Posts Tagged ‘Jantastic’

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 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 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 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 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 29: Puss in Boots? No… Cat on Pants!

January 29, 2013

First, my Janathon report, which also counts toward Jantastic Run #1 for the week: 1.5 mi. run on the gym treadmill @ 9:15 pace. I knew I didn’t have much time, so I ran faster than usual (for me). I had to stop then, to make it to a one-hour strength training class, which turns out, features plyometrics. I didn’t know what this was until a fellow Jantastic teammate mentioned it this week. I guess I’ve been doing some plyometrics all along!

In class, we use handweights for standard muscle-building moves, but between those sets, we do “cardio-bursts” that involve crouching, hopping & jumping. You know, repetitive moves that look like a speedskater moving side to side but with hops onto the left foot, then back onto the right foot. Or a repeated move that imitates squatting to pick up an imaginary basketball on the floor, then straightening up into an energetic jumpshot. Crouch, jump, shoot, about 25 times in a row. I’m pretty sure that’s plyometrics, right? (Someone please correct me & explain in a comment, if I’m mistaken!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now, a silly animal slideshow. When I relax on the couch in the evenings, to read a book or on my laptop (& very recently, to watch Netflix, HA!), I sometimes decide to take off my pants. I have long underwear on underneath, which are less binding & more comfy than the jeans I ditch. When my cat sees pants on the floor, he likes to try to “get into” them. He can’t quite figure out how to burrow into a pantleg, so after fidgeting for 15 min. or so, he finally gives up & just snoozes on them in a heap. I can’t decide if he likes that they are still warm, that they smell like Mommy, or if he wishes to actually wear them as a fashion statement?

OK, Netflix movie time now. Goodnight :-)

Day 27: Birdie Love & Extra Miles

January 27, 2013

FeederWindowTwo days ago, I reported my weekly running total as 7.5 mi. for the week. Turns out, I was premature because I went to the gym today & ran 3.25 mi. more — a new longest-run-of-the-month! That brings my weekly total to 10.75 mi. I’m pleased with that. Icing foot now. I’ll foam-roller my legs right after a nice bubblebath. What a nice weekend I’ve had :-)

Today’s photos are of my window-view bird feeder. I have a thing about birds. I love to watch them. When we first moved here, the feeder was right outside the bedroom window, so I could wake up to the birds on it. But that tree split & fell in a storm, so the feeder had to be moved here, just outside the livingroom window. There’s a small table by this window, so I can sit there & see them eating while I’m having lunch or working on a table-enabled project.

ChickadeesYesterday, I looked out to see these chickadees & a nuthatch. As I stepped closer to the window, I saw some bigger birds underneath — a flock of turkeys who come by often in winter, when food is scarce. There is one particular turkey who will come very close if we throw cracked corn on the doorstep. She will almost eat from our hand… but not quite.



The nearly-tame female, having some corn snacks.

The nearly-tame female, having some corn snacks.

Day 25: Cold Day, Warm Hair

January 25, 2013

Another boring treadmill run: 2.5 miles sandwiched between 1/4 mi. each warm-up & cooldown walks. This brings my weekly total to 7.5 miles. That’s the most I’ve run in a single week since last January. It also gives me 4 runs this week, not just 3, so I’ve exceeded my Jantastic team pledge. My foot feels better than it has in over a year. I think this means I’m officially back in the game!

It’s possible I could decide to run a little more on Sunday, if the moods strikes. I know I won’t go tomorrow tho, as my husband is entertaining a weekend guest plus I have a retirement dinner to attend. I won’t want to be bothered driving to the gym, nor running outside. I’m not sure how I will handle Janathon, in fact, but I’ll deal with that tomorrow.

BlowdryerMeNot much else going on today, so in honor of Running Goth posting her recent cut, I’ll post my hair. I took this self-portrait today, in my car after the gym. I’d have shot indoors, except we’re not allowed to have cell phones out in the locker rooms. (Management is concerned that people would take nude photos of patrons for exploitation. Yikes, I’d never even thought of that!) In summer, I let my hair simply air-dry & it goes all curly. But in bitter cold like we’ve been having (still single digits), I blowdry it — more for the pleasant warmth than for the style. I could stand under the dryer for a very long time… but that might be weird. More weird than how I want to see if I can toast marshmallows on the heating grate in the sauna. Yeah, that kinda thing would give management something new to worry about :-)

Day 23: Nothing “Beets” A Pre-Borscht Dinner Run

January 23, 2013


BeetsStoveToday’s leisure activities were productive. We do count a nice Jantastic Janathon run just before cooking a delish diet dinner as “leisure”, right? The above photo of a “handpuppet owl” made from a Chioggia beet & my fingers is proof that I’ve gone mad on this crazy low calorie diet I was definitely having fun this afternoon :-)

On the fitness front, I ran 3 continuous miles at 9:40 pace on the gym treadmill, sandwiched between 1/4 mi. walk each for warm-up & cooldown. I then stretched out & did a series of abdominal exercises, just for good measure. My foot is a little stiff so I’m icing now, as I sit blogging from my laptop. I should be completely fine by morning.

