Sunday, March 2, 2014

End of Beta Week 2 Weigh In

So, although the numbers don't show a very big difference at all, I still feel like I'm definitely gaining muscle and the workouts are still a challenge.  If winter ever ends, I'd really like to get some more running in.  I'm also going to attempt to not eat two BOXES of Girl Scout cookies this coming week like I did last week…

End of week 2 weigh in:
Weight 141.4 lbs
Waist 28.75 inches (down ¼ in since last measurement)
Hips 32.75 inches (also down ¼ in)
Thigh 19.75 inches (same…this is where I'd really like to lose some. Ugh)
Bicep 11 inches (up ¼ in…?)

So, this week…less cookies, more water, maybe more running if the snow stops after the beginning of the week.  I'm feeling a little discouraged right now without bigger results, but I know I just need to stick to it and get some running in as well and it'll be good.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Why I Love Shaun T

I started this blog saying that I eat junk food and I don't intend to stop.  I had a moment after the first 5 weeks of T25 where I thought about trying to eat "clean" and drink shakes and all that stuff for the second 5 weeks.  That moment lasted all of 3 minutes.  First, I realized how expensive shakes are.  It's expensive to eat healthy as it is.  It's nowhere near being in my budget to buy some powdered crap that surely doesn't taste good anyway.  I love fruit, I really like vegetables, and I eat a decent amount of both.  I'll stick with that.  And I'll keep my Girl Scout cookies and Cap'N Crunch cereal and chocolate and bread  too.  Second, I realized I'd be even more moody and crabby than I naturally am if I tried to deprive myself of whatever I felt like eating.

About three weeks into T25 I found the T25 Facebook page, and Shaun T's fan page.  And it has been such a blessing to see that he's not fake, he's not someone to preach never indulging in dessert, and he's very open about being real.  I have no desire to follow a fitness professional who demands that exercise and "clean" eating take precedence over enjoyment of life.  This was Shaun T's post today:

And it was captioned, "My true love! Sometimes I just need a damn donut! #85/15rule"

Ha!  I've been saying for days I want a donut.  How can you not love a fitness professional who posts a picture of himself loving his bag of processed, powdered, sugary donuts!?

I didn't order Focus T-25.  I didn't want to do it at all, actually.  My husband ordered it for himself.  Not to be outdone, I said I'd do it too.  And I have really really fallen in love with it.  It's short, which is so good for me, but it's extremely challenging, which I need in order to not be bored and quit.

I've said it before and I'll say it again…You don't have to give up things that you love, devote all your time, or be miserable to be healthy and in shape.  I'm thrilled with the muscle I'm gaining doing this program.  I wish I didn't have the lovely layer of fat (on my hips especially) that's covering those muscles, but I will never NEVER choose to be miserable just to have a slightly lower body fat percentage.  Kate Moss said once, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."  That stuck with me because she is so full of crap it's not even funny.  Give me some muscle and a donut and I'll feel better than any girl who starves herself just to look how she thinks she's "supposed to".

*stepping off my soapbox*

Catch Up

I got a little behind this week too, but I'm caught up now after two workouts today.  I'm midway through week 2 of beta.  I'm feeling strong.  I'm eating crappy.  All is well.  Measurements on Sunday ;)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I got a little behind

I got a little behind. And I don't mean that I've got a little behind. I mean, I got a little behind in T-25. The first week I attempted beta week 1, the husband was out of town and I was crazy busy with work and I only got three days in. So this week, I repeated week 1 and got it all done.  Beta is great. A definite increase in intensity and I love using the weights. I didn't like the resistance band that came with it, so I'm using 5 pound dumbbells.  Next week or the week after I will switch to 7 pounds.
Ok, so since I was not only behind on working out but on blogging also, I'll give you my thoughts on the five beta workouts real fast.

W1D1 Core Cardio.  This workout was a good step up from the alpha cardio. Nothing crazy but a few new moves and definite sweat.

W1D2 Speed 2.0.  I call this workout the ADD workout. If you didn't have ADD beforehand, it's enough to give it to you. The first time I did it (the lost week), I hated it. This week, I knew what was coming so it wasn't so bad. Still definite ADD though.  I do like that it's a different set up than the other workouts, even if it's a little maddening.

W1D3 Rip't Circuit. I was expecting something like the alpha total body workout, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is my favorite 25 minutes of the whole program.  I like it much better with weights than the band.  It's major sweat but still doable.  This is me after:

W1D4 Dynamic Core. This is a great ab workout. I'm not crazy sore from it, but my abs are about a thousand times stronger than before I started t25.

W1D5 Upper Focus.  First time for major work on the arms and back. My weak girly arms definitely need some work, so I loved it. Quick paced and a good mix of weights and body weight resistance.

