Monday, May 30, 2011

Nature Trail Nightmare

May 29, 2011
So it’s 9 o’clock in the morning.  My sister and I are having coffee.  She mentions the hike.  “Are we doing it?” I ask. 
“Do you want to do it?” she asks.
“No!!” I respond with much emphasis and my brow furrowed.
“We don’t have to!” she retorts.
“I KNOW!!” I respond.
We’re doing the hike.  There’s no reason not to.  I’m here, and I know I can do it and survive.  It sucks, and I don’t like it at all; but it is a challenge that I cannot let defeat me.
My brother-in-law packed up Camelbaks for us, and we drove down to the start of the trail.  I took a deep breath, and off we go.  The first 7/10 of a mile isn’t so bad. It’s really more my cup of tea.  Kind of flat, nice scenery.  I was already dripping from my head and had a wet spot on my shirt, so I know I’m working.  Then the stairs start to come.  And come.  And come.  This go round, I gave myself a break.  I allowed myself to stop and let my heart rate come back down from 165 or 170 to 145 or 150 before moving forward, even if that meant I had to stop in the middle of an ascent. 
We were a little over a mile and around 35 minutes into it when my sister asked me if I wanted to turn around.  We could just turn around and it would be a great workout, too.  We didn’t have to keep going if I didn’t want to.
“YES! LET’S DO THAT!” I shouted (In my head).  I wanted so badly to say yes.  What I actually said was, “No, let’s go.”  So onward and upward we went.  I didn’t allow myself to look at the emergency exits, not that they look very inviting anyway.  They actually look more like a dare.  If you choose to take an emergency exit, you have to trek down jagged loose rocks down what looks like a dried up creek.  The only thing missing is cobwebs and rain clouds. 
Allowing the breaks rather than just pushing and pushing made a big difference.  Toward the end, I knew where my mistake had been the last time when I had messed up my calf.  On the downward flights, I had not been able to control my steps.  Rather than stepping, I was basically just throwing my feet around to get through it.  Now I had more control and more strength to make it through.  I recognized part of the trail now, so I knew when to start listening for cars to know we were close.  There are a few more small flights of stairs right at the end, so I kept thinking it was the last one.  So I booked it on the steps.  Then there was another one, so I thought that was the last one, so I booked it again. Then there was another set, and I was shouting “You’ve got to be kidding me!!!”  And then it really was over.   Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes, total elevation: 806 feet, pulse: present!
When we got back to my sisters place, I crash onto the floor to stretch.  And then my sister says, “Ab Ripper X, let’s do it!”   Well, I was already on the floor.  So she puts in the P90X video, and we do 16 minutes of nightmarish ab exercises.  I have to confess, I completely skipped the leg climbs.  The rest of the exercises, I at least attempted to complete them.  THEN we were done.
After showering, we went to Rudy’s for barbeque.  While we were standing in line, my daughter asked me if I was okay.  She said I looked so sad and worried.  No, not sad, just exhausted!  After wolfing down approximately 750 calories of meat and sides, I felt ever so much better.   Since I had burned at least a thousand on the trail and the ab video, I didn’t feel too bad about the calorie consumption.
While on the trail, my sister told me for my birthday, she would help me buy a pair of running shoes.  So we went to a store called Texas Running Company where they put me on a treadmill to watch me run and record my stride. Then they showed me how I was not supinating, I was overpronating.  She recommended a light stability shoe and brought out several.  Once I had one pair on, she put me back on the treadmill, and you could see on the video how it corrected my stride!  I was so impressed!   After trying on four pair, I ended up with a Brooks shoe.  I am very excited, although I probably won’t break them in until Tuesday.
It was a great day. When it’s all said and done,  I’m  glad we decided to do the hike from hell.  I wonder if there will ever come a day when it’s not a nightmare.  Right now, all I can do is dream of a day when I’ll look forward to it.

China Garden

May 28, 2011
This holiday weekend, we were visiting my sister in Austin.  By the time we got there, it was lunch time and everyone was starving; so we headed to Chuy’s for lunch. Chuy’s is a great Mexican food place that has great salads; so I’m thinking, I can be good.
Well, I could have been good.  But they have the fantastic Texas martini’s which is basically a 16 ounce top shelf margarita with pepper infused tequila.  It was delicious and it set me back about 500 calories.  No problem.  They also had a 45 minute wait.  Forty five minutes to wait AND a grumbling tummy AND tequila is not a good combination.  Especially when you have tortilla chips and jalapeno ranch at the table.  I did get my salad, but not before I consumed another 400 calories worth of chips and dips, I’m sure.
My calf was feeling better, so since I had 5 calories for the remainder of the day, I figured I better get some exercise.  I let the martini and the food digest, and I took off for a run.
Now, my sister lives in Austin on the top of a hill.  But the route I picked out was relatively flat, or so I thought.  Off I go in the heat to make up for my lack-of-willpower lunch.  I ran down the main road and around the park.  Once I got to the park, the elevation was a downgrade slope, so rather than keeping m pace like I normally do, I thought I would try to take advantage of it; so I sped up.  Once I got to the other side of the park, however, it was an upward slope.  Regardless of how minimal it seemed when I drove it, it seemed substantial when I was running it.  I am such a wimp when it comes to elevation.  So the trip back was a little rougher.  My pace was somewhat slower than normal and I kept thinking, “I’m almost there!”   I know that you have to pass a street called China Garden twice before turning on it to get back to my sisters.  So the first time I see China Garden, I think of how I’m almost there.  Then the second China Garden came along.  But when I went to turn onto it, it was a cul-de-sac.  How many times have I been to my sisters and never noticed there were THREE China Gardens to pass??!  I had two more blocks to go!!  Curse you China Garden!!
So I keep going and finally turn on to the correct China Garden.  I looked down at the Garmin, and I was at 1.9 miles as I got to my sister’s street.  So I passed it till I got to 1.95 and then turned around so when I made it back to her house, I would be at a perfect two miles. 
When I downloaded the run data, the elevation change was a little over 50 feet.  Not bad and definitely not a steep grade, but the little changes made a big difference.  I could feel it.
Now I’m thinking about this hike tomorrow.  I know I don’t have to do it.  I know I don’t want to do it.  Fifty feet is nothing compared to eight hundred!  I would rather go sit in a Chinese Garden.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Plenty of Pain

