Tuesday, October 31, 2006


That would be 2 things- my motivation level for the today and the most common activity of Gutts and Butts class this morning. I've decided that lunch time spin class just doesn't work for me. I'm a morning workout person for many reasons. I've got more energy, and it gives me more energy for the day. I don't like the gym itself at lunch, either. It's more crowded, it's smellier, it's messier and then I've got to deal with sitting at my desk sweating for a good portion of the afternoon. At least in the morning I'm the only one here so I can turn on my fan and sweat in peace but in the afternoon people will ask if I'm alright, it's just a pain. As of today, no more lunch time spin class. At least not this session. Apparently I'm not as motivated to burn calories and lose weight as I should be. Also, I enjoy my break at lunch time, which I don't get if I'm at the gym. Whine, whine, whine, maybe I should get some cheese to go with my whine. Not allowed to complain about not losing weight if I'm not really working as hard as I should. Done.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I could take me (stupidity for the day)

This morning was kickboxing class at the gym- it's aerobic kickboxing so non contact, usually. We were doing a drill with lateral shuffles followed by uppercuts and a hook. I have a tendency to not pick my feet up high enough and once I took a side shuffle tumble into the floor. Since then I try to concentrate on picking my feet up. The instructor reminded us about good form on the punches and for some reason when I tried to concentrate on my uppercut, I didn't pull it fast enough and I hit my own chin. Another mysterious habit of mine is to often bite my tongue during class. Like little kids that stick their tongues out when exerting themselves, mine doesn't stick out of my mouth but it's often between my teeth, as it was during that drill. So, I punched myself in the chin causing my teeth to rattle each other, thus biting my tongue and drawing a little blood. Fortunately nobody else saw that display of incredible form and grace. At least now I know if I ever had to fight myself, I think I could take me.

Yesterday was speed work that had nothing to do with anything physical. Our church had speed pie-baking for an upcoming bazaar. The goal was to make 60 pies in 60 minutes and if we didn't exactly make the time cut-off, we certainly were close. I was a crust roller, so for an hour we stood in the kitchen rolling out the dough. I'm so not handy in the kitchen, but I was able to at least be a body to help, even if I didn't produce the most beautiful crusts. I purchased one of the pies before leaving and baked it last night. After dinner I offered the boys pie or yogurt, they both chose yogurt- so I ate the pie. No one will ever make an apple pie as good as my mom's, I'm sure, but I always like apple pie. It was nice to get out and see people for a while on a nice fall afternoon.

Then, with the time change, the boys were in bed at 7:30 and 8pm. It was great. I read a book for a while and then I think I was asleep by 9pm. I'm not going to let their bedtimes creep up again, this schedule will work out fine. They're both excited for Halloween tomorrow, I'll have to post pictures of them all dressed up.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Technical difficulties

This was going to be the second day of my 3-events-in-24-hours event. Unfortunately, I was interrupted by a power outage that prevented the run part. So, for this month I've got the swim and bike finished. I'll try to do it again next weekend.

500 meter swim (550 yards): 10:02. I was pretty happy with my time considering I have not swam a stroke since August 30th. I even dusted off the flip turns, which I haven't done in probably 10 years. Twice I had to settle for an open turn when my breathing rhythm didn't sync up with the end of the lap. The first flip turn I swam in too close to the wall and my butt hit on my way over. One time I also flipped about a stroke too soon so when my legs reached for the wall I got nothing. Even with 25% poor flip turns, approximately 2:00 per 100m isn't too bad, in my opinion. Considering I've done far less swimming than biking or running since May, I think I could easily improve on that, which would be cool.

T1: 58:00. I swam about 500 yards after the times set, drove to work, got an experiment started and then headed down to the gym.

15 mile bike: 41:41. After two 45 minute spin classes this week (Tues/Thurs) I opted for the exercise bike. I think I had the level set too easy because my cadence was 90-110 the whole time, even though the random program had "hills". But I gave it a good tough effort and I was pretty happy with the result.

