Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Well, it's been awhile since I've posted my goals and I've never been very good at it to start with. However, I am upping the ante this month and feel that posting the goals will help me stay on track. I kind of set a lot of goals, but like I said, I am upping the ante! I want to make March cry. It's not that I have anything against March-it is one of my favorite months (where I live we are pretty much already into spring and if you have a good alergy medication March is one of the best weather months we have), but the year, so far, has been kicking my behind instead of the other way around and I am going to take all that frustration out on March!!
Nutrition-I am keeping it simple here. I am going to track and enter my food and water. I've been off the tracking wagon for too long and it is time to fix the problem. For instance-we eat a lot of quesadillas in our house, they are easy, fast and the kids like them. As long as I weigh and measure my ingedients one quesadilla fits into my eating plan just fine and the salsa I like to dip it in for added flavor is a minor blip on the calorie register. Unfortunately, I've stopped weighing and measuring and I have a feeling there is way more cheese than there should be.
Fitness-this is where it gets a little complicated. Walking and running are already set items in my routine, but due to illness, shin splints, and sheer laziness on some days, I've called off more times than is acceptable. I've also been doing my homework and have uncovered some exercises that are reported to minimize the chance of injury. So...
-Walking-3 days a week with the addition of 4 sets of 12 repititions of walking lunges AND 3 sets of 10 reps of calf raises on a stair. The walking lunges are to be done during the walk and the calf raises immediately following. The lunges are said to balance the strength of your legs (so that one muscle group such as the hamstrings are not significantly stronger than, say, your calves-Fitness Magazine-Nov/Dec. 2009), the calf raises stretch your shins and achilles tendon which are both players in the shin splint drama.
-Running-2 days a week, which is really 3 days, but in the interest of continued shin health I am ready to give up one running or one walking day a week as needed. The running workout is getting the addtion of a 5 minute warm up run (slower than my normal pace and after the 5 minute warm up walk) followed by 3 sets of 30 second repetitions of hamstring stretches. Again, this technique is reported to minimize the chance of injury when running (Fitness magazine-Nov/Dec. 2009).
-Strength-Prevention Magazine's Total Body Toner program-I will be repeating week 1 for all 4 weeks of the month. Week 1 I will use 2 pound weights. Week 2 I will use 3 pound weights. Weeks 3 and 4 I will use 5 pound weights (at least that is the plan). By repeating the same moves and gradually increasing the weight I hope to give my muscles the gradual reintroduction to strength training that will amp the calorie burn while minimizing the soreness and injury factor. The program is kind of intense to start with-designed to give results in a short period of time-so I want to start light and build up so that I get at least some of the results without burning out. Next month I hope to have the momentum going to switch things up and keep things interesting.
-Yoga-I've been neglecting my yoga and my body is really feeling the difference. My back is complaining at me and so is the knee that has perpetually bothered me off and on since college. The knee had pretty much started behaving itself, going months without a twinge and then when it did act up it was back to normal within a day or two, where it would stay sore for a week or more before I started working out. It is time to give my body the treatment it is begging for. The plan is to get up a half an hour earlier than I have been and fit in a couple rounds of salute to the sun before going to walk/run. 3 days a week I will add to my strength training a round of exercises designed to strengthen your back to work on getting rid of those pesky back twinges I've been having.
Personal-two things here-1) start using my Sparkcalendar to the best of its abilities. The way I've been going the one-year calendar will last me two years! 2) Keep a training journal. The main purpose of this is to find out if there is any sort of pattern to my shin problems. They have not recurred this past week, but if they do I want to see if there is something I am missing that I can do better or just differently and the only way to do that is with a journal.
