Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy Eve Eve

Happy New Year's Eve Eve everyone!  I just have to post really quick to say that unfortunately, there  have been no workouts accomplished by me since last Wednesday. That stinks, but now that the craziness is over joyful Christmas season has passed, I can get back down to business. I don't want to even step close to a scale right now though, much less on one.

Well, that's it for now except to say menu and shopping for the week is done.  That's one step in the right direction.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Registered for my first Triathlon!

I'm officially a triathlete in training!  Woo-Hooo!!  Yep, I registered for the TriBella Triathlon on June 28, 2014.  It's an all-women event being held at Cherry Creek State Park.  There are two distances for this one - a sprint and a super sprint.  I took the plunge and went with the regular sprint (1/2 mile swim, 10 mile bike and 3.1 mile run).

Later, in the Spring, I want to take a drive to the park and check it out.  I'm all excited now and I really want to check it out tomorrow, but it's snowing right now, so I guess I'll have to wait =(

It would be really cool to throw in a 5K between now and then too, don't ya think?  I haven't picked one, but I'm sure there'll be dozens to choose from.  It'll be a nice motivator to get my butt movin' in the right direction.

I'm glad there are neither in CO!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

It was Merry Christmas workout =o

And yes, I did manage a workout on Christmas day.  Never would I have thought that I would even want to, but I did.  I also tried a new recipe!

The recipe is from greenlitebites.com and is a really simple but tasty Blueberry Breakfast Quesadilla.

1 Whole Wheat Flatout wrap (90 cal)
2 Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss wedges (70 cal)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries (40 cal)
sprinkle of cinnamon

I came up with 200 calories and only 3 WW points, but the site shows 220 calories and 6 pts.  Maybe it was the non-stick spray?  Also, I couldn't find the Smooth Sensations Cinnamon spread, so I just sprinkled on the cinnamon before I cooked it.  This was a very quick and easy recipe.  And it tasted quite good, though next time I think I'd prefer fresh blueberries.

I cancelled out any good I did with breakfast by making sausage jalapeƱo poppers (and uh, they were wrapped in bacon) for lunch/snacks.  Then it was back to healthy for dinner with some Best Buffalo Chicken Chili (aka the Award Winning Best Buffalo Chicken Chili) from MyBizzyKitchen.com.

However, before I ate dinner, I grabbed that workout.  There'll be no buffalo chickens hoppin' around in my stomach during a workout!

Oh, but let's back up a bit.  I didn't post the workout from Monday, but I did actually do it!  YAY!!

And here are the details from today:
Month 2 Week 4 Day 2

Bike
45 minutes including cool down
Level 6 / 10.9 miles / 187 calories

Strength Training
Chest
1) Bench Press 50x12x2
2) Chest Flyes 50x12x2

Triceps
1) Side Raises 2.5x12x2
2) Tricep Extensions 15x12x2

Abs
1) Crunches - x12x2
2) Bar twists -x12x2

Stretching
10-15 minutes Full Body Stretching

Well, I have to work tomorrow, so I'm off to bed.  I did have today off and I hope you did too.  Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Snowman - He's so darn cute!


I didn't workout, but I did build a snowman...

Ok, so he's not a real snowman, but I can see this one all year long if I want =)

And so can you!!

I made this little guy in Photoshop this evening... lots of fun "drawing by mouse"!





Anyway, I didn't get a workout or even a post in on Friday.

But I did get to pickup my son at the airport!!

YAY!!! He's home for Christmas, so I'm very happy.  My nutrition has sucked big time since he arrived though.  Not his fault, just a lot of parties and get-togethers and such where pizza was served.  No time to eat in advance, so I had pizza... A LOT of pizza.

Tomorrow, I am back to eating planned meals.  I found some new recipes that I want to try, so I'll keep you posted on how those go.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

No Pain No Gain, especially during the Holidays!

No matter how much I don't want to work out, when I do it anyway, I feel sooooo much better.  Today was Month 2 Week 3 Day 2 of triathlete training and I'm so happy I didn't skip it.

Bike:
35 minutes including cool down at Level 7 - 6 miles, 152 calories

Strength Training:
Back:
1) LM pulls 10x12x2
2) Lat pulldowns 80x12x2

Shoulders
1) DB press 10ea/20total x 12x2
2) DB side raises 2.5es/5total x 12x2

Abs
1) Ball crunches x12x2
2) Heel touches x12x2

Stretching
10-15 minutes full body stretching

Well, with the holidays here, my food temptations have increased a hundred-fold.  I'm hoping that moderation is the key.  Today at work, besides being "Donut Day," someone also brought in homemade brownies.  I stood fast on my refusal of Donuts, but the brownies?????  Oh no.  I had one.  I searched the pan for the smallest possible piece and ate that one.  Mmmmmman was that good.  I'm so glad I had to spend the rest of the day away from those pieces of chocolate crack, because I just don't know how it would have turned out.  I could smell them from my desk for cryin' out loud.  It's just wrong.  Why can't fattening food taste terrible if it's so bad for us, ya know?

Anyway, I keep forgetting to step on the scale in the mornings, but my holiday goal remains the same.  No gain - go for a loss - but most importantly, NO GAIN.  So that old saying is true in so many ways.  "No pain, no gain" also means yes, turning down yummy food may seem like pain, but it's good because it means you won't gain!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Best day ever

My Nike Fuel Band app tells me that I'm less than 500 points from my best day ever!  How is that possible when I didn't step foot in the gym?  Wait, I know...  I got up this morning, drank my coffee and ate breakfast, then didn't stop the rest of the day.

Daily Goal is 2750

I don't know what it is, but about every year or so, I get this overwhelming urge to rearrange my furniture.  This weekend that bug bit again.  I also cleaned out my spare room.  It was A LOT of work, but I am happy with the results (for now).

Already took two truck loads to Goodwill.  And did you know they don't take old TVs any more?  At least not here in CO anyway.  Apparently some law was passed that throwing them away isn't safe.  But Best Buy saved the day - they have a recycle program.  I just grabbed a cart, put my big fat tvs on it and as I walked through the front door, the greeter dude says "Hi, I can take that for you."  Suh-weeeet!!

So, no workout post today.  I think tomorrow may be busy at work, but we'll see.  I still have more cleaning to do around the house too, but maybe I can get in a workout at home in between the dust bunny chase.

Friday, December 13, 2013

100-ups

Ever heard of 100-up?  It's a running drill that I came across while reading up on triathlon training.

Here's the scoop:

(from Hundredup.com - Learn the 100-up)
"W.G. George, the fastest miler of the 19th century, invented what he called the "Hundred-Up" and wrote about it at length.  It's an exercise that George created to perfect his running form.  He says he invented the 100-up in 1874, when he was an 16-year-old chemist apprentice in England and could train only during his lunch hour.  By year 2 of his experiment, the overworked lab assistant was the fastest amateur miler in England.  by year 5, he held world records in everything from the 1/2 mile to 10 miles."

Check the link above for specific instructions.  But here's a picture of what it looks like.  The one on the left is what I'm doing - the "minor".  It's very simple, just one leg lifted at a time, nice and easy.  The pic on the right is the "major".  It's for once the minor drill is perfected and is like a high-knee run-in-place.

Here's an old pic demonstrating the minor and major of the drill.
I haven't yet incorporated these all the way into my training plan just yet, but I will.  I have found myself doing them in the kitchen while waiting on water to boil and at work when I need to walk but don't have much time.  Anyway, this drill is incredible.

