Monday, March 31, 2014

Marathon Mondays

Thursday's Running Goal: Speed Intervals
Accomplished: Six 2/3 running intervals speed: 5.4-5.6
I didn't want to start too fast, but the whole point of interval training is working on speed. So I set the first interval to 6.0. Two minutes isn't a sprint though. And at this point in my training, I can't maintain even a ten minute mile for two minutes. So I bumped it down a bit. I did the rest of them (six total) at 5.4-5.6. At times I thought I should be going faster than this, but there's still time for that. My legs felt absolutely dead while I was running all of them. I switched it up with three trips up to the weight room, where I didn't work my legs because I wasn't sure they would move any more.

Saturday's Running Goal: 3 Mile Long Run
Accomplished: 3 miles in 45:11

At least I am getting faster. Last week it was 46 minutes or even a little more. So I probably cut a minute off of my three mile time. If I can do that every week, that will be swell. (15:30 average pace last time!) This time I ran around my neighborhood. It can be pretty hilly in some locations. And I never know when I need to turn around on the loop. I just go in a circle and usually ended up having to make a few more little loops to finish up the three miles. And even then, I came in just under three miles. Oh well.

I set my RunKeeper app for three intervals. I wanted a five minute warm up (which I walked a ways with Dan, as he was going to get coffee) and then I knew I needed to be able to run an entire mile without stopping. I had done this on the treadmill last week, so it should still be possible. Of course, it's harder outside. It's harder to pace yourself. There are hills and wind. I was a bit cold (which is better than a bit warm) and people were out playing in their yards, thus staring at me! Still, I did that mile in less than 13 minutes. Again, a little faster than the 13:16 I did it last week. Still seems so slow to me, but it's improvement. For the remaining 1.75 miles or so, I took turns walking and running (probably more walking) and my pace shows that. 

Running Goal: 1.5 miles straight
I did not have time to fit in this run this week. It's not that I am not working out. But Spinning or Combat, or core class just takes up all the time I have to spend on fitness. It will be the next run I do (probably Tuesday night) and my plan is to just keep trucking along, trying to get better with every run!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Funeral Findings

The good news is: Dan's Grandma's funeral was Friday afternoon so I got the whole day off of work. The bad news is: we had to go to a funeral. I did get to go to BodyCombat Friday morning, which was a bonus to having the day off. Starting my day off with a hard workout definitely ensures the rest of it goes better. Unfortunately either I or Gretchen (the instructor) was on their A-Game. She did some really old tracks. Ones that none of us knew. It makes it harder to keep up when you have no idea what's coming. Add to that the fact that she often messes up and we are all left there just staring into space for some time. Sadly, I only burned 530 calories for my hour of work. That's the same amount I burned last week in Zumba, and I hardly felt like I was doing anything. I also could have burned more using the spin bike by myself or lifting weights. Oh well, it got me out of the house at 8, when everyone else (have I mentioned we have family using our guest room) was still sleeping.

Did it make up for the three cookies I had at the funeral reception? Probably not.

By Friday night my stress was through the roof. These people can no plan to save their lives. If there is one pet-peeve that really gets me: it's lack of planning. Or follow-through. It is just so disrespectful. More than anything I hate disrespect. You come into my house and waste my time, then you use it appropriately. We just wandered around, people going everywhere, everybody wanting to go to dinner together, with Dan and I the only people who knew how to get anywhere. By 7:00 I had decided that I was no longer going to wait for these people. I was having dinner with my own friends. By 8:00, I had made reservations for all of Dan's family at an expensive restaurant (yes, I had to call for them!) and drawn them up a map to get there. Then I stole Dan away and we met our own friends for dinner. My head was pounding. I can't stand disorganization. I know it bothers him as well, but he adapts better than I do. But nothing was better than ending that most stressful day reading with this one:

Saturday we had people come over for brunch at 10:00. To our house. Where I still have a hole in my ceiling due to a plumbing problem. Dan and his uncle were supposed to be up at 9 to fix that. I contemplated hitting the gym at 8:30, but decided I really needed to sleep instead.

But by 10 o'clock the hole was worse. The family was lost, the food was delivered but the flowers hadn't shown up. I absolutely could not stand another day like Friday. We had a nice visit and brunch. Then the family Would. Not. Leave. By 3:00, Dan could tell I was getting antsy. He told me I should sneak out for a workout. Instead I went upstairs and fell asleep for almost three hours! When I woke up, everyone was gone but Dan. Then I was able to get in a run around the neighborhood. Peace and Quiet. At 9:00, Dan's mom called saying everyone had ended up there and would we like to come over? The idea of more family time didn't appeal to me, but I knew that it wouldn't be long, that we could leave when we wanted to, and that Dan's mom was as desperate for some sanity as I was!

Needless to say, I ate too many brownies and drank too much wine.

