Friday, January 12, 2018

My Week in Workouts

Again, I haven't reported my workouts for two weeks. But the truth is, they are pretty much the same right now. It's cold. I go to the gym. I use the treadmill, sometimes I use the track. I take BodyCombat (still love it!) and I lift weights. I haven't seen Tracy in weeks and I think this is the point of winter when people start going insane. There is no hope in sight.

Except I have a three day weekend.

But here's some highlights of my last two week's workouts:

There was one day (that I had off) that the weather got above 10 degrees. We hit a balmy 36 and it sounded so warm. And it was a Sunday, and I thought: I should bring back Five-Mile-Sunday. But I haven't run five miles in a while and it was hard. It was colder than I though 36 would be. But I also got overheated -- having to pull up my shirt a bit to release all the warmth my layers were hold in. But I was not dressed to lose a layer. It was a really sucky run and a really sucky time. But looking back, I've had a worse five miler -- in September -- so it's not all about the crappy weather.

Other than that I have been running on the treadmill (mostly 1-2 miles at a time) and doing StrongLifts. I had been struggling with my squats in December. And I hadn't been increasing the weight because I don't want to increase unless the 5x5 felt good. I didn't feel like I was squatting deep enough and didn't feel like my hips/knees were in the right position. But something clicked this week and they started feeling really good again. I can't pinpoint exactly what it was, but I think going slower really helps it. I tend to spring down and then focus on the push back up. But I am trying to slow down and focus on all of it. I've been able to increase every time since then.

I also mentioned I am doing a push-up/pull-up/sit-up challenge. The sit ups are easy, I can crank those out while doing my stretches. Everything else is hard.

We had one nice weather day this week - but I had commitments in the evening. I remember last year I would do a walk/run combo on my lunch break. So I sort of planned to do that. But I couldn't get my life together enough in the morning to know what I would pack to wear-change-wear again. So I ended up just walking on my break. And then it was cold - because I probably packed gear to run, not walk. So I just did 2 miles. But it's two miles and 243 calories I wouldn't have gotten sitting on the couch!

Things don't look too much more exciting for this next week. Cold. Some snow. Helping out with my Sammie in the evenings. Getting in workouts when I can. Life carries on. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Weigh-In Wednesday

Current Weight: 11.6 pounds

Average Weight (last week): 15 pounds

As I reported, my weight shot up for my birthday. Happy Birthday to me. But it did fall down quickly. In two days I was amazingly lower than I had been in a month. So that was appreciated.

I am behind on my blogging. I am sorry. Things are really hectic in my life right now. I am just trying to get 5 workouts, 8 hours of sleep, keep doing my job and eat a bunch of protein.

Somebody is sick at work, every single day. I spend half my life washing my hands because as much as I'd like to have a day off, I do not want to get sick.

I am trying to keep on top of StrongLifts. But I also signed up for this January challenge to do 100 miles. I know I won't reach 100, it was just a push to keep me running through the coldest month of our year. My fit sisters are also doing these pushup/pullup/situp challenge. I might be spreading myself too thin.

But I am happy with that lower scale number.

I have been adding my daily weight to my fitbit. It's better than writing it in my phone notes. And it actually does my average for me, and graphs it. All my favorite things. But it also runs the week Sunday - Saturday. So I will be giving my "Wednesday weigh-in" as last week's average. I guess. The whole point of doing average weights, is: it doesn't matter what your weight is today, right this minute. It's just a general (hopefully downhill) gauge. So there's my average for the first week of January: 15 pounds from my goal.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Birthday Bloat

I had a great birthday. But I ate too much. Had too much sugar. And my scale revolted and jumped up four pounds. Because it hates me.

But you have to celebrate your birthday. And celebrate I did:

With donuts and margaritas and very large frosted cookies. I took a three day weekend, but I think I stuck to my calorie goal two of the three days. I let myself splurge on my actual birthday. I worked out all three days. Balance and all that.

