Weekly Rundown

I can’t believe it is the last day of July. It was such a cloudy, rainy spring here that when we finally got some nice weather at the end of June, it felt more like spring had finally arrived than summer. I feel so very behind on the months!

Fall is my favorite time of year, however, so I am looking forward to a sunny, warm August and a long crisp fall. Much more time to  spend outdoors yet. I can run and ride for months to come!

Monday: I didn’t want to do it. My last run had been a few days previous, and it hadn’t felt all that great, so I had to force my sneakers on my feet. It was only a mile, I kept telling myself as I headed down the driveway.  It was a marvelous mile! Time was only average, but the run felt terrific.i didn’t have the radio going, so it was just the sound of my breath and the rhythm of my feet. Wonderful.  I followed up with 20 minutes of yoga, doing pretty much only stretch moves except for a nice long plank.

Tuesday: off. And I liked it!

Wednesday: another run, 2 miles. First one was slow at 11:45, but I picked up the pace for the second one-10:16. I think I need work on my pace, as it was completely unintentional to knock off that minute and a half in the second mile. I do generally get faster the longer that I go, but I don’t seem to have a lot control over just how fast I am going. Or not going! I did  2 sets of heel raises and 15 Burpees when I got back. I run off the ball of my foot, and in theory that should propel my forward momentum. But I realized recently that I don’t have as much forward spring as I used to. So heel raises have been added to strengthen that movement.

Thursday: a half hour of weight training. I had to get up early to sneak it in as I also had a walk with my friend at the hospital before work. So only 3×15 reps. I do seem to have a good excuse every week not to go to 4×15 reps. Maybe I should just do heavier weights if I can’t add in that extra rep?

Friday: following my plan (I had a plan!), I did a 3 mile run. Oh my, it was awful. Felt like I was running through water, and that last hill! Oh! My butt hurt all day.  But when I finished, I realized that I had knocked 5 minutes off my best time on that run this season. No wonder it hurt!

Saturday: a nice long walk with Daisy to stretch out my muscles. And a little bit of hill work. We walked down the big hill-which was far easier than it was last year, although the really steep part on the bottom was a challenge with a doggie pulling on me. Then we turned around and walked back up, past our road and all the way to the top (.98 mile). Daisy is in great shape, just trotted right on up, checking out all the important sniffs. In the afternoon I took Christopher Robin out for some groundwork (I was just too tired to saddle and ride). He did well as I lunged him, then took him out in the driveway for some leading, but when I took him back in and lunged him again, he was shocked. Normally I lunge, lead and give a treat. He did not like this upset to the structure and let me know, throwing a hind leg or two as he dashed around the lunge ring. Once he calmed down and started listening again, he got that treat. Always good to keep them guessing! I do so hate being predictable.

Sunday: last run of the week, so 4 miles. Not terribly fast, but a good run.  I reached the point where I simultaneously felt like I could go forever, but also wanted to stop instantly. Fortunately, I managed to not stop til I hit my driveway; where the horses had no sympathy with my heavy breathing,  but expected breakfast instantly! I had a bunch of little stuff to do around the house, and then in the afternoon we went to get the hay for winter for the horses. Loaded the trailers in the field, brought them home and unloaded into my hay storage. About half way through we started getting concerned if we were going to get it all in. We did, but by a very small margin. I could probably get five more bales in there, but that is about it.  It seemed like a busy day, and my phone agreed: 25,692 steps. I think that might be my record!

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Me vs Tech, #1

I didn’t forget my Weekly Rundown post this week.  I lost internet. It is unbelievable how much we rely on that now. How odd that I grew up without internet and now can’t live without it.   I just felt lost.

My husband and I don’t have a lot of data on our phones, as we have internet at home (usually) and at both our workplaces. So we hopped on email or Facebook for a quick moment, then got right back off.

And, I admit, texting is great, but I prefer a real keyboard for lengthy  writing. Also, since I am on open wi-fi 40 hours a week at work, I don’t have anything important on my phone. Wanna hack my email? Dang. You got into my Facebook? Ah well. But I don’t have any bill or finance info on my phone. That sucked over the weekend,  I couldn’t do anything.

When I called my company the first time on Saturday, they said Wednesday. I said that was really unacceptable, and the tech agreed. He told me dispatch would call in an hour to see if they could do sooner.  Two hours later I called back. And then again several hours after that I called again, when I found out that the following Sunday was the soonest I could be home when they could get here.

A whole week of no internet? What, were we in the 80s? I couldn’t take it.

Fortunately,it occurred to me–no help from my internet company–that I could exchange the modem (which we all believed was the  problem) at my local cable office.

And lo, we got internet back last night. Much rejoicing was had. But no typing was done…..ooops!

 

Weekly Rundown

I found a tshirt on Facebook whose slogan seems to epitomize my week: I run, slower than a herd of turtles, but I run.

Leaping from 4 mile weeks to a 10 mile week had a few repercussions. My leg was a bit angry with me, no serious pain, but aches and twinges. I told it to get over it. The other repercussion was that all my muscles were tired and my times were quite slow. But, on the other hand, I ran 🙂

Since the previous week I started with a long run and decreased my mileage each run, I thought I would start low and work my way up to a long run–reversing the pyramid. My total mileage made it over the 10 mile mark again, but it wasn’t all running,as  I had a long walk in there.

