Archive for November, 2012

Ugh – this week started out soooo well!  The Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge started on Monday and I had my workouts scheduled for the entire week, I had a plan for getting enough water and things were going well.

Let’s start at the very beginning (cue Sound of Music):

  • Monday’s workout consisted of Couch to 5k Week 3 workout 1 – 1.75 miles in about 25 minutes.  It didn’t feel fabulous, but it felt better than expected.  I followed that up with a 30 minute Insanity workout (Cardio Recovery).  Boy, those were some deep stretches.
  • Tuesday’s workout was a repeat of Monday’s, with the next DVD in Insanity – Pure Cardio.  If I learned anything from that DVD, it was that some of these workouts are killers.  I had to take it easy because I was noticing some pain in my back that wasn’t there earlier.

Then the week went downhill.  Wednesday, I woke up and it hurt to move.  I figured it was just because of the workout from the night before, but by the time I got to work in the morning, I knew it was more than that.  My chiro thinks that it’s a pinched nerve in the L2 vertebrae.

There won’t be any more workouts for me this week, until I can at least start to move without pain.

So here are my points round-up for the week:

  • Monday – Workouts – 3.25; Facebook check-in – 1
  • Tuesday – Workouts – 5.75; Facebook check-in – 1
  • Wednesday – Workouts – 0; Facebook check-in – 1
  • Thursday – Workouts – 0; Facebook check-in – 0
  • Friday – Workouts – 0; Facebook check-in – 1
  • Saturday – Workouts – 0; Facebook check-in – 1
  • Sunday – Workouts – 0; Facebook check – 1 (anticipated)

I still have my workouts planned for next week, but I will need to adjust the schedule based on my health and what I missed this week.

My goal for next week is to try and get more fruits and veggies into my diet.


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I often get sucked into negative thoughts.  For whatever reason, I sometimes feel that I’m not good enough – not a good enough mom, not a good enough wife, not a good enough employee, not a fast enough runner, not a ______________ (fill in the blank).  I’ve been working on changing those thoughts over the last few years.  It’s a struggle sometimes, but I think I’m making progress.  I ran across this picture a few weeks ago and it really hit home….

Today, anything is possible.  It’s my choice to get up and run.  It’s my choice to take a deep breath and not let my frustration get the better of me.  It’s my choice to be the best that I can be.  Today, no mountain is too high, no run is too long (ok, so maybe it’s not realistic, but still), no workout is too hard for me to do my best.  I know it’s hard sometimes.  I know that I can’t always be Miss Cheery or Miss Perfect, but neither do I want to be.  I just want to be someone that my family wants to be around, that makes good decisions, that my friends want to hang out with, and that I can feel happy being me.

Today, I started the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge for 2012.  It marks the beginning of a 7 week challenge.  This is a challenge in which I can use the tools and skills I have gained through the last year to make it through the holidays.  It gives me a way to make sure I am staying on target, and maybe, just maybe, I will win some really cool prizes.  I can guarantee I will make some on-line friends and that I will gain some great advice from some awesome coaches.

What things are you making possible today?

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Beginning Insanity

Most people have heard of the BeachBody program called Insanity.  It’s a 63-day program, lead by instructor Shaun T.  There is a scheduled rest day every 7 days, but the other 6 days have workouts ranging from plyometrics, cardio, abs, or some combination thereof.  There are scheduled fit tests every 2 weeks.  It can be pretty brutal, in my opinion.

So far, I completed the first fit test.  This was a series of 8 exercises.  I had to perform each for 1 minute and count how many times I completed the exercise.  here are my results:

  • Switch kicks – 50
  • Power jacks – 31
  • Power knees – 63
  • Power jumps – 20
  • Globe jumps – 5
  • Suicide jumps – 15
  • Push-up jacks – 4
  • Low plank obliques – 45

I have also completed the first 2 workouts – Plyometric Cardio Circuit and Cardio Power & Resistance.  I definitely felt the “burn” afterward.  I wasn’t able to keep up with either workout completely, but since most of the moves were kind of new to me, I figure it’s ok.  During the workouts, Shaun emphasizes taking breaks when you need them and not over-doing it beyond your ability.  I appreciate that.  He builds in 30-second water breaks at the end of each interval, which is also useful.  I also like the fact that although the people participating in the DVD are very fit and can keep up with him for the most part, some of them struggle (or at least they act like they are struggling).

A few of my friends have completed this program.  I’m looking forward to seeing the results.  Besides, I think it will help me stay on track throughout the holidays and up to January 17.  A friend of mine at work is also doing the program with me.  I’m hoping we can keep each other motivated and accountable.

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This is the 2nd week of my journey through Couch to 5k.  Two out of my 3 runs have been good.  The last run was technologically difficult.  But I guess we will have that.

This week has been a bit of a challenge, schedule-wise.  Hubby worked nights for a few days, so I had to squeeze my runs in right after work.  Luckily, it wasn’t too dark, and the weather wasn’t horrible.  I was pretty proud of myself this week though.  I wore leggings to run in for the first time this week – in public – on one of the main roads in town – while it was light out.  A year ago, I NEVER would have done that.  Heck, 6 months ago, I wouldn’t have done that.  I haven’t worked up the nerve to wear them out shopping or to work, but according to Hubby, I look good in them. 😉

Week 2 is a 90-second run followed by a 2-minute walk, repeated 5 times.  There is a 5-minute warm-up and then a cool-down at the end.  My cool-down times varied because it depended how far I was from home.  My total distances were about 1.75 miles and my average workout time was about 26 minutes.  Pretty consistent for the 3 workouts.  I had issues with the intervals for the 3rd run.  Somehow, I managed to change the type of interval from a timed one to a distance one, which defaulted it to a 1-mile interval.  So I had to keep an eye on my Garmin to try and get the intervals right.  I was off a little bit on some of them, but that’s ok.

