Archive for the ‘Workouts’ Category

More Insanity

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

Yesterday’s run with J-Roc was pretty good. It was fun, at least! Since he hadn’t run since that last 5k we did together either, we decided to do an easy out-and-back two miles. We got to the turnaround one mile in… and then walked back. I think we both wanted to walk at that point, and we both probably could’ve run most of that second mile, but we were enjoying our conversation, and it’s hard to talk when you’re gasping for air!

Oh, and there were no girls yelling mean things out their windows this time.

It felt good to get back out there again. So much so that I got up early and ran again today, finishing before the rain came in. I did an old – short – route I used to run frequently: 1.8 miles in 20 minutes. Slow, to be sure, but I ran nonstop, and I felt good afterwards. That’s really all that matters right now, as far as I’m concerned. I’m sure the distance and slight speed I eventually built up will return with consistent training. I’m optimistic!

Besides running, I’ve signed up for something crazy. Apparantly, my insanity knows no bounds…

I’m taking a boot camp class. I’ve prepaid for 12 hour-long classes, and the first one is tomorrow. At 5:30am.

I don’t know exactly what this class will entail, but I’ve heard some horror stories about boot camp classes and how intense they are. I’ve always secretly wanted to take one, but at this exact point in time, I don’t feel ready for it. I’m pretty sure it’s going to kick my ass.

I’ll keep you posted on the ass-kicking.

Phase Three

Monday, September 6th, 2010

I’m halfway through Week 10 of P90X. Since it’s a 12-week program, that means I’m almost done! I haven’t been perfect, but I read somewhere that if you stick to your training program about 90% of the time, that’s pretty damn good. I’m paraphrasing, of course.

I feel like my overall fitness has improved through the program, and I can see a difference in my arms – there’s some actual definition there!

Unfortunately, I haven’t really lost much weight. Weight loss is about 80% diet and 20% exercise, so – given my eating habits of late – it’s no surprise that I haven’t seen good news on the scale.

Last weekend my parents visited, which was quite enjoyable. However, we ate out for every meal while they were here. You know how when people you are dining with are eating dessert it’s harder to refrain yourself? Yeah, I had an ice cream sundae on Saturday and cake on Sunday… after mostly unhealthy meals…

Then on Monday, my husband and I went to DC; he had a business meeting on Tuesday and I have a friend who lives nearby who I spent the day with. Of course, this friend has been perfecting her homemade cupcakes for theca last few months and I coerced her into bringing me some. I ate two. They were delicious.

Wednesday was back to normal. I went grocery shopping (for the first time in about three weeks!) so we finally had food to cook. I should really try to be better at keeping the house stocked with food; it’s much easier to rationalize eating out or ordering in when there’s not much food available to cook.

I’ve been trying to be good about my eating for the last bunch of days, but that one week was pretty detrimental: On Friday I weighed 174 – a heartbreaking increase from 171 from the week prior. Even though I worked out every day that week, my food intake was so bad that I still gained three pounds. Ridiculous.

I’m not sure why I keep doing this to myself. Two steps forward; two steps back.

Unless those three pounds weren’t legitimate and I’m magically down to 170 this week, getting down to 164 by my birthday is going to be a stretch. I’m not willing to call it yet – I still have about a month left – but it’s not going to be easy. I need to get back on my game and start trying harder.

Here goes nothing!

Phase Two

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

I can’t believe how quickly time has been flying! It seems like I just woke up, and yet it’s the middle of the afternoon. I have to (try to) get some work done, do my workout, and pack up the bikes in time to meet my husband for our new regular biking date on Monday evenings (so fun!). Then it’s home to shower, make and eat dinner and then – hopefully – relax for an hour or so before heading to bed to do some combination of the same tomorrow.