Sunday, they all went out of town. I was able to sleep in, attend two classes at the gym (Core and Combat), do some yard work, shop for new kitchen lighting, do laundry and catch up on my life.

Still, I gained three pounds during the weekend. I hate that. Finally the funeral festivities are all over. Everybody is going home. But I have to start dog-sitting. At least those dogs are more respectful then these people!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

With or Without a Heart Rate Monitor

My hear rate monitor is one of the best things I have ever purchased. I love to work out with it. I have only ever forgotten it once. I love the data it provides. I love that if I work harder, I can see it in factual numbers. I can see how one class compares to another. I can see how hard I am working (or not!) when I am doing things on my own (that aren't classes). This is what has convinced me that mowing my lawn should count as a workout, but walking to dinner should not. Also, disappointingly, using that bike in my basement doesn't seem to raise my heart rate.

I love that I actually get credit for running. I can burn almost 13 calories per minute during my super-difficult (for me) twelve minute mile. But when I type in twelve minute mile, the internet doesn't think I am working hard at all and gives me less than 10 calories per minute. Believe me, that difference of three calories per minute is big!

Unfortunately, it gives me less calories for most everything else. And this has resulted in me having to change my mind set about things, or accept some different numbers. Here is a chart of a typical week of mine (a few weeks back). The top chart is the data that I actually used for the week (with a heart rate monitor) and the bottom chart is what it would have looked like last summer (before the heart rate monitor).

This is interesting data. I actually burned a whopping 1072 less calories than I had previously thought I was burning. That's huge. That's like the difference of two margaritas a week... or a really large and indulgent meal. Huge. Though in the big picture it only changes my net calories by 63 a day. Which doesn't seem that big at all. 

Ultimately, here is what I am thinking about: Last summer when I was having success losing weight, I was having the best luck when I was netting about 1100 calories per day. Knowing this data doesn't change the fact that what was working then should be working now. If I were to recalculate one of those weeks from last summer, I would probably see that I was really netting about 1200 calories per day (as I was over-estimating my workouts). So currently my goal is to net 1200 calories.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday

Current Weight: 14.4 pounds
Weekly Loss: 0 Pounds

I'm stuck. Hmmm... I had a perfect week. Or at least according to my goals. Recap, here was my goal for the week:

I need to eat an average of 1700-1800 calories a day. I need to workout five or six times, but enough to burn 3500 calories. That will take my net intake down to 1200-1300 a day. I think if I hit that goal, I will see a change in the scale. 

Look at how I did:

Perfect I tell ya! On Tuesday morning I looked at how many calories I had left to eat (1610) and how many I had to burn (870) to reach my goals. And then I did it. Here's the thing I notice when I look at that chart though. My calories are all over the place. Yes, I had a perfect average of 1700. But I ranged everywhere from 1337 to 2228. And that is too large. I think a better range might be 1500 (days I don't work out) to 1800. Consistency is key. But that is hard for me. My days and weeks in general are not consistent.

On the other hand, when I arrived home last Wednesday and learned of a death in our family, I figured this week was shot. I thought family would arrive last weekend and we'd have a funeral this past Monday. But it was a lot calmer week than that. This upcoming week on the other hand: CHAOS. 

Dan's uncle and aunt arrive tonight. They are staying with us for a week. I am sure we will be eating out with them and showing them around some. Friday is the funeral. That doesn't have a meal associated with it (2:30 sandwiches, should be easy to pass on) but I assume we will be eating dinner out together. Saturday afternoon is a brunch at our house. A bit stressful. And interrupting my Combat time. Monday I start dog-sitting for my mom. Which is always stressful, but honestly, I am looking forward to getting away from the relatives. Needless to say, things aren't back to normal until a week from Saturday (the 5th of April).

So my strategy is to just make smart choices. I know how to eat out healthfully. I know I need to get my workouts in every day regardless of what the family is doing. I am going to aim for the same 1700 calorie goal and 3500 burn for this week. If I still see no movement on my scale, I might have to think about adjusting that.

More importantly, for my awesome work this week: Regardless of what the scale says if I meet those two criteria I will treat myself to a pedicure. Though I am thinking of getting my nails done instead. Especially since we have some important family time coming up.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I Zumba-ed

One of my goals for March was to try a new class. I have been trying to talk someone in to trying Zumba with me forever. And finally, the stars aligned. 1) Steph told me she would try it sometime when she didn't have other plans that night, and when Combat wasn't already an option, and when she didn't have to work. Or sleep. 2)They cancelled our Sunday Combat class because all of the Les Mills instructors were in Omaha for a once in a lifetime training with the top Les Mills trainers. 3)Lisa, a girl who works out at our gym, who we know, and smile at briefly, but don't have the phone number of, agreed to come. This was the key. Because I know Steph would have tried to get out of it, had we not been meeting Lisa there. And I would have let her!

