Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Day 2 of my new plan anyways...This week I have on deck 3 days running, 2 days other cardio, 3 days strength and 3 days flexibility. So far so good. Today I went for a rare, but invigorating evening run. The weather has taken a sudden and wonderful turn for the cooler. We have gone from 113 or so last week to the low to mid 70's this week-roughly a 40 degree shift in just a couple days...weird, but welcome. I really do enjoy cool weather so much more than hot. The heat is just so draining. If you've ever seen a live plant that has wilted due to heat or thirst and then you water it and it suddenly perks up and looks totally healthy again...that's how I feel in the difference from hot to cool-lol!!
So, I did head out a TAD later than I intended and with the cloud cover moving in it did get dark a lot faster than I was expecting so I made an executive decision and changed my route at the last minute. Instead of heading west and having to cross several streets I headed east, a route that would have me crossing only one street twice (once at the beginning and once at the end). I discovered that around the block is over 1 mile!! I decided last minute again to take a jog into a retirement community on the route. It is a community of cute little retirement homes for people 55 and over. I go around the outsides of this area all the time, but I've never ventured inside, which is silly, because it isn't gated or anything. I guess I just figure the old people don't really need me running down their streets. But, what I discovered is a wonderful place to run...wide quiet streets, no traffic ( I didn't encounter a single car on the street while in there-maybe because it was dark and seniors notoriously don't drive after dark-lol), and a place that felt safe and quiet. I seriously felt like I had suddenly run right into Mayberry, I expected to see Andy, Aunt Bea and Opie come around the corner at any moment. I think I'll probably run through there again...hope the seniors don't mind :). Since I've never run there before I was a little unsure of where to go and how the streets worked, I have a kind of odd talent though, I have an excellently calibrated internal compass. I seldom feel lost or turned around. Once I got inside the community though I had got an impression of how the streets were laid out and thought I knew what to expect, but about half way through I felt lost, the streets weren't doing what I expected them to do, but I kept going and kept thinking that I'd figure it out eventually no matter what and there was one weird jog in the street but then I was right where I thought I was supposed to be and then I was back out on the street I knew and a short distance later the 2 miles I said I would do was up and it was time to head home. Which was good because it was really dark by now!! Once back I did my strength and stretching and now it is shower time quickly before bed. We are expecting rain tomorrow morning which is nice since tomorrow is NOT a running day :).
Scored a "new to us" dryer today so that was cool. Now my washer and dryer match!! Several years ago my dryer died, we got an extra dryer from my mom and it died pretty quickly too. Then we "inherited" one from my husband's grandparents and it has worked okay, but it usually takes two cycles to finish any type of load and if it is my husband jeans, etc. it can take 3 cycles. Also our washer is white and the dryer we got from them is beige. Yes, I will confess it bothered me a little that the colors didn't match-lol! A friend of our recently had to buy a new washer and went ahead and purchased the set so she had a dryer to get rid of and we got it-YAY!! So now both units are white again and it takes only one cycle to dry an average load.
Finally, asking for good vibes, my husband is applying for a job that is perfect for him. It is air and heating tech at BYU. My school!! It would mean moving to Utah, but it pays more than his old job, better benefits and would make it easier for me to finish my degree!! Don't know if he'll get it, but he's trying for it and it is one of the best options that has come up so far! Fingers crossed!!
So, I've put in my 2% for the day (and then some-35 minutes on the run and then I don't know how long on the strength and stretching). Now it is time for a quick shower and then I get to read for awhile-yay!!
Hope everyone had a great day and happy Wednesday tomorrow!!
Saturday, October 02, 2010
First, I got many great responses to yesterday's blog! All of them had something I could take from it and use to make myself better. The key ideas I took away are these...
1) It struck me almost immediately that I don't do well with long term planning. It was really kind of a DUH moment. I can't plan an entire month and make it work. I don't do well looking into the future, but I do REALLY well with short tearm planning. AWEISE's comment was the wake up call on this one, EDWINA172 and CFLOTT put the finishing touches on my first plan. I will plan for 1 week at a time (Monday through Sunday) and do my weekly recap on Sunday. I think I will do a monthly re-cap to pull it all together. I can do 1 week at a time!! Such a small and silly thing, why didn't I see it before...one small change, instead of planning for an entire month I will plan for just one week.