Overall, I can't wait to see my results at the end of the beta 5 weeks.  I'll probably skip measurements and weight tomorrow just because I feel like I've been so sporadic, but I will get back to measuring next weekend (after week 2) and maybe post an update picture with before and after. I feel like I'm watching ab muscles appear before my eyes. It's awesome.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Beta Week 1 Day 1

So T-25 Beta began today. I spent all day yesterday thinking of what it would be like, trying to remember how killer Alpha seemed when I started it five weeks ago. Today was so crazy I had no time to think about it at all.

When I finally put the Beta Core Cardio DVD in, it was almost 1830, I had other things on my mind, and I was just crossing my fingers all the kids would play nicely upstairs for the time it would take me to workout and shower quickly.  

I started the DVD and immediately noticed the music was a little different. Whatever. I hardly hear it once I start. After the obligatory Shakeology commercial, I was ready to go.

**Side note, I checked into Shakeology to use during Beta, but that stuff is so expensive there was no way it was in our budget.  Guess I escaped the attempted brainwashing due to financial constraints.**

This workout was killer. Like feeling like I did the first day of alpha killer.  There were some of the same moves, but a lot of new ones too.  I was dripping sweat by about 12 minutes in, and I was soaked by the end.

I loved it.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

End of Alpha

Due to some messed up schedules and whatever else, I wound up having to do both T25 Alpha Cardio and T25 Lower Focus today in order to finish Alpha round on time.  But, I did it.
25 workouts in 5 weeks, some running (not nearly as much as I would have liked), and the results were good.  I did my final weight and measurements tonight, and here they are:
After five weeks, my weight went from 142 to 140.6, which is just a typical fluctuation for me. 
I lost 1/2 inch in my waist, 2 1/4 inches in hips, 1.5 inches in each thigh, and 1 inch each bicep, for a total of 10 inches all around.
Here are my before and after pictures.
Definitely noticeable in the abs, and I notice big differences in my thighs and butt too.

For all my talk about not using shakes and supplements, I'm kind of curious about the results I could have after Beta if I'm even a little more careful about my diet.  I have tomorrow to figure it out...Beta starts Monday!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Week 4 Plateau

I seem to have hit a plateau this week, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. All of my numbers were the same as end of week 3 weight and measurements. However, I didn't get any running in and was much more sedentary this week than I normally am due to snow days and sick kids.

Today I ran 5k, but it was much slower than a normal run for me. I ran the first 1.25 miles with my 9-year-old, the next mile with my 7-year-old, and the rest by myself for a total of 35 minutes. Then I came home and immediately did T25 Alpha Total Body, which is still my absolute least favorite.  I can't do an oblique knee push-up to save my life, but I'll be damned if I don't try hard and keep working at it!

This coming week is week 5 for me, which is the final week of T25 Alpha.  I'm going to attempt to eat well (read: no desserts), hydrate well, get some runs in, and try my hardest during every workout.  Hopefully I'll break through the plateau I sat at this week and set myself up for an awesome start to the beta series.  I'll also post a comparison photo next weekend. Although my numbers didn't move this week, I feel stronger, my muscles feel harder, and I'm committed to finishing this program before I spend a month or so focusing on running to get ready for a couple spring half marathons.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I may be behind on blogging..

I may be behind on blogging, but I'm not behind on T25.  Mon-Wed this week I did the workouts on the T25 schedule. I took today off since I have had a constant feeling of nausea since last night, so I'll finish week four with workouts tomorrow and Saturday.

The snow mess here is getting ridiculous. We got 9 inches Tuesday night!  Needless to say, between the kids being home and the roads being icy, I haven't been able to run. That really does a number on my mood. I'm thankful I'm doing the T25 program so I'm forced to do something, because otherwise laziness is overtaking my life the last couple weeks.  I am unmotivated to do anything. I did at least clean the downstairs of my house today and get to the bank, and I did some cookie shoppe work yesterday, but my energy and motivation is missing.  Luckily this weekend it's supposed to be in the 50s and 60s, so in addition to T25 tomorrow and Saturday I intend to get runs in Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

End of Week 3 Weigh In

Not huge changes to report. I didn't get to run all week due to the extreme cold and the kids' snow days. I did complete week 3 of T25.  Here are my weight and measurements:

Weight - 139.8 lbs (still in my normal fluctuation range)
Waist - 29 inches (same as last week)
Hip - 33 inches
Thigh - 19.75 inches
Bicep - 10.75 inches (same as last week)

This week and next, like I said, I will follow the actual T25 schedule.  That involves two or three days of Total Body, which is my absolute least favorite. Ugh.  I am hoping to get a few days of running in, too.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Midway Week 3

So it's Thursday. Another snow day. Is it just me or do snow days practically require you to eat like crap? And maybe it's just me again, but when I look out my window and see dry roads yet they call a snow day, I feel compelled to go somewhere...anywhere...because I can, dang it.  So I bundled up all of the kids this morning and we went to the bank and the store and Wendy's.  Back in like October I bought these little coupon books for free jr frostys.  They're about to expire, so we've been having lots of frostys.  I also had a Hershey's bar :O. I know I said M&Ms are my favorite, but I kind of lied. A plain old Hershey's bar wins every time.

