Monday, January 31, 2011

a change is gonna come

frightening photo of an ice b-b-b-bath
The husband and I were able to salvage part of the weekend and had a nice overnight getaway.  Ate my weight in really good (sadly, good does not equal healthy) food, had a fairly heated discussion about politics (always interesting!) and laughed together a lot.  It was great!

Got my initial marathon training plan from my trainer this past weekend.  I think she's starting me off pretty easy since I'm still a bit of a delicate flower what with my tired knee and all.... but it looks like it will ramp up pretty quickly.  Yay!  I'm super excited to finally get the serious training underway after all this time talking about it.  She's got all kinds of things on the training plan - stretching, core work, miles - but the thing that scares me the most is the ice baths that she has SCHEDULED.  Makes me want to weep.  I HATE HATE HATE to be cold.  Tell me I'm going to learn to love them.  I need to hear that.

The writing is on the wall in other arenas too.....  I need to lose some weight (about 10 pounds).....  Looks like I'm going cold turkey on the Oreos (thank goodness we don't have any more of those tasty morsels in the house)....and saying goodbye to Donnie J. (also no longer in the house) and his friend Red Wine......and I'm going to keep a food diary so I can come clean about the crap I love to eat.  Again, unlike Jane, not literally - but I do have that soft spot (most likely adipose tissue) for fat, grease and salt.  My motto is usually "everything in moderation" but I think I really do need to make some drastic changes in my diet over the next 5 months.  I can handle it. Right?

TRX/Kettlebell class tonight - swung a 16kg kettlebell - getting stronger!

Three mile run tomorrow.  Since we got about 5 inches of snow today I'm thinking it's a date with the treadmill.

Friday, January 28, 2011

best laid plans

Well, the husband and I were supposed to get away for the weekend to a B&B in Wisconsin but life (actually, work) interfered.  He's an IT director and has to deal with an inoperable server.  Major bummer but we're hoping that his team can get things resolved so we can go tomorrow and salvage at least one night away.

Like a good girl, I did my core work this morning.  Since I now had some unexpected extra time, I decided to go for a run this afternoon.  OUTSIDE.  Figured I could finally try out my new Garmin! I had to futz with it, getting it set up, messing with the online part of it and just plain trying to figure the damn thing out.  And my aging eyes are NOT helpful - I can't see it very well without wearing readers.  WTF?  When did my eyes become so old?  Super annoying!  But I digress.....

In for a penny, in for a pound, I decided to take Jane along for the run.  Why not? So what if the footing might be crappy and that Jane is easily distracted by the interesting smells and other organic items she comes across.  I'm sure I'll be able to remain upright! We ran exactly 3.1 miles, a perfect 5K as measured by my sweet new Garmin....ran along the lake by our house then took the bike path through the nearby neighborhood and along the road.  It was a good thing I wore my Yaktrax because part of the bike path wasn't plowed.  Snowmobilers had packed it down pretty well so it wasn't too scary to run on (remember, I wiped out a few weeks ago and torqued my already injured knee so I was kinda nervous about things).  Jane was a stellar running companion!  Happy to be out running, never complained about my slow pace, didn't do anything to cause me to fall and only tried to eat poop a couple of times (this refers to the dog, not me. I almost never try to eat poop).

My sweet Garmin!
Here's my cool summary:
Time: 00:36:48
Distance: 3.11 mi
Elevation Gain: 85 ft
Calories: 329 C
Time: 00:36:48
Moving Time: 00:36:21
Avg Moving Pace: 11:41 min/mi
Best Pace: 08:18 min/mi

Did I mention that I am slow?  Considering the running conditions and my fear of wiping out again, I'm pretty pleased with my pace.  I know I'm going to LOVE all the data I get with my new toy.  Next up: learn how to use the heart monitor.  For some reason, it wasn't picking up the signal.  I'm guessing operator error is the root of the problem.

Just heard from the husband: success with the IT issue!  Looks like we might get a little time away after all.  Yay!

Monday, January 24, 2011

slowly she turns....

