Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Creek Side Creatures

I had it all together this time.  My lunch was ready to go. I had my bag packed with shoes and and panties and everything.  All I had to do was grab the hairspray before I left and my pre-night ritual would be been perfect.  All I had to do was wake up and get dressed in my workout clothes that were laid out on the bed. 

But I didn't wake up.

It was five after six when I woke up.  I laid there for a few minutes and then decided I still had time for a quick run.  It's light already, and I could hear birds outside.  I took my phone, but I didn't listen to any music.  I started from my driveway this time instead of the trail.  I did stretch before I left, but my legs felt like they weighed a couple hundred pounds.  Well, mine probably do, but they usually don't feel like they do. 

Shortly after I got on the trail I looked at the creek.  It was so still it looked like glass.  Then I heard a really loud splash!  I don't know what jumped into the water, but when I turned around there was some strange beaver-looking thing running up to the water.  I slowed down because I had no idea what it was.  It looked, seriously, like a beaver without the tail.  It was too cute to be a rat, plus it's face was fatter.  It wasn't a possum.  I had no clue!  Well, that was exciting!  There were a few other animals to see but nothing else out of the ordinary.  I did a quick 1.5 miles and I had to get back home to get ready for work.

When I got home, I was telling my husband about it.  Immediately, he was like, "Oh, it must have been a nutria."  What? I've never heard of such a thing; but I looked it up, and sure enough, it was a nutria.  How does he know that?  Or does everyone know that and I'm just a sheltered non-nature momma that only knows basic animals?  In case you are like me, here's a picture of my natural encounter.

Not the actual one, but this looks like him.
I'm telling you, it's exciting stuff.  The animals and this new side of me that emerges all the time.  When I started this journey, I did not like being outside all that much.  Not unless I was sitting in the shade, watching the little one play, or maybe talking with the neighbors while having a glass of wine .  I hated being hot and I loathed sweating!  And of course, running was only something I would have done if my life depended on it.  Maybe not even then.  My life never did depend on it, so we may never really know.  It's part of my transformation that I wasn't anticipating.


As we get hotter and hotter here in Texas, I'll have to get my runs in early like today or later in the evening.  I guess that's really when all creek side creatures come out anyway. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shoeless Joe

I am really not good at getting up early in the morning to work out.  But I will keep trying til I get it right. 

Yesterday, I wanted to wake up early to get to the gym before work.  I packed my bag and my lunch the night before.  Then I didn't wake up.  Luckily my husband came up to kiss me a little early.  It was 5:50, so quickly got ready to go.  Halfway there, I realize that I forgot my shoes.  Crap! So I had to turn around and go get them.  I'm thinking that by the time I get everything together I'm going to have five minutes to work out. 

I had fifteen.

I got on the elliptical and worked as hard as I could.  Well, as hard as I could while I was still waking up.  But I did good.  I averaged a 3.5 mile pace in the fifteen minutes that I had and I used the two minute cool down to keep it going.  I barely had time to stretch and then had to hit the shower to get to work on time.  Then of course I realized that I forgot the hair gel and hairspray.

Unfortunately I didn't get any more exercise in, but I did have my women's group, which is always a good thing.  I think they helped me out of my funky town mentality.

So this morning, Kelly and I had decided we would go to spin.  Class starts at 5:45.  I woke up at 5:32.  Once again, I had packed everything the night before.  So I rushed out the door barely awake and made it to class only five minutes late.  Today's music ala Matt was a disco mix.  I was happily surprised to find that I could reach 90 rmp's relatively easily.  And when he asked us to sprint past 100 rpms, I could get to 105!  This is major improvement in only three classes!  I did all the jumps and standing work that he asked.  I felt pretty good.  Of course I felt even better when he asked us to find 60 rpms and stay there for a few minutes.  It was a good class.

Once again, I had to rush to the shower to get ready for work.  After I was all dressed and ready, I was so proud of myself for actually remembering everything!  I had a towel, I had hairspray, and I had all my clothes.  While I was patting myself on the back I started digging for my shoes.  

Oh no!!!  I forgot my shoes.  AGAIN!!!!  For the love of all that is holy, will I ever remember to bring everything; will I ever remember the importance of shoes before 6 am?!  I had to rush home to get them, and I barely made it to work on time.  But I felt really good all day.  However, I really do need to get some bicycling shorts.  Definitely before the next spinning class.  Thursday, Matt is going to give everyone five minutes of class to "teach" meaning we will get to choose what we do.  I'm kind of intimidated by that, but it's just another fear to tackle.  And not even a huge fear at that.  If I get my shorts, I'm in.

I'm going to go put an extra pair of shoes in my trunk.  Right now.  That way I'll have a pair.  Better yet, I'll put shoes AND a towel. 

My plan for tonight was to go jogging this evening, but my little one just reminded me that we are going to the park.  Depending on when we get out there and back, jogging may have to wait. 

But that's okay.  At least I'm awake enough to remember my shoes.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Frustration Station

No man is an island, the quote says.  But today was one of those days that you wish you were on an island.  Alone.  I think watching an challenging little 3-year-old boy at church is what started it.  After that there was no silence to detox and relax.  As a result, I did not stay calm and got frustrated with my own little one.  My husband said to me, "So, did you want to go work out?  Maybe get rid of some of that tension?"

"YES!" I replied as I stormed up the stairs to change.

And then I wasn't even happy about that.  Why do I have to leave the house and work my butt off to calm down.  Why can't every one else leave so I can sit on my butt and do nothing!  Glass is half empty, huh.  (I'm not proud.)

Grace met me at the gym and we jumped on the elliptical to pound away our issues.  Me and my bad mood, and Kelly to detox from her class reunion the night before.  =)  We hit it pretty hard for thirty minutes.  Then we decided to go to Starbucks for our cool down. 

After putting the little one to bed (and her not going to sleep  >=(  more frustration) I came downstairs to do the Wii Active.   The game was not picking up my movements and the trainer was all like, "Follow my movements," and "You're going to have to work harder if you want to see results."  And I was all like, "Hussy!  I am following your movements!"  Actually I said a word other than hussy, but hussy came out under my breath in other parts of the workout.  I just cant catch a break from my foul mood!  WTH!

