Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Of vices and virtue

Y'all should be proud. This girl right here has gotten up to go to the gym at 8 a.m. twice in the past five days. In type, that doesn't sound as impressive as I want it to be. But if you factor in that a) two of those days were weekend days and I wasn't around and b) one of those days was today, when I wasn't around...that means that I've exercised 100% of the time that I HAVE been around. There, that number sounds much more impressive, doesn't it?

So. The good news is that my new gym buddy is super motivated. He wants to meet even on days that I can't. Hopefully this enthusiasm is infectious. And hopefully, I'll catch it. But I must say that I'm pretty happy with this development. I feel like 8 is a much more reasonable time than 7. And going to the Maple Ridge gym, which is three minutes from my room and private, is much more pleasant than walking halfway around Ring Road to the main gym. All in all, the gym situation = win.

I'm tempting to do a modified version of the Couch to 5 K program I started up at the beginning of the summer. Because let's face it: every muscle I built up in those three months are completely gone by now. It's back to square one, baby.

On Friday, I: walked for 5 minutes, ran for 1 minute, walked for 3 minutes, ran for 1 minute alternately for 2 miles. I then ran out of time.

On Monday, I: did the same treadmill routine for 2 miles. Also squeezed in 1.2 miles on the elliptical.

Tomorrow's goal? 2 miles on the treadmill, 2 miles on the elliptical. We're getting somewhere.

But here's the bad news: Food for thought


Breakfast: 2 mini muffins (raisin and bran). 1 cup of mint tea.

Dinner: tofu with veggies. 1 piece of flatbread pizza with tomatoes and basil. 1 cup of clam chowder. 1 slice of vegan apple pie with low fat vanilla soft serve.


Brunch: 1 cup of french onion soup. 1 bowl of salad with chicken, pears, gorgonzola, pecans, etc (at panera).

Dinner: SO. MANY. CUPCAKES (cupcake party).

After dinner: 1 80 calorie peach mango smoothie. 1 patron margarita.


Lunch: 1 footlong roasted chicken breast sub. 1 cup of Cherry Coke.

Dinner: two servings of homemade mac'n'cheese. 2 maryland crab cakes. 1 caramel brownie with caramel vanilla ice cream.


Breakfast: 2 mini muffins (one banana nut, one raisin bran oat). 1 cup of mint tea. 1 green apple.

Dinner: 2 pieces of portuguese sausage / onion pizza. 2 cups of sake (plum wine).


Lunch: 3/4 of a chicken wrap. 1/2 serving of french fries. 1 cup of Diet Pepsi

Dinner: 1 cup of minestrone soup. 1 cup of honeydew melon and canteloupe. 1 pumpkin latte. 1/2 of a brownie

I wonder what weight watchers would say about all of this... I wonder how many points I have consumed per each day? Not that I'm willing to pay for it to find out.

So there you have it. All of my food-related trespasses laid out on the table. The weekend was awful for me, diet-wise. And the rest of this week isn't looking any better - what with all of the delicious pumpkin brews waiting to be consumed on Friday...

On a brighter note, I will definitely be hitting the gym at 8 a.m. tomorrow!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The good, the better and the flabby

The good

Oh, snap! Guess who woke up at 6:50 a.m. to go to the gym?


That's right. It was cold and dark and I still hopped into my spandex and made my way halfway around Ring Road to deliver myself unto the arms of cardio.

Granted, I was pretty lazy about it. Do you think I stretched? Nope. Maybe some weights, as is normally part of my routine? Pffft.

What I did do: 3 miles on the upright bicycle, 1 mile on the elliptical.

And that's all she wrote, folks!

The better

Apparently, I have a new gym buddy! I ran into my friend Brendan today and he was all about it. So we are going to meet at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning for our first day of gyming together.

Now the thing about gym buddies is that you go there separately most of the time, get there and say "HI!" and then go about your routines separately, say "BYE!" and go back to your rooms...separately. There really isn't much "buddy-ing" about it. Still, having it in your mind that this person expects you to be there is definitely a good motivator. I mean, my gym buddy today sadly didn't make it to our session. I was sorely tempted to run back to my bed, but I didn't. I was already there, so what the hay? [though I did run back to my bed directly following my gym sesh].

The flabby

So I took some PG-13 rated pictures of myself yesterday - for reasons that don't concern you :) - and I have to say, they didn't look too shabby! I would say that I am overall not unhappy with the current state of my body. But there is so much room for improvement. [Read: flab]. I hate stomach rolls. I HATE THEM. Gone are the days of my slender limbs and flat abs. As soon as I sit down, I have like 12 stomachs. It's pretty unbecoming. I feel very self conscious about it and I definitely want them to go away. Which is where my diet (er, lack thereof) comes in:


Breakfast: plain bagel with low fat cream cheese. 1 chocolate milk. 1 cup of mint tea.

Lunch: a few garlic bagel chips. 2 low fat string cheese(s) (?).

Dinner: 2 mini spring rolls. 1/2 of a Spicy Unagi Roll. 1/2 of a California Roll. 1/2 of a Crazy Roll. 1/2 of a Rock'n'Roll [hardy har har].

After dinner: STAFF TREATS!!! 1 piece of apple pie. 2 mini kit kats. 3 whoppers (the little malt ball candies. Not the BK burgers. I'm not THAT bad)

Wednesday = fail.


Lunch: 1 maple glazed grilled chicken sandwich. 1 serving of sweet potato french fries. 12 oz of Dr. Pepper

Dinner: 1 bean and cheese chimichanga with sour cream. 2 cups of vegan blueberry cobbler.

Thursday = fail.

Hence, the flabby wins. Yet again.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Weight watching

I'm feeling about 90% better as of today, but there is still an undercurrent of fatigue in my bones and movements, which is irritating.

One of my friends is on Weight Watchers and has lost 30 pounds. I am SO proud of her and also pretty jealous. I wish I could lose 30 pounds. I wish I could stick with a regimented diet the way that she has. When she was talking about it, I briefly considered trying to count calories. However, I realize that this is totally unrealistic for me. I would cheat all the time and make justifications all the time. I already do that and I'm not even legitimately trying to diet.

I'm too lazy to exercise and too unmotivated to diet. What exactly are you doing then, Megan? I wonder. Writing about not exercising and dieting, apparently. And I suppose that knowing I have someone or something to answer to - knowing that people read my blog - holds me accountable in some way. I mean, how much do I want to attack that bag of garlic bagel chips eyeing me from across the room? SO BAD. Am I going to do it? No. Because it's 11:27 p.m. and I am making the conscious decision not to eat at night so I don't have to report extra failings on my Food for Thought.

The soda thing still needs some work, though. I just love diet pepsi. It's evil.

And to make myself feel a little better, I'm going to say that I might attempt to take on the gym with Olivia on Thursday morning, if only to justify the omelette I will consume shortly thereafter.

Speaking of omelettes....

Food for thought


Brunch: omelette with tomatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms, cheddar cheese. 2 pancakes.

Dinner: 1/2 cup of chicken noodle soup. 1 square of vegetable lasagna. diet pepsi [fail]. a fruit cup consisting of pineapple, honeydew melon and cantaloupe.

After dinner [this is where the super fail comes in]: salt and vinegar chips. 1 glass of wine. 1 cup of raspberry lemonade tea.


Breakfast: plain bagel with low fat cream cheese. 1 cup of mint green tea.

Dinner: pasta with red sauce. 1/2 cup of vegetable soup. a fruit cup consisting of pineapple, honeydew melon and cantaloupe. diet pepsi [fail]. 2 chocolate chip cookies [double fail].

Tomorrow is a new day.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mission : complete ?

So apparently getting sick and not eating helps you lose weight. Who knew?

I didn't end up exercising at all this week on account of some heavy-duty lethargy which turned into full-fledged exhaustion and other unpleasant symptoms including: fever, headache, chest ache, stomach pain, disorientation, dizziness and nausea. Suffice it to say, my weight has dropped by 8 pounds in the last 5 days.

Not the healthiest diet, but I'm okay with it.

Here is my food diary from the last couple of days:

- 1 plate of pasta with clam strips
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of chocolate milk
- 1 chocolate cookie
- 1/2 cup of Gatorade
- 1/2 glass of Pinot Grigio
- 1 cube of dill cheese
- 2 cubes of pineaple

- 1/2 of a 100 calorie yogurt
- 1 piece of whole wheat toast with margarine
- 1 cup of raspberry tea

- 1 bowl of cereal
- 1/2 of a grilled cheese sandwich
- 1 cup of low fat minestrone
- 2 oz of pistachio crusted salmon with lemon sauce
- 8 spears of asparagus
- 1/2 cup of couscous
- 1/2 cup of low fat ice cream

- 2 cups of chickarina soup
- 1 pumpkin spice latte
- 1/2 pumpkin muffin
- 1 grilled red pepper with goat cheese
- 1/2 cup of quinoa with portabella mushrooms, spinach and onions

So it's not like I was starving or anything, but my calorie intake was definitely lower than normal. And between 5 pm on Thursday and 10 am on Saturday, pretty much all I did was sleep.

I still feel fatigued, so I probably won't be hitting the gym this week. But it seems as though my appetite has retreated. In other words - I feel full after eating much less than I usually do. Which I am- again- okay with.

Perhaps I should change my goal: maintain the 8 pound weight loss and turn it into 10?

On a depressing note, my clothes seem to fit the same. Fail.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Today was a no-exercise day - mostly because I stayed up until 3 a.m. doing homework and couldn't drag myself out of bed at 8 a.m. The rest of my day was also rather booked, though I did do a lot of running around and was certainly less sedentary than usual.

Tomorrow, I'm thinking a nighttime gym tryst or walk, perhaps. Scheduling is definitely the trickiest part. I am booked from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Wednesdays, typically - though tomorrow I am free as of 9 p.m.

