Thursday, January 21, 2010

Goat Milk and More

I hear goat milk is good for you. I bought some. You know how pheasant (or any wild animal) tastes a little gamey? Well, goat milk tastes like......crap. It's so gross. It has this overwhelming flavor of "stink" that no amount of Nestle Quick can cover. I've tried. If it didn't have a flavor I might be able to get over it, but all I can picture is a dirty old goat being milked. And who milks a goat anyway? It's like milking a cat. Sick. Why? No. Wrong. This guy at work told me that in India they milk water buffalo; that the milk has the highest level of vitamin D and calcium. Um. No. Don't think I'll be trying that one either even if it was available in the US. I think it's cow or nothing for me. Like I said; I tried.

In other successful news my friend and I signed up for rock climbing classes. We go to Vertical Endeavors in St. Paul. A few months ago I thought I might rock climbing. Actually, I think I like the body of rock climbers. Lean, muscular. With that image in mind I DEFINITELY want to be a rock climber. After a few attempts at a more difficult spot on the wall (more difficult for a non-climber) I tried an easier spot. I made it all the way to the top. I loved it. I still felt like I was tough, using all my muscle groups but also it felt achievable. I much prefer something a little easier to climb than only being 4 feet off the ground and getting stuck. Can't wait for this class next week! Plus, it's only $15/day. Plus you have to rent the harness, shoes and caribeener (sp?) but that's minimal. I suppose it's like a day of snowboarding.

Speaking of snowboarding, I'm dying to go!! Haven't been yet this year, and I'm going to go at least once before January closes. Better hurry!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

14 Days of Classes: Day 9, 10 and ?

I forgot. While the blogging fell to the wayside, the workouts continued. I forgot how I finished out my week. I think I only got in 12 classes but I did have fun and found some classes that I will go back to(at the SLP Lifetime). Those classes include STRIKE! which is a program developed by Everlast. High intensity, muscle building. Fun. Core I loved on Saturday's and Sundays. Even Studio Ride on an occasional Sat/Sun I would do. And the first class I did on Saturday morning January 2nd - 8AM barbell strength. Those were my faves.

I'm ready to begin running again, but I don't know how to get back into it. The simple answer is: run. Novel concept. So yes, I need to just start already. 2 miles here and there on the treadmill, 4 outside on a Saturday would at least be a start. I'm planning my next race to be the Minneapolis 1/2 Marathon on June 6th. Not too much pressure yet. I vacillate between setting goals to slowly build my miles, starting with nothing too intimidating or just committing to run 3-4 days a week and see where that gets me. It's clear that I do need a plan, but is my 3-4 day commitment enough. I don't want to hate running and feel disappointed by not getting my 15 miles in or whatever. I need a little less conversation, a lot more action.

Monday, January 11, 2010

14 Days of Classes: Day 6 Supplement

I forgot about Day 6. I went to a class called Fluid Strength. It was a light workout, although I'm a firm believer that if something is light, you can always make it harder for yourself or you just aren't doing it right. Take pilates. Half the time when I thought something was easy, I discovered I wasn't doing it right. Do it right, it's tough. Anyway, it was low impact and most of the moves were sweeping side to side lunge type things that just killed my left knee. It was painful. I'm sure if I could have gotten into the position more, it would have been a better workout.

The class consisted of several series of postured and poses (mostly yoga) repeated in fluid flowing movements. I would go to this class again if I wanted a gentle cardio workout in the 'fat burning' zone. It wasn't one of my favorites, nor will I be attending regularly. But as always, it was good to experience.

14 Days of Classes: Day 7 and Day 8

This is my report for classes on days 7 and 8 of my challenge. If you are following along at home you will notice that the days aren't adding up. That's because on Friday, I went to no class. It was nice to stay home.

On Saturday I went to the club and ran 1.5 miles. I think the best way to get back into running is to just run. Novel idea I know. But I don't need a plan yet, I don't need a rigorous schedule. I need to get my body back in the habit of running 3-4 times a week whatever the distance. If I can fit in a run or two this week with my class schedule I will, otherwise I'm going to lighten the class load next week and pick up running again. All I'm going to commit to is scheduling 3-4 runs a week. No particular distance, just go with it but get back in the groove. I can worry about distances in February.

After my light run, I went to Bruce's Core class again. I'm keeping this one in my routine for sure. My core is one thing that is so important to everything else in my body and the one thing I neglect more than anything else.

Sunday I had a choice between Bruce's cycle class or yoga & meditation. I thought I probably could use the cardio workout, but I chose yoga & meditation. And it was HEAVENLY! The poses feel so good, it's just one big giant stretching class with relaxation afterwards. A very nice addition to a Sunday along with church and some good coffee.

