Hmm. It’s been an interesting month. I don’t have a lot of time to go into too much detail about what’s been going on, but let’s recap:
-I went on a weeklong vacation to Waikiki with Erik. By day we hiked, ran, snorkeled, swam, surfed, boogey boarded, and by night we hopped skipped karaoke bars.
-I acquired two gnarly quarter-sized blisters on the bottom of both of my feet that prevented me from racing in Seafair.
-I rejiggered my tri training schedule (rather unsuccessfully) and my marathon training schedule (successfully).
-I’ve added P90X3 to my training repertoire and have been loving it! It’s been helping me a lot with my cardio output on my runs, and strengthening a lot of weak spots in my legs. Reminds me of when I was training with a personal trainer. I’m looking forward to adding some more Team Beachbody DVDs to my collection. They are intense but great!
-I finished out my first semester of grad school. There were tears and fussy nights, but I did it.
-Things at work are moving along.
-Bought a new mountain bike (taking it to Duthie Hill tomorrow with Alex!)
-Trying to get down to race weight on my old two gigantic salads a day diet (with tons of protein and snacks in between).
-I invested in way too many blender bottles.
-I keep exercising my control muscles. Look at all that candy at the office!
-I’m finalizing plans for my awesome ski trip to Niseko next February. Japow hereeeeee I come!
I’m still training for the Portland Marathon in October. I also have three sprint tris coming up in three consecutive weekends starting next Saturday. And still planning on a HITS triathlon in Palm Springs in December but I’m still majorly undecided as to which distance. I’m pretty sure I can pull a half IM again if I really focus on cycling and running (and I guess swimming too) after the marathon. Regardless, here’s my training plan for the next 1.5 months:
So, essentially life is full of work, grad school(s), training, fundraising, eating, and sleeping. And not much else. Until next time!
Yesterday, with my fantabulous Pocket Yoga app, I decided to go for a 45 minute yoga session before work.
I was continually interrupted, but aside from those external annoyances, things were going great. I finally started feeling less tense and tight from all the running and biking I’ve been doing.
However, I came across a pose that the limited yogi in me has never encountered. The woman said something about a crow pose? The animation itself made it look very simple but it actually looked something like this:
I’m definitely going to need a bit more upper body strength before I can attempt something like this! I was a bit incredulous to find this in a beginner’s set of poses but okay, so I’m a little more newb than I thought. No big deal. I’ll just keep at it!
I headed to the pool last night after work. I plan to go every Friday after work, but sometimes post-work happy hours get in the way…along with some beer and brats and a desire to lay down. However, I made it this time. I had lunch at around 12:30 (a veggie sandwich from Jimmy John’s…and okay, a bag of chips too, whatever). I hit the pool at 6 and I still felt sick! My stomach is way more sensitive than I thought. I either have to be 8 hours empty or swim first thing in the morning to avoid getting sick. Or, if I take the olympic-distance self-paced tri route, then I just have to eat gels all day leading up to the swim.
I got in the pool and was able to muster up about 15 laps, so about a quarter mile. After my first lap someone joined my lane, and he was much faster and splashier than I was. Every flip turn he did sent a tidal wave of chlorinated water into my nostrils and face and I wasn’t too happy about that. Unfortunately all lanes were taken up with slowpokes like me so I must’ve looked like the fastest slowpoke there tonight. I left after a quarter mile because I felt mostly sick but also partially because this guy was really annoying.
Anywho, I’m looking forward to a productive weekend. I have a few books I want to wrap up (Chi Running, Design for Hackers), a book I want to start, and some biking/swimming/running/yoga I’d like to do. I also need to go grocery shopping now that I’m back to eating solid food again. Hoping to stock up on some juicing essentials so that I can get back into the swing of things again. Also looking to add some more greens to my diet. I’m debating between my green smoothies again and juicing. I like both but I think the pendulum has swung back in the other direction and I’m interested in geting back to my smoothies again.
Also, another bit of good news — I pulled in another $50 to my Dress for Success fundraiser! It turns out that their office is undergoing some change. I’m also considering a volunteer mentor position, so all in all things seem to be looking up, despite all the crazy stress at work.
