Sunday, September 28, 2008

A first for me

This weekend for the first time, I did a weekend workout. Yes, last night after the kids were tucked in bed and nearly asleep. I escaped to the basement and did a two mile run. Okay, two miles is a pretty pathetic little workout, 22 minutes with cool-down, but it felt great. After my Friday night run-induced insomnia, I wasn't sure whether another crack at the night time run was worth it, but I was surprised at how good I felt running at night. I'm not exactly sure how it was different from a morning run, but it felt good. I wonder whether maybe I'm ready to add real weekend workouts to my schedule. It might just be a consistent three mile run night, since I won't often be starting until 9pm and I'm not willing to give up the whole night- or be up until 3am on a regular basis. Or maybe it was a random night that I wanted to run. Either way, it felt good.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I'm not a night exerciser

Yesterday morning I didn't get to the gym before work because I had a busy morning in the lab. I had intended to get there later in the day, but didn't make it. So, the boys were asleep at 8:45pm and I grabbed my sneakers and headed for the basement treadmill. I had a little stomach distress, so I was able to run only 2 miles and then I walked another 25 minutes. I ended up burning 450 calories- according to the treadmill- and I felt like I had worked pretty hard. Here's the real problem with an evening workout- at 2am I was still awake, and knowing we'd have a relatively full day today, I wasn't very happy about that side effect. It was better than no workout at all, and when I got on the scale this morning I was 0.5 pound lower than last Saturday, so it's all good. I'm actually leading the Through the Wall weight loss challenge. I can't remember winning much of anything before, and I know it's not likely that I will maintain this weight loss rate much longer so I won't likely win, but it's nice to have an early lead. I'm taking the day off today, and likely tomorrow as well because of family plans. But cardio intervals will come bright and early Monday morning again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Feeling it

The past three weeks have been some butt kicking workouts! I am feeling it most days. I was happy to have a weight loss initially, but I'm stuck right now. I'll get past it. Sunday I was splitting wood for about an hour and a half. My husband would be quick to point out that I was not using the maul the whole time. I often use the maul a few times and when I get a good dent, I use the splitting wedge and a smaller hammer to finish the split. I can't seem to coordinate the sledge hammer and the splitting wedge, although my aim with the maul is pretty good. Anyway, I was sore after that.

Monday morning was cardio intervals, and this class was high intensity. There were six steps set up ranging from 0-6 risers on each step. The class consisted of jumping on, over and running around these steps. That was tiring. Then Monday night I decided to swim while the boys were in their lessons. Of course by the time I get them dropped off and settled, the 30 minutes was down to about 25. I planned to do 10x100 on two minutes. I got through the first 100 and had to stop because the instructor wanted to talk to me about Superman. Then I got through the next 2 x100 on time. After the third set I had to fix Hot Wheels' goggles because they had come undone. Then another set followed by a break because Superman "had" to tell me something. Not even sure what he said, but he had to tell me. There were a few distractions, so I ended up doing only 800 yards. The repeats, however, were pretty consistently 1:45. Not great, but not bad.

Yesterday I hit the ARC trainer. This is not your garden variety elliptical trainer. This thing kicks my butt. I used the interval program and did 60 minutes, it said I burned 726 calories. I was drenched.

This morning was another high impact aerobic intervals class. Lots of jumping jacks, squat jumps, mountain climbers and burpees- the last two are my least favorite. My legs feel like jelly. But, I was complimented this morning at the gym for having taken off some weight recently. I'm glad the results are noticeable on the outside as well as the inside. I will get back to real running at some point, I'm just enjoying the change of pace with the interval classes. Tomorrow morning's strength training class, another good one. In addition to the mental adjustment to the end of nursing Cutie, the physical adjustment is a little uncomfortable, but I think it should only be a couple more days at most. That might also account for a little of the weight plateau.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The next life phase

Since June of 2002 I have been pregnant with and/or nursing someone for all but five months. That's almost six years of my life spent sharing my body with someone else, either the space in it or nutrition from it. Cutie turned 13 months yesterday and I'm pretty sure she decided to give up nursing. We were down to once before bed anyway, I think it was just sort of her way to unwind and relax a little before bed. If she truly has given it up at least I know it was on her schedule, she's just grown past it. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me that's now a bit sad knowing that the phase of my life where one of my jobs in life was in part to sustain another life, is over. A part of me is happy to have my body back to myself, and I know that my most important contributions to my children's lives is not really the pregnancy, or the nursing. It's helping them grow into the best people they can be. It's showing them how to love people, care for those around them, and to always do their best at whatever it is they choose to do. I look forward to this next phase of life, the kids growing into these really interesting and unique people, and I know it's what has to happen. But that little part of me that found a new purpose in life when I first got pregnant with Hot Wheels, feels a little loss of usefulness, and the part that really loved the possibilities and love that a baby brings will need some time to adjust.

Here she is, all "grown up".