To be fair, I have Zumba-ed one other time. Back at Goodyear. The teacher was ridiculous and it was more of an instructional class than a workout. He would stop until everybody got the moves down right. And at one point he even touched my hips. I knew this would be better. I knew that the teacher and class would just keep going. I knew it would be one of those, Hey you in back, you're doing it wrong. At least I'm doing it! moments. I did not know how completely out of it I would be at times. How awkward I would feel shaking my hips like that (or my lack of hip shaking ability). I did not know how many times I would think please shoot me now! And wonder if I was accidentally in a Jazzersize class. This seemed like good old-fashioned 80's aerobics class, but without the leg warmers. And with Latin music.

I really wanted to try out a BodyStep class soon. And all I was thinking was, I am never going to get Steph to try out another class. Ever again. Every time I looked over at her she was smiling. But uncomfortably. Like if she stopped laughing she might cry. And sometimes I felt like I would burst out laughing if I made eye contact with her, so I couldn't look her way.

Honestly, I did burn 530 calories in the hour. I was sweating. And it was kind of a good workout. It wasn't the 700 I burn in Combat. Or the 600 I burn in Spinning. It was slightly more than BodyPump. I do know that it takes at least three sessions to start getting the hang of things and understand what is happening. I know that I would need to try it again to give it a real evaluation. Teachers make all the difference too. Though I thought our teacher was great, I should really try out the other classes to see what they're like. This class happened to be an hour. There was no abs or anything at the end, except a small cool-down. The other two classes at our gym seem to be only 40 minutes. I wonder if they are more athletic in that time, or the same.

Here was how we summarized it afterward:
Karrie: Wow, that was so much worse than I thought it would be. I am sorry.
Steph: Really? That was so much better than I thought it would be. I'd do it again!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Marathon Mondays

Jess over at Operation Skinny Jeans does a weekly post called Marathon Mondays because she is training for her first half-marathon. While, I have no plans to run a marathon, I thought it would be a good idea to recap my weekly runs in one place. Because talking about them each time they happen (hopefully three times per week) will get boring fast. So every Monday I hope to have my own Marathon Monday post, where I discuss how speedy and amazing I am doing. And hopefully not how disappointing I am and how my hamstrings won't bend any longer.

So onto last week's running:

Thursday's Running Goal: 2/3 Run-Walk Intervals
Accomplished: 4 Interval sessions at 2/3 (20 minutes total)
I didn't mention how many intervals I was supposed to do during this process. But I guess I was assuming I would do thirty minutes total, as I would break it up between weight lifting sessions. I decided to do Thursday's run outside to enjoy the wonderful weather (which was going to be 70 degrees). It was about 43 degrees when I started out though, and I was a bit chilly. The point of the intervals was to sprint for two minutes and work on speed. But I started out too fast. My first two sprints were about 6.0 mph (10 minute miles) and though that doesn't seem speedy at all, my legs were not ready for it. I immediately had pain in my hamstrings. And my lungs were "burnt" for the rest of the day. I did the next two a little slower, trying to keep my pace more around 5.0/12 minute miles. That was hardly sprinting, but I felt much better during it. I need to remember not to start too strong. I have plenty of time to get better and faster. But not if I can't walk or breathe. I did weights and abs and it was enough calories and time that I didn't need to go back out for a third session. I probably should have. My hamstrings hurt for two days.

Saturday's Running Goal: Run One Mile (no matter how slow)
Accomplished: One mile in 13:15 minutes (on Monday)
I wasted my Saturday and never got to the gym to do my running. So it had to wait until Monday. Monday is supposed to be my "long running" day but I don't want to skip complete days of the training log, so I just postponed. I will get that long run in later... I hope. I let myself go really slowly. I just needed to prove to myself that I could do it. At about the half way point, I sped up a little bit, because it wasn't awful. And then I sprinted the last .10 of the mile, because that's what you do! Thirteen minutes is definitely slower than I hoped I would be. But honestly, I had doubts that I could run for that long at all. It wasn't that difficult. I look forward to attempting to go longer next week. No hamstring pain yet. I mixed that mile run with some weights at the gym and a bit on the spin bike to really flush out my legs. 

I walked the first three minutes and .16 miles, so you'll have to do some subtraction!
That got my three runs in for the week. (The first one was recapped here.) I am only one day behind for week two. Do I hate it yet? Kinda. But as always, I like the goals. And accomplishing things. I am looking forward to this week when I get faster and run further. I am also hopeful that my hamstrings stop aching for days. I had to keep myself from running too far today, because I didn't want to cause them anymore pain.
It's me, all alone on the treadmills.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Some Hellos and Some Goodbyes

When I got home from work on Wednesday evening, we received some bad news: Dan's grandma has passed away. I wasn't close to Dan's grandma at all. She wasn't healthy enough the last few years to really know me. But it's always sad when grandmas leave this world. Grandparents are such special people. The world needs more of them, not less. 