This is a pretty typical day lately. I’m certainly not complaining – I like having things to do, especially when those things are active and fun! Every day, I’m scrambling to fit in a full work day, an hour long (or more) workout, and then whatever the evening’s activity is (Monday: Biking, Tuesday: Kung Fu, Wednesday: Softball, Thursday: Kung Fu, Friday: Run with N-Cat). It’s no wonder I haven’t been blogging much lately!

This past Thursday marked the start of Phase Two for me in the P90X program. For those of you who aren’t familiar, P90X consists of three “phases”, each 4 weeks long. The first 3 weeks of each phase are pretty intense, each day doing a different type of workout (or working different muscle groups), and the fourth week is for ‘recovery’, which still has you working out every day, but it’s the lower intensity workouts mostly.

When I attempted this program 2 years ago, I didn’t make it to Phase 2: I quit during the recover week. I guess I never quite felt ‘recovered!’ Anyway, that makes this particularly exciting! New territory! In fact, on Saturday I did a workout I had never done before (Chest, Shoulders & Triceps) and it felt great! I’m sore again, and in brand new ways and places.

I’m noticing some results, too! In July, I lost a total of 4.5 pounds – better than a pound a week! – leaving only 8.5 to go in order to reach my Third Quarter Melt Down goal by October 5 (my birthday!). I’m highly optimistic at this point :)

Also, I can tell that my balance and flexibility are improving. Not just because I’m getting better and better at the Yoga workout, but I can feel it at Kung Fu, too – very cool. It also seems like I’m building some serious arm muscles, but unfortunately, they’re still buried under some fat, so I have more work to do!

I’m pleased with where I am and how I’m progressing. I’ve been faithful to the program and haven’t missed a single workout, and I think it’s paying off.

And if I feel this good after just 4 weeks, I’m really looking forward to seeing where I end up in another 8 weeks!

How about the rest of you? We’re a third of the way into the Third Quarter Melt Down… are you pleased with your progress? Do you need to reassess your goals – or maybe reassess your efforts to reach your goals? Hit me up with how things are going!

Making Progress

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

I’ve been asked a number of times in the last few days how things have been going with P90X… and my Third Quarter Melt Down in general. That’s a pretty good indication that I need to work on my blogging frequency. Sorry about that – I’ll try to be better!

Even though I haven’t been very good about blogging, I’m pleased to report that I’ve been sticking to the P90X program without fail. In fact, I’ve completed the first three and a half weeks without missing a single workout! Some days, it was particularly difficult to ‘push play’ as they say, but I’m committed, and I’m doing this. So there.

I’ve been feeling pretty good, too! I can tell that I’m improving, which is great. I haven’t really lost much weight – only about 3 pounds since July 1 – but I know it will come. I can feel my body getting stronger and my balance and flexibility are improving. Noticing all these differences drives me to keep going and try harder and harder so that I can continue to make these positive changes.

It feels good… It feels really good.

How about the rest of you out there? It’s been a while since you’ve committed to kicking it up a notch; have you been working on reaching your goals? If you’re not proud of what you’ve been doing over the last three weeks, recommit: You can’t go backwards, but you can start again today. Right now. Do it with me!

Stepping it Up

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

A while back – about 75 pounds into my weight-loss journey – I attempted Tony Horton’s P90X program. Sadly, I only lasted about 3 weeks of the 12.

If you’re not familiar, P90X is a 90-day system comprised of 12 different workouts that you alternate to keep your muscles “confused” so you don’t plateau or get bored.

It’s incredibly challenging. And time-consuming. And tiring.

And I’m ready to try it again.

When I tried it before, my husband did it with me. Committing to doing something with someone else can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. When the time commitment became too much for my husband with his work schedule, I just let it go too. (Even though since I have my own business and work from home, I have more time than most…) I didn’t stop because I felt bad that he couldn’t do it with me – he’s always incredibly supportive. I stopped because I wasn’t invested enough to do it on my own.

I’m further along in my journey now. I’m in better shape than I was then, and I’m mentally stronger, too. I’ve always secretly wanted to try this again (I hate feeling like a quitter!), but I’ve never taken the leap. After reading about how Rachel of (Body by Pizza fame) is about to give it a go and “get buff”, I was inspired to finally try it again.

