Sabbatical

me sipping a drink by poolI’m going to take a sabbatical from my blog for a while.  However, I will continue to update my exercise log with a new workout every week.  Monday, June 2, is the first day of my 18-week plan to run the Des Moines half marathon on October 13 so if you want to train along with me, please check my exercise log page and get started!  Have a great summer!

Here’s week 1 of the 18-week half marathon plan.  Check my exercise log page for the upcoming 17 weeks as I will not be posting them here.  Enjoy!

Exercise Plan for June 2 – June 8, 2014:

Monday: (Speed)

      • Plan: At an outdoor track or on a flat road, run 1 mile warm-up; run 12 400s at about a 1:51 pace; run 1 mile cool down. Do 30 push-ups, 20 squats and 25 lunges.
      • Actual:

Tuesday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes). Do 30 push-ups and 20 squats.
      • Actual:

Wednesday: (Speed, Endurance)

      • Plan: Run 2 miles easy; 3 miles at 8:00 – 8:10 pace ; 1 mile easy. Do 30 push-ups, 20 squats and 25 lunges.
      • Actual:

Thursday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes). Do 30 push-ups and 20 squats.
      • Actual:

Friday: (Endurance)

      • Plan: Run 8 miles at a 9:00-minute pace.
      • Actual:

Saturday: (Recovery)

    • Plan: Run 4-5 miles easy. Do 30 push-ups, 20 squats and 25 lunges.
    • Actual:

Sunday: (Rest)

                  • Plan: Lift weights or do 30 push-ups, 20 squats and 25 lunges and 50 sit-ups. Stretch.
                  • Actual:

 

What to Run the Week of the Race

Kathi running Dam-to-Dam (1)I used to fret over how much to run the week of a race.  If I ran too much, my legs would be heavy.  If I ran too little, I’d feel like a slug.  I have followed the Runner’s World book, Run Less Run Faster program for several years, and it works for me.

Initially, I was surprised that the program had track work in the week of the race.  I usually did next to nothing that week but I’ve found this program gives me enough rest without making me feel like I’ve forgotten how to run!

I am not going to be able to run the Dam-2 Dam half marathon this Saturday but I’ve listed below what I would be doing if I was.  Because I’m new to yoga, I haven’t done yoga the week of a race but I think if it’s not too intense, it would be relaxing mentally and help to stay stretched out. I’ve included it here.

Note I have added some push-ups and lunges and weights to my workouts because I’m losing muscle but I wouldn’t lift weights if I was running the race – no way!

Below is week 10 of 10 of my half marathon training plan.  Remember to start slow and finish with a smile!  Good luck to those running any race this weekend!  I will be there in spirit!

Exercise Plan for May 26 – June 1, 2014:

Weight: I’m down 1 pound from the weight I was when I started this 10-week training plan on 3/24/14.

Monday: (Speed)

      • Plan: At an outdoor track or on a flat road, run 1 mile warm-up; run 6 400s at 1:45 – 1:50 pace; run 1 mile cool down. Do 30 push-ups and 25 lunges on each leg.
      • Actual: See what I actually did on my exercise log page.

Tuesday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes). Do 20 push-ups and 20 squats.
      • Actual:

Wednesday: (Recovery)

      • Plan: If I was running the race this weekend, I’d run 3 miles easy and stretch out.  Since I’m not, I’m running 2 miles easy, 3 miles at an 8:00-minute pace, 1 mile easy. Do 30 push-ups and 25 lunges per leg.
      • Actual:

Thursday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes). Do 20 push-ups and 20 squats.
      • Actual:

Friday: (Endurance)

      • Plan: If I was running the race this weekend, I’d rest.  Since I’m not, I’m running 10 miles at 9:10 or under. Do 30 push-ups and 25 lunges per leg.
      • Actual:

Saturday: (Race)

    • Plan: Today is the half marathon race day so good luck to those who are doing the Dam-to-Dam half marathon and any other race across America today!  I will run 4-5 miles easy, do 30 push-ups and 20 squats and then get ready for my baseball/wedding guest day!
    • Actual:

Sunday: (Rest)

                  • Plan: Lift weights or 30 push-ups, 20 lunges per leg; 50 sit-ups. Stretch.
                  • Actual:

Consistent Exercise Makes You (It) Fit!

