Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 113--Measurements

Someone pointed out to me that I've been lax in updating my blog. I decided today would be a good day to update everyone on my status. I'm still running, and continually improving my speed and distance. I also noticed that I haven't done any measurements since Tax Day. That's 2 1/2 months ago. Time to remeasure and see if biking to work and running has made any difference there.

My weight is at 128.3 pounds. Still not at the goal of 120, but well within a healthy range.

Waist still 29 1/2, Hips 37 1/2 (Down 1/2 inch) Weirdly, that pushed my waist to hip ratio higher, which is worse, even though I've lost weight and inches.

My body fat percentage is 27%, which is still a few percentage points above the ideal of max of 22%.

All of my other measurements are the same.

I think there are more telling things than the actual measurements, though. The fact that I haven't thought about my measurements for months is a sign that I'm viewing the process as the destination. I'm working out to work out, not to lose weight or inches. I'm enjoying running and cycling. I love that my body can do more things than it could do at the beginning of the year. I love that I can run farther and faster than before and that my speed and distance are constantly improving. I wouldn't dare suggest that I've achieved a perfect body, but I love my body. I think I'm back to the beginning when I couldn't actually define what "perfection" is in any concrete way.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 112--Still going

I know I haven't posted in a while, but I've still been exercising. Mostly biking to work and climbing on the treadmill. I've been setting the incline to max and walking like it's a steep hill. I haven't been running, but hope to get back to that tomorrow. I don't have any plans until the afternoon, and the weather is supposed to be less oppressive. It's been so hot this week, that most nights I've been hiding in the bedroom where the window A/C resides.

I haven't picked out a race for July yet, but I've been looking into a few. One is an all female race on the 18th, and the other is a race against skin cancer on the 25th. Fewer races to choose from in the hotter months than in the spring months.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 111--Race Day (#3)

I did not hit any of my goals today at all. It turns out that running a 5K after a week of food poisoning is not easy at all. I managed to finish, and my time wasn't horrific, but I wasn't in the top ten for my age group, or under 29 minutes. I suppose I should be happy with my 32:11, but it's a few minutes slower than my last outing and I really hoped to shave some time off.

I'm also 10 miles behind in my goal of averaging a mile a day, every day in June. I could still hit my goal, but only by running over 3 miles each day Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. I won't get a run in tomorrow because I'll be heading to the Pride Parade early tomorrow, and that will be my entire day.

My vacation set me back a bit, which I was expecting, but the food poisoning was not something I had expected. It wasn't the worst case that anyone's ever had, so I was able to keep eating some after it hit. That's the bright side of it. I guess the bad side is that I didn't lose much weight during it. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 110--Falling behind

I'm now 6 miles behind my running goal for June. I have the desire to catch up, but not the strength or energy. I have low blood iron, and am trying to get caught up, but it's taking me a few days. I'm taking supplements, and trying to eat more iron-rich foods. I don't eat meat, so this isn't as easy as eating a plate of liver. I go through this every year or so, so I know that it's easily treatable, but it's never as easily diagnosed as I'd like. The first day or so, I just think I'm sleep-deprived. If only I would start taking the iron at that point, I could keep myself from getting as exhausted as I currently am. I did manage to bike to work today, but my speed was off a few MPH from normal. I'm hoping I can get back up to normal by Sunday so I can get in a long run or two before my vacation so I'm not horribly behind when I get back.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 108--Back to the bike

I'm 5 miles behind in my goal of running a mile a day, every day this month. I planned on getting in a long run this weekend to get caught up, but it rained and rained. I may have to run a 5K or more when I get home from work to make up some ground. I'm not sure how much running I'll get in next week when I'm on vacation. The hotel does have a small gym with a treadmill, so I will pack running shoes and clothes so I don't have that as an excuse. I may still have exhaustion, time and alcohol as ready excuses though.

I weighed in this weekend and my weight stayed the same over the last week. I really don't think I'll get back to 120 before July 1st. I have lost some weight this month, which should make me happy, but I really wanted to hit 120. I may be able to hit the 125 that's on my driver's license, though.

Friday, June 11, 2010

day 107--Cycling

I didn't ride to work every day this week. Two days off for bad weather and today off because of the Hawks' rally outside my building. Wasn't sure where I'd put my bike without worrying about damage to it from the 2 million people who were in the streets. I'm also two days behind on my running, so I will need to get a long run in this weekend. I don't like running without a destination, so I'll need to figure out a good place to go that's at least 4 miles away, or find a good 4+ mile loop to run.

I also need to get myself on a scale. It's been about a week since I last weighed in. I have no idea if I've lost anything, gained some or maintained.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 106--Mile Run

I ran my mile in 8:18 today. That's over 10 seconds faster than my prior best time. I'm starting to think that 8:00 is really doable by the end of the month. That makes me feel better, because I'm less confident about my other goals. My weight does seem to be coming down, but still need about 8 pounds in 3 1/2 weeks. That's a pretty big loss in a short time. I will hit the mile a day average, but can't guarantee my standings in my 5K in June. I hope that my other goals will help me improve my race-day standings, but the standings have the "other runners" factor that I can't control. I plan on a long run again this weekend, which is something I hadn't done before, but seems to be part of everyone's 5K training plans.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 105--Big Run

I ran 4 1/4 miles yesterday in 55 minutes, which included an ATM stop. That got me back up to date on my mile a day goal. It was my longest run to date and I felt ok when it was done. This makes me think that joining my friend Kate in her 10K in September may be doable. My weight has come down a bit, too. I'm really close to 128, only 25 more days to lose the last 8 pounds. That's going to be a tough number to hit. My arms are starting to show more definition. I'm getting what I'd call runner's arms. I really need to get back in to the EA active for Wii, though. I tried to test my overall fitness using a test in Runners Magazine and I still can't do a real push-up with any decent form at all. I'm also losing flexibility. I really need to start stretching after my morning runs when my muscles are warm. Maybe the extra activity will help with the weight loss goals.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 104--Running

I tried running with Willie, and she is not good. She can't make it much farther than a block, and she doesn't follow a straight line at all. Once she gets a bit tuckered out, she tries to grab her leash, which is cute, but dangerous when I'm running. She dead stops in front of me and jumps at my hand to bite the leash. I will work with her to break her of that habit and to increase her stamina so we can run farther than a block.

I ran a mile on the treadmill this morning and I'm still at 8:30. That's the same pace I was at last week, which is going to make the 8:00 goal by 7/1/10 to be hard to meet. Maybe increasing the distance I run will help, too. I'm hoping to run to The Green City Market tomorrow. That's 4 miles away, and then I still have to get home. That will probably be a bus or walking. That will be my first real run longer than 3 miles.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 103--Otto

I'm behind 2 miles in my quest to average a mile a day in running. I spent most of Saturday painting and Sunday recovering from painting. Sadly, the last few days were spent dealing with my dog Otto getting really, really sick and having him put down yesterday. That kind of killed any desire I had to run. I decided that today's blog would be all about dogs. The other dog in the third photo is Willie, who was our back-up dog, but has now become the only dog. I hope to take her out for our first solo run tonight, but I'm not hopeful about her abilities. She tends to meander on walks, and only had a purpose when following Otto. I'm not so sure that she'll be able to run in any way that won't endanger both of us. I still have bruises from Otto's balloon attack of last Wednesday, and I'd like to avoid adding new ones to those.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 102--Weight Loss

My weight is exactly at the same point it was in mid-April. If I'm going to hit my weight goal of 120 pounds, I have decided to keep a food/exercise log for the next month. I did the math and if I do nothing but sit on my butt all day and watch TV, I would only be able to eat 124 calories a day if I wanted to lose the last 10 1/2 pounds by the end of June. I don't plan on sitting all day, so I will easily be able to eat closer to 1500-2000 calories a day and still lose the weight. I just need to make sure that I get in plenty of exercise. The more I exercise, the more food I'm able to eat and still lose weight. It's only for one month, so I think I can manage to stick with it. I'm sure I'll drive some people crazy this next month, but I hope to keep that side-effect to a minimum.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 101--Pushed too far

I think I pushed myself a bit too far on Wednesday. That, and my dog Otto running me into a wrought iron fence, seemed to have knocked me down. The pre-paint taping of my friend's apartment ceiling may have contributed, too. I biked to work yesterday, but didn't run on the treadmill at all. I walked about a mile, but at a pretty slow pace. I biked home, but the last few miles were a huge struggle. I was exhausted. I decided to take the train into work today to recharge my battery. I'm hoping that one day of rest will be enough. It was enough for God when he created the world, so it should be enough for me. I will make up for the two days of missed running this weekend by running at least two miles each day. It works out that the place I'm painting is almost exactly two miles from my place, so if I run there and back one day, I'll get back on schedule.

