May 2013 – Monthly Fitness Stats

Ok so as I’m posting my stats for May, this will finally bring me up to speed and I’ll have all my months progress reports on here from the time I started getting back into shape up until now. After this I can start putting out some posts of other stuff that’s been on my mind! πŸ™‚

When May started I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with the month, training-wise. This was sort of another “last chance workout” month for me, as the last weekend in May I had an appointment to take my bridesmaid dress in for fitting. That meant that if I was going to lose any more weight, I needed to do it now, because once the pins go in the dress I go into maintenance mode until the wedding in July.

What I ended up doing throughout the month was a complete hodge-podge of various things.

BASIC STATS:

Speed: 2.4 mph starting speed, Max walking speed 3.2 mph. Run interval speed 4.1 mph

This was another 0.20 mph increase over April for starting speed. I am reaching my full speed much quicker now which helps to increase my overall mileage and calorie burn. As with other months, increase speed by 0.20 mph every minute until reaching ‘max’ speed. First set of weight reps during this warmup. Max walking speed stayed the same as last month.

Duration: Aimed for 50 minutes.

Because I did some different things this month, my timing was different all the time, but if I didn’t have a specific plan in mind I just set my sights on basic intervals for 50 minutes.

Weights: 1 to 2 sets, 12 reps

This is the first time in many months that I started to drop off on the weight sets while walking on the treadmill. There were a couple of reasons for this. First, I did more workouts that were other types of strength training and didn’t feel as much need to work upper body during my walks. Secondly, I was doing more speed intervals, outdoor runs and 5K test runs where the weights were just too much distraction.

Incline: 5

Worked on getting consistent with incline at 5, but found this to be very challenging. Found I could do my walking at 5 but tended to drop it down to 4 during run intervals. Also, as the month went on and I started doing more focused goals on my runs I used less and less incline.

Average Burn: 300

I feel the need to comment here, that it bums me out the more weight I lose, the harder I have to work to get my burn! What used to be over 300 calorie burn workouts for me now are often just a little over 200 calorie burns. No fair that I work just as hard, if not harder and now I have to start eating less to maintain because I’m not burning as much as I did when I weighed more!

Ending Weight: 123.6

This is 2-1/2 pound loss from last month. I have now lost almost 27 lbs. YAY ME!! πŸ™‚

At this point I will be moving into maintenance mode, although my “goal weight” was actually 120 lbs. But I need to maintain this size now until after Terri’s wedding in July so the dress I just had sized will still fit me!

OK – so I’ve mentioned a few times here that I was doing some “different things” this month. Here is a run-down of what that looked like.

Cross Training:

There is a workout that my husband found on an On-Demand video by a trainer whose name is Declan. He was following this video doing this workout for some time before our cruise, and when it was about to be taken off the On-Demand menu he wrote it all down so he could keep doing it. This month I started doing this cross training workout with him. I need to start building strength and muscle in my body in areas other than my legs!

This workout is a collection of things like push ups, jumping jacks, planks, high knee lifts, lunges, squats, side-punches, crunches and a bunch of other stuff. It takes us about 40 minutes to do 2 sets of everything and by the end of that 40 minutes I am sweating like I ran a 5K twice! And the next two days my gluts and hamstrings are so sore I can barely walk! I think that means it’s working πŸ™‚

I added this about twice per week and over all cut down my treadmill time to about 3 times per week instead of 4. So, I was actually working out about 5 days a week most of this month.

Strength Training:

I had recently been reading a book called “The Salt Solution” which talks about the epidemic of high sodium diets in this nation and all of the health issues this causes. The author of the book offers up a solution to lowering sodium intake, and outlines a program for eating to break the salt habit. I am not at this point following that program, although I am going to be putting some of the recipes into use.

What I liked in this book was there was an accompanying 6 week workout plan that had a 6 day walking/running plan combined with a weekly strength training plan. I’ve been thinking about following some sort of set plan for a while just to go into auto-pilot and not have to think too much about what I want to do for my workouts and decided I wanted to try this plan. However, I am scheduled to run a 5K race on June 8th ( www.konarun.com ) so I was also wanting to push my training more this month in preparation for the race.

