Tuesday, December 20, 2011

P90X2: Training Phases

So, I finally read through the pages and pages of information that came along with the program. There are basically three phases to the program (foundation, strength, performance). This is not considerably different than P90X. Foundation is done for 3-6 weeks, with a 7-day program. Strength is 3-6 weeks as well, and Performance is 3-4 weeks.

The recovery week's program is detailed as well, but instead of a recovery week every scheuled 3 weeks, its encouraging you to do a recovery week whenever needed. So, you can either whip through this program in 9 weeks (3 weeks for each phase and utilize no recovery weeks), or you can take more time and finish in 20 weeks:

Foundation: 3 weeks
Recovery: 1 week
Foundation: 3 weeks
Recovery: 1 week
Strength: 3 weeks
Recovery: 1 week
Strength: 3 weeks
Recovery: 1 week
Performancce: 3 weeks

This program clearly has a lot more flexibility to it, as a result. You can easily build it around travel schedules or busy holiday weeks..these are simply your recovery weeks. Now, of course, you are still exercising during a recovery week....but this focuses on using the foam roller, stretching and yoga. Whats also nice about the recovery week's agenda is that I can imagine that you can easily break these into groups, eg 30 minutes in the morning and 30 in the evening, more readily than any other part of the program. So, flexibility is inherent in the program, which makes it more attainable to me.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm baaaaaaack! And I'm looking back to move forward.

So, I tried to run last night for a real run...first one truly in 3 weeks. It was quite demoralizing. I managed to get almost 2 miles in, but I also managed to walk 3 times. Insane, isn't it? My knee felt ok, but my breathing was so labored....it almost felt as if I was walking 10,000 feet above sea level. I thought that maybe it was the cooler air that I wasn't accustomed to (it did slowly get cooler over the last 1-2 weeks), but that doesn't entirely explain it. Seriously, I may have been away from running for 10 days, but I did quite a bit on the elliptical....surely, that helped somewhat?

I tried again tonight. Managed to make it 3.22 miles without stopping, but my pace was quite slow...averaged 10:26. So, thats still demoralizing. I have a 5-miler race in just 12 days afterall! But, I have to remind myself how much better it felt than it did just the night prior. Give it time, I tell myself. I hope to run a 5k every night this week, and while I'm away I'll squeeze back up to the 5-mile distance, if not more.

Its discouraging, but I know I will get it back soon enough. I better, right? Its strange though...in the last 3 weeks, I've found myself at the age of sanity several times. I rarely get frustrated with my kids. They may drive everyone else crazy at times, but I'm pretty much able to let it flow and not get worked up about anything. But over the last 10 days especially, I've really had to separate myself a few times from their insanity. Running really made a difference in my demeanor...and I only noticed it once I was lacking it.

For instance, I made christmas cookies (the traditional kind...rolling out the dough and cutting shapes, sprinkling and some even had frosting as well) with the kids yesterday. I was calm throughout. My kitchen didn't handle it so well, but I was calm. This after a pitiful run yesterday. But that same exact experience a mere week ago would have sent me over the edge! Yes, running makes me a better mother.

I suppose I find a lot of pride in telling people that I run. Maybe its because I never categorized myself as an athlete and I find I can do this, but maybe its because everyone else doesn't think they can do what I do, and I find pride in that! I suppose it doesn't matter. But I do know that this little hiatus as kept me away from this blog and even dailymile, and I missed that. I simply had nothing to lend to the conversation...and I definitely didn't like that! But, I'm revigorated. I am going to focus on distance and speed and am even contemplating P90X2 after the New Year. Seriously, it really appears that I can handle it while training for the half! Its insane, I'm sure...but I'm focused now once again.

As for the weight loss, I'm putting that on hold. I need to focus on the above and I'll worry about that after the races in the spring...weight loss will get another focus in May. But you never know, maybe if I don't focus on it, I'll find I don't need to lose any by that time. Either way, I'm going to work out my plan and see where the next several weeks hold for me!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The running plan....

I'm gonna run tomorrow night (after the kids' christmas concert). Plan is to wear two layers of compression for my knees. This should eliminate a lot of jiggle, right?


I really want to start running again today, but I'm timid that my knees will hurt :(

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Another Week to Focus on What Counts!

So, I get home Friday....and I felt it coming on...yep, I've been sick. Its a head cold and wasn't too bothersome, but it did exhaust me and put me a bit off all weekend....even coupled with a sore throat, it was just simply a pain in the butt. So, I didn't do anything this weekend. I did pause on the diet, which is ok...no pigging out, but certainly no pressure. Honestly, I can easily keep it up during the week, and its so hard during the weekend....maybe I should just continue on this path? If anything, it will help me keep up my metabolism if I eat like a normal person every weekend :)

Yeah, that sounds more doable, especially since I plan on doing the high mileage on the weekends and I'll need the extra calories for this. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Is it enough to know you are fit?