I am trying so hard to eat better.  It's not easy for a carb-whore like me to avoid the breads, the Oreos, the fat, the salt, and the grease that I love so very much.  But I think I am slowly making the transformation.  One step forward, ten steps back sometimes......I'm a work in progress.

Mmmmmm, panko crusted halibut....
I was on my own for dinner last Friday after circuit class so I stopped at Kowalski's on my way home to try to find dinner inspiration.  Not the best idea when I'm starving..... Anyway, here's what was in my bag when I walked out of the store (after paying for it of course): fresh halibut, yellow squash, zucchini, baby bella mushrooms and rye berry salad.  Coated the halibut with egg, then dipped in whole wheat panko and baked in the oven......sauteed the zucchini, squash and mushrooms with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper.....ate the rye berry salad as is (and it was delicious!).  A fabulous meal for one!

Saturday: family meal with baked chicken breasts with olive oil and a mishmash of herbs, rosemary roasted red potatoes, asparagus with lemon and slivered parmesan cheese, and spaghetti squash.  Yum! Please note, there was NO bread at any of these meals.  Planning a meal without bread felt wrong, and color me surprised when I didn't miss the bread at all.  I wonder if aliens are taking over my body.  I feel like such a big girl cooking reasonably healthy food for more than one day in a row - especially on Friday when it was just for me.  It would have been SOOOOOOO easy to make a plate of nachos and eat them over the sink.

Mmmmm, grilled tuna steak!
Sunday: family meal (Again! Seems like a rare occurrence these days.) grilled tuna steaks with sesame seasoning,  mango salsa & fresh avocado, and brown basmati rice.  BIG shout-out to the husband for braving the below zero windchill to grill the tuna.

Annnnnd then I had two Oreos for dessert......and another one later to get my full serving of three cookies in.... Oh well.  Rome wasn't built in a day.

boston marathon, bodybuilding and bitching!

Just a quick shout-out to my Tenacious trainer Chris!

In addition to running her own fitness studio (where she tortures extremely willing participants like me with kettlebells, TRX suspension training, and nasty variations on well-known exercises - but also rewards us with the sledgehammer) raising a passel of boys, and training for marathons, she's now entering the bodybuilding realm and blogging about it.  You can read all about her here:
Boston Marathon, Bodybuilding and B^tching!: Holy Cr^p, What have I gotten myself into?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

bulgarian butt...... and another donation!

Gotta love my core class - and last night's class was a typical killer.  We did something called Bulgarian squats where you have one knee bent behind you with your foot up on a box that's about knee high.  Other foot on floor is out quite a ways directly in front of box.  Grubby hands hold a kettlebell snug to the chest.  Bend knee of foot on floor and get your butt down to knee height then back up. Do reps until the buzzer goes off (30 seconds?  30 minutes? sometimes it's tough to tell) then switch to other foot on floor.  My ass is killing me today.  So I think I was doing it right.

I think there is something amiss with my treadmill.  I've been ramping up the speed a little bit and the treadmill doesn't seem to like it.  It's getting pretty wobbly and my water is splashing all over the place.  Just got the damn thing paid off and it's acting up.  Figures.  And it's sooooo cold out right now!  I've gotten much better about running outdoors in the winter but -20 below zero is pushing it for me. Plus, with the new snow and the ice everywhere, I'm kind of afraid to run outside.  My knee is doing pretty well and I'd like to keep it that way.

On a happy note - I received another donation for ACS - Thanks Sarah B.!!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

stress relief

Life has been a bit too interesting for my taste lately.  Too many irons in the fire, too many issues to sort out...... I am so grateful that I'm able to run and SOOOO happy that I found my new workout home.  I went to circuit class yesterday and one of the stations was hitting a huge tractor tire with a sledgehammer.  I LOVED IT!!!! Add in the kick-boxing station where I got to kick a giant bag and then all the other kettlebell/TRX stations and for 45 fabulous minutes I was able to forget all the crap that I'm dealing with on a daily basis. Just what I needed.

