S.O.'s family - everyone knows everyone up here!) They both had cameras in tow, so we hammed it up pre-race.

Then it was go time. It was weird because I don't remember a starting gun or announcement, just everyone started moving slowly forward. The mob picked up pace and I fell into step behind my Running Buddy. We got separated from my college friend and his wife rather quickly by the crowd. I've never run in a pack that dense before, it was odd. It's hard to tell exactly how fast you're running until the pack starts to stretch out.

The group of us: My running buddy, the marathoner, and me, spent the first mile dodging around slower runners, and generally keeping a fast 10 min mile pace. I felt good, but it was a slight downhill, and I was still worried about how I'd handle the last part of the race.

Close to mile two we passed a friend of ours, who is a super awesome runner, but who was currently out of commission due to a pulled muscle in her hip. She was helping mark the course, she saw and recognized my running buddy and cheered us on as we passed.

Halfway through the course we turned into the uphill. It wasn't a huge hill, but by then it was incredibility muggy out, something I have never dealt with before. I was finding it hard to breathe, and by the time we were near the top of the hill, I found myself gagging and coughing, close to tossing all over the road. Someone who was running by me slowed down to ask if I was ok, and I tried to smile and nod, but I hope they didn't think i was being rude, I was just concentrating so hard on not throwing up.

I was still keeping pace with my Running Buddy, although our Marathoner friend had taken off somewhere near the bottom of the hill. Both of us called a surrender at the top of the hill to learn how to breathe again. I walked for about 30 seconds before deciding I was ok to run again.

I remember thinking the whole race "this isn't that far, this shouldn't be this hard" but each breath felt like it was half water, and I just couldn't seem to fill my lungs. It was tortuous by the end.

When we got to the big flags that had marked the starting line, I realized that we still hadn't crossed the finish line. I turned to my running buddy and said (rather loudly) "Where the F*%k's the finish line?!" Only to spot it a few seconds later a little way further down the road.

Pushing through the finish line took everything I had left in me, which you can see in these two pictures of me and my Running Buddy crossing the finish (Yeah my sunglasses are fly, I know ^_^)

I got our official results this morning: we crossed the finish line with an official time of 33:26, which gave us a pace of 10:47. That is by far a PR for me. I finished 56 in my age group (30-35 for those who care) out of 107, and 714 overall out of a pack of 1079. I can officially say now that I am a mid-pack runner ^_^

After meeting up with my parents, who had watched the race but hadn't seen me pass, we regrouped, and headed to get some food at a local diner. There was much talk about a half marathon that may or may not be in the cards for me in October, and much good food and camaraderie.

It was awesome hanging out and just enjoying the fact that we had just achieved a goal we'd been working towards for months.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A few more runs

Did a couple runs since my last update. I actually got out and ran on Saturday in Prospect Park. We did the loop, with the hill near the end, and then tacked on an extra 1/4 mile for good measure. I started out feeling sluggish, almost like I wasn't going to be able to finish the run, then about halfway through I hit my stride. The hill felt a lot easier, and I kept the pace up even through the "bonus round."

Sunday we walked around the park, but other than that I took the day off. Monday I did Self's "Slim and Sleek Fast" video, which didn't feel like a ton of work when I was doing it, but man was I sore the next day.

Yesterday, we hit the gym. I had an amazing run, which I had to cut short because of the 30 minute time limit when the gym is full. I pushed it a bit, till I hit 3 miles and then a short cool down walk, but no one called me on it so it's all good. After the run I did some ab work and some strength training. Enough that I'm pleasantly sore this morning.

We're getting down to the wire here. Only one more run on the schedule before Race Day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Treadmill Intervals and Getting used to new tech.

Yesterday I had planned on doing random intervals on the treadmill. The plan was to not worry about distance, and instead go for time. Unfortunately my body was uncooperative. My knee was aching due to the weather change even before I got on the treadmill. The ache subsided for a bit during the first part of my run, but partway through it started to intensify. I kept to my plan of doing random intervals, pushing my speed up and dropping it back as I felt like it. When I was close to two miles I realized I was going to have to cut the run short or risk more knee pain. I pushed the pace up slowly to 7.0 (which feels like flying to me) and finished out at two miles.

I did some extra ab work and a few extra weight machines to compensate for cutting my run short. I can really feel the extra strength training this morning!

I'm going to rest my legs for a few days. We're planning on another run in Prospect Park this Saturday, which I'm calling my "long run" since I'm going to tack some extra distance onto the end of it (hopefully.)

I'm slowly getting used to tracking my runs with my Nike+ Sportsband. I love this thing. It's great to know the numbers with certainty, to know exactly how far I'm running, exactly how fast. I'm stumbling a bit with the technology, trying to get all my tracking systems synced up. Right now the hardest to sync has been Mapmyrun which I use to track the distance on my shoes (I've already hit 48 miles on them!) I'm not sure why but it keeps syncing in extra workouts from the Nike+ which I have to then go in and delete. I'm sure I'm just doing something wrong, and I'll figure it out soon.

We're getting down to the wire, race wise. Only three more runs on the schedule before Race Day!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Back to running!

Yesterday I headed to Prospect Park to get back into running after almost two weeks of not running. My S.O. graciously agreed to accompany me, so I ran without headphones. Due to time constraints we started where we entered the park, which left the Hill-o-Doom for near the end of the run. This was a good thing, as the Lilac 5k, which I'm running in on the 23rd, has all the inclines on the second half of the run. Woo hoo.

It was a beautiful day for a run, crisp and clear, with very little wind. It was a little on the cold side for me, but I was comfortable wearing a light running jacket over my usual running gear.

I started out strong, and kept my pace in check for the first mile of the run. I started to feel it in the second mile, and was a little worried how I would feel when we hit the Hill-o-Doom, especially after my doomed running attempt in Maine was thwarted by hills.

By the time we hit the hill, I was definitely feeling my time away from running, but with my S.O. cheering me on, I pushed through to the top of the hill, then dropped my pace way down for a bit to recover.

When we finished the 3.35 mile loop, I was left with a time of 41:42, which works out to an average pace of 4.82 mph. Not bad for having taken almost two weeks off.

