Monday, June 27, 2011

Extreme Abs

I was going to run yesterday morning after I took out the dogs. However, I woke up later than I expected and it was already getting hot by the time I took out the dogs and walked to the grocery store in crappy flip flops that gave me blisters (and all in my PJs). So, at least I got in a 1 mile walk with 2 bags of somewhat heavy groceries on one arm and a 12 pack of coke on the other arm. This counts as an arm and leg workout to me.

Later on in the day, I decided to bust out Jackie's Extreme Abs since my DVD player works again. I can't express how much I love this DVD. It's quick and it hurts. She has such beautiful abs and I really need to get in shape. I have decided that I will do this workout every morning instead of my other morning routine. However, today (my first morning) was canceled. I got up early enough to take care of this quick workout, but I had to leave. There is something wrong with my car and I wasn't expecting the guy to be there so quickly. I am going to try to do this video when I get home, but I may have to run a great deal of errands when I get off work. Tomorrow for sure unless something else bad happens. I just knocked on wood.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Interval Training Kicks Butt...and Legs...and Everything Else

I was planning to run outside on Wednesday; however, I found out that I was wrong. I would have to walk to the running trail that is next to the Courtyard Marriot. What I thought was the running trail at the Double Tree like they said they had in the brochure is actually the golf walkway. My bad.

Since I didn't feel like walking over there to run, I hopped on the treadmill again. This time, I decided to do interval training set up by the machine. Normally, I do not like to have machines control what I'm doing since you saw how well that worked out for the world in movies like the Terminator or Maximum Overdrive or the TV show, Battlestar Gallactica. However, I wanted to try something different than just to run for 3 miles and I didn't know what I was doing, needed guidance. So, I let the machine do it for me and will take my chances to fight the good fight in the end.

I selected the button and put in my weight (eeek) and age; the program automatically set it up for an hour again and I stuck with it. Interval training started out walking at 2.0 mph with an incline of 0 and then moves to an incline of 3 (still at 2.0 mph). After 2 times, I realized that I needed to customize it. So, my walks became 3.0 mph with an incline of 1 and my runs became 5.0 mph with an incline of 3. At the end, when I started to get tired, I decreased the incline of my walks to 1 and then even later, the speed became 2.5 mph. I kept this up for the full hour and had a 5 minute cool down walk at 2.0 mph.

Throughout the workout, I had That 70s Show, Scrubs, and Seinfeld to keep my mind occupied. Unfortunately, I believe I snorted when I started laughing out loud. Don't judge me. It was funny.

I was sweaty, tired, and sore when I got off the treadmill; I could feel that my legs were jelly. I burned a total of 410 calories (give or take 10 calories) and ran/walked 4.30 miles (give or take 10 miles) within the 1 hour, 5 minutes. This is not bad for me. I looked over at the lady riding the stationary bike (which I was thinking of trying) and she only burned a little under 200 calories for 5 miles. I have no idea how much I actually ran since it was on intervals. I think I was switching every 2 or 3 minutes, but not sure. Although, I could feel myself getting faster with my run.

After the treadmill, I stretched out my legs and then lifted some weights. I did 3 reps of 20 using the 15 lb dumbbell of the arms behind my head arm curl thingy (don't know the technical term) standing on the bogo ball for an extra core workout, 3 reps of 20 shoulder curls using the 5 lb dumbbell in between the arm curl thingy (the last rep was 10 front and 10 back), 3 reps of 10 arm raises using the 5 lb dumbbell, and 3 reps of 20 butterfly raises using the 10 lb weight. I stretched out my arms and headed upstairs to get ready to go out.

My reward included my coworkers taking me to the brewery and the distillery. Needless to say, I didn't work out on Thursday due to the massive hangover that invaded my head, body, and soul. I'm going to try to workout this evening when I get done with work. Wish me luck!

These are some pictures of me at the brewery. And who would want to actually live here with a view like that? I mean, for real!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oh It's On

I am back in Grand Junction and I can't believe the weather. I mean you can actually run at 5 p.m. and not take a chance with your life. I walked out of the hotel in the mornings to a wonderful 57 degrees instead of 80 (with humidity). I didn't know that places like this existed in the middle of June.

This trip is a little different for me since I'm staying at a new hotel (the Doubletree) and it does boast a couple of exercise improvements over the Courtyard Marriot (normal place I stay). One of the big differences is the gym; Doubletree has an actually nice gym with new equiptment. Each machine is fit with its own individual TV and there are more machines available. The other notice of difference is that there is an actual running trail within the hotel grounds whereas Courtyard has it outside of the hotel, next door.

