Archive for category fitness

Hiking

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements. – Henry David Thoreau

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Fridays are rest days, but I wanted to take advantage of the relatively reasonable weather (mid-40s and cloudy but no precipitation) and take the dog for a hike. I met up with a friend and her boyfriend for the first two miles, then did another almost-3 miles with the dog. The quiet calm of a solo hike with Tara was just what I needed today. She got to just be a dog and I got to enjoy just being in the moment.

Usually when I run, my mind goes a mile a minute. I don’t run with music, so my mind always stays busy to keep me from getting bored. I make up stories, think about things going on in my life, and contemplate various random topics.

Hikes, though, are different. For some reason, on a hike, I can completely quiet my mind and be in the moment.

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I don’t stress about school or meeting a certain mileage. I don’t make up stories about my untimely demise (for some reason, being attacked by a herd of deer is a recurrent theme in my running thoughts). I don’t even worry about what time it is. I couldn’t even tell you what I thought about in those two hours today.

I do know that despite the clouds, the lighting was brilliant. There were tiny pockets of snow tucked into the rocks and moss from last night’s flurries. And the birds were singing in the trees.

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When do you find it easiest to be “in the moment”? Do you like to hike?

Today’s Training:

Active recovery day –  4.88 miles hiking

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Already a loss?

Yesterday, I ended up eating 1713 calories, which is a little less than predicted. My dinner plans had included two servings of broccoli, thinking I had some in the freezer but I did not. I subbed a single serving of frozen peas and carrots instead and had more than enough food.

This morning I stepped on the scale. Imagine my surprise when it showed a loss of another 1.6 pounds since yesterday morning and a number I haven’t seen in probably 6 months! I know this is probably just a normal weight fluctuation or my scale is broken, but it’s still nice to get that momentary gratification. 🙂 A pound or more in a day is really a much faster rate of weight loss than I want to maintain. If this trend continues, which I doubt it will, I will probably have to increase calories a bit. I am very satisfied on the amount I’m eating right now and do not feel hungry at any time during the day (except when I first wake up in the morning), so I shouldn’t need more but we’ll see. Logging will help me notice trends like this.

I forgot to mention one of the other changes I have made to my diet. I used to religiously eat 5-6 times a day, with 2 big meals and 3-4 smaller snacks. Recently, I had been eating two large meals and one small and a continuous snacking off and on through the evening after getting home from work. Needless to say, that had to go. I’m back to planning for five times a day with an additional shake or smoothie on workout days.

Today is a workout day, so I’m planning to eat 2049 calories. I already had 305.5 for breakfast (milk, cottage cheese and raisins), 300.5 for a morning snack/2nd breakfast (hobbits anyone?) of oatmeal and some add-ins, and I just finished a BIG salad for lunch with 637.5 calories. I’ll have a small afternoon snack of carrots and hummus again for 85 calories, do my workout and then have a post-workout protein shake for 170 calories. Dinner will be 550 cals of leftovers from last night plus some cooked spinach and a little dark chocolate. 🙂 This is 27.41% cals from protein, 32.34% from fat and 40.25% from carbs. By the way, I find it funny that the Daily Plate tells me that I’m over my recommended amount of fat and protein every day. It also hates the amount of cholesterol (from eggs on my salad), but I must say I’m not convinced that dietary cholesterol has much effect on body chemistry. I used to have high cholesterol while avoiding fatty foods and foods with high cholesterol, then when I changed to eating closely to the way I am now, my cholesterol went down. Go figure. Of course there were other factors that I’m sure contributed, but it doesn’t seem like a couple of eggs every day has much effect on my levels.

My workout is New Rules of Lifting for Women stage 3 workout B and 15 minutes of running intervals. Exact workout may be posted later, but I don’t have it in front of me at the moment.

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Finding Balance

Has there ever been a time when you felt your life got really out of balance? I know I have. After Timberman last summer, I was so relieved to have completed it that I essentially stopped trying to live a healthy lifestyle. I think I had gotten out of balance by putting so much time and effort into training and thinking about training and eating for training for nearly a year that once it was all over I went a little overboard in allowing myself to eat junk and not exercise. I remained active by normal standards (walking daily), but in comparison to my previous commitment to 1-3 hours of exercise at least 5 days a week, I was a sedentary blob.

As a result, I was feeling pretty disgusted and annoyed with myself, and as any readers still out there know, increasingly neglected my blog because I just couldn’t own up to the lack of focus in my fitness journey any longer. I gained about 10 pounds pretty quickly after the HIM and could tell my body composition had changed for the worse. I knew I needed to get myself back on track without the illusion of accountability from recording on the blog. I decided not to do any races this year and start with just 2 days a week of working out. I have continued with the New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROLW) program. I recently added a third workout day in every week, so I lift with my mom usually on Tuesdays and I lift with Curtis on Thursdays and Sundays. I also run with a friend on Fridays when it works with both of our busy schedules. I’m really happy with this schedule. I still walk daily with Tara as well and feel it is just the right amount if exercise for me right now. I wouldn’t mind adding another 2 days eventually, but I am still building back to that. Since the NROLW program has interval training worked in, I’m still usually running 1-2 times per week but in short and sweet doses (about 15 minutes) that I can handle.

I am just now (started last week) trying to get my nutrition in line. Even though I had gotten back on a regular exercise schedule I hadn’t lost any of that extra weight I was carrying. I was still eating poorly and too much. Last week, my focus was to get more protein in my diet, less refined carbs (and more whole grains and fruits/veggies) and be more mindful of my portion sizes. With just those things, I lost 2.4 pounds. This week, I’m tracking my diet to see where I’m at calorie-wise and what my macronutrient ratios look like. Ideally I’d like to aim for 1700 calories on non-lifting days and 2000 calories on lifting days with 30% from protein, 30% from fat and 40% from carbs. If I have another loss this week I’ll stick with the same calories in for next week. If I have a gain or maintenance, I’m going to decrease by 200-300 each day. I’m using The Daily Plate at livestrong.com for tracking.

