Friday, December 31, 2010

Fess Up Friday

Forgive me Jillian, for I have sinned.



-Up until an hour ago, I hadn't shaved my legs in two weeks. I made sure to always wear long pants at the gym, so as not to scare off my trainer.

-Two days ago I had two dinners. I ate dinner with my dad as he was driving through town. Later that night, my husband was making himself dinner, and it smelled so good that I stole his plate, using my female wiles, and made him make a second plate. It was delicious. I don't regret it, but my stomach did, almost immediately. Whoops.

Do you have any Friday Fitness Confessions?

I Am Not A Morning Runner

Morning exercise is limited to the following:

1. Races: Rarely are races super close to my house (At least not the ones I pick, whoops). Plus, I have a "whoops I arrived too early I guess I'll sit in my car for 45 minutes." It happens all the time. So, with drive time and wait time, I'm usually not running until about 2 hours after I wake up. My body is okay by then.

2. Marathon training: In the midst of it, we would have 5-6 hour runs. It was summer. That means we started running between 5-6am. Oh god. It was awful. And by awful I mean really really awful. But, by the time we'd be finishing up the run, it would be way too hot. Stupid Southern California. But, it had to be done, and we certainly weren't running very hard. The runs were long, but very, very slow.

3. Personal training: With the exception of ten minutes of walking on the treadmill (Sure, sometimes I jog, but that's a personal choice), there is no cardio involved in my training sessions. So, it's not too rough.

The main issue is, my stomach is not a morning stomach. When I wake up it's all "is this real life???" I also can't eat for hours after I wake up. I've been awake for about an hour now, and the thought of shaking up my stomach contents (or adding to them) still makes me want to hurl.

So, yeah. I will probably not ever morph into Wake Up Early And Run Girl. But I am a rock star at being Run After Work Girl. When I'm prepared. It's easier when it's still light out, but I can make do with street running.

Not everyone can be a morning runner. And I'm okay with that.

2011 Fitness Goals


1. Do core work at home 3 days a week for at least 10 minutes at a time.
For the most part, what drives me in exercise is accountability. The main reason I choose to strength trainer with a personal trainer, instead of on my own, is because I have go. He will be there waiting. That, and so I don't have to keep track of anything. And someone is there pushing me. But, yeah, accountability. If I have to post here, four a days a week, I'll be more likely to do it. So you, the reader, are here to hold me accountable.


2. Run an ultramarathon. I'm already signed up for one in April. So, this goal is easy-peasy. As long as I run more than 27 miles in the 24 hour period, I will have completed my goal. So, I'm not concerned about this one.


3. Run more 5ks/work on getting faster. When I was training for my marathons I only focused on distance. Most training programs have way more structure than that, but I did what I wanted to. I didn't end up running fast marathons, but that wasn't my goal. So, any sort of speed workout disappeared for a whole year. I want to bring that back. Speed workouts are fast (ha ha ha). And kicking my own ass that hard is fun. My reward for doing speed workouts will be running more 5ks, since my time should improve. Plus, I love the small races. Everyone out there is exercising. It's so invigorating.


4. Yoga. Check out studios near my house. See if going regularly makes me feel better/makes me more flexible. Just check it out in general.


5. Bike related things. I have a fancy pants super light road bike I won like 8 months ago sitting in a box in my garage. I need to pay someone to put that shit together, then, um, ride it. I don't know if I like biking. Most of the time I kind of hate it. But sometimes I love it. And I don't know if it's because I'm on a shitty ($120 Target) bike, or because I suck at it, or because my butt is too fragile. So, I'd like to find out for sure before I write off biking forever.


6. More trail running/exploratory running. I live in L.A., which is a giant city. But, it's a giant city surrounded by a beautiful mountain range, with what seems like endless trail running options in every direction. I'd like to take better advantage of this in the coming year.

