Friday, June 27, 2014

First Week of Summer Break

Somehow, miraculously, I am surviving summer break. And not even really just surviving, but kindof sortof enjoying it. Don't get me wrong, it is exhausting with all the meals and the activities and laying on my butt by the pool for three hours (ha, yes, being a stay-at-home mom is so hard). My husband also decided to abandon us for most of this first week, doing, you know, a job so I can sit on my ass by the pool for three hours. So yes, he's actually been crazy busy, and not at home very much, and I have been "at home" all of the time with both girls. 

This summer I will also be all about presenting a front of "OMGthisisthebestsummerever!" because that is much better thing to focus on then anything else. 

So I've already mentioned how we went to the pool one day. I expected it to be crazy crowded, because it usually is, so I decided to be a lazy mom who doesn't get in the pool with her kids and I didn't even bother bringing a swimsuit. When we got to the pool there was, like, a dozen kids in it. Swimming in a huge salt-water pool overlooking the Puget Sound when isn't teeming with splashing, screaming children would have been quite lovely. Instead I read a bunch of Iris's new book, an uplifting little thing called "The Fault in Our Stars". You maybe have heard of it. It's a fabulous book. I had to finish it quickly so I was ready to take Iris to the movie. I also cried.

The pool

So far we have gone to the spray park, the movies, the library to get the books for the summer reading program, Costco (my kids love that place almost as much as I hate it), and had a middle-school babysitter come for my littlest so that I could take my biggest to the mall. Turns out my biggest and I share an unbridled enthusiasm for The Container Store. You learn something new every day! I think hiring this babysitter will be one of my smarter choices for this summer. While I can't leave both of the girls with her, I made the executive decision that is far too much for anyone to handle, let alone a middle schooler, it is nice to have her here to hang with Eloise while Iris and I get out together.

The spray park

I am sort of trying to keep up the plan to do at least one thing a day. Maybe a little thing, maybe a big thing, but at least one thing that the girls and I can look forward to. And sometimes I look forward to an activity simply because it gets us out of the house and not screaming at each other. We hung a little list on the fridge where the girls and I can each add ideas of things we would love to do this summer while we are all stuck at home together. So far we've done a few and we're only a week in. Yay for us! 

There aren't any exciting trips planned for this summer, much like last summer. It bummed me out last year, since I was so used to our epic Michigan trips. Despite those trips often going epically wrong, I did miss the idea that is was a "vacation" in that we were away from home, and near a beach. This summer I've adjusted my thinking about how to pass our weeks together and hopefully will be in a good frame of mind about it all. 

We shall see. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Packing for Ragnar

I wanted to re-visit my packing list from the Ragnar Northwest Passage I did in 2013. I felt like I was very well prepared in terms of having the right gear for the race last year, but I have added a few things to the list, as well.

Last year I consulted many different blog posts about packing for a relay (yes, I'm a little Type A sometimes) and I think the best tip I gleaned was this one: pack three completely separate running outfits, one outfit in each in a gallon sized ziploc bag. Not only did it help me stay organized, it helped me dress quickly (okay, sorta quickly) and gave me a place to stuff my gross clothes after I ran. 

I think it will also be important to think about the times of day I am running. One of my legs this year is in the middle of the night, so I will probably want to wear warmer clothes for that one. Even when not running, it gets pretty cold at night. I was barely warm enough last year in a sweatshirt and sweatpants after the sun went down. 

It is important to bring everything you will need, but to not over pack. Even a 12 passenger van can feel cramped with enough stuff everywhere!


My essentials:

*two pairs of running shoes 
*three bags of running clothes, which was a top and bottom, socks and running bra (two bags also had capris in addition to my running shorts in case I didn't want shorts)
*complete outfit for when I wasn't running, including bra/underwear
*sweatshirt
*kindle fire for reading/watching movies (actually didn't use this much last year, but nice to have just in case)
*flip-flops
*towel and washcloth
*compression socks
*arm sleeves
*The Stick 
*Birkenstocks
*sleeping bag
*sleeping pad
*pillow
*Garmin
*Road ID
*SPI belt
*phone charger
*reflective vest (required by Ragnar)
*headlamp (required by Ragnar)
*blinkie light (required by Ragnar)
*baseball cap
*sunglasses
*team t-shirt 
*camera (bringing a Go Pro this year!)
*ipod/earbuds

Also a ziploc bag of running related things like: 

*face wipes
*hand wipes
*leukotape (if I need to tape my legs or feet)
*SUNSCREEN IS A MUST
*bug spray
*ibuprofen
*arnica
*ear plugs
*blister cream
*tums
*immodium 
*body glide
*shower pills (packets of anti-bacterial body wipes) ((I might put these in my clothes bags this year so they are right where I need them!))

