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Getting my run on.

Archives for June, 2008

Not Quite

So, I’m not quite the super star I thought I was on Saturday. Yes, 12 push ups is good. It’s double my starting point. In two weeks. That’s good. But it’s not quite good enough. For week three the lowest category is for those who did between 16-20 push ups. My 12 didn’t make the cut. These are my instructions:

If you’re struggling with the program, don’t lose heart. Some people will still be doing less than 16 consecutive push ups, but this is ok. Just repeat the week you struggled with until you’re strong enough to move on to the next level – I promise it will be worth your while!

But I wasn’t struggling! I did all the work outs as I should, always doing more than the minimum “max” required. Never having to take longer rest times than allotted. And yet, my 12 is not enough. So, this week I’ll be doing a hybrid. I already know I can do week 2. I can’t do week 3. So, I’m going to do something in between them. Tonight I did the Week 2, Day 3 work out over again but this time with 60 seconds rest instead of 120. And I did it. And my max was 8. Not too shabby. Wednesday night Kris and I are going to create a hybrid between Week 2, Day 3 and Week 3, Day 1. Always upping the ante, always getting stronger. It will take me longer than 6 weeks to get to 100 push ups, but I’m confident I’ll get there eventually. I just have to keep on plugging.

I’ve started training this week for the 10 mile run. I won’t know for three weeks yet if I’m in, but I figured I better start training now so I can ramp up slowly and avoid IT band injuries. I need to tweak my training calendar. I’ll share that with you when it’s ready. However, Monday’s are a cross-train day so we (Kris, the kids and I) went for a bike ride today. We did 5.2 miles in 31 minutes. Not exactly blazing fast but we had to wait at quite a few stoplights and signs on that route. It was a nice, paved bike trail so we didn’t have to ride on the street but it was still in too busy of a neighborhood. Next time we go, I’ll try to find us a quieter route. Still, I was out there doing it. And I made it up this nasty hill without having to stop and walk my bike. That was my goal, make it to the top, downshift all you need, but don’t walk the bike. My legs were on fire at the top. I was thinking of making this loop my 5 (ish) mile loop for the 10 mile run training calendar. However, that nasty hill has me thinking again. Do I wuss out and find an alternate route? Or do I suck it up and train like an athlete instead of a wanna-be? Crap. I just answered my own question. Sometime in the not that distant future, I will run that route. And I’ll master that hill. I will not walk.

I’m a Super Star

I completed Week 2, Day 3 of the push up challenge on Friday night. And then yesterday I did the endurance test which is basically a repeat of the initial test – do as many push ups as you can. And I did 12! Last week I had guessed I would be able to do 11 and I beat that by 1. I was pretty happy with that. There is a chance I could have done one more but my arms were pretty shaky at that point. So, 12 it is! When I told Kris to guess how many I did, he guessed 9 – boo! On to week 3 tomorrow night! So, there I am – the push up super star!

I was really bummed yesterday that I couldn’t get a work out in. I even tried twice! In the morning instead of driving to run my errands, I was going to bike around town with the kids. And then as soon as we left the driveway, it started raining on us. Not little wimpy drops but big, splashy drops. So, in the bike went and out came the truck. Boo! Then yesterday afternoon I put James down for a nap, put on my workout gear so I could head to the basement and elliptical. And then James wouldn’t go to sleep, and didn’t for the next hour and by then I didn’t have enough time to elliptical and shower and be ready in time for Krystle’s (my sister’s) party last night. And I couldn’t be late to that. So, foiled twice was I. I was happy when Kris got home today. Not only because I missed him, but also so he could watch the kids so I could go for a run this afternoon! Middle of the afternoon is not my optimal running time but James freaks whenever I leave his sight, so I ran while he napped. I did my 3 mile course which is actually 3.2 miles. We’re really lucky to have nice paved bike/running trails by our house. I really don’t like running on cement sidewalks. Anyway, my 3.2 mile course is actually a loop (which I prefer to down and backs) and no matter which way I went, I was going to have to go up a hill. Yick. No matter, I just chose to go the way with the downhill at the end rather than with about a mile to go. That meant I was a little fresher when I had to go up the hill about a mile in too. Either way, I finished the 3.2 miles in 40 minutes. SLOW. AS. HELL. Just call me pokey. But, I finished it. And I only had to walk a block in all that, something I’m actually quite proud of. Only three weeks in to regular exercise and I just about banged out 3.2 miles without walking! OK, so, 40 minutes for 3.2 miles works out to be a 4.8mph pace and a 12.5 min average mile. Yeah, remember that slow as hell part? I seriously need to work on that. I don’t care today though. Today I finished my first 3.2 mile run in a long time. Go me! The running (slow) super star!