=====================

So, some of my goals are very specific, some are very vague, and they're all over the place. I'm not good at mapping things out further than a month. Also, no nutrition goals, because in general, holiday eating aside, my eating is pretty awesome. I get enough water. All that stuff. And no weight loss goals because I'm where I should be. I just want to get better at being me.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Topsy Turvy Workout

Tonight was my weekly Thursday session with my trainer.

We started out with the evil foam roller for my IT band, and a baseball to roll the knots out of my calves. We worked mostly on legs, with leg presses and a bunch of stuff working on balance, that I don't know the name for.

The highlight was at the end, when I told my trainer about this picture, from yesterday's Workout Wednesday post.



First my trainer wanted to practice in secret, so he could bust it out like a champ later. But I made fun of him until he relented. He went first, but his feet were too close to a shoulder press machine, and I wasn't good at stabilizing him (mostly because I was laughing too hard).

When it was my turn, oh man. Walking myself out that far on my arms was hard enough. It pretty much immediately felt like I was completely upside down. My tshirt spent most of its time in my face, muffling my laughter. I tried a sort of push up at one point, but I have no idea how upside down I actually was.

Regardless, it was fun. And, done properly, it would be pretty awesome.

It makes me want to try doing upside down wall push ups again. I tried it out a few months ago, but as soon as my eyes recognized that I was seeing things upside down, my brain freaked out and I fell over.

I guess the key is having my shirt fall over my face.

3 Things Thursday: Weather, Carbs, and Bangs


1. The weather here has been crazy. I'll wake up to it pouring rain, and write off any sort of outdoor running for the next few days. A few hours later it will be sunny, and a little too warm. But, I've already lost that mental focus. That, and it's hard enough to motivate myself to run after work when it's already dark out. My favorite place to run is a hilly trail about 10 minutes from my office. The only lights out there are in the parking lot. So, it's off limits after work until Spring progresses enough. Boo.


2. I always forget how gross I feel after eating straight carbs for breakfast. My body loves protein way more than carbs. My brother (we work together) brought in bagels for the office. I was hungry. Well, sort of. Mostly they just looked really fresh. So I ate one. And now I feel a little ill and spacy. I need a good slab of meat, man. This is the same reason I can't eat large amounts of sugar without feeling gross I think. Something about my metabolic type? Or is that mumbo jumbo. Anyway, carb coma over here. Good thing it's a slow day.


3. Bangs. My bangs. (She bangs?) I wish I could wave a wand and stop them from growing. I am cheap, so I basically refuse to go to a hair salon and get them trimmed (the friend who gave me bangs lives in Canada, so it would be pretty hard to hit her up for a trim). This means I trim them myself, once they get to that awful "stabbing me in the eyes" length. Don't get me wrong. I love them. They are a great look for me, even if they do get greasy like 10 hours after I was them. Bastards. But, on top of being cheap, I'm also terrible at cutting hair. So, every trim I give myself is kind of awful. Once it grows out (like four days later) it's fine. I think part of the problem is I try to cut straight across, sort of. At least it's always even, and I usually don't chop it too short. But, it's still hard. And, the tips of the hair I'm cutting pretty much always fall in my eyes. Bastards. So, it's time for a bangs trim. Maybe this time I'll try to feather them.

[Abs] Every Journey Starts With A First Step

So, last night I decided to test run my crazy ab resolution.

Oh, man.

You guys, my abs are so weak. I had to modify practically every exercise. And take breaks. And, man, I even broke a sweat. Ten minutes of minor ab work and I was sweating and taking breaks.

Hilarious.

But, I was able to do it in my jeans. While watching Buffy.

And it means I have a lot of work to do. But breaks and modification are fine you guys. As long as I do it. It should only get easier, you know?

[Insert Your Favorite Ab Pun Here] -- Fitness Goals 2011



One of my fitness goals for 2011 is to strengthen my core. My arms are strong and pretty, my legs can take me anywhere, but my middle section is weaksauce.