So while I don't have any new classes to report on from the weekend it was nice to be at the gym. It's not quite as busy so I like it better. Tonight, I am going to try for a new experience at 6PM.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

14 Days of Classes: Day 5

Stage 1: Excitement
Stage 2: Focus
Stage 3: Doubt
Stage 4: Anger
Stage 5: Acceptance

Before I began this challenge I was really excited. I thought it sounded like such a great idea. As I stepped into the first class I was focused. Ready to give my body a well needed workout. After the second class, I wasn't sure I could keep up this daily classes schedule. Going into Day 5 I was angry. Angry at the gym for allowing too many people, angry with the people for getting in my way, angry with myself for thinking up this stupid idea. I was so sore and so tired and so ready to quit.

But I went to The MIXX last night. Line out the door just to enter the gym. NO LOCKERS. I had to lug all my stuff into the classroom. 30 people waiting outside the class to get in when the current class finished. Despite my attitude I went in. I gave a half hearted attempt to keep up. In fact performance has been on a steady decline since the spin class. It was NOT one of those times, where I finish and was glad I went.

Then I woke up this morning starting to feel a little better. My body doesn't ache as much and I think I have moved through the worst and am on my second wind. Who would have thunk it! I'm ready again to work hard.

I'll recap yesterday's class a little. The MIXX with my fave instructor Katie. Again, she never ceases to blow my mind with the shape that she is it. Incredible energy! The MIXX is part kickboxing, part dance, part step. Really, it's a lot of jumping and punching and moving back and forth. It was a lot of high intensity repetition; not the most exciting moves, but with Katie and the music she plays, the time passes quickly.

Hopefully the hardest (mental) part is over. I'm looking forward to Medetation Yoga on Sunday!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

14 Days of Classes: Day 3 and 4

Last night for class number 3 I went back to an old standard. A class I hadn't been to in over a year, but one that I always loved. It's called Dance Jam and is taught by the absolute best, most energetic aerobics instructor I have ever met. And what I like even more about her, is she's not rail tight and ripped looking. She looks completely curvy and soft, but don't let that fool you, she's not soft. Firm, strong, quick....woah. I can't keep up with her. Even at my best. The gist of this class is that you learn segments of a dance and then do it start to finish performance style at the end. A year ago I had the thing down cold. This year, she's changed it up and I was back to paying super attention, missing half the moves and trying to find the beat. But it was a great workout! It's about a 90 minute class. I left after 60 minutes because at that point she usually switches it up and teaches a harder choreographed shorter piece. They build that piece out for about 4 weeks. I had about all I could learn and keep up with in 60 minutes. Sorry I left Katie!! But you killed me kiddo!

This morning, I had to go to a 6AM class because I've got plans with friends for dinner. The hardest part of this class I thought was going to be getting up at 5:30. That was hard, but the class was much harder. It was Yoga Vinisya II - whatever. It was a semi heated yoga class - about 85-90 degrees in the room, and it really focused on fluid poses cycling through different movements. I would put it in the fitness category. I'm really worn out from not giving my muscles a break so I totally flopped in class. I thought about leaving after a half hour because I wasn't doing well. But I stuck it out. I would go back again for a workout yoga class. But today I was hoping for more of a relaxing yoga class. I've liked other classes better, and the time of day is not really my style.

The reason I wanted to do this challange was to try new things, get a jump start on working out again, have fun. I am accomplishing all of these, but I'm not so sure 14 days in a row is the best idea I've ever had. I am happy that I am maintaining a commitment, something I need to learn how to do again and I am feeling good about exercising. But to do well in any of these classes, a break in between would be better. I'm resigned to just doing the best I can, knowing that my best now will not be my best ever.

Monday, January 4, 2010

14 Days of Classes: Day 2

SueBob made a comment on yesterdays post that 14 classes (mostly new ones) in 14 days sounded like a lot of sore muscles. And after only Day 2 I tell you she is RIGHT. It's only Day 2 and whew! I'm beat. Because up until this 14 day challenge I was on 2 months of basically nothing. It's a shock to the system. I do have some yoga classes and 30 minutes classes scheduled into the mix so hopefully that will be a rest. And I'm trying not to do the same type of class twice in a row.

