The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Sunday, October 30, 2005

36 Mile Autumnal Weekend and the Need for a Plan

I went to Saratoga Springs for a Faculty Senate meeting, which ended at noon on Saturday. It's about a 2.5 hour drive, so I knew I would have all afternoon to "explore." I could have gone shopping but instead I decided to bring my bike and I went to the Saratoga Battlefields. The tour road is a 10 mile loop with 10 tour stops along the way. It was a beautiful autumn day, although on the cool side (maybe 50 degrees). The hills are in full color, and the park was relatively quiet. I did see about 3 other bicyclists and a dozen tourists in cars. The last mile was a slow climb. When I got back to the car, I decided I did not drag my bike on a 300 mile round trip to ride it 10 miles, so off I went on a 2nd loop around the park. Twenty miles was perfect. At that point my feet were getting cold, I was hungry and a little bit tired. But it sure felt good when I threw the bike back in the car, got myself a sandwich and headed home with 20 miles in my legs and a little history in my head.

Back home, today was an absolutely perfect autumn day, with temps into the low 60s. Son #1 took my car to referee soccer games all afternoon, so I went for a bike ride from home. I did DH's ride. It was tough, especially that last stretch, but I put another 16 miles in the bank! I don't know how many more days like today we will get, so I'm glad I got out there and made the most of it. Daylight Savings Time is officially over, boohoo.

I have decided to try to kick the coffee habit (again). I took advantage of no train rides over the last 4 days. Friday was the only day I didn't make it. Sitting in meetings all day, listening to the Provost talk about "mission creep," and trying to stay awake. So I had coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon. On the bright side, I didn't drink any coffee on the other 3 days, and today I didn't even notice that I hadn't had any. Tomorrow, when I get on that train....... "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." I need a plan to help get through tomorrow without coffee. Hmmmm, ice cream? Fig Newtons? Snapple?

Gearing up for November--

November Focus
1. An opportunity to start November off coffee--Faculty Senate meeting October 27-29. Four days with no train ride, the perfect opportunity to kick the coffee habit (plus coffee prices are going up on Monday! Save money! Buy workout clothes!). Increase H2O. Do not substitute tea for coffee. It still involves sugar.
2. Food--Focus on breakfast, reduce white foods, spread out the calories across the day, balance protein.
3. Fitness--Buy new sneakers.
4. Start building weight program using free weights, moving off the circuit.
5. Two trips to Orlando-do not obsess when options are more limited.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Fitness Smorgasbord

On Thursday, I took a deep water class, mostly because I wanted to try DWR (deep water running) and I thought it would be helpful to have an instructor. As soon as I tried it, it felt "natural," if running in deep water wearing a floatation belt can feel "natural." I don't think it's the kind of thing that really requires instruction. The instructor took us through several different cardio type moves and manuevers and then some ab exercises. When she moved onto arms/weights at the shallow end of the pool, I decided to try running a few laps in the lap pool. I defintiely got my HR up, although not as high as running on land or doing other cardio activities. DH was there, swimming laps, and I got him to try it also, but he was not nearly as happy with it as I was. He wants it to feel like running, which it doesn't. He also thought it would get his HR higher than it did. Oh well. I'm glad he tried and maybe he will try it again, especially if his shoulders start bothering him from all the swimming. I think I may add it into my cardio activities here and there. I would like to see what it feels like after doing it for 1/2 hour. The only problem is that it's kinda boring, especially since you can't plug in the tunes. Have to go somewhere else, as most swimmers do.

This morning I took the kickboxing class, followed by body sculpting. Kickboxing was fun. I would definitely go to this class again, but 8 am on Saturday morning is tough. I don't mind getting up early to drvie to a meeting place for a bike ride, but for some reason, this took some real motivation to get up and out the door. I guess I would much rather be on my bike. I did this instead of spinning just to do something different (and because I had heard really good things about the class). Body sculpting was the usual -- challenging, wondering how many muscles I am going to feel tomorrow that I didn't even know I owned. She does a good deal of "core" work and you really have to think about what is moving and what is not moving. She walks around and corrects your movements and posture, which is always helpful (and the sign of a good instructor). When I came home, I started to read, but I fell asleep for about an hour! My inner thighs are so sore (DOMS). I think it's primarily from MPT on Thursday, but probably compounded by kickboxing.

Variety, the spice of life-long fitness. I am enjoying this fitness smorgasbord.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Healthy Obsession

When does the healthy attitude about health and fitness become an obsession? Yesterday I had my gym bag packed and every intention of going to the gym when son #1 went to his meeting at the HS. On my way home, I decided not to go, not because I didn't feel well or because I was feeling lazy. I forced myself NOT to go to the gym because I really think I needed to get some other things done and that maybe I am becoming obsessed with working out. So instead, I cooked myself dinner, helped son #2 with his homework, got some laundry done and watched The Biggest Loser (instead of The Amazing Race, which I had intended to watch when I got home from the gym). Watching The Biggest Loser did make we wish I could be on a treadmill or doing bicep curls, but I got over it.

