Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: October 2009 (Page 1 of 3)

Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween!  It’s probably my favorite holiday besides March.  Yes, the entire month is a holiday because it’s my birthday and Zliten’s birthday and my maid of honor’s birthday and a few other important peeps birthdays, so we party all month long.  Anyhooo, I love me some Halloween.  Even though it’s diet hell I love the little miniature candies and spooky costumes and haunted houses and parties and everything.  Mostly, I like the excuse to dress up as something really freaky.  So what did we do this year?

Apart, I am a zombie cheerleader (give me a B!  give me an R!  give me an AINS, what does that spell?  brrrraaaaiiiinnnnssss….) and he is a potted plant.  Together, we are Plants vs Zombies.

Now, I’m taking a half day at work today to go get my Halloweening on early.  What are you doing this weekend?  What will YOU reinvent yourself as for Halloween?  Does anyone actually buy those slutty sexy prison guard costumes?  Happy Halloween!

Five Random Things

I don’t have another coherent post in me today, and I realized that what I was going to post today was much more appropriate for Friday, so welcome to the return of 5 random things.

1.  Somehow, I’m not sure why – but an easy 5k has now dropped to about 28 minutes (so 9 minute miles) – just in the last week or 2.  Is it that the shred strengthening muscles I didn’t know I needed stronger?  I’d say is it the shred warming me up, but it even happened yesterday when I shredded in the morning and ran at night.  Is it the new music I have?  Is it the cooler weather (it’s odd – I wear a sweater and a jacket when I’m out in it to go to work, and then I go running in just a tank and I’m fine)?  Is it that I can run at night again?  I don’t know, but I’ll take it.  Now, just as I’m hitting my short distance stride, I’m about to change it up and start distance training next month.  25 minute 5k, maybe next year…. I’m going to do one more probably next month but I haven’t been training for it so I don’t have high hopes.

2.  I’m playing EverQuest again.  Yes, this game that I spent years and years in front of a computer playing, eating delivery pizza and drinking bourbon.  The fun thing is – we’ve been able to get on and play for an hour or 2 a night in place of just sitting in front of the TV and me dorking on the net and Zliten playing bejeweled for hours.  It’s kinda fun to reconnect with some people we used to play with and relearn how to maneuver our characters again.  It’s always good for the soul to get into a game again.  It’s also reminding me that I do have that chunk of time from about 9-11pm each weekday night to get things accomplished instead of zoning out EVERY night and watching TV.

3.  Speaking of finding time in my day – I’m contemplating NaNoWriMo.  I’ve even got an idea for it.  The only problem is I’m pretty sure the blog will suffer.  Maybe not, but it’s possible.  All I have to say is that wanting to pursue multiple interests sucks when you also are required to get 7-8 hours sleep at night and work full time.  When I’m working out as intensely as I am, having a weekday 4-5 hour night to get caught up is just not an option.  And then when I do it on the weekends it just makes Monday soooo hard.  I figure though – worst case, I come up with the idea, start on it, and even if I don’t finish in November, I’ll can certainly tick one more thing off the 2009 to do list – something creative!

4.  I’ve realized that 30 means being more concerned about fitting in my workouts around a lab appointment to draw blood to check my numbers tomorrow than the needle itself.  Fun fact about Quix: I HATE NEEDLES.  I especially hate needles around where they draw blood (the inside of my arms… I don’t even like people touching me there).  However, I have to watch the entire process, like I’m guiding the nurse’s stabby stabby procedure with my eyes.  I love the idea of tattoos and piercings and would probably have some ink and be pierced a LOT more than 8 times (three in each ear, one in my cartelige, once in my tongue – though the tongue and one in my ear closed up so I only have 6 now) if I could get over that.

5.  We’ve been eating at home a lot more.  We have a constant lunch date on Fridays with a group to eat pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), we typically end up having a meal or two out on the weekends, but that’s about it now.  We come home for lunch just about every weekday and cook dinner every night.  Last year this time, we ate lunch out every day, and most weekend meals out, and generally cooked dinner about 4 days a week and that was it (if we weren’t crunching and getting dinners provided at work).  We are eating a lot healthier (maybe not lower calorie, I got good at that, but definitely more good stuff), it’s saving money, but bugger if the dishes don’t have dish babies in the sink!  I don’t usually make a production out of dinner, it involves maybe a pan, a tupperware, a salad bowl, two plates, and two utensils – but somehow the sink is full every day.  It takes me a long time to notice it’s an issue (if it’s not overflowing then who cares is my motto) and it annoys Zliten to no end.   In fact, he was the one who suggested this topic for my fifth random thing.  We badly need a kitchen fairy that can do dishes for us every night.  Like the gal above.  =)

There is my random stuff.  Tomorrow I forsee work kicking my arse, plus I have aforementioned doctor appointment and a shred and a 5 mile run to do, so I’ll be back Friday for the mysterious post I did not write today.  Ciao, internet!

