Saturday, November 23, 2013

Kettlebell is going well

I've been back at doing more kettlebell workouts, as well as running.  The kettlebell has been going well.  The 2 workouts a week from Breaking Muscle are well planned.  I don't feel like they are overwhelming or push me too hard.  I feel like I get a solid workout, but don't come away empty.  Yesterday's workout included a ladder up to 5 of TGUs.  I was able to do 1-4 using the 26 lb bell, but when I got to the 5 each side I had to drop down to my 15 lb bell.  The workout also included sumo deadlifts, which I've never done before.  My legs have been sore from all of the squats plus running, so I kept the weight down to 50 lbs for the deadlifts.  This morning I had wanted to run, but my legs were so sore that I decided on yoga.  I did a nice side bending routine that was gentle and worked on opening my hips.  It felt great.  I may try and run a bit tomorrow, but the rest of the week is vacation and I don't know if I'll get any workouts done.  I may try doing some body weight exercises, plus some yoga, but otherwise it's vacation time!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Back to Kettlebell

Last week was a great week of running and yoga.  I ran 14 miles, and had 4 yoga practices.  I spent the weekend trying to decide how to work kettlebell back into my weekly routine.  I couldn't decide if I should go back to BeSlam, use Kettlebells for Women, use the DVDs that I have, or just do my own thing.  Finally I decided to use kettlebell cycle 1 from BreakingMuscle. The plan is perfect.  It has 2 workouts a week, which is exactly what I wanted.  It's not too long or overwhelming, and it's focus is on strength.  I did cycle 1, week 1, day 1 today.  It felt good to do squats and presses again.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

10,000 Swings!

I did it.  Today I completed the 10,000 swing challenge.  I finished up with an 800 swing workout, which took me 40 minutes.  I sort-of followed a workout from Tracy Reifkind's book, The Swing.  I needed more rest than she gave, plus I had to add 10 to make it 800.

I'm glad I did the month.  I needed a goal this month.  I haven't wanted to do any races, and with my back issue I couldn't just restart BeSlam, so this got me through.  I feel like I completed something, and now I'm ready to move on.

I'm still unsure what I'm going to do.  I did just get bands to help with pull-ups.  I want to improve my upper body and core strength, so push-ups, pull-ups, as well as other core work is in the plan.  I don't want to give up on running, or yoga, so I'll have to work it out.  I think I'll need to not be so type A about it all, so that I can just do what I enjoy.  My goal has been my health, both physical and mental, so I need to keep doing the things that I like and make me feel good.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


So close.  I'm almost there.

Today my swings were scattered throughout the morning.  I also went for a lovely 3 mile run.  It was very cold, but sunny, and it was nice to get outside.

I plan on getting swings in tomorrow, which will tip me past 9,000

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Getting to the End!

8,000 swings.  I'll admit that I'm getting tired of it.  I want to do squats, presses, and snatches.  I love snatches.  I've been sticking to just the swings (well, I've also been doing some push-ups or negative chin-ups in-between sets).  The swing challenge was a way to get past my injury issue (which was my back).  I'm feeling good, but I'll be glad to be done the challenge.

I'm trying to do more and more single handed swings.  I could easily be using 16kg for the 2H swings, but 1H would be hard.  My grip is weak.  So to help out with that I've been doing more single handed swings.

I also have to start thinking about what I want to do when I'm done this.  I don't want to give up running, or my yoga day, but I want to add strength back.  I'm also thinking about getting a 20lb bell.  I hurt myself doing presses with my 12kg bell.  My next lightest is 15lb.  I don't have the 8kg (18 lb) bell.  The 15lb bell is way too easy for presses.  I tried out a 20lb bell at a store, and it still felt easy, but maybe I should try it.  I can do 3 presses with the 12 kg before I start to lose form.  Really, it's too heavy.

I'll be pondering that issue over the next 2 weeks.  I'll finish this up, then take a week off before starting back up with something else.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

7, 600

Today,  after my 400 swings, I made it to 7, 600 swings. I'm definitely feeling it.

Today I did swings mixed with running. I ran a total of 3 miles on my treadmill with breaks to swing.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

6,000 Swings

I reached 6,000 today.  My swings are getting more efficient, which is nice.  I did a lot on 1 handed swings today, and they are also starting to feel a bit easier.

An hour after the swing practice I went for a 3 mile run at the park, in the rain.  It felt good, but this rain is bringing colder weather.  I've been running later in order to enjoy the view (instead of running in the dark in the morning), and so that my daughter comes with me.  She isn't one to wake up at 6:00 AM and head for a run in the dark, so this is better for both of us.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day 16

I got my 400 swings done between teaching the kids this morning.  I then went for a 3 mile run.  The park is nice, with the leaves starting to turn the mountains look like a painting.

Total for the month:  5,600 swings.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 15

I'm over half way!  Today's 400 swings put me at 5,200!

Today I had to break it up.  Monday's are late nights.  The kids have music lessons then orchestra practice in a city that's over an hour a way.  We get back around 10:00 at night.  So on Tuesday morning we all sleep in a bit.  I also like to practice yoga on Tuesday.  After my long Monday's, I need it.  So today, in between teaching the kids, I did kettlebell swings.  I did 100 at a time, then I did some negative chin-ups on my bar.

For my swings, I've been doing 15 secs on/ 15 off.  1st 10 two handed swings, followed by 10 TR swings, followed by 5 R/5L.  I do 3 rounds like that, then finish with 10 more 2h swings.  That makes 100 in 5 minutes.  I had been wanting to do more 1 handed swings in order to improve my grip.  This month, because I'm doing high volume and coming off an injury, I'm sticking to 12kg.  When I do heavy swings, I use 20kg.  Someday, I would like to repeat the 10,000 swings using my 16kg, or at least putting it into the mix.  But I have a hard time with the grip for 1 handed swings with the 16kg.  So right now I'm trying to increase the number of 1 handed swings in order to improve that grip.

And I did get that yoga done.  I had a lovely practice using  It was a practice with Jason Crandell called Yin & Yang.  It was a perfect practice for someone who does a lot of other exercising.