The next two weeks will be about increasing my pace and endurance. I'm planning on taking the three days before the race off from exercise, so I go into the race fresh. That leaves me with four runs until the big day. I'm starting to get nervous!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Playing with children

Most of my exercise in the past week and a half while I've been up in Maine has been playing with children. Lifting them, spinning them, tugging them around in a wagon. Not much in the was of cardio, but I'm finding muscles I didn't even know I had.

I did get one run in on Saturday, and let me tell you, there are two things Maine has plenty of, Bugs and Hills. I only ran 2 miles, but I really had to work for those miles.

I'm a little worried about how I'll do over the next couple of weeks leading into the 5k, after almost two weeks of no running, but I don't regret a single minute of time spent up here surrounded by an awesome family. There is nothing so tiring and so amazingly fulfilling as spending the day playing with children.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Just keeping Pace.

I've been horribly lax about updating this week. Maybe because, after my spectacular victory over the Prospect Park loop on Monday, I've been kinda lax about exercising too.

I took a rest day on Tuesday to let my legs heal up from Monday's run. Wednesday we hit the gym, and I ran 3 miles on the treadmill, wearing my Nike+ SportBand to calibrate it. I also did a couple of weight machines, I'm trying to ease myself back into weight training. My wrist held up fine, so I think I've got the green light for next time I'm in the gym.

Lazy butt that I am, I took another rest day yesterday. Today I'm planning on doing a workout video, but no running.

We're leaving for Maine tomorrow. Me and the S.O. are heading up to spend a week with some close friends to help watch their kids while they have their third. The entirety of my exercise while I'm up there will consist of running around after kids, playing with kids, and (I hope) squeezing in a run here and there. I'll try to update while we're up there, but please forgive me if I'm a little absent.

I'm getting close to "Race Day" now, only a little over four weeks. I'm starting to get nervous/excited...what did MizFit call it? Nervicitment?

Monday, April 19, 2010

MS walk and conquering the Prospect Park loop.

This past Sunday was the NYC MS Awareness walk. Me and my S.O. decided to go for it and do the six mile loop, which crosses over the Brooklyn Bridge a couple times. The weather was perfect, cool and sunny. The walk didn't seem nearly as long as six miles should, until we sat down for some food and coffee afterward. Then the combination of lack of sleep (we got to bed really late Saturday night, and the walk started at 9am) and the walking caught up to us. We managed to get home (barely) before taking an awesome two hour nap.

Today I tackled the Prospect Park loop again. This time, I learned from experience and started my run at the bottom of the Hill-o-Doom (now it's official name as far as I'm concerned.)

I was a little concerned starting out, as my legs hadn't had a ton of time to rest since our little six mile stroll on Sunday. Furthering my dismay as I started up the Hill-o-Doom, a couple jogged past me on my way up. The guy was walking intermittently to keep pace with his girlfriend (or wife or whatever.) Walking. I was getting passed by a guy who was walking! Somehow this tripped the competitive side of me, and I would now refuse to give up. I dug in, and kept relative pace with them, refusing to let them get far enough ahead of me for me to loose sight of the Woman's pink running top.

By the top of the hill, they were a good distance out in front of me, and I dismally admitted to myself that I was going to have to let it go, and just focus on my own run. So I did. I just let myself enjoy how beautiful the park looked as the trees were flowering and just starting to get leaves. It was intermittently sunny, which Illuminated the new leaves on the trees.

I was so deep into just enjoying my run, that I barely noticed until I was right on top of them that I had caught up to the running couple. Now this woman in pink, she has her own competitive spirit. I know this because as I started to pass them, she sped up. Way up. She pushed herself to keep pace right beside me for a while (almost a 1/4 mile) before falling behind me.

The longest stretch of the run for me is after you turn the corner around the back side of the lake. Both times I've run this loop I've hit stiff headwinds in this stretch. It's also the last mile (and a bit) of the run, which always to me feels way longer than the first two miles.

I was once again just pushing through it, starting to really feel the lead in my legs when the couple passed me again. They were flying! I tried to push myself a bit faster to pass them again, but could just barely keep pace with them as the sped on. Not too long after we reached the spray painted marker on the pavement that reads "5k Finish!" My unknowing competition stopped at the marker obviously excited about having finished their run. I'm guessing they started at the "5k Start!" mark a little up the road and had just run a full 5k. They had been sprinting for their finish line when they passed me.

I continued on, pushing myself the last little bit to my own finish line, a wooden bench next to a sign advertising an upcoming run in the park. It was where I started running, at the bottom of the Hill-o-Doom. When I stopped running, and proceeded to walk the rest of the way back up the Hill-o-Doom and to the entrance of the park I sent a text to my S.O. "12:40 - 1:16 no walking".

When I got home and put all my stats into MapmyRun, I realized that I had done two amazing things. Not only had I conquered the loop, and the Hill-o-Doom, running the entire 3.35 miles without stopping to walk, but I had also done it faster. I averaged a pace of 10:43, or 5.58 Mph.

So thank you, Woman in the Pink shirt and her running buddy, the unspoken competition help me push myself harder.

And to the Hill-o-Doom: Nya nya nya. I win.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Beautiful weather requires random walks.

Oh wow guys! Guess what! I won a contest over at Shut Up and Run! (which is a really cool blog btw, go check it out!) What's even cooler is what I won. Running Gear! *happy dance* Soon I will be the owner of an actual bonafied running tank and a certified real running skirt! In short order I will be receiving a GoLite Cottonwood Run Tank and a GoLite Tilly Jane Run Skirt in the mail. You have no comprehension of how excited I am about this ^_^ As soon as they arrive I will force my S.O. to get pictures of me actually running in actual running clothes!

Ok, now that I got that excitement out, yesterday's workout was a crunch video I've been doing for a while that has some "standing Pilates" Cardio stuff followed by some regular Pilates mat work. I've been doing it for a while to get my sufficient amount of "omg my abs are killing me when is this over" ab work in, and the Cardio portion was decent at keeping my heart rate up. Yesterday, however, while the ab work still seemed decently intense, the Cardio section just wasn't doing it for me. I think my body's acclimated to the moves...time to switch up the videos >.<

After going out to meet my S.O. for a "picnic" lunch sitting in Battery Park, I decided it was too nice out to get back on the subway, so I started walking north along Broadway. I walked myself all the way up to Union Square (which is about a 2.5 mile walk) and was delighted to find that the Union Square Green Market was in full swing. I've been trying to get to the green market for a while now to pick up some herb and veggie plants to grow in my window. Yes, I'm growing a small garden in hanging planters in my window. Because I can. ^_^

Today I'm back to the gym this afternoon for a treadmill run. Kinda nervous to see how my legs are doing after Monday's run.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A recovery workout and more patience.

