Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bootcamp Recap Week 8 and working out while sick

I’ve survived the weekend and my half marathon!  This cold/croup/congestion thing is still sticking with me; however, I am determined to not let it bring me down!  The resting and sleeping more things didn’t seem to get rid of it last week so this weekend I tried to get rid of it by running a half marathon and then drinking like a college student and staying out all hours of the night.  I’m pretty sure that method didn’t work either.  Drat.

I have so much to talk about but after a busy busy busy weekend I am just going to a write a short(er) post tonight to recap week 8 of bootcamp.  I will do a full review of the whole bootcamp in general later this week when I have more time!

Here’s my workouts for the week

  • Monday – Off sick
  • Tuesday – Off sick
  • Wednesday – 1 hr spin class
  • Thursday – 3 mile run
  • Friday – 1 mile run
  • Saturday – Half marathon – race recap coming soon!
  • Sunday – recovery walking at the mall and 20 minute yoga for runners

So as you can see I did a total of 0 strength workouts this week.  Originally I planned to do one of two near the beginning of the week so any muscle soreness would be completely gone by race day, but the croup foiled my plans and instead I spent the evenings in bed sleeping in a sweaty chilled state.  By the time Wednesday rolled around I was feeling a bit better and started adding in a few workouts but kept them at a fairly light intensity.  Although I was constantly fighting the urge to try to squeeze in more last minute workouts, I knew that pushing my body that close to a race would not benefit me at all.  I knew I was adequately trained for the race and just needed to trust my body to make it through, croup and all. 

Swimming was also a no show this week.  The idea of putting my head underwater when I could absolutely not breathe air through my nose was downright frightening.  So I just stayed away.  This coming week I am rededicating myself to half Ironman training! It scares me that I am not sticking to the training plan 100% and sometimes I think that means I won’t be able to finish, but I also realize that training plans are usually built with some leeway.  And again, I keep reminding myself that there is nothing I can do about being sick. 

My goals this week were

  • Get 8 hours of sleep
  • Eat a healthy breakfast with protein

Do I get bonus points for sleeping about 12 hours on Tuesday night? 

These goals weren’t too hard I was extra tired this week so it wasn’t difficult to convince myself to get into bed each night.

So here is my question for this week.  Do you workout when you are sick?

When I posted on facebook earlier this week that I was getting sick and nervous about my upcoming race, my cousin commented on the old rule of thumb that I should do the “neck check”.  If your symptoms are above the neck (headache, sinuses, sore throat) you can still work out but anything below the neck (chest/lung congestion, stomach) you should take a break.  I’ve heard this before and try to generally follow it.  Thankfully most of my problems seemed to be contained above the neck, so once I had the energy again I got back into workouts.  Although now the croup is starting to irritate my lungs and I have a nasty, crappy cough. 

I actually felt a lot better after my spin class on Wednesday.  It felt like my energy levels were coming back a little bit.  When I am sick I try not to push myself very hard because I don’t want to wipe myself out.  I kept my heart rate low in zone 2 or 3, basically so I never felt like I was huffing and puffing. 

I think it is really important to just listen to your body especially when you are sick.  You won’t really benefit from a workout if you are trying to go 100% and your body is working at 40%.  If you feel like you need a break, you should take it.  I think exercise can help you recover faster if done correctly but push it too hard and you can extend your sickness. 

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday [on getting healthy, my workout friend, and the library]

In less than 36 hours I will be (hopefully) done running my second half marathon.  But before then, I must take the time to do my weekly thankful ritual.

I’m thankful I’m getting over this sickness.  I may not be feeling 100 percent, but I am fairly confident I will be able to run my half marathon on Saturday without too much incident.  Last night I made it to the gym for an hour of spin class and tonight I squeezed in a 30 minute tempo run.  The only lingering part of the sickness is a crazy nasal congestion.  I blew my nose 3000 times today and I can breathe for about 10 seconds before I’m stuffed up again.  My nose is pretty raw.

I’m thankful for being able to keep in touch with friends.  I have always been not very good at keeping in touch with friends when I’ve moved away and I was worried that when I moved away from Iowa City this would happen again.  But thankfully this time it has gone so much better.  I’m happy to have friends that take the time to visit and talk on the phone.  I’m especially glad that Laura and I can talk on the phone two nights in a row for almost an hour each.  I’m not even worried that we might run out of things to talk about this weekend. 


