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Days 110 - 111: Gym Bags, Towels, and Totes Oh My!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Good morning everyone!

I almost didn't blog today because I didn't think I had much to say.

Still sore from my adventures in Yoga? Check.
Back on the exercise wagon? You bet.
Working on getting back into the 1200-1400 calorie range? On target.

So, as you can see, it's situation normal around here. Just working at the usual exercise and calorie goals just like everyone else.

What did hit me is that I'm totally stumped on something. Something fundamental and so simple that you wouldn't think I'd be stumped by it.

Here's the situation, I work in a building with a gym and locker room in the basement. It's great and convenient and totally encourages me to work out more often than I would otherwise. I mean, how can you say "I don't feel like going to the gym today..." when you literally are sitting on top of it all day long. There is one itty bitty problem: I know for a fact that there are waterbugs (AKA, a breed of roach) living in the locker rooms. I've seen them crawing up the walls on a couple of occaisions. I'm not all that bothered, they have yet to bother me in the shower and So long as they don't attempt to fly at me I'm a live and let live kind of girl.

So, my problem is that I don't under any circumstances want to leave my shower kit down there any longer than it takes for me to go for a run and shower. What can I say, I'm phobic about having one of the critters hitch a ride with me upstairs (or worse, home!)

So, I'm looking for a couple of solutions. First, my shower kit lives at work and I've been toting it downstairs in a plastic bag for a few months now. I think it's time to graduate to something a little more... sturdy. Yes, I ripped the bag. Additionally, I need something a bit bigger to fit my towel in. Being that I shower at work following a run two or three times a week it's not like I'm changing my towel every day which leads me to my second issue...

... Is it wrong I'm considering one of those damned sham-wow's? I mean, they're compact and super absorbant... I'm just tired of hauling my big ass terry-cloth towl downstairs all the tie is all.

For the curious, my gym bag is a perfect size for my workout clothing. It fits a pair of shoes, an outfit, and sometimes a sweatshirt comfortably. Really, its the 'carryon' or 'overnight' sized bag from the luggage set I got for christmas a few years ago - but it's the perfect sized gym bag for me.

I'm thinking about getting a tote like the ones they sell at grocery stores for those who are far more earthy than me and shun plastic bags. (I use those bags, darn it!) Is there a better option, though?

Also, I'm buying a yoga mat this week for class. Yes, I'm going back. I love that I felt so grounded and stretched afterward.

So, here's wishing all my SparkPeeps a good Monday! Let's all start off on a good foot here - there's nothing we can't accomplish with the right attitude!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALANDES 10/10/2012 11:03AM

    I am with a previous comment that maybe the best course of action is to ask someone in charge if they are aware of the issue and see if they have plans to resolve it. If not, then maybe there are others with the same problem and you can start a formal request.

Nothing wrong with a shamwow. If you can use it, go for it!

Keep up the good work.

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POMATOJUICE 10/8/2012 3:38PM

    UGHHH ROACHES! I HATE THEM!

It's totally off-season right now, but sometimes you can get those large totes that are made with some sort of weird plasticky fabricy material. I have one, and I use it for wet stuff. If I wasn't in the middle of the state, I'd use it for the beach! I don't have any good suggestions for the gym bag though :(

But as for the bugs... Roaches don't like bay leaves or cedar. You can place some bay leaves in your gym bag, or scatter some cedar chips at the bottom of the locker you use down there to help keep the creepy crawlies out of your stuff. I've also heard you can get cedar essential oil and use it in a spray bottle for a similar effect!

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BECCABOO127 10/8/2012 2:06PM

    Can you put in a request to building management that they get rid of the waterbugs? I would not want to even get on the machines with roaches there. Yik

I hope you don't have a cafeteria in the basement of the building like we did. lol!

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MSMOSTIMPROVED 10/8/2012 1:41PM

    Normal is soooo good-- thank your lucky stars. I don't share your live and let live spirit as I am terrified of all things creepy and crawly but, so this is yet another reason I think you are so cool. As for the bag, I started using a multi-pocket gardening tote bag. It had a rubber bottom which was perfect for dragging into the locker room and all my stuff was in easy reach. I also stick a recycle bag that is lined with a zipper in my tote for the wet towel and swim suit.

