Archive for June, 2011


The packing has begun. I got a lot done yesterday and even more done today. I’ve got one room mostly packed with just a few odds and ends left to take care of. I also started on a second room and have a huge pile of things to donate and three huge black trash bags full of garbage. Curtis also started packing the basement. We only have about 17 packing days left and I’ll be working 12 of those days. Crazy.

What with packing all day and a phone call that upset me a bit, I didn’t feel up to going to the gym. I am trying to have some genetic testing for a hereditary type of cancer that I am at risk for inheriting and the doctor’s office is not on top of things. I had to call the insurance company and speak someone who knew nothing about this specific test and I think he just told me what he thought I wanted to hear. Finally, I was able to find a number for someone at the insurance agency who deals with this test specifically, so I’m hoping that things will be ok. I’m waiting for some paperwork in the mail, but fingers-crossed things are taken care of now. I just want it to be over with and get the results!

Needless to say, I was a bit emotional yesterday and a workout probably would have made me feel better, but I opted to stay home and go to the gym this morning instead. Curtis and I both went to the gym and it was surprisingly busy for a Saturday morning, but fortunately, after our warm-ups both squat racks were available for use. I did NROLW Stage 5 Workout B:

A. Barbell Romanian deadlift/bent-over row – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 100 lbs

B1. Partial single-leg squat – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 1st @ 20 lbs, 2nd/3rd/4th @ 22.5 lbs

B2. Wide-grip lat pulldown – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 95 lbs

C1. Back extension – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 35 lbs

C2. YTWL – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 12.5 lbs

D1. Swiss-ball crunch – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 12.5 lbs overhead

D2. Hip flexion – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ BW (Prone Jackknife)

D3. Lateral flexion – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ BW

Then I did intervals:

1 min @ walk 3.5 mph

2 min @ run 12:00 min/mile

1 min @ run 6:40 min/mile

2 min @ run 12:00 min/mile

1 min @ run 6:40 min/mile

2 min @ run 12:00 min/mile

1 min @ run 6:40 min/mile

2 min @ walk 3.5 mph

1 min @ run 6:40 min/mile

2 min @ walk 3.5 mph

1 min @ run 6:40 min/mile

1 min @ run 12:00 min/mile

5 min cool down

I wanted to add another interval to the normal HIIT prescribed by NROLW. I needed more recovery than usual today and had to walk after the 3rd and 4th intervals. I think I may have been a bit dehydrated and that probably played a role. My heart rate got up to at least 200 bpm during the 3rd interval, so I made sure to recover to the 150s range before beginning the 4th and 5th.

I might break the rules and do another workout tomorrow evening. It will be more than 24 hours rest so I think it’ll be okay just this once. I’ll play it by ear tomorrow if I’m overly sore, but I expect I’ll be able to do the last workout A of the phase.


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So Little Time

I’ve realized how much I have to get done before we move in July, and it is not pretty. I have so much to do in the next five weeks and only three weeks to actually do it! I’m going to be away for two weeks of my remaining time in this house so I am short on time in getting everything packed, sorted and labeled appropriately. We have accumulated so much stuff over the past two years that I barely knew how to start. I decided tackling one room at a time would probably be the best approach so I started in my “office” that I rarely use but has mountains of stuff in it. Mostly it has all my hundreds of books (= many heavy boxes) and important documents and old photos and mementos. There’s lots of room for purging. I started today and have already mostly filled one black garbage bag and I haven’t even tackled the closet yet! One of my goals for this week was to completely pack that room and tomorrow is going to be a marathon day for packing. I think I’ll do the guest bedroom next, and pack all my winter clothes and extra bedding. I’ve never packed for a move this far before. Most of my moves have been short distances allowing multiple trips. This is a take it or leave it all in one go type of affair.
Tomorrow I plan to take a break from the packing extravaganza for a lifting session and maybe a run. Have a great Friday!