Luckily, we also said goodbye to winter yesterday. Today was the first day of Spring. Boy does that make me happy. It seemed like a hard winter, and I welcomed the beautiful weather and the first day of spring. 

I made sure to put the good weather and my day off (bereavement leave!) to good use by saying hello to my running shoes again. I haven't used them in several months. I don't let myself wear them to the gym. I try to preserve them just for running. And even though I hate running, I still love my running shoes. 

I did a 50 minute run/weight routine around my neighborhood. More on that later. Dan and I also walked to lunch through our nature trail. Another hour of walking. This time I wore my heart rate monitor and will count it as a second workout for the week. I burned 456 calories. And enjoyed the beautiful day. People grieve in different ways. Dan walks. 

We also welcomed March Madness. I've got my bracket all filled out. In previous years I've enjoyed working out while watching games. Since I don't do as much equipment cardio, I don't know if that will be the case this year. Plus my gym doesn't have personal tvs. But I still love this time of year. 

And every time we lose someone it gets me thinking about life. And how precious it is. And how our time is short. And then there's this guy. He has so much ahead if him. And he's getting bigger!

Little Xavier

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday

Current Weight: 14.4 pounds from goal
Weekly Loss: -0.2 pounds

I didn't get as serious this week as I had hoped I would. But I am ready to buckle down now. An injury kept me from working out at least twice this week. But other than that, nothing put the doughnuts and margaritas in my mouth. That was my doing. I am lucky to be down anything.

The problem is: I say that every week. This is the week I am going to get serious. This is week will be better. Now I am ready. What is it going to take for me to really get it through my head that I need to be committed to this process? I know there comes a time when it just clicks. Where you want to lose weight and get healthier more than you want to eat the junk food. And then eventually it becomes a habit. I've done it before. But you can't force the clicking. And my usual Fake it, fake it, til you make it strategy doesn't seem to be working. Or it works for one day and then I am done.

I could try and limit things: no chocolate, no doughnuts, no fast food. But ultimately, when I take things away I just want them more. So what has worked for me in the past is just moderation. But that's a slippery slope.

Here is my goal for this week:
I need to eat an average of 1700-1800 calories a day. I need to workout five or six times, but enough to burn 3500 calories. That will take my net intake down to 1200-1300 a day. I think if I hit that goal, I will see a change in the scale. Regardless of what the scale says if I meet those two criteria (average intake, 3500 burned) I will treat myself to a pedicure. Who cares that nobody sees my toes. Or a message... cause my back is kind of out of whack from this pinched nerve business.

That's not an impossible goal. I just need to do it. And this is the time!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This Was Supposed to be the Beginning

I’m not usually one who plans to “start things on Monday”. I am generally a start now kind of person. Though I do love a plan, and writing out a chart and such.  But my random post last Thursday about needing to get my eating under control didn't seem to take effect. I am on a roller coaster right now. Thursday was a great day: went running, ate healthy. Then Friday came and I had no time for workout and we went out for Mexican food. Delicious, but bad for my calorie limits. Saturday was another great workout and pretty good eating. Especially since we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with friends. But I skipped on the dessert and drinks and spent more time playing with kids than I did eating. Unfortunately, Sunday contained good workouts (1.5 hours of Combat at Core) but not so good on the eating front. I had a doughnut. And ice cream. And nachos. What is wrong with me?

Then Monday came around and I was going to get things back on track. But the pain in my neck/shoulder blade was so strong, I actually had to leave work early. I think it's bad all the sitting I do at work. When I was active on Sunday, I thought it was getting better. So I skipped my Monday evening workout, even though I ate throughout the day like I was going to workout. Which just meant more calories, not really bad calories. Then we had a pretty healthy dinner. I thought things were okay for the night. Then Dan shows up with a St. Patrick's Day green doughnut for me. Because I was having a bad day. So sweet. And so not what I needed to make the day better. I wanted to say flowers would have been better! But I had already been bitchy... that's what happens when I don't get to workout and I feel out of control. One doughnut didn't kill me. But I need to get back to being on track.

I realized that consistency is key. I really do. I just haven’t wrapped my head around the idea yet. I need to have about four good weeks before I see some real movement on the scale. Which means I need to have about 28 good days. I am not saying that I can’t enjoy a margarita or a doughnut. But not all at once. Not every day. 