I got out of work early since my training was done, took care of an errand on the phone, and then headed to the gym (it was still early). I did some quick stretches, turned to a channel that I liked (Seinfeld where Elaine's alter ego, Susie is created), and started walking at 3.0 mph with an incline of 1. Whenever I start to run on a treadmill, I notice that it gives you a certain time period that they are expecting you to run and mine was 1 hour. I decided that I would attempt running/walking for the full hour. I walked to 0.25 miles and then increased the speed to 5.0 mph. I ran (and felt good, too) until 1.10 miles on the actual treadmill distance). I decreased speed to 3.0 mph so I could walk until I reached 1.25 miles. I increased the speed to 5.0 mph and then somewhere around 1.45, I increased it again to 5.5 mph before I had to stop at 1.60 miles to walk. I did this for the rest of the time: walk 0.25 miles, run 0.25 miles. Whenever I ran, I started with 5.0 mph and always increased it to 5.5 mph for the last tenth of the mile. I did the last mile walking at 3.0 mph.

I also want to point out that I watched The Looney Tunes Show, which was hilarious. A tasmanian devil escapes the zoo and ends up becoming a dog called Poochie for Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck (yeah, they live together) and it had all these characters from lots of Looney Tunes stuff. I noticed that the guy running in the gym kept looking at me everytime I burst out laughing. Then, that ended and it turned to some weird animation of Wil E. Coyote (my favorite super genious since he has the best first name EVER). I had to change it to South Park in which they were playing the You Got Served episode. Hence, the title, because they say that throughout to denote that the dance off is on. So, I felt it was appropriate.

My goals were to run 3 miles and work on running/walking for a certain amount of time (in this case, 1 hour) instead of actual miles . I accomplished both of these goals. I ran a total of 2 miles (2.15 miles exactly) and walked the rest until 1 hour was reached. I ran/walked a total of 3.80 miles and burned 372 calories. Yes, that's right, I did 3.80 miles in 1 hour. When was the last time I did that? Or really ran that much?

However, my euphoria of exercise accomplishment didn't last too long, because I saw the scale and decided to see what my weight was "just for fun." It's more like "just for torture." And naturally, my weight was 150 lbs. This hit home, because I was at 137 lbs when I got sidelined with my ankle injury back in October. And to add insult to injury, I have also dealt with some serious emotional stress since January that caused me to eat anything sweet like cakes, cookies, ice cream, etc. So that coupled with not being able to exercise at full strength, it's fair to say that I've gained some weight. Now, I'm no Jabba the Hut (which I was well on my way), because I have had sporadic exercising since then (i.e., physical therapy and small amounts of running before my car accident) and I started eating better when I noticed that my skin started expanding and rolling over my jeans. So, 150 lbs is actually pretty good considering, but it explains why I'm having trouble fitting in my pants. And I'm tired of not fitting in my jeans.

Okay, got off on a tangent...right, back to the exercise stuff. I'm still happy that I did that much exercise yesterday, including doing 2 sets of 25 squats that morning. And speaking of morning, I worked out this morning, as well. I should probably write about it in tomorrow's post (planning to run that trail outside after work), but just in case I have another bodily injury on my way home from work (yes, I knocked on wood), I'm writing it now before I forget. It's no secret that I can't breathe in this state and has caused many a sleepless nights. I'm always up super early and I have seen this yoga lady on PBS at 5:30 a.m. (wasn't sure if she was on at 5 a.m. and she wasn't). So, I decided to do some stretching this morning. I missed the first 10 minutes, but I still got a great deal in with this lady since she moves fast. She's an ex ballerina and a great deal of the stretches were doing them ballet style. It felt so good. I can't wait to do this tomorrow morning. Afterwards, I did 2 sets of 25 squats, 50 front crunches, 30 side crunches (each side), and 20 situps.

All in all, I got my motivation finally to get my arse in shape and it was that stupid scale in the Doubletree hotel gym. So, it's on...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

First Run Back With Dreams of a Distant Past

I have finally decided that my back is good enough to start running; however, I made this decision in the worst part of Texas Summer, including a heat wave of sun worthy proportions.

My friend Mal is back from Grenada and we made the decision to run together yesterday for the first time. She's been waiting impatiently for me to get better so we can train again and join the Houston Hash. I'm not doing my first Hash without her, so I need to get back in the game. Our first time was Memorial Park (old familiar for me) at 5 (and 5:30 and then eventually 6). My job was to bring her an extra pair of shoes since she left hers at the house really far away. That was my only job. I grabbed my new running belt, mace, keys, phone, credit card, and drivers license. My only job was to bring the shoes. I left the house at 5:15 p.m. in the middle of high traffic time and getting from my house to Memorial Park during this time was a real bitch. All of the freeways and streets were packed with people trying to get home. In my opinion, the lights are shorter during this time further congesting the roads. I was almost there, turning on the street that takes me directly in to the park when I pulled out my phone to give her the bad news...I forgot the shoes. Normally, I would just head home to get the shoes, but it took me about 45 minutes to get there when it was a 20 minute drive and the roads were just as congested going the other way. My one job and I spaced out. I told her that we could just walk the 3 mile loop, but she only had on socks and wasn't going to walk in socks or barefoot. So, she left.