T2: Was supposed to be approximately 21 hours, because I got back too late last night to run before going to bed. Granted, too late was 7:30pm, but I had eaten not long before coming home and I'm not good at running so soon after eating. Just 15 minutes after getting up this morning, though, the power went out- therefore the treadmill was out of order. The power went out because there was a rain storm and 50mph winds, so an outdoor run wasn't happening either. Most of my runs are on the treadmill anyway, even though it's not what many people consider a real workout, it works for me.

Today, the boys and I went out to lunch with grandma at a local pizza restaurant that has model trains set up throughout the restaurant. It's a big hit with the kids and the pizza and salads are excellent. Then we hung out with grandma and grandpa, watched Monsters Inc and had an enjoyable afternoon. So the run not happening wasn't the end of the world. Of course, I could have run now instead of sitting here on the computer but that window of opportunity and motivation passed with the power outage this morning.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Computer help

Not sure what happened but it seems my blog wasn't publishing for a few days. I think it's alright now.

Not only Prince Spaghetti Day

Wednesdays are my recovery from 2-a-day-Tuesdays now. My plan has been to get through boot camp at 5:35am and then do a longer run on the treadmill but Tuesdays are tougher than I anticipated. Gutts & Butts at 6am does a lot of squats and lunges, so the noon spin class is a bit tougher on my legs than normal. So after the high intensity cardio/weights during boot camp, I just don't have much left in me to run. I managed some jogging at 6mph and then switched to walking at 4.4mph for a while. I bumped the incline up to 2% for most of the walking, the treadmill HR monitor said I was still in the mids 130's, so I know I was still working. I got in 30 minutes, and called it a day.

I did get a free acupuncture treatment yesterday. They needed a volunteer at the health fair and I've always been interested in acupuncture so I gave it a shot. Apparently my liver and stomach were holding a lot of frustration and anger, and they were blocking my kidneys from interacting with my heart. That would be bad. After about 30 minutes with some pins in my feet, legs, stomach, collarbone and one in the middle of my forehead, I was deemed more in balance. I don't really feel any different, but he did say it might be subtle. I can honestly say that while I'm not afraid of needles, for anyone that is, I didn't really feel most of them at all. A couple of times I felt him tapping the needle into place, but it didn't feel like a needle, just a tapping of sorts. It was interesting.

Tomorrow will be my first 24 hour event. Not nearly exciting as that title might sound, I'm going to complete the sprint 3 triathlon legs, going at a pace that pushes myself, within 24 hours. The pool opens at 5:15am, so I'll get in my 550 yards (502 meters) first thing and head to the gym for a 15 mile bike ride. If I can't get a spin bike with an odometer I'll have to settle for the regular exercise bikes, but either way I'll get there. I don't know whether the run will be tomorrow night or Saturday morning, we'll see what's on the schedule. It will likely be a treadmill run anyway, so it won't matter too much with time.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Another way to ruin the life of my kids

Become a triathlete, apparently.

I was reading a message board yesterday and I came to 2 realizations. First is that I’m not much of a message board person. I like reading for information, but people are so quick to get insulting and rude, all over relatively small issues. There are very few things in life that get my panties in a bunch enough to write nasty things about someone that I’ve never even met. Of course how much better am I if I come over to my blog and talk about all of them behind their backs. Guess I’m the bigger coward. Second is that everyone thinks they know the best way to parent.

The issue seemed small to me, families running with athletes over the finish line at IM Kona. I think they also included any other IM, but it was in reference to Saturday’s race. I’ve seen some IM finishes and to be honest, I always assumed that it was perfectly fine to have kids run across the finish line with a finisher. Okay, I’m an ignorant triathlon-newbie that’s not well versed in all the rules. I know you can’t have outside assistance in the race, but they’re not really assisting, just crossing the line. I had thought that some day at my IM, my boys would run across the finish with me. Now I’m not so sure, because there were some very good points brought up. Some of the points, however, I thought were pretty ridiculous.