I'm also resigned to the fact that I'll have to start keeping a food log. I can't rely on estimates to get rid of the last 10 pounds. I'll see if I can find one online that works for me, or if I'll have to create my own in Excel. Maybe my phone has an app that will work.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 100--Pushing the Cycling

I tried to make better use of my ride into work. I pushed myself for more of the ride so I could keep my heart rate up for some of the 37 minute ride. I managed to keep my heart rate in the target zone for 22 minutes of that. I feel pretty good about that percentage. I've been biking the city streets, so I have to sit at some red lights, and my heart rate drops out of the target zone during those times. Pushing myself on my ride in made pushing myself on my mile run a lot harder. I was not able to break 9 minutes today. It also doesn't help that I don't eat breakfast until after I get to my desk. I know it's not a good idea to work out for an hour with no fuel, but it fits my schedule better.

Speaking of breakfast, I've been trying to get more milk into my diet and breakfast has been where I've been doing that most days. The building I work in has about 10 restaurants and a few convenience stores. I have the hardest time finding skim milk in any of these places. Even the places that sell milk in cartons or bottles only offer whole, 2% or chocolate. I love chocolate milk, but I'm trying to lose weight. I don't like the taste of whole or 2% milk, and I'm trying to lose weight. I can't believe that Dunkin Donuts doesn't have skim milk while they're trying to push their new "healthy" breakfasts.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 100--Mile Run

I ran a mile in 8:30 today. I need to shave about 6 second a week, every week for the next month to hit my goal of breaking the 8 minute mark. I think I can do that. It's much easier for me to push myself when I can see where I'm aiming. I ran far enough today that I'm at 3 miles total over the last 3 days, so I'm keeping up with my mile-a-day goal, too. My weight crept back up yesterday, so that goal is going to be harder than I want it to be. I think I'm going to have to make sure to track every calorie to make sure I'm not under-estimating that portion of the weight loss battle.

I rode into work wearing my heart rate monitor today. My heart rate while cycling barely gets into my target zone. I know I'm still burning calories, but I'm not helping out my ability to run faster. I think I need to push myself harder while cycling to get my heart rate up into the 130+ range. I just hope my thighs can keep up with my heart.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 99--Working on goals

I ran about 1.36 miles today, so I'll need to get some more running in tonight to hit my mile-a-day goal. (I didn't run at all yesterday.) It depends on what one calls running, though. My normal walking pace is about a 15 minute mile. The treadmills at work call that jogging. They list 6 mph as running. I did walk about a mile last night in a quest to get some milk, and I walked that in about 20 minutes, including the purchase. I don't count that toward my running goal, though.

I am hoping to get a good running program for my new smart phone. The first one I downloaded couldn't get a GPS signal and the second one won't let me track online, and it's a German program, so I can't understand the problems. Those were both free, so just out some time and a bit of inconvenience. I may have to spend money for a program, but want to make sure that it's a good program before I shell out $5. My phone is fairly new to the market, so the applications are scarce, but building every day.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 98--New Goals

I have my 5K goals already set for my next run, but I want some overall fitness goals.

1. Get my weight down to 120 before July. This was my weight in July 2006 and I'm getting close to hitting it again. This is also my lowest weight as an adult, so that's really exciting. I'm currently just under 129, so 5 1/2 weeks to lose 9 pounds. That's doable, but because it's pretty much the last 10 pounds, I know my body is going to fight me on it.

2. Run an average of at least a mile a day until July. I'm going for average because I'm planning a vacation out of town in June, so I know I won't run those days. This is also on top of my daily commute by bike which is about 65 miles a week.

3. Run an 8 minute mile. My best time is just under 9 minutes, but I really think I can improve that number by meeting goal #2.

I think that these are all very doable goals and I know that they'll all help me to achieve the goals I set yesterday for my next 5K.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 97--Race Day (#2)

I hit my goal again. I was hoping to finish in 30 minutes and my official time was 29:42 That's 5:30 faster than my first 5K. I almost cracked the top 10 for my age group, too. I finished 17 seconds behind the 10th place finisher. I did beat 63 women in my age group, though. I finished 500th overall, out of 1,386 racers. I was 204 out of 772 women.

This allows me to set some clear-cut goals for my next 5K.
1. Break into the top 10 for my age bracket.
2. Finish the race in under 29 minutes.

I would love to be able to shave 1/7th of my total time off by the next time I run, but I know that's a totally unrealistic goal. That would mean shaving off another 4:23 from my time and finishing at 25 minutes. I'll be happy if I just continue to shave some time off of my Personal Best each time and will set goals that require me to push myself.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 96--Cycling

I've already hit 100 miles on my bike this year. That's in less than two weeks of being back on my bike. That makes 1000 miles this year seem reasonable. I did run a little over a mile this morning. First day with my new sports bra. It was nice not to injure myself while running. I'm feeling pretty good about the race this Saturday. Our team is up to four people. I don't think I realized that it starts at 8:30, though. Even thinking about that makes me yawn. Other than that, I think it will go well.

I will not be hitting my 50 mile run goal by Saturday. I'll have to reconsider what my next goal will be. Maybe I'll try to do a weight loss goal, instead of just hoping it will melt off with running and cycling.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 95--Rainy

I didn't ride in today because of the rain. I did get in a short run, something I wasn't able to do yesterday because of the running injury I sustained on Tuesday. It's not a serious injury at all. I just have what looks like road rash on both of my collar bones. My bra rubbed so bad that it created actual injuries. That did keep me from running yesterday, but not today. I managed to avoid re-injuring myself by running with my hands in my pocket. It wasn't as uncomfortable as I would have thought. My hands got warm, but other than that, it was fine. I also ran a 10 minute mile with my heart rate staying under 150. I've heard aerobic video leaders talk about the increase in heart rate when your arms are raised up, but I never actually noticed the effects until today. I'm going to try to run a full 5K with my hands low, like that to see if I can keep up a faster pace.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 94--rainy

The weather was just as cold as yesterday, and rainy, too. I was already up fairly early, so I decided to go into work and run before getting to my desk. I'm pretty lucky that by office building has a gym. It's not a gym I'd spend $30 a month to use, but for $0.00, it's amazing. It has 4-5 bikes, a few step and elliptical machines and 8 treadmills. Plus, it's normally fairly empty. I don't think I've ever seen 10 people in there over the full hour that I'm there.

