Tag Archives: workout

Couch to 5K: Week 2, Day 1

Well, it certainly went better than Week 1, Day 3 on Saturday.

I didn’t want to talk about it then because I was ashamed for quitting about halfway through.  I was running outside for the first time, on an empty stomach sloshing around with coffee from that morning.  I was cold, hungry, thirsty, and jittery.  I talked to my friend Krista about it yesterday, and she asked me what I learned.  I joked: “I wanted to die?”

But really, she has a point.  I learned (with her help) to drink water steadily throughout the day before running, not coffee, to eat a small, protein-rich snack about half an hour before I run, run inside or dress more warmly, and start off a little bit slower.

Last night I ran W2D1.  I completed the workout (5 intervals: 90 seconds of running alternating with 2 minutes of walking), although I did start walking 15 seconds early on Interval 4 and 5 seconds early on Interval 5.  Had I been paying attention on Interval 5 and realized that I only had 5 seconds to go, I would have pushed through to the end.

I did have too much to eat and drink beforehand, and when I was doing my 5-minute cool-down walk, I felt like I was going to throw up.  Apparently, sitting in the sauna for a few minutes afterward helps with that.  Or maybe it was just sitting down at all.

But I feel like for the most part, yesterday went waaaaaaaaay better than Saturday.  It’s nice to feel some sort of accomplishment.  I can’t believe I ran 90 seconds without stopping!  It may sound small, but to a non-runner exercise-avoider like me, it really is an accomplishment.

Next goal: to complete Week 2, Day 2 tomorrow (Wednesday) or Thursday — depending on when I can cajole my husband and/or parents into watching my son — and run each interval all the way through the 90 seconds.

Support another mom doing Couch-to-5K!

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Fitness Plan, Week 2

I have had some time to reflect on my first week of this fitness plan.  Here is what I’ve discovered:

  • I hate Hate HATE counting calories.  It’s a pain in the ass.  No thank you.  Plus, it really doesn’t jive with the “Michael Pollan diet” that I really like.
  • I’m still having a hard time remembering to listen to my body for what to eat and drink, and when.  Still a work in progress.
  • I still don’t get enough rest, really.  Again, I don’t really listen to my body.   And I really haven’t set a bedtime or made myself stick to it.  Another work in progress, I guess.
  • I am disappointed with my progress (or lack thereof) with Couch-to-5K.

New goals:

  • Eat more whole foods and fewer processed foods, eat more plants, eat a greater variety of foods, and eat for enjoyment as well as health.  Thus is Michael Pollan’s philosophy, and this is what makes sense to me.  No more calorie-counting.
  • Continue to listen to my body, and improve my listening skills in this department.  Eat, drink, and rest accordingly.  Try to establish three time frames for meals and two for snacks.
  • “Set a specific bedtime and stick to it.”
  • Stick to the Couch-to-5K running program.  At least, take it one day at a time.
  • I will no longer be posting journal entries for each individual day.  I will, however, be updating regularly, probably every few days once I’ve done the next C25K workout.

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Couch to 5K: Week 1, Day 3

I don’t even want to talk about it.

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Couch to 5K: Week 1, Day 2

I did Week 1, Day 2 of Couch to 5K on Thursday.  It went well.

Maybe a little too well.

I did the workout at my dad’s gym — I got a free trial membership for a week there — at about 1 PM, alone.  I’m aware that I did my Day 1 on Sunday, and that’s three days in between workouts, rather than one or two.  What can I say?  I’m a stay-at-home parent of a toddler who doesn’t have reliable babysitting.  I did it as soon as possible, and that was Thursday.

But it really seemed almost… too easy.  Like I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as Krista pushed me.  I was on a treadmill, since there was no indoor track, and I didn’t feel like running outside (maybe when the weather gets warmer here in Central Ohio).  I had a hard time at first, because I’m not really used to running on treadmills — like at all — but it was mostly with speeding up and slowing down when I transitioned from running to walking and back.

But I felt it was easier to breathe than it was on Sunday, and my legs didn’t hurt while I was running.  I mean, it wasn’t cake, but it certainly felt a lot easier than I figured it should have.  Krista said for her, things didn’t get easier until Day 3 of any given week when she did the C25K program.