- Even if you’re well intentioned about not blocking the line, you could, potentially, block the finish line for someone else. People were really upset over the 3 seconds they might lose and I don’t think it’s that important, but it would be rude to get in the way of other athletes. (It’s unlikely I’ll ever be hardcore enough that 3 seconds mean that much of a difference, but I’m not knocking anyone that is.) Also it could potentially cause injury. On the other hand, single athletes crossing the line sometimes stop and block someone else’s way. Then there was the argument that you’ll ruin other athletes’ finisher picture with your whole family in the way. I think that one’s more far reaching because there must be more than one person crossing pretty regularly and it has to be quite common that something messes up your beautiful finisher photo. Besides, how many people really look good at the finish line? If you need to have a picture to remind you that you finished an IM, your life is way too busy, or you’ve become senile.
- I thought it would be cool to have my kids run over with me because it’s got to be one of the greatest moments in your life and I would want to share it with my family. I did not think I would do it to make up for the hours of neglect my children suffered while I was off training, leaving them at home cold, hungry and miserable. I’ll go back to that later.
- I do not think that letting someone else cross the finish line with you even though they didn’t complete the event or train for it will ruin their self esteem because they now have experienced the glory of a finish without the work behind it. (I’m paraphrasing on that one because it didn’t quite make sense to me at the time, or now, actually, but someone said something to that effect.)
- I don’t think it’s completely necessary, either, given that the actual finish line crossing isn’t really the defining moment of an IM, I would imagine. It’s more about the journey, and if my family has been an important part of that journey then maybe the actual crossing of the line is something I’d prefer to do alone. Since I’m nowhere near the finish line- or the starting line- of any event that life-changing, I’ll reserve my statements of intention until I’m on my way.

The part I’ve been thinking about most is how everyone had an opinion on the best way to parent. It always amuses me that the people that “know” best how to parent are those without kids. There are plenty of things that I said I would never do once I had kids. Since the kids were born they have in actuality, watched TV more than 30 minutes at a time, slept in my bed, eaten candy and/or Goldfish crackers with breakfast, not eaten all of their dinner and still had dessert, gone outside barefoot even if it’s chilly, left the house with a messy face and many other things I can’t think of right now. I’m pretty sure that C. will turn 2 in January and M. has managed to survive 3 years and 7 months of life in our care. Okay, he’s had one broken leg but that’s another story. They’re both great little kids, too. I know all parents say that about their kids so take it for what it’s worth but we have a really good time with the boys. We can’t be doing that badly.

People made it sound like training for an IM, or being a triathlete in general makes people put training and races above their family and children to the point of near ruinof their children’s lives. Will there be some time missed with family because of training? Yes. Almost everyone I’ve met or read about tries to find that balance between family time and training time. My training was all done before the kids even get up, except one Sunday morning training and the 31 hours that I was away for my race. Of the 31 hours that I was away, had I been home I would have been at work for 5 hours, I hope I would have been asleep for about 7-8 hours, and they would have been asleep for up to an additional 2 hours before I went to bed. Had I been home for those 31 hours, would their lives have been that much better? I don’t really think so. My family came to watch me in my second triathlon and after that, M. says that he wants to do swim, bike and run races when he gets older. The boys see that we exercise and try to eat well. We’re setting a healthy example for them by having outside interests involving exercise and sports. There may have been times during training when I was a little too tired to play with them as soon as I got home from work because I was up early for training. But there are times when we could be spending every single minute making magical memories by building every moment of free time around the boys, but I’ll still sit and use the computer, like right now. Right now my boys are here around me, left to amuse themselves with minimal parent interaction, the horror of un-entertained children. You know what? They entertain themselves and they’re fine. When I was younger I know my parents didn’t attend every single t-ball game, softball game, school function, etc. Know what? I still love them and I grew up fine. They made it to all the really important things and I never for a minute doubted their love for me and my sister. Did they give up all outside interests so the world revolved around us? Fortunately for us, no. If kids grow up as the complete center of the universe, at least in their household, how will they ever learn to deal with the real world when they leave home? So, I’m planning to keep in exercising and racing as family resources allow. I don’t think it will lead to years of therapy for the boys, or to the ruin of their lives. But what do I know, I’m just their parent.
Nobody is the perfect parent, but I think most of us are exactly what’s best for our kids.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Gonna be a good week

7:59 for 1 mile on the treadmill this a.m. Woohoo!! I won't be pushing any faster than that in the near future, I hope to maybe increase the amount of time I can maintain that pace. Today it wouldn't have been another 10 seconds, that was IT, all she wrote. Throughout the day today I notice a familiar tightness in my lungs, sort of on the verge of an asthma attack all day. That would be the final sign that I need to tell me I'm not to attempt a faster mile for a while.

