So… I kinda sorta forgot about this blog. I got back from China and started by TRX class, as mentioned in my last post long ago. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend half of the TRX classes because I had a number of work conflicts come up. It was such a great class! However, it totally kicked my arse and I don’t entirely miss that part of it!
Since then, I did the Tough Mudder with my guy and a group of friends and friends-of-friends. It was tough (duh) but not in the way I expected it to be! Because the course was at a ski resort, there were hills. Not just any old hills… but black diamond hills! As if it being sunny and in the 90s the entire day wasn’t bad enough, we had to climb up and down three black diamond “hills” (I use that term very loosely, as these were HUGE)!!
Funny thing was that I wasn’t sore afterwards; however, here’s what my legs looked like afterwards…
Hello, bruises and scratches!
Also, less than 48 hours after we finished, I had to hop on a plane to go on yet another trip to China. I wore compression socks from the moment I got home from the Tough Mudder until over 30 hours later when I arrived in my hotel room in China. The photo above was taken when I took the socks off!
Upon returning from China (again) 3 months ago, I told myself that I was going to get serious about training for the triathlon my brother wanted me to do with him. I started running more regularly (yay!) and biked a lot (yay!)…
…then our bikes got stolen about 2 months ago (boo!) and I have a billing issue with the YMCA that I’ve been too lazy to resolve (boo!).
So, my training has been infrequent 2-3 mile runs a couple of times a week. No swimming. No biking.
In other words: I’m completely and utterly screwed.
I’ve never not finished a race before. I’m hoping I don’t have to quit during this one, nor do I especially want to get injured. I feel very irresponsible and… of course… scared!
I can swim 700m, but when I used to swim a lot over the winter and spring, I would have to stop every 400m or so to take a 1 minute breather. I can bike 16 miles, but I can’t find an elevation map of the bike portion of the course, so I don’t know if I should expect hills or not. Also, my brother rented a road bike for me based on my height, but what if it’s not a good fit? What if the fact I’m used to a hybrid bike with wide tires screws up how well I ride the road bike? Also, it’s going to be 100 degrees F (literally) during the race! How the hell am I going to run in that heat??!!
Anyway, it’s happening whether or not I’m ready. I think I’ll finish… it just won’t be pretty!
As far as the future goes, I’m still thinking about registering for a distance running race; I’m considering running the same half-marathon that I ran three years ago… my first ever half-marathon (and my longest distance run ever): The Flying Pig. It’ll be a good chance to reunite with my Cincinnati friends, too, which will be nice.
The only downside, obviously, is that I have to train during the winter. In New England. Words can’t describe how miserable I was running in the winter in Cincinnati; I can only imagine how it would be in Boston! Probably something like this…
We’ll see. I’m not exactly the most self-motivated person in the world, so adding frigid temperatures doesn’t exactly add to the desire.
So, that’s what’s been going on with fitnessy things in the past four months!
However, on a non-fitnessy note…
I’m engaged! The wedding-planning has commenced! And, as much as I want to run and get fit, I am okay with the size/physique I have now and just got my measurements taken for my wedding dress. So, hopefully I won’t lose too much weight… maybe I can get some muscle and stay the same physical size so I don’t have to get my dress altered too much! Haha! ;)
Hopefully I’ll stop forgetting about this blog and keep up with it. As usual, we’ll see…!
Okay, now that the drama has come to a halt in my wonderful city, let me get back to this whole “I’d really like to be healthy and fit, but how in the freaking world am I going to get there when I am so scatterbrained and can’t finish anything I start??” thing. So, here’s where we left off…
While in China, I didn’t really follow the plan I’d set out to do, for no reason other than my own stupidity: I left my bathing suit at home. Yes, this is the one and only thing I forgot to bring with me on my 3-week trip. I packed my goggles andmy swim cap… but not my suit. Damn it. Luckily I brought my running shoes and some gym clothes so I was still able to work out… which I did! (You can see a Fitocracy post from my first workout, but after that I found it to be too cumbersome to log every little thing every time I went to the gym, so I stopped.) I went to the gym 5 mornings every week, except for the second week because I’d gotten a really heinous cold. Still, I was at the gym three mornings that week. Not bad! Plus, hiking the Great Wall of China was a helluva workout!
