Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mountain Climber

A couple of weeks ago my coworker Paul asked me if I wanted to go with him, his wife and our coworker Bryan for a ride in the nearby mountains. He made it sound like it would be a leisurely ride through beautiful scenery. It was only a 22 mile ride. I had gone 50 so I figured this wouldn't be too bad.


This 22 mile ride up TWO mountains was anything but easy. Yes the scenery was extremely beautiful (when I was able to see it through the pain I was feeling). This definitely ranks at the top of the list of most difficult things I've done physically.

We started off at the top of Hanging Rock (I think that is a picture of it above, lol) then went down and towards Sauratown Mountain. It took us about 8 miles to get to the actual climb up the mountain. When we get there Paul says "okay now this is where it starts getting steep." STARTS!!?? It has already BEEN steep to me and I was already feeling the burn in my thighs. I just kept in mind that it was just a 3 mile climb so I could do that with no problems. Well I wouldn't say that I did it with NO problems but I made it up although I wasn't so sure I was going to make it at one point. I was zig zagging all the way across the road trying to get up that hill. Luckily on that part of the ride there wasn't any traffic so I didn't have to worry about watching for cars. I finally made it to the top and got to take a short break before we started back to the car.

The ride down was fun. It is kind of annoying that it took about 45 minutes to get up the hill and then only 10 to come back down. My forearms hurt from pumping my brakes so much going down the hill. I was afraid to go TOO fast although I did get up to 36 mph. I also didn't want my brakes to melt so I was careful not to ride them too much.

The last climb...since we parked at the top of Hanging Rock we had to ride back up to get to the car (whose idea was it to park at the top??). This was the worst part of the ride for me. The hill was shorter, about 2 miles, but it felt so much more difficult. I guess because there was more traffic and because I was pretty tired at this point. When I had a little over half a mile left I really wanted to give up. I almost started crying and if I would have been able to get my foot unclipped (I didn't even have enough energy to do that) then I would have stopped for sure. I'm kinda glad that I wasn't able to get my foot loose because it made me keep going and at this point Paul had come back to make sure I wasn't dead ride the rest of the way with me so that definitely helped a lot.

All in all I'm glad that I did it and that I now know I CAN do it. I'm glad that I had some great people to ride with because that definitely helped me make it through the ride. This will make the hills on our regular route seem like nothing. I don't know if I'll ever get to the point where I want to do the 3 mountain madness (this adds on another mountain and about 40 more miles) but maybe.....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Finding My Still Point

I went to a wonderful yoga class yesterday. It may have been the best yoga class I have ever participated in. The instructor was wonderful and the class was challenging but not terribly difficult. The best part of the class was when he told us to find our "still point". This is the slight pause in between your breaths. Right after you breathe in and right before you breathe out. He asked us to focus on this point. It was nice to just relax and focus on my breath (or non-breath). 

I have a lot going on right now, all good but still a lot. How great I felt in the class made me realize that I should take more time to just relax and focus on my still point. One way I'm going to do this is to make Yoga with this guy a regular part of my schedule. I enjoyed it more than I did the Pilates course.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Operation No Dairy Update

I'm on day 3 of my quest to eliminate dairy from my diet for the next two weeks. So far it hasn't been that hard other than Monday when we went to the Mexican restaurant for lunch.

I think what makes it easier is that I cook dinner and bring leftovers to work for lunch. I just make sure I don't make anything with dairy in it. This really isn't that big of a deal because other than mac & cheese and lasagna I don't really make things with dairy in them that often. Hmm this would mean no sour cream on taco night though....

I haven't felt any different yet, I'm still feeling the same discomfort I have been having but it is only the beginning of day 3 so I need to give it some time. Although what is my goal? If I DO feel better in two weeks am I going to cut dairy out of my diet for the rest of my life? Probably not. Why oh why can't someone just come up with a medicine (that works) that would help with lactose intolerance???

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up and Goal Setting #13

I don't even really remember what I did last week but it wasn't that much. Luckily last week was a recovery week so I used it as such. I wasn't feeling too hot so I just took it easy and did a few runs and swims. I was planning on going on a bike ride on Sunday but the weather didn't cooperate and I had a lot of things I needed to do around the house.

