Nothing beats a good run

And it felt great. After sitting and reading at Starbucks this afternoon, we came home and I just felt like running. (Think Forrest Gump.) I hadn’t run in three weeks! That’s the longest I’ve gone since probably Bataan in March. I ran a neighborhood loop of 3.27 miles.

First mile: 11:32. I dodged water puddles the size of Lake Michigan, because here in El Paso they don’t believe in storm drains. I didn’t know what to expect, but I felt pretty good…

Second mile: 11:34. Still felt good. Kept a steady pace. Honestly I didn’t care what it was since I needed any cardio exercise. ANY. I came around a corner and had the mountains and clouds in panoramic view.

Third mile: 10:17. THIS. FELT. AWESOME. I was totally enjoying Coldplay on my Google Play app, the breeze, the 70* weather (!!!!!) and not having to slather on sunscreen and don my sunglasses.

Last .27 of a mile: 2:38. Not bad! I controlled my form and my breathing and brought it home. Literally.

After three weeks of almost no exercise, my body was craving this. Lord knows I’ve “carbed up” quite enough….



I love watching the Olympics. Honestly, I felt pretty indifferent at first but it’s definitely the most exciting thing on television as we don’t have cable.

For the past couple nights I’ve been watching gymnastics and swimming. When I was little, I loved watching gymnastics. The girls look so graceful, even when they’re under such physical and emotional pressure.

I’m older now, and I’m simply in awe of all the events. Of course, since I’m more athletic now, I’m much more aware of what physically has to happen with these athletes in training and in their diets. I love watching all these ordinary people, who started off stumbling and bumbling as much as the next person, being rewarded for all of their hard work, dedication, and perseverance. You don’t get to the Olympics by giving 99%, or 100%. You get there by giving 150%.

These athletes are so fit, so dedicated to their sport. It’s inspiring to me as I’m getting back to a fitness routine that incorporates more core workouts and strength training.

I’m into my second week, and it’s been going pretty well. I’ve decided to not worry about weight.. as I build muscle my weight may not go down a whole lot. It’s not like I still have 30+ of fat to lose; I’m only ten pounds above my ideal weight. I really want to focus on how I feel, what I can do, and how my clothes fit…. and some muscle definition wouldn’t be bad either!

I’ve been doing 3 days per week each of Blogilates videos and cardio. It’s working out well, because even just 20 minutes of videos and I’m feeling it now and two days later! It involves no weights or equipment, just a lot of Pilates moves and modifications and using one’s own body weight. Cardio is going well, too, and I’ll do 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 on the treadmill. I’ve found lately that having a time goal works well for me.

I have a goal in mind for each workout, whether it’s to not skip out on any reps, to maintain a certain heart rate, or to run a mile in 8:20 or less. I’ve been getting so much more out of my workouts, and feeling the burn! That’s the best part, because it’s proof that I’m getting it done.

As far as fuel is concerned, I’ve felt a degree of success these last couple days. I’m actually feeling satisfied by healthy foods, instead of feeling like I just have to have something else. I have a major sweet tooth, so the trick for me is to make a healthier version of what I love (I made this chocolate chip cookie dough dip tonight). For dinner I had a tortilla pizza and a huge bowl of fruit. I got to eat all of it and not feel guilty!

The only person I’m comparing myself to is myself. I can see in the mirror the fit and toned person I can be; it’s just a matter of doing the work. Last week I got my sweat on five days in a row without even thinking about it! Before I knew it it was time for a rest day.

This routine is compatible with the hot weather. I can do the YouTube videos at home, and the cardio ones in the gym. Maybe when it gets cooler I’ll start training outside again….

April 20

This week has flown! I’m thankful because that means only two more weeks until Aaron comes home. I fell into my “single” married woman routine pretty fast.

I’ve worked out a total of four days so far this week, which is three or four days more than I have been, and I’ve been more mindful of the food I put in my body. So.

Monday: 30 min run/walk intervals on treadmill; 25 min bike ride

Tuesday: 20 min run/walk on the track; 50 min kettlebell class

Wednesday: rest — the kettlebell class works my legs more than anything!

Thursday: I posted the video yesterday of the pilates workout I did and a picture of the Pinterest workout. I am feeling it today!!!

Friday: 2.12 miles on the track; 30 min supine bike workout

Saturday: I either want to take Missy on a walk in the canyon, go to yoga, or both

Sunday: rest! IT’S MAH B[EARTH]DAY!!! 😉

I really enjoyed my track workout this morning. 11.3 laps equal a mile, which is a little cumbersome to do mental math with, so I kept track of laps. I walked for 2 laps, ran moderately for 2 laps, and picked up the pace for 2 laps. I won’t say I sprinted because I wasn’t going all out… I was probably running at 80-85% effort.

I have no idea what my pace was, and honestly right now I’m not concerned with that. I need to do the cardio so that when I have totally ripped abs (or not….) you can actually see them! Cassey Ho’s POP Pilates workouts are gonna be my go-to at-home workout. If you haven’t seen her workouts yet, check it out! She’s really energetic and encouraging. I love her blog, too.

WIth the warmer weather on the way, I’m considering holding off on races and lots of running training until fall rolls around. Like I posted earlier, I’ll be taking classes May through August, plus working more since the kids will be out of school.

