Monday, December 1, 2014

Hoping for Healing

I injured my hamstring at the end of August.  I have not run since then (I did a couple test runs, but the pain was too great).  Our insurance doesn't cover much of PT, that and other expenses have kept me from going to see a PT,  I've been doing strength training and yoga, trying not to irritate  my injury. I want to run.  I want to run a whole lot.  I've been thrilled with the progress I've made in my strength training, but I still miss running.  So today I got on my treadmill and ran.  I ran for 1 mile using a 1 minute walk, 3 minute run pattern.  I could "feel" my hamstring, but it didn't hurt.  I plan on running that same mile tomorrow.  In fact, I plan to try it everyday for a month.  If it starts hurting I will not put off going to the PT anymore.  I will know that I need to go if I ever want to run again.

In the meantime I plan to keep up my strength training.  Last month's schedule of 4 strength days, and one shorter cardio day of kettlebell worked great.  This month I'm going for 3 strength days, 1 longer cardio (with the kettlebell) day, and a shorter kettlebell day. I plan to warm up each day with my 1 mile run, then the workout.  I'm also going to add, at the very least, a 4 minute tabata exercise at the end of each strength day.  Today I did 30 minutes of strength, which consisted of half TGUs, push-ups, squats, lunges, cleans, and swings, and I followed it up with a tabata of swing and snatches.

I'm also still trying to get in more yoga, even if it's 15 minutes of restorative before bed, or a few sun salutes and some meditation after lunch.  Yoga everyday is my goal, at least 15 minutes.  I do about 7 minutes of a yoga cool down after my workouts, but I want at least 15 minutes at some other point in my day.

Over Thanksgiving break I bought a new kettlebell video.  It's a streamable version of Kettlebell Lightning.  So far I'm loving this video.  I wanted the streaming version so I could use it when I travel.  I can stream it on my iPad or phone.  When I travel I only like to bring 1 bell, and these workouts seem perfect for that.  They are short and more cardio focused.  I can do 1 or do more, depending on the time I have.  I love all of Lauren's stuff.  I think she has some of the best kettlebell DVDs on the market.

Kettlebell Lightning DVD with Lauren Brooks & Alex Verdugo

Friday, November 21, 2014

Making a Goal

So last Saturday my workout called for Turkish Get-Up practice then a 22 minute cardio workout with the kettlebell.  I did 5 Get-ups per side, alternating.  I started out with my lightest bell, a 15#.  I then moved on to my 12kg (26#) bell.  I've had a goal of using my 16kg (35#) bell for my Get-up.  I've done half get-ups before with the 16kg, but I could never get past the seated part.  On Saturday I decided to go for it, and I did it. :)  I did the 16kg Get-up on my less strong side first, then my stronger side.  I did a total of 2 each side with the 16kg, then finished off with one more per side with the 12kg.

Since Saturday, I've been sick with some stomach thing.  I was able to workout with my kettlebells on Tuesday, but Monday and Wednesday were no good.  By Thursday I felt a little better and went to a yoga class.  I tried Brikam again, and I'm starting to like it.  I like all of the balance poses. I really need to work on those.

Today I did a kettlebell workout; it was a series of half TGUs, swings, then squats, push-ups, lunges, and cleans.  It felt good.  I pushed the weights and felt like I worked as hard as I could have by the time I was done.

I may do some yoga tonight.  I had planned on going, but a bad illness with one of my kids kept me home. If I still feel up to it, I will use to get in a practice tonight.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Being Sick

I had a nasty head cold last week.  It's still hanging on a bit, but not too bad.  It started last Tuesday, and on Wednesday I couldn't do much as far as working out.  I end up only missing one workout, but I could tell that even Friday's workout was not as strong as it could have been.

I tried Brikam yoga last week.  It was my first time.  I didn't mind the 105 degree room, and working through the postures was nice, but I missed having a flow.  I love vinyasa, so I don't think doing just those 25 postures each week would be my yoga class of choice.  It was very therapeutic, and I can see why people love it. I liked it, I just didn't love it.

My daughter and I were supposed to go to a vinyasa class on Friday night, but unfortunately we got stuck in horrible gridlock.  A trip that should have taken 40 minutes took over 80.  I had built in extra time (I thought there would be some traffic) but not that much time.  We were way too late to head to the class, so we headed to the mall for some shopping instead. :)  My daughter and I did have a good time.  She got some new sweaters for winter and I took her to Sephora to try out a new foundation.  (I had a 20% off coupon so it wasn't too bad.....)  We also picked up some Christmas gifts for teachers at Yankee Candle.

This week I using The Ultimate Sculpting and Conditioning for Kettlebells, Vol 1 +2. These are more cardio focused, with a higher volume of lifts so I'm using lighter weights and enjoying the sweat.

I'm also planning on trying a power yoga class on Thursday, as well as trying again for the vinyasa on Friday night.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Trying to Share the Love

My workouts went great last week. I had wanted to post results but didn't have time.  I did get all of my yoga in, which I wanted to make sure I did, and I had 3 days where I was able to take walks.

Last week I was able to convince my 16 year old to go to a yoga class with me. I've wanted her to try yoga for a couple of years, but she's been unable to find a love for it practicing home alone. So an opportunity came up for us to attend a class together,  and then she went again by herself tonight. I want to get her hooked on yoga. I would love if it became a passion of hers. So I intended to spend the next couple if months trying to work it into our schedules.