Yesterday during pilates, I thought I felt a cramp in my left calf.  As the night went on, I felt like something was happening.  Sure enough when I woke up, my leg was jacked up.  Seriously? The last time I felt like this, it was my other leg and it was a little over a month ago when I did the hike from hell while visiting my sister.

Ironically, I have the opportunity to do this hike again this weekend.  Maybe the calf is acting up in anticipation and protest of this potential hike. 

I massaged it when I could during the day, and then when I got home, I put a massager to it.  OUCH!!!!!  Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the chiropractor for help either.  So, I'll have to deal.  My mother and my mermaid were at the pool, so I took off to the rec center for circuit training. 

I guess Friday's are a slow day at the gym.  There was only a handful of people, and no one on the mats.  =)  I warmed up with a five minute bike ride while watching Sex and the City.  The leg didn't feel too bad, so I thought maybe I'd cool down with the elliptical when I was finished.  I grabbed my weights and the bosu ball and got started.  I stayed with the 15 reps of each exercise.  I know eventually, soon, I'll have to start doing three sets, but I really don't want to - It's a tough workout.  I just have to keep telling myself it doesn't matter what I want to do; it's what I need to do. 

Once I finished the two sets, I went to get my phone.  My leg felt okay, not great, but okay.  I looked at the ellipticals.  Then I looked at the treadmills.  Then back at the ellipticals.  Then back at the treadmills.  I argued with myself!  It was laughable, but I didn't really want to do either.  In the end, the treadmill won out, and I set the timer for a 15 minute mile.  While I was running, my shoe came untied after the 1/2 mile mark. I had to pause the machine to tie it.  When I started back up, I set the pace for 4.2 and finished up at that pace.  A couple of times, I felt a small twinge shoot up my leg.  But I finished up the mile and the two minute cool down before heading to the mat to stretch.  Although I stretched for two whole songs, I don't think it was enough because when I got into my car I felt a not-so-pleasant feeling not only in my calf, but also in my glute.

Oh no!  I had a messed up calf, now I've jacked up my booty, too!  And I'm thinking of the hike.  This is not good.

After showers and bedtime, I got into the hot tub.  I tried to rub out some of the knots on my leg, and I don't know if it was just the hot water or if I was sweating from the pain.  I'll put some Biofreeze on it before I go to sleep, and I hope that will help it some. 

We'll see what tomorrow holds.  As long as it doesn't get worse, I think I'll be okay.  If I start limping again, I'm in trouble.  If this is the case, I won't be able to see the chiropractor until Tuesday.  There may be plenty of pain until then.

But I'll hope not.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Deltoids in Distress

I love feeling sore. Not so sore that I can't stand up from sitting, but just that nice sore feeling where you know you've worked.  After yesterdays elliptical jaunt, I can feel the soreness in my glutes.  And for the past week and a half, my shoulders have been really sore as a result of the circuit training combined with the Strength Toning class.

Really sore.  And they feel really heavy.

I considered this when walking into pilates today, but you never know what the ab-ripper will do in class.  I was hoping she wouldn't do planks, but I knew she probably would.  We started with a lot of balance work.  I really like that part of class, probably because I feel really strong.  My balance is pretty good, which is surprising because my abs are so weak.  But it didn't take us long to get into the nitty gritty.  She had us do some of the exercises with the ball including planks.  As I held my plank, my arms were shaking. Once we finished, they were screaming!  It was a good class, and I was happy to be back after missing last week.

After leaving there, I had promised to meet Tangila in the gym to show her the circuit training.  She caught on very quickly, and I'm sure she'll be rocking it in no time.  Either that or she'll be cursing at me under her breath. Or maybe she'll be doing both! 

She'll probably be doing both.  My deltoids are.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Light Night

Before my youngest was born, we were members of the YMCA.  I had a trainer who promised me a new body.  Instead, I got pregnant.  I did get a new body, just not the one my trainer promised me.  ;)

My friend Dianne and I would meet up there often, and I remember loving the elliptical machine.  Tonight was Zumbatonic and I rode up with her and the kiddos for the class.   The plan was for me to use a guest pass to workout with her while the kids were in class, but class was cancelled.  We were just going to leave, but the child care people kept the kids for a little while to exercise instead.  So since we had a few minutes, we went for the ellipticals.  They are different than the ones that we have at the rec center, and I remember now why I used to love the elliptical so much! These machines have the cross ramp. I think the ones we have at the rec center are more like adaptive motion trainers. 

Regardless, we were limited on time, so we did 30 minutes on the machine.  I ended up with a little over two miles and a nice glisten with a few drips.  Not bad for a quickie!  Once we finished and stretched for a few minutes, we went to pick up the kiddos. It was perfect timing since they were just bringing them back to the room.

I spent the rest of the night watching Alfred Hedgehog and reading books before putting the little one to bed.  It was a light exercise night, but I can't complain.  I got to get my heart rate up, I got to catch up with my friend, and my little one got to play with her honorary cousins. 

