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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mid-week workout.

This morning's workout started with a nice, long ride on the stationary bike ~ 90 minutes.  After that, I did the elliptical trainer for 45 minutes.  Then, after lunch, my husband and I took the little guy to the gym to try out his new (lightweight) basketball, as we took turns, one of us playing basketball with him in the gym, while the other did 30 minutes of strength training in the weight room.  After we had both gotten in our 30 minutes, we all went to the pool and swam for about 45 minutes.  It's so nice to have somewhere fun (and productive) to go on these snowy, cold, wintry days.  :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Long run substitution...

So, I'm very glad we have the gym membership on days like today.  Chris and I had planned a long run of about 20 miles today, but that didn't happen.  We woke up to a fresh layer of snow and completely iced-over roads, not to mention the 30+mph wind gusts.

When we got to the gym, we both started out on treadmills.  We did a total of about 13 miles of running, then we got on elliptical machines and did an hour, and the readout said we covered another 5.5 miles (theoretically) on there.  Then we went to the pool, where I swam 1/2 mile in a little under 20 minutes, then we sat in the hot tub for a few minutes before heading back home.  I sure do love having a training partner. :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

The usual.

Nothing too exciting to report today...

I started out my morning with 35 minutes of Pilates, then after taking the kids to school, I got on the elliptical for  45 minutes, then the bike for another 45 minutes.

I'm feeling kind of blah today.  I still have a headache, probably my body is still fighting off this cold, although I'm not feeling as congested.  I am trying to at least pull it together mentally, even though my body is sluggish, and get myself motivated to have an uplifting and productive week.  After all, there's only about 11 weeks until the marathon, and I really feel the need for some good, long runs.

My husband and I are planning a long run of about 20 miles tomorrow, but we all know how a similar plan last week was foiled by the weather.  I just finished checking the National Weather Service website for the weekly forecast: yep, there's snow coming.  I just hope it's not too much or too windy, because we can run in some snow, but the wind is kind of a deal breaker.  Thankfully, we now have an alternative to get us through the winter months since we can go to the gym.  Even though it's not quite the same as doing a long run on the road, we can do a hard, long workout and even do a fair amount of running on the treadmill and keep an adequate amount of cardio fitness to prepare for the marathon.  I will be glad when I don't have to be concerned with the weather forecast daily and can just get out and run!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

8 miles walking.

I was feeling a little sore and tired this morning.  I'm still trying to get over this stupid head cold.  It's been over a week now of feeling pretty yucky and run down.  My arms and shoulders are sore from my weight training session with my husband earlier this week, as well.  But, I wanted to get in some kind of slow-steady-burn type of workout today, so I got on the treadmill and just started walking.  I walked for 2 hours and got in 8 miles.  Then, even though my muscles were tired and I was starting to get a bit of a headache, I also rode the stationary bike for another 45 minutes.  The rest of the day I spent cleaning the house, doing laundry, and laying on my bed with kids climbing on me while they watched Netflix in my room. :)  When my husband came home, we decided we needed an evening out, so we had a "date night" and enjoyed some time together, alone.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Another busy Friday.

Such is the life of a mother of four, trying to balance my workout time with kids' activities.  This morning I was able to do 45 minutes on the treadmill before packing kids up and heading out for cub scouts and Activity Days.  Then after lunch, I packed all the kids up again and we went into town to go to the gym.  We started out by playing basketball as a family (minus Chris) for a little over an hour, then we got in the pool for another hour where the kids splashed around while I swam some laps.  Then as a fun little splurge, I took the kids to "The Donut" in Pocatello to pick out a Spudnut ~ our newest favorite treat!  These donuts taste even better than a traditional donut like Krispy Kreme, but they're made with potato flour and are not deep fried, so they're about half the calories and fat.  One regular Spudnut is only 160 calories and 3 grams of fat!  Yumm-eee!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mixed workouts.

Yesterday morning I had just enough time to squeeze in a 45 minute session on the elliptical before heading out for the day.  When we came home in the late afternoon, I did 30 more minutes on the elliptical followed by 25 minutes on the bike.