This week I have lots more kettlebell on the menu. This week I'm using Lauren Brook's Kettlebell Revelation DVD.

Monday - strength 1 +fat burning
Tuesday - strength 2+ abs of steel + restorative yoga
Wednesday - fat burning+ abs of steel+ 30 mins of yoga
Thursday- yoga +walk
Friday - strength 1+ plus 30 mins yoga
Saturday - strength 2 + yoga
Sunday - Yin yoga day

I hope to walk more often than one day, but it is planned for Thursday.

I did strength 1 today plus the fat burning (cardio work). It felt good. Today was lots of Get-ups, cleans, deadlifts, and presses. The cardio was swings, a variation of jump squats,  and snatches. 

I feel like I've been working hard, and while I do miss running, I'm content to have a new focus.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

New Schedule and Binge Eating

I'm going to start with the binge eating.  I never had an eating problem.  I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full.  Then I got to my 40's.  It's been an issue, not a huge issue but an issue.  I don't know if it's stress, hormones, or both. I have been hungrier thanks to the increase in my strength workouts, but I don't think that's it.

Today I had eaten well, that is I had until tonight. I was very hungry all afternoon, but I did eat a good snack to deal with it.  I then ate a good dinner (mushroom-pumpkin chili). I ate the chili but I was still hungry, and that's when I lost control.  I think I ate half a box of Peanut butter Puffins!  I just kept eating, and now I feel over stuffed.  I find it odd, because I was never a person who did that.  It's very new to me.  It hits me a few times a month, and I find it disturbing.  It's not a weight thing. I'm not overweight, and I'm not dieting and trying to lose weight.  It's just an out of control food thing. I need to find a way to make it stop.

Now on to a more fun topic, my workout schedule!  I still can't run.  I had been doing kettlebell 3x's a week and yoga 3x's a week.  Kettlebell is about to go all out, with 5 workouts a week.  Some will be strength focused and some more conditioning focused. I plan to incorporate yoga after most workouts.  I'm determined to keep it up.  I need yoga.  Yoga, for me, is meditative, and I don't want to lose that.

But now for my workouts.  I'll be using Lauren Brooks DVDs.  I made a 5 week schedule based on suggested rotations of the DVDs that Lauren provided.  5 weeks gets me to Thanksgiving, at which point I plan to take a week off and just practice yoga, then it will be back to strength training.

Kettlebell Revelation™I'm using these DVDs

The Kettlebell Body™
The Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells DVD Volume 2The Ultimate Body Sculpt & Conditioning with Kettlebells Vol.1


I'm excited. I feel like this is a good direction for now, even though I'm missing running a lot.  I'm hoping to really improve my overall strength so that I can get back to running when this hamstring gets healed up.

This week I'm using the Kettlebell Body DVD.

  Monday will be Sculpt plus an added tabata,
 Tuesday will be Butts plus yoga,
 Wednesday will be a conditioning workout from BeSlam, Conditioning 1(not a video) plus yoga,
 Thursday is my yoga class day,
 Friday will be Sculpt plus yoga,
 Saturday will be Body plus yoga,
 Sunday is my Yin yoga day.:)

 That's my week.  I plan to report back on how it's going.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Change Can be OK

This week the yoga class I have been attending has changed format.  It's a new studio and I guess the instructor wants to try different things to see what pulls people in.  I loved doing yoga.  This new class is more of a fusion class. It's a sculpt and tone class, with some yoga.  But even though I was disappointed when she announced that the format was changing, I am trying to embrace it.  As we worked on different poses, breaking them down and trying to engage the core more, I realized that I need to correct some of my poses.  I was going down too far in Chataranga, and while in chair pose I haven't been "knitting my ribs together".  These subtle things make a big difference, and after just that intro class I can tell I need it.

For me, the last couple of months have been all about change.  My kids started attending a once a week co-op for school that has been a huge change for our little homeschool.  I had to stop running because of an injury.  I have to stop consuming any dairy, because it now makes me very ill even if I have just a bit. And we are also in the process of finding a new church home.  All that change can be disturbing.

I've tried adding good habits, like meditation and more scripture reading.  I'm also embracing the strength focus with gusto.  I can tell that my hamstring is getting better, but I think running is still a couple of weeks away.  And by the time I go to start it will be very cold and dark.  I may just run a mile a day (on the treadmill) and continue to focus on strength and yoga.

Change can be good and I'm working on embracing the now.

Friday, October 10, 2014

No More Running

I've had a hard time admitting to myself, but I'm done with running, for probably 3 or more months (it could be 6!).  My hamstring is not improving.  I do fine with kettlebell and yoga as long as I avoid deadlifts in kettlebell and don't try overstretching in yoga.  In a way, it's nice to just be doing the 2 things.  Trying to do it all was hard, and I didn't make much strength progress.  I was ok with that, but still, I didn't progress.  Now I can focus on these 2 things.  I want to continue working on my upper body strength, (which I did more of while running) but also lower body.  Time to increase the weight for my goblet squats and lunges.  Time to start working on single leg squats.  In yoga I want to work on inversions and improving my back bends.  I can do these without aggravating my hamstring.
I've ordered a new kettlebell DVD, Lauren Brooks Kettlebell Revelation

Kettlebell Revelation™ by Lauren Brooks

I have 3 DVDs by Lauren, as well as her book and BeSlam program.  I plan on rotating the DVDs, adding extra stuff when needed, such as some conditioning at the end of the strength workouts, and a strength warm-up before the conditioning workouts.