No, I really can't complain.  It was actually kind of great!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Phoebe

My throat hurts.  Yesterday I thought I was getting sick.  And it would make all the sense in the world that I would be getting sick because we are getting into our really busy time at work.  By the end of the work day, I really felt crappy!  I talked to Kelly before I left and told her I may not show up to women's group if I was still feeling bad.  I would try to get some exercise in somehow.  Whatever I was going to do, I definitely did not want to go jogging.  I would try to do something, but not that. 

As I was getting home though, my  mother was going to water aerobics and taking my little one with her.  I considered joining them; but I kind of felt like I had chills, so I wasn't sure about getting into the water.  I plopped onto the couch.  It was pathetic.  I didn't want to be sick, and I felt myself succumbing to it; so I went ahead and got dressed.  And I put on my running shoes  As I was leaving the house, I told my husband, "I may call you to come pick me up, so be ready!"  He simply looked up and said, "You won't call me."  I wasn't so sure.

I walked to the trail and stretched for a minute, then I took off.  Within 1/2 a mile, I was feeling better.  The more I perspired, the better I felt.  But I was a little more winded than normal.  Not much, but a little.  So rather than backtracking down the trail, I went through the neighborhood so I could run on the pavement.  I didn't have the Garmin on, so I just make the trek back home.  I had only planned on a mile and a half, so anything extra would just be a plus.  It was 1.8 miles.  And I made it to women's group feeling well.  I took Nyquil and hit the sack.  And although my throat still hurts, I don't feel ill anymore.

So today, the scale decided to be nice to me!  Not super nice, but slightly friendly.  I'm down a pound.  Hopefully more will follow suit. 

It was a late workout tonight.  I got to the gym a little after 8:00.  I did a quick five minute warm up on the elliptical, then went to the mat to torture myself...I mean to do circuit training.  I will be sharing this torture session with Tangila on Thursday. (Evil laugh inserted here)  I upped my reps to 15 on all exercises except the iso arm curls; that one I left at a total of 16.  It so amazing to me how much of a workout that session is.  I start sweating quicker doing these exercises than even running outside.  It's crazy.  But I always feel strong and thinner afterward.  I'm not saying I am thinner, but I feel it.  =)

After that I went upstairs to the track.  I just didn't feel like getting on the treadmill.  I always lose count when I'm up there, so I decided to just run around for 20 minutes and not worry about the laps.  So that's what I did.  But the cool thing was that since it was dark outside, I could see myself in one of the windows as I was making the loops.  I have been curious to see what I look like when I run.  Needless to say, I still look better in my head.  But no matter, I'm going to keep that vision in my head because it doesn't matter what I look like; I'm out there doing it and getting stronger.

It's not like I look like Phoebe on Friends or anything.  If I did, then it might matter.

here's the link:
http://youtu.be/E_0Ta_DIWuU

Saturday, May 21, 2011

On The Run

Grace Kelly and I strayed from the formula today.  We met at the rec center for Strength Toning at 8:00 am; and rather than stay for zumba, we opted to go get fitted for running shoes.

The regular teacher was back for the toning class, and she is a hoot!  I'd seen her but never met her.  She also teaches a cardio salsa class on Sundays, but church prevents me from attending that one.  I bet she's great!  She worked us out today with weights and the exercise ball.  I really feel it in my shoulders.  My arms were already on alert from circuit training yesterday, so now they feel like they weigh a ton.  The only thing I really struggled with was the bridge on the ball.  We had to use out legs to pull in the ball and back out again and again.  I had to rest between the set, and I didn't make it through.  Then I heard her say, "This is what you're working toward.  Do what you can!"  I liked her more than I already did. 

Renae, our zumba teacher, is out of town, so it wasn't so bad skipping out. After saying hello to our zumba friends, we snuck out and went to the gym.  We decided on a quick 15 minute run on the treadmill before heading to the shoe store.  My shoes are dying, by the way.  I realized while in the toning class that the bottom rear of my right shoe had a flat. That is to say that the sole was coming off.  I didn't think it would hinder me though because it was in the back.  So I have a flat tire and no music, but I hit the 15 minute timer anyway and started running.  Every other step, I hear it.  Instead of the rhythmic thump, thump, thump, thump I heard thump, thump-ump, thump, thump-ump.  I tried not to concentrate on it, but with no music, it was kind of hard not to.  I kept a steady 4 mph pace the whole time, while Grace upped her speed a tenth every lap she ran.  I think it was a perfect short run after the toning class.

Off we go now to the store, On The Run.  I should premise this with the Sun and Ski Sport story.  We signed up for Women's Night on Thursday, and they were going to have all these clinics, one on which was on running shoes.  When we walked in there was a New Balance rep there with a table.  We walked by, and he avoided eye contact with us.  Didn't even acknowledge us.  I didn't think much of it until we passed him a second time.  The next clinic was on traveling gear, and since Kelly and I don't hike, we decided to just go look at the shoes.  On the way, I thought we should ask Mr. New Balance about his line of shoes, but he was with another lady talking to her about shoes.  So, it wasn't that he wasn't talking about shoes; he wasn't talking to us about shoes.  I guess we didn't fit the "runner" look.  So now we're going to a store specifically for runners; I didn't know what to expect.

We walked in, and we were immediately greeted by a young man.  I told him I was trying to price a pair of running shoes.  He asked me to take my shoes off and walk back and forth a couple of times.  After watching me walk, he told me my left foot was leaning outward (supination) and he recommended a balance shoe.  He went to the back and pulled out three pair after sizing me.  He asked that I try one on one foot and another on the other foot to compare.  After four different shoes and much to my dismay, I really liked the New Balance 860.  After the rep was rude to us, I didn't want to like the NB shoe, but of course that's the way it worked.  ;)  He even wrote the shoe down for me on a business card.  It was just a great experience.  Fantastic service and lots of information. I highly, highly recommend this store!

