Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Moment of Calm

I am sitting in my living room, the kids are napping.  I should be packing for our camping trip but instead I'm taking a little breather.  I know the next few days will be both fun and exhausting and there won't be many quiet, solo moments to be had so I'm taking advantage of this one. 

I went to the gym yesterday (Tuesday) and rode the bike for 25 minutes, doing Level 7 for the second time.  I ended up chatting the whole time with the woman next to me, which made the time fly by.  And each time I glanced at the bike I was going faster than usual...sweet!  I hopped off the bike and dug into chest/triceps/core work.  I noticed my shoulders were a bit sore and I have this weird twinge in my bike.  Weird because it's off to the side, which is not where my back usually acts up.  It feels like it might totally rebel at any moment and drop me to the floor in total agony if I make any sudden moves.  So I'm moving gingerly and mindfully engaging my core when I pick-up/put-down kidlings.  Let's hope it heals quick.

Anyway, my workout went fine.  I did more jackknife ab stuff and the trainer was there so he showed me a variation where you keep your legs straight and pull your feet toward your head, which shoots your butt in the air.  Hard!  AND you do pushups between each one!  Of course I loved it.  I'll throw those into the rotation.  I wonder what they're called?  As far as chest stuff goes, I think it's time to move to the bench and do real chest presses with a bar.  Maybe next time. 

After the gym I went for a 1:1 Pilates session. Yes, because I'm crazy like that.  Neurotic is probably a better term.  Part of me felt like I should skip the weight training given I was going to Pilates but I didn't want to feel like I missed anything since I'm short on workouts this week.  The Pilates session was all mat Pilates, no reformer stuff, so I can do these on my own later.  I was affirmed in my conclusion re: Pilates though, it's quite nuanced and you really need to practice to get it right.  It's like golf, or swimming - a ton of stuff to remember at any one time!  Toes pointed, breathe, drop your shoulders, ribs into the mat, neck down, you're not breathing, drop those shoulders, stabilize your core.  Ack!  I can see myself getting into it, especially if I had the funds to take several classes a week.  Of course everything was a bit harder than it might have been given that I just did all that stuff at the gym right before.  Next time I'll have to share some of the specific exercises she taught me.  Right now I've got to get back to my quiet time before the kids wake up.

Here's the plan for the rest of the week:  Gym tomorrow at the crack of dawn.  Maybe a run on the camping trip.  Fun, water, sand, fun, beer, food, fun.  Oh and sleep.  Please pray for me that my kids sleep this time!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Breathing Hard and Balance

When I realized I would miss some workouts this week (because of our camping trip) I decided I'd workout Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed and possibly Thursday to hit my goal of exercising 5 times per week.  I went to the gym yesterday and today (Monday) so two down, three to go.  But when I got home from work today I had a moment of insight and realized the error of my ways.  I know my body.  My body does not like to exercise more than three days in a row.  When I do, my body gets stiff, sore and tired.  So if I followed this plan I'd leave for our camping trip with a stiff, sore and tired body (probably grumpy too).  Forcing myself to do what I know doesn't work to hit my goal doesn't make much sense.  So I have a new plan.  I will go to the gym Sun, Mon, Tue, take Wed off and possibly go Thur (depending on if I have time).  Much better plan - both balanced and realistic.  And maybe, juuust maybe, I'll sneak in a run during our camping trip.  If the weather's nice (as in, not windy and cold) and the mood strikes.

Ok, back to today.  Today I went to the gym and did a nice 3 mile run outside.  It was a bit windy and I spent easily 1/3 of the run with wind in my face.  But I pushed myself to keep moving and I realized something.  In the past, whenever I'd start breathing hard I'd figure I was going too fast and I slowed down until my breathing became easy again.  But I think I've been too focused on this and I don't let myself work very hard as a result.  I ran the whole three miles today breathing hard.  Not gasping for breath or anything, but I also probably could only speak in short sentences if I had to talk.  I think for a three mile run it's perfectly fine to push myself like that.  And I'm learning I can be breathing hard and it's not necessarily a sign that I'm over-reaching.  Anyway, I ran 3 miles in 33 minutes, maintaining another 11 minute mile run.  Nice!  

