Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Thanks everyone who input advice on yesterday's "Predicament" blog. I hunkered down in the evening when I got some quiet time and hammered out a ST plan that was a collaboration between myself and Sparkpeople. I used the Sparkpeople workout generator for the starting workout and then added in a ton of exercises to round it out. Did you know that when you let Spark select your strength workout you can choose "full body", "upper body", "lower body" or "core", but you can't select a combo of those? Kind of ticked me off. My intention was to select upper or lower for each day and add core to those workouts, but I could only choose one. So I selected upper or lower for each day I'd planned ST and then went back and added core exercises on my own. I also ended up adding additional strength exercised because I'd noticed in the past that the spark workouts tend to be a little light in some areas and heavy in others and might even miss areas I think are important. For example...the workout spark generated included 3 different rowing type exercises, all of which work chest, shoulders and triceps....and not a single bicep exercise. The only concession to biceps was the seated row which works biceps along with the other muscles. I balanced things out a bit and added a few to make it a little more challenging.
So, I've got my workouts all planned for the month. Cardio on non-running days will be walking the dog at a nice fast walking pace and a video as a back-up if it is rainy or I need a back-up for whatever reason. I loved my sister's idea of doing Just Dance, but I don't have one of those for my wii yet, so on my list of things to do is check the local re-sale stores for an affordable copy and go from there.
Glad I got that done because today has been a day and a half. Started with my run this morning with mom and sis. Today we started our "official" training plan for the Tinkerbell half and started running for time on Tuesday and Thursday. The scheduled workout is 45 minutes of running for each day. Generally we were hitting around 30-35 on an average morning so today was interesting. I decided I really enjoy running for time. I like that it gives a more instant feedback on how training is going. For example if I ran 2.6 miles today and then 3 on Thursday I know right away that I am faster than I was. My GPS tracker can give me similar info by breaking my time and distance down to a pace, but it is hard for me to remember the difference between a 16:47 and a 16:31. I can't remember from one day to the next what my time to the seconds was-lol!!
The kids are on a post-Halloween manic phase and have all been grounded from computer use and further candy ingestion. I've done a fair job of staying out of the baskets though. I have to admit to indulging here and there, but nothing horrible and only the pieces I want, no mindless noshing here.
I also got some interesting news today...our church does this HUGE women's conference every year and it travels from city to city. My mother, SIL, aunt and I have made it a tradition to attend and really enjoy it each year we've gone. For the last two years it has NOT come anywhere near us and most of us can't afford the cost or time involved in traveling to a neighboring state or Northern California (which I consider to be a neighboring state-lol). They are FINALLY coming back in 2012. I knew this awhile ago when I commented last year on FB about them not coming back in 2011. I got a response to e-mail a girl who let me know that 2012 would be when they were returning and was I interested in helping as a volunteer. My answer was a resounding yes. There was no communication for awhile as 2011 progressed along and then the schedule was finally announced and they really were coming to Long Beach (about 2 hrs away) so I e-mailed them again letting them know I was still interested. Today an e-mail came asking for team captains and volunteers. I responded saying that I'd be happy to be a volunteer and if they still needed captains I would be one. I got an almost immediate response that they did still need one more captain and would I call and then be available for web training tonight. I called and I am from an area without any captains so I am in. I get to be very involved in this wonderful event and help other volunteers be involved. I am so excited!! The conference is in March so I've got a bit of time on my hands before the big event. So of course I started making goals-lol!!
First the goals for November...
1. 1000 fitness minutes
2. Follow my schedule EVERY day!! (this is a big one for me)
3. Evaluate my schedule on Suday (a rest day) each week and change things that aren't working or shake things up if I'm getting bored
4. Find time to meditate at least once a week (quiet time in my house is at a premium so this is a big goal-lol)
5. Set daily goals for personal items (housework, school work, etc. and meet those goals)
6. Last, but not least, I hate setting weight goals because I never meet them, but this month I'd like to see a drop of at least 7 pounds which would drop me out of the 260's and into the 250's.
So now a few goals for the long term...
