So why am I a lazy personal trainer?



I'm trying! Follow my quest to OVERCOME LAZY!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Whenever I start a conversation with K by saying, “Y’know what I’m thinking…?”  He ALWAYS quickly jumps in and says, “Yes.  ‘Shooooooooz.’” As in shoes.  Right.  Like that’s all I ever think about.  C’mon, my brain is filled with a few more thoughts than just shoes.  It’s more like, “Shoooooz.  Chocolate.  Shooooooz.  What should I make for dinner?  Shooooooooooooooooooooooooz.”

Yes, like most women, I have a deep, abiding love/lust for shoes.  It started when I was very young and has persisted into my adulthood.  If I had the means to be Imelda Marcos, I would be. 

So on Christmas morning, you can imagine my utter delight at being genuinely surprised by receiving TWO pairs of new shoes!  The first were running shoes from my incredibly thoughtful husband.  I have needed a new pair in the worst way but kept putting off buying them because some other little expense would pop its annoying head right in my face and cackle viciously as my plans for new runners were once again relegated to the back burner.

Hot pink running shoes!  I wish these would've worked.
This is how I know that K does occasionally listen to me.  He’d ordered the pair of running shoes because I’d mentioned a couple of times that I’d seen that the new Saucony Kinvaras had some good reviews and was interested in trying some out.  Well, he thoughtfully ordered them but they ended up being a half-size too small and when we did manage to get out and shop, I found my love for Brooks is still burning strong, so that’s what I ended up with.
My feet are happy in my Brooks Ghost 3

The other shoes were sassy peep-toe booties from my daughters that once again displayed K’s attentiveness.  He’d apparently heard me mention more than once that some booties were just what I needed to update my wardrobe.  OK, I realize that it’d take more than just some booties to update my nothing-but-jeans-and-t-shirts-and-workout-clothes wardrobe.  But I had convinced myself that’s all I needed.   So he had the girls help pick out a pair.  And I must say they did extremely well.  I loved the high spiky heels and slight platform sole (I was at least 6’4” with them on) and the lace-up detail was rockin’!

Check these out!

But as I sat there and drank in their beauty and delicious impracticality, it hit me that what I really did need and, in fact, really did want when it all came down to it, was practicality.  Another rant K has heard from me lately is that it’s ridiculous that I don’t have any decent hiking boots to wear to Red Rock Canyon and Mt. Charleston for our climbing and hiking outings.  I mean, we’re out there weekly, if not more, and I end up wearing the oldest, rattiest shoes I have because I don’t mind if I get them dirty and scuffed.  But what I really need is a sturdy pair that can withstand the terrain and conditions I put them through and feel good while doing it.

I tried on the sassy booties.  I saw how smokin’ they looked with some hot-pink tights, but I realized that I just wouldn’t get the same value and use from them that I would from a pair of sturdy, comfortable and practical hiking boots.  With the kind of lifestyle I have, I’d wear the booties maybe a few times a year.  And I would indeed love feeling so stylish and edgy while strutting down… well, the grocery aisle, I guess.  See what I mean? As much enjoyment as I would surely get out of the occasional fashion upgrade, it’s a much bigger – and more frequent – rush for me when I lace up some new athletic performance shoes in preparation for my next sporting venture.

So at this time when, for us, every dollar counts, I responsibly packed up the whimsical foot candy and returned it to the store and will now focus some energy on finding the right hiking boot.

These could work.  They're Keen's "Red Rock"... perfect!
Sometimes you should simply enjoy your presents and the spirit in which they are given but sometimes it makes more sense to redirect the love and kindness of others by investing in a more suitable and rewarding gift.  If they love you, they’ll understand… and be happy that you’re happy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our Rainy Day Adventure

A rare sunless morning in Vegas

As nice as we have it here in Vegas during winter, it is still sometimes hard to convince ourselves that we want to bundle up and exercise/play outdoors.  But K didn't get to ride his bike to work this weekend due to the rainy, blustery weather and wanted to make up for it by doing a run this morning.  He planned to head off jogging out toward Redrock Canyon and have us girls meet him out there to hike around and scramble. 

We named this "Gigantic Puddle Lake"

When he suggested it the night before, I told him that was a great idea and he could drive the girls home while I ran back.  We'd attempted this before about a week ago, but it was in the afternoon and it got too dark for me to safely do my run home (darn!).

Lots of great rocks to throw

I have to admit I was kind of regretting my late-night enthusiasm come morning.  Although it wasn't too rainy (slightly sprinkling on and off), it was chilly and dreary and it was... well, it was morning (I'm not an AM kinda gal).