Today is our "free" day.  My husband has the day off from work and all four kids are in school, so we went up to the gym for our workout.  We considered trying to run on the road, but of course we had more snow and ice to contend with so we decided against it.

Once at the gym, we started out doing 35 minutes of strength training.  I'm lucky because my husband has experience with the weight machines, since he was a wrestler and football player in high school, so he has been "tutoring" me on all of the equipment and teaching me how many reps, etc. to do to get my desired effect.  I don't want any bulk, but I wouldn't mind being stronger for running.  After the weights, we moved on to cardio.  We both did 30 hard minutes on bikes (going 22 mph), then while he got on a treadmill for a while, I did 20 minutes on the StairMaster.  After that, we went in to the basketball gym and played one-on-one for over 30 minutes.  Now that will burn some calories, and it was way fun!

Now I'm home, and I have a bit of time before the kids come home, so I'm going to walk on the treadmill while I do laundry and catch up on this week's episode of the Biggest Loser. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

12 miles, and other cardio.

My husband and I decided not to risk injury or certain death today just for the sake of a long run. ;)  After we dropped the kiddos all off at school, we braved the roads in our 4-wheel drive vehicle to head to the gym.  I started out on the treadmill, where I did a little over 2 hours, or about 12 miles.   Then I also did 30 minutes on the bike at 20mph, then I did 30 minutes on the elliptical.  Since our original goal was 18 miles today, I figure 3 hours of hard cardio was an even exchange.  Plus, on Thursday my husband has another day off work and since all the kids will be in school on that day again, we can possibly try for a run then...if the weather changes between now and then.  It's not looking promising.  I can't say I'm surprised, as mild as things have been this winter, I knew we were due for some good snow storms.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Return to the norm...sort of.

Well, it's been a few days since I've posted on here.  We left Friday morning and made the 4 hour drive to the other side of the state (near Boise) to visit family and watch our high school (Marsh Valley Eagles) girls' basketball team play in the state championship games - THEY WON and finished their season undefeated!!  It was so fun to watch the girls play.  We know 3 of the girls well (they go to our church) and they are so awesome.

Anyway, we stayed at my in-laws house and while we were there, my husband and I were able to squeeze in one run on Saturday morning of 5 miles, out on the country road where they live, with lots of farm dogs running around, too.  That part was kind of annoying, and the fact that it was raining, and that my head cold had turned into a full-blown sinus infection and nasty cough.  But we did our 5 miles in about 50 minutes and it felt good to get something done.  Yesterday was our travel-home day, and I didn't do much else, besides eat.

This morning I got back to my normal routine, with a workout at home.  I started with 40 minutes on the bike, then I did 30 minutes on the elliptical, and 10 minutes of sit-ups.  This afternoon, since the kids are home from school for President's Day, I took them to the gym where we swam for about an hour and then played some basketball in the gym for another hour.

Tomorrow my husband and I will attempt a long run of 18-19 miles.  I say attempt because there are rumors of major winter storms passing through our area tonight, and we may end up doing 3 hours of cardio at the gym instead.  We shall see.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gym workout.

Today I have the day to myself!  No kids, no husband, just me.  It's weird.  Anyway, I decided to go to the gym for my workout.  As soon as I dropped the kids off at school, I headed into town.

Last night, my husband and I went in to the gym for a couple of hours, so I got in a second workout for the day yesterday, and I focused on weight training, although I did do some cardio, too.  So today I wanted to work on cardio, and that's where I started.  I got on a nice, big elliptical...oh, so nice compared with the one I have at home.  I did 60 minutes on there, then moved on to an upright bike, where I road for 30 minutes at 20mph, then I did the StairMaster for 15 minutes.  I wanted to do longer on the StairMaster, but my head cold was getting the best of me at that point and I was feeling a little faint.  I decided to run a bit on the treadmill (30 minutes at 5.5mph), then called it good.  There are definitely some advantages to working out at the gym.  Firstly, of course, is the fact that all of the equipment is so much better than what I have at home, I feel like I'm getting a better workout.  Secondly, it's a good motivator to go there and see some of the other folks, working hard, with bodies that show it.  Keeps me moving.  On the other hand, there are also other people who inadvertently help me realize how well I'm doing.  I had two different guys come up to me and tell me what a "machine" I am for how long and hard I was working out.  Granted, the "guys" had hearing aids, gray hair and walked with limps, but hey, I'll take compliments wherever I can get 'em! ;)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mid-week cross-training.