Then again, the woman I babysit for on Saturday mornings (she’s training for a marathon, and that’s when they run) said it should be easier for me than it would be for someone who’s heavier.  I don’t have extra weight that I have to carry around the track or on the treadmill with me.  And Krista said before she started running, she had a good 100 pounds on what I am now.  So I guess that makes sense.

But even the next day, I had no pain or soreness anywhere in my body at all.  What’s up?

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Couch to 5K

On Sunday, I did Week 1, Day 1 of Couch-to-5K.

It hurt.  A lot.

I am severely out of shape, and I can feel it each time the interval switches back to jogging.  I got enough sleep Saturday night, since it was my turn to sleep in while my husband got up with our son, but I’m sure my poor sleeping habits as of late didn’t help how I felt during the workout.  Pizza and Coke the night before probably didn’t either.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Couch to 5K program, it is designed to get you into a running program in a gentle, gradual manner.  So even if you’re a non-runner, like me, you can run a 5K at the end of nine weeks.  Hopefully.

The workout for Week 1, Day 1 consists of jogging for a minute, walking for a minute and a half, and back to jogging again for a total of 20 minutes.  Add the 5 minutes of fairly quick walking for warmup and cooldown periods, and you’ve got your 30 minutes of vigorous exercise for the day.

But I don’t jog, really, ever.  The last time before Sunday that I think I jogged anywhere was on Beggars’ Night, when I was trying to get the maximum amount of time Trick-or-Treating with my son, and almost made myself late to rehearsal for Taming of the Shrew.  I pretty much sprinted from the last house on the street, then jogged, then walked quickly, then just said, “To hell with it” and got to my car when I got to it.

I did pretty well, though, all things considered.  I’m actually pretty proud mostly not unproud fairly pleased with how I did on Sunday.  I only shortened the jogging part twice, once on Repetition 6, to 57 seconds of jogging followed by 93 seconds of walking, and the second time on Repetition 7, to 45 seconds of jogging followed by 105 seconds of walking.  (There are a total of eight intervals consisting of jogging for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds.)  Krista was keeping the time, so I didn’t know that I was so close to the end.  She told me that the last one was, in fact, the last one, so I decided to push through the final one and do it right.

During the workout, I had mixed feelings.  At first, I was pleasantly surprised by how short a minute was.  Of course that feeling quickly went away, and I started to have a harder time running, breathing, talking, especially all at the same time.  I mostly wanted to die or disappear or do anything but be right there right then, running.  But then when I knew the end was coming, I felt a sense of relief, and a sense that I could finish with my head held high.

Then, of course, there was how I felt afterward.  I was glad to be done, but physically, not too badly off.  I felt a little weak, a little tired, but mostly I was fine until Monday.  Then I woke up with soreness in my quads.  About an hour later, my ankles started to hurt as well.  Later in the day my shoulders decided to join in.  But I could walk, even up the stairs (provided I wasn’t carrying a certain boy who weighs about 28 pounds), without wincing.  Today all soreness was gone.

I’ve downloaded the Podcasts by Robert Ullrey, so for the second workout of Week 1, I can keep my own time.  That should help a little.  Unfortunately, I found out late in the day today that my family’s treadmill is broken.  So I guess I won’t be using that for this little adventure.  We don’t really have the money for a gym membership right now, so at least until the weather gets warmer here in Ohio, I’m going to see what I can find for free.  My dad has a membership at Power Shack, and he says they do a 1-week free trial membership.  I plan to check it out tomorrow.  Maaaaybe I can convince my husband to let me work out before I go babysitting.

Wish me luck!

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Fitness Plan Journal, Day 5

Really feeling the effects of Sunday’s Couch to 5K today.  Ick.  (I am SO not a runner.)

