Friday, March 30, 2007

My First "Brick"

A brick is usually described by triathletes as a back-to-back workout of two tri disciplines (swim, bike, run). I don't know if it is technically correct to call it a brick, since one of my "disciplines" was Tae Bo, but this morning I did my first Tae Bo/Run brick. I didn't begin my workout intending to do my Tae Bo and run back-to-back. Normally Fridays are two workout days for me with a long (1hr) Tae Bo in the morning and C25K in the evening. However, since I am supposed to be slowly easing my way back into my exercise I decided to do Tae Bo Strength, which is only 45 minutes. I sweated and worked hard, but at the end I still had energy. So I finally decided to just tack my run on the end and get everything out of the way this morning. It was both a good and a bad idea. Good because I finished everything I wanted to accomplish today before noon and because I was thoroughly warmed up for my run and because I worked my butt off on the run. Bad because I had only eaten a Nutrigrain bar a couple of hours before I started, so by the end of the run I think I was starting to bonk. Note to self: get up on Fridays when Preston leaves and eat a full breakfast, then fall back asleep, then get up and exercise if I'm planning on more than 1 hour.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Running Compliment

I forgot in my last post to mention that I was very excited yesterday when I talked to Preston. A few weeks ago when he was watching me do a C25K, I asked him to watch my form, and his comment was that he couldn't see anything wrong, but that I looked just slow and tired and energyless. At the time, I just accepted the comment and moved on, as I was really focusing on changing my form, increasing my stride rate, getting rid of the shin splints, and just slogging through the minutes. Yesterday morning when Preston left for work he drove by me running, and when we spoke he mentioned that I looked faster. Yay!! I looked faster!! Actually, not only did I look faster, I actually was going faster. I noticed yesterday that I was running about 10 min./mile pace, which is definitely faster than I started C25K running. And the best part is that I haven't been trying to get faster, per se, just trying to build mileage and endurance and proper form, woohoo!

Exercise Reports and a New Roof

Well, last night when I got home I felt like I had a little extra energy. Pre-flu I always rode the stationary bike on Wednesday nights because Preston has school that night and doesn't get home til very late. I hadn't planned on riding this week, though, because my goal for the week was to just ease back into aerobic training with at least 30 min. of aerobics per day. But I felt so good that I went for it. I only did 30 minutes with 5 minutes at each of levels 1-6 (but not in that order). I really struggled with levels 5 and 6 with my legs feeling a little dead, so perhaps I went a little too hard a little soon, but I have no regrets.

This morning I did my favorite Tae Bo Cardio Circuit 1 and felt great! Even my oblique was less grumpy than it has been all week. I'm really excited because I finally feel like I can see the end of the line on all of this injury/illness bull.

I'm still vacillating on buying one of my parents' cars. They would finance it for me, so I could get it at a low price over 48 months without jacking up my insurance costs due to formal financing. This is very tempting, because at our ages, insurance costs could potentially run more than car payments for Preston and I. (Which never fails to rankle, since I've not made a claim on my car insurance EVER, but last night I found out that my liability-only runs the same price as my parents' full-coverage. Grr.) It would also feel just wonderful to know without a doubt that every time I get in my car, it will start and run without dying. Not sure what that feels like, but I'm sure it is wonderful! I just have serious issues unclenching from the money in my hands, and I want to make sure that I'm getting good value if I'm unclenching.

My new roof is beautiful and completely and painlessly done in just one day! No more leaks for us, joy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

C25KW3D3 (Repeat) and a New Roof?

This morning I decided to get a run in. Before my flu, I was running Fridays and Sundays only. I saw this return to health that coincided with the healing of the shin splints as an opportunity to get on the three-day-per-week running schedule that I would prefer. I ran last Thursday and Sunday, so today made my third run with another two day in-between break. Now I'd like to pick it up a notch and shift to one off-running day in between. I think my legs and body can handle it. The run this morning felt much better than this past Sunday. On Sunday I was really struggling with the 3 min interval. It seemed endless!! Also my oblique/rib was bothering me while I was running. This morning it stayed quiet (although still definitely injured) and I felt strong through my intervals. Now the real question is: do I move on to Week 4 on Friday? I have plenty of time in the schedule to repeat days when necessary and still make my post-college 5k debut on Memorial Day weekend, which is my goal, but I felt so good this morning that I think I'll save that padding for later in the program when I may need it more.