The last week of May, I did start adding this strength training in twice a week. But it is just a short, 20 minute workout. I’m using small weights, they are not more than 5 lbs. each, but they have metal plates that can screw onto the ends to increase the weight as I get stronger. The program is just 7 different exercises and is pretty easy to follow. It doesn’t burn a ton of calories, but I like having something fairly easy some nights that is still helping me build my muscles and upper body strength.

The walking/running schedule part of the program I will wait until June to begin, after the 5K race.

5K Race Training:

Did a few “test runs” this month to work on my time for the 5K race.
Last year, I did my first 5K and I walked most of it. At the time it felt like I was walking as fast as I possibly could, I jogged a little of it (a very little bit of it), and my time was 47:11. Not a great time to more experienced folks I understand, but to me, I was so happy to just have done it, and to have finished it!

Mid-month I did a 5K on the treadmill and attempted to do as much of it as I could at my normal ‘run’ pace of 4.1 mph. I did it in 42:00!! I couldn’t believe I could do that! I was hoping maybe I could come in under 45 minutes this year.

Later in the month, my husband and I bought ourselves Garmin Forerunner 10 watches so we could start hitting the pavement to be free of the treadmill and still be able to track mileage, pace, calories, etc. This has been fun, and challenging too. Heat/humidity fatigue, hills and wind resistance – these are all new challenges to a girl who is used to always being on the treadmill!

We did a 5K training run outside and to my SHOCK I was able to do it in just a few seconds over 40 minutes!! So now, I can’t wait to see what I can do in that race!

Run Intervals:

On my standard treadmill workouts…I had been (very) slowly working in run intervals. I think I started out with 1 minute intervals every 10 minutes a few months ago and have steadily added 30 seconds to that each month. Last month I was doing three intervals of jogging for 3-1/2 minutes throughout my 50 minute walks. So I was on pace this month to go up to 6 minute walking/4 minute running intervals.

Well, the first week of the month I decided to take that up a notch further and did 5 on/5 off. I amazed myself I was able to jog for 5 minute intervals! The next week I went to 4 minutes walking/6 minutes running and at this point I dropped my incline down to 3. (Yes, I was actually doing the 5 on/5 off at an incline of 4!)
The following week I did 3 minutes walking/7 minutes running. However, when trying to do this outside I found it really hard to keep up the run that long, as my pace seems to increase significantly when the treadmill is not pacing me, so I tire myself out quickly! The last week of May I worked on 2 minutes walk/8 minutes run and I have to say, it was hard for me. Really hard.

I’d like to think I could attempt to “run” this whole 5K race, but I’m not sure my stamina will hold out. We’ll see.

Stay tuned next month for June’s stats – I’ll be trying to follow that Salt Solution workout guide through the month after the race so I’ll give a full report on that next time.

Healthy Eating Habits

Just thinking about some of the habits I’ve developed over the last year or so that have really enabled me to be successful in eating healthier and reducing my calorie intake:

– Stock the freezer with steam-in-the-microwave vegetable side dishes for dinner.
These are ready in about 5 minutes, pack a ton of nutrition, are tasty and very low in calories.

– Stock the freezer with frozen fish.
Preferably the unbreaded or very lightly breaded kind. Keep a variety like salmon, tilapia, cod. Pop these in the oven for around 30 minutes after work, couple with a steamfresh veggie side and you’ve got a filling, nutritious, yummy dinner for 300 calories or less! Take it a step further, skip the tartar sauce and instead keep fresh lemons on hand and squeeze fresh lemon juice onto your fish.

– Stock the fridge with fresh veggies, buy organic & local – they will last longer.
We use a local organic produce delivery service. www.doortodoororganics.com For the same cost we would spend at the grocer each week, we get a box of fresh, local organic produce delivered to our doorstep. Our box arrives on Friday, I cut everything up on Sunday and by the end of the week the veggies are still fresh!