Now in order to wrap up my week with the right calorie allotments, I will need to only net 668 calories today. So if I want to eat 1668, I am going to need to burn 1000. Since I am looking at burning something around 700 (max) I would need to limit my calories to 1368. which is a little too low when I am trying to get a workout in. Needless to say, I will be over for the week. I haven't weighed myself the last two days, because I didn't expect good results. We'll see what tomorrow holds.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hot Mess Sandwich

I saw a recipe for pulled chicken Parmesan sandwiches on Pinterest. It looked good. But it also looked like more work than I was willing to give. So I whipped up my own sandwiches. And they were delicious. 

Remember I crock-potted (a new term I made up!) a pound of chicken yesterday. I seasoned it all with Italian seasoning. I shredded it all and divided it into three: 1/2 a pound and two 1/4 pound servings. 

When I got home this evening, I took the half pound of shredded chicken out if the fridge and mixed it with 2 cups of Prego pasta sauce. You can use your favorite. I ONLY eat Prego. Most others are too tomato-y for me. 

I warmed that up in the microwave for a couple minutes. At the same thine I broiled some garlic bread hogue buns (just buttered and added a bit of garlic and Parmesan cheese).

Then I made a sandwhich. Added a little more cheese and a salad on the side. 

Mine was about 400 calories. It depends on what kind of bun/butter/sauce/cheese you use. This bowl made four sandwiches. But it was delicious. And kind of messy. So Dan dubbed it a Hot Mess Sandwich. But he ate it. And hardly complained. I look forward to the leftovers. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Injury Report and a Meal Plan

Yesterday I met Steph for Kickboxing in the morning. As I was finishing the class, and completing the last five push-ups before the cool-down, I felt something sharp in my shoulder blade. And after that, I was unable to use my left arm. It hurt to stretch, it hurt to raise, it hurt to put my sweatshirt on over my head. I went home and had Dan message is several times. I tried a 45 minute nap to relax my muscles. And of course, I tried Tylenol. By the evening, it felt alright, except for raising my arms above my head. This makes doing my hair difficult. And putting on certain clothes. It doesn't make the rest of life too difficult. It made me wonder: if I ever broke my arm, and Dan had to help me do my hair, how completely stupid it would look. And then it reminded me of that Friends episode, where Ross does Rachel's make-up because she broke a rib (or something).

By this morning, it was feeling a bit better. I am assuming it was just a pinched nerve. I just don't know what I did to pinch it. Maybe my body really hates push-ups and it was trying to teach me a lesson. I imagine that I wasn't using perfect form, and probably straining my neck too much. It's still not perfect, but it was good enough to go to class again today.

Plus, I made it back to CxWorx class. Another thirty minutes of core work. This was the exact same class as last time (since I suppose the music and moves don't change until there is a new launch.) Some things seemed easier and some I couldn't even do all the way. I can't wait to see how sore my abs are tomorrow.

Then I came home and did some meal prep for this week. On the agenda this week for dinners: Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches (kinda like this), Black bean tacos, and Goat Cheese - corn quesadillas. Then we'll have a day of left-overs or cereal and another day of eating out. Lunches for the week contain: big salads, leftover pulled chicken, soup, and my usual lunch out with Jennifer.

Here's some pictures of the meal prep I worked on today:

Italian seasoned chicken in the crockpot. 
Tasty salad ready for tomorrow
boiled some eggs, cut these up for my salad!

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Journey of 1000 Miles...

Yesterday's Running Goal: Three miles
Accomplished: 3 miles in about 46 minutes

I couldn't get my RunKeeper app to start right away (actually I had to re-download it onto my new phone) but I started walking anyway. Therefore, my chart only shows I went 2.94 miles. But I went more than three. I ran and walked. Sometimes when I felt like it. Sometimes when I needed to hurry around someone. And toward the end, for half of each song that came on. It wasn't fast. In fact, if I was walking with Dan, I could have walked the whole thing in that time. But it's a start. The weather was beautiful (70 degrees). And it was great to be outside again. I ran right after work, on the trail by the library. I knew from previous days experience, that if I let myself go home to change clothes, or eat dinner, or sit down, I wouldn't get back up. Here's what I forgot: You can't just run once every four months and think you'll be able to walk the next day. My hamstrings are so sore. Like, don't get out of your chair, sore. But this just reminds me of how good running is going to be for my legs and butt. I pretty much weigh what I weighed at my very lowest (at least for more than a month) and can't fit into the pairs of pants I bought then. Why? Because running sculpted my bottom half. And as much as I don't want to admit it, I want that back. Thus the new running plan. I have quite a ways to go.

I no longer have a gym class option on Fridays and therefore, will rarely get a workout in. I decided to walk to lunch today. I was at our smaller branch and that put me in close distance to a delicious Chinese restaurant. But I used will power and walked to the Subway instead. Google maps says it is one mile exactly. It took me 18 minutes to get there and 16 to get back. Wind was a factor and maybe hills. But it was a good 35 minute, two mile walk. I wasn't going fast. But I did workout a little of the hamstring soreness. And at least burned off the baked chips I allowed myself.