I was a bit sore and stuffy-headed waking up this morning, and honestly didn't feel like working out.  Of course, I did.  I started out with 15 minutes of Pilates, then I did 90 minutes on the stationary bike.  After that, I got on the elliptical for 45 minutes, and lastly walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes.  Now I think I might go take a nap, if my 6 year old cooperates. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

12.5 miles, on my own.

Between running with my husband and my friend, Holly, it's been a while since I've done a long run by myself.  This morning, there was a thin layer of fresh, light snow on the ground, but since it wasn't too cold, I decided to go ahead and go for it.  After I took all of the kids to school, I ventured out and did a 12.5 mile loop from the house.  It was actually quite peaceful and therapeutic for me to be out there on my own.  I felt pretty good, for the most part.  I've been fighting a mild head cold for the past couple of days, and my legs did start to get a little tired and "twitchy" after about 10 miles, but I'm just really happy with how strong I've been feeling lately.  My pace wasn't quite as fast as it is when I run with Holly, but it was decent for me and I finished the 12.5 miles in about 2 hours and 20 minutes.

When I got home, the house was so quiet and empty.  I put last night's episode of The Bachelor on Hulu, and got on the recumbent bike, working my legs for another 90 minutes.

Yesterday I had the chance to speak on the phone with my friend and running mentor, who will be running the Ogden Marathon with Chris and myself, along with a couple of other people.  After talking with him, I felt a resurgence of excitement about the marathon, and the fact that we're just planning a fun time takes the pressure off.  There will be at least two in our group for whom this will be their first marathon (including my very own husband), so we all agreed that we will try to stay together and not worry about our individual times.  This concept is fine with me.  As much as I love to improve and reach my own personal goals, I really just want to enjoy each marathon experience.  Last week I signed up for the Pocatello Marathon ~ my second time running this one ~ and I plan to focus on that one to work towards my own PR.  It's in September, so I can use the Ogden Marathon in May as an opportunity to gain more marathon experience, without too much stress, then work hard through the summer, and run Pocatello and see how much I've improved.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Misc. Monday XT

This morning I started my day with 20 minutes of Pilates.  After that I did 45 minutes on the recumbent bike, followed with 30 minutes on the elliptical and ending with 100 sit-ups.  Tomorrow I will be attempting a long run of around 13 miles, and I'm really hoping we don't get the snow that's being predicted.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday fury.

Friday is one of my least favorite days of the week.  The kids don't have school, I only have time to workout in the morning if I get up extra early, before I have to go to cub scout meetings, then there's usually other stuff going on, too.  Today, we only had scouts.  So, I did get up (a little) early and ride the bike for an hour before I had to get ready to go.  Then, after feeding the kids their lunch, Chris and I packed them all up and went in to the gym for some swimming.  Well, actually, thanks to my sweet and generous husband, I did 45 minutes of cardio before meeting him in the pool, where he was busy referee-ing spats between the kids.  You would think they could just swim, play and be happy, but it never goes like that.  Ugh.  Anyway, I was happy to get that extra workout in today.  It helped on a blah Friday like today.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A couple of miles, and a couple of other things. :)

Another day full...

I started out my morning with 15 minutes of Pilates, followed by an hour on the stationary bike, while I waited for my husband to wake up for the day (he's on night-shift).  When he got up, we packed our bags and headed to the gym again.  Again this time I began with the StairMaster for 30 minutes, then followed that with 30 minutes on the elliptical.  The elliptical machines at the gym are much different than the one I have at home, and I can definitely feel it.  It used my muscles in a completely different way, which I guess is a good thing.  Anyway, after that I got on a treadmill and did 20 minutes of running at 6mph, and finally my husband and I spent some time together in the pool, where I swam laps for about 15 minutes.  I am really loving having access to a gym.  Seriously, if only I could get paid to work out, I could easily do it all day long! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Moment of Candor...