Food for thought:

Breakfast: plain bagel with fat free cream cheese, 1 cup of mint tea

Lunch: turkey sandwich on rye bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mayo, pickles & a vitamin water

Dinner: guacamole with tortilla chips (2 avocados, 1/2 tomato, 1/2 onion)

One slip (I blame stress): a java twix bar (they're delicious)

Not a complete failure, but not great, either. I probably had too many carbohydrates and I definitely didn't have enough fruit (read: zero) and/or protein.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lesson #1: Nature is cruel.

The thing about riding a bike is that the first mile is a bitch. Especially if you haven't ridden in a while. Example) Me.

It takes that mile to warm up your muscles. As I pedaled off campus, I thought "Holy hell, I hope the entire thing doesn't feel like this."

I went down Old Westport and up Chase.

The thing about riding a bike is that the second mile starts to make you feel invincible. Your body feels more fluid, you start to relax, you think I've got this in the bag. I could go on forever.

What you didn't realize is that the second mile was on flat terrain. You are coasting. You are feeling good.

I turned onto Lucy Little.

Well, invincibility, popped! There's a tiny hill, one that hasn't tripped you up in ages. You shift from 7th down to 4th gear and you are still out of breath.

And another thing, it's bloody hot. This is October. You looked out the window and you thought 50 degrees, here I come! Instead, it's like 75 and the sun is beating down on you. The wind is catching your inner ears and giving you a headache and your face aches from being scrunched against the glare of the sun.

I go down Lucy Little.

I start feeling invincible again. The smooth coast, the shady copse, the quiet houses.

I turned onto Old Westport Road.

The thing about bike riding is that what doesn't kill you makes you want to die.

I shift from seventh gear to second to conquer the final stretch - that accursed hill leading up to UMD. I am literally crawling up that damn thing. But I made it. (I was convinced this ride might end with some walking).

I felt heated. My face was red and my throat was raw. But there was victory as I mounted the final crest and circled the ring back to PD.

Total mileage: 7.4 mi

Not bad.

Food for thought:

Breakfast: 100 calorie yogurt, 1 cup goldfish

Lunch: 1 reduced fat string cheese, 1 whole dill pickle

Dinner: 2 cups of red beans & rice with sausage, 1/2 cup peas, 1 cup 2% milk, 1/2 cup of chocolate mousse

There are a few things I could have done without. All of lunch. The mousse, for sure. But it's 8 p.m. at the moment and I don't plan on eating for the rest of the evening, so I'd say I'm still in good shape. I'm at least keeping up (somewhat) with the parameters I have set for myself.

Good news: Heard from my long lost gym buddy today, and as of this week, we are back in action! Go team!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


here's the sexy halloween costume i am going to be wearing. how motivating is this?

Operation lose five pounds by halloween

A few things have recently come to my attention:

a) people actually read my blog. and enjoy it.
b) all of the work that i put into this summer has been undone. i am, yet again, completely out of shape and feeling wretched.
c) i need to get my ass back into gear.

i have good intentions, i swear! i always plan on going to the gym at 7 a.m. i set three alarms. i pep-talk myself before going to sleep. i try to go to sleep earlier. but when the alarms rear their ugly heads, i silence them and fall back into peaceful slumber.

of course, i always feel guilty.

i've also been eating like shit. i have tried to set some restrictions for myself: no more soda. no more eating after 10 p.m. less carbohydrates, more protein.

this is harder to follow than you would think.

but i'm done making excuses for myself. operation : lose 5 pounds by halloween is now in effect. i will do this. i have to do this. i have to prove to myself that i am capable of controlling my body and controlling what enters my body. i have to feel better about myself and i have to be proactive about it.

starting tomorrow.

i mean, it's midnight and i just ate cajun trail mix, so that obviously doesn't work.

here's my proposal. it is going to be realistic this time. i don't have the means or desire to work out every day like i was doing over the summer. too many other things going on.

- go to the gym 3x a week
- two other days of the week, go for a long walk. by myself or with friends. 5 mile minimum.
- NO SODA. no matter how delicious dr. pepper is, he just ain't worth it
- no snacking after 10 p.m. we mean it this time. it doesn't matter that you stay up until 3 in the morning. this shit has to end, girl.
- keep track of what i eat. so i can feel guilty when it sucks.
- start going to res. i really think this is one of my biggest issues. my fear of eating alone often has me eating crap from the carts. crap that isn't even satisfying or at all tasty. bring a book, suck it up, and go the cafeteria.
- try to get some biking in before the season ends.

tomorrow, i am going to go on a bike ride. i mean it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 93: rollin'

My poor gym buddy injured herself during our last work out, so I ended up not going to the gym yesterday.

Today was the first kiss of fall. I felt invigorated, renewed, ready to take out my bicycle, to get my roll on.

When I put on my workout shirt (the long sleeved one. hell yeah, fall) I felt out of shape, lethargic, and, as I gazed at my rolls in the mirror, sickened. We make sacrifices with every season. In the summer, I sacrificed my love of being busy and being surrounded. In the fall, I sacrifice the quietude of summer, the time to really invest myself into projects (such as this one). In the winter, what will become of me?

As I rolled down Ring Road and some obnoxious asshole honked at me and some more obnoxious assholes yelled to me, and some even more obnoxious assholes sped past me, I longed for summer. I longed for the empty Ring and the empty roads and the lack of fear I had rollin' around all summer long.

I took a left out of campus and went up Ring Road. I must admit that I was mildly terrified during the entire ride down Old Westport Road. The people at this school drive like morons. And the traffic was pretty wild, being a Friday at 5 p.m. and all. As soon as I went up Chase Road, however, I lost all sense of fear and loathing.

I coasted up Chase, enjoying the bitter strains of colder weather, the darker skies. I lost myself in thought as I rode up and then down Lucy Little. I could have kept on with that pace, that pavement forever.

As soon as I returned to Old Westport Road, anxiety returned. I immediately felt tired and heavy and lame. The hill completely winded me. I was biking s.o.o.o.o.o. s.l.o.w. and it made me feel pathetic. I had nearly mastered that hill by the end of the summer and now we're back to this?

I wish I could just work out and get really fit and then it would stay like that. What is the point of working out and building yourself up for 90 days only to lose it after 20? What kind of bullshit IS this, body?

This is why we can't have nice things.

Or look nice, in any event.

Tomorrow is hopefully a walk with Kate and other lovely fall things. While I love the fall so much, summer, know that I'm missing you hardcore right now. You and your empty roads.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 92: gym buddy reunion!

At the crack of 6:30 a.m., I awoke to meet my favorite gym partner, Olivia, at the UMD gym across campus.

Long gone are the days when I can take the two second trek to the gym from Aspen. Instead, I must traverse half the ring to get there. Next time, I will try jogging - get my warm up in there and get my heart rate up!

We started off with weights, then did a mile on the upright bike, a mile on the rowing machine, a mile on the reclining bike and a mile on the elliptical.

None of it was too difficult, which is nice. I am hoping to get back into my groove right quick. We plan to go to the gym 3x a week, which is nowhere near as much as I was going over the summer, but so much better than what I've been doing recently.

After our workout, we gorged ourselves on delicious omelettes and hashbrowns. But our healthy intentions were there, no?

I think the hardest part of this year is going to be controlling my eating. My schedule is so erratic and I don't have the means to cook for myself - which means that I end up eating from the cart (ugh, I'm sick of cold sandwiches and salads already) or from Res (which is delicious, but not healthy). And then I'm up so late that I get cravings for milkshakes and pizza and other such junk food. In other words, college happens, people.

I just need to be conscious about what goes into my body and make sure that I'm making somewhat healthy choices. That Nutri-Grain commercial about starting with one good choice and making good ones for the rest of the day has certainly caught my eye and I remind myself of this every time I reach for my UMass Pass.

Tomorrow: the gym!

Day 91: Back from hiatus!

My. God.

It has been far too long!

When I wrote "See you in September!" on Facebook a few weeks ago, I suppose I meant it literally.

I haven't been entirely sedentary, but mostly. Moving was absolutely a good work out. RA training....not so much.

Luckily, I am back in the groove.

Unluckily, it only took those few weeks for me to start feeling the nag of obesity and out-of-shape-ness loosening my once toned bod.

On this day 91, I went for my first bike ride since the day I moved to Pine Dale. Which was in August. Mid August.

Oh, bicycle, I missed you so!

I was planning on going up Chase Road and down Fisher, but once I got to Lucy Little, I knew that I didn't want to push myself too hard, so I went up Lucy Little and down to Old Westport Road. The bike ride wasn't super strenuous, but the last hill was kind of a killer. And it doesn't help that I still haven't taken my bicycle to the doctor [the gears don't shift properly].

I ended up doing 8 miles that way and then an extra lap around the Ring, for a total of 10 miles. Not too shabby for a flabby!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 90: the long way home

Dear Blog, I've been wretched the last two days. The punishment simply wasn't enough to get my ass in gear. I did not visit the gym nor ride my bicycle. And I most definitely did eat french fries and donuts and other things that I shudder to think about.

I decided enough was enough. Today was absolutely the most beautiful day I have seen / felt / enjoyed this summer. Perfect. One of my friends had mentioned that he takes a right out of campus and goes up Chase Rd and down Fisher - a path I had never taken. Due to the way I generally refer to the route (as "going up" Chase Road), I was under the impression that Chase road literally went up.

Prior to the bike ride, I drove my route because I was already driving and because I wanted to see what I was in for. I realized that if I got tired at any point, I had a few options. I could opt for a much shorter route and cut down Lucy Little back to Old Westport. If I made it to the end of Chase, I could go down Woodcock and up Old Westport and, my intended route, to go up Chase, across Russel Mills, down Fisher and up Old Westport to Lucy Little, where I would cut through the woods and avoid the huge hill on Old Westport up near the school. The wooded path leads to the back of the Dell, eliminating a good 3 miles of tough biking.

