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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Burst into Summer – June 22

Burst Into Summer Challenge

I big puffy heart all of my sisters over in the Sisterhood. I missed about half of everyone’s comments last week, ‘cuz they went into moderation and WP didn’t send me an e-mail. Now I’m bawling my eyes out (in a good way) from all the support. Thanks everyone! I’m not at 100%, but I’m trying to get back in the groove.

Civil War Camp in Vienna

I’m chalking this week up to a success. I ate more fruits and veggies most days than I have in a couple months – and on several occasions, I actually craved a fruit instead of junk. Saturday my husband and I hopped on our bikes and took a short ride up to town for Civil War re-enactments, including costume, crafting, artillery, and telegraph demos. It was only 7 miles total, but that was just about right for me at this point – I’ll build up miles and time over the summer. Oh, and believe it or not, I also did the Shrinking Jeans Bootcamp W1D1 workout last night. Plus, afterwards, I pulled out my hula-hoop for 10 minutes. Yeah, that’s right. I worked out after the bootcamp. Yay me.

Weight-wise? Not as great, but I’m not worried about that right now. This week I’m just going to keep going – SJ bootcamp, biking over the weekend, and getting in some fresh fruits and veggies.

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Burst into Summer – Kicking it off!

Burst Into Summer Challenge

If you look through the blog, you’ll note that I haven’t been on since January. I wish I could say it was just from sheer laziness, but the truth is that Real Life (TM) derailed my efforts here.

I actually did alright January and February – not actually losing any weight, but I did get in some exercise and didn’t gain weight.

March? March was bad. Many of you already know why. Those who don’t, can read this post on my other blog to get up-to-speed. In short, March was bad, and I ate and ate and ate and did not exercise more than once or twice. And I gained 10 lbs. Honestly, though, I can’t say that I’m mad at myself. Usually I’d be pissed about such a gain, but this year? This year I’m just glad that I seem to be plugging along. The last couple months I’ve felt like I’ve just been treading water, trying not to drown emotionally.

So, yes, I’m starting the Burst Into Summer challenge from The Sisterhood to get myself on the track to a better place health-wise. I’m not on a team this time around – I never would have signed up if that were the case, because I’m just not sure of where I am right now, or what I can commit to. But I signed up, so that’s a step forward.

Goals? Here are a few:

  • Biking. Last year at this time my husband and I were deep in training for a 50-mile bike ride. This year? I’ve been on my bike maybe 3 times. We were supposed to be trying for two 50-milers this year. My goals have changed. At this point, I just want to get on the bike every weekend – the real bike if it’s not raining (and not so hot it’s dangerous), the stationary bike otherwise. (I’d like to work in some mid-week biking on the stationary, too, but going to start slow this week…)
  • Other exercise: I will also try out the Sisterhood’s bootcamp workout for this challenge – yikes!
  • Food: I’ve already started taking joy from the fresh fruits and veggies of summer, so my other goal is to continue that and continue to phase out most of the junk.

Nothing crazy with the goals – this is just about taking it slow this year, and getting back in the vicinity of the right track.

This week’s starting stats?
Overall: -21.8 lbs
This week: ?? Haven’t weighed in officially in weeks…so we’ll just ignore this for now.

That’s it. Here’s to a great week for everyone!

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Power of One Week 4 Check in

This week: -3 lbs
Challenge: -3.8
Overall: -30.6

This’ll be short (and probably full of typos), because I’m posting from my phone in the airport.

Yay! I’m back to -30 overall! And despite the fact that I’m going to MN, land of 10,000 temptations, I indend to stay at the -30 (or more). I’ll hop on Dad’s treadmill at least every other day. Can’t guarantee that I won’t indulge in a few things, but I’ll keep up with the exercise and water-drinking to help mitigate any indulging.

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Power of One Week 3 Check-in

Power of One Challenge
This week: +1.2 lbs
Challenge: -0.8
Overall: -27.6

Gah! I struggle with the days I don’t work. That’s it. I know this. And I can’t seem to change it. This week had 5 days where I wasn’t at work, so that was 5 days of bad choices.

This week I knew I was making bad choices, and made them anyway. I remember thinking things like, “Hey, didn’t I get some yummy apples from the fruit guy at work? Why don’t you have one of those?”, and then grabbing something else…something not nearly as healthy.

So, here’s the plan for this coming week. I’m going to track calories on the days I’m not at work. That means Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I’m not going to say that I have to limit anything…but usually tracking my calories is enough to make me think twice about what I’m eating.

But you know what? My exercise and water/no-pop drinking have stayed on track:

Exercise: Continued the EA Sports More Workouts 6-week Challenge on Thursday, Friday, and Tuesday. (I did Monday’s workout today…so that will count next week). I also hopped on the stationary bike at home to pedal about 24 miles on Sunday. Total of 201 minutes. (Not as impressive as last week, but still respectable, I think.)

Drinking: Made my goal of giving up Diet Coke (and other pop) for 2 weeks! I could have had some on Monday, but still haven’t. I’m at the point where I want my “first” one to be special. I don’t intend to give it up all together – I just want to develop a better relationship with it – I need to look at it as a treat, rather than the main thing that I drink.

Eating: Okay, so I said earlier that I made a lot of bad choices this week…consciously. But I also made good choices, and I want to make sure to honor those choices, too. On days I work at the office, I’ve been making really good choices – fruit with breakfast, fruit and veggies with lunch, and fruit or veggies for a mid-afternoon snack. In fact, I’m writing this while having carrots and hummus w/my lunch. If I can just transfer these decisions to my house, I’ll be doing pretty well.

