Posts Tagged ‘exercise’


Farewell, January – Hello, Return to Normalcy

February 6, 2012

As I alluded to yesterday, I largely failed at last month’s One Month Goals, an idea stolen from Jen on the Edge (not really stolen, since she generously invites all to share . . . )

My goals were modest:

  • Make my bed every day
  • Catch up and keep up with my laundry
  • Run 5 days/week
  • Lose 2-6 pounds

I came closest to keeping the running goal.  I think I did hit 5 days most weeks, and dropped to 4 once or twice.  Not so bad.  I did get to the point where I can round the reservoir (about a mile) without walking breaks.

I did not lose 2-6 pounds. I held steady.

I made my bed every day for 2 weeks.  And it was lovely.  It worked to keep the whole room cleaner, through the power of suggestion, and to keep the sheets and blankies at their maximum comfort level every day.  But then David was sick, and I started staying in bed more once my interviews wound down, and the bed was overlooked.  I’m putting it on February’s list.

I got my laundry better under control.  I got rid of some of the backlog (sheets, blankets, summer clothes that have been waiting so they could be put away), and my general pile is smaller.  But I did not “catch up.”

I am not going to take this first outing’s failure as a reason to stop the exercise.  No.  I’m going to look at this last month, and the craziness it brought to my life, and I’m going to say “fair effort,” especially considering the lack of a routine and the weirdness brought to life because of interviewing and job hunting and stuff like that.

So, on to February:

  • I will lose 2-6 pounds.  I will keep my fitness momentum from January, but now I’m going to focus on eating better.  I will start with looking for healthier lunches.  (Which will tie in with my budget revisions, since lunches out aren’t gonna cut it anymore.)
  • I will make my bed every day.
  • I will buy (and therefore drink) less wine.  This merges the health and the budget.  Less calories, less money. So my plan is to buy a bottle on Fridays, and that’s it.
  • I will really catch up with laundry.

Let’s see how it goes this time.


Running – Speed v. Stamina

January 3, 2012

I ran alone today for the first time in a long time.  I’d been running with a partner since May, and when she was out of commission with a foot injury, I did NOT get off my butt as early as would have been required for me to run before work.  We’re back at it now, but we only run when the other does – we both end up lazy when on our own and stay in our houses.

When we first started running together, I was overwhelmed by her faster pace.  I believe that my trying to dive in and keep up led to my back pain (first time ever, and hasn’t repeated since).  Since then, when we run together, I take walking breaks – at least 2 times during our 1 mile loop. I’ve tried – in vain – to get rid of those breaks.  It’s very frustrating for me, because I want to build up to a 5K.  (I do know about Couch to 5K, but that’s hard to do with a partner, and getting up early to run before work is hard (impossible) to do without a partner . . . so no Couch to 5k for me.)

Today – I went alone.  Since I’m in “transition” at my firm, I really don’t have anything to do, and do not really need to be there.  My partner wasn’t going to run today, because today is a yoga day for her, and so I was going to go alone, after the kids left for school.

But then, last night – I ended up staring at the ceiling until 3 a.m., and woke up at 7 to feed the kids* feeling like utter and complete shit.  So when they left, I crawled back into bed.

I woke back up at an embarrassingly late hour, and thought I’d have to skip the run for the sake of a trip into the office to send out resumes and otherwise work on the employment pursuit.

Instead, I skipped the trip to the office (since the internet is, in fact, everywhere), and went for the run.  I didn’t want to ruin my mini-goal on the first week – and tomorrow is supposed to be prohibitively cold (under 10 degrees – 18 degrees is my threshold).

I went for the run, and . . . I jogged the entire loop without a walking break.

I know I was slower than I am with my partner.  But . . . I jogged the entire loop.

I follow a few other bloggers who have started running, and have had considerable success.  Kim and Jen have been my biggest inspirations (read those posts to see why).  And I know that they both started off slow and THEN worked on speed.