The ride was SO pleasant. My left hip joint started feeling sore while I was on Fisher Road, but Chase Road was WONDERFUL! The whole time I was biking "up" it, I thought to myself Damn, girl, why didn't you ever venture this way before?? I definitely plan on doing this route again! It was all so glorious. Though the weather might have had a hand in the gloriousness of it.

As I biked, I started thinking about a lot of things: I was running through interview scenarious in my head, thinking about starting up a YRUU newsletter called "Where are they now?" and doing an update on everyone who was in it around the time I started, about life in general and what I want to do with it. Daunting things to think about, I tell you! But certainly it helped clear my head and keep me focused more on my internal struggle than my external struggle - which was more than I'd like it to be! Damn those sneaky inclines!

When I reached Old Westport, I remembered that to get through the shortcut from Lucy Little, we'd had to hop a minor fence. I realized this wouldn't be fun with my bicycle. And while it might be doable, I decided that I really needed to stop being a lazy asshole and just conquer the Old Westport Road hill. Especially since I'd spent the last two days literally being a lazy asshole and eating everything in sight. So, ladies and gentlemen, I pwned that hill. I rode up it and then rode up it some more.

I end up slowing down to a crawl when I'm on hills. It's like the hill saps all of the energy out of me. I must look like a moron going 1 mile an hour and panting my lungs out. But whatever. I'm still biking and they're still driving, so I automatically win by default.

After I turned back onto my beloved campus, I decided to extend the ride just a little bit more and go down to the Dell for a lap. I briefly considered doing the whole loop over again since it was brilliant outside, but my left hip doth protest. And I'm sure it wouldn't have ended well (ie, me dragging my bike up the hill). But whatever. I still did a hefty 14 miles today. Not bad for a girl who ate Wendy's at midnight...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 89: punishment

Today was the first day since I've started my "one more mile" quest that the thought of going to the gym made me think "UGH." It was all too much: the heat, having to change into gym clothes, actually go to the gym and like, y'know, do stuff, and then shower afterwards. I felt too lethargic and most decidedly too unmotivated to make it happen. So instead, I opted for a leisurely afternoon of paper sorting and television. A fine choice.

I was supposed to go out to the Cape in the evening, but my plans were canceled. This may have something to do with karma for my laziness. Well, shit. Now I didn't have an excuse. I had to go exercise.

Around 11:30, my trusty steed and I exited the elevator and took to the Ring. We completed two laps around Ring Road and 2 laps around the Dell for a total of 6 miles.

I must say, this was not an easy ride. For a girl who bikes about 20 miles a week (which doesn't sound like much, when I think about it), I had a rough time this evening. I approached my first hill very slowly and with much difficulty. All of the hills seemed much more difficult than they had during my last...20 rides. Granted, it definitely takes me some time to get my muscles warmed up and loosened. And once they are, the ride becomes monumentally easier and more fluid. But I still find it mighty strange that after all of this time, a few little inclines have the ability to make me winded and sore and tired. Pathetic.

So thanks, higher powers, for punishing me for my laziness. It will not happen again.

PS: Going to take my bicycle to the doctor's today and see about the 5th and 6th gear not working properly. Also, I hope they can make my brakes unsqueaky. Warranty = best decision ever.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 88: hike'n'bike

Another ambitious start to the week!

I biked over to Retha's around 5 and waited for a bit, but no one was there, so I went around the rest of the Ring and down to the Dell before heading back. Perfect timing, because I was met by Retha, Mark & Katelyn just as they were heading off for a walk. I parked my bike and we walked down Old Westport, up Lucy Little and through a sneaky short cut that leads to the back of the Dell. We then walked up through the Dell and back to the Ring, back to Retha's.

After the 5 mile walk, I made sure to get the rest of my 6 mile bike ride in before I had to head back to my apartment for duty.

During my exercise stint for the day, I came to conclusion that I really hate exercise shorts. They suck. They ride up when you're biking and walking, causing some major thigh chafe-age. It's not cute. And it doesn't feel cute, either. I probably could have biked for a considerably longer time if my shorts would just stay in place. Sabotaging bastards!


Breakfast: 1 plum
Lunch: two vegetable eggrolls, 1 plum
Snack: 1 cup of Pepper Jack Cheez-Its (sooo good!)
Dinner: guacamole (two avocados, 1/2 white onion, 1 plum tomato, 2 tbsps of Pace medium salsa) with tortilla chips, 1 cup of cranberry juice

A delightful (albeit carb-y) menu for the day!

Tomorrow? The gym!

Days 86 & 87: Life of leisure

I feel like these days shouldn't even count as days because they were entirely too low impact for my liking. But it is what it is.

On Saturday, I went for a very short bike ride. 3 miles.
On Sunday, I went for a very short walk with my Russian bfffff4E. 2 miles.

This weekend was full of blisters (lots of blisters. damn shoes!). Eating. Laziness. Debauchery. Alcohol. Friends. Fun. Leisure.

This is my last full week in my super awesome apartment in my super awesome summer on my super awesome abandoned campus. I best make the most of it, because I will never have another living situation like this again. One week. One week before the parking lots and road start to fill with cars and the campus starts bustling with human activity. One week before I become a slave to my schedule. One week before I no longer have a kitchen to prepare delicious cuisine. One week before my entire life changes.

I only hope that I can remain as dedicated to my work out routine as I have for the last 87 days. However, as Kate put it: Even if I only work out one day a week, I'm still working out one day a week. Which is probably more than a lot of people can say.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 85: cop out

So I didn't do anything physical yesterday. I honestly don't remember why. The night was full of bad decisions, including a) a trip to BK and b) a trip to the vending machine [both with your favorite Russian & mine]. Mind you, both of these trips were made after midnight. So yes. Bad decisions, indeed!

Because the gym closed early all week and also, I am on duty until 7:30, I decided to go back to some online fitness videos. I tried to find a 30 minute cardio workout and couldn't. I probably didn't try hard enough. But I did find a bunch of 10 minute workouts, and figured that if I combined three of them, voila! thirty minute cardio workout.

I started off with a three minute cardio kickboxing warm up then moved into the 10 minute cardio kickboxing video and finished up with a 10 minute "Jump Start Cardio" video - which I didn't realize was literally all jumping.

Here I am in a pink sports bra, shorts and my biking sneakers jumping around my living room like an idiot with my arms flailing and the air conditioner blasting. I've come to a few conclusions:

a) I am not coordinated. And not only am I not coordinated, I'm also dreadfully un-graceful.

b) I'm having a fat day. Which is to be expected after the french fry / chicken / 3 musketeers binge last night. Ugh I just feel so...fat. I feel out of shape. I felt every roll tremble with every jump step and hop. It was not cute.

c) I don't really like exercise videos. They kind of suck. Or maybe I'm the one that sucks? Whatever the case, I just don't feel like it's actual exercise. Sure, I'm sweating. Sure my fat's-a-jiggling. Sure my heart rate is up. But I'm not convinced that if I did these every day, I would be in shape. Then again, I've been doing whatever-else all these days, and I'm not in shape. So what do I know?

d) I'M HAVING A FAT DAY. even my typeface is fat.

e) My favorite part of my body used to be my flat stomach. I didn't even have to do anything and there it was, all nice and flat and roll-less. What happened, stomach? Why do I suddenly loathe you? Why do you feel nasty flyin' solo in a sports bra and look even worse? Can't we just go back to the way things used to be? Don't you want to be my friend?

f) My calves suck. They are hella-muscular from biking, but I have no cardio endurance with them. They just go crack crack crack crack (actually that's probably my ankles). And they hurt. Don't tell me to do stretches. I've done stretches. I feel like this is extremely detrimental to my life'o'fitness. If my calves didn't suck, I would absolutely be able to run a mile. Because my body itself is in pretty decent condition. It damn well should be after almost 90 days of working out every day. I want to be able to run. I want to like running. I want to walk up the stairs and not hear the crack crack crack crack. It seems that they take any impact very strongly (and harshly). What gives? Probably my ankles in a few years.

So all in all, 20 minutes of lame and half-assed cardio. I'm hoping I'll have the motivation to go for a bike ride later this evening. Maybe that will make me feel better about myself. One can only hope so.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 84: 10 at 10

I wasn't really planning on doing anything super active today, since I was out until 8:30 pm. Around 10, I got the sudden urge to go for a nice little spin around Ring Road. This ended up turning into a little 10 mile spin.

There is definitely something to be said for biking alone. While I love biking with friends because it makes the miles go by faster and it feels more like fun than exercise (which invariably makes the bicycling easier), on nights like tonight, I wouldn't want to be with anyone. It's a fantastic way to unwind. There is something so empowering and calming about the spin of your tires on the pavement, the wind lifting the hair off your neck, the nighttime mist mixing with your sweat, the knowledge that you are in motion motion motion because of your own body, your own strength.

I am going to be so sad when I can't go for nighttime bike rides anymore. I clipped on my iPod and put it on shuffle this evening. I was not disappointed. Phil Collins, David Guetta, Iron & Wine, Imogen Heap, Guster...some of my favorite artists circulated through the speakers and kept me surprised and motivated. Great song after great song that I might not have chosen to play at that moment greeted me and invigorated me. I didn't want the ride to end. I felt like I could have ridden forever, minus my sore ass. Not sore in the sense that my muscles were sore (they actually felt pretty alright this evening - I didn't have much trouble in any of the usual spots around campus), but sore in the sense that the seat was irritating me.

All in all, a cleansing and satisfying bike ride this evening. I better take advantage of them now while the only cars I pass are the police and the only people I pass are the lone pedestrians, circling the Ring in search of a clearer mind, themselves.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 83: Pardon the InterruPTIon

Today, I was pretty pumped to be heading to the gym with no other plans for the afternoon.