2) CFLOTT, NONIE_C, FUNFROG79, and my sister (4EVERADONEGIRL) put together my second step...Actually PLAN, sit down and plan it out and then write it down and then be accountable. It is really funny...Funfrog79 posted her comment but I didn't see it until after I spoke with my sister this morning during our run and they both said almost the exact same thing and it is funny because their ideas are what I actually do with my kids. I use sticker charts for my kids (or in my son's case since he is 7 and learning to be computer savy, computer graphs) to track anything from books read to behavioral goal (no hitting, or be good in class, etc) and when the chart/graph is complete a reward is in order. So I will be using my SparkCalendar (yep, I have one, just haven't been doing a great job of using it) to plan each week and each day I do everything I'll get a sticker :). I don't know yet what I'll get after collecting all those stickers, probably just a piece of paper covered in stickers and a feeling of accomplishment!! :)
3)I love IHEARTK's idea of setting non-scale goals, which I usually do anyways, but I am going to take a couple of weeks and not set any scale-related goals at all, except to not gain. I will still weigh, I will still track, I'm just not setting a weight-loss goal. Hmmm, I'm intrigued, hopefully it will work, because I am prone to slacking off after a week where I didn't lose what I "planned" to lose.
4)GOTTATRY2 uses spreadsheets to track workouts...since I am "in training" I think I will pull out the spreadsheet I have used and am not currently using to track my stats.
5)LINDSAYHENNIGAN suggested changing workouts when boredom sets in...I LOVE THIS and this is a major thing with me. I get bored quite easily. But I'll plan out an entire month of the same exercise over and over again. Well, needless to say this was another DUH moment and actually hit at the EXACT right time. This week I've kind of just been doing whatever strikes me. This method would not work long term, but what I can do is plan a different strength plan each day I am scheduled for strength. I can plan to do a different DVD each day I am scheduled to do cross-training. I might really start looking forward to my workouts if I know it will be something differnt than I did two days ago.
To sum up...I will only plan one week ahead (not a month), I will actually plan, I will use the same reward system I use on my kids=STICKERS!!, I will NOT plan my weightloss, just the things I do to facilitate that loss, I will mix things up to keep it interesting and I will track my statistics on my spreadsheet. One reason I want to go back to the spreadsheet is today's run...let me tell you about it!!
Got up this morning and really wasn't feeling it...it just seemed like one of those days that would not equal a good run. As I am driving over to my sis' house I see a couple flashes of lightening again..another sign that today might not be a good day for a run. But, I finally get there we get started and I decide to do my best no matter what. It drizzles on us just a tiny bit. I also have to stop and stretch due to the glitch but once I did I actually felt much better than I usually do. Glitch went away and I found my stride. I found my stride BEFORE a mile was up. That alone made it a great run!! Made the rounds in the neighborhood and then went out to the main road, still feeling good. AWEISE and I were running near each other with Kristen way off ahead. We get to a park, where usually we just turn and head down the street before turning into a parking lot and making a loop. Today though we headed into the park, which happens to have a nice little looping sidewalk all the way around. We made several loops then headed down the street again, on the way back we made a few more loops in the park and then headed back to the neighborhood. My phone is on with the GPS tracking and by the time we are ready to go back into the neighborhood it says I've gone 6.25-ish miles!! 6.2 is, up to today, the farthest I've ever run and that was using intervals to go that far. So far I've run the entire distance. So, obviously I'm going for 7 here. Can't stop at 6.25!! So back into the neighborhood, a quick back-track to a trail I like...down and back around another trail and one more short one and we are done!! I just went 7.03 miles RUNNING!!! Farthest I've ever gone and farthest I've ever gone without intervals!! I definately didn't break any speed records. But, I did do well for me...my normal 17+ min mile pace was shortened to an average pace of 16.42. One way I accomplished this today was by watching my heart rate. So, I am thinking that tracking my HR might be more helpful than I previously thought.
Again, such a basic thing. I run all the time and I note the facts at the end of the run, but I seldom watch my HR DURING a run. I picked a number where I knew that I was working hard, but not at max and worked hard to stay at or under that number. I noticed that I actually had to work to go slower and not max out my HR. I always think faster is better, but I discovered today that I can make better use of my resources. If I DON'T try to go faster, I am working smarter not harder and I actually did a lot more!! Yep, ANOTHER Duh moment for me. Okay, so sometimes it takes me a little while to catch on, but I got there!! I know too that if I keep working the way I am that eventually I will HAVE to run faster in order to stay at the number where I feel like I am working most efficiently. That number is probably also going to change from day to day. By the end of the run today I was starting to be able to tell when I was working too hard. I could tell because I was breathing too hard. I could tell because my posture had gone to pot ( I have a tendancy to lean forward, which puts a strain on my back and my back starts to hurt). I could tell because I was leading with my chin. All things that cut the quality of a great run. And today, because I was working smart I was able to correct all those things and I had a GREAT run!! It rocked, it rolled it was awesome. Oh and the rain stopped, the lightening stopped, it was humid, but the air was actually cool-ish. It was a great moring run!! Came home did some strength and now time for some housework!! It's October I can take out the fall decorations!! I have a plan for a plan-lol! It is starting to feel fall-ish again and should feel even more like fall by next week (that is to say the temps will be in the 80's instead of the 100's-lol) and I am still on a high from a great run!!