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CKMATHERLY 10/8/2012 9:46AM

    ENCHANTEDMAMA, I saw them in clearance last weekend at target....water bugs don't bother me. They are a toy for my cats. I'd like to find a good yoga class, but don't have the $$ right now.

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BEACHY_KEEN 10/8/2012 9:13AM

    Nothing wrong with a sham wow at all. I use a plastic college dorm shower bag that has holes in the bottom. I got it at target last year after the back to college sales were over. I'm sure if you keep an eye out you'll find something that works.
Great job on the running btw!

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HOAGIE22 10/8/2012 9:00AM

  Git Er Dun!!!

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Day 109: Another thing off the bucket list: Yoga

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Happy weekend everyone!

There are a lot of things I learned today, and I can't wait to share them all.

First off, my scale has been sitting at 196.3 for about a week. Inspection of my workout minutes as well as my calories has informed me that this is a stuck of my own doing. Firstly, i took it really easy this week and only did three two mile runs. That equates to about an hour worth of exercise. Second my calories in reality are probably closer to 1500-1600. Good to know what I'll get to eat to maintain when he time comes. So, it's back to the plan come Monday.

That's right, Monday.

I decided yesterday that I just need a couple of days off the program so I can hit it with renewed enthusiasm. I know, sounds crazy. I just need to not think about calories (still tracking) or how to fit in more minutes into my life. I just want a weekend to unplug.

So, in order to unplug I tried something on my bucket list: Yoga.

I've wanted to be a yoga person for years (much in the same way I wanted to be a runner.) Yoga people always look so good. They're almost always so grounded. They almost always seem to be so... comfortable and strong. Well, the yoga people I know. So, today I went to beginner's yoga class.

Confession: I told my brother I was going to 'stretching for runners' so that he wouldn't judge me.

Moving on - the class was crazy insane. First, it was heated yoga which meant the room was somewhere north of 80 degrees. I have never NEVER sweat so much in my life. I could have wrung the sweat out of my shirt when I was done.

Confession: I wore my StarFleet Academy t-shirt so as to allow everyone to generate appropriate stereotypes.

The class was an hour and 20 minutes in I was amazed I could at least pretend to keep up. So, I'm not graceful. So, I'm not really all that steady - I'm moving with all the skinny biznitches!

It was really a great experience and for $10 I got this week's class and next week's. So, I'm totally trying it again next week.

That's about it from here, I think I feel a nap in my not too distant future...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSMOSTIMPROVED 10/8/2012 1:46PM

    Look at you all branching out!!!! Yoga is fun but, hot yoga scares me. I've heard it's really helpful to improve running. Keep it up!
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SKEETOR 10/6/2012 8:08PM

    I like yoga, too, although I am not quite sure how I look..... emoticon

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DIZZYCOCOA 10/6/2012 7:31PM

    awesome! i love yoga and do it every day. emoticon

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CANES4EVER63 10/6/2012 5:09PM

    Awesome!! I've also always wanted to do yoga, but I've always been really hesitant to try it. I know that people won't judge you, but I won't be able to help but feel anything but intimidated! When I lose 20-30 more pounds, maybe then I'll finally start yoga :)

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BRAVENEWGRL 10/6/2012 4:01PM

    It's addicting! Watch out! One minute you are a total gym rat. The next you are a full on yogi! And man does it help your booty perk up!

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MLH148 10/6/2012 1:59PM

    sounds great! pushing to new things is great and this sounds like it was a good expeirence. Have a great weekend "off" and best for next week. emoticon

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PARKERB2 10/6/2012 1:55PM

    Enjoy your nap and I'm glad you enjoyed the yoga. Keep up the good work.

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CCHEF1 10/6/2012 1:42PM

    emoticon

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REGILIEH 10/6/2012 1:35PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CANDOSUE52 10/6/2012 1:32PM

   
How great is that !!!! So glad you enjoyed.

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Day 108 - Fooling the Camera

Friday, October 05, 2012

So, this morning as I got ready for work and packed my gym bag I came across my favoritest t-shirt in the world - my Star Fleet Academy T-Shirt I've had since I was 6. That's 24 years. It's held up well, I must say, and I still like to wear it on occaision. Let's call it vintage.

