Archive for Exercise

Training with a Personal Trainer

I mentioned in my last post (3 weeks ago…ugh, I’m still having trouble committing to keeping up with my reporting right now), I’ve started working out with a personal trainer with my friend Lorna. She often has crazy schemes, many of which I ignore, but when she suggested that we workout together, 2-on-1 with a trainer, I was actually excited. Plus, with the two of us working out together the price seemed really good to me. As a bonus, the trainer’s gym is private – one that he runs out of his house, so no meat-head body-builders to worry about.

I’ve had four sessions now. The first one featured a weigh-in, measurements and body-fat measurement (ick to all three!), but I soldiered on. The rest have just been the hardest workouts I’ve ever put myself through. I thought I’d pushed myself on previous workouts, but I was clearly wrong. Today? He worked my arms so much that it hurt to drive my car!

Also? I’ve started other mid-trainer workouts. Biked the last couple weeks (except the weekend we were on vacation) and pulled up my hand weights from the basement so I can start doing some weights workouts in the evenings.

I’d call this a win all around.

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Burst into Summer – A Day Late

Burst Into Summer Challenge

I didn’t want to check in this week. I didn’t eat well. I didn’t exercise. I did nothing in aid of my journey here.

That’s not entirely fair. No I didn’t exercise, except for a couple of walks to the dog park with Aurora. But, while I didn’t eat better than, say, last week, I did eat better than my “old self”. I’ve been enjoying the fruits and veggies of summer – raspberries, black raspberries, cherries.

However, I made a huge step yesterday. I let my friend Lorna talk me into going to a personal trainer with her. No, you didn’t read that wrong. *I* went to a personal trainer. I hate having other people see me work out. I hate letting other people know my weight and measurements. Did I mention that I hate letting others watch me work out? Yeah. but I went. I weighed-in. I got measured. I worked out. I sweated. And I’m going back. Once a week. For at least five sessions. ‘Cuz I pre-paid.

He’s having me keep a food diary. That I will *send* him. Ick. On the other hand, just keeping the diary seems to change my choices. Right now I’ve been contemplating a snack, but I don’t want to write it in my diary, so I’ve been avoiding the kitchen. Of course, part of that might also be that my legs, arms and shoulders are sore from yesterday’s workout. His other goal for me this week? Get on the bike once, if even for just 15 minutes. I can do that.

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The long-term plan is to do a century bike ride. That’s a 100-mile ride. There. I said it.

This isn’t going to happen this year, or next. Possibly not for several years. But it will happen, or at least that is what my biking seasons are going to be keeping an eye on.

There are two things that need to happen before I can do a century: I need to get faster and 35-mile rides need to become my norm.

  • 35-mile rides

    The general wisdom is that you can train for a ride that is about 3-times your comfortable long-ride. That means that if you can comfortably do 10 miles, then you should be able to train, in about 12 weeks, for a 30-mile ride. So, to do a century ride, I need to first be comfortable with a 33.3-mile ride.

    This one I’ve almost got down. Last year we became very comfortable with 30 miles. 33-miles? Not so much. Anything above 30 was a lot of work. But I have hope, because in 2009 even a 30 mile ride was a lot of work, so we can bring up our comfortable long ride to 33, or even 35 this year.

  • faster rides

    This one is harder, but absolutely necessary. If I were to do a century ride at the same speed I did our half-century, it would take 14 hours. Now, that would make me a total badass for pedaling for 14 hours, but it’s just not practical. So, I must get faster.

    My one worry about this is that I am already pushing my body and heart about as much as it should be pushed (possibly a bit more). So, how do I pedal faster or harder? My husband and I have been looking into this, and found several resources. We’ll be setting up a training schedule this month for the year, with the goal of a half-century ride mid-summer, done faster than last year’s ride (I don’t care how much faster.).

    Of course, one thing that would make this whole thing easier would be if I were carrying around less weight. That is certainly a goal of mine. On the other hand, I would like to make progress without putting all of my success on the scale – that always fails miserably for me. So, we’ll be trying the sprinting and interval training on the one side, and I’ll be working on my nutrition and continued exercise on the other side.

    I won’t consider doing a century ride until my average biking speed is at least 15 mph.