Planks kick my ASS. My trainer will have me do 3 sets of planks at 45 seconds each, usually at the end of a session, when I'm already tired and whiny. Oh, wait, I'm always whiny when I work out. The first 45 seconds I can usually do fine, but the second and third leave me cowering and whimpering, which is sad. And probably annoying.



So, I'd like to be able to hold a plank longer, for gloating factors. Not that I have many friends who would appreciate being able to hold a plank for two minutes, but still. Also, my lower back is weak due to a soccer injury in high school. The stronger my middle muscles are, the less likely it will be for me to re-cripple myself. I think.



Plus, if I ever get crazy and try to drop my body fat, it would be nice to have ripped abs. That's not likely to happen, though. I'll settle for being able to take a swift punch in the stomach without puking. Not that I've ever been punched hard enough in the stomach to induce vomiting, but should the need ever arise, I'd like to be prepared.



So, how am I going to achieve this goal? Because, it's great to have goals, but to achieve them, I need a game plan.

One of the first fitness blogs I ever started reading was I Am The Beholder. She swam in high school and college, trained for a half marathon, and kept herself awesomely fit in general. Plus, her writing style guaranteed her posts to always be interesting. Currently, she's in school and has a job, so her posting has slowed way down, but her archives are still a great read.

Why do you care? Why do I care? Well, she gave to her readers the two greatest ab workouts known to man. Well, known to me.

Back before running took over my every fitness thought, I combined her two ab workouts and created a series of flash cards. I had great ambitions to do 10 minutes a day of kick ass ab workouts. I think it lasted 2 days? I clearly wasn't very dedicated. Oh, and then I lost the flash cards. Yup.

What I'd like to do, for 2011, as part of my fitness goals, is plan on doing home ab workout (because everything listed in the links above you can do on the floor, in your pjs) at least 3 days a week, for at least 10 minutes at a time. I feel like that is a reasonable goal. It won't eat up giant chunks of my day, and I can forget for a few days in a row without totally screwing myself. And, I can bust them out whenever I remember. They won't leave me sweaty, so I won't have to take a shower afterward. They are very portable, which is great if I go on vacation. I even downloaded a program for my Evo that beeps at regular intervals, so I won't have to stare at a clock.

So, yes, a plan, Stan. 30 minutes a week of ab work. Totally feasible. Will very likely be beneficial, too. And I can do it in my pajamas.

I'll post my complete list of 2011 goals tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Work Out Wednesday

This morning I had my weekly morning training session. My trainer started me on the TRX, which is a beast forged somewhere between heaven and hell. It's awesome, but its methods of torture are many.


This dude is AWESOME. Normally I swing around on the TRX when my trainer isn't looking. Next time I think I'll try this.

We did three rounds of:
30 second mountain climbers (with both feet hooked into the TRX)
15 single leg squats on each side (touching the toes with the fingertips, with the other leg hooked into the TRX)
15 pull up things (sort of like a reverse push up. I can't remember what my trainer called them)
45 second plank (not using the TRX)

The mountain climbers were for sure the worst. They are the worst when my feet aren't suspended, but this made the burn kind of awful. I figured out how to count slower in my head, so I was always finished sooner than I thought I would be. I have to play little mind games with myself for certain exercises.

Next up was three sets of:
15 per side squat and step back rows. I don't know how else to describe them. And, I always feel like I'm doing them wrong. AND, I have to stare at myself in the mirror. Which I kind of love and kind of hate.
8 per arm plank-to-push-up. Oh man, these are terrible. My shoulders still hurt.
12 assisted pull ups (120lbs on the first two sets, 110lbs on the third. I'm a wuss)

Finally, four sets of:
15 squat-to-hit-yourself-in-the-face-with-the-weight (aka squat to overhead row)
15 seated rows

I didn't actually hit myself in the face, but I have in the past. There are actually about 4 exercises we do regularly where the main focus (for me) is to not hit myself in the face. I have coordination/spacing out issues.