I was finally able to get through the workout, and then sat down to watch the end of The Sandlot.  Now the house is quiet, and I am downstairs, alone.  I am going to watch A Haunting in Connecticut before I go to bed.  Maybe after I watch that I will gain perspective on people with real problems.  Ghosts, and spirits, and hauntings.  Oh my!

Yes, I do believe things could be worse.  I better snap out of it before I really have something to be in a bad mood for.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Funky Town

After two weeks of no zumba Saturdays, I was ready to get back to it.  I think I've hit a plateau (again) and I wanted to have some fun since discouragement is lurking right around the corner.  There is a swim meet going on at the natatorium, so parking was scarce.  Renae came in a few minutes late since she was had trouble finding a place to park, but all was okay as she promised us we would still get an hour workout.

The music started and we warmed up.  Then there was a new song. And another new song. And yet another new song.  I know I've missed a couple of weeks, but there were scarcely any songs that I remembered.  It was kind of frustrating.  Maybe it was just my mood, but it would have been nice if we could have more of the old stuff back and mixed in with the new.  It was still a good workout, but I think I could have burnt a few more calories if I wasn't annoyed.  I don't know what's wrong with me.  I love Renae's classes, but between my reluctance yesterday and my attitude today, I think I'm in the danger zone, like a funk is right around the corner.

I don't like the danger zone.  I would rather look forward to running and sweating and shaking my hips. 

Gumption

Yesterday, Grace Kelly and I took our girls to the zoo.  We arrived at 10 am with a wagon to pull out stuff and our coolers containing our lunch.  Imagine the disappointment of the girls when they realized they were not going to be the inhabitants of the wagon!  These 6-year-olds who, on any given day, would make you crazy and wear you out to the point of exhaustion suddenly lost every fiber of energy that they had.  Boy were they in for a long day...

We saw some much needed rain the day before, so the morning was kind of overcast.  Although it was humid, we were happy to have somewhat cooler weather.  The animals must have been happy too, because they were quite active.  We walked around taking breaks as needed until after two o'clock when the sun started shining a little too strongly.  We finished the day with dippin' dots for the girls and the sea lion show before heading out.

I'm going to have to count the four hours at the zoo as my exercise for this day, because I evidently was worn out.  I took a nap after dinner and had no problems falling asleep at bedtime.

I didn't sleep in today, but I was still lacking motivation.  I watched television rather than starting the morning with a workout, and I still wasn't feeling it when the afternoon rolled around.  I did manage to do some cleaning.  I cleaned out the "art cabinet" and my daughter's fish bowl, mopped, vacuumed, started dinner, etc. but the gumption was gone.

I decided to go to the gym before dinner and after my husband got home from work.  I begrudgingly got in the car and drove to the rec center.  After a quick 5 minute warm up on the elliptical, I went to the mat for circuit training.  About half way into it, I started getting into it.  After running through all exercises twice, I tackled a couple of machines to work my thighs a little bit more.  I couldn't get to one machine though because this one lady was sitting on it for like twenty minutes.  She had it on the lowest weight possible and was reading a book.  I had never seen anyone sit on a weight machine like a recumbent bike and read a book.  For twenty minutes.

I wanted to get some cardio in, so I went to the treadmill.  I didn't have my phone so I made sure to find a tv show I could listen to instead.  After a couple of minutes I found Without a Trace.  Luckily a new episode was just starting.  I hit the buttons and set it for 20 minutes, but just a few minutes into it, I had to use the bathroom.  I made it to five before stopping the machine.

While I was washing my hands, I figured I would just go ahead and go home.  I had already stretched, warmed up and worked out for an hour, so really I was done.

Then I looked at myself in the mirror with my new shirt, my new shirt that is loose on the top and tight in the middle.  Then I turned sideways to see my profile.  "You've got another ten minutes in you!" the voice said.  There's the gumption!!  So I went upstairs to jog the track.  I would have loved to have gone outside and ran, but it was still very hot.  So I took off with no music.  I started out pretty strong I felt, but I didn't have the Garmin so I'm not sure what my pace was. I ran for a solid 11 minutes during which time the meanie Stephanie joined me on the track.  She must have just finished her boot campus class.  She hollered at a couple of teenage boys that they were going the wrong way.  (laughing emoticon inserted here)

I was glad I went, of course, but I don't understand why there are those days when you just don't want to.  It scares me how strong the desire to NOT work out can be.  But the will to continue, thank God, is stronger.  My sister says the twenty pounds gone are twenty pounds I'll never see again.  I like that.  And I know that it is my choice and my decisions that will make that statement true.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Non Scale Victories

I had the day off today, and I still woke up at 6 am.  I got up and I thought I could get up and go for a quick run.  But instead, I laid back down and fell back asleep until 8 am.  Really that's why you take a day off in the summer anyway, right?   

My little one had dance this morning, so I got dressed in my workout clothes so I could get a workout in while she was dancing.  I love that her class is at the rec center.  I looked up the classes and there was a body toning class by Megan going on at the same time.  I considered doing this, but I was really sore already from the circuit training from yesterday, so I wasn't really sure if I wanted to tackle it.  I thought maybe it would be better to give the muscles some recover time.  And then when I pulled into the parking lot, I saw the crazy boot camp meanie, Stephanie.  I guess sometime during the semester, Megan and Stephanie switched classes.  Part of me wanted to go in anyway just because, but I thought better of it.  If I needed to take it easy on the muscles, Stephanie's class would not be the place to do that.

I didn't know what to do.  I stood in the hall for a few minutes debating.  Upstairs track? Treadmill? Elliptical?  What to do...what to do???  I went ahead and went into the weight room.  I started on the elliptical and did a 22 minute jaunt.  Then I went to the treadmill and did a 15 minute run.  I set the treadmill for 4.0 mph, but I also increased the elevation to 1 ft.  I normally never touch it.  After the treadmill, I went to the recumbent bike for the last 17 minutes.  It wasn't a hard core intense workout, but it was productive.   I worked up a sweat and kept the heart rate going.  I had just enough time to stretch before the dance class was over.

