Saturday, April 30, 2011

In the Zumba Zone

It's Saturday, which can only mean one thing!  It's Zumba time!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this class!  And after boot camp, I wanted to have a workout that I enjoyed.  So it was a spoonful of peanut butter, and then I took off.  I should have ran around the track for a while before hand, but I didn't leave early enough.  No worries, I'm ready to have a great workout in class.

I strapped on the Garmin, and I was really anxious to see what my heart rate average was in this class. The music starts, and we start dancing.  There was some new songs, and a few favorites.  These past few weeks, I have really gotten comfortable in this class.  It's a terrific atmosphere, and I can really let go.  And I do;  I really get into the routines.  Today was even better; I was in the zone.  Even Renae, the instructor, thought so as she told me later. I was dancing and shaking and sweating.  All the time I was checking my heart rate, and it was good; but I was confused as to why the average heart rate display wasn't moving.  It was stuck at 123, and I knew it should be going up as time went on because it was ranging from 135 to 160 during the routines.  Well, when class ended, and I went to stop the timer, I it wasn't until then that I realized I had never turned it on!  Bummer!!! 

One of the beautiful ladies in this class is from Brazil.  I can't even begin to know how to spell her name, but she and her friend are newly certified zumba instructors.  She had mentioned the week before that she had never eaten crawfish.  So this Saturday, Kelly and I met up with them and Renae at a local Cajun place to give her the experience.   It was a lot of fun, and she handled the crawfish like a pro. 

So getting to know them better was great, and in the process I found out Renae also teaches Spinning, and not in the boot-camp-nazi way.  She offered a guest pass to check it out.  I'll have to work up my nerves to take her up on it.  I love being in the zumba zone, but I think it will take some time to get into the Spinning zone. The cycle really intimidates me. But this whole journey to the Warrior Dash is about conquering fears and stepping out of my comfort zone.  We have a zumbathon in mid-May. After that, I think I'll give it a try.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Boot Camp

I haven't attended a boot camp since my friend and fellow warrior princess, Che, invited me to one about 3 years ago.  I had to haul my cookies out of bed at 5 o'clock and we worked out in the dark.  The trainer called out exercises, we did them.  This is my only experience with boot camp, and it is a good one.

Today, when my husband asked me, "Are you working out today?", I thought, "What am I going to do?"  I looked up the classes at the rec center, and there's a boot camp class in 30 minutes.  I can make it if I hurry. 

I had heard that this instructor is pretty tough, so I was nervous going in.  When I walked in, there was only one other girl there.  This is never a good sign.  Soon enough, another woman walks in, and she says, "We're going upstairs!"  That's it; no hello or any type of introduction, just "We're going upstairs!".  Really I thought she said, "I'm going upstairs" so it took me a few seconds before I realized I had to follow her.  That probably should have foreshadowed the whole event, but whatever.  I follow.

We go to the spin room, and everyone goes in and pulls a bike away from the wall and starts peddling.  So I follow suit.  Ms. Boot Camp teacher has not said one word to any newcomers, she's just peddling away.  So I start peddling.  And peddling, and peddling.  I'm getting aggravated.  I didn't want to take a cycling class.  Eventually, she starts telling us to do other things like increase the tension, stand up, press up and down with your arms, etc.  I just continue to pedal, because my butt hurt.  I was afraid if I stood up I wouldn't be able to sit back down.  And to be honest, I was pouting and being a brat.  I didn't like her.  She has that Julian Michaels training personality. She yelled out, "No whining!" and "Stop complaining!"  Eventually she starts to tell us what we're going to do next, and what we're going to do next is:
1. Run to the length of the track.
2. Squat walk the one side of the track.
3. Run back to the starting area.
4. Run up and down the stairs twice
5. 24 sit ups
6. 24 push ups
7. 12 squats
Repeat until she says stop.

What I'm thinking is that once I get off this bike, I can sneak down the stairs, and she won't notice or care that I'm gone.  Then I hear her say that if we ask her "Are we stopping?" she will make us run another lap.  I'm definitely sneaking off and getting away from this boot camp nazi!

But I couldn't.  That voice that I've come to hear so often told me that she wouldn't care if I left, but I would.  I haven't given up yet.  Not when I'm running, not in pilates, no on the hike from hell.  What good would quitting do me?  I fear that if I quit once, it will be all too easy to quit the next time.  And then I thought of this blog.  What would I write?  It's another level of accountability when I have to come back and write down and admit that I quit.  So if you check in with me here, I thank you!  You kept me going today, and that means a lot!

So we take off down the track.  Then the squats start.  And guess what?? Squatting is another thing I do slow!  It didn't take long before I was last.  No matter.  My legs were on fire by the time I got to the other side, but I kept going and ran the stairs.  That's when someone told me I had to do it twice.  Ahhh!  Then I start the sit ups.  I honestly thought there was no way I could do 24 sit ups.  I would have bet money on it.  But I did! I can't say the same for the push ups, but I tried.  I got through the whole shebang twice to every one else's 3 or 4.  Then she yells out, "Stop where you are and run three laps!"  I can do that!  So off I go.  Tangila met me on the track and ran a whole lap with me.  She had been up there rocking a 3K walk/run.  After that we go down to the weight room

She puts half of us on ellipticals and half on treadmills.  Luckily she put me on an elliptical on level 7 first, because I got a glimpse of what was to come on the treadmill.  On the elliptical she kept making us up our level.  Then she says, "Switch" and I go to a treadmill.  We have to put it on elevation 15 and walk backwards!  Backwards!!  I felt like I was going to fall.  I think I had it set for 1 mph; luckily for me she was busy doing something else because who knows if she would have let me get away with that.

Last, she tells us to go back to the activity room to cool down and stretch.  So we're walking back, and she yells out, "Come on, ladies! Move!"  In hindsight, I should have answered, "Yes! Drill Seargeant!"  So we cool down and stretch, and all is right in the world.  Right because class is over!

I think all in all, it was a good workout.  I can feel that my legs will be sore, and maybe my arms too.  I probably could have pushed harder on the push ups, but I try to go for quality rather than quantity, and I was pacing myself.  I'm glad I tried the class and got my workout in for the day; but I didn't enjoy it.  It was not fun, and I definitely can't say that I want to go back.