After posting about being fat I was reminded of a funny experience. The other morning in a class at the gym someone was asking about when the torture would be over. Another participant said "It's not over until the fat lady sings", to which I responded in a lovely falsetto "La, la, la, laaaa. Now are we done?". He looked a little confused and said, "what?" and I laughed and said "The fat lady has sung, can we go?". He said "You're not fat", as if I was being ridiculous, and it hit me that I hadn't known him until after I started going to the gym and had lost some weight. So he really didn't think that I was fat. Maybe I'm not really fat anymore. According to the BMI calculators I've gone from an obese BMI of 30.4 to a normal weight (although on the high side) BMI of 24.4. If I can get down to 140 pounds that's 21.9. I think I'll always identify with being fat. There's a part of me that's afraid as soon as I don't think I'm fat anymore, I'll go back to those old habits and end up fat again. When I was fat I didn't think of myself as being as fat as I was. Even in mirrors I could somehow get around it. It was pictures that did it for me. Couldn't hide the double chins, round cheeks and round rest of me from that camera. Ugghh, gives me the shivers thinking about some of the awful pictures out there. But, it's just a snapshot of where I was at the time, and they are good reminders that I don't want to return. I've always been pretty quick with the fat jokes, too, only in reference to myself, of course. I think it's more of a defense mechanism. If I make fun of myself first then no one else will want to. Also, it might help other people if they're not worried about being insulted because I'm busy insulting myself. Whatever reason, that's how I've always been, maybe I should work on self esteem issues.

Back to tracking calories, more faithfully this time. My range is supposed be 1360-1780, a pretty wide range. That's based on attempting to lose approximately 1 pound a week given a 2000 calorie expenditure for workouts. It's from a weight loss site, so I'm not sure how realistic it is for real training periods. Since I'm not in serious training I probably don't workout much more calories than that, anyway. It's sad how easy calories are to take in, but how much effort they take to work off.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Glad I was fat

I guess I'm not really glad that I was fat, but along with everything else in life, you need the bad to give you better perspective about the good. When I was up there in the range of 200 pounds I knew I was unhealthy and a little more sluggish than I should have been but it all happened gradually enough that I couldn't feel the difference. I think that's the difficult part about gaining weight. No one gains 50 pounds overnight. I did gain it relatively quickly- about 10 pounds a year, but it's slow enough that I needed just a new pair of pants here, a new shirt there. Eventually I had accumulated 5 sizes of clothes in the closet. Some of the smaller clothes were still hanging there in the closet- as if leaving them in the closet made it more likely that they would magically fit one day. When my second pregnancy vaulted me over the 200 pound mark, I blamed pregnancy for slowing me down, not the extra weight, I had the skewed idea that I was still relatively healthy despite my weight. We ate reasonably well and I could keep up with M. who was a year and a half at the time- I must be fine, right? No. Wrong.

After C. was born I started paying attention to what I was eating. While I think we did eat good foods a good portion of the time, I was eating too much of the "good foods". It reminds me of that great Weight Watchers debate- are carrots worth 1 point or 2? The first part of the answer is that you probably don't need Weight Watchers because you've been eating too many carrots, and the second part is that even carrots can lead to weight gain if you eat too many. Although whenever I hear the suggestion that you should have some carrots when you're craving something sweet like chocolate I think that's a bit nuts. I have never eaten a carrot and thought "that was just as good as chocolate". For me the key was portion control- and the fact that I had none.

I'm fortunate that the weight partially came off faster than I gained it. It took me about 8 months to lose the first 30 pounds and then I lost another 10 in the next 6 months. I've been fluctuating within the range of those last 5 pounds for the past 6 months or so. I've still got about 15 more that I'd like to lose to get back to "wedding weight". Sort of like fighting weight for boxers, I'd like to get back to 140 pounds, where I was when I got married. I might have better muscle tone now, so if I look more fit at 145 I might be happy enough there. It wouldn't be worth it to stay above 150 just to retain Athena status for triathlons, so I'm hoping to no longer qualify when I race again. The best part about losing the weight is that I feel great and I can clearly see the improvement over how I used to feel.

