Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Lowdown

I literally sighed before I started writing this.  I feel like so much has been happening, but it's all been the same boring stuff and I just didn't feel like writing about it.  So, to recap, I've still been watching what I eat and trying to work out more than I was before.  Last week was a bit of a slip-up, but that was mostly due to work factors beyond my control than anything else and this week I'm back on the bandwagon.  See? 

That's a screen shot of my Daily Burn calendar listing my exercise calories (calories out) and eating calories (calories in).  I've still been losing weight and I've got less than 10 pounds to go now until I reach my "goal weight".  It seems to be a slow, but steady, process, but I'm thrilled to see the scale keep going in the right direction.

So, if you look closely at Monday, February 7, you'll see that I only burned 36 calories.  That's because I've started something new!  A Hundred Push-Up plan!  Which is crazy to me.  In the initial test, I did 10 push-ups.  Drew estimated that I'd be able to get 4 and when I got to 6, he announced that he was officially surprised.  I kind-of wanted to die after those first 10 and it made me think that there is no way that I'll be able to do 100 all in one sitting.  However, I know that every time I've ever followed a plan, I've made it to the finish line, so I'm hoping that this will be just like that.  I even downloaded the fancy iPhone app to record my progress.  Yesterday I did 35 push-ups (in 5 sets), so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get there.

I also found out on Monday that I got a spot to the NYC Half-Marathon on March 20!  Which is soon, but I'm not too worried.  Somehow all these races seem a lot less daunting now that I've done them once already.  I've figured out a fairly loose training plan that will ensure that I get my long runs in and I'll sort-of wing the rest of it.  I'm not an injury-prone runner, so I don't forsee any issues with upping my mileage although now I can really see a new pair of shoes in my future.

Last Saturday Drew and I did a challenge that his trainer, Billy, gave to him.  It was to run one mile on the treadmill at an incline of 10.  Which doesn't sound too hard until you're actually doing it.  Drew finished his mile in about 10:30 and I finished mine in 12:57.  I did a mix of jogging and walking because I knew that there was no way I'd ever be able to run the whole thing and stay on the treadmill, so I alternated back and forth.  I was a sweaty disaster by the time I finished.  I'm hopeful that the next time I try it that I can get a little bit faster.

I've also been going to Pilates on Thursdays with Nicole.  I decided this morning that it's getting easier and harder at the same time.  Harder in the sense that I feel like Nicole keeps pushing me to do more difficult exercises, but easier because I'm getting the hang of things now.  I'm also 100% sure that the Pilates that I've been doing helped me with my push-up quest.  So, in that regard, I don't imagine giving up on Pilates any time soon!

I know I've been a bad blogger recently.  I'm struggling with the monotony of going to the gym all the time.  I either need to toughen up and get outside or the weather needs to get better.  Or maybe both would be ideal.  I just haven't felt like writing about going to the gym.  I think it's boring.  Mostly because it seems like when I'm outside, I notice something interesting to mention or have a conversation with a stranger.  I've realized that no one talks at the gym.  Ever.  It's a world of headphones, which is sort-of sad, in a way.  The weather is looking up for weekend, so I'm hoping that means that I can get outside again!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Weight Lifting Alone

I've been trying not to get too burned out on doing any one thing every single time I go to the gym.  I'm hoping that this makes me want to go more often since there will be more of a variety.  I'd like to do some spinning one of these times, but with our current gym still in the remodeling process, that's not the easiest thing to arrange at the moment, but I'm keeping my eye out for when it gets better! 

Since I had run and stair-milled yesterday, I decided to get my elliptical on tonight.  It wasn't that exciting.  I read my book and tried to push myself harder than usual.  Mostly I do this by making the resistance really high while doing intervals of varying resistance.  I have to say that it's a little disheartening when I feel like I'm working really hard, but going slowly because of the higher resistance to look over at the people next to me who are going really fast, but only at resistance level 1.  I like to tell myself that my workout is harder than theirs, but I'm not sure that's true.  I only think that the varying levels of resistance keep me from dying of boredom on the elliptical. 

After the elliptical, I decided that I'd venture to the weight room and do some weight lifting on my own.  Normally I'd wait until I was with Drew, just because I like it better when he's there, but since he's traveling for work, I was left to my own devices tonight.  However, I did most of the same things that we did on Saturday together, except I threw in a seated row because I actually really like that lift and I've been wanting to do it for a while now.

I was a little nervous while doing the arm curls alternating with the jumps because another guy had put his water bottle and towel on the jumping box while he was using the cable machine.  So, I had to ask him to move it in order to get my jumps in.  I'm sure he thought that no one would use the box, so I can't be too upset, but is it really that hard to just keep your things on or beside the piece of equipment you're actually using? 