I may eventually try a series by Pat Flynn, of Chronicles of Strength.  He uses mostly double kettlebells, and I don't have 2 8kg bells, I don't even have 1.  I have a 15lb bell and a 20lb bell, then I have two 12kg bells.  I guess I could do his program with the 15# and 20#, alternating hands each set.  I could not do it with the 12kg.  I plan on 6 solid weeks of using the DVDs, then maybe I'll try his.

Yoga continues to be great.  I love the class I'm attending and I use almost everyday.

This week at yoga class I got to try a yoga toy.

Health Mark IVO18110 Yogacise 2-In-1 Yoga and Exercise Bench

This thing was amazing.  It was easy to get into headstand with it, and now I want one.  I could do much longer headstands, and it was easier to engage my core, and work on that instead of my head/neck or hands hurting.

So many new things I want.  If only I had unlimited funds for my hobbies. :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014


It's been a bit of a discouraging week. I ran on Tuesday and Wednesday,  just 3 miles each day, but it hurt my hamstring.   My hamstring felt fine all weekend through allvof that difficult hiking,  but I still can't run on it. I also did kettlebell on Tuesday; I don't want to fall behind on my strength work. But today's post is about yoga.

I've been taking a yoga class at a studio in the city once a week. I've done yoga on my own for 5 years, and it's been good, but this class has been great. The young woman who teaches is on par with those yoga "stars" on YogaGlo.  And, unlike online, she does little adjustments that bring me deeper into the pose. I'm loving this class so much. It's made me love yoga even more, and I feel restored and refreshed when it's done. Everyone needs yoga.:-)

Sunday, September 28, 2014


My husband and I spent the weekend hiking. On Saturday we took our two youngest kids on a 2.5 mile hike.  It was quite strenuous,  but the boys did great. At the end was a nice waterfall and they enjoyed climbing the rocks around it.

On Sunday my husband and I went hiking at the Smokey Mountains. We did an 11 mile hike up to Mt. Leconte.  It was very strenuous and we probably took on more than we should have. We had planned for a shorter hike, but after we got to our spot at Alum Cave, we decided to hike on. By the time we were done we were very tired.

We stopped at a Ruby Tuesday's for dinner, and it turned out exciting. While we were eating the kitchen caught fire. We were able to finish our meal, but didn't opt for dessert. :-)

The drive home was long and hard, and I know that I'll be sore in the morning.  I believe Monday morning will be a yoga day.

Beautiful views and my husband in front of the Lodge.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Injury and Detox

So I've been neglecting this blog. I've been too busy to write. 5 weeks ago I decided I would start training for a fall half marathon. The date was the beginning of November.  My plan was from the book Train Like a Mother. I went for their Own It plan. During the 3rd week there were hill repeats. I felt tired that morning but decided to push it anyway.  There were 6 repeats, during the 5th one I felt my hamstring. It started to hurt. Then I did the 6th. Mistake. I had to run 1.5 miles back to the park. I was in pain the whole time. I rested the next day, but then ran my scheduled 12 mile run. I hurt, but thought I just needed ice, but after a rest day I went for a short 3 mile run. Pain, lots of pain.

So no running for the past 2 weeks, and I don't know how long. I moped for a few days but then decided to refocus. I did upper body and core work with both kettlebell and yoga, and it's been good, even though I miss running.

I also started attending a real yoga class. I've always just practiced on my own, but I'm really enjoying the class.

I've also on my last day of an Ayurvedic detox. For 7 days I've had oatmeal for breakfast,  and kitchari (curried rice and mung beans with veggies) for lunch and dinner. I also drank water with lemon and herbal tea. My mornings started with breathing exercises,  meditation,  and yoga. It's been an interesting experience.

My goal was to settle my gut. I'd been having such bad problems with everything I would eat.  I wanted to find new habits that would be helpful for my life.

I know I need to cut out dairy. I think I need to reduce foods like pasta, and fatty meats. I need more beans and need to be careful with fruit (seems fine if cooked, but not raw).

I also know I need to include more meditation in my life. I think I will try and continue to do the breath work and meditation in the morning.

Life has been crazy,  and I need to keep looking for ways to help manage.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Horrible Run and New Shoes

This morning's run was hard. The goal was 5 easy paced miles.  For some reason, I felt like I was running through cement. My breathing never got into it's easy rhythm.  It was hot and I just wanted to stop, so I did. I stopped and walked a bit, then took a bathroom break. During my last mile I stopped and changed what I was listening to on my phone. And you know what? I survived my run. I made all 5 miles. I got home and jumped onto my pool. It felt so good. I then did my kettlebell workout;  3x5 goblet squats, clean & presses, 1 arm rows, 20 swings,  and 45 sec planks. It felt good.

And now for my shoe p*rn!