Happy 25th Anniversary, Kevin!

Happy 25th Anniversary, Kevin!

My husband and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.  For the first time in 25 years, I opened the box which held my wedding dress.  I tried it on and was surprised to be able to zip it up!  I guess exercising consistently for the past 25 years had paid off!

It still fits!

It still fits!

Below is week 9 of my 10-week half marathon program. If I want to try to get into that dress in another 25 years, (I know that sounds creepy but you get my drift), I’ll need to keep exercising 6 days a weeks alternating between aerobic exercise and stretching.  Have a great week!

Exercise Plan for May 19 – May 25, 2014:

Weight: I’m still at the weight I was when I started this 10-week training plan on 3/24/14.

Monday: (Speed)

      • Plan: At an outdoor track or on a flat road, run 5 1000s, (.63 miles), at a 7:45 pace.
      • Actual: See what I actually did on my exercise log page.

Tuesday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes).
      • Actual:

Wednesday: (Speed,Endurance)

      • Plan: Run 1 mile easy, 2 miles at 8:00, 1 mile easy, 2 miles at 8:00, 1 mile easy.
      • Actual:

Thursday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes).
      • Actual:

Friday: (Endurance)

      • Plan: Run 10 miles at an average pace of 8:50.
      • Actual:

Saturday: (Recovery)

    • Plan: Run 4-5 miles easy.
    • Actual:

Sunday: (Rest)

                  • Plan: Stretch.
                  • Actual:

Get Active Now to Be Active Later

by llama

As is our tradition, my husband and boys took me out to lunch and then to the zoo for Mother’s Day.  We had a great time, and I hope we will continue it when they have kids of their own.  If that’s the case, then I definitely need to stay in shape.  What better motivation than to continue to have fun with your kids and grandkids?

Below is week 8 of my 10-week half marathon program.  If I want to skip my run or yoga class, I will think about how I want to be able to be mobile and active in the years ahead.  I like to play and want to be able to for many years to come.  I also want to have a hot fudge sundae once in a while, too!  Have a great week!

eating ice cream

 

Exercise Plan for May 12 – May 18, 2014:

Weight: I’m still at the weight I was when I started this 10-week training plan on 3/24/14.

Monday: (Speed)

      • Plan: At an outdoor track or on a flat road, run 4 1600s, (1 mile), at an 8:00 pace.
      • Actual: See what I actually did on my exercise log page.

Tuesday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes).
      • Actual:

Wednesday: (Speed,Endurance)

      • Plan: 1 mile warm-up. Run 5 miles at an average pace of 8:40. 1 mile cool down.
      • Actual:

Thursday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes).
      • Actual:

Friday: (Endurance)

      • Plan: Run 12 miles outside at average pace of 9:10.
      • Actual:

Saturday: (Recovery)

    • Plan: Run 4-5 miles easy.
    • Actual:

Sunday: (Rest)

                  • Plan: Stretch.
                  • Actual:

Spring Has Finally Sprung!

Picture 075Wednesday is forecasted to be in the 80s, and Iowa high school baseball practice starts today so I believe spring has finally sprung!  Below is week 7 of my 10-week half-marathon training plan.  My runs are on MWF which takes advantage of the warmer weather and avoids the rain.  So happy to be outside after this long, cold winter.  Get out and enjoy the week!

Exercise Plan for May 5 - May 11, 2014:

Weight: I’m back to the weight I was when I started this 10-week training plan on 3/24/14.

Monday: (Speed)

      • Plan: At an outdoor track or on a flat road, run 3 2000s, (1.25 miles), at a 7:50 pace.
      • Actual: See what I actually did on my exercise log page.