The toenail I'm always losing.
On another note, looks like  my toe issue is once again rearing its ugly head.....I can tell I'm going to lose that nail again.  Damn.  I just got a pedi too.  Lost that toenail THREE  times last year.  I really thought I'd be able to hang onto it until I was doing some serious mileage but after 3 measly miles??? I mean, c'mon!!!

Oh yeah, and I caved.  Those free Oreos are in the pantry right now. I'm thinking of them as a reward system for miles run and tires sledgehammered.  And hoping that the kids get to them first.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

an epiphany of sorts

Things are looking better with the knee!  I ran 3.2 miles on the treadmill (not including warm-up and cool-down) and held a 9:22 pace.  For me, that's speedy.  And best of all, it doesn't seem to be bugging the knee, I felt like I could keep going on it and it felt good to finally work up a sweat while running.  I've been taking it easy for so long I kinda forgot what it felt like to work hard.

More Oreo angst: went to Costco yesterday and they have a ginormous 10 sleeve box of Oreos.  WTF! I am constantly being tested.

NOT me.  I can't quite do this one yet.
Other than that, I look just like this chick.
So I went to another beginner kettlebell class yesterday.  This was after enduring a killer KB workout on Friday night.  The class on Friday kicked my ass as expected.  I have bruises on both forearms due to my inability to control the kettlebells.  I am so WEAK!!  I was kinda proud of myself for showing up for more abuse. As we were working, my trainer was asking me about my pace.....all I could say was, "It's slow."  Cuz it is, and I am.  But as we were talking I also came to the realization that I've never really pushed myself; I've always approached running as something I want to enjoy rather than seeing what I can do.  And now I want to see what I can do.

Friday, January 14, 2011

a cruel joke......or maybe it's a sign

I order groceries online and they are always sending me the weekly specials.  Remember yesterday, when I  said I was going to have to spend less time with my friend Oreo Cookie?  Well, today, I opened my e-mail and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but the black and white cookies that I hold oh so dear!!  For FREE!!!  And all I have to do is spend what I normally would anyway.  Bastards.  Like willpower isn't enough of an issue for me already.

Is it a sign that maybe I'm not supposed to kick the Oreo habit yet?  Or is it a test?

On the upside, I saw my PT today and she said I'm getting stronger and my flexibility has increased! I'm still only allowed to run every other day but I can increase my mileage up to 10 miles per week.  Kind of a downer when I told her I am planning to run the Get Lucky Triple 7 Half marathon in March and she said, "I didn't hear that!"  She redeemed herself in my eyes when she followed that with, "You might not be able to run much at all for the rest of that week."  So I more or less got her blessing.  Yay!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

got my first donation to ACS!

A big thank you to Mr. Nils K. for kick-starting my campaign!

I'm feeling kinda good about things.  I am finally able to do a relatively pain-free plank after doing whatever it was I did to my abdominal muscle.  And I've been running on the treadmill and the knee is feeling pretty good! Have to hang on to those good feelings because tomorrow I go back to kettlebell/TRX circuit class and I know I'm going to get my ass handed to me again.  I'm so excited to be getting my training underway and to actually have a training plan that includes more than just running.  Hope the knee, hell, for that matter, my entire body figures out soon that it just has to suck it up.  The mind has to convince the rest of the gang that training for a marathon is gonna be fun!

On a sadder note, it's time to stop spending so much time with my good friends Oreo Cookie and Don Julio.... I've gained about 10 pounds during my time off from regular exercise, probably directly related to my close personal relationship with the friends mentioned above.  (Note: as an FYI and before you freak out thinking I'm tossing back shots on a regular basis, Don Julio is NOT the kind of tequila with which you do shots - it's meant to be savored!  So jump back.)  And thank heavens I don't have any daughters selling Girl Scout cookies this year.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Thin Mints and have no trouble putting away an entire sleeve in a few short minutes.  I swear, though, there are fewer cookies in those sleeves every year.....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

the eagerly awaited link to donate to ACS is here!