Unreasonable Expectations

I’ve been thinking, pondering, debating the last couple days with myself. There are a couple things that I’m unhappy about. First, I’m tired of having my weight yo-yo from 158-160. I need to concentrate on eating healthier foods, eating less food (calories) overall and exercising on a consistent basis. I feel like the exercise is on the right path. I’ve worked out (elliptical, walking, running) four times this week already and I have a bike ride planned with the kids tomorrow. However, my eating is kind of all over the place. So, I’ve decided to start tracking what I’m eating. I have used Fitday to track my calories in the past and I started using it again today. I like FitDay because I can track my weight (yay graphs!), exercise, food, etc. And I can set goals (like calories, protein or fiber intake) and run lots of different reports. My goal is to stay between 1500-1800 calories per day. When I’ve done this in the past, I’ve always lost weight. I also need to focus on eating the right foods though, not so much junk. I’ll be consciously making those choices now. To go along with this new focus on food, I’m going to set a pretty lofty weight goal, an unreasonable expectation if you will. I want to be 152 by 7/24/08. That’s when I fly to New Mexico to see my brother. I want him to be proud of me. I’m hoping my calisthenics exercises, especially the push ups, will give me a little more definition in my muscle tone. And I’m hoping the exercise and reduced food intake will slim my waist (my most troublesome spot). Also, it will be hot, HOT, down there and so I expect there to be lots of tank tops and shorts and bathing suits (in the outdoor pool at the hotel) and I don’t want to be embarrassed to wear any of that. So – 152. Yikes.

And the second unreasonable expectation? I don’t want my thighs to touch anymore. I hate standing normally (with my feet shoulder width apart) and having my upper thighs touch. It drives me crazy, like nails on a chalkboard. They only touch for about an inch so it isn’t super bad but it’s still annoying as hell to me. So, second unreasonable expectation – get my skinny, chicken legs to go all the way up! I don’t want my thighs to touch any longer. They didn’t before I had Annika and I’d like to go back to that. I’m sure regular exericise can make that happen. Right? RIGHT?

OK, run report. I did a 1.7 mile run (or so, don’t have one of those nifty Garmin’s yet you know) this morning in 19:46. See? Turtle like. I think some speed will come naturally with endurance but I’ll also push myself harder in upcoming runs. I wanted to do three miles this morning but just didn’t have time before needing to hit the shower. Plus, it was still pretty dark out this morning when I took off from the house. I might have to bring Dagur with me next time. 5am is just not that light out anymore around here.

Here’s a hodge-podge of writing for you. First up, Week 2, Day 2 of the 100 push up challenge. I completed this work out last night and did my 6, 5, 3, 3, max with my max being 8. I made it past 7 as my max! Woo-hoo! Actually Kris said I should do a 9th one and when I told him that my arms were all shaky and I almost dropped myself his response was “So?” So, tomorrow night when I do my max, I will do it until I physically drop to the floor. In honor of Kris. Who will be on a bus headed for Michigan at the time. And I will be missing him already.

OK, sap over! I’ve been reading a bunch of running sites lately (Get Fit Slowly, Run Bulldog Run – the 100 hundred push up challenge guy) and they all have Garmin GPS watches. Kris said he wanted one of these so for his birthday and Father’s Day we are going to purchase him one (I know – those events have already happened – GPS watch money has been re-directed to Kristina goes to NM money and we need to save up some more first). Now we have to decide which one. I have to admit that I’m drooling over the 405. It’s the newest one and is so sleek and not as big as a Volvo. However, the reviews I’ve read on the 305are also positive. And then I’ve heard others say the 50 is good enough and all they need. Argh! What to do! Well, here’s what we’ll do – sit down and figure out exactly what we want (Me: Heart Rate Monitor, GPS to track elevation and distance, ability to download to computer for graphing and other geeky data manipulation things) and then review our choices, decide and make the purchase. Easy Peasy! Now we just have to do it. So, tell me. Do you have a Garmin? What model? What do you like/dislike about it?