But I probably will.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Grace and the Planks

I did not attend Ab-Ripper Shelllie's pilates class today.  Why?  Because I received my first-ever call from a teacher today.  I guess I should be greatful that it took this long, being that I've been a mother for almost 21 years.  Nevertheless, I had issues to deal with when I got home.  Hopefully, we handled it effectively.  I guess we have six more weeks of school to tell.

Instead, I went to zumba at a later time.  I love zumba, but I really get annoyed when instructors constantly forget their choreography.  It's hard enough being in reactionary mode, but when you add that in, it's even more difficult.  So during zumba, I'm getting grumpy.  So now I'm grumpy, and she's taking too long in between songs!  I'm wearing my Garmin so I know that my heart rate is dropping like 20 beats per minute while she's fixing her belly dancing skirt or whatever else she is doing.  Come on!! Keep it moving, chica!!

I got a chance to talk to Grace Kelly before I had to dash home, and she did go to the ab-ripper class.  She was tired and with good reason.  In this class, when we do the side planks, we always modify it and do it with one knee on the ground.  Tonight, she did a full side plank! And she held it!  Go Kelly!!!!  She is awesome!!!  Tomorrow, our office is having tea and crumpets and scones in honor of the royal wedding.  I think she deserves a scone with extra devonshire cream! 

So I'm off to the store so I can make the cream, and then I think I'll hop into the hot tub before I turn in for the night.  It's taking forever, but it has finally heated up.  I hope it keeps.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Great Outdoors

I knew lunch was going to be a splurge today.  I went out with Grace Kelly and our women's group leader to a Mexican food restaurant.  It was yummy, and as I figured, I consumed every bit of the remainder of my calories for the day.  Mexican food is pretty expensive calorie wise.  When I calculated it, I was negative 9 calories for the day; so it wasn't as bad as I feared, but being that it was only 12:30 in the afternoon, I was concerned.  Luckily, dinner was baked drumsticks, and I was satisfied with having one.

My husband had an early softball game tonight, so I suited up to take a quick jog before he had to leave.  When I say suited up, I mean suited up.  It started with the chest strap for the Garmin.  Then there's the Garmin itself.  It's very bulky and it's on my wrist.  Then there was my arm band for my phone.  Then there was the headphones I had to get situated under my sleeve.  Then I had my new lap belt with the little water bottles.  Since it is sooooooo hot already, my husband said I should wear it and be sure I stayed hydrated.  By the time all this gear is in place, I'm thinking I should get extra calories for carrying the extra weight.  ;)  Oh well, I am merely a warrior princess with all her gear.

It was a high of 95 today.  It's barely mid-April and it's already almost 100 degrees!!  Have mercy!  I wondered how the heat would affect me and if I could sustain my distance and pace in higher temperatures.  There's only one way to find out. I didn't have long, so I took off behind the neighborhood and then made a loop back to get on the trail and then back through the front of the neighborhood.  That probably sounds more daunting than it was.  It ended up being a 1.7 mile track that took me 25 minutes.  I set the Garmin as well as my phone to test the new update, and it seems like although the phone update did make the GPS better, it is still a little off.  So I was anxious to plug in the Garmin and upload it to get my full results. And what exciting results they were.  My average moving speed was 4.1 mph and my fastest speed was 5.0 mph!   So I was pretty excited. 

Although the days are getting hotter, the evenings are still pretty nice.  We have a nice deck in the backyard with lots of trees and no back neighbors.  So after reading about puppies and kittens and listening for the rhythmic breathing that comes when little angels fall asleep, I decided to step out of the "norm" and step outside.  I took my laptop, a yoga DVD, and my mat, and hit the deck.  Literally.  It was great!  I did the sunset workout of Yoga on the Edge (that one is my favorite-I say favorite, but really I haven't tried the other two)  which was perfect, because the sun was setting.  You could feel the breeze and hear it blow through the trees and the sounds of birds and crickets.  It really created a nice, peaceful environment for yoga...until the AC turned on.  Then it was just loud and I couldn't hear the new age music or the vocal cues.  Lol.  Note to self: turn up the AC before going outside to do yoga. 

On a happy note, we may have a working spa.  It hasn't worked in 3 years or so, but we got the wiring redone.  Now it's a matter of cleaning it up, getting new filters, and making sure that it's going to heat up.  It's just another great way to spend time outside and relax after a good work out session.  I hope it works. Say a prayer for me, will you please?  ;D

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jacked Up GPS

I hate my phone.  Not really, but the GPS is all messed up and has been for a while.  It's virtually useless when trying to map out a run.  No, not virtually useless, completely useless! So right now, I'm downloading the latest software for it in hopes that it will clear it up. But I am not optomistic!  >=(

So I took last night off, and I had a cupcake.  There is a woman named Tiffany in my women's group, and she is a cupcake goddess!  She brought these wonderful strawberry-filled cupcakes with homemade buttercream icing with silver glitter sprinkles.  We were quite sparkly last night. Every once in a while, you would catch a sparkle on someone's face-proof that we defiled a cupcake.  Yum!  As soon as I found out that she was bringing them, I logged it into MyFitnessPal to accomdoate the calories!  And it was worth it!

So today, I worked it off.  After putting the little one to sleep, and falling alseep myself, I took off to the rec center.  I had ready on Yahoo today that it is more effective to do your cardio after weights, so I tried that out tonight.  I started with a 7-minute warm up on the bike, and I managed to ride 1.5 miles.  I grabbed my weights and started the circuit training exercises and then did a couple of the arm machines.  While I was on the arm machines, I watched this woman working out with a kettle ball.  She was doing all kinds of stuff with it.  I'll have to look up some information on those exercises and what they target, because she looked like she was getting some great ab work out of it.

I put on the Garmin, and went for the treadmill.  The GPS also does not work in the building, but I wanted it to monitor my heartrate.  I set the timer for 30 minutes and the pace at 4.0.  I wanted to aim for a mile at that pace before I turned it down.  It took me about 11 minutes to really feel like I was in a good groove.  Before that I felt kind of clumsy, like I was moving all over the treadmill.  I managed the first mile at 4.0 and then kept going.  Around minute 20, I started feeling really good; but I was getting tired.  But the feeling really good part won out, and I heard a voice tell me to push and that I could finish the 2 miles.  So I kept going.  I tend to look down when I run, which leaves me focusing on the panel.  When I got to the last 1/4 of a mile, I upped the speed to 4.3.  Luckily, the song playing was Where the Streets Have No Name by U2.  Kind of fitting lyrics.

