When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Smoothies

Yesterday I was sick as a dog.  Picture death warmed over.  I’ll spare you the details.  Let’s just say I was super sick.  Got some work done in the morning then spent the rest of the day trying to recuperate.  Yesterday was also Hubby’s birthday – I felt terrible that we couldn’t have the celebration he deserves.  (Sorry Honey, I will make it up to you!)

Despite still feeling nowhere near 100% today, after not working out at all yesterday I resolved to at least get myself back in gear today.  Got my gym bag ready, packed a healthy lunch and a bunch of Dayquil gel tabs.  As I’m at work on conference call #1, it starts sleeting.  Yuck.  As I’m on conference call #2 it starts snowing.  By the time I’m off conference call #2 it’s snowing… snowing hard.  Several projects and another conference call down and I realize it’s stopped snowing all together.  Yes!  Going to the gym on the lunch hour will be that much simpler.  I’ll get to the gym, get in that workout I should have yesterday, get a quick shower, post workout smoothie and back to work – easy peasy.  Popped another couple Dayquil, grabbed a few tissues and was out the door.

I would like to say I pranced to my car but it was more like a lumbering shuffle.  Turned on the car and started dusting off the snow only to discover a layer of ice.   A thick layer of ice (remember that sleet?).  So I started scraping, and scraping and scraping.  By the time I was done I was covered in sweat, dizzy and nauseous beyond belief.  At this point I felt like clearing the car was the workout.  But I wanted to get that workout darn it!  I didn’t come out to the parking lot just to dig out my car and go back inside!  I told myself I had to at least drive the short distance to the gym and scan my key tag to get my check-in for the day.  If I felt up to it by the time I got there, I’d do the workout.  If I was still feeling like crap I would reward my puny efforts with my smoothie anyway and go back to work.

So what happened?  I finished the work out.  I hit a PR on my bench press of 50 lbs!  (Let’s not get too excited folks, the 2.5 lb plates were about the size of my hand – and I have small hands – but they were plates none the less.)  After that I pretty much phoned in the rest of it because I wasn’t feeling great but a half assed workout is better than none at all.  A little exercise did rejuvenate me and that post workout protein smoothie tasted all the better because of it.

Got to scrape the car again before heading back to work.

After work I had to scrape the car again.  Oh joy.

Went to my 8 year old’s hockey game.  They lost but he skated hard and played well.

Then I got to scrape the car again.  Yippee.

Home now, and the car is in the garage.  No more scraping for me today.  I think I may have earned myself another smoothie. 🙂

Simply Shredded (weeks 1-4) Results & Review

Here we are at the end of week 4 of Simply Shredded.  I won’t write out the entire workout but I am including a link to my training plan and updated training plan.  As I got started with the Simply Shredded program I needed to change some things to continue to incorporate my running.  So how did it really go?  Did I stick to my exact diet the entire time?  Did I really drink a gallon of water every single day?  Did I run as much as I wanted to?  The answer to all of those is no.  No, no, no.  Nope, not at all.  I’m a human being after all, not a machine (contrary to popular belief, and not in a good way) but I did keep track of everything; good and bad.  As it turns out, I’m a documenting freak so it was fun for me to keep track of all of these nuances.  I also put a heck of a lot of work in this month.  Hope you find it helpful.  Otherwise, it’s just more documenting for me to keep to review later – win/win. 🙂

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Starting picture on the left through to the end of week 4 pic on the right.

The Goal: Reduce fat/lose weight

Results – Pics & Stats
Yay!  All this hard work seems to be paying off.  I lost 4.5 inches and 4.5 lbs these last 4 weeks.  Not too bad!  I’ve included a chart with measurements taken after each week along with some pics.  I did my measurements, weigh ins, and progress pics every Saturday morning before breakfast to stay consistent.  (The “starting” picture is a bit dark as I had to take them earlier than usual that day.)
measurements

Workouts
I followed the Simply Shredded program for my strength training.  I worked on increasing my weekly running mileage and made sure to include some HIIT to get my heart rate really going at least a couple times a week.  I didn’t always do the ab exercises that Simply Shredded recommends on Fridays.  No real excuse for that other than I work abs pretty regularly with my trainer and just didn’t feel like doing abs those days. 🙂  The calf exercises were also hit and miss.  I go to multiple locations of my gym chain and some of the locations don’t have those machines.  I also figured my running worked my calves pretty well.  I would say I did those about 75% of the time or so.  I did increase an inch in both calves which I was pretty excited about.
workouts