Then, I got a call saying that I would need to be around because someone was going to move in to the building at some point. Right. So since the gym is about 100 feet away from my room, I just took my phone with me to the gym. I never realized what a pain it is to carry one extra thing around with you when you work out. I normally just have my ipod (clipped to my pants) and my water bottle. Having this one thing made it much more awkward.

Anyway, I was about half-way through my weight routine when a guy who works at the gym came over and told me he wanted to show me how to use the machines properly. Awesome. I mean, I just read the diagrams and looked at the pictures and hoped for the best before working the weights. And apparently, the diagrams and pictures suck, because I wasn't using anything correctly.

After he showed me proper procedure, I went about my business and finished up the weights and headed to the treadmill. I had determined that I would run an entire mile today. I'm pretty confident that I can do it. There's no reason not to. Or at least, no reason not to try.

So I walk .5 miles and am in the groove of running. I decide not to look down at the odometer-thing because a watched pot never boils. Instead, I focused intently on the tv screen across from me. Some financial show was on. And then a banner flashed across the screen "Pardon the InterruPTIon" and it was the show PTI. I started thinking about what other words they could have used that have "p" "t" and "i" in a row and then realized that not only is it clever in that sense, but "pardon the interruption" also has the initials pti. Once I reached this revelation, I was thinking that I had reached the half mile point when the same gym guy came up to try to have a conversation with me about how he is the only staff member for the rest of the week, so the gym is going to be closed at 3. I couldn't understand what he was saying because a) I was running and b) I had my headphones on, so I ended up slowing down to talk to him. And once I lost the momentum, I couldn't get it going again, so I polished off 1 mile on the treadmill and ditched it for the elliptical.

I did the obligatory 1 mile on the elliptical and the whole time, I was just itching to get out of the gym. I wanted to go for a bike ride.

I couldn't figure out how to carry my cell phone on me whilst riding, so I left it at home and prayed that the person who was supposed to move in would wait the half hour for me to finish biking. Every time I biked past a car, I cringed and peered into the car, looking for someone with a bunch of stuff. Nothing. I was just about to start my second round on Ring Road, when my boss drove by and gave me a look of "What gives?" aka - why was I biking around and not in my apartment? I was terrified at that point that the girl had come to check in and I hadn't been there, so I bolted back to my room. Annnnnnd I didn't have any missed calls and the girl hadn't tried to move in. And now, 5 hours later, she still hasn't moved in. All that guilt for nothing!

So in the end, pretty much all of my exercise today was interrupted. Though I guess I am to blame for all of it! And to make matters worse, now my entire gym WEEK is going to be interrupted, because I don't get out of work until 3, and that is when the gym will be closing. I suppose this is a good excuse for me to get back on ye old bicycle and pedal away.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 82: Clean Slate

I'm going to put the last 3 miserable days behind me (miserable in terms of lack of exercise/diet) and focus on the good stuff. For instance, today.

Retha and I had planned to go on our weekly after-work walk. I decided to bike over to her place, since she lives about half a mile away and biking is a much faster mode of transportation. I knocked a few times and waited and it seemed that no one was home. Since I didn't have my cell on me, I ended up doing a lap around the Ring and heading back to her apartment. Same story. No one home. I did another lap and then did a lap around the Dell before heading back to my apartment. During my ride, I had determined that I was going to go to the gym after dropping off my bike.

When I got back to my apartment, I realized that Retha had texted me and said that she didn't get out of work until 5. It was only 4:30 by that point, so I chilled until 5 ish and then walked over to Retha's. We ended up meeting up with Mark and the three of us completed two laps around the Ring and one lap around the Dell (same as my bike ride), bringing the total mileage for the day to:

Walking = 5.5 mi
Biking = 5.5 mi


And, to top off such a lovely day of socializing and exercising, I've also been eating pretty well. The night is still young, though, so who knows....

Breakfast: 100 calorie Yoplait yogurt, 1 plum.
Lunch: 1 spicy black bean veggie burger, plain. 1 plum. 16 oz water.
Snack: New York Bagel seasoned bagel chips. My god, they are the devil incarnate. So delicious.
Dinner: black beans with parsley, creamed spinach and pasta all mixed together with feta cheese on top. 1 cup of mildly sweetened green tea.

Day 81: of pampering and physical appearance

So Kate & I went for a four mile walk this evening.
As soon as returned, we gorged ourselves on far more than 4 miles worth of calories. Fail.

I've come to the conclusion that taking care of your physical appearance could be a full time job. If I had no other obligations or responsibilities, this could be my life:

6 am: wake up, stretch, head to yoga
6:15 am - 7:30: yoga class
7:30 am - 8:30 am: prepare and eat an organic, low fat breakfast
9:30 am - 11:30 am: go to the gym for cardio and weight training
11:30 am - 12:30 pm: prepare and eat an organic, low fat lunch
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm: shower, shave everything, put on makeup, do my hair, coordinate my outfits
2:30 pm - 5 pm: go to various appointments (tanning, plastic surgery, spa, manicure, salon)
5 pm - 6 pm: prepare and eat an organic, low fat dinner
6 pm - 7 pm: after dinner yoga and meditation
7 pm - 9 pm: take an indulgent bubble bath, complete with facial masks and rejuvenating products
9 pm - 10 pm: stretch and drink a mug of herbal green tea whilst reading something fluffy
10 pm: retire to beauty sleep

I mean, it doesn't sound all that bad. If I had no cares in the world, I may as well project all of my energy into making sure that I'm healthy and attractive. But this isn't realistic.

Typical schedule?

7 am: begrudgingly get up and go to gym with friend
7 am - 8:30 am: cardio and weight workout
8:30 am: high calorie/carby breakfast at res
9:30 - 10: rush to shower & throw hair back
10 - 12: work
12 - 12:30: rushed high calorie lunch at res
12:30 - 4: work
4 to 6:30: class
6:30-7: rushed dinner at res
7:30- 12: on duty, doing homework, attending a social event
2 am: force self to sleep even though self is crying for want of internetz

So, sorry, body. In the scheme of things, you get the shaft.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 80: one mile per ten days

I'm not sure why I feel like day 80 is a milestone more so than other days. But it seems like it should be. I'm 80 days deep, 20 days away from the big one.oh.oh.

I think I've become a lot more realistic about my fitness goals than I was when I first began. At the start of summer, I made a list of goals, including: lose 20 pounds, do something active every day and be able to run a 5 k. I haven't met any of those goals. But I have since crossed off the 20 and written in 10. I haven't lost much weight, but I have lost a lot of fat and really bulked up in muscle. My thighs are pretty sick right now. And my calves have some definitely defined muscles, as well. Overally, I just feel better about how I look. In other words, I can stand to look at myself naked in the mirror without cringing. And my clothes all look SO much better. I honestly didn't realize how awful I looked until I set up a 360 degree mirror here and was able to see my backside. Oh. God. It's shocking to see how something might look fab from the front and sag from the back. I apologize for all of you who had to endure the sight of my back fat.

Anyway, I'm not super ecstatic about my results, but I'm also not unhappy with them. I took a few days off. I lost a few pounds. And while I'm still not a good runner, I'm definitely more in shape than I have been in a long time. It's a good feeling. So, greetings, Day 80...and here's to the next 800,000 days of pushing myself one more mile. With a few days off in between, of course.

That being said, I'll admit that I again took a day off. Sorry, Thursday.

Today is a new dawn, a new day. I went from work to the gym. But boy oh boy was it absolutely flawless outside. I knew I had to get some outdoor time in.

I started off with weights and was again able to do 10 in a row of the army curls. Then I did a buch of weight machines and did two extra machines from my normal routine. I even did a butt blasting weight machine, in which you lean forward and rest your weight on one leg in a squat position while extending your other leg backward against a set amount of weight.

From there, I did 2 miles on the treadmill. I'm not gonna lie, I was super proud of my work out today. I walked .5 miles and then ended up running .5 miles - which might not sound like a lot, but it's a definite accomplishment for me. I could have done more. I can, with confidence, say that I have the ability to run a mile. And it doesn't really have anything to do with being in shape - because I know that I am right now - the thing preventing me from running the most is my calf pain. No amount of stretching or warming up has seemed to do anything for me. I just end up having to work through it. After the first mile, I walked for .3, ran .1, walked .2, ran .2 and walked .2

After that, I did my usual mile on the elliptical and then did 20 reps of side ab crunches before heading back to my apartment to break out my bicycle!

Oh, sweet reunion! I haven't ridden since last Thursday, and it felt super sweet to be back cruisin the pavement in the gorgeous summer sun. I did two laps around Ring Road and a lap and a half around the Dell for a total of 5 miles before retiring.

Total for the day = 8 miles
One mile for every ten days of exercise.


Breakfast: 4 seasoned bagel chips. 1 plum. iced coffee.
Lunch: a hearty serving of pasta with mushrooms, onions, red peppers, tofu & pesto.
Dinner: a bowl of my spinach/chicken/tomato/onion/glazed pecan/raspberry vinaigrette salad. a hunk of italian bread with margarine. 22 oz of water.
After dinner: Shocktop beer. And lots of it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 79

I'll admit, I didn't do anything active on Tuesday.

And I'm surprised / pleased with the amount of guilt I felt. I think it's good that I feel bad about opting for sedentary activities. It means that I will never really let myself become a blob on a couch. And it means that I'm putting enough pressure on myself to feel accountable to my self. On the flip side, I know that it's okay for me to miss a day every now and then. It's not the end of the world and it won't magically expand my waist line. I still don't like it, but it is what it is.

Today, I headed back to the gym. I did the most military curls I've ever done! Last time I went, I could only do 6 in a row. Today, I knocked out 10 and then took a short break and then did another 5. It was pretty sweet. And my arms didn't shake nearly as much as they used to. I then proceeded to do the rest of my arm weights and added a few more repetitions per each machine. Perhaps I am actually getting muscles? Suh-weet.