It was a long day. Now, thank God, everyone is in bed.  

Yesterday I had T25 Total Body Circuit.  I was proud of myself because I made it more than halfway through the session before I had to switch to push-ups on my knees. I was extra motivated to force myself to keep at it because this is what my left knee looked like yesterday:
And it is still very sore.  I told the husband I'm going stir crazy not being able to run. He told me I'm better off not running on the ice since I do things like this on dry ground :/. The ice better be gone by Saturday because I will be running both days this weekend.

Today I did the T25 Ab Intervals.  It was ok.  Seemed like it worked my quads some today too.

So, I'm one day shy of finishing week 3 my way, doing each workout once each week.  The husband made a good case for why I should be following Shaun T's schedule, though, and saving you the details, I will be doing weeks 4 and 5 of Alpha according to the plan that came with the program.  When I get to the Beta program, I may even attempt to add in a nutrition plan (not a diet, but something more regulated than the out-of-left-field way I eat now).  I hardly recognize myself.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Yesterday, I did T25 Alpha Speed and not much else. I was feeling down and exhausted and the oncoming of a(nother) cold.  But I got it done.
I'm also starting to rethink the whole no supplements thing. I'm not going all crazy, but I think I'm to an age where a daily multivitamin, some vitamin d and calcium, maybe some fish oil and glucosamine might be beneficial.

I also think I need to get a new BIC Band or two, since I'm wearing my Boston Strong headband in every picture I post.

Last night, Virginia Beach seemed to be going crazy with the thought of impending snow (up to FOUR inches!).  So, like any parent would, I thought it definitely called for watching the news waiting for school cancellations and roasting marshmallows on the stove.
Before the kids went to bed it had indeed started to snow, and before I went to bed school was indeed cancelled.  The kids' first snow day!

We woke up this morning to maybe three inches.  The baby was scheduled for daycare, and my first inclination was to cancel since I couldn't run with the big kids home anyway.  Luckily I thought better of it, took her to daycare and set out with the girls to get some McDonalds breakfast.  The roads weren't bad; they were a little icy, but there definitely would have been school still in OH or WA.  It was 15° though, so we were bundled up.  McDonalds was closed!  Crazy. The bank was also closed.  Luckily, we found an open Panera, had breakfast, came home to play board games we can't play with the baby, and then the kids hit the snow for a while.
Too cold for me!  We ordered Pizza Hut for lunch (ugh), the husband came home early, and it wound up being just the kind of day I needed with my girls to pull me out of my funk.  I wouldn't have enjoyed running in teen-degree weather anyway. Now I'm good to go for T25, even if it is the Total Body Circuit that I hate.

And, I found this perfect picture on  It's so true.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 3 Day 1

Today I was significantly less sore than yesterday. My shoulder was rotating again, my knee was bending, and I all around felt pretty normal as long as no one touched my knee or face.  So, after spending the morning at the doctor with two of the three kids, I ate a couple eggs in tortillas with guacamole and salsa and got ready to run.  I didn't figure I'd run too far even though it's beautiful outside, and I didn't disappoint. I just couldn't get into it, so I ran two miles in 18:40, walked another 1.1 in about 16:30, and came home to change my clothes and do my T25 workout. It was Alpha Cardio today and it was killing me. The lunges hurt my knee every time, but I got it done.  

Now, I'm showered and back in pajamas on the couch, the baby is napping, and the big kids are at the park with the husband, who has the day off.

I also keep thinking about this:
which is sitting on the island in the kitchen. I bought it for the baby after the doctor, but since she's only 20 months old I only gave her a few. Now, they're calling to me. M&Ms always have been and always will be my absolute favorite candy in the world (literally in the world. M&Ms in Germany are the best for some reason).  I'm trying to see how long they can sit there without me eating them. My bet is on they don't make it through the day. Right now I'm eating a Luna Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter bar to keep me away. That never works.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Week 2 Weigh In

I woke up this morning incredibly sore.  My knee, my chin, and mostly my left shoulder, which I can only imagine must hurt from catching myself when I fell. So, for the first time since I started T25 two weeks ago, I'm taking a real no exercise rest day.  I thought about doing some yoga, but my knee hurts to bend and there's no way I want to put it on the floor and put weight on it.  I'll probably wind up cleaning the house.  Back to T25 tomorrow as planned, though.