I would say the definition of this drill is that it helps you form muscle memory for running, without actually running, so that when you do start running your form will be outstanding.  But beware, this is not as easy as it looks.  Check out the video below and website linked above for more info.  The first time I tried these, I got to like 12 before my muscles were tired.  I'm up to the 20s now - even got to 30 a few times.  The key is to attain that perfect form.


Hey look!  It's Chris MacDougall!!  Remember the "Born to Run" book review?  He's the author.  What a coincidence running into him again!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What to Bring to a Potluck?

'Tis the season to be thankful, shop 'til you drop, and oh yeah, do the potluck at work.  So, what do you do?  What do you do when you're trying to lose weight and everyone brings stuff like fudge, candy, cake, etc., etc., etc.  Skip it and get the evil eye?  Join in all the unhealthy foods people bring?  Participate with something moderately healthy and help yourself to a tiny bit of everything?

I heard there will be some meats and beans and such, so all is not lost.  Last potluck, I did cucumber sandwiches which actually went over surprisingly well.  This year, I was a bit blind-sided and had to come up with something fast.  I picked quick, easy, and cheap - Kings Hawaiian Dinner rolls.  I'll just use whatever meat is brought and throw together a couple yummy sliders, add some beans and a tiny dessert and I'll be set.  If there's a salad, more the better!  Hopefully, no evil eye on being cheap, quick and easy.  =P

I've been getting to sleep later and later this week and I'm feeling it.  I could've hit the hay as soon as I got home from work today.  But I didn't.  However, I also didn't get the whole workout in either.

Here's what I did do...
Bike at home:  40 minutes including 5 minute cool down /  7 miles / level 6 / 178 calories
Swim at gym:  40 minutes of freestyle and backstroke

What I missed:
Strength training:  Back, Biceps & Legs

Ah well, I didn't feel like doing any of it, but I'm glad I decided to do something.  Something trumps nothing every time.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pizza Balances out Shoveling Snow

No more snow shoveling!!!  Ughhh - I'll be glad when the white stuff quits falling.  This morning was a half hour of a below-FREEZING workout ( I think it was 4 deg F) that I'd rather not do again to be quite honest.

I didn't count it as a workout today.  Though I did count it as permission to have a slice of pizza for lunch!  Along with a big salad, but still, it was good to know I could spare a few extra calories.

Got menu-planning and grocery shopping done, then went to the gym.  I switched up the workouts because we wanted to swim today as well as do the bike.

Here's what I did...
Beginner Triathlete Plan Month 2 Week 2 Day 1 (actually 2 b/c of the switch)

Strength Training:
Shoulders:
Seated Press - 30 lbs x 12, 25 lbs x 12
Delts Machine: 20 lbs x 12 x 2

Chest:
Fly Machine - 40 lbs x 12 x 2
Bench Press Machine - Setting 4 x 12 x 2

Abs:
Crunch Machine - 30 lbs x 12 x 2
Total Ab Machine - 50 lbs x 12 x 2

Bike: 
25 minutes stationary bike including 5-minute cool down on level 7/interval training

135 Calories, 4.1 miles, climbed 1602 ft, avg spd 9.85 mph, avg HR 98.


I'm not sure why my heart rate wouldn't get up there - it felt like a fairly strenuous ride.  I guess I may be reacclimatizing after being at sea level two weeks ago.  It's hard to climb stairs and such again.  Have I mentioned that I dislike altitude. And snow.

Stretching:
10-15 minutes full body stretching

The above workout took approximately 80 minutes

The Beginner Triathlete plan doesn't start incorporating swimming into the workouts until next month and that's cool because what I'm doing at the pool right now wouldn't really be considered a workout anyway.  I'm working on the whole learning process still and I like to practice.

Pool - Used the board to swim a few laps and practice breathing.  Then did the "superman" from Total Immersion (See "Work Less, Swim Better" video below).  That isn't really a workout, so much as brain training.  The superman works to convince the brain that I won't drown if my arms and legs aren't in constant motion.  I need that reassurance.


Well, I'm off to bed.  Have a great week!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Shoveling Snow Counts as a Workout

At least I hope it does!

It's been a long day and I'm TIRED.  I got home from work and went straight from the car to shoveling snow.  Just what I wanted to do.  I was out there for maybe 20 minutes before my face went numb - temp was around 5 degrees Fahrenheit - and my back was killin' me!  So as I'm thawing out, I'm thinking about today's workout... and yes, I wanted to chalk up the snow shoveling as the whole workout and just go to bed.

But then I started feeling guilty for skipping the bike because it's the long ride day, so I hopped on figuring I'd do 30 minutes.  I pushed through and made it to 60 minutes on Level 6, did 10 miles and burned 258 calories.  I'm counting the shoveling for strength training though - biceps, triceps and abs were the plan.  I think shoveling worked all that and my back too.

Ok, so on to the important stuff!!  I'm looking registering now for a triathlon this summer.  There are several to chose from... I'm either doing a "sprint" (1/2 mile swim, 10 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run) OR a "super sprint" (1/4 mile swim, 8 mile bike, and 2 mile run).  I'll keep you posted!  If you want to check it out, here's the website I'm looking through for races... Without Limits Productions.  I'm looking at either the TriBella or the Xterra Aspen Valley.  Idk, what do ya think?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Triathlon Training While on Vacation?

Who exercises while on vacay?  Me!  I was actually looking forward to my workouts - weird, huh?

Fortunately, the place where we stayed had a small fitness center...

Treadmill, Elliptical, Stationary & Recumbent Bikes and a "Universal Gym"

I followed (as best I could with the equipment I had) the beginner triathlete program for Week 4.

I didn't have web access right away on the first day, so I guessed at the time for the bike and was a little off.

Month 1 Week 4 Day 1:
Bike:  35-40 minutes (I did 30 minutes including a 5-minute cool down)
Lift:  Back, Biceps, & Legs
Stretch: 10-15 minutes

9 miles / 273.5 calories / avg rpm 80
Month 1 Week 4 Day 2:
Bike:  50 minutes w/ 5-minute cool down
Lift: Chest, Triceps, & Abs
Stretch: 10-15 minutes

15 miles / 500.1 calories

Month 1 Week 4 Day 3:
Bike:  55 minutes w/ 5-minute cool down
Lift: Chest, Triceps, & Abs
Stretch: 15-20 minutes


18.51 miles / 542.9 calories
And here I am trying to bike and take a pic and the same time!  Hence the blur =D


I haven't compiled all the Strength Training info yet, but I'll post it later because I do like to keep track of it and posting here is an easy way to do that.

As for this week's workouts, I did the bike stuff on Monday but missed the Lift, and I did the Lift today, but missed the bike.  However, I did make it to swim class tonight.  I'm feeling much more confident in the water, now I just have to work on keeping my front arm up when I roll to breathe.  I'm getting there though!



Monday, December 2, 2013

Trip to Mexico!

Yes, I ran off to Mexico last week and got back late Saturday night.  I've gotta say, THAT'S the way to spend a holiday!  It was snowing and freezing and crazy windy when we left Colorado Springs last Sunday morning, but by Sunday evening we were on the beach.  Here's a video...




In my previous post, I said my goals were to drink lots of water, exercise lots, and not to eat lots.  Well, I think I succeeded in everything except the water.  I didn't buy bottled water in the US because I was told the resort provided it.  Well, it was in a gallon jug, not bottles, so I was constantly forgetting to take water with me to workout.  And yes, I did workout!!  Details on that tomorrow.

And the good news is... I stepped on the scale Sunday morning and I gained ZERO!!!!!!!  Yes!!

So, how was your Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Holiday Break

I think it's time...

