Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December Challenge: Days 29 - 30

Looks like this challenge will spill nicely into the new year. I think I'll have to come up with some different parameters/rules for what I'll be doing in the new year. I can't believe how busy this week has been, especially considering how I was trying to lay low.

I bought some sushi from Kroger's sushi bar. Seems kind of odd, but it was really really good! I don't know sushi well, but it was tasty enough for me. I don't care very much for raw fish and supposedly I'm allergic to shellfish, so this one is veggie: carrots, cucumber and avocado and there were sesame seeds inbedded with the rice. Delicious!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December Challenge: Days 22 - 28. Yikes

It's simple. I don't remember what I've done.

I know I haven't been doing as much as I'd like. It's been a bit crazy with work, the holidays, traveling for Christmas, yadda yadda yadda, same excuses everyone has.

The year is winding down, and all I hope is to get some time off to relax and take a break.
Hope to get to the pool today!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December Challenge: Day 17...18...19...20....21!!! Ahhh!

Wow, so the days have really passed by quickly. Tis the season of busyness I guess.

I am not even sure what I've done! I do know I went swimming on Saturday. Did 1000 yards freestyle and 150 kickboard. The kicking was done between bouts of anger after being frustrated with how the breathing was going. I swallowed a lot of water and choked a few times. I just know I'm lifting my head too much and can't seem to get it right. Oh well, practice makes perfect I suppose. I did manage to go 100 yards 3 times again, at the end of the workout too.

Swimming 1000 yards freestyle, 150 kickboard
Foam roller a few times but still not enough
Not sure if I did anything else... the days are flying by

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December Challenge: Day 16

Swimming progress! I went 100 yards without stopping 3 times! And I think I breathed properly a few times!

I started with 50 x 10 freestyle. I rested about 45 seconds in between each one. Then I did 100 of  reaching drills (not very successfully I'm afraid... was sharing a lane and I tend to go a bit crooked with that drill). Then 50 elbow drills, again, not too successfully. And then... I did 100 nonstop - x 3! Woot! I don't know how long I rested between them. It was somewhere around 45 - 60 seconds. The last 100 was a bit rough. However, during the 100s, I think I finally got my head in the right position to breath by just turning. There were a few breaths that felt really good. It's such an awkward feeling.

After the pool, I got on the treadmill for 20 minutes. Borrrr-rrriing. Man I hate treadmills. Also, my knee started hurting at 1.5 miles so I stopped and walked the rest. So it hasn't gotten better yet. But I also haven't been on the foam roller. I've been stretching, but not doing my hip stretches. Why? Why haven't I??? Grrr. This was not a happy moment, especially since I spent some time today looking at what races I want to do in 2010.

1000 yards freestyle
150 yards weak-ass drills
1.5 mile running

December Challenge: Day 15

Figuring Out How to Get a Workout In

Plan A: Get up early, as I do for spinning, and hit the pool by 6 a.m. when it opens.
Didn't happen. I'm not so good with the 5 o'clock hour.  L. A. Z. Y.
Plan A

Plan B: Go swimming at 4:00 p.m. before the rush, but while there is only 1 lane open. And run a little after that.
I had a meeting at 9, so I packed up everything I thought I might need at the community center and started my day. Especially because of the pools having limited hours and lanes open, I feel better if I have options in my bag. So I packed stuff in case I could have a "dry" workout or a swim. Good thing I did. I was working onsite all day, and the afternoon just kept stretching out... 4 came and went, I couldn't leave early.
Plan B

Plan C: Total Body strength class at 6:00 p.m.
Ding ding ding!!!
Yay, at least I did something. I really wanted to get cardio in, but it didn't happen. I had another meeting at 8:00 p.m. so I couldn't run or bike after the strength class.

The whole going to the gym thing has been an adjustment for me again. Every bit of time throughout the day counts, and I'm not really fond of planning my day so closely. I enjoyed how during the marathon training I would just run when I felt like it. But I know that I'm doing more now and getting stronger, which is the goal. Being prepared for whatever I may be able to accomplish at the gym is very helpful. I feel like I need to carry around a catalog of workout supply options in my car - shoes, shorts, bike shorts, class money, bike shoes, swimsuit, towels...

Total for the day:
60 minute Total Body strength class

Monday, December 14, 2009

December Challenge: Day 14

I started the day off with a spinning class at 5:50 a.m in the shoe pictured above (actually two of them), the last class at the community center until after the new year (bummer). It went really well - it was hard, but I felt like I was in control rather than just surviving like in the first class I took!

I liked this instructor better than the one from the first class. She took the time to tell us how to fit on the bikes and gave pointers and heart rate zones throughout the class. There was a chart off to the side to check heart rate zones and I had no problem getting and keeping myself anaerobic. We stood up and "climbed a hill" for 3 minutes quite a few times while "recovering" on a seated hill. Ugh!