And my lovely day at home was topped off with a pasta dinner.  I topped my pasta with a mixture of roasted eggplant and peppers which were picked from my garden. And of course, a nice glass of red wine. :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 3

I've been unable to keep up with blogging, but I'm still swinging!

My last post was last Tuesday,  and I finished out last week on Saturday.

Wed - Sat 1,600 swings

Today 400 more swings

Week  1-- 2, 000
Week 2 -- 2, 400
Today 400 for a grand total 4, 800

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Going into week 2

Sunday was a rest day.  I needed it.  I couldn't even bring myself to do a little yin yoga.  I think I was tapped.

Monday--I got up and did 200 swings, then went for a 3 mile run, then 200 more swings
Tuesday--Today was the first day on my treadmill because of the weather. I couldn't decide what to wear for the temps so I stayed inside.  I did 100 swings, run a mile  3X's, then ended with another 100 swings.

Total, so far for this week = 800
Month total = 2,800

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day 4 and 5

Yesterday morning I got up and right into the swings.  I did 400 swings, then I practiced 30 minutes of yoga.  It felt good.

This morning was a running day, so it was back to 100 swing warm up, run 3 miles, then another 100 swings.  I then had breakfast, which was so good.  It's pancake day, and since my husband got back from his run before I started, he made pancakes.  He also cooked some apples (from our tree) and I had the apples along with yogurt.  I then cleaned up, cleaned the bathroom and did 200 more swings.

5 day total: 2,000 swings.  Only 8,000 more to go. :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 3

Much better routine.  So this morning I warmed up for my run by doing 10x10 2 handed swings.  I ran 3 miles, then did 5x20 swings, doing 10 2 handed and 10 transfer.  This afternoon I did another 200 following the same pattern; 10x10, then 5x20.  I like doing the transfer swings; I can feel the work in my core.

My hamstrings are sore.  I spent a lot of extra time stretching this morning, and I plan on some yin yoga tonight, focusing on my hamstrings and back.  My goal in all of this is to strengthen my core so I can get back to my regular kettlebell routine.  Right now, even body weight squats cause my back to be sore.  My back was sore yesterday from all of the swings, but splitting it up seems to have helped.  I plan on lots of TLC for my back while doing this.  My runs will stay easy and my yoga will stick to gentle flows or yin style.

Count so far 3x400 = 1200 swings total.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 2 of Swing Challenge

This morning was a running day.  I did 100 swings as part of my pre-run warm up.  I ran just 3 miles at a slow pace (about 12:00 pace).  I got home then did 300 more swings.  That is not going to work for me.  It took too much time and made me late in starting our school day.  I think, that on running days, I will do the 100 swings for warm up, come back and do another 100, then do 200 more swings later in the day.  It won't be hard to fit in 10 minutes in the afternoon, or even 2 five minutes.  I could do 100 swing before lunch and another 100 before dinner.

I'm also trying to do push-ups on my running days. I did 5 sets of 10, all on my knees.  And also on running days is my attempt at chin-ups.  The bar in just hanging in my kitchen and I try and do 10 negative chin-ups throughout the day.

So, day 2 is done.  800 swings so far.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 1 of 10,000 Swing Challenge

Tuesday WO: 45 minutes vinyasa yoga in the AM
                     400 swings right before lunch!

I did 10x10 2h swings as a warm up, then I did 2 sets doing 2h 10, rest;  2h 10+10 T, rest; 10 2h+10 T+ 5L+5R, rest; 10 2h rest, 10 2h+ 10 T +10R +10L.  I then followed it with 5x20 2h swings. All was done with my 12 kg bell.

I really focused on keeping my core strong.  I think I tended to bounce into my lower back with my swings.  I'm trying to feel that mini ab "crunch" as I swing up to chest level.

The whole thing took me 18 minutes.  It was harder than I thought.  This challenge is going to be a real challenge.  But that's good.  I'm excited.  I've needed some direction and since I don't feel like I can go back to BeSlam yet, I think this is good prep.

The yoga I did this morning was too rough if I'm going to be doing running and kettlebell. I need to stick to gentle flows.  This morning was the first time I tried Tiffany Cruikshank on YogaGlo.  She does a good workout, all moving with the breath.  It was good strength and breath work.  But I don't need that strength right now.  I need more opening of my hamstrings, hips, and shoulders.  But I was impressed with Tiffany and I recommend her if you want to practice yoga and get strong.

I want to try and at least log all of my swings on here, but I don't know if I'll be able to post everyday.  I may try.

Monday, September 30, 2013

A New Fitness Goal

I couldn't sleep.  It is almost 1:00 in the morning and I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep.  Last night, at 11:30, I did a 30 minute yoga for insomnia routine (from  I probably should do something like that again, but I thought I'd get online instead. :)

I was thinking about kettlebell today.  I am still nervous to get back into it, but I would like to do a little.  I thought maybe doing a few routines from either BeSlam or from Kettlebells for Women, but I don't know how that would work with running.  So I'm going to go a different route.  I'm going to try and do the 10,000 swing challenge. I think I first read about that challenge on Tracy Reifkind's site Lisa Shaffer's site, but it's been awhile.  When I read it I thought it sounded fun, but at the time, it didn't seem like it would help me meet my goals.  But now I think it would be a great way to ease back into kettlebell.  I will use a 12kg (26lb) bell, not too heavy, and I will try and do 400 swings a day, which I can do in about 15 minutes.  I would need 400 swings a day for 25 days.  That gives me Sunday's off, as well as 2 other days.  I want to do this.  This should help with core strength, as well as help me feel like I haven't given up on kettlebell.

So, goals for October: run 12 to 15 miles a week, at least 2 yoga sessions a week, and kettlebell swings everyday.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Running Shorts

I have been on the search for a decent running short for as long as I've been running (5 years).  I had a perfect, favorite pair.  They were by NB, but they were discontinued. :(  Now why NB would discontinue perfect shorts, I have no idea.  But I haven't been able to find anything like them.  I've tried a number of different shorts.  I do like Nike's Tempo, but they fit baggy on me.  They are comfortable and don't cause chafing (the most important issue).  I had a pair of K-Swiss that I liked, but they suddenly started causing chafing issues, so I went searching for a new pair of shorts.