Well, I’m so glad I already got my sweat on for the day! I’m off to get some sewing/crocheting done and then go to P.F. Chang’s for an early birthday lunch date with Jess! 🙂

Work Out Wednesday and Adjusting Goals

I had a great workout today. My body was thanking me as my fat cells were crying for dear life. We’re down to one car right now (maybe even semi-permanently) but it’s not all bad. I reluctantly had the day off today, but Aaron worked a half day. So, I took him to work and then headed over to the gym for a 1:30 workout. I haven’t had one that long since I did my 8.6-mile run a couple weeks ago. At least, I think it was a couple weeks…

I started by running/walking on the treadmill. I go to the cardiologist on Friday. My internist said no runs over 2 miles… heh. Whoops. I say, Screw that! I probably should heed his advice. BUT. But. I have a half marathon that’s paid for coming up in two weeks. Even if I don’t race it, at the very least I can run it… ANYWAY. I got this little idea in my head that I’d run 6 miles on the treadmill. I got 2.5 miles in and saw that there was a spin class about to go down. So I hopped off that thing and into the spin room.

With Computer Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle Stationary Indoor Trainer Exercise Bike
We get to ride on these.

It was an amazing workout. I sweat like I pig but I didn’t care. It was worth it. If the display is in miles, I “rode” 17-18. WOW. About five people left during the class and you can tell the instructor looked amused and confused. But I stayed the course and rode my little heart out.

I’ve been pondering taking a break from really long distances (14+ miles). I guess my heart thing kind of made me start thinking about it. I weighed myself at the gym, which is usually a more accurate scale, and it said 165. That’s definitely at the TOP of my personal “acceptable” range. I weighed in on the same kind of scale at 152 back in January. That means a weight gain of 13 pounds. Now, it’s no where near what I used to weigh, but it’s still an increase and I can tell some of my clothes, specifically pants, fit tighter.

I think one of the culprits is the mental part of long distance running. I have a hard time balancing my nutrition when running 14, 18, 20 miles. I think, Oh, I just burned 2500 calories on a run so now I can eat whatever I want. Ehhh. Not so much.

After the half in January, I want to focus on more short-distance races, like an 8K (4.97 mi) or 15K (9.3 mi). I love those distances; just enough to challenge me but also training for them doesn’t take soooo many long runs. I also want to have time to focus more on weight  lifting. Yes, real weights, not the machines. I just have to take the plunge into the male-macho-dominated weight room.

Since I’ll be taking Aaron to work, on Tuesday and Thursday when I work in the afternoons I can go to the gym straight away after dropping him off. I’ll be able to get a good workout in, and maybe even do a group fitness class if the schedules coincide.

So…. barring what the doc says on Friday, Aaron and I are planning an 11-miler for the weekend. Uphill. Both ways. In a blizzard. Haha, kidding about the last two parts, but maybe uphill. Snow? Heck no. It’s gonna be in the 60’s!

McKelligon Canyon, I will again make you bow to me.

Focus on fitness: back to the basics.

I’ve decided that Christmas is evil. All the chocolate, sugar, saturated fat, empty calories in drinks like hot chocolate and wassail (if you don’t know what this is, you should!). Despite indulging a little bit, I want to try to focus on fitness.

Because of my nervousness about my heart, I am not going to run farther than 4 or 5 miles at a time until I see the cardiologist. I figure, instead of throwing a pity party about not going on 11+ mile canyon runs with Aaron, I’m going to do cross-training, and do it right.

Today I ran 2 miles on the treadmill, mainly doing intervals and not running slower than a 10:00/mile. My fastest pace was 7:30. I was sweating! And with the lack of decent fans at the gym my face was probably beat red. Then I got on the bike for 15 minutes and rode about 3.5 miles, including some “hills”. That felt great, although my backside was sore from riding yesterday. I tried the rower today, a new machine in my repertoire. It’s a full-body workout! I did that for 10 minutes for a total workout time of 45 minutes.

My goal for my gym sessions is to sweat, get my heart rate up (definitely pushed my max today!), and feel the burn. My goal is not necessarily to lose weight. I need to get that pesky number out of my head (and it’s not even a bad number!). I should focus on what my body can do and the ways I can encourage myself to get stronger.

I want to start lifting free weights… but here’s the thing. The weight room scares me. It’s visible just as you walk into the gym on post and it’s all these buff, or not-so-buff, soldiers looking all mean and strong and stuff. I guess I’m worried I’ll have bad form or not know what I’m doing. I really hate taking advice from people I don’t know. Any advice from my trustworthy readers would be great! 🙂

So, total this week so far I’ve done 16 miles. I figure if I am “allowed” to run after I see the doctor, then keeping up my cardio will help me get back into it without too much trouble!

What are you doing to stay healthy and fit this Christmas?

>Brief update

>Sorry, friends, as I’ve been MIA recently on the blogfront. I’ve been trying to catch up on what’s going on with everyone.

Aaron got in Thursday night to O’Hare, and we stayed up there for a couple nights at this hotel. It was great to get a couple of days where we could just be together and not worry about anything moving-related.

Since he’s been home, we’ve had a couple meals with his family and mine, been to church, and gotten most of the apartment ready for the move. The movers are coming Friday to pack everything up! It’s a little surreal.

We’ve also managed to do very well with eating. We’ve been out to eat only three times in the past five days, which for us is an accomplishment. We went to the store yesterday and got lots of fresh produce and meat to make meals for ourselves and also to contribute to the all-church picnic on Sunday and also Fourth of July with his family. (Scotcharoos anyone??)

We went out yesterday morning for an easy 3-miler, and today we went for a 3-mile hike at one of our favorite parks. For once on “vacation” I don’t feel like I’ve been overeating the whole time. It’s nice that we both love healthy food (though are tempted by goodies!) and that we love being active. We’re excited for all the outdoorsy things to do in El Paso when it’s not 107 degrees!

I picked up this book at Target last week.. it’s amazingly written and gives wonderful insight to what life is like for our soldiers.