Just Let it GO

The past couple weeks had me remembering that this “no running” experiment is as much a mental game as it is physical.  While physically, I hope to achieve a higher level of fitness by trying different workouts and especially by PICKING UP THOSE WEIGHTS…mentally I was to try to allow myself a bit more leeway if I couldn’t get a workout in.  Let’s say that part is going to be much harder to master.

It was about 2 weeks ago that my son came down with strep, and since he would be home from school I wasn’t going to be able to get my swims in.  As Sam got better my husband got sick, meaning I needed to weave in my weekend P90X time around Sam’s double hockey schedule and somehow, SOMEHOW get my 2+ hour swim in or else I might I kick down a wall.  It’s this mental anguish when things don’t go according to plan that I need to resolve.

This past weekend I put myself to a little test.  For an early birthday gift my folks paid for me to go visit them in Florida along with my sister for a “girls weekend”.   I knew that with my father around, there would be no shortage of workout opportunities, but I also knew if I missed out on some good thrift-store shopping I’d be more upset!  In the layout of the condo there was no room for the P90X workouts so I’d have to skip a couple days of the program.  I made a deal with myself that this was allowed if I repeated the week & managed to get a long swim on Thursday before I left.  (The main punishment here being a repeat of that damn plyometrics routine.)

I’m happy to report that I made it through the weekend with few leisurely walks and only a 20 minute swim without steam escaping from my ears.  It was all very worth it too, considering the great finds at those stores!  Who can argue with a $12 Lily Pulitzer dress?



Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


New choreography

This past week I actually started following the P90X routine.  I enjoyed the sore muscles I remembered from the chest & back routine but I was not prepared for the sore glutes.  It felt like I ran a marathon again, but uphill most of the way.  Why have I not been paying attention to all those folks who mentioned squats & lunges?  (Face it, I know why.  Because squats & lunges make me HURT.)   The only routine I skipped was the yoga on Thursday since we’re missing that particular DVD.  I replaced it with a 7000 yard swim.  That seems fair, right?

I’m also becoming a big fan of  Zumba.  I like how my friend Rachel teaches it, and I’ve learned to position myself where I can see what she’s doing but not myself in the mirrors.  I prefer to remain in denial about how off-beat my steps are.

While most of the routines on the P90X set are somewhat easy to follow, the Kenpo one stumped me worse than my first Zumba class.  I can barely pat my head & rub my stomach at the same time and this dude is telling me about where to put my feet, as I twist my hips & throw 4 different punches at an imaginary opponent.  I do not have a large mirror in the room to see how my form is, but when it was down to some martial arts style blocking moves, I caught my reflection in the TV screen.  Now, in my head I looked like the Karate Kid, but what I saw on the screen closer resembled Elane’s dancing on “Seinfeld”.

Of course, regardless of what Tony Horton tells me to do, I still need my cardio fix, so each routine was followed by some hill walking, eliptical or a swim.  And a big lunch.

Move along now.

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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Uncategorized


Those damn experiments!

Last week was a couple of new routines and the word that sums it all up was “ouch”.  I had finally decided to try out one of the “P90X” routine since a friend had so kindly given me her DVD set.  While I am reluctant to adhere to the nutritional program (after all, the chances of peanut butter cookies & nachos on the menu is probably slim), I am keen to see what the workouts will do for me.  DVD #1 was the chest/back routine.  Since I don’t have a pull-up bar yet, I used resistance bands thrown around the beam across our ceiling for an anchor.  We all have to improvise sometimes!

I knew I was in trouble when the routine started off with push-ups and the instructor asked each of his groupies how many they were planning to do.  No one (including the woman) answered less than twenty.  Crap.  Well, my number was about 16, with half of those on my knees.  By the end of the hour, all my push-ups were on my knees.  The resistance bands also beat me up a bit and I can only imagine what actual pull-ups would do, assuming I could do more than two.  Somehow through all this there is quite a bit of core action going on, so I’m feeling a nice soreness all over, though I still had to follow it up with a brisk 3 miles of treadmill hills.  (I know, there is something kind of wrong with me.)

So – that was Monday.  Tuesday I returned to the spot I took my first Zumba class to try something else (it’s a Groupon deal for 5 classes).  I decided to give the “barre method” workout a try.  Of course, after Monday’s chest & back workout, what’s the first thing we do in this class?  Push-ups.  OUCH.  Then a few of those free weight moves that are somewhat deceiving:  the kind where you use very light weights but in ways that have your arms shaking within a minute.  Let’s just say I’m very glad that when the instructor told me to get a set of weights she steered me away from the 10lb ones.  The rest of the routine was a nice full-body mix and a lot of core focus.  By Tuesday night I could barely lift my arms high enough to wash my hair.