I decided to give these shorts from Oiselle a try.

They are Oiselle's Long Roga shorts.  I bought them from RunningWarehouse

So far, I'm impressed.  They are comfortable, don't chafe, and they are not baggy on my legs.  I can use them for running or yoga, which is nice.  And they have pockets.  I love shorts with pockets.

I'll see how long they hold up without having any issues.  They will get plenty of use this winter.  Once the weather turns bad I tend to run on my treadmill.  If they are good all winter I'll buy another pair in the spring. They were quite pricey, but if they work well, they will be worth it.

So far my (workout) week is going well.  I ran this morning, followed by a 20 minute yoga routine for my core.  I did 90 minutes of yoga yesterday, and an hour of yoga on Monday.

My goals are more clearly coming into focus.  I want to increase my strength (which is why I had started kettlebell in the first place).  For now, to do that I'm going to focus on yoga, plus some old fashion push-ups, some chin-ups (I can only do negative chin-ups on my bar, but it's a start), and handstands.  I can only do handstands by climbing my feet up the wall, but it's a start.  I've also been doing short routine before my runs, which involves squats and lunges.  Right now, just doing those tires my back.  I'll keep it up, hoping to add weights back.

So for now, more yoga and more running.  I miss kettlebell, but they are there waiting for me when I feel a little stronger.  I'll probably start back by doing Turkish Get-ups before my runs.  That's my goal, which I'm hoping to hit in the next few weeks.  We'll see.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Getting Back to Me

This week has ended up better than it started, which is always nice.  Last week was rough.  We had a series of unfortunate events that made life non-stop for almost a week.  But now it's calmed down and I might (just might!) have a few days of normal.

My workouts this week did not got exactly as planned but still not bad.

Monday- I was supposed to run, but lack of sleep and a long day out of town made it impossible to run.
Tuesday-  60 minutes Vinyassa Yoga
Wenesday- run 3 miles followed by 30 minutes yoga
Thursday- run 3 miles followed by 20 minutes of yoga
Friday- 60 minutes Vinyassa Yoga
Saturday -90 minutes Kundalini yoga
Sunday - I plan on running, maybe 4 miles

There has been lots of yoga.  I know I need to work on regaining strength after my back injury, and yoga seems like the best way to go about it.  I'm enjoying it.  In fact I'm enjoying it so much I may push off adding kettlebells for a few more weeks.  I think it will be better if I do more body weight and core work, which yoga provides.  I will add back kettlebell, especially as my runs move inside to my treadmill.  I'm not fond of the treadmill, and I think I will do kettlebell with sprint runs this winter.

Last night we were up late with friends.  Our church was doing a campout at the local State Park.  I didn't want to camp out, but we joined everyone for songs and s'mores around the campfire.  It was a lovely evening.  I'm thinking of my friends right now.  It's pouring rain, and I know how hard it is to pack up in the rain.  I'm glad we didn't camp out, and just came home to our beds. :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

It's been a crazy month.

In the past 6 weeks we have been working on redoing sections of our house.  I painted what is now the family room (it was the kids' playroom), as well as the front entrance/room (which involved moving a piano and large cabinet computer desk).  Cleaned out and reorganized 2 storage spaces, steam cleaned all of the downstairs carpets, had a room added to the back of our house (it used to be a covered back porch.  We didn't do it ourselves). Re-arrange the boys sleeping quarters (we had 3 boys in 1 room, now oldest boy is in new room, the other 2 had their room redone). Tomorrow I plan on steam cleaning the upstairs hall and steps (I did the boys room yesterday after changing all of the bedding around).

We also started back to school, we homeschool, so that means I'm busy teaching 4 kids.

My workouts had been going well.  I was doing a 45 minute kettlebell workout 2x a week, running 3x's a week (about 16 miles a week) and yoga once a week.  Then last week my back got injured during kettlebell.  I strained a muscle in my back.  I couldn't run (or walk much), I couldn't do yoga, and of course, no kettlebell.  This put me at a crossroads.  I've been thinking maybe I'm trying to do to much?  Maybe I should have just stuck with yoga? (I do love yoga). I don't know.  I know a week of no exercise has driven me crazy.  Exercise is my therapy.  It's my time.  Without it I start to get depressed.

Last night, for the first time in a week, I was able to do a simple 30 minute yoga routine.  It was bliss.  This morning, I ran 3 miles then spent 30 minutes doing yoga.  Wonderful.  I plan on either doing yoga or running for the next week.  Then I may add some body weight exercises, like squats, lunges, and push-ups, after my runs.  If they go well I will try to add kettlebell back.  I enjoy kettlebell.  I enjoy the rush I get from lifting heavy weight, and from swinging that 44lb bell. I can't decide if I will go back to having dedicated kettlebell days or if I will add some kettlebell onto my running days.  I would have to plan carefully.  I could do short kettlebell routines in the afternoon.  I may go for that.  I also need to decide if I want to buy new DVDs or just stick to the routines I have.  I own 2 of Lauren Brooks' DVDs as well as her book and BeSlam.  I have plenty to work with.  But her new DVD or even her Lightning one would be nice.  I could just throw it on in the afternoon and not have to think about what to do.

I also want to get back to blogging.  I keep trying to get into this, but it's hard.  I'm very busy, and I know most people are, but I haven't found a way to carve out time to write.  But writing helps me think.  And I need somewhere get all of these thoughts outs.  So, I'll be trying to write at least once a week, if not more, as well as getting back into reading blogs.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dealing with a Head Cold

It's summer.  You're not supposed to get sick in the summer.  But the kids and I all have a cold.  It's just a runny nose and a nasty headache.  Thanks to sudafed, I was able to run this morning. :)  I got 5 miles in.  It was humid, but there was a nice breeze.  I was running around town where my kids swim.  Their practice is for 2 hrs, so I ran for an hour, stretched, then hit the shower (they have a wonderful facility).  After swim practice we went to try and find my 15 year old daughter a pair of sandals.  We struck out.  We tried 4 stores, but everyone has summer stuff on clearance, meaning we couldn't find her size (9 1/2).  