I had more time than I do when I bike to work, so I decided to get in a full 5K. I ran it in 29 minutes. I know treadmill time and street time don't always line up perfectly, but that's still a much better time than I've ever done. I really think my morning mile runs on the treadmill are helping me to increase my speed. I was able to get the first mile in under 9 minutes, and didn't have to die, but was able to continue running another 2 miles. I'm feeling much more confident about the race on May 22nd. I will probably still be the slowest member of my team, but I think I can break the 30 minute barrier.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 93--Cold mornings

It was barely over 40 degrees when I left home today, so I stuck to city streets, instead of the lake path. City streets cut down on the wind a lot, which makes me much happier. There's also more to see on a ride down city streets. Maybe not more, but different. Many things that change every day and things I've never noticed before. I've biked the lake path so many times, that I have it memorized, and it doesn't really change.

I noticed a car parked about twice as far from the curb as reasonable, missing their side mirror. I would think that losing my side mirror would cause me to park as close to the curb as physically possible, but not this person.

I saw a sign for Hair Fairies while in the richest, most upscale neighborhood that I bike through. It's an entire chain of businesses set up to help parents avoid dealing with their child's head lice. Words cannot describe.

I then saw the side of the LaSalle Tower Condominiums which is the photo in this post. That's not real, it's Trompe-l'œil, which always impresses me, even when it's not the best example of it.

Once I got to work, I ran 1.25 miles on the treadmill. I ran a mile in less than 9 minutes. I'm not going to get to 50 miles by next Saturday, but at least I can get some speed work in every day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 92--Cycling

Today was the first day of summer. Well, for me anyway, as today was the first day I got my bike out of storage and pedaled my way to work. I should get to bike to work the next 4-5 months.

I forgot how long it takes me to bike to work, so I ended up getting to my office building with about an hour to shower and get back to my desk. That's about 30 minutes more than I really needed. I used the extra time to get in a mile of running. It was nice to see my pace as I ran, rather than at the end of my run. I only ran a mile, but it was in a flat 10 minutes. I'm hoping to increase my pace a little bit every day to help me get to a 30 minute 5K.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day 91--Running

I managed to fit in over 7 miles of running this weekend. That's good because the last few weeks, I've been spending most of my energy gardening instead of exercising. I've turned over the dirt in an area that had been bushes until last year when they cut them off at ground level. I don't think anything had been done to the earth in decades. I pulled out stumps and giant root systems. It was hard work, but didn't help with any of my running goals at all.

This week will be the first week I get back to biking to work. I was hoping to start tomorrow, but I have plans right after work Monday & Tuesday, and no light, so it will have to wait until Wednesday. I also need to get more running in, as I only have three weeks to get in almost 40 miles of running.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 90--Running

I ran the same 5K route I ran last week and returned home in 34:42. I am now hoping to get my 5K time down to 30 minutes before May 22nd when I run my next race. That's five weeks to shave five minutes off my time. I have 44 miles to run during that same time, so I'll have plenty of practice, I think. I am kind of doing this all be feel, so that might be a totally unrealistic goal. I've looked for training schedules on line, but they all seem to be for purchase. I'm not going to pay $20 for someone to tell me that I should run and walk more if I want to get better at it. I will continue to run and walk more, and try to hit the various goals that I set along the way. It seems to be working for me so far. Maybe I'll get help once the goals start getting bigger or I start missing my goals.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 89--Water

I have finally found a way to get close to the 64+ ounces of water I'm supposed to drink each and every day. I bought a 56 ounce PBA free water bottle. If I use the included ice pack, it only holds 50 ounces. I make sure to fill this bottle first thing every morning when I get to work, and empty it before I get home. It's been a few weeks and I've managed to empty it every week day. I'm not as good about it on weekends, though. Weirdly, I'm noticing the lack of water on weekends. I'm drinking the same amount most Saturdays & Sundays that I was drinking every day for the last decade or so, but now that I'm fully hydrated five days of the week, the days where I'm not fully hydrated are noticeable. The only thing I really notice is feeling kinda thirsty, something I rarely used to experience.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 88--Measurements (Take 5)

It's been about a month since the last time I did this. It's also right before summer when I'm more active with biking to work and running more. Seems a good time to get a set of measurements in. Later tonight, I'll be getting some photos in, too.

My weight is at 130.5. That's 2.4 pounds lost in the last month.

Waist: 29.5 same as March, but 2 1/2 less than at the beginning.
Hips: 38 same as March, but 1 less than at the beginning.

Waist to Hip ratio is 0.76, which is solidly in the Healthy Range.

My body fat percentage hasn't changed. I think I need to find a way to measure that allows for decimals. I have to round every number, so nothing changes.

My upper chest is down to 33 inches. (2 inches lost since the beginning)
Under by bust is down to 30 inches. (3 inches lost since the beginning)
The rest of my measurements are the same as a month ago.

Day 88--5K #2

I have officially signed up for my second 5K. I will be running the Path to Progress It benefits the American Brain Tumor Association. If you'd like to donate a few dollars, I would really appreciate it. You can donate here. It's a good cause and a well-run charity.

You can also use that same link if you'd like to join me in running that day. Right now I'll be running with Kate.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day 87--run

I went for a full 5K run today, mainly because it's a beautiful day. I had mapped out a run a few weeks back, and I took that route. It's actually 5.03 km, but I can't see finding a closer route without spending days trying to map it out. I managed to complete my run in 36 minutes. It's slower than I ran my race, but there was nothing really pushing me to make it faster. I'm hoping that by running this more often, I can improve my time to 30 minutes. Eventually.

Today was also the first time I used my heart rate monitor. I bought it because it was on super sale and came with a digital watch. My regular watch isn't really cut out for exercise. According to my HRM, I was exercising at the high end of my target heart rate zone (157), but my max of 169 was well above that.

Day 86--Inertia

"An object that is not in motion will remain at rest until some force causes it to move."

I need someone or something to be that force. I'm tentatively scheduled to do a 5K on May 22nd & June 26th, but that's a bit far off for me to worry about. I need some direct challenge that's earlier.

I've looked back at the beginning of my blog to see if my original goals could be updated and restated. I didn't really have any specific goals in December, except a perfect body. That's impossible, but my body looks a ton better than it did in December.

I stole the idea of running a 5K every month from Meghan's blog and I'm really glad that I did. I think I'm going to steal an idea from another online friend. He's set a goal to run 1000 miles over the next two years. I will have to modify it, though. I think I'll try to run 50 miles in between my scheduled runs. That works out to a little less than a mile a day. I'll see if I can find a widget for my blog to show my progress.

I will be setting some cycling goals next month. May 3rd is the first day that I'll be biking to work. It's about 15 miles a day, so my goal will probably be about 300 miles per month and 1,500 miles for the full summer.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 85--Results

I didn't get a chip for yesterday's race. I didn't want to spend an extra $5 for something I could do with my watch, unless I would be up for an award, and that seemed highly unlikely. I wouldn't have been in any position for an award, but I finished right in the middle of the pack for my age group. The best times for women 35-39 were about 24 1/2 minutes. Now I have a long-term goal. Short term, my goal is to simply improve my time from my first race.

