Day 17: Nervous Training Run on Twingy Quad

January 17, 2014

The good news is I had a massage today. The bad news is that may or may not be related to an aggravated left quad? This particular quad is the one that got strained along with my hip flexor last May & hasn’t really recovered to 100% yet. Today, it was a little twingy while just walking… but I thought it might come around after a bit… so I did the same training run as Day 14, but held the handrails on the treadmill, as I didn’t trust my fool leg wouldn’t give out! Weirdly, it hurt most while doing the 90 sec. walking intervals. During the 3-min. run drills, it seemed fine. Whatever! I survived it. I hope the twingy thing is gone by Sunday morning tho, when I try running again.

Christmas CactusThat’s all today. Another emotionally draining day. I can’t even muster a photo, sorry! Oh, wait… I’ll go look for something… here, have a Christmas Cactus. Ooo, pretty! :-)

Day 16: Repeat of Day 2, Minus the Blizzard

January 16, 2014

Same 2.5 mi. dog walk from Day 2, but without heavy snow this time. Here’s my canine companion, relaxing after an outing. Emotionally & physically exhausted today (me, not her). Goodnight!


Halfway: Souper Day 15

January 15, 2014

500soupsYay, had another productive day. Got Janathon exercise checked off my list first thing this morning — highly unusual for me! A 3 mi. walk with friend Teres. The roads were a little icy but they melted as the sun was coming up. We were careful in spots & managed well, even on the hills. Done by 9am & had planned to blog it early too, but a busy day at work got in the way & went by so quickly, I’m only now getting to my post.


SoupGame3Diet went mostly well, but I did have a 2nd serving of soup. Couldn’t resist. I love soup in winter. I make all kinds to suit my mood & love them equally. My friend Susan gave me this book years ago. It was a great gift.

The photos here depict some of the soups I’ve made in the past year. They are, in no particular order: Borscht, Mulligatawny, Hungarian Mushroom, Tom Kha Goong, Posole, Curried Carrot & Avgolemono. I also make Tomato-Basil, Seafood Chowder, French Onion & Cream of Asparagus or Broccoli, but seem to have missed photographing them? Wait, just found a homemade tomato soup pic in the context of a grilled cheese sandwich. Oh yum! I’d better go to bed before I get hungry again…




Day 14: Made Up for Yesterday

January 14, 2014


Had more impressive Janathon fitness than yesterday, that’s for sure. I got a really good night’s sleep, had a productive day at work, then felt motivated at the gym. Win, win, win! I needed a day like today.

I’m back on my game with Tuesday night strength-training classes, now that Wednesday-holidays are over. My gym closed early on the Tuesday nights of Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve, which got me out of the habit. After last week & tonight, my biceps & triceps are getting used to the idea of being used again… ouch! Lunges & squats didn’t quite tire my legs, however — so I did my 1st Jantastic run of the week right after class. Meant to do Week 4 of Couch-to-5K plan (what I’m using to ease back into running without injury), but I couldn’t remember it exactly. I guessed at 5 min. warm-up walk, 3 min. run then 90 sec. walk (repeated 4x), then 5 min. cooldown walk. Once complete, I stretched on the mat & hit the shower. At home, I did a 1/4 mi. dog walk with Zoe.

My reduced-cal diet didn’t go so well. I did fine until just now. Ate a whole sleeve of rice crackers while typing this. 420 calories, damn, almost a perfect day!

Tonight’s photo is me & my brother in the late 60’s. I was 2 yrs. old. My Mom loved that snowsuit, but the hood cracks me up. May have been the last time I wore pink, too.

Day 13: Unlucky Thirteen, Nearly a Fail

January 13, 2014

Almost a Janathon fail today, but thankfully, not quite. I didn’t feel like going to the gym, nor did I feel like anything too strenuous… but I did manage to bundle up & go out for a walk. A short walk. Only a half mile. So, I didn’t fail on my exercise.

ChocRaspCakeI did, however, fail my diet. Made this chocolate-raspberry cake from scratch, frosting too. Tried a gluten-free recipe I got from a friend. Not bad! Not as tasty as a regular cake, but pretty good for gluten-free :-)

Day 12: Bring-a-Friend-to-the-Gym Day

January 12, 2014

PetuniasGrownMade up for yesterday’s lazy Janathon workout by doing my run-training plan early today. Well, OK, early for me: 11am. It was the last of my 2 min. alternating walk/run plan, so next week, I can up the ante. My right foot still hurts, but my right quad & hip flexor seem pretty solid, thankfully. If I can keep my foot from declining, maybe even improve it, I should be able to move forward with longer runs, no walking intervals & less pain. I’m hoping for the best.

I’d given my friend Carrie a prepaid 1-day pass last year as a gift, so she could go w/either me or her husband (we’re both members) & try out my cushy gym. She never used it & then discovered it was going to expire at the end of this month, so she called me to plan a date ASAP. It made for a fun outing. I did my Jantastic Run #3 for the week, while she rode the recumbent bike (her fav). Then we stretched together on the mat & hung out in the steam room for 20 min. blabbing away, just the 2 of us. After a leisurely shower, we went out for lunch. Good fitness, relaxation & food — a great way to catch up with a friend.

PetuniaWinterTonight’s photos: my hanging petunia, then & now. I liked it better back in July.