Anyway, running has been getting better.  I'm still doing kettlebell.  I'm on week 4 of BeSlam (2nd time around).  I'm running 3 times a week.  The first time doing BeSlam I cut my running down to less than 10 miles a week.  I want to do between 15 and 20 now, plus the kettlebell.  Next week the program moves to 3x's a week strength training.  It will be challenging.  

My muscles are definitely feeling it.  This has been good.  I'm really enjoying getting back to more running. I enjoy running, and I was feeling down about losing my running fitness.  I'm still not back to where I was, but I'm getting there.  I believe it will be worth it.  

On the more fun/personal front, I took my daughter to Sephora for a makeover.  She had fun and got some new stuff, and so did I!  I've never been much of a make-up person, but as I've, ahem, gotten older I need it more.  I prefer the good stuff (who doesn't it!).  I  don't buy a lot, but I get the basics.  This time I got a Smashbox eye palette and a new lipstick.  Love the eye palette, I getting used to the lipstick.  I always get a boring, neutral color, so this time I decided to step out and try something a little different.  It looks weird to see color on my face.

Smashbox - Photo Op Eye Enhancing Palette - Brown Eyes


The rest of my week is busy, of course.  I'm planning on running Wed and Thur, then doing kettlebell on Friday.  Saturday is the swim finals!  It will be nice to be done with swimming for the summer.  Somewhere in the next few days, I'm desperate for a haircut.  I hope it happens.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer is flying by

It's been a crazy, busy summer.  The kids are swimming at least 3 days a week and have music lessons as well.  I can't seem to keep up.  But the work-outs are going as planned.

I finished BeSlam 3 weeks ago.  I took 1 week off from kettlebells and then restarted the program.  This time around I am always combining the Strength and Conditioning (not doing them on separate days), adding push-ups between sets, and adding an extra day of high-volume swings.  Also, I have a goal of getting my running back up to speed, so to speak.  I had dropped down to around 8 miles a week while adding all of the strength work.  Now I am trying to run at least 12 miles a week, and I want to get it to 15.  The goal this BeSlam cycle is to increase running while doing the kettlebells.  The last 4 weeks will be hard, I'm unsure how I'll do it.  Maybe I try running just 1 mile on kettlebell days.  But for now I'm trying to run at least 3 days a week, do kettlebell and yoga.  I bought a membership on Yogaglo and I'm trying to do a little yoga everyday, even if it's just 15 minutes of meditation.

Part of me is frustrated with the running.  I'm a lot slower than I was before I started kettlebell.  I know that's because I dropped down my miles so much, but still I enjoy running and I don't want it to become too hard or even impossible because of kettlebell.  I still want to do kettlebell, but I am aware that it's hard to pursue strength and cardio goals.

I figure that if I keep my strength goals modest, like say squating 53lbs, pressing 35lbs, then I'll be able to keep running.  It's not like I'm trying to break records with my running.  I would like to be able to run at least 1 half marathon a year and get my time under 2:30 (not too ambitious).

I told myself that I would take 3 cycles of the BeSlam program and see how it went.  I am happy with my strength gains.  It's hard when you want it all.

I want to try and get back to blogging more often.  I've just been so busy, but I'm hoping writing it out will get out some of my frustration as well as help me find a focus.

On the personal front I'm thinking of painting and redoing our "playroom".  My youngest is 8 and we don't really use it for that anymore.  There is still a ton of Playmobile in the room that I don't know what to do with.  But still, I would like to paint it and rip up the ugly mint green carpet.  There is hardwood under there.  I have no idea what condition it's in, but I would like to find out.   I want to eventually move my treadmill in there and get a tv for the room.  We have an old futon.  I would love to get rid of it, but I'm unsure what would be good for there.  I will be looking at options.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Training Week

Summer has started.  2 of my kids are done with their school work, the other 2 have a bit left.  I've never been good at counting days, we go until the work is done.  But despite lingering work, our summer is in full swing.

The kids are back to swimming, 2 to 3 times a week.  It's now in the morning instead of evening.  The 2 younger boys also have baseball.  That is in the evening, when it's hot.  We opened our pool this past weekend, so in our free time we get out there.

My workout schedule is a bit nuts since I'm in the car more now, as well as at the kids pool.  The pool is at a gym which has weights, but no kettlebells (a few plastic ones up to 20lbs, but that's it).  So I could either bring my bells or use that time to run, and maybe do some yoga.

So far this week:

Sunday--This was day one of the last phase of the Be SLAM program.  It was a combined strength and conditioning workout.  Loved it.

Monday--Practiced 90 minutes of yoga.  I joined YogaGlo this month in order to get more yoga in.  So far I'm loving it.  I'm planning to practice some yoga everyday.  Monday we also went to the zoo and walked probably 3 or 4 miles.  It was a perfect zoo day.

Tuesday--Kettlebells.  Did another combined strength and conditioning workout.  This one included lots of squats as well as snatches.  Went for a 50 minute walk that evening, and practiced some yoga

Wednesday--90 minutes of yoga, this time a Hatha practice focusing on the hips.  Wonderful.  I also tried some Kundalini yoga in the afternoon.  Just a short practice.  I think I will try it again.

Thursday--Today.  I ran 3 miles and then practiced 30 minutes of yoga (in the weight room of the gym!).  In just a bit I'm going to do kettlebell.  I'll see how I feel doing both of these activities in a day.

Friday--if I take the kids swimming I will probably run, then yoga.  I may see if I can use an empty room for my practice.

Saturday--the plan is more kettlebell!

That's my week.  The boys have a game tonight, so that will keep me up late.  This summer will be flying by.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Busy May

It's been a busy couple of weeks.  The kids have had recitals, concerts, and competitions.  The school year is winding down and we are all ready to be done.  We've started swimming back up, which takes lots of time, both driving and just being there.

