Working things out

I’ve been exercising again. Finally. There’s a routine and a method to my madness. I’m training for a 5k (I’m actually walking one on Sunday, but that is not the one I’m training for).

Sometimes, though, I have to train at the gym on the treadmill. And I’m not very good at running yet, so it’s mostly walking with a few slow running sections thrown in whenever I feel like I could run.

I was just thinking about my old gym self, though. I used to do so much more at the gym than the treadmill and for about 30 seconds I was down on myself. Then I realized that, even at the nice air conditioned gym, I am sweating. I’m working hard to do something. Honestly, after tonights run/walk episode, I literally stink of sweat.

Exercise doesn’t have to be all weights and crazy hard classes for it to do something. Just simply pushing yourself a little harder than you did the day before. Breaking a sweat. That’s what gets you where you need to be.

I’m just as surprised as you are to find this post here. I didn’t think I’d be back. I don’t know when I’ll post again. Life has been busy – both good and bad. The good is outweighing the bad, though it’s been touch and go for a bit. But hey, nice to see you again, my old blog friend. I’m glad you’re still here.


Getting Healthy Update, Week 8

Let’s start out talking breakfast, shall we? I’ve reached a point where the thought of eating one more bowl of oatmeal makes me want to throw things. Clearly, I need something different for my morning breakfast. It needs to be quick and easy and preferably something that can be prepared either the night before or once I get to work. I am not known for getting out of bed in time to do anything extra in the mornings. So, people, this is where you throw suggestions at me. I like to keep my breakfast around 5-6 points. Cereal is not a real option, as I wind up hungry about an hour after I eat it. Any ideas? Related – could I make my own breakfast burritos & freeze them? Would that even work?

The weigh in this morning was pretty good. After last week’s’ setback, I’m back down again. The scale claims 3.4 pounds in one week, I claim that I weighed in on a very heavy day last week. Either way, I hit the 10 pound mark officially this week. So yay!

As for the workouts – I did not make a triumphant return to Zumba last Thursday. I forgot that it was 7am meeting day & I didn’t think I’d make it out of the house again for a 7pm class. Instead, I did a regular gym session after a brief nap. After the walk last weekend, I wasn’t really feeling it in the gym this week. I went & put some time in, but I totally phoned it in for the week*. I didn’t even hit my 10,000 step mark for the walking program most days. (I hit it for 3 out of 7 days. SLACKER.)

One thing I did do last week was start looking at other 5k races/events coming up once summer has passed us by. I briefly toyed with doing one in July, but then came to my senses. I would like to be able to run at an event in early September, then I’m tentatively planning to do the Halloween 5k in October & maybe a Thanksgiving 5k in Festus in November. We’ll see how it all pans out with the hip and the running, though.

So, some goals for the week:

  • I want to be able to hit the step/walking goal for at least 5 of the 7 days. I think that’s doable, right?
  • Spend some time on the treadmill working up to the running. Kind of a modified couch to 5k program.
  • More fruit/veggies. I really slacked on my fruit & veggie intake last week & I need to get better about that, especially since I’m spending good money on fresh fruit & vegetables.

*I had to explain this phrase to someone earlier today. Everyone knows what I mean when I say I’m phoning it in, right?

She runs, runs, runs…

I’m going to take a moment to talk a little more about the whole exercise thing after last night’s workout.

I went to the gym last night determined to put in my full hour on the treadmill. As the hip has been problematic the past few months, I haven’t been doing my full speed ahead routine that I had been doing prior to going to see the amazing Dr. F, chiropractor to the stars.*

Anyway, last night I kicked up my walking speed after a quick warmup. I had been staying around 3 mph, so I decided to test myself and kicked it up to 3.2 mph, which is not that much difference, but at the same time, it is. I also decided that I would try a few running intervals just to see what I could do. I had done about one a session the last few times I’d gone, but I really wanted to push myself.

This is where it gets kind of exciting. At least for me. I had to up my running speed from 4.4 to 4.6 because 4.4 felt too slow. I only did about 3 intervals before I went back to walking for the rest of my time, but that’s a vast improvement. And you know what? I think I kind of love running. Not in the insane “I’m going to run a marathon” way.** But I just feel like I’m accomplishing something when I run. Walking is boring. Almost everybody walks. It’s how you get from Point A to Point B. But running? It’s not something that everybody does. And even though I’m just doing about 90 seconds at a time right now, it feels kind of amazing to be able to do that 90 seconds at a time.