I’m thankful that the bag I packed this weekend is packed with 3/4 workout clothes.  Not sure why I am thankful for this but I definitely wanted to share that little fact with you.  I’m guess I’m very thankful my friend an awesome workout buddy.

I’m thankful for the library.  I have become a regular at the library and currently have 3 books checked out.  I really love the whole concept of a library.  I’ve never really been a huge fan of buying books (or movies while we’re on this topic) because you read them once and then they collect dust.  I have always made a point to lend out my books to all my friends, but library books can be borrowed over and over and over again.  And you could never possibly run out of books to read at the library. 

I’m thankful for all the sleep I’ve gotten this week.  Okay it’s not always awesome to sleep 12 hours a night because I did not get anything done at home, but I feel pretty well rested now. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Taper Sickness

Welp, it's taper time for my upcoming half marathon on Saturday.  And wouldn't you know, it is this week my body decides to get sick. And it hit me like WA-BAM!! I woke up Monday morning with a scratchy throat and as the workday went on, I was feeling worse and worse.



Very swollen throat.


By the end of the day, I was totally pooped.  I had originally planned to head to the gym after work for spin class at 6 pm, but instead headed straight home.  I ate a snack and decided to get into bed because my head was pounding.  After attempting to read for about 20 minutes I put the book down and closed my eyes.

The next thing I know I was waking up to my phone ringing at about 8 pm! Very nice nap, indeed! After talking on the phone for a bit, I headed out to the grocery store before coming home and going back to bed.

Definitely no workout on Monday.

But if you think Monday was bad, Tuesday is going to blow your mind.

I got up and struggled through a whole day at work although I am certain my productivity was not at maximum capacity.  It suffered mucho.  I was really hoping I would feel better after a full nights sleep but as the day went on I became more and more exhausted.  So straight home after work it was, do not pass gym do not collect 200 sweat points.  From there I pretty much went and got straight into bed.  I opened my book again and tried to read but it was fruitless and I feel asleep by about 6:30.  I cashed out until 10:45.  

Sleeping was obviously the right choice! I felt a little better at this point but was still tired.  I made the executive decision to get up and change out of my work clothes, eat a little snack (food was not appetizing but I hadn't eaten since lunch and knew I needed to put something into my stomach), and brush my teeth.  I ended up staying up for about an hour because I wanted to finish my book, Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult.

This morning I woke up at about 7 and still felt like I could sleep more!  But instead got up for work.  I'm feeling a bit better today but still not in great shape.  My throat scratchiness has decreased but my congestion seems to have increased.  I'm really hoping I feel better by Saturday so I can run my race.  I realize my chances of hitting my time goal are decreasing by the day but at this point I still think I will be able to run.

I've been back and forth over whether I should go to the gym this week.  And at this point, I think I am much better off getting more rest than pushing myself in a workout.  I might go and try to do a very light workout, but I certainly don't want to push myself.

This situation is certainly not ideal, but I am just trying to honor my body and give it the rest it needs.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bootcamp Recap Week 7

Week 7 is here and gone.  It flew by once again!  This week I managed to get in my activity everyday except for Friday which was my planned rest day.  Success!

My workouts for the week.
  • Monday - 1 hr spin class, 1500 yd swim
  • Tuesday - 5 mile run, 1 round of BBB workout A
  • Wednesday - 50 min spin class, BBB workout B
  • Thursday - 10 x 400s w/ 1 mile warm up and warm down (5 miles total), 1500 yd swim
  • Friday - OFF!
  • Saturday - 9 mile run
  • Sunday - 24 mile bike ride, 45 minute walking/running/circuit training with parents
3 bikes, 3 days runs and 2 swims for a total of 19 miles running and 3000 yds swimming and 24 miles biking and almost 2 hours on the spin bike

Pretty good in my book.  The only problems this week were a missed swimming session and cutting my long ride very short on Sunday.  

My goals for the week were
  • eat protein with each snack
  • stretch or foam roll 10 minutes
During the week I was very faithful to these but once the weekend hit I struggled.  I still managed to foam roll after my run on Saturday, but the snacking gets outta control when I am staying at my parents.  I purposely don't buy much candy for myself because I cannot keep my hand out of the bag, but my parents always have the best snacks.  Candy, chips, pretzels.  And I keep eating them and eating them even when I should stop.  