I've been consistent with my workouts.  Kettlebell is going VERY well.  My shoulder pain is completely gone!  That is amazing.  Before starting Lauren's program I was overdoing it.  I need to follow a plan, because, honestly, I have no idea what I'm doing, and it's too easy to get hurt!  I've made steady progress with BE SLAM and I've even been able to get in some running.

Right now, running is my dilemma .  I enjoy running, and I do think aerobic activity is important.  I want to be able to run, but I want to keep strength training, and making gains with that.  All of this and being a full time mom too! :)  I have 5 weeks left to the BE SLAM program.  She suggests taking a week off before beginning again.  I'm thinking of doing the program backwards next time so that during the last 8 weeks I can ramp up the running and do a 10k.

Everything I've been reading seems to indicate that you can't really run a lot (like the amount needed for a HM) and strength train.  But I'm thinking the strength training that is being talked about is for serious body builders.  I have nothing against doing serious body building, but that isn't really my goal.  I want to get stronger, like press 35#, squat 62#, conquer pull-ups and push-ups, kind of strong.  I also want to keep running.  I enjoy the runs, and a little part of me likes doing the races.

Right now I'm just thinking it all through.

So far this week I've run 6 miles and had 2 strength days, as well as doing some kettlebell conditioning after my runs.  I also decided to add a 1 mile warm-up run to my strength days.  Mostly because I do feel stronger after a short run, and also to get my heart rate up for my workouts.  Tomorrow is another strength workout, and Saturday will be a "long" run of maybe 5 miles, plus more kettlebell conditioning.

Now to go and clean my house.  It needs it.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Making Progress

My workouts have been going well.  I've been consistent and pushing myself just a little bit.  I backed up trying to do all of the push-ups and pull-ups, and I've been careful with my form for everything else.  The result is that my shoulder does not hurt any more and I've gotten stronger.  I can now press my 12kg bell.  I can clean a 16kg, deadlift with my 16kg+20kg (a total of 79 lbs), swing 24kg, and squat with the 16kg.

My arms are looking more toned, and even my mid-section is tightening up a bit.  My running, while much less in volume, is picking up in speed.

love kettlebells!
This morning's kettlebell strength workout was on the easier side.  It was deadlifts, push-ups, cleans, then swings.  I pushed with the weights, going as high as I could.  I definitely worked hard, but I still felt like I could do a lot at the end, so since it was a gorgeous spring morning, I went for a 3 mile run.  It felt great.  I ran at a comfortable pace, which was faster than my normal slow pace.  I could tell how much better my form was.  I was keeping my core solid and my glutes were doing the work.  I felt strong.  I love it.

I'm so happy with my progress.  There is one thing I need to decide if I want to push for.  I am not really trying to lose weight.  My weight for my height is good.  I need muscle.  But I do a some flab (I have had 5 children) and it would be great if I could get rid of that.  But the rub is that, while I eat fairly well, I still enjoy a little bread, wine with dinner, and even some sweets now and then.  The question becomes do I want to achieve a certain "look" or am I just going for strong and healthy.  Most days I'm happy with strong and healthy.  I'm glad I don't have a career that requires I not have an ounce of fat on me (I don't know how those women do it).  But there are days I would like to go for that "look".

Kettlebell  :D
I could never look like that.  I've never been blond, and I'm no where near 20!

Tomorrow is another strength workout.  This one will include squats, so a run would not be a good idea.  I may add an extra 100 swings to the end of the workout.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Yoga Days

I love running, and I am loving kettlebell, but I couldn't continue in either without my yoga practice.  In a perfect, didn't have any other life, schedule, I would practice yoga every morning and then either run or do kettlebell in the afternoon.  Running is great for the endorphins, a lifting heavy things gives you a different kind of rush, but there is a genuine calm that comes during your yoga practice.

In the past I've used videos as well as streamed classes from online.  My favorite DVD is Shiva Rea's Yoga Shaki

Shiva Rea: Yoga Shakti (2 Discs)

I also have a variety of other videos, but this one got the most use.  I also have used Yoga Today online . This is an excellent online yoga source.  Honestly, those women taught me yoga.  They are excellent teachers, giving perfect cues and speaking to you like they are in the room with you.

I also have a couple of yoga books. I have a book on the Primary series, by Beryl Birch; and I have another Power Yoga book, by Baptiste. I also have a helpful book and guide from Sage Rountree .  I have a real love for the Primary series, but mostly I combine what I have learned for my own home practice.


I start of with 3 to 5 Sun Salute A's, then 3 B's.  I then do the Primary Standing Series.  When I finish the standing series, I do the back bending series from Baptiste's book. After the back bending, I use Baptiste's hip opening series combined with some things from both Rountree's book and what I've learned on Yoga Today.  After the hip opening (and forward bends), I either go into the Primary Series Closing or do a series of spinal twists.

This routine is perfect for me.  It balances with the hard work I do running and lifting.  I stretch my back, hamstrings, and hips.  When I'm done I always spend time in Shavasana.

Yoga is very important to me.  Someday I would like to pursue it more fully, maybe doing a retreat.  But right now it's the Yin to my Yang of harder work.  (Love Yin Yoga too!)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dealing with Injury

The human body does not like change.  When I first started running, back in 2007, I got hurt, almost right away.  Bad shoes and weak tendons led to a 3 month  injury which even made it difficult to walk.  It took me till the next year to start running again, and again I got injured, this time it was with shin splints (went from the treadmill to outdoors.  Didn't know you had to be careful!).  I've been running consistently for 5 years now, and I know how to listen to my body and cut back to avoid injury.  But my body has also adjusted to running.  While I know I can still get injured, it's less likely to occur if I'm not aggressive and remember to cut back once in awhile.

Now I've started something new, kettlebells.  I want strength.  The problem is that I have never been a physically strong person.  And my body's response to trying to get strong at 43 is to complain, loudly.  When I first started Lauen's book, Kettlebells for Women, I added daily push-ups and (negative) chin-ups.  I was very aggressive about it.  I was determined to be able to do real push-ups and chin-ups, but all I managed to do was aggravate my shoulder.  I stopped doing the daily push-ups and chin-ups when I switched to Lauren's new program, Be SLAM.  I also learned better technique from a kettlebell trainer.  The combined has helped, for the most part, take care of my shoulder issue.  At least I thought so.  My left shoulder issue is completely better, but the top of my right shoulder is hurting, a lot.   It seems that the TGU's aggravated it, as the one arm swings with the heavier bell.