Friday, September 19, 2008


That's my weight loss goal for now through the end of the year. I started the Through the Wall Challenge on Sept. 4th, when my vacation ended. I weighed in at 158.5 and I intend to get down to 140. I think the first 8.5 should go pretty easily, and I'm actually 7 pounds down already, but once I hit the 150 mark it's going to take more work than I've been willing to commit to up to this point. I've got some hard core cardio intervals classes on Monday and Wednesday mornings, and then yesterday I put in 50 minutes on the ARC trainer for another 600 calories. However, my husband and I are enjoying a rare date night tonight, and we have a gift certificate for dinner at a good restaurant with some great food- although larger portions than I should probably consume. Anyway, this is really more about long term life, not what I weight tomorrow morning. I'm going to live my life, enjoy my dinner, just try for moderation. We're riding at lunch today, anyway, maybe a few bike sprints to up the calorie burn will help.

Tomorrow's the Corn Maze and apple picking for the family. I love fall!

I'm going to check out some new layouts, too. I'm tech challenged so I just go with the options available, I might give it a few tries to see what I like best. Any opinions are always welcome.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I hit the ceiling

Not the glass ceiling, the asbestos kind. This morning in the gym we had cardio intervals again. For one of the intervals we were to "high skip" and try to hit the ceiling. Instructors have told us to try to hit the ceiling in the past and I laughed because this girl has a vertical leap of zero. Apparently, though, I've improved because I was able to hit the ceiling numerous times. I really enjoyed the thunk sound of the tile lifting up and then coming back to rest on the ceiling structure. I was pretty proud of myself. I guess sometimes the improvements we're making aren't really noticeable, but they're there. Also, I grabbed the wrong jeans when I was packing for work yesterday. They were the ones I've got on my shelf and told myself I'd wear when I lost about 10 more pounds. They're a bit more fitted than I would normally like, but I received three compliments on them. Guess they look okay. The size said 6, but we all know it's just vanity sizing these days anyway. But, I was glad to wear them and hear they weren't obscene at least. It's the little stuff that makes my day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Always a good time for pictures

Here's Hot Wheels from his first day of school:

This was a family hike the last week of summer vacation:

Here are the boys at a friend's birthday party:

And Cutie using the freezer door handle as a ballet bar:

This morning was total body strength conditioning at the gym. After the triathlon Sunday, the cardio intervals class yesterday and then lifting today I'm feeling a bit trashed. Tomorrow morning's another cardio intervals class and then I'm thinking Thursday if we don't bike at lunch I'll take the day off. At some point I've got to run, too.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A fond farewell

Yesterday was my second and last tri of this season. It was also my fourth tri ever, and my last as an Athena. I'm at 152 pounds now and I've decided that this off season I will kiss Athena status good-bye forever as I work towards my goal weight. I haven't exactly decided my goal weight yet, I think it will be 140, that's what I weighed when I got married almost nine years ago. That's 12 pounds to go and I think I should get there. However, if I don't get all the way there but reach a point where I'm happy, so be it.

Here's my report from the women's triathlon.
The weather was crappy on the way up, driving through drizzle alternating with downpours, so we knew we were headed for a wet morning. There were 418 racers, we were broken up into four waves. I went off in the first wave. It was an in-water start, I lined up in front but over to the left of the right side buoys course to avoid the pack. I knew that the buoys were approximately 45 degrees to my right for the triangular course and yet, when the race started, I swam straight. I had two friends in waves behind me and they said a few people mentioned the "poor woman that swam so far out she'd have to swim way farther to get back on course". Yes, I was that swimmer. I'm guessing I swam an extra 150 meters or so, really stupid. The part that was annoying was that when I joined the pack again after the turn buoy, I was now with the slower swimmers in my wave and I was trying to swim through them. Ugh. I also took my first real hard kick to the ribs in a swim, it knocked me off for a minute. I don't begrudge people that can't swim freestyle the whole way, but do you have to kick so hard with the breaststroke kick? It takes up much more space and it's very hard to swim around a breaststroke kicker, because you don't always see it before you get hit. A few pink caps flew past me from the wave three minutes behind and I was able to get through behind them.
Anyway- swim time: 16:02 145/418 should have been at least two- three minutes faster, grr.