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Fitness Friday…a day early

This post is partially for all “my girls” running in the Disney Marathon this weekend.  I want to start by telling you all how proud I am of all of you – you are an inspiration. Reading all your posts and tweets about your training runs has kept me exercising through the “cold season”.  Sure, I’m not biking much (at all, really, other than New Years Day when it got unseasonably warm), but I am playing exercise games on my Wii, and just generally trying to keep active.

Here’s what I hope is a bit of inspiration: I’m a morbidly obese woman (as in, the doctors think I should just keel over an die from fatness), but I did a 50-mile bike ride in September. That ride took me a bit over 7 hours to do did I mention I’m a little slow. However, despite being slow, it was an intense ride for me – my average heart rate for that 7-hour ride was 154, or 85% of my max heart rate. Did you hear that? I kept my HR at 85% of my max for 7 hours.

This isn’t meant to downplay anyone else’s accomplishments – all I’m saying is that if you are out there on race day, thinking that you can’t do this, I say that you can. My longest training ride (40 miles) took me 4 hours 45 minutes with a similar intensity, and I had to add more than 2 hours on my half-century day. And I did it. You’ve done the training, so I’m certain you’ll succeed, too.

My mantra on my ride was: “Just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling”, sung to the tune of “Just keep swimming” from Finding Nemo. Find your mantra, dig deep, and enjoy the day. You’ve earned it.

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Running? Really?

I run with the Sisterhood

Okay, so I don’t run yet….at least not for very long…but it is not out of the realm of possibility.

Ironically, I decided to toy around with C25k about a week ago, before The Sisterhood announced their virtual 5k on January 8. They chose that date to cheer on a number of the Sisters who are running half or whole marathons in the Disney Marathon the next day (including my good friend Kirsten who is totally rocking her marathon training!).

Sadly my toying around with C25k has been derailed after only 2 sessions because of heel pain. This problem actually started a few months ago, when my biking training was ramping up, and it was helped greatly by proper biking shoes and rolling a tennis ball under my foot in the morning. I can’t say it was completely healed, but enough that it only bothered me every once in a while. Unfortunately, after two days of C25k, with not the greatest shoes (not the worst, but certainly not designed for running), I am now limping nearly full-time.

My first order of business is to get this heel healed (say that three times really fast!). I had already suspected that it was Plantar fasciitis, but had gotten a bit complacent, since the pain wasn’t as bad any more. Now I’m going to be a bit more vigilant about getting rid of the pain – Kirsten suggested freezing a water bottle and rolling the icy bottle under my foot, so I’ve started trying that. I think for this week I’m going to stay off my feet as much as possible, stretch w/the tennis ball and water bottle, and ice my foot. Any other suggestions out there would be welcome.

Even in my current condition, though, I know that I could walk a 5k…er…limp a 5k, I suppose. So I’m signing up to support my fellow sisters.

My main challenge, I think, will be the weather – January is not exactly the best time to be doing things outside in the DC area, and I don’t have access to a treadmill, so I’ll just have to make it work somehow.

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Looking Upwards

Last week my husband tweeted a link to a story musing about how a professor who makes $450,000/year could consider himself just an average middle class bloke. One part of the problem, the blogger proposed, was that the professor was looking upwards, comparing himself to those richer than he, rather than looking downwards at the 99% of the population doing worse off than he. By looking upward, he could only see that he did not have as much as those he compared himself to.

As I was thinking about it, I came to realize that much of my struggle lately with being happy with myself and what I can do (and the source of my little breakdown last week) is that I’m looking upward. I compare myself and my biking to those who pass me on the trail, rather than being proud of the fact that I can do so much more on my bike than most people.

Frankly, I don’t even have to look “downward” – besides, that sounds a little condescending – I just need to look sideways at my own progress. Eight years ago Andrew gave me a bike for my birthday. We went for short rides, but I didn’t feel comfortable going more than 2 miles. We worked up to 5 miles…then 6…then 10…then 12. And then the steps became larger each year – worked up to 20 one year, then 30 just two years later. Now 50.

It’s not about comparing myself to others…at least, it shouldn’t be. It’s about what I can do today that I couldn’t do yesterday. And that’s something to be proud of.

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I’m a badass!

Remember those Shrinking Jeans Olympics I mentioned? Yeah, I got silver medals in three, count them three, events! 3-minute Wii Hula Hoop, 6-minute Wii Hula Hoop, and 6-mile biking. Yay me!

