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Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking back on 2012

I learned a lot this year.  About myself, about friendships... about life.  Around me, babies were born and angels gone to heaven too soon.  People got married and people broke up.  The scale went down and also back up.  I feel as though I have changed in just the short span of 2012. I've tried hard to get back to a person that I used to be, and all the while not giving up.  I joined a gym, I ran six races (I think) including the 10 Miler (!!!), I started reading more, and I gave up sending notifications from social media to my phone.  I'm learning what truly matters and what battles are worth the fight.

This year I learned two big things:

~Sports injuries... If it hurts, STOP.  Stretching is important.  If you aren't happy with one answer, keep asking.  The first doctor I saw told me that maybe I just can't be a runner.  If that was the consensus from more than one professional, I may have stopped, but I needed to run.   I may not be fast, but I needed the endorphins.  I worked with a great physical therapist named Chad who got me back to running, and taught me how to prevent further injury.

~Exercise is medicine... Seeing my cholesterol go down, change in meds, even areas of my psoriasis improving!  And being down 3% body fat since joining the gym. I'll take these changes even if I can't fit into a size 6!!  I feel so much better after a hard workout or a session with my trainer, than sitting around doing nothing.

2013 is going to be a good year! I'm almost 35 and there's much I want to accomplish before then.  **Confession: I'm kind of afraid of turning 35.  I think about what I thought I would have accomplished by now and I'm ready to work harder to get there.  There's much more that I'm going to need to change to get there.  And I hope it happens before the big day.

I'm not running a New Year's race this year, mainly out of fear of another injury after last year.  I still consider myself a "new" runner, but I think that's because I don't run fast.  It's supposed to be cold and the cold is not calling my name this year.  I wish all my racing friends luck!  Maybe next year I'll be back out there! (and I'll be 35... *sigh*)

What I am planning is finally doing 13 in 2013.  Of course, it's 13.1 to be exact!  In a little longer than a month, I can enter the lottery to run a half marathon on my 35th birthday.  Yes I'm excited!  And maybe I can get 13 races in this year, but we'll see how many I can afford.

As tomorrow quickly approaches, I wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe new year.  Don't make resolutions that you'll never even try to achieve.  Don't say you're going to lose 5 or 50 pounds and then complain about how hard it is to do.  It is hard!  But trust me when I say it's worth it.




Friday, December 21, 2012

Life is short.

Last Friday when I heard the news of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, I immediately wanted to throw up.  I just couldn't do anything but think and reflect about life.

There are so many monsters in this world.  I wanted to protect my boys and I wanted them to know how much I love them.  And I needed to know that they were safe.  I know every single one of my friends who is a parent, felt the same way.  So I did get them out of school early.  I tried to explain to them what happened and why I was there and that I loved them.  Then I bought them some ice cream at our favorite ice cream shop.  And we waited until daddy got home. I cried when I watched the President's news conference.  I hugged my boys and even let them sleep in our bed.  I hope and pray that I never know the pain of losing a child.  And I stayed off social media the rest of the night.  I couldn't bear to hear the discussions on gun control already starting.

Anxious.

It made me feel absolutely anxious to know that this was happening in the world.  And to feel anxious, this was okay for me.  I've learned how to better handle my anxiety.  Going to the gym, running, talking to people who can relate, all that has helped me.  I have found that I am now so much more focused on myself and my family and less so on certain people.  I avoid those people, those relationships, and situations that make me feel anxious.

Why do I bring up Newtown?  Because life is short. Life is way too short.  And I am determined to live my life with no excuses or apologies to anyone but those who matter most.  I'm not perfect.  I don't strive to be either.  I know a part of my journey is making sure that I am also mentally healthy as I get my body to my idea of healthy.  And I don't want to let the bad guys win, because I believe there is more good than bad in the world.

But that's just what I think.  And I really don't expect anyone to agree with me.

So everyday, I tell my boys that I love them.  I want to be the healthiest mom that I can be for them, the healthiest wife for my husband, and the healthiest me... for me.  And to take care of everyone else, I need to take care of me.  I want everyone to realize how important they are.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Focused?

Sometimes blogging is so much work for me.  I type, delete, retype, re-read... and then sometimes I think I hit publish just to get something out there.  And then I wonder, "Isn't this the same thing that I just got done blogging about?"  So if this is one of those posts that's just all over the place, please forgive me.

Last Wednesday, I had my first of 36 personal training sessions with Tanya.  I loved every minute of it!  I discovered I was stronger and had made so much progress from the very first session she and I had together this summer.  I'm doing pushups on my TOES!  And I'm now swinging a 30 pound kettle bell.  I felt so amazing afterwards and these good feelings continued into Thursday when I had my annual physical.

I had really debated even having a physical this year.  I'm one of "those" nurses and I freely admit it!  But in this last year, three of my friends have had to deal with cancer.  All women in their 30's and none the same body part.  Did I need another reason?  If it could happen to them, it could happen to me too.

At the physical, I wanted to make sure that we checked my cholesterol.  And guess what?  I no longer have high cholesterol.  Do I believe that diet and exercise helped?  Hell yeah I do!  And I'm going to make sure that I keep at it since it is only one part of being healthy.

I met a friend for dinner and we had so many laughs!!  It's amazing how good laughs with a good friend will stay with you for hours, if not days!  This friend of mine is also struggling with her weight, and I'm determined to help her with what I can.