Time for a blog break - I've been posting for 6 months straight now and I'm gonna celebrate and take the next week to reflect on my successes/failures setbacks.

My goals for next week are simple:

Drink LOTS of water
Exercise LOTS
And don't eat LOTS!!  (Some, not LOTS)

Ultimately, I'd like to lose weight over the next 7-9 days, but I'll set a more realistic goal of not gaining weight.

None.

Zip.

Nothing.


My scale will move this much next week!





















I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, an enjoyable time with family and most importantly a safe holiday.

See ya back here on the 2nd of December!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Total Immersion?

I keep seeing this "Total Immersion" thing everywhere I look online.  While searching for triathlon training books, the Beginner Triathlon website, it's at every turn.  It even came up as recommended on my Amazon account.  So, I thought I'd check it out.

First, what is "Total Immersion"?  In case you haven't heard of it either, it is "The Revolutionary Way to Swim Better, Faster and Easier."  Cool, right?

Next, I subscribed to their website and now I get emails that, well honestly, don't make a whole lot of sense to me.

But hey, I'm not schooled in this so I'm willing to learn.

Then I went to good ol' Youtube and sure enough, there's lots and lots of FREE videos on this swimming technique.

I also checked out the FREE preview of the book by Terry Laughlin on Amazon.

So far, I think this is ultimately a technique that I want to learn.

Here's a quote I thought was funny:

"Virtually everyone's first swimming attempt is a near-death experience, with a real prospect of drowning if you're not successful... Traditional swimming teaches you to not drown rather than to emulate what works so well for fish."

Ok, interesting.

In one of the videos I watched, called Total Immersion Perpetual Motion Freestyle, this picture was shown as an example of making your body torpedo-like in the water.


If I swam like that, I'd be thrilled beyond words!!  So, I'll check this out more and get back to you.  Unless of course, you've already checked it out.  If you have, please tell me if it's worth the time/money to try!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

To Eat or Not to Eat over the Holidays

I think I'm going to spread the wealth a bit on food intake.  I hate overeating to the point of pain and suffering.  So, this year it's going to be spread out over the entire holiday period.  A piece of pie one day, a piece of fudge the next.  A nice dinner one day and another a few days later.

Will this work?  I have no idea.  What are you gonna do different?  Anything?

Today was a crazy busy day, but I got my workouts done.  I didn't make it to the big gym as planned, but I did get it done in my LR gym.

Month 1 Week 3 Day 2 from BeginnerTriathlete.com (1 hour)

Lift: Back, Shoulders, Abs. 2 sets of 10-12 reps for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 30-35 minutes stationary bike. Check HR often on this workout. Do a continuous hill workout. Every 2 minutes, add a gear or two (increase resistance). Keep climbing until you have reached halfway through the ride/workout.  At the halfway point, start taking a gear or two OFF every 2 minutes.  Come down as slowly as you went up.  5 minute cool down.
Stretch: 10-15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

Bike Workout Summary
I still haven't replaced the batteries on my bike computer - on my to do list now!  Anyway, I did 35 minutes including the cool down and increased the resistance up to the halfway point.  It started getting pretty tough to keep a good cadence going.  Then finally the halfway point on to the end of the workout was very nice - just like riding down hill the whole way.

Strength Training (Lift):
Back
1) Lat Pulldowns 12 @ 50; 12 @ 110
2) Dumbbell (DB) lawnmower pulls 12 @ 5lbs x2
Shoulders
1) DB Shoulder Press 12 @ 15 x2
2) DB Side Raises 12 @ 3 x2
Abs
1) Ball Crunch 12 x2
2) Leg lifts 12 x2

Stretch:
Full Body 30 seconds per muscle.

After the workout, I ate dinner and then about 45 minutes later, we headed to the pool.  I definitely like the group lesson!  There were 3 of us and that meant that I was able to catch my breath while the other 2 swam.  Then I'd go and once I was halfway, the next person would go and then finally the third.  I had a nice 30-45 second break each time.

I felt much more confident this time.  I had tried to practice the other day and it went horribly, but for some reason, this time it went pretty well.

Guess I have to just keep swimming...


I love this movie.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Stairs, I do stairs now.

Yep, me - stairs.  Can you believe it?

It used to be so painful to climb just ONE flight of stairs, now, I do several.  On purpose.  What?!?!

My knees were what bothered me before, but now it's what I've been doing to get rid of the stiffness from sitting so long at work.  After 2-3 hours of sitting, I have to get up or else my feet go to sleep and my joints start aching.  

So, I use the stairs.  Up a couple of flights, walk a hallway, up a couple more flights, walk a hallway, down a couple flights... you get the idea.  I do this for about 15 minutes at least a couple times each day at work.


It's nice to be able to take the stairs again.  It's also fun to see the looks of disbelief when I suggest taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  

That's right... 
I  |_                      _|
am |_                 _|
the    |_            _|
Stair    |_       _|
Master   |_  _|

Ok, not quite yet. =D

Monday, November 18, 2013

1st Milestone in Sight

Between May 2014 and August 2014, I have been and am working to achieve my weight loss goal of losing 80 pounds.  If I were 20 years younger, I'd do it in half that time, but this is how it is.

I started this journey in May of this year and I'm finally approaching what I consider "Milestone 1" - 20 pounds lost.  I can't believe it's taken me 6 months.  Well, such is life, right?

My doc tells me that a slow weight loss will likely lead to permanent weight loss.  I guess that's something.

Looking back on my early posts, I had envisioned a 2 pound/week weight loss and achieving my goal by February 24, 2014.  Uh... yeah, that's not going to happen.

BUT!!! My first milestone will certainly be this month.  I'm .7 pounds away AND on top of that, I'm 5.8 pounds away from "One-derland" (yay!).

Reaching yet another goal of being under 200 will be such a huge motivator for me.

In order to accomplish these goals, I absolutely must exercise.  I'm very much looking forward to the day that I whole-heartedly look forward to the workout.  I'm not there yet, but here's what was on the plan for today...

Month 1 Week 3 Day 1 (from www.beginnertriathlete.com) 2 hrs

Lift: Chest, Triceps, Legs. 2 sets of 10-12 reps for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike:  20-25 minutes indoors.  Use upright bike.  Work on keeping feet flexed (like scraping gum off the bottom of your shoes) and upper body relaxed.  Keep resistance moderate and throw in 30-45 second sprints every 5 minutes.  5-minute cool down.
Stretch:  10-15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

Here's what I did:

Tried to practice what I learned in last week's Swim session.  I didn't count laps, but I was in the pool for at least 30 minutes.  Did I swim the whole time?  No, I did ingest quite a bit of pool water though - yuck!  Got out of the pool and spent some time in the hot tub - ahhhhhh.

Showered off the chlorine, dried off and changed.  Headed off to do bike workout...

Bike Workout Summary:
Stationary upright bike on manual setting level 8 for 25 minutes - including 5-minute cool down.  Every 5 minutes, I upped the RPMs to 90-100 for 45 seconds.  This actually got my HR up to 126 for a few seconds.