Yesterday's workout was mostly a recovery workout. 30 minutes of intervals on the elliptical machine, followed by a brief attempt to resume weight training. My wrist started to ache halfway through my first machine, so after finishing out the set, I called it.

I'm trying very hard to be patient with my wrist. But if it doesn't shape up in the next week I'm going to get very angry.

I was surprisingly not sore from Monday's run. I could tell my legs were a little tired, and I know that trying to run would have been a bad idea, but I felt fine on the elliptical.

Today will be a workout video day, and maybe some yoga. I'm back to running (and a little nervous about it) tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

First outdoor run of the season. Headwinds and Hills!

Yesterday I determined that I would run outside for the first time this season. I suited up with my new Nike Women's Elite Running Cushioned socks, my awesome running pants, my Favorite running top, and a long sleeve zip up sweatshirt with zip pockets for the essentials (keys, metro card, id.) I grabbed sun glasses and my arm band for my iphone, and headed out the door.

The half hour trip to Prospect Park was spent with me trying to look nonchalant while I tried to ignore the fact that I stood out like a sore thumb in a train full of people various styles of Jeans and T-shirts. I know it wasn't true but it felt like everyone I passed gave me that "what the hell?!" look.

I used the 10 minute walk up to the park from the train station as my warm up, power walking and getting limber. I was so nervous about the run that I almost turned around and went home about six times during that walk.

When I finally got to the park, I was warm enough to take off the sweatshirt and tie it around my waist. There was a gentle wind blowing and the sun was shining. A few people zoomed by on bikes, and there were flowering trees everywhere.

I started my run on a tick mark that had been spray painted onto the pavement at some time long ago that read 3m. I had (mistakenly but we'll get to that later) read somewhere that the loop was a little over three miles, so I figured it would be a good marker to stop at too. I had also heard that there was a beast of a hill somewhere in the loop, but had no idea where it was, so I started out with an easy pace.

It was hard to keep myself to that nice slow pace over the next 1/2 mile, which was mostly downhill, with a few flat stretches. I had no idea how far I'd run or how far I'd yet to go, but around 20 minutes in I was still feeling relatively fresh.

Then, rounding the backside of the lake, I encountered something I had never dealt with before, a strong headwind. It hit me so suddenly and with such force that it almost stopped me in my tracks. I had read in Runner's World that you shouldn't fight the headwind, just slow down and conserve your energy for when it's not an issue. So I dug in, slowed down a bit, and fought on.

By the time I had finished rounding the lake, the intermittent strong gusts of wind blasting me in my face had sapped a lot of my strength, but I was still doing alright. I still had no idea how far I'd gone. I'd past some fresher spray paint marks denoting a 2 mile mark at some point, but I had no idea where they'd started measuring that 2 miles.

This was when I started bargaining with myself.

I still felt relative good for having been running for what felt like hours, so I convinced myself I didn't have that far to go. 1/2 mile, tops. I could do that, easy.

And then I found the hill.

It didn't look too bad from the bottom. Steep, sure. Tall, you betcha. But it didn't look like it was that far until the path started leveling off. I could *do* this. I dug deep and started up the hill. I tried not to think about how far it was up the hill, or how tired my legs were, or how my lungs were burning (although all of those thoughts kept bouncing around in my head). I tried to just concentrate on keeping my feet moving.

I started to near the curve that I thought was the top of the hill. It was then that I realized my mistake. The path became less steep as it rounded the curve, yes, but as soon as it passed the curve it was right back up to it's kick-your-ass self. My spirit dropped and my legs slowed to a walk. There was no way this far into my run that I could make it up that hill. I resigned myself to walking the rest of the way up.

I felt slightly defeated when I reached the top of the hill, but then, seeing that my "finish line" was no where in sight, decided to start running again. Because I could. Turned out I had a good 1/4 mile left in me before I tapped my foot down on that 3m mark and slowed back down to a walk.

After a brief cool down walk, I stretched against a tree, then lay down in the grass and just let the sun soak into me. It took a lot of convincing to get me back up to head home. When I got home I went to enter my run into Map My Run and was surprised to find the distance for the loop was 3.34 miles. All of a sudden I didn't feel so bad for walking up half of that hill. That is the furthest I have ever ran, outside or in.

I am feeling a bit more confident about the Lilac 5k I'm planning to run in May. I figure, if I train to conquer the Prospect Park loop, 3.15 miles shouldn't be a problem!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Learning Patience

Yesterday was my first workout day where I had to be careful of my wrist. It was an exercise in frustration and patience.

When I did an ab work video using my stability ball, I had to modify (heavily) some of the exercises to avoid putting pressure on my wrist.

Later at the gym, in frustration over my inabilities, I pushed myself through a 3 mile run, despite my overwhelming desire to just call it around mile 2. Sitting on the mats stretching, I gazed longingly at the hand weights and weight machines.

I've been decent with keeping up on the upper body strengthening recently, and I've started to notice some changes in the shape of my arms. I'm now worried about a backslide. I realize that a bit of strength loss is inevitable, I'm just hoping it's not to much.

I'm trying very hard to have patience and give my body time to heal. It's a little easier because I can still run with this injury. I can also, with some modification, do most of my video workouts. Unfortunately, some of the things that help give me patience: Yoga and knitting, are out of the question for now.

Anyone know any good upper body strength moves that don't use your wrist?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Unexpected Injury, and avoiding an Injury cascade.

My workouts have been going well, aside from the fact that I've been struggling with consistency. I have added back in weight training to my days at the gym, and this is where, I believe, I caused my newest issue.

It's really a small injury. Somehow, over the course of some exercise or another I managed to strain something in my wrist. I didn't notice it right away, but by the middle of the next day my wrist was stiff and painful, but not swollen or discolored. So I followed the standard R.I.C.E. and ace bandaged up and let it rest.