Back when I started with Sparkpeople I posted a photo of me in the shirt - it's a pretty good photo, I must say. So, this morning when I came across it again I decided to take another photo.



From 211 pounds to 195.

You can definitely see how the shirt is starting to get looser. I can certainly say from experience that it used to sit at the top of my hips and bunch there - now it's coming down over my hips with little effort. It's also getting looser around my middle.

Ah, progress.

One of the things I did want to mention is that I tend to get a lot of responses to my photos along the lines of 'OMG, you don't look like you weigh XXX!' I also get that response from family I don't see often who just follow my photos on facebook - that I don't look like I weigh as much as they remember.

To some extent this is true - I mean, I have lost 11% of the weight I carried in July. However, it also has a lot to do with as Tyra Banks would say, knowing your angles. I know my hips are wide so I do myself a favor and I turn them. I know I have a thin waist that I can accentuate by arching my back. I also know that the way to make my bosom look best is to get in a position that allows my shoulders to naturally lie back (such as hands on the highest part of my waist, or posing for the gun show.)

Why do I mention this?

Because sometimes I feel a bit like a fraud in my photos. I am a size 15 (somewhere between a size 14 and a 16, yet not truly being either) and I generally wear a size large top. I am by no means a 'thin' or healthily proportional person. However, I know how to fake it until I make it. Granted, I know that my fake-it photos look a lot better now than they have in recent memory; but, it doesn't mean that I am anywhere near my goals in terms of appearence yet.


Reality at 201lbs

I guess what it boils down to is that just because I have to embrace my flaws every morning when I get out of the shower doesn't mean that I want the internet to, too. Is that a bad thing?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIZZYCOCOA 10/5/2012 8:24PM

    work your angles :)

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MSMOSTIMPROVED 10/5/2012 11:36AM

    You know it!!!! ANGLES are a girls best friend. You look sooooo fracking good!!! That shirt is going to need some modifications if you want to wear it next summer.
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SOON2BSMALL1313 10/5/2012 9:08AM

    that's awesome!

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SKEETOR 10/5/2012 8:09AM

    How can I hide a big nose? emoticon
Have a great day!

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LILAC_LANE 10/5/2012 8:04AM

    So if I send you a list of my flaws, will you tell me how to fake it too? LOL
I love your attitude, and I always get a chuckle and really encouraged when I read your blog.
Have a great weekend!
~J~

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Day 107 : Half Marathon Training Plan and Milestones

Thursday, October 04, 2012

I think I've mentioned like a million times now that I have a plan for reaching my half marathon goal.

Well, I have a general plan.

I'm looking for feedback here, guys - especially from those of you who are or have trained - does this look insane?

Right now my top mileage is 4 miles. So, I need to build my base up significantly in the next seven months. In order to do that, I've worked out a series of race milestones to work toward.. by setting mini-goals I think I've increased my odds for success.

Mini-Goal Races:
28October - Freaky 5K run
22November - Turkey Trot 5K
8 December - Jingle Bell 5K
MID-JANUARY - Unknown 10K
MID-February-MID-March - Additional 10K AND 10 mile road race
APRIL - Another 10 Miler
MAY - HALF MARATHON

October training: 2 days: 2.5 miles; 1 day 3.2 miles, 1 day 30 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day Cross
November training: 2 days 3.2 miles, 1 day 4 miles, 1 day 30 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
December training: 2 days 4 miles, 1 day 5 miles, 1 day 40 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
January: 2 days 5 miles, 1 day 6 miles, 1 day 45 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
February: 2 days 5 miles, 1 day 7 miles, 1 day 45 minutes; 1 day strength 1 day cross
March Week 1: 2 days 4 miles, 1 day 7 miles, 1 day 45 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
March Week 2: 2 days 4 miles, 1 day 8 miles, 1 day 45 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
March Week 3: 2 days 4 miles, 1 day 8 miles, 1 day 45 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
March Week 4: 2 days 4.5 miles, 1 day 9 miles, 1 day 45 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
April Week 1: 2 days 4.5 miles, 1 day 9 miles, 1 day 60 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
April Week 2: 2 days 4.5 miles, 1 day 9 miles, 1 day 60 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
April Week 3: 2 days 5 miles, 1 day 10 miles, 1 day 45 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
April Week 4: 2 days 4.5 miles, 1 day 9 miles, 1 day 40 minutes; 1 day strength, 1 day cross
May Week 1: 1 day 4 miles, 1 day 2 miles, 1 day cross, HALF MARATHON.