The worst part was that when I was doing my first round of jumps I noticed in the mirror that I was wearing my shirt inside out.  Sigh.  I was wearing a shirt I don't even like and the fact that I didn't even notice when putting it on that it was inside out made me like it even less.  Might be time to just go ahead and get rid of that one? 

I felt pretty good doing the bench presses.  I didn't want to add too much weight since I didn't have a spotter, so I just used the bar.  By the third set, I was really feeling it and could barely get 6 reps out.  All in all, not the worst weight workout in the world for doing it on my own, I think. 

Stand up shoulder presses
3 x 10 @ 12.5 lbs per arm

Arm curls
3 x 10 @ 12.5 lbs per arm

3 x 10 (short box)

Bench Press
2 x 10 @ 45 lbs
6 @ 45 lbs

Seated row
10 @ 40 lbs
10 @ 50 lbs
10 @ 60 lbs

So, I realized that I haven't mentioned how the weight-loss is going, even though I've been doing a lot of talking about the workouts.  This past Saturday I weighed in and had lost just about 5 pounds from my max weight, so I've got just over 10 pounds to lose to meet my goal weight by April.  I have to say that I've been doing a really good job of eating right and making good decisions, with the small exception of having splurged on Saturday night.  But, truly, one night out of the month isn't going to make or break me.  Plus, it was tons of fun and totally worth it.  In an ideal world, I'd work out 6 days a week, but it truth it's been more like 5 days a week.  Which I'll take.  Even on days where I don't work out, I still seem to have a calorie deficit for the day, so I think I'm still on the right track.  Hopefully as long as I stick with it, the rest of this weight will come off! 

Time: 34:58
Distance: 3.00 miles
Calories: 262

Weight Lifting
Time: 16:29
Calories: 100

Monday, January 24, 2011

Switching Rest Days

Normally I like to take my rest days on Mondays, but this week it worked out better for me to switch and take Sunday as a rest day and work out on Monday.  (In truth, that means that it worked out best for me to stay out late Saturday night, brunch on Sunday and then be lazy the rest of the day Sunday!  But it was a really fun weekend!).  Of course, I had to make-up for some of that over-indulgence at some point and today seemed like the perfect day. 

I ended up going to the gym after work tonight.  Normally I'd leave work, walk to the gym by our apartment and then go home, but today was so cold that I opted to go to the gym in our work building and then take the subway home so I didn't freeze while walking home.  Turns out that Monday nights are quite popular at the work gym around 6 pm.  Noted for future reference. 

I ended up starting out on the only available cardio machine ... the stair mill.  Hey, works fine for me!  I love that thing!  I spent a sweaty 30 minutes on the stair mill on Level 11.  Truly, the only reason I bumped it up to Level 11 (from Level 10) is that I've been annoyed that I couldn't get over 3 miles in my 30 minutes of stair climbing.  I wanted to see how far I could get if I bumped it up one level.  Turns out that gets you to 3.2 miles.  Whoo hoo!  Maybe after a few more tries at Level 11, I'll have to bump it up some more...

After the 30 minutes on the stair mill, I walked around trying to find something else that was open, which wasn't easy.  I actually started stretching thinking that I might have to just give up and go home when a treadmill opened up.  I checked to make sure that no one else was waiting for it and I hopped on and got going.  By that point, though, I wasn't 100% into it and was thinking that I might cut it a bit short.  Especially since right after that a very long line formed of people waiting for the treadmill and I felt bad that I was on it and they were all waiting. 

I ended up doing 2.5 miles, which was really 2.0 miles running and 0.5 miles walking.  I have to tell you that I felt like people were staring me down with death rays when I was walking and doing the cool down, but since I hadn't exceeded the 30 minute time limit, I tried not to let it bother me too much (or any more than it already was). 

I couldn't believe how crowded the gym still was at 7:30ish on a Monday night.  Must still be a lot of January joiners.  Which I'm glad to see them at the gym, but maybe I'd be more glad if they didn't come all at once?  

Stair Mill
Time: 30:48
Distance: 3.20 miles
Calories: 275

Time: 27:56
Distance: 2.50 miles
Calories: 251

Saturday, January 22, 2011

One-Legged Jumping Super Star!

This morning I went to the gymnasium with Drew.  We had a lot of stuff to get accomplished today, so we got to the gym pretty much right when they opened at 8.  I started off on the Elliptical as a warm-up.  After that, we went to the weight room and did some weight lifting. 

I wanted to try to redeem myself after last week when I dropped the bar on the bench press and my trusty spotter saved the day.  I think I definitely did that today.  I even managed to go up 5 pounds from last week.  The 1.5 reps is because I did the first one all on my own and then Drew said that he thought I could get one more.  I brought the bar about half-way down and realized that there was no way, so I pushed it back up on my own, so it was really only half a rep.  Anything is better than dropping the bar, right? 