That was yesterday. Today nothing has changed. It's still slightly sore when moved, and extremely stiff. I'm not sure what I did to it, but I'm sure it's only a minor strain, and time and rest will heal it.

Problem is I'm not a very patient person. It's eating me up right now not to be able to put pressure on my wrist. I was planning on doing some yoga this morning, that's out of the question. No upper body strength training until this heals. And since almost all of my workout videos involve moves that put pressure on my wrist, my options are seriously narrowed.

It's going to be a struggle over the next few days to keep myself from over-training my lower body. My fear now is that in an effort to keep active, and avoid using my wrist, I'm going to over-train my legs, and end up with an additional injury.

Any suggestions on avoiding an "injury cascade"?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Monthly check in.

I did my body measurements/weigh in for the month. This was one of those times where the scale was no longer an accurate indicator. I maintained my weight, but dropped inches almost everywhere. And really, the inches are what I care about. Well the inches and the fitness.

I am now 7 weeks away from the 5k I'm planning on running. I am confident in my ability to run 3 miles....on a treadmill. I really need to move my runs outside, to start building my endurance in the real world. I'm thinking I'll start with one outdoor run a week, but I'm really nervous about it. I get really embarrassed about my lack of fitness when I'm running where people can see me. I don't know why this no longer applies to the gym...but it still applies to outdoor running.

This month is going to be all about kicking it into high gear. Adding additional workouts, and continuing to push my running...slowly. I've also got to get a handle on my diet this month. I eat relatively healthy, but I've been kind of in a diet rut, eating the same foods over and over, with only slight variations. Now that the green markets are open again in the city, I'm hoping to add a little variety into my fruits and veggies.

Any suggestions on healthy dishes to try?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Getting my running mojo back.

After a lackluster workout week, I ended up taking a couple days off from the gym to try to shake the "workout blah's." Friday and Saturday I avoided going to the gym and my only exercise came on Saturday in the form of cleaning and laundry.

Now mind you, I could argue that this was working out, as laundry involves three flights of stairs and two blocks of walking each time we head to the laundry mat. Since we leave in between cycles, that's three trips their and three trips back. But since it wasn't dedicated "exercise" I'm not counting it.

After the two day break, we hit the gym on Sunday. The run felt awesome. I hit my stride and just ran. I had a moment of silly pride when the guy that jumped on the treadmill next to me got off before me, and he looked (at a cursory glance) like he was in decent shape. I ran at 5.1 for the majority of the 35 minutes, pushing the speed a bit to 5.5 for two minutes before dropping back to 5.0 for the last 30 seconds going into my cool down. I ended up improving my distance a bit, running 3.05 miles.

Unfortunately, once I sat down to stretch, I started to notice a slight throbbing in my head, which quickly escalated to a rather painful headache while I finished out my stretching. I had to forgo my strength training in favor of Advil, caffeine and more stretching. I'm planning on doing a Pilates video today to compensate for the lack of muscle work yesterday.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

David Letterman says you can't loose weight, don't bother trying.

I'll get to my workouts from yesterday in a bit, but first, last night something happened for the first time ever. Something on TV made me mad enough to not just change the channel but to turn the TV off entirely.

Last night I was happily zoning out watching David Letterman. He had Jamie Oliver on, who I used to enjoy watching on his Food TV show, The Naked Chef. Jamie has apparently been on a mission to help revamp diets in some of the unhealthiest places in America on his new show Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

Immediately, David Letterman started talking over Jamie Oliver, saying it was impossible to loose weight in this country because of the food culture. He started out with a good point about the culture in this country surrounding obesity and foods that are bad for you. It quickly went downhill however, as Jamie continued to try to talk about the mission of his show and how people can make good choices, to which Letterman exclaimed that people don't make a choice to eat. That they have to eat, and it's impossible to loose weight because there are a million types of cookies. The next few minutes continued with Jamie attempting to interject about making healthy choices, and Letterman talking over him saying it was impossible because of all the bad food out there.

So I turned the TV off. I don't know how the segment ended, and I'll note that CBS doesn't have that segment up as separate video on it's website. For all I know Jamie was successful in convincing David Letterman that eating healthy could work, but I was so disgusted, disheartened and angry about the overbearing "It's impossible, you can't do it, don't even try" attitude that David Letterman took that I couldn't watch anymore. The attitude that it's out of your control and there's nothing you can do about it but complain that someone else isn't making the good choices for you.

Yes, I agree that the culture in this country surrounding food and obesity and health in general needs to change. Yes, I agree that the fact that you have to pay more for healthy food than for an artery clogging burger and fries needs to change. Yes, I agree that it's hard to walk past all the sugar laden cereals and easy to make boxed foods with ingredients I can't even pronounce. But the key word in all that is hard. It's not impossible and yes, David Letterman, it is a choice. And it's one I can make.

Ok Rant over. Now onto the nitty gritty. Yesterday I pumped up my speed on my run, starting out at 5.1 instead of 5.0. It was humid in the gym, which always causes me problems. Again, I had trouble hitting that rhythm, and had to take a 30 second walk break towards the end of the run, but I still did my 3 miles in 35 minutes.

The gym was also packed again, and all of the hand weights were mysteriously absent (my guess is they were being used for the body pump class going on right then) so I had to make do with 10 lb weights. I compensated for the light weight by lifting super slow. I also hopped on a few machines, doing the chest press and lat pull down machines. I was waiting to do the captains chair, but the line of four or five people ahead of me waiting put me off.

Today is an off day, Yoga for the AM and a workout video later. Also contemplating a nice hot bath (after I scrub the tub.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Making this a good week.

I got a decent start to the week yesterday and did both a yoga session and a general aerobics/strength video. I started the morning off with Element: Beginners Yoga, and then for my afternoon workout I did Self's Slim and Sleek Fast DVD. The Self DVD's never fail to kick my butt.

Today is a gym day, and therefore a running day. I've given my legs as much rest as I can without giving up exercise, so they should be completely recovered from last week. This week I'm going to try to keep my mileage consistent with last week (a total of 8 miles), but improve on the quality of the run.

On Saturday last week, during the last run of the week, I felt spent. My legs felt like lead and I just couldn't hit my stride. I had to take three walk breaks just to catch my breath. My goal this week is to not feel like that during my last run of the week.