I know I need to give my shoulder a break.  I'm supposed to do a conditioning workout tomorrow, but instead I 'm going to run.  The 2 days after that are rest before the next strength workout, and I'm hoping that the 3 day rest will help resolve my issue.  I doubt it, but I'm hopeful.  I know I need to be careful.  When you're over 40 your body can not handle the same amount of stress that it could when it was 20.  Hopefully, I can nurse this along by small breaks and dropping to a lighter weight for some things.  I'm trying to very extra careful with push-ups.

It does stink getting old.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

New Shoes!!

I always love getting a new pair of running shoes.  Even though I get the same brand and type every time, I get that kid on Christmas morning feeling when my shoes arrive through the mail (I live an hour from a running store.  I always order online).

I usually switch out my shoes at about 425 miles.  This way my old sneakers are still good for walking and everyday use.  My old running shoes had 400 miles on them, so I still plan on running in them a bit more.  But this morning, when I went for my run, I had to use my new shoes. :)

Purple and pink sneakers!  and a new pair of running socks.

I ordered them earlier than needed because Running Warehouse had a sale.  I always try to grab my shoes while they are on sale.  I never have trouble getting my size.  I usually always go for the blue pair, but this time the "blue" color sneaker was black and blue. Not what I would want.  Blue is my favorite color, but after that, it's purple.  So I was excited to go very different this time and get the colorful shoes.  I also ordered a new pair of running socks.  There are 2 kinds that I like, Smartwool and Belega.  For some reason I put a hole in the toes of my Smartwools faster, so Belega has been winning lately.  I've always pushed my toe up.  In fact, I put Duck tape inside the toe area of the sneakers to protect them.  I still need to do that.  This morning's short 4 mile run was not going to hurt them.  

Kettlebell has been going well.  I ordered another 12kg bell so that I would have 2 for renegade rows, jump squats, or anything else I may need or want to try with doubles.  I told myself I could get another 12kg when I could press my 12kg.  It was my little reward. :)  Tomorrow's workout calls for lots of Turkish Get up's.  I will have to start out with my 15 lb bell, but I should be able to do a few with the 26 lb bell.  Can't wait.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Getting Outside

Well, I had a post and Blogger deleted it.  That's frustrating.

It was a beautiful 60 degrees outside today, so I grabbed my kids and headed to the park.  We have a small state park in our little town.  It's really quite nice.

Blue skies!

The 1 mile loop by the lake

My plan was to go at least 4 miles.  I wasn't sure if I could do it.  I have not been running much since I've been working on strength with kettlebells.  At mile 2 I ran into a friend and we ran the rest together.

My distance and pace.  Most people post their fast pace and long distance. I'm posting my modest pace and distance.

It was a nice run. It felt good to get outside.  I'm looking forward to more outside runs.  I hope this weather stays nice.

Me, happy after a nice run

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Testing my Limits

This new kettlebell program I am following is divided up into Strength and Conditioning days.  I decided I could run on the Conditioning days since the workouts were meant to be dynamic (cardio) and I could do as little as 3 rounds.  This way I could continue working on kettlebell but still run.  Today I did the second conditioning workout along with a run.  I ran first, just 30 minutes easy.  I then did 5 rounds of the conditioning workout, which was high-pulls and push-presses.  I felt good while I did the workout, brain was toast.  I ate a banana between the run and kettlebell, but clearly, it was not enough.  I made great breakfast of 3 eggs (1 whole, 2 eggs whites), spinach, and goat cheese, along with an orange and cup of coffee.  I was still in a fog an hour later.  And even now, after I've had lunch, I feel tired.

I may have to separate the running and kettlebell.  I could do one in the morning, and the other in the afternoon.  I don't want to lose my running ability.  I have never had the best cardiovascular system, and if I drop off in the running, it will suffer.  I may get to the point where I just try to run a mile a day, just to keep it up.  I could walk for 5 minutes, run for a mile, then walk another 5, for a nice 20 minutes.  It would be easy and help me feel like I'm not giving up something I love.

Tomorrow I will do a little yoga in the morning and then when the weather turns a bit nicer go for a short run at the park.  It will be nice to get outside, of course, my allergies may not agree.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Switching Gears

I've been enjoying doing Kettlebells for Women.  I was on week 7.  But Lauren Brooks came out with another progam and I bought that. It's called, Be SLAM.

My plan was to finish out KFW through week 8, which was the end of phase 2. The 3rd month in the program used a lot of double bells and I didn't want to do that. I wad going to modify it, but when I saw her new program I went with that.

Rest day tea

After looking over the new program, I decided it fit me better. It is broken down into strength and conditioning days.  The conditioning days are such that I could run as well as do kettlebell. The program is also more basic. KFW had a lot of different exercises, this sticks to kettlebell basics, which I like.  Today, I'm taking a rest day, tomorrow I'll start day 1 of the new program.

My bells

Yesterday, I ran for 2 miles.  It was an interval workout.  I went slowly for a 5 minute warm up, then did 4 sets of 2 minutes fast (9 min mile), 1 min walking, 2 minutes slow jog.  After I was done I did the kettlebell workout.  It was focused on TGU's, so it was easy to do together.  I would like to improve my running, as well as gain strength from the weights, but I'm still going to focus on the kettlebells.  As the weather gets nicer (I'm sure it will some day), I would like to take short runs at the park. :)  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Moving up

Today, instead of doing the recommended tabata, I did a swing workout.

10 x 10 12kg
10 x 10 16 kg
10 x 10 20 kg

That was the first time I swang the 20kg!  It felt great.  And I finally got my heart rate up.  I normally do not get my heart rate very high, but swinging the 20kg did it! It was hard though.  I will probably feel it tomorrow.