I got a new pair of Asics Gel-Nimbus. I love the melon color. I can't wait to run in them tomorrow.  I also got a new pair of Superfeet.  I also know when my inserts need to be replaced,  my Achilles starts hurting. But now I have new shoes and new inserts.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Quick Post

There is a contest over at RunToTheFinish and I thought I would post it here.  It's for these

Kinvara 5

a pair of Saucony Kinvara’s

so head over to the blog to get a chance to win.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Lot of Running

It's been another crazy couple of weeks.  We had another long trip; lots of hours in the van, fun times with cousins and hanging on the beach.  We listened to a good audio book during our long ride.  It's called Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman.  I got it from the library and all 3 of my boys enjoyed the story.

I was able to get 20 miles of running in during the week, almost all of them on hills.  My glutes got worked last week.

I wasn't able to do kettlebell, and now I feel behind.  It will be hard to keep it up this summer, but I will try.  My aim right now is for twice a week, plus one more day of push-ups and pull-ups.  I'm going to ramp up my running.  I've lost interest in the 10k plan, so now I'm just going to run.  I'm going to aim for 23-25 miles per week.  I was going to do 5 miles 5 times a week, but I may do two days with 4 miles, plus kettlebell.  I don't know.  Right now, I'm planning on starting a summer project.  I'm going to strip the wallpaper (the layers and layers of wallpaper) off my plaster walls in my bedroom, then paint (after they get patched and sanded!).  All of that work will make it hard to keep up kettlebell. I don't want to lose my strength that I've work so hard to gain, so I will just have to try and make it happen.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Summer Craziness has Begun

It's been a rough couple of weeks.  Two weeks ago my mom called to tell me my dad had been admitted into the hospital because his lungs were full of blood clots.  The next day I was making the 8 and a half hour trip up there to be with them.  I stayed 5 days.  When I got back I managed to have some sort of stomach bug.  At first my husband and I thought it was an ulcer or reflux from the stress, but seeing that a week later my daughter was throwing up, we now think it was a stomach virus.  The traveling and illness have made it difficult for me to keep up with my workout schedule.  I didn't take my kettlebells with me, so they were on hold for a week.  Yesterday was the first day my run felt good.  It was still difficult.  The workout was a 3x mile repeat with 400 recovery.  I walked the recovery.  I was able to make my times on the mile, but only because I walked during recovery.  Still it felt good.

Tomorrow is supposed to be my long run but I'm heading back on the road.  My daughter is going to Governor's School, and I have to take her.  Next week is kind of crazy too.

Right now, I'm glad that I don't have a race plan.  I've been following a plan for a 10k but there isn't a race, which is good, because I'm losing my desire to push extra hard.  I'm worn out.  I enjoy running, but right now anything extra is very hard.

The boys have started baseball and the swim season has started back up too.  This means lots of driving and time away from  home.  I can run while the kids swim (or I could swim if I wanted), but kettlebell is going to get more difficult. Most of my yoga in Yin right now.  I need calm and lots of long held poses focusing on the breath.

The week ahead is another one that kettlebell will take a back seat, running won't happen much either.  I'm going to just go with it and hope that the week after I can get back to my normal.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spring time is here

I've been enjoying the spring weather, at least enjoying it when it's not raining.  This week has been good so far, training wise.  Things have been crazy at home with school.  The 16 year old takes 2 classes at a college, and has finals coming up.  She's never done this, and she's been nervous and studing a lot.  We are also finishing up with piano and orchestra.  Next week is concerts and recitals.  I'm still doing well with my 10k "Own It" training plan.  This week was a bit easier, but it's still feeling good to hit my speeds during the workouts.

This week's plan:

Monday-rest day

Tuesday--30 minute run + kettlebell (did Kettlebutts which included single leg deadlifts, 1 arm swings, lunges and snatches)

Wednesday--4 mile run; 5x3 minutes is zone3 + core work on the balance ball

Thursday--2 mile run (in my minimalist shoes!) + kettlebell (did 5x5 deadlifts @79lb, double cleans using 2 26lb,  just 2 double push-presses, push-ups, pull-ups, and x10 heavy swings)

Friday--plan is for 4 mile run + kettlebell--Turkish get-ups, renegade rows and snatches

Saturday--yoga day

Sunday--6 mile run with last 10 minutes faster than race pace.

The weather looks nice this weekend, but my husband is working plus we have company so no hikes planned. Maybe the next weekend.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

It's Been a Good W

Last week my parents came for Easter, and my oldest daughter came home from college too.  We had a full house.  I still got my long run in, I just ran on Saturday, and Sunday was an enjoyable family day.

My week has been busy but good.  My workouts have looked like this:

Monday: 60 minutes of yoga, plus the kids and I watched the Boston Marathon.  It was exciting.

Tuesday:  AM 30 minute run + kettlebell --PM 30 minutes of yoga

Wednesday: AM  6 mile run that included 1/2 mile repeats ----PM 30 minutes of yoga

Thursday: AM 2 mile run + kettlebell , then the afternoon was spent walking the zoo!  PM Yin yoga

Friday: the plan is for a 5 mile run, 2 x 1 mile repeats.  Then I'm planning on 15 minutes of kettlebell, mostly upper body work.

Saturday:  Yoga day

Sunday: 8 mile run

I've been trying hard to squeeze a least a little yoga in each day.  I enjoy it and I feel much better after even just 20 minutes of a practice. 