It seems like just yesterday I was crossing the half marathon finish line, and now we’re already at Thursday!
I’m still relatively tense and stiff from the race and I’ve been meaning to get to the massage therapist’s office all week. I will most likely have to schedule it for the weekend.
In the meantime, I’ve been trying to incorporate yoga back into my routine. I used to practice regularly, alternating between spinning and yoga. It was a good balance between cardio and strength training, high intensity vs. meditative. I have a hot yoga Groupon that I have not yet used, but with my schedule so hectic with work I figured that there HAD to be an app that I could buy to tide me over…and lo and behold there was!
I think it was a few dollars but it’s called Pocket Yoga. So far I have it set up on the floor with my mat, but I just realized that I could hook up my phone to the speaker system. What’s that, surround sound meditation music with a virtual yoga instructor?! Sign me up!
With no major triathlons on the horizon, I’d still like to get back into the pool and on the bike this weekend. I’m going to pack my swimming gear in case I get out of work at a decent hour tonight. My workout schedule has been a bit off-kilter because of my long hours. I also just found out that my next half marathon is a trail run (!!!!) so I will forego it since I haven’t done any trail running. I don’t even have trail running shoes. Thankfully I found someone to buy my ticket so it looks like, from here on out, all I have are Rock n Roll races. Awesome!
I also just remembered to buy some chain cleaner/lubricant, a mat, and a gel seat cover so hopefully I can log in some decent miles on the bike in the near future! Here are some of the goods I bought:
(I’m pretty sure about 90% of my disposable cash monies goes towards racing, or racing-related goodies!)
Last night, I also booked my hotel room for Rock n Roll Las Vegas. In a few weeks, I’ll get my tickets, but for now, I’m booked at Imperial Palace. I remember that there’s a ton of construction there but I also remember that Shant had a bit of Lady Luck on his side on our vacation!
I swear, I have no clue where I’d be if I didn’t have technology to help me on this journey.
Speaking of my journey, did you forget that I’m still raising money for Dress for Success?! It’s Thursday, and if you’re one day away from a weekend off from work you’re luckier than 10%+ of the population. Donate what you can and let’s get our women back to work.
A goal can feel out of reach when you lack proper planning and training. In casual conversation, whenever I hear something like “I don’t have time to work out” or “I could never run a (any distance race)“, I often hear “I’m not worth it,” “I won’t make the time,” or “My health is not a priority to me right now.” My goal is always to help people in little ways so that they can help themselves, and often times I’ll point out the inconsistencies in their logic. The classic one is “I don’t have enough energy to exercise!” to which I kindly point out, “Exercise will train your body to store and utilize your energy more efficiently. What do you have to lose?”
One of the key things to remember is that the hardest part of training is planning for success. I’m a total control freak and I thrive on incessant planning. I want to plan my meals, I want to plan my career, I want to plan my training, I want to plan my schooling, I want to plan my travels, etc. Planning planning planning. I can do it all day and all night long and I love every minute of it. (That was another reason why I wanted to get into personal training!)
For people who are not natural planners, tackling down a regular schedule can be a bit difficult and out of character. And for that, I say that you either get some help with your training plans (a friend or hired hands otherwise) or you simply make it a priority. When you realize that yes, you are worth the time you’re investing in yourself, and yes, you are worth the success that you will eventually reap, then hopefully you will give yourself permission to be successful.
What is the true cost of planning, anyways? You take an hour or two to jot out the details of your endeavor (a half marathon, or maybe a week’s worth of healthy meals) and then you schedule some “me-time” to get it done. The savings can really add up: maybe you save $50-$60 a week by bringing lunch to the office (like I’m hoping to this week) or you save yourself a training season of “what-if”s and heartache. Not to mention, you also save the countless hours of ambiguity of not knowing what to do and then subsequently feeling panicky about it. When you know what the end goal is, and when you can visualize it, planning for success is really the fun part.
