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This has absolutely nothing to do with fitness, but it was entertaining enough to blog about. It’s long .. but it’s pretty funny .. at least I think it is.

Let’s take a step back. I don’t answer my front door. Ever. A few years back I started putting extra furniture in the front room from my childhood so I’d have it when I move into a bigger house. Then I loaded in a few boxes as well. Why not .. I mean I never, ever, ever, go in that room.

Last night there was that storm at 2:30am or so that woke me and the dogs up. While they were up they kept going to the doorway leading into that front room (which is next to my bedroom) and kept whining, barking, pacing, etc like there was something in there. I just thought it was my cat until I realized that she was still on my bed. About an hour later I turned everything off to go back to bed. A few minutes after that I heard stuff fall, somewhere in my house. What the crap? I looked around and just ignored it. Meanwhile the dogs were still pacing until I told them to knock it off and go to bed.

So .. the next morning I look and the cat is whining for more food. What?? I just fed her a few days ago .. there is no way on Earth she’s out. Didn’t think twice about it.

Tonight, at 10pm (I am referring to my tweets for the timeline .. πŸ˜‰ ..) my dogs start their pacing, sniffing, and whining again. I tell them to quit but they simply won’t. It started to make me think that maybe there was something in the next room after all. I didn’t hear anything so I just carried on with business as usual.

Going to bed late, as usual, I turned the TV and lights off at around 12:45am or so. About 15 minutes later I hear something fall over in the next room. What the .. .. So I reach up, turn the light back on, and see that all the pets were on the bed with me. Then a few seconds later I hear more stuff move pretty low to the ground. OMG .. you have GOT to be kidding me??? Maybe there IS something in the house with us???

Of course the light to that room is all the way by the front door because that’s how it works when you have a critter in your house. I’m sitting here thinking THERE IS NO WAY I’M GOING IN THAT ROOM. So I grab my flashlight and just sit on the side of my bed, lights on, TV off, real quiet hoping that I’m just insane or something.

About 5 minutes later I see a face peek almost into the door frame. I shine the light on it and OMFG IT’S A FREAKIN’ POSSUM! … IN MY HOUSE! It just looks at me, looks away, looks again, turns around and walks back in to the other room.

First of all .. **how in the heck did a possum get in to my house???**

Second of all ***how in the heck did a possum get in to my house???***

Thirdly, how in the world am I getting that stupid thing out???

Let me say this. I hate doors. When I moved into my house years and years ago I took all the doors off. That meant there was no door between ‘his room’ and my room. Luckily I had a dog gate on the other door frame to that room (like that would stop a possum anyway) so I put a bunch of noise making stuff by that door in case it tried to leave the room (so I could hear it). Then I put another dog gate on my door frame just to pretend like it would help.

Then I sat here and pouted a bit. Called my mother, woke her up, whined. Texted her, whined. Tweeted a bunch of comments about it. Whined. I decided there was no way I could sleep knowing that it was in my house so I either needed to take care of the problem or leave with the dogs for the night.

Well I’m stubborn, and lazy, and knew I’d had to eventually solve the problem so I decided to investigate. I put on long pants, long sleeve shirt, these black polka dot rain boots, a hat (because that would help .. lol), and gardening gloves then start working my way into that room to turn the light on.

I looked like a fool.

First I tried to go outside, open the front door, and turn the light on that way, but I brought the wrong keys with me so I looked like a reject in dumb clothes with a flashlight while cussing like a sailor at 1 in the morning. Next I decided to just go across the room from inside the house.

Well I had decided that this animal was, of course, going to leap out at me and chew my ankles off so I was too chicken to walk across the room. Because it’s not completely terrified or anything .. ya know? So I walk on top of my furniture, piece by piece until I got to the light switch. After that I still wouldn’t step on the ground so I did the turn around and pray you don’t fall move back to the next room.

After that I had no plan. I asked it, nicely, to get into the dog crate but it ignored me. I asked it to leave the way it came in but I got nothing in return. Well .. .. .. crap. Next I tried to grab a broom with the intent of pushing it into the dog crate. I went back into the room and leaned over a dresser, while standing on another piece of furniture, and saw it’s little butt sticking out. There was no way I could get it out from there but at least I knew where it was (which was exactly where I predicted it would be).

Then I went back into the rest of the house, grabbed the right keys, and decided I’d just open the front door and sit outside while hoping it just leaves politely. I proceeded to text my mother this incredible master plan, to which she replies “Maybe. He should go towards sunlight, when it arrives.” Sunlight??? What .. it’s like 2am .. Ok .. bailing on Plan F .. or G…

During my panic stage I googled crap like ‘what do possums eat?’ (which I learned why my cat’s food kept disappearing!!) “do possums bite’ and ‘omg there’s a possum in my house, what do i do?’ .. In the last google search I read about a woman who accidentally let a possum into her office closet (how do you accidentally do that???) and she lured him out by creating a tunnel from the closet and dumping water to scare him out.

So I armed myself and went back in to the room for round 14.

I reopened the front door and shined the flashlight behind the dresser. I saw his little butt sticking out from behind it. I started to move the dresser and saw him go further under it. I then grabbed my keys and started making a bunch of noise on the opposite end of the dresser, hoping to scare and chase him out the front door. Well, it scares him and chases him but he gets 2 feet (or less!!) from the door, stops, and ducks in next to the couch. GAH .. SO CLOSE!! Then he runs back under the darn dresser after that. Well .. crap.

Using the office lady’s idea I decided to grab a bunch of boxes, and anything else I could find, and make a tunnel from the dresser to the front door. That way it’s either under the dresser or out of my darn house for the little punk. I also blocked the duck in next to the couch that he used last time. Thankfully he can’t fit under the couch so I didn’t have to mess with it.

I grabbed the broom and start banging on my dresser. I opened and closed drawers and was making all kinds of noise. I look behind the dresser. Nothing. What the heck .. I shook my keys and even moved the dresser away from the wall a few inches. Still.. nothing.