Here are my weight and measurements from this morning:

Weight - 142.4 pounds (more than last week, but normal fluctuation I see in my weight)
Waist - 29 inches (.25 inches less than last week)
Hip - 33.5 inches (same as last week, but after such a big loss the first week I'm not surprised)
Thigh - 20 inches (1 inch less than last week!)
Bicep - 10.75 inches (.25 inches less than last week)

I'm obviously not losing weight, but I have to keep reminding myself that that wasn't my goal. I don't feel like I really need to lose weight. The fact that I am losing inches shows that I am successfully replacing fat with muscle, and that ultimately should be what we strive to do.

This coming week I need to again focus on drinking more water and maybe keeping coffee consumption to three cups a day.  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My Run for #Megsmiles

I had a different post running through my head for this weekend, but it'll wait for another day. Yesterday I wrote about Meg Menzies, mom, wife, and runner who was killed this week by a drunk driver. Last night (as I completed week 2 of T25) all I could think about was getting out there this morning and doing the exercise I truly love. Running. I was, for one of the only times in my life, looking forward to the alarm I had set for 0530.

When the alarm went off today, I was in the baby's bed with her, and she was flopping around restlessly. I snuck out, crossing my fingers she'd stay asleep at least until the front door shut behind me so I wouldn't feel compelled to stay.  I quickly threw on the pile of clothes I had set out, brushed my hair and teeth, used the bathroom, and went downstairs.  I drank a few sips of water, tied my shoes, and quickly threw on all my gear that was waiting for me on the counter - Garmin, SPIbelt with phone and Gu, water bottle, pepper spray on my belt, gloves, and winter headband. 

As soon as I walked outside I put up my hood and tied it tight as I set off.  My legs were a little tight as I finished the first mile, but that first mile is always a liar.  I came up on mile 3 feeling awesome. I was planning on 8 at that point.  I slowed to get a drink of water only to realize my water pouch had sprung a leak and it was all gone. As I opened my Gu I noticed that my pepper spray was gone too.  Well, at least the sun would be up before too long.  I headed back to my own neighborhood just to be comfortable without it.  As I passed my house I also passed mile 5. I was feeling good.  

Not long after that I passed the only other runner I'd seen. We said good morning and I kept going.  Just then I hit a deceptively wet mud patch, and took my first fall in all the years I've been running (4ish).  Luckily, I caught myself with my face.
The woman I had passed yelled to me asking if I was ok. I assured her I was, responded that I didn't need help, and slowly picked myself up, leaving some skin from my knee and chin behind.  I stopped my Garmin at 5.57 miles and 58 minutes and walked myself the half mile home, blood running from my face onto my gloves.

As I walked, my breath catching from the cold and the stinging of my road rash, I reminded myself why I was out there so early, pushing myself to do more miles than I have been running lately. And I smiled.  I smiled the whole way home.  

I smiled through the pain because I knew I was blessed to be able to walk home through my injuries.  I was blessed to open that front door and see the smiles and concern on the faces of my husband and daughters.  And I'm blessed to be able to go back out there tomorrow and do what I love.  And I'm so thankful.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Meg Menzies today.

And just for fun, my other wound:

End of week 2 weight and measurements, and hopefully a run, tomorrow.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Run Tomorrow

I am not a morning person. I don't like waking up, especially earlier than I have to.  But tomorrow, my alarm is set for 0530.  Tonight I will lay out my clothes, in the morning I will put them on, and as I step outside to run I will thank God.  For the husband and children still asleep in their beds, for the house we call home, for being blessed with everything I need, and I will thank God that I woke up and that I am able to run.

As the first breaths of cold air fill my lungs, I'll remind myself to enjoy every moment. As my eyes sting and my tears start to freeze, I'll remind myself that life is short.  As my legs burn, I'll tell myself to keep going.  Because I can.  And I'm blessed and I'm lucky to be there, putting one foot in front of the other, knowing I'll be walking through my front door soon to the family that I love and the things that make me smile.

Meg Menzies didn't get to finish her run this week, to return to her warm house, or to hug the kids she had just put on the school bus that morning.  She was a woman in her 30s, a runner, a wife, and a mother of three.  So similar to me, yet her life was taken from her by a drunk driver. So I'll wake up early tomorrow and I'll run, and then I'll send a check in hopes that the little I'm able to send helps her kids in the future as I'd hope someone would do for mine.  RIP Meg.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Quick Update

Quick post today. Not much going on.  I got the kids off to school and the baby to her daycare morning and left right from there to run.  It was cold, so I only ran 2 miles, but with a negative split and a decent sprint at the end.
Then I went home and did the T25 Ab Intervals workout.  Like I said before, I'm not following Shaun T's schedule.  I'm just repeating the workouts in the same order, one a day for five weeks.

And also, this:
I have been sooo hungry this week.  Geez.