And now for my Big Plans. I’ve told you all how I need goals right? Otherwise I’m a big, lazy slob who sits on the couch and eats potato chips (see last night for reference)? Well, I’ve decided to enter the lottery for the Twin Cities Marathon 10 mile run. The lottery opens on July 7th and I’ll enter then. Hopefully I’ll make it in but either way, I’m going to put a training schedule together now and start my training officially next week. Any of you want to join me? I asked Kris last night if he wanted to do it with me and he shocked, SHOCKED, me by saying “maybe.” When he said after the half marathon in 2003 that he was never running a long distance race again, I believed him. Maybe he needed a 5 year cooling down period? Either way, I would be super excited to run the race with him. Hopefully we both get in!

Proud

I’m proud of myself for getting up at 5am this morning to exercise.  It’s not the early morning rise time that made me proud today.  Nor is it because I see an exercising trend beginning to start.  No, it’s because I was up four times last night with my three year old daughter.  I have no idea what got in to her last night but she was up at 1am and not back in bed until 1:45am.  Then she was up again at 2:20am, 3:00am and 4:00am.  And when I was done exercising this morning and came up from the basement (I was ellipticalling down there) she was awake and playing under the covers in my bed.  So, the reason I am proud today is because the last few months I would have reset my alarm at some point during the night and skipped the working out.  I didn’t do that this time.  Or I would have reset it when it went off this morning at 5am.  I didn’t do that either (um, partly that was because little miss fidgety was seriously annoying me).  I did it.  I got up even though I was dead tired and I worked out.  It may not have been the hardest of workouts ever (3.9 miles on the elliptical in 30 minutes) but I raised my heartrate and got a good sweat worked up.  And that’s what counts.

Youch!

Oh my gosh my adductors and abductors are so sore this morning! I’m thinking it was the lunges last night during my calisthenics workout. I did Week 2, Day 1 of the push up challenge. My max was 7 again. I think I might have a mental block at 7. Tomorrow night when I do Week 2, Day 2, I’m going to try really really hard to get 8 or 9 during the max set. After the push ups I did squats and lunges again, two sets of 10 each. The lunges on my right leg were especially hard. I guess I was still sore from Friday nights workout. Anyway, this morning when I woke up my adductors and abductors were both really sore. It didn’t help that I rode my motorcycle in to work this morning (45 minute drive) so now I’m walking pretty funny! I need to loosen them up somehow. Maybe a whirlpool bath and some stretching is in order tonight.

I’ve noticed a trend the last two weeks with my weight. My weight is about 160 at the beginning of the week then at the end of the week it goes down to the 157-158 range.  Then, over the weekend it creeps back up and Mon/Tues it’s back to around 160.  I think I need to watch what I’m eating on the weekends more or something.  This past weekend I wasn’t even that bad!  OK so the cinnamon rolls for breakfast Sunday and yesterday weren’t the best choice.  However, there was minimal snacking during the day and decent portion sizes at meals.  I’ll have to work on that this coming weekend.  And then I’ll be off from work all next week and at home the whole time.  I’ll have lots of practice then on making good choices.  I should also have lots of time for workouts though too!

Taking Advantage

I decided yesterday that if I want to get any running done in the mornings, I’d better do it soon. Now that the days are going to start getting shorter, it won’t always be light out at 5am when I get up to exercise. Unless I want to take Dagur, the fierce looking pansy dog with me, I don’t have much inclination to run in the dark. Yes, I live in a suburb but last Thursday night we had some robberies on the next street over. I’ll run in the light, thankyouverymuch. Plus, Dagur needs some running training. He loves to run and has the endurance to run, but he isn’t trained very well yet and is constantly running into your legs, pushing you off the path or taking off to sniff or chase something.