After that we went home.  I was putting some clothes away and looked at my bathing suit.  I had a problem.  My suit has been ripped for a month or so.  But I didn't really care because it was only a couple of small rips, and I didn't want to go buy another one.  But when I saw it in the drawer, I saw that the small rip in the back was now from one side clear to the other, which left a huge piece of material hanging down.  The rip in the front was now as large as I thought the one in the back had been.  It was time to get a suit.

We got in the car and took off.  I found a couple that I thought were cute.  I thought I'd try to get a one piece without a skirt to help with swimming, so I focused on that.  I picked out the size I thought I was and one smaller.  When all was said and done, I had to get one size even smaller.  That's three sizes!  THREE!!  I was so excited.  So I went and picked out some pants.  I picked out the same three sizes.  The smallest was too tight, but I could still get them on, zipped and buttoned.  I couldn't believe it!  I was happy, especially since the scale hadn't moved in a few days.  It was the non-scale victory that I needed to remind me that I'm on the right track.

However, I'm really sore today and my body feels tired. This evening we walked to the park and I think that pushed me over the edge. I fell asleep with her for a about half an hour.  Since I can't go spinning in the morning because my mom is not here to be in the house with the little one, I'll be sleeping in again.  Maybe that will help.   We'll see.

In the meantime, I'm going to go try on a couple of shirts that my sister gave me.  They are still too small I'm sure, but I'm betting that I can at least pull them on now.  =)

I'll try them on and sing, "I am the warrior, and victory is mine..."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Adventures of Old Christine

All the girls were in spin class this morning, and I was at home making a breakfast casserole.  It made me sad.  It was too dark to run, so I turned on the Wii and did the Active workout.  Since I've done six workouts in twenty days, it let me know that I would not be able to complete the thirty day challenge in thirty days.  Whatever.  I passed my thirty day challenge several times already.  The only thing I didn't like was these kick backs on the track.   You walk and kick your feet back and kick your butt.  This was fine until you had to do them fast.  I don't really know how it is supposed to be possible.  I did what I could but the screen kept telling me I was "Too Slow"  I KNOW ALREADY!!!!

The casserole was a hit, but I ate too much of it.  But I did have watermelon for dessert rather than the carrot cake that was brought in during lunch.  I knew I'd have to work harder than my thirty minute wii workout.  When I got home, my husband had taken the kiddos out to the trail to throw a casting net out to catch some fish, so after I got dressed I went out there to meet them.  When we were coming back to the house, my husband told me I should run up the hill.  "Run!" he said; so I did.  Well I tried.  It was kind of steep.

Next, I headed for the rec center to do the circuit training program that was long overdue.  I started with a five minute warm up on the bike before heading for the weights.  My arms are on fire right now, so I guess I got it right.  It took me a little under thirty minutes to run through the two sets of fifteen reps.  The worst was the push ups, but they are getting easier. 

Then it was time for cardio.  They have a spin bike in the weight room with a screen on it.  I've never used it before, but I thought it would be a good time to try it.  There were three options: ride with your music, spin videos and build your workout.  I chose a thirty minute workout and spin videos. It brought up a trainer who instructed me on speeds and tension and all that stuff.  He did not make me do jumps or anything like that, and he certainly didn't have cool playlists like Matt.  He also had this cheesy screen behind him that could make you dizzy if you looked at it too much. 

So the title of this entry has nothing to do with anything, except that I'm watching it now.  I've never really seen it before and it is hilarious!  And it's really late, and I need to go to sleep, but it's funny and I can't stop watching.  Must....stop....watching.....

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ladies who Lunch

So yesterday, I had a little tantrum about workout outfits and looking cute and all that stuff.  I really do mean that when I go to work out, I want to work out.  I like to get sweaty because I really feel like I'm working.  I like to work hard and sometimes push myself.  Now this morning, as I'm once again questioning my sanity for being at the gym so early, there is another dimension to the looking-cute-at-the-gym issue.

Ladies who lunch.

I really have no idea if these ladies lunch or not, and I have no idea if you are a lady who can lunch why you would be at the gym at 5:30.  What I do know is these ladies were dressed in cute workout outfits, they came in together, and they sat on the weight machines and talked.  A lot!  Luckily they were not on machines that I needed, but they sat on the same machines for the entire thirty minutes that I was doing some circuit training.   I think if Dianne and I were going for morning conversation at 5:30 in the morning, I would rather be at Starbucks in a comfy chair than on a weight machine with my legs spread apart.  Maybe it's just me.

(Disclaimer:  This blog does not discriminate against ladies who lunch.  It's author actually wishes to be a lady who could stay home with her child and do lunch with other ladies as well as get to the gym, although not necessarily in cute outfits.)

Anyway.  I did wake up early and packed my bag and my lunch.  I did remember every thing this time, even a towel!  I am still waiting for and hoping that the early morning movement will get easier.  The first five minutes on the elliptical were tough, but by the time I moved on, I felt a little better.  I didn't really have time for the full circuit training ala Kyle, so I grabbed the ball and started with crunches.  I then moved on to machines.  I did two machines of twelve reps each then went back to twenty crunches on the ball, then two more machines, then twenty more crunches.  I did this for almost forty minutes.  I tried to keep a fast pace in between everything, and I think it was effective because my arms and my abs feel pretty good.

