Thursday, January 06, 2011
So, yesterday was my first PT appointment of the new year. I haven't been to PT since Dec. 20 and was worried that I might have lost some of my conditioning. I drove home from work and changed into workout clothes before my appointment, because my intention was to go straight from PT to the gym. Also, I suspected that my therapist might want to work on my knee, which she did at the end of the appointment, so it was good that I was wearing loose capris. She kept commenting "This is one straight knee!" Meaning, she was able to press on the knee and completely flatten it out, which is a really good thing, I guess! I suspect we may be discussing "graduation" soon. That's both a happy and a scary thought. When she does discharge me, I'm going to have to keep up with my exercises at home. Some of them are easy to do at home, and some are not. (Hmm... heel slides from the edge of the dining area onto the vinyl floor of the kitchen might actually be do-able!) I will definitely continue with my stretching. I don't know if I could live without my doorway hamstring stretch at this point. I think it's why my knee is so flat!
After PT, I ate a granola bar in my car as I went straight to the gym and headed to the track. It was crowded enough that I could find an empty coat hook, but not as bad as Monday. My half hour run/walk felt really good. I can't wait to get my Gymboss, though. Right now, I run a lap, then walk a lap. I think it works out to be about :45/1:00 intervals. I want to even that out a bit to improve my pace. One really awesome thing about going for a run right after PT is that I'm already totally warmed up and stretched. Of course, I'm also usually kind of tired. Not too bad last night, though. I noticed that I have a lot easier time walking back downstairs after my run, too. It used to be that my knees could barely handle walking down the stairs post-run. Now, it's almost normal!
After the run, I went downstairs for some strength training. I did dumbell curls, triceps extensions, lower back extensions, vertical chest presses, regular crunches and bicycle crunches. Which leads me to one of my big questions about how other people work out. While I was doing my crunches, a woman sit down beside me and started doing situps. Now, when I was working with my personal trainer way back in the day, he told me to barely lift my torso (essentially shoulders only), focus on tightening my abs, and do it pretty slowly with a pause to squeeze in the middle. I do two sets of 15 crunches, then two sets of 30 bicycle crunches. He also told me to never, ever anchor my feet because if I did, my hips and legs would be doing the bulk of the work. The woman next to me plopped down, hooked her feet into the toekick of the wall, and proceeded to knock out a very speedy set of 30 or so full height situps and then she split. I know there's a lot of different ways to work out, but I question whether she was actually getting anything out of it. I have to confess I also don't really get the high reps thing. I've heard "there's no such thing as toning" over and over again. And isn't "toning" supposed to be the point of high reps? If you need more of a challenge than 15 well-executed crunches provides, why not grab a weight plate and use that to intensify the workout? Speaking of which, on my dumbell curls, I used a 15 pound weight for 15 reps comfortably and I have not "bulked up." I'm about to switch to a heavier weight and lower my reps for all of my ST and see what happens. Ten bucks says I get more defined, but don't get bulky! I also suspect that too much time at stumptuous.com could turn me into an accidental ranting b***h goddess!
And now I need to go enter my nutrition for the day and the exercise minutes from last night!
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
It's going to take a while to get used to my new color scheme and background image, but who cares? I'm making "freakin' awesome" the phrase of the year! I'm sure FOXXYROXXYD will be delighted. If I ever need to remind myself of what I am, I'll just look at my Spark Page.
Although I'm taking a pretty laid-back attitude toward this year, I do have some goals/plans for 2011. Not all of them are weight-loss related. Some are for my health, some are for my home, some are for my leisure time, and some are for my relationships. I plan to take some time at the end of every month to reflect on what I've done to achieve those goals that month, and plan for the next month's activities. I'm actually going to make a recurring appointment for a "2011 Freakin' Awesome Status Report" and put it on my Outlook calendar (set to private- my coworkers may not understand). Since this is a new thing, I'll be reporting on January in this post.