Family-two things here too. 1) I want to go to the park at least a few times. Like I said before, our weather is totally awesome right now. Today was one of those drop dead gorgeous days. Cool air, warm sun, perfect for just about any activity outside of swimming!! 2) Kind of goes along with 1. There is a local park my kids have never been to and I want to take them. The park in up in the foothills of our valley and has hiking trails and terrific areas for frisbee, kite flying, bike riding, etc. I've wanted to take them up there for a kid sized hike and a picnic since I had just one child (now I have 3). This is the time to do it so I've gotta get us up there this month. If I wait too long it will be too hot and some years the park even closes as the fire danger gets higher. Doesn't a short hike, a couple of rounds of frisbee and a picnic just sound heavenly?
Weight loss-I am aiming for the gold here. 10 pounds!!! I have enough weight to lose that 10 pounds is still reasonable. I am increasing my activity back up to a level where it has not been for several months. I think it is do-able. None of the Olympic medalists got to the podium by aiming for less than they thought they were capable of!!
So, here comes March, in like a lion and out like a lion for me. No lamb here. Too meek. I am woman hear me roar!!! March belongs to ME!!!
P.S. Remember that picky eating 3 year old from a few blogs back? Today she got into an argument with her older brother over her choice of snack food. She wanted a carrot and defended her choice with "Carrots are delicious" and "Right Mommy, carrots are yuuuummmmy" complete with belly rubs. She eats her carrots whole a la Bugs Bunny (cutest thing EVER). She has been slightly more adventurous lately and even more so if we tell her that her food wants to go to the party in her tummy (thank you Yo Gabba Gabba). If she keeps this up she will find herself the leader of the healthy eating train!!
Monday, March 01, 2010
I'm talking about ME!! I used to use those little puppies more often, but then my computer took a vacation and I was away for a bit. The activity I did post was done in quick bursts whenever I had a chance to grab somebody else's computer keyboard. Somewhere in there I turned into a selfish sparkpoint horder!! SHAME ON ME!! What was I thinking. It's not like I can cash them in somewhere and get something in return. Hey, that's an idea though-use points to get a discount at the sparkstore-that would be cool. Anyway, I digress. Today I fixed my little selfishness problem and went out and "bought" lots of goodies for some of my friends. It felt good too!! I remembered how great it felt to go out and leave little goodies all over the place for my friends to discover next time they log on.
So, the point is don't be a selfish sparkpoint horder. Go out and spend those puppies and make someone else's day a little brighter. You will feel lighter too!!
Friday, February 26, 2010
So, I've been doing nearly nothing on the workout front lately due to illness, but I am finally feeling better, there is a nice little cough lingering but for the most part the congestion and the fatigue from my recent illness have passed. Hurray for oxygen!!
Today was the first running day since coming back to from my "hiatus" and I was a little interested in how it would go. The shin splints have given me continued problems off and on since November. I've been doing intervals and that has been going okay. Unfortunately, I seem to be a runner who loses momentum the more I have to stop running. I can go several intervals, then I get bored and want to stop. Only then, I push too hard and the shin splints return for my next run and that is worse than the intervals.
Today the plan was to run week 3 of C25K. I thought that the short starting interval and then the slightly longer runs would work well for me. Well, that was the plan, but it didn't work out that way.
We got out there and we warmed up, stretched, and started running. I started really slow. Now, I don't mean your regular type of slow, I mean REALLY, REALLY, REALLY slow. Even for a penquin runner I was SLOW. My mom was along and most of the time she could keep up with me by walking. WALKING!! I really felt like I could have walked the distance faster than I was running it, but once I got started I was feeling pretty good. The podcast came around and told me to start walking but I said, "neh, think I'll keep running thanks". I kept running. I ran through that interval and the next one and the next one. Remember I am running REALLY SLOW. Shortly after announcing that my run was over and I could begin my cool down walk I hit the 1 mile mark. So folks, we are looking at a 20 minute mile!!!! HOWEVER, I RAN THE MILE!! I ran 1 entire mile with no intervals, no stopping, no shin splints, etc. Was I jazzed? Yes! Am I afraid of what this means for later? Yes.