Since I just spent a frustrating car ride to get there, I wasn't going to waste the moment to at least try to run. I parked by the 3 mile marker and decided to go my normal clockwise (since there is WAY more shade that way). I did a quick stretch and walked to that marker before I started running. Wow! It's been awhile. Maybe it was the fact that my thighs are sore and burning from the 50 squats that I did that morning and the morning before, maybe it was the heat (oh God, it was completely unbearable and it was 6 p.m.), maybe it was my neck (which I have an all new injury where I can't even turn my idea what happened there), or maybe it was not having my partner that has been running motivating me, but I just couldn't get in to the running. I was already walking before I reached the 1/4 mile. I AM ALREADY WALKING. This reminded me of the first ever time that I put shoe to pavement (before I even thought about half marathons) when I could barely run. Well, this was no different. I was out of breath, hot, exhausted, sore and it was not even a 1/4 mile.

When that marker showed up, I did run and planned to run to the 1/2 marker. I actually blew past that at some point, because I never saw it. I started walking somewhere on the track and did a few more quick runs before I nearly passed out trying to get to the first water fountain. I ran a little more and then walked and walked until I reached the 1 mile marker. At this point, I'm not sure how many times I actually ran. I did some quick ones and tried to stay in the shade as much as possible even if it added a litte more track. By the time I reached 1 1/2 marker, I gave up completely on running. I just walked and walked and walked struggling to get to the next water station. So, I think that I ran a mile, but I can't be sure.

Some advice to Memorial Park: More stations at least during the Summer and try to shade your water stations that you do have.

Now, normally, I'm all for any exercise no matter what; I am out there walking. However, I wasn't worried about walking 3 miles, because I probably walked 10 miles in a day when I was in London. I walked everywhere, several miles a day and sometimes carrying a 20-25 lb weight on my back (not to mention carrying a bag on my arm full of goodies). I've been walking around my complex with my dogs (the dog park is roughly 1 mile roundtrip). I was worried about running and running I could NOT do. Actually, at one point, I had to fight back vomiting, because it was so hot (this while just walking). So, I just walked by the trees just in case, but nothing happened. It was actually kind of sad. Before all these injuries, I was running 3-4 miles in this heat and doing a total of 6 miles.

The other issue was my neck. I have no idea what's going on with it, but it hurt. When I was running, it felt better (walking just made it painful), but I couldn't get my body to run that much. I struggled to make it to the 3 mile marker and back to my car. I didn't even stretch; I just got in and blasted the AC. Yes, I know you aren't supposed to do that right away, but I didn't was freaking hot. And then I remembered the lady from Shut Up and Run telling us, "No excuses even if it's hot." Yeah, it's easy for someone to say that who lives in Colorado and not Texas. Texas is HOT. I mean, I got done about 7 p.m. and the temperature was still at full blast of 97 degrees and that's not including the heat index or humidity levels.

I wanted to get up at 5 a.m. this morning to just run for 30 minutes, but I couldn't. My neck was in bad shape. However, Mal and I do plan to run tomorrow. I wanted to set it up for the morning, but I forgot that my new awesome furniture is getting delivered. So, I guess we are running in the heat again. UGH! Wish me luck. I hope I don't die or vomit or both.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Slowly Getting Back

I have finally made the decision that my back is well enough for me to pick up exercising and training for that half marathon. I haven't ran this week, mainly because it is just super hot here right now. By the time, it somewhat cools down, I'm just settling in or I'm going out for the evening. And I thought about getting up early (5 a.m.) to go running, but haven't actually done it. It's still an option, because I'm not the best of sleepers anymore.

On a lot of days, I head to the pool to lay out and do some mini workouts in the pool. I swim (usually the froggy swim) and I tighten my stomach muscles when I do it. So, go me!

Yesterday, I actually did about 30 squats after I got out of the shower. But this morning, I decided to get in to my old regiment of 50 crunches, 30 side crunches each, 20 situps, and 25 squats. It felt good and my stomach actually feels something. My back didn't totally cry out in a pain and running is next. I plan to hit up Memorial Park this weekend, because I know the track well and I know where to go if something goes wrong with my back.

Also, since MaloRee is in town (one of my old running partners), we are going to go to Memorial Park all next week to train. She doesn't realize it yet, but her sister and I are making her train for a half marathon. And BranDee and I are going to train long distance since she lives in Connecticut.