Tonight was women's group, so there was no evening workout; although I did dance a few dances with my little one and her cousin to Just Dance 2 before I had to leave.  I think that can count as exercise.  It sure was fun, and what was even better is that it was 5:30 in the evening rather than the morning. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lessons from a 6-year-old

My youngest loves to shop.  I mean really loves it.  I on the other hand do not.  But today, we were at Academy exchanging some cleats for my husband, and I saw a t-shirt that I had to have.  It's one of the Life is Good shirts with a runner on the front.  It was indulgent, but gift cards are supposed to be used for indulgences.  While I was looking around, my hsuband and my little one were picking out visors and hats for me to try.  He knew I needed something to keep the sun and sweat out of my eyes.  I gave my little one the choice and she picked out a turquoise one.  I know it hasn't been that long since I was there before, but I decided to make the leap and buy clothes anyway.    They had shirts on sale, so I got one to match.  Then I moved on to the pants.  As I was looking at them, she picked out a pair with a turquoise strip on them.  She said, "Look, mommy! These match!"  There was such excitment in her voice.  And I took them from her.  But I couldn't do it.  I pictured myself in this "outfit" and I knew I would feel ridiculous.  "No," I told her. "I don't want matching ones."  She persisted, and I just kept saying I can't.  Then she said, "Why are you worried about matching?  You shouldn't worry about people.  Why do you think they are going to make fun of you or something?"

I don't know if that's what I'm worried about, but she's probably not too far off base.  I knew I'd feel silly.  But why?  I picture myself out there running.  My overweight, slow-paced self with a red face with wet sweat spots all over the front of my shirt.  I'm still beating myself up no matter what I've accomplished so far. 

It's not about vanity for me right now.  I put clothes on and get to work.  I want to feel good and be comfortable, but looking cute is far from my mind.  But it seems like I evidently feel like I shouldn't even try.  Like being overweight takes away that right.  And what she said to me is exactly what I would tell her in any given situation.  We do our best to give our children confidence and courage and to stand up for themselves.  We tell them it doesn't matter what people think. 

Maybe I've done a good job of teaching these things, but I am not doing a good job of being a good example.

I did not buy the pants.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hallelujah

My oldest daughter came home for the night on Friday.  But when she told me she had to leave at 10 in the morning, I made the decision to miss zumba (again) so I could see her off and cook her a nice breakfast.

I woke up kind of early-a little before 7 am.  I enjoyed just relaxing, but around 7:30 I went ahead and got up to get dressed.  I ate a spoonful of peanut butter as I decided what I was going to do.  I figured I could go for a run before it got too hot, so I put on my running shoes and hit the trail.  It still felt really early to me, and I think my legs and feet agreed because I think they cursed at me when I asked them to run.  It felt slow, but since all of this is before coffee, I decided that I would go for distance rather than time.  I would run the trail and then run into the park and go from there.  It would be at least a 2.5 mile run today. 

There were a few people out walking the trail, but most of them were going the opposite direction.  When I got into the park part of the trail, I passed my very first walkers.  It seems crazy that I have never passed anyone up, but most of the time people are moving in the opposite direction.  So I saw them ahead and I wondered if they were walking faster than my slow jog.  But they got closer and closer pretty quickly, and then it happened.  I passed them.  Sounds silly, but I considered it a milestone.  When I got into the main park, I was getting kind of thirsty.  I didn't help that the park part of the run is not shaded at all.  There's a bathroom close to the entrance of the park that I would pass on my way out (I run against the traffic).  As I got closer to it, I did hit a little bit of shade with a nice breeze, and at that point I actually heard a Hallelujah chorus.  But lo and behold, there was no water fountain!  AAAHHHH!  No problem, there is a pavilion that gets rented out for gatherings and barbeque's, so surely there is one there.  But I got there, and nope!  NO WATER FOUNTAIN!!  Are you kidding me??  This is Texas people!  Normal weather for this time of year is 100 degree weather with 100% humidity!  Where are the water fountains?!?!?!?! 

I got out of the park, but rather than head back on the trail, I kept going and decided to go for three miles.  There was a section where I was supposed to cross the road, but someone had a sprinkler going, so I waited until I ran through it.  =)  It's the little things, really.

I made it to my house at exactly three miles, so I passed up my house to do an entire 5K.  My time was not as bad as I thought it would be since I really felt like I was crawling.  I wasn't too disappointed with it since it was early and hot.  My average speed was 3.8 mph with my fastest speed at 4.5, although I don't imagine I sustained that for very far. 

After stretching and resting for a few minutes; I made breakfast, but I was too hot to drink coffee.  In the end, I didn't have any coffee today until 4:30 in the afternoon; and when I got it, I think I heard the Hallelujah chorus again.  Like I said, it's the little things .  =)

So now, it's The Magic School Bus time and then it will be stories and bedtime. If I manage to stay awake while putting her to bed, I'll do the Wii Active workout tonight in my nice, cool, air-conditioned house.  And then I'll be sure to say my prayers before sleep does take over, and give Him a hallelujah for giving me the strength to keep on keeping on.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Early Bird

The general consensus is that I have lost my mind.  I started to wonder about myself when I woke up at 5 am to go to spin class.  I woke up last week to do this, but today I had taken the day off.  It's my general feeling that when you take a day off, you should sleep in.  But instead, I am hauling my cookies out of bed to go spinning.  Then my friend Dianne said I've lost it just for going to the class itself, but she added that minds are overrated anyway.  I think if I had a Magic 8 Ball and asked it, "Has Candi lost her mind?" it would say "All Signs Point to Yes!"  My sister responded such is the life of a warrior princess.  I like that!

I wasn't late to class today, and I got a bike in the middle.  This was nice because the oscillating fans were blowing in my direction.  Once again, we start pedaling and I was happy to see that my speed was a little better than last time.  When he said to ride at road speed, which is 90 rpms, I was able to get up to 85.  Last week that was a struggle.  I tried to pace myself and hang with his instructions.  When he stood up, I stood up. When he jumped, I jumped.  I increased the tension when he instructed, and I tried my best to maintain his speeds.  Now this didn't change the fact that I still felt like I wasn't going to make it through the class.  Once again, at fifteen minutes in I was thinking WTH!!  At thirty minutes, I felt like there was no way I was going to last another half hour.  He kept saying, "stay with it," and I just kept trying to stay with it.  I was happier about my speeds, but still, once I stood up or started doing jumps, I slowed down substantially.  I hope that improves with time and practice.  It's such a great calorie burn, I'd like to keep it in the mix of workouts just for that reason.  Plus, if I ever decide to do a triathlon, it's good training for that too.  Once again I was at 17 miles when the class ended.