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Workout with Mom

Today was the first time in about a month that I’ve lifted weights with my mom. We had been lifting regularly every Tuesday at her house because she has a full squat rack, barbell, dumbbells, weights and cables at her house, but I’ve been on the road so much recently that we haven’t had the chance. It was really nice to spend some time together and great for a change of scenery and pace from the gym. I did NROLW stage 5, workout A:

A. One-armed dumbbell snatch – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 25 lbs

B1. Dumbbell single-leg Romanian deadlift – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 40 lbs

B2. Barbell bent-over row – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 95 lbs

C1. Dumbbell single-arm overhead squat – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 20 lbs and 40 lbs

C2. Dumbbell incline bench press @ 28 lbs

D1. Plank – 3 sets of 120s with 120s rest @ BW

D2. Reverse wood chop – 3 sets of 4 with 120s rest @ purple band

Body Weight Matrix (24 squats, 12 lunges each leg, 12 lunge jumps each leg, 24 jump squats) x 2 reps

After my workout, I rushed home to shower and change for a dinner out with some friends. I stuffed myself at a delicious Lebanese place, and it was so worth it. 🙂 Hope you had a great day!

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I was very excited about going for a bike ride this afternoon. The sun was shining and it was a cool 71 degrees. I pulled my bike out of storage where it has been since Timberman and I pumped the front tire, moved to the back tire only to remember that the valve was broken on the rear tube. Believe it or not this was the very first time I have had to change the rear tire since I got my bike! I struggled a little, but got the tube changed and the tire back on the bike and got ready to go.
I got about 2 minutes away and heard a pop. I pulled over and my rear tire was completely flat. Since I only had one tube with me, and the first few pedal strokes revealed that I couldn’t shift out of the big chainring, I decided to just walk my bike home for some tinkering.
I set up at my front steps and first attacked the tire issue. As it turns out, I had made the one mistake I usually try so hard to avoid and the tube got stuck between tire and rim and had a huge hole in it as a result. I changed it with a bit more success. I’m not sure why my shifting is not working properly, so I guess I need to take it in. I could ride it as it was, but I opted not to as I had already spent over an hour working on it. It probably could use a tune up at the shop anyhow.
Oh well! I tried!

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The Sounds of the Weight Room

Being away so much over the past few weeks has really done a number on my nutrition. I have not been following my plan for calorie intake or macronutrient ratios. I also usually try to eat mostly “clean,” which I think to mean whole real foods, not processed junk. I’ve resorted to fast food and/or prepackaged foods while traveling, especially in the airports. Today marked day one of getting back to tracking my food keeping portion sizes down and eating “clean.” I’ve gained about 3 of the 6 pounds I had lost when I started watching my diet again in April. I’d like to lose those and a bit more to get back to my happy weight.

After work today I had a doctor’s appointment and then I went straight to the gym to lift. It was nice and early in the afternoon and the gym was pretty much empty. It was kind of weird because ALL the personal trainers were there having a meeting. They sat in a big circle in the back of the gym. I guess it’s not really weird…

My workout was Workout B of Stage 5 of NROLW. I started with the same warm-up as yesterday (squat to stand, lateral lunges, reverse lunge with twist and overhead reach, and inchworms). I then did barbell Romanian deadlift/bent-over row combo warm-up (with 6 reps @ 45 lbs (just the bar), 3 reps @ 65 lbs, and 1 rep @ 85 lbs) before beginning my work out.

A. Barbell Romanian deadlift/bent-over row – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 95 lbs

B1. Partial single-leg squat – 3 sets of 4 reps each leg with 120s rest @ 20 lbs DBs

B2. Wide-grip lat pulldown – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 90 lbs

C1. Back extension – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 35 lbs

C2. YTWL – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 12.5 lbs

D1. Swiss-ball crunch – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 10 lbs DB held overhead

D2. Hip flexion (reverse crunch) – 3 sets of 4 with 120s rest @BW

D3. Lateral felxion – 3 sets of 4 with 120s rest @ BW

E. Prone Cobra – 3 sets of 120s with 120s rest @ BW

I skipped the prone cobra today. It tends to really make my back sore (and not in a good, “I just worked my muscles really well” kind of way), so I don’t really care for it much.