Shredhead, Coming Back to Earth

Few things to talk about today so it’s sort of a scatterbrain Tuesday!  Get ready for the smorgasbord!

Yesterday:

*Ok, squeamish boys, you might just want to skip this section – go on then.*

So yesterday, my post kinda reeked of melodrama.  I wasn’t sure what the heck was going on in my brain.  Sure, that number on the scale was enough to floor me but then little things at work were affecting me more than I should and I was just feeling awfully ill.  I went to empty and fill (my bladder and my water glass, respectively) and started freaking out because I thought something was wrong with me.

After a few minutes of puzzling out what day it was – it’s the first time I’ve been early for TOM in… years probably.  But only a few days so I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.  I am under so much less stress this month than I have been in about a year maybe (taking it easier on the workouts, wedding stuff done), that my 33-ish day stress induced cycle is off.  Once I realized that’s what it was, it made so much sense.  THAT is where probably half of the bloat came from (the other half salt).  THAT is why I was really feeling ill.  THAT is why people at work were making me emotional.

I came home, took pain killers, and curled up on the couch.  Yes, I even skipped my workout.  I’ll make it up later this week.  I needed it.  I’m down 2.1 of the 7 lbs today and I expect they will fall off this week as it progresses.

Occam’s razor – most often, the simplest explanation is the right one.

Shredding:

So I’ve been doing the 30 day shred, and it’s been interesting to say the least.  I always discount short workouts a bit – I can do anything for 20 minutes, right?  Well, Jillian definitely pushes that theory to the limits.

The videos have you doing her 3-2-1 system – 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs.  During the strength portion you do one sort of isolating arm move for 30 seconds, then arms and legs for 1 minute, and then repeat.  During the cardio section you do one exercise for 30 seconds, then a different one for 30 seconds, and then repeat.  During abs, you do abs.  For example, one circuit is chest flys for 30 seconds, then side lunges with anterior raises for 1 minute (then repeat) for the strength portion, then jumping jacks for 30 secs and punches in a squat for 30 secs (then repeat) for cardio, and then bicycle crunches for 1 minute for abs.

So Day 1 I had no respect.  I was like, ok, this is cake, and went for a 5k immediately after.  The next day, I was kinda sore.  Which isn’t too hard to believe – I worked different muscles than normal.  Then I realized I had to do it again.  The second day – that was tough.  The third day?  I decided it was a shred and yoga instead of the additional cardio I had planned because I was so incredibly sore.  Day 4 I felt better because of my little rest and ran again after, and that made me sore as hell for Day 5, where I blew off the rest of my cardio.  I was pretty sore through the weekend, but I think that was also attributed to being on my feet most of the day on Saturday and then dancing my hiney off at the party.

By yesterday morning (Day 6) I was feeling better and though I blew off additional cardio it wasn’t because I was sore.  This morning I moved on to level 2 and I have 2 words for you – SQUAT THRUSTS.  Ugh.  Some of it was easier (the ab workout was pretty weak in comparison I thought but we’ll see what’s sore later), some of it was harder (hiya, cardio, you actually felt like a workout), and I can tell different muscles are sore.  The plan is to stay with this another 6-7 days, and then move on to level 3 and finish the 4 weeks out there.

My impressions after a week-

The Good:

-It is a kick ass workout if you only have 30 minutes to spare from start to cooldown/stretch.  Even a 5k takes me longer and that’s typically my shortest workout.

-You will most likely find some new awesome moves.  Lunges + bicep curls?  Painfully awesome!

-I haven’t been this sore and also felt this much improvement in the strength side of things in a while.

The Bad:

-While I definitely feel an intensity to it, I don’t think it’s enough time.  I need some running, DDR, and yoga in there. 6 mins of cardio bursts per day doesn’t feel like it’s doing my running any service.