On another note, I am pretty excited about a great article in the email newsletter I get. It basically teaches you how to build up swimming over 12 weeks to be able to swim in an olympic triathlon. So I'm not the only one that has to rest between 50's!?!?

Spinning 60 minutes
Pushups (wimpy ones)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December Challenge: Day 12 and 13

Saturday I slept in and went to the pool right at opening time at 12:15. I was a little early so I sat in my swimsuit and towel in the locker room and played games on my phone. That passed the time quite nicely.

Ah swimming... flailing through the water, gasping for air, trying to understand what my body is doing in that lane. I started out by warming up a few laps. Then I did 6 x 50 freestyle (or stephstyle). Then I got a kick board and kicked for 100 yards while pondering different swimming tips and videos I had looked up online. While I was kicking, a woman with a pumpkin-face swim cap started swimming laps in the lane next to me. I tried to discreetly watch how she was breathing. She looked like she could have been in one of the instructional videos I've looked up online. I gave her form a 10.

I did a couple of the drills I had learned about and do think it helped. One was for reaching. You reach with one arm and then keep that arm there out in front while the other arm comes up and then you can follow through with the paused arm. Hard to explain, but basically it is to help you reach and rotate properly. I felt like I was more efficient after I did that drill.

I went back to freestyle after the drills and finished up with a total of 1000 yards. I have to rest after 50 yards but was really determined to see if I could go farther that day. I did manage a very slow 100 yards (twice) before I felt my chest was going to explode. I can't believe how bad I am at this!

Sunday: notta.

1000 yards swimming

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December Challenge: Day 10 and 11

I'm not doing so well at this daily posting thing.

Day 10 was a big fat nothing.

Day 11, I got back on the bike in front of some Netflix (this time it was a Mythbuster episode) and rode kind of hard. I went up a few gears for 2 minutes and then would come down and spin easy for 2 minutes. Did that for probably 20 - 25 minutes of the time.

Sorry not pictures...looks like I also need to work on not being so boring.

Totals for the day that I actually did something (which was Friday):
Bike on wind trainer: 35 minutes

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December Challenge: Day 9

Wednesday was a crazy windy day. A good day for staying indoors, I set my bike up in front of some Netflix (queued up the Best of Will Farrel SNL...not as funny as I had hoped) and rode for about 30 minutes at a pretty relaxed pace. The setup is below for those who haven't ever seen...

How odd it looks from outside...

And from inside. The wind trainer is loud. It's definitely an activity to when no one else is in the house. Usually I'm in the garage-basement (or garagement I think I'll call it). It is nice and cool in the winter and isn't as disturbing for the other inhabitants of the house. But we had a water leak and still haven't put it all back together yet. So living room it is!

Totals for the day:
30 minutes on the bike trainer

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December Challenge: Day 8

Finally a decent workout!

I did the Total Body class at the community center - this being the second time I've done the class. It went a little better this time, though I am sore today in the lower back. We did pushups again. Grrrrr...  There will be celebration when I can actually do pushups. And she kills our hamstrings. My left one complained a bit, so I took it easy on that side's exercises. I have decided that it is a great class to take - you can control how much you get out of it, and when else am I going to put some bumpin' music on and lift and contort my body into all kinds of strength positions? It certainly beats lifting at home, not only from a good workout standpoint, but also the enjoyment factor.

I told Krista that I sometimes have a hard time believing I ran a marathon in October.

After the class we hopped on a couple of stationary bikes and rode while chatting. Felt good to move the legs after that class.

Totals for the day:
60 minutes Total Body class
20 minutes easy bike

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December Challenge: Day 7

Spinning did not happen at 5:50 Monday morning as originally planned. I was fighting a really bad headache.

Running with Krista did not happen at 5:30 Monday evening because I had to work late.

Mythbusters watching did happen at 9:00 Monday evening because after a late dinner that was all I had the energy for. But I fell asleep during the show and don't know if Jamie died after being painted head to toe in gold paint. I'm guessing he lived.

I need to find out where all the energy packs are hidden on this level.

Monday, December 7, 2009

December Challenge: Days 5 and 6

Two days in a row of nothing. Booo. We had our bath tub refinished Saturday morning. A guy came over around 10:00 and was done by 1:00. That meant no showers until it had dried and we could caulk (which I did Sunday morning) and then that is still drying. Puts a damper into the workout schedule if you sweat like I do. I could have gone to the community center where there are showers, but I instead spent the weekend very busy doing errands, seeing people and generally just forgetting about strength and stretching.