Also, I ordered Lauren Brooks' new program.  I don't know how it will differ from her book, which I'm currently using, but I have liked everything she has done, so I just ordered it.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Starting week 7

Today I started week 7 of Kettlebells for Women .   I didn't feel like it was the best start.  I'll back up a bit.  Saturday was the last workout for week 6, and it went very well.  When I finished I felt strong, and like I had worked hard.  Sunday was a rest day, which is what I did. :)

This morning's workout was not too hard, but my body didn't seem to show up for it.  I just couldn't get the hip snap as strong as I wanted or needed it to be.  It all felt weak and half hearted. The first half of the workout was windmills and single leg deadlifts, along with some swings.  I should have used the lighter bell for the deadlifts.  I did for the last set, and with that bell I could have good form.  The second half of the workout was for time, and I don't do well with those.  I seem to lose my form.  I need to not worry about racing the clock, and take my time doing each rep.  I had a really hard time with my high-pulls, and that would be because; a) I tried to use the 12 kg instead of the the 8, and b) my hip snap was awful.  I did not have the power I needed.  I also think part of the problem was lack of fuel.  I did eat a half a banana with some almond butter, but that was right before I started, and it didn't feel like enough.  I never have trouble running on "empty" but weights seem to require more.  I need to eat first, which is hard to do first thing in the morning.

The rest of my day is quite busy.  I homeschool my kids and today and tomorrow they have standardised testing, which is an hour from here.  I have to drive them down and back, as well as sit through the "teacher's" meeting that the school has.  We do testing every year.  It gives me good feedback on their education, but this getting up and getting them to real "school" is not fun. :)

Tomorrow morning I plan on running, as well as some kettlebell swings.

This week I also want to pay closer attention to my diet.  I don't need to lose weight, but I do have "flab" that I would like to see disappear.  I normally eat fairly well, but this week I plan on cutting back or cutting out bread (not all carbs, just the bread) and eating as much protein as I can.  I also want to keep the sugar low.  I don't eat a lot of junky snacks.  I will not give up my Ghirardelli dark chocolate.  I eat 1 square after dinner.  I also won't give up my wine.  I know it's a lot of calories, and sugar, but it has too many other benefits, plus I enjoy it. ;)  

Saturday, March 23, 2013

New Bells!!

Yesterday, my 2 new bells arrived.
I got a 16kg and a 20kg Ader bells

I was not here when they arrived.  My kids said the mailman used a dolly to get them to the house.

I can't wait to begin using them.  For now they will only be used for 2 handed swings.  I "played" with them last night, and I can tell how much these will help to increase my heart rate during my swings.  Right now, my 12kg bell does not get my heart rate up very much, even during tabata's.  

Between purchasing the bells and the spring shopping I did with my 2 daughters yesterday, I believe the economy will see in upswing during this next quater. ;)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Taming Hunger

It's been a good week so far.  My kettlebell workout on Monday went well, but I was so hungry yesterday! I just wanted to eat.  I made a good breakfast; 1 egg, plus 2 egg whites, spinach, and goat cheese omelet, a piece of toast, and an orange.  But I was still hungry.  I worked on ignoring it because I knew I was having a big lunch.  My husband and I went to town for some errands and we went out to lunch.  We ate at the Tomato Head, which is a great pizza and sandwich place.  Lunch did fill me for awhile.

I also had a nice run once we got home.  I ran 4 miles, and it felt good.  I was a bit concerned because my legs were sore from all of the squats on Monday, but running was fine.

This morning was yoga, but I woke up thinking about food.  I'm never like that.  During all of yoga all I could think about was breakfast.  After I got ready for the day I made pancakes, which I had with some canned apricots.  I also had an orange, but I'm still just wanting food.

Doing kettlebell has got my system in high gear.  I need to not eat tons extra.  I've been careful to eat extra protein (I added rice protein powder to the pancakes), and not eat junk, but I need to do something about always feeling hungry.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Working with a Trainer

This morning I had to take 3 of my kids to a group violin lesson.  While they practiced I read on my Kindle.  I'm currently reading Cloud Atlas, and I'm enjoying it.  The book is well written.  The first chapter was a bit hard to get into, but after that I got hooked.  It was pleasant to sit in the sunshine (it's 70 here), with violins playing in the background, and read a good book.

Today was a kettlebell workout day.  I got up early (thanks to my husbands alarm) and did a little yoga.  It was good to stretch out before getting in the car and driving.  I didn't do my planned kettlebell workout because instead, I drove an hour to the city and met with a  RKC kettlebell  trainer (the kids were in tow, since in was after violin, I bought them lunch at Chick fil a as a bribe).  I met him today for the first time, and we went over all of the basics; the squat, swing, clean, press, TGU.  He was very nice and very helpful.  I have been doing decently on my own, if I do say so myself ;), but still,  he was able to help me fine tune.  My swing is better (I could easily swing a heavier bell!), my clean is better, and I have a much better understanding of the TGU.  He was definitely worth the hour, and I look forward to working with him again. Because he's so far away, I'm planning on every 2 months, at least for the next year.  I really want to improve in kettlebell.

I wish there was a kettlebell gym closer, but I'm quite happy that I was able to find a trainer.  He doesn't have a web-site or I would link it.  He doesn't do this full time, just on the side, but he was very professional and did a great job.

Off to order some new, heavier bells. :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Yoga day

Today was yoga day.  To be honest, when I'm on that mat all I can think is why isn't everyday yoga day?  I love yoga.  I also love running and kettlebell.  I seem to be a bit ADD on my exercise love.  But I also don't consider yoga just exercise. The focus on the breath and gaze turn it into a meditation.  I try to do that while running, but it's not the same.  I own a few videos, and I have used Yoga Today , which I love, but I also just like to do my own thing on the mat.  I start with Sun Salutes A, then B, then go into the standing series from Primary.  I sometimes add a little, like more balance poses, and half-moon after triangle, but I like the standing series.  After that I like to use some of the routines from Baron Baptiste's book .  I like to work on opening my hips and hamstrings.  Today my shavasana was difficult. My son's (who is 11) orchestra teacher called to tell me he has not been behaving well during orchestra.  That made it hard to truly rest.  I put Tibetan bell music (thanks to Pandora), on my phone and tried to just rest.  I also spent 6 minutes in meditation.  I like to just focus on the breath, staying present in the moment.  It did feel good.  I then had a long talk with my son. :)

My shoulder (I believe it's the tendon) is still hurting.  I will probably use a lighter bell tomorrow.  I'm hoping using a lighter bell and laying off the chin-ups and extra push-ups let my shoulder heal.  I don't want to have to stop what I'm doing.  I don't know why I thought starting kettlebell would be different from running.  When I started running I had numerous injuries, thanks to being old and pushing myself.  I do wish I had gotten in better shape when I was younger.