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Power of One Week 2 Check-in

Power of One Challenge
This week: -3.2 lbs
Challenge: -2
Overall: -28.8

That’s right – I’m down this week! Clearly I did something right this week. w00t! Some good habits are starting to take hold. I feel like they’re a bit tenuous right now, and that if I slack at all, they’ll be gone. So, the goal for this week is to just keep on what I’ve been doing, and be vigilant to not slide back.

Let’s look at what I’m doing right:
Eating: Much better this week than last. I kept up with my fruits and veggies – even picking f/v before going for other less-healthy things. I also resisted the urge for seconds at dinner the couple of times I wanted them this week. We’re keeping better things in our house, and keeping out the things that I binge on.

Drinking: Still off the pop this week – been off for 9.5 days; shooting for two weeks. There’s only been a couple times that I’ve been craving it, so this hasn’t been as much of a challenge as I thought it might be. I’ve continued downing the water, and I need to brew another pitcher of iced green tea today, but once I’ve done that, I’m confident that I’ll make my two week goal.

Exercise: I killed this week on this goal. I did my EA Sports More Workouts 6-week challenge on Thurs, Fri, Mon and Tues. Then on Saturday I did the Sisterhood Virtual 5k. And on Sunday, I was inspired by my marathon-running friends to do 26.2 miles on my stationary bike(!). Total for the week was 295 minutes.

Next week? Hopefully just doing more of the same.

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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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Letter to my 2011 self, from 2012

The Monday Project

Over at the Sisterhood, they’ve turned the Monthy Project back to weekly for January. First up? A letter to my 2011 self written from my 2012 self. (Actually first up is to review our letters from last year, but I was still kind of on the sidelines January last month, so I don’t have a letter. My letter would have woefully underestimated what I would accomplish last year – by January the idea of doing a half-century, and all the training involved, was not something I thought about.)

So here goes:

Dear 2011 Barb:

You have no idea what this year has in store for you, and I remember that you’re a little scared about the whole thing, but believe me, it’s wonderful.

This was the year that you finally figured out how to incorporate exercise into your life. Sure, you started that in 2010 with the half-century training, but this year you not only made but exceeded your goal of exercising 3x30min each week – most of the time you did it more!

And biking? Wow! You and Andrew trained for a second half century, and you totally did it last summer, and you knocked time off of your first one. You also gained more confidence to join several organized rides – you did the WABA ride around DC again, but also tried a couple new ones, even a 40-mile ride out in Maryland! Oh, and that Backroads Century 30-miler you did in 2010? You did that again. You still walked part of it, but that’s okay, because you know what? You tackled one of those big-ass hills!

The idea of doing a century ride? Not quite as far-fetched these days…maybe in a couple years. After a little more speed training. I can see it happening.

You started to figure out eating better, too. Maybe not 100% of the time, but some healthier habits have definitely taken hold. You’ve curbed the emotional eating – or at least made better choices when you did give in to the emotions. (Except for the horrible M&M incident in August, which we shall not mention again.) Oh, you had some bad eating from time-to-time, like at your 40th birthday party in Vegas, but they were one-time deals, and not the start of a downward spiral.

Oh, and you totally tried on your wedding dress for your 7th anniversary in September. You know what? It was too big!!! Way to good, girl!

It’s not always easy, but I promise you that you’ll get through it all, and you’ll be a better person for it all.

2012 Barb

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Sisterhood Virtual 5k

I signed up for the Sisterhood Virtual 5k back in October when I had high hopes of doing the c25k program after getting my heel healed up. Well, I’ve been spotty at best about caring for my heel (please don’t yell at me – I have a plan and will come up with a stretching and icing schedule to make it better).  But I knew that I could walk it no matter what.

When I went to take the dog out this morning, though, this is what I saw:
The snow was a complete surprise this morning!
(Image the snow a bit more pristine and the air white with flurries.)

I don’t have access to a treadmill, so outside was my only options. So I started making excuses – I can’t go out in the snow! What if I slip? It’s only 28° out there – that’s cold! I should just cancel. No one would blame me for not doing it today.

But I ignored those excuses. I bundled up, grabbed my iPod and camera, laced up my walking shoes, and headed off on the course I’d mapped yesterday. Here I am heading out for my virtual 5k:
For for my virtual 5k

For the first mile or so, I was thinking about all the girls at Disney – about the training they did and how awesome it will be tomorrow when their training all pays off. For the second mile, I was mostly concerned about not slipping – the terrain was downhill then uphill, and I had to be careful about where I was stepping.

For the third mile I started to marvel at how far I’ve come in a year. Last year the idea of walking outside in the snow and cold would have been laughable. In fact, the idea of doing a virtual 5k at all would have been weird. Not because I couldn’t have walked that far – I’m pretty sure my husband and I do it all the time when we go downtown to visit the museums – but because it wouldn’t have occurred to me to do it. I’m also starting to figure out that exercise is not something that takes up time that I could be doing something else, but is the something else that I should be making time for. I haven’t been 100% with exercise and training this past year, but each time I fell away from it, I went back. And I went back faster each time.

I snapped a couple of pics along the way, but then realized that the pics make it look like I was walking out in the country…I wasn’t, I’m in one of DC’s suburbs, so these were just carefully chosen shots to show the snow.
Roads were clear, but not the sidewalksNottaway park was pretty

And my footprints on the snowy sidewalk:
My footprints in the snow

And here I am back home, after my 3.5 miles (yes, longer than a 5k, but it was the closest route I could find that I actually wanted to take):
Me at the end of my 5k

There are a couple more pics on my flickr page: Sisterhood Virtual 5k on Flickr.

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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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