Exercise: I need to exercise on a more regular schedule. Besides running three days per week, I need to get at least two more cardio workouts and at least three strength training sessions per week. Last year, I logged 7,348 fitness minutes in SP. I think doubling and rounding up to 15,000 for this year is a nice goal. I also logged 97.43 miles. That's not really very accurate, because I only started tracking it halfway through the year. I also had a lot of runs where I didn't track my mileage after I was tracking it. Also, my mileage has changed drastically since last year. With all that figured out, I think a goal of 500 miles for 2011 is pretty reasonable. It's only an average of ten miles per week.
Eating: I'm doing pretty well with what I'm doing, but I have to be more consistent with tracking. Accountability is key to my success. I noticed that when I wasn't actively tracking my nutrition on SP, I was a lot more likely to eat fast food or graze on junk. Besides tracking nutrition, I need to plan my meals out in advance more regularly.
Healthcare: I need to take better preventive care of myself so that I don't get tripped up by illness or injury. This starts with annual screenings and appointments.
Inside: The decor and organization of my home needs work. Here are some key tasks for this year: clean out and organize the basement so that my sister and I can finally install the new basement window and construct the planned dividing wall between storage/workshop and finished hobby room; change furniture and arrangement of living room; seriously look into remodeling the bathroom. Also, the time is ripe for taking another crack at Apartment Therapy's Home Cure. I plan to start with the 20/20 Cure cure.apartmenttherapy.com/2010/fall to prep my home for my vacation and then my birthday party, and then do the full Eight Week Cure cure.apartmenttherapy.com/2010/sprin
g/ in the spring. This should actually be a bit easier this time, because some of the changes I made in 2009 are still working and this year should be a lot more even than that one.
Outside: The garden was great this past summer, but I need to start planting my tomatoes earlier. I also need to make some changes with my landscape plants. But the big goal this year is to rip out that nasty, broken down old deck and replace it with a lovely patio and 12" of extra privacy. This is something I am absolutely not putting off.
Knit: I fell off knitting quite a bit when I bought my house three years ago. I miss it. I also have hundreds of dollars worth of yarn stashed around my house. It's time to use it up! And then buy more yarn. I think a minimum of two hours of knitting per month is good.
Read: I read a lot, but it's often rereading well-loved books. That's more out of convenience than desire. I know I'm setting myself up for a very busy year, so I will set this goal at two new books per month, preferably by authors I'm not already reading. I'm devoted to Terry Pratchett, but I'm running out of Discworld books. Also, it's about time that I subscribed to certain magazines I buy regularly.
Watch: Less TV, more movies. I used to go out to the movies almost every week. Sometimes, I'd see three movies a weekend. Now I'm down to about three per year. I need to make a movie date with myself once a month. (And if someone wants to join me, that's good, too.) I always say I'm going to watch less TV, but I never do. But I think it might be a good idea to take a cue from my DVR backlog and cancel some series recordings.
Family: My family is my chief relationship. I need to re-institute the standing dinner plans I had with my sister's family, though biweekly is probably often enough. I also need to get better at staying in touch with my brother, so a weekly or biweekly phone call might be in order. At the very least, e-mail. My relationship with my parents is pretty great, as-is.
Friends: My oldest and dearest friend lives about 120 miles from me and I don't see or talk to her often enough. I need to make contact at least once a month. I also need to care for my more local friendships.
Other: It's probably not a bad idea to think about actually making an effort to meet potential dates instead of hoping I meet someone and then complaining that I never do.
JANUARY 2011 FREAKIN' AWESOME STATUS REPORT
Health/Exercise: Continue training for the half marathon, running three times per week. Strength train core and upper body on weekday run days (since I'm already at the gym). Start adding one additional cardio workout per month.
Health/Food: Plan meals and shopping list for each week. Include five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Perhaps a big batch slow cooker week is in order for next week?
Healthcare: Schedule health screening with PCP.
Home/Inside: Start 20/20 Home Cure on January 23. Start thinking about problem areas now.
Home/Outside: Take down Christmas lights.
Leisure/knitting: You have two baby showers this month! Knit a baby sweater and booties for each baby. Add a hat each if time allows.
Leisure/Read: Go to the library and pick out two books for this month.
Leisure/Watch: Go see a movie. I think Tron at the IMAX this weekend sounds good!
Relationships/Family: Call my sister to arrange a good night for dinner. Call my brother, just to talk.