On May 22nd at Soldier Field, I will be running the 5th Annual Path to Progress Run/Walk/Strut I will be running with my friend Kate. We haven't set up our team or registered yet, but I will be hitting you all up for donations. It's a really good organization, and they're well-run, too.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 84--Race Day

I DID IT!!!!
I started the day with three goals:
1. Don’t hurt myself. 2. Finish the Race. 3. Finish in about 45 minutes.
I accomplished all three goals. I’m not hurt and I finished the race. I finished the full race in 35 minutes 12 seconds.
I feel like I can safely call myself a runner now. It was exhilarating. I finally understand the “runners’ high” that I’ve heard everyone talk about. I also understand how the race day atmosphere can push you to do better than you do otherwise. I ran the first two miles in 22 minutes, and each mile took about the same time. That was my time for a one mile run, but not my goal for today. It just seemed possible when I saw others doing it. The last mile was tough and I walked part of it, but still managed to finish that in 13 minutes. It was encouraging to make the turn and see all the other runners that were behind me.
The race “organizers” need to change their title, though. It started 15 minutes late, which works out to 50% late. FAIL. There were also overlapping routes for the 5K & 10K runs, but there were no signs indicating the difference. They had guys with flags telling people which way to go. That would have been great, if we didn’t all have headphones on and could have heard him. SIGNS would have been a really good idea. Also, there were crowd barriers that were set up in the middle of the path. I saw numerous people nearly run into them.
I’m now looking forward to the next race. I want to improve my time. I am looking for suggestions of any May races that are in the area and are for a good cause.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 83--Race stuff

I received my race shirt & number yesterday. It's all real now. I'm getting more nervous, especially with the time off from working out. I'm still killing off the end of this sinus infection. I think I'll be ok to run on Saturday; it's been easier for me in the mornings than evenings.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day 82--Sinus infection

My cold's been gone for about a week, but it morphed into what I think is a sinus infection. I think I'd rather have the cold. The sinus infection is causing headaches and a loss of my sense of balance. It's been almost two weeks since I've worked out and I have only the rest of this week until my run. I've lost a lot of time that I was hoping to use to build up to the run, so I'm now hoping that I can finish in under 45 minutes. Honestly, I'm just hoping that I'm able to finish.

I did get a heart monitor yesterday, which I'm also excited to try out. I know I'm improving my heart's strength, but it will be nice to be able to graph that change.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 81--Weight

The positive side to feeling crappy all week is that I haven't eaten much all week.

Because of the reduced calories, I managed to lose some weight even without working out.

I've hit the 130 pound mark.

I weigh 129.4 pounds.

This is the lowest I've weighed since I quit smoking a few years ago. I still have 11 pounds to go until I hit my Wii Fit Plus goal, but only 29.4 pounds to go until I hit my driver's license weight and my smoking and single weight.

Day 80--Death

Ok, no one actually died, but there were moments when I wished for death. I'm sure that all I have is a cold, but it kicked my ass. Even with a constant flow of decongestants, I still went through several boxes of tissues this weekend. I made it into work on Tuesday, but barely made the two block walk home from the train. I feel like crap, and not being able to work out for a week just adds to it. I am hoping that I feel up to it tonight, though.

My run is just a bit over a week away. The race packets go in the mail tomorrow. I'm also hoping to get a run in tonight, now that the weather is above frigid. I did stop my transit beginning May 1, so that's when I will begin biking my commute each day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 79--Deltoids

Yesterday's workout really hit my deltoids. I swear that's a muscle that I don't use in normal life. Think about it; how often do you lift your arms straight up to the side? Or lift a weight over your head? They're a bit sore today, but not as bad as I was anticipating. I also did push-ups yesterday. The More Workouts has you do them with one hand off to the side of the board, which corrects the narrowness issue that many people have with the Wii Fit push-ups. My fix had been to hold onto the side of the board, instead of putting my hands on top of the board.
Yesterday did bring me some weight loss, too. I'm just a hair away from 130, now. I'm hoping that I hit that line before the weekend. I'm attributing some of the weight loss to the home-made instant oatmeal I've been eating for breakfast. I think it's lower in sugar and calories than the Quaker stuff I've been eating. I'll have to get the recipe from author to find out.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 78--Weight loss

I managed to lose weight this weekend, even though I watched yesterday's games at a bar and didn't run at all. I'm thinking about running tonight, but only if the wind dies down a bit. I played some Wii sports tennis when I got home from work tonight, but other than that it's a rest day. Tomorrow night I'll get my workout in quickly before heading out for a wine tasting. Wednesday night I have a play in a near burb, so it's going to be a tough week for me to get in all my scheduled workouts. My run is ever inching closer to becoming a reality, and I have not been out running as often or as far as I think would make me more comfortable. It looks like the weather should be a bit warmer the rest of the week, so maybe I'll be able to get out more after my plans this week.

On another good note, my bracket is looking fairly strong, which could win me money and food.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 77--Snow

snow, cold, winter
I fully intended to take the dogs running this morning. I was dressed and out the apartment door when I noticed the snow that had accumulated overnight. That made me less enthusiastic, but didn't stop me. I made it about a block when I remembered that I hate the cold. My hands were cold and my feet were cold. My shoes are all venty to keep them from over-heating when running. This is great when it's warm out, but awful when it's this cold. I turned around and came back home.

I did do the EA Active workout, though. It was mostly lower body work today. They also added sprinting to the list of exercises. These got my dog very excited and she decided to be very involved in the rest of the work out.

My weight is practically the same as it was yesterday, which is good, but not as good as a loss. I didn't eat out or as badly as I normally do on Saturdays, so I think I might be able to maintain my weight over the weekend, instead of it inching back up.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 76--Soreness

I did the full workout for the 6 week challenge. It's really a good follow-up to the original game. I am feeling the exercises in more muscles, and I don't think that's just from the weight increase from 5 pounds to 8 pounds that I'm using doing the exercises. I think a good portion of it is coming from the different exercises and how they're hitting my muscles at new/different angles.

I'm not sure if it's the new workout or the running, but I've lost a few pounds this week. I'm back within a reasonable distance from 130. I'm really hoping that I can get below that mark this month. I have given up on losing any weight quickly. Now that I'm down to the last 10 pounds, my body seems to be holding on to every ounce with a really firm grip. I'm already working out most days of the week, and eating fairly well. I don't want to become all about those pounds and do nothing that could slow that loss. I still want to be able to have a beer or two, and go out to eat on the weekends.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 75--St. Pat's

I'm off to hoist a pint in honor of a guy who gets credit for doing something that didn't happen. I will work out again tomorrow--during commercials of the games.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 74--Post-workout Run

The puppies and I ran 1 1/4 miles tonight. Our time was only 15 minutes. (Maybe 16) We added 1/4 mile to our run without adding any time. I thought the run was actually 1 1/2 miles, but then I mapped my route at the USA Track & Field site and found out the exact mileage of my race. Tomorrow we'll add the extra 1/4 mile to make it a full 1 1/2 miles.

The coolest part of the run was that my feet don't hurt at all. Fleet Feet really knows their stuff. They listened to my concerns and allowed me to try my shoes on the treadmill before buying them. It really seems to have made a difference. The last time I remember running this far it's because my legs were throbbing all the way up to my knees for hours after.

Day 74--More Workouts

I love the new game. It seems to have borrowed a bit from Wii Fit with an obstacle course and balance board water-skiing. It also added ab work, which I felt was sorely lacking from the original game. The remaining exercises seem to be similar to the first game, but with a slight twist or increase in difficulty. I was struggling for breath a few times during the work-out today and I don't think there was much cardio at all. Aside from the Squash that is. Squash, like raquetball, not the winter vegetable. The game has you lunge left and then immediately right to hit the balls off the walls. It was like a pretty decent step class section. The wide-armed push-ups seemed to be the hardest thing from today. It wasn't part of today's workout, but the boxing is much improved from the original, too.

I'm still running, and hope to run 1 1/2 miles later tonight. I like running with my dogs, but if we're out when everyone else is walking their dogs, we end up spending the whole time barking and running becomes secondary.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 73--March

The NCAA Men's Basketball tournament starts Thursday, and I'm trying to figure out a way to use my bracket success as an exercise motivational tool. Should I run for 5 minutes for every correct pick and 10 minutes for incorrect picks? Should I do sit-ups? Maybe I should make sure I'm doing free step or free run the entire time I'm watching basketball.