The rest of the day was spent on play dates and catching up with friends.  It was a great afternoon.  It's just too hot outside to do anything enjoyable with the kiddos.  We go swimming a lot for this reason, so it was a nice change of pace.  We were still indoors, just not in our own house.  Lol.

After dinner, I had to pick up some groceries.  On the way home the temperature on the display said ninety degrees.  It wasn't dark yet, and a plan developed in my head.  I unpacked the cold stuff and left the rest on the counter and put on my running shoes.   I figured I had time for a mile and a half or so.  So I hit the trail and had a great 1.69 mile run.  There were quite a few people out at the park.  There was this man who really looked like a professional runner.  His wife was on a bench with their little girl, and when he was close enough, the little girl met him on the trail and started running with him in her little pink dress and bows in her hair.  It was precious!

I'm not a morning person.  But I really like getting some exercise in before the day starts.  The early bird and the worm and all that.  I just wonder if the bird can get the worm if she sleeps in just a little longer.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Twilight Run

My daughter and her roommate left this afternoon when I got home from work.  =(  As they left to teach camps and train dance teams, and my little one's mind was going a hundred miles an hour.  I knew I had to get her out of the house to use up some energy, but I also knew I wanted - no- needed to get a jog in today.  We decided on (what else) the pool.  As luck would have it, my friend Tiffany invited us over for a swim.  The girls played and I treaded water for about half an hour.  Then we sat out and talked; it was a very nice evening.   

When I got into my car, Kelly had texted me to ask me how my run was.  Doh!  I had to text her that I hadn't done it yet.  The sun wasn't quite on it's way down, so I started thinking that maybe I would have time.   Then on our way home,  I noticed so many people walking and riding their bikes on this nice ,new, long sidewalk along the newly-opened road.  It kind of recharged my thirst for a run.  It's been a week since my last one.  I'm still congested, but I could just do a short one in case it got to be too much or if I couldn't catch my breath.

I got home, started bath time and got dressed.  I didn't have music because my phone was down to ten percent of it's battery, but I took off anyway as twilight was close to settling in.  It took about a third of a mile before my legs felt okay and passed that awkward run phase.  It was nice not being quite so disconnected by the music.  There's always so many birds in our neighborhoods, and I tried to listen for as many sounds as I could.  The breeze was especially nice since I was not only feeling it but hearing it as well.  I could hear my feet in a nice steady rhythm.  I could think about my goals and visualize the weight melting off my body.  As I rounded the corner in the back of the neighborhood, there was a family of bunnies in a front yard.  So cute, and I wished that my little one could have seen it.  They ran off as I got closer with their little cottontails bouncing behind them.

I was getting close to the point that I know is a mile when I checked the Garmin.  That's when I realized the batter had gone out on it as well.  I guess it's just a bad electronic gadget day for exercise. 

Soon after, twilight was in full effect, so I concentrated again on my feet.  I heard the steady rhythm of 8th notes: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 & 1 & 2 & 3 7 4 & 5 & 6 & 7 & 8 &.  Ironic that my daughter will probably chanting the same things as she teaches her dancers new choreography.  It was just a steady chant to keep my pace to so I wouldn't slow down, and before I knew it I was home before the dark settled in.

It was great to get out there again after the week.  And even though I can do it without, I like having music with me.  I just need to get some new songs.

Monday, June 13, 2011

21 pounds!

After my sick-filled weekend, I didn't think it would be a good weigh-in Monday.  But I was wrong!  As of today, I have lost 21 pounds!

Woo Hoo!!!  Twenty one pounds!!

What does 21 pounds look like you ask?  I'll tell you...

21 pounds is like:
  1. My oldest daughter's dance bag.  She just walked in the door from working a camp.
  2. A baby boy in the 50th percentile at the age of 9 months
  3. A baby girl in the 50th percentile at the age of 13 months
  4. A tire
  5. A very large cat
  6. 2 large sacks of potatoes
  7. My beagle, Daisy
  8. 80 sticks of butter
  9. A 24 pack of sodas
  10. A large turkey
I'm excited; can you tell?

Yesterday, I took my little one swimming at my friend Tiffany's house.  We were there for a couple of hours, and I spent my time treading water and talking to my friend while our girls dived after diving sticks.  An hour of treading water isn't so bad when your mind is occupied.  We had a great time, and I considered it a great exercise since I'm still not a hundred percent and easily winded.

I still wanted to do some exercise, so I called one of my neighbors to see if she wanted to go walking; but it got to be too late.  So I pulled out the Wii and did the Active workout.  This workout included boxing (yea!), arm exercises, lunges, and-the latest addition-jumping lunges-AHHHHHH!  As if lunges aren't bad enough, they want me to jump in the middle of them!  Then it went back to the normal stuff.  And then, they added jumping squats!  Jumping...from a squat!  It was definitely more intense and got my heart rate pumping.  On a good note, I think I got the running on the Wii down.  I readjusted the nunchuk on the leg strap and that seemed to do the trick.  After that, I put on the Wii Fit and played around on there a little. 

There will probably be no workout this evening.  My oldest is home for the night, so I think we're just going to hang out and catch up.  No snacking though; at least not for me. I'm working on my next tweny pounds!  =)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Walking in the Wild

After spending basically all day in bed yesterday,  I felt better although guilty that my little one spend the entire day inside.  We decided on an impromptu visit to the zoo.  I packed us a picnic lunch consisting of sandwiches, berries, pineapple, pringles, and oreos.  We loaded ourselves into the car, and off we went.

We haven't been members of the zoo for a over a year, so there was quite a few changes.  In hindsight, I should have taken the Garmin with me, so I could have tracked our mileage, but the thought that I could count this as exercise didn't really occur to me until the first bead of sweat ran down my head.  We visited the flamingos, the lions and big cats, and the African Forest.  When we got to the carousel, daddy won the vote to ride, and she ran to the wolf for her animal adventure.  The highlight of the day was when the little one got to feed the giraffes.  