So, I've called out progressive mileage goals - increasing semi-weekly. When I state a minute goal it's an easy paced run - not going for distance but for time. Strength training is my day to work on my core and upper body. Cross training will likely be biking. Maybe I'll swim, we'll see.

I've planned a few repeat weeks. As I learned with the C25K program, things don't always go exactly according to plan. I wanted the flexibility to step back if I need to. This also means I have the flexibility to step forward if I feel like I'm ready.

Alright, guys, have at it - does this look like a reasonable way to train?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSMOSTIMPROVED 10/4/2012 11:06PM

    Frack- I have no idea! I will say that it is so important to get rest when you start to get run down. Also, think about how you are going to get your running in as the winter creeps up on us. I'm just so proud of how you just jumped right in there and got a plan going. You are just moving it along!
Keep it up sista!!!
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PASTAFARIAN 10/4/2012 3:34PM

    I totally agree with EMMANY - except for her opening sentence! The idea of going from 4M to HM in such a short time makes me wonder - what's the rush? If 5K races turn you off (too short for you to get warmed up? Some other reason?), why not focus on 8K and 10K races - at least for a while.

To skip these shorter races is to miss not only lots of fun races but also to miss experiences that will help you train for a HM. Better to make (and learn from) mistakes in shorter races than in longer races! And increasing distance isn't just a matter of extending your workout; lots of things change at increased distances. You may find that you have physical issues at longer distances. You may even find out that you have no pleasure in anything beyond a 10K. Nothing wrong with that. But when you set a goal of HM while having no experience at anything over 4M, it sounds like you just want to skip a whole bunch of important experiences.

Don't get me wrong - I know plenty of people do exactly what you're proposing. But you did ask for feedback after all and you did ask if you sounded insane. :-) No, you're not insane but you are not leaving room to learn, to recover from injury, etc. What's the rush?

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EMMANYC 10/4/2012 1:28PM

    I think that overall your plan makes sense. I have a couple of suggestions for you to consider.

1) Think about including a cutback week about every 4-6 weeks (your body will probably tell you when you need it). My sister is a very experienced long distance runner and racer and she says the cutback weeks help her body recover and come back stronger. She usually limits her exercise in a cutback week to "easy", "relatively short", "fun" and/or "different" activities. For example, she might do something aerobic every other day (instead of 6/7 days), and those activities might be things like riding her bike into town (5 miles there and back) to have lunch with a friend, going ice-skating, taking a dance class etc. Instead of some of her usual strength workouts, she tries something different like a yoga or pilates class - or gardening! She might fit a run in there (because otherwise she gets crazy legs) but it's a short workout and again, she tries to make it a different experience (running around the lake in a park she doesn't usually visit etc). And she sleeps a lot.

2) Include more strength training, especially ST specific to runners. I'm doing some physio right now and my PT has me doing core strength work about 6/7 days: abs, hips, glutes. It is making a big difference in my ability to run without injury. While it is best to give large muscle groups (like legs, arms, shoulders) a day off between ST workouts, my PT says it's ok to work your core almost every day - because really, it IS working every day to hold you up. If you're interested, I have a blog from about a month ago with an ST workout for runners. I would recommend that you do core strength exercises at least 2 out of 3 days and other strength exercises at least twice (preferably 3 times) per week. It doesn't have to be a long workout - even 10-15 minutes of targeted exercises can make a difference.

3) Do you have the option of taking a running class or joining a running group? If so, it's something you might want to consider at some stage. Ask people at your upcoming races if there's something in your area.

