Post apoc-elliptical survival

Last night I went to dance class – our monthly Performing Company meeting, in which we tried some really cool ways of looking at our choreographies differently. And 45 minutes of stretching and dancing knocked the kinks out of my shoulder muscles that were still stiff from the strength circuit the night before.

Tonight at the gym was TEAM Cardio. If I ever find the sadistic bastard that developed the Elliptical Trainer, I will kick him or her in the privates. Provided, of course, that I have any leg strength left after dealing with the Elliptical for 15 minutes. Give me the treadmill over the elliptical any day!

It got to the point that I was just chanting to myself “I can do this I can do this I can do this” in time with the steps to keep from giving up. But I made it through, and I survived it. I’m not looking forward to the next time, though.

But on the way home, I had a realization. After I got done and got changed and got in my car, I felt pretty good. I’m doing something for myself, for my health, for my long-term goals. And yeah, it kinda sucks while I’m doing it, but it’s an hour (or less) out of my day. An hour (or less) when I would otherwise be doing… what? Sitting on my butt watching TV? Stuffing my face? Given those options, an hour of “I can do this I can do this I can do this” is by far the best choice.

I can do this.

But I still don’t like the elliptical.


What’s that white stuff?

This morning I woke to a half inch of snow on the ground. Normally when we have snow in the forecast, the weatherpeople in Dallas go ballistic and it’s huge news the night before. To be fair, I don’t know if they covered this morning’s snowfall on the news, because I was too busy with TEAM Strength Training and homework to watch the news.

The strength training was challenging. Obviously they went easy on us last week to sucker us in during “Free Week”… but it was all good, even though I was cursing it out while in the middle of the Wall Sit and the Triceps Dips. Note to self – do NOT save those exercises for the end of the rotation. START on those stations and get them over with before the fatigue starts setting in!

It helped that I got a compliment from the trainer on my Wall Sit. I had never done them before, or at least heard them called that – basically it’s bending your legs to a seated position, with your back up against a wall, and staying there with nothing under your butt. The quads start to burn after a very short period of time! So when he said I was doing great on them and even asked “You haven’t done these before?” because I was holding the form for the full 45 seconds, it was a bit of a boost. And it made up for the fact that my Triceps Dips sucked.

Then again, I know I have good leg strength and poor upper body strength – it’s one of the things that I’m trying to fix before the obstacle race in May!

Jam Packed Day

Yesterday I took it easy, doing laundry and housework and vegging with the dogs. As if to make up for it, today has been crazy-busy with no end in sight.

I drink Diet Coke at work (yeah, I know, but I’m hooked on the caffeine and I don’t do coffee), but today it was 1:30 in the afternoon before I even had time to stop long enough to get one. I’m glad I brought my big water bottle to work so I had SOMETHING to drink all morning. By the time I was ready to go home, I was only partway through my second 20 oz bottle.

I have TEAM tonight, and it should be another night of strength training. I don’t know if they’re going to go “as easy on us as last week… We shall see!

When I get home, I get to pay for my lazy day yesterday by finishing all the homework that’s due tonight. That includes a 2-3 page paper that I hopefully know the topic well enough to be able to breeze through!

Jiggle all the way

I woke up at 6am and voluntarily crawled out of a nice warm bed, layered with Mini Schnauzers, to put on compression shorts, a sports bra, and running shoes. I may have mentioned that I don’t do mornings, so this was a challenge for me.

If you had asked me about the odds of me doing that two years ago, I would have laughed. A year ago I would have said “Maybe, depends on how cold it is.” and probably stayed in bed when the day came. But this year? This year I got up, got dressed, was pleasantly surprised to find it was around 60 degrees out, and went to the Jiggle Butt Run 5K.

I didn’t run – I wanted to see what would happen if I kept a constant walking pace, instead of run/walk like I had on New Year’s Day. According to RunKeeper I turned about a 14:46 minute mile, according to the event chip timing I turned a 15:04 minute mile. Either way it’s about 4mph, and I’m okay with that. I’m not competing against anyone except myself, and the only person I have to beat is me.

The next event I’m signed up for is the DFW Firefly Run in late March. It’s a night run, which means the start time is a much more Coyote-friendly 8:30pm.

All in all, a fun event, but if it had been thirty degrees colder I probably still would have stayed in bed. I did learn that 5Ks are a lot more entertaining while listening to David Tennant narrating an audiobook in my ears, though…

Stupid things that motivate me

A brief list of things that I find exciting or motivating, no matter how ridiculous they may sound:

  1. The fact that I can’t remember the last time I used the elevator in the parking garage, up or down (I park on the third floor)
  2. Seeing green numbers left over on my Calorie/Nutrition tracker on MyFitnessPal
  3. Two days in a row of downward numbers on the scale
  4. Getting “Likes” on my blog
  5. The thought that maybe, just maybe, I can actually do this
  6. The fact that I’m participating in something called a “Jiggle Butt Run” on Saturday… just the name makes me smile!

Today’s activity included taking the stairs down from my office – 13 stories. It would be nice if we could take the stairs up, but unfortunately the doors are locked on all but the first floor. So downwards it is. I’ll keep visualizing it as a metaphor for my weight…

Getting in the zone

(Do I lose Janathon points for posting twice in the same day?)

Tonight was my first day of Cardio with the TEAM group. I have a treadmill and have been using it off and on for about a year and a half now, and I know I have better endurance on it now than I did when I first got it… even if it does still spend too much time doubling as a clothes hanger.

I have a heartrate monitor but rarely use it, because the chest strap is just so darned uncomfortable. But considering the experience I had tonight with Zone training, I’m going to have to get used to wearing it, because I can see how it can be a very useful tool. When I got off the treadmill tonight, I had gone 42 minutes and 2.2 miles, and was less tired or worn out than when I go shorter times and lower mileages on my treadmill at home. The reason? I think it’s because I am pushing myself harder at home than we were in this class, and I am spending more time in a higher heart rate zone than I should be.

I’m sure that because this was an “intro” class they took it easy on us, but my goal is more to lose the fat that I have gained. Yeah, it would be nice to build my endurance to the point that I can do long distance running – the day I can run a 5K without stopping is going to be HUGE – but getting rid of the extra fat is more important in the short term, I think.

I’m looking at heartrate monitors that go on the wrist, hopefully at some point I can find one that’s not so stupidly uncomfortable.

Dancing drills

Tuesday I braved the rain (yay, rain!!) after work to go to my dance class. And I was reminded why I don’t go to Tuesday night dance class… Because traffic SUCKS.

I was glad I went – I learned some cool layering ideas to play with – but I will have to re-think going on a regular basis. The stress is just horrible.

Tonight is TEAM Fitness again, looks like Cardio. Good thing I have a massage scheduled afterwards!