We walked around for four and half hours, stopping for our picnic lunch and ending at the aquarium on our way out.  We didn't see nearly everything we wanted, but by 1:30 in the afternoon, it was just too hot for it to stay enjoyable.  Most of the animals were hiding in the shade as well.  We'll have to go back another time to see more.

Later in the evening, we went to the pool for the last hour that it was open.  I got a little more exercise in by treading water while my mermaid was sliding and diving in the deep end.  It was a great way to end the evening on a very hot day.

Although most of today's exercise was circumstantial, it's still something. Considering I was in bed most of the day yesterday, I think it was a good way to recover and still get the heart rate up.  Hopefully tomorrow I can kick it up a notch and be back on the road to losing one more pound.  One more pound will make it a nice full twenty pounds lost. 

I'll have to celebrate when I get there.  But I won't go too wild.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Ick Factor

Today was my first Friday off for the summer.  And I'm sick.  And it sucks!

I figured it was coming, but I'm always in denial when I feel sick.  I woke up early enough to get ready for aqua zumba.  I left the house, and the ickiness had not set in.  It set in about halfway into class.

The natatorium was pretty empty.  By the time class started, there was about ten women ready to go.  I've been looking forward to trying this class since we've joined the rec center, but since it's only offered on Friday mornings, I've never been able to attend.  I am disappointed to say that I really don't think I liked it much.  Kelly didn't either.  It was pretty  much a zumba class, just in the water.  I don't know.  I guess with water aerobics you are at least pushing against the water or using weights and it feels purposeful; this didn't.  And it's nothing to do with the instructor; she was really great! 

By the end of it, I was feeling really sick and I was ready to go home.  I think my husband could tell I was not well, so he sent me upstairs where I slept for the next five hours.  I plan on going back to sleep when I'm done here, and I pray that this cold or whatever is gone by the time I wake up.  I really don't have time to be sick.  There are too many fat cells that have not shed tears!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Wheels on the Bike

This morning, I survived my first spinning class.  I was pretty nervous about it, which became quite evident as I woke up all night long.  I had packed my bag with everything I need to get ready for work since I wouldn't really have time to come home. Finally when I woke up at 5:15, I got dressed, grabbed 1/2 a banana, and hit the road.

I walked in, and everyone else was already on their bike, and Kelly had saved me a bike by her.  The instructor, Matt, immediately got off his bike to help me get mine set up.  Already it was better than the boot camp nazi.  He made sure I was in proper form and told me we were riding at a road pace, which is a pace that you feel good and you could ride like that all day.  Somewhere around 90 rpm's.  Well, I couldn't get to 90 and feel like I could do it all day. My feel good pace was 75. What a shocker! I ride a bike slow, too! But I tried my best to keep up with his instructions.  He told us where to maintain our speed and when to loosen or tighten the tension.  Then we did some standing and then standing without bouncing which killed the quads.  Next up was the jumps, which is where you stand up and then sit back down in intervals of three to five pedals.  One of the last exercises was sprinting which is where we were supposed to give it our all.  That's when I finally got up to 90! 

Most of the work was done in intervals of thirty seconds to one minute.  It was tough, but the instructor was really great at explaining everything and reminding us of our form: shoulders down, abs in, hands light on the handlebars, lead with the heels, etc.  I was literally dripping with sweat and my shirt was soaked.  And I lived, because seriously, I didn't think I would make it past the first fifteen minutes.  I thought the same thing after thirty minutes, and it wasn't until we hit forty five that I was thinking that maybe I could make it through.  I was also worried about my booty hurting, but it didn't bother me until we were cooling down at the very end.  When all was said and done I had ridden 17 miles.

After class was over, we talked to Matt who said it will take at least three classes before you get the hang of it, so I guess I'll try it again.  I read that spinning can improve your running and your speed, so it would be worth it. 

Then it was time for me to get ready for work.  I went to the car to get my bag and it was only then that I realized that I didn't bring a towel.  I did have what equates to a dishrag in the car, so I used that.  That was fun.  Then I realized I didn't bring hairspray.  I quickly texted Kelly and asked her to bring some when she came to work.  Then I was dressed and ready to go and then I realized that I didn't bring my shoes. Awesome!  I had to go back home after all.  Luckily I did make it work on time...barely!  So much for preparedness.

I'm so stuffed up and congested, I took some medicine while at work.  I think it made me worse and sleepy.  My boss let me go home early, and I tried to sleep it off.  Three hours later I was back up and feeling better.

So I went to get my abs ripped at pilates.  It went well being that I'm not at a hundred percent.  It wasn't as traditional as last week, but we did many great exercises and incorporated the ball into some of them, including the plank.  To me, it's more manageable to do a plank with the assistance of the ball.  Shellie will be out next week, so I'll have to find a different way to torture my abs. 

It was a good workout day, and I was happy to have finally faced my fear of the bike.  I will need lots of practice and hopefully my arms will get used to it.  They were pretty tired and I had to sit up often to stretch them out.  But still, I can say I've done it, and I'll do it again.  I'll let you know if I end up liking it. I'm not quite there yet.

Wii Wednesday

June 8, 2011

Wednesday is usually a workout-at-home day because it's my husband's softball night.  My friend Dianne picked up my little one for zumba, and I stayed home to do a work out.  I didn't want to repeat the hot-stuff run from yesterday, so instead I pulled out the Wii remote and nunchuk to do the Active day 3 workout.

I was able to remove the running portion of the workout.  The only problem is that it didn't add anything else in it's place.  I also had issues with the game not reading my movements.  My little avatar was not following me and the trainer was telling me I was going to need to step it up if I wanted results.  I guess I had to readjust the nunchuk or something because after the first couple of exercises everything was fine.  Today's workout had more arm exercises and included tennis and dancing using the balance board.  It was fun but not nearly as intense as the previous days.

While I was working out, some neighbor girls came by to see if my little one could play.  I found out later that one girl told her mom I was playing the Wii.  Maybe this will raise my status and make me cooler with the younger crowd in the hood.

