Category Archives: WORK IT

More Fitness

Hey friends.

Are we tired of fitness posts yet? (Seriously I don’t know, you need to tell me if you are bored dot com by this.)

Also, did I mention that I am in a wedding in two weeks? I am! But that is not why I am working out because let’s be honest, I am one mama of two children, one of them being six months old. This is real life right here.

Because every post needs a picture (otherwise our attention wanders!), here is a snap of our basement workout area.

Complete with beer fridge!

Honestly, moving the hand-me-down green couch out of the basement and not being able to fit the cream couch down the stairs has been a real blessing. It has left us (me) with more than enough room for the treadmill and floor space for yoga and workout videos. Which are apparently now a thing that I do.

Because I am a wild woman, I bought some 2 lb weights last week and those are a thing that I own now.

I also wanted to pop in to share a great workout video I found – this one is some sort of bizarre cardio dance yoga thing that is the most fun ever. I have done it three times and each time it is hard and each time it is a hoot.

If you have any favorite workout videos that you like to do, please share them in the comments!

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HIITing It.

(Scene from this morning’s workout at barre class.)

SQUAD.

After nine weeks, I am still going strong on my three times a week workout goal and I am proud of me! I will also share that Marcus has been just an incredible supporter of me in this. He makes time for me to go to a workout class on the weekends without the kids, on the nights I workout, he takes on some extra housework so that I can just head downstairs after dinner.

The treadmill is still awaiting its healer (they’ll be by this week) so I am still doing workout videos. They are the worst ever. I hate them. They do not even take very long but they are hard.

That said, I have been doing these two (Video OneVideo Two) from POPSUGAR pretty much on rotation and y’all they are working. I am finally feeling my core muscles engaging.

Also they are free and y’all know I love free things. Being able to workout in the basement continues to be the number one reason I am able to workout at all. I do like going to a weekly class, mostly so that I can leave my house without my children. But at the end of the day, nothing tops being able to just throw on some workout clothes, hustle downstairs and then be able to just walk back into my life when I am done.

Ten Minute Catch-Up

Basically, I want to write a post but I have other things to do tonight.

Also, I lost some time to the fact that our treadmill is broken. The maintenance people came out last week to do its annual maintenance and they must have neglected to hook up some part of the computer or something because the incline works, but the belt will not run. How incensing.

So that left me scrambling for a workout to do in the basement. Marcus distinguished himself and quickly hooked up the DVD player but then we could not find the DVDs. Foiled again.

Thankfully I remembered that Laura shared some of her favorite 20 minute POPSUGAR videos here. I did this one. It was exhausting, I have no core strength.

I am pretty much winning in the competition to be The World’s Most Okayest Mom.

We are signed up for another round of tball, soccer (these sports each last 6 weeks) and an art class.

Also, Critter has to bring his lunch to school this week (which we have not done all year) and I will note the following: we do not own a lunchbox of any kind so I sent him with a personal sized Coleman cooler, I also packed five baby carrot sticks that I knew he would not eat so that the teachers would know I am a good mom.

And with that, good night.

I Work Out

All of my friends: You’re running again!

(Me internally: Thank God for friends who very literally have the highest aspirations for me)

Me Out Loud: LOL no I am power walking.

BUT.

Here we are.

I finally got new running shoes (hello goal complete!). And now our treadmill has been used for more than me trying to go into labor (which worked). I realized last week that I hadn’t put any hooks for workout clothes up in our closet.

My goal for right now (and let’s be serious probably until both children are in school) is to exercise three times a week. It can be all walking, all yoga, a combination of the two. I am not doing it to get skinny, I am doing it because I am an unbearable person to be around when I don’t.

Where do I fit it in? Well, usually right after dinner (another reason I am not thinking about running at all right now) because that is the time I have. Generally our mornings start by 6:30 at the latest but sometimes as early as 4:30 or 5:00. This is fine, but there is no way for me to wake up before my children do. Morning workouts will have to be the domain of the time when they can finally pour themselves cereal and turn on some cartoons.

Do I have the time for this? Sort of but not really. I do in the sense that the minutes exist. I do not in the sense that once dinner is put away, Marcus and I usually try to do one productive project each night. This can be cleaning a bathroom or the kitchen, folding laundry, sweeping out the mudroom, you get the idea. So now I do this and that. It is fine. We are all happier when our house is passably clean.

And now with all of this you know the tiniest bit about my pseudo-workout routine and our general housekeeping. The end.

Dispatch from Italy: Hiking in Cinque Terre

Well. We have officially survived the hiking in Cinque Terre.  When I was telling people about the whole Cinque Terre hiking-thing I was like It’s European hiking so it’s just sort of like walking around. And then you drink wine. 

I was totally right about the wine drinking thing and totally wrong about the hiking thing.   Marcus and I do zero hiking in America but at some points the paths we were trekking had me seriously concerned about broken limbs and/or whether or not our life insurance was in order. In my heart of hearts, I do not feel that this is the norm but nevertheless We Pressed On!

Since some of the paths are CLOSED (there was a mudslide in 2012 that took out several parts of the main trail between Riomaggiore and Monterosso) and others were “closed” we were a little creative with our plans. That being said, even with some segments of the main trail shut down there is still plenty of rigorous hiking to do!