The End (of the workout)

Today while working out we discussed:
-haunted hospitals and ghost stories
-my trainer going on a man-date with my brother (they both like photography, and there are a few places my trainer wants to explore)
-my awesome dinosaur hoodie (which I wore for the first part of the session, but it's really warm, so I took it off)

-getting "adult" Christmas presents (not like dildos. Boxes of soap, razors, boring stuff like that)
-my brother getting black out drunk and puking cheese puffs on my guest room carpet, staining it, buying an area rug to cover it, then giving me a tub of cheese puffs for Christmas.


I also had a mini Weigh In Wednesday. I'm down 0.25lbs from last week, FFS be damned. I think it's a combination of leg muscle loss (no longer running 20+ miles every weekend) and HIIT calorie burn. I'm where I need to be weight wise, so it's no big deal, but it's good to keep an eye on it.

The Most Delicious Salad Ever

I'm only exaggerating slightly.



Ingredients:

1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and diced
1 basket cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 diced walnuts
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
juice from two lemons
dash of olive oil.

Mix.

Eat.

Growl at anyone who tries to get you to share.

Eat more.

The end.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

No Turning Back Now



I mailed off my waiver and check for the Fool Moon Run today.

No turning back now.

Lunch Time Training

It's a holiday week, and I've been feeling sluggish, so I decided to take a long lunch and go to the gym. I wanted to get a speed workout in, and I didn't want to wait until after work.

I bribed myself with a trip to Target. I had been planning on running in the tshirt and socks I was wearing, and going home to shower. Working out at lunch meant I needed a different shirt, and different socks, so I wouldn't be all sweaty and gross at work. Oh darn, shopping at Target.

So, my treadmill workout:

5 minute warm up at 6mph, then
Increased speed 0.5mph every 30 seconds, up to 9.5mph
5 minutes at 6mph
Increased speed 0.5mph every 30 seconds, up to 9mph
4 minute walk at 3.5mph to catch my breath
1 minute at 10mph
rest on the side of the treadmill
45 seconds at 11mph
3 minute walk at 3mph

I was sweating balls and my core temperature was through the roof, so I took my time on the foam roller afterward, so I wouldn't still be sweating after a shower.

It felt great. I tackled the 10mph and 11mph on a whim, and was glad I did. I should try that for increasing lengths of time every time I do speed work on the treadmill. It's a good way to push my limits and gauge improvement.

The best thing about running, some days, is the wacky sweat marks.



It looks like a purple x-ray!

Water, Water Everywhere

Ahhh, Christmas food. It's delicious, it's everywhere, and there's a never ending flow of leftovers.

It would be great to say that I'm only going to eat the deliciousness of the ham and sweet potatoes and walnut pie on Christmas day. But our fridge is like that weird Thanksgiving woven horn thing, and keeps overflowing with delicious food.

It's likely partially our fault, for cooking in such large quantities. But I'm also pretty sure the fridge is doing its own cooking, late at night, when we're all asleep. Crazy fridge.



Anyway, I've been Christmas eating since Friday. Whoop. Well, the whoops comes when I realize that I've been Christmas lounging since Friday, too. There were a few days over the weekend when I didn't even bother to get dressed.

Here's the thing, though. It's not abnormal for me to go 3-4 days without exercise. I tend to bunch up all my exercise in the middle of the week (when I'm not training for a marathon). The only reason I'm feeling even partially guilty is all those other damn runners. The ones I saw while driving to the store to pick up more food. Out there getting their exercise on. Bastards.

Well, that, and Foreign Scale Syndrome. FSS is crafty. I'm not normally drawn to the scale. We don't own one at home, because I pretend (usually very successfully) that I don't care about weight, because I have muscles, and I like the way I look. Wouldn't that be fantastic. Plus, the scale at the gym is in the middle of the locker room, and it's always left on some terribly low weight. I like to think that whoever is in there weighing herself at 103lbs leaves the scale set there just to gloat.



