Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Pretty Good Week

I was back into my kettlebell practice.  It was a strong week.  I had great kettlebell workouts and good runs.  I even got to run outside.  The weather has been so nasty, that it was great to get out and enjoy the temporary warm up that we are having.  I've also been getting yoga in everyday.  Sometimes is just a little Yin, other days some flow.  Today I had a wonderful 90 minute Hatha practice.  It felt great; like I was at a yoga retreat day.

I've been pushing hard all week, and today I can feel it.  My legs are sore. I believe that would be from the sumo squats I did on Friday.  Friday's routine, from BreakingMuscles kettlebell cycle 2 plan, was a good workout.  I always start with a 10 minute run, then it was on to 3 rounds of 8 sumo squats (using my 16kg + 12kg bells), then 3 windmills, followed by 8 front squats (I used the 12kg).  Took a short break then did 3 rounds of 10 heavy swings (used 20kg), 7 presses (used my new 20lb bell), and planks.  Finished with 3 round of 3 half get-ups, and 5 pull-ups.  The routine is not quite what was on the website.  I changed to heavy swings, instead of doing 20, I did 10.  I also added the pull-ups, and changed the presses to 7.  I can't do 5 presses with good form using my 12kg bell, but I could do 7 with the 20lb.  I decided to go for it. :)  I've also added push-ups, but not during the workout, just throughout my day.  I can't do a regular push-up; I've always do them on my knees.  But I've read that it's better to go up higher and keep a solid plank in your body.  So I'm using my bathtub.  My goal; on Tuesday's, Thursday, and Sunday, is to do 5 push-ups every time I go to the bathroom.  This way I have plenty of rest, my form is always good, and I can get lots in without taking up much time.  My goal is 50 push-ups a day.

I also had great runs this week, especially Thursday.  Thursday was a 5 mile, this is why I love running, run.  I got outside, enjoyed running around the lake,  kept a steady pace, and had the best runner's high when I was done.  A good enough runner's high to deal my kids who did not want to do their school work (but Mom, we have to watch the Olympics!!).  Nothing gives me that feeling like running.  Yoga leaves me feeling peaceful, kettlebells leave me feeling strong, and like I've worked hard (so satisfied), but running gives me that high that can chase any blue feeling or any frustration away.  That's why I'll never stop running in order to just do kettlebell or yoga.  I feel so good when I run, that I don't want to give that up.

I've been trying, extra hard, to eat better this week.  I'm trying to watch my calories and make sure I'm getting enough protein.  I need to find ways of getting more protein, but less calories. :) Today, is my birthday (Happy Birthday to me!), and my husband is making me a very unhealthy chocolate ganache cake. :D  I plan on enjoying it.  I kept my calories down all day, so it shouldn't hurt me too much. But that's ok.  I probably will not have wine with dinner though.  I need to cut calories where I can.

It's not that I need to lose much weight, I did put on a few pounds this winter, but mostly I want to tighten up.  To do that, I need to cut down the sugar.  I also want the most energy I can get for my workouts, and my body needs the ability to recover.  Sugar does not do that, nor does lots of English Muffins.  I need of protein, dark green veggies, and good quality carbs (like steel-cut oats, which makes a great breakfast after a run).  Anyway, I'm trying to eat better, but plan to blow it a bit tonight, but for a good cause.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Good Yoga Week

So I didn't touch my bells this week.  I do miss them, but I enjoyed the extra time spent practicing yoga.  Today was also the last day of the 40 days of practicing the same kriya.  It was a good experience.  I enjoyed the extra me time each afternoon, and the movement gave me extra energy for my day.  I don't know if it helped with my mental balance, but it was good.  What I learned was that I need some time for breath work and meditation each day, and a small amount of movement each afternoon would also be good.

I ordered a new bell last week.  When I first started kettlebell I just used a 15lb bell I got from Target.  When I knew I enjoyed kettlebell I invested in better bells. I own two 12 kg bells, a 16kg, and a 20kg.  The only issue is, that when I do a lot of presses, the 12 kg becomes too heavy, but the 15lb feels way too light.  So I ordered an inexpensive 20lb bell from Amazon.  It's a Cap bell, and they aren't bad.  I had ordered on for my daughter when she said she wanted to give kettlebell a try.  It will be a good bell to do higher reps of presses, as well as high reps of TGUs.  The bell should arrive tomorrow.

I decided I'm going to stick with Breaking Muscle's plan.  The 2x's a week is nice, plus I like some of the variety in the workouts.  Lauren Brooks plan is very good, but just a few exercises.  Right now I feel like I need to be doing a bit more.  But I may change my mind after I finish the 2nd cycle.

I also decided that I need to pay closer attention to my diet.  I've been eating too much junk and drinking way too much coffee.  I've been reading up on the ideas of Ayurveda, and I want to incorporate some of those ideas into my life.  Most are simple.  I probably won't give up coffee, but I am adding lemon to my water.  I plan on getting some fresh ginger to eat/drink before meals, and I am making a few other small changes.

I'm realizing that I need to be more mindful in everything I do, whether it's my eating or exercise.  I also need to practice being in the moment in everything.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Completed Cycle 1!

I finished my 12 week cycle for kettlebell from  I enjoyed the program, and the 2x's a week was just was I was looking for.  I also ran 20 miles last week.  I did 2 days of 5 miles and then a 10 mile run on Sunday. The run felt great.  I watched the Olympics Women's Speed Skating while I ran on my treadmill, which was a really enjoyable way to spend 2 hrs.

This week I'm taking off from kettlebell.  My plan is to do yoga instead.  Next week it will be back to kettlebell. Now I'm trying to decide if I should move on to cycle 2 for kettlebell or if I should try Lauren Brooks' Week to Strong Woman workout.  I don't want to give up running.  I just enjoy it.  I feel so good when I run, and my body seems happier when I run.  So the question is, can I do a more intense strength program and still run?  I'm leaning towards trying.  I can cut the running a bit, but maybe still run 2 miles a day, 6 days a week. On kettlebell days I would just run 2 miles first.  Lauren's programs keep the time commitment short.  The routines in the program would only take about 20 minutes not counting warm up or cool down.  If I ran as a warm up for 20 minutes (or 22), then did 20 minutes of kettlebell, it would still be less overall time then my 5 mile runs.  The squats are the concern, but I can not push the weight, even though I don't think I'm anywhere close to squatting too heavy for runner.

I'm always torn between strength and running.  I enjoy them both.  I want to get stronger, but I want to run.  But as I'm watching the Olympics I'm thinking that I can push myself a bit more in both running and strength and it would be ok.  :)