At my training session this week, we did measurements.  Tanya also took some "Before" pics.  I wish I could just jump to the "After" pics!  I remembered we did some measurements back in July and I was curious about my progress since then.  Guess what else?!  I've lost 3% body fat.  It may not sound like much, but I'm pretty certain that I would not have been able to do this on my own.  Having a trainer helps me stay focused.  I do work on things outside of the sessions, like my eating habits, but I do need to get my butt kicked and I'm enjoying the butt kicking once a week!  34 more sessions to go!

This week a thought occurred to me.  There's a person at work who seems to ask me all the time, "Are you training for something now?"  My answer is going to be, "The rest of my life."  Truly.  I may not have a race coming up, but this isn't just a fad for me.  This is my life.


**(I've been wanting to say something about the Newton, Connecticut tragedy that occurred on 12/14/2012.  I debated if I wanted to include it in this post or another one.  I decided it deserved it's own post and I hope to get it up tomorrow.  Stay tuned.)**




Saturday, December 8, 2012

9 months

No, I'm not having another baby! Let's just get that out of the way right now.  But I've made a commitment to creating a new person in nine months.  Hopefully. :-\ What I've done is decided to lock in and commit to nine months of a weekly session with a personal trainer.  No big deal, right?  It's only nine months.  And babies are made in nine months... well, 10 months really, but enough about babies.

This past week has been one of those weeks.  Why am I doing what I'm doing?  Why do I keep going back to the same habits?  Oh yeah, because they're habits, duh.

The thing about the nine months, is that I know I'll survive working with my trainer on a weekly basis for nine months.  I'll go so far as to say that I love my trainer and how I feel after I've had a session with her!!  She kicks my butt, and I've made progress since joining the gym nearly six months ago.  But what I'm worried about is meeting the goals I've set for myself during this nine months.  I know I need to remind myself everyday that life also isn't a race.  I need to get in the mindset that nine months can feel as long or as short as I make it.  I know I need to make SMART goals... you know: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.  And in the end, I'M the one who has to do all the work.  I can't blame my trainer if I don't drop 50 pounds or whatever before then, right?  For some reason I can't shake the thought that if I don't meet the goals, then... I'll be a failure.  I'm almost afraid to leave that thought there in print. I might have successes in other areas of my life, but one thing I seem to fail at is losing weight and keeping it off.  Do you ever feel that way too?


So besides showing up every week for training, I know I'll have to do my own work on the side.  I know I'll have to be diligent about my portions and what kinds of foods I eat and just tracking in general.  And not skip meals.  Sure I can burn a bunch of calories at the gym, but if I eat twice as much after I worked out, then obviously that's not going to help!!


All these things, I already know all this, but it's so frustrating that it just doesn't work every single time.  Because it's not easy.  Because life is not easy.  Because I'm not the type of person who can just drink a shake and call it a meal.  Because I can't limit myself to only 800 calories a day and function.  Because I don't have time to be an exercise bulimic nor do I think like that.  Because I still need to spend time with my family.  Because I want to do it the right way to have a healthy mind and body. And I want to chase these doubts and fears away and be able to look back at this post and think that it wasn't so hard after all.

Because in the end, the work and effort will be worth it.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday Weight and Blasting

Ugh. I got complacent and haven't been tracking. I ran a 5K on Veterans Day and felt just "meh" about it.  I did it, but I certainly would've done better had I trained.  I missed a whole week at the gym Thanksgiving week.  I was doing really well with a lifting plan.  But the food was calling me.

I love food.  I love being a foodie and making fancy meals, and going out to eat at some of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities.  But I also love holiday foods.  Gravy over turkey, green bean casserole, lots of cheesy foods and pies and cakes and cookies and candy!  Sounds heavenly, right?  Not so much so when suddenly my jeans are reallytight and the number on the scale has gone up.  I confess that I kind of freak a bit when it moves 2 or 3 pounds in the wrong direction.  And I take full responsibility for making the wrong food choices. I know I CHOSE to eat as I did.

I've been on vacation this week, and it turned out to also be a Body Blast week at the gym!!  This is exactly what I needed!  The session was a little different this time with only 4 days, but Saturday would be an hour long.  Monday was an all over body day.  Tuesday was legs.  Wednesday was arms.  Today (Saturday) we did cardio and Tabata.

This session started out a bit harder for me.  I hate jumping jacks. Or any kind of jumping.  And we did lots of that.  Tanya the trainer likes to remind me that it's a good calorie burn.  Okay, I'll buy it, but I still hate it.  By today it was much much easier to do things, but by the end of the hour, I was beat and my shirt was soaked.  But I was smiling. :)  

And you know what? I've improved since I first started working out and the first Body Blast session.  I can now use the 15 pound hand weights for most of the exercises!  I can do real burpees!  I can do some real pushups!  This feels great!!  And you know what else I noticed?  I was stronger than some of the thinner girls in the class.  And the other day when I worked out, I had to add more weight on the leg press after a guy got done using it.  I'm currently pressing 235 pounds, but that's as high as one of the machines goes.  I have yet to figure out the other machine.  The last few times there have been dudes using it. 

Oh and I lost 3 pounds this week!!

Now I'm telling myself, I need to keep up this momentum.  Christmas is just around the corner and I want to end the year with a good number on the scale. It might sound stupid and it might not mean a lot, but I still have A LOT of weight to lose.  So I'm going to be accountable and make better food choices and keep going to the gym.  And I keep telling myself that I'm going to get better at blogging.  There's always next year. ;-)

How was Thanksgiving for you??