I think that the answer should be used by the NFL to help with their idea about keeping their viewers more active. Have teams challenge viewers to do 100 sit-ups for every turnover. I think they could create a whole list of exercises that correspond to game events and then reward the person who loses the most weight with Super Bowl tickets.

If anyone has any good ideas that fit into this basic outline, please let me know. I don't want a month of watching people being athletic to cause me to lose the athleticism that I've built up.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 72--Measurements (take 4)

It hasn't been a full two months since I started this, but I've made a switch in my exercise routine since finishing the 30 Day Challenge on EA Active Personal Trainer. I thought now would be a good time to update my measurements. For past results, see Day 54, Day 25 and Day 4.

My weight is at 132.9. I've been stuck at that weight for about two months, which is frustrating, but at least I'm stuck within the healthy range.

Waist: 29.5 (down 1/2 inch since last time and 2 1/2 inches since the beginning.)
Hips: 38

Waist to Hip ratio is 0.76, which is solidly in the Healthy Range.

My body fat percentage hasn't changed.

None of my other measurements have changed either. My goal over the next month will be to get ready to run my 5K, and also to really work out hard so that these measurements move.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 71--More running

I was playing nurse to my sick girlfriend yesterday, so I didn't get a work out in at all. Tonight was bowling and then I ran a mile with my dogs when I got home. We ran the mile in 12 minutes, which is not a record setting time at all, but I'm pretty happy with it. It's only our second run, and that 12 minutes includes the time it took for two pee breaks, a poo break and a near-deadly off course sniffing. I plan on getting back at the Wii tomorrow, and start the 6 week challenge on EA Active More Workouts.

I know the running doesn't seem fit with the blog's title, but it really does for me. I've always known that running is great for cardio-vascular health and a great way to burn calories. I think most people know that to be true. Even with that knowledge, it took the small segments on the "track" on EA Active to break through my mental block to running. It had to build up my endurance and confidence to the point where I would consider running in the real world. Even if the running isn't done with the Wii, it's all because of the Wii. I also know that running won't really help tone and shape my arms or back, which is why I will continue to use the Wii for that part of achieving the "Perfect Body"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 70--Running

It's about 60 degrees today, which worked out well for me. I was planning on going outside for my first real run today, and the good weather just added to my desire. My puppies and I ran about a mile in about 15 minutes. It's not bad for my first real run, especially considering we had to stop for numerous pee breaks, a couple poo breaks, traffic, people and stuff smelling. I loved it. I finally understand why runners run. Even though it made my heart race, my breathing difficult, and my head all sweaty, it was still really fun. I'm looking forward to my next run and even more excited about my first puppy-free run. I'm still going to do the EA Active workout tonight and may take all of my measurements again, too. It seems a good point to do this since it's the end of a 30 day challenge and can be my pre-race training measurements.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 69--Registration

I just signed up for my first 5K. I've now spent the money, so I will show up for the run.
Date: Saturday, April 10, 2010
Time: 9 a.m. start
Location: Grant Park (Upper Hutchinson Field @ Columbus & Balbo) | Chicago
Beneficiary: Voices for Illinois Children & Prevent Child Abuse America
If anyone knows of other people who might be at this race, please let me know. I would love to see a friendly face or two at the start line. Even if this isn't for me, the worst case is that I just bought a slightly overpriced Dri-Fit shirt.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 68--Back at It.

I'm not feeling 100% yet, but I did get back to the workouts. I didn't really have much change in my weight over the week at all, but I do weigh a pound or two more than at the beginning of February. I missed all of last week, and I'll probably miss tomorrow, so I didn't want to wait until Wednesday. Today was the first day of upper body work since I bought the 8 pound weights. They're heavy and it was a bit difficult on my triceps. The rows weren't easy, but not as bad as the tricep kick-backs. It's been a while since I've really felt my muscles straining in that painful, yet kinda enjoyable way. Today's workout also included 6 "laps" of running, which ended up being a threat to my life. My dog decided that my running up and down the hallway was an invitation to play with Bearly. It's a gutted fleece stuffed bear that she wanted to play tug of war. It led to me jumping over her on a few of my laps. Luckily, I've improved my balance with the Wii fit yoga and balance games and didn't fall on my head. I only have one work out left on 30 Day Challenge and then I will move on to the 6 week challenge on the More Workouts.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 66 & 67---illness

I'm still feeling craptacular (it's a word, I swear) so I have not worked out at all. It totally sucks that I can't work out, but I can barely get upright, so exercise is out of the question. On the bright side, the illness is stopping me from eating much of anything, either, so I probably won't gain weight with the lack of exercise. I'm hoping to be back at it tomorrow.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 65--nothingness

I was not feeling well yesterday, so I didn't do anything after work but crawl under a blanket and stayed there until crawling into bed a few hours later. If I didn't have deadline work on my desk, I would still be in bed right now. I'm not expecting to get a workout in tonight either, even though I have an off week from bowling. I'm hoping that I feel better tomorrow so I can catch up on the missed days and take advantage of the spring/summer weather we're supposed to have this weekend.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 64--Trophies

EA Active awards trophies for milestones reached in their game. I have every trophy but 3. I don't have the two for journal entries, because I never enter my food into their journal. I also don't have the 10,000 calorie trophy. I really, really want that trophy, but there's no way of knowing how close I am to it. There's no running balance on the game to let you know how close you are to any of the trophies. The only running total that the game does have is percent of goal reached. The game allows you to set 3 goals: number of workouts, calories burned and time worked out. These can be reset at any time, though. I really like reaching goals, so not getting the calorie trophy when I've been awarded every other trophy is kind of frustrating. I feel like I should do nothing but work out on EA Active until I hit that point. (No, they don't give out the Heisman, but I've already used a standard trophy picture for a previous post. )

Day 64--guilt

I didn't get a work-out in yesterday. I went to a beer tasting instead. I did walk the 5 blocks to the bar, but that's not nearly enough to make up for the missed workout. If I'm ever going to look like Jillian Michaels, I'm going to have to do more than walk a few blocks and drink beer. I will do better tonight.

I found a great motivational idea on The Accidental Wisconsite. She's challenged herself to run a 5K a month for a year. I am going to steal her idea. Not only will I be keeping myself in shape, I'll be helping out the various charities. I think my first race will be the Wrigley Start Early run on April 10, 2010. It raises money to fight child abuse. That gives me a month to work up to it and freak out about it. I haven't run in a race since 8th grade. That was 20 years ago.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 62--More workouts

I tried part of the EA Active new workouts. I really think I'm going to enjoy them. There's jumping rope, which I was finding technically difficult, but not physically hard. There were new types of squats and single-arm rows. I did up my weight to 8 ponders. Not as much as Dexter Jackson over here, but more than the 5 I was using. I only tried it for a little bit, though because I still have a week on my 30 day challenge. Today was a rest day, though and I don't like doing nothing. I did the plank challenge and held it for 99 seconds, which is one second shy of my all-time record. I get bored doing the plank, though. I think I need to grab a magazine next time. I also ran in place for about 15 minutes today. I still can't get over how much I enjoy running. I tried to run with my dogs a couple of times this weekend, but Willie kept getting too excited and would try to bite the leashes, or just use that as her method of killing me. I can't be too sure. I may have to try running with them individually.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 61--New Starts