So, two days off in a row have definitely left me recovered from spinning and the total body workout that I was so sore from last week. Jumping back into it - more spinning this week as well as swimming. And I'd like to get some short runs in on the 'mill.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December Challenge: Day 4

Friday has been a day off from cardio. I did some stretching and ab work.

We just signed up for a Netflix account (which is awesome if anyone is wondering). I had the thought to look for any instant queue workout videos, and there were a few. I started one playing while I was doing my abs on the exercise ball to see if I'd ever actually want to do it. That particular video got 2 thumbs down. The pastel set colors made me nauseous and I ended up wanting to hurt the overly-energetic girl on the right. I've never been one for workout videos though... they're free so I might as well try them!

Totals for the day:
3 x 20 crunches on the ball
3 x 10 ball overhead passes

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December Challenge: Day 3

Very very sore from the spinning class still. Wow.

I went for a swim, hoping that would help flush out some of the soreness. I'm not sure it did, but it sure did feel good while I was in the water. I stretched a little bit while I was in the pool. Heaven.

I started out with my own lane. But then I got booted by the staff because of swim lessons. The guy in the lane next to me (which was remaining open) offered to share, so I had my first lane sharing experience! I started out following him and he then explained to me we'd do sides, not circles. Duh. He was way faster. I don't know why I thought we'd do circles. One time he scared me as I turned to do a stroke and saw him right next to me. Just surprised me. Usually I got a mouth full of water when we'd pass each other...perhaps some good introduction to open water swimming? It made me think about the swimming leg in triathlons, and I'm still amazed that everyone swims that crazily and close to each other without drowning.

Towards the end, I realized I was super tired. So I stopped. I totaled 700 yards. I still took short breaks every 50. I guess it's like when people start running and all they can do is make it to the end of their driveways.

Totals for the day:
14 x 50 yards (700 total)

December Challenge: Day 2

At 5:50 a.m. Wednesday morning I was pedaling on a spinning bike trying to focus on the woman leading the class. 5:00 a.m. is too early to put my contacts in, or so my eyes told me.

The class was an hour long and pretty rough. The nice thing with spinning is to some degree you can make it your own effort. I didn't want to kill myself, so I went easy (or so I thought at the time) so I could last the entire class and feel out what the instructor does.

There were a lot of "hill climbs" both out of the saddle and seated. The out of the saddle position kills me. My hills were just more like gentle rollers rather than a trek through Mt. Adams though. We also did periods of sprints. There wasn't anything too difficult, but I am definitely feeling it already!

Total for the day: 
60 minutes spinning

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Challenge: Day 1

One word. Iamaweakling.

The day has not gone as planned. Typical. Internet issues and a long lunch obligation caused me to have to shift things around. Instead of swimming, I went to some sort of Tonal or Total Body Class at the community center which was code for Weights Weights Weights. A woman with a loud mic proceeded to kick my ass with a bunch of exercises. I met my friend there, and I don't know if I would  have to the motivation to go back without her. I've never been one for the aerobics class setting.

We needed approximately 20 things for this class. A step thingy, blocks for the step thingy, a mat, two different pounds of weights, an elastic band and a ball. We used it all.

It started out with leg exercises, which weren't too bad, though they were definitely challenging. Then there were a lot of different arm exercises. Those were bad. We even had to do pushups (which I can't even do yet).

Kicked my butt.

Total for the day: 1 hour of kickmybutt weights class. A decent start.

December Challenge: 31 days

I have decided to step up the training and give myself a workout challenge and boost. Inspired by Steve in a Speedo's 14 Days of Nothing, his 2 week period of not training that he is currently writing about on his blog, I thought just yesterday: hey tomorrow is December already...what if I did 31 days of something? some serious training around getting stronger, healing my IT band and going into the new year feeling great. And then I can write about it on my blog keeping my fingers crossed that it might actually be half-way entertaining/enjoyable to read. And so it begins... DECEMBER CHALLENGE!!!! (cue lightning flashes and some dramatic music).

Details of the Challenge.
1. I will work out every day. Something.
2. I've broken it down into cardio and non-cardio/strength.
3. I will write about what I did every day.
4. I will try to include pictures if I can because everyone prefers a picture book.

Some of the Activities I Plan to Do.
From the non-cardio camp:
- Lifting
- Abs
- Pushups (currently working on being able to do real pushups, a challenge within the challenge)
- Stretching, including the evil foam roller (very important. sigh.)

From the cardio camp:
- Swim
- Bike (haven't tried this with the IT band yet, we'll see)
- Run (small amounts here and there)
  hmmm.... those last 3 sound like a triathlon....

So, it's on. I'm committed and now I've put it on a blog where my millions five readers will see.

Plans today? Dragging my bike and wind trainer out, queuing up some Netflix, and seeing how my leg does on the bike. And swimming later, hopefully. I will be back here later!