Sharing my story

About a month ago, I was given the opportunity to share my story with those I work with. It's taken me some time to complete this post, as has been the case lately.  I don't want to go into too much detail about what type of organization it is, but thousands of people could potentially read what I had to write.  I sat and thought long and hard about what I would want to say. My story could be long, or it could be short.  And then I got to thinking, have I really shared all there is about me on here?  It is MY blog after all and maybe I have censored myself a little bit.  But honestly, what do people really want to know about me that I haven't already shared?  Oh wait... my past.  Have I really said all I can say about who I used to be?

I got called fat a lot. And I believed I was. It wasn't uncommon for my parents' friends to tell me I was fat or chubby each and every time they saw me.  Looking back now, I was normal, or just like other girls around me.  I just wasn't stick thin.  During high school I did gain weight and I blame that on having a job and having a boyfriend.  When we first started dating, I was 16 and didn't eat red meat, it would take me a while to eat lots of food.  But suddenly it seemed I was surrounded by food a lot.  I worked in a grocery store, we had open lunch and didn't have to eat in the school cafeteria, and I had my own money to spend.  When he and I finally broke up during my sophomore year of college, he even told me that he liked girls who had better bodies than me.  Yeah, that sucked.  During the 3 years we were together, I had gained over 50 pounds.  The first month after we broke up, I dropped over 20 pounds and I wanted to lose more!  Eventually I did and was at my lowest during my Junior year of college.  I would often go to the fitness center or go for a run when I didn't want to study.  My friends and I had planned a spring break trip and of course we had to look good.

But I realize, back then I wasn't losing weight to be healthy, as I am trying to do now.  I did it to be a person I thought I would be happy as.  I wanted to be that girl that walked into a place and turned heads, that girl guys would to talk to instead of talking to another girl.  I wanted to wear super cute clothes and grab anything off the rack.  And I was that girl for a couple years, having fun and meeting new people.

That's not me now.  I want to be healthy both mentally and physically.  I want my kids to know good choices as they grow up, and I hope they don't ever have to struggle with weight as I have.  And I want anyone who reads this to know, that it's not easy... but it's not that hard either. And sometimes sharing our stories keep us grounded and remind us.  I needed to be reminded why I even began in the first place and why I keep going.  I'm not even close to being done, but when I want to give up or get lazy, I go back to reading my story that I shared.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My first 10 miler

I've started and stopped writing this post numerous times, and I just couldn't finish it. I seemed to have talked the topic to death, but I feel I need to include it in my blog. And that is about running a 10 Mile race!

I did it!! I ran in the Medtronic Twin Cities 10 miler!!! I am 10 miler finisher. But it wasn't as easy to get there as I thought it would be. My biggest concern was building up mileage since my longest run before that was the 10K last year. And I was not consistently running that type of distance.

September started with my husband being out of the country doing Navy work. Not usually a big deal except I had no idea how to get to the gym.  I managed to get there four times while he was gone. I was so grateful that my gym was having another Body Blast session when he got back. I didn't hesitate to sign up for it.  I guess I was the only one who couldn't wait since I was the only one in the class.  So I got a lot of work in and it was one-on-one. I think it really helped me prepare for the 10 Miler.  Then when I could, I took to running around Lake Phalen.  Unfortunately I was having piriformis issues on my right side and really didn't want to aggravate things.

During the week of Body Blast there is no class on Friday. I planned on running 6 miles, twice around the lake. I had such a horrible time and cried afterward. I felt like such a failure. I accomplished the distance, but didn't feel fast enough. And all I could think was, "what is wrong with me?" And I meant that in two different ways. Had I become *THAT* girl who cried over a bad time despite accomplishing the distance? And I was upset that I wasn't as fast as I wanted to be so what was wrong with me that I couldn't get faster?

I posted on my Facebook about it and got back lots of words of encouragement. It gave me something to think about. I put it behind me and moved on. I kept on training.

The Friday before the race, I wanted to do the 6 miles again.  I didn't want to think about the horrible time from before.  This time I felt so much better and had a faster time! Not by much, but it was faster, I felt better and it brought me the confidence I needed before the race on Sunday.  I knew I was going to have a good race.

Race day I woke up early and had to make the shuttle bus to the Metrodome in Minneapolis. This course runs from the Metrodome in Minneapolis to the State Capitol in Saint Paul.  Luckily I had gotten everything set out the night before, something that I don't always do!  I didn't realize that I would have to wait in such a long line. It was really cold out, somewhere around 30's degrees F.  When I got to the Dome, I only had to wait about 10 minutes before the race started at 7:09am.  The sun was barely up.

The first mile I took easy.  Of course I got passed by a lot of people and that doesn't bother me anymore.  But I was done with that first mile before I knew it! We were along the Mississippi River and it was beautiful!  Autumn is my favorite season and there were lots of fall colors.  I was feeling good. I was cold, but my shins and my hips didn't hurt, which was important to me.  Miles 2 and 3 passed before I knew it and I was really making good time!

Going into Mile 4 I realized I was under an hour!  The two times I've run a 7K (4 mile) race, I haven't been under an hour! I was really excited by this! It gives me hope if I decide to run the 7K race again in March!

Mile 5, it hit me. I had to stop and use a biffy. I didn't want to chance my bladder and I was halfway done and still feeling good, but of course I was cold.  So I stopped.

If you've never used a biffy before in 30 degree F weather, I do not recommend doing it in the middle of a race! Trying to put my clothes back on was a lot harder than I ever imagined it would be. After that I felt I was unable to pick my pace back up. I stayed cold and I really think it affected my muscles.

Soon I was running along Summit Ave.  More people were out "cheering", but it's funny how few people cheer for you unless they're part of a group. The water stops had so many people cheering and I really appreciated it!  Even if I wasn't getting water, the people showed lots of enthusiasm.