Right now, it's the middle of the night.  When we got home from the zoo today, I feel asleep.  I ended up napping for almost an hour; from 4:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon.  Now I can't sleep.  I was also really hungry.  I've been pigging out on pita chips and hummus and looking at bras online.  I need new ones.  I hate buying them, but they're an unnecessary evil. I got a coupon for 30% off Bare Necessities.  After picking out 2 bras, I realized that the coupon didn't apply to Wacoal.  I hate that.  

I'm hoping I get to sleep soon.  It will be hard to function tomorrow without sleep.  On the plus side I've watched Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. I think the women on Seth Meyers' are either drunk or high.   

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Good First Week of Training

So I'm working on training for my own, private 10k.  I have 2 goals.  The first is to get a time so that I can make a good guess at a race time goal and at what training paces I can use for training for a half marathon.  I'm using the plan from Train Like a Mother, which I highly recommend, and which is only $1.99 for the Kindle version this month on Amazon.

I also have one other goal with this training, and that is to see how much kettlebell I can keep up.  So this week I restarted my kettlebell work using the strength sessions from BeSlam.  I also plan on using Lauren's DVD, The Kettlebody.

My week looked like this:

Monday--rest day.  I did do a little bit of yoga just to stretch out.

Tuesday--Easy run+kettlebell.  I ran 2 miles then did deadlifts, push-ups, pull-ups, double cleans, and swings (300 total swings)

Wednesday--4 mile run + 300 kettlebell swings.  My run was a 1 mile warm up, then 12x1 minute fast (heart rate kept in Z4), then 1 min recovery, followed by a mile cool down.

Thursday--2 mile easy run + kettlebell.  I did goblet squats, 1 arm rows, push-ups and 1 swings.  I've been doing 300 swings a day.

Friday--4 mile run+kettlebell.  Today was a tempo run.  It was a 2 mile warm-up, then 1 mile at tempo (for me that was a 10:00 pace), then a mile cool down.  Friday's kettlebell is going to be TGU day.  I did a ladder of TGU's and renegade rows, as well as my swings.

Saturday--Yoga day, and I may do the 300 swings.  I've been doing the swings everyday except Monday, but I also want to be careful.  I'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Sunday-- 6 mile long run + swings and upperbody. Sunday's kettlebell is 3 groups of 100 swings.  Before each group I do 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and within each group I do 2x1 per side (30 sec) waiter hold, and 1one 1 minute double rack hold/walk.

My kettlebell work is leaning more on core (with all of the swings) and upper body, since I'm running so much.  I'm still doing squats and deadlifts, but not with the same frequency as swings, presses, push-ups/pull-ups.

I have a goal for kettlebell.  By the end of the year I would like to be able to make the 20kg bell my squat bell (I use the 16kg now, so not a huge jump), and I would like to be able to make the 12kg my 10 rep bell (right now I can do 5 max, and that's pushing it).  The press goal is a bit more ambitious, but that is where my focus is.  This is why I'm doing the waiter and rack holds on Sunday's. I use my 16kg for the waiter hold, and my two 12kg's for the rack.  That will become the 12kg +16kg soon.  I also want to be able to do a TGU with my 16kg.

My running goal is to get my half under 2:15.  That is quite ambitious for me.

Onto a different topic: shopping!!

This morning Athleta had a discount on their sale stuff.  My long sleeve twist top has a hole in it, so I was thinking of replacing it if I caught a sale.  I bought their Runaway top.

I love red!

I also bought a pair a Bettona capris.  I love Athleta stuff.  Normally, I only buy tops that are Tall size, but I the sale price was good, and the length of the top was a bit longer. 

I also have this top from Athleta

It's their long Chi tank, and it has been great for running, kettlebell, and yoga.  I bought another one today because I love this one so much.  I got one in yellow.  I love bright colors, especially for running.  

That's been my week.  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Great Weekend

I had a very nice weekend. Saturday morning I did not want to do anything. I couldn't even muster the energy needed for yoga. After dragging my feet all morning, I got the energy for a short hike. My husband,  boys, and did a short but difficult hike. It had a beautiful waterfall and fun rocks to climb. After the hike we all went to the movies. We saw the new Captain America movie. We all loved it. We ended our evening with game night. I learned how to play Dominion.  Fun game.

Eagle  Falls

This morning my husband and I went on a lovely 6 mile run, but it was cold. It was 36 degrees this morning.  The run felt good. I ran almost 22 miles this week, which is the most I've done in a long time. This week I start training for my private 10k. I also start back with kettlebell.  I started the kettlebell today. I did 3 sets of 100 swings. Those sets were broken down to 5x20 swings.
During the first set I did 5x5 push ups, during the 2nd set I did 5x5 pull ups, and the last set I did waiter holds with 350on, and then a 1 minute double rack hold and walk.
Today was also pamper myself day. I did an at home facial, a mani and a pedicure. The manicure didn't come out great. I never do those, so I lack practice.  But overall a nice day and a good weekend.

Love game night.    

Friday, April 4, 2014

Survived My Day

After a long morning (I did get all of the classes my kids needed and wanted!!!) I went to the mall for lunch and a little retail therapy.  I'm not a retail therapy kind of gal, but I had a coupon for Sephora and I had had a rough morning. Plus, combine that with the fact that my first born just turned 20, and I was feeling the desire for a bit of special pampering.

