Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's been a while!

Well, I'm definitely not a daily blogger anymore. But that's okay - I'm also not a daily exerciser. :-)

It's been so nice to not TRAIN and to just play. I run when I want, I dance all night, and I'm still doing that Crossfit thing.

Speaking of which: this week's Crossfit class totally played to my strengths. For our competition part, we had to do the following:

400 meter run
21 swings of the kettleball
12 pull-ups

...three times.

Right out of the gate, I was slightly ahead. Most of the other folks aren't runners, so I kind of figured even if they beat me on the first 400, they'd slow down on the subsequent ones and I might be able to take them.

Well, I kept my lead on the second-place person and gained time on the others when I was able to sprint the ends of my 400s. My heart rate maxed out at around 190, which is fairly insane - even on the 400s, the lowest it dropped was 175! So that was pretty nutty. And I won, with a time of exactly 10 minutes. The next-closest was three seconds behind me, and everyone else was a ways behind that.

I know: I am so competitive. I just am always proving to myself that I can do this! (Whatever "this" is at the moment.)

So in other news, I went to Arizona on Friday for the Pro Club to play show-and-tell with me. They were presenting the 20/20 Lifestyles program to benefits people from various companies, and the conference at which they were presenting was client focused, so they wanted to show off someone who had been through the program and had good success. Of course I was happy to do it; I love that stuff. So that was fun. And the Pro Club gave me a very generous gift card to the club, so now I get to shop in the Pro Shop or go to the spa or take classes or all of it. So yay!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Oh wow. Serious pain!

Ow ow ow ow ow. I could barely get out of bed. I can't go up and down stairs (seriously - I took the elevator at work, which I NEVER do, not even when I'm wearing high heels). My legs hurt to the touch. Sitting down - especially on low things, like toilets - is excruciating.

But I ran four miles anyway, because frankly, running hurts about as much as walking, so why not?

And weirdly enough, our pace was somewhere between 9:15 and 9:30. I felt like I was running 12-minute miles - barely shuffling - but actually I was still running fairly well. It makes me wonder what my pace is when I just run by myself (like, no chatting with girls) and run whatever I want to do.

(Not, of course, that I'd give up a chatty run to test this. But I could add a solo run one day of the week to find out.)

So yeah, Crossfit. WOW. Like I needed bigger quads - but still. I sort of love it.

Even though John better not touch my legs in bed tonight. Yeah, the muscles hurt to the touch!

Crazy stuff, the things that happen when I've got to prove to the guys how strong I am. Of course, none of them were limping at work today.

Then again, none of them scored as high as I did, either!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Weekend update, and OW MY QUADS

So, a weekend cruise is definitely NOT good for my diet or exercise. However, it is good for my soul!

John and I did a little weekend cruise with some friends - we left out of Seattle Friday, went to Vancouver B.C. and Nanaimo, then returned to Seattle Monday morning. Barely any time away from work, but it felt like a real vacation! (No kids, either - they stayed with the grandparents.)

So I didn't have time to work out on Friday. But I definitely had time to eat!

Saturday I was going to work out, but instead John and I climbed Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, then walked for a few hours downtown. Very fun. I am in great shape to hike! Cardio-wise and muscularly, it was a good workout. We only went up, though - took the gondola down. I do worry about my knees hiking downhill, and this hike was very, very steep the entire way. It was like climbing for me, honestly.

So then Saturday I found more time to eat.

Sunday, I probably should have worked out. But instead, guess what I did? If you guessed eat, you're right!

On my return yesterday, though, I got back into the right routine of exercising and meal-tracking. Okay, I didn't start meal-tracking again until today, but still. At least I started!

So yesterday Kathy and I went to the Pro Club and I ran on the treadmill for the first time in forever. We did the Gambler's Run - it felt really, really good. I walked into the club feeling fat and sluggish and walked out feeling light and limber. Yay!

Today I did my regular girls run on Tuesday morning, so that was good. Then I went to that Crossfit class again. Oh. My. Goodness.

So not only did we do about a zillion overhead presses, we ran, we did lunges, we did pushups, we did pullups, and then, we did this craziness:

Get out a heavy ball thing - it's about a foot in diameter, so it's a foot higher than the floor.

For 20 seconds, do as many full squats as you can - be sure you come all the way back up! Touch the ball with your bottom when you're all the way down.

Rest for 10 seconds.

Repeat....EIGHT times.

Your score equals the lowest number of squats you do in one of the sets. So if you do 15 the first time, then 14, then 15, your score is still 14. So basically, the rule is, don't drop repetitions!

I did 15 a couple of times, but ultimately settled on 14 as the number to maintain. And I did it - and there was only one guy in the class who beat me! I had to set a high bar, because I knew this was one thing I could excel at. When we were lifting, I had a bar to myself, because I'm the only girl in the class and just can't do as much weight as the guys.

When I was done, I could barely walk. Seriously, my legs were giving out from under me. I thought my quads were literally going to fall off my legs - that is how it felt! Isn't that nutty?

And I'm also like, hmm. Why did I do all that work? I've already got crazy defined quads. It's my abs and triceps that can use the help!

But, whatever. My competitive nature got the best of me. Let's hope I can walk tomorrow!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Run it all away

Yesterday was a BAD day. I don't know why - I woke up late, I didn't want to get out of bed, all my computers were misbehaving, I had to work late...and I found myself at 5:30 p.m. bursting into tears on the couch in my office.

I locked the door, closed the blinds, and tried to pull myself together. It wasn't working.