Wednesday I decided to take it easy and headed to the pool for a short swim.  Why do I always seem to forget how much your abs are involved in a flip turn?  GOOD GOSH OUCH OUCH OUCH!  I did manage about 2500 yards, and I have to say that the weightlessness of the swim helped, at least enough so that the barre method class on Thursday didn’t seem as bad.  I’ll give it a couple more of those (use up the Groupon) and perhaps then I might be in slightly better shape to take on the P90X monster again.  Just don’t take away my cookies.


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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


Out of Town Temptations

As a runner, I have never found it to be a challenge to get in a workout when I travel.  After all, there’s really nothing very complicated about tying your shoes, picking a direction and just moving.  Of course a little research before never hurts – always check with a concierge or someone local about sketchy neighborhoods to avoid or decent bakeries for “carbo-loading”.

That being the case, I’ve hardly used hotel gyms, but this past weekend broke my years-long streak.  We were in Orlando for a quick visit and I was able to get in my endurance workout with a long swim on Friday before we left, so I felt fine taking the day off on Saturday.  Sunday was spent walking around the parks (Universal, we’re all about Harry Potter these days!).  I considered being on my feet for most of 12 hours & occasionally holding Sam was giving me enough of a workout for the day.  Monday was a travel day & since I’ve learned the flights *might* change I always try to get a workout in before leaving,  This meant being in the fitness room at 6am, which was fine.  The problem was to get to the fitness room at our hotel, you had to walk outside for a bit which allowed me to breathe in the crisp, easy-to-run-in air, and though it was still dark, there were at least 3 runners that went by in the minute I was outside.  As I checked into the fitness room and hit the “incline up” button on the treadmill I couldn’t help but wonder for a second how easy it would be to just jog around the lake a few times.  It’s not like someone I know would see me, right?

Then again, as karma goes, it was likely that I would run into someone.  And the little voice inside my head (you know, that pain in the ass know-it–all one?) kept saying “You’d only be cheating yourself…”  so I plodded away on my make believe hills and even hit the weight machines for a bit.  I then later discovered that if you really want to work your glutes, share one of those huge “boardwalk bikes” (the kind with a big bench seat  & canopy) with your kid who can’t reach the pedals.  See how those inclines treat you.



Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Uncategorized


Another Zumba Tryout

It has become apparent to me that not all Zumba is created equal.  Just as with yoga, you really need to find a routine and teacher that will suit you.  After last week’s post about my attempt (which included a comment about it not being strenuous enough), I got an invite from a friend to be a guest at the class she teaches at Lifetime Fitness.  She assured me it wasn’t so much about the dancing and since there were no mirrors in the gym I didn’t have to worry about how goofy I looked if I couldn’t see it myself.

The class is obviously popular since it filled the gym and I notice that like marathons, there are people of all ages, shapes & sizes participating.  Also like in marathons, you cannot judge someone’s ability by their size & shape.  This was no more obvious than when you see the woman in her 8th month of pregnancy moving along, or the little toddler up in front with her mom that has the perfect squat positon.

I *think* I kept the steps better this time; but let’s not forget without a mirror I may never know!  They seemed to be more about the movement and not as much hip shaking & chest shimmies, which suits me perfectly.  At any rate, what I did do had me sweating, breathing hard & actually enjoying myself.  While I wasn’t a BIG fan of the end-of-workout lunges, I do appreciate them & I’m sure I won’t be forgetting them over the next couple days.  Certainly an hour of good effort!


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Posted by on January 11, 2012 in Uncategorized


The Zumba Attempt

I would like to say that I successfully completed a Zumba class but I’m afraid that would be stretching it a bit.  While I did attend and participate for a full one hour of class, I’m sure I missed at least 30% of the steps.

There were a number of ways to try to follow along:

1 –   The teacher that kept moving about & turning therefor providing an extra challenge of trying keeping track of the whole left-right thing

2 – The students to my right, who were 3 twenty-somethings, one of whom mentioned her many years of tap which seemed to come in handy.  Neither of them were strangers to salsa dancing.

3 – The late 60s/early 70ish woman on my left that had no problems with the steps.  apparently, she & her daughter are “Zumba junkies” and tour the different classes.

4 – The most frightening: the mirror!!