One of the trainers lifted after their meeting and he was almost comically grunting with every pull. “Uhh!” “Ahh!” “Urghh!” He did some “motivational breathing” (that’s what I’m calling it anyhow) as he did his lifts, it sounded like, “tse tse tse.” I find all the grunting and noise-making to be quite amusing and entertaining. I really don’t have anything against it, I just don’t really think it makes that much of a difference that it’s necessary. I don’t do it, and pretty much lift silently. One guy recently was encouraging himself as he was pressing a load, “You got it, push! Do it!” Blah blah blah. I guess to each his own! If it works for you, it works for you. Not my style, though.

After finishing listening to the weight room symphony, I jumped on a treadmill to do some intervals. As planned, I did 1:00 minute at a walk to warm-up to it, 2:00 minutes at a 12 minute mile pace, then began the first interval for 1:00 minute at 6:40 mile pace. Rests were always at 12 minute mile pace. I did four total intervals at the 6:40 pace. I think next interval session I will either increase the number of intervals or recover at a faster pace. That should be on Friday, so I’ll keep you posted.


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A Weekend Workout

It felt really nice to wake up in my own bed on Saturday morning! Friday night ended up being a pretty late night with my flight delays, and then Curtis had trouble getting to the airport to pick me up because of construction on the road. We didn’t end up getting home till around 11:30 PM and we stayed up for awhile watching Inception with his dad who was in town for the night. I love the feeling of getting into my own bed after being away for a while. There’s something about it that just makes me really feel like I’m home.

Needless to say, I didn’t want to get out of bed on Saturday morning! Curtis and I decided to go out for a late breakfast, which was really more of an early lunch. He was planning to go into work for a few hours afterward and since we didn’t want to drive two cars, we decided to just take one and I would run home from his office after I had digested. His office is only about 3 miles away from our house, so usually it’s a nice short run. Yesterday, it was incredibly hot and the trail has zero shade along it, so it wasn’t the best conditions for running only a half hour after a meal, but I made it. 🙂 It took me a long time to cool off once I got home – I spent about 30 minutes lying in the hallway under the ceiling fan to cool down.

Later that day, I met Curtis at the gym to lift. I did Workout A of NROLW Stage 5, which took me about an hour and fifteen minutes including my warm-up. My warm-ups consist of 5 repetitions of squat to stand, 5 repetitions of lateral lunges on each leg, 5 repetitions of reverse lunges with twist and overhead reach on each leg and 5 repetitions of the inchworm exercise. After my usual warm-up, I did a specific warm-up for my one-armed dumbbell snatches. I did 5 reps each arm at 12.5 pounds, then 3 reps each arm at 20 pounds, and 1 rep each arm at 22.5 pounds. Then I jumped right into my workout:

A. One-armed dumbbell snatch – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 25 lbs DBs

B1. Dumbbell single-leg Romanian deadlift – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 37.5 lbs DBs

B2. Barbell bent-over row – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 90 lbs BB

C1. Dumbbell single-arm overhead squat – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 15 lbs and 30 lbs DBs

C2. Dumbbell incline bench press – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 27.5 lbs DBs

D1. Plank – 3 sets of 90s with 120s rest @ BW

D2. Reverse wood chop – 3 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 27.5 lbs/27.5 lbs/17.5 lbs

Body Weight Matrix – 2 sets of 24 squats, 12 lunges each leg, 12 jump lunges each leg and 24 jump squats with twice as much rest as work time

First Start: 1:03:50     First End: 1:07:20     Total: 3:30

Second Start: 1:14:20     Second End: 1:17:49     Total: 3:29

The last time I did this workout, I was sore for about four days afterward! That’s pretty unusual for me, but I think it was from doing the Body Weight Matrix after not doing it for awhile. This time, I increased weights on everything and I don’t feel overly sore, so I guess I adapted pretty well. The only change I’ve made is decreasing the weights on the Reverse wood chop on the third set. I have been unable to keep good form and straight arms at the weights I’ve been using. As a result, I haven’t been using my core as much as my arms, so by decreasing the weights I am able to use proper form. I’ll slowly work my way back up, but for now 17.5 lbs was about as heavy as I could handle with good form.