15 pounds gone by Christmas
25 pounds gone by January 29th (the day of the Tinkerbell Half Marathon)
A sub-45 minute 5K by Christmas...a long standing goal that has ripened and needs to be realized
30 pounds or more by the Conference in March....should give me an excellent excuse for a brand new outfit for the conference...if I lose 30 pounds I won't have anything that will still fit :).
Okay, so there we go...fingers crossed and a new mantra ("I AM worth it") and off we go jumping into November and beyond with both feet. :)
Monday, October 31, 2011
I am feeling much better today after a nice relaxing Sunday and all those naps on Saturday, which is good, because my house was tornadoed by the kids over the weekend-lol! Today is clean, clean, clean day.
Got a bit ticked at my husband...he does great things like fetch my wallet from the store where I forgot it, then doesn't tell me that he needs a ride to work, an hour away, until late last night. This trip means getting the kids (and myself) up at 4:30 am, getting everyone dressed and in the car to drive 50 min. one way, drop off husband and come 40 min back the other way. We save 10 minutes coming back because all the commuters head the other direction and the freeways are nearly empty on the return trip. I was NOT a happy camper. He totally destroyed my plans to get up, take the dog out for a 1 mile walk/almost run (fastest possible walk without actually breaking into a run-lol) and then do my strength training. By the time we got home it was nearly time to take the kids to school. My kids have to be at school by 7:10-totally insane, but I don't make the schedule. So, the good part is, I adjusted my plan...tonight being Halloween and all the kids do have to go trick-or-treating and while it will not count as cardio by any means I will be getting out and moving...I'll do jumping jacks or something while I wait as they go to each door :). Strength will happen when we get home during our regular "down time" after the kids are in bed. So, I'll still get it in, just not like I planned.
Which leads nicely into my predicament...November starts tomorrow....I haven't set any goals except to try and lose 10 pounds in November. I am at such a loss for how to plan out my routines....I have struggled with this all along...bouncing around from one routine to another never really satisfied that I'm "doing it right".
Run every other day or every day? Strength broken into pieces or all at once? Video or on my own or computer generated? Running plan or just run? It all makes my head spin sometimes and I consider myself to be a fairly competent planner.
I know that the answer is that as long as I'm doing something and doing it safely it really doesn't matter what I do. But, there are times that I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wish that I had the resources to hire a trainer to tell me what to do and when...
I'm leaning towards this schedule...
Mon...Min of 30 minutes of cardio (walk or video) and ST upper body and core and at least 10 minutes of yoga
Tues...45 minutes of running, ST lower body and planks and at least 10 min yoga
Wed...same as Mon
Thurs...same as Tues
Fri...rest day (yoga only)
Saturday...long run (minimum of 7 miles), ST upper body and core and light lower body ST and yoga
Whatcha think? I haven't determined yet what my Cardio will be other than running or whether I'll do a video or create my own ST plan or use on that someone else creates, that alone might trip me up.
The one thing I know is that I'm tired of letting my indecision decide for me that I'm not going to work out. Time to get on the ball and set some real goals and follow through.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Today was the Skins Fearless 5K in San Diego. It was a great race. My mother, my sister and I did this one together and my niece came along to take some pictures down at the beach. We got up nice and early and headed out in the dark to get to San Diego in plenty of time.
It is not a terribly far drive, but traffic can make it take up to two hours so that was the time frame we were working off of. Lucky us though the traffic was very light and we made EXCELLENT time (just barely over an hour) and got there in plenty of time to check-in and get set for the race.
This race was done in waves and we had all entered the open wave much later in the morning. Since we were there so early we decided to see if we could switch waves and go in the much earlier Females 30+ wave. They were so nice and it was no problem at all. It wasn't long before we were lining up at the start. My mother and I both wore wings and tutus and that was a new experience, but it was fun!
The race course was described as a "double loop lolipop course" and ran right along a bay. It was a beautiful setting and it wasn't long before the wisdom of the waves became clear. The route was a very popular running and biking trail for locals, by running in waves we were able to successfully share the area with locals out for their morning exercise. I started out trying to go slow, but didn't have to worry too much as a shin splint slowed me way down for the first TWO MILES!! I was bummed. I was hoping for something close to a PR, but the shin splint kept me mostly walking for a long time. By mile two I was good though and was able to run most of the rest of the route (took strategic walking breaks to give me a boost in certain areas (the fueling station, a down-hill section and the finish). I finished in a decent time for me (52:15) which I was very happy with considering that in the first mile I was wondering if I'd even finish at all.