4) Don't be afraid to incorporate cross-training into your long slow runs from time to time, especially if you are experiencing some discomfort from the pounding your body takes from high-impact running. I often do my long slow runs as a combination of running, walking and elliptical. That way I can build up my endurance while reducing the risk of injury. You can also use cross-training (especially the elliptical and a spinning bike) to develop your cardiovascular capacity and leg strength to run fast.

Comment edited on: 10/4/2012 3:12:35 PM

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Day 106 - Officially Overweight

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Afternoon, everyone!

Well, this week at the club I weighed in about a pound less than last week. A loss, is a loss, is a loss; of course. Still, After having some AMAZING weeks where 3lbs magically disappeared, the 1lb weeks seem a little less.. Progressive.

Down, is down.

Fit, is fit.

And I to remember - as long as I'm working toward my goals I am making progress.

Yesterday at Club we learned about resistance training (AKA strength training.) We were reminded that the hours spent on this style of training do not count toward our weekly minutes total. I, however, an unconcerned with my weekly minute total meeting the prescribed goals. Why? Because I have other fish to fry. That's not to say I'm not going to get my aerobic exercise in; it's that with the way my training for the Half-Marathon is structured I'm very, very unlikely to reach 300 minutes for the foreseeable future.

For example I'm working up to completing a 4 mile distance. So, On Tuesday I ran 2.5 miles in about 28 minutes. I will run 2.5 miles again on Thursday for another 28 and on Saturday I'll run 3.2 for around 35. That totals up to 91 minutes. With a goal of 250, I have some serious explaining to do. Still, my plan calls for doing two shorter, 'faster' paced runs and one longer 'distance' run a week. I'm still going to bike on my off days; but, that's still going to just barely get me to around 200. Fortunately when I spoke to our 'instructor' at club, she seemed to think that it was less important to meet the minutes goals as to be congniscent of my calorie consumption.

After all, the club is ALL about the fat loss.

As winter rapidly approaches I'm starting to do my best to make plans for how to get my runs in - and cardio in - when the snow begins to fall. I'm really concerned that the trails won't be open once the snow really comes down; and then I have NO idea where I'll run. I'm not exactly a fan of running out on the sidewalks... I looked into purchasing a YMCA membership for over the winter months so I could get in and use their eliptical / bikes; but at $55 a month it's pretty darned pricey.

I have some choices to make. I also need to keep in mind that in order to May to work and 13.1 miles to be attainable I have to start building my mileage now and continue to do so... Gotta stick to the plan, that's all there is to it.

Now, I know it's taken me a while to get to the meaning of my blog's title today. Well, It's official - according to my BMI I am overweight and no longer obese. Let me tell you, it feels fracking amazing. I have about another 40 pounds to go until I'm 'normal'; but I also recognize 'normal' may not be attainable for me. 155? I don't know, it feels lofty.

My End of year goal is 175. It's going to require dilligence; but, I think that I can totally manage it.

Also, given my feelings of 'plateauing' as of late, it's time to get back on the stricter side of the calorie intake range. I've got to get back down to 1200-1300, I've had too many days of 1400.

With it being the last quarter of the year I think it's a great time to realign our goals. What have you guys reframed for yourselves? What are you doing now to make what you want be what you have?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POMATOJUICE 10/5/2012 8:32AM

    Congratulations on hitting the overweight marker! I am pretty short, so I have to hit 174 to be just overweight XD I'm glad they aren't too worried about your minutes. I mean, it's not like you aren't working out at all! I know it's important to take the training slow and then work on ramping it up so you can avoid injury. So, in my mind, you are doing awesome! :D

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BECCABOO127 10/4/2012 4:10PM

    I cannot wait until I am overweight! Way to go you!

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LILAC_LANE 10/3/2012 11:20PM

    When I saw your new picture I thought you were already at your goal.
You look pretty "fraking" amazing, gurl.
You look very trim and healthy.
Your progress is inspiring, and I'm so happy for you.
For as much as you exercise you might think twice about cutting your calories any lower.
You need fuel to work out as hard as you do. :)
Keep up the great work! You are sooo worth it!
~J~

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SKEETOR 10/3/2012 3:24PM

    Umm.....let me get back to you on that. (I suck at making goals!) I'm glad you have a clear one in your head, though!
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