Although I did not buy a pair of Nike shoes, I did see and like this quote:

"The only one who can tell you 'you can't' is you. And you don't have to listen."
-Nike

Friday, May 20, 2011

Danger Zone

It's Friday!  I am so close to being in a slump, it's not even funny!  Discouraged about no weight loss, discouraged about lack of exercise, discouraged about food.  I'm in the danger zone!

Because I was in the depths of discouragement (I am not a drama queen), I laid down on the couch and closed my eyes for a few minutes as soon as I got home.  It would have been so easy to stay there.  I had no real motivation to get up and go anywhere or do anything.  Luckily my husband came home and asked the question I needed someone to ask me.  "Are you going to workout today?"

I answered yes while yawning. It would have been so easy to say no.  But I got up, got dressed, and took off to the rec center.  I listened to songs that I could sing really loud to in hopes of waking up.  I plan on running with Kelly tomorrow, so I didn't wear my running shoes.  Instead of warming up with a jog, I decided to try the rowing machine.  It didn't look like a fancy one.  The display is very small and there is no calorie count and the distance was in kilometers.  All I know is that I rowed for 5 minutes to warm up.  I could feel it in my arms, and I concentrated on keeping my abs in. 

Then I was awake.  I looked around, and the gym was pretty empty.  I had the mat to myself!  I ran through the "Kyle" circuit again.  I felt so much better.  It's a tough program, but I was in the middle of it and getting out of my slump.  Then I realized I was listeing to the wrong voice.  There are some pretty mean things that go on in your head if you let them.  It's not a slump; It's just a bad week.  Not even a full week.  I can do this.  I thought of Anne from Anne of Green Gables, '...tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.'  

I took my refreshed attitude to the recumbent bike. I rode for twenty minutes and cooled down for two.  The workout lasted an hour, but I felt better and encouraged once again. But I'm not out of the danger zone. The danger zone will always be lurking, ready to take me down in a weak moment. 

I think I prefer being in the zumba zone.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blah, blah, blah

Tuesday was great.  Other than that, it's been a crappy training week. 

I. Am. Having. A. Bad. Workout. Week.

And the worst part is, it's because of my own circumstances.  Women's group, swimming with friends, and a worthless night at Sun and Ski Sports.  (I don't regret anything but the Sun and Ski Sports)

I have blown this week. 

Blah! Blah! Blah!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Traffic

I hate traffic.  I hate traffic and my daughter says I turn into a different mean person when I have to drive in it.  So imagine how happy I was being that I got to drive my little angel to the medical center for an appointment.  The appointment was at 8:00 am, so we left the house at 6:30 am to be sure we made it on time.  We were actually making really good time.

Then she says, "Mom, I have to go to the bathroom."  SERIOUSLY!??  Of course, this statement comes when we are at a complete stop on the freeway where it will take us at least 10 minutes to get to the next exit.  Lucky for us (said sarcastically), there is a disgusting gas station at the next exit. The kind that you hold your breath when you walk in and cover the seat with toilet paper before you let your child sit.  So after holding our breath and covering the seats, we are back on the road, and we make it on time.

It's because of this appointment that I didn't get a workout in last night.  I had fully intended to go to the gym after women's group, but women's group was really good, and we didn't get out of there until 9:30.  Since the next morning was coming up pretty quickly, I skipped it.  I didn't mean to slack, it just worked out that way.

So the appointment went very well, (she's healthy! Yea!) and I took her back to school, which left me a little over two hours before I had to pick her up.  I took full advantage of the time, and put on my running shoes.  I had decided that I would run three miles, but when I took off I felt off.  I felt like I was going realllly sllllowww.  It wasn't until around 1.3 miles that I felt like I was in the groove.  Geez was it hot when I was in the sun; but, there was a nice breeze, which I love.  When I got to 2 1/2 miles, I looked at the Garmin and confirmed I was moving a little bit slower than 4 mph.  I decided then to just go for an hour rather than distance.  I made up the route as I went along, and when I turned onto my street, I had to pass my house twice to get to the full hour.  It was a great feeling, and I was happy that I didn't have to pass my house a 3rd time.

After taco night, my husband asked me if I was going to go work out.  Even though I had ran for an hour, I said, "Yes!"  There was a strength training class at 7:00, so I left the house at 6:56 to get there.  I rushed in a few minutes late only to find out the class was cancelled.  I had to laugh at that. 

So I went to the gym, and talk about traffic!  All the ellipticals were being used, which is fine.  I didn't want one, I'm just saying.  I did a quick five minute warm up on the bike and continued on to the mat.  There was traffic there too!  There was no reason for excuses.  I went back to what I should have been doing all along.  I ran through the "Kyle" circuit training.  It was just as tough, and it make the fat cells cry.  While I was there, there was a young couple that came and joined me on the mat.  They laid side by side and I heard him say, "Ready?" and then they held a plank on their forearms.  Forever!  It was impressive.  I heard him count it down; and when they got to one, the both collapsed on the floor.  Once they recovered and stood back up, I asked them how long?  They held that plank for one minute!  A whole minute!  They said they have worked their way up from barely being able to hold 30 seconds.  Inspiring is the only word I have for that sweet, young couple. 

Once I ran through the circuit training twice, I stretched out and headed home.  When you log in your food and exercise into MyFitnessPal, it gives you a little message that says, "If every day were like today, you would weight ??? in 5 weeks!"  I've been using this program for months now, but it LIES!!!!  I have not lost a single pound in 3 weeks.  Liar!!!! I shout at it when I finish logging in.  It makes me want to throw my phone into oncoming traffic!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Crazy for Cardio!