At work, I personally am crunched for time. Lunch is not at a consistent time and usually hinges on a pretty hectic schedule. On the craziest of days at work I end up eating two of my three meals at the office, and usually at my desk to boot. So, especially for people like me who work more than 40 hours a week, it is imperative that you plan — plan your workouts, plan your nutrition. If I can work more than 40 hours a week and squeeze in 20 miles a week and get my lunches together for the week, so can you. You just have to make the time and ask for help.
Some time-saving tips for you to try:
1. Automate what you can. I know I work for Amazon and I would’ve plugged this regardless of whether or not I worked for them, but you can order most of your purchases online. You know, the mundane things like toilet paper, toothpaste, clothes, GU energy gels, protein shakes, bobbie pins, etc. Depending on where you live you can even order groceries. Order it online and save time! Don’t bother standing in line, dealing with driving and parking, and working through the aisles trying to make a decision. Buy it online and save time and money. Believe me on this one.
2. Plan your training an entire season in advance. Take the guess work out of each morning or evening. Stop wondering what distance you’re supposed to be running or class you’re supposed to attend. Make a schedule and stick to it. Better yet, put it into your calendar and sync it with your phone and email so that you get constant reminders of what you should be doing.
3. Register for your race goal up front. Dangle that carrot for as long as you can. Also, by registering far in advance, you’ll get the best price break and not have to scramble to register at the last minute. If it’s a destination race, also book your accommodations and transport up front to save on costs.
4. Use your exercise time to fully decompress. Working out lets you destress and detach from your crazy, hectic life. Give yourself permission to let go for that short amount of time. Your work and other commitments will still be there once you get back. Use the time to appreciate yourself, destress, listen to some new music or audiobooks, or simply think about nothing. It should be meditative and non-negotiable. (Especially don’t check your emails on your run. That’s just dangerous!!)
On Wednesday I started my first fitness boot camp since…well…boot camp.
It was an all women’s group led in a suburb of Seattle, about a ten minute drive away. At first I thought it would be too much — a commute before a commute to work, especially in the direction of rush hour traffic. However, the class got out at 7, which is about 3-4 hours before I show up to work anyways, so it worked out.
And so did I!
The class was great — modified for all levels. Everyone got attention, especially the newbies like me, to check for proper form. The class was full and I could see why. The trainer was nice, approachable, yet stern — he would correct you and praise you as needed, not enough to make you seem like a pity client but enough to make you feel you were getting the attention you needed. I was really excited about booking my next 6:30am class (if you can believe it) only to find that all the other women liked it so much that he was booked through September. Mega fail! He promised to open a 5:30am class in mid-August so I’ll have to wait until then unfortunately.
I spent most of yesterday sore because of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) from the boot camp. As I told my co-worker, I definitely took those squats way too seriously! Speaking of squats, the workout lasted a half hour and comprised of a warmup, and stationary speed skating, rope assisted jumping jacks, kettlebell squats, squat jumps, pushups, and a cool down. The circuit was 30-seconds per exercise with 30 second rest in between along with a minute rest in between circuits. I think we might’ve done 4 sets or so and that was that.
I felt great for the majority of the day and evening after the workout, but come the next day, the stiffness and soreness hit me all at once! It wasn’t nearly as bad as marathon DOMS but it was still a bit more than expected. I’ve been working out on my own with the GAIN Fitness app, which is great, but apparently I’m not pushing myself as much as I could. I suppose it happens when no one is around to watch. Something about working out in a group makes you more competitive, which then increases your performance. It makes sense.
In the meantime, since I can’t get into my boot camp classes, I signed up for a 10-visit hot yoga pass at a studio nearby my office. I also can’t forget that I have a 24 Hour Fitness lifetime membership and there’s a gym about a mile away from me as well…I looked up a bunch of interesting classes before 8am and after 6:30pm and added them to a separate fitness class calendar so that I can copy them to my personal one when the time is right.
I can distinctly remember being in college and being about 30 pounds overweight. I took 2 spin classes a day, almost 5 days a week. I think the first few days I dealt with some saddle soreness here and there but how was I able to bounce back and recover so quickly? Perhaps I was losing more fat than I was developing muscle? Something I noticed during my boot camp class was also that all of my running (and solo weight training workouts) also helped me get through the class. I know that regaining fitness is much easier than getting into shape. There’s definitely a modicum of truth behind that statement. I just wish it didn’t hurt so much!