I want to run
I want to hide
I want to tear down the walls
that hold me inside

There is also a line, I wanna feel sunlight on my face.  After the treadmill run tongiht, I confirmed that I would rather run outside, which is very unlike me.  I must already be tearing down some of those walls. =) 

The software is now installing onto my phone, and I pray that the jacked up GPS won't be jacked up anymore.  If not, I'll be making a trip to the Apple store to see if the geniuses can fix it.  Like I have time; I'd rather be working out.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter Sunday.  Ours was a very nice and relaxed and quiet day.

I ended up burning quite a few more calories last night.  After drinking some yummy yummy mojitos, we turned on Just Dance 2 on the Wii, and me and some of our friends and neighbors got down with our bad selves. =)

The morning started out nice and quiet.  Of course the little one was up nice and early to see what the Easter Bunny had brought her.  She ran upstairs to wake up her sister, and then hit the yard to find all her hidden goodies.  She dressed extra special for church, and didn't even argue with me when I told her she couldn't have chocolate until she ate something decent. 

On this day, when we remember the sacrifices made for us, I could feel nothing but grateful.  Grateful for my family-my husband, my girls, and my sister's family.  Grateful for our friends, and grateful for the life we have.  Grateful that He gives me the courage and strength to continue on this journey.

However, being grateful didn't mean I wasn't tired.  ;)  My husband and I sat outside most of the day while the kiddo played in her new pool.  The weather was nice, and the breeze was strong; it was hard not to fall asleep and getting motivated for a jog was even harder.  Instead, I waited for nightfall, and my neighbor went for an evening walk.  I didn't even have to bully her into it.  =D

And what a walk it was!  We ended up walking a 5K in an hour!  I know this because I finally figured out how to properly use my brother-in-law's Garmin Forerunner.  It's really cool.  When we turned back onto our street, we were at 56 minutes and just under 3 miles, so we kept walking up and down the street until we hit an hour.  What a great time!  Great company, great conversation, and 372 calories! 

And, we saw a bunny!  On Easter!  It was our very own Easter Bunny!  Just another thing to be grateful for.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Big 4-0

Well, the day is here.  I am officially into a new decade of my life and onto the next age box to be checked.

But it's all good.  I'm forty, getting fit, and I feel fabulous!  My husband bought me the most beautiful tres leches cake with strawberry filling. I've been saving my calories for it since it weighs like 30 pounds.  Check it out:




I started the morning with zumba! I had bought a new pair of shoes over the weekend, so I was really excited to try them out.  They are actually cheer shoes, but they have the pivot point that you need for turns.  I so love this class!  It' so much fun, and it's like Kelly, Tangila, and I are out dancing minus the night and the drinks.  As much as I have been lamenting turning 40, I was in a great mood.  Kelly had good news, too; so it made the morning even better.  The music started, and I let go.  I jumped a lot more than usual, and with my new shoes, I was able to do all the turns that I had been missing with my sneakers.  I worked up quite a sweat!  Even my ponytail was wet.  Grace Kelly had on her belly dancing skirt, and she was working it!   She bought the same shoes, and I hope Tangila is on her way to Academy to get the same pair.  We are going together in May to a 3-hour zumbathon.  Won't we be cute in our matching shoes!

I had set this goal for myself to lose 12 pounds by today.  I didn't think this was an unrealistic goal because I set it at the end of January.  As of yesterday, I didn't think it was going to be possible.  I had resigned myself to the fact that it wasn't going to happen.  But it's almost like the universe gave me a birthday present, because I stepped on the scale, and I am down 13 pounds!  One more than I had hoped for! 

So the decade is off to a great start. We're going to the natatorium for the first-annual Easter egg dive, and it will be kabobs and mojitos later along with my pretty cake.   I've eaten 230 calories of my allotted 1200 and according to MyFitnessPal, I have a total of 1570 if I include my zumba calories burned.  I usually try not to go over the 1200 even with exercise, but tonight, I just might eat them all.   =D

Friday, April 22, 2011

Against the Wind

Today I was checking out the thesaurus.  I know I've mentioned that I'm slow.  I run slow, I walk slow, yada yada yada.  Now that I've tried swimming, I know that I'm slow at that too.  And that's okay.  But slow has such a negative connotation, and I don't want to sound like I'm down on myself all the time.  So I went to thesaurus.com and typed in slow.  There is no nice word for slow.  I found crawling, drowsy, idle, inactive, lackadaisical, leisurely, lethargic, passive, snail-like, and stagnant to name a few. I figured leisurely is probably the best option, but it really doesn't describe what I'm trying to do.  It's not like I'm out taking a leisurely jog; I'm really trying!  I'm pushing, I'm sweating, I'm reaching for goals!  There has to be a better word.  Alas, for now, I'm stuck with slow.

So today was going to be a jogging day.  My husband bought me an armband for my phone for my birthday, so I put it to use.  I wrapped it around my left arm nice and snug.  It worked great, but next time I have to put my headphones through my sleeves or something, because the cord kept getting caught on my elbow.  He also bought me some eye black for the Warrior Dash.  It made me laugh, but really I thought it was romantic. One of these days, I'll have to try it out.  I was thinking of that and imaging what I would look like with eye black on while running through the neighborhood.  As if to answer, I passed a couple of people I knew from my daughter's school days.  We said hi as we passed each other, but I thought of how silly I would have felt if they saw me with eye black running around.  They know nothing of this adventure, and probably would have thought I lost my mind.  =)  Picture it.  It's funny.

So I had a good laugh, but then I got spooked. I'm pretty much a scaredy cat anyway, but today when a truck backtracked one too many times, I panicked a little and changed my course.  I was going to go back in the neighborhood, but instead went on the trail and by the park. I felt like I was going a little faster today, but I tried not to focus on it.  There was a wonderful breeze, and I imagined Bob Seger singing Against the Wind.  I'll have to download that one; maybe I'll get an entire Bob Seger playlist.  I ended the jog with a trek up the hill behind our house, and it ended up being a 1.88 mile track. When I calculated it out, my pace was 4.13 mph!  That's a new record for me!  It felt really good.