After the run I did back/biceps/core for strength training.  I tried out an ab roller, I was able to do two sets of 8, though I wasn't sure my form was right.  I talked to a trainer at the gym and he told me they are bad for you.  Something about it being hard on your shoulders and your back in a bad way over time.  I came home and watched some YouTube videos and saw what correct form looks like.  I don't know, I might do them every now and then for fun.  They were a nice change and definitely a challenge.

I finished up my strength training routine and then headed home.  I have to say, I'm tired as heck tonight.  My cold is almost 100% gone so I doubt that's it.  Maybe just a too-busy weekend.  Like I said, I should have taken the day off today. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Go, Go, Go!

Wow!  I haven't blogged since Thursday night and now it's Sunday night.  Well, it's been a busy few days.  I worked on Friday and then had to hurry home to do some volunteer time with my mother's club.  We were having a rummage sale on Saturday and I helped with set up Friday night.  I got home around 9:30 so no exercise on Friday.  Besides, I was feeling like I needed to rest given that my cold wasn't going away.  Saturday was more of the same.  I arrived first thing in the morning and stayed until around 4pm.  It was a good day, the rummage sale went great and I got a chance to pick up a few things for the kids too.  But oh boy, I was exhausted afterward.  And I missed the kids.  Since Thursday morning I'd spent less then 3 waking hours with them.  Saturday was a no-go on the gym too.  It was about missing the kids, being tired and figuring it was probably better for my body to get a little bit more rest too given the recovery from the cold. 

All that means I only went to the gym three times last week.  I don't feel bad about it really, it was a crazy busy week and I had a cold for most of it.  To top that off I was pms'ing, which doesn't exactly help with motivation. 

But today is the start of a new week.  I had a great morning with the kids, playing at home all day.  The weather was great so we spent a lot of time in the back yard.  My back was sort of hurting so I took some ibuprofen.  It was hurting a bit during the rummage sale, maybe all the standing did it.  In any case it didn't hurt a lot but just enough to make me waiver on the gym today.  I felt like I'd been going, going, going and I liked the idea of resting while the kids napped. 

Fortunately my smarter self kicked in and I started getting ready for the gym while Miguel put the kids down for a nap.  The weather was ridiculously gorgeous today so I decided to ride my bike to the gym.  I even chose to ride over a medium sized hill instead of taking the easier bike path route.  Once I got there I started in with legs/shoulders/core for strength training.  A bunch of lunges, shoulder presses, squats and russian twists later I decided to hop on the treadmill just for fun.  I thought I might run a mile but about 1/3 of the way in I knew that was a bad idea.  I still needed to ride home after all.  So I ran a 1/2 mile in 5 minutes and then rode home.  I was all blissed out riding home.  The weather was just so beautiful and the easy bike path route felt effortless.  I almost tagged on another few miles but then remembered I had to go grocery shopping and wanted to do that before the kids woke from their naps.

A fresh swipe of deodorant and a quick change of clothes and I headed out to the grocery store.  There was a time in my life when I would have thought not taking a shower after the gym was disgusting.  Now it's just another thing that's got to give when time is tight.  Besides, I probably keep that post-workout glow a little longer this way.  Anyway, off to the grocery store and then home to make dinner.  The kids woke up not too long after I got home.  I was so happy to spend the evening with my wee family. 

I can't believe it's Monday already tomorrow.  If I was a better planner I'd have taken tomorrow off.  But it's a short week because we've got something planned for next weekend.  Which I just realized will make me miss at least two days of exercise this week on Friday and Saturday.  Oh dear, something tells me I'll be breaking my rule of not working out for more than three days in a row.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  I'm off to bed!