Monday, December 31, 2012

A New View

In case you haven't noticed (and if you haven't, we've got bigger problems than I thought), I've done some sprucing up around here.  It isn't quite what I was going original choice had skulls and all that....much more my speed.  But when I chose the skull template, it screwed up my blog royally, and I wasn't able to change the fonts.  I'd rather play around with the fonts and the sizes of the words than have skulls and a generally fucked up blog.  (Seriously.  It was a trainwreck.  It posted two headers, and the blog repeated itself at the bottom.  Made me look like an idiot.)  After some extensive googling and messing around in the html code, I fixed it.  Yay!

Anyways....enough about the joys turmoil of creating a blog that visually expresses the author and still is functional for readers.  On to bigger and better things.

Ha.  Bigger.  I am definitely bigger. 

Tomorrow is January 1st, 2013.  The start of a new year.  A clean slate.  I soooo need a clean slate.  2012 just wasn't my year.  I changed jobs......twice.  (In the end, it worked out.  But working at the prison.....really, really bad for me.  Mentally, it got to me, both inmate and co-worker wise.)  I injured myself, and then went through rest, PT, surgery, more PT, and finally recovery.  But the recovery isn't working out too well, b/c I have no plan.

I think that was one of my biggest problems in 2012.  I had no plan.  I was floating aimlessly through the days, with no direction.  

This new year MUST be different.  

Yesterday, after swimming at the gym, I had a kind of epiphany.  (Wow....did I really spell epiphany correctly on the first try?  No squiggly little red line under it?  Coolness.)  I was talking to Chris about how I want to incorporate more swimming and biking into my routine.  That I don't want to rely on running so much.  And he was should definitely cross-train more.


I don't want to cross-train more.  I don't want to call it cross-training.  I want to just.....have it be a part of my routine.  Running and biking shouldn't be something I do once every couple of weeks because I'm feeling burned out from running.  Swimming and biking should be things I do as equally as running.  

I don't know what kinds of effect this way of thinking will have on my running, but right now, I'm okay with that.  Once I'm full-swing back into pounding the pavement, I really want to avoid getting caught up in the whole  "I have to run a bajillion miles today because everyone else is" mentality.  

For now, I'm going to have an integrated plan that focuses on overall cardiovascular improvement.  

I'm going to re-start the Couch To 5k (C25K) plan (at week three), just so I can make progression up to a 5k without stopping to walk.  I will probably end up doubling the workout each day.  Most of the training plans are about 20 minutes, but I have regularly been spending about 40-45 min on the treadmill with my walk/run intervals.  I just want to use C25K as a know, instead of floating around aimlessly.

I will be doing C25K 3 times a week, most likely on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday.

My goal 5k is the Tortoise and Hare 5k on Memorial Day in Wind Gap.  After that, I will re-evaluate and train for the Hershey Half in October.

I will take spin class once a week, on Monday.

Once it gets warmer out, and the bike paths eventually clear up, and there is more light in the evenings, spin will be replaced with bike rides. I'll also be able to add in more bike rides after work, making this a more integrated part of my routine.  

I also want to swim at least one time a week, preferably two...most likely on Sunday/Wednesday.

Once a week, on Saturdays, I will do a leg routine that focuses mostly on the exercises taught to me in PT.  I will also continue with Death Gym on Monday/Thursday after work.  I will also do Death Steps (once the ice/snow melts), on Wednesdays after work.

Another plan I want to start is the 100 pushup challenge.  The goal of this plan is to be able to do 100 pushups in a row.  The whole doing a million pushups throughout the day, every day, wore me down.  This plan includes rest days so the muscles can grow. 

So....that is my plan for the beginning of 2013.  Now, I need a spiffy little calendar so I can write everything down.  I learned in the Month of Mayhem that I really enjoyed seeing everything written down.  (I usually track online, but don't have the option to see it all visually on a calendar.)  

In February I'll revisit and re-evaluate.  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Month of Mayhem

Do you remember waaaay back to the end of November?  When I posted about the hubbs and I having a friendly little competition I was dubbing Month of Mayhem?  No?  You don't!?  How dare you not remember every little thing about me!

Hehehe....I don't really mean that!  ;)

Anyways, we decided to keep track of our workouts for a month, from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve.  (Actually, the calendar I made only went until today.  But we're both planning on going to the gym tomorrow, so we'll probably count those minutes too.  Unless we decide not to.)

Here is my calendar.