My plan for the week is to lift on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to catch up to where I expected to be by next week. I might also try to add some endurance work as well.

Have a great week!

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Beach Day

What a glorious day in Orlando!

I had a very lazy morning and after waking up around 6:30AM, I watched a movie on Netflix, showered, ate breakfast and checked out of the hotel by 9:30AM. I hit the road and drove about an hour to spend the morning at Cocoa Beach. Not having any beach essentials other than a bathing suit and flip flops, I stopped in a souvenir shop an bought a cheap towel and bottle of sunscreen. The nice lady clerk pointed me to a park up the road where I could park for free and I was all set. I lathered up, pulled out my Runners World magazine and relaxed listening to the waves.

I decided to leave relatively early to give myself plenty of time to get lunch, drive about an hour to the airport, fill up and return my rental car and make my 6:15 flight. I stopped at Wendy’s (my number one fast food vice) and entered the line of beach goers. While waiting a boy between 5 and 7 comes out of the men’s room and walks up to the man in front of me and says, in his most serious voice, “Dad, the men’s room is not in good shape.”
He went on, “There were two papers on the floor, there was one plastic on the floor, and THERE IS A PICKLE IN THE URINAL!!”
I about died.
After dawdling over my lunch, it was time to return to Orlando and the airport. I was very early (almost three hours before my flight), so I had plenty of time to drive about and find a gas station. I pulled in to the closest gas station and got out of the car. There hadn’t been any signs posted with the gas prices, so I glanced at the pump display, $5.799. What?!!! Almost $6 per gallon? I had been watching the prices all week and they seemed to all be about $3.57, so I thought there had to be some mistake. I figured the display must be broken or something because there was no way that was for real. I almost ran inside to check with the attendant to make sure it was wrong, but figured I would just put mu card in and see if the actual cost was displayed. Unfortunately, that qas also about the time I realized I had pulled in on the wrong side for my rental car’s gas tank. So, I cancelled the transaction and pulled around to another pump. I thought surely this one would show the actual price. Nope, still $5.799. Since I never got to complete my experiment to see if the gas price was just displaying incorrectly, I put my credit card in again. That’s when I noticed that the precvious person had paid over $60 for only about 10 gallons of gas. At this point I cancelled my transaction and jumped back in the car to figure out what the heck was going on. I checked yelp on my phone and soon learned that this is known to be the most expensive gas station in the nation and always charges at least $2 more than the going rate around town. I also learned that normal priced gas was only about a half mile further down the road. Whew! Glad I didn’t pay that exorbitant amount! The gas station I found was only $3.57 per gallon.
I got to the airport and discovered that I was even earlier than anticipated because my flight was delayed. I ended up sitting in the airport for almost four hours killing time. Thank goodness for Watch Instantly on Netflix and smartphones!
Never travel with me. I have crazy travel luck.

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Big News and the Spark of an Idea

I apologize. I just realized that I never officially announced that I was accepted to veterinary school next year, so consider this that announcement. I will be starting at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine this fall semester! 🙂 Orientation is on August 17 and I have already had a crazy busy spring and summer with fun trips and preparation for the big move.

After my last (short) post, I had my last week of class at GMU and my final exam for my last prerequisite for vet school, Public Speaking. At the beginning of the semester I thought the class was going to be a real drag, but I am so glad that I took it. I learned a lot about speaking  and writing speeches, and feel a lot more comfortable about the prospect of public speaking in the future. The purpose of our last speech was to persuade our classmates to make a donation to a charity and then everyone voted on the best speech, and I WON! I am so honored that they chose me, although I felt a little bad since I’m a bit older than most of them with a little more life experience and speaking experience (most of my classmates were freshman in college). I learned last week that I got an A+ in the class, so that means all my vet school prerequisites are fulfilled and it is official that I am enrolled for the fall!