I loved running in the tutu and wings, except my wings were rather large and kept hitting me in the back of my head-lol! We figured out a few ways to fix that problem before the Tinkerbell half, it didn't hurt at all, but was getting very annoying-lol!
Another problem during today's race was a total lack of energy. I had no pep, no energy and couldn't really pinpoint the problem until my sister pointed out that I've had a cold all week. Duh...yep, the fact that I'm still somewhat congested and under the weather would have an effect. I've got a few more 5Ks coming up and maybe one of them will be the PR I'm looking for.
We got our medals and a beverage and headed home. I got home and thought I'd jump right into the house work that needed to be done, but got busy on what should have been a quick project but fell asleep!! I though when I got up from my nap I'd be good to go, but turns out that I've only been able to manage small, short bursts of productivity before lapsing back into nap mode. I've slept away most of the day and sweet hubs even got dinner together tonight.
I totally crashed and burned today. It's been a hectic several of months and I've quit the PTA to give myself more time for my fitness and myself and my family (my house has suffered terribly from my business), but this past week wasn't much of a break as I finished up several projects that needed my attention for school and the PTA and I was kept busy preparing Halloween costumes and Red Ribbon Week activities. A quick clarification on Red Ribbon Week-a yearly, week long, program at school focusing on kids staying drug free (all "drugs" including tobacco and alcohol). Each day at our school the kids do something to highlight the day. I was in charge of coming up with the different themes and slogans for each day. Monday, pajama day (wake up to the facts, it's up to me to be drug free), Tuesday, Red Head Day-do something to make your head red (2 kids did red hair paint (their blond hair is still vaguely pink) and 1 did red ribbons all over her head), Wednesday-wear red (police, fire and EMTs were on campus with their vehicles), Thursday-crazy sock day and Friday, hero day (dress as your favorite hero). It kept me jumping.
The combo of still be really busy and having a cold just totally zapped my strength this week and I think it all caught up with me today. I'm still wiped out and will be going to sleep early tonight.
This week it is time to hunker down and get back to my plans so that I can kill that Tinkerbell half in a couple of months. Hopefully I'll wake up in the morning feeling better and ready to make some goals and plans for November.
It's been an exhausting day...hope you all had a great week and are enjoying a wonderful weekend. Hope my friends who are experiencing sever weather this weekend are staying warm and enjoying a restful weekend. Good luck to those who are running races and see you all on Monday (I'm gradually catching up on my reading and getting back to tracking food-yay!).
Monday, October 24, 2011
Okay folks, so I've been MIA for almost a month now, that shocked even me. I've checked in a few times but haven't been blogging or such and I've missed it. Starting this week I am coming back. A huge part of that is because I quit the PTA. Long story short those ladies are not ladies and were adding stress to my life that I simply did not need. PTA was something I could cut and I did, because no way am I cutting the fitness. I got a "you've lost a lot of weight" from a friend that I've only had time to pass in the halls at church lately, not much conversation going on, but she sought me out yesterday and told me what a great job I'm doing and it really meant a lot coming from her...she is a very fit nutritionist :).
So, anyways, I still have TONS of catching up to do with house work and such and don't have time to be here today, but was scanning through my e-mail and had one from Prevention (you know the magazine people). The subject was something to the effect of "choose white bread over wheat for weight loss". My brain immediately responded with "huh?". So yes, I got sucked in, clicked and sure enough Prevention is pushing a new book-The Glycemic Load Diet. The page is chock full of such tidbits as "Why almost all the "unhealthy" foods your parents ate can help you lose weight today", "How certain foods start making you fatter in a matter of minutes", and this awesome one "Enjoy your favorite "forbidden" foods and lose weight without calorie counting, starvation, or sweaty exercise!"
How about that ladies? Do you really believe that you can eat "forbidden" foods without counting calories and still lose weight? How about losing weight without "sweaty exercise"? Are there really foods that make you fat in a "matter of minutes"?