My workout on Sunday was a lot of fun.  I walked over to the track at my old high school with my parents.  We ran some hills, a 400, and a 120 yd dash.  We also did all sorts of strength/plyo moves like push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, step-ups, burpees, etc.  It was fun!  I really enjoy circuit training like that and it makes it fun when you have someone to compete with.  I seriously need to find workout buddies here!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday [birthday edition]

*I wrote most of this earlier today and that's a very good thing since I locked myself out of my apartment at about 10:50 pm.  And I had to wait over 30 minutes to get let back in.  Harumph.  And I wanted to go to bed early.  

Well, hello Thursday.  It's about time you showed up around these parts. I'm really excited for tomorrow since I am only working a half day on Friday before heading back to Iowa! Three cheers for vacation time!

This weekend is already filling up with a flurry of activities - long run, long bike ride, and a wedding! Hopefully I will also be eating some kind of birthday cake since I didn't really get the chance to celebrate when I was home with my family for Easter.  I can't decide what kind of cake I want though.  So far I've considered carrot cake, lemon cake, cheesecake, and strawberry jell-o cake.  It's such a conundrum.  How am I supposed to choose just one? #firstworldproblems

Before I start swirling off to cake land and dreaming of all the delicious cakes one could make, let's get back to the task at hand.  It's Thankful Thursday! And now I present you a list of some things I am thankful for birthday style.

I'm thankful for my Toms.  I've been lusting after these babies for some time now after seeing them pop up around the blogosphere.  I've been trying to resist buying them since I'm trying to live life on a budget now, but I figured an early birthday present was a-ok.  So I went and bought these new shoes at the beginning of the month.  Sure, they are a little pricey for casual shoes but the company has a great cause.  So far I'm loving them.

I'm thankful for new bike shoes.  Jeez, another new pair of shoes? Yep.  I seriously made a list of all the triathlon stuff I wanted/needed for training and racing, and believe me, it was not short.  It was also not cheap.  Triathlons are a seriously expensive hobby.  Race entry fees, travel costs, a bike, running shoes, food, swim gear, etc.  That stuff really adds up!  But my bike store was having a tent sale and I just couldn't resist a good sale. My first bike ride with this is this coming weekend.  Hopefully they make me faster!!  And I also hope I don't hurt myself.

The good news is they match my bike!!! White and gold!

I'm thankful for the mostdeliciousbrowniesever.  So good.  I took these to work for my birthday and my coworkers loved them.  One of them even asked me if I had the devil on speed dial to make such rich desserts.  I kind of feel like I am tooting my own horn, but these brownies are amazing.  Oogey, gooey goodness trapped between two sections of rich brownie.  Nom, nom, nom.  You don't even need to be a good baker when you have recipes like these.

I'll share soon, I promise.

I'm thankful that I can run.  Last Tuesday I had a super awesome run on my birthday but then this Tuesday I totally sucked it up on my run.  It was HARD.  And I was mad that my pace was so crappy and I felt so crappy.  But you know what? I am glad that I can run.  Especially because there are so many who aren't able to.

But, perhaps, most importantly, I'm thankful for my family and friends.  Even if I had to call several people the night of my birthday, it was wonderful to feel so loved on my birthday and talk/text with so many people.

Good night.  I need to get in bed.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Remember that one time when…SURPRISE! or not?

Happy Hump Day! Not going to lie, I spent about half the day thinking it was Thursday, but then around lunch time I realized the sad truth that it was only Wednesday.  I really don’t like when that happens and I’d much rather have it the other way around.  Like when you wake up in the morning on Thursday but quickly realize its Friday.  Those days are awesome!

So this is like the Birthday edition of Remember that one time when even though my birthday was over a week ago now I didn’t get to write a post last week so I will just continue it to this week.

Remember that one time when…I had my very own surprise birthday party.  My friends threw me a surprise birthday party for my 17th birthday out at the Farmer’s house.  It basically just involved some grilling out, some game playing, and a bonfire.  What they didn’t know is that I actually was behind most of the plans.  That’s right, I planned my own surprise party.   

You are probably wondering how in the heck one plans her own surprise party.

Well let me fill you in. 

The scheming all started in EspaƱol class with my friend is cahoots Amanda.  We were chatting in class one day during a break when I exclaimed that I wanted to have a surprise part for my birthday.  Amanda agreed that it would be a lot of fun and we started working out the plan. 

We just needed to convince the Farmer to have the party at his house and invite all our friends.  And by we, I mean Amanda, had to do all this.  Then the Farmer would simply invite me out to his houses to hang out and all our friends would be there for the party.  So it was fairly simple and straightforward. 