  • I went to bed at a decent time Sunday night, about 11:45 PM, and woke up this morning at about 8:20, still feeling tired and hungry.  Laid in bed for about five minutes, assessing the soreness in my quads.  Weighed in at 106.4 lbs.
  • Ate the last 3/4 cup of the Lucky Charms cereal with the last 1/2 cup of Kroger whole milk.  Felt just satisfied.
  • At 9:20 AM, I noticed my shoulders were starting to hurt in addition to my quads.
  • I drank 14 oz. water from my water bottle from 9:30 to 11:15 AM.
  • By 11:15 AM, I was pretty hungry.  I ate a Braeburn apple at 11:35, and was still hungry.
  • I finished the remaining 4 oz. of water in my water bottle (it’s an 18 oz. bottle) and felt a little better.
  • At 12:35 PM I ate an egg salad sandwich, consisting of 2 large eggs, hard-boiled, 1 1/2 tsp Plochman’s yellow mustard, 1 tbsp Kroger classic mayonnaise, and 2 slices of Kroger whole wheat bread, toasted.  Felt very satisfied.
  • I was hungry again by 4:30 PM, and ate a small snack of 6 pieces of chocolate (these are really small chocolates, folks — the serving size listed on the back of the package is 12 pieces).
  • I was a little hungry when dinner was ready at 5:30 PM.  I ate 1 1/2 Ruben sandwiches (of my own design, as I like neither saurkraut nor Swiss cheese): 3 slices of S. Rosen’s dark Jewish unseeded rye bread, 3 slices of corned beef, and 3 slices of provolone.  I also had about a serving and a half of steamed broccoli with 2 tsp Buitoni shredded parmesan cheese on top.  I drank 3 oz. of water with dinner, and afterward felt quite satisfied.
  • I had another 10 oz. of water after dinner, but wanted a treat around 9:00 PM, while I was watching t.v., so I made some chocolate milk.  I still wanted a little something, so I poured a bowl of cereal.  I was now out of Lucky Charms and whole milk, so this time it was 24 Frosted Mini Wheats with Kroger 2% milk.  I now felt satisfied.
  • Later on, probably around midnight or so, I was hungry again, although it may have been heartburn, so I ate two Pop-tarts, toasted.  In retrospect, I probably should have just gone to bed.  And I might have had heartburn at 9:00 too.

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 2290
  • Calories from Fat: 711.5
  • Total Fat: 76.75 g
  • Saturated Fat: 34 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 512 mg
  • Sodium: 2813 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 307.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 24 g
  • Sugars: 145 g
  • Protein: 85 g

Again, I got all my produce information from The Daily Plate, and was unable to include the corned beef in my calculations, as it was from the Kroger deli — deli packages don’t list nutrition facts.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • It must be the sleep cycle thing.  Why else would I get 8+ hours of sleep and still not feel ready to get up?
  • I was actually pleasantly surprised this morning.  I really thought I would be sore all over my body, and it would be pretty unbearable.  But I really only felt it in those three places: quads, ankles, and shoulders.  Things to stretch better for Workout #2, I guess.
  • Why do I keep dropping weight?  It’s not usually a good sign for me.  It’s usually a sign of stress, leading to being too distracted to eat or even feel hungry.
  • I was pretty thirsty today.  I’m guessing it has something to do with the total lack of water I had yesterday.  Not a good thing to do after exercise.
  • Guess I’m still not listening to my body very well if I’m confusing hunger and heartburn.  It’s not unusual for me to do, but it certainly doesn’t sound right.
  • Sodium: Gaaaack!  How am I still alive?!?!  Sugar still too high, too.  And I really had enough calories for the day without those damn Pop-tarts.  No more of those.

How are everyone else’s New Year’s Resolutions and Non-Resolutions coming along?  Any diet-related goals going better than mine?

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Fitness Plan

Prior to the New Year, I’d been thinking quite a bit about trying to get into shape.  I eat like crap, stay up late, and don’t exercise.  I’m fairly certain chasing a toddler doesn’t count.

Most of the time in the past when I’ve set out to “get in shape” I’ve had a problem with consistency.  You could say it’s kind of a recurring theme in most aspects of my life.  I’ve made a number of different attempts: journaling what I eat, what I weigh, what I do to increase my fitness.  I’ve tried increasing my fruits and veggies, increasing lean protein, decreasing sugars.  I’ve used a Pilates DVD, gone to a gym, even played Dance Dance Revolution to make my workout routine more fun so that I would hopefully stick with it this time.

Well, this may just be the latest in a long line of failed attempts, but I’m ready to try something new.  I’m ready to put forth my best effort to become a healthier person — and I think it’s important to decide exactly what that means for me, and what I want out of this new goal.

