Saturday, July 7, 2012

Two Cup of Coffee Day

First off, some fun Blogger news.  I can now "reply" to comments directly.  I love that!  So if you do comment, check back, I probably had something to say in response.  I am a bit of a chatterbox you know.

Now, on with the yesterday, Friday, I wasn't sure about going to the gym.  It would be the 6th day of exercise in the week, and usually I keep it to only 5.  But on two of those days I didn't lift weights, I swam on Tuesday and did the 4th of July run on Wednesday.  Plus I felt good so I decided to go.  I did a 25 minute run, mostly at 6.0mph but threw in a few 6.5s, including doing the last 5 minutes at 6.5mph.  I have to be careful, it feels good to push myself and see that I can do it, but I think this is how I started having calf cramp problems.  So I've been wearing the compression sleeves on my calves the last couple of nights, including to bed, hoping that will help keep my sensitive calves happy.  So far, no cramping.  I'm also doing the foam roller after every workout.  Anyway, after the run I did a very quick back/biceps/core workout because I was seriously pressed for time.  But I threw in a few jumping jacks between sets when I was out of core work, I don't like to just "rest" between sets.  I've got to squeeze everything I can out of my relatively short gym visits.

I'm usually beat tired on Friday nights and last night was no exception.  Except, like a dork, I stayed up until after midnight doing some writing on another project.  It was good stuff but I should have gone to bed.  I got up this morning at 7:30am to get myself and the kids ready for our day of fun at Children's Fairyland in Oakland.  Miguel had to work so I took the kids solo and met some playgroup moms for a kids theater show followed by enjoying the park.  We had fun watching the show - or at least I did.  The kids were major wiggle worms and Marek kept asking, "is it over?" every time the audience applauded.

Click, Clack, Moo!
We stood in line for way too long to ride the train (what is it with those kiddie train lines?!  they are always so friggin' long!) and then had lunch.  I ate light, a cup of FF (I know, should have purchased low fat) cottage cheese with a fruit cup.  Later at home I had a string cheese and some leftover chicken and steak from the other night.  Lots of fruit too.

The kiddies enjoying a snack before we head home.
Whew!  It's a warm day today and wrangling these toddlers is like wrangling cats, I'm feeling a bit tired and think I might need a second cup of coffee to make it through the rest of the day.  But it was fun overall and I know the kids enjoyed themselves. Tomorrow is Sunday, still not sure what activity I'm going to do.  I usually try and get outdoors for a run or bike, or both.  No firm plans yet but I'll come up with something I'm sure.  Ok, I'm off to get ready for a girls dinner.  What we're eating is still up in the air, could be Mexican, could be pizza.  I hope it's Mexican, a lot easier to eat healthy that way.

A rare picture of me with both kids, watching the show.  (Thanks Monique!)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4 on the 4th in 39:36!

It's Thursday but it feels like Monday.  Mid-week holidays are strange.  I took Tuesday off so I'm really coming back from a nice couple of days.  And the best part is, tomorrow is Friday!  I had an amazing Fourth of July.  But before I tell you all about that, a quick re-cap of the earlier part of the week.

Monday was a gym day.  I started with the upright bike for 25 minutes and it's safe to say, level 7 really is getting easier.  The first couple of times it was easier I thought maybe it was a fluke but now it's happening each time.  I followed that up with legs/shoulders/core for strength training.  I've worked out my legs plan.  I'm still doing regular squats but added pliĆ© squats.  I decided against the split squats, they were just too complicated to do correctly, and so I kept leg extensions.  And I think I'm going to add in lateral band walks, where you put the resistance band around your ankles and step to one side for 8 reps, then the other way.  It feels like it's working the outside of your hips, whatever that is.

I had the day off on Tuesday.  I wish I'd planned my day better.  I hung around the house all morning and planned to go to the gym in the afternoon.  Then I realized I could do something better than just the gym.  It was pretty hot out so I opted to go to the pool and swim some laps.  After that I went for a massage.  I signed up for a monthly massage for 6 months, hoping it would help with my stress level and maybe ease muscle tension too.  I gotta admit, I sure do like getting those massages.  I don't think it's a realistic thing to do long term though - a massage a month gets expensive.  I just need to take the time to meditate.  That seems to be the cure-all for stress.  I keep reading about how even 10 minutes a day makes a huge difference.  We'll see. 