I have to say I'm really not looking forward to the summer.  It's already getting so warm here, and soon the lovely breeze that accompanies me on the trail will be gone. I'm enjoying the outdoors so much more than I thought I would; but I guess I can go back to running on a treadmill if the sun threatens my quest.  Until then, I'll be running with or against the wind with a smile on my very red face.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Calves and Abs and Skinny Girls

I had my very first appointment with a chiropractor today.  I scheduled it in hopes that they could fix my calf.  My daughter has been going to this particular office for 5 years, so I trust them.  They relieved her pain in less than two months after she had suffered for over two years.  Two years of doctor's appointments, MRI's, physical therapy, and thousands and thousands of dollars with little to no relief. 

Turns out, I had several knots in my calf, and she got them out.  She dug her hands in and made me cry, and she used some sort of vibrating device and used them on the knots.  It was painful, but now I feel as good as new.  She did say that it was cumulative though.  Maybe the hike on Sunday pushed me over the edge, but it wasn't the hike alone that caused it.  That's good to know.  I also feel like if I had stretched better, maybe it would have not been quite so severe.  But who knows.  I'll be stretching very well from here on out as to not test that theory.

So with full use of my legs, I went to pilates tonight.  Every time I go to that class there are different people there.  I'm not sure if I've ever seen the same people twice.  It was a good class; maybe I'm getting a little stronger.  It was tough, but I just felt like I had a better handle on some of the exercises.  I'm still doing most of the exercises on the beginning level, but I felt better about it all.  I'm sure I'll feel my abs in the morning; at least I hope so.  I like that sore feeling.

So I had a moment tonight that made me smile.  My daughter is home for the weekend (yea!) so we went to Walgreen's to pick up some peroxide for my husband who slid into first and ended up with a horrible raspberry on his leg.  Anyway, we're walking and I look up at the mirrors they have on the aisles, and I looked smaller.  Comparatively anyway.  There was such a difference in my reflection, I couldn't believe it.   I've seen myself in the gym mirrors, and I sometimes thought maybe I was a little smaller; but tonight it was really noticeable.   It's only 11 pounds, but there was a difference; and it was great!

On the opposite side, my daughter is beautiful.  I know I'm her mother, but she is.  She is a dancer, and she has a dancer's body.  Her spring formal is coming up so she was trying on her dress to show me.  She just had it altered, so we were having a hard time getting the zipper up.  So she had been telling me that she felt like she had gained weight this week, and now her zipper won't zip up.  We laughed about that.  Anyway, we get the zipper up and she tried on her shoes with the dress, and she looks fantastic!  My husband and I are oohing and awwing over her. Then she tells us that she feels huge!

Oh the irony here!  In the same night when I'm saying, "I'm so little!" she's saying, "I'm so huge!"  Even with my 11 pounds gone, I probably still weigh close to 100 pounds more than her, so this struck me as really funny.  But it's good to laugh.  I know I still have a long way to go, but seeing the mirror's image today was a happy moment. One that will get me through to the next 11 pounds.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

I think I really hurt my calf.  It feels much worse today, and I'm concerned that stretching doesn't make it feel better.  It's different than just being sore.  It hurts.

By the time the work day was over, my whole body hurt; I guess from overcompensating.  Unfortunately, I had to go by the grocery store; which meant I had more Frankenstein walking while I picked up a few things.  The good thing is that I picked up some Epsom salt, too.  I'll put that to good use right before bed.

So I got home, completely depleted and ready to plop on the couch and stay there.  My husband asked if I was going to work out, and I said no and if I did I would have to swim or something because my leg hurt.  And he encouraged me to go, so I did.  Now everytime I've had swimming in my head, it hasn't work out.  Either I get caught up in something else, or the pool is going to close, or there are too many people and I'm intimidated.  But not today.  Today I walked over to the swimming lanes like I belonged there, jumped in the pool and swam some laps.  The water felt great, and I really enjoyed myself. I tried to watch the lady swimming in the lane next to me, because she really knew what she was doing.  I tried to mimic her breathing techniques, but I just can't catch my breath when I turn my face out of the water.  I guess it will take practice.  No matter; I just kept swimming.  I swam back and forth and treaded water every so often when I needed to catch my breath.  I ended up staying for an hour.  =)

It was fun, and I didn't even have to break a sweat.  Somehow I think ab-ripper Shellie will change that tomorrow.   That is as long as my leg is not worse tomorrow.  If it is, and I have to keep taking it easy, I'll just keep swimming, swimming, swimming....

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Running-The Miracle Cure

Between Sunday's hike and not sleeping well, I was exhausted yesterday.  I debated on taking another night off or pushing through it and going to the gym.  I asked my wonderful MyFitnessPal friends for their opinion, and the general consensus was to take a break.  So I did.

Another thing, my calves are on fire. I was almost concerned that maybe I had injured the right one, because it hurts so bad.  When I got to the gym, I stretched the best I could before getting on the treadmill.  I warmed up with a 7 minute run at 4.5 mph.  The very weird thing is that, once again, once I started running, the pain stopped!  I just don't get it.  I like it, but I don't get it. 

After the warm up, I hit the mat and started the circuit training.  I worked my arms and abs, but gave my legs a break.  My brother-in-law lent me his Garmin, so it was interesting to see my heart rate while transitioning from one exercise to the next since there is supposed to be virtually no rest in between.  Overall it was an hour-long workout.

I was hoping to get to zumba at the church, but alas, my husband started working on my mother's car which was parked behind me.  So I stayed put.  I bought a new pair of dance sneakers over the weekend, so I'm just itching to try them out.  But with my calves, maybe it's for the better than I didn't get to go.

I should be going to sleep, and I will; but first, I'm going to do my sunset yoga workout and put some Icy Hot on my legs.  Hopefully I can inch the scale down a little bit more if I don't take any more time off.  I'd like to drop at least one more pound before the big 4-0 on Saturday. 