Then a ziploc bag of bathroom essentials like: 

*face and body wash
*shampoo, conditioner
*face lotion
*deodorant 
*toothbrush and toothpaste
*two headbands
*several hair ties

Special food items for before/during/after running:

*running gels and chews
*nutrition bars like Clif Bars
*nuun

Obviously, I will also bring my ID, some cash, a credit card or two, my phone, etc etc. 

Last year I had NO idea what to expect in terms of what sort of things would be fun. This year I will provide my team with cowbells, and we will bring stuff to decorate our van, a teammate is making magnets to tag other vans. Will give some more thought to any other fun items we will need to liven up the race! 

There are a lot of other things the van will need, as well. Things like:

*food
*first-aid kit
*water

Any other suggestions for the packing list? 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up: June 16-June 22

This was a great week of workouts. It was also the last week my girls were in school for the year, so I doubt my weeks will look this solid for a while.

Total Miles Run: 11.4

Monday: Yoga

My last yoga class for a while since my class was during the day while my girls were in school. Yoga is something I will probably never, ever do on my own. I love my class so much, and I adore my teacher, and I just don't get the same warm fuzzies about yoga in many other settings. Hopefully I will make it to some classes while my girls are in camps, or I can try out some night or weekend classes!

Tuesday: Swim 30 Minutes

I didn't get my act together to get to the pool in time to do more than 30 minutes. It was a great swim. Other than ripping my swim cap. Mental note: buy new swim cap.

Wednesday: 2 Mile Run (and Zombie Tag!)

When I headed out for my run I mistakenly thought I had 30 more minutes than I did. Once I realized my mistake I booked it home and was happy with 2 miles. In the afternoon I hung out with my daughter's class at the park and partook in some games of zombie tag on the playground. Hello HIIT workout! Man, it was hard to sprint around like that. Some kids joked with me that they were faster than me, I wanted to point out that if we were doing longer than, say, 200 yards, I would probably smoke them. Haha. 

Thursday: 4.4 Mile Run

Left my PT appointment feeling a bit defeated, so I went out and ran a very fast (for me, especially since I run/walk right now) out and back just over four miles. I felt great, though it was hot, and it was nice to get a little frustration out on the run! 

Friday: Strength

This was a workout my trainer designed for me called Minute Madness. I set my HIIT timer for one minute on for each exercise, then 30 seconds off for rest. It worked really well.

Twice through each circuit/1 minute on each exercise.

Circuit One
*bosu shuffle step/squat
*single leg squat with bosu
*chest press with resistance band
*row with resistance band

Circuit Two
*reverse lunge on bosu
*squat to leg lifts
*tricep press with resistance band
*bosu push-ups

Circuit Three
*wrap-around crunch
*v-up
*bicycle crunch


Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 5 Miles Run

I wasn't exactly sure what to do about this run. I 50% feel like I should take it slow and easy and not wreck myself even worse, and 50% feel like I should just kind of go "all out" if I'm not going to heal anyways. Dumb, I know, but I just have to make it through Ragnar and then re-evaluate. So, I probably shouldn't have run 5 miles, but I did, and I loved every single second of it. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Adjustments

There are a few reasons I dread summer vacation-- lack of structure, limited alone time and fighting children are three major reasons-- but also simply not being able to do my usual workouts in is enough to send me in to a tailspin. I am the kind of person who needs my workouts to just feel sane. They feel like a very concrete thing that I can focus on, and work hard on, that also challenges me and is something where my efforts always equal progress. There aren't very many other areas of my life I can say that about.

So, I am trying to adjust my attitude about summer. My new mantra surrounding my workouts is going to be "it's good enough". I want the focus of the workouts I can squeeze in to be good enough. Good enough to maintain my fitness level and my weight. I am not exactly sure how many/few workouts, and of what kind, will help me simply maintain, but I think even as little as 4 days each week of a mix of strength and cardio should be okay.