I had fully intended to do something on Friday.  Something light and low impact, like maybe yoga or a 10 minute pilate workout.  But it did not work out that way.  I got depressed instead.

My wonderful girlfriends at work had given me a gift card to Academy for my birthday.  I've been going back and forth on what to do with it.  Shoes? Clothes? A new Garmin?  With the zumbathon being tomorrow and all, I thought I would treat myself to a new shirt.  Besides, I could use a proper running shirt; the kind that dries quickly and all that good stuff.  So off we go (me and my daughters) stopping at Chick-fil-A for dinner.  My oldest was great, and she kept her little sister busy so I could look around.  I found a couple pairs of pants, some shirts, etc.  Then I went to the dressing room...

I wasn't ready for a trip to Academy.  I still have a ways to go.  Everything was too tight. I cried.  Not sobbing boo hooing, but tears.  My daughter was very encouraging and told me how proud she is of me.  The next morning, after my shower from my morning workout, my husband asked me what I bought, and I told him I didn't want to talk about it with a crack in my voice.  He hugged me and told me that I shouldn't be so down on myself, and I was doing amazing things.  Then all of us took off to Target to get me a new shirt for the zumbathon.  They are pretty wonderful.

Anyhow, Saturday morning, I woke up early to make it to the strength toning class that Renae was subbing for.  I have been slacking on my circuit training, so I thought this would be a good way to get motivated.  At 8:00 in the morning (what was I thinking?)  So after a spoonful of peanut butter for protein and a cup of coffee, I head out.  In the toning class, we used weights, bands, a weight bar, and the bosu ball.  She worked every part of us starting with our legs and moving up to our arms.  It was pretty intense, or maybe it was just eight in the morning.  But as I'm typing this, I can feel my abs and my shoulders, so maybe its a combination of both. 

After toning, it was time for zumba.  The workout was fun, but my arms were tired and I didn't feel quite in the zone.  You know who was in the zone?  Kelly!  She was on fire and having a blast.  I could tell, and it was great to see!  There's a lot of new songs lately, and I'm afraid Helle Decale may have been chopped from the playlist. 

So I get home, and have my shower and my pity party, then we head out to Target.  After I found my shirt, we went out for lunch, where I think I had my day's worth of calories.  It was sensible calories, except for the fried mushroom and the bread, but I had a wedge salad with steak medallions.  A good mix of carbs and protein.  Then my wonderful husband took the little one outside and kept her entertained so I could have a nap.

We left for the zumbathon around 5:00, and got signed in.  We took a couple group pictures and said hello to our friends, and found a nice spot shaded by trees.  Since it started at 6:00, the sun was still out, and we were in a parking lot.  Here's one group pic, but I cropped it because I'm not sure everyone would want me posting their picture.  =)
Left to Right: Leti, Grace Kelly, me =), and Tangila
Sure enough, the party started on time, and plenty of hips were shaking in no time.  Renae started the hour followed by 12 other instructors (including Leti and Jady in the final hour.)  It was really fun and interesting to be taught be so many other instructors and their different styles.  Some were good, some were super charged, and some really fantastic! There is only one that I really, really disliked; and she had us dance to a song that sounded like it was from a really bad Spanish soap opera. 

There was one woman though.  She got up there and didn't look like the other instructors.  Probably because Zumba doesn't make clothes that fit larger women.  I don't know that for a fact; I'm guessing.  She was a larger woman, and she got up there and led us through a great dance, hip rolls, belly shaking, and shimmies and all.  She was great!  I'm over here self conscious because my shirt is tight, and she has her zumba certification and leading classes.  Why do we let our perception of our limitations stop us?  Why do I?  As far as I think I've come, I have so far to go. 

In the first two hours, we had 5 minute breaks.  The last hour was a straight run through.  This was the hour that we were waiting for because our friends, Leti and Jady, would be leading their dances.  This is their first event as instructors, so all of us rec center women wanted to be sure to do our best and show them our support.  But oh my gosh, my feet were hurting.  It must have been because we were dancing on the concrete, but I think my feet were screaming expletives during that last hour.  Renae closed out the show with several songs.  Then she called for us to get into a big circle, which is what she does to cool us down in class.  So we think we've made it to the end.

Wrong!  The circle was for dance party stuff.  All the presenting instructors got in the middle and did some fun stuff, while we were dancing on the outskirts.  Then it was time for one more dance.  Then, and only then, was it time to cool down.  What a great time!  The Pearland women not only survived, we rocked!  I took my shoes off immediately after getting into the car.  I let out a sigh of relief, which must have really been a big sigh because everyone asked if I was okay.  =)

After getting back into town, a couple of us went to Chili's for a celebratory drink.  I had the Patron pomegranate margarita.  Now I really don't like Chili's as far as food goes, but this margarita...OMG!   If you haven't had one, I definitely recommend trying it. Yummy!  And certainly five hours of working out in one day merits a margarita. 

So one hour of weight training and four hours of cardio! Sounds crazy, but it was fun.  My only regret is that I didn't sleep a little longer this morning.  I'm tired.  But, I'm hoping that this will kick my body into a new gear, since I haven't lost a single pound in three weeks.  >=( 

Also, I think this crazy cardio day is just another lesson...you can always keep going.  The voice in my head always pushes me when I'm running.  I need it to start pushing me when it comes to weights and circuit training.  I have no doubt that I can make it through the  running portion of the Warrior Dash; it's my upper body strength and obstacles that require it that have me concerned.  I cannot continue to make excuses for not doing the circuit training.  Just because I'm running or going to zumba doesn't mean that I don't have to lift the weights.  I can be crazy for cardio and wild for weights.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Feel the Earth...Or Not!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My daughter does not like yoga.  Especially when the instructor is all about "feel the earth" and "listen your lungs" and all that new age stuff that she is just not into.  So when I asked her if she would like to to join me at pilates, she looked at me with that face that I know so well. It was the same face that she made when I asked her if she wanted to go for a jog with me, and she asked unbelievingly, "Outside? Who are you, and what have you done with my mother?"