Last night I made plans to go for a nice 5-mile run this morning. Going out for my run this morning was a bit painful. I made it about a block and decided it hurt too much. It’s not worth injuring myself and getting sidelined for weeks than just giving my legs a break for another day or so. Maybe I can squeeze in a quick upper-body workout before I get too settled in to my day.
Some recovery items to keep in mind:
Eating a combination of carbs and protein immediately post-workout will help fuel your muscles and begin repair immediately.
You could reach for OTC meds to help with the pain or you could opt for natural anti-inflammatory foods. Some included turmeric, ginger, wild-caught salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts, shittake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, green tea, water, papaya, pineapple, tart cherries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, EVOO, avocado oil, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, spinach.
Recovery includes RICE (not the white kind): rest, ice, compression, elevation.
Stretching (facilitated or otherwise)
Massage (always a nice treat) with facilitated stretching. Any good licensed massage therapist will be able to help you with this!
Plans to continue exercise routine is key. How else will you continue to build muscle and endurance? If you don’t plan for success you won’t reap the benefits of hard work and victory!
So after being on the road quite a bit, I finally made it to my home destination, Seattle!
I live in an area called Eastlake…it’s the eastern side of Lake Union. My office is in South Lake Union, which is only a mile walk. 1.2 miles to be exact. Right now I have to lug around two laptops so I sometimes take the bus since my backpack is so heavy. I appreciate being able to log extra miles in my RunKeeper but they sure come at a price!
Prior to leaving LA and going on vacation in Las Vegas for a week, I was on a slight green smoothie kick for about a week or so. On vacation I didn’t do much damage either. I didn’t exercise much outside of walking around the Vegas strip and making rounds at the buffets. (We only went to a few…that’s pretty good for a seven day trip, okay?)
I also made a complete rookie move…I moved in to my apartment half a day before I started my new job. Total rookie mistake. One week later I feel a bit more settled in. I’ve gotten some running in (made it 25% to my 100 mile goal!), kept up with my half marathon class, managed to do well at work, and unpacked most of my boxes. I have a tendency to take on too much at once, so I’m really trying to scale back right now. Instead of jumping straight into marathon or triathlon training, I decided that just running and some weight training was going to cut it for now. I’d like to focus more on my eating habits, too.
This week I’m introducing some circuit training back into my routine. I signed up for a boot camp class on Groupon (it was only $20 for 20 sessions) and I report in three times a week between 6:30am and 7am. That’ll sure whip my butt into shape! Or at least I hope. It’s so early that I don’t really have the whole I’ll-be-late-to-work crutch that most people pull. I guess the only way to sabotage my efforts would be to stay too late in the office in the evenings.
On the nutrition front…aside from the pain of having gobbled down a cheese quesadilla on Friday and packing pasta three of the five days last week for lunch, I think this coming week will be much better. I did all of my shopping beforehand and I have tons of good food ready for the week ahead: mean green juice ingredients (kale, spinach, cucumbers, apples, ginger, lemon, celery), salmon, salad ingredients, cereal, soy milk, eggs. I’m trying to keep my kitchen as “clean” as possible. Aside from the pasta that I can’t/won’t throw away I don’t have any rice or bread at my place.
As I’m easing back into training, blogging, and working full-time, I hope I’ll be able to keep up with all of my plans! I hope to finish out the half marathon class and run the Rock ‘n Roll LA 2012 with a strong time. I hope to make it through all 20 sessions of the boot camp between now and Labor Day weekend. I also have quite the race schedule planned so it’ll be interesting to see how I keep up with it!
Our health is the greatest wealth we will ever know. Most of the time, we’ll never realize how “wealthy” we are until we succumb to some sort of condition or obstacle to remind us how easy it really is to take the time out to take care of ourselves.
Is drinking 20 oz of cola really worth continuing insulin medication? Are the double cheeseburgers worth the digestion issues? Can 2 cheese enchiladas be worth the stomachache and lethargy that follows consumption?