Enjoying the winter sun.

I'm not going to link of with Follow Through Friday any more. It wasn't keeping me accountable. And I was not motivating anyone, that's for sure. Thus, moving my official weigh-in day to Wednesday. But I did have a good vicoty this week. I wore skinny jeans for the first time yesterday. Boy did I miss my comfy jeans and tennis shoes. The jeans were lower than I am used to. But, more than anything, I worried the jeans looked tight. But I am proud of myself for actually wearing them. I guess skinny jeans are supposed to be tight. Or something.

An awful picture, in my awfully lit bedroom. But the only place I have a full length mirror.

Closer up, but you can't see the jeans. Oh well!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Return of 5k Karrie?

Remember when I used to have a running blog. It was literally like a running log that I put online. And then it morphed into a real blog. And it kept me accountable during that two year period where I learned to be a runner. Then I started hating running. Or I hated it all along. But finally someone (Dan) who I barely knew at the time, said to me: You can quit, you know. Quit? No, I didn't know that. I don't quit things. But then I did. I decided that I hated it so much that I shouldn't make myself do it. And I still do. But now I need to burn more calories. And sure, I could do cardio in a gym, but I need to take advantage of this weather. And I can't just go out once a week and run. I am not that good. Here and there I experiment with running intervals. Or I try to increase my mileage once in a while. But I haven't trained for and run anything in four years.

Four Years!

I still have no plans to train for anything. I still hate races. And the idea of paying money to prove you can do something. The pressure. But I do want to do more running. I want to get outside. I need something to work towards. And it fits nicely with my new plan to hit the weight room more often. I can't lift for an hour and I can't run for an hour, so what a perfect match!

Here's my plan for the next four weeks:
I won't make all those sessions. But it's a nice goal. My plan is to run three times a week, focusing on something different each time. Distance: this is a "long run" which right now is just three miles. I won't be able to run it all, but I will work on that. Eventually I will. Intervals: these will be great to do between weight lifting sets. They are designed to work on speed. Hopefully each week my intervals get faster. Endurance: Here is where I work on running a certain distance. Running the whole time. Starting with one mile. Can I do that? We'll see. 

Then after the four weeks are up, we'll see if I can run three miles. And if I want to keep it up. Or if I am ready to return to my Spin bike and Elliptical machine for all my cardio needs. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday

Current Weight: 14.6 pounds from goal

I need to get back to having a weekly weigh in where that is the sole focus of my post. I was 12 pounds last Friday (just four days ago) and 10.4 the Friday before that. Somehow I am headed in the wrong direction. Fast. I mentioned yesterday that I need to start taking this seriously again. So here goes.

Summer is just eleven weeks away. I feel quite certain that I could be at my goal weight if I made some serious changes. But how many times have I done this count down? How many times have I told myself I was going to eat healthy, only to have a cookie for dinner.

But this time is going to be different. Here's how: I am feeling more comfortable in the weight room. So I am going to really work on that. But even better, I am going to start running again. Not a lot. No races. But work on it. And I am sure that with running three times a week, lifting heavy weights, and watching those calories, I can get my body ready for summer. More on my running plans tomorrow.

PS. I feel asleep early last night and didn't get this posted until Thursday morning... just pretend it's weigh-in Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I need to go on a Diet

I know we're not supposed to be on a diet.  That's a bad word. It's supposed to be a lifestyle change. But I've already changed my lifestyle. And it morphed into something else. I'm tired of saying, I need to try harder, or I need to get serious. Something about I need to return to my healthier lifestyle doesn't have the same sense of change or urgency or throwing out the junk food and making tough decisions.

Somehow I have been gaining weight this week. And I don't like it. Randomly. Because I haven't been eating over 1800 calories a day. But I haven't been eating good things. Last night I had two servings of pretzels and almond butter for dinner. Six hundred calories. Not bad things. But not dinner!

And I have skipped the gym two days in a row, and kinda don't even want to go tonight.

But something has to change. So if I think of it as going on a diet then that's what it's got to be. I know that for the rest of my life, I will have to TRY to eat healthy. It won't just come natural. I have been at this far too long to think things will start being easier. I know that for the rest of my life, I will have weeks where I need a break from the rigidness that is my six hours of workouts. I know there will be weeks where I try to eat clean and hate it. I will give up diet soda and return to it. I will make myself eat five servings of vegetables, just to remind myself it is possible. Everything takes effort. So I know that just maintaining my weight doesn't really work for me. At least not yet. It's always going to take work.

It's a lot more normal for me to go to the gym now. It has become a habit. But it's a habit I can break in about three days. I would say the same is true with food. I can realize the importance of passing on the third cookie, but sometimes I just don't want to do it.

