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.

Tracking Transformation: Where I stand now