-The first week of almost utter and complete soreness made it really tough to WANT to do anything else.  I had the best success going for runs immediately after shredding because I was warm (and might continue that trend on short and fast runs), but splitting workouts into morning and afternoon is NOT optimal with this as I cool down, get sore, and then have to get back into something else 9 hours later just as my body is starting to repair.

-It is rough on your body.  I trained for a half marathon with very few aches and pains and this short workout gave me minor knee and ankle aches.  I question whether doing it every day (ok, 5 days a week for me as I just don’t do a week with no rest days) or even consecutive days is good for you.  As Jillian says it helps you adapt quickly, but at what cost?

-It’s boooooring doing the same things every day.  I’m trying to follow instructions for now but I think I’d rather rotate between the levels during the week.

The verdict:

Gonna stick with it for the next 4 weeks, 5-6 days a week.  After that – I think it gets thrown into the strength training rotation.  I expect to look a little firmer once it’s done but I don’t expect miracles unless I really put a little more effort into my consumption.  I think this would also be the PERFECT workout for crunch time at work when 30 mins is about what I’ve got and just do it every day before work.

I am going to make doing the shred my first priority.  That is, if all I can do in a day is shred, that’s ok.  I have 2 yogas, 2 DDRs, and 2 runs planned as well, but I have to listen to my body.  If I’m going to die, I need to rest.  I have 2 weeks post-shred before a 5 mile race, and then that week I start half training.  I don’t want to come out of this weaker than I was.  That being said, I cannot forsee doing this more than 2-3 times per week max if I want to also continue running.

Zliten also tried it yesterday.  He has been complaining ever since. ::grin::  I don’t think he’s going to do the every day shredding, but it’s an option for him on days he doesn’t want to leave the house.

So, my dear internetians… I leave this in your hands to continue the discussion?  Ever had TOM just completely sneak up on you and you thought you were going crazy?  What’s everyone else think of the shred?  What’s going on with your Tuesday?

Pictures from nataliedee.com… because they are adorable.

Where Everything Falls Apart

So my big thing is no guilt.  No regrets.  But it’s hard not to regret and rib yourself a bit if you treated yourself so poorly over the weekend that you are feeling physically ill about it.  And by “you”, I mean me.  Consider yourselves my proverbial priests, while I give you a full confessional.  I’ll give you a play by play of the carnage.

My first mistake was going out Friday night.  I knew I had a party lined up the next night, yet I couldn’t wait.  I didn’t go too crazy and I ate well (I was a good girl and ordered chipotle tacos with meat, lettuce, salsa, and that’s it, and that was the worst thing food-wise I had all day), but there was definitely whiskey involved.  And I was up until almost 5am.  And I skipped the DDR part of my workout.  Mostly because I was sore and wanted to die, but partly because I didn’t have time – friends were already over and food was sitting on the counter after Jillian kicked my butt.

My second mistake was sleeping in Saturday, lazing around, and then having to run all over town getting things for my costume.  I missed my sixth day of Shred.  Six days is more than I usually do, but considering 2 of those days were only 20 min shred workouts, I still owed myself a workout.  And I didn’t do it.

My third mistake was following my advice for parties – I had a very small and what I thought was filling snack before I headed out, but I guess a gardenburger wasn’t enough.  I was so seriously hungry I downed an OBSCENE amount of junk food there because I was STARVING.  On top of that, I could only obtain a one liter of diet soda and had to move on after that to sugared punch and soda.  Ugh.

My fourth mistake was lunch on Sunday.  It wasn’t that it was so unhealthy – it was just so BAD.  We went to try out what we thought was a new soup and salad bar, but it ended up being more of a straight buffet, and probably the worst one in town we’ve had thus far.  Everything was fatty and greasy and bleh (except that salad, that was alright- but the topping bar was pretty small).

My fifth mistake?  Not making up my skipped workout on Sunday.  I had convinced myself somehow that I should rest today so I didn’t tire myself out, but I think it was more about the hangover.  I usually punish myself by working through hangovers but not so much yesterday.

My sixth and final nail in the coffin was dinner.  Calorie-wise, I was a freaking saint.  We got chinese takeout and I had wonton soup, veggie delight, and one bite of orange chicken.  And about half a cup of rice.  The problem is – I ended up with a gigantic portion of the wonton soup + broth and it was especially salty, so I am Bloaty McBalloonperson today.

I will say some good things about this weekend though:

1.  I didn’t partake of the late night fast food runs either night.  I had a few fries off Zliten’s plate Friday but that’s it.