Now I’m thinking .. crap he’s moved further into the room. So I grab my light and work my way to the other side of the dresser. I look and see nothing .. The dogs aren’t barking and that stuff didn’t make noise leading in to the other room so I know he’s at least still IN the room. Finally I raise my light and look on the couch. Underneath the pillow is a tail and the little possum face looking at me.

When I shine the light at him the possum looks back at me and shows me his teeth. I look at him and say ‘Oh no you didn’t you little possum punk!’ Now, the little critters giving me attitude and has ticked me off.

I proceed to first yell at him and tell him to ‘get the F outta my house’ and that ‘I pay the mortgage so he needs to go’ .. because, you know possums know English and everything. After I got that off my chest and realized that he was *still* giving me attitude while still NOT moving an inch .. so I decided that I needed to move him or provoke him somehow.

I grab the dog carrier with no clue what I was going to do with it. I grab the broom and start hitting the broom part on the couch, while still yelling at him. I called him little punk, I told him he was no longer welcome, to quit giving me lip, and so on. Oh man .. I mean thankfully no one was here to witness me yelling at a wild animal like a fool (Of course the entire time this is happening my front is open so the neighbors could have heard LOL)! But dang by now it was 3am and my sleep for the night was screwed, as is my entire day tomorrow… I wasn’t in the mood to think about being civil while doing this!

He kept climbing a little further under the pillow so I knew I needed to suck it up and lift the pillow up. ACK! NO!!! When I did he immediately ran and fled behind the dresser .. and then he kept going, working his way into the ‘tunnel.’

YES!!!

He stopped halfway into it and turned around to look at me. I shined the light at him and once again told him “Look you little punk, you need to get out of my house! So GOOOO!” Then I popped my hand on the furniture to make a noise to scare him, at which point he turned around and kept going .. and went OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!

WOOOHOOOO!! The sweet sight of VICTORY!

Oh but that wasn’t enough .. at that point I walked outside, in my rain boots and funky clothes, and proceeded to shine the flashlight on him while yelling at him some more. I told him to never come back, that’s what you get, stay away from my house, and so on. ((((I kinda got caught up in the moment .. LOL.))))

The darn thing didn’t even bother to turn around and flip me off either ..

So .. there you have it. I successfully de-possumed my house. Now it’s well after 4am, I’m wide awake, and tomorrow is going to royally suck. But that critter is hopefully across the street or something and I pray he’s learned to stay away from the crazy chic who talks to animals in full sentences while wearing stupid outfits. Heck, I would!

So .. for more entertainment (and so I’ll have them for down the road) .. here’s a recap of my twitter lunacy .. oh and feel sorry for the people who were awake and had to endure my crazy rantings!!!

….

-my dog acts like there is another animal in the next room. she started doing this last night. has me a little nervous ..

@kywildcat515 peeking her head in, sniffing, and whining .. pacing back and forth. .. i’m too chicken to look!!

@kywildcat515 i started to go look and then i said screw that! hopefully whatever it is will stay in there!!!

-OMFG there IS something in the next room!! All the animals are on the bed & I heard it in there. OMG OMG!! How did it get in here?!?!

-The damn light to that room is all the way across the room. There is NO WAY IN HELL I’m walking in there. OMG this is not cool

@mudd4goals I don’t know. It’s been relatively quiet in there so prob not a bird. I keep hearing noises of it moving stuff

@kywildcat515 yea it’s the next room & I took the door down. This is not cool ..

-It’s my living room / room I don’t use ever so there are boxes in there. It keeps knocking stuff around..

@mudd4goals I’m thinking bigger than a mouse. Plus I have a cat

@kywildcat515 the noises sound like they’re from something bigger but I can at least deal with mice.. My cat needs to earn her rent though..

@kywildcat515 no freakin’ kidding .. As soon as I turned the tv off I started hearing noises. I can’t sleep with IT in the next room..

@kywildcat515 thanks :-/ I’m sitting here hoping it just surrenders itself

@mudd4goals I’m too chicken. I need full body armor and a head lamp. Worried something will bite me! I wish Archie were here to help me..

-Maybe it’s just a mouse with any luck. If so #mydamncatneedstostepupandherkeeparoundhere

@rescue_monkey it’s the small animal that pops out from under furniture suddenly and makes me wet myself that I fear..

@rescue_monkey sounds like something my cat should not let live in this house..

-OMFG it’s a possum!! I just saw it .. OMG OMG!!!

@mudd4goals it just walked to the doorway, looked at me, and walked back ..

-How in the %#€£ did a possum get into my house?!?!?!???

@mudd4goals I wish I could open my front door and chase it out but I store stuff in there so it could be hiding pretty well ..

-Mission Open-Up-The-Front-Door and let it run out = failure. Now I am coming up with Plan B..

@mudd4goals that’s what I am thinking but not sure how to herd it in there .. I have a couple I can use

@mudd4goals I think it’s been here a few days because I’ve been feeding my cat way too often lately. Just read they eat cat food :-/

@mudd4goals that is a good idea. Now I need to find it ..

-It is 2:20. I have learned that possums “play possum” when frightened .. And I sit on my bed with my head in my hands with no plan of attack

-I am thinking I call animal control in the AM or find him after the sun rises and there are less dark corners ..

@yingle nope. It’s in my living room / storage room. Lol it’s in there with some of ur stuff u left behind!

@yingle ha! I wanna know how in the hell he got in here???? I may get a humane trap and try tomorrow

-Damn .. He’s moving

@yingle wish I could leave window open but my cat will run away .. That’s a good thought though ..

-I just found him .. Trying the broom and pet carrier method .. Will report back. He’s little bitty at least

@mudd4goals went under the dresser I have in there .. :-/ going to try and open the door and just sit outside to see if he leaves ?? :((

-I have the damn front door open and am sitting outside .. Hope it gets a clue

-SUCCESS!!! I opened the front door and banged on the dresser to scare him out. He jumps on couch and shows me his teeth. …

-.. Well that pisses me off so I start hitting the couch telling him “I pay the damn mortgage so get out” and I chased him into a tunnel..

-.. I made with boxes leading out the front door. After he left I proceeded to yell at him as he’s crossing my yard like an idiot LOL

-When he showed his teeth that made me determined to kick his smart little tail out of MY house!