Goal Setting:
I haven't even looked at what the workouts are supposed to be this week (bad I know) so I'm not sure what my goals are going to be other than to try my best to complete as many workouts as I can. I have been lacking energy lately but I hope I can turn that around.

The biggest goal of mine for the next two weeks is to not eat ANY dairy at all. I hope that I can stick with it but I already know that it is going to be hard. I had my first test today when I went to a Mexican restaurant and of course everything that I wanted had cheese in it but I stayed strong and avoided the dairy. We'll see how this goes...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Body Fat Percentage Bullcrap

So I told y'all yesterday about how I bought the body composition scale and how upset I was by the percentage it gave me. I was convince it was a liar so I decided to have my husband (who rarely works out and eats cheesecake like 3 times a week) get on there to see what his is. Umm yeah so now I'm even MORE upset. His body fat percentage is less than half of mine. I mean COME ON! In what universe is this even fair? He went out and ran/walked a mile and a half today and he'll probably lose 2 pounds. Me on the other hand, if I go more than 3 days without working out I gain 2 pounds.

My mom asked me the other day "why aren't you skinny?". Yes, why am I not skinny? I'm really starting to think that I have some sort of condition that isn't allowing me to lose weight. I think I'm going to go get this checked out because something isn't right.

On another note: I'm going to try to go for 2 weeks without eating any dairy product. I think that dairy is really causing me intestinal distress so I want to see how I feel if I just eliminate it from my diet. This is going to be extremely hard for me because I LOVE pretty much everything diary. I haven't met a cheese I didn't like, ice cream has always been a great friend to me, cream sauce *sigh*. Oh well, if it gets rid of my stomach pains then I guess it will be worth it....maybe...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up and Goal Setting #12

I wasn't even going to do an update today because I feel like crap. I probably should be asleep right now but I'm not for a variety of reasons, one being my addiction to TV. Since I'm up I might as well do my weekly post.

All in all last week was pretty great. I felt good until this weekend when the Demon came into town. I completed all of the scheduled workouts for Monday-Friday. I feel off on the weekend, skipping out on Sat and Sun workouts. I made up for the workout on Sunday by helping my mom build a fence around her garden.

Sidenote: She planted EIGHTY tomato plants so if anyone likes tomatoes I'll have plenty to share.

Umm well that depends on how I feel this week. It is hard for me to judge right now because all I want to do is lay on the couch and eat cookies. I'm going to try to get in at least one of every exercise this week and hopefully more. Friday evening is the Relay for Life event (I'm still taking donations if you're interested in giving) so I'll do a lot of walking/running that day/night. Hopefully I can get a long bike ride in this weekend.

On another issue....I think I mentioned I was going to purchase a body composition device. Well it came today and that is probably what has added to my foul mood. I'm really hoping that thing is incorrect otherwise I have some serious work to do. I mean what in the world, I don't even want to type the number that thing gave me for my body fat percentage. I knew I hadn't lost any weight but I thought it was because I had gained muscle but now I don't know what to think. This is very frustrating because even though I know I don't have the BEST eating habits I know that they aren't terrible and I work out consistently so I really don't understand. It's not like I'm going to stop working out but I would like to see more results. *sigh* I have some changes I'm thinking of making that might help; I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hills...How I've Missed You

In keeping with my schedule for the week I went to the park to do some hill repeats. I went out even though it was kind of cool and misty. Luckily there was a lull in the storm so it wasn't raining during my workout. I did six hill repeats and I felt pretty good although when I was doing my cool down my calves were burning and felt like they had rocks in them. The workout itself wasn't too exciting but I did see some strange things while I was at the park.

This lady was jogging around the park and she had on a raincoat and she had an umbrella in her hand. I don't really understand this. You're exercising, you have a jacket with a hood, why would you waste the energy to carry along an umbrella? If it starts raining are you going to stop, put up the umbrella and walk the rest of the way? Seemed a little ridiculous to me.

The other thing was that when I first pulled into the park there was a couple sitting in a parked truck. They were arguing when I left for my run. When I got back from my run the truck was steamed up and they were getting it on hot and heavy. REALLY? It is not nighttime and this is not lover's lane.