The big 4-0.  Running may cure pain, but it can't stop the 4-0 from coming.  Bummer!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Happy Hiker

What a weekend!  Although I had no workouts on Friday OR Saturday, I made up for it today.  OMG did I ever make up for it today!

The weekend started with a drive to my daughter's university so we could watch her spring dance performance.  It was great.  We stayed with her Friday night, and had a wonderful morning and afternoon with her.  Then we drove to Austin to see my sister and her family.  We had planned on doing one of the P90X DVDs in the evening, but instead, we drove back to San Marcos to see the dance performance again.  It was a great show, and I always love watching her dance.

Last August, when I was not working out and at my heaviest weight, my sister took me on this nature trail in her neighborhood.  It was a very tough hike, and I found myself praying for a crazed trail stalker to find me and end my suffering half way through it.  It's a 3 mile trail with elevation of over 800 ft.!  It was tough, and this is the warning sign I found at the end of it!

It says: Warning!  This is a strenuous hike with numerous steep sections.  It also talked about two emergency exits, which I did NOT see.

So, 2 1/2 months into my training, I was curious to see what the difference would be doing this hike again. At the very least I was hoping that I wouldn't be praying for death.

We were joined by my fellow Warrior Princess, Che and her friend, Tara.  The four of us took off on the trail.  I was trying to pace myself, remembering what it was like the first time.  I had borrowed my sister's heart rate monitor; so I was checking it, and things looked good.  Then the stairs started coming.  And coming. And coming.  There are periods of flat surfaces and downward hikes, too; but the downward grade was of little comfort because going down only means you have to come back up.  It was still a very tough trail.  Last time, a little after the 1.5 mile marker, I had picked up a large stick and used it like a cane to help me get through.  This time, I did not use a cane.  Last time, I cried when I turned the corner only to find more elevation.  This time, there were no tears and there was no praying for my own demise.  There were a few under-the-breath expletives, but no tears.  Last time, I was slow and held everybody had to wait on me.  This time, well, this time I was slow and everybody had to wait on me. 

This picture doesn't do this climb justice.  It keeps going and going and going

This is me on one of the last ascents.  See the smile-I'm an excellent actress.  =)
I have come to the conclusion that I am just slow.  I walk slow, I run slow, I'm just an at-my-pace kind of girl.  And my pace is slow.  The sign does say that people of average health should expect to complete it in 90 minutes, which we did! 

I put such high expectations on myself, and I get so aggravated when I think I can do better.  I thought it would have been a little easier.  I thought I would not have been so tired and slow on the last ascents.  And at first, I was a little disappointed in myself.  But I had time to think about it on the drive home.  Between the four of us, my sister is incredibly fit and my friend Che, is a half-marathon runner.  I'm not sure about Tara because I just met her, but she tackled this hike like a champ.  All of them considered this a tough workout.  So, I'm considering this hike a success!   In such great company and over 800 feet elevation and the fact that it did not kill me -how can it be considered anything but.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Faster Than.....

I discovered an awesome website today for runners called coolrunning.com.  Now that I'm a runner, I can check it out.  ;)

So true to my obsessive mind, I searched the forums for runners who are slow to see what was being said about increasing speed.  I found a post with all kinds of wonderful things that made me laugh and feel even better about where I am.  Someone posted, "I run at a slower speed than most people."  The response was, "No you don't!  Most people don't run at all!"  (I made that my current facebook status!)   Someone else said, "If you are running even slowly, your still faster than a couch."  Another person said she went from a 16 minute mile to a 11.5 in six months simply by running slowly and gradually increasing her distance.  Then I found the true gem that said he makes sure he isn't last in a race by entering his pet turtle and hoping that the turtle stays on course.  That one made me laugh out loud.

So I'm going to add a tag line to my WP title.  It will be "Warrior Princess-Faster than the Speed of a Couch!" 

It is a gorgeous night!  There's a nice breeze, and it's not too humid.  I decided that I would go for a swim if the neighbors were not going to be up for a walk.  Luckily, my neighbor Jamie was up for one, so with her nice new shoes and a spring in our step, we took a quick stroll around the hood.  It was a 1.6 mile walk with a good pace; we had good conversation and worked up a nice "glisten."  It was fun, but I tell you; I could not have done it without her because I'm afraid of the dark.  I would have been all kinds of creeped out by myself.  So thank you, Jamie! 

I had been debating on signing up for a 5K in the beginning of May, but I don't think I'm going to.  It would be a fun one to do since the path goes right by my house; but maybe I'll hold off for that run until next year.  Next year maybe I can even do the 10K!  The thing is I just don't quite feel ready for a large crowd run.  The second thing is there is zumbathon in May, and Kelly and I want to sign up for that too.  Time wise and money wise, we decided we'd choose one.  Besides, there are several 5K's in the area, so we'll keep checking.  I will sign up for one before the Warrior Dash; I just need a little more time.

More time to gather my superhero qualities.  If I'm faster than a couch now, imagine what a little more time can do.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Slowpoke Rodriguez

When I was younger, I watched cartoons every Saturday morning.  Do you remember Speedy Gonzalez, the mouse?  If you do, then you probably remember Slowpoke Rodriguez.  Somehow I think I'm a mix of the two.  I know I'm not the fastest runner, but I am motivated and steady; kind of like the tortoise-a legendary slow victor!  

I mapped out a 2 mile course that included the hill in the back of our yard.  Once I returned from the book fair, I suited up and hit the pavement.  While I was running, I was thinking about all kinds of things.  How I started this adventure only 2 1/2 months ago.  How I stayed off of the treadmill for the first part of it because I don't like walking.  How I want so badly to increase my speed, and how I still feel self conscious about signing up for an official 5K because I don't want to be last.  I imagine the day when I can run at 5 mph.  I imagine shedding pounds with every step and being thin. 

The thing is, it's hard to feel sorry for yourself for any reason when your jogging. I don't even necessarily enjoy it every time I go out, but yet I want to keep going.  Whatever course I set for myself, I have to complete it; because I know I can.  I haven't pushed past the 3.1 miles yet, and I'm debating on pushing past the distance or working on my time.  I'm still slow.  But I read this quote today, and it made me feel so good:

If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run."
~John Bingham


I am a runner.  I may be the tortoise and not the hare, and I may be Slowpoke and not Speedy; but I am a runner.  I just run.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Party's Over!