Tuesday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes).
      • Actual:

Wednesday: (Endurance)

      • Plan: Run 1 mile easy; 2 miles at an 8:15 pace; 1 mile easy; 2 miles at an 8:15 pace; 1 mile easy.
      • Actual:

Thursday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes).
      • Actual:

Friday: (Speed/Endurance)

      • Plan: Run 10 – 12 miles outside at average pace of 9:00.
      • Actual:

Saturday: (Recovery)

    • Plan: Run 4-5 miles easy.
    • Actual:

Sunday: (Rest)

                  • Plan: Stretch.
                  • Actual:

How Yoga Breathing Helps My Running

889-try-yoga-to-improve-your-running[1]In yoga class, the instructor tells us to send breath to body parts that are sore or ready to collapse. I know that sounds impossible but it does seem to help.  I’ve found myself sending breath to my hips, hamstrings and shoulders on long runs, too.  Again, it may just be a mental distraction but I like to be distracted when in pain.  Try it and see if it works for you.

Below is week 6 of my 10-week half-marathon training plan.  I will be breathing especially hard on Friday in my 12 mile run.  Have a great week!

Exercise Plan for April 28 – May 4, 2014:

Weight: I’m back to the weight I was when I started this 10-week training plan on 3/24/14.

Monday: (Speed)

      • Plan: At an outdoor track or on a flat road, run 10 400s 1600s in 1:50 or under.  Or if raining, run 3 miles fast on an indoor track.
      • Actual: See what I actually did on my exercise log page.

Tuesday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes).
      • Actual:

Wednesday: (Speed/Endurance)

      • Plan: Run 5 miles outside at average pace of 8:30 or run 4 miles fast on indoor track.
      • Actual:

Thursday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes).
      • Actual:

Friday: (Endurance)

      • Plan: Run 12 miles at 9:10 average pace.
      • Actual:

Saturday: (Recovery)

    • Plan: Run 3-4 miles easy.
    • Actual:

Sunday: (Rest)

                  • Plan: Stretch.
                  • Actual:

Try to Overcome These 3 Exercise Deterrents

There are three things that make it difficult to exercise: weather, projects and travel. Unfortunately, this week is a perfect storm, (no pun intended), of all three. There’s a chance of rain several days this week which makes it hard for me to plan to run or make it to a yoga class.
DSC01383I’m in the midst of spring cleaning projects, and sometimes it’s hard to stop and take time out to exercise because I’m afraid I’ll get out of the mood and leave my decluttering half done.  I’m also getting a lot of projects done on my house this week so I have to be home at certain times which decreases my window of exercise and increases my chance of skipping it all together.

Travel is a tough exercise deterrent to overcome.  It doesn’t affect me often but I will be gone a couple nights this week and will be busy when I’m there so exercise will not be a top priority.

Below is week 5 of my exercise plan to be ready to run a half marathon on 5/31. Today I lucked out and was able to run, and I’m going to try to fit in some exercise between my projects and travel.  I’ll try but if it doesn’t work out, I won’t panic or give up.  I’ll just get back to my plan next week – that’s all any of us can do.  Have a great week!

Exercise Plan for April 21 – April 27, 2014:

Weight: I’m back to the weight I was when I started this 10-week training plan on 3/24/14. If I can’t squeeze in some exercise, I’d better watch what I eat especially when traveling!

Monday: (Speed) or (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: At a track or on a flat road, run 3 1600s, (or 1 mile), at an 8:00-minute pace.  Or Power Yoga 2 class if it’s raining.
      • Actual: See what I actually did on my exercise log page.

Tuesday: (Speed/Endurance)

      • Plan: Run yesterday’s 3 1600s if it rained or run 6 miles easy.  No chance of rain today so need to be outside.
      • Actual:

Wednesday: (Speed/Endurance) or (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Run yesterday’s easy 6 miles if haven’t run it or do Power Yoga 2 if it’s raining.
      • Actual:

Thursday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes).
      • Actual:

Friday: (Endurance)

      • Plan: Run 10 miles at 9:20 average pace.
      • Actual:

Saturday: (Recovery)

    • Plan: Stretch and do some yoga.
    • Actual:

Sunday: (Rest)

                  • Plan: Stretch.
                  • Actual:

My Top 3 Fears at Age 20 vs. Age 50

Fear is a powerful force that can inspire you to break through barriers or paralyze you into submission.  My top 3 fears haven’t changed since I was 20 but the order and details have definitely changed:

woman asking for money1) Not being independent/Not being successful

At 20: My biggest fear, at 20, was not being financially independent.  Growing up, I had seen too many women trapped in lives they couldn’t escape because they lacked the education and skills to break free.  I got a degree in accounting, not because I loved it but because I knew I could get a job that paid fairly well.  I didn’t realize then that I’d be more successful and happier in a job I loved but I wouldn’t have cared anyway.  I didn’t want to worry about money ever again and didn’t want to depend on someone else to support me.  That was success to me then. Luckily, I found a marketing job I loved so was financially stable and happy.