Shrinking Jeans Olympics  Shrinking Jeans Olympics  Shrinking Jeans Olympics

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SJ Olympics!

Shrinking Jeans Olympics

Yay for the ladies (and guys) at Shrinking Jeans. I have been struggling trying to get back on track since summer. I did actually complete the EA Sports Active 30-day challenge, but two weeks late. After that I had trouble getting into a workout routine again.

For the past few weeks, Kirsen has been poking me on Twitter to get me to work out. And thats gotten me working out. However, that still hasn’t gotten me into a routine – I was working out because someone was pestering me, rather than because I wanted to do it for myself.

Enter the Shrinking Jeans Olympics. Okay, so it’s only been two days, but for those two days I’ve looked forward to exercising – to trying to do my personal best at the event I’ve entered that day. Friday I did the 3-minute Wii Fit hula-hoop event, but continued on the Wii Fit until I had 30 minutes of workout time. Yesterday I did the 6-mile bike ride, pushing myself to ride at a higher level on the stationary bike than I usually do, and faster. After the 6-miles, I continued for another mile, slowing my pace as a cool-down.

I’m a little less comfortable with some of the other events (and don’t have access to the venus or equipment for some, like running, walking – it’s COLD out & no treadmill – and swimming), but it doesn’t matter, we’re all having fun over there.

I’m hoping to use this as a jumping off point to re-starting my normal workouts. Honestly, I don’t care what form my workouts take, so long as I sweat for about 30 minutes at least three times a week. And biking yesterday reminded me that spring is just around the corner (though it doesn’t feel like it, with 2 feet of snow on the ground), and it would be nice to be back in biking shape by the time it’s warm enough to get out on the real bikes. I don’t want to start over where I was last year at this time, but hopefully start the season stronger.

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EA Sports Active 30-day challenge profile

Name: Barb
Age: 37
Hometown: grew up in Bloomington, MN; currently in Vienna, VA
Family: me, hubby, 3 cats

  1. Complete the following sentence – “When I look in the mirror I see…

    uncensored answer: A fat tub of lard that I have trouble looking at and dealing with.

    answer because I’m really trying to work on my negative self-talk: A smart woman struggling to make the person she sees be the person she always feels like inside.

  2. What exercise do you take? What’s your current level of fitness?
    I bike on weekends spring, summer and fall. I used to DDR until I messed up my knee, but almost ready to try again. Got into shredding with the sisterhood, so try to keep up with that 3 times a week (though that will be set aside for this challenge – I can’t do both in the same day!).
  3. How do you relax?
    Scrapbooking, watching bad TV, going to movies, playing video games.
  4. Do you watch your weight?
  5. What’s your favorite body part?
    I have trouble liking anything about my body…but if I had to choose something, I’d have to say eyes.
  6. What’s your least favorite body part?
    My gut.
  7. What’s your favorite way to workout?
    DDR was my favorite, with biking a close second.
  8. Its time to work out, we’re most likely to find you decked out in?
    Sweat- or workout-shorts and a workout top from Junonia
  9. You’re due to workout, but it’s pouring rain. What do you do?
    No prob, except biking, I usually workout in my basement.
  10. What’s the one item you wouldn’t be without when working out?
  11. What do you hope to get from the 30 Day Challenge?
    Weight loss, more muscle.
  12. What are you apprehensive about going in?
    Daily workouts are a challenge for me – I start to feel oppressed by the prospect of *having* to workout every day, so then I resist and quit.
  13. How will you reward yourself after the challenge?
    Success is it’s own reward for this one. I’ll just let me feel proud of myself (I don’t do that frequently enough).
  14. Complete the following sentence – “I’m Active for …”
    myself and making myself more healthy.

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Yay Me!

I Shred with the Sisterhood!

Okay, this is Day 15 of Shredding for me – I’m off synch with the Sisterhood, but I don’t care, I’m in it for 30 days. The Yay Me moment of this is that today was the first time I was able to get through the (modifed…Anita’s my friend!) plank sets without taking a break. Maybe not a huge “yay me”, but still, I think this means that I’m getting stronger, right?.

I had to modify a couple of the cardio moves so-as not to mess up my knees further, but, believe me, I’m keeping my heart rate up and sweating like nobody’s business.

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