So I know that I didn't gain four pounds of fat. It's just the alcohol and the sugar and the excess carbs. But it's frustrating when I started seeing the scale head downward last week and then BAM, it's even higher now than after Christmas. 

But it will come off.

And I am back to gook eating and healthy decisions for this week.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Weigh-In Wednesday

Current Weight: 14.6

It's been a rough holiday season. I let myself go a little loose for too many days in a row. And though I hope these four pounds I am up for the month, is just extra carbs, it's not just falling off either.

But that's okay. I can lose 15 pounds. I can do it eating a lot of good yummy food. Yesterday, I had a deliciously perfect day that involved homemade pizza, apples and peanut butter and hershey kisses and I hit my protein and still had some extra carbs and fats I didn't use.

Here's my long-term plan: stick to 1900 calories through next Monday. Track every day but my birthday (Saturday). Hold stead at 1900 calories (140 grams of protein and then a combo of fats and carbs) for two weeks. See how that goes and if my weight starts heading down. Lower by 100 calories if I am not seeing a change.

The tricky part: my friend Jennifer is leaving town for a work training for over six weeks. Starting next week, I have agreed to spend the night a couple times a week  to make the time more enjoyable and easier for everyone involved. Do you think I am going to help put everyone to bed and then head to the kitchen to measure out a protein shake? Probably not. Do you think I am going to bring along my scale to measure out dressing when I am eating dinner with them? I will need to estimate. I do that a lot anyway. And it's only temporary. It could be that everything goes really smoothly, and I just spend some time out there and head back to my house. But the point is, I have bigger obligations right now that committing to 14 days of perfect macros.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


I love setting resolutions. I love planning things at the beginning of the year, at the beginning of the new months and even new weeks. I love setting goals. I know they get a bad rap because after six weeks people are over them. But I think they're setting too specific or unattainable goals. I think New Year's Resolutions need to be big and monthly goals need to be precise to get you there. You'd never say: I am going to stick to my low-fat diet for the entire year. But you can say: I am going to work on running faster. It doesn't happen over night.

And it's perfectly acceptable for goals to carry over into the next year. There are things I didn't accomplish last year. I am just going to keep working. Life's a journey, ya know!

Here were my Fitness Resolutions for 2017:
  1. Do ONE un-assisted pull-up.
  2. Run a 5k in under 34 minutes, 
  3. Hit my goal weight.
I did not hit my goal weight. In fact, I am up over ten pounds. Or maybe right at ten pounds, if this holiday sodium would flush out of me. That's disappointing. But I know what I have to do, and I am confident that in a couple of months, I can be back to wishing I could lose those last three pounds. Losing the last three pounds? Well, I still haven't figured that out. 

I did not do a pull-up. But I did make some progress on it. I bought bands and with their help I can actually work the muscles needed. Now, just to make that a priority and get over the awkwardness of doing them in front of people. 

And technically, I did not run a 5k in under 34 minutes. I'm not sure why I had that one written down like that. I wanted to run my fastest 5k. According to RunKeeper, I needed to beat my April 2016 run of 35:52. Apparently I thought that I would fly by that number so fast, that 34 minutes would be my next time. I guess I was hoping that I would get to 11 minute miles. But the thing is, I did run my fastest 5k it was just 35:34. I only shaved 18 seconds off of my time, but still, a PR is a PR.

I am not disappointed in these things. They just give me somewhere to work from. I have even bigger goals for this year:

  1. Do ONE un-assisted pull-up.
  2. Run my fastest 5k (35:33 or less!)
  3. Run my furthest distance ever (7.1+ miles)
  4. Hit my goal weight.
  5. Squat my Body Weight.

Friday, December 29, 2017

My Week in Workouts

Editor's note: I wrote this last Friday, but never got around to uploading the photos. So I just added on for this week.

Here's the truth. I have been so busy this week. That's pretty normal this time of year. But here are two things I am proud of: I still got in all my workouts -- SIX! And I got eight hours of sleep every night but one. And I still made a craft for my mom, managed to work most days and stay in the Christmas spirit.