Now, I have to say....after looking back on my calendar, I'm moderately impressed.  I tend to have people come up to me or send messages to me stating something like, "I wish I could do as much as you," or, "I wish I could be as active as you."  I usually brush the comment aside with something like, "Oh, I don't really do that much.  I think it just sounds like I do more than I really do."


Looking back at the calendar, I gotta say that on most days of the week I'm doing something.  It may not be super intense, or last for hours upon hours, but I'm doing something.  Most least 30 minutes of something.  That's kinda impressive.  

I think part of the problem is that I hang out with crazies.  Yeah.  Serious crazies.  So what I do looks like a stroll around the block compared to what they do.  And then I start to think I'm not doing enough because (it seems like) everyone else is working a bajillion times harder than me.

I gotta own up and claim my own workouts.  They may not be terribly impressive, but when you slap them all on a calendar, well, damn.  It looks pretty good to me.

Total exercise minutes for the month: 1,555. (Unless we count tomorrow.)

Plus all those damn pushups.  I gotta be honest though.  I crapped out on them.  This week I got in 125 two days.  But then again, this week, I was in a total funk.  Tired all the freaking time.  Achy.  Sore.  And I got adjusted at the chiro on Friday, which made Friday and Saturday pretty cruddy.  But I feel more aligned than I have in a while, so I'll take it.

So.....tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  I'll be spending the afternoon/evening at my parent's house with the fam.  The food will be bad (picky type food, pizza, sweets....pretty casual).  The company better.  Following is Christmas Day.  We'll visit Chris' fam in the morning, and then Chris and I plan on going to the movies and out for Chinese for dinner.  Neither of our fams really do anything Christmas Day, so we decided we're finally going to start our own tradition.  Plus, we haven't been out for Chinese during the whole Month of Mayhem.

I'm not going to beat myself up over food choices.  'Tis the Season.  I'll use the days between Christmas and New Year's as "go with the flow" kinda days.  Come the New Year, I plan on upping the intesnity of my workouts, but also being more diligent on planning out rest days.  From looking at the calendar, I notice I started out strong, and then slowed down a lot towards the end.  Maybe if I planned better rest-wise in the beginning, I wouldn't have felt so sore and achy and needed all those rest days at the end?

Live and learn.  It is all about finding balance, right?

Merry Christmas all!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter Blues

This past weekend was less than stellar.  We can't all be perfect.  Then again, maybe some of us can.  It sure seems like it.  But I'm not one of them.  I'm very far from perfect.

It started with Friday.  My back was achy.  My shoulders were achy.  My body was achy.  (Ummmm......maybe from doing 100 pushups every day?  Duh?)  I skipped the pushups and any other semblance of a workout.

Saturday was a new day.  Full of hope.  Until I got on my bike and realized the front tire was flat.  And not just a little flat.  Entirely flat.  So my bike ride turned into a brisk walk.  Granted, I got to catch up with Kimberly (we don't get to chat nearly as much as we used to since I can't partake in early morning runs with her....yet).  So it wasn't a total wash.  But walking just isn't the same as biking.

Afterwards, I thought about my pushups.  Really, I did.  But still.... I was sore.  And tired.  I actually napped for quite a bit Saturday afternoon.

Saturday evening was my running group's Christmas party.  I had a blast, ate too much, and didn't really worry about it.  I was hitting the gym and doing my pushups Sunday.

Until Sunday rolled around.

I slept in till 8:30, which is almost unheard of from me since I've gone back to days at work.  I got up, ate some crappy food for breakfast, and then proceeded to take a nap.  I was soooo tired.  And achy.  (How the heck could I be achy for three whole days?)  I scrapped the gym once again, and lazed around.

Yeah, I know.....go me.  (Said with sarcasm.)  I've decided that the whole lack of sunlight and the impending cold weather is starting to wear on me.  I don't ever do well in the wintertime.....I think I'm going to look into one of those happy lights.

This morning the alarm went off at 4:45 am.  Yep, you read that right....4:45.  In the freaking morning.  I turned the stupid thing off and laid there.  I contemplated rolling over and going back to sleep.  I almost actually did go back to sleep.  But, well, I had a date.  I was meeting Kimberly and Melissa at spin class.

Turns out we were all secretly hoping the others would cancel so we could go back to sleep!  They say great minds think alike, don't they?

We all spun our little hearts out.  The class ended with 26 pushups.  Which meant I only had 99 to go for the day.  Yep.  99.  What the heck was I thinking adding 25 pushups to my daily total each week?  Was I on crack?  For those of you who can't do math (I know I suck at it), I'm up to 125 a day this week.  And I'm pretty sure I've reached the point where my body will not let me do them every day.  I got 125 in today, I'm skipping tomorrow, and I'm shooting for 125 Wednesday and Thursday.  After that, we'll see.