After that, I headed over to the treadmill. I did .5 miles walking and then alternated .2 miles walking / .1 mile running for 2 miles. I realized that if I run at a pace of 5.4 instead of the 6.0 I was trying to do, my calves hurt less and I didn't lose my breath at all. Good to know.

Then I did 1 mile on the elliptical. The usual. Though I burned the most calories in that one mile than I have before. I must have been going faster or something.

Finally, I did 2 miles on the upright bike and then finished off with side crunches and a 15lb weight resistance.

I left the gym with a spring in my step and feeling good. It was nice to get back to the gym and have a successful workout. There really is nothing like going to the gym and getting your work-out-on. It feels damn good.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 78:shapin' up

I have developed a pattern of not really exercising over the weekends. Which is okay. According to the television screens in the fitness center, one should work out 3 to 5 times a week. My every-day craze was probably a bit excessive. One of my summer goals is to do something active every day - and even if I'm not hardcore cardio-ing it up every day, this doesn't necessarily mean I'm not being active. In fact, I did have a fairly active weekend and spent much time outside, so I'm okay with it.

Anyway. It being Monday, I got back into the swing of things by convincing Retha to go for a walk with me. Now, I stumbled into this loop by accident a few months ago when Olivia and I left campus in search of a lengthy route. If you go all the around (down Old Westport, up Lucy Little, down Chase, up Old Westport), we're probably talking 8 miles here.

Retha had just invested in the Dr. Scholl's version of Shape-Up sneakers and we decided: what better way to test them out than to go for a walk?

Originally, I had intended to go to the gym today, but it was WAY too nice of a day to waste it indoors. We're talking summer-perfect. So I convinced Retha to take her new Shape-Ups for a spin.

Now, I have mixed feelings about these shoes. They claim to:
* Promote weight loss
* Strengthen the back, firm calf muscles, reduce cellulite & firm your thighs
* Improve posture
* Reduce stress on knee and ankle joints

I'm just not sold on the whole idea. It seems that middle aged, overweight women are flocking to them, and my feeling is: DUH. If you go for long walks when you didn't walk before, obviously all of the above are going to happen. But walking on its own can pretty much cover all of those bases. I mean, in my nasty little heart I'm thinking "If you bitches want to lose weight, stop throwing $100 into ugly sneakers with two inch heels and just get off the damn couch." But I guess if they're motivating people TO actually do such a thing, they can't be all that bad.

Anyway, Retha bought the Dr. Scholl's version and they were only $30, so kudos to her on a good buy. She wore them during the day and I was curious as to whether or not they made her feel differently. By the time we were nearing the end of our walk, she mentioned that her calves and upper thighs were burning, which I suppose is a good thing. One thing about these shoes is that because they are shaped much like a rocking chair, they are rolling your muscles back and forth more than they would if you were just wearing flat sneakers, like myself. I must admit that I am somewhat curious about these sneakers. But you will not find me spending any amount of money on them when I am already in love with my current sneakers, which are far more versatile than Shape-Ups, which you can use only for walking.

So yes. We walked. And talked. And walked some more. I haven't been on a long walk like that in a long time. And the backs of my knees/calves felt very tight and sore for the rest of the evening. They are still sore today. It puzzles me a bit to think that I go to the gym nearly every day and proceed to vigorously exercise various parts of my body without feeling any soreness on my part, but one measly 6 mile walk would make my legs sore? How does that work?

According to "Walking Excuse Busters" , sore muscles merely means that you're getting a good workout and engaging new muscles.

So what does this mean for my other routines? Are they not good workouts if I don't feel sore? Or are my muscles already strengthened enough that they are used to their abuse, hence the lack of soreness?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 77: of padding and fattening

It went from being absolutely gorgeous out yesterday to being blah today. I was actually cold at work, which never happens!

After work, I donned a hood and headed to the gym. [Warning: awkward topic coming up] : I've decided that they should invent or I should find a padded sports bra. I don't know what it is, but every time I wear one, I have hard nipples the entire damn time. It's really embarrassing. And I don't understand why it happens. I'm obviously not cold while I'm sweating my ass off on the damn treadmill. What gives?

Okay. Just researched. Apparently they do exist. But they also cost like 40 bucks. Perhaps it's time to start using band-aids? Ugh.


I did weights, as per usual. I ended up being able to do more repetitions than I normally do, which is good. Man, those military presses are a bitch. My entire body shakes like crazy when I do them.

I then did two miles on the upright bike, 1 mile on the stationary bike, 1.5 miles on the treadmill (yeah, I upped the ante) and 1 mile on the elliptical followed by the side-ab workout.

Since I've come home, I can't. stop. eating. I don't know if it's the weather or my lack of plans or my hormones, but damn.

Of food and drink

Breakfast: two mini blueberry muffins. 1 cup green tea.
Lunch: leftovers of chicken/spinach/tomato/onion etc salad. 1/2 piece of focaccia.
Snacks: 3 mini twix bars. 4 mini chocolate chip cookies. two handfuls of popcorn. 1 cup of cajun trail mix.
Dinner: i don't even want to tell you. i'm ashamed.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 76:baby steps

Today, I went for my first legitimate bike ride of the week with Kate. I must admit that it was nice to have a break from biking and that I felt refreshed and ready to go at the start of this ride.

We did the same route as last time (the route we took when I was bitching my bitchy heart out) down Old Westport to Fisher to Russell Mills to Chase to Lucy Little and back to Old Westport.

Man oh man was it a gorgeous day out today. I was so happy to be outside enjoying the perfect temperature and lack of humidity.

About halfway through our ride, Kate said "I noticed you haven't been having any trouble with this route today." And it's true. I didn't really have any trouble. It was a really pleasant ride.

My bike has been doing something pretty funky since I got the flag tangled in my gears (whoops). It refuses to shift into gears 5 & 6 and keeps making a strange clicking sound. We stopped once to examine it and it looks like one of the spokes may be a little out of whack. I think I'm going to make good on my warranty and bring it to Dick's tomorrow to get it checked out. Though it didn't really effect my ride.

So anyway, I had a smooth time with this route. Lucy Little stole my breath for a moment and of course, Old Westport is a bitch no matter which way you look at it, but I was pretty proud of my progress - especially since I haven't gone on a long ride since last Thursday.

Oh, and distance? Around 13 miles. Perhaps next time we shall go the long way - all the way down Chase Rd and up Old Westport from the opposite side. But that hill scares me. I've done it once before and was not a fan. Baby steps.

I did miss going to the gym today. I definitely do not feel as good after a bike ride as I do after the gym. It might be a psychological thing. It might be legit. Who knows? All I know is that I'm definitely going there tomorrow before it closes for the weekend and I don't have a choice but to ride my bike. And probably exercise my elbow. Definitely exercise my elbow.

Of food and drink

Breakfast: two small blueberry muffins. 1 cup of iced green tea.
Lunch: 2 slices of honey ham. 1 nectarine. 1 cup of goldfish.
Dinner: (at panera) caeser salad, macaroni & cheese, piece of bread, Dr. Pepper (the best doctor there is).
After dinner: i made popcorn for the movie tonight (we're seeing inception), so i'll probably eat some of that. and maybe have some iced coffee while we're still at panera, as well.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 75: biking break continues

While reading some fitness tips online, I stumbled across something that endorsed biking as the best cardio exercise. I find that I feel much better about myself after a romp at the gym rather than just biking.

When I'm biking, I sweat a lot - which is good. I'm sure I burn a lot of calories. I keep my heart rate up and I put a lot of effort into challenging myself by tackling somewhat difficult courses. But the feeling I get after an hour on the bike can't even compare to the way I feel after an hour at the gym. And after my three day hiatus, I honestly don't miss biking. I think I have come to equate it with recreation rather than fitness. I enjoy biking. I think it's fun. When I'm at the gym, I am more definitely focused on working out and getting a good workout.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I'm engaging more parts of my body. There are six skill-related components of physical fitness:
1) Agility
2) Coordination
3) Power
4) Balance
5) Reaction time
6) Speed
and five health related components:
1) Body composition
2) Cardiovascular fitness
3) Flexibility
4) Muscular endurance
5) Strength

When I'm biking, I work on agility, coordination, power, balance, reaction time, speed, cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance and strength - however, I'm only really working out one part of my body. When I'm at the gym, I'm able to hit all of these targets, but I am working my arms and legs and everything in between.

As per usual, I started off with stretching and weights.

When I started the upright bike today, I decided to use one of the pre-programmed courses, weight loss. The course is set up to have a really low resistance and then rocket to a high resistance and then back up and down. The machine kept pausing the program and the words "slow down" would flash across the screen. I didn't even feel like I was going fast! I tried to slow down, but about a mile into the course, the program just ended. It was weird. I ended up doing one more mile at a resistance of 6. Then I did one mile on the stationary bike. This time, I was able to go at my own speed.

Man, I really hated the treadmill today. I grabbed two 3-lb weights and used them, alternating exercises and arms, whenever I walked in between my jogging. I did the same course I've been doing for the last few days: walk .2, run .1, walk .1, run .1 etc for 1 mile. I felt realllly tired today. It was a struggle to do any running. I just felt drained.

After that, I did one mile on the elliptical and then went back to the upright bike and did one mile. I finished off the workout with the side-ab work out. And let me tell you, my side abs are definitely feeling it now!

Overall, a good workout :)

Food for thought:

Breakfast: 100 calorie yoplait yogurt. One cup of green tea.
Lunch: leftover chicken/spinach/tomato/onion/parsley/scallion/pecan salad w/ raspberry vinaigrette. One piece of herb focaccia bread.
Dinner: leftover salad (see above). One cup of cajun trail mix. 4 mini chocolate chip cookies (curse you, delicious cookies!) 22 oz. of water.

It seems boring that I should eat the same thing for lunch and dinner, but let me assure you that it is SO good, I don't care!