Also, has anyone out there tried FRS energy chews? I'm curious what people think about them, or about energy supplements in general.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Still sore on Monday.

Well I didn't try for the outdoor run this weekend. I realized that it would have been the third run of the week, and therefore would be pushing my mileage up, so I opted to do the run in the safety of the gym.

This turned out to be a good thing, as I struggled through a mere two miles before throwing in the towel. I just couldn't seem to hit my stride. I overcompensated by pushing a tad hard on the strength portion of my workout. I'm still sore this morning. Today I'm going to try to squeeze in some yoga and maybe some core or lower body work.

Gonna let my legs rest for one more day.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How far do you have to walk before it's concidered a workout?

I'm sorry I've been horrible about updating the blog. Luckily I haven't been as bad about exercise, although I have been slacking a bit over the past couple of days.

Yesterday was supposed to have been a gym day, but it was St.Patrick's day, so we went to the parade here in NYC, then walked around the city for the rest of the day. I'm not sure how far we walked, but we were walking at a good clip (we are in NYC after all) for at least three hours. It's not a hard core workout, but at least it was something.

I did a three mile run on Monday, and hopefully (if I don't slack off again) I'll do a 3 mile run tonight at the gym.

The weather is getting nice out finally, so soon I'm hoping to test out the running skillz on some pavement. Hopefully this weekend if it's still nice out!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pain in the morning.

Every morning, I wake up stiff and achy. It's a struggle to get myself out of bed, and mobilized enough to make myself some coffee. Every morning I catalog my pains, figuring out the level of discomfort coming from each, and which (if any) are bad enough that I should consider them injuries.

And it makes me smile.

I smile because every ache, every pain, is due to exercise. It lets me know that I am pushing my body once again. Growing beyond my limits.

I am leaving the safe and comfortable zone, and making myself grow again. Growth can be painful, scary, exhausting, and frustrating. But oh man is it worth it.

I ran my second 3 mile run of the week last night. While I sat stretching afterward, feeling the ache in my calves and knowing I would have to coddle my legs the next day, I started thinking about the barriers I've busted through.

Not too long ago, I was struggling to break the two mile mark. Not too long before that, struggling to run for longer than 20 minutes straight. And before that, struggling even to run at all. Each time the barrier seemed unbreakable. I would feel trapped under a self-imposed limit, and feel like I had pushed myself as hard as I was capable of. Then one day, it would just happen. I would run farther, faster.

Now is the time when I need to be cautious. To pull the reigns in a bit on myself. Now is the point where I tend to over train, to push too hard, and fall victim to injury. I need to remember to let my muscles build slowly, and to let them rest.

But still, this is a good pain.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mainting the Fitness-quo

Things have been going relatively well, fitness wise. I'm kinda maintaining the status-quo as far as my workouts go, trading more videos for runs. It makes for good fitness, but bad posting.

Also, the beautiful weather around here has been encouraging more walking. Spent a good chunk of time on Sunday wandering around Prospect Park, which is huge for a NYC park. There are actually places in there where you can neither see buildings nor hear traffic. It's awesome.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Three miles and inches gone.

I hit a milestone this weekend. On Saturday I ran my first solid three miles. It felt amazing. Granted it was inside on a treadmill, but it still counts ^_^

I followed that up with a party for a friends Birthday, during which there was a lot of food, and more alcohol than I care to admit. Yeah, I paid the price for that one. I spent Sunday remembering why I shouldn't do that.

So, Today is the first day of a new month. After this weekends debauchery I was almost afraid to take my measurements. It turned out OK though. I managed to shave half inches off almost everywhere, with the most dramatic size loss from my waist, I lost an inch and a half there.

All in all I'd say February was a good month. I'm planning on topping it in March!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The opposite of momentum

Lately, I've noticed a trend in myself. Once I sit myself down, I become the immovable object. Oh it's not that I'm sick, or tired, or stressed, or anything in particular, it's just the longer I sit, the less I want to move.

A day may start out with lots of exercise and fitness motivation, and then, slowly, as I sit and knit, or work on the computer, my body gets used to the idea of sitting in one place. It's almost as if, as I sit still, my behind gains gravity. That small voice pipes up in my head. Pointing out how tired I am, or how my knee kinda aches, or how I just really don't feel up to it today.

The major problem happens if I listen to that voice. Once that voice knows I can hear it, it gets louder and more confident. One missed workout turns into two, or three, so easily. The longer I let it yell, the louder and more persuasive it gets. Then a whole knew voice joins in: the Shame voice. But that's a whole different post.

I'm learning to deal with my "anti-mentum" voice. I just don't let it gain ground. As soon as I realize that I'm telling myself I just don't feel like it without a valid reason, I turn it around. I remind myself that I may be tired now, but I'll feel more awake after a workout. I may be sore now, but man yoga will feel good. I may not be in the best mood, but I feel so much better after a run.

It's not a perfect technique, I'm still trying to learn the balance between pushing myself too hard, and not pushing hard enough. However, it kept a recent two day slack-fest from getting any longer, and it's kept me going this week.

I'm trying to close out this month strong, only five days left. I think I can keep the anti-mentum at bay that long.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A good start to the week.

After a lackluster week last week, plagued by the disruptions in schedule that always throw me off, I've gotten myself off to a good start this week.

I did Self Magazine's Your Best Butt Fast video for the second time last night. That video is killer. After about 40 minutes of exercises that made my butt burn and the rest of me sweat bullets, I really believe I'll see serious results in three weeks.

I also added in upper body strength training to my gym sessions last week, which I plan to continue this week, so the days I'm at the gym are no longer just running days, they're running and upper body toning, leaving the "off" days for toning my bottom half.

In other good news, I'm under 160 again! I weighed in at 158.4 this morning. I'm hoping it's not just a fluke, but it's a good sign.

I'm shooting for a stellar week to make up for my stumble at the end of last week. I will own this week. This week is mine!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's a start.

I started back on the treadmill yesterday, I did a short 22 minute run at 5 mph, and got about 1.56 miles before I started feeling my knee deteriorating. I did a lot of stretching and then did a short ab session and a long (30 minute) upper body strenth session. I did hammer curls, shoulder presses and French presses with 10 lb free weights (doing the super slow lifting Mizfit is a fan of) then switched to the machines and did chest presses and lat pull downs, again veeerrrry sloooowly.