So 4th of July was Wednesday (yesterday).  I registered, along with a couple mom friends, for a local 4 mile race in the morning.  I went to bed way too late the night before and knew nothing about the course - though I was assuming the route would be laid back (as in, flat), this is a holiday run after all.  My mom was over and could watch the kids so Miguel decided to run it too.  Fun!

Laurie, Jackie and I.  Red, white and blue, actually not planned!
I had my normal Kashi GoLean and coffee/creamer for breakfast.  I debated eating an AccelGel but in the end decided I didn't need it for such a short event.  Anyway, here I am with my mom friends pre-race.

We lined up at the starting line, sang the Star Spangled Banner (there's a first) and then took off.  I felt like I was running pretty quick so after about 5 minutes I looked at my garmin.  It showed around a 9:30 pace.  Uh oh, running way too fast!  But you know, I felt ok.  So I decided not to look at my garmin again and just go for it.  Run by feel.  I know going out fast usually results in a lower time overall, but I just decided to keep running by what felt right and see what happened.  I was actually passing a few people.

It wasn't too long before we came across a good sized hill.  Not too steep, but friggin' long!  I managed to run the whole way up, successfully quieting the voice that kept suggesting I walk.   Running back down was much more fun so I pushed myself on the down slope.  Eventually I'd come across more friggin hills! and I thought, what the heck are they doing, this is a holiday run!  Here's a screenshot of the elevation profile from my garmin.  Look at those evil hills!

I managed to run up every one of those hills though, and was feeling quite pleased with myself despite the fact that I was dying to walk.  This was tough.  Way tougher than I was expecting.  I had "fun run" in my head, which meant no dying to walk and definitely no hills.  Anyway, I managed to keep running.  I broke down and glanced at my garmin again around mile 3.  I was still doing a sub 10-minute mile.  And it motivated me to push.  Only one more mile!  Lots of positive self talk ensued.  My left calf started aching just a bit but I decided to ignore it.  I can't let anything mess up this apparently incredible run I'm having.

Now I'm looking at my watch more often but not for pace, for distance.  Four miles couldn't come soon enough.  And then there it was, the finish line.  Nice!  I pushed on and crossed the finish line.  And then I looked at my garmin. 39:36.  Holy cow!  I ran four miles in less than 40 minutes.  That means I ran faster than 10 minute miles.  That means I ran faster than I've run in my life.  Ever.  Faster than I'd ever run even on a treadmill (for any sustained amount of time).  I was overjoyed.  So unexpected and so awesome.  It wasn't easy, certainly not "fun", but I was thrilled with how I did.

Here's more information than you'd ever want from the Garmin connect site.  Look at those heart rates, average 158, I was really pushing.  And a peak of 173.  Good thing I didn't look at my garmin, that would have made me slow down for sure!  I slow down when I get to 160 normally. 

I drove home for a quick change before taking the kids to walk in the 4th of July parade with our mother's club.  We've done it every year since I had Marek.  On the way home I actually got a little emotional at the thought of my run.  I have really come a long way.  Back to town for the parade, which went by quick, and then we headed home to relax.  We filled up the kiddie pool and spent the rest of the afternoon watching the kids play, very relaxing.  I tried to eat healthy all day because for dinner my mom grilled steaks and we had that with baked potatoes.  Of course I added some vegetables and a salad to my meal.  Dinner was sooo good.  We skipped the whole fireworks thing, which was just fine with me.  What a great day!  

Today, Thursday, was up in the air in terms of my gym plans.  I wasn't sure how I'd feel.  But you know, I felt ok.  And by the time I went to the gym after work it'd been more than 24 hours since the race.  I did the bike, level 7 is still easier.  I am starting to entertain level 8.  Maybe another month or so and we'll see.  After the bike I did chest/triceps/core for strength training.  And I met a new woman at the gym.  She's lost 120 pounds and is lifting heavy weights - that's my kind of gym goer.  She's still got some weight to lose on her journey and told me she's planning to start a blog soon.  Cool!  Maybe I can profile her on my blog one day soon.