I've heard people that criticize people who have gained weight and then lost it. They argue that it's more impressive to not gain the weight and live a healthy lifestyle in the first place. More impressive? Maybe. In a way I envy the people who have never gained weight, but in a way I'm glad that I did. I no longer take it for granted that I have energy to run, swim and bike. I can keep up with both of my boys and now I can fit through the tunnels at Chuck E. Cheese's, I do like Chuck E. Cheese's. I don't care if anyone's impressed that I lost weight, I didn't lose it to impress anyone. I lost it to be in better health so I can be a better role model for my boys. I'm not quite where I'd like to be yet, but I've got time.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Good from bad

Paul called me at work this morning to tell me that M's ear was seriously swollen and red when he got up this morning. I suspected maybe a spider bite, or even a bug bite since he was outside yesterday afternoon and the mosquitoes are out in serious fury lately. I didn't think much of it at the time but later he called and said that M's pre-school teacher called to say that it had gotten worse over the course of the morning. So he made an appt with the doctor and I met them at the office at noon. The bad part was that he had to go to the dr, but she suspected it was just a reaction to a bug bite and nothing more serious. The good is that I decided to take the rest of the afternoon off and hang out here at home. Tonight I'm even going to a dinner at the church- for women from church. No kids! I rarely get to meet anyone at church because I'm down in the nursery providing child care or teaching toddler Sunday school so I'm looking forward to having a chance to meet and talk with them.

It took a long time for me to want to spend time doing anything without the boys. I do have a lot of the classic working mom guilt. People have made comments to me that it must be so much easier for me knowing that the boys are home with their dad all day instead of in day care. For the most part I agree with that sentiment but for me it's also added a different guilt. I feel bad if I ever want to go out and leave Paul home with the boys again, since he is at home with them all day. There have only been a few occasions when I have gone out during the week and left them at home. Partly because spending time with my family is the thing that makes me happiest but it was largely out of guilt. Starting my triathlon training made me realize that I was starting to miss doing something for myself and it's not such a bad thing if I have some things that are just for me. So I'm going to enjoy some dinner and conversation this evening- sans guilt.

Magic Number 7

That's the number of hours of sleep I need in order to have a decent amount of energy for life, and workouts. It's unfortunately, NOT the number of hours I have gotten this week- a week when I wonder why my two adorable, wonderful, sweet boys want to kill their mom. Monday night was approximately 3 hours, I think Tuesday was about 4 hours and last night was all the way up to 6 hours. I felt a little better this morning, but my spin class output was a bit lower than usual. Yesterday, though, I was in serious danger of hurting myself because I couldn't even pick up my feet. I was planning to run on the treadmill, it turned into a pretty pathetic 2 mile jog and I kept wondering who put speed bumps on the treadmill because I kept dragging a foot on the belt. I was, fortunately, able to remain upright because I had visions of doing a face plant into the front display followed by a slow, embarrassing slide onto the floor behind the treadmill. I don't have too much hope for a fast run tomorrow morning before weights class, but as long as I get up and get to the gym that might be enough. I really had to fight the urge to sleep in this morning but once we finished class I was glad I got up after 4 minutes of inward cursing and fighting with myself about whether to get up or roll back over. Thanks to whichever half of me kicked the other half out the door to the gym.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A pleasant surprise

This morning my foot wasn't nearly as sore as I had expected during class. It was cardio intervals so there was a lot of stepping up onto and off of the step. The over-the-tops were a little tough because the sideways motion of stopping the move and reversing direction felt a bit unstable and a little hard on my foot. It didn't give out, though, and I think I should be alright to try running again tomorrow. I didn't want to wait too long before running again, especially having a good week last week, with 2 p.r. miles. The week has just filled up with plans and I don't see myself finding a day to get back into the pool, unless it's a family visit where there's no useful swimming to be done. Tomorrow I do have to leave work at 8am to watch the kids for the day so Paul can help my dad out with his boat. I'm looking forward to a day of at-home-mom stuff. I get to do the drop off and pick up for preschool, play for the afternoon and then bring dinner over to grandma's to celebrate her birthday. That should be fun.