But K took off before I could offer much of a protest and I had no choice but to stick to the plan.  Well, I guess I could've just stayed home but that wouldn't have been very nice, now, would it?  It's about 6 miles out to Calico Basin where we met him before, so I gave him about 45 minutes and then we headed out.  We found him plugging along the road about 4.5 miles away from the house and he was ready to be picked up.  Exhaustion was unsurprisingly setting in after his usual all-work, no-sleep weekend schedule. 

Displaying some majorly muddy shoes

So although we didn't make it out to Calico to hike, we'd spotted a new lake that formed in the drainage basin on the way and just had to stop there to check it out.  The girls were absolutely thrilled to run around, throw rocks and "Pooh sticks" (as they called them) into the lake and get muddy!  We almost lost a couple shoes!

Ah, the joy of getting dirty
 And, no, I didn't get out of my run home again (darn!).  Believe me, I gave a pretty decent attempt at wimping out by muttering some of my misgivings about the bad weather and my near ankle-sprain in the mud but K wasn't having it.  He mercilessly booted me out of the car at the corner.  Well, he did display a little leniency by at least driving to the 3 mile mark. 

And it was all down hill. 

I even brought a change of clothes! 
See, sometimes I'm on the ball.

It's good for us to have him around. 

It was a great morning!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Yummy In The Tummy: Homemade Bread

Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Mmmmm.  Homemade bread.  It's one of my favorite memories from childhood and one that I want to give to my own daughters.  What's funny is that while growing up, having fresh, whole wheat bread wasn't all that special because we had it all the time.  In fact, sometimes I enjoyed eating the store-bought because it gave me a break from "brown bread". 

But after its absence from my life for many years, homemade bread has reentered with a vengeance!  I mean, I'm totally going bonkers on the stuff.  There's a good side and a bad side to that.

The good:  It tastes amazing; my house smells amazing; it's cheaper in the long run than buying it in the store; most recipes are whole grain and healthy; it's so easy!

The not-so-good:  It ain't calorie-free and we've been eating A LOT of it lately.

Ten Grain Bread
 I found a great book that has so many good recipes and I want to try them all so I keep making it and making it and eating it and eating it.  Some of our faves so far:  Soft whole wheat sandwich bread (we live on this), roasted garlic bread (incredible), anadama corn bread, ten-grain bread, whole wheat banana bread (K has requested that I never make this one again because it's too good).

I wish I was getting paid to endorse this!

I don't have a bread maker but over the years I'd attempted to make some bread just kneading it by hand and that got old real quick.  Then I ran across this gem:  Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  You can make pan loaves and artisan loaves, pizza crust and even incredible hamburger buns.  All without kneading!

I'm not only enjoying it because it's so yummy but I think I'm getting a kick out of how domestic it makes me feel.  Also, it's priceless, the reaction you get, when presenting someone with a fresh loaf of homemade bread.  They first look at you like you're the inventor of pants or something and then they drop their eyes to gaze in wonder and caress their new treasure as if they were cuddling their newborn for the first time. 

It's a great way to make someone's day.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

July at Christmastime

Near Red Rock Canyon

Here we are well-advanced into December and we've been able to still get out and do summertime activities!  Long family bike rides are what most people across the country do in July.  Except us southwesterners.  We go out in the winter and stay inside (except to go to the pool!) in the summer.  Does that make us, like, weather vampires?

We've certainly been enjoying the pleasant temperatures lately and have been trying to get out and take advantage of them. 

Taking a break to check out some flood tunnels
 under the road
 Of course we were bitten by the snow bug on our trip to Logan so we'll need to get up to Mt. Charleston again before too long for more sledding....  And we hope to pull off a couple of ski trips in the new year.  We got free tickets to the newly re-opened Eagle Point Ski Resort in Beaver, UT, so I'll have report on that. Yeehaw!

You'll notice that these traditional wintertime adventures that I mention do involve visits to some snowy climes; however, they are but brief, recreational jaunts that hold the assurance of a timely return to our agreeable desert climate.  I have not the need to live in snow ever again as long as I can conveniently travel to it, enjoy it at my discretion, and then abandon it whenever the heck I want.

R on the slopes last winter
 I've turned into such a desert rat!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Memories From Workouts Past

Z getting an early start at 1-arm pushups on the Bosu
 At this time of year when many of us recall memories from Christmases past, I recently ran across several pictures that brought up memories of my favorite workouts past.  All of them include working out with my girls and, although they may not have been my BEST workouts in terms of difficulty or intensity, they are my favorites because exercising with my daughters always makes it seem more like play than like work.
Why park your car in the garage when you can use it as a gym!?
Not too bad with one little butterball.

A little tougher with two!

