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.