We'll see how this works out. I am sure I will be pulling my hair out by the third week of summer (oh, who am I kidding, I already was by the first day!) but I believe that setting an intention is a big part of the ultimate success. I want to feel successful even though my routine is taking a downshift.

The other thing ready to throw a wrench in to any plans I may have is that there is some growing concern that the reason I still have foot pain is that the previous stress fractures I have had just never fully healed. During a check-in with my PT last week she video taped me running and my form looks really solid (finally!). My hip/glute strength is where it should be. There is no area of weakness/imbalance right now that would explain my foot pain. It seems now that the only thing that explains it is that it just isn't healing.

If this is really the case, then I have two options. Slap on a boot and stay off of it for 6-8 weeks or keep it out of a boot but do not run for at least four months. My problem is that even when I am not running I am extremely active, walking at least 10,000-12,000 steps a day. Guess it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that won't help a stress fracture heal. We're also discussing a few other things to get my slow-to-heal bones to hurry up and heal already, but I have less than no time to look in to new treatments over summer break. It will have to wait until the fall.

So, I will train carefully and run Ragnar, and if that goes well, then I can keep running. If it doesn't go well, then I have some tough decisions to make. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Thoughts on the Fitbit Flex

After I returned the Jawbone UP24 I had about a week to try out a Fitbit Flex. I was nervous about taking on the responsibility of a new fitness band because I accidentally lost the UP24 at a soccer field the last day I had it. Oops. Luckily someone found it and we got it back.

To be totally honest, my review of the Fitbit Flex is a little skewed by my experience using the UP24.

First impressions: 

*The band was tricky for me to put on. There are two little prongs on one side of the band that you have to press in to holes on the other side. Not sure why I had such a hard time with this, but it immediately made me frustrated with the band. 
*I felt like this band was strictly functional, as it had zero visual appeal, unlike the UP24. The Flex has a little line where it can show lights (more on this in a bit). I was a bit more self-conscious wearing this band. I don't consider myself terribly fashionable, and most days I am dressed at least 75% of the time in workout clothes, but I still didn't like that I was obviously wearing a fitness tracker.
*The app is "eh".



What the Fitbit Flex can do: 

I will admit that I wasn't as interested in digging too deeply in to all of the functions of this band. Here's the immediate things I discovered it can do.
*Track steps
*Tracks calories burned
*Tracks weight
*Track sleep
*You can input extra exercise
*You can input food and water intake
*You can connect online with other Fitbit users (I never tried this)

How is it different from the UP24? 

*It keeps your weight front and center on the app screen, which I found obnoxious, though if you were tracking your weight, this maybe could help (Weight was part of the screen I didn't include in the dashboard shot below).
*There are more options for exercises, for example instead of just saying you did a cycling workout at a certain exertion, you could input how fast you were going. 
*I felt like there were almost too many menu options. It overwhelmed me, I like things simple.
*The Flex told me that that 10,000 steps was 5 miles, though I feel like this tracker wasn't adding up the steps as quickly as the UP24. Not sure why, and I wish I could wear them both at the same time and see if that were true! 
*The Flex also seemed to be more liberal with the calories it thought I burned. I suppose I like it more for that reason!

This was my highest activity day when wearing the Flex.


What was great about the Fitbit Flex:

*I loved that you could tap the band twice and little lights would illuminate to give you an idea of how far you had come with your steps in the day. The more you walk, the more lights light up. I believe it has five lights total. 
*The app seems to just constantly update. I had it open on my phone on the counter next to me while I made dinner and it added steps immediately as I moved around the kitchen. I also had zero issues with it connecting to the band via Bluetooth.
*The list of activities seems more comprehensive, so it likely would give a better idea of how many calories were burned.
*When you hit 10,000 steps for the day the band throws a little party! It vibrates and lights up and celebrates. 

My overall impression and final verdict: 

I didn't like the Flex as much as the UP24. I didn't like wearing it on my wrist, I didn't like putting it on, and I didn't like the app as much. If I had to choose one, I'd pick the UP24. There were a few features that were appealing to the Flex, like the ability to tap the band to see how many steps you had walked, but nothing that would make me think twice about choosing the UP24 instead. 

I also thought the app needs a little more, I don't know, "oompf". It is boring. 