I am killing it this year!

But my weight is up because I have managed to say no to the cookies or cared about what I am eating.

So there's that.

Saturday I started out like all good weeks do: Kickboxing class. If I could schedule more I would. They are meditative to me. Some people yoga, some people drink, I just like to punch stuff.

Sunday I got a great workout in. I wanted to do a run. But there was freezing rain in the morning. So I did it indoors. It wasn't fast. But I did it on the treadmill and I am just proud of myself for not giving up. Then I stayed and did my stronglifts program. Things are feeling good again. I feel strong.

Monday I had the day off and I ran outside. It wasn't warm, but it was somewhere in the 40s. Decent. And I told myself no presure, but I ran the 8/2 pattern. After the first mile I was averaging about 11 minute miles and I got really hopeful that this could be the day I break that record. So I pushed myself. And I DID IT! But it was so hard. I felt like puking most of the time. I had a stabbing pain in my rib that didn't really go away. It was awful. It was hard to enjoy the glory. Mostly, I am just happy I have that crossed off my list. I am looking forward to just running for... fun?

Tuesday I dragged myself to the gym late. It's hard when I have projects to do, I am tired, but... I am just going to sit on the couch. I knew I could get back in an hour and be glad I did. Just stronglifts tonight. And that's enough. It doesn't have to be epic.

Wednesday, I was able to get off work at 4. And I ran 5k number 9 on the trail by the library (that I was at for a meeting). I don't love that trail. There were creepy people on it. It was cold and miserable. But it was better than running indoors. I started with a 3/2 pattern, but let myself walk a few hills I wasn't loving. Remember, it's just for fun now.

Thursday was Stronglifts again. I felt incredibly weak. Everything was too heavy and I didn't have perfect form. So even though I hit the 5x5 on some of them, I am going to redo those weights another week.

Friday I finally took a rest day.

Then the next week came... and I wasn't quite as hard core. But it was Christmas and I deserve a few days off from the gym.

Saturday I got to go to a BodyCombat class. So that was good. Because I ate so much sugar on Friday. It didn't energize me. I felt sluggish and crappy. But it was good to sweat it out.

Sunday was Christmas Eve, and I had planned to go to the gym before all the festivities started. But there was quite a bit of snow outside, and I wanted the world to scoop itself before I trodded out. Plus we had lunch plans at 11. Though it could have been doable, I opted for a rest day. And I am still sort of mad at myself.

Monday was Christmas and I had hoped that Dan and I would walk a 5k in the morning. But it was about 5 degrees that morning. And neither of us were excited about that idea.

Tuesday I was supposed to go to my Dad's for Christmas but we ended up postponing becuase of snow and wind chills. So I thought it was finally my opprounity to make it to the gym. I was torn between needing to get my 5ks in and getting my weights done. But running on a treadmill sounded dreadful to me, so I opted for weights. My mom called about 3/4 of the way through to say we were having lunch (my uncle is in town, remember!) So I rushed through. 

And then when I got home, she called to say, nevermind, my uncle was going to take a nap!

I was so frustrated by that day of changed plans and waiting around my house and hurrying to be done at the gym. That I bundled up and did my 10th 5k of December. It felt like ZERO degrees outside. But it felt good to push myself. I just walked. That's too cold for me to have any idea how to dress, plus the sidewalks were half covered in snow still. But two long laps around my neighborhood and I had a big thing crossed off my list and felt better about the day. 

Wednesday I headed back to work, but had the evening free for gym time. I did another 5k on the treadmill (number 11!) and it was as awful as I always think it will be. But there's 500 calories of Christmas cookies burned away.

Thursday evening, I again had plans with my relatives. Which got cancelled and we ended up just going to dinner. Had I known that was the plan, I would have had my gym clothes with me to head there later. But my family... So much frustration.