My upper body is nice and sore today, and my knee has recovered nicely. I'm going to do a lower impact video and some ab work today, and then back to the gym to test the knee out again tomorrow.

Keeping my fingers crossed that it holds up!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's not over yet!

Heading back to the gym tonight after a short hiatus to give my knee some breathing room. Planning on a short run followed by mostly upper body strength training, and lots of stretching.

Wish me luck.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Just a minor set back

I haven't seen the inside of a gym since last Wednesday.

Thursday I was so sore from Wednesday I took a rest day to let my body heal. Friday, My knee started aching. At first I thought I could just deal with it, but by the time I arrived at the gym, after walking up and down the subway stairs, I realized that running was out of the question. So we walked from Wall street(ish) up to Canal Street. Saturday, the pain in my knee was so bad that I could barely hobble around the apartment. It hasn't felt that bad in years.

Sunday, after three days of no exercise, I forced myself to run through a pilates video that I knew was mostly floor work, and therefore easy on my knee.

Today my knee feels to be at around 80%. There's a small twinge in there, but nothing serious. I'm going to try the gym today, on a "see as we go" basis. I'll start out on the treadmills, but if it starts bothering me, I'll have to switch to something less high impact.

It's a setback, but it's small. I'm frustrated that my knee is still acting up this badly this long after the surgery, but I'll deal. At least I can walk, and usually, run.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Somehow, I always think it's about me...

Yesterday, I was running at the gym, feeling ok, and some guy gets on the treadmill next to me. He starts setting himself up to run, and then 30 seconds into his run (I swear) gets off the treadmill, and goes to another treadmill. I watch him try to get on the new treadmill, which is broken, then get back on the treadmill next to me. Another minute or two, and he tries another machine, also broken, back to the machine next to me. Finally, the person on the treadmill next to him gets off, and he switches to that machine.

Now, I know there's nothing wrong with the treadmill next to me, this was about 15 minutes into my run, and there had been a person running on it when I started. Also, shortly after this treadmill switching man vacated the spot, a girl gets on and starts running, and is still running when I'm done with my run.

So the only thing I could think was, Why was this guy so desperate to not be running next to me that he would risk loosing his spot on a treadmill? I mean, it's overcrowded in the gym right now, you actually have to wait for treadmill (especially since at least four treadmills were out of commission yesterday.)

My next thought was, why do I think this is about me? Why am I automatically embarrassed, thinking I'm doing something offensive? Maybe the TV doesn't work or something stupid like, he's ocd and can't run on a treadmill that's an even number from the edge.

I don't know why he was actually treadmill hopping, but I do know that I ran for 28 minutes (with a 2 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down,) I ran for 2.4 miles (I don't count the warm up and cool down distance,) and I did strength training with 15 lb. hand weights. So even if it was about me, he can suck it. I'm hardcore now.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Official weigh in and General check point

Did my "official" weigh in for February on Monday. 162 lbs. Good, but now I'm facing that 160 barrier again. It bothers me that I weigh this much again. Like I've completely erased all the good I did before.

The positive thing is that my measurements now are smaller than they were the last time I weighed over 160. I'm still wearing size 8 jeans comfortably (although they are Old Navy Jeans so I'd say I'm about a size 10 in normal jeans.)

Then, I had one of those runs last night at the gym. The kind where I hit this point where I feel like I could just run forever. I had a lot of bad things in my head from the weekend, and the run just cleared them all out. I was lucky too, because as crowded as the gym is right now, there were a couple of empty treadmills so I pushed it past the time limit. I started out with a two minute warm up walk, then ran for 28 minutes before doing a two minute cool down.

My original plan was to do two runs yesterday. I was thinking I'd start with my normal 20 minute run, then after stretching and doing weights, I'd try for another 10 minute run. But I felt so good at the 20 minute mark I didn't want to stop. Unfortunately, after stretching and doing some weight training, I was feeling quite a bit of stiffness in my knee, so I decided to forgo the second run.

The knee is feeling 100% today, although my legs are a bit more sore than normal. Also the new "slow lifting" I've been doing (thanks MizFit!) has my arms feeling like noodles.

I'm trying to keep my eyes and mind on the goal. Which is to run a 5k this spring. Weight loss is a goal, but not *the* goal right now. It will simply be a byproduct of my amazingly awesome training. Yes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Feeling my motivation slipping.

My motivation and determination is faltering again. Yesterday I failed to motivate myself to go for a run. I can make all the excuses I want: I was unexpectedly sore from my workouts the day before, I haven't been sleeping well, I'm just in a funk; but the only fact that matters is that I did not run.

Luckily for my goals (and my star filled calendar), I had already done my Yoga for the day when my resolve decided to take a vacation, so I got my 30 minutes of exercise in for the day.

I'm finding myself increasingly sore lately. I'm not sure if it's a good or bad sore though. It doesn't feel like the same kind of sore I'm used to from working muscles, more of a general stiffness and dull ache. I've also, somehow screwed up my sleep cycle. I am almost overwhelmingly tired during the day, and then frustratingly awake when it comes time for bed. This is vicious cycle for me, since the more tired I am the more I rely on caffeine to prop me up through the day. This morning found me too exhausted to wake up at my new early hour to get my yoga done. Instead I started my day late.

I suppose it's a victory, since I did manage to motivate myself to actually do the yoga, instead of just skipping it. I'm trying to focus on the fact that I am working out more, and more consistently, than ever. I am, however, lazy when compared to my two workout buddies. It's hard to temper my competitive streak and keep myself from pushing too hard too fast. It's hard for me to cut myself a break when I need one and just step back and let myself rest.

This is the last week before my next "official" weigh in and measurements. I can't slack off now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Shoes, and a new breakfast food

This weekend was full of goods and bads as far as fitness goes. Saturday, I did not work out, but I did manage to get myself some new running shoes. Nike Woman's Air Citius II+'s to be exact. The inaugural run for my brand new shoes was on Sunday, and it went well. I ran for 2 miles without a reoccurred of the calf pain that had been plaguing me.

This morning I tried some Greek Yogurt for breakfast (thanks Diana!), it was very yummy, and the small serving was acceptable to my stomach. I think I'm going to grab some more and alternate it with oatmeal.