My other friends including the Farmer thought they were being very sneaky.  I thought by the time I showed up at the Farmer’s house the night of the surprise party I would already be ousted.  But they still had no idea! Amanda and I had achieved our goal of throwing an awesome surprise party!

I think about half way through the party another of my friends asked if I really had no idea about the party (because I had acted surprised when I walked in) and I laughed and said I didn’t have any idea.  But my laughter must have gotten out of control because I eventually admitted that Amanda and I had planned it all.

And that’s how you plan your own surprise party!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

PSA: Clean your make up brushes

Remember my April goal to take better care of my skin?  Well I’m here to report I am already taking steps to achieve this one!  I’m trying to be more proactive this month with my goals and not wait till the last days to finish them up.

I’m working on washing my face each and every night before bed and moisturizing.  I’m also trying to shower or at least rinse off my skin after workouts because I believe my sweat is irritating my skin.

Another thing that really needed to be done was cleaning my make up brushes.  I have amassed quite the collection of make up brushes over the years.  Three brushes for foundation and bronzer and five brushes for eye make up. One more brush for another foundation and one blush brush.  The foundation brushes I have had for at least 6 years but the eye brushes are only about a year old.  A year is still a long time! Just thinking about the amount of times those foundation brushes have touched my face in the last 6 years is gross.  It had to be covered in old make up, skin cells, and bacteria. 

I thought there might be a complicated procedure or special cleaner to wash your process but the process is both simple and you most likely already have all the materials you need at home!

To start, gather up all your brushes and a bottle of simple shampoo.  I just used my regular shampoo which is a generic version of tea tree oil shampoo.


Dampen the brush under a stream of water making sure to hold the bristles down so water does not run up into the handle. 


Squeeze out a little bit of the shampoo onto your fingers.


Rub that shampoo into the bristles. 


Work that into a nice lather by swirling in circular motions on your hand. 


Lots of old make up was in those brushes.


Then rinse the brush till the water comes clear.


If your brush has never been washed like mine you may want to lather, rinse, and repeat!

Set the brushes up to dry.  Again point to bristle down so you don’t get moisture running into the handle.


I let the brushes dry for 12 hours and some of the larger ones were still slightly damp. 

I was amazed by how much softer the brushes were after cleaning.  I’m not sure if cleaning has really helped my skin but I haven’t had any breakouts since the cleaning. 

Hopefully I will continue this brush cleaning every six months or so. 


Have you ever cleaned your make up brushes?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bootcamp Recap Week 5

It’s already Sunday? Eek! I have no idea what happened!  Work keep me very busy week which is probably why it flew by!

In fact, this work week was so busy that I was too exhausted to workout on Wednesday, and uh, again on Thursday.  The Wednesday off day was okay since I worked till about 6, but the Thursday skip shouldn’t have happened.  I would have felt so much better if I squeezed in a workout. 

My workouts this week looked like this.

  • Monday – 1 hr spin class, BBB workout A push strength drop sets, 1300 yd swim
  • Tuesday – 5.2 mile run @ 8:45 pace
  • Wednesday – Off
  • Thursday – Off
  • Friday – 40 min tempo run, BBB Workout D pull strength drop sets, 1400 yd swim
  • Saturday – BBB Workout B push circuit intervals
  • Sunday – 40 mile bike

That’s 2 swims, 2 bikes and 2 runs.  One short each of the goal.  I did manage 3 strength workouts which is quite the change from previous weeks.  Saturday's long run also was missed due to some crappy looking weather.  It was gloomy all day and I was afraid to start in case it poured on me.  I’ve run in the rain before but it doesn’t ever end well.  The chaffing is ugly.

My goals for the week were accomplished without  fret.

  • Pray each day
  • Eat a healthy breakfast

I think I managed to do both of these every day this week. Wahoo!

Unfortunately I forgot to bring food with me on the bike again today.  Last time I forgot food on the bike it was a disaster, but this time wasn’t too bad.  I was definitely hungry when I returned home but I didn’t feel like my body was bonking this time.  I ran out of water this time which was not good.  I might have to invest in another water bottle cage for my bike. 

This week’s strength workouts featured a new-to-me concept—drop sets.  For drop sets we completed only two sets of each move but it seemed like 4 sets.  For the first part of the move you need to select a weight at which you can complete 8 reps.  It should be challenging! Then you decrease the weight and complete as many reps as possible till fatigue.  It was interesting to see how many reps of each exercise I could do until failure.  Squats  were much easier than shoulder raises! 