Day 74:one more mile

I made it my personal mission to make the most of my gym session today.

I began with the usual weights. I've noticed that I am able to do more repetitions with less effort, which I'm guessing is a good thing. For arms, I do anywhere between 10 and 30 lbs per machine. I'm still trying to master this one freestanding machine in which you put all of your weight on your arms and curl your knees in. It works the ab muscles and arms. But my arms shake so badly when I do it, that I can only ever do about five curls at a time. Maybe some day.
When I finished weights, I did 1 mile on the upright bicycle. I did a 4 minute mile, which impressed me, if no one else. Then I did 1000 m on the rowing machine. Then I did 1 mile on the stationary bike. Then I did 1 mile on the treadmill, alternating walking for .1 mile and running for .1 mile. [I think I am going to do this for the rest of the week and then next week, move up to .2 miles and so on. This may help me train. At this point, I can't even run half a mile without my legs hurting, so I figure baby steps will help strengthen me. Hopefully.] After the treadmill, I did 1 mile on the elliptical, alternating in the same cycle as I always do - .1 mi frontward with arms, .1 mi frontward w/out arms, .1 mi backward with arms, .1 mi backward w/out arms, repeat until mile is complete.
Normally, I would be done after the elliptical, but today, I decided to extend my regimen. I went back to the upright bicycle and bolted out one more mile. Then I grabbed a fifteen pound weight and did a few repetitions of holding it behind my head and pulling it up. Then I let my arm dangle with the weight and did side crunches, 10 on each side, 2 x.
I left the gym feeling pretty darn good about myself. I'm actually really enjoying the gym now. I only have one month left of my sweet summer set up, so I definitely have to make the most of the empty facilities before the students come swarming back and upset my exercise groove.
Food for thought
Breakfast: one 100 calorie yoplait yogurt
Lunch: two cups dirty rice, one cup watermelon/onion/tomato salad with balsamic-lemon dressing
Dinner: (I'm pretty proud of this) Chicken breast hand-battered in egg and breadcrumbs, cooked in olive oil in a spinach salad with tomatoes, red onions, scallions, parsley and candied pecans, tossed in a raspberry-hazlenut vinaigrette.1 slice of herb focaccia bread. 2 mini chocolate chip cookies.
After dinner: two beers (1 Guinness and 1 Shipyard Summer Ale). One cup of Cajun Trail mix.
Conclusion: I could've done without the after dinner stuffs. But my dinner was damn good and I can't wait to eat some of the leftovers for lunch today.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 73: back in the groove

I started off the day feeling pretty low about my exercise regimen (or lack thereof) and determined to get my rapidly sagging ass to the gym. So this is exactly what I did.

I reached the facility around 4 pm, only to discover that they were closing early (5 pm). This meant I had to get the most out of my hour and make sure to take care of the most high-impact activities first, in case I ran out of time.

I began as I usually do - with arm & leg weight machines. Watching myself in the mirror, I noticed some definite definition in my arms and was pretty stoked.

Then, I tackled my age old enemy, the treadmill. I walked for .2 miles and then alternated jogging/walking every .1 mile for the rest of my full mile.

After that, I hopped on the elliptical and did another solid mile. When I'm on the elliptical, I start off doing a frontward stroke with my arms on the handles for .1 miles, then doing a frontward stroke pumping my arms (as if I'm running) for .1 miles, then doing a backward stroke with my arms on the handles for .1 miles and finally doing a backward stroke pumping my arms. I cycle through these four different manuevers until I've reached the mile. I find that it makes the mile go by very quickly and also engages different parts of my body.

Tip: The gym has a few tv screens and one of them is maintained by the Athletics Department and offers fitness tips. One of them is that your workout becomes less effective if you grip the machine too tightly when you work out. Your grip should remain slack. If you don't hold on at all, you make the most of your workout and really work your core and maximize your balance.

Once I'd finished the elliptical, my hour was unfortunately up. I decided to make the most of the day and take out my bike. I ended up doing two circles around the Ring and then capping it off with an extra mile in the Dell, bringing my total bike mileage to 5 miles and my total mileage of the day to 7 miles.


Earlier today, I posted an entry about food. It prompted me to think more about my daily intake. Here is what I ate today:

Breakfast: a 100 calorie yoplait yogurt. one bottle (22 oz) of water.
Lunch: 3 slices of deli turkey breast, one cup of goldfish
Snack: 1 cup of cajun trail mix. 4 squares of Hershey's chocolate. 1 bottle (22 oz) of water.
Dinner: one cup of Lipton's "dirty rice" (rice with cajun seasoning, peppers and onions). A watermelon / tomato / lemon juice / balsamic vinegar / onion salad with raw sunflower seeds*.
After dinner: one cup of orange pekoe tea. 4 mini chocolate chip cookies.

If I could cut out two things from this list, I would get rid of the Hershey's and the chocolate chip cookies. Instead, I would have 2 squares of chocolate after dinner with my tea. I tend to eat things impulsively, based on my cravings, and need to learn to control that. But other than the chocolate indulgence, I think my consumption for the day was fairly healthy.

*I haven't been grocery shopping in a long time and had to be a little innovative. I cut up one half of a white onion and let it soak in one tbsp of balsamic vinegar while I cut up 4 slices of watermelon and one tomato. I put the watermelon & tomato in a bowl and doused them in fresh lemon juice and then mixed in the onions, finally sprinkling a handful of the seeds on top. The flavor was really interesting! The onions were a bit on the potent side - I would have preferred scallions or red onion - but I never realized how versatile watermelon can be. The subtle sweetness of it was a nice compliment to the sharpness of the onion and the balsamic lemon made for a nice dressing. I think I will definitely be experimenting with salads in the near future!

Food for Thought: Ie, - I haven't exercised in 3 days

I had a fairly sedentary weekend, thanks to my little friend laziness.

Don't worry, people! I haven't fallen off the wagon, completely. I fully intend on going to the gym as soon as I get out of work and busting my ass with a ton of cardio.

But in the meantime, I have started researching some biking websites, running websites, and, my most intriguing find of the day: Healthy Choices: The 101 Best Things to Do For Your Body Now! - an article that was run in Women's Health Magazine.

I read the whole article and found a lot of really interesting things. For instance, that cooking in a cast iron skillet adds iron to your food.

There was also a section called "Eat these foods. Every. Single. Day."

Here's the list:

- Broccoli sprouts
- Canola and vegetable oil
- Low fat milk and cheese
- Fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso and yogurt
- Cinnamon
- Orange juice
- Nuts
- Tea (particularly green tea)
- Hot chocolate (unsweetened)
- Berries

It also had a list of foods to avoid. Unfortunately, most of them are delicious. And it's really hard to know what exactly IS in everything you eat. Or actually keep track of the things you are eating.

Things to avoid:

- Processed and refined carbs (how do you know which carbs actually fall under this category?)
- Hot dogs, bologna and sausage (but they're all so good!... and I'm guessing kielbasa should also be on this list. Sad day.)
- Artificial sweeteners (so anything diet, pretty much, since those ALL use artificial...everything)
- "Fortified" junk food (any form of "sugar" should not be listed as one of the top 3 ingredients in your snacks)
- Booze

I'd actually never been on the Women's Health Magazine website before, but I've grown pretty fond of it in the last hour. So fond, in fact, that I signed up for a free newsletter, How to Look Better Naked. I'll keep you posted on the info I learn from that. Hopefully, it will be useful. Or at least interesting.

Half of the battle of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is learning to define a healthy lifestyle. What does "being healthy" really mean? What is your personal definition of health?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 72: Rant'n'ride

I took a "day of rest" yesterday. And by day of rest I mean, of course, day of chinese food, diet pepsi, twix & trashy reality television with your favorite russian and mine.

After last night's feast, I -not surprisingly - felt wretched this morning. Bloated. Full. Fat. Don't even get me started on where the needle was pointing when I stepped on the scale.

I spent the day feeling pretty down on myself and just generally bad about my body. When I returned home from work, Kate was super amped to go on a "fun" bike ride. Fun for her typically = torture for me, so I wasn't nearly as amped as she was.

The first quarter of our bike ride was about as fun as I felt. Wretched. We went down Old Westport and turned onto Fisher. By this point, my muscles felt really tired and lame. I complained a bit about my lack of fitness and she offered for us to turn back, but I didn't want to personally be as lame as my body, so I decided we should continue on.

During the first half of our ride down Fisher Rd, I lamented how frustrating it is that I have exercised every day for over 70 days and have felt no real results. How I go bike riding nearly every day and it still doesn't feel much easier. How I have varied my exercises and really pushed myself and still don't see any results in the way I look.

Of course, there is no chance that I am going to stop. Mostly because I don't want to regress. If I already feel this bad after actually doing the work, how did I survive before I got into this routine?

It just doesn't add up in my book. My diet has really improved since the summer started. I work out nearly every day (which is more than the recommended exercise plan). I lead a very active lifestyle. I'm always doing things and going places and not just sitting around watching tv with my hand in a bag of potato chips. I don't understand why my body isn't responding. And I know that I should not expect to see results immediately. But this has been going on for over 2 months already and I have seen literally NO results in the way I look. All of my clothes still fit me the same way. And that 20 pound weight loss goal is not even possible.

Kate and I bantered over what the reason for my fitness failure may be. She countered that maybe my body is at its natural weight. But I know it isn't. It was only 3 years ago that I weighed 30 pounds less than I do today. And even then, I could've lost more.

I entirely changed my whole lifestyle. I went from eating shit and not exercising at all to working out nearly every day and being more food-conscious. You would think such a drastic change in lifestyle would lead to at least some sort of encouraging change?


The rest of our bike ride was actually very pleasant and my spirits lifted quite a bit. I remember the first time I went down Fisher Rd, I had a bitch of time. I had an even bigger bitch of a time when I went down Chase Rd. I really thought I wasn't going to make it. But this was before I started doing any bike riding at all, so that's legit. We took a detour down Lucy Little and back to Old Westport and I was feeling pretty optimistic about the final stretch.

