Friday, January 31, 2014

In the Swing of Things

Well, I'll start with this week's disappointment.  I couldn't do the 5 minute plank.  I could not get past 3 minutes.  Part of me is sad.  I worked hard at this.  But I did think, from the beginning, that the progress to the 5 minute plank was a little to fast for this over 40 mom of 5.  But I did make it to 3 minutes.  At the beginning of the month, 1 minute was a challenge, now I can do 3.  Progress is progress.

This month, Athleta is having a squat challenge.  I don't want to do that one.  I think I could make the goal of 250 body weight squats (that only go half way down), the issue is that the routine laid out does not work with my workout routine.  It would be too much.  Planks everyday were one thing, but the squats would interfere with my running and my weighted squats.  So I'm done with their challenges for now.

I am still doing the 40 day Kundalini kriya challenge, which is the same kriya for 40 days.  Right now I've finished 24 days, so over half way.  I can't say that I've felt like it's made a huge shift in my mental and emotional balance, but I'm hopeful that it's helping out.  I've enjoyed doing it, even if I am getting a bit bored of doing the same one everyday.  I do like my new 30 minutes for me in the afternoon (that's in addition to my regular hour workout time), so I will keep up something when this is done.

Next week I'll be on the final week of Breaking Muscle's Cycle 1 for kettlebell.  It's been good.  I am starting to wish that I owned a 20lb bell.  I have a 15lb and then a 26lb (as well as 35 and 44lb).  The 26lb bell is still rough for presses, but the 15 feels like air.  I need something in between.  Right now I just switch off for my presses, so when it says 5 per side, I do 1 on the right, then left, then go back for number 2 on the right and so on.  It works, and I can do all 5 each side with good form.  But sometimes I wonder if I would make better progress with a 20lb bell.  I hate to spend money on something lighter, but in another few weeks, if I still feel like I"m not making progress I may order a bell.  I am enjoying kettlebell a lot.  Only doing it 2x's a week and continuing to run is working for me. When I was doing the BeSlam program (which I loved), I had to really cut back on my running and in the end I was burning out with kettlebell.  I enjoy running too much to give it up.

Which brings me to my rant of the week.  Everywhere I look these days, whether it's FB, blogs or Twitter, I see people putting down cardio or endurance exercise.  If you don't like cardio, don't do it.  If you hate running, stop.  If all you enjoy is weights, then enjoy them, but you don't have to disparage running just because you don't like it or because you think you won't be able to make great strength gains if you run (maybe you won't).  But maybe, regular, over 40 moms, are not worried about huge strength gains.  Maybe I want to be in better shape, a little stronger, have a little more endurance, and have some time for me each day.

Yes, it would be nice to look like this, but I'm not that young any more. :)

I love to run.  I feel free and strong.  I love kettlebell.  Swinging and snatching that bell make me feel powerful.  It's ok that I like both.  I strength train 2x's a week, plus add push-ups and pull-ups after one of my runs.  I run 3x's a week.  I have one full day for yoga (plus I squeeze that in whenever I can.  Right now everyday).  Right now, I'm happy with my mix.  I may change it up one day, but for now I'm good. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pushing Hard

I've been consistent with my workouts, and I've been pushing myself hard.  The result of that is this morning when I got up I felt shot and dreaded the idea of running.  I decided to not run this morning.  We went to church, I came home and had lunch, then I took a nap.  I felt much better after my nap, so then I went for a run.  It was smart to wait. I had wanted to go 6 miles, but told myself I could bail at 5 if I felt rough, but I made 7!  It was beautiful out, so sunny.  The lake had a bit of ice on it and there were still patches of snow on the ground, so it looked pretty, but the temperature was 50, so it was warm.  I had a great run, then came home and did 5 x 5 pull-ups with 1 minute planks in-between.  I'm still trying for the 5 minute plank.  The challenge was for 5 minutes, my personal goal was 3.  I made over 3 minutes this week, so now I would like to make it to 4 minutes.  Who knows, maybe I'll make it to 5 minutes.

I also did a bit of shopping today.  I had a coupon for Sierra Trading Post for 40% off.  My daughter needed new ski pants, so I ordered those, but I also ordered myself summer sandals.  In the summer I  mostly wear Chacos when I go out, and Birkenstocks around the house.  My Birks are 8 years old and my Chacos are 5.  Both are very worn on the bottom, so they needed to either be repaired or replaced.

I love blue!

These will be on my feet most of the summer.  I especially love to put on my Birks after I've been running.  They feel so good.

Tomorrow is a rest day, and I will need it.  I will do some light yoga, including the kriya I've been doing, just to stretch out before my long day (Monday's are spent out of town, not getting home to very late).

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Week of Progress

It's been a good week, fitness wise.  I've been able to get in my workouts, and feel like I'm making progress.  I don't always see progress, so it feels good to know that all of my hard work is starting to pay off.