How does my hip feel about this? Well, it feels okay. I’m still working out some of the stiffness and I’m doing a lot of work to make sure it gets stretched out and strengthened, but for the most part it does not scream at me for trying to run anymore. It’s a little sore today, but not more sore than it would be after a good workout.

Small steps, people. And someday soon I can hopefully tell you that I’ve accomplished goal 5a on my life list.

*Well, chiropractor to the Wednesday knit night crew, at least. And some other people whose names you might know.

**Although I may get to that point. WHO KNOWS.

Getting Healthy Update, Week 5

As yesterday was a holiday, I spent my time doing laundry, watching Cranford, and knitting. There was just NO TIME to write about all the cookies I consumed.

I’m not kidding about the cookies. As part of a swap I’m doing, I baked a batch of  cookies. I did a little too much quality control testing, then split the remaining cookies into 3 containers – one to send off, one is in the freezer, and one to be given away to someone else. I’m hoping the frozen ones will still be edible for the next swap mailing in a few weeks, but if not, they’re in the freezer instead of my face. So that’s good.

As for the weigh-in, down another 1.4 pounds. I thought it would be more, but I know why it isn’t. I hit the gym & was stingy with the points until Saturday night, when there was BBQ. But the reality is that there are weeks when it doesn’t matter what you do, your body thinks it needs the extra fat. Anyway, this makes the total since I started with WW 8.8 pounds. (That is 21.8 pounds total – I’m over halfway to where I was when I gained some weight back.)

YIP 324.365 Well.I did manage to hit the gym and crank out a 5k (or close to it) on Tuesday last week. Then I went again Friday and Sunday with the intention of doing the same thing, but I was hurting. As it turns out, if I can get past the 30 minute mark, I’ve worked through most of the hip pain. I did run a bit on Sunday & could have gone longer, but I managed to accidentally hit the pause or stop button while I was running. Once I slowed down, I lost the momentum I needed to keep going.

Related: I need new workout music. I need stuff that will keep me up on the treadmill & a few songs that make me want to run. Suggestions welcome.

I also added some yoga stretching to my evening routine on the nights I haven’t been to the gym. I’m thinking I may just try to do it every night, as it helps the hip A LOT and it relaxes me before bed.

The goal for this week is to crank out as much as I can on the treadmill in my 1 hour time limit (the gym has the machines set so it stops/cools you down after an hour & you can’t program it for more than that). I think that if I can just get comfortable walking for that long in the next two weeks, then I should be able to do the 10k on June 11. It’ll still be tough, but I can do it.

I hate the gym.

Actually, that isn’t entirely true. I don’t HATE the gym, I just don’t want to be there when I have other things I could be doing. Like knitting. Or cleaning out the kitty litter.

But I went back for the first time this week. They remodeled since I was there last & I’m not quite sure where things are.

It had been so long since I had been there that my iPod shuffle was completely dead. D.E.A.D. Dead. No music. But I had my Nook, so I tried to read.

There’s something about walking at 3 – 3.2 mph that renders me incapable of keeping my eyes focused enough to read. Even with the book set at large print.

So. No music. No book. There are other people in the gym. A lot of other people. Even though not one has looked my way, I feel like they’re judging me. They KNOW that I’ve let myself slip and slide down the slope to bad eating & no exercise. THEY CAN TELL.

They don’t know. They can’t tell. They don’t care. The others are busy doing their own working out.

I soldiered on. After 15 minutes, my hip was screaming at me. Angry bursitis screams. The kind that had me dosing up on 500 mg of naproxen when I got home. But I kept going. The original plan was to walk for 30 minutes, but I amended it to 2o minutes. It was SOMETHING. It marked my return to the gym.

Now I just need to make sure to keep my shuffle charged up and the music going. Because if I can sing along in my head, the trip to the gym is bearable. The music helps me forget there are other people there.

For inspiration, a few pictures I pulled off flickr today to remind me why I’m subjecting myself to this. Taken when I never thought I’d see the inside of a gym in the first place. These are not my finer moments, but they are reality.

Brent & Shanon’s wedding, April 2008. Ugh. Also, WTF is up with my hair?

June, 2008. WWKIP day. UGH.

And one taken more recently, but after I gained back 25 of the 40 pounds I had lost.
Day 5: Grand Canyon
October, 2010. Even with the sunglasses, I can see the difference. It’s only 15 pounds, but it’s kind of huge here. I looked even better when it was 40. And hey, I look good for someone who had just walked 2 miles at 8,000 feet.

(For the curious, a picture of when I was 40 pounds down is here.)