Off to bed! Need to rest up for the week of workouts!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

birthday presents come in funny packages

Today I turned 24.  It was also the 101st day of the year.  All in all it was a pretty grand day.

I woke up early and made myself two eggs and toast eaten along with kiwi and orange juice.

Then I worked a long day and didn't get home till 6:15.  Not ideal.

I got approximately 10,000 notifications that people wrote on my facebook wall.  (Okay that's quite the exaggeration I have no where near that many friends.)

Possibly the best present of the day came next.  I went out for a 5 mile run and crushed my previous 5 mile pace.  Boo-yah.  I managed to whip out an 8:45 min pace.  I have no idea how this happened and I am pretty sure I have never run farther than 2.5 miles at that pace so I am pumped.  I think this proves I can be better than my head thinks I can.

The night was still young so I finished it up with a haricut and some self-serve froyo.

I tried out a new place called Yogurtland.

Let's just say I'm a fan.

The night ended with a slew of phone calls and a New Glarus Back 40 Bock.

It wasn't too bad of a birthday.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bootcamp Recap Week 5

I'm feeling a little behind on this Monday.  Most likely because it was a very busy weekend in Iowa packed with family, games, bike rides and workouts! Not that I am complaining! I would much rather be busy than sitting on my butt all weekend.

Last week, I struggled to fit in workouts while traveling so I went into this weekend with some new strategies.  But before I get to that let's talk about my workouts.

  • Monday - 1 hour spin, 1800yd swim
  • Tuesday -  5.2 mile run
  • Wednesday - 45 min spin class (threshold test), BBB workout A - push muscles
  • Thursday - Off
  • Friday - 9 x 400s @ 8 mph with 1 mi warm up, 1000 yd swim
  • Saturday - 30 mi bike ride
  • Sunday - 12 (+ a bonus .5) mile run, 7 mile bike ride for fun
Swimming made a reappearance this week which I was very happy about.  But once I upped the swimming the strength training workouts went down.  Hmmph.  I'm not getting down on myself because overall, this was a good week on the training front.  No missed running or cycling workouts!

The 12 miles on Saturday were better than I was expecting.  Running in Chicago is flat.  A hill here takes me approximately 10 seconds to run up.  Running in Cascade is the opposite of flat.  No flat running routes exist.  Good for hill training bad when you need to run uphill to get home.  


But overall my pace wasn't bad but I did take a few walking breaks especially up those killer hills.  I also took a break at mile 9 back at my parent's house to get some water and refuel a bit.  I really wanted my brother to finish the last 3 miles with me either running or on his bike, but he had already showered.  How rude.  

My daily goals this week 5 were
  •  Do a morning workout
  • 10 minutes of stretching or foam rolling
The morning workouts were only managed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  The rest of the days the bed was just too darn comfortable.  I will say that I really enjoyed getting my workout in on Friday morning and felt energized all day.  Will I stick with them?  In reality, probably not but it's nice to tell myself how good it feels. 

The 10 minutes of stretching or foam rolling goal was sort of a struggle but I made it happen! It's best if I take 10 minutes immediately after a workout and stretch out because once I am home I often forget all about it.  Stretching does me a lot of good in terms of muscle recovery and injury prevention so I am working on keeping this a priority!

Now, back to that fitting in workouts while traveling thing.  It can be so difficult when you are visiting family and friends to squeeze in workouts especially when they aren't planning to workout.  Thankfully in my family both my parents walk regularly and its rare when I don't fit in a walk with one or both of them on the weekends I am visiting (like this past weekend!).  

Sometimes it is perfectly fine to take the weekend off from working out especially if you haven't had a rest day in a week, but when your schedule includes 2+ hour runs or rides it can be almost impossible to fit those in during weekdays and weekends become the only option.  

Here are some tips for getting in workouts.

Get it in in the morning.  Getting in a workout first thing in the morning means things can't come up later and cause you skip it.  And sometimes whoever you are visiting may be able to sleep in while you sweat it out.  Sunday morning I was up at 8 am to fit in my 12 miler before the Easter festivities began.

Schedule it with a friend.  On Saturday my cousin Kristin (hi Kristin!) and I scheduled a long bike ride.  It not only made the ride more enjoyable but I had a definite plan for the ride that day so I couldn't put it off or skip it.  