Lastly, my big girls started their training after school for the Operation Smile Final Mile run that's held in coordination with the Shamrock Marathon in March.  They are supposed to run 25.2 miles in training and the final mile of the marathon at the race.  My oldest (9 yrs old) ran 1.75 miles and my middle (7 yrs old) ran 2 miles.  I'm so proud of them for showing an interest in running and being healthy.  I wish I had been interested in running at their age (I was a competitive swimmer instead).  I was 27 when I started with the Couch to 5k. My oldest is also starting the Girls on the Run program at school next month.  Yay for healthy habits for kids!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gu and an Early Comparison

Today was filled with this:
A little more of this:
And a couple errands that included restocking the Gu drawer.  I haven't tried the Espresso one but I can't wait to.  It has twice the caffeine of the other caffeinated ones :)
I also haven't tried the Clif Shot Gel or the Carb Boom but they were on sale. The lady tried to sell me an apple cinnamon Carb Boom but just the thought of that makes me want to barf.  I like the Chomps on especially long runs or races.

When I got dressed for T25 today, I was surprised. I haven't noticed a difference in the way my clothes fit, but I could totally see a difference. I wasn't going to post a before and after shot until the end of the first five weeks, but here's me at the beginning and today, 1.5 weeks in.  
See the difference in my abs!?  Crazy.

Also, today was Total Body Circuit. I hated it last week and I hated it today.  But, it's done.

Dinner is also done, since I just recycled last night's leftovers into a Mexican version of their former selves.
Also added a premixed wine margarita from Costco. It wasn't really good until the fourth or fifth sip, but it got better with each one :). Have a good night!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I don't have much to say today. Crazy busy day running errands in the crazy rain with the baby (who let me sleep 7.5 hours straight in my bed last night for only like the third or fourth time in her 20 months of life!).  In the midst of all the necessary errands I stopped in a new thrift store across the street from Costco and scored this:
for $12!

So, even though I totally didn't feel like it, I put all three girls upstairs to play kitchen after school and I got my T25 Speed workout in.  And I sweated my ass off.  Geez.
I actually enjoyed the workout a lot. My muscles don't feel like they're on the verge of death anymore so that definitely helps. I am definitely not looking forward to tomorrow's Total Body Circuit though.

The husband is a week behind me in T25, so he's 2 days in with really sore calves.  That was me last week!  My legs were on fire.  I'm sure he'll have an easier time with all the push-ups etc in Total Body tomorrow than I did (or will again) though.  I'm dying to run.  Thursday is daycare day, so if I can't get a run in tomorrow I know I can then.  

Dinner tonight was a spinach and tomato salad, pasta, and chicken breast, with salsa.  Yum.  But where does Costco find these giant mutant chickens that these huge breasts come from?  I cooked four and our family of five didn't even finish two!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 2 Day 1

Today was T25 Alpha Cardio again, and it was significantly easier than last week.  I think I sweated more, if that's even possible, though.  As soon as I finished the DVD I changed my shoes and my shirt and got ready for a run (it was the first of two weekly daycare mornings for the baby).  

I bought a new water "bottle" at Target (with a gift card, NOT a debit card) on clearance and figured it would be a good day to try it out since I knew I wasn't going to run very far.
I absolutely hate running with water belts or handheld bottles.  This is like a pouch that I can attach to my SPIbelt.  It holds .7 liters of water.  As I started running, I realized I needed to clip the clip through the buckle on my belt so it didn't flop around so much. It still moved around, but not horribly. I'll use it on long runs when I need water. I may even go buy another one or two since they're only $8 and they're the best option I've found .

I also (finally) got smart and put my Garmin over my sleeve instead of under.
This saved me a lot of annoyance.  I ran a mile out and walked a mile home.  So altogether 51 minutes of exercise.  

All day I've had the "runchies".  Feeeed meeee.  Saw this on Facebook today. Thought it was fitting.
(I don't know this guy.  I can just totally relate to his shirt.)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Week 1 Weigh In

This morning, before I drank my coffee or anything, I took weight and measurements for the end of week 1.  Here they are:

Weight - 141.6 lbs (pretty standard for me, but down .4 lbs from last week)
Waist - 29.25 inches (.25 in less than last week)
Hip - 33.5 inches (1.5 in less than last week…I was SHOCKED)
Thigh - 21 inches (.25 in less than last week)
Bicep - 11 inches (.25 in less than last week)

So losses all around.  After that I went for a run.  My goal was 50 minutes (keeping it under an hour a day), but as I got going I felt great and figured I'd do 5 miles no matter the time.  I ran out to Chesapeake and back.
As I got back to my house, I was at 4.6 miles, so a quick pass around the block got me to 5.  I couldn't have been much closer to my original time goal.
This was the best run I've had in months.  I felt kind of Forrest like and thought about just run-ning all day.  I can only think that the added strength from the week of T25 workouts allowed my muscles to settle in quickly and not tire out.