-That was something worth blogging about. Seeing as my sleep is jacked up already I may as well ..

@mudd4goals i mean he pissed me off .. i was yelling at him ‘don’t you dare show me your teeth!’ it was soooo funny! poor little guy

@mudd4goals once he left he was probably like ‘damn i should have done this sooner..’

@mudd4goals he was full grown too. I have no clue on earth how he got into my house. i guess i need to find that out, and fast ..

@mudd4goals well .. he looked full grown. still a little guy though. just more worried about him giving the dogs rabies or something

@mudd4goals it was so funny .. and then i’m standing in my doorway yelling at him outside like a deranged lunatic afterwards.. hilarious!

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So .. yea. Long overdue, I know.

Here’s the short story.

A few years back I got my old bike out. Enjoyed riding but hated the bike. I went out and bought a comfort bike, who is affectionately called Beater Sr., and decided to start biking to work every day. Enjoyed that so much I decided to buy a road bike. Started riding longer distance rides and began to have an interest in road racing. Didn’t do jack squat about it.

Fast forward to .. now – ish.

Back in the winter I caught wind that my friend Christine had joined an all female cycling team / group and it re-inspired my interest in competitive cycling. So I joined as well. I decided / hoped that joining this may be the nudge I needed to pick up where I left off in my cycling journey. Luckily, when I pulled my bike back out after a long winter’s + nap (more like a full season nap actually), I learned that I was actually a lot stronger than where I had left off, courtesy of my obsession with indoor cycling classes. So, I’ve started riding again this season, but have been riding for fun and with no real direction or goals in mind.

Recently, a few different race series have started in the area, one for road (5 Spot Training Series) and one for mountain bike (Short Track Series). I decided to try my legs in the 5 Spot, but being a new mountain bike owner I wasn’t so sure about the Short Track. After some nudging and necessary pride swallowing I decided to sign up for both, on back to back days.

The 5 Spot was a great peek into what I could do / what I could expect from a crit. I mean it is actually a crit .. it’s a closed loop and we had 35 minutes to push it and see what happens. At first when I heard that all females were competing together, regardless of what Cat you are, I wanted to put my bike away and accept I was going to be completely shown up .. but I decided that I’d just have at it and see what unfolds.

From all the rides I have done with the LBC in the past I had learned a few things about drafting .. and in a nutshell that I needed to try and “hold the F on” because it (a) sucks to try and catch back up and (b) falling off means you are on your own .. and that sucks after a while. So .. we take off and luckily I was off with the group from the start.

Life was great .. I’ve gotten better and better at holding faster paces, at a much quicker rate than I thought I could (especially since I’m doing no training and I’m typically riding with company at slower paces more often than not). After about 10 minutes either my mind or cardio starting kicking in asking me “what the heck was I doing and when was the next red light?” Β Fun ..Β And about that time the girl right in front of me started falling off the back and of course I was behind her. So I either needed to catch back up with the rest or fall back as well. This was the point where I mentally caved in .. and I ended up falling off with her.

Granted it was freakin’ fabulous to only ride at 18mph for a few laps (at which time I rejoined the group again when they lapped us .. heheh). I won’t lie. I was even in the front more often than not .. what did I care, we were cruisin’ along talking about life and bikes. Afterwards, yea I *really* wanted to kick myself in the tail for taking the easy road. Granted it made no difference whatsoever in the outcome but I was pretty ticked that I caved to my inner lazy chic.

I had decided before the race that riding with all the women = the best I could place was in 5th and I was determined to get 5th place (which I did get by the way). BUT I decided that was my only option, as opposed to pushing it and seeing what happens, and excepting 5th place after a hard fight. Yea, totally walked in with the wrong attitude, I know.

So .. I was kinda peeved at myself for taking the easy road but I guess it was my first event and was at least a good lesson for future rides. No more caving! I know I can do it .. I know I can hold it .. I know have the endurance for it. Part of my problem is that I just suffer from having no direction, no expectations, and no goals to push me .. and sometimes goals are a beautiful thing for me, especially when it comes to fitness type activities.

Moving onward ..

So the next evening I decided to swallow my pride and jump into the Short Track Series. My goal for the night was (a) don’t fall and (b) don’t come in last.

The course was a bit of a congestion nightmare because the women had to ride with the juniors and going up the trails the juniors stopped every 5 feet. So .. seeing as I have no technical confidence in biking around them, every time they stopped I stopped. And .. so did most of the other females. So you couldn’t really get a rhythm going and you couldn’t really catch up to anyone because of all of the congestion on the trails. It was pretty frustrating.

But hey .. I (a) did not fall and (b) did not come in last, so seeing as it was my 3rd time (heck, maybe it was my 2nd time..) on my mountain bike (off road) and I kinda suck on it (I won’t lie dudes..) I was pretty happy that I survived. I actually think I could have done better had the trail congestion been absent. Maybe.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I will say that racing on the bike meant that I did not have time to obsess over every root and twig that was in my way .. so it definitely helped to alleviate my nervous quirks about mountain bike riding. I think that with more riding time and more experience I may start seeing some of the same comforts that I feel when I am on my road bike. I hope at least.

So .. in two days I checked two things off my list. (1) My first competitive event and (2) back to back races. Now I just need to find a path forward from here.. and get on with it πŸ™‚

Tour De Cure 2011

So, as you may or may not know this year I’ve been really making an effort to get more miles in cycling than I have in years past. A couple of years ago I participated in the MS150 but this year I decided to ride in the Tour De Cure.

I was actually going to do both however the Tour De Cure required $150 in donations and the MS150 required $300 .. and they were two weeks apart. Knowing how hard it was to raise $150 I decided I wouldn’t have a chance at trying to pull of both, back to back.

Anyway, I rode along with teammates from the cycling team I’m a part of, Team Fleur De Lis. In addition a fellow spinning instructor joined us for his first real ride on the road. As it turned out I was the only member of the group that opted to ride the full 60 miles, most everyone else decided to take the 40 mile option.

Here are a couple of photos from before we took off..