Sunday I went to Studio Cycle at 4PM with Bruce. I've only been to 1 maybe 2 cycling classes ever and everything I thought about cycling classes was confirmed once again. I hate them. I like the instructor. A LOT actually. He was kind of like the Rev. Jesse Jackson/Mitch Hedberg of spin. "You gotta beeeeelieeeeve!" I liked the imagery and the people and the room and almost everything else about it. But what trumps all of the things I like about this class? It's SO MUCH WORK. Oh man does it ever kick my butt. I'm more a path of least resistance girl and there is much resistance in cycle classes. I hate to admit to myself, but cycling are great classes and if I went more regularly they would help improve my fitness a lot. I'll go again. Reluctantly. But it's good for me. One thing I did like about the class is that he helps you visualize going up a hill by the height of his arms. For example we had 1 minute of a hill left and he started out with his arms in the air, standing up. Buy the end of the "hill" and the minute he was crouched on the floor with his palms touching the ground. And we were done.

After cycling I joined Bruce again for 30 minutes of core. He's a hoot! At one point he had us doing crunches on a body ball with one leg crossed over the other. When he could see all of us falling and flailing about he said maybe we should practice more at home. He said we can get the body balls at any local Target. But DO NOT get the blue one. Because they are too big? Because they don't hold up well? Because they are to firm??? No. Because they won't go with A THING in your house. Get white or red :) Ha! I like Bruce. The core class was great because it wasn't 500 sit-ups. We warmed up with pretty standard continuous sit-ups but then we did core work. Planks, twists, balance. So much more that abs. I need this class.

Today I am completely sore from head to toe. My glutes and hamstrings took the brunt of the work on Saturday and Sunday so they are especially screaming. Day 2 finished with 2 more classes that I really enjoyed. I need more cross training in my life.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

14 Days of Classes: Day 1 (really)

This morning I got up at 7am to go to Barbell Strength which started at 8. I didn't know what to expect from the gym parking lot or the class so I showed up a solid 25 minutes early. Course I parked right away and walked right in. I think it might have had something to do with the fact that it was 11 below 0! Good. Weed out the slackers. I can't say that with any conviction though because more often than not I am that slacker.

The class started out with a million and two squats. With weights and stuff. And everything on my body was shaking. I must have registered at least a 5.0 on the Richter. It was good though. I'll definitely be trying this class again because it worked all of my muscle groups. By the end even though we moved on to different muscle groups, my body was just tired so even the triceps at the end were difficult. She gave us a pretty compact yet solid ab workout in the last 5 minutes too.

I'm so stiff already. But as I said, it was good.

Friday, January 1, 2010

14 Days of Classes: Day 0

As one may guess, no blogging = no running. I guess that's not entirely true. I ran a 5k on Thanksgiving. Once or twice I ran 3 miles on a Saturday morning with the MDRA Polar Bear group. I chugged out a few miles on the treadmill here and there. I've probably averaged about .82 miles per week since the Monster Dash on Halloween. Coincidentally that's probably how many pounds I have averaged gaining each week since the Monster Dash too. And that is entirely true.

But that is was New Year's resolutions are for. Nay, not just a new year, a new decade! I don't really have any resolutions for the long term. I always have plans and goals. But I do seem to gain a little momentum at the changing of the year.

My race plans are on complete month by month basis. No scheduling the entire year in January. I've got the road map worked out for January to get me running 15 miles a week again so I can maybe try to start running with the MDRA spring marathon training program. That doesn't mean I'm training for a marathon. But by the time I get there - who knows!

So getting back to the momentum of the new year and starting fresh and trying new things I decided to do 14 days of classes. I plan to go to a class a day at the gym in the hopes of trying something other than running, building my fitness base back again, and having some fun. Starting today! January 1. So what class did I go to today? Well, um yeah. About that.......

I started the day at 11AM running the Polar Dash 5k. It was and ok run. Saw a friend there to run with which always makes it better. I planned on hitting yoga at the gym at 5:45. I thought I should double check the schedule just to be sure. After all, it is a holiday. Apparently I should have checked earlier because there was no 5:45 yoga class. And the last class I could have gone to for the day started in 5 minutes. Big time bummer!!! Yes, I could have checked at a different gym for their schedule, but I didn't. So Day 1 was a bust. But I'm not disheartened. I still did something good for my body. And my ego, as we got HUGE medals. For a 5K! :) Seriously the medals make me want to run the whole Team Ortho challenge thing and get all 4 medals. Darn you Team Ortho! How you suck me in with your discount offers on the marathon and fancy schmancy hats and gloves and promises of medals and shiny plaques. You almost make me forget that I still have to run A MARATHON. But I won't be trixied that easily. Did I mention you get a plaque for all your medals if you do all four races???? What was I just saying about not planning my racing year out? I forget.

14 Days of Classes will start tomorrow at 8AM with Barbell Strength.