Grandma bought the boys Halloween costumes yesterday. M. is going to be Spiderman and C. is Thomas the Tank Engine. M. was so excited about his costume that he wants to wear it all the time. Better than last year when he cried because I tried to put his costume on him. I just can't figure kids out.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

First triathlon disaster dream

I'm not particularly in training right now, no events scheduled for the foreseeable future. Somehow my brain thought I'd like to run through a triathlon disaster dream last night. It was an Olympic distance race and when I got there I realized I had no socks, no goggles, no gels, no bike shoes and no water bottles. Not sure what I did have but I was on the phone trying to call someone and tell them where those things were at home so I could get them in the next 12 minutes because that's when the race was going to start. A very odd feeling to that dream and the part I was most annoyed about was the goggles. Since I wear contacts and I can't help but open my eyes while swimming, there's no way I could ever swim without the goggles. Maybe some day when there's no risk to LASIK I'll make the investment, but I've been wearing contacts so long they're not much of a hassle anymore so I'm in no particular rush.

I've got to get back to the pool. I'm going to copy workouts that I've seen posted by other people and give them a try. Granted those workouts have been posted by people that are all better swimmers than I am, but at least it will give me a harder workout for my upcoming- 3 sport 24-hours day.

I love Sunday. The kids and I just got back from church, we'll go over to see my parents later this afternoon, there's football to watch and no work. A good day. Up until about 7pm anyway, when I started thinking about how I have to go back to work tomorrow and that makes me sad. Oh well, the bills won't pay themselves and that independently wealthy plan hasn't really worked out.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

One missed step

This morning was our local Touch-A-Truck so we took M. and C. down to the school parking lot to check out a fire truck, a street sweeper, an army rescue/fire truck, a police SUV- with K9 on site, a few tractors and some other random trucks. The boys enjoyed themselves for a while and then we hit the playground. After that we stopped off at a restroom for M. to go, and then we were headed out the door and that's when I missed the step. Literally I didn't see a step coming and I took it hard on my right foot. The same foot that I sprained about 5 weeks ago and still had occasional twinges from as it was. Tears sprang to my eyes and for a minute I thought something was broken. After the initial pain I realized that I was going to be alright and it is, for walking. However, I'm pretty sure that running's going to be out for at least a few days and I'm going to be using my hands to clip out of the spin bikes in class.

Why is it that some people can avoid stupid injuries for most, if not all of, their lives and then there's me, who's injured myself doing the most mundane things, like walking off a step? I might not be the toughest person walking around but I think I've got a pretty decent pain tolerance, and I'm not nearly as prone to exaggeration as I once was. I'm sure that I re-aggravated the previous sprain and it's really annoying. I wish I wasn't such a clutz.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A new fastest mile

This morning I managed an 8:11 mile before strength class. I was able to keep jogging for a 10 minute mile after that. Back in January, a 10 minute mile was as fast as I could go, not a recovery mile pace. That's cool.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


This morning, about half way through spin class, my legs decided they were done. Fried. Jelly. All she wrote. We were in a standing climb drill and I usually try not to use my whole hand on the handlebars, just a couple fingers on each hand. Half way through the drill I was using my whole hand for support and by the end of the climb I was thinking of just leaning over and resting on my elbows. It was a tough class. Yoga after class felt good but my toes have never seemed so far away, I almost couldn't reach them. This week has been much tougher on my body than I've worked lately. I'm hoping for a good short run before weight class tomorrow. Our instructor, Chris, likes to make sure that when we get up Saturday morning we're reminded of Friday morning's workout. Strength class is always tough with him.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Finally- potty trained!

On a completely non-training note, after being mostly potty trained for the past 5 months, I think I can confidently say that M. has got it! This has been a struggle at times due to major constipation issues beyond anything that diet can control. He still often walks out of the bathroom naked from the waist down, but we're getting there.

