Sunday, October 13, 2013

2 For 2

Day 8: Feel The Burn
I woke up feeling like a total zombie this morning and in true zombie fashion, I arrived at work and discovered that I'd forgotten most of my snacks for the day at home.
Fortunately I had an extra little baggie of dry cereal in my desk drawer, so the furniture wasn't in danger of being gnawed.  When I got home it was time for a new workout from the Les Mills Pump series - Pump & Burn.  It definitely lived up to its name because it BURNED.  The squat track was almost 8 minutes long! It doesn't sound like much, but my quads were quivering like jello by the end.  The ab track was a burner as well (although I may have made it harder by laughing when the soundtrack to it was 'Save a Horse. Ride a Cowboy.).

Day 9: Spinning My Wheels
Today was one of those challenging days. I needed to workout, wanted to eat clean, and was scheduled to make an appearance at Little Bro's birthday dinner - at a restaurant that does not have anything remotely healthy on the menu and always leaves me feeling far too full to workout afterward.  So what's a girl to do in this situation?  Here's how I handled it: I worked through lunch and brought a bunch of work home with me so I could leave work early and hit the bike trainer (and the shower) before dinner.  I was on the bike for one hour and managed to ride almost 18 miles - and scorch off a ton of calories.

Between the workout and some careful food choices during the rest of the day, I was able to enjoy a little bit of everything on the table without feeling like I'd totally fallen off the nutrition wagon.  I will say that after a week of very healthy eating, that dinner left me feeling really sluggish and kind of queasy.

Day 10: Mixed Double
Today's workout called for a combination of two DVDs from the Les Mills Pump series: Pump Challenge and Hard Core Abs.  I was originally planning to throw in a 2 mile run as a warm up, but alas, I didn't come crawling in the door from work until almost 6:00. So, in the interest of eating dinner, getting a few things done, and going to bed at a reasonable hour, I headed straight for The Cave and got to work.  The 20 minute Pump Challenge workout almost felt easy now that I've experienced the leg burning pain of Pump & Burn.

Day 11: A Good Stretch
Yoga never felt so good. I enjoyed the stretch immensely and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't nice to have a little break in the action!

Day 12: Paddle and Burn
I think the last time I went for a swim was some time in early August, so I was almost afraid to see how much of a disaster I was going to be when I hit the pool on Friday night.  I've definitely lost a lot of my endurance in that area, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, so I'm not starting completely from scratch. I swam 1000 yards in just over 30 minutes and then headed home and down to the Cave for a 30 minute session of Pump & Burn.  My arms and shoulders were not happy about the chest track after the swim.

Day 13: Hikin' Solo
Mr. R&R was off camping and kayaking with WhoHa this weekend, but I still wanted to get outside for a while so I drove myself out to Lapham Peak (in a downpour) with the goal of hiking the 7 mile Moraine Ridge trail. Fortunately the rain stopped and the woods were quiet and peaceful when I set out - punctuated only by the occasional trail runner.
About an hour into my hike the sun came out and for a moment I felt like I was walking in the woods of Washington instead of Wisconsin.
I pressed on with the leaves crunching under my feet and my iPod on low (I need to make a more mellow playlist for these sorts of adventures), planning to stop at the half way point to snack on a pb&j and stretch my legs.
Standing between me and my sandwich break was a series of steep hills - including The Wall.
It doesn't look terribly imposing from the photo, but let me tell you...standing at the bottom of it, it looked like a wall of earth in front of me. By the time I made it to the top my legs and glutes were screaming and a sandwich never sounded so good!  Unfortunately when I arrived at Homestead Hollow, my appointed rest stop, I discovered a huge group of adults and their poorly supervised pack of little howler monkeys.  These kids were horrible. Screaming at the top of their lungs, throwing rocks, hurling handfuls of dirt at each other, brandishing sticks...and their handlers (or parents, if you can call them that) seemed perfectly content to let them run amok.  There was no way I was stopping there, so I pushed on up the aptly named Asthma Hill.  The noise from the howler monkeys faded and I had the woods to myself again.  I passed the Observation Tower, but didn't climb the Stairway to Heaven (about 200 shallow steps) to reach it. I've been up there once or twice, but generally avoid it because it's usually crowded with people.

Finally I reached the part of the trail I've always loved to run: Big Slide.  It's a long, gentle, downhill stretch bordered by hardwood trees.

Just as I got to the bottom of Big Slide, I noticed that the sky was beginning to fill with ominous looking gray clouds, so I ended up taking a short cut back to my car via the Plantation Path (lopping about a mile off my hike) instead of continuing up Hoot Owl Hill.  It turns out that I made the right call since it began to rain when I was about a quarter mile away from the end. I tightened my pack and ran like hell for the trailhead - making it back to my car just as another downpour hit. Talk about good timing!

Day 14: Stubborn
I woke up this morning to some stiffness in my hips and legs from yesterday's adventure in the hills of Lapham Peak, so pounding the pavement for a few miles was out, but I stubbornly insisted on doing some form of lower-impact cardio, so I joined Mr. R&R for the first 30 minutes of his Power 90 cardio workout (power yoga followed by lots of high knees, jumping around, and kickboxing movements) before tackling  Hard Core Abs. By the time it was over, I. was. spent.

After 2 weeks of following the Les Mills Pump program, it's starting to feel like I've been doing it for longer - working out daily is starting to feel normal again. I still crave junk food on occasion, but the few times I've given in, it just hasn't tasted as good as I've anticipated - which is never a bad thing.  I also continue to feel much better, both physically and mentally.  I've been sleeping better and my mental focus has been unbelievable.  If this keeps up, I'm really excited to see how I feel by the end of the 90 days!  On that note, I'm off to do the mountain of laundry that has accumulated this week.


April said...

I hate running into feral children on the trail. Or feral adults. I want peace and quiet when I'm in the woods, noise shakes me out of my zone.

Mary said...

Yes, exactly! It took me a good mile or two to get back into my little bubble.

Anonymous said...

You would love my job...on field days. All I do is hike through the woods for hours. I think I'm supposed to be looking at shit but whatever lol

Mary said...

I would love that. The only "nature" I can see from my office is the plant I have sitting in the windowsill!

hkairedalespack said...

Scenic and peaceful looking trail, although the howler monkeys were a highly unpleasant interruption!

Mary said...

It's relatively peaceful for being only a few miles from a busy suburb. I end up hiking there a lot in fall because it's a 'no hunt' park so I don't have to worry about getting shot at during hunting season!