I have yet to really hurt myself doing yoga......

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Being Honest about my Age

I am not young.  I've had 5 kids, and 1 of those kids is in college.  But I have been attacking my new kettlebell routine with the gusto of a 25 year old.  The result is that the tendon in my right shoulder is sore. I need to back off a bit.  I had been adding to what the plan in Kettlebells for Women called for.  I stuck in extra push-ups, as well as a plan for improving my chin-ups (which I can't do).  I need to just stick to the plan.  The plan is enough.  The book is well thought out and doesn't need me adding to it.  Now, there is nothing wrong with scalling it back if I need to do so, but I should not be adding to it.  I'm too old and I've never been physically strong.  I need to stick to the basics.  I did do the full workout from the book today.  I did 50 squats (25 clean and squats on the left and 25 on the right) with a 12 kg bell.  I did 50 chest presses and around 75 alternating swings.  I also did a good core workout with it. I liked this workout.  I know it's one I will do even after I finish the program.  

* This is not me.  Just a picture of a kettlebell squat.  I'm thrilled that I did 50 with my 12 kg bell.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I had a great morning run.  Since I've only been running 2x a week, my runs have felt more difficult.  I'm trying not to let that discourage me, but it's hard.  Today I stopped every 10 minutes to go do negative chin-ups.  I did 5 sets, doing 6, 5, 5, 4, 3.  It felt good.

I followed my run with a Tabata workout of swings.  I did one arm swings, then 2 handed swing, followed by an overhead swing.  I used my 12 kg bell.  I may need to drop down to my 15 lb bell for 1 arm swings. The top of my right shoulder is tender (not in a good way), and I'm having issues with my left shoulder blade.  The swings did not hurt the shoulder blade, but I'm worried that it could be causing the problem (of my shoulder blade "popping" out while doing suitcase deadlifts).  I know I am pushing myself hard.  It's always difficult to find the balance between pushing yourself in a good way, and going too far.

Eating has been something else I need to watch more closely.  I don't follow any sort of special diet.  I just try to watch what I eat and watch my portions.  But I've also been indulging in sweets a lot lately.  I had icecream last night, with all the toppings too.  I'm not trying to lose weight, but I would like to eat as healthy as I can as I work on building muscle and cutting down some fluff. I want to "tone", as they say, and that will not happen when I'm eating icecream sundaes for dessert.

Tomorrow is a kettlebell day.  I'm looking forward to the squats!  I feel like I've not been "working" hard enough, which is why I kept pushing myself with the heavier bell.  The first month did not feel like traditional kettlebell workouts.  The second month looks more like what I expected to be doing.

I'm also going to meet with a trainer this Saturday.  There is only 1 that I could find in the city.  He doesn't even work at a gym or have a place.  Since I live far from the city I'm going to his place, and hauling 3 of my kids with me.  I look forward to having someone check my form.  I want to focus on the top 3 moves, which are the swing, squat, and TGU.  If he could check my cleans, that would be good too.  It's a lot to do in an hour.  If it goes well I want to try and meet with him every 2 months.  The city is over an hour a way, so I think it's the most I could do.  But I would like to work with a trainer for this.  Too bad he doesn't have a gym yet.  If he doesn't work out, I guess I'm on my own. :(

Sunday, March 10, 2013

This is my attempt at blogging.  I've been reading blogs for years, but I never wanted to actually write one.  I mean, what do I have to say that anyone would want to read.  And maybe it will be nothing.  I don't really know much about blogging, like how to set stuff up.  I can't even figure out how to get what I want on the header.  I'll work on that later.

I decided to start a blog because I couldn't find one like I wanted out there.  This will mostly focus on my exercising.  I've been running for 5 years.  I've run 3 half marathons and 3 5k's.  Not a whole lot, but a lot for this busy mom.  I have 5 kids.  I homeschool.  I keep very busy.  I also practice yoga, which I love.  To me, everyday should start with yoga.  I wish I had time for that.  For now, I settle for a little yoga after my workouts, and at least 1 full, dedicated practice a week.  I also enjoy kettlebells.  I've been doing a little bit of kettlebells for the past year.  I own 2 of Lauren Brooks DVDs .  I highly recommend volume 1 and 2 of her series.  This year, after a horrible bout of the flu where I managed to crack a rib (from coughing), I decided I wanted to get stronger.  I don't want to stop running, but I want to get stronger.  So I'm cutting back on my running and focusing on kettlebells.  I bought Lauren's book Kettlebells for Women , and I just finished the 1st month.  I own 2 kettlebells, a 15 lb Gofit bell, and a 12 kg Ader bell.  I've been pushing myself to use the 12 kg bell as much as possible, the result is that my left shoulder was yelling at me today when I tried to do the suitcase deadlift.  I dropped back down to the lighter bell for that today.

My goal in all of this is to get stronger.  I started running after a bad, mystery illness that left me unable to function for a time.  After that I knew I needed to start taking care of me.  I was never an athletic person.  I hated gym when I was in school.  I'm tall and weak.  I started running at 38.  Now at 43 I want to add some strength.  All of this is my me time.  It's my therapy.  It's my way of taking time for me and getting out all of the stress that taking care of 5 kids gives me.  I love my kids, but homeschooling and running them to all of their activities leaves me fried.  Running for miles at the park or swinging that bell makes me feel sane again.