The price might be the main thing that would drive a user to the Flex. When I checked on Amazon, the Flex was just under $100, while the UP24 is closer to $120. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up June 9-June 15

Almost every day I start with walking the dog. We go anywhere from 1-2 miles, though with the nice weather, and having time on my hands, these days it is typically 2 miles. I feel like it's a decent way to get a little extra work in, to warm myself up if I am smart enough to come home and jump in to my "real" workout, and just overall a really awesome way to start the day.

I was hoping that the walking might be helping my foot. These days I almost exclusively walk in my Merrell Bare Accesses, which I love, love, love. I was thinking of trying to run in them, but not sure my feet are ready for that (inflexible, weak foot and all). 

Total Miles Run: 8 

Monday: Strength 

*Tae Bo kicks with weights
*Standing march with dumbbell pullover
*Single leg reverse deadlift
*Lunge with overhead tricep extension
*Tricep dip with leg raise
*Speed row with exercise band
*Plank with a row (and one foot on the ground! These are hard!)
*Plank to shoulder press (aka dolphin) 
*Side Plank with leg lift (these are super hard, too!) 

I definitely need heavier weights. My 8 lb ones don't exactly cut it on something like a deadlift. Why oh why are weights so darn expensive?!

Tuesday: Walking and 3 Miles Run with a bit of Strength 

I typically don't include my walking in my wrap-up, but this day I measured it, and did 1.4 miles walking, then 3 miles running, then 1 mile walking. I also threw in some ab work, push-ups and work for my buns (aka squats, donkey kicks and side lying leg raises).

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 40 Min Swim, 2 Mile Run and 4 Mile Surrey Ride

40 minutes at the pool went well. I tried to change things up, doing some laps faster or slower, alternating between crawl stroke and breast stroke every few laps, and playing with my breathing. Once I got home I changed in to running clothes and went out for 2 very hard miles. For no reason other than I was tired. Then in the afternoon Eloise and I rode a two seater surrey (a bike with four wheels) for four miles along Alki. Easily as hard as a regular bike ride, if not more so. Those things are big and heavy! 

Friday: Yoga

A good class, lots of poses that were super hard for me with my tight hamstrings, which was frustrating. However, the teacher also had us using the yoga tune-up balls and we did pigeon pose and a few other things that I loved, so all in all it was good. 

Saturday: Run 3 Miles

Nothing exciting. Other than I did it, that in and of itself can pretty exciting these days! 

Sunday: Rest

Monday, June 16, 2014

Unofficial Tri Training (Ha!) and Other Updates

Thursday was a fun, though very busy, day. I headed to the pool after getting my daughter off to school. It is so much work for only 40 minutes of swimming! Driving there, getting ready to get in, then getting out, showering, dressing, driving home . . . all of that took at least 40 minutes. After I got home I put on my running clothes and headed out for a 2 mile run. It was a tough 2 miles, which I will go ahead and attribute to being tired from the swim.  

On Thursday afternoon I promised Eloise I would take her to Alki beach. She begged and begged, and I caved and rented us a two seater surrey, which is a bike with four wheels and a roof. "This will be fun!" I thought. And it was, for a while. We rode the surrey two miles to Marination Ma Kai, where we stopped for shave ice. 

The first half of the ride was the easy half, as we were straight in to the wind the whole way back. It sucked. Hard. Pedaling those surreys is hard with long legs, because you can never straighten your legs out, so you have no leverage. In fact, Eloise could power the thing almost as well as I could, her only problem is she could barely reach the pedals from her seat. I may have complained about a million times on the way back about how tired I was and how hard it was, but Eloise loved it. LOVED. 

We got pizza and sat on the beach after we returned the surrey. It occurred to me in that moment that I did a triathlon throughout the day! High five to me! You think I could enter a real tri with a two seater surrey? 

Eloise eats shave ice in the surrey.

This is from the rental car I got this week. You see that button in the middle? 
WTF is a cat folder?!

Maybe this is a cat folder? 

So, anyways, I have now run twice since taking my second two week break. I am not sure how my foot is. I did notice that it wasn't as sore between runs, so that is promising. My foot isn't 100% soreness-free, but I do know that isn't uncommon when coming back from stress fractures, or almost stress fractures. I feel cautiously optimistic about things. At this point, I think Ragnar is going to be brutal, but I'll be able to do it. 