So now I have to decide – do I ask my partner to let me set the pace?  Or do I have to break from the partnered runs?  Or do I just keep the walking breaks in?  I don’t want to do that, really, because I can’t build up as long as I’m doing the breaks.  If I can get to a place where I’m jogging the loop entirely, then I can either (a) work on speed, or, more preferable to me, (b) start increasing my distance.

I also wish I’d timed myself today.  Because I say I was slower, but I was home in considerably less time than I usually am, and I took a longer walk home.  So maybe I wasn’t even that much slower?


*usually, they take care of their own breakfast, but I’d promised “first day back to school” eggs.


Struggles with Exercise

June 2, 2011

When I turned 38 last December, I set a goal for myself – by the time I am 40, I want to be fit.  Not thin, but fit.  And fit, to me, does not mean “at the bottom end of a yo-yo arc.”   It means I’ve changed my lifestyle.  I’ve created new habits, new loves.   When I envision this fit-Suzie, I envision someone who goes for a 5 mile run on a regular basis, and loves it.  Someone who is strong, not soft and flabby.

And so my sub-goal was to lose my weight by the time I’m 39, and then spend a full year maintaining the weight.

Well, I haven’t been motivated enough to think that I can safely lose all of the weight by December.  I guess I have 6 months – but I am not really all that interested in a crash diet.  I am interested in making healthy choices and ensuring I have healthy habits.  But quite frankly – I think I already do.

Based on past experience with my personal brand of weight gain and maintenance, I know that the only real way for me to lose weight is to exercise.  Despite this knowledge, and despite this goal, I still spent at least 2 months pushing snooze and sleeping until 7 or 8, instead of getting outside and running.

However, for the past two weeks, I have enlisted the partnership of a friend, and we have been meeting up at our local reservoir at 6 a.m., and holding each other accountable.

Before we met the first time, we both shared “Oh, I’m embarrassed to run with you because I’m so slow” politeness.

The reality, though, is that she kicks my ass.

I was shocked the first day at how thoroughly she kicked my ass.  I took a couple of walking breaks and panted and struggled.  But afterward, I thought “now THIS is going to work!”

I was kind of sore afterward, but I was okay with sore.  It meant I was pushing myself, and I was going to do better.

But then the muscle soreness kind of took a back seat to lower back twinges.  Twinges I don’t really have a history with.  Something new.

Then after the second day, the lower back twinges were joined by a horrible feeling in my right hip.

On day 3, I was limping.  I still walked to the reservoir.  I was unsure how my very, very sore hip would feel running v. walking.  I didn’t feel like walking was pushing anything.  But when I did a test jog, that right leg was like dead weight.  I could not jog.

She walked with me, and then I took a couple days off.  I went back out on Monday alone, and tested my hip.  I felt “okay.”  Still having lower back twinges now and again, and my hip was tender.  I jogged on and off.

We met again on Tuesday, and she ran while I walked.  I did more jogging than on Monday, and didn’t feel like I was pushing myself.

Yesterday, she had to cancel, and I didn’t go by myself, as I had an important presentation at work, and talked myself into staying home so I wouldn’t be late.

But on my way to work yesterday, I got irritated with an old, slow man walking in front of me in the T station, and went to dash around him.  My foot grabbed a crack in the stairs, and I stumbled. That stumble sent shock waves through my lower back where it had been twinging.   It went away during my walk to work, though.

This morning, we met again.  She was in a slower mode, and so we walked and jogged on and off.  Since I jogged with her, my jogging spells were faster than when I’m alone, and I also generally jogged more than I had in the past couple days.

I’d like to just run with her tomorrow, but I’m a little scared.  I’m scared that something is brewing, an injury that won’t just let me walk through it.

I also think that some of these problems are caused by the extra weight I’m carrying around.  At least 50 pounds of extra weight.  And I’ve been carrying 40-50 pounds of extra weight for quite a few years now.  And I’m not a spring chicken anymore.

Inasmuch that my weight is causing the problems, I’m 100% disinterested in NOT exercising.  But I am thinking about how to do this safely.