First, the plank challenge.  Athleta posted a 30 day plank challenge.  I've been wanting to do more for my core, so this seemed like a way to work that into my daily plan.  I think their challenge is a bit ambitious, but any progress is good, so I keep working at it.  Yesterday and today called for 2 minute planks, and I actually did it.  I didn't think I could, and it felt like I would never make it, but I made it to 2 minutes.  I have no idea if I'll make it any longer, but I got this far.

 holding plank

I also have been able to practice the 30 minute kriya every day.  Today, Friday, makes it 10 days straight, so 30 more days for that challenge.  I've enjoyed the time practicing the kriya, and  I think the arm circles I've been doing have been helping my arms. :)

Kundalini Yoga instructor Kia Miller, from

So, my week has looked like this:

Sunday: 5 mile run, plank and handstand practice, 30 min yoga
Monday: rest day, 30 min yoga
Tuesday: 1 mile run plus kettlebell, plank and handstand practice, 30 min yoga
Wednesday: 4 mile run, plank and handstand practice, 30 min yoga
Thursday: 4 mile run with intervals, plank and handstand practice, 30 min yoga
Friday: run plus kettlebell, plank and handstand practice, 30 min yoga.

Tomorrow is yoga day.  I have to take a long day trip, so it will be a short practice in the morning, and hopefully so yin or restorative yoga in the evening.  Plus plank and handstand work.

The handstands are coming along.  Really, I need a stronger core, but I'm working on it, and I plan on to continue working.  I want to be able to do it. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

It's Been a Busy Holiday Season!

The last month has been crazy.  Of course, it's been crazy for everyone.  Besides Christmas, New Years, and a vacation, our household has been battling illness.  We've all had some nasty cold.  Maybe it was a variation of the flu.  We got the flu shot, so maybe we got a mild version of it.  That kept us down for over a week.  I had a week where I could not work out at all, which never makes me happy.  We've also been dealing with some stomach virus.  I've had something twice!  With all of that I haven't made much progress with any fitness goals, but I'm back at it.  First up all of the new gear!

I got some new shoes!  I love new shoes.  These are New Balance Minimus shoes.  I got them for my mile warm up before I do kettlebell, as well as wearing for kettlebell.  I love them.

I haven't had any issues running in them.  I don't think I'll ever be able to run long in them, since I have a lot of foot issues, but for a mile they are great.

I also got a new running watch!!

I had a Garmin 305, but the battery was giving out, just in time for Christmas! This is the Garmin Forerunner 610.  I still need to set this watch up, but I have been using it and I like it.  It's much smaller than the 305 and I love the blue and white. :)

I have a few goals for the new year.  My kettlebell and running have been great, and I don't have a lot of goals with those, except to improve.  I want to be able to do a 35lb TGU, and I would like to get my running back up and be able to do at least a 10 mile long run.  But I also have 2 smaller goals.  I want to be able to do a free standing handstand.  I've been practicing yoga for over 5 years, but this has felt like an impossible goal.  But now I want it.  I also would love to be able to do a split.  That goal is a bit silly.  I never could do splits.  Never.  I've never been flexible.  As of now I can rest on one yoga block, but I want to get to the floor.  I stretch everyday after I workout, so I can work on this everyday.

I know these are not huge goals, but doing them will go a long way in making me feel like I've made some sort of progress in my fitness.

I'm also working on pull-ups.  I don't know if I'll be able to do even 1 unassisted pull up this year, but it could be a goal.  Right now I'm doing chin-ups with a green band.  I only work on them 2x's a week, so I may need to increase how often I do that.

I'm doing a few challenges this month. One has to do the handstands.  I plan to work on them for about 5 mins a day.  The other is a plank challenge.


I don't know if I can make it to a 5 min plank, but right now I can do 1 min 25 sec.  I will work on this.

I also am working on my mental health.  My advancing age has been an onset of some unpleasant things, and it has been taking a mental toll on me.  To help combat this I'm embarking on a 40 day Kundalini challenge.  I have a membership to, and I've been trying some of the Kundalini yoga.  The teacher on that site, Kia Miller, suggests doing a kriya for 40 days.  That's the same kriya for 40 days.  The idea is that it will create a pattern inside of you and impact you for your good.   I am trying a 30 minute kriya for mental health.  I have been enjoying it.  Right now I have finished 4 days, so 36 to go!  It's not hard, I just need to find the time, but I feel like this is important.  More important than the planks or handstands.  This is for me.  This is about finding some sanity inside of me when every month I feel like I could fall apart.

I will try to post updates, mostly for myself.  I need to see that I am doing something for me.  I have some goals for my kids this semester as well, but this blog is about me, so I'll stick to that. :)