Bench press
10 @ 65 lbs
5 @ 75 lbs
1.5 @ 90 lbs

10 @ 60 lbs
6 @ 60 lbs
8 @ 70 lbs

Stand up shoulder presses
3 x 10 @ 12.5 lbs per arm

Arm curls
3 x 10 @ 12.5 lbs per arm

10 x 3 (short box)

I actually did the jumps while alternating the arm curls.  It was a really good way to keep my heart rate up.  However, as I've mentioned before, I'm really NOT a good jumper.  Or, more specifically, I'm not a good two-legged jumper.  As Drew said, "You're a one-legged jumping super star!".  Which is sort-of true.  I'm just missing some sort of balance or something that makes me able to be good at jumping with two legs, but I gave it my best effort!

After that I finished up with a run on the treadmill.  Between the frigid temperatures and the snow we keep getting here, it seems almost impossible to run outdoors (at least to me).  My hat is off to those of you who are doing it!  I decided that in the spirit of keeping up with this speedy 5K plan, I should do some pick-ups during today's run.

I ran the first half-mile at 5.4 (11 minute pace) and then bumped it up to 7.5 (8 minute pace) for the next 0.25 miles.  I then went back to my slower pace to recover.  I ended up doing a total of 4 pick-ups throughout the run.  Two of them were at 7.5 (8 minute pace) and two were at 8.5 (7 minute pace).  All four pick-ups were for 0.25 miles.  It wasn't always easy, but I'm pretty proud of myself for hanging in there!  I ended up doing the 3.1 miles in 29:20 and then walked for another minute to cool down. 

I know I need to get some longer runs in, too, but the thought of doing them on the treadmill is slightly daunting/boring/annoying, so I'm holding out for better weather...

Time: 33:59
Distance: 2.80 miles
Calories: 269

Weight Lifting
Time: 26:43
Calories: 148

Time: 30:58
Distance: 3.20 miles
Calories: 307

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You Make It Look Easy

This morning I met Nicole for our regularly-scheduled pilates session.  Luckily, this week wasn't nearly as crowded as last week, which made it a little easier for teaching, I think. Nicole had me start off on the foam roller again, which isn't all that easy to balance on it while doing different exercises.  Of course, Nicole had to say that since I wasn't moving all over (I take that as a sign that my core muscles are actually in decent shape) that I was making it look easy! 

Ha!  That was the first 10 minutes or so of our session.  It only gets more difficult from there.  I think if I only had to do 10 minutes of pilates, I could be a rock start.  It's doing all that core work for 55 minutes that's really the killer!  Of course, I'm still loving it.  It's a nice change from the gym once a week and knowing that I have to meet Nicole and that I paid for these sessions is a huge motivator in keeping me going! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gym, Gym, Gym

That's all I ever do anymore, I think.  Well, that's not really true.  But it's all I seem to be doing in terms of working out.  I'm not the biggest fan of the gym, but if going there will help me reach my weight loss goal by April, I'm going to keep on going.  Of course, I'm secretly hoping the weather will magically get more spring-like, but I don't think that's really going to happen anytime soon.

Tonight I went to the gym after work.  I did what is quickly becoming my fall-back routine there.  But that's okay because I don't hate it (or at least I don't hate it yet).  It lets me read my book while I'm there and I'm all in favor of more reading time in my life.  I read a lot (even outside of the gym) and if you're really curious about what I'm reading, I could start posting it here, but I don't give book recommendations because they make me nervous.  I mean, how do I know what kind of books you like to read?  

So, at the gym today, I did 30 minutes on the stair mill followed by 20ish minutes on the elliptical.  I tried to hang on for as long as I could on the elliptical, but truthfully, I was hungry and wanted to get home and make myself some dinner.  I forced myself to stay on until my heart rate monitor said I had burned 200 calories during that part of the workout, which I thought was a good compromise.  A lot easier than a time goal, I think.

I've noticed that I actually don't mind going to the gym after work.  Even if it is more crowded then.  However, I don't really like getting home later and still having to figure out some sort of dinner.  I also feel even less motivated than usual the next morning to get up and go to the gym in the morning, so it's like some sort of really bad cycle I've got myself on.  I know I should just suck it up and get up earlier.  I'm a work in progress, what can I say?  

Stair Mill
Time: 30:57
Distance: 2.95 miles
Calories: 265

Time: 24:40
Distance: 2.20 miles
Calories: 200

Monday, January 17, 2011

Running To The Dentist

This morning I had a dentist appointment at 7:30.  Which normally would be a little early for my taste, but when I scheduled the appointment, I forgot that I didn't have to work today.  Which meant that it was really early for my taste!  But, I went anyway.  I figured I'd combine my workout for the day with the dentist appointment. 