Mile 8 I was passed by the wheel chairs. I was told to expect this and man were they ever fast! Heading into the finish I started feeling tired, but the people cheering helped so much!  At this point there were about 3 or 4 people around me, but there wasn't anyone I felt I just *had* to beat. I just wanted to finish!

My official time was 2:38:44.  I was really hoping to come under 2:30 and would have loved to come under 2 hours!  There's always next year...  And yes, I will try and run this race again!

I'm so glad I had remembered to pack extra sweat pants!  I was lucky to find my friend Angie and then able to call my husband to find me.  Luckily it wasn't crazy busy at the finish line. I even got a complimentary finish line pic from Target.

Thanks Target! I was cold and tired!


And here's a close up of the medal:

Even got this medal engraved!

The rest of the day I took it easy, but ended up with back spasms the next day.  Really had to take it easy then. I haven't run more than 2 miles since, but I have been working out and lifting more. AND I also decided to enter the lottery to run a half marathon on my 35th birthday next summer!  Wish me luck!

I am so grateful for my cheerleaders along the way, those that inspire me, and even those that doubt me. I want to inspire others, but I also want people to realize it's about their own attitudes that will "make it or break it" for them!  Don't be afraid to share because you'll probably find someone going through the same thing.  It helps me to know people can relate.

Until next post, be well!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Warrior Dash 2 - short recap

A little bit late on this post, but better late than never, right?  Life has been crazy with kids starting school, a husband overseas with Navy training, and trying to get workouts in.  Doesn't leave much time at all for blogging.

I ran my 2nd Warrior Dash on Saturday, September 8th.  This time was at a horse stable rather than a ski hill. I really enjoyed this one much better!

I was there with 3 other friends.  I carpooled with Bill and it was a good thing at $20 a car to park!! I didn't know how much I wanted to actually run this time around and I kept thinking to myself, "Why did I decide to do this?"  I didn't have much opportunity to get workouts in.  Luckily 2 of my friends, Jesse and Angie, said we'd take it easy.  They had both already done races earlier in the day.  Crazy kids!  And we told Bill to run if he wanted. He'd find us at the finish.

So we were in the 2:00pm wave and started to run just a little bit, more or less to get a feel of what pace we wanted to do.  It wasn't very crowded which was nice.  The first obstacle was mud, of course. Luckily it was only about a waist deep and lots of wading through, jumping up, wading through... you get the idea!  I can't really remember the exact order of the obstacles, but I can tell you that I was quite thrilled that this year I could actually lift myself over all the walls before crawling under barbed wire.  I know last year I didn't have the upper body strength to lift myself over them, and went around most of them.  I was so happy and proud of myself!  This one didn't have the rope wall climb, which I had started to go up, then had to go around last year.  I do wish I could have done that one this year, just to see if I could do it.

The rest of the obstacles were more mud, ropes, jumping over fire, and more mud and barbed wire.  I actually don't mind crawling through mud, but some of the mud pits were very sandy and I ended up with scrapes.  I like to say that I earned them!

My professional pictures are not very good this year, but it was so much more fun than last year at the ski hill!  We had also heard that they turned the course around out there, which would have made it so much easier!  Nevertheless, it's definitely a fun obstacle course.  I'm hoping to get the hubby out there next year, and so far he's agreed!

What I like about obstacle courses is that they break up the run, and you can also see how strong  your entire body is.  I remember my trainer Tanya telling me that she was trying to build up my endurance.  She wasn't just trying to kill me!  And she did a great job!  I truly felt like I could do the obstacles and not feel all tired out.  It was more the running/jogging that did a good job at that!

So why did I decide to do this?  Besides hanging out with great people, it reinforces one of my goals. I want to be able to support my own body weight.  I want to be able to do some crazy athletic moves on a pole, to do pull-ups, to lift myself over obstacles... I don't care about what my jean size is or what number the scale says.  If I'm able to lift myself at 120 pounds or 140 pounds or 160 pounds, I don't really care.  And I don't care what the BMI chart says.  This is MY goal and my own definition of health and fitness.  And I'm going to keep working at it.

Next race, the Twin Cities 10 Miler. I still can't believe that I'm doing it...


Monday, September 3, 2012

Another 10K race recap

Running my 2nd 10K was lots of hard work, but yet a good time. The race was the Women Rock 10K and it was down along the Mississippi River on Shepard Road.  It was a really pretty race and wasn't too hot.

The start time was 7:30am.  I was up before 6am, which doesn't even happen during the week!  It was still dark out!  I had laid out my stuff the night before as I was planning on being down there by 6:30am. I didn't count on my boys waking up at that time with me.  As I headed out the door, I was sure that I had everything. Turns out I didn't have my Polar HRM. This would be a test of me listening to my body and not relying on numbers.  I did end up using the Endomondo app on my phone so that I could time my miles.

I ate most of an energy bar, downed an energy shot and some other drink.  I don't like to feel full at the start of a race, and I also don't want to have to think about using the bathroom either.  I had some energy blocks and gels with me, just in case.  I realized I could probably use a better belt of some sort for the next race for gels and a few other things.

Starting the race, I was towards the back with the walkers or anyone who had a slower than 12 minute mile. It took about three minutes to cross the start line.  I started out with a slow jog, listening to Rhianna's "S& M".  It seemed appropriate as about one quarter of a mile in, my left shin started hurting. I was wearing compression socks and everything.  Stupid shin splint!  I got over, stretched, tried to massage it, but didn't want to spend too much time doing that. Got going again, and had to stop. Again. This happened probably three times during that first mile and I was really hoping I could just work through it.  The road was slightly higher on the left and I think that threw off my gait. Needless to say, the time on my first mile was not glorious, but I was just aiming to beat my 10K time from last year.