So far I'm doing alright with my workouts...I've only missed two days out of the last eight. I hope I can up that percentage this week!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Waking up early

Tried a new tactic this morning, literally. I made myself get up with my S.O. and do my AM Yoga while he got ready to leave for work. I am not a morning person, but I have to say, I feel more awake than I normally would at this time (9:30 am for the record.)

I figure doing this will allow me to step up my workouts, since I've been doing my yoga at lunch and then every other day hitting the gym around 6. This way, Yoga is done, and I can do something else at lunch time (still planning on hitting the gym every other day.)

This brings up an interesting point for me, I have been shying away from "new" workouts lately. Oh I've queued up a ton of new videos to try, and I still have a couple DVD's I haven't played through yet, but I keep falling back on "safe" workouts. Ones where I know how hard I'm going to work, and I know how long they are. I don't know how to get myself past this mental block other than to just do the new workouts.

Alright. Day one of this morning stuff is a success. Let's see how long I can keep it up!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weekend Warrior

This weekend was the first weekend that I have managed to get myself up off my butt to work out both days. Of course I followed that up by getting absolutely no exercise on Monday.

I did some yoga on Saturday, to try and give my legs a rest from the pounding they've been taking with the increased running schedule. I'm feeling it in my calves again, which has me worried. I don't want to sideline myself again, especially when I've been doing so well.

Then Sunday I did a Boot Camp Video that basically undid all the "rest" my legs were getting.

I'm focusing on the fact that I did really well the rest of last week, even if both my workout partners are kicking my butt.

I've been trying out new video's through Netflix a lot this past week. Crunch: Boot Camp Training was a little hokey (nothing like being called a recruit!) and I definitely needed heavier hand weights than I had, but the next day man were my legs and butt sore! I'm going to continue the trend and try more new video's this week, however I think I'm going to run out of new stuff to stream soon unfortunately.

The good news is that, dispite my frustration and getting my butt kicked by my workout buddies, I am loosing weight. Woo Hoo!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dojo Mentality

The other day I found a picture of me at the dojo I went to for years. The picture was taken after a belt test for another student, and we're all posed for the camera. The picture wasn't taken too long ago, maybe five or six years ago, so I know it was taken during a tumultuous time in my life. In the picture, I'm smiling, a big genuine smile. I look happy, and I know, beyond doubt, that I was happy when that picture was taken. Oh sure, I may not have been happy half an hour later when I stepped outside, but inside the dojo was always different.

I have always been able to push myself harder at the dojo than during any other activity. My personal limits were always there to be pushed, broken, and respectfully ignored. I was always a work in progress inside the dojo, and yet at the same time, more fully a whole person.

I have never been more at peace then in those moments meditating after a hard class, when my body was too tired to be a distraction.

We used to joke that only Martial Artists can understand Martial Artists. You have to be a special kind of crazy to enjoy a sparring class, or to obsessively practice kata. I'm not entirely sure that's true anymore. I think the same kind of crazy applies to most athletes. That ability to take the pain, put in the hours, and give yourself to the pursuit of just getting better at it.

I miss that focus. I miss that wholeness. I miss that drive to push my limits. My mind has been circling around this for the past few days, since I found the picture. I've been thinking about why the dojo was always a special place to me, what about it made me push so hard, and why I have been unable to find that mental space outside the dojo.

I need to find a way to incorporate my "dojo mentality" into the rest of my fitness routine, a way to make it all training.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Struggling with calories

One of my many battles with food revolves around caloric intake. The science of dieting boils down to a simple truth of input vs. output. In you burn more than you eat, you loose weight. Now inside that equation is a lot of math I don't understand. Variables based on metabolism and resting heart rates. Good foods and bad foods. Fast burning nutrients and ones that are easy to store. But on the surface it's simple. Eat less, Workout more, loose weight.

The problem for me is keeping that balance. I'm hungry and I want to eat. I like food. But for me to loose weight I need to keep my caloric intake under 1,300 calories. And exercise on a regular basis.

Most days I want to cry and scream that it's not fair. Especially when reading success stories that include phrases like "All I did was cut out soda" or "I switched to whole grains and lost 10 lbs". What about me? I already eat whole grains, and only drink diet sodas. I eat lots of veggies and not a lot of meat. If I put too much dressing on my salad it blows out my total for the day.

Eating sensibly seems like it should be enough. It should be enough to not eat junk, and to only eat when you're hungry. Today I am frustrated and hungry, and trying very hard to power through today. I want a grilled cheese sandwich and a side of mashed potatoes.

Stupid metabolism.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Good Start

Wow, this week is already off to a better start than last week! After doing some yoga around lunch time I was tired and had to pull on some of my new support system to motivate me to go to the gym.

Man was I glad I did! I had one of those runs where you feel like you can run forever. I was just cruising at my normal 5.0 pace, listening to some good music, and didn't want to stop. I was actually mildly upset that I had to stop. Stupid 30 minute limit. After my two minute warm up, I had to stop after only 23 minutes of running to give myself a 5 minute cool down.

Today I'm tired and sore. I'm looking forward to my daily yoga session to try to stretch out some of the kinks. I'm hoping to do yoga every day this week, to balance out the running and prevent the shin-splint like injuries I've had in the past.

I went over my calorie allotment yesterday slightly, but not too badly (I had some mandarin oranges that I shouldn't have.) Hopefully I'll make up for it over the rest of the week.

Finally, I started reading PastaQueen's book Half Assed. It's been on my list for a while, and I finally got a copy for Christmas this year. If you read her blog at all, the tone of the book is exactly what you expect, She's had me laughing even when I'm cringing at some of the stories. I'm loving it so far!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Breakfast Troubles

I am not a morning person. It is always a struggle for me to get myself out of bed, no matter how much sleep I've had or what time I went to bed. The first thing I need, to get me functional and working, is a cup or two of coffee. The last thing I want in the morning is food.

Strangely, when I wake up I am very not hungry. In fact, the idea of eating food first thing in the morning makes me a tad nauseous. I can usually force myself to eat a bowl of oatmeal or some cereal, but usually not until I've been up for a good hour.