So tomorrow is Friday, which means weigh-in.  I will be happy if I maintain.  After all I ate last weekend, and my eating yesterday - well, I'm not expecting to lose.  I'm going to have to stop seeing social events as a time to cut loose food-wise if I want to stay on track.  Summer means too many social stuff which could mean weight gain if I'm not careful.  Ok, that's all I got.  Oh, I'll add in another picture that Jackie took of me pre-race.  I didn't even know she was taking it.  I like how I look like I'm giving an interview or something.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Wine, Bike, Run

Weekends just fly by, don't they?  I can't believe it's already Sunday night.  But man, did we pack in the activity this weekend!

A quick gym catch-up.  Thursday I rode the upright bike but I was pressed for time so instead of my normal 25 minutes I had to cut it to 20.  I pushed myself on pace to try and compensate.  After the bike I did chest/triceps/core for strength training.  I've increased my pushups from three sets of 8 reps to one set each of 10, 9 and 8 reps.  I don't know what the end-goal is with pushups but I like the idea of maybe getting up to something like 30 at a time.

Friday I hopped on the scale hoping to see a loss.  And I got it, I was down .8 pounds.  I'll take it!  This was my first full week on the Foreman challenge.  I didn't get to use my grill as much as I'd like this past week but I plan to change that this coming week.  I ended the day by hitting the gym after work.  It was a pleasant summer evening so I opted for an outdoor run in the neighborhood around my gym.  I have no idea what my pace was but I ran for 25 minutes.  And I passed someone!  Almost never, ever happens to me.  After the run I did back/biceps/core work for strength training.  I finished up with some good stretching and foam rolling.

Saturday turned out to be the BIG day of the weekend.  We went to a family barbecue during the day.  We all had a great time catching up with family, playing on the big lawn and partaking in some yummy food and drink.  One of my cousins (second cousin actually) said I helped to inspire a health shift in her life.  She works out and changed her diet and has lost 40 pounds!  It was so fun talking shop with her.  Calorie-wise, I stuck to only one glass of wine but was pretty wild with the food.  Barbecue potluck food overload!  And as soon as we got home from the barbecue I had to get ready to go to the wine club.

Wine club was a white party theme.  Putting on all white clothes (when you don't happen to have a white dress) isn't easy.  I finally settled on some white chino's, a white tank and sweater.  I was a little surprised when I saw this cell pic, I'm smaller than I imagine.

(I forgot to ask permission to post the picture, hence the blur)
Oh my goodness, I had SO SO SO much fun!  We drank wine and socialized but eventually the music got turned up and we started dancing!  Oh, and I will not even try to describe the bench press body planking shenanigans we got into.  What is it with me, alcohol, and exercise?  Anyway, we probably danced for at least 2 hours, possibly 4.  The guys eventually left us out there dancing and went to play pool (though I was solo, Miguel stayed home with the kids).  I wasn't doing it for the calorie burn but I'm sure it didn't hurt.  I hadn't eaten since the barbecue and I was hungry so on the way home I stopped food (gasp!).  What a food day, huh?  Oh well, such is life. I hit the sack totally exhausted and had serious doubts about the morning workout plans.

I woke up this morning with tentative plans to join the Marin Tri Club for a bike/run brick in Tiburon.  The Tiburon Triathlon is coming up at the end of July and this was a training for that.  I had a slight headache so I took some ibuprofen and hustled to get out the door.  I knew after all the food intake on Saturday that I really needed to make this workout.  Plus, it sounded really fun.  We rode around part of the paradise loop and then did a 2 mile run after.  I haven't checked my garmin but the woman that I kept pace with said we were doing 10 minute miles!  I sure hope that's true!!!!!  I want to do the tri but it's on a Sunday and conflicts with Miguel's soccer game so it's a no-go.  Anyway, the ride and run were just perfect and I was so happy I went.

Some members of the Marin Tri Club.  I hope I can join more of their trainings, very friendly, laid-back people.
I was back home by 11:30 and took the kids out to lunch at Chipotle.  Then we went for frozen yogurt.  Despite everything I indulged and had about a 1/2 cup myself.  The afternoon with the kids was fun.  The rest of the day was spent relaxing at home, admittedly feeling pretty tired all day.  And now, to remedy that, I'm hitting the sack.  Night all!

p.s.  NO idea how to calculate my Points with all this free-for-all eating.  So I just wiped out my weekly extras and the APs I earned on Friday and today - hopefully that will cover it.

p.p.s. The Color Run is coming up in 2 weeks and I keep forgetting that I even registered for it!  I hope I don't miss it altogether.