  • Should I add in yoga, for better stretching (I never used to have to stretch, I was always so flexible).
  • Should I see a doctor?  A chiropractor?
  • Should I keep running, as long as I listen to the signs and twinges?
  • Should I add in weight training, to strengthen surrounding muscles?

These are my questions.  I’m trying to figure out how to answer them.  I think I know that I should do strength training, and I suspect I should see a doctor.  I don’t want a doctor to be over-conservative and say “oh, don’t exercise if it hurts.”

I am unhappy.  I don’t want to have my body fall apart.  Apparently “fit by 40” was too late.

Well, not really too late, because I’m not giving up.  I’m going to work through this.




Another Snow Day that Isn’t.

January 22, 2011

Although, you know, walking around Boston’s Government Center in the snow was actually quite enjoyable.  I like living in New England.  I like living in a snowy climate.  It was pretty, and I didn’t mind.  In fact, news reports are telling us another blizzard may be heading our way, and I am excited about that, too.  [I also think this may really be my snow day … I could stay home and shovel!  Yee ha!!]

Also, the non-snow day for me meant I got to have my first use of my new gym membership.  If I’d stayed home, it wouldn’t have happened.  Also, the office was just quiet enough, in snowy Friday mode, that I was able to disappear from 2:30  – 4 without being noticed.

It felt great to be back at the gym.  I did the elliptical machine and the stationary bike, and I burned around 400 calories (according to those machines) in about 40 minutes.  I was surprised at the stamina I had right out the gate, and was pleased.

I remember the last time I was really successful at gym work outs, I was absolutely obsessed with the number of calories burned.  It was like a game, or a puzzle, for me.  What speed do I have to stay at in order to burn 600 calories on this machine? [I know those read outs aren’t accurate, but I’d like to think – at least – that they’re consistent, so if I work to increase my calories burned on one machine from one day to the next, it is truly an increase].  That obsession still resides within me.  I was so determined on that bike yesterday to get to 200 calories … I increased the RPMs as much as possible without getting ahead of the peddles.

I burned 400 calories at the gym, but then came home and indulged in not only Friday Night Wine, but also ice cream night with the family.  But I still feel thinner and more fit today.  Just knowing that I started on the path toward fitness.



Reset Button

July 8, 2010

Well, as much as my 2-week vacation from work has been delightful, it also wrecked any semblance of routines, and broke my resolve toward aggressive weight loss goals.

Actually, S~’s graduation week was the beginning of the end.

So the second half of June, and into the first week of July saw me blowing off my “Lose It!” app, and eating whatever I wanted.  Granted, I was still making wiser choices, and not eating dessert, etc.  I also was hoofing it  for hours at a time around several destinations and swimming against ocean currents.  But I logged nothing.

And lost nothing.

Fortunately – I also gained nothing.


But now I’m home, and work resumes on Monday, and routines need to be reinstated.

Today is another disgustingly hot day here in the Boston area, so I didn’t go outside to run.  Instead, I stayed home and did my first day of Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred (where I learned about it).  I also did my first day of 100 Push Ups.  It felt great, too.  Even though Jillian may have left me feeling like I was going to barf.  That may have been more because of the fact that I had nothing to eat as of 2 p.m. other than a single cup of coffee.  (Not on purpose.)  Or because it was more ab work than I’ve done in a long time.  It definitely made the 35+ push ups that 100 Push Ups assigned to me feel easy!

Yeah, I’m probably in overkill mode (again) by doing 3 programs at once – 30 Day Shred, 100 Push Ups and I’m trying to the Couch to 5K!  But the Couch to 5K is only 3 days/week, and that’s really not enough for my goals.  I think it’s a good program, and will help me build up my endurance, but I don’t think it’s enough.  So, I’m doing all 3.

I am happy that I lost 20+ pounds since April.  It still serves to keep me from being completely discouraged.  But I had hoped to lose another 20 by this time – if not 30.  So, I need to re-focus.