What a day it is today!!
Hope everyone else has a great Saturday!!
Friday, October 01, 2010
I will stop counting the days eventually, right now it is a little bit fun watching my "streak" build, but the fact of the matter is that I am just kind of not a counting kind of person. Which is kind of why I'm writing this blog today.
Today is October 1st. The first day of the month...traditionally that day where you set new goals and do your darndest to meet them each month. Now, I have tried setting goals before, but truthfully, I am just not very good at it. I want to be good at it. I have several Sparkfriends who excel at goal setting and tracking. I read thier month end/start blogs and get a little envious.
So here's the thing. I am a great planner. I am an exceptional planner, I'm just not an exceptional completer!! LOL!! I am asking you all for your tips, tricks, advice, etc.
How do YOU set your goals? How do YOU make sure you follow through? Do YOU use just the tools here on Spark or do YOU create a tracker/spreadsheet/etc for your tracking needs? What kinds of goals do YOU set? I know what I've done in the past and I have a great example from a certain Sparker of the direction I want to go (Karvy09 your tracking and monthly recap blogs ROCK). But, since not every system works for everybody I would like EVERYONE'S input so I can glean the best of the crop . The problem with me seems to be carrying the plan over day to day...
At the end of October I am hoping to be able to post a whole bunch of these... and I hope I don't see anymore of these... . So, if anyone has a bright idea I am more than ready to hear it. Because I want this to move . I want to be able to do this and one of these .
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Off to a weird start today! My "day" started off at 2 a.m. when oldest daughter comes in and yells at us until we wake up "can I watch t.v. now?" Yeah.....no. She had also woken up her sister so both of them climbed into our bed and it was rough going from there. Got up at 4:15 (just when I really felt like I was going back to sleep the alarm went off) to go running. I don't wake up quickly, especially if I haven't really been asleep. So as I'm driving to my sisters I see flashes of light off to the side. It took my brain a full minute to comprehend that it was lightening I was seeing. Well, that makes things a bit more interesting....was it close, was it frequent, was it going to rain?
Didn't see any further flashes so figured we would probably be okay...Got to my sis's, my mom was there too, so we set off. It wasn't long before there were additional flashes of lightening, but no thunder. I haven't often seen lightening that was far enough away to not have the thunder come with it. We were also seeing cloud flashes, not ground strikes, so we figured let's keep going for now.
The running part of this adventure was only okay today. I am still having ongoing mild shin issues. If I stop and stretch when the start feeling tight the feeling usually goes away and I can finish my run without much issue. It is taking me about a mile to find my stride and resolve the shin issues these days so my long runs generally end up being better than short ones. It was kind of slow going today though and because of the lightening I decided we would take a couple short cuts that would keep me and my mom ahead of Kristen most of the time so that we would be able to finish closer to the same time. I didn't want us to be out there a lot longer than Kristen. Still ended the run on a good note and probably somewhere around 2 miles. Short for the schedule, but still felt good.
So, we get back to Kristen's and we are seeing more frequent, but still far away flashes of lightening so I am feeling pretty good about the decision to head back. We stop to stretch and I check my phone's GPS tracker. My sister must live in the Bermuda triangle of Hemet because back before she got her Garmin she used a phone GPS tracker and got really amazing results a 2 mile-ish run turned into 8!! I figured it was just the program she was using since I've used my program twice and haven't had any issues with odd results. Today, that changed!! Maybe it was the lightening in the atomosphere messing with the satellites? I don't know, but when I checked my GPS said I ran 30.49 miles in 40 minutes!! Dang, I am A-MAZE-ING!!!!!! I am SuperWoman!! I can run nearly a one minute mile!! I can finish a marathon faster than the fastest of the elites!!! I have found my new calling!!! We had a good chuckle over that!