Despite the fact that Grandma's Marathon is not going to be an "official" ACS race, I'm still going to raise funds for them.  You can click on the link at the top of the page or right here to get to my donation page.  You'll recognize the same lovely picture of me running slowly to the finish of the WRTC 10 mile.

To paraphrase the motto of Chicago elections from days gone by, feel free to "donate early and donate often!"

Friday, January 7, 2011

is it possible to pull a muscle in your abdomen??

If it is, I've done it.  As you (my millions of readers) know, my abs were a tad sore after getting my ass kicked in that kettlebell class.  I thought I was pretty well recovered with just a hint of pain in the left lower abdomen.  So I was at PT this morning and went to get in plank position when something "popped" in said left lower abdomen.  It hurt like hell and made even attempting a plank impossible.  If I turn or stretch wrong I get a super sharp pain.  I was planning to go to kettlebell/TRX class for more torture tonight but decided I better not risk further injury.  I am sick and tired of all these lame injuries!!!  I mean, if I'm going to be sidelined, can't it have been caused by something sexier than falling while walking the dog or straining a muscle in an exercise class?  I think I'm going to tell people my injuries are from bungie jumping in Katmandu.  (I actually do know someone that went bungie jumping in Katmandu - although miraculously, despite what appeared to be a very rickety platform and some questionable harness connections, no injuries were incurred - and I always thought that was the coolest cocktail party conversation starter EVER.)  I think both of my injuries (knee and abdomen) could have been caused by bungie jumping.  No one needs to know that the details don't quite line up.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

kettlebells and pain

I cannot believe how sore I was after that kettlebell/TRX class.  I had no idea I am so very very out of shape! My entire body ached and my abs..... Oh.My.Gosh. were they sore.  Having said that, I'm hooked on that workout!  Obviously works the entire body and makes it pay for high consumption of Oreos and Don Julio anjeo.

I have been cleared to run every other day.  Unfortunately, I had a total wipeout while walking the dog two days ago.  It was cartoon-worthy: ice hidden under freshly-fallen feet flew out from under me and I was parallel to the ground before slamming down on my left shoulder and knee.  That would be the bad knee.  Should have worn the damn yaktrax.

I'm doing better today but not still sure if I want to risk running outside -  aside from the ice-induced dangers it's really cold! Plus there won't be any cheering spectators, hot chocolate or a voucher for a free beer for finishing my run like I had in the Polar Dash.  Guess I'll have to look inward for my motivation.  Dang.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

and the first race of 2011!

Ready to rock 'n' roll and hopefully avoid the slip 'n' slide.
Polar Dash 5K.
Pretty cold and windy morning (7 degrees, -10 windchill) but this run is tons of fun!  I promised my PT I would run even slower than usual and walk if needed to baby my knee.  Finished with 11:03 pace.  Not horrible and the knee feels fine.  Whew!

OMG, I did my first ever Russian Kettle Bell/TRX circuit class yesterday and it kicked my ass.  I'm pretty sore today but I have to say, I loved that class!  I'm told I need to strengthen my core so I'm less likely to hurt myself when running, so why not try to get some killer abs while I'm at it? The dream (of killer abs, that is) is still alive!

last race of 2010

Holy crap that's a lot of people
I like running - yes; blogging??  Maybe not my strong suit.  Oh well, on we go. Things are going to get much more interesting and bitchaboutable once I really start training for Grandma's.

Finally found out what's wrong with my knee.  Baker's cyst.  I'm told physical therapy should make things all better.  Hope so!  I'll look kind of funny if I have to make some type of contraption to pull my leg along with me. Kind of like those poor dogs who have their back legs on a little wagon thingy.

Ran the last race of the year on Saturday, December 4th.  It was a great race to close out the year.  We had a fresh coating of about 7-8" of snow which made traction difficult - not to mention driving to the race and parking on unplowed Minneapolis streets - occasional high "Yikes!" factor.  But the crowd was lots of fun and I got to high-five Rudolph (he of the red nose) when I crossed the finish line. You can't beat that!