I keep returning to the same old adage — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Spending 8-10 hours a week training for a sprint triathlon or a road race helps keep my physical and mental health in check, my waistline to a healthy minimum, and keeps the doctor away. That time I “save” by eating fast food and skipping a workout costs me so much more in the long run — it fosters an unhealthy habit of putting my vitality on the line for the sake of convenience. My actions subconsciously tell me that my health and well-being is not worth the investment. Is the world really going to reap the benefits of meticulous design, coding, marketing, etc if it stems from an unhealthy lifestyle? Probably not. If you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anything else. It’s plain as day.
On a lighter note, I took my new shoes out for a quick 5K around the neighborhood last night. I can still feel the lingering pain in my shins from those really old shoes but I feel so much better! I can’t believe I kept going with those bad boys. If I had only replaced those shoes sooner I’d probably would be training more regularly and be a lot farther along with my progress. I probably wouldn’t have gotten sidelined by a lack of motivation because I wouldn’t have had something to complain about! (Here comes the adage again…)
In trying to fall asleep, I was able to finally flip through some of the latest issues of Runners World that have been sitting on my desk for the last few weeks. I came across an ad for the Sea Wheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver (only a few hours drive north from Seattle). Is anyone I know running it? I’d be curious to do another international event! It might keep me motivated enough to keep going. My favorite incentive is travel!! Do you think I’d be able to handle tri training and half marathon training again simultaneously? Why do I always insist on front-loading my ambitions and schedule? I’m not a lululemon fangirl (I run in cheapie stuff I find at Target and Big 5) so maybe the excitement is lost on me? I’m more so pumped to run a new city!
So after what turned out to be more of a cheat day than a cheat meal, I set about my Monday to go back to my usual staple of veggies and fish. Monday started harmlessly enough with leftover curries from the weekend. Most of the broth remained but the bulk of the veggies were gone, so I loaded it in with my leftover veggies from the pho restaurant on Saturday night.
Then I set about my design work as usual. When I’m getting creative, I always seem to get MORE creative if I’m snacking away. I began craving sweets so I reached for a banana. What I really wanted was hummus — loads and loads and loads of hummus made from scratch, but since chickpeas are off-paleo I had to settle for something with a similar consistency, which lead me to the banana. (Maybe I can find a recipe for banana hummus or something. It probably won’t taste nearly as good though.) I bought so many last week that they were beginning to brown, which meant they were even sweeter than before. Score!
Then, an hour later, hunger struck again. I was in the mood for finger foods but was too lazy to prepare anything so I cracked open a bag of baby carrots and hot house cucumbers. I was reminded of how much I hated cucumbers to begin with. Not sure why I bought them in the first place. Maybe they’ll taste better when I load them in to the curry.
Then, the time came when I had to head out for class. I hadn’t even prepared a dinner to eat since I was so busy with client calls and working. I had no choice but to pack a rather large handful of dates and almonds for the road. It powered me through my 3 hour anatomy and pathology class.
This is where it got tricky. The minute I got to class, I began craving all of these foods that I hadn’t had in a long time. I started craving a ham sandwich (even though I haven’t had pork for seven years now!), and cheese enchiladas, and a grilled cheese animal style from In-n-Out. I talked it over with one of my classmates, who has been following my paleo progress, and lamented with me, which instantly took my mind off of the food. Anatomy and pathology went on and as we delved into diseases of the gastrointestinal system I was thoroughly disgusted and didn’t even want to think about eating another morsel of food.
After school, I stayed out a bit late hanging out with Shant at his office, so instead of grabbing a bite to eat I grabbed a small baggie of nut mix I had in my bag.
So, it wasn’t my best day, but it was decent. I totally skipped a major meal (probably not a good idea) but it didn’t seem to effect my energy or attention span. After weighing in, I’m happy to report that I’ve lost 6 pounds so far.
Some of it was water I’m sure, but it’s a nice first step. I put myself to the test today and went for a run around the neighborhood and already I feel a lot stronger, a little faster, and a bit lighter. To reward myself I signed up for a RunKeeper Fitness Class, the sub 2:30 half marathon. With only 100 weeks left to go before I have to achieve my Ironman goal, I can’t spare the time to stop training!!