After convicing her that pilates is very different than yoga, she decided to join us.  There was also some discussion of her aversion to downward dog.  I assured her we never did downward dog in pilates.  

I don't know if Shellie took it easy on us, or if I was just in the zone; but I had a great workout.  I felt really engaged and strong and some exercises I was able to do at level two. (not the planks)  But my right foot cramped up somewhere in the middle.  I tried and tried to work it out, but it kept coming back.  At one point, we were sitting on the floor with one foot up in the air and doing all this work.  I couldn't take it anymore.  I had to get the cramp out.  It took me a few seconds, but when it was done I was lost as to where we were and wondered if we had switched legs.  So I asked, "Are we still on the same leg?"  Shellie said yes, and I jumped back in. 

Shellie is a good instructor.  Now, she will call you out in class if you are not in proper form or something like that, but she really does care that you are working to your potential and not doing something that can hurt you.  She pays attention.  Like one time, she wanted us to sit with our knees bent with our feet flat on the ground and our knees together.  So I was trying to do this but I couldn't.  So I put my feet flat on the ground but then my knees weren't together.  So she said, "knees together" so I put my knees together and my feet were no longer flat, so she said, "feet flat on the ground" so I had to tell her aloud in class, "I have too much fat around here to do both!" (pointing to my middle) 

In today's class we were doing side planks on our forearm, and I heard her say a couple times "Right foot in front', but I knew she wasn't talking to me because I was only on level one.  Later I found out she was talking to Kelly who was embarrassed for being called out.  But I tried to make her feel better because I called myself out for not knowing which leg were on.  My daughter asked me, "How could you get lost?  We didn't move?" I had to explain about my cramp.  But then I thought if my daughter thought that was a dingy question, then it probably seemed like that to others, too. 

As the class was ending and she was stretching us out, she calls out for us to get in downward dog, and hang out there for a few.  I laughed because I had promised we didn't do downward dog.  But my daughter held no grudges and she enjoyed herself.  Shellie complimented her on her strength and balance.  Like I said, she's a good instructor.  She teaches, and she's tough; but she's always ready to tell you what you're doing right and encourage you.  Very unlike the boot camp nazi, whose class I am not going to today.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Zumbatonic

Tonight, it was my little one's turn for a workout.  My friend, Dianne, goes to the local Y, where they offer a zumbatonic class, which is zumba for kids!  Excellent!  She offered to take my kiddo and came by to pick her up. I didn't really know what I was going to do with my free hour, but I knew I'd be doing some sort of work out.  Once Dianne said she was going to walk the track at the Y, I got dressed to join her.

Once the kiddos were all checked in, we walked over to the 1/2 track.  It seemed like a bad omen when we got on there, and there was a dead bird.  In the middle of the track.  Very sad, and very weird.  It's not a big track, it's really just a trail-kind of like the one behind my house.  But there he was, right in the middle, and only mildly squished.  Yuck.  We walked two miles, and every time we passed the bird, it seemed like there were more and more birds gathering on the fence.  An image of the birds gathering together and following us on the trail to avenge the death of this bird started to fill my head.  (Ya, I have issues!) 

There were a few people running that passed us up.  As we were starting our 2nd mile, I felt kind of tired, and I realize that I prefer to run (or walk) on a charted route rather than a repeated track.  Maybe it tricks your mind into thinking you haven't gone as far?  I don't know.  But I do know that when I look at the maps of my runs after the fact, I really feel a sense of accomplishment as I look at the distance and it looks so far.  I just don't get the same feeling looking at a map of when I've been running in circles.  Regardless, I am happy to have gotten out with my friend and raised the heart rate a little, circles or not. =)

After we finished the two miles, we snuck into the activity room to watch the kids finish up their class.  We missed the routine portion of the class and got to watch them play a game and do some free dance.  They were so cute!  I think they all had a great time, and Dianne treated us to smoothies afterward.

It's been a good day, and a good night.  My husband's ball team is playing their tournament tonight.  He must be doing well, because he's still not home.  I don't think I'll wait up, but I'll be looking forward to seeing his new championship t-shirt in the morning.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

I really need to invest in another pair of exercise pants.  I forgot to wash them yesterday and I didn't think about its since I really didn't work out; so they remained dirty.  So I went upstairs and found an old pair of stretchy pants that I figured would do the job.  And they did, although they tried their hardest to end up around my ankles.  The elastic was shot, and they were very loose.  Lesson learned: don't wear pants with worn out elastic while running.  Oh, the things you learn on the journey to becoming a runner.

I had invited Kelly and her daughter over for the evening so the girls could play.  One thing led to another and my awesome husband offered to watch them while they played outside in the spa, and Kelly and I decided to go for a run.  For the first time since we ran over the overpass bridge, I was running with company.  Without a real plan, we took off.  We decided to go on the trail and to the park.  We kept a decent pace, but I think the most impressive thing was that we held a conversation pretty much the whole time.  As we rounded the corner back to my street, we were at 2.53 miles.  So, although this is not the furthest or fastest I've run, it's a milestone run.  I know now that I can run comfortably with my friend, I know that I can have a conversation while keeping a decent pace, and I can do so and not feel like I'm going to die.  It felt great!  We probably could have gone further; but it was getting late and bedtimes were needed by our cherubs.  And I was tired of fighting with my pants.