Here are my running interval pace stats for week 2:

Run/Interval 1 2 3 4 5
1 10:03 10:30 9:49 10:05 11:42
2 10:05 11:18 10:20 9:38 10:44
3 10:49 12:11 10:26 10:29 11:34

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I came to a realization last night while I was curled up on my couch with my Lizzie-dog.

My Lizzie-dog who likes to snuggle when I don’t feel well.

It really is the little things that matter.  I haven’t been feeling well lately – just a general sense of blah and not feeling good, compounded by not sleeping well.  I looked at what I have been doing the last few days and what I have been eating.  Here’s what I found:

  • My eating hasn’t been horrible, but it’s also not great.  I’ve been close to my calorie count the last few days – maybe a little over, but nothing excessive.  But I also know that I’ve had to estimate on some of the things I’ve eaten, or I haven’t recorded every bite I’ve taken (those darn chocolate covered pretzels!).
  • My water intake has been down.  During the summer, I was easily getting in 8-10 cups of water a day.  Now that it’s not so hot, I’m lucky to get 4-6, and that’s on a workout day.
  • My evening snacking is probably affecting how I feel before I go to bed and how well I sleep.  I usually have a small handful (or two) of chocolate chips or part of a Hershey bar at sometime during the evening.  That probably needs to be cut back.  The same goes for my snack after work.  I just need to make better choices.
  • My workouts have suffered because I haven’t felt great.  I haven’t stuck 100% to the schedule I set at the beginning of November.  That always makes me feel guilty.  However, out of 8 scheduled workouts, I have completed 6 (7 if you count the night I substituted a DVD for a scheduled run).  It’s not horrible.

The accumulation of all these little things affects how I feel about myself and how I feel in general.  Laying it out helps me to see what I can fix.  I am going to commit to the following things:

  • Increase my water intake.  This is going to be my primary focus for the next week or so.  If I can get back into this habit, I think it will go a long way toward helping me feel better.  I will be less likely to snack, which will help as well.
  • I am going to stick to my workout schedule.  I’m not too far off, so I will need to pull a couple of long workout sessions to catch up, but I should be able to do it.  I may need to be creative about when I workout, though.  By the end of November, I want to be where I planned to end the month.  I will also have to be slightly more realistic when I plan December though.
  • I’m going to be more mindful of what I put into my body.  More fruit and vegetables, more protein, less sugar.

I didn’t gain weight overnight and I’m not going to lose it overnight.  It’s taken me almost a year to lose 40 pounds.  Sure, that’s an accomplishment, but I also know that if I had focused a bit better and not let myself get distracted, I probably could have met my goal weight by the end of the year.  That’s not going to happen at this point.  There are 6 weeks until the end of the year, and all I can do is to make the best of them and do my best to follow through on my plan.

But it really is the little things that matter.  All those steps, all those reps, all those bites, all those hugs from my girls and husband, all the comments from friends and family about my progress, all the notes of encouragement.  Everything makes a difference.

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Motivation Monday

I am a horrible procrastinator – just ask my husband.  I can make a project last a long time…even if it means that there are totes of clothes in my living room.  I will also find almost any excuse not to do something…(what, read this month’s book club selection?  but these other books are like candy!)

That’s why I am making a point this fall and winter to get things done.  Weather is NOT going to be an excuse for not working out.  I can run on the treadmill at the Y or my parents’ house.  I can even run outside.  If hubby’s work schedule isn’t going to work with my workout schedule, I will find a way to make it work…if that means I need to take the girls with me to the Y, fine;  if that means I get up at the crack of dawn or stay up late, fine.  I have to make it work if I am going to achieve my goals.

During Hurricane Sandy, one thing struck me.  If the soldiers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers can stand guard during that, I can surely get my butt off the couch and workout.

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Oh, this has been lovely this week.  I’ve managed to squeeze in all 3 of my week 1 Couch to 5k workouts (mostly) as scheduled.  Surprisingly, I actually felt good about my times and felt like my legs weren’t fighting me.  Maybe it’s the new shoes.  Maybe it’s the new workout clothes.  Maybe it’s the fact that it’s been 45 degrees when I run.  Who knows?

I’m pretty sure my legs like my new running shoes. I can see many miles in my future.

So if you are unfamiliar with Couch to 5k, it’s a 9 week running program that is supposed to get you to run an entire 5k by the end.  If you run at the pace they have laid out, you should be able to complete a 5k in about 30 minutes (about a 10 minute mile). The program starts with run/walk intervals and gradually increases you to longer running intervals.

I tried the program about 2 years ago and quit after 4 weeks (don’t remember why).  I decided to restart the program now so that I can build up my endurance and hopefully increase my speed.  When I did my half-marathon in October, I ended up walking a good part of it due to knee and foot pain, as well as just an overall crappy training regimen.   I’m hoping that if I really focus on doing it right this time and working on speed, proper form, breathing, etc. I should be stronger by the time race season comes around again next year.  My biggest challenge is going to be running in the dark and cold.  But I’ll find a way.

Week 1 is a 60-second run followed by a 90-second walk, repeated 5 times.  There is a 5-minute warm-up and then a cool-down at the end.  My cool-down times varied because it depended how far I was from home.  My total distances varied from 1.43 to 1.50 miles, and my overall workout time was from 20:50 to 25:29.  The third workout was a lot slower because I needed to take my daughters with me when I ran.  It went better than expected, but not as well as if I were by myself.

Here are my running interval stats for week 1:

Week/Interval 1 2 3 4 5
1 10:52 11:12 10:36 10:55 10:39
2 9:18 10:35 10:20 8:56 10:06
3 9:15 9:49 10:29 13:47 10:10

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