First of all, to address my workout(s) for today:  I began this morning with 15 minutes of Pilates, then moved on to the bike for one hour.  Today we had three of our kids home from school...Nicolas because it was his off day from Kindergarten, and Noah and Sam because their classes had gone downhill skiing for the day - an event in which we choose not to participate.  So, with all the boys home, we decided to go to the gym.  Chris and I recently decided, after much deliberation, that we would use a small portion of our tax return this year to set up a membership at a fitness facility in Pocatello (about 10 miles away).  We signed up for a family pass, and even received a sizable discount for paying for the whole year in full, so it averaged out to about $60 a month.  We have unlimited use of their huge facility, which includes a pool, several hot tubs, a basketball gym, several weight rooms, tons of cardio machines, racquetball and lots of fitness classes (which are all included), like spin, Zumba and weight training.  So today was our first day to go up there as a family (minus Sophie, who still had to go to school).  Chris played basketball with the boys, then took them swimming for an hour or so, while I had a crazy good cardio workout.  I started out on a stair climb machine.  Apparently I can climb 130 floors of stairs in 30 minutes - is that good?  I don't even know, since I've never used one of those machines before, but I was sweating buckets and when I entered it into MyFitnessPal.com, it said I burned almost 300 calories.  Then I moved on to a rowing machine, which I did for 15 minutes, and finally I got on an upright bike and did a "fast program" for 30 minutes, which showed me going and average of 20mph.  After all that cardio, I also spent about 15 minutes doing some reps on leg and arm weight machines.  I don't know what they're called, but you know, lat pulls, quad raises, butterflies, etc.?

I really think that this could completely change my workout routine.  I'm looking forward to having days when Chris and I can go together to work out without the kids, days when Chris is working and the kids are in school when I can go alone and work out to my heart's content, and times when we'll go as a family and swim or play ball together.  It should be good.

And on to other things....
I often wonder who my reading audience is for this blog.  Admittedly, I started this blog as a way of tracking my marathon training, but now it has turned into something that is part of my daily routine.  I have one of those Feedjit things, so I can see the general vicinity from which my website hits are coming, but I don't really know who's reading.  I only get feedback in the form of comments from a couple of you - and thank you, by the way, to those of you who do take the time to post comments.  I would really like to increase my readership.  I have registered my blog on a couple of blog lists, where people can go and search for blogs by category, etc.  But I'm not sure what else I can do.  So my questions to all of you are:  Do any of you have suggestions as to how to go about getting more readers to my blog, and what specifically do you most like about my blog?  What type of blog posts do you find most interesting and engaging?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

14.5 miles!

This morning my friend, Holly and I set out for a long run starting at around 8:30am.  My husband drove us up to the top of the Pocatello Marathon route, where the temperature was 11 degrees ~ almost 10 degrees colder than it was down by our house!  I love running this route, though, because the first 6 miles are mostly downhill.  It's an exhilarating feeling to run through the mountains, and as the sun rose higher, the trees and ground were glistening and sparkling from the ice and snow.  It was so beautiful.

So, when I run with Holly, I get in my tough workout for the week.  We ran 14.5 miles in 2 hours and 34 minutes, and that was including walking breaks.  That's an average pace of 10:37min./mile.  As tired as I was when we finished, it felt great knowing I had pushed through the rough spots and forced my body completely out of it's comfort zone.  That's where we grow, right?  So Holly was able to get in a long run before she leaves later this week with her sweet family for a trip to Disney World in Florida, thanks to the Make-a-Wish foundation and their son, 5 year old Cooper beating cancer!  I'm so happy for them!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Circuit workout.

For this morning's workout, I did a circuit using all three of my exercise machines.  I started out on the bike for 40 minutes, then I did the elliptical for 40 minutes, and finally a fast-paced walk on the treadmill for 40 minutes. I have a fun week planned, in terms of running.  Tomorrow I'm supposed to be going out on a 13-15 miler with my friend, then on Thursday, Chris and I will do a 10 miler together, and I will try to fit in a couple of shorter runs somewhere as well.  The weather is supposed to continue to be mild all week, so I think it's going to be a good one!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

8 miles, treadmill style.