155 Calories, 4.78 miles, average speed 11:49 mph, average HR 115.

Strength Training (Lift):
Chest
1) Bench Press Machine 12 @ Setting 3 x2
2) Roc-It Pec Fly Machine 12 @ Setting 3 / 10 @ setting 2

Triceps
1) FreeMotion Tricep Machine 12 @ 20 x2
2) Arm Extension Machine 12 @ 30 x2

Legs
1) Roc-It Leg Extension Machine 12 @ Setting 2 x2
2) Leg Press 12 @ 100 x2
3) Leg Curl Machine 12 @ 30 x2
4) Seated Curl Machine 12 @ 55 x2
5) Abduction machine 12 @ 125 x2
6) Adduction machine 12 @ 115 x2
7) Calf Raises 12 x2
8) Angled Calf Raises 12 x2

Stretch:
Full Body 30 seconds per muscle.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Success Avoiding the Fast Food Temptation

Long ride day - I'm not sure I like Fridays much or at least I'm not looking forward to them.  And I can't tell you how close I was to NOT going to the gym today.  After work, I got home and was researching some stuff online and before I knew it, it was after 5.  I'm usually done with my workouts by 5!  UGGHHHH!

But, I'm so close to my short term goal of getting into "One-derland" that I put on my shoes, grabbed my coat and headed out the door.

I did the full workout I had planned, just later than planned.  Then on the way home I find out that one ingredient planned with dinner has mold on it.  WHAT!?!?  I just bought that.  The temptation was to head straight to a drive-thru for some fast food.  I was tired from my workout, it's late, I'm hungry AND I have to pee.  Sheesh!  But again, I reminded myself of my goals.

Eating this late is bad enough, I don't need to add bad-for-you food on top of that.  So, I detoured to the grocery store, snagged what I needed and then headed home.

Dinner is in the oven as I type... SUCCESS!

Workout was good, just long - the longest yet.  I think I watched half of MiB on the bike.

Here's the plan from BeginnerTriathlete.com

Month 1 Week 2 Day 3 - 1 hr 30 minutes

Lift:  Shoulders, Back & Abs. 2 sets of 10-12 reps for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike:  Longer ride 50-60 minutes. This is an endurance ride. Try to put the resistance higher for a minute here and there (no more than 4 times) and come out of the saddle.  Working on leg power and relaxed upper body.  5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  15-20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

Here's what I did...

Bike Workout Summary:

Stationary upright bike on a random hill setting @ LEVEL 9 (moved up another level - by accident, then decided to stay there) for 60 minutes including a 5 minute cool down.  I pushed the resistance up to the max at level 25, stood up as best I could on this particular bike and tried pedaling for about a minute at that level.  That shot my HR up to around 126 each time.  I basically had to drop the seat in order to stand up and pedal, but I couldn't completely stand up as if I were on a real bike.  So I do something like this...

If you don't drop the seat a bit, it comes back and bites you in the butt.
Repeatedly.
 397 Calories, 10.59 miles, climbed 4937 ft., averaged 5:40 min/mile and avg HR 106.

Strength Training (Lift):
Shoulders
1) Shoulder Press 12 @ 30 x2
2) Delts Machine 12 @ 20 x2

Back
1) Free Motion Row 12 @ 50 x2
2) Back Extension 12 @ 100 x2

Abs
1) Crunch Machine 40/40
2) Total Ab Machine 50/50

Stretching:
Full Body 30 seconds per muscle group.

And that's it for Week 2!  I'm hoping for good results on the scale this week, but even if I don't see anything, I know I've been training hard.

Have a spectacular weekend!!




Thursday, November 14, 2013

Well... I didn't drown

And my arms didn't fall off either - even if, after 30 minutes, they felt like they might.

I learned a lot during my swim session last night.  First, I'm glad I signed up for "group lessons" as opposed to "private lessons."  I guess several people didn't show, so I basically got a private lesson.  Very cool - and not cool at the same time.  Good thing was all the individual attention - bad thing was... all the individual attention!  No rest for the weary.

Here's how it went...

I met the instructor - a junior in college - and after a bit of small talk she asked "what do you want to get out of these lessons?"  I told her my goals were to learn how to breathe correctly, good stroke and eventually swim laps.  I didn't mention the triathlon training just yet - didn't want to overwhelm her with my craziness before we even get started!

So she had me swim a length to see where I was as far as technique and such.

She said it wasn't too bad.  (That's good news)

After that first length, she had me use this barbell type floaty thing and just kick one length.  She said my kicking looks fine. (Sweeet)

"Barbell Floaty Thing"
Another pic of a Barbell Floaty Thing

Then she says, "Ok now I want you kick AND hold this (the floaty thing) out in front of you with one arm, and with the other, drop it down and push the water back along your side, bring your elbow up high out of the water and grab the bar again.  Switch arms and do the same thing on the other side.  Then when you need to breathe, just put your ear on your shoulder (which ever side you want), roll your head to the side, take a breath and put your head back in the water.  Oh and breathe out through your nose, it really helps."

I'm like, "Uhhh... say that again...?"

I got the kick part ok, and the part with the floaty thing, but I guess I figured the rest would be added one at a time instead of BAM!!  But hey, if this is the way it's done, ok.  I will do it.

All I can say is that I'm very sure it was not pretty.  I kicked.  I did the requested strokes.  But when I tried breathing, it was... awkward at best.  By the time I decided I needed to take a breath, I struggled to remember just how she said to do it.

"Ok," I think to myself, "I want to breathe on my right side, so I'll put my left ear on my left shoulder and turn my head to the right and... CRAP!!!  I'm already done with that stroke.  Ok the other side then, put right ear on right shoulder and... need.... air.... now...." And I turn my head, out of sync with the correct stroke, and as I go to inhale, I realize, I never breathed out!!  So now, I'm automatically rolling with the next stroke and I haven't even inhaled yet.  Fail.  I just faced forward and caught my breath, then stuck my face in the water.  Better luck next breath, right?

Nope, pretty much the same thing.  How the heck am I supposed to focus on all that at once?

By the time we get to the other side, I'm more winded than when I kept my head out of the water.  Felt like I'd just ran around the block instead of swimming a few feet.  I was able to rest a minute before she said "Ok, do it again and this time really focus on your breathing."

Uh, ok.  On this length, I didn't really pay a lot of attention to what my arms and legs were doing and I didn't wait until it was too late before deciding to breathe.  I did much better, but I still forgot to breathe out through my nose.

It makes total sense in hindsight, but I guess I just felt the need to hold my breath - which caused me to be out of breath faster and actually take longer to get a breath because I had to exhale first.  Definitely gotta work on that one.

Well, I won't bore you with anymore details other than to say that I improved quite a bit over the half hour and I certainly know what I need to practice.

The instructor complimented me a lot on how fast I picked it up and how great I was doing, but I'm thinking they're told to say stuff like that.  I personally felt like those first few lengths were a mess!

Anyway, after a month of these sessions, I should be good.  I know I have a ways to go, but this was an excellent first step.  I'm glad I signed up.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

W2D2 Done!

Today's workout looked like this:

W2D2 - Month 1 Week 2 Day 2 - 1 hr 15 min

Lift: Chest, Triceps & Abs. 2 sets of 10-12 exercises for each body part. 
Bike:  30-35 minutes indoors. Stick with upright bike.  Check your heart rate often on this workout.  Try to stay within 70-75% of your max heart rate (220-age as rough estimate) and add 15-30 second sprints (fast pedaling no more than 5-10 times). 5-minute cool down.
Stretch:  15-20 minutes FULL BODY stretching.

Hmmmm, 220 minus my age?  No way.  That's my MAX heart rate!  I'm thinking it's supposed to be 220 minus my age times 70-75%.  In that case, my target HR is 123-132.  Way more like it.  With a resting HR of around 60, I can't imagine 176.  I'd be fallin' out on the floor yelling "call me an ambulance!!"

Any-who...