A co-worker stopped by and made some suggestions as to what I could do to fix my computer troubles. I work in freaking software development! Why oh why did my computer choose yesterday to decide it no longer cared to have an operating system on it? Seriously!

So once he had pointed me in the right direction, he asked, "So, do you have your running things here?"

Yup. I keep a set of running clothes and shoes as well as biking clothes and shoes here in my office, just in case.

Great idea (thanks, Steve!). I got dressed and headed out for a quick 30 minutes to clear my head.

When I returned, my OS was installed, the software build worked (well, worked as much as can be expected for this part of our development cycle), and all my happiness was regained.

Daily exercise. The cure for everything!!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

No goals

I'm so happy without goals.

Seriously! I know people say stuff like they have the blues after their big race, and need to set a new goal or look forward to a new race.

Well, not me. I was sure, actually, that I would feel like I wanted a new big goal. But honestly, it feels good just to run at whatever pace keeps me chatting with my girlfriends, bike for the joy of being on wheels in the fall air, and not swim at all.

I feel set free: one less stress in my life. I didn't realize how stressful training was until now. I really like being able to stay up as late as I want, whenever I want, and moving workouts around to accommodate my fun and family schedules instead of the other way around.

I like missing a workout and not worrying about how much it will set me back and when will I make it up.

And I love the way the weight is just coming off me! I feel great!

I know I'll want a new goal eventually - it's part of my personality - but for now, this is the life.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Lowest weight in a long time...

And I've done less exercise than usual, too!

It's been a rainy week, so I skipped both my noon bike rides on Monday and Wednesday. Pretty much all I've done this week is run a total of 12 miles - two days of exercise - plus that CrossFit class.

And yet this morning, I stepped on the scale and got a huge shock. When I looked down, I thought it read 139.6. But something seemed off - I didn't have my contacts in, and the "9" looked weird. I stepped off the scale and lifted it up to my eyes so I could really read the numbers.


No way. So I cleared the scale and stepped on again.


WOW. The last time I was even as low as 136 was for like a day last November. I absolutely can't remember when I was below 135!

Obviously I have blown my 138-by-October-19 goal out of the water. Of course, I need to stay here for the next two weeks, and I'm not setting a new weight loss goal until then still.

I think the reason this is happening, though, is that I'm explicitly NOT training right now. I'm chill if I miss a workout. I'm not eating as if my stomach was a bottomless pit. And, frankly, all this dancing-all-night and missing sleep has an effect on my eating: I get stomachaches when I don't sleep enough and they make me unable to eat. (I know that's not a good thing...but it's the truth.)

This morning I put on my tightest pants. They're a little loose in the waist!

I have a sweater that I like to wear when I'm feeling my most thin. Unfortunately, when we were cleaning house to get ready to sell, I put it in storage. I might need to go get it out and see where I stand in relation to it.

I know I've said so many times here and to friends that endurance athletics and weight loss do not go well together. And here I am, living proof.

(Whatever will I do next year when I set a new endurance goal???)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

CrossFit might make me cross...

This morning, instead of my usual six-mile run with the girls followed by weight lifting by myself, I ran with the girls and then went to a CrossFit class one of my co-workers had put together for a group from work.

I really didn't know what I was getting into, other than that it seemed kind of like my strength training routine: functional moves that work multiple muscle groups at a time. Plus, doing it with fun co-workers seemed like a reasonable idea at the time.

We started out doing overhead throws and chest passes with a heavy ball. Then we did pull-ups on a bar - and man, I am so weak! I tried hard to do it well, but I looked silly. And being so short, I had to stand on a HUGE box to even reach the bar.

We also did overhead presses with a small squat and of course I wouldn't let them give me the light bar - but when I tried it with the big one, it was just too heavy for me. We compromised on the full-size women's bar.

The beginning of the class was technique, but even the technique training got my heart rate up there. Then we did the circuit in two teams of three. We had to row for eight calories, do 12 reps of the overhead press thing, do 12 jumps onto a box (which was REALLY hard for me, again because of the lack-of-height thing) and then 12 reps of an abdominal exercise - for 15 minutes.

Oh my goodness, it was HARD. And because I'm so darned competitive, of course I had to keep up with the person from the other team who started when I did. This was close to impossible because he could row harder (given his much longer legs and arms), so I was always working to catch up. I think he took longer breaks between exercises than I did, though, and we finished very close to the same position.

I'm just so darn competitive - and at the same time, I don't want to be bad at something! I can laugh at myself, sure, but I prefer to just "get it" on the first try. So it was a bit humbling - just like my mountain bike experience with co-workers.

So, it won't really make me cross. In fact, I think I will probably go back and do it again. New workouts are good, and it's nice to have a competitive element so I don't get lazy.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The craziest weekend ever

I followed Paul van Dyk down the west coast: Thursday night in Portland, Friday night in San Francisco, Saturday night in Los Angeles.

I slept maybe a total of six hours a night - most of it in either my car or a rental car.

I danced for, I'm going to say, 18 hours over the three nights.

(My knees feel worse than they did after the Ironman. Must be a sign of aging.)

It was absolutely incredible. Oh my goodness.

I didn't work out, but the dancing is probably enough. Plus, when I stay up all night, I get a stomachache and I can't eat much. My weight was 137.6 this morning - yay!

So if you don't know who Paul van Dyk is, it's TIME. Plus, a lot of his music is great to run to - around 120 to 130 beats per minute, which makes me run slightly faster than I usually do but not an all-out sprint.

See, I haven't lost my way. :-) My endurance training is just being used for something else now - partying with friends and connecting even closer with my hubby.