Speaking of Ragnar, team Everything is Awesome had, well, an awesome get together/team meeting at my house last weekend. Nine of us were here and everyone was so very cool, I am more excited than ever for Ragnar. I am also sad about not getting to hang out more with my van #1 teammates during the race! The race will be a blast, and I am already hoping that all, or at least most, of the team will return next summer (maybe we can be team Everything is Still Awesome?! haha).

And . . . . speaking of summer. This coming week two exciting/nerve-wracking things are going to happen: My older daughter, Iris, is turning 10. TEN. Officially a pre-teen (though she has been practicing for this for a while . . . ). Crazy town. School also lets out for the summer. I don't know if I am ready, or that I would ever be ready, but here it comes! Hopefully we have enough camps, trips and other fun things planned to make the summer our best yet.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up June 2-June 8

Despite being off of running this whole week, I feel like I got a few solid workouts in and still enjoyed each of them!

Monday: Lots of Walking and Yoga

My daughters had a fundraising run/walk at their school so I participated by doing a few laps in a very, very slow jog. This day had the most miles on my UP24 tracker, clocking in at 16,281 steps, which was equivalent to 8.4 miles! I did maybe 1.5-2 of these miles at school, the rest was just going about my day.

Yoga was frustrating, because the instructor had us doing a lot of poses that required hamstring flexibility, which I have ZERO. On the plus side, my balance is really improving, which is so very exciting!

Tuesday: Swim (!)

I finally had a date with the pool. I told myself to just do 30 minutes, at any pace I wanted and taking breaks whenever I felt like it. I felt fine the whole time, and challenged myself to do the crawl stroke, which I am horrible at. I always feel like I'm going to drown. I did okay, kept it slow, breathed on every left side stroke, and didn't die. Some laps I swam breast stroke, because that is my favorite.

Wednesday: Workout with Trainer

Instead of doing reps, she had me doing each movement for one minute. The whole workout I wore 2.5lb ankle weights, which doesn't sound much, but by the end it felt like I was wearing cinder blocks on my feet. Such a great way to up the challenge! I did a lot of work with the bosu which required me to use my balance, obviously, and I did decently, I have to say.

Thursday: Rest

Still managed to get in over 12,000 steps (over 6 miles) even without a workout! I guess trips to Home Depot and Target will help in reaching walking goals, haha.

Friday: Strength and Lots of Walking

I did the abs workout from my trainer. Loving the weather and being outside on our deck to get my workouts in. I also got a lot of walking in this day, logging over 8 miles total for the day, which included a decent walk with my dog. 

Saturday: Yoga

Yoga on the beach! It was so much fun. I wish I took the time to go to the beach more to workout. Being on the sand is another great way to incorporate a challenge for your balance! 

Sunday: Rest

This was supposed to be a strength day, but life got in the way of my intentions and I didn't fight it. No worries. I do start panicking a little when I end up with two rest days in a week, but I used to always, always have two and gee, it was just fine

Monday, June 09, 2014

Goals On Hold

As I've waited ever so patiently waiting for my foot to heal and become strong enough to run again I've also been slowly filling with dread knowing that a fall marathon training program should have begun by now. The stress over my repeated, failed marathon attempts is just weighing a bit too heavily on me and as much as I would love more than anything to have the fourth time be the charm at the Victoria Marathon-- on my birthday!-- it just isn't in the cards for me. I know this before I even try to run one single step of a new training program.

There are two main reasons I feel this way, each as valid as the other. The first is that training for a fall marathon means I will have to do a lot of running through the summer, and when my kids are home and trips are planned and there is so much going on, the last thing I want is a marathon training program to become a stress. I want it to be as fun as I know it will be (and as fun as my last one was until I had to stop running). I don't want to dread figuring out how to fit it all in. 

The other main reason is, well, I have a solid history of injury. Sure, maybe I can go out tomorrow and be healed and have all of my hard work pay off in spades as I move through a training cycle and marathon without further injury . . . but it's not likely. I need to have a solid base. I need to be running care-free and injury-free for at least the whole summer before I dip my toes in to a new training program. 

There is a lot of relief in letting something go that has been a long held goal. Knowing that the time will come to make it happen. I am excited to head in to the summer hopefully healthier than I have ever been, I hope the efforts I am putting in end up paying off. If not, I don't know where that will leave me, or what else I could possibly try.