Our yoga class was cancelled due to the rain so instead of skipping out on that workout I found a 30 minute yoga workout on Exercise on Demand (this channel is starting to be pretty useful) and did that. These videos can be hit or miss but this one was pretty good. I think I will incorporate it into my weekly schedule at least until I can complete the entire workout at the moderate level.

So far I'm on track for the week but I usually fall off on Wednesday so we'll see what happens.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up and Goal Setting #11

I'm really trying to get back on top of posting consistently so we'll see how that goes.

Wrap Up:
Last week was so-so. I felt good but I skipped out on a few workouts. Hmmm...that seems like a pattern. I don't know what it is that prevents me from actually completing all of my workouts.
I did complete both bike rides with one of them being my longest yet at 51 miles. I also did get a few swims in. I guess the biggest part I missed was the running. I planned on doing the High Point Half-Marathon but that so didn't happen. I knew after I attempted to run six miles and felt like I was going to fall out after 4 miles that I wouldn't be able to successfully complete a half-marathon.

Goal Setting:
My plan this week is to actually follow the plan that Marisa gives us. I have done well so far since today I was supposed to do a swim and strength training. I did my swim at lunch and then came home and did a full body strength workout that I found on Exercise on Demand (that thing was crucial!).
Tuesday: Hill run and Yoga - I will have to do the hill workout right before yoga but that shouldn't be a problem since the yoga will be focusing on flexibility and not strength training.

Wednesday: Swim and Bike - This is supposed to be a long swim so maybe if I come in a little early it won't matter if I take a long lunch to get my swim in. I'll do the bike at the park after work. Although the schedule says to do a flat course but I have no idea where to find a flat place to ride around here.

Thursday: Bike and Run - Since I have a lunch meeting I'm going to try to do my run in the morning (if I can drag myself out of bed) and then do the bike after work.

Friday: Off (Thank Goodness!)

Saturday: Brick Workout - Perhaps if I get up early enough I can do this from my house before there is alot of traffic, I don't really like riding alone but it is just for an hour so I'll be fine.

Sunday: Swim - This one is going to be hard since it is Mother's Day and I'll be at my parents I don't think I'll be able to make it to the pool. I will probably replace this with a short run unless my dad takes me to his gym.

OK so I'm going to try to really focus on nutrition (I know I say this every week). Maybe I need to just figure out the perfect mix and try to stick with that at least for breakfast, lunch and snacks. Dinner will vary of course but if I can keep all the other meals pretty much the same then maybe that will help?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Very Wet Day

I had a very busy day today exercise-wise. This morning I got up early and went for a long bike ride with Paul and then I met my tri-group for a wonderful swim clinic. I've decided to share the details of my day today, LOL.

The Ride:
This was my longest ride to date - 51 miles! I felt great too. I am really starting to get the hang of this whole gear switching thing. The course we rode wasn't super hard but there were a few relatively steep hills and a bunch of gentle slopes. The hills were still somewhat tough but not extremely hard. All this cycling is going to make my thighs even bigger :-/ now I'll have to work on getting some of the fat off of them so that at least if they are big they will be big and toned. The forecast called for rain so I was crossing my fingers that we didn't get rained out. We lucked up and only had about 10 minutes of light rain. It was actually kind of refreshing because it came when I was starting to get hot. Of course, the ride wouldn't be complete without being chased by dogs. We were chased by one killer dog and a few less vicious dogs. I'm really going to have to get that pepper spray....

After the ride I stopped and got a bagel and some chocolate milk so I didn't fall out before the swim clinic.

The Swim Clinic:
It was great! It was useful to understand what an ideal stroke looks like and what I needed to work on in order to achieve that. Marisa gave us several drills to help improve our stroke and also let us know what we each needed to work on. I felt like the slow kid in the class because after each length she had something to say to me about what I was doing wrong. That's okay though it just gives me more to work towards. I read this article that said that when you are first working on your stroke that you should do significantly more drills as opposed. So I plan on focusing on my drills and improving my stroke.

Sidenote: I'm still trying to figure out how I'm doing all this stuff and I'm not losing any weight. It's a mystery....