Spinning Instructors before the Tour De Cure

The three of us are all spinning instructors at the same gym. While I see Misty all the time on our group rides it was nice to bike ‘in real life’ with both of them, even if it was only for a second πŸ™‚

Part of Team Fleur De Lis before the Tour De CureHere is part of Team Fleur De Lis before the Tour De Cure. Unfortunately we were never able to time it right to get a photo of everyone who rode today.

So .. seeing as I was the only one riding the full 60 miles I actually took off on the ride before everyone else. I was hoping that the routes would mostly be in sync so I could have just hung out with the team for part of it, but instead I was off solo for the morning.

I got a late start but quickly worked my way to the front of the group. As I was riding along, excepting my solo journey, the guy on the bike next to me looks over and starts talking to me. THANK GOODNESS!!

So .. it was great. As it turned out he was riding solo for the 60 mile ride and so was I. I found, within the first 5 miles, a riding partner that I continued on with me for the next 57 miles. Even better was that we rode at about the same pace even though he could seriously kill those hills! The benefit is that he definitely pushed me to push myself for most of the ride .. and gave me huge motivation to hit all those rolling hills a bit harder. We spent the rest of the ride constantly passing people and ended up finishing right in the front of the 60 mile group of people. It’s nice to know that 57 miles into it you’re strong enough to keep passing the next guy in front of you πŸ™‚

Anyway, when we got to our 25.5 mile sag we decided to stop at it and take a break. Turns out the rest of the team had also made it to the same sag, at the same time, during their 40 mile ride. Good timing!

Here is most of us during the sag stop ..

Team Fleur De Lis during the Tour De Cure

After that, and once we left the sag stop it was just the 60 milers together for pretty much the rest of the way.

Around the 40 mile mark we turn down this road. Typical curvy rural road with relatively fast moving traffic. On the side of the road I look over and see 3 dogs just roaming in and out of the street. Instantly my dog lover instincts kick in and I immediately stop the bike.

I finally flag this very friendly beagle over to me, who had pretty dirty paws, which I am guessing meant he’d been out roaming for a while. Unfortunately the other two dogs just kept on their travels. At first I just tried to walk up to a door on the street in hopes that they could keep the dogs safe until they found their owner. This lady, who even had dogs of her own, wanted no part in it .. I mean how do you own dogs and not care about the general welfare of dogs???? I could not believe it.

So .. plan B. The next sag stop was within a mile or so of where we were. So .. for the next mile and a half we strolled up the road on our bikes slowly (yes my new bike bud was awesome enough to stay with me during our dog rescue operation!) while this sweet little beagle followed us. When we got to the sag stop, the people there instantly starting giving him water and food while keeping an eye on him, so he was as happy as he could be! I even offered that if they’d bring him to the finish line I would take him home and put an ad in the paper to try and find his owner. Of course we were going so slow at this time that a lot of bikers passed us on the way. When we got to the sag stop one fellow cyclist even came up and gave me a hug for being so sweet about the dog.. πŸ™‚

Anyway, after we left that stop it was relatively uneventful to the end. We did manage to see a turtle .. sloooowwwly .. cross the street. I hope the poor guy made it across before the next car came by! Lots of road kill (gross) but that was about it. Oh, we also managed to mistake a junky yard sale for a sag stop, so yea that was pretty funny!

In the end, as we were riding up Chamberlain Road back to Norton Commons we were talking about the ride and I was noting how great my legs felt 58 miles in. Not bad!

So by the time I came back I was lucky enough to see my fellow teammates were still there. We all hung out a bit and took it easy before heading our separate ways. All in all it was great weather, great company, great workout (2,050 calories burned!) and a great cause!

So now my season high for the year is set at 60 miles in one day (my previously was around 45 I believe). Time to work on raising the bar on that one. However I definitely, DEFINITELY need to get another saddle .. that is on my to-do list, which I’ll hopefully get to this week. At the same time, at the end of the ride I was having some odd pain in my left wrist. Guess I need to figure that out as well before I take on any long journeys. Two minors changes towards one better goal .. definitely doable πŸ™‚

Attempting to have a more productive lunch here … sorry for any typos BTW .. πŸ˜›

So here’s a quick and dirty recap of the year so far.

As far as the running Christina πŸ™‚ ..

Ran the Triple Crown this year for the first time. I typically only run the Papa John’s 10 Miler and the Mini Marathon but I decided to give it a whirl. I’ll have to admit that I liked the idea of having a run, working 2 weeks on things, having another one and so on. What killed me is that between the Rodes City 10k and the Papa John’s 10 Miler I went on vacation and my running kinda went to poo. Then, after the 10 Miler I pretty much stopped training up until the Mini Marathon. I think that part of me was protesting the new, flat, boring mini marathon course.. and part of me still is.

Anyway, regardless I sent new personal records on all four of the events .. yay!

Here is a summary:

Anthem 5k: 26:12 .. and I believe that my previous 5k was a whopping 32:38 or something like that

Rodes City Run 10k: 54:41 (first time running a 10k)

Papa John’s 10 Miler: 1:32:39 post cruise and totally slacked off .. and my previous best was 1:42:46

Derby Festival Mini Marathon: 2:08:48 after running very little between the 5 week gap .. and my previous best was 2:25:54 .. although the course was flat and boring this year so it doesn’t have the same weight as if we ran through the park. flatter course / not running for 5 weeks … hmmm I guess we’ll call that breaking even.

This year? I want to keep running once my knee gets better (see below) with the intention of running another half marathon this fall and maybe a few other races. I actually learned to enjoy running this year and want to keep it going. I hope that happens and I don’t get redirected to everything else.

Next year? So I was overall pretty pleased with the Triple Crown series .. it made me stick with running sooner than normal and I liked the small milestones leading to the longer races. I see myself signing up for it again next year πŸ™‚ As for the mini marathon I haven’t quite decided. The biggest hills on it were the 3rd street underpasses .. really?? Yep, really. However I am dabbling with the idea of doing the full marathon, finally, and getting that under my belt. Do I think I can run all 26 .. mmm I don’t know about that. It would be hard to find the time to train enough for that but I am debating on it once again .. for now.

Cycling Christina πŸ™‚ ..

