Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

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 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 :-)

Day 7: Cold & Tired = Grumpy

January 7, 2014

I was kinda grumpy today. Finally got some things I ordered online, only to be disappointed in them (must return 2 items). Work was slow & boring. It’s 2°F. I have some tough life choices to make soon. Cut the tip of my index finger on a broken glass. All of this was complicated by the fact that I stayed up til almost 2am last night watching a TV program, which meant I was exhausted while dealing with all this stuff. I’ve got to get serious about getting more sleep. It makes a huge difference in my ability to cope with days like today.

The gym was packed with New Year Resolutioners, so I couldn’t get a treadmill to do my 1st Jantastic run of the week. I did exercise, however. I took a 1-hour strength training class instead.

Today’s photo is homemade. I’ll sure miss fresh hot scones with my coffee or tea, but I might try giving up flour for a month or so, to pinch a few pounds. More sleep might help with that too. Goodnight!


Day 6: Up Late with Downton!

January 6, 2014

But first, my Janathon performance report: 6 mi. ride on the Expresso bike at the gym. Done! Now onto more important things: Downton Abbey Season 4 premiered (Episode 1 only) last night in the US, finally! I don’t have television, so I had to wait until its online-release today… & I haven’t been able to carve out 2 uninterrupted hours to watch it until NOW. Um, bye! :-)

I love this TV series!

I love this TV series!

Day 5: Puppy :-)

January 5, 2014

Today was a pain. I didn’t have enough time to do everything I wanted to do. But I did get to Janathon. I made it to my gym & did do a 1/4 mi. warm-up walk, then alternating 2 min. walks/runs for a mile, then a 1/4 mi. cool-down walk. Closed with some foot/leg stretches. I tried to sign up for a Jantastic team today too, but am not sure if I made the deadline? Their website was wonky when I was trying to register. I will find out tomorrow if it took, when I try to log my 1st run of the week. Other things fell thru the cracks of the day, but whatever. I did get to hold a warm, sweet 5-day-old puppy & that made everything right :-)


Photo credit: Jane Billings, who took me to see this adorable pup!

Day 4: Put Another Log on the Fire

January 4, 2014

Funny that the news headline reads “Hunkered Down”. Yes he is!

Bunch of Saturday morning errands, then didn’t feel like driving to the gym. It was sunny & a comparatively balmy 21°F today, so I opted for an afternoon snowshoe hike. Moderately strenuous in 10 inches of powder, up & down hills, in both open fields & dense woods. 1.5 mi. total. Janathon complete!

Gorgeous scenery, but I didn’t have my phone or a camera on me, oops. So instead of pretty snow pics, here’s an indoor shot. It’s Eddie, relaxing on the empty wood rack… which prompts me to sing… “put another log on the fire!” Watch out, cat :-)

Day 3: Burning Off the Fruitcake

January 3, 2014

There’s still some left. Any takers?

The snowstorm abated at 10am, about 10 inches total. I shoveled out & took a half-mile dog walk, but I’m not counting that. It’s -13°F, thank God for the gym! I did a 4 mi. Expresso bike route called Bent Spoke (17 min.), then got a treadmill & did 1.5 mi. mixed walking/running intervals (20 min.). Closed with 15 min. of ab work on the mat, including a 30 sec. plank & some quad/hip/ham/calf/foot stretches. I’m planning to reintroduce running this month, as I did last January, with the hope of getting past 6 to 8 mi. long runs by May without injury. I’m trying not to get too jazzed tho, as this will be my 3rd year attempting to work up to my 1st half marathon.

Brrr, I’m cold & tired. Making a cup of tea now, then plan to crawl into bed to get warm. I should write thank-you notes for Christmas gifts I received, but I have a feeling I’ll get distracted by TV episodes on Netflix. Oh well. Tonight’s photo is of my first Christmas pudding ever. It unmolded perfectly & flamed with vigor! I even baked a real 1962 Queen Liz sixpence in it for luck. Here’s a video of the event, creatively filmed & arranged by Fruitcake-Shunning Elf, Ben Billings.