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30 Day Blog Challenge Day 26 - Me, Myself, & I

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 26. Do you like to exercise alone, with a partner, in a small group, or in a large group? Why?

I mostly exercise by myself. Even though I take 3 large group classes a week, I feel like I do them 'alone'. There is little interaction between myself and the instructor. There is little interaction between myself and classmates. I think I would like more but there simply is not that kind of back-and-forth when the group is so large and the people in it variable. So... I exercise alone or in groups large enough that I feel alone. It works for me.

I've exercised with friends. It didn't work so well for me. Instead of being a situation that led each of us to work HARDER and be MORE committed it seemed like we were all just looking for an excuse not to exercise and having more people in the group multiplied the chances someone would decide not to go which made it easier for me to not go or to make an excuse next time. Now that my exercise habits are firmly engrained, I'd be interested in going to large group classes with a friend. No one seems interested though.

I really would like to be part of a small group class with the same people working hard at least once a week. I would like to be part of a group pushing each other to take the next step in a supportive way. I don't have 'fit friends' to form a group for myself though. I'm hoping my trainer will eventually be able to put together a group. He knows what I'm after.

So... for now.... it's me, myself, and I :-)


Now for regular 'stuff'..... I finally took measurements. I haven't taken measurements since I lost the spark in March. I got back to tracking everything else. I have felt pretty good about my healthy habits for quite a while but I've been reluctant to take those measurements for fear that my months of not following any set program had cost me. They didn't!!!! I am not upset at a single measurement! I was pretty amazed. The best part is that my thigh measurement is down another half inch My things were the same size for months and months. I had dropped 1/2 inch in early 2012 and now I've dropped another. It may be slow but it's better than being stuck for months at a time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CODEMAULER 9/28/2012 7:05PM

    I'm not sure how I would feel about large classes. The ones I've taken so far are pretty small and it's pretty awesome. Then again, the classes are great and the instructors are super on their own. Since I'm out of work for the time being, I'll be checking other class times and comparing my experiences.

Way to go on those measurements!!

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BLUE42DOWN 9/26/2012 2:32PM

    emoticon on the measurements.

Totally get what you're saying about feeling "alone" in a crowded class. It's not the same as meeting someone to go to the class or standing and talking to them before or after.

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30 Day Blog Challenge Day 25 - Exercise Past & Future

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 25. Is there any form of fitness/exercise that you tried and gave up? Is there any form of fitness/exercise that you would like to try?

Eons ago I was on a soccer team. I spent most of time feeling horribly embarrassed and like I was going to ruin everything for my team. Team sports (team anything, to be honest) are not for me.

In high school I tried a LOT of different activities. Our PE program was pretty darn amazing. Nothing carried into my adulthood except the knowledge that I could try things and just might like something. That was where I learned to love 'aerobics' (think Jane Fonda and Gillead!) :-) And where I had my first exposure to a weight room (guided by my Golden Glove boxer boyfriend). But mostly I just put it all behind me when I went to college.

I outlined my failed adult fitness endeavors in an earlier post. Jogging seared my asthma-prone lungs. Curves got boring AND gave me shin splints. FitKick kicked my butt. Pilates was great but came at the wrong time for my injured arm. All great forms of exercise for SOMEONE at SOME TIME but not for me at that time.

Back when I wrote this question I thought I'd be talking about wanting to do kettlebells. But...oops... I *am* doing kettlebells. My 35 pound kettle bell arrived in the mail yesterday. (My apologies to the mail handlers who had to handle that!) I am looking forward to learning more about kettlebell training and continuing my training.

I want to try spinning someday. I found out that my trainers partner has just opened a spinning studio out where he trains people (when he doesn't train in their homes). If I tire of running or just need a switch, I will spin out there.

I did a bit of paddling this summer. I really want to do some more. I really want to get 2 2 person kayaks for our family because we live right ON a lake but the rental hours are really tough if you want to avoid the sun... which we do. (Plus they are only from late June to late August.) I also tried (like for 20 minutes) stand up paddle boarding. I want to do more of that as well.

I want to do mountain hiking. We hiked in the summer 2011 and my daughter got really heat sick (doctor's appointment today to finally talk about that since she seems to struggle with heat pretty much all the time and she's NOT overweight and NOT out of shape). If we can sort out what's going on with her so that mountain hiking is safe, we'll do that next summer. We all enjoy it... when we aren't worried about her. As an extension of that I want to do a via ferrata someday. That's mountain 'climbing' using iron handholds and footholds. This will probably be a solo activity as no one else in the family wants to try it AT ALL.