Even though we don’t really own any formal hiking gear (boots, backpacks, pants, etc.) we did load up Marcus’ backpack with about 2.5 liters of water (we refilled the 1.5 liter bottle at every opportunity) and some granola bars. On Saturday morning I also discovered a giant length of decent rope that Marcus had purchased for our Pamplona trip (like a gazillion yards) to use as a clothesline. So we were ready for some adventure. 

On Friday, we hiked the 531, which is the “high” path that connects Riomaggiore and Manarola. The main path takes 20 minutes and is allegedly easy, but alas it was closed. This path?  One hour including rugged ascent and descent!  

Our other trek was the main path (the 2) between Monterosso and Vernazza. This is the only officially open part of the trail and is apparently also the hardest.  Between the ascending, and the portions of the path that were one person wide without a guard rail and sheer cliff beneath, there was plenty to keep us alert.  That aside, the views were beautiful (obviously).



Today, we kicked off our morning with a two part hike of the 593 loop to Madonna di Monte Nero. Our first ascent ended after 30 minutes of heavy climbing (or as it was described to us, Up, always you are going up.) when we confronted this situation. 



We descended and re-ascended in the reverse via a straight 60 minute stair climb for something like 1600 feet. 

This is first descent. 



Also, all of the paths are marked with a trail marker that looks like this every once in awhile. 



Sometimes it appears with great frequency. Other times, it vanishes. 

During our hikes, Marcus and I would play a fun game called Hiking Path Or Private Farm? where absent a trail marker we would guess whether we were turning onto the correct path or if we were walking straight into someone’s private plot of farmland (there are just tons of little personal gardens and farms on the hills of Cinque Terre!).

Anyway, after we survived all of this insane climbing sometimes on stairs, sometimes on boulders and sometimes on things that are hard to quantify other than as “climbable,” we saw this. 



Our second hike of the day was on the 2 from Vernazza to Corniglia. Technically this path is “closed.”  

Honestly, I think this was probably the safest path we hiked on the entire time, even considering this, which I believe was supposed to be the most dangerous part. 



So much room to walk on the trail and even sometimes handrails!

Lest you think that we were freestyling on our own, we passed probably 20-30 other hikers. This view = also not bad. 



And then we got gelato in Corniglia as we sort of aimlessly searched for the train station, crossed that town off our list, and hopped back on a train to Riomaggiore to watch the sunset. 



I told Marcus that we are officially hikers now. I am really so proud of us for being able to hike to each town.  It was a real physical challenge and an accomplishment, sort of in the same way that crossing a finish line feels like a victory. I highly doubt that we’ll be planning more hiking vacations any time soon, but this was the perfect interlude between art and…more art. 

Running Again

Running

Last week I got the Go Ahead to actually exercise again (AKA really raise my heart rate and stretch my incision) and that was wonderful.

Which is not to say that the two weeks of rest were totally terrible.  It was (admittedly) a good break for my joints.  I  power walked each day and that was sort of a good thing and sort of ponderous.  Generally speaking, I like power walking – it’s a nice way to break-up my workouts throughout the week because you can’t run every day.  Allegedly it puts you in a heart rate zone that is fat burning, but I can’t really confirm or deny that since I don’t actually have a heart rate monitor.  But after 14 days, it was sort of like, enough was enough.

On the other hand, it was a great reminder that we don’t always get to choose what sort of exercise we get to do.  We’re not always in shape to run.  We don’t always have the upper body strength to do push-ups.  It’s like they say in yoga – I am working with the body I have today, not the body that I had yesterday, and not the body that I hope to have tomorrow.

I know that I shared my worries about gaining weight while I wasn’t running.  On the contrary, I lost weight.  Who could have guessed.  I ate the same amount of food I usually eat and just didn’t worry about it and that was that.  There were a few nights where I went out to eat and I definitely enjoyed those meals, but on the same hand, I also tried to make sure that I didn’t overdo it.  As we all know, one treat here and there won’t make a difference but an all-treat lifestyle definitely will.

I think that every runner’s greatest fear is that when they’re able to start running again, they won’t be able to.  Like either their body will have completely forgotten how, or they won’t be able to run a full mile, or it just won’t feel like it’s supposed to.  Good news: it feels like it’s supposed to AND I can run a full mile (or three).  And so I’m back into a routine.

Walking (Slowly).

From the department of extremely boring, I am on Day 4 of living a borderline sedentary lifestyle.

On Thursday, when I was sitting in the doctor’s office immediately post-surgery, I basically asked every way that I could to get permission to run and do yoga.  When I didn’t get that, I consoled myself with the prospect of power walking.

If I can be completely honest, when the doctor told me No Running, my first thoughts were:

  1. I am going to balloon into a whale over the next two weeks
  2. I need to focus on what I am eating so I do not balloon into a whale

Which is horrifically superficial, I know.  But this is honestly a bigger “break,” than I have ever taken from…exercise.  Even when I had awful tendinitis, I was on the exercise bike every afternoon, doing yoga every morning, and right now that is simply not an option.

With my first bandage change, there was a reality check.  I have a two inch incision and about 16 stitches in my back.  It was sort of alarming.  And it was 100% not the same as two centimeters and a few stitches.  At all.

I get it now.  I really do.  I can’t run or do yoga or even power walk right now or anything that will cause that area not to heal.  I can walk.  Slowly.  Which is just phenomenally boring.  But that is it, because I really need those stitches to stay in place and my back to mend.  I need to eat the foods my body needs in order to heal, which is not about amounts, it is about things.  Like lots of fresh produce, protein and healthy fats.  And daily mugs of hot cocoa because that is healing too.