I bought enough to earn my 500 point bonus gift. :)

I then did a bit of Easter shopping and headed home. When I got home I had a little over 90 minutes before I had to head back out the door for an open house at a college for dual enrollment.  I desperately wanted to sneak a run in. I knew I would then have to shower and pack supper, so that gave me 30 minutes to run. I made it an interval workout. I did a 10 minute warm-up, then 5x 2 minutes as fast as I could followed by a 1 minute walk recovery.  Then I ran 5 minutes as a cool down. It was 80 and humid and I ran hard. By the end I was regretting the Chic-fi-a I had for lunch. But still, it felt great to run. The open house was great; completely worth the hour drive.  The day ended well.

It's always good to get in a run.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Long Morning

No morning run, no yoga, no kettlebell.  Right now I'm sitting, waiting. I'm trying to sign my kids up for a homeschool co-op. I've been homeschooling for 15 years. My oldest is in college,  my 2nd oldest is taking dual-credit classes at a college.  My 3rd child starts high school next year. I need a break. If I could do it, I would move to somewhere with a good school district and enroll my kids,  but I can't.  I really hoping I can get my kids enrolled in these classes. I came an hour before sign ups started, but I'm #24th. 

I'm worried that I won't get them into what I need them to take. Mostly though, I'm tired. For just a while I need someone else to tell them they have to write that paper, or do that project. I need them to see that my standards,  while high, are within the norm.

If I can find time today, I will run, and run fast. I need to get these jitters out. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Trying to Get Faster

So after reading Murakami's book, What I Talk about When I Talk About Running, I started thinking about running another race.  I'm looking at doing a Half in the fall, maybe Nashville, but I haven't decided.  But I want to run it faster.  One way to get faster is to focus on a shorter race.  I thought I would focus on a 10k.  I've never done one, and it seems like a good distance to work on leading up to a Half.  The only problem, is that I was unable to find a 10k that I could attend that worked with the dates I wanted.  So my plan? My own, private 10k.  Next week I'll start training for the 10k using the Train Like a Mother Own it plan.  My goal? To see if I can keep up with my kettlebell training and push hard with my running.  If it works out, then I will sign up for a Half in the fall.

I'm excited to start training.  I need some focus and a reason to push myself.  I'm hoping this will do it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Feeling Strong, But Looking for Change.

My workouts have been going well.  Yesterday was my kettlebell day, so I started off with my 1 mile run then I did:

3x2 TGU
3x20 2H swing with 16kg

when I was done that grouping I added 40 more swings to bring it to 100

Set B:
4x5 Goblet squat --16kg
4x10 push-up (it called for 8, I did 10 using an incline)
4x10 pull-up (it called for Burpees, but I've been working on the pull-ups with a green band)
4x 20 swings  (this I added to the workout, in order to incorporate the 300 swings a day).

I finished up with 100 for swings for 300 total.

The workout went well.  I had no issues using the 16kg for all of the squats, but I am feeling it this morning.

These workouts, from Breaking Muscle, have been good, but I'm thinking of changing it up a bit.  As the weather warms I want to run more.  I also want to work towards being able to run a half marathon in the fall, so I need more running days, with strength mixed into it.

I've been reading everything I can on doing that. Mostly no one thinks should should do it.  But everyone is writing for either elites, or those who are pushing the boundaries in their sports.  So I never squat 120 lb?? Or press 44 lbs?? I'm ok with that.  And my running speed?? It will not get much faster.  I've 44, not 24.  I want to be able to keep going.  I want to reverse the muscle mass loss that comes with aging.  I want to keep running, even when I'm pushing 60 (or more!).  I want to be able to hike all day when I'm 65.  :)  Those are my goals.

I read a good article about cardio or strength first on Breaking Muscle. The article's conclusion was that it didn't much matter.  If you run first, you will have less muscle fiber to engage in your strength, but in the end you will still have used the same amount of muscle.  Same was true for the other way around.  At the end of the workout you will have used and worked the same amount.

The other thing I read was on Sparks People. It was a response from a trainer, Nicole Nichols, who said, yes, it would be better to separate the strength and cardio, but you do what you need to do (poor summary, you can read her response at the link. )

Both of these posts made me happy, because, yes, I just need to do what I need to do to get it all in. I should be working on strength, and I can keep running.

All of this brings me to the need to change things up just a bit.  I'm going to use the strength workouts from BeSlam 3x's a week and run on those days too.  I already run 1 mile before I do my kettlebell.  I think I will mix up running first and strength on Tuesday's and Wednesday.  I may not run at all, or keep it at a mile on Friday.  I also ordered Lauren Brooks' latest DVD, The Kettebell Body . That's for days I don't want to think, or want to make sure I keep the workout short. I tend to add on to everything I do.  The DVD will keep me honest. :)  I also love The Grind workout from her Volume 2 DVD.  It's perfect for after a run.

And I can't forget my yoga.  I love yoga.  Last night I did a wonderful  Yin routine from YogaGlo.  I need Yin at least twice a week, and then a Hatha or flow practice at least once a week.  I do some yoga stretches after every workout, but I need some more focused time.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cold Run!