Shorten it up.  Ditch the all or nothing attitude!  If you don't think you can get in an hour workout just do 20 minutes.  Crank up the intensity while you are at it! Sure it won't be the same as getting in a long workout but you still get a lot of benefits from raising your heart rate.  Working out puts me in a better mood and keeps me energized!

Enjoy your Monday!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday [on Easter, friends, Chobani, and happiness]

Thursday, we meet again, my love.  I'm busy packing up some stuff tonight and attempting (and failing) to do a bit of cleaning.  I'm in good spirits this week and excited to dive right into Thankful Thursday!

I'm thankful for Easter and that I am close enough to where I grew up to drive there.  I'm leaving after work tomorrow to drive back to Iowa to visit friends and family for the Easter weekend.  I'm hoping there will be plenty of Easter candy.  

I'm thankful for my birthday.  Some people I know *cough* Farmer *cough* do not get excited about birthdays.  This is the opposite of me.  I love my birthday.  And I always will.  It's a day when everyone wishes you well and you can eat cake with extra frosting.  I hope I am still singing this tune when I am 50.

I'm thankful for Chobani.  So I talked about this last week, but look.

This massive box was on my door step when I returned home yesterday.  And it was filled with Greek yogurt goodness.

I tried the blood orange flavor for the first time today.  I've heard many good things about this flavor but was a little hesitant when my coworker mentioned her boyfriend, a fellow Greek yogurt lover, did not like this flavor.  I dug in anyway.  And the verdict.  I enjoyed it and the citrus flavor of the orange definitely came through.  I also need to be in the mood for the fruit flavors whereas I could eat the plain, honey, and vanilla versions anytime.  My coworker tried out this flavor too and she sort of liked it, but pineapple and pomegranate will remain her favorite.  I can't blame her because both those flavors are awesome too.  And FYI, she tried the strawberry banana flavor today and really enjoyed that.  I don't like banana flavor (although I love bananas), but if you do you should try it out.  I am developing a full blown addiction to Chobani and I'm not even upset.  #chobaniac

I'm thankful for good friendships that last.  This last weekend I visited my friend in Milwaukee.  We went to high school together back in the day and although we've never been the best at keeping in touch our bond is still great.  We've been friends through many good times and many not-so-good times--hello, high school was sometimes rough, but we've made it through.  I'll admit I don't really keep up with any of my other high school friends except to chat with them when I run into at the bar so this friendship is obviously something special.  It's nice to have a friend that understands where you are coming from.

I'm thankful for happiness.  Sometimes I may struggle to find it, but it always comes back to me.

I'm thankful for people representin' my hometown.  Yesterday on Ellen, a girl from the big ole town of Cascade played Ellen's Wheel of Beauty.   That's pretty crazy, right?

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

My favorite part might be when Ellen asks "You have one stop light kinda thing?"  And, actually yes, Cascade does have only one stop light.

What tv show would you want to be on?
When I was younger I always wanted to play Plinko on the Price is Right, but it is just not the same without Bob Barker.

April Goals

Do you know what today is? It's opening day for the Chicago Cubs!  I'm telling you, this is the year.*  Wish I could be at Wrigley, but alas, I have to earn a living. Don't even get me started on how much I envy other's spring breaks.

*I really don't believe this but it is fun to say each year.

April is my favorite month.  It (usually) contains Easter and (always) contains my birthday! This means many things: Snicker's eggs, coloring eggs, Cadbury eggs, birthday cake, Reese's eggs, birthday presents, egg hunts, and Whopper eggs.  Most of that list was candy and I am not ashamed.  Easter has good candy!  It also means spending time with the family and I enjoy that too.

I guess I have some real goals to share with you outside of eat 10 pounds of candy and find the golden prize egg at the Farmer's family egg hunt.  Compared to those goals though, these ones are slightly boring.

Goal 1. Complete half marathon and PR.

The half marathon is April 28 and a PR is definitely achievable.  Training runs have gone much more smoothly.  For my first half marathon I was under-trained and not prepared for the warm weather and so I am much more confident in my running abilities this time around.  But do really do well in this race, I need to complete ALL of my remaining training runs.  That means no skipping out on shorter runs during the week or  cutting speedwork short.  My training only includes 3 days of running each week so this is not an outrageous goal but it needs to be done!

