Stop! Hammer Time.

This year March Madness has been something slightly different to me. Now, I still have a bracket for the NCAA tournament (though, after sucking up the first round of the tournament and crumpling my doomed bracket into the bottom of my purse I had slightly less enthusiasm for my beloved competition.) The new, fun twist on March Madness this year has been a challenge by my trainer, Cheryl for all of her minions. Each week she emails a list of daily health and wellness challenges. She then follows up each day with the rundown for that day and adds a detailed description of why the newest thing is such an awesome thing to incorporate into your routine. What I forgot to mention is that each day compounds on the last day. So, here’s a sample of what this week looks like:

“Wow. You all have come so far. This marks the beginning of week 4 and soon this March Madness challenge will be complete.

Thursday, March 22 TODAY!

  • Drink eight 8oz glasses of water.
  • +rest

You should consider today a rest day if you wish.

If not today, then you should rest at least one day a week.

Resting gives your body time to repair and recharge, and it’s actually on the rest days that you get stronger.

Are you resting?

Friday, March 23

  • Drink eight 8oz glasses of water.
  • + plank for 3 minutes

Saturday, March 24

  • Drink eight 8oz glasses of water.
  • + plank for 3 minutes
  • +100 squats with weight

Sunday, March 25

  • Drink eight 8oz glasses of water.
  • + plank for 3 minutes
  • +100 squats with weight
  • +45 minutes of cardio

Monday, March 26

  • Drink eight 8oz glasses of water.
  • + plank for 3 minutes
  • +100 squats with weight
  • +45 minutes of cardio
  • +40 push ups

Tuesday, March 27

  • Drink eight 8oz glasses of water.
  • + plank for 3 minutes
  • +100 squats with weight
  • +45 minutes of cardio
  • +40 push ups
  • +donkey kicks

Wednesday, March 28

  • Drink eight 8oz glasses of water.
  • + plank for 3 minutes
  • +100 squats with weight
  • +45 minutes of cardio
  • +40 push ups
  • +donkey kicks
  • +a non food reward”

A few caveats:  I am AWESOME at the non food rewards. However, I feel kind of disappointed in my performance of the challenge. I didn’t maximize my opportunity to really gain some extra strength and push myself. In some ways I did AMAZING! As you saw from yesterday’s post, I tried 3 different new classes. Any day that I met with Cheryl I did whatever was on the list. When spinach and veggies were part of the challenge I often fulfilled them before noon. Water? Oh my. Blessed heavenly liquid. I sweat a lot. I kind of caught on to this last summer when I was so drenched after a class that when I got on the treadmill I thought it was raining, only to realize it was just my ponytail dripping on the backs of my legs. MMMmmm sexy!

Back on topic! Less about how awesome I am of ridding my body of its precious resources.

From the list above you’ll notice that there’s a pretty solid list of components to complete today. I’m proud to say I DID THEM ALL. My original workout plan for the day was running but my bff wanted to go to dinner and I had the dull throbbing in my head of a headache being masked by too much ibuprofen. So…dinner! Driving home I thought, “there is still daylight. I could still walk or run. let’s do this!” And then I got distracted with self teeth whitening. Sigh.

Determined not to fail myself – for this is the week of getting myself back on track DAMNIT! (remember the cookies? oh the cookies…so sweet, so, so sweet) – I committed to at least getting through the day’s March Madness challenge. And then I remembered the intensity of yesterday’s planks (I have rug burns to prove it! my own fault) and I knew I’d have to find a way to break up the list into something manageable and fun. So, here’s what we were supposed to do:

Tuesday, March 27
  • Drink eight 8oz glasses of water.
  • + plank for 3 minutes
  • +100 squats with weight
  • +45 minutes of cardio
  • +40 push ups
  • +donkey kicks
Here’s how I accomplished it:
20 plie squats with a pull (10lb dumbbells)
*self dialogue, “I can make a circuit! I need to find a way to get that 45 minutes of cardio in. Hmmm”
My helpful assistant, Gracie also threw her own help in.
Gracie helps with circuits
Gracie tried to help with planks.
**Enter the circuits**
One and Two
  • 30 seconds jumping jacks + a few seconds of other jumping around in a spastic manner
  • 20 squats with weights in front (10lb)
  • 36 second plank (forearms)
  • 8 push-ups
  • donkey kicks on hands and knees (there’s 3 ways to do these but I always feel the most badass when I do them on hands and knees) – 1 minute per leg
Dance, Dance Fever: or, how I shook my booty for a bit to wiggle it all out
A break between sets 2 & 3 whereby I danced my ass off to LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem. About 5 minutes total.
Three
  • more spastic leg movements to wiggle out
  • 20 squats with weights in front (10lb)
  • 36 second plank (forearms)
  • 8 push-ups
  • donkey kicks on hands and knees (there’s 3 ways to do these but I always feel the most badass when I do them on hands and knees) – 1 minute per leg
Stop. Hammer Time.
Danced to 3 songs:
  • LMFAO: Sexy and I Know It
  • Avril: Girlfriend
  • Katy Perry: Last Friday Night (part of song)
  • JLO: On the Floor