Well, we’re still early in the season but I’m doing a lot better than last year… the year in which I may have rode my bike two or three times (sadly).

I logged 21 miles in chilly March, 129 miles in still-chilly April, and so far have logged 145 miles in May. Not bad .. Β 64.65 miles of those are commuter miles, specifically to and from work (I still have to bike home today too). Β The short errands trips don’t count .. LOL.Β I also fell for the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth time on my bike courtesy of my first biking adventure on my mountain bike. Fun ..

I’m planning on riding in the Tour De Cure in a couple of weeks so far but outside of that haven’t planned anything else specifically. Outside of teaching spinning I’ve decided to spend more time outside on a ‘real bike’ when the weather cooperates with me.

My goals this year are: (1) to become an all-weather commuter. Why? Because some red heads just like to ride a bike, that’s why. Riding to and from work I’m now riding my mountain bike (with road tires) but if this is going to work the way I want it I’m going to have to buy myself another commuter bike. So far I’m eyeballing a cheap hybrid road bike. Cheap but hopefully it’ll serve it’s purpose. I may cave and get it because my knee is not enjoying my current beater bike. (2) When it comes to road riding I want to work on speed, technical hiccups, get stronger and more efficient, not be such a chicken on those turns, and things like that. I want to see what a season of working on things can do. It’s always been just for fun .. but what if I want to dabble in more?

Ok .. dangit the 30 minute lunch is never long enough .. but I’m sure you are asleep by now anyway. πŸ™‚

So here’s the deal. Right now I’m running, spinning, and biking with goals in mind in both running and cycling. So …. I’m going to try and stick with the P90x program when it’s realistically possible for me. That may be every day it’s required and it may end up being that the 90 day program ends up taking a little longer. Luckily once my goals pass I’ll have a little more flexibility in my fitness requirements.

 

Anywho .. so today I started the Chest & Back / Abs routines. I have no idea how people do on their first time so I have no one to compare this to. I may have done great, maybe completely craptastic, but I will note, while I break it down, what I am going to change.

When I start day 1 of all the workout types I typically am a little more conservative as we just don’t know what it’s going to feel like when we get to the end. Then I adjust and hit it a bit harder next time. I definitely felt I could have bumped it up a bit at the end of this .. but maybe that’s because I gave a sucky showing LOL!!!

 

So ..

Day 1 was 2 rounds of 12 exercises. I’ll just break down what I did although they’re not necessarily in the order I did them of course.

Note .. I do standard pushups .. i.e. I’m on my toes and not the modified version from your knees. I enjoy knowing I do ‘boy’ push ups and do them quite well actually πŸ™‚ .. The reps I did 20 of are the ones I’m better at so I plowed through those in about 20 seconds or so LOL. The narrow grips were a little slower for me but still not bad (I don’t think at least).

I can do 5 -10 pull ups on my own but ended up doing only 5 without a chair just because .. those are a lot of pull ups you end up doing .. the rest of the pull ups I did with the chair, which I put a foot or more in front of me so I could only lean on it so much.

R1 = Round 1, R2 = Round 2. Number is the number of reps I did

1) PushUps: R1 20 / R2 20

2) Wide Front Pull Ups: R1 I did 5 unassisted and 10 with 1 leg on a chair / R2 Β 15

3) Military Push Ups: R1 15 / R2 15

4) Reverse Grip Chin Ups: R1 10 / R2 10

5) Wide Fly Push Ups: R1 20 / R2 20

6) Close Grip Overhead Pull Ups: R1 15 / R2 15

7) Decline Push Ups: R1 20 / R2 20

8) Heavy Pants: I used a 15# weight (next time it will be at least a 20# or more) R1 20 / R2 20

9) Diamond Push Ups: R1 15 / R2 15

10) Lawnmowers: AgainΒ I used a 15# weight (next time it will be at least a 20# or more) R1 20 / R2 20

11) Dive Bombers: R1 10 / R2 10

12) Back Flys: And again ..Β I used a 15# weight (next time it will be at least a 20# or more) R1 20 / R2 20

 

I also did all the ab stuff too, but I’m not gonna write it out since I followed the recommendation of 25 each.

 

I will tell you tomorrow how I feel. It was a good workout but I feel like I’m lucky enough to walk in with a good fitness base.

Well hello these blog. You are nice and dusty. Oh how sad ..

I digress.

So .. if you are going to read this one it may be worth grabbing some caffeine or a cup of coffee. I tend to write novels at time .. although for your sake I’m going to hope you get lucky and it’s not *that* long. I apologize ahead of time for any typos and grammar errors BTW. I’m a bit sleepy tonight for some reason ..

Anyway ..

I’ve had a revelation that is completely unlike myself, or the person I’ve been for years now.Β I am going to stop competing with myself.Β Sound simple? Boy I sure hope it will be .. Let’s dabble into a little of what makes me ‘me.’ .. Anyone who knows me will know that I hate all this personal talk too .. Trust me, I won’t be there long though LOL.

Back in May of 2007 I hit my ‘rock bottom.’ You know the real rock bottom that once you hit it you turn around, run in the other direction, and never look back? Yea, I hit that one.

I decided it was time to change my life and I did exactly that. At first it was a slow moving pace .. you know you’re mentally and sometimes physically in shock in addition to trying to fight the changes because it was so easy the other way. Then, it just became a habit that I had engraved into my skull, .. so I just made sure to never break the habit knowing how easy it is to go back to old ways.

One day .. and I have no idea exactly when, things just clicked. This whole fitness stuff was actually kinda fun. All of a sudden a chore turned into a bit of a nightly treat for me. That was probably the best stage to all of this actually. And then .. sometime after that I went into overdrive .. and never stopped.

The problem with me is that I like to set bars with myself. Once I set it I have to stay that high, every time, and there are no compromises. Whether it’s going to the gym so many days a week, how many classes I take at the gym, how fast I run on the road .. it doesn’t matter what it is but I have standards for everything that I force myself to NOT waiver from. I typically set it on how hard I push myself, as I like to push myself sometimes way too hard, so while they’re not unrealistic goals they are goals that I demand that same intensity from, all the time, with no breaks. Does that make sense?