I only have a week left on the 30 day challenge, and today I bought my supplies for the next step in my work-out journey. I have 8 pound hand weights. Play it Again Sports had metal weights at $0.79 per pound, instead of the $2 per pound for the neoprene ones at Target. I also bought the EA Active More Workouts but had to get it at Game Stop, because my regular Target no longer carries it. I am regular and proud Target shopper, but had to go elsewhere for two purchases because of their isolated suckiness on this. I have not done anything with the new purchases because of the Closing Ceremonies. I did work out this morning and did have a small weight gain, but I ate southern food with dessert for dinner last night and then had a few beers at a bare while seeing the Carolina Chocolate Drops. I was not too upset with the weight gain, since I was really expecting it to be a bit higher than it was. I think all of the toe-tapping helped burn off some of the calories from dinner. Also, I was too tired from driving from the show back into the city last night to be awake enough to really care. It was late, but I did get to view the city's skyline from a few angles and was reminded of how great the city I live in truly is. Tomorrow is back to work and back to a regular exercise and eating schedule.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 60--Laps

Today's work-out had me run 6 "laps" in one of the segments. That works out to about 5 minutes of continuous running. I managed to do the entire thing without any problems at all. I ran up and down my hallway checking into my progress on the game every few passes. I knew I was building up my running tolerance, but this still shocked me a bit. I don't think I've run that far at one time since high school PE classes. I think I'm going to buy the EA More Workout game today, so when my 30 day challenge ends in a week, I'll be ready to go on to that right away. I'm also going to buy 8 pound hand weights to improve the effectiveness of the upper-body workouts. I won't use them for every exercise, but I will use them for the bicep curls and some of the rows. It's been about 10 years since I've been a regular exerciser, and I'm really glad to be back there. Other than that stretch of time, and the few times that I've been overweight, I've been "skinny-fat" most of my adult life. I fit into small sizes, but haven't had any cardio ability or muscular strength. I am determined to stay out of that classification again.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 59--Dress Pants

Our office hosted the company's board meeting yesterday, so I thought I should wear something nicer than jeans. For the last few years, that has meant a skirt because I didn't have any dress pants that fit. I didn't want to wear a skirt yesterday because of the cold, the lack of pockets and the need to shave my legs. I decided to check if my dress pants with pockets fit me, and they did. On top of the coolness of being able to dress nicely for work without having to carry a purse, the pants are a size 8. How cool is that?? I didn't even need to squeeze into them, or hold my breath to button them.

I weighed in last night, and there was no change in my weight, but I didn't really care since I wore size 8 pants all day long.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 58--solution

This makes me wonder why I work out. I should just buy these instead.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 57--Better news

I lost a touch of weight since yesterday, but am still at the same weight I was over three weeks ago. I did my scheduled work out for the 30 Day challenge and then spend 45 minutes trying to find all the flags in Island Cycling. I couldn't find the last two, though. This is the third time I've tried to find all 20 flags and have not succeeded once. I've Tried to find information online about how to find the other flags, but to no avail. It's hard because there isn't a specific order for finding the flags, so the last flags on my path may be the first flags that someone else has found.

I feel a bit better about my work outs today than yesterday, though. I don't expect to lose weight every day, but I also don't want to gain weight every day, either. I'd like to see a gradual movement to a lower weight, and that doesn't really seem to be happening. I'll keep on keeping on and make sure to keep adding cardio to the daily workouts.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 56--Tuesday

Just another day of doing my daily workout. Just like yesterday, I gained a little bit of weight when I stepped on the scale. I honestly thought of making today's blog nothing but the word ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!! in really large letters. Now that I've already typed all this, I can't really go back to that original plan. I'll just keep on keeping on and hope that I see a change in my numbers soon before I get too frustrated.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 55--Nothing

Today was a really long day at work. I barely had enough energy to walk the two blocks from the train to get home. I weighed in, noticed my small weight gain, and then decided to take the night off. It was a rest day anyway. I will get back to it tomorrow with the next day's workout in EA Active.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 54--Measurements Take 3

I've been at this for 2 months. My first set of measurements were 12/20/2009. And, since my weight seems to be stuck, I thought I'd remeasure to see if that's been changing since the second set on 01/17/2010 I'm really hoping they've changed, because if my weight AND my measurements aren't moving, I'm going to feel really frustrated. Here goes....

Waist: 30 inches (I measured that twice to make sure I've really lost 2 inches. I have)
Hips: 38 inches (This hasn't moved in a month, which is ok, I guess.)

My waist to hip ratio is .789 I'm finally to the goal of .80 or lower for a low risk of heart disease.

I have 27% body fat. 35.9 Pounds of fat and 97.1Pounds of lean (muscle, bone, body water)

Upper chest: still 34
Under bust: 30.5
Thigh: 21 (same)
Calf: 13 (same)
Wrist: 6 (same)
Bicep: 11 (same)

Two months of work and I've managed to lose 3 1/2 pounds of fat and gain 1 pound of muscle. It's easier to monitor my weight and use that as a gauge of if my work is having any benefits, but it's clear that weight isn't the only way, or even the best way to monitor my progress.

I'm a little bit disappointed in the lack of change in the measurements. My weight isn't moving and that's not because I'm shifting from fat to muscle, which is what I was hoping for.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 53--Weekend

Last night was bowling. Our team went 7-0, and had one game where our team was 120 pins over our average. :)

I got a workout in first thing this morning and then had some high fiber (10 grams) oatmeal and my coffee. I'm finally back to my pre-Valentine's day weight. I don't think the week of higher weight was really due to anything I did or didn't do. I really need to get my base-line weight down so these little chemical weight gains don't push me so far up that I get as frustrated I did this week.

I was noticing how the progression in the 30 day challenge has the workouts set so each day's activity is either right at my level or just a bit above it. I think if I went back and did the 1st day at high intensity, I would not want to cry or give up on the day's activities, but I'm sure tomorrow will make me have both of those thoughts.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 52--Olympics

I managed to squeeze my workout in yesterday before heading out to watch the skating with friends. I then walked the .9 miles to my destination. I feel better for not having missed another day. I don't feel great about the lack of movement in my weight. I've been in the 132-134 range for weeks on end and really wish it would drop below 130. I'm sure that I could make this move if I were less lazy. I'm not lazy when it comes to getting my work out done, but I am lazy when it comes to other things. 1.) Tracking my calorie intake. I try to eat well, but I don't track what I eat to make sure I'm taking in the right amount of calories to help me lose weight. 2.) Water. I still don't drink enough water, which is probably hurting my weight loss efforts. It's not that I don't like the taste of water, it's just that I'm never really thirsty. 3.) Cardio/Aerobic exercise. I think I need to start adding in some exercise like free step, free run or Gold's Gym boxing after the EA Active work outs.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 51--nothing

I was stuck at work late yesterday, so I didn't get to work out. I really missed it. I'm not sure if I'll get to work out tonight, either, which would push my next work out to Saturday. I've gotten to the point where working out is part of my schedule and if it gets bumped, it gets missed. I did have time to weigh in, and nothing changed since Tuesday. I did some sit-ups during the downhill skiing, but that was not enough to make up for missing the full 30 minute work out.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 50--correction

It's not the island cycling that's making my calves moo. It's running in place. I tend to only run with the front of my foot, and the increase in running caused my calves to tighten up. I used my whole hallway to run on EA Active today, so I think I can avoid the calf pain in the future. I enjoyed the running more when I was moving, too. It felt a lot more natural than running in place. I was shocked that running up & down the hallway didn't cause my dogs to chase me, though. They were helping me with my side lunges and other exercises earlier in my workout. They are not the kind of personal trainers who anyone would want to hire or to help them with a workout.