It could happen.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hot Stuff

June 7, 2011

I always joke around with my friends about being hot stuff.  You know, like when you go to a restaurant or Starbucks or something and the waiter is nice to you.  I always say to whoever is with me, "Oh yeah, he totally thinks I'm hot!"  It started as a joke with my sister, but to me it continues to be fun-and funny-to say.

This evening we had plans to go see a former neighbor's son play in a softball tournament.  It didn't start until 7 pm, so I had time for a quick workout.  I  checked the weather on my phone, and it said it was 89 degrees.  I thought that didn't sound right, but with rain threatening all evening, I thought it could be possible.  So I went ahead and put on my running shoes and took off for a quick 1 1/2 miles.  I also had this headband that I got in a gift bag when I went to Sun and Ski Sports.  I put it on in hopes of keeping the sweat out of my eyes.  I felt ridiculous and think I looked like I stepped out of the 80's.  It's not a fat terry cloth one, but nonetheless...

About half a mile into it, I realize there's no way it's 89 degrees out. It's hot! I started off on the trail and I felt like I had a really great pace, and I did.  I looked at the Garmin and I was at a 13 minute mile.  About 1/2 a mile into the run, I looked at the Garmin again and realized I had not set the timer!  Doh!  I also started getting really warm and slowing down.  I kept going though.  The headband did help keep sweat out of my eyes, so that was good.  I finally got to a point in the neighborhood where the trees were, so it was nice to be in the shade. 

When I got home, I crashed onto the floor to stretch.  I said to my husband that there was no way it was 89 degrees out.  No, he said, it was more like 99!  No wonder I was so freaking hot!!!  After stretching and trying to cool down while drinking some water, sweat was still dripping from my head.  I felt good, but when I mapped it out on Map My Run, I had ran 1.6 miles.  My pace wasn't as bad as I thought it was, but I think my average would have been higher if I had started the Garmin in the beginning when my pace was better.

But oh well.  There will be other runs. Maybe I'll download Donna Summer's Hot Stuff in honor of these ridiculously hot evenings.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Early Bird

It sounded good, waking up early and hitting the gym.  Some of the ladies in my women's group are meeting to go swimming or to go spinning.  It sounded great...in theory.

I woke up at 5 am.  I knew I should get up.  I argued with myself for a little over half an hour before I finally got out of bed and got dressed.  I got in my car and hit the road to the rec center.  Without coffee.

I got on the elliptical for a quick five minute warm up.  OMG!!!  It was so hard to get moving.  I had it set on level five, and it may as well have been like walking on wet cement.  My legs felt heavy and I was winded in no time.  I don't even think I made it a quarter of a mile in the five minutes. 

Next, I picked up my weights to do the circuit training.  Even the weights felt heavier.  Once I got to the mat, I took a deep breath and got started with the bosu v-sits.  I did make it through the circuit only once, but I didn't have time to run through it a second time because I had to have time to shower and get ready for work.  Instead I did a few of the leg machines to try to loosen up my legs. 

I did a good cool down and stretch before heading home.  Once I got to work, my legs still felt really stiff.  As the morning went on, my glutes were getting more sore.  It took me a while to realize that it was soreness from the Wii Active workout.  I guess all those squats and lunges are paying off. 

I hope it gets easier to wake up and get moving in the morning.  Maybe the argument to get out of bed won't last as long next time.  I hope it gets easier.  Early bird or angry bird-right now there's a fine line between the two. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

100 Degrees of Separation

If it wasn't officially summer in Texas, today it is.  We have, as of today, reached 100 degree temperatures.  Blechhhh!!!!

After church and lunch, I took my Mexican jumping bean to the pool.  I am counting it as some exercise, because she definitely kept me busy while we were there.  I treaded water while she attempted to dive in the deep end, and I swam after her wanted me to chase her, and I spun her around thus working my thighs.  It works.  I didn't let us stay out there for too long because of the sun, and I hate that the heat keeps us away from the outdoors.

While having her snow cone, she got a little headache; so she went to lay down with Daddy.  I took advantage of the time to turn on the Wii and do day two of the 30 day challenge of the Wii Active.  I'm still surprised at how tough these little 30 minute workouts are.  Soooo many lunges!  And running.  I really don't like running on the Wii because it doesn't pick up my movements.  I wonder if I can have it substitute something else since I run on my own.  I'll have to look into that.  I don't really like the lunges either, but I feel a sense of accomplishment when I get through them.  Kind of like sit ups.  I never could do them before, so it makes me feel strong.

I don't think I'll get to any other exercise today.  It's girl's night, and I'm going to dinner with my two oldest friends.  I should add oldest as in length of friendship, not old as in age. =) Besides that, I don't think I want to venture out in this 100 degree heat again.  Not if I don't have to. 

And until the little one wants to go outside, I don't have to.

Is Enough Enough?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Last night was date night.  My husband and I went out to eat Mexican food and see The Hangover 2.  We had a great time and even made it home early enough to put the little one to bed.  Even though I had gone to bed early the night before, I was still tired; so I turned in a little early myself.  I wanted to be refreshed for zumba in the morning.

I woke up early enough to go to the strength toning class, but I just laid in bed instead.  I have missed zumba for the past two weeks, so I wanted to be fresh for the class so I could give it my all.

Renae was back, and the only thing missing from class was Kelly.  We have been warming up to a Jennifer Lopez song.  I knew there was something about the song that I didn't like, but I couldn't put my finger on it.  Then someone told me who sang it, and I realized that's what it was.  The class went by fast and there were a couple of new songs added to the mix.  One was really fast and had grapevines.  My feet just don't like to move fast; I just don't get it.  I did them, but they weren't graceful.  I just love this class!  And it's not just the exercise; it's just a great group of women that I've gotten to know, and it's a real feeling of community in there.  That and I just like to shake my groove thang!

The rest of the day consisted of more swimming for the little one while I caught up with a friend.  After lunch and a quick clean up of the house, there was a short rest.  As soon as I started to close my eyes, the doorbell rang and it was a neighbor girl wanting to play.  I got out the little pool for them and did my best to stay awake as they played.  Around 6:00, my husband took over; and I took a quick 30-minute nap.