At 50: I retired last year so I am no longer financially independent but that isn’t what scares me.  I’m afraid I’ve become too dependent on my husband concerning travel and technology issues. I haven’t traveled alone in years and would need a brief tutorial just to fly to Chicago!  I couldn’t hook up a computer or TV if my life depended on it.

As for success, even though I’m not working outside the home, I still feel the need to be successful in whatever I do.  My fear is that I won’t find fulfillment or feel I have a purpose in the non-working world.

walking down aisle2) Being alone/Being lonely:

At 20: Finding Mr. Right wasn’t a big goal for me at age 20 so being a spinster wasn’t my biggest fear.  Marriage and children weren’t even on my radar screen at this time of my life. I liked having a love interest but my track record with love wasn’t good, and I didn’t want to bank too much of my future on a guy.  I was more concerned with making bank myself.

Don’t get me wrong.  I was no hermit and put myself out there, (especially on the dance floor), and finally met my future husband in an accounting class! It may not have been the most romantic of settings but our marriage has stood the test of time – our 25th anniversary is this May.

At 50: How things have changed.  The thought of being alone or worse yet, being lonely, is what stops me in my tracks these days.  The independent 20-year-old has become very dependent on her husband not only for unconditional love but companionship, too.  If something happened to him, I have good friends who would be there for me but I would never be number one in their lives.  My two sons would visit me but they’d have their own lives to lead and wouldn’t want to hang out with me – at least I hope not. I’d figure it out but it does strike fear in my bones.perm143) Not looking good/Not feeling good:

At 20: I cared very much how I looked back then although I have photos that would say otherwise.  Permed hair and too much makeup was not a pretty combination but I tried.  I also cared about trying to look good in clothes.  I was blissfully unaware that while I may have looked okay in my turquoise Wrangler corduroy pants from Target, it just wasn’t cool to wear them!

I didn’t give a thought to my health except to go on a 24-hour-liquids-only diet when I felt fat.  Any exercise I did was strictly to improve my appearance, not my health.

At 50:  Losing my looks as I age isn’t a huge fear but I know I feel better about myself if I feel like I look good so I use a lot of moisturizing products.  My bigger fear now is my health.  I exercise and watch my weight but I fear genetics has the upper hand in some illnesses. My dad and two sisters died of cancer.  My mom had cataracts and died of Alzheimer’s.  I have had a melanoma skin cancer, I have minor cataracts, and my sons and husband are convinced I have early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Facing Fears: I take comfort and even some pride knowing that when I faced my fears in my youth, I survived and even thrived.  Now I need to tackle my three fears with the same ferocity and persistence.  Here’s my game plan:

Fear #1:  I will become more independent and fly alone somewhere soon.  I will try harder to figure out technological problems instead of just handing them over to my husband or sons.  I will find success and fulfillment by trying several volunteer opportunities and/or part-time jobs until I connect with a cause or a venture that I am passionate about. It may take time but will be worth it.

Fear #2: Becoming more independent and fulfilled will help me feel less alone and lonely if my husband dies before me.  I will also nurture my current friendships and build new ones.  I will stay in close contact with my two sons and create fun occasions so they will visit me often.  I will explore new interests, and I will always have a puppy dog.

Fear #3: I will foster my health and appearance by exercising regularly and not eating or drinking to excess.  I will go to the doctor as needed but most of all, I’m not going to worry about what I can’t control.  If I get cancer, I hope it will be caught early, and I’ll deal with it.  I’ll face it and hopefully, all of my fears with dignity and strength.

 

 

 

 

Why I Gain Weight When It’s Warm Out!

Happy Easter Week!

Happy Easter Week!

I love spring and summer but it’s also the time when I tend to gain a few pounds.  Why does this happen just when I have to wear shorts or a swimsuit?