So, I literally ran to and from the dentist's office.  It's just about a mile and a half each way, so even though there was a 30 minute break in the middle there, it seemed like it was better than nothing!  I was worried that people would give me funny looks for being there all decked out in cold weather running gear, but no one seemed to really notice or say anything.  Since it's such a short distance, I wasn't sweaty or anything sitting in the dentist's chair, so I guess it wasn't the weirdest thing I've ever done. 

Mostly, I was glad to have it done with so that I could go see The Kings Speech with Nicole this afternoon! 

Time: 27:40
Distance: ~3.00 miles
Pace: 9:13/mile

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A New Max

This morning Drew and I went to the gym together and that meant that I'd have a spotter in order to try to test out my bench pressing abilities.  The last time I tried, I felt like I maxed out at 80 pounds.   A couple days ago I was able to do 90 pounds on the chest press machine, so I was hoping for something around there.  But I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it, since I always think the machines are easier. 

We started out with 30 minutes on the stair mill before hitting the weights.  I was pretty nervous, but we started out at 65 pounds and that was fine.  Then I moved up to 75 pounds and it was definitely getting harder and my right pectoral muscle was a tiny bit tired.  I decided that we should just go for it and try 85 pounds.  I did one really easily.  The second one I managed to get up and then that was it.  My right pectoral muscle had had enough.  I can't say I really blame it.  And, um, as a result, I dropped the bar.  Right into Drew's hands.  Lucky thing I have such a great spotter, huh?  It's not quite as bad as it sounds.  I kept my left hand on the bar the entire time and I'm sure I just surprised Drew more than anything else.  Thanks to him, I was never in any real danger.   

After that, we finished up with some more weight lifting, which looked a lot like this: 

Bench Press
5 @ 65 lbs
5 @ 75 lbs
2 @ 85 lbs

Skull Crushers
3 x 10 @ 25 lbs

6 @ 60 lbs
8 @ 60 lbs
7 @ 60 lbs

Shoulder Press
2 x 10 @ 12.5 lbs (per arm)

I have to say that I'm pretty proud that I beat my previous best.  Especially since I really haven't been lifting weights all that consistently (or at all) recently. 

We finished up our day with some time on the Arc Trainer.  I still don't understand the appeal of that machine.  Drew loves it, probably with a capital L.  And I think it's super boring.  His response?  "Yeah, but I go faster and push myself more than you."  After thinking about that for a while, it's probably the reason I love the stair mill so much.  Because the machine pushes you automatically.  Plus, it's really easy to read a book on the stair mill.  Which probably makes it the best machine of all time.  Maybe I don't like the arc trainer because I don't automatically get pushed in the same way? 

Stair Mill
Time: 30:00
Distance: 2.95 miles
Calories: 275

Weight Lifting
Time: 32:05
Calories: 144

Arc Trainer
Time: 30:00
Distance: 0.70 miles
Calories: 248

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Baseline 5K

So, Friday I ended up taking as a rest day.  I know I've mentioned it a million times, but I really don't like to get up in the morning.  So, I slept in instead.  And Drew and I had dinner plans after work, so I skipped working out then, too.  Which brings me to this morning! 

Drew had left for the gym earlier than me, so I just went and did some running on the treadmill.  I thought I would try to do some other stuff, but when I got to the gym, I wasn't all that into it and wanted to go home rather than hang around the gym all day long.

I decided to run a 5K on the treadmill and just see what my base time would be without any real effort on my part.  Basically, I wanted it to be an "easy" run.  As opposed to whatever my "speedy" time will be for this race in March.  I thought it would be good just to have some sort of baseline when starting out to see what I'm working with. 

I started out running at 5.6 MPH and just kept bumping it up little by little as time went on.  I ended up sprinting to the finish, but that seemed pretty realistic to me.  I finished in 30:49 (or 9:56/mile pace).  I feel good about that.  Especially since I compared this to the last time I ran this 5K course and ran at a 9:48/mile pace.  And it's a fairly hilly 5K course! 

I really think I've got a good start and I can only go down from here.  I'm going to have to start incorporating more speed work into my routine, but I'm okay with that.  I also keep having some calf soreness in my left calf, so I'm really wondering if it's time for a new pair of shoes.  I'm going to give these that I've got now a couple more tries, but it seems rather suspicious to me.

I ended up cooling down and running one more mile around a 10:20 pace before heading home.  And as far as being hardcore?  I weighed myself yesterday and there is no change.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a tiny bit disappointed by that, but I'm just going to keep on going.  No change is better than going in the wrong direction!