As we were walking out to the driveway to say goodbye, the girls ran across the street to watch our neighbor's son practice cracking a whip.  This made me nervous, so I hollered for them to scoot back.  They run back to our side of the street while my little one hollered, "Get back, he's crapping the whip!"  =)  One last laugh for the night.

Now I'm relaxing before bed and watching today's Oprah on people that have lost over 100 pounds.  I don't need to lose that much, but I'm watching for encouragement.  Grace Kelly is down 10 pounds, and I'm waiting for another dip on the scale.  Although the numbers aren't moving as fast as I would like, I know that we are on the path.  Bob Green says, "...it's about a decsion that you make every day of your life."  Decisions, decisions.  We're faced with them every day.  We make good ones and bad ones.  But I have to say, I think we've got this.

Days to Warrior Dash: 193

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope everyone had a wonderful mother's day!  Mine started with a wonderful breakfast prepared by my husband.  It was an egg and onion omelet with bacon.  He knew I wouldn't want pancakes.  =)  Then it was off to church by myself =( for an awesome service. 

Once I got home, I wanted to go cash in a Barnes and Noble gift card for my new Nook.  I took the little one with me because she loves to shop.  For anything.  She is unlike me who really doesn't like to shop for anything.  But off we go, and we had fun.  On the way home, I was beginning to think that something is definitely wrong with me.  We drove home on some back roads and there were these large telephone poles on the ground, I guess waiting to be put up.  All I could think was "That looks like an obstacle!" and then imagined myself trying to run over them above the ditch. 
Telephone Pole or Unknowing Obstacle Challenge?

So thinking about this challenge, I got all pumped up.  I was thinking I could get home and go for a run.  I had about an hour before my daughter got home which gave me time to do a 5K and shower before everyone was hungry for dinner.  I was plotting out my route driving home in my nice, cool, air conditioned vehicle.  Nonetheless, I got out of my car, and it was hot!  Yucky, Texas, humid hot!  Then the little one reminded me I had promised to take her to the park.  Then my oldest drove up.  Best laid plans, right?

So, I changed gears and we went to the park for a little while before heading to dinner.  We went to a local bar-b-que place, and while I didn't get the stuffed baked potato, I did eat all my dinner.  When I logged it in, I was almost 200 calories over my allotted 1200. 

Bed time was a little early and went pretty quickly as my angel was very tired.  So early was it that I still had some daylight left.  So I rushed into my workout clothes and all my gear and took off to the trail.  I took a different route and actually went into the park before going through the neighborhood.  After the 2 mile mark, several things happened in succession.  First, I checked the Garmin and decided I was going to run the 3.1 miles.  Second, the sun started dropping quickly, and it was getting dark.  I get really nervous in the dark, especially when I'm by myself.  Then, the worst thing happened.  I had to go to the bathroom, and I hadn't gone before I left.   But I really wanted to run a 5K.  What to do, what to do?!  I could wait to go potty. So I decided that I would conquer my fear of the dark.  After all, if someone tried to attack me, I would just poop on them.  I would try to make it through.  So I kept going. 

I made it to 2.63 miles.  Then I had to walk before something terrible happened.  I made it home.  Lesson learned: Always go to the bathroom before going for a run.  Especially if your run is shortly after dinner.

I know this is probably WAY to much information.  Just keeping it real.  Sorry.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fat Cells

"It's not sweat.  It's your fat cells crying!"

Well, I have to say after reading this quote from an unknown source, I love sweating even more.  Although I did not break a sweat last night.  I opted to stay home and spend the whole night at home. And I'm glad I did.

But this morning, it was time to make the fat cells cry.  This was the morning of the Pear Run (which I did not sign up for), but I missed cheering them on as the runners passed my street.  When I was driving to the rec center, I passed an older man that had just slowed down to a walking pace.  I rolled down my window and called out, "You're doing great!  Congratulations!"  I will definitely sign up for it next year.

Once I got to the rec center, I checked into the weight room.  I did a quick 5 minute warm up on the elliptical.  Of this 5 minutes, I spent half of it fighting with all of my warrior princess gear as they took on the role of saboteur.  First the earphones weren't working. Then somehow the Garmin band came loose.  Then my arm band slid down to far and when I moved my arm it turned the volume down.  It was comical.  The good thing is the shuffle function played the best of my playlist all in a row during my entire workout.

I only had 15 minutes, so I grabbed some weights and the exercise ball and moved through as many exercises as I could.  I must have been working it, because I started dripping in no time.  Yea!  I even chose to do the bosu ball push ups.  And I did 10!  And I think they were pretty good, too.  It was short session, but I think effective. 

Then it was time for zumba.  And I forgot my shoes.  Oh well, I've only had zumba shoes for a couple of weeks, it shouldn't be a big deal.  But it was.  I am so surprised at how much more comfortable the cheer shoes are for zumba.  Not only could I not do the turns and stuff, but my feet were getting tired and sore.  Lesson learned: don't forget to wear the correct shoes!  And I think I may have to break down and buy a belly dancing skirt.  But it was still a great workout.  The Garmin had my average heart rate at 139.  Yea, again!

When I got home, the family took off to shop for mother' day.  So I hopped into the hot tub to relax.  I don't know how much longer I have before they come home, but I think I'm going to aim for a quick nap.

I think I deserve a nap.  It is mother's day weekend after all, and making those fat cells cry is hard work!  =)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco De Mayo!