2.  I did dance my ass of for a while at the party Saturday.  Plus I was shopping for 3 hours – shopping is cardio, right?

3.  I made good food choices with what I had to work with Sunday.  I went for non fried stuff (minus one small taste of fried fish which was honestly the best thing on the buffet :P) and loaded up on veggies and non-sauce covered protein.  Chinese, I ate probably just about the lowest calorie foods on the menu and was actually pretty satisfied with what I got instead of feeling diet-punished.

However, the truth is today the scale is saying unthinkable things that I am going to throw out as a mulligan.  I’ll give myself a day or 2 being healthy to detox and I should be back in business.  The problem: I have just about the same weekend to face next weekend.  I have high hopes going into each weekend and then it all falls apart.  It’s one hundred percent my fault.  While I’d love to get persnickety about people around me not being the best influences and yadda yadda yadda, I am the one making the choices.  I am the one who controls my destiny.

I am the one who had to have her heart jump out of her chest practically today because of what she saw on the scale.  Yeah, it was that ridiculous.  Who gains seven lbs in 2 days?  That would be me, people.  I am really going to have to get it together if I want to accomplish project: the last effing 20 lbs.

But really, all I can do is analyze, figure out how to be better next time, and move on.  So that I will.  This week, I will stop letting those close to me be enablers.  If I choose to go out drinking and find myself hungry because of it, fuck it.  Being hungry is not the worst thing in the world.  If I have the strength to run a half marathon, and the capability to come up with a training plan – I can figure this out.  I’m not a dumb bunny, but I sure played one this weekend.

So, I guess here is last week by the numbers:

Monday: under 1400 1500 calories, Shred Lvl 1, 30 mins DDR 5k run (had an itch to run, so I ran instead)

Tuesday: under 1400 1500 calories, Shred Lvl 1, 5k run 30 mins DDR (switched from Monday, and at lower intensity than normal because – um, sore!)

Wednesday: under 1400 1500 calories, Shred Level 1, 30 mins DDR yoga (was about to die from soreness so I yoga’d out)

Thursday: under 1400 1500 calories, Shred Level 1, 5 mile run 5k run (just didn’t have a 5 miler in me)

Friday: under 1500 1700 calories, Shred Level 1

Saturday: healthy eating until the Halloween party, Shred Level 1

Sunday: under 1500 calories (who knows), rest

So this week is:

Monday: under 1400 calories, Shred Lvl 1, 30 mins DDR

Tuesday: under 1400 calories, Shred Lvl 2, 5 mile run

Wednesday: under 1400 calories, Shred Level 2, yoga

Thursday: under 1400 calories, Shred Level 2, 5k run

Friday: under 1500 calories, Shred Level 2, 30 mins DDR

Saturday: under 2000 calories, Shred Level 2, yoga

Sunday: under 1500 calories, rest

So yes, pretty much a do-over of last week, and moving up to level 2 of the Shred.  Since this post is already looking to be like a novel, I’ll talk more about the shred and other random stuff tomorrow.

How was your weekend?  Anyone else want to pull up a chair to the confessional?  If you had a saintly weekend, wanna give me some tips? 🙂

Running A Year Ahead

So I have this horrible habit of planning too far ahead.  I know, sounds great, right?  Well, I’ve already got my half training plan semi-set for the half on Valentines day, I’m just letting the changes I made roll around in my brain to see if they make sense.  Now, I’m starting to work on a full marathon training program targeting a marathon in October 2010.  Oddly enough, I was not excited for either really until I started looking up training programs and putting schedules into excel.  Now, I just want it to be TRAINING TIME!!!  I would like to pose some quandries out there to people who are either in training or who have done the whole 9 yards (or even half of it…).

Half marathon:

  • I’m considering a longer taper. Last time, I ran hard up until 6 days before the race (did my 12 mile Sunday).  Then I did easy runs Mon/Thurs, a pretty hard tempo Tues, and raced Saturday.  A two week taper scares the crap out of me (last long run 2 weeks before the race), but I think one of my failings last time is I didn’t feel that well rested and this might help.
  • I am going to cut the time on my cross training. I did it because it was in my plan, but I see NO need to do 60 mins of cross training late in the game when I’m already running 25 miles and trying to cram in weights and yoga.  Instead of ascending with the run times, it’s going to be 30 mins per week.  Period.
  • Long runs on random days. Due to scheduling conflicts, the first 1/3 of my long runs will be Fridays, the second 1/3 will be Saturdays, and the last 1/3 will be Sundays so I get used to running Sunday.  Will that totally throw me off?
  • Anyone have awesome speedwork suggestions? I’m not trying to qualify for the olympics or anything, but I’d like to beat my 2:16.  Currently the plan is alternating 400 repeats w/400 jog (6 working up to 10 @ 8 min mile pace) and tempo runs (from 25-40 mins @ 8-9 minute mile pace).
  • Do I *really* need to run hills? I know the answer to that but… hate, hate, hate.  How would I work them into a training program?  Replace a speed workout every few weeks or replace an easy run every few weeks or…
  • I’ll be training through the winter and will attempt to not be a wuss and run outside every day. However, I’ll venture due to inclement weather I’ll need to hit the ‘mill occasionally.  I’m making the rule that at least 2 out of the 4 runs per week need to be outside.  Thoughts?  Since my feet are pretty road hardy already does it matter, or should I attempt to make every run outside unless its stupid stupid cold and raining/snowing?

Marathon Training.  Hooboy, lots of unknowns here.

  • Do you really, really have to drink aide in training during long runs? I prefer water and fueling with sport beans every 45-60 mins or so.  I like to train with water and then save aide for the race if I need extra oomph (I took aide at the last station during my half and it perked me up).  However, a lot of places out there swear you can’t get through the long 15+ mile runs without it.
  • I’m considering the less-is-more 3 days per week training program. Anyone ever tried it?  Basically, you skip all the pure mileage runs and run a tempo, a speedwork, and a long run per week.  Then, you cross train the other 2 days per week for 40-45 mins.  It makes sense to me.  You run good quality and focused runs (and faster than easy pace) but less often.  Am I committing long distance running suicide trying to do this for my first race and should stick with a more traditional plan?
  • Training time. There are some 3 month plans, some 4 month plans, and some even go to 6 months.  The current plan I think is coming off the half marathon, rest a month, for the next 3 months make sure I do one long run (10 miles or more) at least every other week.  Then, in mid-June (4 months out), I start formal training.  Woohoo.  Heat training all summer.  Oh boy.  I will be FLYING at that race when it’s a nice cool 60-70 degrees with an ocean breeze.  Or – should I start sooner since it’s my first?
  • Max miles on long runs? Some programs have you only going up to 20 (which seems ridiculous to me), some have you going to 22-24 (which seems more reasonable), and some have you running 30 a few weeks before.  It seemed good to train up and peak your miles on race day, but I’m not sure I want to add SIX miles on.  Two, sure.  It makes more sense to my logic circuits to run the whole distance or even a little further in preparation, but since I am NOT a robot, I don’t want to push myself too hard.
  • How hard is it? I mean, really.  Talk me out of this nonsense.  Training up from 6 miles to 13.1 was hard – but doable.  Most of the long runs were enjoyable.  That was 2 hours.  How different does it feel running for 4 hours?  13.1 miles was really not all that much harder than shorter distances as long as I made sure I kept my pace in check (with proper training).  Is there some magic that happens between 13.1 and 26.2 that makes it a whole different world?
  • Speed workouts? Some sites suggest them, some sites say don’t bother.  Some interesting workouts I saw: progression runs (most of the long runs easy – then the last 40 mins pick up the pace to finish at race pace), 10×100 pickups after a run (just to not forget how to go fast), 2×6 mile tempos 5 seconds faster than race pace with 10 min recovery jog between, 10 x 800 meters in the same minutes and seconds you want to finish your marathon in hours and minutes (if you want to finish in 4 hours you should run them in 4 minutes),  and 6 x 1 mile at 10k race pace.  It seems like most of the sites that suggest speed works say to mix them up.
  • I’m targeting Long Beach for a marathon because it’s pretty and temperate there is a 7 mile stretch along the beach and it makes for the start of a nice vacation.  However, there is a much closer one I can get to that would be a short drive, not a flight.  Who wants to talk me out of doing my first marathon 2000 miles away from home?

Anyone out there have other suggestions for me now that I’m starting to put together THE PLAN?  What helped you in your training?  What’s your best race story?  What’s your favorite race distance?  Should I just sit on the couch and eat popcorn instead?

Now, to run headlong into my weekend.  See ya next week, and I’ll let you know how Miss Jillian and her shredding are working out for me…

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