May was relatively uneventful after the end of class on the 12th until I left for a trip to San Francisco and Sonoma with three of my girl friends on the 21st. We arrived relatively early on Saturday and spent the day at the Ghiradelli wine festival for wine tasting. Sunday morning, I went to an exercise class with one of the girls who lives in SF. It was a pilates-style class with springs and light weights. I really enjoyed it for trying something new, though I don’t think it’s something I would pursue to do regularly. I did get to break a nice sweat though! Also, on the agenda for Sunday was a Beer Circus at Lagunitas brewery in Petaluma. That was quite the interesting event. There were burlesque dancers and stunt roller skaters and lots of cross-dressing. Monday through Thursday, we spent in Sonoma wine tasting. This was definitely a food and beverage-driven vacation. We ate delicious food, drank very delicious wine (and some beer and other beverages) and just generally had a fabulous time catching up. I flew back home on Friday the 27th just in time to leave again on the 28th to head to Kansas.

The reason for the Kansas trip, you ask? Big news…drum roll please…..Curtis and I are buying our first house!! We have a contract on the house and will close at the end of the summer. We found it on our first day house-hunting over that Memorial Day weekend, despite almost crossing it off our list the day before. It is a new ranch-style house and will have four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a finished basement with a wet bar, a beautiful kitchen and a huge yard. I will post photos when it is officially official. I am SO excited. 🙂 Life has been a bit of a whirlwind since then.

We got back to Virginia on Tuesday 5/31, I was home for a week, then left again for a business trip in Orlando, FL. And that brings us up till now. I finished work early today, so I have a free day tomorrow and I’m planning to head to the beach for the day before my flight. I’ll be back in VA tomorrow by 9PM as long as my flight is on time.

Whew. Now that you’re all caught up on my life, if you’re still reading, I bet your wondering what this has to do with healthy living, working out, fitness, or triathlon training! Don’t worry, I didn’t forget that this is a triathlon training blog. 🙂

I have kept up with the New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROLW) weight lifting program and am up to Stage 5. I was hoping to complete two workouts while in Orlando, but unfortunately the hotel’s exercise room is a little lacking. I have done a tiny bit of body weight stuff instead, but I’ll start back with a workout when I get back. I’m thinking a schedule that looks like this:

Saturday, June 11 – Stage 5 Workout A2

Monday, June 13 – Stage 5 Workout B2 + HIIT

Wednesday, June 15 – Stage 5 Workout A3

Friday, June 17 – Stage 5 Workout B3 + HIIT

Sunday, June 19 – Stage 5 Workout A4

That will bring me back to my normal schedule of lifting on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Right about the time I finish this stage, and begin the next one (~June 23) I’ll be going out of town again. This time to Mississippi for a wedding, then straight from there to the Outer Banks for a beach trip with Curtis’s family. I’ll probably do some running and maybe bring my bike to do some riding. I really enjoyed riding in the mornings last year while training for Timberman.

Speaking of Timberman (you like that segue? 😉 ), I have it in my head to do another 70.3 race. A veterinary school classmate mentioned the possibility of doing Ironman 70.3 Branson in Missouri in September. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the prospect of another half-Ironman distance race since. I would only have about 15 weeks to prepare with a couple weeks of vacation, moving and the beginning of school in between. It’s doable, but do I want to? I might start training and make a last minute decision. I’ve already missed the discount cut-off, so it’ll be the same cost either way. There is also a Sprint on the same weekend that may be a viable option. I think my base will come back pretty quickly, but I’m not sure how much training time I’ll have once school starts and crunch time approaches. I’m also torn, because I really want to finish the NROLW through Stage 7 this time around and I don’t want to give it up in place of endurance training. Right now, I have the time for all of it (when I’m at home and not traveling!), but we’ll have to see as the summer progresses. Not sure I need to add another thing to my life right now. I am already pretty busy <- understatement of the year!

Lots to think about. Lots to do.



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