I have had my weight get stuck a couple of pounds heavier than it was last Friday. A friend of mine who uses Wii Fit wishes that when it asked about reasons for a weight gain, that it offered "I'm a girl" as an answer. I have to agree. I know I wasn't good on Saturday, but I wasn't 7000 calories bad. That's how bad I would have had to have been for that to be the reason for a 2 pound weight gain. The only other reason would be my that every time I weigh myself, my dogs are secretly pushing on the balance board with their paws. I find that unlikely, so I'm blaming chemicals that I can't control.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 49--Confusion

I know that real exercise can be achieved with the Wii, yet I'm surprised when using the Wii leads to next day soreness. My guilt over the food on Saturday, led to extra cardio on Sunday. I did my regular workout as part of the 30 day challenge, then did the Wii Fit Island Cycling on Advanced. I gave up after finding 18 of 20 flags. That's better than last time when I gave up after 15, but I would really like to find them all. It took me about 47 minutes to find as many as I did, and I'm feeling it today. To "pedal" the bike, you step up and down. I don't move my whole foot to do this, though. I just move my heels up & down. That works out to 47 minutes of calf raises. My calves are mooing today. I also did 30 minutes of free step last night, but that is not where the soreness and stiffness are coming from. I'm hoping that the extra work did something for my weight in addition to the calf pain.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 48--Valentine's Day

Yesterday was a day of badness. I ate lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, ate chocolate at the movies and then had dinner at a Korean restaurant. Not only did I notice the difference on the scale, I notice it in how I feel. I feel lethargic from over-eating. Korean restaurants really load you up with food. I even joked that the woman who was serving us and was also the owner seemed to be fattening us up to eat us. There were the 8 little plates of various things: kim chee, daikon radish, bean sprouts, seitan, zucchini and other things that weren't as easily named. There were also the fish that were still looking at us and the egg pancake thing. None of these were actually ordered, but were included in our order of other food. I know most of it was fairly healthy, but it was still a lot of food. I will be eating my left overs for dinner tonight and already had some for lunch. This photo is pretty close to what our table looked like last night. It was all very, very yummy, though. I did more cardio today to make up for it and will get back into a pattern of good behavior during the week.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 47--back at it

Thursday was a scheduled rest day and yesterday was bowling. (We went 6-1, and probably stayed tied for first place.) I started right back at it this morning, though. It turns out that I miss working out on the days when I can't get to it. Bowling may qualify as a sport, but it's not much of a workout. I did better at the fast kick-ups today. I had to run 2 "laps" of them, and that's way more than I can normally manage. If I'm just running, I can do 2 "laps" in about 90 seconds. It takes me much longer to finish them when I'm doing kick-ups. Part of that time is because I have to do slow kick-ups for at least half of the distance. Today, I managed to do the full distance at full speed. I was really winded after it, but I still managed to finish that and keep going with the rest of the work out. I may not be seeing a dramatic change in my total weight (I'm down to 131.2 pounds), or even my appearance, but I know that I'm getting stronger and building up my cardio limits. I really need to look into testing my heart rate and aerobic capacity so I can see the actual levels of improvement.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 46--Running

I enjoy running. I haven't enjoyed running in my entire life. It's the part of the daily workout in the 30 day challenge that I most look forward to. I still don't like fast kick ups, but the actual running is enjoyable. I may see if my enjoyment of running translates from running in place in my living room to running on a treadmill. Last summer, when I was biking to work, I kept trying to run on the treadmill, but after a couple of minutes I would die. I've run on the Wii for much longer than that, and haven't felt that urge to die that I normally get when I run. I don't have any plans for running a marathon any time soon, but this is still a nice change which opens more work out opportunities for me. If it does translate outside of my living room, it may also benefit my dogs, who have never been able to run because there was no one who could run with them for more than a few steps.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 45--Stuckedness

I know that's not a word, but that's how I feel. I'm over a week into the high intensity 30 day challenge and my weight has not budged at all. I'm still just a glass of water under 132 pounds. My diet is still pretty good and even the Super Bowl night wasn't much of a departure. I think I had 2, maybe 3, beers that entire night. I'm not thinking of throwing in the towel, but I am frustrated. I'm not sure if I need to add some non-Wii activity, or if I need to start doing some free-step. It's the one thing I can do on the Wii the entire night after dinner without hogging the entire living room for myself. I can do start the free step, switch antennas on the TV and then switch back when the pre-set time is over. Wii also switches the sound to the controller so you can still keep their rhythm, if you choose to do that. When I used free step last summer, I usually was stepping much faster than the fastest rhythm that is available on the game. While looking for an image for the Free step, I found one for Free run. I had no idea that was an option. I'll have to look into that tomorrow when I weigh in.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 44--Holiday Hangover

Today should be a National Holiday. We should just move Presidents' Day to the first Monday after the first Sunday of February. That would be the day after the Super Bowl so we can all eat & drink all we want, stay at our friends' houses after the game is over, have time to clean up and then not have to worry about getting up early the next morning to get to work. One million people watched the game last night and I'm sure they'd all agree with me on this. Especially since most of us don't really celebrate Presidents' Day anyway.

Other than that, today is a day to celebrate only gaining .2 pounds from the gluttony that is Super Bowl Sunday. I probably could be celebrating no change in my weight, but I didn't feel like making the effort of peeing before my weigh in. My cat, on the other hand, could do with a kitty treadmill. I used the Wii to weigh her in, and she's pushing 20 pounds. For now, I'm rationalizing it as that she's part Maine Coon. (It's sort of the cat equivalent of being big boned."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 43---Super Bowl

The head count for our party today is hovering around a dozen, so this weekend has involved a lot of prep work. (Kept typing prep as perp. That's not what I was doing today.) Even with all the prep work of cleaning, cooking, rearranging furniture to fit everyone with a decent view of the TV and fending off the puppies, I still managed to get my EA Active work-out in today. My weight is still right at 132 pounds, where it feels like it's stuck. I'm waiting for the point in this 30 day challenge when the upper body exercises with the 5 pound weights don't make me want to cry. I'm not anywhere near that point yet. I am weirdly at a point where I look forward to the running, though. I need to take that unexpected enjoyment of running and try the Wii Fit running, which I've never done. All of that exercise, plus the exercise of scrubbing the kitchen floors should give me enough of a calorie burn to off-set all the crap I'm prepared to eat and drink the rest of the day. Now, on to the game. Go Saints!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 42--Weight

I didn't work out yesterday because of bowling. I really didn't feel like 30 minutes of really hard exercise at 10 when I got home. I did weigh in last night and found that I had gained .4 pounds because of the pizza. I even had leftover pizza for lunch on Friday, so I thought that I'd see the results of this diet transgression on the scale, but I didn't. I weigh less today than I did on Thursday before the pizza. This gives me hope for tomorrow. In case you're not a football fan, tomorrow is the Super Bowl. It's the biggest party day of the year, even for people who don't like football. Close to 100 million people watch the game every year. Most of us eat chips, dip, fried foods and other unhealthy things during the 4+ hours of activity. I don't plan on being saintly tomorrow, but now I know I can eat more than is ideal without needing to feel any guilt. I'm glad for that, because my brother is recreating the food stadium in the photo. He will be making some changes, and I will post a photo or two of his version Monday.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 41--Domino's

I had Domino's for dinner. Turns out that the new improved taste is improved. Before I ate bad food, I weighed in at a little bit under 132 pounds. I know my weight fluctuates about 1/2 pound a day and it's good to know that the mid point in that fluctuation is 132 pounds now, and not the 134-135 that it was at the beginning of the year. Today's workout wasn't too difficult, which I appreciated. I wasn't really feeling up to a hard work out. I did do a lot of bicep curls though. Now I just need to convince everyone that they should admire by big, bulging biceps. No, they're no as big as this guy's. This guy was a huge steroid user who had the largest biceps in the world at one time. I watched an entire show about this guy on The Discovery Channel one Saturday.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 40--Rest