Also, I said I don't drink shakes.  I lied.
I drink Sonic Coconut Cream Pie milkshakes.  So good.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Last Day of T25 Week 1

Today was the Alpha Lower Focus workout, the last of the five week 1 T25 workouts.  I didn't get a run in today because I went back to sleep on the couch until 0930 after a long night of no sleep with a sick baby, and then the weather turned horrible.
Don't I look exhausted?

So while dinner was in the oven I had plenty of time to pop in the DVD.  It was hard.  I was drenched in sweat.  A lot of lunges, some squats, a few more lunges, some deeper lunges, and then just for fun another lunge or two.  Did I ever mention I really hate lunges?

Surprisingly, the most sore spot for me is a muscle I never knew I had.  I had to google it.
It's called the vastus medialis, and it is the teardrop shaped muscle above the kneecap on the inner side of the leg.  Mine are killing me, especially the left.

But, I did it.  Week 1 is done. It can only get easier from here, right?  Tomorrow I'm hoping for a long slow shake out run in the morning and then some foam rolling to get my legs ready for T25 again on Monday.  I'll also do a weight and measurements update tomorrow morning (end of every week), even though I don't expect to see a difference yet.

Friday, January 10, 2014

T25 Ab Intervals...Wohoo!

I was reading a Q&A online with Shaun T (the man behind T25) and someone asked what kind of shoes to wear while doing this workout.  The first three days I wore my Mizuno Wave Riders that I wear to run. And I got a nice blister. So I was interested. Shaun T said right away he doesn't recommend running shoes. He recommended minimalist shoes.  So I figured for today's workout I'd try it out.
My Vibrams were perfect.  I plan on wearing them the rest of the time.

So today was Alpha Ab Intervals. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it, but I honestly felt that if it sucked more than yesterday I was going to quit.  Fortunately, it didn't.

It was 6:30pm by the time I got to work out today (after I watched the kids eat dinner and put mine in the fridge to save for after T25).  This one called for a Beachbody mini mat, but my regular full-size yoga mat worked fine.  I absolutely loved the workout.  It wasn't easy, but just as I was reaching my breaking point with each exercise, it was broken up with a cardio move.  There was one point I was holding plank and watching sweat drip off my face onto my mat.  I haven't had that happen since I used to do Bikram yoga when we lived in Seattle.  I'm anxious to see how my abs feel tomorrow.
I could smile after this one (even if it was a creepy kind of smile)!

So tomorrow, thankfully, the husband will be home so I can run again!  I also have to do the fifth day of T25 week one, since I started this weeks on Tuesday.  That means Sunday will be my only down day this weekend (although I'm still going to run it).  Next week I'll be able to start a Mon-Fri T25 schedule that I hope to keep throughout the program.

I'm going to also try to eat a little better next week.  This week seemed to involve a lot of crackers/processed foods and not enough fresh ingredients.  Like I said, I don't diet.  I do, however, try to stay healthy enough.  This week came in a little under the curve.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Girly Push-ups and No Eggs for Me

Today was day 4 of my 30 day (5 week) challenge.  Day 3 of Focus T25, which was Total Body Circuit. I was really looking forward to this, but the baby was home today we had plans with friends in the morning, and she didn't take a good nap so I was stuck waiting until the big kids got home and finished snack and homework before I could workout.

I was really naively looking forward to the total body workout.  It was comprised of lunges, squats, burpees, push-ups, and planks.  At one point last year I was able to hold a five minute plank.  Today, I found myself doing girly push-ups at some points because my arms were exhausted.  It was humbling.  My endurance is great.  My actual strength is lacking, apparently.  The good news is, although I had to do modified push-ups at points I completed the workout to the best of my ability today.  Next week, I'll be a little stronger. The other good news is the 25 minutes went REALLY quickly today.  The workout was so fast-paced I didn't have a chance to watch the countdown clock.

As far as food goes, I always eat a little worse when the husband's out of town.  I was happy with my breakfast. (At one point there was coffee in that mug.)
Of course, I ate it around 9:30 (about 3.5 hours after I woke up).  Other than the butter on the English muffin (I'm a big fan of butter), it was fairly healthy.

Lunch wound up being a salad and baked potato from Wendy's. Definitely could have been worse given the location, and I did skip the bacon and cheese on the potato.  Dinner was supposed to be eggs, but the kids ate them all, so no eggs for me, other than the few bites I ate off the baby's plate.  I also managed to steal a piece of toast from one of the kids' plates.  Then I had a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and a Fiber Bar.  Again, could have been worse, but definitely could have been a lot better.  I'm sticking to my goal of drinking at least two big cups of water a day, and I really do feel like that's making me feel better.

It's been hard this week with the husband gone and the weather so cold, I haven't been able to put the baby in the stroller and run.  I'm really feeling withdrawal.  I'm thankful I have the T25 so I don't feel like I'm totally missing out, but as I've said, I run for me time in addition to fitness.