Four

  • 10 squats with weights in front (10lb) + 10 plie squats with pulls (10lb)
  • 36 second plank (forearms)
  • 8 push-ups
  • donkey kicks on hands and knees (there’s 3 ways to do these but I always feel the most badass when I do them on hands and knees) – 1 minute per leg
Groove Thang
  • Beyonce: Single Ladies
  • Fergie :Fergalicous
Five
  • Single leg deadlifts with weight (10 per leg x 2) (I switched since I’d already met the official squat number and SLD’s make me feel tough and graceful all at once)
  • 36 second plank (forearms)
  • 8 push-ups
  • (no donkey kicks because I’d already hit the required number and I felt I’d overachieved enough for the evening)
The whole thing ended up taking at least 45 minutes due to the dance sessions between weight/resistance sets. Here’s the result.
Exaggerated Smile Proof
You can't see the bucket of sweat, but I'm smiling big because I'm done and my ass is going to be sore (again)!

Hi! Remember Me?

So much has happened in my fitness life since I last wrote. I’ve tried new classes: yoga, zumba, and belly dancing. I’ve discovered I can actually run a full mile without stopping (on a treadmill and outside!) My clothes aren’t fitting anymore because they are too BIG. I have so much more confidence and less fear about trying new things.

So now you are caught up. I’ve been having trouble the last week or so with my eating and routine. Whenever I get lazy about one thing (like doing the dishes or laundry) it seems like it snowballs into all the things (food prep, cooking, bringing my lunch to work, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, keeping to my full workout schedule, not eating processed foods, etc.)

I’ve tried to merge some of my old life with my newer fit life. Not working so great at times. My body simply doesn’t like alcohol or processed foods. It may not like a lot of grains and it may hate soy. I’m also eating less and less meat. It’s kind of expensive and I am finding myself more and more sensitive about animals. (I tried to befriend two geese after my run on Friday night. I stood and stared while Goosey1 slowly waddled away from me. Goosey2 seemed to feel safe enough and continued sitting, perhaps waiting for a cue from Goosey1 that would indicate true danger.)

So, my focus this week is on getting back into my routine. Getting the flow. Tackling the little things while they are little, instead of having to spend an entire Saturday and Sunday catching up.

This week’s plan:

Monday: Morning workout with Cheryl (this is a great way to start the week when I feel so off track) – smoothie and oatmeal, spinach salad with cherries, feta (if I have any), roasted red peppers, black beans, and vinegar dressing, banana!, dinner probably egg white omelet. Plan rest of week’s meals because I didn’t make myself do it today.

Tuesday: Grand Jury Duty in the AM so breakfast of oatmeal & egg whites before I go, SNACKS (some sort of portable fruit like orange, almonds so I don’t make myself sick like last week.) Running in the evening (at the gym if it’s raining or super wet – if it’s nice out I’ll be outside)

Wednesday: Maybe Zumba in the evening, maybe yoga sculpt (it was almost all men last week so that makes me sort of uncomfortable)

Thursday: Evening Yoga or day off.

Friday: Morning workout with Cheryl! (rescheduled from Thursday)

Saturday: Special end of March Madness Group Bootcamp with Cheryl. I won’t lie. I have fear about this workout. Maybe because I’ll be working out with other people who train and I don’t wanna be the slow, uncoordinated, weak, fat kid.

Sunday: If I don’t take Thursday off, this will be my rest day. I think I might get up and run though. At least a walk.

So there it is. Now I can hold myself accountable. Now YOU can hold me accountable. I might even simply my routine to just my training workouts and running with stretching/yogay stuff everyday. My neck and shoulders are so often in pain and crackly that I probably need to focus more on stretching.

*sigh* Must get myself back in sync. I mean, this week wasn’t awful (okay, today’s eating was horrible because I ❤ cookies and scones and I didn't feel great because I had a couple vodka sodas last night) but it doesn't meet with my standards and my stomach hurts from the fact that I apparently can't handle more than one boozy drink.

I think my biggest challenge is how to interact with people everyday when I am so particular about what I eat, drink, and how I move. How do I go out with friends? Ah Bartleby. Ah Humanity.