You know, I always thought that Prevention had good advice. Now I am unsubscribing from their e-mails and letting them know why.
Sure white bread might be better for weight loss....slice to slice the white bread is lower in calories. But, it is also lower in nutrients and taste. Do I want to try a diet that promises I can lose weight without exercise? Heck no!! Why you might ask? I hope you aren't really wondering the answer to that, but my reason is simple...There are a hundred "diets" that all will help you lose weight if you follow them closely enough. But, weight loss isn't the only goal here. Fitness IS the goal. Can I lose weight without exercise? Maybe. Can I get fit without "sweaty exercise"? NEVER!!
I enjoy my sweat!! It shows that I worked hard and accomplished something. It shows that I did not sit on the sofa all day reading the Glycemic Load Diet book and trying to figure out how to lose weight without eating healthy nutritious foods. I love that I can get sweaty and am even moderately proud of my scraped up and bruised knee that I got tripping over a curb on Saturday's run-lol!! Hey, I got it running not because I'm a natural klutz or anything-lol (those that have been reading for awhile might remember that I AM a natural klutz, but I'll use the exercise excuse when valid :) ). And, I'm only proud of it because it didn't cause any lasting damage...otherwise I'd be devastated that I hurt myself so close to several races coming up. Anyhoo....back on topic.
To be fair, the foods that they list are all things I would eat anyways in moderation...meat, cheese, fruits and vegis. It doesn't list ANY of the "starch" laden foods you can't eat, but I can guess that there are a lot of vegetables on the list like potatoes and corn. Things I try to moderate anyways because they are on the bottom of the nutrient scale as far as freggies go. It looks like they are also against wheat and possibly other grains since they want you to eat white bread and desserts with copious amounts of whipped cream on them. But, this "diet" is not the magic bullet and the fact that it contains so many red flag words scares me. I bet this thing sells like hotcakes and I'm sure some people will lose weight. I'm also sure that those of us who are eating healthy, balanced diets (or trying to anyways-we all have our moments) and are enjoying our "sweaty exercise" will be able to out run those people on the Glycemic Load Diet when the zombies come after us (Happy one week to Halloween). Haha-just thought of something...the Glycemic Load Diet-yeah it's a load alright a load of __________ (fill in the blank).
In case anyone was wonder what I meant by "red flag words"...I believe that there are certain words that are included in lots of advertising that alert you to the fact that their product is a sham and you should stay far away from it. Phrases like "lose weight without counting calories"-yeah that sends up a HUGE red flag warning. "Eat "forbidden" foods" is another one. We all know that no food is "forbidden", right? Personal needs and desires might have us creating our own list of foods we want to stay away from (like Reese's Peanut Butter cups), but really, in a nutritious, balanced diet, there is always room for all foods in moderation. I love the phrase "makes you fatter in minutes". I'm sorry, but nothing makes you fatter in minutes. Some foods might cause bloat, a temporary condition. And some foods cause a greater stress on your body to be digested and processed and those should be minimized. But, there is not a substance on this planet that makes you "fatter in minutes". It took me 20 years to get to this weight not 20 minutes. This has to be my favorite red flag "You will NEVER lose those extra pounds until you learn which foods really make you fat!". Well geez louise how on earth do all these sparkers make it work for them? "NEVER" in all caps...designed to play on my psyche...I'll never be thin until I try this diet. WRONG.
Now, maybe this "diet" does have something going for it and maybe it contains some good advice...but with all the red flags on this thing I'm not buying the book and I'm not touching this thing with a ten-foot pole. When it has been published by MULTIPLE reputable sources as the honest truth I'll go back to white bread, until then I'm going to enjoy my nutty and filling whole grain bread.
So, my ire is spent and my plea to each and everyone of you is to watch for those red-flags and run away. Food that actually contains nutrients is good for you and your body. Foods that have been stripped of all nutrients and provide only caloric value are bad. Now, go and enjoy a nice balanced meal of your choosing and if you haven't already done so, get nice and sweaty at some point today :).
I'm loath to post the link to the ad...I'm sure if you go to the Prevention web site you'll find it if you are that set on seeing it for yourself.
Monday, October 03, 2011
Saturday was our big hike that we'd scheduled. It was quite the hike, let me tell you...
Saturday, the first day of October started out bright and early as we met up at my sister's (4everadonegirl) house at 6:00 to leave for our hike. There was a bit of a delay as all the members of our group arrived and finished last minute preparations for what was promising to be our biggest hike to date. The attendees were myself, my mom, my sister and her son and his wife and their dog. The plan was to tackle Tahquitz Peak. A local granite fixture that is reported to be the tallest peak in Southern California. There are two ways up this monster, rock climb up the front, or hike around the back. None of us rock climb so we were taking the back route along two separate trails, first was Devil's Slide, then Tahquitz Peak. Eventually we were all ready for the adventure and on our way...we decided to take one car because an Adventure Pass was required and since we all could fit in one car we saved some money on parking. It took a bit to get us situated, especially Cocoa, the dog coming along on the adventure, but we got it worked out and were soon on our way up the hill (up the hill=local colloquialism for going up into our local mountains).
Got to the Idyllwild Ranger station without any problems and filled out our day use pass to go on the trails, it was really easy to accomplish and off we were to Humber Park. Humber Park is the location of a couple of trail heads and the parking spot. Humber Park is usually where we turn around and head back on our regular hike, Ernie Maxwell Trail. Pit stops accomplished and we stepped foot on the trail after being properly warned...
Yep, rattled my nerves just a bit. "Hazardous Conditions"? Off we went anyways.
The trail started to climb almost immediately and there were lots and lots of breaks for air :). Straight across from our trail (Devil's Slide) was another of the huge chunks of granite that litter our mountainside...Suicide Rock. We started out below Suicide Rock and it wasn't long before this was our view.
There was LOTS of beautiful scenery along the way, even a pretty cool cave (can't see it in the pic unfortunately).
That's Suicide Rock again, just to show you how far up we've climbed in under 2.5 miles. A gain of about 1600 feet. Finally we started running out of mountain to climb....every direction we looked we were at the top....except we knew there was more coming...we just didn't know how much more.
After a bit more of a climb we reached Saddle Junction. A very appropriate name for this beautiful little spot.
Nestled in a grove of trees at the top of this particular piece of mountain is the jumping off point for multiple other trails. So this point "saddles" the mountain and is the junction point for many trails. This point also sits right on the PCT-The Pacific Crest Trail. I have to confess that ever since I got involved with hiking as a sport, not just something to do while camping, I've become a tad obsessed with the PCT. SOMEDAY, maybe when the kids are teens or on their own, you'll find me and hopefully other family members hiking large sections of the PCT. Stretching from Mexico to Canada this is a lifetime goal. I haven't set a goal for how much, but maybe...nah, won't go there now...we'll see. Anyways, I was so excited that this junction included the PCT I couldn't help but take a pic of me standing on the PCT.
And this PCT post...
After lunch we were back on the trail, only now, instead of Devil's Slide, we were on the Tahquitz Peak Trail. Which, I was overjoyed to find out is a small little piece of the PCT :). More beautiful scenery, except the trail did NOT get any easier, as we had read on multiple reports-lol! Nope, it was just as strenuous as the first section, but maybe not quite so twisty-turny, it was laid out straighter and therefore might seem a bit easier, psychologically speaking, maybe...I wasn't buying though-lol. It wasn't too long though (actually it was absolutely forever) before we reached another junction, we turned to the right and kept following a trail that was now literally sitting on the top of rock, not much dirt or even sand to speak of. Hard granite and bits of crumbled stone. Suddenly we were standing on a cliff. That took me by surprise...and caused quite the wave of dizziness (the sheer surprise of it and the height and the thinness of the air all combined against me).
After a few moments of leaning on a very solid rock I felt like I could hazard another look...not so much, but I did manage a few pics by pointing my camera in the right direction.
See that roundish lump of rock, slightly to the left of center in the next pic? That would be Suicide Rock...oh my it got so tiny...eeek.