BeetHandsThe only thing that was difficult about today’s run was boredom. I remember now why I once preferred outdoor runs over treadmill, even in winter, for anything over a 2 mi. distance. It’s nice when you’re actually going somewhere. Music is all well & good, but changing scenery passes the time easier after 2 mi. & distracts me from the monotony of my own footfalls or taxed breathing. I’d like to think going outdoors would be that easy again, but whoa, I’m very out of practice motivating on that level. Jack Frost has thrown down one bitch of a gauntlet. The temp rose to 8 °F (-13 °C) earlier today, but right now, it’s a brisk -2 °F (-19 °C). Tomorrow will be a no-run, rest day — meaning I’ll choose to row, bike or swim to give my heels a break. Lemme tell ya, the sauna afterward is already sounding ideal! If this cold snap is still on for Friday’s run, all bet’s are off.

BeetBorschtOn to dinner: In order to keep myself from getting as bored with low-cal food as I do on a treadmill, I’ve been cooking more creatively. Low-cal must be interesting & tasty, or I’ll resort to chips. We have a ton of beets still in storage from last fall’s crop (both colorful Chioggia beets & traditional Crimson Globe beets). We also have storage onions, carrots, garlic & home-canned tomatoes. Borscht was meant to be! The only ingredient I didn’t have on hand (or in the freezer) was fresh dill, which I bought at the market whilst driving home from the gym. Oh, and I ignored the sour cream garnish for caloric reasons, but substituted non-fat Greek yogurt instead. Winner, winner, yummy dinner!

Day 22: What’s Old is New

January 22, 2013
I barely feel it on me!

Clips to my shirt, weighs nothing

Was hoping for enough leeway to bag a 2 mi. run before strength-training class, but only got to the gym in time to run 1 mile. At least I could crank along freely — for me, a 9:14 pace — with no fear of power loss tripping me up (see Day 21). Brief as it was, my run felt great!

A recent spirit boost (besides that my foot is holding up nicely) is my “new” iPod ShuffleI love it. I say “new” but I’ve had it for 13 months & never used it. Here’s the “what’s old” part of today’s headline: me! I’m a dinosaur when it comes to music technology (oh alright, any technology). No iTunes. No playlists. No smart phone. I ran for a whole year without music, until a fit-wise friend gave me a portable media device (Trio). Even then, I listened exclusively to songs he’d preloaded for me.

Pathetic, homemade “armband” for my well-loved Trio media player

The only downside to the Trio was its size: a little bigger than an iPod Nano, so I could never find an armband to fit… which meant unless I had a pocket to put it in (never, in summer running duds), I had to jerry-rig it to my wrist with a giant hairband!


Barely bigger than a quarter!

The same friend then told me about the Shuffle. I bought one immediately (only $40), but never got around to learning how to download iTunes… um, until last month. Hey, better late than never! Another friend had given me an iTunes gift card, which I can now use to buy songs. I am so lucky to be surrounded by thoughtful, tech-savvy & generous friends. Just look at this wonderful wee thing! I don’t need an armband cuz the built-in clip attaches to my shirt, shorts or skirt. It’s barely bigger than a quarter & only twice as thick. It weighs nothing. I’m told it holds approx. 250 songs (I’m up to 45, I think). It’s so AWESOME! I read that the iPod Shuffle is Dean Karnazes‘s music device of choice. Hey, good enough for me then, huh?

And lastly, here what’s really funny to me. As music goes, I like classical, smooth jazz, bluesy stuff, some alternative rock. Pretty tame stuff that’s great for driving, while I’m at work or busy cooking dinner. But oh, when I run, my taste in music is… different. I can’t really get motivated to run to smooth jazz. Running makes me want some rap or hip hop or Latino dance music. There, I said it. Running is me & not me at the same time. Maybe that’s why I like it.