Then I put on my running shoes.  It was still hot out, but not too bad.  I figured it was time to get my shoes a little dirty so I started off on the trail.  I had my husband's phone because mine wasn't charged.  Unfortunately, my workout playlist is not on his phone, so I just used what he had.  All was well until the fourth song.  I know I have to suck it up because I can't be dependent on music to run; but it's one thing to run to no music and running to music that just isn't your taste.  It made it harder somehow, and I had another two miles to go since I had set out for somewhere around three miles. I eventually just put on Pandora on Erasure radio.  That was more like it.  May as well relive your youth while trying to recapture it.  =)

I read a quote somewhere, and I wish I could remember where, because it saved me today.  It was "Think about what you want, not about what you want right now."  What I wanted right now when I was nearing the second mile was to alter my course and make it a shorter one.  What I wanted like I want so many times is to stop.  Not because I have to; not because I can't go another minute.  Only because it's hot and it's challenging and isn't two miles enough?  The answer is no, it's not enough. 

What do I want?  I want to be fit.  I want to increase my speed.  I want to lose weight.  I want the title of Warrior Princess! =)  And I already know I can run three miles.  There's no reason to stop.  Stopping won't get me to my goals.  So I didn't stop.  I tried to maintain my speed and I kept going.  I checked the Garmin when I was on the road back to my street, and I was going to make the 5K.  When I got to my street I was at exactly 3.1 miles.  When I reached my house, I was at 3.15.  Ironically the last song was I Ran by A Flock of Seagulls.

My little one saw my pass the house and came out with a glass of water for me. =)  She offered to stretch with me too! 

The Garmin report showed my average speed of 4.2 with my best speed at 5.0 mph.  I was so excited!  I have never run a 5K in less than 50 minutes, and here was my personal best at 43 minutes!  It was a small victory for me, and I would have never known how that felt if I had altered my course.

I think I'll keep the WP status. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sleepy Head

Today was the last day of school.  I don't work on a campus anymore, but I still feel some of the effects of the hustle and bustle of it all.  I got home in time to make dinner, and then I rushed out the door to get to pilates.  I was late, but guess who was late right along with me? Kelly.

Today's class was a back to basics kind of class.  The first half of the class was very intense and very mainstream pilates. She added the balance work at the end, and it made for an awesome class.  I was able to push a few exercises up a level.  Except for the bridge ones.  I tried to raise my right leg while in bridge pose, but my glutes started to cramp; so I went back to just holding a bridge.  Maybe next week I'll try again, and hopefully I can hold it a little bit longer. 

My plan was to do the 2nd day of the wii Active tonight after I put my now second-grader to sleep.  I was sitting outside while she was playing with her friends when I realized this might not happen.

I was sitting in a chair on the front lawn when I actually fell asleep sitting up.  Just for a second - my head bob woke me up.  But all of a sudden I couldn't keep my eyes open!  Just then it was time for everyone to go inside.  As I'm typing this, I could easily close my eyes for a second and be fast asleep.  But I'm holding out for a pillow.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wii Warrior

It's National Running Day.  A day of observance that I didn't know existed, and I am unable to run today to celebrate it.  According to Runner's World there were other ways to celebrate:
  1. Every single time you see someone walking, even if that person is a stranger, encourage  him to break into a run. If he appears confused, demonstrate.
  2. Visit your local running specialty store,
And my personal favorite-

   3.  Throw rocks at people on bicycles. Boo, biking! Yay, running!

Today's schedule just didn't allow for a run.  And I looked for someone to ride by on a bike, but that didn't happen either.

After putting the little one to bed, I pulled out the neglected wii balance board and the wii Active.  I set it for the first day of the 30-day challenge with moderate intensity.  It was quite fun and a pretty good workout.  I remember when I tried to do the squats last time (a couple of years ago) and I couldn't squat low enough for it to register.  I was worried when it was the first exercise on the agenda.  But I was able to do them and with pretty good rhythm, too.  The boxing was fun.  There were some good arm exercises.  Apparently I also run slowly in place, because it yelled at me to speed up on the track.  Got news for you Mr. Wii Active; I run slow! This is not news; it is well covered material! 

I really liked the boxing.  It would be fun to get some boxing gloves and punch the bags in the gym.  For now, I think I'll pull out the wii a little more often and punch the air.  =)

Pure Adrenaline

I love Texas.  I've lived here all my life, and it is home.  But I hate the heat.  I hear people from other states move here and they say they can't get used to the heat.  Well, guess what?  I've never gotten used to the heat, either.  And it's just starting.  We're not even at the hottest point yet.

So it's a million degrees outside and my calves are all jacked up from the hike.  And my new Brooks Adreneline shoes are sitting patiently in their box waiting for me to try them out. 

So I did.

Because it was the hottest part of the day, I decided I would only do the mile and a half track around the back of the neighborhood.  That and I didn't want to run on the trail and get my shoes dirty.  Silly, I know, but they can stay clean for at least a day.  I started the music and the Garmin and took off. The shoes were comfortable and cushiony.  But it was hot, and I seriously need to do something about the drips of sweat that fall from my head into my eyes.  That burns!  It was a great run, and maybe even a record.  I ran 1.59 miles at 4.4 mph.  That may be my best; if not, it's pretty close.

Must be the Adreneline shoes.  Or as my sister says, maybe it's the WP wearing them.  I like her way of thinking.  ;)

Later in the evening, I took off to the rec center to go to Strength Toning.  I got there late so all the light weights were taken, which left me with seven pounders.  I tried to push through everything, but there were a couple of shoulder exercises that I had to slow down on because the seven pounds was a little too much for so many reps.  She had us work our thighs and glutes quite a bit with squats.  Ouch!  Last muscle group was the abs and obliques.  She was really tough today, but funny.  It was good to be able to laugh in the middle of working so hard.

Overall, I was happy with the workout day.  I just don't know how many 5 pm runs are left this season.  I'm thinking not too many.  =(