As I mentioned yesterday, we had a busy day today.  With that in mind, I had set my alarm for 6:15am, got up, put in a DVD and hit the treadmill for about 8 miles.  Then I had just enough time to shower, dress and make sure all the kids were dressed and had eaten breakfast before we had to make our way to basketball game number one.

It was imperative that I get my run in this morning, because, you see, my husband and I had an impromptu date last night which included a lovely dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  Man, I love that place!  It was definitely a splurge for me, especially since I've been doing so well with my diet.  I did try to be good, I only ate half of my meal and took the rest home, but oh, the rolls and cinnamon butter...I guess I'll see how detrimental it was when I get on the scale on Monday for my weekly weigh-in.  The other part of our "date night" involved a trip to Dick's Sporting Goods where I got a sweet deal on a Nike Dri-fit cold weather running half-zip!  Usually we only window shop and fantasize at that store, so I was super excited to find something I could buy without cringing (too much).  So see, eat deliciously gluttonous meal, then go buy some new running gear to motivate you to get out and run ~ it all balances out!

Today I did much better with my meals and snacks, and even when I entered my leftover bbq chicken and mashed potatoes that I ate for lunch, it wasn't too bad.  Now I think I'll walk on the treadmill for a bit before I get ready for bed.

Friday, February 3, 2012

2.86 miles, in the dark.

I got up early today and headed out equipped with a flashlight and did a short run of 2.86 miles before I had to get ready for cub scout meetings.  I had originally planned (and had made the time for) a 4-5 mile run, but once I got out there on those cold, dark, lonely streets, I was a little too freaked out to go very far.  So now that it is afternoon and I'm finished with all of my other Friday obligations, I am going to ride the bike for a while.  Tomorrow will be a similar story, since we have kids with basketball games starting at 9:30am and going until 5pm.  My plan is to get up before everyone else, pop in a DVD and hit the treadmill for an hour or two.  I have heard a rumor that there is a group of runners planning to do a 12 miler in the morning that starts up at the top of the "hill" (just outside of town), and will end back near our house.  If I find out they're starting early enough that I would have time to finish 12 miles and still have time to shower before we head out for the bball games, I just may have to join them. :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

4 miles, slow burn.

For some reason the light snow we were receiving this morning deterred me from heading out for a run, but I did get busy with an indoor workout.  I began with a good hour on the bike, then moved on to a sweaty 30 minutes on the elliptical, and topped it all off with a four miler on the treadmill.  I did feel a little tired and even had to eat some oatmeal between steps 2 and three of my workout, but now I'm feeling good and glad I pushed through my lethargy.  No one every says, "I wish I hadn't worked out today." ☺

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Strictly XT.

This morning I felt pretty tired and a bit stiff getting out of bed.  I think the recent increase in my weekly mileage is starting to catch up with me.  I started out my workout with 20 minutes of Pilates and followed that with 30 minutes on the exercise bike while also using my 5 pound hand weights.  After that, I got on the elliptical and did just under an hour, breaking it up with sets of sit-ups and step-ups with weights every 5-10 minutes.

As far as my diet goes, I have continued to do pretty well, making (mostly) healthy choices and staying well below my daily calories.  It's getting tougher, though.  As the time comes closer to the marathon, I've been running more and working out longer, and I'm definitely feeling it in my appetite.  I hardest thing for me is not grabbing something less healthy when I'm starving just because it's fast and easy.  I've been trying to avoid those pitfalls by pre-measuring healthy snacks, such as dried fruit and trail mix, carrot sticks and fat-free dip, and nuts, and also keeping a stock of mini-Clif bars in the cupboard, for when I'm in a hurry.  I think it helps.  The other issue I've been having is that even though I eat a good, filling breakfast, moderate lunch and snacks throughout the day, I find myself with an excess of allowable calories still sitting there in the evening.  I don't want to be too far below my calories, considering how much I exercise, or my body will not metabolize properly and will hang on to fat stores instead of burning them off.  All in all, I'm still feeling pretty good, though.  I'm down 6 pounds in a little more than 3 weeks.  Now I just need to maintain that.  Slow and steady wins the race! :)