Finally, I'd like to take up cross country skiing. We probably would have gotten to this last winter.... except we didn't get any snow!

So.... lots of plans. Lots to look forward to :-)

Running update:
Running for 2012:
110.5 miles + 3.1 miles + 3.4 miles = 117.0 miles
no scheduled races

Today I switched to 'rolling hills' on the treadmill. This is a change from my constant 1.0% incline. I'll approach that just like I did the constant incline - aim for a 10:00 mile for 3+ miles, gradually increase my distance until I'm doing 5 miles, then work on running at a faster pace.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONFIDENTLY_FIT 9/26/2012 7:47PM

    All sound like fun activities to try:)

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LOGOULD 9/25/2012 10:24PM

    Sounds like so much fun. I would like to get back to swimming and get a better bike so that I can ride mroe and farther. Would also love to cross country ski. Got the skis and some boots that are a tad too big, but I give it a shot this winter if we get any snow and if I like it, I'll get some new boots. I love to run, but then, I love almost any fitness activity that I can do with other people. It makes the time go by so much more quickly and doesn't feel at all like work!

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/25/2012 8:09PM

    Sounds like a lot of "fun" things that I actually would put in my "reward" column, along with horseback riding and ice skating. emoticon Good luck making those "someday try" activities a reality!

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DOGLADY13 9/25/2012 7:41PM

    I want to try kayaking, too. There's a few people here on spark who kayak and it sounds like so much fun.

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62NVON 9/25/2012 10:16AM

    I'm tired just reading this! Awesome goals. =)

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30 Day Blog Challenge Day 24 - Fitness First, For Me.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 24. When did you incorporate fitness goals into your healthy lifestyle? (Before starting to lose weight, during weight loss, after goal weight, etc.)

This time around fitness goals came FIRST. I had been going to physical therapy for an arm injury for 6 months when I was cleared to join the gym. Early in those 6 months I dieted and lost 20 pounds. I then hit a calorie budget of 1200 calories a day AND some life stresses. I just could not eat so little AND cope with stress and it all fell apart. The lesson from that was that if I was going to cope with life, I couldn't do it constantly hungry and so I was going to have to find a way to be able to eat a decent number of calories. I had also learned that strength training was going to be important for future injury prevention. These meshed very well and when I joined the gym I did it with ONLY fitness goals in mind. In fact, I didn't start losing weight until I'd been going to the gym nearly 2 months.... and that was JUST fine with me.

I sometimes wonder if I had approached any (or all) of my failed fitness attempts - curves, fitkick, pilates - with a similar mindset if any (or all) of them would have worked out much better. The body doesn't do well when it's exercising AND hungry! I see that even now if I exercise too much for what I ate for breakfast (like this morning... still learning how to eat when I have back to back Power and Centergy classes) or when I am cutting calories to adjust my weight back into the lower half of maintenance range. Bodies need fuel!

My recommendation for anyone who isn't taking 'baby steps' into fitness but instead taking on something 'big' (like hour long classes or thrice weekly personal trainer designed stregnth training or goodness knows what else) is to focus on fueling your body well while you get the hang of a new form of exercise and let your growing intensity up your calorie burn and lead to weight loss (instead of creating a big calorie deficit AND adding a big calorie burn).

I bet a better approach would be to gradually increase calorie burn and gradually build up to a reasonable overall calorie deficit but I didn't do that. I was in a big hurry @@ I hadn't quite accepted this as the life-long project it is!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOONSTORMER 9/25/2012 1:33AM

    so true - your body needs fuel to perform!

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LOGOULD 9/24/2012 8:27PM

    I wish that was my case, but I am still learning to trust that eating and fueling my body is the only way to have the energy to keep up with the fitness goals.

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/24/2012 7:06PM

    We all learn about the life-long part in our own order, huh? I tried dieting years back and knew I could not keep it off with diet alone. But wanting to be fit... the best!

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I did it! 26:34

Sunday, September 23, 2012

From my earlier post on fitness goals:

"1. Improve my running speed and endurance. Not knowing the hills of today's course, my goal is to simply be under 30 minutes. If the hills aren't so bad that I have to walk some of it, I'd really like to finish in 27 minutes or less."