I have a friend who has the same problem, and we surmised that it’s because we’re more social when it’s nice out.  We go out and eat fattening hors d’oeuvres and drink too much alcohol.  It has to be the diet because, if anything, we exercise more when the weather is more stable.

I’m not going to stop going out – no way!  But I need to try not to miss my yoga classes this week and add more miles to my run if I plan to eat bar food! I can handle that.

Below is week 4 of my exercise plan to be ready to run a half marathon on 5/31.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be in another town and won’t be able to run it but I’m going to train for it anyway.

Exercise Plan for April 14 – April 20, 2014:

Weight: I’m still up 2 pounds from when I started this 10-week training plan on 3/24/14. This is the time of year I gain weight so need to burn extra calories!

Monday: (Speed) or (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: At a track or on a flat road, run 3 1600s, (or 1 mile), at an 8:15-minute pace. Run 1 800 (half-mile), at an 8:00-minute pace. Or Power Yoga 2 class if it’s raining.
      • Actual: See what I actually did on my exercise log page.

Tuesday: (Speed/Endurance)

      • Plan: Run 5 miles at a 9:00-minute pace.
      • Actual:

Wednesday: (Rest)

      • Plan: Stretch.  (Going out of town for the day so no time to run or a class.)
      • Actual:

Thursday: (Endurance)

      • Plan: Run 10 -11 miles at 9:15 average pace.
      • Actual:

Friday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 2 (60 minutes).
      • Actual:

Saturday: (Recovery)

    • Plan: Run 3 miles easy.
    • Actual:

Sunday: (Rest/Recovery)

                  • Plan: Stretch. Happy Easter!
                  • Actual:

Why I Like My Yoga Hot

bikram[1]I’ve read the negatives that can result from taking hot yoga classes: overstretched muscles, dehydration, heat exhaustion and even heat strokes.  The American Council on Exercise, (ACE), warned the benefits of hot yoga are largely perceptual, and hot yoga probably doesn’t do any more for the body than yoga performed at room temperature. Furthermore, the degree of sweat doesn’t correlate to burning more calories.

That’s good for me to know but I don’t go to hot yoga to burn more calories. I go to stretch and strengthen my muscles.  I like to walk into a warm room. I like to sweat, and I’m used to increasing my body temperature by running fast or in hot weather.  I like how yoga makes my neck, shoulders, arms and back feel stronger.  I like how it opens up my hips and lengthens my hamstrings. I like that it’s a great complement to my running.

Anyone who tries a hot yoga class needs to monitor their heat level carefully and hydrate as needed.  If it’s too hot, they have to be willing to stop and/or leave the room!  The classes I attend are at 90 degrees which is hot enough even when doing regular yoga positions.  It can feel too hot if the class is very aerobic. You have to know your fitness level and adjust accordingly.  You have to let your body, not your ego, be your guide.

The bottom line is I’ve tried non-hot yoga classes, and I don’t like them nearly as well.  If it’s not hot, I won’t go – not regularly anyway.  But that’s just me.  If you don’t like heat and sweat, you’ll get just as much good from a non-hot yoga class, and I highly recommend yoga for anyone, but particularly if you’re over age 50.

Exercise Plan for April 7 – April 13, 2014:

Weight: I’m up 2 pounds from when I started this 10-week training plan on 3/24/14.  It’s tough to eat right when out of town at baseball doubleheaders all weekend.  Oh well! I love it!

Monday: (Speed)

      • Plan: At a track or on a flat road, run 6 1200s, (or .75 miles), at an 8:00-minute pace.
      • Actual: See what I actually did on my exercise log page.

Tuesday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes).
      • Actual:

Wednesday: (Speed/Endurance)

      • Plan: Run 1 mile easy, Run 6 miles at an 8:50 pace.
      • Actual:

Thursday: (Strength/Flexibility)

      • Plan: Power Yoga 1.5 (60 minutes).
      • Actual:

Friday: (Endurance)

      • Plan: Run 10 miles at a 9:20 pace.
      • Actual:

Saturday: (Recovery)

    • Plan: Run 3 miles easy.
    • Actual:

Sunday: (Rest/Recovery)

                  • Plan: Stretch.
                  • Actual: