Saturday, July 14, 2012
Well, I got a little busy this week, which totally happens. Fortunately, I have not let it throw me completely off, maybe a little, but not too far. Gotta stay on track this weekend.
I'm watching IT on tv. I don't think I've ever seen it straight through before, just bits and pieces. Since I never saw it, I'm not afraid of clowns. Also, I have a clown collection started for me as a baby, so I've always been surrounded by them. Makes my friends and husband crazy.
Okay, on to the important things.
Sleep: I took the last two days off since I was so busy and stuff and high stress, whoops. Tomorrow: back on track, I promise.
Food: Other than the wine last night with date night, it's been pretty good. Maybe a little too much munching and a few too many spoonfuls of peanut butter, but not too many.
Exercise: Still my favorite thing. I benched 80 lbs the other day, woohoo! I'm also being good and doing mini-exercise sets on my non-gym days, like today!
Other: mostly crazy, have a bunch of stuff that needs to be done yesterday but isn't getting done until tomorrow, you know. Today, I am going to a picnic, but I'm not going to eat anything other than meat, fruits, and veggies. That's the plan.
Gotta run and get ready, so, onward and upward!
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Barely breathing, now I lay me down to sleep ...
Okay, so I promised to talk about my sleep schedule. First, a bit of history. Item 1: I have fibromyalgia. It's very under control, but one of my major issues for a long time was sleep. Essentially, I'd sleep for 8 hours a night, and wake up exhausted. So, a doc put me on a tricyclic antidepressant, which at least helped. However, the antidepressant would build up in my system funny and stop working for long periods and I'd have to switch things around. Also, I couldn't take it if I was drinking, and it made me groggy for at least 8 hours, so I didn't want it if I couldn't stay in bed that long.
Anyway, my sister introduced me to the concept of polyphasic sleep. What that means is that sleep happens not in one chunk at night, but in various sized chunks throughout the day. The most classic, but hardest to maintain, form of this is to sleep for 20 minutes every 4 hours. I prefer a more flexible version where I sleep about 4 hours a night, and then take 2-3 20 minute naps throughout the day.
But wait, you say, how can a 20 minute nap work? People don't even fall asleep in 20 minutes! I would respond with, they do if they are super tired. To get this to work, you have to go through an adjustment period where you get very, very little sleep and your body *has* to learn to get good sleep in short periods to survive. Since I was already tired all the time anyway, I figured I didn't have much to lose.
The idea at night is to aim for complete sleep cycles, and then the naps I go straight into REM sleep. It's the complete sleep cycles that have been throwing me off, because if my alarm wakes me at the wrong time in the middle of a cycle, I'm super tired. However, at the right time, I'm wide awake. Most people's sleep cycles are 90 minutes. From experimentation, mine seems to be closer to 80 minutes. So, last night I went to bed around 12:30am and woke up this morning at 4:30am (240 minutes, or 3 complete cycles). I'll nap today around 2pm and again at 8pm.
I'm not 100% on schedule. If I overwork myself or am catching a cold or something, I'll be more tired and I'll get more sleep. I'll extend my nights to 5-6 hours or take an extra nap. However, usually, I feel better than I ever did before.
I DO NOT recommend this for an average person who sleeps normally and wakes feeling rested. It is a hard adjustment. On the other hand, if you already have sleep and fatigue issues, like I did, why not, right!?
So, when I talk about sleep, it's a little more than just getting a lot. Actually, if I stay in bed longer, I end up feeling more tired overall, so it's my goal to get up when I'm supposed to. Sometimes though, when it's cold and my bed is warm, it's hard. If I catch a sleep cycle wrong, it messes me up.
This morning, I was dead on. I was wide awake at 4:30, and have been rolling ever since. I'm hoping to make that a chain reaction this week.
Well, there's not much else to update since these posts are so close together. The gym was good. I've been doing piriformis stretches, and then seem to help. I've eaten good food. Now, I'm heading back to the gym, then a meeting, and then maybe some running, and general class related stuff. Whew, another full day, I better get on that!
Onward and upward!
Monday, July 09, 2012
Running down a dream.
So, i meant to blog yesterday, but instead I ran a 5K with a friend and another friend ran a 15K then we all had a party to celebrate.
My time was 30:08, which is a personal record with under 10 minutes miles, but not the 29:59 I wanted, so I still have a goal for the next race.
Only problem is that the problem with my sciatic nerve flared back up, and now I need to actually solve it. Fortunately, after the race there was a free chiropractic evaluation and adjustment, and the guy I got suggested that my problem is with my piriformis (a muscle in my butt), and now I have some stretches I can do to improve it. Of course, losing 20lbs would also help.
So, since I have a 10 mile in 12 weeks, I now have a serious goal of losing the weight and getting my butt in shape, semi-literally. I don't have a "start" weight for you right now because i haven't stepped on a scale all weekend, but I'll get to that in a moment, but I will by tomorrow.
Let's break it down:
Exercise: starting with the good stuff: I ran and it was awesome! Time to plan a 12-week distance training program. I'll probably run an 8.7 mile race the weekend before the 10 mile, so I could just train to that, but we'll see. The husband is training with me, and he's a bit behind me in shape right now. I'm thinking: 2 weeks: 4 miles, 4 weeks: 5 miles, 6 weeks: 6 miles, 8 weeks: 8 miles, 10 weeks: 10 miles, then the two races.
Sleep: I let it get away from me around the race, but I think I've worked out system. I know I promised more explanation, so that will come tomorrow when I'm not blabbing on about running.
Food: I think I let "carb-up" get away from me, and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were bad news. I'm actually fasting today, and right now I feel like I could not eat for a week, that's how overloaded with starch and carbs I was. Easiest fast ever. The eating is the Most Important aspect of weight loss, so that has to be fixed now if I'm going to lose 15-20lbs in the 12-weeks of training, and I think the sciatic pain may actually be enough to remind me.
Other: I had a nice, chilled out, dinner on the grill 5 year anniversary, loved it. I'm catching up on EVERYTHING today from my hectic weekend. I intend to be back on track tomorrow. A new song-writing prompt this week from the contest I'm watching but not participating in is to create a motivating workout song. I think I'm going to have to join in on this one!
So, I'm off to the gym soon to lift heavy things, and I'll be back tomorrow on track!
Onward and upward!
Thursday, July 05, 2012
stood Running Bear, young Indian brave.
Yeah, so, I took a two mile walk to and from the farmer's market today, so I was singing camp songs. I may have even been doing the motions to this one. Then I did all the verses of Rise and Shine, in the right order. I did manage to pick up a ton of fresh raspberries and baby greens and romaine and my gluten-free cookie from the place that makes them really good!
I'm pretty sure I'm overeating this week, but I don't think it's too bad. I played more games than I ate yesterday, so that should be good. I did munch a lot today, but then I was on my feet for two hours and walked 4 miles. I'm hoping to balance this all out.
On that note:
Exercise: pretty slim due to the holiday and today at home, but tomorrow is a gym day and Sunday is race day! I also need to get back to my daily push-ups and stuff if I'm going to keep improving.
Food: as noted, too much. Whoops. Should really slow that down tomorrow, but then it's going to be trouble again because Saturday is my 5 year wedding anniversary and we're going to have a nice dinner, then Sunday is the race, followed by a "we made it" BBQ at our place. Monday, I'm back to serious!
Sleep: same, could be better, could be worse. I'm trying to sort out my sleep cycles, and I haven't hit it yet.
Other: I actually did a whole chapter's worth of prep today for my fall lecture and some grading, yay! I'm mostly on schedule with things, so that's good. I'm playing lots of games with friends lately, yesterday, tonight, tomorrow night, and Sunday at my party. Love it!
So, as I just mentioned, I am off to play games with friends.
Onward and upward!
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Any Indigo Girls fans out there? Up on the watershed ...
My week is going pretty well so far. It helps that I'm busy during the week, so I try to have very structured days. Today, for instance, I got up, packed the hubs and my foods for the day, drove with him to his work then walked to my work, then spent an hour in the gym. By then, it's already 11am and I haven't had breakfast yet. Fortunately, I packed my favorite breakfast salad.
Tonight is Tuesday, so ... karaoke night! I need some new ideas, what should I sing?
I'm spending the day at work, but I'm not teaching, so I'm trying to get stuff done. I fixed up some online things and I learned a little bit about how our courses are coded into the computer system. Now, I'm blogging. I like to mix up real work and other things throughout my day, thus, I do this at work, but I do work at home. The benefits of an academic life: no 9-5. The downfall of an academic life? No 9-5. I still love it!
Okay: how am I doing?
Food: oh so much better in the past few days. Today especially. I think I've also just discovered that I can add my calcium and fish oil (both liquids) to my freggie smoothie which is way better than trying to take them separately! It just means I'll need to be certain to have smoothies, but I like them, so I think I can handle that. Today's included spinach, carrots, strawberries, blueberries, and peaches.
Exercise: I rock. Today, I accidentally put 35lb weights on a bar instead of 25lb ones, which only brought my intended total up 5lbs, so I went with it. This means my squat and deadlift are now up to 115lb. I'll be in the gym again Friday, but I have to not push too hard because the 5K is on Sunday. I should be running Wed, and Sat. I need to get some yoga in there too, so I'll aim for Thursday.
Sleep: Better, but not better enough. Still, I'll take better. That reminds me, I need a nap. I'm on that post-blog. Tomorow, I'll do EVEN BETTER! At some point I should explain my whole sleep thing here. Remind me I said that.
Other: I'm still blogging, right, so that's good. I'm also doing some music writing, some chilling out. The only thing I want to do that is lacking is playing Go. it's a strategy game that I play online. Maybe I'll finally do that again tonight. I also need to clean my house, but I need the husband's help in that, so it will likely be partly done tomorrow when we're both off and partly done Saturday before Sunday's get-together post-race.
Okay, on to nap and make up course stuff!
Onward and upward!
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