Our princess in boxing gloves

The champ!
Our back yard is tiny, but plenty big for our workouts.

Yes, that's an ab wheel that she's running all around the back yard with...
and enjoying it immensely!

We've gotten so much use out of our mini-tramp, it's ridiculous...
and it's about had it!

Donkey calf raises with my little burro

Boofy (name of her dog) calf raises
 And the park is our big outdoor gymnasium!

See what I mean by fun!?

What a great workout!
 My home workouts with the girls really do kick my butt.  Not 100% of the time like I want, but close to it.  I usually will do them circuit-style with high intensity bursts of various exercises while the girls are preoccupied with their own activities and consider it a rest interval when I have to stop briefly to refill sippies or help them in the potty.

May there be many more wonderful Christmases workouts next!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Shot In The Arm

I feel like I just got a shot of Pep-Up in my system!  Aside to family:  remember when Dad would mix up that nasty drink in the blender?  Yuck!

My Mom-in-law will have a hard time believing this, but she inspired me on the fitness front!  I was so proud of her when she told me that she worked out a few days ago (she's been wanting to do this regularly for a while).  She took my advice and kept it uncomplicated to start.  She simply went up and down the stairs in her house about 10 times until she was winded and felt her muscles start to cramp.  I love it!  Her workout was unfussy yet effective for her and the big deal is she DID it!  Now keep the ball rolling, Mom!

The fact that she DID something is what inspired me the most because I myself have been doing NOTHING lately for workouts and eating EVERYTHING for energy consumption (a softer way to say "pigging-out").  Yeah, bovine-inspired eating does not pair well with sloth-inspired behavior.

See, we do have beautiful fall days in Vegas...
They just happen in December.

She told me this on Wednesday so that night I did 10 or so squats in the shower.  Woot woot.  But then I almost slipped so that ended that.  On Thursday K came through and got us out hiking at Red Rock Canyon that afternoon.  I even did some trail running.  Not something I planned on, but it was forced upon me by the girls:  they INSISTED that we run up the rocky trails at regular intervals.  We've created monsters!

And then this glorious desert winter morning we got out to the park and biked and ran and played and had a blast.  My upward spiral is starting again.  And I've had so much more energy from the workouts despite fighting a cold and getting to bed too late.

My recommendation to those that might also be lagging:  Do something - anything - and it will start that positive momentum.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Workout

Our workout equipment during the Thanksgiving holiday?  SNOW!!!

If only it weren't so darn cold.

Here's the workout:  Do the activities in these pictures several times, all day long for about two days in a row.

Talk about a killer calorie burn!

Exercise #1:  Snow shoveling

Exercise #2:  Snowball fights

Exercise #3:  Build snow forts

Exercise #4:  Lots . . .

...and lots...

...and lots of sleddding!

Yeah, baby!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Best Advice For Getting Healthy

My main motivator for being healthy and fit:  My daughters!

Many people ask me what they should do for a workout. 

Common question:  “What’s a routine that I should do to lose weight or tone up?”  

My not-so-common answer:  I don’t have a routine I’d recommend for any kind of fitness goal until you can prove that you are willing and able to schedule the time necessary to pursue such an endeavor.

So if you’re currently not doing anything on the workout front but want to; or have been so haphazard about your workouts that they aren’t benefiting you much, then listen up!  Or read up…whatever.

Another motivator: 
I wanna look good in leggings!

First, realize this:  being healthy takes effort and time.  Just accept that.  Also accept that it is, without question (to me, at least), totally worth it.  But so many people don’t even get the ball rolling because they are too intimidated or overwhelmed or confused, etc. on how to even go about starting.

So this is what you do:  Think as minimally about what you are going to do for exercise as possible.  Instead, focus on WHEN and WHERE you will be doing your exercise. 

Take a look at the upcoming week.  I usually do this on Sunday.  Pick 3 days when you have 45 or so minutes to dedicate to a workout.  It doesn’t matter at this point what days they are; just pick 3 days and pencil them into your activities. 

Then, set yourself up for success. 

Be dressed for your workout already when you drop the kids off so you can swing by the gym.  Or have your workout clothes laying out for you so you can change into them when you walk in the door after work.  First thing, without having to think about it. 

Then choose an exercise that takes no brain power or much thinking at all.  Walking/jogging is a great choice.  Get outside if you can.  Pick an easy-to-use machine at the gym or whatever you’ve got at home.  A simple home DVD workout.  Just do about 20-30 minutes or so.  It honestly doesn’t matter WHAT you do at this point.  What matters is that you DO it.  Like you planned.  And you get used to doing it. 

Mostly, I want to enjoy life to the fullest with my family.