Six minutes before the alarm

I can't decide whether I like it or hate it when I wake up six minutes before the alarm goes off. On one hand, it's nicer to wake up on my own than to the beeping of the watch alarm, on the other hand, that's six more minutes I could have been sleeping. As my husband would surely tell you, I'm pretty much always running at a certain level of tired. I never really slept well before we had kids and then after the kids came along I can sleep more soundly, but it's never a good, deep, uninterrupted sleep. I'd be a big fan of the daily naps, but I can't manage to fit that into the schedule.

This morning was bootcamp at the gym. Twenty five minutes of intense cardio and weights. Then I did a 30 minute run on the treadmill hill program. I was able to maintain 10 minute miles for 20 minutes with inclines up to 3%, I walked some but never slower than a 13:39 pace (4.4mph). We're starting a step counting program at work, it's 7am and I've already got 7462 steps. I should definitely make 12, 500- that's the goal for 5 days a week.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Today was the first day of my grand plan to do two class workouts at the gym. At 6am we had Gutts&Butts which is a pretty intense weight training class focusing on core and lower body. We did a TON of lunges and squats, many crunches and some exercises that made my glute muscles want to cry- or at least revolt against the rest of my body. Then at 12:10pm we had spin class. There were 18 people in class, which is extremely crowded for our small class space and the temperature in class before we even got started was over 70 degrees. Not the most comfortable, but it was an excellent workout, as always. I was pretty beat by the end of the day, especially since this was one of the busiest days I've had in months. We took the kids to the playground and I got to sit on the ground while pushing C. on the swing, which was a nice little rest. I was up at 4:33am and I finally sat down to relax at 6:22pm after the kids were out of the bath and ready to sit for a little while before bed.

I'm trying to really focus on weight loss for a little while since I'm not in training for any upcoming events. I've been (relatively) dilligently tracking my calorie intake and increasing my cardio to burn more calories. I've also got 2 strength training classes a week so I'm not forsaking muscle work for straight cardio. I got stuck at 39 pounds lost and I'd like to see the last 15 pounds or so come off. It's been a lot harder than I expected, the first 30 pounds were relatively easy, the next 9 took a while and obviously I just haven't worked hard enough yet for those last pounds. I felt like I was working hard enough that I should just lose the weight, as if I deserve it. However, calories in have to be less than calories out for weight loss to occur, and I was obviously missing out somewhere. Enough whining, time for the effort.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Faster than, well, before

This morning I ran my fastest treadmill mile ever. My 1 mile time was 8:14 and that was absolutely as fast as I could possibly sustain for a mile. I'm not fast and I'll likely never be fast, but I'm faster than I've ever been before. Maybe someday I'll run a sub 8-minute mile. I'll work on that. I've probably never written the word fast so many times in one paragraph in reference to myself. The unfortunate part of trying to run the fastest mile that I could was that I had a workout class right after that and it was rough. Today starts the newest 12-week session of classes at the gym. I'm so fortunate that my gym is about 200 steps from my desk at work- the on-site fitness center is the absolute best "perk" about my job- other than the paycheck, of course. Here's what I will be doing for the next 12 weeks.

Monday- Friday I get up at 4:30am (well, 4:33 to be exact because it's the latest I can get up and still be on time) to be at the gym at 5:30am when it opens. Group classes usually start at 6am so I use the elliptical trainer or treadmill for about 20 minutes before class.
Monday 6am- Cardio intervals. It's a class of 30-60 second burst of intense cardio with 15-30 second cool downs. Some light weights to still keep it aerobic are thrown in.
Tuesday 6am- Butts and Gutts. Core and weights focusing on, well, butts and gutts.
Tuesday 12:10pm- Spin. 45 minute spin class.
Wednesday- 5:30- 5:55am- boot camp. A high intensity aerobic/weight workout with stuff like mountain climbers, pushing the weight bags, etc.
Wednesday- Day off from 6am weight class to run longer distances- still on the treadmill because it's too dark outside at 6am.
Thursday- 5:45am- spin class, 40 minutes.
Thursday- 6:30am- yoga fitness, 20 minute yoga stretch/strength.
Friday 6am- Total Body Conditioning. Weight workout focusing on higher weights to really exhaust the muscle groups.
I may end up taking a few Wed. mornings off from boot camp in order to swim. We'll see. I'm just not as motivated to swim these days. I don't think I work out hard enough on my own with swimming.