I also suffer from this internal fear that all this time I’ve been going and going and going at 110 mph and I am worried that the second I slow down to a reasonable pace everything is going to catch up to me. Even though I am still doing more than most, because I slowed down there will be consequences. So part of me is afraid to slow down because I am worried my body will think I’ve stopped or something. I know, I know, silly wabbit. I’ve read the books, the websites, and trust me I *KNOW* better .. but sometimes it’s a little scary taking that step and hoping it works out .. because it was so dang hard to change things before!

Back on subject..

So I go, all the time, every day, and push myself too often. I also set myself up to be constantly disappointed in myself because while I’m competing with myself I’m also comparing myself to the world .. and I just feel like I’m always short in my efforts. I’m not fast enough, I could be in better shape, if I would suck it up and do things right I could really fix things this time. With every milestone instead of celebrating my accomplishments part of me is disappointed that I didn’t do better.

So .. I go go go and no matter how much I go I’m always mad mad sad .. you get it, right?

Anyway .. I went on vacation recently and of course half-tailed my exercise plan while on the cruise .. and I strayed the lines a little bit with my eating as well. I came back and instantly thought the worst .. I gained weight, I’m so depressed, I completely gave in to temptations, oh blah blah blah drama drama cry cry me. I kept stepping on the scale waiting for the numbers to change. They did not. While I should be glad that I relaxed but still stayed reasonable I kept thinking to myself that the scale is WRONG and that I know I had failed .. and so now I was bummed out by my own doing .. and it just spiraled into a big ole’ pity party of one where I fell off my exercise routine and even started eating like poo for a few days. It looked like a crazy mess where the end result was me trying to self-sabotage .. all because I disappointed myself AGAIN and if the scale didn’t change then I apparently needed to suffer somehow.

 

I know .. drama queen, right? Thank goodness I was going through all of this and keeping it to myself .. or maybe that’s not a good thing.

 

So .. it’s been some effort but I think I’ve officially regrouped (although during this time I was still working out, just not going 110 mph). Whew!

In the process I think I found that best stage of my fitness journey again. I am sitting here thinking ‘WHY IN THE HECK AM I KILLING MYSELF?’ Is there some reason why I have to work out so dang hard all the time???? Ummm .. no. Why do I have to set the bar so high .. yes it is good to have goals in mind but I have gotten so out of whack that my bars are killing the fun for me. I honestly need to hit the nice reboot button and just rewrite my plan I think.

I’m done competing with myself. Plain and simple. I already know I’m capable of keeping high standards but why micro manage them. So long as I stay the course and not start falling off the wagon I’ll be ok.

I ran today .. I ran like 4.5 miles or so .. who knows. I went out for about 45 or so minutes. It felt good to run on the pavement without stressing about my pace and worrying if I will be as fast as I was the other day. It felt peaceful.Β I’m going to run just to do it and not worry about the numbers or the time. I miss the fun in the run.

I also decided that outside of teaching spinning (which I LOVE to do) I need to get off the fake bike (LOL) more and get on the real one. I mean really .. why am I compromising fresh air and a nice breeze for air conditioning? It needs to taper down to where I’m still taking the classes, but I’m still riding too. I rode tonight .. and it was so nice to be on the road and not in a room.

I’m going to add weights back in, more often, and not worry what the dang mini marathon calendar tells me I need to do because dangit I miss my weight days!

In a nutshell I’m rewriting my journey .. it needs a change anyway. Β I’m even thinking of trying something new like the P90x .. or maybe I’ll just add in more workouts from bodyrock.tv to my routine. I’m going to trust that I keep pushing forward and not micro manage how far and with what I’m pushing.

I’m going to stop competing with myself πŸ™‚

Fitness Goals for 2011

Oh wow .. I can’t believe we’re about to head into 2011. How fast did 2010 go by?!?!

Well, I won’t get into all my goals for 2011, but just my fitness goals seeing as this is my fitness-y blog πŸ™‚

I’d prefer to not think of these as resolutions, but goals, as I like to see myself working towards something and not trying to change something (I see ‘change’ as temporary I suppose).

1.) Work on further building my upper body strength. 2010 was a divided workout year for me, each quarter or so of the year focusing on different objectives, and the last part I started to try and drill into building upper body strength and definition. In 2011 I want to hit this head on with more intensity than I had in 2010 now that I’m physically in better shape than last year. I already see great progress but I’m still trying to break out of the ‘chic’ mold. This year I want that to happen… in a nutshell πŸ˜‰

2.) Lose a few pounds so I’ll quit ho-humming about it. I don’t have much I want to see go away but I still have some unwanted friends. They must leave .. but leave the right way of course. I basically want to finish the job this time around πŸ˜‰

3.) Improve on my running journey. .. Each year I participate in the Papa John’s 10 Miler and Derby Festival Mini Marathon. Each year I start off with great training and then start slacking off. Then .. I get ticked at myself after the mini because I ‘could have put up a better number if only I wouldn’t have slacked off.’ I am hoping to not do that this year.

4.) Possibly try out a new sport or spend more time on an existing sport. I need to think outside the box a bit .. I’m too gym – focused. I’m going to leave this idea open-ended for the moment.

5.) I want to finish 2011 in better shape than I’m in now. I don’t care about numbers or clothes size .. I just care about health and physical fitness. Β The rest is trivial to me .. πŸ™‚

6.) I’m going to leave #6 wide open .. in case there’s a new challenge that catches my attention. I’m always up for a new adventure, or five!

 

Ok .. I am out of here for 2010 .. tomorrow begins a new journey!

Well .. Hello there :)

Yea .. so I haven’t blogged in a while. I know, I know .. I kinda suck at most commitment things. Well, not most but quite a few of them. But I’m here now, right?

Actually I’m going to attempt to make it a New Year’s goal to visit this a bit more often. Not daily but maybe weekly. I’m still working that part out πŸ™‚

So .. what’s new? A few things actually…

My almost four-years-running spinning instructor decided to open his own spinning studio in town so it kinda threw a monkey wrench into my workout routine. To be honest I still haven’t settled it back down. The holidays are making it kinda wacky. I am hoping to visit his studio a few days a week and kinda bounce back and forth so that I can get into his class but still get my workout beforehand.