Relationships/Friends: Call Jenny. Call up Kristin and Meg and see if they want to get together. You have Groupons for restaurants that expire in March!
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
I've been pretty concerned about the compressed time I have left to train for the half marathon. This week marks 7 weeks between now and the half and I'm up to 5 miles again. Which is great, but if I had been able to stick with my original program, I would have been at 11 miles at this point. And even using the official beginner Princess Half program, I would have been at 9.5 miles. The one thing I am sure of is that I am absolutely not interested in rushing things and undoing all the good I've done through the past three months of PT. That said, I think I've figured out a way to get to where I think I need to be. I intend to do my 6 mile run as planned this weekend. Then next weekend, I'll make the jump to 8 miles- as long as I feel okay after 6 miles. The following weekend, I'll do a 3-4 mile run, then commence alternating between adding two miles and doing the shorter run. If all goes well, I should be able to get to 12 miles two weeks before the half marathon. And that's just going to have to do!
It's also apparently time for me to start accumulating running gear again! Last month, my local running store had a year-end/pre-holiday sale and I bought another pair of my Sauconys. They're exactly the same model as before. If it ain't broke... Before Thanksgiving, Skirt Sports had a "Black Friday" sale and I scored a Gym Girl Ultra Spinnin' in Pink Crush for under $40. Pink floral print skirt- just what the running princesses ordered! When I ordered it, I hesitated between ordering a medium and a large. The medium says it fits size 10-12, which is considerably smaller than my size 14. At the time, I thought, "What if I get to goal weight by then?" But then I decided to order for the size I am, not the size I want to be. (A rare visit from Sensible Jen.) So here's the problem- I think it's a little loose! I don't get it. My measurements are at or above the size measurements. I wore it at the gym last night and found myself self-consciously tugging it up pretty frequently. I think there are two possible reasons for this: 1) The other two times I've worn it, I've worn it over tights and I may have stretched it out (less likely); or 2) it's lower cut than I'm necessarily comfortable with (more likely- it says "low rider, but not too low"). I suspect I may need to get comfortable with the waistband, because I love everything else about the skirt. Tucking in my top might help. Speaking of tops- I got a new black tank to go with it, so I am almost completely set on my race day attire.
Other equipment that I have acquired or will be acquiring- SmartWool socks and a Gymboss. I bought the SmartWool socks last month because the mesh tops of my Sauconys were leaving me a bit chilly on outdoor runs. The guy at Running Fit recommended them to me when I was buying my new shoes and complained of chilly toes, wondering if I should buy different shoes for winter running. I bought a pair of PhD mini running socks to try them out and I have to say, I am sold. I wore them the first time on a cool dry day and they felt good. I wore them again on my 5 miler last week, on a cold, damp and slushy day and they felt great! The snow was a little melty (not so much that there wasn't some ice on the road- grr), and I could tell that my shoes were a little wet, but my feet were warm and dry. I'm planning to buy another three pair from REI to get the multi-pair discount. As for the Gymboss, it just seemed like a wise investment. Most Galloway runners I know use one and consider it a necessary item. I used to make running mix tracks for my iPod with a chime for intervals, but that took a lot of time, effort and frustration, and it wasn't exactly easily customizable. I'm already impressed with their service. I ordered it this afternoon and got a shipping notification about an hour later. Since their warehouse is just about an hour from my house, I'm hoping to have it in hand for my run this weekend. I'm looking forward to getting back to regular intervals. I think I really need them. No more guessing or going by my gut!
Last night's run was a little frustrating. First, the charge on my iPod lasted *just* long enough to trick me into thinking I didn't need to charge it before heading out and then it died somewhere between home and the gym. I actually like running without music when I'm running outside alone (not as much as running with music, though), but I hate it while I'm running around the track. Track running indoors is boring enough without having nothing to listen to except the kids' tae kwon do and basketball classes down on the gym floor and ladies gossiping as they walk. On top of that, it was the typical January "New Year's resolution" crowd at the gym last night. Before Christmas, there were only a few people using the track at a time. Last night, there were about 10-20 people on the track at any time. About halfway through my run, a whole family descended on the track, walking two by two and taking up both the walking and passing lanes, and occasionally letting their youngest member wander into the running lane. When people need to pass in the running lane because you're walking in the passing lane, you need to compress a little! I was far from the only one frustrated at the track last night. I wish I could run outside, but I just can't bring myself to do it after dark. I did it once last fall and made myself stick to the sidewalk for safety's sake. It wasn't worth it, and frankly, I still had the "jumping at shadows" heebie-jeebies. I guess I just have to hope that my patience outlasts other people's resolutions!