Honestly, I’m still a little afraid that I’ll fail again. If this is going to beat me, though, it’s not going to be from lack of trying.

And so, starting tomorrow, July 1, I will restart P90X. I think the structure and the intensity and the challenge will be good for me. We all know how good I am at following schedules! And how good I am at doing nothing when I don’t have a schedule…

I’m actually a little excited :) Wish me luck!

Back Into the Swing of Things

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Things have improved quite a bit this past week. And when I say “things” I’m really referring to just one thing: Motivation.

I realized, with the help of a very wise brother, that most people don’t work out because it’s fun. They do it because they should. Because it’s good for their bodies and minds. Because they are training to achieve goals they’ve set for themselves. Obviously, it’s ideal that you’d find workouts that you like because it makes it more enjoyable and easier to stick to, but working out just for the sake of working out is generally not fun for most people.

I am one of those people.

Sure, when I’m going to work out there are things that I like doing more than others – running, most notably – but as I’ve discovered this past month, I don’t like it enough to want to do it with the frequency needed to keep my fitness level where I want it. I now know I also need the… pressure, for lack of a better word… of training to reach a particular goal.

To that end, I’ve registered for a 5k on June 26, and my goal for this race is to finally break 30 minutes for a race of this distance. I believe I’ve done it once or twice during training for the half, but never for a precisely timed race, so I can’t say for sure. I was only about 30 seconds too slow at the Race for the Cure on May 9, so I think if I push a little more and do a bit of speedwork beforehand (which I’ve never really done) I should be able to make it.

I’ve also scheduled a weekly run with a new running buddy, N-Cat, which keeps me committed to running at the very least once a week. (And if I want to be able to keep up with her, I know I’ll have to get out there on my own a few times each week, too!)

Just talking about my troubles with motivation last week has helped me identify the problem and come up with possible solutions to help me get past it. So far, so good, too: I’ve already upped my run frequency by about 300% from the week before and I have to say that my outlook overall is significantly improved.

Maybe it’s because of all of the Vitamin D I’m making out there in the sun :)

Thanks to everyone for their input! And Rachel: I’m seriously considering your suggestion to attempt a change-up by doing P90X with you. We shall see!

I Know Squat

Monday, May 31st, 2010

I use the loo a lot during the day… A lot. I think it’s mostly a mental thing due to my proximity to the bathroom. I work from home, and anytime I leave my office for anything – to get the mail, to get something to drink, to break for lunch – I have to pass by the commode. I see it, and I suddenly have to go.

At night or when I’m out, it’s not nearly an issue. In fact, I’m almost camelesque at times. But during the workday, I can go six or seven times. By the end of the day, that jumps to 8 or 10 times.

As insane as that is, it’s not the point of my story.

Since I’m in the ladies so much, and since I’ve been so busy lately – too busy to work out as much as I’d like – I figured I’d try to add a little exercise to my bathroom breaks.

For the last 4 days, following every single trip to the W.C., I’ve done 10 squats. Good squats, too – nice and low. By bedtime, that can add up to 80 or 100 squats! And it takes virtually no time out of my day.

I’m starting to feel some soreness in my quads from it, which tells me that it’s doing something! At some point, I think I’ll switch it up and do squats one day and another exercise the next, but for now, I’m sticking with squats.

Anyone else know squat?

Bad Food = Bad Workout

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Neither my husband nor I had to work on Friday. We had a lovely morning together, walking around our neighborhood to run some errands and get breakfast.

A BIG breakfast.

Too much food. Delicious, greasy food. Enough food to hold us over until about 3pm. When we went out for lunch.

A BIG lunch.