Here's what I did today:

Bike Workout Summary:
Stationary upright bike on a random hill setting @ LEVEL 8 (moved up a level) for 35 minutes including a 5-minute cool down.  I sprinted a few times at around 80-90 RPM.

238 calories, 7.4 miles, climbed 2972 ft, averaged 4:43 min/mile and avg HR 113.

Screen shot...


Strength Training (Lift):
Chest
1) Bench press machine 12 @ setting 3 x2 
2) Seated press machine 12 @ 30 x2

Triceps
1) Extension machine 12 @ 30 x2
2) Push down machine 12 @ setting 5 x2

Abs
1) Ab crunch machine 12 @ 40 x2
2) Total ab machine 12 @ 30 x1 and 12 @ 40 x1

Stretching:
Full body 30 seconds per muscle group.

Now, it's off to the pool.  Hopefully, my arms will hold up!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Swim lessons - CHECK!

I start tomorrow!  I'm looking forward to the learning part, just not the wearing of a swimsuit in public part.  Ah well, some sacrifices are to be made, right?

So, I want to swim like this...
or this...

but I'm afraid I'll look like this
(no offense to Shamu!)

I'm also working out tomorrow because I didn't know I'd be swimming until it was too late to go to the gym today.  I'm hoping I won't be too sore on Thursday, but we'll see.

Here's what I hope to learn by taking these swimming lessons:  how to breathe correctly, stroke technique, and being more efficient.

I can stay afloat and move forward in the water and such, but I'm out of breath after swimming one length in the pool.  That's crazy!

So another goal is to be able to swim continuously for 10, 20 and eventually 30 minutes straight.  That'll be a great workout.

I'm calling it a night early so I can hopefully get some good sleep!

Hope you had a great 11/12/13!!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Triathlon Trials

Is it crazy to hope for support from friends and family?  Maybe.

I posted on FB a couple days ago asking if anyone was up for a triathlon in Summer 2014.  Know what kind a response I got?  Zilch.  Nada.  Nothing.  Not even a comment of encouragement or even a wee little "like".  Bummer.  Guess I'm going it alone.

I'll post on FB again in a few days and see if maybe 3 people will do it with me - one for each event.  But I'm not going to get my hopes up.

Any suggestions on how to get people to believe they can do it?  I'm not even doing an Olympic or Ironman - it's a Sprint.  I don't get it.

So yeah, welcome to the pity party =.(..

Whatever.  I'm over it.  Moving on.

On the food front, I went a tad overboard today.  It is Veteran's Day and just about every restaurant in town is offering free and yummy food for vets - too good to pass up.  Back to the plan tomorrow.

I did workout today, though not at the gym.  I had a whopper of a headache and took some meds and a nap during what should have been gym time, then when I woke up, I just knew the gym would be packed.  So I stayed home and worked out.

Here's the Month 1 Week 2 Day 1 Workout plan: from BeginnerTriathlete.com

Lift: Back, Biceps and Legs. 2 sets of 10-12 reps for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike:  25-30 minutes indoors.  Work on keeping feet flexed and upper body relaxed.  Keep resistance moderate to heavy.  Try to stay in the saddle.  Do an interval program.  5-minute cool down.
Stretch: 10-15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

So, as I just typed that I realized I repeated last week's day one workout because I thought they were the same.  They are close, but not the same.  DOH!!

Here's what I did:

Bike Workout Summary:
Recumbent bike:  25 minutes at Level 7 plus a 5-minute cool down.
Calories, distance, etc. weren't calculated - batteries died in the display.

Strength Training:  (Should've been Back, Biceps & Legs)
Legs
1) Leg Press 12 @ 160 x2
2) Leg Extensions 12 @ 50 x2
3) Front Leg Swings 12 x2
4) Ball Curls 12 x2
5) Adductor/Abductor Bowflex 12 @ 50 x2
6) Calf Raises 12 x2
7) Angled Calf Raises 12 x2

Back
1) Lawn Mower Pulls 12 @ 5 x2
2) Back Raises 12 x2

Abs
1) Crunches 12 x 2
2) Leg Raises 12 x2

I'll throw Biceps into the mix tomorrow.

Stretches:  Full body 10-15 seconds per muscle. Repeat.

Sorry for the downer post folks, just keepin' it real.  Hope everyone had a safe and happy weekend as well as a happy Veterans Day!





Friday, November 8, 2013

Menu Favorites all in One Week/Tri-Training Day 3

By dedicating so much time to exercise this week, I decided to plan all my favorites for dinner .  You know those meals that taste great and are actually not half bad for you?  Yeah, those are the ones I picked...

M:  Chicken Cordon Bleu w/ broccoli & rice (this one was new)
Tu: Skillet Tostadas
W:  Shredded Pork Soft Tacos w/ fresh pineapple
Th: Tex Mex Turkey
F:  Pita Pizza
S:  Subway

Breakfasts and Lunches are basically the same:

B:  Cereal (GrapeNuts or Bran Flakes) w/fruit OR Yogurt & Granola w/fruit
L:  Leftovers OR a Sandwich (usually ham or turkey) on wheat w/ carrots or celery'

Snacks range from fresh fruit and veggies to protein shakes and beef jerky.

We'll probably use this menu for another week or so.  Or until me or my daughter says we're sick of it!

And for the last tri-training workout of the first week of the first month (from Beginner Triathlete):

Month 1 Week 1 Day 3

Lift: Biceps, Triceps, & Abs.  2 sets of 10-12 reps for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike:  Longer ride 40-50 minutes.  Incorporate hills and endurance with this workout.  There will be one longer ride each week; this is the first for the month.  Try to put resistance higher for a minute here and there (no more than 4 times) and come out of the saddle.  Working on leg power and relaxed upper body.  No bouncing or rocking.  5 minute cool down.
Stretch:  15-20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching. Aids in injury prevention as well.

Bike Workout Summary:
Stationary, upright bike on  a random hill setting @ level 7 for 40 minutes / put resistance @ level 10 four times during the workout for 1-2 minutes.  Tried coming out of the saddle, but I don't think this particular bike is made for that or my resistance was too low, I'm not sure which.  I'll have to wait for the spin bike to try that part again.

276 calories, 8.17 miles, climbed 3398 ft, averaged 5:30 minutes/mile and avg HR 109.

Token screen shot...



Strength Training (Lift):
Biceps:
1) Bicep curl machine 12 @30 x2
2) Free Motion bicep machine 12 @ 15 x2

Triceps
1) Tricep Extensions 12 @ 30 x2
2) Tricep Pushdown machine 12 @ (setting 5) x2

Abs
1) Crunch machine 12 @ 30 x2
2) Medicine ball to the sides 12 @ 4 x2
3) Leg lifts 12 x2

Stretching:
Full body minimum 30 seconds per muscle.  Found an empty classroom to stretch out.  This was way more relaxing than trying it out on the open gym floor area!

Whew! Week one complete though.  I'm looking forward to next week!  My goal this weekend is to set up those swim lessons.  I tried to today, but the office closes at 1 pm on Friday - ughhhh!!

Well, that's all for now, I hope you have an amazing weekend!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Strength Training - Gotta Write it Down

On my first day of the triathlete training plan, strength training didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped.  I didn't consider that "legs" are more than one exercise, so I was thinking - "legs, back and abs - 2 exercises each times 2 - no problem."  Uhhhh, no.  There are at least 5 worked muscles for the legs x2 exercises equals 10 and x2 sets is 20!!!  Back exercises aren't as bad, but there's still upper and lower back, that's another 8 sets.  Finally, with abs, there are upper, lower and obliques.  All those sets can make for quite the extended strength training session.  Even worse would be not writing it all down!  Unfortunately, I didn't write down anything in advance.