Transition was uneventful, but a long way to run with the bike on wet pavement. I'm a bit awkward in the bike shoes anyway. 2:49

The bike was 12 miles, some small hills but nothing too difficult. However, it was wet. We were drenched and it was almost like a constant enema as the water just streamed up from the back tire. I'm a nervous biker in the rain, but it did a little to increase my confidence, I was able to maintain an okay pace, just had to slow down a lot more than usual for the turns and downhills. I had no computer, no idea on top speed or anything. I averaged approximately 16.5 mph, which is pretty fast for me really. Total- 43:45, 213/418

T2- more awkward running in bike shoes back to the rack. I skipped the hat since there was no sun to shield and headed off. 1:13

The run was a trail 5K, more hilly than advertised and muddy. It wasn't raining as hard by that time, but I was already soaked so it didn't much matter. I didn't cramp up this time, which was nice, I just couldn't move as fast as I would have liked. Total- 33:41 278/418

Overall: 1:37:28, 201/418 and 15/53 Athenas, and I had a great time. Had I raced age grouper this year I would have placed 43/75. I'd like to finish top half of my age group next year. I'd also like to shave at least 3:45 off my bike time- 18mph average, and 5 minutes off my run time- 9:00 pace. Someone 9 minutes faster than me this year was 23/75 age group. I'd be thrilled to get there.

That's it for the tri-season. Back to the gym for cardio intervals class twice a week for conditioning and more running! I'm also adding some more weight training and we're going to keep up at least a once weekly lunch bike ride at work, weather permitting.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Ripped off

It was a Saturday in early March, 2001. My husband and I were volunteers with a local animal rescue organization and I had some of our foster cats at a local Pet-A-Thon. We would bring foster pets to a local pet store where potential adopters could meet and greet the rescued animals. In walked one of my fellow volunteers with the most adorable five-week old lab mix puppy. He was blonde and squirmy and I had to have him. We went out to the foster home the next day to visit the whole litter. The mother had been unable to nurse the pups and they had been hand fed since five days of age. Ours was the runt of the litter and he was particularly close with one of the largest of the litter that had some strength issues in his hind legs. When he couldn't get over to the food, the little one would roll him over small pieces. Well, we couldn't split up the pair, so on April 8, 2001- Ozzy and Kodi (Kodiak for long) came to live with us. They had the life. A fenced yard, a couple with no kids that took them for plenty of walks, runs and swims. The dogs trained for my marathon with me, coming with me for training walks up to 14 miles. We told ourselves that when our son was born we would still love our dogs, and give them as much attention as before. And I do believe that we tried our best. But here we are five years later and they just don't get as much attention as I would like, or them, I'm sure. Kodi enjoyed spending time with the kids and family but Ozzy has always been a little nervous around the kids and he spends most of his time up in our bedroom. I've been telling myself that once the kids are bigger they will be great with the dogs. Hot Wheels enjoys playing fetch with them and I envisioned all of us hanging out in the yard, everyone having a great time together. I found out today that Ozzy has lymphosarcoma and his prognosis is anywhere from two weeks to three months until he's no longer with us. The lymph nodes in his neck are already extremely inflamed and that will likely cause him to stop eating and have difficulty breathing in the weeks ahead. We hope he will be kept comfortable with the steroids and associated medication, but we won't be going the route of chemotherapy and radiation. He's not even eight years old and I understand that it's not an abnormally short life span for a medium sized dog, but I still feel ripped off.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I'm just so NOT hard core

I was at one of my favorite stores, a gigantic used book store, last Thursday and I picked up a like-new copy of the Triathletes Training Bible for only $4. Seemed like a good investment to me. I started the introduction and quickly realized that I am not in the target audience for this book. The author refers to the athletes using the book as people that would be concerned about losing fitness by skipping a day or two of workouts, or at least that's my understanding of the target audience. I just did nothing related to training for the past eleven days and I have thoroughly enjoyed every single moment. I have had the best vacation, not termed a staycation I guess, hanging out with my family and keeping busy. I may not have done any specific training but we were on the go! Here's a snapshot of the past week and a half:
8/22- Cutie turns one. We had a family dinner, she got her present and then when she went to bed the boys and I headed to a friend's beach to watch the stars and look for constellations.
8/23- Cutie's party with my husband's family.
8/24- Great morning hike at a local park and then off to local fair for some rides, animals and tasty ice-cream sundaes.
8/25- Chuck E. Cheese's for some play time on a rainy day, then for Cutie's one-year old pictures, including a family shot, then dinner with friends.
8/26- Cutie's one-year old dr. appt- including 5 shots- yuck. The afternoon with friends celebrating two birthdays, then to pre-school open house for Superman.
8/27- Kindergarten open house for Hot Wheels then a picnic at the local splash pad park.
8/28- Trip to the Children's Museum with grandma where the boys saw their first planetarium show.
8/29- Hike in a local park with a really cool waterfall, with the kids' cousins and aunt.
8/30- Off to grandma and grandpa's house so mom and dad could help grandpa cut down trees while grandma watched nervously from the porch.
8/31- Grandma and grandpa watched the kids while we were at our annual Fantasy Football draft.
9/1- Trip to the beach with some friends for picnic lunch and fun in the sun!
9/2- Hot Wheels first day of kindergarten and the last day of my vacation.

It can't possibly get any better than this. So, no training. No excuses, no regrets. I think I've managed to gain about eight pounds. Yes, eight. Ridiculous but true. So now it's back to work. I've got a book on my shelf to live up to.