Anyway, scale. Don't normally go there. And when I do, I'm usually okay with it. I'm done a fair amount of rationalizing. I am tall (5'9"). And I am muscular (for my frame). So, it would not make sense for me to weight 115lb. Or 125lb. I hit 129lb once, when I was very, very violently ill, and severely dehydrated. Mostly I live in the low 140s. Which is fine.

Except FSS. All scales are different. Most advice tells you that if you're going to battle with the scale, battle with one single scale. Because, they're all different. Some are super accurate. Some are super NOT accurate. And that's where FSS comes in. Last night, my brother's scale straight up DISSED me. I'm pretty sure I didn't actually gain 9 pounds in the last week. So I know that scale's a dirty liar. But, it's my fault for stepping on it.

Not that it matters.

Where was I going with this?

Oh. Water.

Crappy food. Lack of exercise. Both lead to a general blah feeling. I could go on some crazy all carrot diet (I always wanted to be orange!), but that's stupid.

Water.



Lots and lots of water. Full hydration mode.

I am pounding the crap out of glass after glass of water.

And I feel great. (Part of that is the single cup of coffee I drank in the midst of all that water.)

Yay water!

I'm pretty sure I already drank my 8 glasses for the day, or whatever they're recommending this week.

I'd spout some facts about why drinking water is good, but, um, does anyone deny it? I think everyone knows they should drink a crapton of water. It's the doing it that's the problem.

The most successful I have been at drinking water is via those giant Nalgene bottles. Two of those knock out the daily recommended water dosage. I would fill one up in the morning, and drink it absentmindedly at my desk. In a few hours (or 30 minutes, depending on the day) it would be empty, and I'd fill it up again. I'd usually finish three bottles full of water by the end of the day. Man, my bladder got a work out. But I was fucking hydrated. Oh yeah.



I'm using a regular cup today, but making it a rule that every time I go pee, I fill up my water cup. It's a viscous cycle, but it's all beneficial, baby. Until my bladder explodes.

===========

Do you think you drink enough water every day?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Picture Recap

The presents, awaiting opening:


My stocking solution: Hang them off my pull up bar.


It's not truly Christmas in my family until everyone breaks out the laptops.


My nieces arrive! Yay!


Which means it's time to open presents. My mom gave me a snow globe (actually, three, but you can only see one being unwrapped in this picture). She also made the fleece pants I have on.


There's a great family story that involves my brother Sky getting drunk, eating a bag of cheetos, and forever staining the run in our guest bedroom. So, this was his gift to me. I ate the Slim Jims for dessert last night. Whoops.


Somebody gave me a BABY for Christmas! (not really)


My new sweater wants to EAT THE BABY.


Then we all sat down for a delicious Christmas dinner.


The End!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Post-Christmas

Things I did yesterday that should count as exercise (but don't):

1. Tossing my niece up in the air repeatedly. She squeals and laughs and says "AGAIN!" Thankfully, with a ton of other aunts and uncles around, I didn't have to toss her for very long before she found a new game. I still got some squats and arm raises in, though. Plus, she weighs almost 30 pounds.

2. Playing one round of some fighting game on the new PS3 Move. My shoulder hurt after a single (failed) battle. That means it was great exercise, right? RIGHT?

3. Eating until I felt sick, waiting an hour, and eating more. It's a family tradition, up there is making fun of everyone, taking a silly family portrait, and "your mom" jokes. Yes, even my mom has, on occasion, made "your mom" jokes. We're that kind of family. And by "that kind" I mean AWESOME.

4. Taking pictures with my brother's VERY HEAVY camera. It's heavy. Sort of. I'm sure I burned some calories.

5. Pretending to use the Shake Weight. My husband's Best Man gave it to him as a wedding present. Every person who sees it asks if we bought it seriously. No. We really didn't. But, I'm thinking about bringing it to my gym to see if anyone uses it.

I'll have pictures later, once I can steal them off of my brother's heavy camera.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sometimes Running Just Isn't In The Cards

So, yesterday, work let out early. My mom was off watching her grandkids sit on Santa's lap, so I had a few hours to myself. I needed to wrap presents, and was running a little low on Rose-Time, but, with time to kill, I felt like I needed to run.