Next, the Whole 30 thing. I’m not doing that. Sorry. (I’m not sure who I’m apologizing to…) I’m realizing that, like when I was dabbling in veganism, I’m getting a bit obsessive with food. I don’t know if it’s some kind of disordered eating or view of food or something, but I know it can’t be good for me. I’m avoiding non-primal products, but if I have a beer once every couple of weeks, or if I want to have a Starburst, I’m not going to shed a tear over it and my body seems to take it just fine. This definitely doesn’t mean I’m eating sandwiches or cereal or cake every day!
So, what am I doing???
Still on the plan is the Tough Mudder on June 2nd. The boyfriend and I swim at least twice a week, run at least twice a week, and do some form of strength training at least twice a week. He’s been doing 20 to 50 push-ups daily… and that’s about it for him. I do 100 calf raises every morning while brushing my teeth and alternate the muscle groups I work out the three days I do strength: legs one day, upper body one day, core (abs/back) one day. It’s been working out well so far, I think!
Last weekend, after we were out of our lock-down situation, we bought trail running shoes! We were fitted for a few styles and narrowed it down to two: one was minimalist style (the guy referred to it as “hybrid” because the treads were like flat little nubs, kind of like golf shoes, and were super light-weight) and one was a traditional style (big treads, beefy sole, heavier but sturdy). The minimalist was too big and they didn’t have my size anyway, and they were pricey; they were really gorgeous and so light-weight, but I felt like I would be able to feel every rock and root under my foot during the race. The regular ones, though not as pretty to look at, fit wonderfully and were the same brand as my road running shoes (Brooks!); they were a bit cheaper and the soles being thick meant I’d be less likely to feel rocks and stuff.
Bam! My boyfriend had the same feeling about his minimalist shoes (and they were BRIGHT orange, yellow and green, which isn’t really his style) so he got the same Brooks, but in the men’s style/color.
The most recent big news is that I am starting an 8 week TRX training class next week! I won a raffle at my YMCA for discounted specialty fitness classes, so I’m using it on TRX. Hopefully it will build up my strength for the Tough Mudder, but I just look forward to trying something new and having something kick my ass into gear one night per week. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of updates as the weeks go on.
That’s about it!
When I returned to my city from 3 weeks in Asia, I was hoping for a great, long weekend away from work to get over jet-lag, enjoy the company of my boyfriend, and experience Boston in springtime - the best time of the year! Going to the marathon was going to be a first for me, despite five years of college here, so I was pretty happy that I’d be ending my long, relaxing weekend with something new, exciting, and purely Boston.
Of course by now we all know what happened. Luckily we had gone into the Prudential Center to do window shopping and hit up Starbucks because I was thirsty. By the time we got off the subway and were walking towards our apartment, the bombs had gone off (where we had been standing an hour earlier, nonetheless) and the beautifully, spring-timey day abruptly ended.
Cell phone lines were blocked in the city limits, so I had to get in touch with family and friends via Facebook, Google and Skype. Luckily those who I know were in the race or spectating like myself are okay, but knowing that this local, national and international event has been tainted is just so shitty and disheartening.
So, I’m back in Boston and though I’ve loved it ever since I moved here in 2003, I’m adoring it more and more as the hours go by. Things are still a bit crazy around here, with people telling stories of where they were and who they knew were in the area, speculations in the local and national news… it’s hard to block out the negative. But, despite the negativity of the whole situation… we will keep on going, that’s for damn sure.
I leave you with a photo I took in April 2008 on our Senior Harbor Cruise in Boston Harbor. Still my favorite photo I’ve ever taken, and I’m loving it even more lately.
It’s been nearly three weeks since I’ve last posted, but rest assured, I’m alive! China is a pain with Internet access so this is the first and only miraculous time I’ve been able to get tumblr to work… and I wouldn’t be surprised if the government deported me right now for it!
Anyway, I won’t waste thus precious time, so I’ve shared some photos of the fun, not-work stuff I’ve done. :)
I’ve been working out 5 days per week, and eating as “good” as possible. The last week I’ve been bad: beer, cookies, lots of sugar… And I also got very sick for about a week. Blah. Needless to say, the Whole 30 is definitely going to happen starting on Sunday April 14th. I need it.