I never used to think this was a problem. If I got up at 7, breakfast was usually around 9:30 or 10:00. Still plenty early to be called breakfast. But I don't get up at 7 anymore. With a flexible schedule my morning routine has shifted, and I wake up at 9. Breakfast? More like an early lunch.

With all the research out there saying how important breakfast is for weight loss, and a new study saying eating earlier is better, what am I to do? Am I doomed to a choice between sluggish weight loss and choking down food I'm not enjoying?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weekend Fail.

After all of my determination and planning, and despite all of the new motivational tools I've put in place, the weekend was a fitness fail. I cannot express how bad I'm feeling about it. I'm struggling against the feeling that I am simply unable to keep myself going, and stay on track.

There are four stars on my calendar and I'm holding on to that. I am determined that next week will be better than this week, that there will be more stars. It just means that any reward I was promising myself will be pushed back a week.

I'm so disappointed in myself, and yet, now I have all of the tools in place. Now I have people I am accountable to, and I've given them the tools to be able to check up on me. As disappointing as this week has been, fitness wise, I'm trying to look at is as a foundation week. This week I got everything in place.

Next week will be better.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday, Week One.

Another First week down. Only one day (right in the middle no less) without a star on the calendar.

I made myself do Yoga today. I really, really, didn't want to. The sloth has kicked in. But I made myself, because I want those stars. And I want new running shoes, which is what I've promised myself as a reward for a month of solid progress.

I'm making sure to track everything I eat. Strangely this has coincided with me not being very hungry.

I've also started making use of SparkPeople again (I'm Morfit over there if you wanna hit me up.) I've got a long distance workout buddy on there now (hereafter referred to as LDWB), so I've got some additional accountability going on, and some more motivation.

Which I've been needing to counter the "just wanna curl up and hibernate until I feel better" that's settled into my chest. I'm making myself get up, go out, run at the gym (Ran for 21 minutes yesterday! Woot!), do yoga, and see people. I'm just moving through it till this passes. Having faith that it will pass is a new thing for me...would that be progress?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lesson Learned

Well yesterday was a lesson in humility. After all my big talk about keeping fitness as my top priority, and dragging a very unhappy S.O. to the gym, I started changing in the locker room only to discover I had failed to pack a sports bra. I debated briefly trying to run in my normal bra. The thought of running for half an hour with that little support for the girls, coupled by the fact that I had assumed we were going out after the gym and didn't want to have to go out wearing a drenched bra under my shirt, resulted in defeat.

This humillation was only made worse when we ended up not going out, simply going home. At first I had the thought that I would do a workout video after dinner, however, by the time people had sorted themselves out, dinner had been cooked and eaten, and The living room was clear enough for working out, I had completely lost my motivation.

The good news is, I stayed under my caloric limit for the day, so it wasn't a total disaster. Also, I will go to the gym today, and instead of Friday, I'm going to actually force myself to do a weekend gym visit on Saturday. I will hit the gym three times this week.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Making fitness a priority

One of my biggest roadblocks is my inability to prioritize fitness correctly. I will be completely committed to working out and eating healthy, and then something comes up. Friends come to visit, or we go out of town. There's a birthday dinner, or a friend wants to meet for drinks. So I'll push my gym time off thinking "oh it's only one day, I'll go tomorrow." But inevitably there's another sudden time commitment that shows up, and the workout gets pushed back again.

This happens often enough that it ends with me having seen the inside of a gym twice a week on a good week, and it has to stop. Regardless of what's going on in my life, or who wants me to be where when, I need to get to the gym three times a week.

This week is already a prime example, and it's only the first full week of the year! We found out recently that a good friend was going to be coming into town, and is going to be crashing at our place. He's getting into town today, and so this morning my S.O. mentioned he didn't know if we'd have time for the gym today.

The old me would have let him push off the gym time, making the priority time with friends. And while I still believe that spending time with friends is important, I really need to put fitness first. We can still meet up with friends, after the gym.

It's going to be a struggle this week, but I am determined to keep fitness as my top priority.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Resolutioner, or Old pro?

Walking in the the gym yesterday, I had an odd experience. It's resolution time again, so the gym is packed with new people. People who don't know the rules, people who are just starting out. Every year I get annoyed with the influx of people and wait impatiently for the thinning to occur in February. This year, I was still a tad annoyed at the lack of available treadmills, but more, I felt like one of them. I felt like a resolutioner.

I ended 2009 with a cold, so my gym time was rather limited. Between the holiday rush and feeling run down in general, I did not end 2009 on a very healthy note. Oh sure, I was getting some exercise, mostly in the form of Yoga, but I was not eating healthy.

I've resolved to get back on track with my weight loss efforts. No more hiding my failures, no more lying to myself by avoiding the scale. My jeans are tight, I know I've gained weight back. Facing the scale this morning showed me just how much. 166.9 lbs and 34.1% BF.

Those numbers are devastating, but I'm trying to think of them as a starting point. Because really, I'm starting over. I'm using all of the knowledge I've gained over the past two years and I'm starting fresh. Does that make me a resolutioner?

All of the tricks I've learned are back in play, I'm back to keeping a food journal, and I've got my calendar back up on my wall waiting for more stars to join yesterdays. To keep it interesting, I've got a slew of new fitness toys that I haven't had a chance to use yet, and my order of fitness gear from Old Navy arrived yesterday. If I keep the momentum going through the end of January, I'm going to reward myself with new running shoes.

Which brings me to my second major resolution: I've resolved to run my very first 5k this summer with my Running Buddy. Making it to the gym to run has become a priority. I need to run at least three days a week, with cross training days in between if I'm to have any hope of upping my mileage to break that 2 mile barrier I seem to be stuck at. Depending on which race we pick, I may only have till the end of May (right around my Birthday actually) to set myself up for a decent 5k.

My plan for training is simple, for now. Add one minute of running time each week. Yesterday I pushed a little to see what I had to work with. I ran a "warm up" of ten minutes, pushing my speed up into what is close to a sprint for me. After stretching, doing some ab work, and a little rest, I got back on the treadmill and ran at my normal pace. I tried for 20 minutes, but after having to take two walk breaks I called it when the timer hit 20, giving me about 17 minutes of running.

I'm waffling on my starting time. Should I scale back to 20 minutes or start with a solid run of 25 minutes?

Tracking Transformation: Where I stand now