And I didn't have a good excuse not to, except that I didn't want to. So I got on the treadmill.


Well, I didn't think I didn't have a good excuse. The world was trying to tell me something.

First, the treadmill tried to kill me. As soon as I turned it on it ramped up to 14mph, and wouldn't go down. It took unplugging it and replugging it a few times to get it to stop that.


I wasn't planning on going fast, so I decided to try reading a magazine. Everything was shaking too much, though, so, this was my view for as long as I was willing to run. You can actually seen the magazine in the picture, thrown away in anger.


Awesome, eh?

Shoot me now. (also, holy unflattering picture, Batman)


So, I quit. After one mile.


The main reason, though, was because my butt hurt. Well, my butt muscles, every step jossled them, and my muscles were SORE. And they weren't getting less sore. I felt better later in the day when they still hurt. I knew I was justified. My body wanted a kind of day off.

I'm still glad I got on the treadmill, even if it wasn't an awesome. I still ran a mile yesterday, and that, to me, is a success.

=============

Today is my mom's birthday. We're planning a day of eating and hanging out. Maybe today we will go for a walk. We'll see. I'm not going to force any holiday exercise, because it's all about time spent with my family. I will not feel guilty for hanging out with my mom and brothers and husband all day.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. We had our office holiday party last night. I sang three different karaoke songs. "I'm The Only One" was the worst, because my method of choice is "if you can't sing well, sing loud." "One Week" went well, because it's impressive to be able to keep up, even if you can't sing. "Tik Tok" went the best because, well, Ke$ha can't sing either.

2. I'm debating hitting the gym today. The office closes early, which means I should, but my mom is here, so I should hang out with her, instead. Maybe we'll meet in the middle and take a long walk?

3. I have leftover cheese-less pizza for lunch. And, now that I'm sitting here thinking about it, breastfast. Om nom nom.

A Year In Races


1/9/10: Kaiser Permanente Southern California Half Marathon
My first half marathon. The whole 13.1 miles were pretty awful. It was hot, and I was unprepared. I cried the moment I realized the finish line was coming up, partly from sheer exhaustion, but mostly joy, knowing it would be over soon. Based on my experience, I thought running a marathon would be IMPOSSIBLE.


3/7/10: Ventura Half Marathon
For reasons unknown to me, I signed up for a second half marathon. This half was significantly smaller than the first (maybe 1/10th of the size). It was very low key, and everyone was super nice. The entire first half was a slow, steady up hill, which meant a fast second half. The course was quiet and beautiful. I twisted my ankle on mile 8, and hobbled for about 2 miles before recovering, and still finished faster than my first, and feeling significantly better. In fact, I felt AMAZING. I was filled with joy, hope, and ambition. THIS is what running long distances was supposed to feel like. Suddenly, a marathon seemed possible.


4/10/10: Warrior Dash
3.1 miles of obstacles in the hot hot inland empire sun. I was riding high on my hlaf mary accomplishments, and went in a little too cocky. The heat and the long drive bitchslapped me from the start line. My legs were lead. I apologized repeatedly to my trainer, who was prepared to go much faster, but stayed with me instead. But, climbing over cars and up giant net ladders, jumping over fire, and crawling through mud made the whole thing worth it. I love a good mud run, so I still enjoyed myself, even if there were no awesome feats of physical ability that day.


4/24/10: Lake Casitas Half Marathon
You think I would have learned my less about being cocky during the Warrior Dash, but no. My running companion Mike and I signed up for this third half mary in the midst of our marathon training. We were running much further, so, 13.1 miles was nothing at this point. We were looking forward to an easy run with amazing times. What we were not looking at was the elevation chart. Whoops. It was pretty gnarly. I still eeked out a PR by a few seconds, but, man. There was about a mile of steep up hill, plus lots of awful rolling hills. It was humbling, and very, very hard.