I was really hoping for some weight loss today, but no such luck. I didn't gain much, but I can barely wait until my weight gets below 130. I understand when the Biggest Loser people are so excited to cross a plateau. I guess I should consider myself lucky that my plateau is already in a healthy range and not 300 or 400 pounds. This isn't the first time in my adult life that my weight has gotten too high for my comfort level. This is probably the fourth time that I've gone over 140, and some of those times it's gone over 150. I'm really hoping that this is the last time that I ever have to work to get it back below 130. As I've gotten older, the work needed to get below that mark has increased at a level that seems to be exponentially related to my age. The first time it happened, I was 21 years old and all it took was a slight tweak to my eating habits. It wasn't anything that could be called a diet, because it wasn't that big of a change. This time around it's been a year of changes to my eating habits and a ton more exercise and I'm still not there. This should be my motivation to keep it low once I finally get it down where it belongs.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 39--New goals

I wasn't sore today at all. I was surprised about that after the pain that I was in yesterday while doing the first workout on high intensity. Working out is now getting to be a part of my daily routine and I'm actually enjoying the workout itself, and not just the results. Not that the results aren't great. I keep noticing the tightness/firmness of my muscles throughout the day, even when I'm not flexing. Today, I was taken aback by the way my arm feels, which I notcied while pushing up my shirt sleeves. I can also feel my legs getting firmer overall, even when I'm not flexing.

Now that I'm seeing the first steps in my quest to achieve a perfect body, I've set some more specific goals. I was inspired by watching NBC tonight. They had a commercial for the Olympics, and skier Lindsey Von was featured in it. There was quick shot of her in a skier's squat, but balancing on top of a yoga ball. I found an entire video of her working out, which blew my mind. That, and a story of golfer Anika Sorenstam practicing her drives from the top of a yoga ball have motivated me to be able to match their ability to balance.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 38--Starting Over

Today, I began a new 30 Day Challenge. This time, I'm doing it on high intensity, rather than the low intensity of the challenge I just finished. I've been under the assumption that the levels were called low, medium and hard, but turns out that wasn't correct. It's really low, medium and high intensity. Today's workout was just about 30 minutes, instead of the14 minute workouts of the low intensity. I definitely broke a sweat and was winded several times during the workout. Three minutes of full-speed running with high kicks will do that to you. I also moved from 3-pound weights to 5-pound weights. I can already tell that I'm going to feel that difference in my triceps and my anterior deltoids. Those front shoulder raises made me want to cry. On a good note, my weight before working out was under 132 pounds. I didn't weigh in after working out, because I ran out of time and was exhausted. I'm really hoping that one week of working out on high intensity will help me cross the 130 mark once and for all.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 37--Finish

wii, EA Active, wii fitnessI finished the EA Active 30 Day Challenge on Easy. It really lived up to its name. I think I had a slight difficulty with my breath twice during all 20 exercises. I don't think I felt the day-after muscles soreness much, if at all during the month and I know I didn't break a sweat. I was using 3 pound weights for half the month, too. It would have been even easier with the resistance band. Tomorrow I will start over, but on Hard/Difficult. If it's going to do me any good physically, I really need it to be tougher. I also want to make a stronger commitment to doing the yoga every day that I work out on EA Fitness. The sporadic yoga I did over the last month probably did more for my body than all the workouts on EA Fitness.

I thought I'd check out my measurements, just in case any of them changed, but not actually expecting any change. That'll teach me to make assumptions.

My waist is down another 1/2 inch to 31. Same story with my hips; I'm down to 38. That puts my waist to hip ratio down a bit, but still not great. None of my other measurements have changed at all. I'll check my measurements again at the end of March.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 36--Sick

illness, sick, exercise
I have a killer cold that has settled into my lungs. I was not able to say the letter m or n yesterday, or get a full breath. Luckily, it was a rest day on the 30 day challenge, so I didn't really slack by coming home and doing nothing but reclining. I only have 2 days to go until I restart the challenge, but on HARD. The easy was too easy, and I'd rather push myself with hard than go with medium. I did take the time to weigh in yesterday, though. I was back down a bit below 133 pounds. With not eating much the last few days because I can't really taste anything, I feel that I could break the 130 mark soon. I haven't weighed less than 130 in years. I'm not sure when I crossed it on the way up, but I'm sure it was over 2 years ago. I'm not sure what I will do to celebrate that milestone, but it sure won't be cheesecake or ice cream. Maybe I'll buy a nice piece of clothing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 35--Core

I was discussing my record in the ski jump on Twitter today. (Follow me on Twitter, too. I'm on there as bodybywii) After that, I thought I would try it again. I couldn't get my total to beat my old total, but I did find that getting myself up to 60 mph was much easier. I didn't get the 404 meters that the guy in the video did, but I did hit 377 today and my record is 381. I did try a few of the other balance games that I haven't done in ages. It's possible that I haven't done them since moving to Wii Fit Plus from the original. I still suck at the penguin and soccer games. Although they're much, much more fun since I've downloaded famous Miis from the Mii channel. There is nothing like Ice Cube, Oprah, Jack Black and Jesus chucking panda heads and soccer cleats at you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 34--photos

me, side image, tattoo, stomach, abs
me, front image, tattoo, stomach, abs
me, rear image, tattoo, stomach, abs

I know they're not "Before" pictures, but they're not "After" pictures, either. As you can see, I have Mom Waddle under my arm, and a Baby Bumper hanging out around my belly button. There are other parts of my body that I don't find to be perfect, but these are the ones that bother me most and are probably the most common. I'm only 5'3", so a few pounds is a little bit more visible on me than on someone who is 5'8". I also benefit because a small weight loss is also more visible. If anyone reading this is looking for work-out motivation, I highly suggest having photos taken of your trouble spots and then zoom in on them. I keep looking at the photos above and they make me want to do hours of ab work. I swear my belly button looks like a canyon in those photos. That's way deeper than it looks from my normal viewpoint. I think I'll turn on "The Biggest Loser" at 8 to put this into some perspective.

Day 33--One Year

wii, wii fit, exercise, fitness
I've now had my Wii for 365 days. In that time, I've lost 14 pounds and shed 3 points off my BMI. Much of that was during the summer when I was biking 15 miles (no hills) every day. I was also doing the EA Active workouts most days along with the Gold's Gym boxing. That was all during my company's step total contest. I came in 2nd place with over 2.5 million steps over the course of 12 weeks. I think I may have to start doing more than the Wii fit and EA Active if I want to see any more weight loss. The Gold's Gym is a great aerobic workout, something that I'm not really feeling right now, but might get in the hard version of the 30 Day Challenge.

One great thing that has come out of a year of Wii Fit is great posture. When I first got the game, it took every ounce of strength and concentration to keep my posture anywhere near the 50% mark when weighing in. As soon as the measuring was done, I would bend one knee and put all my weight on one side. I rarely, if ever stand that way anymore. I don't cross my legs when sitting in a chair or slouch as much, either. The Wii fit exercises and games really help build up core muscles and improve posture.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 32--Flexibility

fitness, flexibility, stretch, anatomy
I have never been a very flexible person. My hamstrings, especially, are really tight. I have to stretch them every day for weeks, if not months, before I can touch my toes without bending my knees. Even when I've had really low weight and high muscle percentage, I've still had a hard time keeping my hamstrings limber. Years ago, Christy Turlington was on Oprah to promote her yoga line and she mentioned she had the same issue. I think the only reason I remember it is because it made me feel a lot better.

There is a yoga move in the Wii fit Plus that they call the spine extension. It's just moving your one leg right behind the leg on the board and then leaning forward. The part that trips me up is putting my arms together behind my back. You're supposed to put them back there palm to palm, which I can't seem to do, but don't know which muscle is actually preventing me from doing it. After some discussion and attempts it seems to be a forearm muscle issue. There are about a million muscles that it could be though. I'm hoping that some time will help with it.