Time: 41:09
Distance: 4.10 miles
Pace: 10:02/mile
Calories: 365

Thursday, January 13, 2011

7 Days

Today marks one week of counting calories and starting to be more regular in my workouts.  I have to come clean and say that today's blog post title was brought to you by this video:

I don't know if I've seen any difference on the scale yet.  I'm waiting until tomorrow to weigh myself.  I'm feeling more in the groove, so even if there isn't any loss, I'm just going to keep going with everything as I have been. 

Yesterday after work I headed to the gym to do some more cardio.  My left calf was still a little iffy from last weekend (I think that today it finally feels back to 100%), so I decided to skip running again and just go for the "other" types of cardio.  I ended up doing a half an hour on the stair mill and a half an hour on the elliptical.  I definitely burn more calories on the stair mill, but I'm not sure I could stand doing that for more than 30 minutes. 

I ended up going to the gym on the ground floor of the building that I work in.  The gym I belong to has branches all over the city and with the membership that I have, I can go to all of them.  I'm pretty sure my membership is up in March and I've really been toying with the idea of switching gyms.  And then something like yesterday happens and I remember how nice it is to be able to go to the gym anywhere I want.  It's really something to consider.  It's just so gosh-darn expensive!  Being healthy should be cheaper! 

This morning I had pilates with Nicole. Pilates is not a huge calorie burner (not shocking), but I really like it.  A lot.  It is sort-of fun because I never really know what Nicole will throw at me on any given day.  This morning we sort-of had to shuffle around the studio because there was a very full house, but it worked out just fine. 

We started out on the reformer using a foam roller, but not in the typical way. I was laying on top of the foam roller and then had to balance on that while doing some other exercises.  There was a moment where I was sure I was going to roll off the reformer, but I guess my ab muscles caught me, because I was fine! 

We ended up working on the tower and I realized today that Nicole has a thing for my hamstrings.  As in, she likes to torture them.  Or maybe she's trying to make up for the fact that I tortured them myself while marathon training.  Either way, they definitely get a lot more (and better) stretching on these pilates days than they do on a regular day.  It's both good and ouchy at the same time. 

I've got one more day of waking up early before work and then three days in a row when I can get up as I please!  Hooray for long weekends!  I'm just a little too excited about this one coming up.  I'm planning on trying out running again tomorrow and also doing some more weight lifting.  Last Saturday when I did some weight lifting, I had to use the plate-loaded machines instead of free weights and I was doing the chest press at 80 or 90 pounds.  I really don't think I could do that on the bench press, but I might want to test it out just to see if I could do it once (or maybe even twice!).

Stair Mill & Elliptical
Time: 1:00:42
SM Distance: 2.80 miles
Elliptical Distance: 2.50 miles
Calories: 500
Max HR: 176 (83%)
Average HR: 158 (75%)

Time: 54:00
Calories: 115
Max HR: 118 (56%)
Average HR: 90 (42%)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Being Hardcore

I might not have been keeping you perfectly up-to-date on my workouts, but I can assure you that they're getting done and I'm actually glad to be back at it.  I'm sticking with my plan of working out 6 days a week and having one rest day.  I've also been working on keeping my eating in check, which is a little bit easier when you're not on an extended vacation at Drew's mom and dad's house where they keep feeding you delicious food all the time! 

I've decided to try to keep up my new (and slightly improved) eating habits until April.  My goal between now and then is to lose 15 pounds.  Or, technically, 12, since I think I'm already down 3.  In April we're going to San Francisco and going to the Giants opening day and then on to wine country for 5 days and I want to be able to do wine tastings and eat yummy vacation food without worrying about anything else! 

I'm eating probably 85-90% of what I was eating a week ago, but this time I'm counting calories (using Daily Burn).  I've used a couple of Basal Metabolic Calculators to figure out that my BMR is probably somewhere around 1475 calories a day, so my calorie goal is to eat more than that and is somewhere in the 1500-1700 range each day.  I've successfully done this for the past 4 days and I have no reason to think that today would be any different.  I don't feel like I've denied myself anything, I just don't need to eat as often as I was when I was training for a marathon and I got sort-of used to the extra food! 

The good news for me is that I eat pretty well no matter what.  Now I'll just be a bit more tempted to cook at home (which, if you saw our counter space, you'd wonder how anything was possible) and have leftovers for lunch than I will to go grab something at the myriad of options within a 2 minute range from my desk.  But, that will be good for my wallet as well! 