Seriously, I'm on the way to being really fit...but is it enough just to know it? What if your genetics simply don't show it? Would you do something about it?

I'm curious. I carry weight pretty evenly distributed over my entire body, but my inner thigh and inner knee are seriously out of proportion. So much that I never ever wear mini skirts or shorts! Its actually a bit of a shame that I'm so limited to clothing when I do feel that I'm in better shape than I have been in years, you know?

Sure, I have another 15 pounds to lose, and maybe at least 3-4% body fat to lose before I finally feel that I'm at an acceptable weight/fat level, but I'm getting so close...and I already know that I would have to be near 18% body fat (unachievable in my mind) to lose the bulge of genetically-displaced fat pockets on my inner knees....so unless I'm prepared to go extreme, I'm never going to look fit. Its a shame really. I know I should love what my body can do. I know I should be proud of how good I feel about my body. And yet, I still fall victim to what I was given by my parents' genes.

If I contemplate lipo or something as significant, am I vain? Am I a poster child for today's unrealistic expectations of fitness/beauty? Or, am I simply taking advantage of modern medicine to eliminate that one little part of my body that has always brought me undue attention? Or, is this just totally contrary to how I should feel now that I'm more athletic than ever before?

So, if you know you are a fit but am seriously uncomfortable with one part of your body, would you simply accept it or do something about it?

Friday, December 9, 2011

P90X2 arrived!

I received a HUGE foam roller...really didn't anticipate the size of this thing, along with two 8-pound medicine balls. I have a ton of reading to do, which arrived with it....a couple of 'extra' workouts and the standard P90X2 disks. Once I have a chance to take it all in, I'll report back!

Serious Diet Day 5

So, Thursday was good. I changed up my lunch plans and had some soup and salad...12 ounce Au Bon Pain's Wild Mushroom Bisque is always delicious and very low calories. Sided that with some romaine, a bit of chicken breast and sun dried tomatoes, drizzled in some red wine vinegar. Tallied up to 295 calories, and felt full!

Dinner was tuna with broccoli. But, I caved...when I got home from the trunk show, Joe had made cookies with the kids, so I had two of those. Shame on me, I know. But, at least I got a solid 30 mintues on the elliptical in!

If I get through tomorrow, I think the reduced calories won't feel so hard. I had a mere 250 calories for breakfast yesterday, and still wasn't famished by 10:30, when I had my morning snack. So, its already easier than just a few days ago. So glad I'm getting over this hurdle...when you think about it, its amazing how your body self-regulates your hunger pains after a few days, isn't it?

Plan today...

Chocolate Shakeology
Almond Milk
Beachbody Fiber

Morning Snack
Protein Powder Drink

...not sure yet...have to go out for lunch, so wish me luck! Hoping I can stick to an unsweet tea and maybe a chicken breast/salad option?

Afternoon Snack
protein powder drink - if I need it

Buffalo Burger (sans bread)

We'll see what today brings....

Lululemon Trunk Show

Went to the open house/trunk show last night. It was interesting. I wasn't really sure what to expect, so I was prepared for anything. Got a goodie bag for being one of the first 30 guests, which included a lululemon headband (I like those and in fact, I'm wearing it right now!). Also included a free publix reusable bag and some Degree antiperspirant.

The Open House included a few demonstrations of new classes that they will be offering, including tap, balletone and TMX. There is a yoga studio inside, as well as a pilates studio....so tons of space. They had several booths set up throughout to show items for sale....it is the holiday season afterall! Unfortunately, all the Lululemon items were full price, so I passed those by, although there were several nice items there!

They did do a demo of their tap class....this surprised me, but it was quite impressive. This 60 year old lady did a solo and I just wish I had her legs...they were perfect in every way! She apparently is a 3-time national champion for adult tap competitions. Impressive, even if tap is so not my thing. I did participate in the balletone class, which is like ballet/aerobics/yoga all wrapped into one. This was interesting, since there was a nice rhythm (especially since some of the tap dancers participated in the demo, so you can only imagine the rhythm echoing!). I also got their latest class schedule...they finally have Hot Yoga! Been dying to try this, but I can't justify going all the way to Sarasota where they have 3 studios that offer it (at least not during the week when all the classes are scheduled), and there was only one other place nearby that offered it (but they interlace scripture after every pose...not my thing). So, I'm thrilled...and will be signing up when its officially ready to start! Its seriously 3 minutes from my house, not even a mile.

All in all, a worthwhile event. I was there from 6-7pm, got a free headband and reusable grocery bag and found a Hot Yoga studio. Went home, jumped on the elliptical and then cleaned up and went to bed. Busy night!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Serious Diet Day 4

So far, so good. Last night I did have 4 yogurt-covered pretzels (small ones), but other than that my plan went as planned :) Problem though....I want to go to a Lululemon Showcase tonight at a local yoga studio, so I'm not sure if they will have food and/or if I will be able to exercise as much!