This pic...that would be straight down folks...nothing but rock and some really stubborn brush down there. Yeah, right here I'm kind of terrified and my nephew had quite the good time teasing me, but hey...I won't deny...I had no idea my fear of heights, which usually ignores the heights found in mountains since I still have ground under my feet, would kick in so forcefully when presented with a 1000 foot granite cliff. Need I mention that this pic was taken by pointing my camera and not actually looking at what I was shooting?
I pressed on for another 50 feet, maybe more, then the trail took a steep turn and a steep climb that scared the bejeezus out of me. Nope, I did not make it all the way to the top, probably within a 1/4 mile or less of the top, but not the top. And while I regret it a little bit, at the same time I'm totally okay with it. I know my limits and I don't know what would have happened to my already dizzy self if I had encountered that steep climb on the side of the cliff. I was able to reason with myself while it was flat, but the climb, I couldn't and I didn't and that is okay. I pushed further and harder than I'd ever pushed before. This was the BIGGEST, most STRENUOUS, most REWARDING hike I've ever taken. I proved to myself that I could do ALMOST anything. If I could do absolutely anything, I'd be perfect and how dull would that be? lol :) My mother was kind enough to turn around with me and head back to a more solid location. I actually stayed on the side of that cliff for a few moments kind of forcing myself to look around and the view was SPECTACULAR. I found a spot where I was literally sandwiched between two rocks so I could look around. When I got tired of standing on the cliff we headed back to more solid ground where the view was still spectacular. Mom and I got a chance to just sit and rest for a bit while the others made it to the peak.
When the others got back we took a quick pick of my mom, my sister, and myself....
The hike back was much easier than the hike up, but still exhausting and by the end all I wanted was to get off that mountain. I did my good nature deed for the day when I picked up a discarded water jug someone had left on the trail. I carried it all the way down that mountain and tossed it in the garbage where it belonged. Pack it in-pack it out...shame on whoever dropped it to litter the beautiful forest we'd been enjoying all day long.
Finally, very near the bottom I looked up and saw this... That's where I'd been earlier that day. Way up on top of that ridge. The giant rock face is in front of where we emerged on the trail...I believe it is right in front of where the trail turned and took the steep upward climb at the end. The ridge immediately behind the rock face is the cliff we were standing on. I think, if I am remembering and seeing things correctly, I made it to right about somewhere in between the far right edge of the cloud touching the ridge and that little "v" shaped notch. The trail itself does not follow the entire ridge, but comes in somewhere right around the middle of the cloud from behind the ridge. The Devil's slide trail took up up the side of the mountain. The Tahquitz Peak trail behind it and back to the ridge. Quite the amazing accomplishment.
The adventure wasn't quite over though....Last 1/4 mile of the trail and we have separated from the rest of the group. My sis, nephew and niece-in-law are far ahead with my mom and I trailing behind. I met up first with a dad and his two little girls. They warn me that ahead, by a rock after the switch back there is a rattle snake so watch out and stay in the middle of the trail. I stop and wait for my mom to catch up, inform her as we hit the switch back and we take it VERY slow, with wide open eyes, watching for any sign of this snake. There are A LOT of rocks at the switch back so I am watching very carefully. No sign of the snake at all...maybe it slithered away after encountering the family? So, now very anxious to be done, I forge ahead and pick up my speed pretty certain I'm past the danger, but still watching every rock that comes up and still staying in the middle of the trail. When suddenly, hidden in the shadow of a rock ahead and to the left I see the snake. He is not terribly big and black and looked to be coiled up. I jumped a mile to the right. I think I literally jumped. That darn snake scared the poo out of me (almost). I warned my mom and pointed to the spot...she stopped to look...not for me thanks...and couldn't see a rattle, but said it looked like the snake had lost the end of it's tail so it was hard to tell. I wasn't about to get to know it better and kept going-lol! Nothing like a mild cardiac event at the end of a grueling hike to get your adrenaline pumping and give you that extra push to the end-lol!! From there is was really just a few more yards and I saw the trailhead along with the car and everyone else waiting for us....it felt so good to get in the car :). Home, a shower and I was asleep by eight o'clock :).
It was an amazing adventure and one I'll never, ever forget. I also learned I need better hiking boots any recommendations as to brand? I'm seriously considering investing in Keens or Merrells any suggestions?
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