I'm an always-cold person.  In the summer, I often still wear pants.  So in the winter, I hardly see my legs.  Knowing I was going to sweat with Shaun T today, though, I threw on some shorts to workout.
I'll call this the before leg shot, even though I'm 4 days into it.  Back when I did squats regularly last year, I loved the look of my quads, and I'm really excited to watch them become more defined again.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

It Hurts So Good

The other day when I was doing yoga with my 7-year-old she was telling me it hurt, and in the midst of some upside down triangle pose I yelled, "But it hurts so good!" That kind of became our mantra when she struggled to finish.  At the end she said, "Mom, it hurt goooood!"  Haha.

This evening, I hurt.  This morning I could feel my muscles that had worked the day before.  Tonight, I just hurt.  So, while scanning Facebook while putting the baby to bed, I saw a post by Distant Runners talking about you know you're a runner when you foam roll.  I've tried it before, but never really got anything out of it.  Tonight, I figured I'd try it again and see if my legs would loosen up a little and bend like they should.  So, I googled how to foam roll, and of course the answer I clicked on was from Runner's World.  They showed short videos and descriptions of how to foam roll 6 areas: calves, IT band, piriformis, hamstrings, adductors, and quads.  I so wanted the piriformis roll to work deeply, but I couldn't get enough pressure to notice a difference.  I'm sure it wasn't because I have a lot of extra padding in that area.  The calves and IT band rolls were useless to me.  The quads and hammys felt ok.  The big reason I will continue to foam roll was the adductors. 
(Me rolling my adductors.)
 It hurt so bad.  But now, it feels so good.  I didn't even realize my inner thighs were as tight and sore as they were.  Try a foam roller…it hurts so good.

I'm a Cynic

Today is one of two days a week that the baby goes to daycare for four hours.  Usually that time is consumed with cookie shop business, but it's a little slow after Christmas and I knew I could get everything done in two hours, which is nice, especially when the husband's out of town.  I was done with my work before 10:00 and figured I get a few miles in and then T25.  I underestimated the coldness outside, though, and went out without my warmer jacket or anything over my ears.  I made it half a mile and called it quits.  Inside, I checked the temperature and it said 24 degrees.  I don't usually go out if it's under 30 anyway.  I'm not a cold weather person, but I do think that high 30s/low 40s is the perfect running temp if there's no wind.  I'm hoping to spend some time researching cold weather running tips soon.

Anyway, after that I figured I'd get T25 over with.  Today was Speed 1.0, and I wasn't looking forward to it.  The workout yesterday kicked my butt.  I woke up today not in pain, but definitely feeling like my quads and glutes had done some extra work the day before.  I skipped the yoga mat this time, set myself up in the living room and hit play.  After the standard Shakeology advertisement, the work out began.  This one incorporated a lot of exercises I have been avoiding doing for years, like burpees and lunges.  It also had some jabs and boxing moves that I really liked.

I must say, I enjoyed this one more, probably because I knew a little more about what was coming.  I'm definitely glad I'm doing these in the privacy of my living room.  I imagine I look like a lunatic.  I am definitely not a coordinated person or a dancer by any means.  I see the moves in my head but my feet don't keep up.  I will say, though, my knees were still hitting above my waist by the end of this one.
You're going to be so tired of my sweaty face by the end of this.  My husband just called and as I was telling him about what he got us into, he said, "Good, so you're enjoying it."  hahahaha  No.  But I'm going to finish it because I said I was, just like I finished the Couch to 5k program years ago and haven't stopped since.  They say things take 2 weeks of regular doing to become a habit.  And probably even longer to become enjoyable.  I do enjoy the results and the end, even if I don't enjoy everything about the means.  I don't enjoy every run, either, but one good one makes up for all the crappy ones I make myself suffer through.

All that being said, I'm a cynic.  I think I've never done a workout program, class, or dvd because I don't believe they work.  I mean, I know they do.  But for some reason, I don't think they will for me.  Before I started T25, I googled before and after pictures like crazy just to see proof.  After two days of feeling the muscle strain and exhaustion of the workouts, I still don't think it'll work for me.  Ha!  Don't be surprised if I blame my newfound abs and slimmer thighs on running instead of  T25 at the end of this :)

And now, I'm off to enjoy brunch.
I said before I don't eat breakfast.  I prefer brunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner.  Or, more accurately, snacks all day.  So I'm having cup of coffee number 3 and the leftover turkey veggie soup I created for dinner last night.  Have a good day!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

T25 Cardio Alpha Review

So the big kids came home from school right before the mailman came. The usual fight about whose turn it was to get the mail ensued, and finally my oldest went out to retrieve the mail from the mailbox and the package from the porch.
And then it was here.
(I'd have to agree.  It's about time. Nothing about Beachbody's shipping was very quick.)