Anyway, I digressed. I ran this morning! For 2 miles! And I didn’t have to stop and walk at all! I’m actually quite proud of myself, hence all the exclamation points. Sorry about that. I’m not sure exactly how long it took me as I forgot my watch when I ran (pun intended) out the door. I’m guessing it was somewhere around 25 minutes. Not exactly blazing fast but hey, I ran jogged the whole time. Next, I’ll start working on speed and distance. Now I just wish the water I was drinking could have put out the fire in my lungs when I was done. Need to work on that endurance there too.

Next up, week 2, day 1 of the 100 push up challenge tonight!

Soreness

The 16 month old and the husband are napping. The three year old is watching Peter Pan. I’m internally debating what I should do – chores or nap with hubby. Hmm, I think nap might win. We’re both pretty tired from yesterday’s landscaping activities. We moved a yard and a half of rocks in two hours from the trailer in front of our house to the back of our house under our deck. I am so sore today! My quads and hams are sore from Friday nights squats and lunges and now my entire back is sore from yesterday’s lifting and twisting with the rocks. I actually like the sore feeling you get whenever you start a new work out routine or change up your current routine. It makes me feel like I’m actually accomplishing something. Ten minutes of push ups, squats and lunges and I get a good soreness from it. Is that sick and twisted or what?!

Success!!

I did it! Week 1 is in the books. Tonight I successfully completed Week 1 of the 100 push up challenge. I did 5, 4, 4, 3, max and my max turned out to be 7! I did 23 push ups tonight! Just five days ago, Sunday night, I could only do 6 max. Progress! In so little time! Seriously Pam, Robyn, Amanda and any others reading this – do the challenge! Even if you don’t get to 100 at the end of 6 weeks, (I’m still skeptical I will) you’ll still be stronger for it! I’m confident I’ll be able to complete Week 2 next week. Then at the end of next week comes another evaluation, basically just do as many as you can. Care to take bets on how many that will be? I’ll do the test next Saturday, the 28th. Leave a comment on this post with your guess! I’ll start by guessing 11. Double digits!

I added a couple more blogs to my blogroll tonight. First is Lose The Buddha. I’ve cheered Erin on for years (silently of course because I have a fear of commenting – scared I’ll “say” something stupid). Her dedication is inspirational. And I have her book, “Tales From the Scale” if any of you real life friends would like to borrow it. Next is Get Fit Slowly. A couple guys trying to improve themselves through diet and exercise. Gotta love that! And JD is a runner combating an IT band injury right now. That’s what I suffered from when training for my marathon in 2002. I can certainly relate! Ouch! I hope that lets up for him soon. If you’re interested in personal finance (I am!) then JD also has a personal finance blog Get Rich Slowly that I’d recommend to you. I found the budget spreadsheet that I use for our family on his pf blog. Go check these new links out!

Week 1, Day 2

Last night I did week 1, day 2 of the100 push up challenge. It had me doing 4, 3, 2, 2, max (4) real, good form push ups. And I did it! I did 15 push ups last night! And you know? It wasn’t as difficult as I expected it to be. Yes, I did go down for push up number 5 of the max set, hear Kris tell me to go down a little bit more and then collapse on the floor but the sets of 4, 3, 2 and 2 was done fairly easily! I’m excited for tomorrow night when I’ll do week 1, day 3 and do 5, 4, 4, 3, max. I expect that one to be tough!

Maybe that 157.8 (Saturday) and then 157.4 (Sunday) on the scale was a fluke last weekend? My eating has not been atrocious this week and yet my weight is still up at 160.0 this morning. Or maybe my body is retaining some water to combat the lactic acid coursing through me. My abs are still sore from push ups and now my legs are sore too. After the push ups last night I did squats and lunges. Let’s just say stairs are not my friends are now. But it’s all good. I’m not too stressed about my weight since I’m doing the right things – making better food choices, drinking more water and actually moving my body once in a while!

One more thing – the 100 push up challenge has really brought a lot of visitors to my brand new site here. It’s only been live for a little over a week and I already have over 280 visitors! Welcome everyone! Please feel free to comment, read through the (short) archives or e-mail me with any questions. I’ll keep adding content about exercise, weight, goals and my efforts to become a fit and healthy person.