What is going to happen on my walk tomorrow? Are my shins going to hurt? Did I over do it? Am I going to have to go back to intervals again on my next run?
I don't know the answers to any of those questions. I hope that I took it slowly enough. I hope that I was wise in keeping it to 1 mile and not pushing further. I hope that the week off I had gave my shins time to heal. I hope that this is a turning point and that on my next run I can run that mile again. I hope that next time I can run it again and just a tiny bit faster.
Will I be disappointed if I have to go back to intervals to run 1 mile? Probably. Will it keep me from running? No. C25k is still on my ipod and week 3 is still there ready and waiting if I need it. For that matter so are weeks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, etc. I actually enjoy running and will keep at it until I find the perfect answer. I sure would like to take that mile and build on it though!! Oh, it would feel so great to hit 2 miles and then 3 miles again. I think if I could keep my 1 mile I could do intervals for those other distances. I just want to feel like I have a foundation to build on again. For too long it has felt more like trying to build on quicksand instead of a steady foundation. Hope, hope, hope. Humans pin an aweful lot on hope.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I mentioned in yesterday's blog the program I am applying for to finish my Bachelors degree. A few people expressed interest in knowing more... So, I've been thinking about finishing my degree for awhile and am taking steps in accomplishing that goal. Way back in the day, when I was the right age I left home, went away to college, completed my Associate's at a 2-year college with good grades and transfered to a University to work on completing my Bachelor's in History with a minor in English, well long story short I left with one year to go with the intention of returning and finishing and well....you can guess that I did not return as planned and I am here, many years later, still one year shy of my degree. My university offers an on-line program designed specifically for former students, who have left for whatever reason, who want to finish what they started. The program is called BGS-Bachelor of General Studies, so I would NOT be earning the BA I started out for, but it is still a Bachelor's and I can maintain my focus in History. The program is even appropriate for students who are considering graduate work. Prospective students have to meet certain criteria, which I do, and have to have an endorsement letter signed by two people. Well the endorsement letter is now in the appropriate hands and I am confident it will be completed with a favorable endorsement. I have the applications filled out and ready to mail. We are on a very strict budget right now, which, thankfully is finally starting to loosen up, so next week I will have the application fee and the papers will be mailed in. Then it is nail bitting time!!! If I am accepted I will be given plenty of time to finish the classes needed and hopefully by the time my youngest is in school full time I will have finished my Bachelor's degree!! I have 5 or six classes to finish and they are all in the areas of history that are NOT my main focus (main focus is American History from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War)-I have to take classes like British History, Russian History, Asian History, etc (all a certain time frame or specific topic in that area not a general history).
It is one of those things I have always regretted leaving undone and now is a great time to resolve that regret. When school starts in the fall I will have two of the three in school full time, giving me some study time. I will have to find a proctor for testing purposes, but, fortunately I live in a town with an excellent Community College and an excellent library and I am confident I will be able to find SOMEBODY at one of the locations to help me with that (especially since my sis works at the college and my DH's aunt works at the library-for obvious reasons they cannot be my proctor, but they probably know somebody who can).
I always intended to use the degree to be a teacher, but even if I don't teach or use the degree for history related purposes it will still give me an edge in an ever increasingly competitive job market.
I even have a back up plan. If, for some reason I cannot forsee, I am not accepted into the program, the 2-year college I attended has, in the intervening years, become a 4-year university and offers a similar program, Thier degree is slightly different and not compatible with graduate work, but hey, that whole graduate work thing is a just a very vague goal and while I love the idea of getting an even higher education it is REALLY expensive and not totally necessary and would actually, in some cases, keep me out of consideration for some positions. Anyway, that is the plan, so, if all goes well, by fall, maybe even this summer, I will be a busy, busy lady. Fingers crossed!!
I of course, would not be giving up any of my spark time-this whole transformation thing is a package deal-gotta look as smart as I feel!!
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