So far, so good! Day 2 and I haven’t gone off the deep end yet. I did, however, unload my 25-ct croissant box and my Simply Apple juice at school. SCORE! I was able to give some snacks to my classmates while getting rid of some of the foods I couldn’t eat. I feel much better about doing that than throwing perfectly good food away.
Had a relatively good day, energy-wise. I woke up with really sore legs from yesterday’s resistance training workout so today, I decided to work on my upper body instead. I am sure I will pay for it…
Anyways, here’s what I grubbed on. Doesn’t look too bad!
Breakfast – salmon and egg white scramble.
Energy drink – Green vibrance mixed with water. Tastes like dirt…
…but gave me enough energy to finish a 45-minute resistance/weight training session. OH YEAH!
Packed my food for school. I ended up eating everything except for the veggies. I think I have one more serving left for tomorrow.
Ended the day with some awesome silky green tea from Bird Pick (just bought it with my boyfriend), a handful of almonds, and some dates. Yum yum yum!
Something that is beginning to irritate me about paleo is the sheer amount of fish (meat) I’ve been consuming. I think prior to this, I probably only ate fish once or twice a week. Now I feel like I’m having it twice a day. Feels kind of gross…so I think I will continue to limit my intake of protein after I finish this batch of salmon that I precooked and load up on more leafy greens for my protein. I need to do some research and find out what I can do to mix things up a bit. I’m not a fan of monotony but my culinary laziness will definitely drive me crazy eventually.
However, I do remember a distant summer-fall-spring (probably about five or six years ago) where I subsisted primarily on Slim-Fast, sliced chicken, and spring mix…for about eight months. Hey, I also dropped a lot of weight since I was going to spin classes twice a day. I wouldn’t totally recommend that to anyone else. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that I tend to take the easiest route for difficult journeys, health and fitness included. Perhaps I should shake things up a bit and get creative with my food. Otherwise I will be damned to an existence of bland food until I decide to switch from paleo to just plain old picky eating.
My first day of paleo went pretty well! Drank a lot of water and ate to my heart’s content. I only felt hungry when I was hungry, but because I’ve been foodblogging I’ve sure noticed how many times I get up to grab a snack.
Breakfast – 6 egg white scramble
Snacks throughout the day – banana, orange, dates, raisins, cranberries, almonds
Dinner – Oregano and curry dusted salmon with 2 red potatoes, mashed (no additives)
End of the night: Green tea and an orange
I’m trying to get back into resistance training during this marathon recovery period, so I fired up my GAINfitness application and set up a 45-minute, 3-4 sessions a week plan. Here’s the circuit I completed:
1 set of Jumping Jacks Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
1 set of Trunk Rotations Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
1 set of Seal Jumps Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
1 set of Heel Walks Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
1 set of Seal Jumps Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
1 set of Jogging in Place Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
1 set of Ankle Circles Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
1 set of Trunk Rotations Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
1 set of Squat Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
1 set of Side Lateral Raise Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
3 sets of Squat Max reps 12, max weight 14 lbs.
2 sets of Ab Twist Max reps 12, max weight 0 lbs.
4 sets of Lunge Max reps 13, max weight 0 lbs.
4 sets of Lunge Max reps 13, max weight 14 lbs.
4 sets of Lunge Max reps 13, max weight 0 lbs.
4 sets of Lunge Max reps 13, max weight 0 lbs.
2 sets of Good Morning Max reps 20, max weight 0 lbs.
2 sets of Lying Quad Stretch Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
2 sets of Ab Twist Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
2 sets of Standing Groin Stretch Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
2 sets of Standing Quad Stretch Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
1 set of Downward Dog Pose Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
1 set of Wide-Legged Forward Bend Max reps 0, max weight 0 lbs.
So far, so good! I’m heading into a full day of design and school so I’m prepping my food now. My class was curious about Green Vibrance so I’m bringing a canister for everyone to try it out. 🙂 I plan on squeezing in another workout this morning, but my lower body is so sore…maybe I can just focus on my upper body. Hope I can stay on track!