I’ll be honest: I’m not overweight and never have been — actually, I’m far from it.  I’ve even been underweight a few times in my life.  Part of my goal, uncommon as it is, is to gain a little weight.  After all, muscle weighs more than fat, and I figure if I eat in a healthy manner that’s not a whole lot more or less than how I currently eat, and exercise regularly, I should gain a few pounds as I become more fit.  This morning I weighed in at 108.4 pounds.  I’m between 5 foot 3 and 5 foot 4, so a healthy weight for me (according to WebMD) would be between 104 and 145 lbs.  I’m fairly small in stature, so I’ll still want to weigh in on the low end of that range.  I think between 110 and 120 sounds reasonable, assuming I’m taking in enough fruits, vegetables, and water, and including a bit of weight training in my exercise regimen.

One of my bigger issues right now is the lack of rest I get.  I’ve noticed myself really starting to get addicted to my “me time” after my son goes to bed.  It’s like I start watching television or surfing the Internet and I just can’t stop.  Check out the timestamp on this post.  Go ahead, I dare you.  Yep, I live in the Eastern Time Zone of the U. S., and yes, I’ve changed my preferences so that the time and date are accurate to my location.  That is early for me.  Part of the problem is, I’m not really sure how much sleep I actually need.  I’ve trained myself to ignore what I need and run on very little sleep, but I’ve also trained myself to go back to sleep and take full advantage whenever my husband offers to get up with our son.  I’d like to listen to my body, find out how much sleep I really need, and then give myself a stern talking-to train myself to establish a reasonable bedtime and stick to it.

Now for a little more controversy: what to eat?  Because I don’t intend to lose weight, I will be trying for roughly 2000 calories.  That is actually less important to me, however, than what I am taking in.  I will be following the philosophies of an author by the name of Michael Pollan.  Recently my husband and I read his most recently published book, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.  I have not yet read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which Pollan wrote before In Defense of Food, but both books are critically acclaimed and, I have heard, very good.  The basic premise of what I call the “Michael Pollan diet” is to eat real food, rather than processed; more often than not eat fruits and vegetables; eat whole foods as much as possible (buying the whole chicken rather than boneless, skinless breasts); and try to eat the greatest possible variety of foods.  By eating in this way, you get the nutrients you need without having to worry about it so much.  If you are interested in these theories, I highly recommend Michael Pollan’s work and have linked his website above.

As for the exercise?  Definitely playing that part by ear.  The friend I mentioned before is starting a Couch to 5K program this week.  Just the word “running” makes me cringe.  And why would I ever want to run a 5K?  But the truth is, there is strength in numbers, especially where working out is concerned.  Krista is looking for a workout buddy just like I am.  And if I truly want to make a positive change in my life, I might as well keep an open mind as to how I get there.

So here’s the plan:

Goal: Become a more healthy person overall by eating right.

1. Listen to my body, determine how much sleep I need, and get that much sleep most nights.

2. Eat real food, not processed junk; place an emphasis on fruits and vegetables; and attempt to cool it a bit on the carbohydrates.

3. Make an honest effort to complete the Couch to 5K program.  Eventually address each of the following aspects: overall fitness, endurance, tone, balance, strength, and flexibility (more on those later — babysteps, babysteps).

Results:

1. Gain 5 to 10 pounds.

2. Feel rested and refreshed the majority of the time (hey, I have a toddler, and I’m not perfect); reduce adverse symptoms of irregular sleep patterns.

3. Reduce headaches, stomach cramps, irregularity, and other negative side effects of poor diet.

4. Increase energy level, fitness, and endurance.  Reduce lower back pain.

P. S.: Hey folks!  I can use all the help I can get.  The buddy system really does work for working out, and even moral support within the blogging community is beneficial to sticking with it.  Tell me what you’re doing to get and/or stay in shape.  What are you eating?  What do your workouts consist of?  Leave me a comment, and your email address if it’s not linked, so I can respond.

Edited to add: I will not be making any restrictions on when I eat, other than eating when I’m hungry and stopping when I’m full — at least until I start to see patterns in my journal.  I would like to establish three approximate mealtimes and two approximate snacktimes in between.  Tune in tomorrow for Day 1 of my journal!

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