We ended up having to go up onto a sidewalk to avoid a car that was parked in the breakdown lane. Kate went past the flag for Thirsty Crow and I followed suit. And then had to stop. Yep. The Thirsty Crow "Open" flag somehow managed to wrap itself around my gear and I was, in fact, dragging it behind me. Wtf.

Kate came back and disentangled it and then my gears were kind of messed up. So she fixed them. (So handy, those Russians!) When we went past the flag, we were just about to take on the very large and tiring hill leading back up to UMD, but stopping right before it made the hill go by like a breeze.

By the time we finally returned to Aspen, I felt refreshed and not tired at all.

Total mileage: 12.6 mi

Conclusion: Bodies are weird, man.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 71: moist

This humidity business is really starting to get to me. At work today, I had to move two computers. I was completely drenched. Gross.

After work, I swapped one sweaty ensemble for another and finally made my way to the gym!

I started off with weights.
I did arm five different arm machines and then two different leg machines.
After that, I ran a mile on the treadmill. And every time I run a mile on the treadmill, I am reminded that I hate running. Any distance. On any surface.
My goal was to walk for .3, run for .5 and walk for .2 distance wise. I was not able to accomplish this. I walked for .3, ran for .3, walked for .2, ran for . 1, walked for .1
Also, I've noticed that I have started to sweat more recently. I'm not sure if it's just the change of atmosphere or what. But damn.
Anyway, after the treadmill, I did a mile on the elliptical.
Then I did a mile on the reclining bike. Then I did a mile on the upright bike. Then I dragged myself back home for a much needed shower.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 70: Power

I had big ambitions of going to the gym today and getting my weight-train / cardio on. About an hour before I got out of work, the power went out across the campus. I didn't think much of it and went home to try to accomplish some things - then realized how morbidly dependent I am on electricity. Then I realized that not only could I not plug in my phone, turn on the tv, cook etc, I also couldn't go to the gym - as all of the machines require power. Womp womp.

With literally nothing to do, I decided that I would just take my bike out. As I wheeled it out of my apartment, I realized that there most likely would not be power in the elevator, either - which would mean that I would have to carry my bike down the 3 flights of stairs. Not pleasant. Luckily, the elevator must have been on a backup generator, so I was able to get out of the building just fine!

I had determined to venture off campus for the 2nd time by myself. I got to the top of campus and then made a snap judgment to just kept going around the ring. As soon as I made it to the freshmen dorms, I realized that I had made a mistake and should have just gone off campus. I don't know why I didn't.

I ended up doing a double ring and going down to the Dell twice. I had a pretty easy time of it and was sufficiently sweaty by the end of my trek and was happy to discover that the power had returned by the time I was done. Now if only I could amp up my own power!

Tonight, I have no plans, so I believe I am going to go for a jog on the track. We'll see how that goes. Probably not well. But here's to hoping.

Tomorrow, I shall [hopefully] make it to the gym for a more well-rounded and challenging workout!

[Edit] 11:43 p.m.
In the last hour, I have successfully "jogged" (a combination of running spurts and walking...much like the couch to 5 k plan) 2 miles and then biked 4 miles. It was muggy and cool and I felt empowered. Granted, I'm still a terrible runner and I get out of breath quickly and my calves hurt. But I did it anyway. And I sweated my skin off. And now I am showered and I feel oh-so-refreshed. If I can make this a trend, I'll literally be able to melt off the rest of my 20 lbs!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 69: second day syndrome

I am convinced that the "second day" workout is the hardest workout.

Think about it: the first time you go to the gym, you think to yourself This is awesome! It's not even hard. I can keep running! And running...and running. When you leap off the treadmill, you feel refreshed and good about yourself and proud of your fitness.

And then you go back the next day.

You get on the treadmill excited to break personal records, ready to get in the groove and get your work out on, when, to your dismay, you discover that you're damn tired and this workout? damn hard. It's disappointing. You can't even complete half of the workout you did the day before.

When the third day comes around, you start to feel mildly defeated. By the 4th day, things may be getting easier, but they will never will be as good as the first day. On the first day, your body doesn't know what's coming. It thinks this is a one time thing and it rises to meet the challenge. But by the second day, it rolls its eyes and says Give me a break. It doesn't want anything to do with you or your fitness goals.

That is how I felt today.

I was still on the high of yesterday's accomplishment. I woke up and immediately jumped into my gym clothes, determined to yet again conquer the hills. I was hopeful that this time, they would be even easier.

As soon as I reached the library, I realized that it wasn't going to happen. My legs were damn tired. I honestly struggled to reach the top of the hill - something that hasn't been an issue in a long time. I'm sure you could literally see my spirit deflate as I resigned myself to biking around UMD.

I did my usual lap, going down to the Dell etc etc. I was mad tired by this point and the sun was quite warm compared to what I'm used to with my nighttime / late day time exercising as of late. I resolved to do another lap before calling it quits.

When I wheeled back into my building, I did not feel a sense of accomplishment. At all. I was mad. I was mad at my body for being lame. I was mad to have such a regression. How is it that I could bike 11 miles yesterday and not be able to even make it around Ring Road 3 times today?

I just. don't. get it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 68: on my own

If you know me, you know that I am the hugest risk taker. Silly things make me nervous. Biking in traffic is one those things. This is why I normally stay on campus, where there are hardly any cars or obstacles and I know the routes like the back of my hand. I have also been going on night rides recently, which makes it even scarier to think of leaving campus to take on the real world where the street lights are iffy at best and there's a chance cars might not be able to see me.

Today, as I walked back from work and the cool breeze lifted my hair, I closed my eyes and knew that today was the today.

See, there comes a time in every unathletic girl's life that she needs to step outside of her comfort zone. And frankly, my UMD course is getting pretty old. I lusted for adventure and challenge.

I decided to do a route that Kate and I have taken before - down Old Westport Rd to Reed Rd in Dartmouth, up Reed to Beeden, up Old Westport back to UMD. It's a fairly simple course which doesn't require me to cross the street or really have anything to do with traffic, which a-ok with me!

The way down to Reed Rd is very simple. Mostly coasting, not much challenge. Once I reached Reed, I was surprised at how short the ride had been, because at this point, I realized that it was nearly half over! Of course, the thought of the treacherous Beeden Rd hills and the Old Westport demon still loomed ahead.

I was definitely breathless on my way up Beeden hill, though I was able to retain my preferred gear without downshifting, so I'd say that's some kind of a mini triumph. And surprisingly, Old Westport didn't kick my ass as much as usual. Don't get me wrong, I was still huffing and puffing by the time I reached the top, but the level of effort I had to put in to actually make it up the hill was significantly less than last time.

And when I got back to UMD, I still felt energetic and wanted more, so I did a lap around the area, down the Dell, the usual....

When I go off campus, I like to map my rides so I can find out how many miles I've traveled. What I really need to do is invest in an odometer [one that actually works] but for now, I guess mapmyrun.com is doing the job.

Total mileage = 11

And I wasn't even tired at the end of it. Honestly, I could've kept going but for the twinge in my left hip. Bastard.

But hey, not bad for an unathletic girl, eh?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 67: the longest road

Before heading out on my customary night-time bike ride, I decided to shuffle up ye old iPod and make a new mix entitled "Work out." What was on it? 30 or so tracks of Morgan Page and David Guetta remixes. I'm okay with it.

I knew I wanted to continue the trend of biking at least three times around the Ring, but I also wanted to add an element of challenge to the course. I want to build myself up to doing more and trying harder, because I know that when I am biking, the best part of the ride is the pain. Not that I enjoy it or look forward to it by any means. But if my muscles aren't hurting, they aren't being used enough to make a difference in their strength and endurance.

When I first started biking, I used to think that going to the left was easier than going to the right on Ring Road. My opinion has since changed. Although going to the left is one long hill and definitely wearing, going to the right might be more difficult in terms of terrain, yet I enjoy it more. There is a short hill near the police station, then another one in between Chestnut and Maple Ridge and one final boost uphill to the top of campus. And it's all downhill from there!

Tonight, I mixed things up by going down to the Dell and doing a lap in between every circle around the ring. I want my body to get used to going up hills more frequently. I want to build that strength so I can tackle all of the hills I have so hated for the past two months. I want to be able to conquer the hill in Martha's Vineyard that mocks me with the memory of its incredibly steep incline. I want to go there again and say Bring it on, hill! and then school that bitch.

I really really enjoyed my new workout mix. And there weren't as many bugs out tonight. It was still very humid, though. The air was heavy. I was sweaty. But it felt good. So good.

I keep getting this strange numbness in my legs, though. Tonight was worse than usual. I definitely need to remember to stretch before and after biking. I think it might have something to do with the way I am shifting my weight or perhaps might be related to my [poor] posture. Whatever the cause of it, it is a strange sensation. At first, it feels like it's falling asleep. Then the foot feels a slight numbness and then there is a grinding pain in the hip. It alternates hips regularly. I don't get it.

And, to continue the trend of me being an emotional rollercoaster, I am happy to report that the jeans I bought at the beginning of the summer are legitimately too big for me now. As in...my underwear hangs out the top of them and I have sag-ass. This is awesome. What is not awesome is that they are like the only capris I own.

PS: This is my favorite song right now. Pass it on. Morgan Page - The Longest Road

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 66: so close, yet so far

After breaking my personal record x2 yesterday, I was pretty excited to get back on the road today. I knew it wasn't going to be nearly as victorious when I took off on my first loop and could already feel my muscles mumble a protest. But I decided to push through it.

I ended up completing three laps and then also going down to the Dell and cruising a little bit.

