Weekend Warrior

The three day weekend flew by... to me, it seemed more like a regular old two day weekend, packed to the brim! Sunday's workout felt like it broke me.  It was one of those rare times when I didn't feel better, energized after working out.  I felt run down, exhausted and broken.  One-hour and forty-five minutes of cardio, strength and stretching will do that to a person, I suppose.  But, on the flip side, yesterday on the bike I felt GREAT! Still tired, but I turned the corner of feeling strong and comfortable on the bike.

After completing Lake Placid in 2010, I didn't get back on the bike.   To be honest, I was terrified.  If I had a long, lonely stretch of pavement or street, I was ready to ride.  Throw cars, people, and other bikes into the mix and I would wobble the whole ride.  After taking a nasty fall in April 2010, I was plain old scared to ride again.  I willed myself to get back on through the race, but since I haven't been out on a ride for fear of injury or broken bones.  Growing up in a pool, as a swimmer, I never experienced fractures, breaks or injury other than shoulder soreness.

However, I think I'm ready to ride again.  There's a group of women who meet at a local bike shop and ride together, which sounds perfect.  A nice 20+ ride sounds doable and a great way to re-enter the bike riding world.  I also found a small itch the day to do another triathlon.  Now that my knee is feeling much better, to the point where I could handle a short distance, I think an Olympic distance might be in order next year.  Maybe a half-Ironman.  We'll see.

I did, admittedly, eat more than planned on Sunday, but that's life right? The goal isn't to be perfect, all the time, but to learn to navigate the turns and get back on track when the detour is through.  On Sunday, I drank a LOT of lemon water, to help detoxify my body, and did an hour on the bike to sweat a bit.

Until tomorrow...

Knowing Myself

About one-third through the 30 for 30, and I've finally done what is best for me -- writing the workouts ahead of time. The first 20+ days, I would get up in the morning and  decide what I was going to do that morning.  Downfall was, I often did what I felt I wanted to do and not what I should do for optimal fitness health.  The written workouts also allow me to budget the approximate time for the workout into my day and the other way around, by seeing how much time I have for the workout I feel like doing.

Yesterday was a broken cardio workout with some strengthening and toning exercises in between.  Focusing on large muscle groups, the exercises got my heart rate up and found my body a little sore this morning! Today is another workout similar to yesterday's, with strength and cardio, but today the strength component comes at the beginning of the workout with a long, slow "ride" on the bike trainer to close out the workout.

Waking up with some muscle soreness this morning, I'm already looking forward the my favorite yoga class on Thursday.  Saturday's too.

Until tomorrow...

Mayham Gone Wild

Everyone falls off the beam at some point or another, right? This month has been a laxidazical approach to fitness (and writing) although most days have been filled with at least a small amount of physical activity, even if just 15 minutes of yoga.

I've learned that at this point in my fitness, I can't run my favorite path, because the downhills hurt my knee.  The pounding is too much and it often hurts for a few days after the jaunt. For those of you just joining, I am recovering from bursitis in my knee, which had me out of running for four months.  A three-mile flat loop is about all that I can do right now, running wise.  Unfortunately, I can't bank on last year's workout, just yesterday's, and that can sometimes be frustrating.

When I look at my fitness from years past, I realize that's where I want to be.  I want to be enjoying five-mile runs with ease as we gradually move into the Summer, but it's just not happening at the moment.  I have to accept where I am, from a fitness standpoint, and work with what I've got.

The benefit of any form of physical activity, is that it reduces stress.  When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol (a fat storing chemical) and the bio-chemistry of your blood changes, both of which are contributing factors to weight gain.  Lowering stress levels will help with any weight loss regimen, which means something as simple as taking a walk mid-day, meditation in the morning or a short workout, even when you don't think there's time.  Something, even 15 minutes, is always better than nothing.