Yes, specific routines, variety in your workouts, dietary issues, etc….  All those will matter eventually.  But don’t overwhelm yourself or defeat yourself or unnecessarily complicate things before you even start.  You first need to accustom yourself to your new status as “an exerciser”. 

This is how you successfully start. Do this for 3-4 weeks.  Then, and only then, we’ll move on from there.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Well, I'm Fat and Lazy Again

Man, you can gain weight fast.  When I was weighed at the doctor’s office a few days ago, my jaw dropped as I saw the scale settle at just about 159#.  And I’m pretty sure I wasn’t wearing 10# worth of clothing, either, dang it.  About 3 weeks ago I had been working hard knowing I was going to be taking some bikini pictures, so I was feeling OK about how I was looking (not as perfect as I wanted, but better than I have in a while) and I estimate I was weighing around 150#. 

All I needed for a great workout: 12# DBs

Well, once I got the pictures taken and then got through that hell known as the Ragnar Relay, I think I felt it gave me a license to ease up on my discipline.  And believe me, I did, big time.  My workouts have been few and I’ve been eating like a COW.  I mean, 10 pounds in 3 weeks.  Whoa.  It was enough of a shock that since that weigh-in, I’ve started to reverse my downward spiral back into an upward spiral again.  I’m starting slow but gaining positive momentum again. 

Y’know, it’s great to reach and push ourselves to new heights, and we should definitely do it, but we need to be aware that, from those heights, the falls can be pretty hard, if we let ourselves drop.  Life is and will always be a roller coaster ride, but I’m trying to avoid the painful whiplash that comes from letting the ride control me instead of me controlling my ride.  Hang on folks, it’s gonna be bumpy!

We love our backyard workouts!

Thank goodness Z was game for a workout in the back yard.  I got a good one today just using DBs and my own body weight (see, those extra #s are useful for something!) and so did she, I think!

Push it, baby!

Ahh, resting after a tough workout.  Whew!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Enough about the Ragnar, already!

Sorry, but I’ve got more photos to share!

Running at sunrise

Have you ever witnessed the sunrise and moonset simultaneously?  Utterly amazing.  If it weren’t for the Ragnar Relay, I never would have.  I was able to even appreciate it mid-way through my third relay leg of a 6-mile run with a bum knee.  It was that spectacular.

And at moonset.

My first hand-off

So here’s my report on my personal performance.  My first and most difficult leg was 8.8 hilly miles and I felt great and did better than I thought I would.  My right knee wasn’t an issue like I feared and I just plugged along and passed a butt-load of people – that always feels good!  I ended up finishing that leg in 80 minutes, so about 9 minute miles.  Some might snicker at that, but for me that’s great!  My second leg was 4.3 miles.  It started off with three killer hills and then flattened out.  My knee was definitely talking to me, but I wasn’t feeling like it was hindering me at the time, though my time averaged about 9:30-minute miles.  That leg was less than half the distance of my previous run but felt just as long to me.  The exhaustion was starting to set in.

Waving our street-crossing flag.  Safety first!

After our van completed our second legs, we settled at the main nighttime rest stop/exchange station to try to rest/sleep for a few hours.  We were traveling in a huge Suburban, which was fantastic for traveling but not so much for sleeping.  We’d brought our sleeping bags but it was just too cold outside so we hunkered down and tried to rest in various positions inside the ‘Burban.  I didn’t sleep but figured it was still good to relax and rest for a while.  My third leg was supposed to be 3 miles downhill.  Heaven.  Well, we had to do a little switch-a-rooing because one of our poor teammates got sick, so I got to run her leg.  The good news was that it was mostly flat.  The bad news was that it was friggin’ 6.9 miles!

I totally look like a professional, don't I?

I knew my knee was going to give me fits.  It wasn’t feeling great even at rest.  But I was hoping for the best.  And I got the worst.  No, I acknowledge it could’ve been worse, but it didn’t take me many steps to realize that it wasn’t going to be pretty.  I kept up a jog as long as I could and then would have to stop and walk as fast as possible.  Then I’d force a jog again and I went on and on like that for 6.9 of the longest miles ever run/walked in the history of the world.  I think my jogging pace matched my walking pace and my teammates kept offering to jump in for me, but I told them I could do it as long as they didn’t mind me doing verrrry sloooooow miles.  I experienced what it felt like to be passed – it stinks.  You feel slow.  To my credit, I did pass two people!  Sure one girl was tying her shoe but she never caught up and the other one was also just going incredibly slow and, amazingly, my pace was faster than hers!  She was probably a recovering chemotherapy patient or something and here I am griping about an injured knee!  I was actually pretty chipper and cheerful, yelling to the other runners passing me by because I was feeling pretty good.  I wasn’t working as hard as I could because I was being forced to go so slow.  That’s what was most frustrating: I felt good enough to push it but my knee just wouldn’t let me!  It took me as long to finish that leg – 80 minutes – as it did my first run which was a good 2 miles longer!