A few thoughts crossed my mind as I tooled the ring:

a) Why is it still so damn hot at 10 pm?

b) Should I invest in a windshield for my self? - as beetles ricocheted off my arm, my face, my leg, my chest. Unpleasant.

c) Why is my bike squeaking a bit? Does it need oil? [and honestly, I don't know the first thing about basic mechanics. I wouldn't even know where to put the damn stuff if I had any]

d) Can the hockey players hear Enrique Iglesias crooning "I like it" from my external speakers as i speed past them? God, i hope not.

e) Will my body ever look the way it feels? God, I hope so.

I made a list of summer goals for myself and the top three things on it were: lose 20 pounds, be able to run a 5k (3.2 miles) and do something active everyday.

So far, the only thing I've successfully been able to accomplish is to do something active every day. And you would think the rest would follow suit. But no.

I do realize that I am hyper-critical of myself. But dammit, body! I just want you to look better! It's so disheartening. I mean, I've been working my tail off for the last 66 days and I can't really see any visual results. Granted, I also can't remember what I looked like 66 days prior to this. And you know why? Because I always look the same!!!!!!

The one thing I wanted from this summer was to go back to school in the fall and have people say to me "Wow, you look really good! Did you lose a lot of weight?" and for me to smugly reply that I had, indeed lost 20 pounds. But i'm not even close to being able to say that. Nor would anyone really notice a difference in my body if even I can't.

I'm sorry I'm a big whiny self-conscious basket case, but I just don't understand why my body isn't responding. I mean, I feel fit. I'm pretty positive I am fit. But I want to look it. I want to see it. And I don't think that's unreasonable.

Day 65: breakin records

I'm starting to believe in global warming with all of this heat. And for this reason, I have taken to night riding. That sounds far more daring and dangerous than it actually is. Though it is undoubtedly cooler (in more ways than one).

[cue old school detective voice-over]

The night was young and so was I as my bicycle and I headed east down the dark and dreary pavement toward no-man's land. We were in search of something. Something big.

We wound down and around the freshmen dorms, past the main entrance, down around the gym and then took off in the opposite direction to follow a similar route. Once two rounds were completed, we decided it was time to take action. Mustering what little strength we had left, we circled the ring for a miraculous and record-breaking third time.

But we knew it wasn't over.

We wheeled through parking lots, past shrubs and basketball players and down into the depths of the dirty dell. An eerie calm had overtaken the place and it glowed in the weak light of the street lamps that were still working. We lapped from south to west and back again, eyes to the road, heart beating. And when we crested the top of the hill marking our exit from that place, some strange demon took hold of us and said You must go on.

There, under the shroud of darkness, did we find what we had been looking for. With a satisfied smirk and an aching right hip, we begrudgingly ended our journey for the night. But this won't be the last you'll hear from us. Mark my words.


So yeah, I broke my own record twice tonight. Mission = accomplished.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Days 60-64: backtracking

I'm a bit behind on my entries, but here's making up for lost time!

Day 60: Hurray, two whole months of working out [almost] every day! I'm okay with it. On this day, my mom was visiting. I took her on bike tour of UMD down my normal route: around the ring, behind the quad, around the gym, down to the Dell. It was absolutely gorgeous out!

Day 61: We loaded our bikes into the car and went to the Fairhaven bike path. Unfortunately, we had decided to take my front tire off for fitting purposes. When we reached Fairhaven and reassembled the bike, something felt really off. We fiddled with it and flagged a bike-gear-clad man to try to help us, but the brakes were pressing really tight to the tire and we ended up reloading the bikes back into the car and just heading over to Lloyd's. Now, I've raved up and down about how great this place is, but on this particular day, I had a miserable time. Everything was super overgrown and it was very buggy. I had to parade through the brush swinging my arms like a windmill to the finish. It was quite unpleasant. Later in the evening, we ended up going to play mini golf and she beat me by one stroke!

Day 62: We woke up at 8 am and went back to the mini golf place for a rematch. I was winning in the bottom nine but we ended up having an exactly even score by the end of the game. It was so nervewracking. Next time, I will defeat her! After she left, Kate and I went for a bike ride down Old Westport and down to Reed Rd and then up Beeden (to defeat my old nemesis, that hill!) and then up Old Westport (also an enemy of mine). The bike ride was definitely easier this time than it was before, but I yearn for the days when I will be able to ride up that hill without losing breath.

Day 63: My sister, Hozay and I were in Boston for the day! We decided to walk to the Sam Adams brewery from our hotel. Bad idea. 1.5 hours and a lot of sweat later, we made it...only to find out there was a 2 hour for the tour. Blast. When we returned back to Dartmouth, my sister and I went for a bike ride, taking my usual route and then going through the Dell Woods to try to get to the sunken house I'd found earlier in summer. Unfortunately, someone has erected a fence since then to keep trespassers out. I will return some day and find a way there!

Day 64: Today we spent all day walking in the blistering New Bedford heat. We started off by going around the Buttonwood Park Zoo and then headed downtown for Summerfest, which we walked around for a few hours. And I believe I am going to have myself a nice bike ride once the sun backs off a bit. Of course, I shall also be exercising my elbow this evening [father!] since I obviously have to celebrate America. Obviously.

Stay tuned for more sweat and more miles! Tomorrow = the beach!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 59: sweat it out

Today I decided to go to the gym and mix up my routine a little bit.

I started off doing weight machines for arms and then legs (the gym got two new machines! a leg extension and a leg curl, which were both cool). Then I did the couch to 5 k plan on the treadmill: walk for 5 minutes, run for 1.5, walk for 2 etc for 20 minutes.

I have come to the conclusion that I really strongly dislike running. My calves hate it. And I don't think I have good form, but I'm not sure how to change it or what it is I might be doing wrong. I wish I liked it more, though, because it's a damn good work out!

It was really humid in the gym and I was sweating profusely by the time I finished the treadmill. I then did one mile on the elliptical.

Then I went on the upright bike and did 1 mile in under 5 minutes and then went on the reclining bike and did another mile in under 5 minutes.

I finished off the workout with a 15 pound weight side-abs exercise that Addie taught me earlier this summer.

I left the gym feeling super sweaty and good about myself. A nice workout! I definitely need to add the gym back into my weekly routine. Unfortunately, they're cutting the hours until July 9. LAME.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 58: Can't you feel the beat

On Sunday morning, Becca, Kat, Natalia & I were all supposed to bike the Holyoke Reservoir together. Due to a complication of plans, it ended up just being Becca & myself and we had a great time!

I brought my ipod, which has an external speaker, and put on my mix entitled "Sex" - which is mostly pop music & techno remixes (the one I normally listen to for long car rides & any kind of exercise. My feel-good music). I hooked it onto my pants and off we went!

It was gorgeous out! A bit on the muggy side, but that's standard this summer, it seems. The res was quite active with joggers and bikers and walkers. We did one half loop around it and stopped at the rocks to look for snakes. We saw one big black one sunning itself on the rocks and one piece of shed skin. Then we did the rest of the loop and passed by a TON of geese. It seems like only yesterday they were little puffy babies and now they are full grown!

After finishing that loop, we decided to go around again. I probably could have gone around again and again and again because I was enjoying myself so much. The terrain was mildly flat and I was feeling really energetic and really happy. Becca and I had a conversation going as we biked around. And I have to say that this was the easiest res bike ride I have ever gone on.

We ended up doing a total of 7-8 miles before heading home to get ready for the rest of the day. I look forward to doing more rides there with her in the future!

Day 57: blargh

I was super pumped to bring my bike home this weekend. As soon as I got to my parents' house, I made my whole family try it so they could stew in jealousy over my sweet ride.

The ride itself, however, did not end up being so sweet.

On Saturday morning my sister, dad, Kat & I went for a mysterious bike ride down a path that my dad wanted to check out.

I was feeling optimistic (yet cautious, being with so many athletic people!) when I made it up the hill on Prospect Hill that I hadn't been able to get up last time I was home.

We ended up going through Bear Hole, which is an unpaved foresty kind of place. There were many rocks and the ride was bumpy. We reached a blocked off section in the path and had to walk our bikes around the barrier. We then rode down a road that was paved, albeit poorly. It was even bumpier and rockier than the unpaved trail! We followed that road to the end and then were on some real pavement, which felt heavenly compared to the last surface.

We then decided to check out the Bear Hole reservoir, which is not nearly as awesome as the Holyoke reservoir. We went down a realllly steep hill and then had to go around a fence and that was about it. We hopped off our bikes and peered over the bridge into the water and then turned around to go back.

Needless to say, I did not make it back up the realllly steep hill. Becca & Kat did, those little athletic bitches. Dad & I walked our bikes up the hill.

We couldn't figure out how to get out of the reservoir because a gate had been open when we went in and was closed when we tried to leave. My dad tried to map out an alternate path and as he did so, I ended up catching my tire on some loose gravel in a small ditch annnnnd my bicycle pwned me. It took me out. I toppled over and it toppled over on top of me. How rude.

My knee was all cut up and bloody and my spirits were pretty low by this point. I was tired of feeling tired. Annoyed that bike rides are still so tiring for me and not as easy as I want them to be. And there go Becca & Kat, who bike ride about 1/20 the amount of time I do coasting along with barely any effort. It just isn't fair!

We made it up to the country store and stopped so they could get some freeze pops. I examined my bloody knee, which had dripped down to my sock. I also had a nice black and blue mark forming. My knee was sore and I just wanted the trip to be over with already, but we still had quite a ways ahead of us.

We went up and down and up and down and finally made it back to Prospect (coming from the opposite direction...we had done a loop). I could not make it up that hill for the life of me. I was so beat. I ended up hopping off and walking it up. Once I re-mounted, I felt as tired and weak as if I had actually biked up the damn thing. Fail.

I biked really slowly the rest of the way back home and, of course, walked my bike up the driveway.

Too much walking, not enough attacking. A disheartening day, indeed.

When we got home, I mapmyrun.com[ed] our route, and we found out that we'd done a total of 7-8 miles.