– Preparation is key!
I spend an hour on Sunday cutting up veggies and storing mixed varieties in tupperware-type bowls to take to work through the week. Pre-portion healthy dip into covered to-go containers as well, I recommend Hommus. Measure out snack crackers like Triscuits into baggies to go as well. Play with the serving size: if 6 crackers is 120 calories but you’d like your snack to be a little less, then only pack 4 or 5 crackers.

– Keep the pantry stocked with low-calorie, nutritious snacks.
Keep a basket full of quick, portable snacks like Kashi soft baked bars or chewy granola bars. Fill the pantry with options that are under 200 calories per snack. Bananas work great for this too. Before they get overly ripe, peel them, cut into pieces and pop them into the freezer in a bag to be used later in protein shakes.

– Keep a variety of low-calorie snacks to suit your tastes at different times.
We subscribe to Nature Box – they ship a box once a month filled with delicious snacks, different stuff each month – and it is all organic or non-gmo, all-natural and yummy!

– Switch to smaller dishes!
Stock your cupboards with 4 oz glasses to easily portion out juice, milk, etc into amounts of fewer calories than a standard 8 oz serving. Use dessert-sized plates for your main entrΓ©e. You can take smaller portions and still have the visual sensation of eating a full plate of food.

– Invest in good measuring tools for your kitchen.
You can never have enough measuring cups, stainless steel measuring spoons, and even serving spoons that are 1/2 cup size to help portion control from the pan to the plate.

February 2013 – Last Chance Workout Month

“Last chance workout” month before leaving for our cruise!

We went on an 8 night Caribbean cruise, it was fantastic! We planned all of our excursions to include a lot of walking and calorie-burning activities. And for the first time ever, we used the fitness center on the ship! So while we certainly did indulge in food (and adult beverages) we really kept the damage to a minimum. Most of the time we each gain almost 10 lbs on a week-long cruise. This time I only gained 5 and I think Jim gained 6 lbs. And we were both able to drop those pounds really quick within a week or so after coming home.

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February Stats:

Speed: 2.0 mph start, increase .2 per minute to max of 3.0 mph

While working out on the ship I started increasing my max speed to 3.2 mph. This seemed pretty comfortable, so I kept it going the rest of the month.

Duration: 45 – 50 minutes

Started trying to push duration out a little further, the month was a mix of about every other workout between 45 to 50 minutes.

Weights: 3 sets, 12 reps

Frequency: 4 times per week

Run intervals: 2 to 2-1/2 minutes

Had one day on the ship that I just felt so full of energy, I pushed out my run intervals to about 5 minutes and couldn’t believe I could do it!!

Incline: 3 to 4, variable

Aero Pilates: once per week, 30 minutes

Average Burn: 269

Ending Weight: 130 lbs (yay! intermediate goal weight!)
I actually got to this weight right before we left for the cruise. Then I gained 5 lbs while on the cruise, then lost it again within about a week of coming home, so closed out the month at this weight still, yay me!! πŸ™‚

January 2013 Monthly Fitness Stats

Keeping pace with December, kicked a couple of things up a notch like starting speed, run intervals and incline.

Me, my husband (Jim) and our daughter (Cecilia) in January 2013

Me, my husband (Jim) and our daughter (Cecilia) in January 2013

This photo is me and my family in January 2013. Looking a bit thinner here, down about 17 lbs from my most recent “fat” weight – although kind of hard to tell with the bulky winter clothes!

Treadmill stats:

Speed: 1.8 mph starting speed, increase .2 mph per minute to max speed of 3.0 mph

Duration: 45 minutes

Frequency: 4 times per week

Weights: 3 sets, 12 reps

Run intervals: 4.0 mph 2 minute intervals, average 3 sets

Incline: 3

Aero Pilates: once per week, 12 reps of all, duration about 30 minutes

Average Burn: 240

Ending Weight: 133.4 lbs