When I did finally slow down, got into bed and finished reading a very good book, I felt like I made the right decision and i had no regrets.

But there's no stopping me today-- my gym bag is in the car, 5:12 train, 6:30 spin. Business as usual tonight!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Good girl --- Bad girl

Nobody's perfect. Unless perfection is acknowledging the imperfections and striving to do better.

Good girl:
Yesterday during spin class, when the instructor said, "well, its been an hour, wanna do one more hill?", I said "yeah! bring it on!"
I brought my lunch today. And I made sure my DH had a lunch too.
I did not go out for the latte I was craving.
I stopped lurking at PDB and posted to the forum.

Bad girl:
I had a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast yesterday.
Not drinking enough water.
Didn't do any laundry over the weekend. That's gonna come back and bite me.

Today I'm gonna:
Lift weights and run (treadmill).
Get the laundry started and get son #1 to help.
Help son #2 with essay.
Watch Amazing Race (might have to TIVO it).

Reading: The Plot Against America
Weighing: 109/BF 22%

Monday, October 17, 2005

Attack of the Killer Bees

Quite an adventurous hike yesterday. We tiptoed across roaring streams, detoured through thorny bushes where the trail was under a foot of water to the grand finale. I needed to pee and I went off the trail, over a small hill and found a tree. With approximately 730 acres of park land, I found 3 square inches that contained a nest of yellow jackets. Urinating on them really pissed them off!! I barely had time to get my pants up when they started swarming all over me. Indeed there were 2 or 3 of them in my pants. Elizabeth's dog, Gussie, had followed me, and we went runing over the hill with the swarming bees. My hiking buddies starting swatting them and I almost freaked out when I looked down and saw about a dozen of them on my jacket. I got my jacket off and started working on the ones in my pants. When it was over, I had been stung 5 or 6 times and there were another half dozen stings among the group. Gussie seemed ok, but Elizabeth got stung 3 times. I actually had 3 Claritins in my hiking fanny pack, which was distributed and that helped enormously-- the swelling was going down by the time I got home. But the pain was making me unhappy. Ibuprofen and ice seemed to help somewhat. Rather than sitting around and feeling sorry for myself, I went to a party at Elizabeth's house (newly bought house). It was basically a reconvening of the hiking group, and we had a wonderful time. Elizabeth prepared a sit down dinner from pasta thru apple pie and we told stories and laughed (including killer bee jokes). It could have been so much worse and while I was inflicted with the worst of it, the pain and suffering was fairly minor in the grand scheme of things, and nobody went into anaphylaxis (Howard is allergic to bee stings!!). And now our group certainly has a grand story to tell.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Cabin Fever and Body Fat

The non-stop rain is starting to make me craaaaaazy. I picked up my bike on Thursday but scheduling made it difficult to get in even a little loop. I thought I might be able to get a ride in on Friday afternoon, but the rains came. Saturday it rained hard, all day, 3-4 inches worth. Sunday I drove for 5 hours thru misty drizzly to RI to MP's surprise 50th birthday party, which was wonderful. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday has been more of the same. And so far there seems to be no end in sight. Aaargh. I am hoping the sun comes out this weekend. Even a cloudy day would be nice, as long as it stops raining!! I want outdoor miles. I crave the Trek.

Saturday morning I went to spin class and it was a weather induced spinning reunion. Anybody who has ever taken a spin class showed up and every bike was taken (including the instructor's bike). It was fun! Everyone was singing along as we conquered "all terrain." On Monday I worked with MPT since Thursday is a holiday. That was the last session in my package, and I decided I am not ready to stop so I bought another 10 sessions. And yesterday I made it to Endurance spin class, which is my favorite. TT made us find our groove at a cadence of 20 and then stay there for 10 minutes. Recover for a few minutes and repeat 4 more times. She turned off the lights and lit a candle so we could find our inner spinning zen. Couldn't see my HR monitor, but at this point, I have a pretty good idea of where I am based on how I feel. This turned out to be a good way to turn inward and work with that.

I finally made note of my body fat. We have the scale, but I have been so tuned into the pounds that I never paid much attention to the body fat. Now I wish I had because I knowit has come down and I would love to know how much. I do know that right now it is 23%. My weight hovers around 110. On Saturday I went shopping and bought 3 pairs of pants for work and 3 pairs for everything else. Clothes that I bought last year are too big. Older clothes that were tight are now a perfect fit. I am down one size to a 6P. My arms and shoulders are looking good. Gotta drink more water!!!