Yesterday's workout was much better planned.  While I wasn't sure which machines would be available, I outlined the workout before I went so at least I knew what to look for in the machine area.  Then, on the rests between sets, I wrote down the actual machine and how much weight I used.  Here's the scoop:

Month 1 Week 1 Day 2 - 65 minutes

Lift: Shoulders, Chest, and Abs. 2 sets of 10-12 reps for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 30-35 minutes indoors on upright stationary bike.  Stick with upright bike - you burn more calories on an upright bike as the position forces you to work against gravity.  Use a program and add hills in this routine. 5-minute cool down.
Stretch:  10-15 minutes of of FULL BODY stretching!

Bike Workout Summary:
Stationary, upright bike on a random hill setting @ level 7 for 30 minutes plus a 5-minute cool down.

220 calories, 7.14 miles, climbed 2680 ft, averaged 4:54 min/mile & avg HR 108.

Screenshot:

Strength Training (Lift):
Shoulders
1) Seated Press 12 @25 x2 (in case my shorthand needs translation - that's 12 reps at 25 lbs done two times)
2) Delt Machine 12 @10 x2

Chest
1) Upright Fly machine 12 @ 25 x2
2) Chest Press 12 @ 20 x2

Abs
1) Crunch Machine 12 @ 30 x2
2) Crunches 12 x1
3) Leg lifts 12 x2
4) Cross body crunches 12 x2

Stretching: 
Full body 20-30 seconds per muscle



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gym Membership Renewed - check!

Went ahead and renewed my gym membership - I figure I'll eventually need a pool AND swim lessons.  There isn't any swimming in my training plan until the 3rd month.  The first two months seems to be mostly about building strength and endurance.  I'm ok with that because it means I'll be swimming in January - in Colorado!!  Sweeeeeeet.

I worked out today - Day 2 of Week 1 of Month 1 - LOL!  I'll post specifics tomorrow.  TOM visited today and I still went to the gym - another unprecedented feat.

Learned something today in the realm of triathlete training... a new definition for "brick."  I'd never heard the term before (outside of that rectangular thing used to build houses), so I checked out this article on "Why Bricks are Necessary and How to Use Them in You Training."

I can barely walk after biking for a long time, I can only imagine what it'll be like to run!

Also found an interesting book/blog...


Blog:   www.swimbikemom.com


Book:  "Triathlon for the Every Woman: You Can Be a Triathlete. Yes. You."


I read a preview of the book and the author writes the way I think, and I was very entertained in just a few pages.  Even if I don't learn a thing, I'm sure I'll be happy I read it.  I'll let you know either way!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Kick butt weekend

This past weekend was one for the books!  No, it wasn't a par-tay kind of weekend.  I just  accomplished lots of stuff on my to do list...

Got tons of cleaning done (I even dusted :O)
Groceries (shopped for & put away before 9 am - unprecedented at my house)
Garage now fits BOTH vehicles
Groomed the dogs (well, the groomer did, not me - that's way too much work!!)
Got exercise

Ok, enough with the "G's"

But wait there's more!

Cleaned/organized the basement
Finished all the laundry
AND
Stepped on the scale - lost that 2 pounds from last week and then some!  Wha-WHAAAAT?

WHEW!!  I wonder if these pounds came off BECAUSE of my busy weekend?!?  Crazy, right?

Must be time for a new chart...



Monday, November 4, 2013

Couch to Triathlete Training

So I went cruising the web for workouts specifically designed for triathlon training and there was A LOT to chose from.  I decided to go with something that started out mild and would be completed in the time frame I need - June of next year.

BeginnerTriathlete.com offers a plethora of training options including:  Sprint, Olympic, Iron Programs, and my personal fave - "Couch-to" Programs.  I chose the Beginner Exercise Program under the "Couch-to" Program.  I guess I wouldn't consider myself at the "couch" level, but definitely a beginner as far as triathlon training goes.  This plan was designed by certified personal trainer, Amy Badger, who has completed 4 sprints and 2 olympic distance triathlons plus some other crazy stuff like marathons and Ironman comps.  It has 8 months worth of training/workouts.  

Today, I started Month 1 Week 1 Day 1.  

I was thinking that an hour would be plenty of time, but I had to cut some of the strength training and stretching short due to time.  This workout probably should be about an hour and a half once I get the kinks out.  (I'll start adding these workouts to my "Current Training" tab as well.)
Lift:  Legs (include abductors and adductors), Back and Abs. 2 sets of 10-12 reps for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike:  20-25 minutes indoors on upright stationary bike.  Work on keeping feet flexed (like scraping gum off the bottom of your shoes) and upper body relaxed.  Keep resistance light to moderate.  5 minute cool down.
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching! 

I'm not sure if "Lift" was supposed to come before the "Bike," but I did the bike first because I don't like lifting with cold muscles.  

Bike Workout Summary:
Stationary, upright bike on a random hill setting @ level 7 (tried to keep rpm 70-80) for 20 minutes with a 5 minute cool down. 

153 calories, 5 miles, climbed 1872 ft, averaged 5-min/mile & avg HR of 111.  

Here's what the "random hills" looked like...

Apparently I can't keep the RPMs up AND take a picture at the same time =P

Strength Training (Lift): 
Leg Ext: 12 @ 52 lbs x4
Leg Press:  12 @ 150 lbs x4
Calf raises (body wt) 12 x 2
Adductors: 100 lbs x 2
Abductors:  100 lbs x 2

Back extensions: 70 lbs x 4
Row:  40 lbs x 4

Ab machine:  setting 5 x 2
Crunches:  x2
Leg lifts: x2

Stretching:
Full body 10-20 seconds per muscle


Well, Happy Monday people - I hope you have a fantastic week!!  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Carb Cycling in a Nutshell

I came across carb cycling in Chris Powell's book called "Choose to Lose" and thought it was confusing at first, but now, I think I get it.  Much of the following info is from either Chris Powell's site or from his book.  I don't know Chris, but I support what he does by helping so many folks lose massive amounts of weight.

Carb cycling alternates high-carb days and low-carb days.  It sounds great, right?  But understand that the high carb days aren't like chips and pasta high carb days, it's more wheat bread and brown rice.  Low carbs days are just that - low carb days.  But here's the basic plan (from Chris' website):

  • Eat five meals - no more, no less
  • Eat a high-carb breakfast that includes both protein and carbs within 30 minutes of waking
  • Eat remaining four meals every three hours
  • Choose only approved foods (more on that in a minute)
  • Drink a gallon of water each day

The idea is that our bodies are calorie-burning furnaces that, if given the right fuel, will burn lots of fat.  In the mornings, the furnace is lit with that first meal.  The metabolic furnace burns all day every day - either on low heat or red hot. The back and forth between high calorie/high carb days and low calorie/low carb days revs up the metabolic furnace.  High carb days really get the fire going and it keeps burning for awhile, even while the switch is made to a low carb day.  By the time the body realizes it didn't get the high carb day's amount of calories on the low carb day, it's a high carb day again and the furnace just keeps burning hot.

Clear as mud?  Well, I guess that's why I don't have my own TV show.  Apparently, this is the method Chris uses with all his clients including those from Extreme Weight Loss.