On that note .. I actually went through the official Johnny G spinning instructor training last month in addition to the in-house training to be able to teach group spinning classes. Starting in December I began rotating as an instructor at my home gym. .. Yay! As of January I’m actually teaching every Thursday and then rotating on Sunday afternoons. So far I am totally loving it .. much more than I could have imagined .. and I’m just getting started!

So .. the holidays came and went and I am now trying to get myself back on track from the damage I did in the process .. booo. I had a bit of a sluggish weekend but left the gym tonight feeling that ‘jolt’ that I desperately needed. I ran a bit, did some HIIT exercises, then had an amazing spinning class taught by the awesome Misty! Now I feel as if I’m finally back on track so I need to regroup and continue on with where I was going to before the holidays showed up and poo’ed on my party!

Also, this month starts my yearly training for the 10 Miler and mini marathon so I have started to huff and puff my way back on to the dreadmill. It amazes me how long it takes to gain speed and strength and then how quickly we lose it. You would think it would be motivation to keep running year round but .. um, yea, that never works out! This year I actually signed up for the Triple Crown for the first time ever. I usually only sign up for the ‘big races’ (i.e. the races that are 10 miles and longer) but am hoping that running the shorter races will keep me on track and pushing forward towards having a better run on the lengthier events. We shall see …

Ok .. I’m off to read and relax a bit. Another New Year’s goal .. less time in front of the interwebz, more time relaxing πŸ™‚

I decided to blog this because I’ve had people from here and there ask about it, both at the gym and on my ‘social sites’ LOL. So .. I’ll blow the cobwebs off and get started .. yea I know, I should do this more often, eh?

((ignore my typos .. by the way))

I had an ‘off’ weekend and decided that I’d come in on Monday and really hit the gym hard. Needless to say I wrote up a 1,000 rep workout that I was going to do tonight, no matter what.

It’s comprised of 20 exercises, no breaks in between, 50 reps per exercise. The goal is to finish all 1,000 reps, log my time, and come back on another day to see if I can improve on my time.

So I blew through the burpees (yes, I amazingly blew through those, which is amazing in itself!) and up until #6 I was thinking ‘wow, this isn’t that hard so far..’ #6 started to hurt. #13 I started thinking OMG what did I do to myself?? and from then on it was purely survive, some whining, and .. some more whining LOL.

I finished this in 41 minutes and 17 seconds. Yea, 41 minutes of exercises .. I ended up burning 363 calories in the process and can still feel it now, sitting here. Granted I’ve been doing these high intensity exercises for a month or so now .. and dangit I can seriously tell the difference between the first time and now!!

If anyone does this, let me know how you did!

Anywho .. I’ll post descriptions / find descriptions for the exercises that may be uncommon.

1.) 50 burpees:

  • Begin standing, feet hip distance apart.
  • Drop to a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Kick your feet back to a pushup or plank position.
  • Immediately return your feet to the squat position.
  • Leap up as high as possible from the squat position.
  • Repeat, moving as fast as possible.

2.) 50 full sets of Jumping Jacks (i.e. hands up, feet out / hands down, feet in = 1 rep)

3.) Reptiles (25 each leg)

  • Begin in the plank position.
  • Start with one leg, bringing it towards your head while keeping it parallel to your body (the key is keeping it parallel).
  • Complete 25 on one side, then switch to the other side.

4.) Supermans (25 each side)

  • Lay flat on your stomach with your arms straight out in front of you and your legs straight out behind you. Keep your arms and legs shoulder-width apart & lifted for the duration of the exercise.
  • Lift your legs and arms simultaneously at least 6 inches off the ground. Keep each movement slow and controlled to prevent pulling muscles.
  • Alternate lifting your arms and legs one at a time for a beginner’s version of the same exercise. For example, lift your left leg with your right arm, and then lower them. Switch to your right leg and left arm.

5.) Cross Body Toe Touch (25 each side)

  • Lay on your back with arms stretched above you, legs stretched out as well.
  • Raise one leg at a time so that it’s perpendicular to the floor. In the same movement raise both hands to touch the toes of your raised leg.

6.) Jumping Lunge (25 each leg)

  • Start in a lunge position.
  • Jump from this lunge position so that you land in a lunge on the opposite side. The key to this is to make sure that you actually lower into a lunge during this movement, even if you have to lower down after the jumping movement. Just jumping alone won’t give you the benefits of this movement.

7.) Mountain Climbers (50 full sets – one left and one right equals one set)

  • Begin in a pushup position on the hands and toes.
  • Bring the right knee in towards the chest, resting the foot on the floor.
  • Jump up and switch feet in the air, bringing the left foot in and the right foot back.

8.) Pike Jump (25 each side)

  • Start with your feet hips distance apart, your hands on the ground in front of you (shoulder width apart), where you’re forming an upside down “V”Β .
  • One side at a time you’re going to jump your feet in the air (to where they almost touch your butt in the process) and land your feet on one side.
  • The next time you jump you’re going to jump all the over to the other side.

9.) Pike Press (50 total)

  • Start with your feet wide apart, your hands on the ground in front of you (shoulder width apart), where you’re forming an upside down “V.”
  • Keeping your elbows in tight your want to press down towards the floor, bringing your forehead towards the ground. Keeping them in tight will work out your triceps.
  • Bring it back up and repeat this.

10.) Crunch & Tuck (50 total)

  • Start on your back with your arms and legs stretched long.
  • In one motion you want to pull your arms from over your head to towards your feet, while pulling your knees up into a tuck position, while only using your body to pull yourself up.
  • Lower back down to the starting position.

11.) Reptile on the Run (25 each leg)

  • Start in a plank position.
  • One side at a time your going to bring your leg forward, similar to a mountain climber but turning your knees and body to one side. i.e. one time you’ll turn your knees to the right while twisting your body to the right as well. the next time you’ll go to the left.
  • A good analog is thinking that you’re rock-climbing the floor.