I am not saying that's not okay. Sometimes I need three cookies. Or maybe not need. Maybe just need to give in to desires. I still believe in moderation. I am never going to eat clean. I am never going to stop drinking Diet Pepsi.

I want to be able to live a normal life and maintain a healthy weight.

So what does all this mean?

I know what I need to do. I need to get back to making foods at home. I need to get back to drinking more water. I need to keep up my gym workouts. I need to pass on dessert some times and sometimes indulge a little. I need put healthy foods first on my priorities. I need to measure foods, not just fill up a whole bowl, or eat out of the container. I need to meal prep. And then actually take the foods I prepared, instead of leaving them in the fridge to rot.

But most of all (and I can't say this enough) I have to remain consistent. It's not going to happen over night. It is not enough to give up donuts for week, if you just go back to eating them. It is not enough to try for two weeks and give up. I know what works. I know consistency is key.

I just need to make a change. And it starts today.

Monday, March 10, 2014

An Active Lifestyle

I attended two Combat classes this weekend. But I was planning on meeting Steph at the new Core class that is just before Combat on Sundays. I was looking forward to having my abs burning today. And I love that it's only 30 minutes but seems to make a big impact. What I don't love? Is that it requires me to be at the gym from 12-2 in the middle of a beautiful Sunday afternoon. And I mean, it was beautiful. It was the first day that wasn't frigid cold in forever. So when Jennifer and Samantha asked if we wanted to do something outside, I had a tough decision to make. I had so much stuff I wanted to get done with my sunny day. But I knew that spending time outside with friends was a much better use of my time. Plus, we spent like five hours just walking around and exploring and playing. I am sure I burnt plenty of calories.

Sometimes I get it in my head that my workouts need to be done in a class. Or in the gym. Or during a set 60 minutes. With my heart-rate monitor ready. But sometimes just being active is a workout. I went to bed exhausted yesterday. My legs and arms were tired today. And my life is much more full since spending the day with some great people in the great weather!

Walking on the bike path
Waiting for the ducks!
Waving at traffic on the bridge (what she later declared her"favorite" part of the day)
Feeding the ducks
Finding deer antlers in the forest
Dan and Sammie love water!
Best Buddies
Even their dog goes exploring with us!

Rugs wars is like a workout and game in one
Sometimes we have to do low energy things too.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Follow Through Friday


Sorry I have been MIA this week. Work has been stress-city. So all I want to do is lay on my bed and zone out when I get home. Or as in the case of Wednesday, after calling the cops on some adults that were fighting in the library, I just wanted to go out for Mexican food. Which is what we did. And then I passed out on my bed for the rest of the night. Today is my sixth day of working. I now either need to bribe someone else to work some hours tomorrow or come in for at least four hours. I can't fathom working seven days in a row right now, so the bribe money is getting higher. At least (cross your fingers) my boss should be back on Monday. And it should be a little less stressful. I can do my job with my eyes closed. But doing hers and mine, is a little much for one person. At least for two weeks. 

Anyway, despite all of that. I did work out five days this week (two Combat classes, one self-spinning session, and two weight/cardio circuits.) I didn't set any specific goals this week. Which is great, because it makes it easy to achieve. However, I gain weight, which makes this a "bad" week in that regard. I am trying not to concentrate on that too much, and am more excited to report: I tried out the weight room this week. And then I did it again! And that has made this week successful.

Weight: 12 pounds from goal this morning. Up 1.6 pounds from last week. All week my weight jumped up and down, but it was never under the 10.4 it was last Friday morning. I am hoping this is just some salt weight from my night of Mexican food this week. My average caloric intake was 1730 (almost exactly what it was last week.) And I burned 2838 calories. So my average net intake was: 1324. This is a little higher than last week, because I didn't work out as much. But it's hardly enough to really gain a pound.

I'd like to set some goal for this week, because otherwise it seems like I just kind of flail. But right now, my only hope is to have a real day off of work.

I do promise to blog more.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Change of Schedule

Someone at worked called in sick today. That meant I had to go in. Thanks to another one of my co-workers, we split the day (each working 4 hours) so I only had to go in for a while. Still, it through off my whole schedule. No Combat class for me today. But I knew I needed to get a good work out in. Dan brought home a big box of Junior Mints that seem to call my name every time I walk by. And although I would be happy with three or four of them (just 40 calories) I walk by it five times. Anyway, I only had 45 minutes to sneak in a workout. I decided to do a self-spinning class. I hate that there is only one spin bike that the "public" can use. Meaning, if you're not taking a class. About 50% of the time, the bike is taken. Nobody is using the other stationary bikes, mind you. So I never know when I get to the gym if it will be open or not. But it was today and it was a great workout. I had hoped to get 500 calories burned, but I came in a little short at 474. I find it pretty easy to push myself hard. In fact, looking back on my last four spinning classes, I actually burned more calories on my own than I do in a class. (example: 453, 417, 378, 473). And that's usually more like a 50-55 minute session. I am not sure why I am pushing myself harder. It could be that I do more hills and high intensity cycling and little to no speed work. Partially because I don't like it as much, but mostly because I think I will look silly.  It almost makes me question the worth of class...