Monday, January 03, 2011
So, last month I certainly didn't get any Consistency or 500 monthly points awards. I started December busy, got busier, and then when I finally had some breathing room, I got sick and then got the heck out of Dodge. I'm pretty sure I caught the flu right around December 19 or 20. We had our family Christmas party that Saturday night, and by Monday night I was miserable. It only got worse- fever, body ache, congestion, weakness. I had planned to drive up to my parents' house on Tuesday morning, but I felt so exhausted that I nearly passed out in the shower. I didn't make it up North until Thursday, and that was really only because I dosed myself up and pushed through. Needless to say, I was eating whatever I felt like I could deal with and wasn't exercising at all. A week later, though, I went for my first run in about two weeks. Five miles along the same road I did my very first five mile run on back in September. It felt so good!
I'm still hacking up some pretty gross stuff, though. I feel fine except for the phlegm and the cough. And the weird stuffy ear. I just can't clear my left ear. It hasn't been clear since Christmas day. I did a little research on it and it will clear up when the congestion is over. And it takes weeks to fully recover from the flu, so it's enough that I'm better. For now. I gained a couple of pounds over the holidays and I need to get back on track.
So, I guess the time is ripe for one of those "year in review" posts. What did I have planned for 2010? Well, I had hoped to get to my healthy weight and be 100% prepped for my half marathon. I didn't do either of those, but I did learn new skills in readjusting expectations! So, what did I do? Well, I lost 40 pounds, shrank by 4 inches each on my waist and hip, went down two band sizes and a cup size on my chest, traded my old size 18/20s for all 14s with a nearly successful try-on of a size 12 (buttoned, but unflatteringly tight). I realized that I no longer wanted to fade into the background and started wearing brighter color- and brighter hair!
I started running last January with Couch to 5K, gradually worked my way through the first few weeks over many more than a few weeks. Very mixed results and a lot of frustration. Then I took a step back to reassess my goals. I had always intended to do my half as a run/walk, so why was I focusing on running for three miles without a walk break? I switched to Jeff Galloway's method and was much more successful. I ran in three 5ks between August and October. Then, just when I was getting to the halfway point, a speedbump in my progress- tendinitis in my ankle, quickly followed by knee pain and a doctor saying that if he had knees that sounded like mine, he would never run. One amazing physical therapist, three months and a lot of hard work later, I am back running and back up to 5 miles. I have 55 days to build up my mileage for the Princess Half Marathon. It's a lot to do, but I think I can do it. That five mile run I took on Thursday? The first one since October without a single brace or support (I forgot to pack about half of my running accessories). It was slow. Lord, was it ever slow! But it was relatively pain-free and it was under the minimum speed. I can do this!
So what's on the agenda for 2011? Well, there's running the half marathon at the end of February. There's turning 40 in the middle of March. Other than that, there's a whole lot of taking things as they come and being satisfied with knowing that I'm working hard at getting healthy. I would love for that to include losing the 35 pounds between my current weight and my goal weight. Here's what I'm really focusing on: eating healthy food, exercising much more regularly, and staying motivated to change my life. If I take care of being healthy day-to-day, the rest will take care of itself.
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
But I rock at so many other things, so I ain't worried about it.
Last night I went to the gym to run after about 1.5 hours of PT. I get discharged on my ankle this week, so that's a big "Yay!" Of course, I have evaluation/intake for my knee at the very next appointment, so it's not like I'm really discharged at all. My exercises will change somewhat and we're going to be doing some of the more basic stuff (stretching, therapy bands), but we've been working my knees the whole time. I'm definitely going to miss the exercises and the staff when I'm finally done with therapy, but I'm looking forward to getting my evenings back. Knee therapy is only two days a week instead of three for the ankle (my general practitioner didn't specify, so we went with three).