Into the 2nd mile I didn't feel any shin pain at all.  Eventually the road started going downhill and I was hoping that would help me pick up some time.  I noticed my phone was ahead of the mile markers and I figured that would happen with the GPS.  Heading to the halfway mark I finally saw one of my best friends pass the other way at a water stop! So happy that she was keeping with her goal!

At the mile 4 water stop, I decided to use some of the energy gel.  I'm wondering if I should have tried it sooner, but  at this point, we'd be going up the hill that we just went down. I really don't like hills.  I'm sure no one does!  I also was hoping to start passing people and pick up my pace more.  Also, this is when the half marathoners started passing me. They were so focused and doing such a great job!

By mile 5, my mp3 player died. It obviously wasn't fully charged. (Note to self: take extra extra steps to charge the night before!)  At that point, I used the music on my phone, which I was hoping to avoid.  I also realized, it was a distraction for me to fiddle with all this crap when I was just trying to finish the race.  I was trying to give myself a pep talk too and kept repeating, "Dig. Finish strong." Call me a dork, but I think it worked.

As I headed to the finish line, lots of people were cheering and encouraging those of us in that zone. One woman even shouted my name, but I had no idea who it was! Sorry and thank you, if you're reading this! :)  I was so glad to be done at that  point and just wanted to sit down. I got my medal from one of the fire fighters, got my food and drink and found a patch of grass.

My official chip finish time was 1:41:49. It was a bit slower than my 10K last year, but I'll take it.  I think it was not bad for just listening to my body and trying not to check my phone at each mile marker.  

Me and one of my besties, toasting our finish
Now I have to get ready to add four more miles to that distance in the next month.  The TC 10 Miler is on Sunday October 7th.  My goal is to just finish, and looking at the times from last year, I'm just hoping that I won't be the last either. I know I have lots of work ahead of me, and one of the biggest things I'm after is losing weight before the race.  Hopefully that will help me move much faster and get a decent time at the end.

Before the 10 Miler, I do have the Warrior Dash this coming weekend! It should be a piece of cake, right?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's not easy

My boys surprised me this week. Each day when I pick them up from daycare, they ask if I'll be going to the gym. It never occurred to me that my time could become a routine and part of their schedule.
Previously, I was beating myself up, calling myself a "mommy martyr", thinking I needed to spend every precious moment with my family. Turns out, they are just fine without me.  Even my husband has told me to spend as long as I need.

As I spend my time at the gym, I will notice that I'm the only woman there with a bunch of men.  Where is everyone else? Have they been here and done their time during "normal" hours? Well, I've rarely been called normal.

It sounds so easy... "Bye kids! Mommy's going to the gym! Love you!" But it's not easy. In my own head I'm still struggling. I have a wonderful, make that beyond wonderful husband, who is encouraging me to get back to healthiness and my own happiness. And I know I'm rather hard on myself. I spend so much time looking forward - the 10K next week, the 10 miler, training sessions - I forget to live in the now. I forget that what I do today shapes what I am able to do later. I can make goals, but I can't worry about them. I have to work day by day to achieving them. And it's still not going to be easy. I just believe it'll be worth it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Listening

I've been going to the gym pretty diligently since joining. My personal training sessions have been great and I've even noticed some changes in my body.  I was able to put on a pair of jeans a size smaller and they weren't tight!  But I'm also learning how to better listen to my body.

I wish I could work out every day. I am one of those who can get lost in the gym if I'm not bored. I could easily bike for an hour or be on the treadmill for miles or use the weight machines for rep upon rep until my muscles are fatigued. No one's watching me and wondering what I'm going to do next. None of my kids are asking me a million questions.  Phones aren't ringing, dogs aren't barking... it's just me and my thoughts and focus.

And it's because of my kids and other commitments that I can't spend all those hours in the gym. It's also because of the one thing that I need to be listening to more than anything, my own body.  I took two days off in a row this week because I was too tired to go to the gym at 8pm.  The days off paid off because I was able to get better workouts in and burn more calories when I did work out.  I know that resting my body also was a mental rest as well.  There are times when I think too much while working out.  I look at my HRM to make sure my heart isn't beating too fast.  I watch my feet to make sure that I'm using the right foot plant.

I know when I am working out, I need to listen to my body.  I can tell when my heart rate is climbing, when it's becoming more difficult to breathe.  And sometimes things hurt and I just have to stop so that I don't re-injure myself.

Fear of another injury was the big drive behind my decision this week to not try the 2nd 10 Miler I wanted to do.  It's only 2 weeks after the first one I have on Sunday Oct 7th.  It sounds like a long time, but it really isn't.  A friend of mine was my "voice of reason" as she put it.  Sounds like fun, but I just don't want to risk it.  and there's always next year!

My goal for the coming week is to have one workout where I just go and not worry about the calorie burn, or the other devices.  I want to just go workout and be able to listen to what my body is telling me.

What is your body saying to you?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Body Blast 3, 4, & 5

I'll try not to make this a super super long post, but I have some catching up to do!  Life has been super busy  since last week.

Body Blast class 3 was kettle bells. I knew I'd get a workout, especially from Tanya.  She doesn't fool around.  We did everything with the kettle bells -- swings, squats, abs, rows, lunges... I feel comfortable now using the kettle bells that I have at home, though I will definitely have to work much more on my form.  My back was sore for a few days after.  Side steps while swinging the kettle bell was not pretty. I need to work on coordination!  That night I burned 303 calories. Remember that this class is only 30 minutes long. I was ecstatic!