I know that this is normal for spring; 50 degrees, sunny, with a cold wind. But that wind was so cold! I managed a 6 mile run in that wind. This morning,  when my alarm went off, it was raining,  so I slept in. :-) I decided I could run later, and I did. The wind was so cold that my pace got faster each mile. By the end I was at a 10:40 pace ( including walk break! ). My normal pace for my ling run is closer to 12:00, even 12:15.

I also got 300 swings done with my 16kg bell, as well as 30 assisted pull ups and 40 push ups on an incline. 

Now I'm soaking in a hot tub.:-) my calves are killing me from yesterday's hike. I need to roll them out and stretch. But after a wonderful dinner of pork loin, homemade bread, and a couple glasses of wine, I'm tired. Tomorrow is rest day. I may do some gentle yoga in the morning just to stretch out and center.  But I will enjoy my rest day.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


The last two days have been fun. Yesterday I took my kids on a 4.5 mile hike. The weather was perfect,  and the trail beautiful.  The hike started out going up a ridge, then it was flat for awhile.  During that portion we had incredible views of the gorge. After a nice lunch break in a field of daffodils,  we headed down towards the river. We walk along the river for 2 miles, then at the end there was a small waterfall.

Today, my husband and I went on a 7 mile hike. This hike had it all: beaches,  rock walls, forest trails, and an incredible top of the mountain view. There were a lot of steep sections,  and by the end we felt done. But it was so fun getting out to hike. I love hiking, and I would go every weekend if I could.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Turkish Get-ups!

Today's workout was TGU themed.

It looked like this:

3x3 TGU
3x10 swings

3x2 TGU
3x20 swings

3x1 TGU
3x30 swings

Looking at that I knew that it should have been progressive; doing a lighter bell, medium bell, then heaviest.  I could have done that. I could have done the first grouping with my 15lb, then 2nd grouping with my 20lb, then last group with my 26lb (12kg).  But I didn't do that.  I decided to do them all with my 12kg bell.  That meant 18, per side, TGUs with 12kg.  I was a strong workout.  I also added to each grouping.  I've been working on pull-ups and push-ups so I added 3x5 of each for each group; giving me 45 of each by the end.

I also noticed, when I got to the end, that I was 20 swings short of 200, so I added 20 swings and another round of push-ups/pull-ups.

When I finished the second grouping I starting thinking maybe I could try to do a half get-up with my 16kg bell.  I did try, but I was unable, but I will continue to try.

Which brings me to my kettlebell workout earlier this week. I decided to not do the scheduled workout, and try out one I saw on Breaking Muscle by Pat Flynn.  It was called 2-1-3, where you did 2 cleans, 1 press, then 3 in the rack squats.  He also suggested combining it with swings for his 300 swing workout challenge.  So I decided to go for it.  I wrote my own workout.  It went like this:

5x5 deadlifts
5x20 swings

5x2-1-3 (both sides)
5x20 swings

5x 10 pull-ups (these I do assisted with a green band)
5x10 push-ups (which I do on an incline, aka, my bathtub)
5x20 swings.

The workout was intense, in fact, it was way to hard.  I think that was because I pushed the weight with the deadlifts.  I used my 20kg and 16kg bell.  My back was sore for 2 days.  But the best part about the workout

I pressed 16kg!!!!!

I had never done that.  I was swinging the 16kg, and decided since it was a single press it should be maxed, so I went for it.  It was hard, but I managed it.  My arms felt it the next day.  The squats also were good.  I don't normally squat that weight.  I know I can, I just avoid it so that I don't interfere with my running. But my run the next day (5 miles) felt great, and so did Thursday's run.  I may start upping my squat weight.

But overall, it's been a good kettlebell week.  And even though Tuesday I did my own thing, I'm happy with the Breaking Muscle plan.  It's been working for me.

Today, I'm going on a short hike with my kids.  The weather is perfect spring weather, and it should be a good day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Slowly Recovering and I Hate the Time Change

This past weekend the pressure finally let up on my ears and I could run.  I had a nice run Sunday morning, just six miles, and it felt good.  But I'm hating the time change.  We had just got to the time of year when the sun rose at 7:00 AM, now it's dark till 8:00.  I know most people prefer the light in the evening, but I like to run in daylight.  So Sunday, I was back on my treadmill.  The issue I had with a dog last Sunday was on my mind, and I didn't want to encounter anything in the dark.

Monday was my rest day, and I needed it.  I'm not completely better from this cold.  Sunday's run wore me out and I needed the rest on Monday.

Tuesday was kettlebell day.  I ran for a mile, then proceeded to do 3 rounds of 5 single-leg deadlifts, 10 each side push-presses, and 30 second planks.  Then I did 2 rounds of 10 each side lunges, 10 squats with bicep curls and triceps extensions, and 10 jump squats.  I finished off with 3 round of pull over crunches.  I also did my 50 pull-ups/push-ups and 300 kettlebell swings.  I was thinking of trying to add 300 swings a day, everyday except my rest day.  I think it would go a long way to helping me strengthen my core, which is my primary goal this year.

Today I ran 5 miles, plus did my 300 kettlebell swings.  Last week I read Murakami's book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, and now I'm thinking about doing a Half marathon in the fall.  It even maybe me think about a marathon, but I'll see how the half goes.  I've done 3 Half marathons, but it's been a while since I've run that much.  I've mostly focused on strength.  But I think I may be ready to focus on running, dialing down the kettlebell work for just a bit.  That wouldn't happen till late summer, so I still have time to work on strength.

