So why am I a lazy personal trainer?



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

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.