I had to extend my stay by a day, so I’m even more eager to get home. So, that’s it! More later this week when I’m state-side (and jet-lagged)!
Standing Calf Raises +57 pts
Dumbbell Lunges +252 pts
Leg Extensions +33 pts
Seated Leg Curl +33 pts
Barbell Squat +146 pts
Think you can beat me, or want to comment?
Tomorrow I leave for China and I expect it to be a struggle to maintain a no-wheat lifestyle there. I really have to continue with the fitness momentum I’ve gotten to in the past couple of weeks since being healthy again. In the past week and a half I’ve gone swimming three times and ran twice, along with doing strength training on the days in between. Sure, it’s not as much as I’d like to be doing by now, but at least I’m back at it.
Luckily, as mentioned before, the hotel I’ll be at in China has a really nice gym and a pool; last time I was there, the pool was completely empty when I would get there at 6:15am, the only other soul I’d see being the cleaning lady who would always greet me with a “Ni hao!” as she cleaned around the locker room. I never did use the gym last time, but here’s my plan to incorporate it into my workouts while there:
…rinse and repeat for three weeks. Hopefully I can stick to this! I hate working out in the morning, but I know that’s when it’ll have to happen; I’ll be working long hours, so the only thing I can control time-wise is my morning routine. Also, I may be going to Beijing for a long weekend to sight-see, so I’m unsure if that weekend will have a different workout routine as I plan on walking a lot while I’m there. Walking along the Great Wall is a workout, right? :)
Food-wise I will do what I did last time: eat a huge breakfast (because the guy in the breakfast buffet cooks eggs wonderfully, and there are lots of meats, fresh juice, veggies and cheese to eat) because lunch and dinner will be questionable, to say the least. Try to go for rice noodles and rice dishes instead of other noodle dishes. Avoid soy sauce (which can be difficult) and the steamed buns (I love them, but I don’t think I’ll have a problem steering clear this time). Remember the foods I do like (rabbit leg, pork with veggies, chicken skewers, bok choi, etc.). Don’t drink as much alcohol as I did last time (5-7 glasses of wine per night, every night… I think not). Most importantly, I must realize I’m not going to be perfect!
Last time in China, I couldn’t access Tumblr due to the internet regulations. So, I’ll probably make quick, infrequent, short posts using my phone.
Swimming +267 pts
Think you can beat me, or want to comment?
So, I’ve started running again… and by this I mean I went for a run on Wednesday when the gorgeous setting sun made the sky glow amber and the temperature was somewhere in the upper 40s (Fahrenheit).
Driving home from work with my windows open, wind going through my hair, sun shining on my arm… I was actually excited about my run. I’ve never been one to enjoy running very much; sure, I loved when I’d get a medal or when I’d hit a personal best pace or distance, but while running I very rarely thought to myself, “Wow, this is fun! Let me do this more often!” But, with the weather looking as great as it did, I was looking forward to getting my running shoes on, dusting off my Garmin Forerunner, and hitting the pavement.
I laced up, did my usual kinetic stretches, and got running. My plan was to run for 20 minutes at a relaxing, no-hustle pace just to get myself back into it slowly.
It started off as I’d hoped, but about five minutes and two hills later, my left calf was starting to get cramped. About ten minutes in, I had to walk for two minutes. I ran the rest of the way home (which was downhill, luckily) and stretched as soon as I got in the door. In total I ran just over 1.75 miles. Even now, two days later, my calf and hips are sore. Talk about starting at square one!
I swam on Monday, which was my first bit of exercise; it was nice, but I barely lasted 500m. I plan on swimming tonight and running tomorrow morning. Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day and I plan on celebrating 100%, as being back in Boston makes it really easy to get into the festivities, although I’m definitely not Irish!
It’s all about balance - move around, eat right as often as possible, but don’t forget to enjoy the once-in-a-while celebrations!
Running +189 pts
Standing Calf Raises +32 pts
Think you can beat me, or want to comment?
Running +197 pts
Think you can beat me, or want to comment?