Friday was another rest day. I should have gotten up early and lifted weights. But it is so frigid here, that I can't think about anything but lying under the covers. Hopefully next week I will be a little more motivated.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Weigh-In Wednesday

Current Weight: 12.6

I have basically eaten whatever I wanted for about the last two weeks. And my scale has shown it. Though, I stopped stepping on it during the height of chaos. Once I saw it get up to 16+ pounds from my goal, I just quit looking.

But after a few days of eating ALL. THE. SUGAR. I realized I needed a detox. And now I have had two good days of eating and trying to drink lots of water. And when I got on this I was back down to 12 pounds.

Which is not at all where I want to be.

But much more reasonable. So I probably gained 2 pounds over the holidays. Since I was pretty much stuck at 10.2 all fall.

Not that the holidays are over. I still have New Years Eve, Christmas with my Dad, my birthday. The celebrations never end. But I feel like I have more control over one day here and there. Than the four days of eating everything in sight.

If I go into the New Year needing to lose 13 pounds, I will be okay with it. I am ready to slash my calories and to start seeing the scale move downward. It's been fun eating all the food... but I really want my pants to be loser instead!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Things Got Crazy

Ack, I have been gone for so long. I am sorry. Thing got busy with the holidays and I was off for several days from work. And then I came back and was so busy trying to get everything planned for January, because Suprise! December is basically over now.

But we did have a good Christmas.

I have been trying to start new "family" traditions with Dan. It's hard when you don't have kids. People think your schedule is free to do whatever they want. And we get in the same pattern -- not doing special holiday things because we don't have "people" to do them with. But we have each other. And we need to remember that's special.

So on Friday before Christmas we drove around to look at Christmas lights, and then we ended up a my favorite tradition of all: Margaritas!

I wanted to watch Christmas movies, but first Dan wanted to do something on his wish list: teach me how to play Magic. He's really good. And not a good teacher. And of course I lost. But he thought it was hilarious, so I guess I win!

Saturday we continued my favorite holiday tradition: Christmas cookies with the McGhees! 

Even the little one stayed up for the fun this year. Thanks to a three-hour afternoon nap!

And they turned out wonderful!

Sunday, Christmas Eve, we woke up to a wonderful snowstorm. We went to lunch with Dan's parents and then to a movie. We're also trying to start new traditions with them. Dan refuses to just sit around their house. So this was a nice compromise. 

On Christmas we went to my mom's house. Everyone was there, including my uncle who came back from California. 

We had a fine time eating. Opening some presents and playing games. 

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Busy Christmas Weekends

I had a great three day weekend. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were filled up with festive holiday activities and then I took Monday as a vacation day to get some things finished up for the year. And I put every minute of it to good use.

Friday night there was some Holiday in the Haymarket thing going on. It was pretty good weather and I've really been wanting to do more Christmas activities, so I made Dan go with me. He talked me out of it last weekend, but realized it was that important to me, so we went.

It was pretty busy, so we didn't wait in line to ride the horse carriage. But we enjoyed a choir singing carols and some cloggers. We tried a new restaurant (so-so) and we looked at pretty lights. It was nice.

Saturday I had a gathering with some work friends. It was planned as a holiday dinner, but when the Lady Huskers made it into the volleyball championship, it turned into a viewing party! It was so exciting that they won!

Sunday, after an epic workout, we spent the afternoon at my mom's making cookies. 

And all those holiday goodies, helped me set a PR on my Monday run... I'll have to fill you in on that some time soon. But it is so busy around here, I don't know when I will sit down again!

Friday, December 15, 2017

My Week in Workouts

It has been a stressful week. Mostly at work. But also in my gym life. A small chain gym bought my large local gym. So they're all moving over, changing things around and leaving everything in flux. At least I got to punch things in BodyCombat this morning! Class was full and I am not looking forward to what these changes mean.

Sunday I had to take advantage of gorgeous weather (57°) but I could not talk myself into a run. I get too wrapped up in beating my last time/distance/interval. So I told myself I could have a nice easy run and walk when I wanted too. Which was often! Still counts as 5k number 5 for December.