12.) Side Lunge (25 each leg)

  • Start feet hip distance apart.
  • In one motion you’re going to jump your right foot out to the side, while bending your left knee until you can reach down and touch the floor with all five fingers.
  • Jump and land with your left leg out to the side, right leg bent.

13.) Pendulum (25 each leg)

  • Start in an upside down “V” position, with feet hips distance apart.
  • One side at a time you’re going to raise the leg, keeping a slight bend in the knee, and bring it up until it’s parallel to the floor.
  • Next you’re going to swing your leg down, jump to change feet, and swing the opposite leg up.
  • The key is to make sure you raise the leg so that it’s parallel to the floor while keeping your leg perpendicular to your body.

14.) Leg Lift, Star Crunch, Butt Lift (50 total)

  • Start on your back, feet in the air pointed to the ceiling. Arms are along your side.
  • Without using any assistance, lower your legs to the ground, keeping a slight bend in the knee, until the almost touch the ground (don’t lower them to the ground).
  • Raise them back up towards the ceiling.
  • Now you’re going to bring your legs wide, to where they form a “V” while you are raising up and crunching in between the “V.”
  • Lower your upper body back down, bring your feet back together, and while you’re feet are still in the air raise your bottom a few inches off the ground.
  • Repeat from the beginning.

15.) Low Jacks (50 full sets)

  • Start feet hips distance apart, knees bent into a half squat stance. Your hands are resting on top of your head (like you’re just been arrested). Your hands don’t move during this movement.
  • Jump your feet to a wide stance while always keeping a low squat bend in your knee.
  • Jump your feet back in and repeat.

16.) One Leg Squats (25 each leg)

  • Start feet hips distance apart.
  • Raise one leg in front of you, as high as you can bring it, up to being parallel to the floor.
  • Now you’re going to squat as low as you can on the one leg, then bring it back to the starting position without every lowering that raised leg.
  • Complete all reps on one leg before switching to the other side.

17.) Side Plank Lift (25 each side)

  • Start in a side plank position, with your hips resting on the ground.
  • Raise your hips up to full side plank position.
  • Lower and repeat all reps on one side before switching to the other side.

18.) One Leg Push Up (25 each leg)

  • Start in a pushup position.
  • Raise one leg in the air, or cross it over the supporting leg, then perform pushup exercise.

19.) Chest Lift (50 total)

  • Start on your belly, hands next to your chest, in tight.
  • You’re going to start by keeping your elbows in tight while using your arms to push your chest off the ground.
  • Once your chest is up you’re going to use your arms and shift your body towards your feet while raising your lower body off the ground. The starting position is flat on the ground and the ending position is going to look like an upside down “V” with feet hips distance apart.

20.) One Leg Bridge with leg lift while performing a toe touch (50 total)

  • Start on your back and raise yourself into a bridge position (i.e. butt and most of back will be lifted off the floor).
  • Raise one leg and while keeping your leg, butt, and back after the floor you’re going to bring your leg towards the ceiling while reaching and touching it with your hands.
  • Perform all on one side before switching to the other side.

So I did this .. took a mini break, got on the treadmill and walked it backwards, did more one leg pushups, crunches, and what nots, then capped it off with spinning. πŸ™‚ Anyone who knows me won’t really be surprised by that though ..

One Week Check in :)

So .. I’ll start off by saying this.. my hat is off to those of you who can do multiple pull ups. Man those things are hard!

I start my at home challenge a week ago and so far it’s going great. I can now successfully do two pull ups while hanging there, put my feet down, then do one or two more. Yep .. after a week that is all the progression I have made on those darn things .. WOW. But .. I’m averaging about 10 of them a day so I’ll just keep at it until they get easy, or I go insane .. although I don’t know which will happen first Β πŸ˜‰

The other challenge I’m doing at home is push ups, using those perfect push up rotating things. I already have to do 100 push ups a day while I’m at the gym so anything I do at home is on top of those. And I tend to average about 80 + more push ups a day, so that is not bad either. And .. just an FYI that I do the regular push ups and not the modified ones. The first few days using those perfect push ups things felt awkward just trying to adjust to the twisting motion but now I’m pretty well adjusted to them.

I think I’m going to change a few things / add a few things / something like that. Starting tomorrow when I do the push ups (at home) I’m propping my feet up on something to make it harder & also to benefit my shoulders a little more. In addition to push ups I’m adding in 5 one-leg squats on each side (so I need to wake up in time tomorrow morning in order to account for those).

In a perfect world I’d like to get up early and knock out a short and dirty interval workout .. BUT I am kinda sucking when it comes to waking up any earlier than I have to.

Anyway right now I am loving these little challenges and am going to keep with them. I can’t workout at home (way too many distractions / excuses at home so I have never been one to workout at home) and so this is my way of pulling that off in little spurts. I want to add to it but am going to think of better triggers to do so. I thought about doing something outside while the dogs are doing their thing but LOL the neighbors would think I’m crazy!

Anyone who is wanting little exercises ‘nudges’ during the day really ought to consider doing something like this. Even if it’s something like every time you go downstairs you’ll do 10 squats .. guess what? That is ten more squats than you were doing yesterday. And to be honest .. I have added 10 pull ups+ and then 80 pushups .. and all of that probably swallows a whopping 5 minutes out of my day. So this is a quick and easy way to give yourself a little boost during the day πŸ™‚ … Give it a try!!

 

On a different note I wrapped up my weights workout a week or two ago and have since been kinda improvising at the gym. I have realized that I don’t like to improvise .. I need a plan when I walk into the gym. As an example I was off my game this weekend and I think it was because I tried to figure it out when I got to the gym and I ended up just having too much dead time and felt bored .. therefore I got lazy. So while I probably had a better workout than most people do it was still not good enough for me. I need the expectations it seems, whether someone else gives them to me or I give them to myself.

Tomorrow during my lunch I’ll probably go through and plot my week out or maybe just pickup a new workout routine. I’m loving Zuzanna’s workouts on http://www.bodyrock.tv so I think I’m oging to add those in 3 – 4 days a week but seeing as they’re less than 20 minutes typically I am going to build other stuff on top of those. Clearly I don’t know what I’m going to do so I’ll have to report back later .. πŸ™‚