Goal 2.  Take a new class at the gym

I am already becoming a sort-of regular at Monday and Wednesday evening spin classes, but I've yet to try any others.  My gym offers cardio classes, strength classes, Barre classes, and pilates and yoga.  My body may be in desperate need for some stretchy yoga.  All this pavement pounding and strength training feels great but I can certainly tell my muscles need some lovin'.
Goal 3.  April Photo a day

It's here again.  Photo a day.  It can't possibly be that difficult, can it?  My pictures have been fun so far and this will continue.    I've written down the list of cues for each day on a slip of paper and carry it with me.  No excuses this time!

Goal 4. Take better care of skin.  

I have a problem.  We will call it adult acne.  Yup.  It's gross.  I really should not be complaining because for most of my life my skin was fairly easy to take care of and clear.  This topic really deserves a whole post of its own and maybe I'll give you one after I get this whole situation figured out.  In short, I thought once I was out of school and became a grown-up most of my skin problems would completely disappear.  But nope, the opposite happened.  It got worse.  And these pesky little red bumps are not contained to my face.  I feel like a teenage boy.

I am going to try to do something about this.  Washing my face every night and not ever going to bed with make-up/sweat on, using moisturizer, cleaning my make-up brushes (I've never done this!!), and not sitting around in sweaty clothes. Hopefully I make some progress because this is an embarrassing problem.

Goal 5.  Spring cleaning.  

It's springtime and it's time for a fresh start.  I will be cleaning out my closets and tossing/donating clothes that don't fit or I do not wear any longer.  The apartment could also use a good scrub down especially those neglected areas - hello crumbs accumulating in the silverware drawer and random spills on the refrigerator shelves.

I am in the habit of going through my things and getting rid of things because I always tried to downsize before I moved.  Since I've moved each year for approximately the last 5 years, this has become a common occurrence.  But this year I am staying put, but my old stuff is not. Reduce the clutter!  It always makes me feel better.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

March Goals Recap

It might not be a good sign but I am already looking forward to the weekend.  I'm going back to Iowa for the first time in over a month to celebrate Easter with the fam-bam.  But a busy week of work will keep me from getting there too soon.  

It seems like March zoomed by, but I am not disappointed because April is my favorite month of the year.  Most likely because it contains my birthday and the weather starts warming up again.

But before we talk to much about April, I suppose we should wrap up the March goals.  The original goals are here.

Goal 1: Stick with less sugar consumption goal

Less than one week left of Lent and I must say this year went much smoother than previous years.  Usually I fall apart near the end and eat too many desserts.  Of course, I have had my slip-ups as always.  A very tempting donut at work on a stressful day, some Reese's eggs at Walgreens when I was really craving something sweet, and a small sundae at Culver's when a friend was visiting.  The good thing about each of these incidents was that they were isolated and I didn't spend the rest of the day/night after eating sweets.  

I'm really looking forward to the end of Lent because I have a box of Thin Mints waiting for me.  And also I am hoping there are great desserts at my family's Easter get-together this weekend!

I'll probably be eating one of these again too. 

Goal 2: Do Best Body Bootcamp!

Check! Bootcamp is going great and you can read all of my recaps here.  Overall it is going great.  Although I am not able to squeeze in all the strength training workouts each week, I am still getting in at least 2 sessions.   My motivation seems to be back in full swing now and getting to the gym or out the door for a run is easier.  The beautiful March weather didn't hurt either.

I think I might also be seeing little more definition in my arms.  Results are a HUGE motivator for me so I am looking forward to keeping up the weights.

Goal 3: Participate in the March photo a day challenge

Meh.  I only managed about half of the pictures  Most days I simply forgot all about taking a photo or didn't know the prompt for the day.  Sadly, I only took a handful of pictures in the whole month of March.  I like taking photos but I also enjoy just being in the moment and not worrying about capturing the perfect moment.  And I am an incognito blogger and don't really enjoy taking pictures for the blog when I am out with my friends.

But I am rededicating myself to picture taking and will be doing the April photo a day challenge! This time I wrote down the whole list to keep with me.  

Goal 4: Stick with grocery budget and expand budgeting to other areas of spending

After my previous failed attempt, I am happy to announce I actually did it!  Woohoo!  For the whole month I managed to only go over budget by about $12.  It also opened up my eyes to what I am really spending in a month.  In some areas, I way way over budget--I spent over twice my allocation for eating out and blew the budget for shopping and other discretionary spending.  But made up for it with over-budgeting in other areas--gas and gym membership (yay! for a free month at the new gym).  Other areas were spot on including groceries were I came in $.96 below budget.  I was even able to pay for a renter's insurance bill that I wasn't expecting without going to much over budget.