Ohhhh....and today was Death Gym.  Yep, Mondays are double workout days!  Go me.  (Gotta do something to help atone for my lazy weekend.)  I did some sledgehammer swings onto tires, but this time alternating which had held the axe on each swing.  Talk about coordination.  Usually I'll do however many swings on one side, then switch.  Nope, not today.  So in between sets of those, I did figure 8's with the heavy rope.  Next I did shoulder presses with the 30lb slosh bar (which are getting noticeably easier) followed by squatting rows with a weighted (no clue on the poundage) sled on the turf.  After that alternating overhead slams with the 18lb medicine ball coupled with evil pushups.  What made them evil?  One hand on the medicine ball, one on the ground.  Do a pushup.  Roll the ball to the other hand.  Do a pushup.  Roll back. get the idea.  The first set I did 12 pushups, the last two sets I got in 14.  (In hindsight, I'm really wondering why I even mentioned this pushup challenge to trainer Frank in the first place.)  I finished off with a couple sets of random medicine ball stuff.

Oh yeah.  I then came home and finished off the rest of my pushups.

I blame Bobifer.

Tomorrow I'm shooting for  walk/jog intervals on the treadmill, and Wednesday I'm trying for a swim.  I'll get to sleep in a tiny bit since I have a Wellness Committee meeting, which isn't until 8:45 in the morning.  Yay sleep!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Feeling' the Love

Today the land of better living has me feeling the love!

First....I went to the gym this morning and got in 45 minutes of the whole walk/jog intervals.  Yes, they are getting boring.  But I keep telling myself it is a building phase.  I'm getting the joints and all the connective tissues used to running again.  I'm not pushing anything pace-wise, and I'm not pushing anything incline-wise, I'm just building.  Come spring, my legs and joints and all that goodness should be nice and ready to transition to pounding the pavement.

I just keep telling myself that.

Anyways, that's not the point.  The point is that at the gym there is this totally bad-ass-shit-brickhouse of a girl.  (No, hard to believe, but it isn't me I'm talking about, lol!)  I've admired her since I've been going.  She's very thin, but put together.  Seriously.  I'm pretty sure she could take on all the peacocks* at the gym.  And she runs mad fast.  I've even seen her at some of the events I've run in.

As I was putting on my sweatshirt and getting ready to leave the gym she asked, "You're in Breakfast Club Runners, right?"  Holy moly.  Awesome chick was talking to me.  Me!  And she noticed enough about me to remember that I am in BCR!  O.M.G.  (Please note, the sweatshirt I was putting on was not a BCR one.)  I chatted with her about it for a little, and she said she might come tomorrow.


I'll tell you what.  The combination of losing weight, working to become healthier, striving to be in a good place emotionally at both work and home, certainly does wonders for the psyche.  I have become this totally outgoing, friendly being.  I remember when I was big, I was generally angry.  Just about every candid pic of me has a scowl of some sort.  I hated talking to people.  I was shy, to the point of appearing snobbish.  Now, I just chat away.  At work this week, I can't even count how many people have told me I'm so friendly, and great to work with, and helpful.....sheesh, my head is going to get big!  Not really.  I'm not like that.

That meeting set the tone for the rest of the day.  Around lunchtime, I checked out my Facebook page, and saw that an old high school friend posted on my page about how I (yes me!) inspired her to get fit and healthy!  Holy moly!  Like I've said before....I always have doubts about it interesting?  Do people really care?  Are people even reading it?  But....well, comments like that are why I blog.  Because five years ago I would have laughed in your face if you told me that at this point in my life I'd have run four half marathons, two Tough Mudders, two Warrior Dashes, a Ragnar Relay, some 10ks and 5ks and who knows what else.   And now, I do this stuff.  And if I can't do it, I miss it.  Crave it, even.  If I can do it....and learn to crave it, anyone can.  Seriously.

Then this evening, another high school friend posts on my wall, saying she finally got the chance to peruse my blog and that the pics on my blog don't look like me.  Which is sad, because it is true.  I look at them, and don't even recognize myself.  My wedding picture....I know it was me at that time, but I feel like it isn't ME.  I also feel like her and I are on a very similar journey.  She has a blog as well, and struggles with the same negative issues I do.  I'm working on improving the negative self-talk, but sheesh, it can be hard.  I do have to admit, finding a job in which I feel valued and respected helps things a lot.  Interesting how that works.

So blogging I will continue.