Monday I worked in the evening and I was lucky that Tracy was able to meet me at 8:30 for a run. I never would make myself get up and do alone. Not when it's 30 degrees. And I am sleepy. We tried 4/2 intervals. I thought they were great. She's got so much more energy since finishing the Whole 30, but still hated it a little. This was 5k number 6. I am already half done with my goal -- early!

Tuesday I forgot to pack my clothes, I had a Christmas project I really wanted to get started. But I went home, changed and made myself hit the gym. I was a little excited to get started on my new weight-lifting plan. But I also knew that I had Thursday and Friday planned as Rest Days. And I don't need three a week. I got to the gym around 8:30. I was hoping all those new-gym people would have left by then. But it was busy. In good news, they have more than doubled our weight-lifting area, and brought in some new things. I need to take the time to look around. But not tonight. Tonight I got on the treadmill and did 15 minutes of HIIT sprints and then started on my StrongLifts program. I actually thought it would be quicker than it was. Maybe if it hadn't been so busy, I could have done more than one thing at a time. 

Wednesday Tracy was supposed to meet me after work to run, but she texted at 4:00 to say she wasn't feeling very well. So then I am stuck. I can't run alone. It's dark. And probably only a little dangerous, but I don't want to risk it. And the only clothes I have packed are cold weather gear. Plus, I can't go and do weights because I just did those the night before. And I am so sore I can hardly walk, so even that isn't going to be a good workout. So instead, I got some errands done and considered it a night to cross some things off my list. 

Thursday I took a planned rest day. Dan wanted to see StarWars on opening night. And I am a good wife like that. 

Friday I made myself proud. It was the only day I had to get my second weight lifting session in (Saturdays are for Combat and Sundays are for Running.) so I either had to go in the evening or the morning by myself. And I didn't want to sacrifice the chance to do fun Christmas things in the evening. So I got out of bed, still extremely sore from Tuesday, with nobody meeting me, and I do Day B of StrongLifts. The squats were much better this time. And I took this opportunity to look around and try out some of the new equipment. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Five Inches Gone

I cut off five inches off my hair last night. Not that you'd notice. Or be able to tell. I wish that was five inches off my waist. Or my entire body actually.

Which takes me to my fitness point. I never do measurements. And I should. I know my body has changed shape. I wear smaller jeans now than I did two years ago, even though I weigh the same thing. That's what's important. Not the weight on the scale. But it's hard to remember to do it. And hard to be consistent.

I started a new lifting program on Tuesday. My entire body is sore. But it's another reminder that I am sculpting the body I want. I should take measurements now! To see how much this lifting helps.

In the new year I am going to be better. It's going to be one of my monthly goals. I bought a new planner, and it has a spot to write them all down. I am not going to leave that planner disappointed!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Weigh-In Wednesday

Current Weight: 12.0 pounds
Average Weight: 11.0 pounds

This week has not been good. Or I should say, it has not been consistent. We had a holiday breakfast at work on Friday and really, ever since then, I have pretty much eaten whatever I want. It's a slippery slope when you're "allowed" to eat more calories. Soon you feel like you can just eat whatever. And then you are eating whatever.

Friday I ate this heavy breakfast, which I never eat. Then I felt a bit ill. And didn't eat much lunch. But our break room was full of sugary treats. Which I kind of grazed on throughout the day. Friday night came and I wanted to go to this Holiday horse-carriage ride thing, but it was really cold and Dan talked me out of it with Mexican food, margaritas and Christmas movies. Saturday was my branch Christmas party, and again too much food. Sunday things were better, but Monday at work I ended up eating five cookies (how does that happen) and felt a bit sick. I vowed to turn it around on Tuesday. No sugar for me.

And the scale has shown the results of that.

Which is exactly what I do not want to happen this holiday season.

I wasn't happy being at 10 pounds from my goal, but I had accepted maintaining that weight and starting a cut in the new year there. But gaining is not an option.