Yesterday was the birthday luncheon, and as I promised I ate cake.  And Chili, and tea sandwiches, and fruit salad, and cornbread.  To make matters worse, women's group was starting early so there was no time for a workout before or after.

That's ok.  The night with the ladies was awesome!  And I had given myself permission to indulge for lunch, so no regrets.

But now, the party's over and it's time to get refocused!  So on Tuesdays, there is a zumba class offered at the church.  It's been over a year since I attended one of these classes, so I thought it was time to check it out again and mix things up.  So, off I go.  First thing I noticed, there's a lot more hip hop music.  Second, there's a lot of hopping!  She had jumping jacks in the first song!  Jumping jacks!  So, rather than modifying like I normally do, I did them!  I actually did jumping jacks!  I haven't done a real jumping jack in years!  There were a couple of familiar songs including Hella Decale which is a fave.  So yea!  I'm sweaty and happy, and then she brings us down to the ground to work on abs.  And then she hollers out "planks!"  PLANKS!!!!  CURSE YOU PLANKS!!!!  It was a good workout, even though I have not learned to love planks...or hip hop music...yet.

I got home in time to spend a few minutes with my daughter who informs me that I forgot to give her money for the book fair.  So tomorrow after I get off work, we'll be heading up to the school to buy another book on wolves.  (her latest obsession)

I had texted my neighbors to see if they were going up to the gym with me, but I got no response.  In fact, I think I heard crickets chirping.  So before I left, I go knocking on doors.  One neighbor turned me down, the other caved in.  I feel like an exercise bully.
I warmed up on the treadmill and ran a 5 minute course average speed of 4.8 mph.  Then I hit the mat to do circuit training.  Something I haven't done and even avoided for the past few weeks.  Bad Candi.  Bad, bad, bad!

I mean, I have avoided it but it's not like I haven't been doing anything.  I'm realizing that I have been making excuses.  Like today, I didn't feel like running, so I went to zumba.  I don't feel like circuit training, so I go running, etc.  I mean, I guess it's good that I'm doing something, but I really need to keep myself on track. 

I pushed myself with the circuit training too.  I increased my weight 2-3 pounds and added some additional arm exercises.  I can really feel it sitting here right now, too.  The circuit regimen calls for 12 bosu pushups.  I never really go down very far on the push ups, so I concentrated on making them count, and I went all the way down.  I was able to do six. 

Now it's really late, and I'm heading to bed.  Thank goodness I don't need my arms to climb the stairs.  So goodnight and sweet dreams, and I hope that if you read this you will leave comments.  Tell me some of the things you have accomplished!  I would love to hear your stories!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Calories Calories

I've been logging in my food to MyFitnessPal for 70 days!  It's a constant thought - calories, exercise, calories, exercise.  Maybe I'm thinking about it too much.  Renae the zumba goddess says women are like candles when we exercise.  We burn at both ends and lose the middle wax last.  I seriously need to calm my mind and wait for the melt.  In between the obsessive calorie and exercise thoughts, Warrior Dash thoughts are playing in there too!  It's 223 days away now, and I need to chill.

We went to the pool again today.  We met Grace Kelly and her little one there.  I picked up water weights and tried to work my arms as much as I could and treaded water while the diving boards were being utilized by my little mermaid.  Although I don't feel like I've been getting a really good workout on Sundays, I'm really enjoying them.  As a bonus, by going to the pool instead of the weight room, I earn the "best mom ever" title.  This is especially good since I'll be in the dog house with her tomorrow when I leave for women's group.  It's nice to have a small moment of glory.

My neighbor got a new pair of running shoes, so I tried to convince her to break them in tonight.  That didn't work, and my other neighbor had laundry.  Curses laundry!!  So I opted for yoga.  I popped in Yoga on the Edge with Sara Ivanhoe and did the sundown workout.  Now I feel calm and relaxed, and I'll be heading off to bed.

And I hope I don't dream about calories.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake

Friday night! Woo hoo!  Well, maybe not.  I was tired.  The little one did not sleep well Thursday night, which means I didn't sleep well Thursday night.  I came home from work and took a 2 hour nap, which is nice because naps don't happen for me very often.  Still, when I woke up I felt like I had been hit by a truck.  Good thing I was taking the day off from exercise.


However, my sleep saboteur and her friend started playing Just Dance on the Wii.  They were so cute, so I started to dance with them.  Usually when I play with her I hold back or don't move my arm so she can win, so it was fun to dance with her without holding back since I didn't have a remote.


I was happy to hit the bed and I fell asleep very quickly.  Kelly and I decided to run the 1.2 mile trek from the high school to the recreation center.  The catch is there is a bridge in between.  I can't find exact elevation, but the minimum clearance for structures over railroads is somewhere between 22 and 27 feet. (I think)  We figured if we met at 8 am, we would have time to make the run and have time to cool down before zumba.  So, it was a challenge we were both up for, and we did it!  And it was early.  And we hadn't had any coffee.  People were honking at us left and right.  Actually, they may have been honking at the high school kids on the corner promoting their bake sale; but surely it was the hot stuff jogging down the street.  ;)


Once we reached the rec center, we went upstairs to stretch and then relaxed for 15 minutes before heading downstairs to zumba.  Oh my gosh, how I love zumba!  I really gave it my all, and I even tried to include some jumps in places that I had been stepping instead.  It's a small step, but necessary if I'm going to be leaping over fire.  Gotta start somewhere.


After class, I asked Renae, the instructor, about tips for losing more weight since I've only lost 8 pounds so far.  Of course she responds with asking how my clothes are fitting and yada yada yada.  Anyway, she was very motivating and told me to just keep on keeping on.  She then focused on how to fuel the body and to feed my body the nutrients it needs and then tried to reference a motivating quote from the Queen of England.  She couldn't remember it though.  She asked some other ladies, "What is that quote that the queen says?" 
"Let them eat cake!" someone responds!
I doubled over in laughter!  What timing!
"That's France!" she says.
They obviously weren't listening to the conversation.  =)


I still don't know what quote she meant.  So I'll just keep doing what I'm doing.  When I got home, I thought I'd try on a pair of jeans that I have.  I tried them on at the end of January when I started this journey.  I could get them on (barely), but could nowhere near get them buttoned and they were tight!  I tried them on a few weeks ago, and although there was a difference, they were still nowhere close to being buttoned.