Nutrition
Followed IIFYM as best as I could (see other post on nutrition).  I wanted to cut (lose weight/fat as apposed to gaining or maintaining) but decided to first start with maintenance calories since I wasn’t sure how my running would affect my goals.  I calculated maintenance macros for the 4 days of lifting the Simply Shredded program calls for.  I also added in additional calories in the form of carbs for my runs.  For my runs I used this formula: (75 calories x miles ran)/4 = carbs in grams extra that day.  I only ate these additional calories if I felt I needed them.  I usually did use some or most of them on those run days but usually not all.  I did not add any additional calories for my HIIT sessions.  My hope was that this would contribute to my weight loss instead of maintenance.  It seemed to work as I was seeing results each week.  Had I not seen results I would have reduced my intake.

macros

A bit about this chart: The red bolded days are those I did not stick to macros exactly with everything weighed out.  On those days I got as close as I could, focusing on eating lean protein throughout the day but an event or special scenario came up that I wanted

Typical day of eating.

Typical day of eating.

to enjoy without being the kill-joy with the food scale.  I know I was close those days but not spot-on.  I didn’t do any full “cheat” days, just a specific meal on those days highlighted in red.  I thought it was important to note those though.  If wasn’t seeing progress I could look back and evaluate those more closely.

Hydration
I made sure to drink about a gallon of water a day.  There were probably some days I missed by a few ounces but am pretty happy to be close most of the time.

Overall Summary
I’ve really enjoyed the workouts in Simply Shredded.  I love that they are so short I can fit them in over my lunch hour without issue.  I can tell I’m getting stronger with each session.  My struggle now has been coping without rest days.  I have taken rest days here and there by doubling up on workouts the day before or after.  It’s been okay but definitely more effort than my body is used to.  I think it is getting easier though and I am pretty excited about my results!  🙂

Kettlebell Hell!

Met with my trainer today for another circuit workout.  Wow.  I feel like these sessions are somehow getting more challenging yet easier to accomplish.  That may not even make sense and I’m not sure if I even understand it.  Today we did a workout with just one kettle bell.  That’s it.  One tiny little piece of equipment + one awesome personal trainer = one heck of a workout.  The thing I learned about the kettlebell is that it is incredibly versatile.  Did a couple variations on swings, crunches, and my personal favorite (NOT) rows followed by hip raises (ouch).  Powered through it like a champ.  I thought we were using a 10lb kettlebell until I looked at my journal just now.  The thing was 20lbs!  Yay, go me!  I truly feel that these sessions are improving my fitness and are a nice compliment to the lifting and running.  And they’re fun.  Well, at least now looking back at it I can say it was fun. Toward the end of the last circuit I can tell you I would have had something else to say about it. 🙂 Maybe I should rename the post to “Kettlebell Superhappyfuntime” but it just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Now to round out the week with one more 5 mile run!

In other news I’ve registered for 2 more races since I thought about cutting back.  I may need to seek professional help. 

Back in Business

Got my groove back this week!  I’ll admit, last week was rough.  Not every week will be spot on or perfect.  What’s important is recovering and jumping back in to keep the momentum going.  That grad paper I put a million hours into last week?  Got it back today – 100%!  Making progress on the new projects at the office.  Husband was out of town the past few days so it was just the kids and I.  No hockey practice the past couple nights (weird) but we’ve been spending time on their homework and piano practicing.  My grad work for this week is about halfway done which is a comfortable place for me on a Thursday.  I was able to get an earlier start to it this week which has made all the difference.

Capture2This week I powered through 3 out of my 4 lifting sessions, 1 HIIT session with my trainer and then 5 miles on the treadmill yesterday.  Another lifting session with HIIT to follow tomorrow and will round out the week with another 5 mile run on Saturday.  Weather is forecasted to be a balmy 32 degrees on Saturday so I may be able to run outside comfortably.  Comfortable running weather in Minnesota in January is such a treat so I plan to make the most of it. 🙂

Measly Mileage

Type the word measly into google and here’s what you get: paltry, meager, scanty, miserable, inadequate, insufficient.  This perfectly describes my running mileage this past week.  Reviewing my mapmyrun app I put in about 5 miles.  That’s generous, let me rephrase: barely 5 miles.  5 miles on a goal of 15-20 is not so hot.  Rest assured though, I was not napping all week!

Here’s what did happen while I wasn’t running those additional 10+ miles:

  1. Started my finance class.  Put in at least 15 hours on this class this
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    Hubs watching our 8 year old’s game with our 6 year old.

    week just reading and putting together my outline.  I still have a little less than half the paper left to write later tonight/tomorrow.