Then I had to take off to the hospital to see this lovely guy:

Xavier Tobias Inbody

Speaking of the worthiness of class, I mentioned that I really want to get away from BodyPump and into the weight room. And I did it yesterday. I don't know how to spend an entire hour lifting weights, so I like to do a 10/10 circuit. I started with ten minutes on the elliptical and then I moved into the weight room. I went at 1:00 in the afternoon, because I knew the gym would be dead. It was me and one or two other people using the free weights. I still felt nervous. I wanted to go as heavy as possible without straining anything. I started with 12 pound weights and then moved to some 10s and some 8s. I did various shoulder, chest, triceps, and bicep moves. Then I used a weighted bar (26 pounds was the most I could find) to do squat and lunges. I did it in about eleven minutes. Then I went back to my elliptical and started the circuit over. It was a great workout. The best part was that I was burning just as many calories lifting weights as I was during the cardio. All in all, I burned 603 calories. This is over 200 more than I would have in just taking a BodyPump class. And the time just flew by. I can hardly stand to be on a cardio machine for more than ten minutes any more. So it works out well. 

My co-worker happened to call in sick for tomorrow as well. So I am working an odd 2-8 shift. This should allow me to try this circuit again. Doesn't look like I am going to get a day off of work this week. But like I have said before, I tend to do better with food and working out when I am more scheduled. 

I am also going to have to do my meal prepping tomorrow. I want to make another pound of shredded chicken in the crock pot. I also want to boil some eggs. I spent some quality time at work figuring out which recipes I wanted to try this week. So all I have left to do is go to the grocery store tomorrow morning. Good thing I don't need to be at work until two o'clock.

Finally, speaking of changing schedules, the gym has changed my Friday morning Combat class. They pushed it back by 30 minutes, and I no longer have time to make it there and then head to work. Bummer. I have little chance of getting in a workout on a Friday if it isn't before work. This worked out so well. But maybe it's making me try some new things. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February 2014 Recap

Does anyone else think that February is the worst month of the year? I mean, you're mentally over winter, but it never gets above 25 degrees (or maybe that's just here). Everything is brown and depressing. They stick Valentine's Day right in the middle to give us something to think about, but that really just ends up with a lot of chocolate consumption and then more depression. I figure that's why they make it the shortest month.

I would say I had a successful February, even though when I review my goals, it is going to look the complete opposite way. If January was where I got back in to the routine of working out, I think February really solidified that. I see working out as my number one priority every day. I get to the gym anytime the weather lets me (and I don't have other plans). I did have a bad week due to Dan's Birthday, where I gained like three pounds, but I have gotten things back together and the scale is headed in the right direction. I have been making good eating choices and things seem to be looking up. Just like the weather. Well, except for the snow we're getting this weekend. And the awful cold sticking around all week. But at some point, I know Spring is coming.

How February turned out.
  • I wanted to be at my pre-holiday weight by now. I was looking for a seven on the scale. That was a lofty goal. I started the month at 11.4 and I am ending it at 10.4. So one pound. But like I said, it's headed the right way. I am not higher than I was. And I have high hopes of reaching this milestone next month.
  • I was going to do 25 push-ups every day. I did this twice at home and thirteen times at the gym. Fifteen times total. This is not successful. It's too cold to leave my blanket to do push-ups. This goal might have to wait. On the other hand, I feel like I am getting better at the push-ups I am doing at the gym. So this is probably the time to buckle down and really try to accomplish this.
  • My goal was to do 25 hours at the gym this month. I made it 21 hours. Just four short. The weather was definitely a factor during the beginning of the month. There was an entire week when I could get no where fast. That hasn't been the case at the end though. I even did four double class days. I just couldn't make up for lost time.
  • I also wanted to do eleven lifting session. I only made eight. How sad. I really need to make this a priority next month. How can I say buffness is my new goal when I only work on building muscles 8 times?
Fresh Start
So here's my chance to start anew. Here are my goals for the month of March:

  • Lose 3.4 pounds and start April at 7 pounds from goal. This doesn't seem too hard. But I have to make sure I am counting calories. 
  • This is the time I need to discover the weight room. So I am going to make the lofty goal of 8 weight room sessions (and a four pump classes as well).
  • I want to try at least two new classes. Trying that core class last week made me realize that lots of other classes could be just as fun. So BodyStep, Zumba, Kickboxing with Bags, Yoga. There are lots of possibilities. 
  • Okay, I will do 25 push-ups every day.Maybe this will be the month!