My friend Sally is encouraging me to try a triathlon, which I am bizarrely intrigued by. Mostly because I don't own a bike, and biking terrifies me. TERRIFIES. I am almost 100% sure I will be run over by a truck if I ever try to bike in Seattle. But I am totally fine getting a hybrid and tooling around with my girls as training and making a triathlon work simply because I know I can swim/bike/run the distances required for a sprint. Probably not very fast, but I could do it. You know, if I actually had a bike. So I'll see. Maybe I will love it and rename my blog Sybil Tri-s Things, hardee har har. 

Friday, June 06, 2014

Jawbone UP24 Thoughts

Last week I got my grubby little paws on a Jawbone UP24 (link for info only, I'm not trying to get you to buy this) fitness/sleep tracker. I borrowed it because I have been curious about fitness trackers and I wanted to try one out. I thoroughly enjoyed my time tracking my every little step. Literally. Every step.

First impressions: 

* I LOVE the band. Like, seriously. Like, I want jewelry that looks just like the band. The color I was given was the "persimmon". It is stiff with a rubbery exterior, but has just enough give to wrap around your wrist.  It doesn't wiggle around and it didn't bother me at all, even while working out or sleeping. 

 The small silver end in the photo is a button. When you press it it triggers different things, like putting it in to sleep mode. The larger silver piece that says Jawbone can be removed and underneath it is a plug where you can attach it to a charging cord. Note: the band is not waterproof. 

*The app (in my case it was the Android version) is beautiful and easy to use. The "24" version of UP (version the plain ol' UP) has bluetooth connectivity and it updates your smartphone at regular intervals. I found myself obsessively checking my app every day to see how I was doing.

What the UP24 tracker can do:

*It tracks your steps.  
*It tracks your sleep. 
*It tracks calories burned. 
*You can input extra exercise, such as biking or yoga or swimming.
*You can input your food and drink for the day (I never used this feature).
*You can track your mood (manually. It isn't THAT awesome).
*Gives you tips on health, like how to get enough sleep.
*Encourages you to engage in healthy activities, like drink more water, go to bed earlier, or take more steps.
*Has cool modes like a napping mode (I didn't get around to trying this feature).
*Maybe does other things, this is all I discovered, and was enough for me.

This is an example of my activity in a day. 

*Not exactly sure how it tracks active time/longest active/longest idle. There was one day that it said I had zero idle time and on my yoga day it counted my whole yoga practice as idle time. 

*I easily hit 10,000 steps every day. According to my UP24, 10,000 steps is 5 miles. I can even hit that without specifically going on a walk or doing any extra exercise. By the third day it recommended I set my goal to 12,000 steps. I was able to hit 12,000 steps with a little extra effort. Apparently the average person only takes about 5,500 steps a day. This blows my mind. I think a person would literally have to try to not move anywhere to get that few steps. In seven days I averaged 13, 057 steps.

*The sleep tracker was ehhh. It was cool to see when I was in light or sound sleep, but I know there was nights I woke up repeatedly and it didn't track it. In the example below, I did wake up in the night but it didn't register on my tracker. And if you have it on sleep mode but are in bed watching, say, your Kindle Fire, it will say you were asleep. It recommends 8 hours of sleep, which it begins counting from the time you press the sleep button on the band at night until the time you press it again in the morning. So, in the example below, I was in bed for 8h48m, but not actually asleep for that long. It thought I was in a sound sleep while watching The Mindy Project. Hmmmm.

This is an example of what it tracked for my sleep for a night. 
The dark tall lines are deep sleep, the light blue lines are light sleep. The orange is awake. 


*I found it difficult to find info on how to use the band. It comes with a very simple guide to getting started and when I searched online for other info I couldn't always find what I was looking for. Specifically, I never did figure out why my band would randomly vibrate. I didn't have it on any alert modes, but that was as far as I could figure out. 

*It tells you the amount of calories it thinks you burned both being active and while resting. I loved to see that, but am not sure how accurate it was. Most days mine was about 2,200. 

My overall impression?

I absolutely loved the UP24. I love stats and it was so much fun to check them multiple times a day.. 

That said, it mostly didn't change how active I was, and I didn't think it would. There may have been a couple of times where I walked to dog a bit farther than I planned, or taken the dog out on an extra little walk, just to reach my sort of arbitrary steps goal, however. I would venture to say that if you are already committed to living an active lifestyle, the UP24, or any fitness tracker, isn't going to change that. 