Body Blast class 4 was circuit work.  We used the TRX suspensions, gym ropes, kettle bells and the 4th station was different depending on the cycle we were on.  It was my first time using the TRX and I was a little unsure of myself.  Having done pole dancing/fitness, I wasn't completely confident that they could support my weight.  But of course, I was fine.  Throughout the workout, Tanya had us doing jumps, lunges, reaches, burpees, planks and more.  My memory is a bit fuzzy as it was a week ago that we had that 4th class.  I forgot my HRM for this class and don't know what my total calorie burn was, but I know I was pouring sweat and tired.

Our last Body Blast class was on Saturday morning at 9am.  It was kickboxing, and again, it wasn't easy.  I've done kickboxing moves before, but not in succession like we were doing.  Punching was much easier than kicking.  Balance was not in my favor that day.  I thought I had good balance, but I now know it's something I will definitely need to work on.  And the coordination aspect of punching and kicking.  I had to say the moves out loud so I'd know what I was supposed to be doing!  "Cross punch, upper cut, round house"... I sure needed to focus!  This wasn't my favorite, only because it wasn't easy for me.  I know easy doesn't get results though!

Would I do Body Blast again?  Absolutely!  Rumor has it there will be a class the last full week of August.  Maybe some more people will join this time!!

I made a big decision after taking these classes.  I decided I need to have some personal training sessions for at least a month, before the 10K on September 1st.  I like having the quicker, intense workouts and I don't think that I'll get to my goal on my own, at least at this point.  Sure I can go to the gym and hop on the treadmill, the bike, the elliptical, do some weight machines... but I know I need more than that to push myself to do better. And I'm still learning.

It's hard for me to remember that point, that I'm learning.  A person doesn't get to be unhealthy and out of shape without learning a few bad habits.  I'm slowly learning what my body is capable of and how to get back to healthy.

Next up, more focus on adding mileage to finish my 10K faster than last year and some sessions with none other than Tanya :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Body Blast Days 1 & 2 Recap

I just got done with day 2 of my Body Blast workout at my gym. Today was Tabata, and while I jokingly said it was invented by the devil, I actually enjoyed the sweat.  Before I get ahead of myself, I'll fill you in on day 1 of what I remember.  I'm sure I'm leaving out some details.

In our Body Blast group there's 6 of us, not including the trainer, Tanya. Our classes are Monday through Thursday 7:30pm - 8:00pm and Saturday morning 9:30-10 (or is it 9-9:30? I better check on that!). So it's just five sessions this week. I was kind of glad that it was only 6 of us in the group and we are all at varying fitness levels. We started off throwing a medicine ball and doing an introduction type of ice breaker. Then we mixed things up with the medicine ball while throwing it around. When Tanya said, "Stop", the person with the ball had to pick an exercise we'd do for 30 seconds. I got the ball once and was stumped. and chose push-ups.  I can imagine some of you are groaning, but honestly, as much as push-ups aren't my favorite, I dislike jumping jacks even more!  But back to the workout.

Our focus area was our core. So that meant planking, weighted sit-ups of some kind, plank jacks, prisoner squats, high knees (I really don't like these either!), and burpees. I feel like there was more, mainly because I felt it in my body throughout my work day!  There was lots of sweat and grunting. I was grunting anyhow!  But you could see that everyone there was there to DO WORK. And they wanted to be there.  

After the class I stayed to do some time on the treadmill just to feel better about my workout and get my heart rate back down. Despite forgetting my HRM, I could tell that I wasn't "in the zone".  Something I hope will improve as I continue to keep working out and losing weight.

Today was Tabata.  High intensity interval training might be a more familiar time to some. We did 20 seconds of exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest for eight cycles.  We had four stations where we alternated two different exercises.  I partnered up with a gal named Nicky.  Our first station was weighted abs and weighted walking lunges.  I used the 10 pounds weights, mainly because I want to be able to lift my arms tomorrow and didn't think 25 pounds would be wise this early in the game. 

Next station was pushing a weighted bag across the floor and weighted jump rope.  How I feel about high knees, is how I feel about jump roping. I'm not sure if it has something to do with having birthed two children or if it's just the whole jumping thing.  Regardless, it was work. 

Third station, I'm going to describe it as wide high knees and wide plank.  I can't remember what Tanya called it, but basically it was high knees with a step aerobic platform between your legs.  Then on a different platform doing a plank with hands alternating up and down on both sides of the platform.  Remember, 20 seconds, then 10 seconds rest, eight cycles.

Final station, medicine ball work. Medicine ball slams against the floor and ball jacks. (Sidenote, these balls stink!)  I got the 12 pound ball. Throwing it against the floor would be an awesome way to get rid of any frustration. Then the ball jacks was holding the ball above my head and doing the jacks with legs.  

After all that... we STILL weren't done!  One minute planks, rest, suicide sprints, repeat.  I think we only did two cycles of those.  PHEW!  

I remembered my HRM tonight. I was running about 180 bpm and after that 30 mins, I had burned 289 calories!!  I was feeling tired, but feeling good.  Good enough to hop on a treadmill and walk/run a mile stretching it out for 20 minutes so that my HR would go down.  With that, I burned 188 calories!!  