I find that as I’m further away from the event, I’m already starting to romanticize it a little.  I was even discussing with one of my teammates some training methods on how we could improve our times for next year.  What?!?  We actually care?  We actually might do it again?  We also discussed how it’s like having babies:  I can’t believe any of us do that more than once; but we do…and we love it!

See ya next year, Ragnar!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Aftermath of Ragnar

Note: I wrote this on 10/27/10 but it took me a bit to receive then figure out how to include the pictures I wanted.  I'm slowly figuring this blogging thing out!

Well, I am alive and here is my report on participating in the Las Vegas 2010 Ragnar Relay:  It was miserable, it was torturous, it was… AWESOME!
I can barely keep my eyes open as I sit here and contentedly eat my Ben & Jerry’s peanut butter cup ice cream (totally deserve it).  I am shifting my ice packs from front to back on both knees.  I am exhausted, utterly exhausted….

Okay, that’s as far as I got in writing this entry on Saturday night before sleep overwhelmed me.  I am now picking up again on Wednesday night.  I got hit hard Sunday with the chest cold I’d been fighting off leading up to this event and have had to take a few down days.  It’s good, though, because I have some distance from the actual event and can report on how my perspective has changed over a few days.  So here’s what I think now:  It was miserable, it was torturous, it was… AWESOME!

Definitely "psycho".  At the starting line at 6:15 am.

 Yeah, I still pretty much feel the same.  Although some things I expected to be bad or unpleasant met expectations; overall, it was much better than I anticipated.  First and foremost I was on THE best team I could’ve come across. (Yo! American Psychos!)  Since I was a last-minute replacement, I was just thrown into a big unknown situation but luckily hit the jackpot big-time with how incredibly awesome my teammates were.  They were fun, motivating, easy-going and just plain nice people to be around.

The whole gang "American Psychos" at the finish line.

Our whole team really stepped it up and we got ourselves about 2 hours ahead of our expected pace and kept it rockin’ the whole time, even in spite of some mishaps along the way.  My own performance was a bit of a mixed bag and I will report in more detail soon when I get some better pictures from my teammate. 
So what did we do out there? The 12 of us ran a total of 195 miles around and into Las Vegas over the course of about 33 hours.  We started at 6:15 am on Friday morning and one of the 12 of us was always running for the next two days.  We each had 3 legs to run throughout the course.  My own legs were 8.8, 4.3 and 6.9 miles for a total of about 20 miles.  When we weren’t running we were zipping around the course in our killer Suburban to cheer on our performing teammate while trying to stay fueled on bagels and energy bars, pottying in biffies and keeping ourselves prepared to jump out ready to rock our next leg of the relay - all on zero sleep!  Yeah, now that’s my idea of a good time…if I were in hell.

Me in hell.  Actually, in a Suburban trying to get some sleep at about 2 am.
Of course the physicality of the race is just one part of it.  This event takes some serious mental tuffness.  This type of racing format is a cruel thing to inflict upon yourself because you’re pushing yourself hard to run some pretty decent distances not just one time, but three.  I think that the fact that you get rest and down-time in between your legs is actually what makes it so tough.  In doing this relay, I’ve decided I need to experience two other challenges that, up until now, didn’t hold much appeal for my lazy self:  a marathon and a mini-triathlon.  The marathon because I’m now convinced that running a really long distance is better to do all at once without those annoying breaks in between.  And the triathlon because I’m also now convinced that if you’re going to do some sort of relay thing it’s better to do three different activities in order to switch it up. 

Beauties surrounded by beauty.

During the event, if you’d asked me, I’d have said I never needed to do another Ragnar Relay again in my life.  Don’t get me wrong; there was definitely exhilarating moments sprinkled throughout.  Just the fun camaraderie of being a part of a team with the same goal in mind made it an unforgettable experience.  Then there’s the spectacularness of being out in some absolutely gorgeous surroundings, running at times and places you’d never expected to be before; being mostly by yourself and really reaching down deep to tap into that inner strength and determination that, really, every one of us truly has when it comes down to it.

I think that’s why I needed to do this:  to remind myself that, sure, it stinks to have to do hard things.  But we do them and we find that we can enjoy and even exult in the experience of rising to the challenge.

Good times.  Good times.  I can’t believe I did it…and I’m sure glad I did.