There are 4 different carb cycling plans:  Easy, Classic, Turbo, and Fit advertised on his website.  "Easy" has back to back high carb days at the end of the week while the "Classic" has a "reward" day at the end of the week.  "Turbo" is a faster plan because it has two low carb days pitted against every high carb day for faster weight loss.  Finally, the "Fit" cycle is for folks who just want to "lean up" without sacrificing athletic performance.  This plan pits two high carb days against on low carb day

There are simple workouts included in his book "Choose to Lose" as well.  There are also some very simple yet tasty recipes - I love that part!

Here's a look at the "Easy Cycle" week

Classic Plan for carb cycling

So, where do I stand with this plan?  I don't know yet.  There's a reward day involved, so I think I could do just about anything for a week at a time.  It's not unsafe - he advises the number of minimum number of calories for both men and women and to NOT go below those minimums.

Here is a list of just some of the approved foods to be eaten in appropriate portions (I'm just calling out the ones I like, there are several more in the book):

PROTEIN
Dairy - Yogurt (nonfat plain Greek), Eggs were mentioned, but I'm allergic
Poultry - Lean Chicken breast (can be ground), Chicken Thighs, Lean ground Turkey
Powders - Soy, Whey
Red Meat - Beef - extra lean ground, Roast beef - low sodium deli, Steak - cube, flank, round
Seafood - Tuna, Salmon (canned in water), White-flesh fish
Veg Protein - None listed I like.  Tofu? Eww.

CARBS
Bread - whole grain bread, Ezekiel breads, Tortillas (brown rice), Tortillas (corn)
Breakfast Cereal - All Bran, Granola, Kashi GOLEAN, Oatmeal (steel-cut or old fashioned)
Fruit - Apples, Bananas, Berries, Grapes, Kiwi, Melons, Oranges, Peaches, Pineapple, Plums
Grain - Barley, Couscous, popcorn, quinoa, long-grain rice, wild rice, spelt
Pasta - Whole grain pasta, Brown rice pasta
Root veggies - Potatoes (russet, red, gold; small 1.5" diameter), sweet potatoes/yams (small 2" dia.)
Starchy veg - Corn, peas
Legumes - beans, lentils

VEGGIES
Asparagus, carrots, green beans, peppers, celery, lettuce, spinach, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, eggplant, mushrooms, cauliflower, onions, tomatoes

FATS
Dairy - Low fat cheese, mozzarella
Dressings - Balsamic vinaigrette, mayo (regular), salad dressing (low fat creamy)
Fruit - Avocado
Nuts & Seeds - Almond butter, almonds, peanut butter (natural), peanuts, pecans (raw, chopped), sunflower seeds, walnuts (raw, chopped)
Oils - Canola oil, olive oil

Basically, all white foods are bad - white sugar, white bread, white rice, white flour, etc.  Anything with sugar in it, soda, wine, even honey and maple syrup.  I guess that's where my problem is.  I don't mind giving up sugar, white bread or soda, but I don't want to live without honey and maple syrup. There's more stuff that I don't want to give up and that's what we do when we diet - we give up stuff, we sacrifice.  Well, whatever it is that I need to eat to be healthy is what I want to do forever - not just for weightless.  Otherwise, when I meet my goal, I'll say WHEW!!  Glad that's over, now I can eat all the crap again.  And they pounds will start piling back on.

I have no doubt that carb cycling probably works and that many people are probably quite successful in losing weight with this program - I'm just not sure if it's for me, or at the very least, it's not a permanent solution, and that's what I'm looking for...

Have a great weekend and if you live in the US (except AZ & HI), don't forget to turn your clocks back tomorrow night!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The next event will be....

Try a tri?  I want to do a triathlon, ok not a whole one, maybe a half.  Actually, maybe I should start with a mini (are they called sprints?).  But no matter which, I need to find one in the area.  I've only found one in Colorado, about 6 hours away, in June of 2014 - so maybe that'll be the one.  Although, I'm not far from NM or AZ, so I might have to cross over to a border state to find something that matches my needs (and skill level).

Until I find something, I'm thinking about re-upping my gym membership and practicing some indoor triathlon training - 10-minute swim, 30-minute bike, 20-minute run.  That's one sweet one-hour workout.  I think I'll have to work up to it though.

I also need to learn to swim correctly.  My current style of swimming basically involves me keeping my head above water and I know that's not a very efficient use of energy or good form.  But every time I try to put my head in the water, and attempt to breathe to the side every other stroke, I choke on water when I turn my head.  There has to be a trick to this.

I think getting some swim coaching will help.  However, I don't have the extra $$ to get the swim lesson hook-up.  So, I'll do the next best thing - look it up online!

Wow, here's something!!



This is soooo cool and so is he with those slick shades, right? (Like I'm one to talk - have you seen my blog pic LOL!)  But anyway, I learned a lot just by watching this video.  I can't wait to try it!

Anyone else got any swimming/biking/running tips?  I'm very open to suggestion.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Walking Donut Example

Now that I've been doing this weight loss thing for some time, I thought I'd really dig into the calorie thing.  Like does it really make THAT much of a difference if I use fat free and/or sugar free creamer in my coffee?  I mean, the regular stuff is only like 35 calories per tablespoon, right?

Let's see...

I've been skipping the weekly donut day at work for many weeks now and if you add that up, it gets interesting (at least to me and the geeky side of my brain).  So if you hate math, please forgive me for the following:

Average calories for a donut w/chocolate frosting is around 300. (From my research, they range between 200-380 calories depending on how they're made, so 300 seems like a good number.)

This week marks my 24th donut-free week.

300 x 24 = 7,200  (300 calories times 24 weeks equals 7,200 calories)

There are about 3500 calories in a pound.

7200 / 3500 = 2.057

By skipping just one donut a week for 24 weeks, I've avoided 2 pounds.

What if I skip the donut for a whole year?

300 x 52 = 15,600

15,600 / 3500 = 4.457

By skipping just one donut a week for 52 weeks, I'll avoid almost 4 1/2 pounds!

That's just ONE food choice.  A m a z i n g.

So, imagine if I cut out some of (not all - let's not get crazy) the fat and sugar in my current food choices?  Wow, right?

Ok, just stay with me a little longer now, I promise to be quick...

Well, I'd better use a chart because this stuff can vary.  But yay!  A CHART!!  I get points for using a chart, right?!?
Chart from about.com


If I exercise by simply taking a walk for 30 minutes, 3 times/week...

Let's say I weigh around 200 pounds and walk 3.0 miles per hour (or 1.5 miles per half hour).

According to the chart above, I burn 106 calories per mile.

That's 1.5 miles each day or 4.5 miles per week of walking...

106 x 4.5 = 477

After 24 weeks (may as well use the donut time frame)...

477 x 24 = 11,448 calories burned

11,448 / 3500 = 3.271

I would keep off or lose over 3 pounds.

What if I do it for one year?

477 x 52 = 24,804

24,804 / 3500 = 7.087

If I walked a 3 times a week for one year, I would keep off or lose over 7 pounds!

The math is crazy, right?  Could this possibly be true?  Obviously, this technically would only be a sure thing if we eat EXACTLY what we need to function and ALWAYS consume/burn the exact same amount of calories each day.

No one does that.

We all have our "busy" days where we're more active and we rarely eat the same number of calories two days in a row much less every day of the week.  BUT the Walking/Donut example still proves a point...

If I don't walk that extra 30 minutes 3 times a week and I don't skip the donut, by the end of one year's time, I'll probably have GAINED that 11 pounds!

So, to answer my original question, yes, I believe it does make a difference.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Menu, Weigh-in & Troubleshooting


Poo.  Gained.
Lost no weight this past week, in fact, I gained 2 pounds.  I don't know what happened, but it was weird.  I weighed in Monday, then again two days later, and finally on Saturday again, and the scale just wouldn't budge.  The good thing is I checked again this morning and I'm already down a pound - whew!  I hate losing ground.