It was seeing myself in comparison to the rest of the class that made me realize how great at physical comedy I’d be, if only was was doing it on purpose.  I’d manage to get the feet right after a couple repeats and then the move would change.  I would step left while everyone else went right, pivot a second too late and nearly backed into a tub of free weights.   There is a lot of that fancy little “chest shimmy” move that seems to make its way into all the Latin inspired “Dancing with the Stars” routines, you know that one that they ALL make look so damn easy?  I’m here to tell you, not all bodies move that way.   I tried, but all I could manage was a weird sort of shoulder shake that made it look like I had just discovered a tarantula crawling up my back.  I am the “Keystone Cop” of Zumba.

All in all, it was fun – I might even try another dance fitness class again, provided auditions aren’t required.

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Posted by on January 8, 2012 in Uncategorized


Welcome to the New Year!

Let’s see, last time I posted I believe I was about to take my first Zumba class.  Shame to say, not much has changed!  The day I was to go to class, I was challenged with a car that wouldn’t start, so it turned into a nice walking day instead.  I am registered for the same class tomorrow, fingers crossed my transportation won’t let me down this time!  (In the good old days, I might have run to the class….)

Proud to say I seemed to make it through the holidays without weight gain or crazy mood swings (I don’t think Jeff would argue that….).  This is due in no small part to the support of my family in seeing that I got ample time at the pool, on the home workout machines, or walking, and also to the stealth location of my sister’s Christmas cookies.  I kept forgetting about the freezer in her garage!

My swims have been up to 8000 yards, but during the week I’m trying to relax a bit and keep them at 3000-4000 as a bonus workout.  Each day I’ve been mixing it up with fast inclined walking on the treadmill while holding free weights.  I’m far from scientific about it, in that I’ll wave them around like pom-poms during a good song until the muscles start to burn.  I guess it’s time to get serious and start in on those P90X dvds.  Just need to figure out how to use them.

So, once again, Zumba tomorrow.  Will whine about it here later.

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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in Uncategorized


Dream a little dream

It was a sunny day, light breeze, temps in lower 70s.  Who could resist such a day to be outside?  And there I was – striding along down the street at about a 7 minute mile (this is a dream, after all), sunlight dappling through the trees.  I get about a mile or two along before I remember it’s my “year off” challenge.  Oops.  Fortunately it was just a dream, but something tells me I better not test out any Ambien pills for the next 11 months.

All in all, this “no running” thing is going, well, swimmingly.  That is to say, getting in some regular swims is helping to keep my weight and my moods in check.  (Any stress out is purely cookie based right now.)  I’ve been getting in regular sessions on the eliptical machine, plus playing with the free weights that normally serve as simply decor for me.  This is 5 times per week, and 3-5 days a week I’ll swim as well.  The twist is that on Saturdays, I swim long to replace my long run days.  Instead of the 3000-4000 yards that I tackle during the week, I’m taking on 6000-7000, depending on how long I can stay there.

The swimming and the fact that winter weather is settling keeps me from itching for a run.  Let’s cross fingers for another cold, wet spring!

This week I plan to step out of my comfort zone and try a Zumba class.  Look for my whines & complaints about sore muscles and lack of coordination here next.

Keep moving, any way you can!

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Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


The easy days…

It’s a blustery “raw” (as described in the forecast), cold day – just the type that keeps me from missing running.  Never a big fan of the treadmill, it’s always running outside that has been the big draw for me.  However, the weather around here from about now through April is not the kind that draws me out.  I had no problem today pounding out an hour on the eliptical while watching random bits flying around our backyard.

Coming up on a full month without a run and I found that swimming is a good substitute.  Of course, I find that if it appears I may not get a chance to swim I get antsy, and have already taken to setting the alarm early on Saturdays since lap swim ends at 10am.  It does start up again at 1, but if the day gets away from me and the swim doesn’t happen, it’s just like the old days when I couldn’t get my run in.  In short, I seem to have replaced one addiction with another so I’m not quite sure if I’d made any progress in controlling my mental state without the influence of a cardio workout.  I have, however, made great progress in the fading of my swimsuit.

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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


Limping a bit again!

You would think being a marathon runner my legs would be in somewhat decent shape.  At least, that’s what I had been telling myself each time I flipped past a suggested workout routine in a magazine.  I’d might go so far as to rip out the pages and set them aside. but to actually preform the routine?  No way.  I’d just run an extra mile if I felt the need for something extra.

Since I’ve got another 11 1/2 months to go until I can run a few extra miles I decided the other day to do one of the routines I had collected.  Now, two days later I still feel it.   (I’m blaming it on the lunges!)  Yesterday I couldn’t walk without muscles yelling in angst, today is slightly better.  Fortunately I don’t need to get a long run in.

Swim today: 6200 yards.  Long run day has become long swim day.


Posted by on November 19, 2011 in Uncategorized