Drew and I have called what we're doing (because he's in on this, too) until April "being hardcore".  This involves me actually getting up and going to the gym, which is a huge change of pace for me over the last month or so.  I think I'm doing pretty well so far.  Here's the quick breakdowns of all the workouts:

Saturday, January 8
Drew and I went to our "old" gym.  It's the one I was used to going to and it has a pool, which is nice, since not all gyms in NYC have one.  However, it's been undergoing renovations for the past couple months, so we haven't been going there (or, really, I should say that Drew hasn't been going there).  I wanted to go and see how everything looked.  It seems like they're still about a month away from being completely done, but it's looking pretty nice so far.  Of course, I should mention that the equipment hasn't changed and Drew managed to break a treadmill while we were there, so it looks fancier, but I'm not entirely sure it is fancier. 

I started out on the elliptical to warm-up before heading to the treadmill.  I only did two miles on the treadmill before going to do some weight-lifting.  I feel like these gym workouts are a little scattered because I don't do any one thing for very long, but if this is what it's going to take to get me to keep going, so be it.  I finished up the weight lifting with some ab work before going back to the treadmill for another round of cardio.  I was going to try to do some intervals on the treadmill the second time around, but after the first one, I felt really pukey.  I could have lived through that if I hadn't gotten a big side stitch.  I took that as a sign that I should ease back into this whole thing and so I spent 15 minutes doing some stretching and more ab work.  All in all, a pretty good workout for the first day of being "hardcore". 

Sunday, January 9
In my original plan, I had wanted to run three days a week, so I figured I might as well start now!  I've got this Speedy 5K plan in my head for March and I thought that I'd try to incorporate a little speed work into my run today since it hadn't worked out so well the day before.  I put on lots of warm clothes and a hat and gloves and my new Garmin and headed out the door to the Westside Path.

Wow.  It's cold out there in January.  Luckily, it didn't take me too long to warm-up.  I ran two miles down to Chelsea Piers and then turned around and headed back home.  I figured that my muscles were probably warmer now so I could try to run a faster mile for mile three.  And I totally did!  It was pretty hard, though.  I also think I need to change some of the settings on my Garmin because right now I have the auto pause feature for when I'm totally stopped.  I had to stop a couple times today to blow my nose and I noticed that each time, it took at least 10 seconds to register that I'd stopped.  I can't really blame it, I'll just change some setting and then I'll feel better about my times not being skewed by nose blowing or stopping for a traffic light.  But, I can include these fancy mile splits for the very first time:

Mile 1:         10:17
Mile 2:         10:28
Mile 3:           9:36
Mile 4:         11:02
Mile 4-4.10:  1:14

Monday, January 10
Rest day!  Mondays are going to be my "normal" rest day, so I figured I should just go ahead and get into the routine early! 

Tuesday, January 11
This morning I managed to get up and out of bed, even though Drew said "you could just go after work", but I wanted to make sure my workout was done and over with.  My left calf muscle has been a little sore, which I'm sure is the result of running too fast (oops).  That meant that I wouldn't be doing any running today.  Instead, I did 30 minutes on the stair mill and 30 minutes on the elliptical.  Not a riveting workout, but a workout nonetheless.  And I feel great about it.  Mostly I felt great that I'm still sticking with it.  It's a lot easier to get up and go to the gym at 9 or 10 on the weekend than it is before 6 on a weekday! 

Tomorrow it will likely have to be after work unless we end up with another huge snow accumulation in NYC tonight/tomorrow morning.  I am planning on a dentist appointment at 8 am before work and since the gym doesn't open until 6 and there should be a lot of snow on the ground, which would make working out outdoors dangerous, I think I'll stick with the after work option! 

Elliptical: 15:25 / 1.25 miles / 145 calories / 179 max HR (84%) / 172 avg HR (81%)
Running (Treadmill): 20:49 / 2.00 miles / 200 calories / 198 max HR (93%) / 180 avg HR (85%)
Weight Lifting: 22:24 / 155 calories / 166 max HR (78%) / 143 avg HR (67%)
Running (Treadmill) 2: 10:00 / 1.00 mile / 93 calories / 181 max HR (85%) / 172 avg HR (81%)

Running: 42:37 / 10:23 pace / 481 calories / 192 max HR / 173 avg HR

Stair Mill: 30:48 / 2.53 miles / 245 calories / 166 max HR (78%) / 155 avg HR (73%)
Elliptical: 31:40 / 2.75 miles / 270 calories / 172 max HR (81%) / 162 avg HR (76%)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas, Yoga & An Extended Holiday Break

So, as I did last year, I traveled to Wisconsin on December 18-19 to make cookies with Drew's family.  I'm pretty sure we made even more cookies than we did last year, including mixing in our new Star Wars Cookie Cutters to make some non-Christmas themed cookies!  Somehow we were much more efficient this year, even given the additional cookies made, that we made it to yoga class on December 19 and after baking for a few more hours that day, I even helped Drew's parents decorate their tree! 