For today, my breakfast (oatmeal with add-ins for protein) was 330 cals. Morning snack of cottage cheese and raisins came in at 210 cals. My lunch salad was about 458 calories. I have an 85 calorie afternoon snack of hummus and carrots planned. My dinner of quinoa, broccoli and turkey burgers with a desset of dark chocolate is planned for 674 calories. That gives a total of about 1757 for the day. My meals are a little weird on Mondays because my afternoon is scrunched since I have dog training in the evening and eat my last meal around 5pm before I leave for training. Most other nights my dinners fall between 7 and 8 pm.

I’m not promising a daily update on progress, but I’ll be checking-in.

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Strength Loss

Woohoo!  Another day of goals being met.  I really think that writing them down and keeping them in my planner, which I obsessively examine every day, has helped tremendously in keeping them on the brain.  I took the time to make myself some perfect scrambled eggs this morning and ate them with a piece of my mom’s zucchini bread.  She makes the best zucchini bread ever, and we had just a little end leftover from the holidays for me to enjoy.  I’m always tempted to make her recipe, but I’m afraid I won’t do it justice, so I’ve never gone through with it.  She does not skimp on the spices, which I love, and it’s very moist and just melts in your mouth.  Yummy!

This morning, I also managed to pack my bag to go to the gym today directly after work. There were no stops on the way today! I went straight to the gym and did my NROLW Stage 1 workout B routine.

A. Deadlift – 2 sets of 15 @ 75 pounds barbell with 60s RI

B1. Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 2 sets of 15 @ 15 pounds dumbbells with 60s RI

B2. Wide grip lat pulldown – 2 sets of 15 @ 55 pounds (?) with 60s RI

C1. Lunge – 2 sets of 15 @ 20 pounds dumbbells with 60s RI

C2. Swiss Ball Crunch – 2 sets of 8 @ BW with 60s RI

The question mark on the wide grip lat pulldown is because the plates were marked 27.5, but it’s a new cable machine with double cables and I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t only 27.5 pounds total.  Since last time I did this workout last week, I lifted 55 pounds, I’m pretty sure that’s what it was this time.  The double cables must double the plate value?  I’ll have to ask one of the trainers next time I see one wandering around.  Today they were all busy with clients, and I didn’t want to interrupt.

For the Swiss Ball Crunch, I really should add a plate of weight.  I did them with a very slow lowering phase today in order to make them a bit more difficult, and I actually ended up doing extras by accident.  Next time I need to remember to add a weight plate to make them a bit tougher.

You can see how much strength I’ve lost on the deadlifts – I was deadlifting 100+ pounds when I stopped lifting early last year.  I’m pretty confident I will gain the strength back fairly quickly, but it’s kind of disheartening to see.  It definitely made me realize that I need to always keep some sort of maintenance lifting program as part of my training even if I feel like I don’t have time.

I’m going to try and do an easy run tomorrow.  I don’t think I’ll be able to fit in another lifting day this week since I’ll be traveling Saturday – Monday.  I expect to be able to blog throughout the weekend, so I should be able to check in and update on the outcome of my interview (Sunday).  But on the off-chance that I’m too busy over the next few days (unlikely), I’ll definitely update on Monday with a goals check-in from this week and updated goals for next week.  This week’s focus was clearly getting my butt back to the gym and begin getting back in the habit of workout out regularly.  Next week’s focus is going to be getting my diet back on track.  I’ve done a little of that this week, but afternoon snacking has been a little out of control.  I need to make a plan to handle that.

Have a great Friday!

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Being Flexible

This morning I slept until 7:30, which is much later than intended.  Despite that, I did do about 15 minutes of yoga before work.  I’ll do another 15 minutes later this week- probably Wednesday morning.  My physical flexibility is nearly nonexistent at the moment.  My hamstrings are especially tight, so yoga seems to be just what the doctor ordered.  I really need some new yoga dvds.  I used to have one that I really liked, and I still have the case, but I cannot find the disc anywhere.  I have been using the free videos on demand on exercise tv, but I haven’t found any programs that I really love yet.  Does anyone have any recommendations for DVDs?

When I got home from work this afternoon, I had every intention of going for my run with Tara.  What I didn’t plan on, was the fact that ALL of my workout clothes were in the laundry.  I decided that I would do laundry instead, go grocery shopping for the rest of the week and have a relaxing evening instead.  I played with Tara and did some training with her too (she’s learning to roll over!).

I met my goal of making dinner tonight!  I baked salmon wrapped in foil with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, white wine, salt, pepper, chili powder, lemon juice and fresh basil.  It was delicious!  We had cous cous on the side, and I’m going to use the leftovers to make cous cous salad.  Curtis and I went grocery shopping together today, so we’ve got good stuff for the rest of the week.  We are going to a friend’s house for dinner on Wednesday, so I’m only going to be able to cook at home Monday, Tuesday and Thursday this week, but that’s no biggie.  We actually have a dinner group with some of his coworkers and get together once or twice a month, each time at a different person’s house.  We hosted it first, way back over the summer, and it will be looping back to us in either February or March.  We always have a great time and get to try some new delicious food.  Many of us use it as an opportunity to try a new recipe on a bunch of willing guinea pigs. 🙂

Tomorrow is a lifting day, so I’ll be packing a bag to go to the gym directly after work.  Perhaps I will run on the track while I’m there too.

 

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