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.