So I had to put a stop to it. And I did. For now. But more holiday parties are coming. More cookies are going to be tempting me. And I need to realize I can have one. But that's enough.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Another Round of StrongLifts

I really enjoyed my StrongLifts program when I did it a couple of years ago. I mean, I love all the set programs I have done. But there were several things I liked about it that I think would fit with my current lifestyle.
  • It's only three days a week.
  • It very short.
  • You can gain a lot of strength from it. 
So I am going to start that again. I hope to do six weeks of it. Taking me somewhere to the end of January. In case you don't remember anything about it, because why would you memorize all my lifting plans? I told you about if here. And I recapped my experience with it here.

Here was my chart when I was all finished.

I am planning on running this program exactly as written. Except I am going to use the cable machine for rows (not a barbell) and last time we did seated Over Head Press and I am planning on doing standing presses this time around. I think it's better for my back. And I can use the smith machine. 

I am excited. And that's something I haven't said about weights in a while. Plus, I am well ahead of my 5k goal for December. So I can settle down on that a little. I like that Tracy wants to do two runs a week, and I like that I do one run a week to push myself alone. But this plan allows me to complete the weights in 30ish minutes. So I can tack it on to a run or bodycombat or even make it a quick in-and-out session. I do have Christmas things to get done!

Monday, December 11, 2017

My Week in Workouts

Ack! I am behind in my blog posting. I haven't been at a computer in days. And it really eats in to my time. But better late than never. Here is last week's workouts. I just don't make time for weight lifting and I think I am intimidated by leg day and the idea that I am going to be so sore afterward that I won't be able to run. Plus four days is too much to commit to. Even if I was spreading them out. But if four days takes me two weeks, how am I going to progress. So I am planning to switch gears next week. More on that later though.

Saturday I had to work, so it was my rest day for the week. One of them!

Sunday something big happened.  I have been chasing a 12:00 minute pace since I started running intervals. Today I made it. I tried a .25miles/90second intervals and it was just about perfect. I think I could take my walk times down to 70 seconds and see how that helps my overall pace. This was 5k number 2 for December! 

Monday I took another rest day.

Tuesday I ran with Tracy in the evening. It was dark and cold and she was on her last day of Whole 30. And I spent the entire time convincing her she could keep going. This was 5k number 3 for December.

Wednesday I finally made myself to do leg day. But my gym is under a remodel - also more on that later. And we were down to two squat bars. I just did the leg press machine instead. I get stressed out this time of year. There's so much to do and so little time. I need to remember that I don't need to spend hours at the gym. Five minute cardio warm up and legs. Done.

Thursday, I got off around 3:00 and even though it was really cold, I wanted to take advantage of the daylight to run alone. I tried something new: 8/2 intervals. And I really pushed myself. I came in just 35 seconds short of my all-time fastest. I am proud of those run speeds (remember; I haven't done eight straight minutes of running in a long time!) But look at those walk speeds. I must have been crawling along after pushing myself. (Side note: I had to run around someone during my second walk break, which makes it look not so bad!) I am so close I can taste it. 5k number 4!

Friday was my third rest day of the week. I had to work a 9 hour day and that about took it out of me.

But I am working on getting my 8 hours of sleep every night. And getting everything ready for Christmas. And trying to actually enjoy Christmas. So four workouts was satisfactory for me this week. Even if only one was weights. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Weigh-in Wednesday

Average Weight: 10.2

Though my weight did dip down to 9.6 this week, my average was still holding strong at that 10.2.

I am going to increase my calories for the next two weeks. Then maybe again for the next two weeks. Then I will plan to cut down again around the first of the year, when everyone is in a healthy eating mode.

But I might as well be eating as much as possible during this stressful time. So my new numbers will look like this:

2100 calories = 155p / 244c / 56f

I have been having quite a bit of trouble not going over my fat limit lately. I know I keep saying it, but I need to get my pantry stocked with fruit. I am never going to make it to that many carbs without exceeding my fats.