Got my stuff, got in my car and started home. I hadn't been in the car even three minutes, I hadn't even driven a mile, when the first splat hit my window...huh? What was that? There's another one, and another. Did I drive through a sprinkler? That happens on this route from time to time. No I'm in the wrong lane. Hey, wait a minute...could it be, is it? RAIN!!! All those lightening flashes finally broke open the clouds and it was raining, ahhhh. Yay, because I really do enjoy a good rainstorm, particularly if it is short and leaves everything smelling nice and clean. The rain stopped for a minute, but then by the time I was home it was really coming down. When my son found out it was raining and there was lightening he went around the house turning off all the lights so he could see the lightening outside (it was still dark outside at this point so we were all sitting in the dark just waiting for a flash). Love things like that...sitting in the dark waiting for lightening...it's kind of fun.
Last, funny thing of the morning. I am just starting to get on the computer and check e-mail etc. and I can see that my youngest is busy doing something, but I'm not really paying attention to her until I look up...I start laughing and tell her not to move while I get my camera...this is what I saw...she is sitting in our rocking chair, one of her favorite spots (she's fallen asleep in the rocking chair)...
It's like "Where's Waldo" can you find the child in this picture? LOL!! She somehow managed this all by herself, nobody helped her. These are all her "friends" she's dressed the big bears up in her own clothes and she changed the outfits around on the others. They are all playing dress up. I was cracking up....looks like today is going to be one of those days full of fun stuff...yay!!!!
Okay, on to business....Done Girls Winter is Near challenge. The challenge this week is to beautify your page for the fall challenge...Done. Then for extra points the challenge is to do the fitness test from Runner's World Magazine's web site. Find the test here...
I fared "fair" on most of the tests. I did great on the squats test and wall stance test. I was not even close to being even fair on the lap test (a 400 run) or the tempo test (how far in 30 min). So, now that I've taken the tests I know where I am at and I can work on improving those scores over the course of the challenge. It was kind of fun doing the test. Just for the fun of it, since I was already in test mode, I threw in a flexibility test I tore out of a magazine. Find it here... www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/tips
There were no real surprises here, except maybe that my obliques are far more limber than I thought and my calves are tighter than I thought. I scored fair on most areas and poor in my thighs, hamstrings and calves. What I like about both tests is that they give you things to do that target those specific problems, so I can work on it and get better. I'll be retaking both tests at the end of the challenge and I hope I see some improvement. I'd love to move my calves and thighs from poor to at least fair. I think if I can get stronger and more flexible in my legs I'll be a much better runner. That is not to say exactly faster, but at least maybe get over that one-mile glitch I have EVERY run .
Okay, really long blog...hope today has more fun stuff in store and hope everyone has a happy Thursday!! Wow, the week is already almost over...happy almost Friday!!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Yep, I made it to day 2!! I did 20 min of cardio off a video and I will do my strength training tonight while I watch t.v.-after it has cooled down a little.
This week I am working hard on staying hydrated and getting enough water to see if that helps the headache issue. I went for a 2 mile run yesterday and....no headache!! Yay! I'm thinking, at this point, that my headaches are hydration/allergy induced. So hopefully the seasons will actually change and I will stay hydrated and that problem will end.
I'm in Southern California and I know that our weather has been making the national news, so you may have heard it's been hot here. Anyways, where we are, closer to the desert, we haven't been getting any temps we aren't already used to, but it has been plenty hot still. Well into the hundreds. Yesterday we were expected to top 100 by a bit, but it was cooler than it was over the weekend...So, anyways, I am in the house, husband is outside when there is a loud bang and a sound kind of like a generator operating. I had no idea what was going on but figured it was a neighbor or something running some equipment. About 5 minutes later Hubs comes in the house and announces the air conditioning broke! The bang I heard was a connection breaking and blasting a bolt through the casing of the air conditioning unit (ours is mounted on the ground not the roof-making it very easy for Hubs to figure out what was going on), the sound like a generator was all our refrigerant leaking out.
AWESOME!! How much better can it get????!!! I actually found it quite funny...I mean really, about a month ago an awning simply fell off our house (that was fun), then my husband loses his job and then a bolt decides to pretend it is a bullet and blast its way out of the a/c unit!! I am just glad Hubs was actually a distance away when it happened, I can just picture a trip to the ER to have a bolt removed from his shin!! Thanks goodness that DIDN'T happen! So, we are still expected to hit the 90's and up for the rest of the week and we are making do with fans. It doesn't work well, but at least we are saving electricity from not running the a/c!! lol! Knock on wood about a million times...at least everyone is healthy.
Other than that life is still good...I got my cardio in for the day...it will be cooler by 8:00 and I can do strength in front of a fan while we watch t.v. Tomorrow is a running day, looking forward to that. And hopefully it will cool down sooner that they say it will :)! Hope everyone is having a good Wednesday!!
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