I was glad I was able to try the band and return it (instead of purchasing it), as the novelty of tracking my fitness and sleep likely would have worn off pretty quickly on it's own. 

One thing of note: it's a wonderful conversation starter! Everyone asked me about it! 

Final verdict? 

I highly recommend the Jawbone UP24 for people who need a little extra push to be active and for people who enjoy stats and tracking them on their smartphone. 

Monday, June 02, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up May 26th-June 1st

I found out on Monday the 26th that I needed to take another two weeks off of running because my foot wasn't playing nice. Cue sad violin music. I really enjoyed my previous 14 mile week with four runs and was looking forward to keeping that up, so it sucks. This past week I intended to figure out what to do with myself to continue to increase my strength, try to keep up my cardio, and not get too bored. Of course, a little monkey wrench of a Spring head cold was thrown in to the mix, so training didn't quite work out as spectacularly as I hoped it would.

The one thing I did do each day were my "special little exercises". I would call them PT exercises except it wasn't my PT who suggested all of them, it was my chiropractor! Maybe chiro exercises?

These include: "monster walk" with exercise band, "foot tripod" exercises, walking with my toes, and a new thing where I am working on rolling patterns. I am also foam rolling, rolling out both of my feet and trying to do extra core work every day.

The rolling patterns are kind of weird. Here is what it looks like:

This video has no words, but what he is doing is rolling front to back (and back again) WITHOUT USING HIS LEGS. Try this at home! Lay flat, arms overhead. Try to roll to one side pretending your legs are sandbags. One tip: lead with your eyes. Look where you are trying to roll. 
Can you do it?! I couldn't. I have to start propped up for now.

I mentioned this in my previous post, but the other thing I am seriously loving is my Jawbone UP24 fitness tracker. It is so. much. fun. I swore up and down it wouldn't change how active I am, but even this morning I talked my daughter in to going for a walk with me to add some more steps!

Will write more about it after my week long trial is over . . .

Monday: Yoga

Tuesday: Strength

The workout I did was:
(2 sets of each)
*45 "butt blasters"--put head/shoulders on stability ball, then hinge at the waist 90* then come back up.
*20 donkey kicks--on all fours, put hands in the handles of an exercise band and loop it around one foot. Kick that foot out and up 20 times, then switch feet.
*20 single arm high pull with dumbbell
*15 dumbbell deadlift
*12 side raises with dumbbells with arms bent 90* while standing on one foot
*15 each side diagonal row to shoulder press with dumbbell
*12 one arm squat row each side--loop exercise band around a stable object, stand with the anchor point to your left side. As you squat, pull the handle of the band out to your right side. Switch sides.
*10 single leg hamstring curl on the exercise ball
*15 lat pull-down with a looped exercise band, sitting on stability ball--loop band around wrists, then lift arms straight overhead. pull arms down and out, lowering hands behind the head.
*15 balancing bicep curl--basic bicep curl, just balance on one leg, curl 15, then switch legs and curl another 15.

It was a good workout. I didn't have a lot of time so I had to push myself to get through it quickly-- which is good. My weights aren't heavy enough for the things like the deadlift and single arm high pull, so I try to go a few more reps to "make up for it".

Wednesday: Rest

Planned this as a rest day.

Thursday: Rest

Unplanned rest day as my head felt super awful.

Friday: Yoga

Yoga was about the right speed as I started to feel better from the cold. Downward dogs were a little tricky with a head full of snot, however . . .

Saturday: Rest

Though technically a rest day because I didn't have a proper workout, I did do some yard work and definitely didn't sit on my butt for very much of the afternoon.

Sunday: Strength

The workout I did was:
(2 sets of each)
*12 lateral lunges (each side) with the bosu ball
*10 deep squat progressions
*20 push-ups on the bosu
*15 "get up get down" on the bosu with a 5 lb weight--standing with back to the bosu, sit on the bosu, then recline until back is flat, then sit back up and stand back up. Hold weight at chest the whole time.
*30 butt blasters with the stability ball
*20 chest flys on the stability ball
*12 leg hip extension (each side)-- with upper back on the stability ball, bend one leg and keep foot on the ground while the other leg points out straight and is extended out to the side and back to the middle
*20 dumbbell clean and presses
*20 leg circles (20 each leg, and 20 each direction)
*30 alternating leg abduction in plank position
*20 bicycle crunches on the bosu