For the month of April, I've readjusted the areas of spending while still hitting my savings goal for the month.  I've found that what works for me is tracking all my purchases and expenses in a spreadsheet.  That way I can pay for things with cash or debit card and just record it in the spreadsheet later.  In my math-oriented brain seeing the numbers on the screen next to each other really help me understand where my money is going and what I have left to spend.   

Now that I feel I have grocery budgeting somewhat under control, I want to spread my budgeting plans to other areas of spending including shopping money and any entertainment or "fun" money.  My plan to make this happen include limiting the number of times I eat out at restaurants, finding cheap or free things to do with friends, and paying more attention to shopping and spending habits.

Budgeting and watching my spending does take a bit more work, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.  I have a whole post on budgeting on my "to write" list so I hope to share my wealth of knowledge with you soon.

Goal 5: Make weekend plans

Check!  Events for the weekends included

  • Meeting with a blog friend for tea
  • Dinner with a friend
  • St. Patty's Day fun with Laura and Laura
  • Visiting an old friend in Milwaukee
That leaves only one weekend when I didn't have plans and I still managed to do both a long run and long bike that weekend and do a little bit of shopping.  Much better than sitting on the couch for the majority of the weekend.  

I won't need to worry about this goal for the next few months because I have a lot planned!  Weddings, races, and other events will probably leave me begging for a weekend of sitting on the couch. 

April goals tomorrow!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bootcamp Recap Week 4

Week 4 and Phase Two are both complete!  I wasn't as sore this week from the workouts.  This must mean my muscles are getting stronger.

The last week in workouts:

  • Monday - 1.25 hr spin class, BBB Workout A - legs
  • Tuesday - Off
  • Wednesday - 45 min spin class - endurance ride, BBB Workout B - total body, 4 mile pace run
  • Thursday - 4.5 mile tempo run
  • Friday - slept through morning workout, oops.
  • Saturday - 1 hour of walking
  • Sunday - BBB Workout C, 20 minutes of cardio with Tabatha intervals mixed in
Notice anything missing?  Yup, swimming fell by the wayside this week.  That's the problem when I plan to do it last in a workout I get tired/hungry/bored and then I skip it.  This is why I wanted to do morning workouts so it would happen first thing and not get cancelled at the end.  Possibly making this a daily goal for this week to give me a little extra motivation!  

I also skipped out on a long run and ride this weekend as I was visiting a friend out of town.  I am going to let it slide this time, but I think long workouts are some of the most important workouts of the training plan and don't want to let this happen again!  It can be especially difficult to get workouts in while traveling especially when you are staying in an unfamiliar area or with someone who isn't working out with you.  This weekend, my friend was nursing an injured back and we were staying in a slightly unsafe area of Milwaukee.   I have several more upcoming travel weekends before the big half Ironman so I need to figure out a plan for fitting in workouts.  Do you have any suggestions?

After much debate this is what I decided on for daily goals for this week:
  • Eat 6 servings of produce
  • Get in bed by 11 pm
Take note that it only says get in bed by 11 pm and not sleeping because several nights I was still working on my computer or reading a book after that time.  I did manage to meet both of these goals and the first goal was very easy.  

For the upcoming week the the bootcamp workouts include 4 days! of strength training.  This isn't really practical for me due to race training but I am shooting for 2-3 days of strength this week with 6 days of cardio!

And I have another bonus topic to discuss today.  Watching yourself in the mirror while strength training.  For me, watching myself in the mirror is a must!  It helps me maintain and correct my form which also lets me know when I need to decrease the weight because I am not maintaining good form. It also gives me more motivation because I can see my muscles working.  I feel like many people, especially women, do not like to watch themselves workout (this could be completely off, but it's something I've noticed during my gym experiences).  It might be slightly vain to stare at yourself in the mirror but I highly encourage it because of the reasons above.   I will be the first to admit that I am not a very pretty sight when I am working out--my hair is a mess because it doesn't stay in a ponytail, my shirt is usually soaked in sweat, and my face is red.  But this still hasn't stopped me from checking myself out in the mirror.  Working out isn't about looking good, rather, it's about feeling strong!

Do you watch yourself in the mirror when working out?
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