*I mentioned peacocks and put an asterisk by it way up there.  Peacocks, at the gym , are those dudes with the massive chests and shoulders that strut around like their shit don't stink.  I have to admit, after a good back/shoulder workout, I've been known to strut around like a peacock.  I'm just not douchey about it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Push. Push-Up.

Lol, I'm really bad at blogging as the week goes on.  Gotta work on that.

Anyways, today was the first time I went to spin class in AGES.  Seriously.  Ages.  Probably since before I was hobbled.  Heck, probably since before I started my old new job at the prison.

I took it easy.  I know that jacking up the tension, especially on climbs, can put a lot of pressure on the knees.  You know, something I would want to avoid.  (See, I'm getting good at this being smart stuff!)  So I would up the tension, just not a ton.  But I did well on the sprints, the attacks, and pretty much everything else.  And didn't have knee issues.

Oh, and guess what the spin instructor likes to end every class with?  Push-ups!  Fits in perfectly with the push-up challenge and the fact that I'm now up to 100 a day.  (Although starting last week, I did reserve the right to take a rest day if needed.  And trust me.  Last Friday it was needed.)

I ended up doing 11 pushups at the end of class.  She had us do 10, but I did an extra one before she started counting.

So carry on through work (my notary stuff came in!) and all that good stuff, and on to Death Gym.

I started out with sledgehammer swings and heavy rope wave madness.  And progressed to overhead presses with the slosh bar (30lb) and overhead ball slams (18lb).  And then body-weight dips and turkish sit-ups (25lb).  And alternating kettlebell swings for a billion reps (25lb).  I'm not as bad ass as all you doing those Turkish get-ups, but the sit-ups were lovely enough.  At that point, my shoulders are screaming.  I'm thinking in my head how I'm going to get home, go on Facebook, and paste on the You Know Who Reads Our Blog?  Your Mom. page that I fully invoke my right to not do 100 pushups on Death Gym days.

I knew my half hour was almost up, so in a completely smart ass voice, I ask trainer Frank, "Anything else?"

He responds with, "20 push-ups.  That way you'll be up to 31 for the day, and won't give up on doing 100."

Asshole.  How did he know I was going to do that?

I got the 20 in at Death Gym, then came home and carried on until I got all 100 pushups in.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Death Gym!

So, I'm making a change on here, and I'm going to get rid of the workout page.  Not because I don't want to list them, but because it is going to get long, unwieldy, and will generally piss me off.  Plus, I'm awful at updating it.  Instead, I'm just going to post my Death Gym workouts (what I remember of them) in the actual body of my blog.

Today was a fantabulous day at Death Gym.  I skipped the normal gym and intervals this morning, only  because my knee was really sore after this past weekend.  And I knew I wanted to give my all at Death Gym.  Here's what I did in my 30 minutes today:

16 core rows w/ 15lb dumbbells (8 each side, alternating)
4 full body weight dips
Repeat 3x

Overhead triceps slams into wall w/ 18lb medicine ball
Bent rows w/ 35lb heavy bag
Repeat 3x

15 overhead triceps extension w/ 30lb dumbbells
12 (each side) sledgehammer swings onto a tire
Repeat 3x

12 sled rows while squatting w/ 70lb on sled
12 overhead ball slams w/ 18lb medicine ball
Repeat 4x

30 seconds alternating rope swings (longest 30 seconds ever)
16 death pushups (Do a push-up.  Once you come back up, lift the right hand up like you're doing a core row, but be careful to not rotate your hips.  Put hand back on ground.  Repeat....8 each side)  The first set I actually managed a total of 20 pushups (10 each side), but I decided I wasn't getting low enough so I switched to 8 each side.
Repeat 3x


Actually, I didn't die.  Because I had to do 23 more pushups to reach my total of 75 for the day.  I did nice, normal ones at home. (Yeah, I joined a stupid pushup challenge.  Last week I did 50 a day.  This week will be 75.  Next week 100.  And so on, until the end of the year.)

And I'm fully aware the proper spelling for pushup is push-up.....I'm just too lazy to put that stupid hyphen in there each time I type.

What's on the slate for tomorrow?  Walk/jog intervals at the normal gym in the morning.  Annnnd.....the return of Death Steps after work!  Yay!  I fully intend on pretty much walking the steps, but I gotta start somewhere.  I'm not sure what I'll throw in between the steps....definitely push-ups, and maybe core rotations.

When I told my trainer I'd be doing steps tomorrow, his response was, "In moderation, right?"  Hmmmm....I must have a reputation for pushing myself or something! feels flipping GREAT to be back in the game.