Therefore, I'm going to scale back my meals a tad in anticipation of ONLY being able to do 30 minutes on the elliptical that evening.

Chocolate Shakeology
Beachbody Fiber Boost
Almond Milk

Morning Snack
Protein Drink in my handy blender bottle at work

Salad with chicken

Afternoon Snack

Seared Tuna
Salad w/Marie's Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

So thats 1000 calories...with about 80 grams of protein. I'll save some room for whatever is at the event tonight (not sure what they will have, if anything). Hopefully there will be protein options! If nothing, I'll just have more Shakeology when I return home.

Oh, and by the way, I'm down 5 pounds this morning total since Monday morning. I'm sure most of it is water-weight, so who knows how much fat I've really lost....maybe 1.5 pounds in 4 days, right?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Serious Diet Day 3

Ok, I did 45 minutes of elliptical last night and could have done 50....I think it was better that I did 30 minutes and then had dinner and then followed with another 15 minutes. I did have a few green beans when i got home, and then a thin slice of pound cake after dinner...so an estimated 150 calories over the plan. Oh well.

Today's plan:

7am Breakfast
Chocolate Shakeology
Beachbody Vanilla Protein Powder
Fiber Boost

11am Morning Snack
Pure Protein bar

1pm Lunch

3pm Afternoon Snack
ThinkThin protein bar

6pm Dinner
Wild Alaskan Salmon

Lets hope I can do 30 minutes + 20 minutes tonight on the elliptical! So, thats a total of 1600 calories, which includes 140 grams of protein, 165 grams of carbs (of which 65 are sugar)...with an estimated 500 calorie loss as a result of exercise...so net intake is about 1100, which represents a fat loss of about 1/4 pound for today.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

EPOC and weight management

After high intense bouts of exercise, your body tries its darnedest to return your body to a state of balance. Specifically, it works extra hard to get more energy into your muscles and puts more orxygen into your blood (both of which were drained during the HIIT exercise, at a much faster rate than if you were simply sleeping. So, after you have these periods of intense exercise, your body is actually converting energy to your muscles at a higher rate than normal!

Because this is all occuring AFTER you exercise intensely, rather than a nominal walk or slow-paced elliptical effort, intense bouts of exercise have a profound effect on the weight loss experienced for hours after exercise. To the contrary, low-moderate exercise in the so-called mythical "fat burning" stage do not help nearly as much. Therefore, it is rather safe to conclude that the longer the intense exercise, the longer the recovery period, which means the longer the EPOC period remains....therefore, the more fat lost as a result of your exercise.

A lengthier article appears here. This isn't necessarily new to the fitness world. P90, P90X and P90X2 all were based on the principle of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) simply because the effects of EPOC are so significant. But, even if you don't use these training programs, its good to incorporate bouts of intensity into your current exercise regime. If you walk on a regular basis, run 100 yards every mile! If you jog on a regular basis, sprint for 100 yards every mile. And if you simple love the elliptical, every 10 minutes or so, jump up the RPMs to something stellar and try your best to keep them high for a few minutes! Draining your muscles and oxygen as a result of these bursts of intensity have effects on your fat burning ability for hours afterwards. In fact, you can lose more weight doing this less hours/week than your current effort. Now, coupled with the fact that incorporating these bursts of intensity have other benefits (eg if you are a runner, doing these "fartleks" will likely increase your speed and stamina, for instance), so what the downfall for trying?

Gotein update

Ok, so I've tried all three flavors...and surpisingly I like the strawberry Gotein one best! I suppose it feels more like a treat that the others. But, maybe its also because it tastes so similar to the Nestle Quick Strawberry syrup? The others don't remind me of anything in particular and the aftertaste is so subtle, but for the strawberry one, I don't sense any hint of an aftertaste.

This is good though, since I always have my chocolate shakeology for breakfast...and I often add vanilla protein powder to that anyways. The strawberry adds some variety!

Serious Diet Day 2

So, yesterday, I did ok. I had a small serving of fried potatoes/onions with dinner. I'd estimate it to be about 150 calories. It was delicious. Hard to turn down.

I did manage to do two sessions on the elliptical. First one was 30 minutes while the kiddies were in the tub (I can see them from the elliptical, so it's perfect time to do this). And, then after they went to bed, I managed another 15 minutes...was much harder! But, I said I'd do at least 10 with a hopeful 15...and I made it to 15. Surprised me that my rpm's were so much lower and yet my heart rate was higher than the earlier session. My rpm's on the first session averaged about 69, while the second was 64. My average heart rate on the first session was 150, while the second was 155ish? Actually, splitting the sessions up probably is better for me...keeps my metabolism up for the entire evening...from the first moment I exercise (7pm) until about an hour after my last exercise (about 9:30pm). So, maybe the intervals are better?