Today I tried them on.  And they buttoned.  And they zipped.  And I could breathe!  I stood in front of the mirror in disbelief!  They fit!  I wore them for most of the afternoon.  They fit!


And although I did not eat cake, I will be eating cake on Monday.  It's the office birthday luncheon, and we will be celebrating my birthday since I'm the only April birthday in the office.  On this day, I will let myself be inspired by Marie Antoinette.  And I will eat cake!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pooped at Pilates

I felt really good today.  My calves were a little sore (in a good way), and they felt strong; I slept a little better than I have been (no Angry Bird playing in the middle of the night); and I was just overall in a good mood.

The word is getting around at the office about us Warrior Princesses and the Warrior Dash.  So far, one fellow co-worker and her friend have signed up; and after today, I think two more co-workers will.  By the time November comes around, we may have 1/2 the building! 

Grace Kelly and I decided to attend Ab-Ripper Shellie's pilates class since we missed it last week.  Off we go with our mats.  The room was cold, but I knew it wouldn't be for long.  The class was challenging, and I didn't feel quite as on top of it as I had been, especially when it came to lifting our legs for various exercises.  My legs felt heavy and weak.  I don't think I was holding my form as well either, because I was feeling it in my back.  After class, we were talking about it. I realized that I had jogged almost 6 miles in the past two days, and I didn't take my traditional Wednesday off.  So I think being tired is understandable.  Kelly felt better than she had about the class, and she did great!

I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the evening and just do some light stretching before bed.  Maybe catch up on a TV show or read for a while.  It's about time I start a new book.  However, the exercise ball is sitting in the corner.  I have a feeling it wants to be played with.  But I'm pooped.  It may have to wait...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Outdoor 5K

I got off work 45 minutes early today, so I hurried home to put on my jogging shoes.  I mapped out a 5K route, and I was anxious to do it since I hadn't attempted to run that distance since the 1st of March.  The difference is that the first run was on a treadmill; this one would be outside. 

The weather was nice but a little warmer than yesterday.  Unfortunately, my speed did not improve as much as I had hoped.  But then I rethought about that. 
1. I was outside, and it was much warmer while running in the sun.
2. The trail surface is more challenging than a treadmill surface
3. There are elevation changes, slight, but changes nonetheless
So really, I guess even a 1/10 of a mile faster is still good.

When I got home, I sat on the back patio and my daughter came out to give me a kiss.  She kissed my sweaty cheek, and I saw her make a face.  I laughed and asked her if I tasted salty.  She said, "Ya, you taste like the ocean!"

Later, we met Grace Kelly and her kiddos at the elementary school by our house.  They have a 1/4 of a mile trail there, and we thought it would be a good idea to let the kids play while Kelly got her run in.  While she was running and the kids were playing, I thought I would try some of the playground equipment.  I discovered I still cannot do a pull up, I can't climb moving chains, and I'm scared to jump a hurdle.  Not so good for the ego.  So I went to the playscape.  They had a mini rock wall, which I will refer to the as the "Wall of Terror"  I'll have to go back out and take a picture so you can see how funny that is. I climbed the Wall of Terror and pulled myself over the top.  Then I climbed down the bars on the other side.  I did that a couple of times.  I know it doesn't sound like much, but I am sure that 2 months ago, I could not have climbed that little rock wall.  Then we attempted to "hop" over this metal vault bar thing pretending like it was a bumper of a car.  Ya! If nothing else, Kelly and I had a good laugh, but we will have to find a way to step up our game.  Our Warrior Dash obstacle requires us to climb nets, jump over cars, and all other kinds of stuff that we are not ready for.  Kelly did do a great job of climbing the moving chains, though.  We'll have to look into parks in the area that have fitness trails.

Somehow I'm going to have to start jumping.  I know it sounds funny, but it's got to be a mental block or something.  I don't even bounce around in zumba.  I'll have to think about that. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.  =)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Angry Bird

I know people have this animosity toward iPhones, but I love mine.  I'm seriously addicted to my phone.  So much so that after waking up in the middle of the night for any reason, I usually grab my phone and do something like check my e-mail.  I have been known to play a round of Angry Birds after getting up to go potty at 3 am.  Crazy I know.

Last night, my little one woke me up with a headache.  I gave her medicine and laid down with her til she fell back asleep.  Then off to bed I go...and grab my phone.  Earlier in the evening, I had commented on my neighbor's latest run of 4 miles in 39 minutes.  To me, that's awesome.  It's a 6 mph pace, which I'm aspiring to.  So it's somewhere around 2 am, and I see that one of his Facebook friends is basically mocking him and asked him if it really took him 40 minutes to run 4 miles!  He responds by saying he's not in the best shape. Well, I can't be accused of having tact at 2 am, so I asked 'what  was that supposed to mean.  I know people who run half marathons at that speed!'  I know it has nothing to do with me;, but my feelings were hurt, and I was offended. 

Then a series of received e-mails and message board posts later, I was back to being discouraged.  I was the angry bird wanting to kill the pigs for stealing my eggs.  I had to send a message to the ladies in my women's group and say a prayer of urgency to get myself back on track.  I was comforted on my bad day by my husband when I got home.  But I still felt angry when I thought about the whole mph thing. 

So I put on my running shoes (Did I mention I found out I had a pair of running shoes?  They were in my closet!  Who knew?)  So I put on my running shoes, and thought I would run the 2.25 mile track I had mapped out the night before.  The weather was beautiful with a lovely breeze.  I hadn't run 2 miles in a while, so I let go of the anger as I knew I would have to concentrate on the distance rather than my speed. 

It came time to turn back into my neighborhood, but I kept going.  I went to the end of the street to make the bigger loop.  When I made it down to my street, I wanted to hear the rest of the song that was playing, so I kept going until it ended.  It ended up being 2.75 miles.  I calculated my pace to an average of 3.8 mph. 