I find that exercising so much has led my brain to dwell on exercise plans. I'm constantly thinking about my schedule and if I can work more exercise in. I never thought I'd be this person, but I like her!

As of today I'm officially 10 pounds down from January 1. 5 to go to my very attainable wedding goal, 10 to go to my more long-term goal, and 15 to go to my ultimate goal, which is the bottom of a 5 pound range that I want to stay in for the rest of my life.

Hopefully today when I get home from work, there will be a new roof on my house, yay!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Houston Traffic and a New Car?

Well, this morning I turned out another Tae Bo (Cardio Circuit 1), but still not at 100% because of my oblique/rib. I did find that sitting at my desk for 10 hours at work yesterday and self-medicating with ibuprofen seemed to do the little bugger some good, so hopefully another 3 days of that and it will be almost well. I think I'll do another week 3 day of C25K tomorrow. Technically, I've done all 3 days of week 3, but I did day 1 before my flu, so I'd like to do a repeat day before moving on. Also, before the flu I was only running 2 days per week (Friday and Sunday) because I was trying to give my shins as much leeway as possible, so my C25K weeks were really taking a week-and-a-half. I'd like to get into a 3 day per week mode, so we'll see how it goes tomorrow and see if I can start a Weds-Fri-Sun run habit.

But what is really on my mind this morning? Traffic and Cars! The traffic this morning was horrible! I normally get to work 20 minutes early, but this morning I was 10 minutes late. Grr. The cause? Well, it seems that it was very important for everyone on the highway this morning to look at the wreck on the other side of the highway. Veeeeery important. Important enough for all of us to be late to work. Yeah.

About cars. It seems that I have the opportunity to purchase one of my parents' vehicles if I want to. Here is the lowdown: I could go from a 19 year old sports car with 137k miles to either an 8 year old pickup truck with 107k or a 7 year old 4x4 SUV with 127k and a leather interior. I should mention that I have a bit of an emotional attachment to my car and its speed. I also don't have just a ton of money floating around right now and won't for the forseeable future. My parents would finance it for me with no "institutional intervention" if I wanted one. I drive about 10k miles per year. Wish they made some choices in life easy!

Monday, March 26, 2007

First Post

Well, I've been wanting to start a new blog since the new year when I started changing my lifestyle, but while the lifestyle-changing is going well, I managed to never get around to recording it, at least not online.

A quick bit of background on me, for those who won't know: I'm a mid-20's librarian living in Texas. I'm getting married in July. Just bought a home last year and along with my fiancee and 4 cats am struggling to adjust to "adult life". I've been at my job for almost 2 years now, and since I started working, I've started struggling with keeping weight off. I had gained 15 pounds in my first 6 months of work, and spent the next year unsuccessfully trying to lost it in a classic on-the-wagon/off-the-waggon style. I did, however, manage to hold it where it was. This year I resolved to change. I began on January 1 with the goal of exercising at least 20 minutes every day for 21 days, using Yoga when I needed an off day. It worked! 33 days and 6 pounds later, I took my first day off.

Now I must say that I haven't been without struggles. I wanted to exercise with the goal of running because running is the most difficult form of exercise for me, and therefore in my opinion the most beneficial, but even though I started slow and in a method that has worked for me in the past, I got shin splints. I kept up exercising using Tae Bo videos and my stationary bike, but it was really frustrating because I wanted to be working on running as well. I finally took 2 weeks off from running, got a new pair of professionally fitted running shoes, and tried a number of stretching/strengthening exercises. Then I decided I'd try the Couch to 5K running program, available here: I ran the first few weeks still feeling my shins tweaking, but icing them down when I got home, and finally on March 2 I ran without any pain from my shins, YAY!!

I was almost instantly frustrated in my efforts, however, because my future mother-in-law managed to give Preston (fiancee) and I the flu. So only 3 runs after my shin splints disappeared, I was totally out of commission for 9 days. I followed that up with 4 days of Yoga only. I finally was able to begin exercising this past Thursday, and I am thrilled to report no shin splints!! My new problem is an angry right rib/oblique (not sure which). I angered it by coughing, and further angered it by coughing more, and made it even madder by accidentally thinking a TV show was hilarious and laughing. It is bothering me both when I run and also when I Tae Bo. I'm exercising through it, but trying to modify to reduce pain. I'm also taking ibuprofen and spending time with a heating pad.

So, with everyone all up to date, welcome to my blog!