  2. Started my new weight lifting routine.  Managed to get every work out in.  Had to cut the last workout of the week short because my 8 year old had a stomach flu so I couldn’t go to the gym as planned and I don’t have all of the equipment at home.  So I got in what I could and called it good.
  3. It was our first week on a new initiative at work.  Crazy busy with lots of new meetings and activity.  Definitely well over the 40 this week but am very excited about this project.
  4. I did get my 2 HIIT sessions in without issue – yay!  Felt good to meet with my trainer again.
  5. Went to 5 hockey games for my kiddos.
  6. Went to my monthly book club meeting with my girlfriends, went to my husband’s company party and we also had date night tonight at the Minnesota Wild Game.  (Yes, the fun stuff counts too!)
Date night!

Date night!

Here’s the good news.  I still have 8 months or so before the actual marathon.  5 miles is better than none and next week will be better. 🙂

Fastest Mile in a While

I wanted to get in a quick warm up before my strength routine today so I figured I would get in another mile on the treadmill to contribute to the weekly total.  I ran it in 9:08.  That is the fastest I’ve been in a long while.  My fastest mile ever was a 7:06 during the Sioux Falls half marathon this past September.  I must have been somehow magically (and briefly!) possessed by a cheetah.  I’m still not sure mapmyrun wasn’t experiencing some sort of technical glitch.  But I haven’t run anything under a 9:30 in about a month and a half.  I’m so excited to start to get some speed back!

Weight routine was good.  It took some time to figure out what to set the machines to for the assisted dip and pull up exercises but otherwise it was fun and got a good burn in.  So far the first week on the Simply Shredded has been going really well!  Today was incredibly busy at work.  One of those back to back meeting kind of days and I needed the good sweat to clear my head.  I notice I always come back sharper after working out over lunch than if I had stayed at my desk.  However, what I do not recommend is an appointment with the personal trainer for a strenuous HIIT routine the same day as weight lifting.  Let’s just say I’m glad I survived.  🙂

On another note, I’ve been excited to find some simple meal ideas that are incredibly quick with few ingredients and minimal clean up.  They’re not fancy, they’re not pretty, but they’re fast and nutritious.  Here is one but I think I’ll start a new page and keep some ideas there so I don’t forget them when in a pinch.

Turkey Cheeseburger with Peas
Calories: 405
Protein: 23, Fat: 28, Carbs: 20
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Told the hubs I would write at least 3 pages of my 9 page paper tonight.  It’s due Sunday.  I should probably get on that. 🙂

New Year, New Class, New Gym Schedule

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The lawn mowing sneakers.

So excited to start some new things this week!  I started a new strength training routine this week called Simply Shredded.  (Here’s a link to the program website: http://www.simplyshredded.com/the-ultimate-female-training-guide.html)  I’ve also just updated my site with a new Training page that outlines my training routine.  I’ve been mostly winging it thus far so I’m looking forward to working through an actual program.  I also got some new lifting shoes!  And by “got some” I mean found in my closet and by “new lifting shoes” I mean my super old canvas lawn mowing sneakers.  My awesome and super supportive SIL suggested using a flat shoe for lifting and man have they made a difference!  Squats are much easier in these shoes than they were in my running shoes.

It’s also back to school week!  My Higher Education Finance class starts this week.  Finance is not my strong suit but anything is better than Statistics II (the course I just finished before the holiday break) so I plan to learn as much as I can and enjoy it.  Friends and family say “I don’t know how you do it” in reference to the busy lifestyle my husband and I lead.  Here’s the big secret: enjoy it!

This is yesterday: Got up early (only snoozed twice!), got myself and the kids ready and out the door, full busy Monday at work (hit the gym on the lunch hour), left work to pick up the kids (hubby beat me home and had started dinner – yay!), ate dinner/packed

Waiting for Dad to get forgotten the jersey.

Waiting for Dad to bring the forgotten jersey.

the car for hockey, watched my eldest’s game (was a nail biter, they lost 7-8!), pack gear back in the car, drive home, boys were showered and in bed by about 9:30, hubby left for his hockey game and I hit the treadmill for some speed work, took a quick shower, logged into my grad course by 10:30, reviewed what was due for the week, prepped my gym bag and snacks for the next day, watched an episode of Downton Abbey and hit the sack.

It was a pretty typical day.  Not without some hiccups.  I spilled the gallon of water I usually take to work and we forgot jerseys for the game, but it was overall a good day.  If I felt like any of this were drudgery, “work”, or if I hated it, I’d be a miserable person.  But I don’t.  I love my husband, I love my kids, I love my job, I enjoy working out.  Now I just need to take the next 8 weeks and learn to love finance. 🙂