Two days of Body Blast... I'm feeling good, and I'm going back for more tomorrow!  Tomorrow will be kettlebells.  I can't wait since I do have a set at home, and I really want to use them safely!  But what do I think about it so far?  It's definitely a good class and I'm reminded how strong I can be, but also that I have learning to do.  I believe I can do a lot, but I'm still limited in some ways by my weight.  And I want to keep getting past these limitations whether they be physically or mentally.  

Stay tuned for more Body Blast updates!




Monday, July 23, 2012

In For 10 Miles

Last week we went on a little family vacation with family friends. It was the hubby and the two boys and I. We went to Star Lake Camp where I spent many a summer during my teen years. We stayed at the family camp side and we were the only two families there the week. There's nothing like the sounds of nature and kids playing to put me in a good mood.
Entrance to camp

We hiked, swam, canoed, kayaked, boated, star gazed, and cooked over an open fire. All the activity helped me lose 2.6 pounds! I can't complain one bit!  I feel like I'm getting myself back on track again. :)  And when working out doesn't feel like work, that's the best part!


Before going on vacation, I ran The Color Run. It was so much fun!!  It was a 5K race and so hot!  It wasn't timed, but my watch says I completed it in under an hour.  It was so much fun to see other Fat2Fit Pack members! I thought everyone truly had a good time!  Who wouldn't with all that color?

Rawr!!

Today I got some great news! I had entered into the Twin Cities 10 Miler during Twin Cities Marathon Weekend, and my "team" was chosen!  We're not racing together as a team, but with the way the lottery worked, either all of us or none of us would be chosen to run. I'm so super excited!

So what does this mean?  I now have 10 weeks to accomplish training for 10 miles.  The race is on Sunday October 7th.  I know I can do it, I just may not be very fast, which makes me nervous.  I was not as fast as I wanted to be when I ran the 10K, even though it turned out that I had a raging sinus infection.  But negative thoughts aside, I have a goal!

Tonight at my gym, I have my first session of Body Blast class. I'm hoping that this will jumpstart my body even more into losing fat and gaining muscles. I haven't done pole class in about 3 weeks and at this point, I can't afford the next session. Hopefully this fall I'll be able to.  So I'm counting on continued gym visits to keep myself active and in check for training.  I know I'll have have to add more mileage week by week.  I also have to keep tracking the food I'm eating. I remind myself that weight loss is 75-80% dependent upon the food you eat, not just the exercise.

I'm planning on blogging again soon after these Body Blast classes!  Maybe I'll surprise us and it'll be tomorrow!

What fun things have you done that didn't feel like working out, but were actually good for your body?  I'd love to hear some responses!



Saturday, June 30, 2012

I'm Trying

You'll never know, unless you try, right? There are so many things I'm trying. I'm trying to figure out how to make blogging fit into my life. I'm trying to get into a routine with a new gym membership. I'm trying to adjust to stress in our home. I'm trying to eat cleaner.  I'm trying to be a faster runner.  I'm trying to deal with my psoriasis without using medications.

One thing I'm proud to be trying is pole dancing, which should really be named pole fitness. I just completed 7 weeks of it, and my instructor sure knows how to kick someone's ass.  And I'm thankful, because I'm seeing results.  Did you know there's talk about making it an Olympic sport? Keep in mind that table tennis and curling are Olympic sports!

What drew me to pole was looking at videos online and seeing how much strength goes into it, using your own body weight. I decided that's how fit I want to be. Just fit enough to support my own weight, whether it's on a vertical pole or getting over and around obstacles.  I found this class through a friend who is taking a dance class there.

Now, the first impression many  people get about pole is about strippers and using the pole as a symbol of the male body.  That's great for some people, but that's not what I am after at all.  My first day I could hardly  lift myself up into what is like a pull up.  My hands were super sweaty, as was my entire body.  I found a sweat drying product for my hands and I can't tell you just how much it helps with my grip!  I can now get up on the pole so much better, but it's definitely a progressive sport.  There is a lot of upper body and core strength involved. A LOT!  And lots of bruising is expected, which I have taken pictures of.  It's not just all spinning either. There are static tricks and floor work for when you get dizzy from the spins.

My running has been on the back burner. I have a 5K race on July 15th, The Color Run. I'm so excited to try this different type of race!  I went to the gym earlier this week, and again today. I found out how much I missed the gym and working out and trying the different machines that I used to spend so much time on. I remember how much progress I made by my frequent visits, and now I'm trying to get back to that place.  I'm training to make sure that I can run the whole race, but if anything, finish in a better time than my last 5K race.

What else am I trying to do? I'm trying to detox my home and myself. I've started making my own laundry detergent, made my own moisturizer, using more vinegar to clean, and I'm even using apple cider vinegar (ACV) on my scalp psoriasis!  Oddly enough, the ACV has been working and I no longer itch as badly!  I continue to have scales, but they really are not as bad as before. May people differ on the ratio of ACV to water that they use, and I'm about a third ACV to 2/3rds water. I keep a bottle in my shower and refill as needed.

Clean eating... I had decided to get half a CSA share this year. For those who have never heard of a CSA, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture. I like to think of it as buying a share of a farm, and reaping the bounty while someone else does all the work.  What I'm not able to eat, I'll try and juice so as not to waste. And I'm hoping to get better at freezing things too.  Lots of greens are from this farm and they are all yummy!

A year ago, I made a goal to be Navy fitness ready. I'm not there. But I'm not giving up and I'm going to keep trying to work towards that goal. And this time, I'm actually making more of an effort and not just a plan in the back of my head.  For me, I think it's important to acknowledge past goals. It helps me change things when I haven't reached that goal.