I don't think I can do an hour every night...just not enough energy with the lower calories. But, I will try to do more than an hour every weekend day. I think that I can do some in the morning (after breakfast when I have some energy) and then in the afternoon/evening...so hopefully that will help make up for the lax weeknight exercise routine.

So, the plan today:

7am Breakfast
Chocolate Shakeology
Beachbody Vanilla Protein Powder
Almond Milk
Beachbody Fiber Boost

10am Morning Snack
Chocolate Gotein

12:30pm Lunch

3pm Afternoon Snack
ThinkThin peanut butter bar

6pm Dinner
Buffalo Steak
Salad with blue cheese vinaigrette

So, thats about a very-well balanced 1200 calories (115 grams of protein, 121 grams of carbs which about 68 are sugar grams), with 500 burned on the elliptical tonight, for a net calorie intake of 700....which means an estimated net loss of 1300. Maybe with the extra carbs today I can actually do more tonight? Hey, but thats about 1/3 of a pound of fat gone as a result of my efforts for one day!

I just need to keep it up...the first 4-5 days of a diet is always the hardest! Once your body gets accustomed to the lower calorie intake and relying on fat stores for energy (rather than simple carbs), your body does adjust rather easily. Or, so I hope!

Monday, December 5, 2011


I saw an add for gotein, and a little 3-pack sample was free with just $3 shipping, so I went for it. Basically, there are 3 flavors (chocolate, strawberry and vanilla). Its pre-packaged in a single serving and designed to be easily poured into a watter bottle. Take a 16-ounce bottle, and drink 1/3 of it, then pour the Gotein in and shake...Voila. No shaker bottles. No blenders. Easy. And, the price is about $20-25 for 12, making it a sane price for a protein supplement. Sure, not as cheap as some, but also far less than others!

But what makes this option unique? First, its whey/milk protein, no soy. Great. Second, its potent! Each serving has just 100 calories, but offers 16-17 grams of protein! Thats a serious ratio!

I tried the strawberry this morning, and once shaken, it really looks like nestle's strawberry milk (carmine is added for color). I found carmine interesting....maybe its a little boost of protein? LOL Also, its 500 times stronger than vitamin E as an antioxident, so there is an obvious benefit.
As for the taste, its actually quite nice! My children would even drink this! I'll be trying the chocolate or vanilla this afternoon...and may just order some for later :)

Serious Diet....Begins!

So, yesterday, I did three 20-minute sessions on the elliptical. Last one was a struggle....just too tired. I even tried to get up this morning and do it, but after 5 minutes, I just couldn't. So, tonight, I'll go for two 30-minute sessions (one right when I get home before dinner and the other when the kids are in the bath).

What I've learned from past successful diet efforts is that if I pre-plan my food for the day (before I need a morning snack), I do much better! So, today here is my plan:

7am Breakfast:
Chocolate Shakeology
Beachbody Fiber Boost
Almond Milk

11am Morning Snack:

1pm Lunch:
Tons of grapefruit

3pm Afternoon Snack:

6pm Dinner:
Hefty Buffalo steak & romaine salad (with Marie's blue cheese

So, that totals to about 1100 calories...but I still plan on doing an hour total of elliptical tonight, so my net intake is about 500 calories. Total of 120 grams of protein and about 90 grams of carbs (about 50 grams which are sugar, primarily from the grapefruit).

If I can do this routine for just 7 days, I should lose about 3 pounds (1500 calorie deficit X 7 days = 10,500 calories/3500 calories per pound = 3 pound loss). I just need to preplan everything early in the day...otherwise, I'll easily go off track. I can't do it when I start running again, as I will simply need more energy for the longer runs....but maybe I can do it partially, or just eat more and still keep up the elliptical at least 30 minutes/day....its that "net" calories that I really need to focus on. I really wanted to hit the 140s before Christmas, so if I really want it, I need to find a way to do it.

A friend at work is doing the HcG diet, and she's had great success, but she has been so exhausted, she can't even run right now. She gets home from work and takes a nap! With kids, thats simply not an option...so I need to be very critical of everything I put into my mouth. And besides, thats an extreme diet, and I don't think my current weight really justifies that effort.

If its important enough, I'll find a way, right? After all, its hard to be fat (permanent). Its hard to diet (temporary). Which hard do I want?

Friday, December 2, 2011

No running for me....

and its driving me batty. But, I'm going to jump on the elliptical tonight....and hopefully do a 30-minute session every day until I can run again. Maybe even twice a day! I certainly don't want to take 2 weeks off and then realize that I simply don't have the cardio strength to run...that is NOT happening. So, I'll be an elliptical maniac for the time being :)

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