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Today, I got home to the sounds of laughter and giggles as the little one and her daddy were playing a board game.  It was a wonderful sight.  i was hoping to go to the Ab-Ripper's class, but since things were going so well at home, I asked if she wanted me or daddy to put her to bed.  She said, "Daddy!"  This means I can go to zumba afterwards. Yea! In honor of Cinco De Mayo (and the fact that I had ground beef thawing out), I made tacos for dinner.

After my speed dinner cooking, I barely made it to pilates on time.  I was a little late, but not too late that I missed the hundred.  Ouch! It was a good class.  She used the exercise ball quite a bit this time.  This is one really cool thing about Shellie's class.  She is always changing things up.  She had some modifications on the mermaid move too that was pretty neat.  Kelly is really taking off in this class!  She's doing great and loving it!  I'm going to take her some pilates DVDs so she can get some more pilates in during the week.  Hopefully we can get the rec center to add more classes in the summer.  I definitely need it, since I think my abs are the weakest part of me.  Abs and arms. 

There's thirty minutes in between classes, which gave us enough time to get a bottle of water and put our mats away.  Then zumba started. Kelly is a regular attender of this class, but this is only my 2nd or 3rd time with this instructor. I had resolved to have a good time in class and not get aggravated.  I had the Garmin in place, and things looked good.  She threw in a really fun song for Cinco De Mayo that made us laugh. But I also had to laugh as the second song came on, and there was a small "oops" in the dance moves.  No problem, just shrug it off and keep going. After that, she didn't forget anything until a half hour into it.  Grace Kelly is starting to "shake it" a little more, and even the instructor noticed and complimented her on it.  So how can I not like her a little more when she is giving praise to my friend. 

Once I got home, and the house was quiet, I couldn't help but feel a little sad.  And guilty.  I missed basically the entire night with my family.  I took advantage of a good situation so I could get in a good workout.  But I didn't get to take my angel outside to play or put her to sleep.  I really enjoy going to classes during the week, but I don't think I'll be pulling this again.  I feel like I'm missing too much time.  Where is the balance?  There has to be a balance. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sweet Sweat

Apparently, I am not supposed to be working out and getting my heart rate up to 160.  I've been told that is too high.  Hmmm.  What to do with this knowledge...

I know!  I'll go to zumba!  There's zumba at the church on Tuesdays, so I joined in for the second time.  The room was so warm, I knew it would be a sweaty day.  And it was.  She started with some hip hop music and moves, but there was also some Latin and ethnic music, too. Oh my gosh, was I sweaty.  I still prefer Renae's class, but this is a good one, too.  I can't attend this one every week, but it's worth throwing in once in a while.  This time she lead us through zumba for the whole hour before getting us down on the ground to do ab work.  And planks.  Oh, how I hate planks.  But if my abs are sore tomorrow, it will be worth it.

Once I got home, and it was bedtime for the little one, she tells me that when I lay down with her and I don't shower, I remind her of bed bugs.  I'm not really sure what that is supposed to mean, but it can't be good.  Since I didn't have time for a shower before she went to bed, I just changed my shirt.  That seemed to make it okay.

After she went to sleep, I changed back into my bed bug t-shirt (no reason to stink up another one in the same day) and headed for the rec center.  I just found out today that the person who logs into the weight room the most in the month of May wins a free membership month.  Well, it's the 3rd, so I'm already 2 days down. 

I wanted to do a little circuit training and work out my arms.  I started out with a mild warm up on the bike.  I did 10 minutes and rode 3.5 miles.  I have no idea how fast is fast, but it seemed like a good distance to me.  I'll have to do some research on that.  I didn't do the Kyle circuit program but instead went from machine to machine as quickly as I could.  I finished up with the bosu ball kick ups and then hit the treadmill.  I did a quick seven minute run to finish the whole thing off, and once again I worked up quite a sweat. 

According to MyFitnessPal, I burned 1014 calories.  That's almost as much as I can consume in a day.  All I can say is that if I don't lose at least a pound this week, I will not be happy! 

Monday, May 2, 2011

&$^*)@#&!# Monitors

I seriously think the heart rate monitor/GPS gods are angry at me.  First my phone refuses to accurately track my runs, and now the Garmin has forsaken me. 

There was no workout yesterday.  Now that the hot tub is fixed, our little mermaid is opting for it rather than the pool.  So, I was going to hit the gym but my workout clothes were in the washer or dryer or still dirty.  No problem, I'll go swimming.  But as I was walking out the door, she changed her mind and decided to go with me.  So there was only playing yesterday.

I couldn't let myself take another day off, especially since there would be cake balls at women's group tonight.  So I strapped on the Garmin and my armband and took off.  I have to say everything went very well.  My pace was steady and my breathing came easy.  I kept checking the monitor, and my heart rate was good.  It showed my pace at 4 mph.  I ran a different route and when I made it back to my street I was at 2 miles 30 minutes exactly.  I couldn't wait to upload the data to see the detailed results.  But lo and behold, when I plugged it in the data was nowhere to be found! Really???  I was so disappointed!  I don't even know what my average heart rate was.  >=(  I do know that it didn't get into the 160's until the last half mile though, so that is at least something.

It seems as though my pace is starting to average at least 4 mph, which is exciting.  I still have to think about it though, because I notice that I would rather be running a little slower.  I guess it's more comfortable, but not as challenging as it used to be.  It's just a matter of pushing myself to keep my heart rate up to 160, which is where it used to be at the slower pace. And running 2 miles at this pace doesn't deplete me either.  It feels good when I'm done, but it's not like I couldn't go another minute.  I guess the next test will be to run a 5K at this pace, and see how I feel after that.

And seriously, I have to figure out what I'm doing wrong or who I'm making angry when it comes to these monitors.  I have to be able to get it right more than once.