Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Best Laid Plans

I was on an exercising streak... and I broke it. I started to feel under the weather on Monday afternoon, so no exercise. Then I was home sick on Tuesday so, again, no exercise. Yesterday I started to feel a little more normal, but still no exercise.

Today I got back to doing the stairs at work, but just one trip up and down because I was still feeling a little tired and I had a lunch meeting. I felt good after doing them, so I tackled the 30 Day Shred tonight. I can't believe that I am going to say this, but it was so much easier than the first few times and I am ready to try Level 2 next time! Woo-hoo! I am sure that will take me to a whole new level of sore, though.

The scale has been stuck for the past week, about 2 1/2 pounds higher than this time last week. And even though I had one wild night of eating, there is no reason for this gain. It is not even that time of the month, so no excuse there. I have to be extra careful with my intake in the next three weeks so that I can lose some weight before the Hustle.

On a non-weight related note, I have a date this weekend. The first one since I divorced over 3 1/2 years ago. We are meeting for coffee, and hopefully we will have a nice time. And if it doesn't work out, that's okay because I will consider it practice!

Off to bed, because now I really need my beauty sleep!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Posting Frenzy

I feel like I have been a posting maniac lately! Almost one every day! I guess that is a good thing because it means that I have been working out more lately. Today was no exception.

After seeing Hotel for Dogs with my daughter, I went to the gym for a run. I decided to do a short run and then check out the floor to see the stair climbing equipment because I had my daughter at my mom's house and didn't want to leave her there too long since my mom is recovering from surgery.

An amazing thing happened today during my run. I shaved just over a minute off of my mile pace! The cross-training (30 Day Shred and stair-climbing) must be doing something! I was really proud, and hope to continue to see improvements in my time because this is the first one in a LONG time.

Then I went to the floor and found the StairMill. I guess it is like a treadmill, but with stairs. I felt kind of awkward on it, and was probably going a little too fast because I only lasted 2 minutes! According to the machine, I spent most of my workout at a pace of 49 stairs per minute which is slower than I was doing it at work these past couple of days. It would also equate to approximately a 33 minute climb if I could sustain that pace in the Hustle Up the Hancock (which, were it today, I could not). I need A LOT of practice, folks, so this is going to be my focus for the next four weeks. I still plan to work in one run per week, and then once the event is over an I am able to walk again I will begint training in earnest for my 8K in late March.

I met with Jillian for the 30 Day Shred again this evening, and will be trying out Level 2 tomorrow. I hope it does not make me as sore as Level 1 did for the first few days!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Enell Bra... CHECK!

Thanks to Melissa, I received my new Enell bras today. Actually, they were waiting for me when I arrived home this evening after a birthday party (where I ate far too much birthday cake, but that is another issue). Needless to say, I had to try the 30 Day Shred with my new support system.

As squished as the girls may be, the bra is actually pretty comfortable. I had no issue with the high impact part of the workout and had no pain at all. What a relief! I still notice some bouncing when I do the jumping jacks but, seriously, I do not believe that can be avoided with my 40DDs. I think the bras were worth every penny! I am planning to run tomorrow, so we will see how it performs when running. I am expecting good things.

I did Day 2 of stairs yesterday at work, and it was okay. I did 12 floors down (3 minutes) and 12 floors up (3 minutes 22 seconds). Each floor has about 20 steps (they seem to vary from 18 to 22 in my building), so that was a pretty aggressive pace for me seeing as I am just beginning. My heart rate still went up too high and hit 184 at about Floor 10 on the way up, and I was only able to do the one rep. I want to work up to two reps by the end of next week, so that is my first goal. Needless to say, I am nervous as all hell about the climb, which is four weeks from tomorrow. But my exercise motivation is sure high!

I met up with Jillian in my family room for the 6th time since last Saturday, and I think I am going to try Level 2 on Monday. I cannot believe that I gained endurance for the workout that quickly! I am using that as my inspiration that I will be able to survive the Hancock climb.

Once the Hancock climb is done, I have to get back to running and focus on increasing my mileage and pace to do the Shamrock Shuffle 8K that I signed up for in March. For me, signing up for these events puts some pressure on me to train, and I really think that is a good thing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Am Humbled

As I mentioned in previous posts, I am signed up for a stair-climbing event called Hustle Up the Hancock that consists of climbing 94 floors of stairs in one of the tallest buildings in Chicago. It is one month from today.

I finally buckled down and practiced on the stairs at work. From the basement to the roof, my building has 13 1/2 floors of stairs, and I climbed down and then up them at lunchtime with a co-worker who also signed up for the event for the first time. She is probably 110 pounds soaking wet and I am, well, damn near double that. She also runs on a regular basis.

We climbed down 13 1/2 floors and then right back up them... about 7 minutes total for the round trip. The way down was a brisk walk, and the way up we went at a good clip. By Floor 5 I was questioning if I could make it back up. By Floor 8, I was berating myself signing up for the event. At Floor 10 my throat was sore and I was panting even harder than Jillian has ever made me pant in the 30 Day Shred, and by the time I neared Floor 12 my heart rate was up to 189!!!! Dear God!!!! I also have spent the rest of the day coughing my lungs out, although it is subsiding a bit now. Someone told me that it is exercise-induced asthma, but I have never experienced this before so I really do not know why it is happening.