I had planned to wait until all the monsters were in bed to try it out, but I couldn't wait.  As the kids ate their snacks and did their homework, I opened the box and pulled everything out.  I had a lot of first impressions as I looked everything over.  First, it was weird the resistance band didn't just come assembled.  But, I quickly did that only to realize I didn't need it right away.  Next, I opened the calendar to keep track of your completed days.  I quickly tossed it aside, figuring my husband could have it. It starts on a Monday, which I clearly am not (and that alone was enough to make it impossible for me and all my obsessive-compulsiveness to want to use).  Also, instead of just doing each of the five workouts once a week, it mixes them up so that some weeks you have two of one and none of another.  I'm sure there is a scientific or tested reason for this.  I'm just going to do one of each workout every week, though.

Lastly, the final thing that bothered me immediately came as I flipped through the nutritional guide that came with the set.  I was immediately put off by the first pages where I was instructed to eat under 1500 calories a day for the first 5 days, and then slowly add more.  It even says you might feel hungry. Now I admit I quit reading at that point, but no.  At the height of my running I easily eat 2000-2500+ calories a day.  Currently it's probably 1500-2000.  As I've said, though, I don't do diets or supplements or shakes.  There's no way I would count my calories and limit myself even if I felt hungry.

All that aside, I was anxious to get the DVD in and see how much I could sweat.  So while the kids finished their homework I changed into some workout garb and got ready.
I'm not a huge fan of Old Navy clothes, but their Activewear is actually pretty great.  Not to mention, their compression capris were on sale earlier this week for TEN DOLLARS.

(I'll warn running/ workout gear is usually mismatched crazy colors.  I had a friend tell me once she loved seeing me when I was out running because she always knew it was me by the brightness.)

Anyway, the big kids finished their homework so I put them all upstairs to watch tv.  Usually tv is outlawed on school days, but the baby took a good nap and I'm not sure what time she'll actually go to bed tonight, and all bets are off when the husband's out of town (as he frequently is).  I set out my yoga mat (which turned out to be a mistake), popped in the DVD, kicked all the toys out of the way, and said a little prayer that I didn't land on a Lego.

The first thing that came on was a Shakeology commercial. I know it's a Beachbody thing, but I had just been annoyed by all the Shake ads I had to pull out of the box, too.  Ugh.  I prefer to chew my food.

So the workout came on and I almost immediately kicked the yoga mat out of the way.  It was sliding all over.  Even the carpet had to be better.  A hard floor would have been ideal.

My thoughts during the 25 minute workout pretty much consisted of things like Ufh and Geez.  I refused to do the modified version but I'm pretty sure by the end my knees weren't higher than my waist.  This is a high-intensity, fast paced workout.  I sweated. A lot.

The truth is, though, like any workout using your own body weight and no trainer to push you, you only get out of it what you put in.  I gave it everything I had. In fact, when it was over I finished my second big pink cup of water and am halfway through the third!  But, had I not tried to squat deeper, lunge farther, and jump faster every. single. time. I could easily think it wasn't that hard. 

I then did a minute plank on my own. For obvious reasons.

Now, a few hours, a hot shower, dinner, and some more water later, I'm already feeling it in my quads.  I can't wait for tomorrow.  And I hope to get a run in too.

Today's the Day!

T25 will be here in a few hours!  As soon as I get the kids in bed, I'll be doing the first workout.  It's a good thing, too, since there was no way I was getting a run in today.  The husband's out of town, the baby's home, and it's like 5 degrees outside.  I need a treadmill.

Anyway, like I mentioned before, I've never done a workout dvd program, so I was a little off on my 30-day challenge.  Turns out, T25 is made up of two 5-week programs (Alpha and Beta).  So I'll be doing both.  My first "30 days" (5 weeks) started yesterday and will end on February 9th.

I drank 5 cups of coffee yesterday.  That's a lot, even for me.  I try to keep it to 3 or 4.  But, this came in the mail
and I couldn't help but try a couple.  That being said, this one
is HORRIBLE.  I'm new to the whole Keurig thing.  My cheap coffee pot broke last week, and I bought the Keurig at Costco.  It came with a bunch of coffees and a buy 2 boxes get 2 free coupon.  I wanted to try some new things.  Totally should have stuck with normal stuff.  That Caramel Vanilla Cream one isn't too bad, though.

Another thing that's horrible?  My daily water consumption.  It's pretty much nonexistent unless it is coffee.  I can literally go run however many miles and come home and drink coffee.  I'm working on it.  I gave up all soda over 18 months ago, or it would have been Diet Coke.  I'm going to force myself to drink two of these giant pink plastic cups of water every day while doing T25.
I don't know how many ounces they are.  24?  30?  Whatever.  It has to be better than the 8-if-I'm-lucky ounces I drink daily now.

I'll try to get a review up of my first T25 workout tonight!