6/6/10: San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon
Ahhh, Marathon day. I knew the marathon would be hard, but it was not something I wanted to be right about. I was suffering from an ankle injury left over from a 2009 triathlon. Training for such long distances made it poke its ugly head out, as you can see from my beautiful ankle brace. That paired with a good chunk of miles on an uneven slope, and Mike and I spent the last few miles of the race alternative between walking and hobbling. We managed to cross the finish line running, but it was tough. The whole day was tough. It was the satisfying type of tough, though. We may have been slow, but it was still a job well done.


8/21/10: Los Angeles Mud Run, Pasadena
I was hesitant to include this, but it was too awesome not to. I'll start with the disclaimer: I only ran a mile of this mud run, but it was the first and muddiest mile. Also, while you can't see in the picture (but you can see here), the dress was full length (with about a three foot trail). The bottom part just got ripped off in the mud. I won first place in the costume contest, which was awesome, but we left without finishing the race because we had other bachelorette party events to attend to. Yes, I did a mud run in a wedding dress for my bachelorette party. Oh yeah.


12/5/10: Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon
I knocked 30 minutes off my time, and I finished, both of which make me winners in the Book Of Rose.

==============

2010 was the year of the long distance run. I went through 3 pairs of shoes, ran 5 distance races, and totally felt like a rock star. I didn't run as many 5ks as I'm used to, but some awesome running, and totally checked a life goal off my list. Yay!

How was your year of running?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

HIIT Me With Your Best Shot

Yesterday I had dinner planned with a friend from out of town, and some local mutual friends. When we were tossing around times to meet, I decided to aim for 6:30pm, which would give me about 30 minutes at the gym.

Which is the perfect amount of time for some quick sprints and a shower. Oh yeah.
I was a puddle afterward. I hopped in the shower and made sure the water was COLD (okay, not COLD, but, cool, for sure). After climbing out of the shower I was still sweating. I felt flushed and awesome. It was hard, for sure. 9.5mph was killing me. I was convinced when I finally hit 10mph that I was going to fly off the back of the treadmill and hit the bench press (why would you put big heavy things behind the treadmills. Don't you know I'm a klutz?). But, I didn't. In fact, I'm pretty sure I could have gone faster. But, man is it hard controlling the MPH while sprinting. If I'm going to go for super speed I'll probably try the jumping on and off the treadmill thing.

Distance-wise, I made it 2.2 miles. But HIIT isn't about distance.

Afterward, I weighed myself, because hey, that's how I roll. Down 1.5lbs since last week, but that's an average weight fluctuation. As long as my poor diet isn't causing me to gain massive poundage, I'm okay. Plus, I've been eating pretty sodium heavy the last few weeks, as a backlash from my months on the Paleo diet, when sodium was restricted.

99% of the time I'd rather have beef jerky than a candy bar. When I was a kid I used to butter a piece of bread, then bury it in salt. Yum. And gross, but, yeah, yum.

This morning marked my last session with my trainer before Christmas. We did a mixture of arms and legs, doing lots of vomit inducing exercises (aka the machines that put pressure on my stomach. gross.) and ending with planks. I think I'm getting better with planks. The key to not freaking out, for me, is to breathe really slowly, and count each slow breath as a second. I get to 11 around the actual 45 second mark, so it feels like it's not quite as long. My trainer claims that another one of his clients can hold a plank for 4 minutes. I'm not sure I'll ever be capable of that. But, my core is pretty neglected, so many I should be working on planks on my own time, too.

It's still raining up a storm here in L.A. We're supposed to get thunderstorms today, but clear skies tomorrow. We'll see how that goes. I'm loving that I don't have to pay to water my lawn, but the neighborhood ants had started seeking refuge in our Christmas tree. I think I have to buy some ant poison and orange oil tonight. Boo.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Every Body Loves....FIBER!

Fiber is awesome.



No, no, not like that. Fiber can be delicious!