She was not breathing as hard as I was, but her legs were burning while mine did not feel fatigued at all. So it appears that my muscles are stronger, but her cardiovascular fitness blows mine away. Needless to say, we called it a day after just one cycle down and then up again.

I thought that running would prepare me for this, but I was wrong. So very, very wrong. Now I am scared, and I have to seriously focus on getting myself ready for this event. My co-worker and I will not be climbing together until next Thursday because she has to travel for work, but I am going to practice by myself each day until then because I have some hard work to do. Tomorrow I am going to take my pace WAY down and keep my heart rate somewhere in the safe zone. Then I am going to start to work some sprints in there next week so that I can build up my threshold and speed.

Hopefully it will be like my workouts with Jillian, which are now very doable and no longer make me sore. I am praying that, this time next week, I can tell you that I made great strides in this stair-climbing stuff so that I do not have to throw myself down them in order to miss the event!

I am off to meet Jillian for the 5th day in a row... wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Have Socks in My Bra!

Thought that might get your attention!

An update on my mom, and then the status of the day: Mom's surgery went well. She did not get along with her pain medication, so she was in sorry shape when we left her, but everything is going well and they expect to release her tomorrow. Thank you for you thoughts and prayers!

And I really do have socks in my bra! Well, wrapped around the straps at least! I wrapped a padded running sock around each strap tonight in order to complete Day 4 of the 30 Day Shred, and it worked okay but not well. They kept slipping off, so I ended up finishing the bouncy cardio segments with my hands holding my boobs as flat and still as possible.

I am going to order an Enell bra tomorrow (thanks, Melissa!), and will be putting big band-aids under my straps to prevent it from getting worse until then (thanks, Delane!). I will make it work!

Now I am going to go watch The Biggest Loser and get myself inspired all over again!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Break On Through

Day 3 of the 30 Day Shred brought me a breakthough! I am no longer panting like a very hot canine during the whole workout, and that makes me hopeful for (eventually) reaching Level 2 on the DVD.

I am having a problem, though, and need some serious advice: From all of the jumping jacks and jump roping and butt kicks, I have developed some very very serious chafing on the tops of my shoulders where my bra straps rub. Let me preface it by saying that my 40DD chest is ensconced in a very expensive (for me) Goddess exercise bra in my size, but it is not controlling the bounce.

I never had this problem with running, but since I started this workout on Saturday I am in so much pain that I stuck one of my daughter's beanie babies under each bra strap just to get through the workout... and then even had to hold the straps to prevent the rubbing during the last aerobics interval.

If anyone has any suggestions for a bra that will help this, I would appreciate it because I am just red and raw there right now and am clueless on what to try.

But still... Day 3 is done! My mom is having surgery tomorrow, so I am not sure that Day 4 will be a sequential day as I will be at the hospital with her... but some things ARE more important than Jillian.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Day 2

Jillian, have mercy on me! Can you not see my tears (probably not, as they do not show up on the computer screen)?

As you may have guessed, I just finished Day 2 of the 30 Day Shred, and now I am trying to jiggle my wiggly limbs upstairs to get ready and pick my mom up for some shopping.

I am going to try a 30 minute run later, but we shall see how that goes with this sore body! I better look like a damn supermodel after doing this workout for 30 days straight (riiiiiiiight).


I did run today... over 3 1/2 miles for the whole workout. And I bet I am going to be crying tomorrow with some seriously sore legs when I meet up with Jillian!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dear Jillian...

Starting today, I am going to give you 30 days of my life. I am going to wake up earlier each morning and let you work your 30 Day Shred magic on my body. You *are* a bully, but that is exactly what I deserve right now because I have been a wimp lately.

I will meet you in my family room tomorrow so that you can kick my ass once more. And please don't tease me too much if I have to hold on to a chair while I do squats with the psycho-sore legs that I am sure to have after today's workout.

My fat is in your hands, Jillian. Shred it well.


Sunday, January 11, 2009


This is just a quickie post about a quickie run so that I can get to bed and get some sleep before another long week!

Only 2.81 miles tonight because I got kicked out of the gym before finishing since it was closing, but I made it and now I feel like I am back on track!

Two comments on the Garmin 405: 1) My footpod stopped working and I cannot get it to link up again. Grr. Need to get with Tech Support and get some advice. 2) The calorie calculations are dramatically lower than both my Polar F11 and the food/exercise tracking site that I use. Hmm.

That's all, folks! I'll catch up with all of you next week!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Find Your Way Back

My name is Nicole and I am a slacker. It has been ten days since my last run.

When I missed my first one, it was understandable seeing as it was prime holiday season and all. The second missed run brought on the inner negotiations: I'll run both days this weekend, I'll do a workout DVD at home tomorrow, etc. After I had missed a whole week, the rationalizations were harder to accept. And then the guilt set in.

I felt like I did in college when I would miss a class. One was bad. After two, well, I felt guilty. If I hit three in a row, it usually led to me eventually dropping the class because I felt too guilty going back after missing that many classes. Once I saw this pattern emerging again with my runs this week, I threw my workout gear in the car and accepted no excuses. HIE THEE TO THE TRACK!!!

Nothing crazy, just three miles, but the distance I covered working my way back on plan was like a million miles. And the funny thing is that I really did miss it, and I did enjoy my run, and I was proud when it was over.

I do not want to drop this class because I have come too far to throw away all of my hard work.