As the rain comes down here in our Nation's capitol, I'm off to the gym to get my sweat on and endorphins going.  Physical activity guidelines indicate that everyone should get at least 150 minute of moderate intensity cardiovascular activity every week, as well as two sessions of muscle strengthening exercise.  Today, I'm going to knock out about half of that cardio activity, and get "back on the beam."


Days 2 and 3 Mayham

The night before last, I went to an event here in the city.  Situated in a chic, Georgetown beauty spa, called Nectar, NYC socialite Tinsley Mortimer was in town for her book signing.  Brandlink, a group who is known for its sophisticated and fun parties, was hosting the event, which meant unique cocktails and tasty treats.  As we entered, there was a table with purple cake pops, cupcakes with lavender colored icing and apothecary jars filled with purple hued candy.  Given my recently started Mayham, I had some willpower and only noshed on a single, lone cakepop. And it was delicious. Sticking to my healthy guns, I ordered a vegetable plate for dinner post event -- there really are healthy options at most restaurants -- from a menu that included "lighter fare" of blackened tuna, pan seared salmon burger and Thai noodle chicken salad.

The next morning, I was feeling great and headed to the gym for 30 minutes of cardio and then a 60-minute yoga class.  Often gym yoga and studio yoga is different, but the teacher at my gym is great and I really enjoy her class.  We focused heavily on leg strength and balancing, which was similar to the exercises given to me by the physical therapist for bursitis.  Win win.  At the end of class, she has us bring our hands, which are in prayer position, to our heads to remind us to think kind thoughts, to our mouths as a reminder to say kind things and to our hearts as a reminder to do good deeds.

Today, I did a 40 minute run, followed by body resistance work and my legs felt like jello! My first step outside was with heavy legs, which felt like jello as I continued my workout this morning.  I slowed down a bit, but never stopped running, even when it turned into what felt like a slow jog.  No pain, just fatigue.

I have to say, that after the workouts, I want to put good, clean healthy food back into my body, as evidenced by my healthy purple asparagus lunch below.  I'm drinking plenty of water with lemon, both because I like the taste and it helps to alkaline (clean) the blood of toxins. Yum!

Until tomorrow...

May-Ham is here!

On the heels of the chocolate cake recipe, I am launching this year's 30-for-30, titled May-ham! Same idea, same excitement, with a little tweaking. First, the workouts are slightly scaled back, at least in the beginning.  In December, I was told that I had bursitis in my knee, meaning I couldn't run until told otherwise.  For those who do run, you know the feeling of euphoria you experience after you return home from a blood pumping jaunt.  There's nothing like it.  So, I was limited to the elliptical, yoga, pilates and minimal strength training for 4 months. I listened and healed and was recently cleared to run 3 miles. Very happy!

Second, I'm forbidden from doing explosive movements, box jumps, sprints, and games of pick-up basketball, so you won't see any of those this year, although I've never been a particularly strong, or able-bodied, basketball player!

Third, and lastly, I'm adding a healthier eating approach to this year's plan.  Right or wrong, I've always enjoyed desserts and sugar, sometimes in excess.  But the older I get, the more I realize that you truly cannot out exercise a bad diet.  I've been reading about and studying up on nutrition in the past year and the way in which certain foods affect my body.  With this information, I have tried to clean up the ways I eat on a daily basis.  That does NOT mean that I've given up or plan to give up any one thing when it comes to food (read: sweets!) but it does mean that I'm finding a better balance of having certain items as treats, not having a regular appearance in my daily eating. It also means that I'm eating healthy, clean foods as my first choice when it comes to energy through food sources.

Weight wise, I'm at the same place on the scale where I was at the conclusion of last year's 30 for 30, so the plan this year is to do something everyday, be active, try something new, maintain balance, tone up. I've been wanting to try Zumba and they've recently put a Barre studio in Georgetown, so they are both on the list.  Follow along, create your own plan, be active and have fun!

Today's workout was a nice, slow 2-mile run, followed by strength exercises and a yoga sequence. I'm still easing into the running and taking each workout from the point at where I left off from the previous day...

Until tomorrow...