The hills weren't bad. There were lots of LONG uphill stretches but no crazy hills. Long, shallow uphill I can do! I beat 27 minutes - 26:34.

Thanks (NOT!) to the person burning along the race route. Can NOT believe someone would do that. My lungs are trashed and that certainly did not help. I'll be pulling out my 'recovery' inhaler for a week or so I think.

I finished 11th in my age group. I r-e-a-l-l-y wanted to do top 10 and my time would have put me in the top 10 of last year's race. Either today's race was overall faster or there were a lot more runners in my age group. Either way, it just goes to show me that I should only compete against myself. I feel very, very good about my time :-) Hard to believe I'm doing this well just 5 months after my trainer first suggested I start running :-)

I'm not registered for any races right now but there is a late October apple fest race I'm looking at and a late November lumberjack fest race I may consider as well.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KONOHA-NIN 9/25/2012 8:04PM

    Just saw this - congrats! Awesome time!

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CODEMAULER 9/24/2012 8:30AM

    What a great time - woohoo and well done!!


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LJCANNON 9/23/2012 9:58PM

    emoticon emoticon What a Wonderful Accomplishment!!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 9/23/2012 9:01PM

    Great time! Congratulations! Boo to the guy burning stuff.

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LOGOULD 9/23/2012 8:53PM

    emoticon Awesome job - you set a realistic goal....went in willing to accept your best effort, no matter what the circumstances and YOU DID IT!!! You have come SO far in so little time! You should be very proud of all you have accomplished. emoticon

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DOGLADY13 9/23/2012 5:51PM

    Excellent results!

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CONFIDENTLY_FIT 9/23/2012 5:43PM

    AWESOME JOB!!!!!

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LADYJ6942 9/23/2012 5:30PM


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DAWNDMOORE40 9/23/2012 5:26PM

    emoticon Congratulations on your finish! I have done 5K by myself up at the park and I finish in about 30 minutes so you are doing emoticon Just hang in there and never give up! I hope your next race is even better! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/23/2012 5:18PM

    Congrats on your 5K success! As you say, only compete against self... and you did very well in that contest! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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30 Day Blog Challenge Day 23 - Fitness Goals

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 23. What are your current fitness goals?

Very timely question on the morning of my second 5K. I don't believe I did that on purpose!

1. Improve my running speed and endurance. Not knowing the hills of today's course, my goal is to simply be under 30 minutes. If the hills aren't so bad that I have to walk some of it, I'd really like to finish in 27 minutes or less.

2. Achieve as low a body fat percentage as I can without affecting my cycles. I don't have a number on this and I need to think on it a bit. When my body fat percentage got really low last winter my cycles were a wreck. Now it's what I would call 'good, not great' and my cycles are still not what I'd like. They are a tad long but not unpredictably long. Anyway.... right now I am between 20 and 21% on my devices and online calculators put me down around 17% and I'd be happy to stay here.

3. Have a lower body fat percentage reading on my scale than on my handheld device. This would reflect shedding of body fat from my lower body. This week I had my first EVER readings where my scale readings were lower than my handheld readings. I want to get to the point where they are consistently lower.

4. Build up my chest and/or back muscles to the point where I 32" band size bras FIT. I am so sick of paying obscene amounts of money for 30" band size bras.

5. AVOID INJURY - I want to avoid aggravating my arm injury (which will never be 100% better without surgery) and avoid new injuries.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOGOULD 9/23/2012 4:10PM

    All great goals....gives me good direction onwhere I would like to take mine.

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CODEMAULER 9/23/2012 2:52PM

    Those are great, mindful goals. All seem very attainable!

Hope you found some fun on your running trail today!!

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/23/2012 9:53AM

    Fine goals. Athlete goals. Train on! emoticon

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KANOE10 9/23/2012 9:09AM

    Hope your run went well. Your body is in excellent condition with all of your training. Great fitness goals and great motivation. I have been enjoying your questions. They make me reflect on my whole maintenance and health.


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DIANER2014 9/23/2012 8:40AM

    Training to run a 5k. By the way you have great looking abs.

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NICHOLE_4 9/23/2012 8:27AM

    Keep training and run the FULL 5k on Dec. 1st!

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BLUENOSE63 9/23/2012 8:26AM

  Continue training for my Ironman half

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