I know I didn't drink enough water last week, so that's one of the things I'll be focusing on this week.  I also didn't track food due to the WW site issue.

My solution is to eat pretty much the same menu from last week and increase my water intake.  I'm also decreasing the amount of fruit I've been consuming for snacks.  I think it might have been too much sugar (I was getting up to 4 servings a day =o).

More effort into exercise will be an additional thing - that was a bit lacking last week.  Of course, there was the 3.2 miles I walked on Sunday.  Good thing I did that.

Since working out in the afternoons isn't panning out, I've rearranged my schedule.  I'm going to try becoming a morning person and work out before work - crazy right?  It just seems that I'm too sleepy to do it in the afternoons.

Looking forward to the workout energy to last me the whole day!  Plus, I'll be going to be earlier so that means more sleep!  I'll let you know how it goes...


Monday, October 28, 2013

The WaldoWaldo 5K

Mission accomplished!  Completed my first 5K yesterday.  Ran a little bit, but mostly walked.  It was a slow start because of the bottleneck of people, but eventually it all evened out and we were able to go at our own pace.  But, I'm getting ahead of myself a bit...

Night before:
Even though I didn't plan on running the whole thing, I still wanted to be prepared in case I needed something afterwards.  I packed some homemade trail mix, cereal fruit bars, fresh orange slices, water and Gatorade.

Photo op - me and my bestest race bud "J"
Day of:
We grabbed breakfast on the way and arrived early to find parking.  It was free, a couple blocks away, but free - yay!  We walked to the park and followed the directions of lots of volunteers to the registration area and got our bibs.



It wasn't too long before we gathered in the center of the park for the world record attempt photo.  And no, we didn't make the record books this year - missed it by that much (about 1000 shy), but it sure was fun trying!


Yep, I'm in there. Got the "barrier" under my arm while waving and sunglasses on.
Between the Waldo in gray pants on the phone and the lady in jeans and pink shirt.
See me?
Then finally, the countdown started and we were off!  It took some time to reach the start line.  The bottleneck of people, some walking and some running, stayed pretty tight until about a half mile in.  I did't realize that the trail wouldn't be concrete the whole time and ended up getting tiny pebbles in my shoes - not fun for walking or running.  Three times I had stop and dump them out of my shoes.

We removed our hats at this point because it was getting a bit toasty!

Finally, I wised up and tied my shoes a bit tighter in the hopes of keeping out the unwanted little buggers.  It worked, but each stop would've killed time if this had been a timed event.  Guess it's good I learn these things now.

Here's the entire route.

Anyway, to make up time, I decided to run across all the bridges - I think there were three bridges - and we crossed one of them twice.  I'm guessing the bridges are 50ft long?  Anyway, it seemed to work - we did the first mile, with bottleneck and rocky-shoe problems, at 17:35.  The next mile was 16:03 (w/the final rocky-shoe problem) and for the final mile, we made it in 14:39.  Then for the final .28 miles, we ran across the last bridge and a few hundred yards later, we sprinted to the finish line - woo hoooooooo!




This was a lot of fun.  All the people were super nice and the volunteers were awesome.  I can't wait for the next event!  I'll cover what that's going to be in a future post.

'Nite all and have a great week!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Tex Mex Chili

Alrighty then, I have a new favorite dinner meal.  The Tex Mex turkey, corn and black beans - awesome!  The flavors were excellent together and only 10 points for a generous serving.  I'm gonna call it "Tex Mex Chili".

I started flipping through Chris Powell's book "Choose to Lose" and found this dinner meal.  Most of the foods in this book are super simple - which is exactly what I look for and need.  I'm looking forward to trying more of these meals.

So, here's what's what on on this one...

  • Brown 1 pound of turkey (don't overcook) and drain it.  
  • Next, while the turkey is draining, put the corn (small can) and the black beans (reg size can) in the same pan the turkey was cooked in.  Mix it up.
  • Add some salsa (I used medium Pace), and also some hot sauce - like 10 "drops" of so.  
  • Put the turkey back in pan with beans/corn and heat until just barely boiling.  
  • Serve with a roasted (or raw) red bell pepper.  
I spent maybe 20 minutes total from start to sit-down-and-eat.  It was outstanding and quite the serendipitous find.

Not my pic, but close
(I chowed down on mine and completely forgot about a pic - next time though)

The funny thing is, when I first purchased the book and started reading it, I found it pretty confusing because I didn't understand the whole carb-cycling thing.  I guess I still don't, but I'm reading more and more about it.  I also didn't think the meals sounded very appealing.  Guess I'm changing my tune now, huh?  As I learn more about carb-cycling, I'll share the info.  I love learning new stuff!

Two more days til the 5K!!!  Can't wait!  My left knee has been acting funky (no idea why), but I'm taking some motrin and drinking lots of water - not that that's the fix, but it certainly can't hurt.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  First race report on Monday - yay!





Thursday, October 24, 2013

WW Simply Filling Technique

Has anyone checked this out?  I was perusing the WW website the other day and noticed this.  I was curious, so I did some reading.  Not sure if it's for me yet.

Simply Filling

It's for those days when you don't want to track your food.  To follow this technique, you eat from a list of "Power Foods" and don't track any of it and have a couple teaspoons of oil that don't get tracked as well.  You eat portions that work for you - not too much, not too little.

Power Foods include:

  • All fresh, frozen or canned fruits (with no added sugar)
  • Most fresh, frozen or canned veggies (with no added sugar)
  • Whole grains
  • Non-fat dairy and dairy subs
  • Lean Proteins (no processed meats, fish packed in oil, or meats with breading)
  • And some other misc foods
NOTE:  The site lists many foods under each of those categories, I just listed the headings.

It sounds like plain ol' healthy eating to me.  The thing is, this technique can be used for a day, a week, a month or ever how long you want.  The nice thing is that you still get weekly points to splurge if needed, which of course gets tracked.  

The only thing that holds me back here is the sugar, or lack thereof.  I heart sugar.  Me and sugar go way back.  Our relationship is tight. 

Ok, yes, I'm addicted to sugar.   Ah sugar......

I'd like to say that I don't have that much, but when trying to lose the pounds even a little is probably too much.  The predominant areas that sugar resides are in my mornings.  I put sugar (or sugary creamer) in my coffee and I put it on my cereal.  Maybe 3 teaspoons total per morning.  I don't consciously put it in/on anything else.  

Oh wait, no, I take that back.  I put it in my tea.  I'm a sweet tea junkie.  I used to drink 2 quarts a day.  Now, I'm down to about 8 ounces in the evenings (decaf).

When I think of sugar I see this...
But I hear this!














It's difficult getting past sugar for me.  The artificial stuff tastes soooooo bad.  I've spent so much $$ on even the "natural" sugar substitutes like NuNaturals (non-bitter), to no avail.  I've gotten away from sodas, monsters and pre-made ice coffees for the most part.  I've tried the sugar-free and diet stuff, but nothing tastes the way I think it should without the white stuff.  When baking, there's a whole slew of yummy subs - honey, maple syrup, agave.  Those I like.  I wonder though, if these have the same effect on your body as the white stuff.  Hmmm, another topic to peruse...

Anybody else dealing with letting go of sugar?  Suggestions for someone who can't do the artificial?  Tips and tricks are much appreciated.

Well, that's it for tonight!  I've been dragging all week long.  I need some pep in my step.  Hopefully tomorrow brings it!  Take care all and g'nite!


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