Fiber is like the super hero of nutrition, except maybe a little ugly and deformed. So, you don't want to go out dancing with Captain Fiber, but you love the work he does.



Yeah, I'm not going to post a picture of a healthy bowel movement. I'm not that kind of blog, and I'm certainly not ratemypoo.com (thankfully that isn't a real website).

But, yes, fiber is necessary for healthy poops. And healthy poops are necessary for an awesome life. Regular (see what I did there?) healthy poop can keep your stomach flatter, can make you feel less queasy, and give you another thing to gloat about. Wait, you don't gloat about how regular you are? Oh.



Now, too much fiber can be just as bad as too little fiber. Let's do a quick run down:

Too little fiber (a diet high in carbs and protein, and low in fruits, veggies, and beans):
-constipation
-hardened stool, which can lead to hemorrhoids (HOT)
-According to WebMD, cancer. Maybe. Whoa.

Too much fiber (ODing on fiber suppliments, eating a pound of prunes, etc):
-dehydration (processing fiber using water. Too much fiber can suck all the water out of you)
-excessive gas (HOT)
-constipation
-hardened stools (if you don't have enough water to help carry the fiber out).

Um, wow. That all sounds pretty awful. And really unattractive.

So, fiber kind of makes you hotter. Because if you're constipated and gassy, well, you probably won't make good arm candy.

But don't worry. It's easy to get enough fiber, and it's easy to not intake so much that you fart everyone out of a room.

How much fiber should a person be eating? 25-30 grams
How much is too much? Over twice that. 60-70 grams is where you get into the danger zone.
How much fiber does the average American get? Half of the recommended amount: 12-15 grams. Boo.

But, grams of fiber don't MEAN anything to most people. Let's get some visuals:

= 2 grams of fiber
1/2 cup = 2.4 grams
1/2 cup = 9.7 grams
= 3.8 grams


And so on. You can find some pretty sweet charts online if you're interested in doing more research.

It basically boils down to this: Keep your diet rich with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and you shouldn't have a fiber problem. Eat whole, real foods.

But what about fiber supplements and fiber enriched foods?



Excellent question. Fiber has been gaining popularity, thank goodness, but it means there are a number of short cuts out there. There are dozens of types of pills and powders (most laced with a ton of sugar) to "help" you reach your daily amount of fiber. There are also fiber candy bars (okay, so they market themselves as granola bars and cereal bars, but if you look at the sugar content, they are candy bars. Let's call a spade a spade.) to help you out. And fiber enriched breads and pastas.

Let's address one thing at a time.


Fiber Suppliments: If you're on a crazy diet that eliminates fruits and/or beans, or something like that, and ramps up your protein (atkins, for example), fiber supplements might be the best way to hit your daily fiber goals. But, for most people who are eating normal diets, you don't need to supplement your fiber. You should be able to eat enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to easily hit your fiber quota. If you're not hitting that quota, you're probably not eating enough whole foods. It's better to revamp how you're eating than to take a supplement to try and "fix" the problem.


Fiber Enriched Bars: Most of these are glorified candy bars. Look at the sugar content. Now, if you MUST eat a candy bar, one of these is probably better for you than, say, a Snickers bar. And they do have good ingredients. But that doesn't make them a good food option. With these, just don't kid yourself that it's some awesome healthy snack. It's a high fiber candy bar.


Fiber Enriched Breads/Pastas/Etc: Here's where I get more lenient. If you're going to eat bread, I encourage you to find a delicious, high fiber bread option. If you're going to eat pasta, whole wheat options will have more fiber, and are totally better for you. Most people are going to eat bread and pasta, so, please, please, get the kind with ramped up fiber. And feel good about yourself for doing it.

Bottom line: Eat whole, real food. Fresh fruits and veggies. Whole grains. A diet rich in these will be rich in fiber. Eating your fiber in real foods will keep your full longer, and make it very difficult to overdose on fiber.

GO CAPTAIN FIBER!