It must have been the season for yoga, because I ended up going back to yoga on Christmas Eve Day and the day after Christmas!  And then there was a blizzard in New York City.  Which meant that instead of flying home on December 26, we were going to be extending our vacation by a few days!  So, I made the most of it by enjoying hanging out with Drew's parents and living the retired lifestyle.  This entails having fancy lunches, getting mani/pedis, knitting, and more yoga!  I'm happy to say that I made it to yoga a total of 5 times when we were "stuck" there over the Christmas holiday.  And I even went to the local Y with Drew one morning, too! 

The only downside to being in Wisconsin longer than planned was that it was sort-of like doing the Wardrobe Challenge all over again!  Having so few outfits that you have to then spread out over 10 days is a little interesting, but I managed to make it work with some help from Drew's sister!  We spent the New Year in Chicago, which was always the plan and managed to make it home on January 2. 

It's been great to be home, but other than doing Pilates with Nicole yesterday, I'm totally slacking in the workout department.  I didn't even take my running shoes with me to Wisconsin, which meant that doing a marathon tomorrow is totally out of the question.  So, I'm bowing out of that one.  Which is probably okay since I got an e-mail today saying that the trail is a little iffy due to all the snow we got before and the snow that we got today! 

Now that it's 2011 and I've read blog post after blog post about resolutions or goals for the New Year, I figure I should take a long look at my own fitness (or lack thereof, currently) and get back on the wagon.  I'm feeling like I'm in a bit of a slump and I need to get over this in order to get back to the shape I'd like to be in.  Which also means that I need to pay a bit more attention to what I'm eating, too.  I don't know that I have the discipline to take a photo of everything I eat (and, frankly, I eat a lot of boring stuff, so I don't think you'll want me to anyway), but I do think that I might post some sort-of progress along the way so that I can keep myself more accountable. 

In terms of racing goals for the new year, I still want to have a speedy 5K race in March.  I even printed out a plan on how to get there.  I think that for the rest of this month, I need to work out some sort of a "plan".  I think it might look something like running 3 days a week, pilates 1 day a week, strength + other cardio 2 days and resting 1 day.  Or something sort-of similar to that.  The biggest goal for 2011 is the NYC Marathon.  I've got no triathlons on tap as of right now, but I think that'll change eventually.  I just need to get my act together and really look at the calendar before I make any decisions. 

I'm going to be posting more regularly once I get back to it.  Drew and I are going to San Francisco in April and our goal is to be "hardcore" until then.  Just to see what kind of shape we can get ourselves into in the next three months.  Should be a fun ride! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Pass Book

Yesterday was a big mix-up and I ended up not having pilates in the morning like I thought I would, so that meant no workout for me and my stomach has now been saved until after the Christmas holiday!  Truthfully, I think the rest was best for my cold anyway, so it all worked out.  Plus I got to have a nice egg and potato breakfast at my desk yesterday morning.

This morning Laura and I had made plans to meet at the JCC for a swim.  Last year, we both deemed it to be in the top two pools in the city.  Even though it doesn't even have a hot tub!  This year, we had saved up our passes from our fitness book for the JCC until the end of the year.  This was partly on purpose, I think, and also partly due to the fact that Laura and I both broke bones this year. 

I got there first this morning and the guy at the desk told me that the JCC no longer accepts these passes.  Oh, and they haven't accepted them all year long.  Which was bad news for me & Laura.  But, he was really nice and let both of us go in on a guest pass today.  Disaster averted! 

We got out to the pool deck and there was no one swimming in the Fast lane, so we both grabbed that before anyone else could.  We started by just splitting the lane, but the lifeguard came and yelled at me by the time I had finished my first 25, so circle swimming we went.  It wasn't a big deal or anything, it just most likely would have prevented anyone else from coming into our lane.  Which is exactly what happened near the end.

While I was swimming today, I was thinking that swimming in an Olympic distance triathlon is a long ways.  And even when you're swimming in a pool where the sun is shining directly in your eyes, it's still a lot easier to swim in a pool than open water.  That being said, however, I feel like I should get a triathlon on the books for 2011.  I'll have to do some research on that. 

As preparation for this unknown triathlon(s) in 2011, Laura and I decided today to buy the passbook again for next year.  We didn't get as much use out of it this year as we did in 2009, but we have a plan to change that next year!  

Tomorrow I'm off to Wisconsin to have Christmas Cookie Extravaganza, Take II.  I'll be back with a full recap after the weekend.  If last year was any indication, it should be a lot of baking and candy-making and a whole lot more fun! 