Running after therapy wasn't exactly a success, but I don't necessarily think that's all because of therapy. The chief problem I had was that I was just really tired. Some of that was muscle fatigue, certainly, but I think some of it was that I was too warm in a long-sleeve shirt, no matter how light it was. Another chunk was that my breathing was awful. It's so frustrating. I ran/walked for three miles on Saturday, but I had a hard time running for a single 1/16 mile lap last night. I'm still getting over a cold I had two weeks ago, and the one lingering symptom I have is congestion. It's hard to breathe normally when you're full of phlegm. On Saturday, I decided to just allow myself to be gross and spit (off the road, but still...). Couldn't do that on the indoor track! Bleh! I think I need to get some generic Mucinex and just kill the ick. I run again tomorrow and then on Saturday, I'm going to try 4 miles. Emphasis on "try." If I don't feel right about it, I won't do it.
And now, the rest of the story.
DECEMBER 6TH CAN SUCK IT, CAUSE THE WEEKEND IS OVAH
This weekend, I didn't do everything I planned on doing, and I feel kinda bad, but I won let it keep me down because tonight I promise myself publicly that _________*.
Does it count as a public promise to do something if I already did it? Anyway, yesterday I did 1.5 hours of physical therapy and half an hour of run/walk. I did not back away from any challenge my PT set for me, even when it seemed silly or felt hard. Even though I'd already done that, I stuck with my resolution to get back into running regularly and ran for what felt like the longest half hour ever.
My Weekend Victories...
I suspect I may have already posted about some of this on Saturday.
I ran/walked in the Jingle Bell 5K and didn't let the fact that it was my slowest time overshadow the fact that it was my longest run since Sept. 25. I'm as proud of my 45:00:07 as I was the 6 miles I ran on 9-25. I'm BACK, baby!
I "finished" decorating the outside of my house and accepted the fact that the inside is going to remain undecorated. I say "finished" because I'm still not 100% happy. I won't be until I figure out what's missing from the area in front of my fence. I strongly suspect it might be a pair of lighted deer.
I got my room as clean as it's going to get in preparation for my parents' visit the weekend after next.
I made a list of dishes I'm preparing for our family Christmas party and 5 out of 6 of my savory dishes would be considered healthy alternatives (the 6th item is onion-bacon tartlets... just because). The dessert offerings are a bit out of control, however. But that's dessert and I don't necessarily believe in lightening dessert. (That's why dessert for me is usually a piece of whole fruit or a small glass of port.)
Suck It December 7th!
Sometimes we get a little too lenient, a little too nice to ourselves and go from being kind and loving ourselves to just plain taking advantage of our own kindness. Maybe we have promised something to ourselves every day this month and never actually really did any of them. It's ok if this is true of any of you, but today you might need to be a littler stricter on yourself. Sometimes the best way to love yourself is to just stand up and do what you know you are supposed to do.
Since lately we are all about forgiving ourselves for slipping, and just concentrating on our victories, we are going to take 12 hours to crack the whip. If you haven't pushed yourself since December started, today is THE DAY to make up for it.
That's right. Today you HAVE to break a sweat. Even if you're a busy mom with kids hanging from her every limb. Before you go to bed tonight, you MUST break a sweat and report back tomorrow morning.
Tell me what you did yesterday.
Did you binge? What did you eat?
When was the last time you broke a sweat?
What is your biggest excuse right now?
Tell me what you did yesterday.
1.5 hours of PT and 30 minutes of running
Did you binge? What did you eat?
Nope. Yesterday, I had coffee and a waffle PBJ for breakfast; a sandwich, nonfat yogurt and a banana for lunch; an orange, a granola bar and two Tootsie Rolls for a snack; penne bolognese with two meatballs and beets for dinner; a pear and two ounces of port for dessert; and two tbsp of hummus and hummus chips for an evening snack. I did exceed my calorie allowance by over 200 calories, but I wouldn't call it binging. I probably should have skipped the hummus and chips.
When was the last time you broke a sweat?
Last night. Repeatedly.
What is your biggest excuse right now?
I'm too phlegmy to breathe properly right now.
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