Day 11: Lazy Day, Kinda

January 11, 2014

My Janathon effort today was pretty lame. It poured rain all day & I just didn’t feel like going outdoors to exercise, nor did I feel like driving to the gym. I had to improvise. I did 30 min. of strength training exercises on my yoga mat. Pushups, planks, donkey kicks, leg lifts, crunches. I also mixed in some yoga poses including Forward Bend, Pigeon, Bridge, Happy Baby, Eye of the Needle, Downward Facing Dog, Cat/Cow, Locust, Cobra & Eagle. Then I rolled my legs. That was it, but hey, it counts.


On Day 8, I mentioned how my strength training fitness instructor, Joan, inspired me to follow her lead by declaring some self-improvement goals that are health & wellness related, to “be a better person”. She’d chosen her own & encouraged us to think of our own. I may change some of mine (I realized today that I forgot a plan for stress management… maybe I’ll add some meditation or creative-relaxation task, some art perhaps?), but for now, I’m starting with:
– Drink 48 oz. water daily
– Stretch daily
– Cardio 4x/wk minimum
– Strength training 2x/wk minimum
– Stop nail-biting!
– No flour (meaning eat whole grain, not pulverized/processed grain)
– No sugar (meaning lay off the high-cal desserts!)
– Sleep 7 hrs./night minimum

I used the little checklist-chart Joan made as my frame & taped it to the kitchen cupboard. It looks big, but it’s only 8.5 x 3 inches & has room to document the rest of this month. The typed cues are goals I kept from her list. The handwritten goals are specific to me. You can see from my dots, I’m making good progress so far :-)

Day 10: Doubleshot of Janathon

January 10, 2014

MobyClawsMy Friday Fitness pal Sandra & I haven’t walked together in weeks. We were both so busy over the holidays. Bitter cold temps &/or heavy snow also caused us to bag out often. It was snowy again this morning, but we went anyway, just to catch up with each other. Don’t know the exact route we took since we weren’t in my neighborhood, thus I can’t to check distance. I do know we went at a decent clip for about 50 min.

I went to the gym at 5pm to do my 2nd Jantastic run of the week, which counts as more Janathon too, yay! On the treadmill: 5 min. warm-up walk, then alternating 2 min. run/walk intervals for 22 min., then a 5 min. cooldown walk. A little post-workout stretching, but no rolling, as I ran out of time (had to be to a store before their 7pm closing). My right heel is hurting me these past few days. Gonna start icing it & sleeping in my therapeutic boot more often, as preventative maintenance. Cross my fingers, hold my breath!

Sticking with yesterday’s theme of animal dress-up, today’s pics are a doubleshot of my sister’s cat, Moby. She’d outfitted him in a Santa hat & beard over Christmas. He’s a very tolerant cat. Although he does seem to have that OK-I’m-so-done-with-this look in his eyes. (Photo credits: My Sister. All rights reserved.)


Day 9: What Bored People Do in Winter

January 9, 2014

Gorgeous snowy view of the hill behind my office.

Shoot greedy squirrels off their birdfeeders, that’s what. No, not me. I was a good Janathoner today. I went to the gym & rode the Expresso bike pretty hard for 7.5 mi., then stretched & rolled my quads, hams, calves & feet. I did this after a full day’s work.


Photo credit: Dead-rodent-artist husband.

When I was almost thru with my workday, my husband came into the office… to show me a dead squirrel he’d dolled up in a little knit hat & knitting basket (Christmas tree ornaments he “borrowed”). You have to admit, it’s cute as hell. (The squirrel-in-an-outfit part, not the dead part.)

He was planning to photograph it, for a prank on a local friend. I knew I was running out of photo ideas for my blog. You do the math.

Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up...

Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up…

Day 8: Adding Stress Management to My Plan

January 8, 2014


Thanks to Joan, my lovely strength training class instructor, I’m suddenly feeling motivated to make an extra effort at healthy life changes. She shared her “self-improvement” list with us & challenged us to come up with one of our own. I’ve got a lot of room for improvement. I gained a goodly amount of weight over the holidays (Thanksgiving thru New Year’s). My pants barely fit. I’ve also succumbed to a lot of stress, biting my nails down to the quick (especially disappointing to me, as I love nail polish). I just mentioned in my Day 7 post how not getting enough sleep affects me — yet I still insist on staying up late reading or watching TV online. I’m definitely in need of a daily checklist of self-improvement, so it’s in the works.

Meanwhile, I did my Janathon fitness today (which counts for Jantastic too): run-training on a treadmill at the gym. My recovery build-up continues, yay! I walked a 5 min. warm-up, then did alternating 2 min. walk/run intervals for 20 min., then walked another 5 min. as cooldown. Closed w/15 min. stretching & some ab exercises on the mat. Had planned to stay longer but I was out of gas (too close to dinner & I was starving). Oh well, good enough :-)

Note: I thought of Travelling Hopefully & Purl Gurl today. I was in a waiting room, feeling rather stressed as I fretted over some work I was doing on my laptop. Another woman came into the waiting room, sat down & took out some knitting. Whenever I glanced over at her, I could feel myself relaxing, even tho I was still working. Hm, I think I need to hire a woman to come sit in my office & just knit while I work :-)