So now, I don't feel angry.  I feel bad for my neighbor.  I may be slow, but I have come a long way.  And not one person has said anything derogatory to me about my speed, or lack thereof, even if that's what they are thinking.  I hear congratulations and encouragement.  When I say negative things about my speed, my friends say "at least you're doing it" or "hey, you can run for an hour!"  He has just started running himself, and he's doing great!  That's what his friend should have posted on Facebook! 

Anyhow, I finished off the night by getting on the exercise ball and doing some crunches and arm exercises with 10 lb weights while watching reruns of Frazier.  I'm no longer an angry bird, just a tired one.  (Yawn inserted here)

Goodnight! =)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dog House Mondays

The reason I try to get to the gym late every day is so that I don't take time away from my family, especially the little one.  I put her to bed every night; well, almost every night.  On Monday nights, I have my women's group bible study.  I leave the house at 6:45, so my husband gets the honors on these nights.  And she has let me know on several of these Monday's how much she doesn't appreciate it.  Sometimes there are tears!  (I hate that!)  =(

So, since I'm generally in the dog house with her on Mondays anyway, I figured I can leave the house earlier and get to zumba!

So that's what I did.  I love, love, love my Saturday class with Renae.  The very first zumba class I took was more like a hip-hop class, and I didn't like that. I may now; I may have to revisit that class to see.  Anyhow, this was my first time with this instructor.  Some of the choreography was the same, but some of it wasn't.  Her dancing style was different, and she is so so so cute.  I noticed that she did not give the class much of a head's up to what steps were coming next.  And a pet peeve, she forgets her choreography.  Kelly mentioned that before, so I guess it's something that happens often.  But it was still loads of fun and very sweaty.  I'll definitely have to try her class again.  But I have to say, I REALLY like Renae.  Even when her choreography is new, she explains everything; and you spend less time in reactionary mode.  After class, I had to get to the church asap for group.  Sweaty clothes and red face and all.

I had a good day.  And on this particular Monday, the little one was happy about a new bathing suit and the fact that I made her cauliflower "mashed potatoes."  I even got out the door with a kiss - and a reminder that she wants to go swimming in her new suit tomorrow.  Hmmm....I think she's working me.  =)  But if it gets me out of the dog house, it seems like a pretty good deal.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Not So Sweaty Sunday

So yesterday, I resolved it was going to be a better week.  And although I did not start the week off by joining the sweat club, I think I started it off pretty darn good. 

After spending the afternoon at church, the little one and I headed to the natatorium.  The warm up pool was out of commission, completely empty as a matter of fact, which leaves the big pool.  We both love that.  While she swam around, I treaded water.  She unwittingly forced me to work even harder when she would swim to me and hold on to me.  Either I would tread harder or we would sink.  She loves to swim so we swam a couple of laps.  Then I swam a few more trying to time myself.

I was checking out the information for the triathlon at the YMCA, and the swimming portion is 300 meters.  300 meters is 6 times the length of the pool and a little over 13 times the width.  It took me between 35 to 37 seconds to swim the width once, which means it would take me about 8 minutes to swim 300 meters.  And that's if I could keep that pace.  Being that I was getting winded after two laps, I think I have a way to go.  Not only that, but I don't own goggles, a swim cap, or even a proper swimming bathing suit.  I really have a long way to go.

This evening, I pulled out a yoga DVD that I got from McDonald's a few years ago.  It's a 15 minute workout and you can choose the level and the goal of the workout.  So I chose "I'm up for a challenge" and "Give me strength."  I really don't think I was expecting such a tough workout from a DVD I got from McDonald's.  The sun salutations were tough, and then they threw planks in there!  PLANKS!!!  >=(  

I know it sounds like I'm whining, but i really enjoyed the swimming with my daughter.   How blessed can you be to get in some exercise while playing.  It's gonna be a good week!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dancing WP

-It has been a not-so-good selfesteem week.  I've been struggling with staying positive and trying not to be frustrated with the lack of weight loss.  To add to that, I missed several workouts - including last night. 

Last night, I went to a surprise party with a friend of mine, and then had a girls night.  You know how I mentioned when I first started blogging about how people closest to me will think I've lost my mind for signing up for the Warrior Dash and how it's very unlike me.  At this party, we started talking about it. My friends husband said, "I can't believe you're doing this!"  I agreed and then told him about my sister and how she wants a Team WP t-shirt.  He said, "Ya, more like Team WTF!"  I cracked up, and texted my sister right away.  Too funny!

Anyhow, this morning started a brand new day.  Grace Kelly had declared this a bad workout week, so we were determined to start the day off right.  I got to the rec center early, so I hit the track first.  I only had a few minutes so I thought I would run for 5 minutes before heading to class.  So I look at the clock and take off.  I made it around 4 1/4 times within the 5 minutes.  You can imagine how excited I was when I got home and calculated it and realized that the pace was 5 mph!!  5 mph!!  No wonder I felt like I was going to pass out after 5 minutes!  So excited!

Off to zumba!  I love zumba!  Music starts and we start dancing.  Then we start sweating.  But there was something in our attitudes.  We both really started letting go.  After two months of zumba, we are finally letting loose and having even more fun.  It was great! Even the instructor noticed because she told me after class that I was a great dancer.  Tee hee!  AND Kelly bought a belly dancing skirt!  She's going to be styling and jingling next week!

After class, the instructor started talking about her audition and how nervous she was.  She was really inspiring though talking about taking chances and how you'll always wonder if you don't go for things and hold back.  She asked, what's holding us back?  What are we not trying?   What a loaded question!

When I got home, my little one wanted to go to her school carnival.  We walked since it's only 1/2 a mile away.  We saw some friends and neighbors, and she had a great time.  I have to say though the 1/2 mile walk home was tough.  I was getting tired and my legs were starting to hurt.  And I realized I had not had any coffee today!  And it was 2 pm!!  I guess I'll go start a pot now and relax for a little while.  I'll have time to ponder what I'm holding back on. 

I've lowered my calorie intake by 130 calories.  On my sister's advice I'll eliminate bread and pasta, and I'll see if that makes a difference in the pounds coming off. I feel like I'm a little smaller, but I want the smaller number too! There's no way that I'm not improving myself.  I just have to stay focused.  It's been a good day, and I know it will be a better week.