This whole plan could easily be derailed by a lack of sleep. Last night I was up with both M. and C. overnight. C. ended up sleeping in our bed and then a couple hours later, M. woke up and I ended up in his (twin) bed with him. I don't need any feedback on how their bad sleeping habits are our fault. They can usually make it through the night on their own but they've both been out of sorts lately so I do what gets everyone as much sleep as possible. But still, getting through class on something around 5 hours sleep was rough. That's life, I guess. That's also another reason I won't be training for anything like an Ironman until everyone is old enough to sleep through the night.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Another stomach adventure

The other day I ran so fast- relatively speaking- I thought I might throw up. Last night I ate enough I almost felt the same. We went out for our anniversary, the kids when to play with their cousins, Aunt and Grandma so we were able to sit and eat without cutting someone else's food, trying to find something to amuse the kids, keeping them from running in a restaurant or bothering other patrons. We had a chance to talk and it was nice. The restaurant was an all natural menu, no hydrogenated oils or trans-fats anywhere so we could order something fried! And we did. The sweet potato fries with smoked ketchup were awesome. I had a squash almond bisque that was interesting but good, a portabella burger sandwich that was a little disappointing and then a chocolate hazelnut cake that was incredible! Paul had some really good potato enchiladas that I think I might pick when we go back some day. It was nice to have some time to ourselves, it's quite a rarity these days.

On a kid related note, I just packed up the high chair this morning and C. is only 21 months old. Do all second children seem to grow up at the speed of light? He's doing things at his age that M. never would have attempted. He's still got a limp from last week's dog injury but he's improved greatly so we expect he'll be back to traveling at mach 2 any day now.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Right before I throw up

This morning I decided to see how fast I could run a mile. The good (and bad) thing about the treadmill is that I can set an exact pace, although I know I'm being assisted by the moving belt so I'm not doing all the work myself. The bad is that I sometimes wonder whether I could go just a little faster if I wasn't being paced. I decided I would try 7.0 mph or an 8:34 mile. The first 3 minutes I didn't think I could make it to a mile, but then after 3 minutes I felt alright. I got to 1.0 miles and decided to see if I could make it to 10 minutes. At 10 minutes I decided I'd shoot for 1.5 miles and at 12:52, just when I thought I might throw up, I hit 1.5 miles! Definitely the best time I've had for running in years- if not ever. I walked at 4.5mph for 3 minutes to let my heart rate recover- it was 174bpm at the end of the run and after 3 minutes I was back down to 132bpm. Then I jogged at 10:00 pace for a mile and I ended up with 2.2 miles in 20 minutes, then a 5 minute walking cool down. A short but speedy and tiring workout.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Happy birthiversary, Mommy

Yesterday was our 7 year wedding anniversary. Paul and the boys came to work to have lunch with me. On the way they stopped and bought me some flowers and M. picked out a lovely bumblebee balloon for me as well. The flowers stayed with me at work, but the balloon came home so I could enjoy it with the boys. When I got the flowers, Paul asked M. "What do you say to mom?" and he replied "Happy Bir...th...iversary, Mommy". It was very cute. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful marriage. Paul is a great husband and father and puts up with a whole lot of stuff that I don't think anyone else would deal with. We're a lucky family.

On a training note, I haven't had much motivation since the biathlon last weekend, and really it's been largely gone since August 31st when I finished my second triathlon. But, I was listening to Iron Wil and Kahuna's podcast and they mentioned a New Years triathlon event. That got me to thinking that I don't need a formal race in order to keep up with my training. Because of the timing of daylight hours, my training moves inside now until late spring. I've decided I'm planning to, at least once a month, have a 3-event 24 hours. I can't really call it a triathlon because to me that signifies doing the three events consecutively and I don't have the time or equipment to do them consecutively. What I can do is get to the pool early and swim, get to the gym and bike and run either that night at home- or the next morning on the treadmill. I realize this will in no way simulate the real triathlon experience, but it's the best I can do given some time constraints- like work. If I give a good hard effort in all three areas at least once a month I can maybe assemble some sort of baseline or what I can do in a 500m swim, a 15 mile bike and 3 mile run. Not sure when I'll start, but I hope to do it soon.