And that brings me to my happy thing for the day.  I was able to kick up into a headstand today.  I kicked up with my sneakers on when I was done stretching after my run.  It felt so good.  I felt strong; no pressure on my head, my arms and shoulders held me fine.  I'll admit I felt proud.  I've never done that in my life.  I couldn't do that kind of thing as a kid, and at 44 I did it.

Tomorrow is more running and kettlebell swings.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Being Sick

Yesterday's workout was great.  I was unsure how it would go because I woke up sick.  I took some medicine, drank my coffee, and then hit the treadmill. My workout looked like this:

1 mile run warm up on the treadmill (I do my short runs in my Minimus shoes)

1 x1 TGU with 12kg bell

Group A
3x6 deadlift; 16kg + 20kg bell
3x10 heavy swing; 20kg
3x5 halos; 12kg

Group B
3x10 goblet squat; 12kg
3x5 clean and press; 20lb
3x5 good morning stretch; 16kg

snatches; 12kg--I did 8,8,7,7  for a total of 30 each side

3x30 hot potato (I don't care for those, so I did 1 set of hot potato, then 2 sets plank)

The entire thing, including stretching at the end took an hour.  I also added throughout the day a total of 40 push-ups, 40 pull ups, and 80 swings with my 16kg bell.  The goal of 50 push-ups/pull-ups and 100 swings, but by the afternoon I felt wiped out.  The cold really hit and I couldn't do anything else. I had also planned on some gentle yoga in the evening, but couldn't even manage that.  :(

I hate being sick, of course, who doesn't?  The plan today is to run for 4 miles and do some core work.  I will have to see.  I slept in and now I need to start school with my kids.  I'm also hosting a pot luck tonight that I need to cook for too.  Lots to do today and I feel like curling up in bed and staying there.

Lent begins today.  This is going to be a journey for me.  My faith has taken a hit in the last couple of years, and I need to find some solid ground.  I have very basic questions that I'm wrestling with, questions I don't expect answered, only worked through.  My questions to deep to the basis of my Christian belief.  I'm really struggling with hanging onto it.  Right now, I feel like I'm being tossed by the wind and waves, and honestly, I'm sea sick.

I was raised Roman Catholic, but because when I became an adult I questioned and had serious disagreement with the RC faith.  I stayed Christian, just not RC.  I have been most comfortable in the Reformed (or Calvinistic) corner of the Christian world.  We do not currently attend that type of church, since there are none within an hour of where we live.

Right now I feel like maybe I shouldn't have left the RC, or maybe I don't want to hold onto any of it.

I am not able, at this time, to go back to the RC church.  It's also not really in this area, nor do I want to drag my kids through such a huge faith shift.  They are quite happy with where we are at, and such a change would rock their world and not in a good way.

For now, this is about me.  I need to find some sure footing.  So for the next 40 days I'll be posting about workouts and a bit of my own introspection.  I have a lot of crud deep down, and I don't know if I want to post it all.  But, I think I need somewhere to get it out.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Rest Day

Today is my rest day.  Sometimes I do some easy yoga, just to work out the kinks, but I try not to do anything strenuous.  Normally, Monday's are spent driving.  I start on the road with my kids in tow around 11:00 and get home close to 10:00 at night.  Monday's are long days.  But today I stayed home.  We've had rain/ice/snow all day long and everything was canceled.  I thought about yoga this afternoon, but decided that it was a rest day and I should rest.  So instead I read a book.

I started Murakami's book Saturday and finished it today.  It was a good read.  I now have the urge to run a race, and may even consider a full marathon one day.  I've only done half's, but who knows.  I haven't run a half in over a year and a half.  I don't really care for races.  I just love running, and the last race I did I felt so much pressure, that when it was over I was burned out.  But now I'm thinking that maybe this fall I could give it a go.  The last race I did was a spring race.  I like that one, but I hate trying to train all winter.  The kids' schedules are too crazy, and combined with the weather, it's hard.  But I think if I did one in late October or early November it would be good.  I may go for it.

On other matters, Lent is starting on Wednesday.  I haven't practiced Lent in a long time.  I was raised Roman Catholic, but I am not anymore.  I attend a Protestant church.  But I'm feeling the need for Lent.  Lent is supposed to be a time of afflicting the soul, repenting of your sin, and seeking the Lord.  I believe I'm in need of that.  Growing up, Lent meant giving up something for the 40 days (Sunday's don't count), and not eating meat on Friday's.  I think I will do close to the same.  I think I will give up alcohol (I love my evening glass of wine) and sweets.  Friday's will be a true old, fashioned fast day (Pre-Vat II), with no dairy, eggs, or meat.  I've picked some books for Lenten reading.  The first up is The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Henri Nouwen

I had thought of starting another blog just for my Lenten contemplations, but this blog is about the journey to me; the journey of me finding myself, and peace.  It's about me becoming stronger, and this is a part of that.  So for the 6 or so people who pop onto this blog, I hope you're not offended, but this is my space. :)  I plan on using it to get my thoughts out about running, kettlebell, yoga, maybe my kids and homeschooling, and about my spiritual growth.