Too much food. Delicious, salty food. Enough food to hold us over until after 9pm. You know you ate too much for lunch when you’re still not hungry at 9pm…

Regardless of my cuisine carelessness, I had to run 5 miles that day. I was waiting for the food to settle before going out, but at 7, I had to reevaluate that plan, as the day’s food was still churning and the sun was preparing to go down. So I went out anyway.

It was a terrible run. I felt bloated and gross the entire time. I had a cramp for the first 3 miles. My overall pace was more than a minute slower than usual. I wanted it to end before it even started.

Learn from my mistakes, folks: Bad food = Bad workout.

High Standards

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Sunday was 8 miles.

I have mixed feelings about my performance. Well, they’re not that mixed: I’m pretty solidly disappointed with myself.

I couldn’t run the entire way :(

I had to walk up three hills – all on the same road – in miles 4 & 5. What a bitch of a road, too, let me tell you. Each walking spurt was probably between 1 & 3 minutes, so not too bad, I suppose, but still really disheartening. Especially since I’ve been getting pretty good at hills, which is inevitable being that they’re freaking everywhere in this damn city. In fact, many of the hills that used to kill me I can run up without too much trouble.

But I had never run up this road, and its hills are intense. Hell, it’s hard to DRIVE up this road.

The other thing I’m blaming for my poor showing is insufficient planning. I went out about an hour and a half after breakfast, which was a delicious husband-made sandwich of ham, egg & cheese. And thai hot sauce. Not a good idea before running 8 miles, if you know what I mean, and I think you do…

It also occurred to me about 2 miles in that I hadn’t had any water all day. Who does that?! Who embarks on their longest run ever without having so much as a sip of H2O? I was so incredibly thirsty that I kept looking for water fountains, which I never found. Every time I passed a restaurant I considered going in and begging for a cup of water (I never carry money with me when I run. Maybe I should start?)

I did complete the entire 8 miles, but again, with a few walk breaks up crazy hills in the middle. My overall time was roughly 1 hour and 41 minutes, which is an average pace of 12:36 per mile, significantly slower than usual.

Damn hills.

And yes: I’m disappointed with my 8-miler because I couldn’t run the entire thing, and yes: I’m making up excuses for it. I’m sure some of you will think it’s ridiculous that I’m not proud of myself for just DOING it, but what can I say? I have high standards.

Next Sunday: 8.5 – and NO walking this time!

An Object in Motion

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Sundays are generally my long-run days, but this past Sunday my husband talked me out of it. Ok, full disclosure: I practically begged my husband to talk me out of it. Between the cold rain and the late night on Saturday filled with Disaronno on the rocks, I was not feeling it.

I made up for Sunday’s laziness yesterday, though. It was such a busy day! I was super-productive work-wise in the morning, ate an early lunch at my desk (which I never do), then headed out for my long run at noon.

Seven point four-one miles. My new longest run to date. It felt good, too. Mostly.

I certainly wouldn’t say that it was easy, because it wasn’t, but it was most challenging mentally. I get all in my head and start thinking about how far I’ve gone and how far I have left. And about how tired I am.

Last week when I ran 7 miles, I was completely spent for the entire day. My husband and I had plans to run some errands, but I just couldn’t do it. I felt a little sick and had zero energy left.

But yesterday was completely different.

I did the 7.41, spent 10 minutes recovering, took a quick shower, and was out the door for the next item on my schedule: Visiting with a friend and rooting through her discards of “skinny clothes.” (I’m not proud – I’ve happily taken a lot of people’s discards, but before this they were always “fat clothes” not “skinny clothes.” This friend is pregnant and won’t have a need for business casual size 12’s for quite some time… and is nice enough to let others benefit from her decision to procreate, in the form of free clothes. She’s awesome.)

After a few hours with her, I went directly to my hip hop class and busted a move for an hour. It was a reasonably aerobic class, too, and I was actually feeling good, rather than exhausted!

When I got home, I still had energy: I cooked a delicious and healthy dinner (thai chili salmon over brown rice with green beans) and did some cleaning before heading to bed at the end of a very active and productive day.

A very good day.