1000 Free
100 kick
100 free/breath control (zero breaths x 2)/breast stroke

Time: 26:31
Distance: 1200 meters = 0.75 miles
Pace: 35:21/mile

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Merry Christmas To Me!

On Monday I had the first part of my Christmas present to myself.  My friend Nicole became a Certified Pilates Instructor last year.  I took lots of other pilates classes with her when she was going through her certification.  I was really nervous to start again since I've been neglecting my core so well during marathon training.  However, I had really enjoyed pilates when I did it before, so I'm starting up again.  For now, I'm doing 5 classes, but I have a sneaking suspicion that will turn into more!

When I got there and Nicole asked if there was anything specific I wanted to work on, I just laughed and said my stomach since it hasn't been doing much work.  I figured that it wouldn't be a problem.  I mean, after only like three or four exercises, I was already shaking.  It was really nice to be back and I'm glad that I signed up for classes with Nicole.  Having one-on-one attention is nice so that she can make sure I'm keeping my form up while doing all the exercises! 

Tuesday Laura and I had made plans to meet in the morning before work, except that it didn't work out and we ended up not meeting.  So, I headed to the gym after work instead.  I started coming down with a bit of a cold and I knew that it probably wasn't going to be my best effort ever.  Plus, the small gym by our house was pretty much jam-packed. 

I got the very last treadmill available and the whole time I was running there was a bit of a line forming, so I felt like I really had to adhere to the 30-minute time limit that our gym has.  So, I ran three miles in just over 30 minutes and called that good.  I followed it up with 15 minutes on the stair mill, something I haven't done in a while.  Boy oh boy, did I forget how sweaty that machine is! 

After all that, I spent a lot of time stretching.  I know that I need to be doing this every time and there's no time like the present to start.  My legs were a little tired from pilates on Monday and some of the stretches that Nicole had me do then, so I figured that more stretching was probably a good thing. 

Today I'm taking a rest day.  From work and working out.  I woke up feeling even more congested and with a sorer throat than earlier this week, so I knew that if I wanted to feel better sooner, resting would be the best thing for me.  I'm flying for the next three weekend and that never helps me feel any better, so I thought this would be the best opportunity.  I've been planted on the couch sleeping and drinking lots of fluids and taking lots of Vitamin-C to try to nip this cold in the bud! 

Time: 31:27
Distance: 3.00 miles
Pace: 10:28/mile

Stair Mill
Time: 15:00
Distance: 1.25 miles
Pace: 12:00/mile

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Best Treadmill

This morning I knew I needed to get a decently long run in. That didn't mean that I wanted to do it. Drew had to pester me repeatedly to get up and all I wanted to do was press snooze. I'm not sure how I feel about running in the cold and dark in the mornings on the weekend, so I opted to go to the gym instead.

Our regular gym by our apartment is under renovation, so  I went to the 24-hour gym fir the first time in quite a while. It's pretty small and they only have one of the best kind of treadmills, so I was lucky to grab that before it got really busy.

I ran 3.00 miles before I had to take a quick bathroom break.

I was really excited about the treadmills at this gym because instead of having a 60-minute limit like usual, they had a 97-minute limit. 97 seems like a really random number, but whatever it was, I was glad for the extension.

I ran the first 3 miles at 5.6 speed, which felt easy and relaxing. After re-starting, I ran the next 4.4 miles at the same 5.6 speed. I had a Gu around mile 5, just like how I've been training.  After that, Drew left the gym and I wanted to finish up and get home myself, so I decided to bump up the speed.

At first I thought I'd just do some intervals, so I bumped it up to 8.0. Funny thing was that it felt relatively easy. So I ran at 8.0 for the next mile and a half. Which was a longer interval than I had been planning on. And then I bumped it up to 9.0 for most of the rest of the run. I finished the last quarter mile at 10.0. I pretty much felt awesome after that and walked for a few minutes to cool-down before heading home.

It also made me realize that although I don't have a lot of races planned for 2011 yet, it doesn't mean that I can't start thinking about what my race goals should be.

So, with that said, I'm still planning on this marathon in January. After that, I think I want to focus on running a speedy 5K. There is a NYRR 5K (it might actually be the only one) in March. I did the race last year too, and it is a bit hilly, so I think "speedy" is something that is yet to be determined, but that's my next race goal.

It seems pretty reasonable to me to think that if I can run comfortably at a 7:30/minute pace or faster after running 7 miles already, this should be something I can achieve.  Although it's probably also a good reminder that a good warm-up is really important. 

I have to say that it's sort-of nice to have something else to look forward to. I do much better when I've got goals or races to train for.

Time: 31:59
Distance: 3.00 miles
Pace: 10:39/mile

Time: 64:54
Distance: 7.00 miles
Pace: 9:16/mile