As I write all this out, it sounds like so much that I'm trying.  And what I keep trying to tell myself too, that it's all baby steps. One thing at a time and I'll get there.  And I'll try to blog about it to share with my friends and readers. 

What new things are you trying?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Here... and There

Where have I been? I haven't been blogging in quite some time. I've been here... just not *here* on this blog.  I've thought of so many entries and just haven't been able to get them to make it *here*.  So what makes today so special?

Progress. The other day (one of those, "I should write a blog post about this" days), I stopped in my tracks and looked around. I initially felt frustrated. I was on lunch and had to change my route because the streets were all torn up for the light rail. I was late for work earlier because of a two block detour. Talk about annoying.

Then I stopped again and the word "progress" came to mind. This inconvenience was progress, to make our lives better in the end.

How much progress have I made?  How will I keep making progress?

A year ago, I began to be more serious about my running. I signed up for all these 5K's thinking it was going to get me in the best shape of my life. That would happen, right?  I got on the treadmill over lunch, I changed my eating habits, I was tracking (or trying to).  These are all the things you're "supposed" to do, right?  And I did all those races and more!  And I was trying to do all these things while working full-time and being a wife and mother.

Over the last couple months, I've been very complacent and don't feel like I'm making much progress. I was injured and resting and going to physical therapy. I've been sick. And I've made a number of excuses.  I used the resting during my injury as an excuse to not do any form of exercise.  I'm also not the greatest at tracking my food, and did none of that.

But today, the sun is shining, I was outside without a jacket and I went to packet pickup for the Get Lucky 7K that I'll be running next week.  And I've only gone for one run since my last race.  So what did I do at packet pickup? I signed up for a 10K in September!! On September 1st to be exact.  And why did I do that?

During that one run I've done, I got bit by the running bug again. And I decided it's time I make some more goals so that I can progress on this journey I've started. I now want to run a 10 miler and a half marathon. THIS YEAR.  I felt so good while running and I totally missed it.  This year, I want to see how much further I can push myself with distances.  A good friend keeps telling me to accomplish the distance first and worry about time later.  I need to remember this and I know I'll be more likely to stick with my goals.

I am hoping to blog much more to keep myself accountable and get some motivation. It helps me to know that people are reading this and contact me to give me some encouragement or feedback. Two little boys that call me Mom are the ones that always come first and I am still struggling with that.  With how much my husband works and how few people there are to watch my boys, I know I just have to make the time that I have work for me.  I envy those people who are able to workout, get thin, run fast and blog. But I live my life the way that I know how.

Now my goal for my next post is to write about the race which I'm hoping will be about me beating the time from last year.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

... And a Happy New Year!

It's been a while since I've written. This week I've had a lot of thinking to do. Doesn't that always happen with the new year?

On the First, I kicked things off with the Polar Dash. My friend M decided to walk it and I ran it, as best as I could. It was my first winter race. No chip timing since it was a fun run!

The morning was cold and windy along the Mississippi River. Lots of runners packed in and it took about 2 minutes to even cross the timing pad.  I saw a lot of people walking and running and into the first mile people began coming past the other way. I was looking for some familiar faces to cheer them on and finally saw my friend George another Ramsey Runner from my 10K race. I finished the race running and walking with my average time and burned about 529 calories! Good start for me!

Polar Dash Finisher's Medal
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful, I was pretty tired and still cold. The next day, hubby and I were off work and we didn't have any day care. So we decided to do some shopping and other errands. I don't recall anything being wrong, just maybe a few tight muscles.

At one of the stores my 4yo dropped a toy and I bent down to pick it up. Maybe I should've bent my knees and done a proper pick up. For whatever reason, when I stood back up, I had a dull shooting pain in my left hip area. It felt like my thigh, groin, and hip all at once. I honestly had to stand there for a good minute just breathing through the pain, and of course, my hubby wasn't around at that moment. When he came back, I told him what had happened and we took it fairly easy until we got home. I took some pain meds and did more sitting around. Later I took a bath hoping that it would relax something.

No such luck. The next day back at work, I could hardly sit. I decided to go to the Dr. but didn't get in with my regular Dr., of course. This Dr. took a couple X-rays, which didn't look right to me. But what do I know.  No real instructions from him other than no running for a couple of weeks until I could get in to see a specialist I had lined up for a different appointment.  Also, a radiologist would be reading the X-ray to make sure there wasn't anything serious that he had missed. I didn't even get any stronger pain meds prescribed.

No running. I felt like I was put in a time-out for bad behavior.  I haven't reached my weight goals by a long shot so there is a lot of weight that is being forced on my joints when I exercise. At this moment, I feel like if I can't run, then I can't lose weight. That running is the only way for me to lose weight in addition to the tracking on My Fitness Pal.

And I love running. I love how I feel when I can accomplish the time or distance that I have set up.  I have noticed the difference in my own body when I've been running more frequently. My clothes fit differently and I just feel better both mentally and physically.

I'm trying not to get ahead of myself with what might happen at my upcoming Ortho appointment. I'm worried about what I will be able to take on if I can't run. And there are events that I was looking forward to doing this year that I would rather not have to try and tackle as a walker. But again, I'm getting ahead of myself.

In the meantime, I am trying to get back to the basics. I'm conscience of making healthy food choices with portion sizes too. I'm drinking more water and we haven't bought pop for the house in a long time.  I'm also researching the exercises I can do that are low impact. At this point, I haven't done anything because of the pain. I'm trying to listen to my body and not force anything. Which is the advice that I would give others. Funny how we don't always practice what we preach.

Happy New Year to you all! I hope your 2012 has started off with good health and no injuries.