Monday: off

Tuesday: 1 mile in 11 minutes and 20 minutes of yoga. I did a mix of stretch and strength poses, although I did lean more heavily on the stretch. I meant to do push-ups after my run, but somehow, that slipped my mind. I did do a long plank, so that counts, right?

Wednesday: Picked up my weights again–although, I still didn’t add a rep. Pure laziness on my part. My session did take 37 minutes; I mixed in some stretch yoga between the exercises, which really makes my sessions better. Sets of arm/legs, then yoga instead of rest.

Thursday: 2 mile run in 22 minutes and I did Burpees again! Only 15, however. That seemed like more than enough at the time.

Friday: pure yoga for 30 minutes. I did it in front of Steven Colbert, so no DVD, but I did do my Crunch yoga from memory. I did as many Warrior poses as I could (the practice has 9 for each leg) before my leg felt too stressed.  I managed 6, then added moves from another session to replace the last 3.

Saturday: a very long walk with Daisy–4.86 miles in 1:17. We were close to doing 15 minute miles, but there were sniffs everywhere that just slowed us down a bit. She led the entire way, searching out those new sniffs, and I think she made me walk faster.  I had to run to town for errands after, but when I got home I tacked up Charby and rode her out in the ring. It was  a tradeoff: we had the space to do some quality work, but the flies are horrible out there and we only lasted 20 minutes.

Sunday: 4 mile run, a slow 4 mile run, but 4 miles nonetheless! My muscles protested most of the way,  and my pace was consistently 5.0 MPH for each mile. But the sky was blue, and the early morning air felt great, so I call it a good run. Met a new friend out there too, although I did give him and his quills wide berth as I ran by. I spent a lot of time sitting later in the day, but I did go out and ride Christopher Robin. I’m going to call it a good training day, although I am not sure who got trained. Charby stayed in the barn (silly girl) and CR got half way to the ring when he realized he was on his own. I tried to convince him to keep going, but had to get off and lead him to the ring. I led him around the ring, doing circles and talking. I almost had him calmed down when she hollared ’cause she missed him, so a few more laps were necessary, then we went to get her. So the training was a) for my patience,  and b) so he knows he needs to do what I want him to do.

 

 

Weekly Rundown

Whoo-hooo, what a week. I mean, I am pretty tired right now, but really, what a week! With the holiday in the week, I had an extra day to get things done.  Weather was lovely and I was able to do everything I wanted when I wanted. That never happens!

For all that I kept saying I need to get more miles in, looking back over my last three weeks, I only averaged 3-5 miles. But this week I blew that out of the water with 10+ miles. I think I still have the buzz.

Monday: I started the week with some stretching yoga mixed in with my strength poses. Warrior poses really aren’t bothering my knee at all anymore. I find the less I want to do a pose, the more I need to do a pose.  Took me some time to make Down Dog my friend too. I’ve always enjoyed Warrior poses, but my knee hasn’t been up to it for the last year. Working back into it was akin to working to enjoy Down Dog.

Tuesday: I went out for a 3 mile run….and came home 4 miles later. It felt marvelous, and I even ran a bit up the hill past my driveway to get to the 4 mile mark (that OCD is terrible). I stretched out and kept the “good run” buzz for the whole day.  I took Christopher Robin out for a ride later in the morning. Even though I really don’t like riding on the road (drivers be nuts), I thought it would be fun to take him up the road for exploration. Who knew he didn’t want to go?! We got almost to the top of the hill when he decided it was far enough and we started doing spins and backing up. Silly boy. I did make him go just a bit further (like a child, you can’t let them win), before bringing him back and riding per usual at the house. He has come a long way, as our disagreement was far shorter than the ones we had when I first started riding him.  Sometimes I think it is just for form before he gives in.  Good for my legs and rear, though, having to push him.

Wednesday: I went back to my weight training. I hadn’t done it at all during June, figuring the Burpees were keeping the muscles strong and active enough. I decided to do 3 reps of 15.  I had been on the verge of adding a rep before I stopped in  June, and figured I better start where I had left off. I also added push-ups to keep the strength from June going. Just 5 to start, as doing them in a row was a bit different from them being scattered through the Burpee.

Thursday: another run! It didn’t feel quite as good, but I did manage the 5k path from my house. My pace was slower than Tuesday’s run, but I made it through. Still got the run buzz, just from completing the run.

Friday: I planned on taking it off, but ended up doing 1.5 miles at a leisurely pace with my friend before work. So, mostly off!

Saturday: know those days when you just want to do it all? I wanted to run, but I wanted to get Daisy out too, and I needed to do weights again. So Daisy and I walked out almost a mile and a half, then ran back the last mile to complete almost 3 miles. She started off slow, but by the time we’d gone a quarter-mile she was leading the run 🙂 When we got home I picked up the weights and did 35 minutes of weights, mixing in a few stretch yoga positions between the reps. In an effort to keep my core strong, I also did some more push-ups, 2 sets of 5 this time.  I rode Charby later in the day. We were also working harder, since last time it took 24 minutes for us to cover a mile and this time it took 18 minutes. More trotting covers more ground faster!

Sunday: I wanted to make sure I hit the 10 mile mark this week, so I ran a (very slow) 2+ miles. I did pick the 80% uphill route, just to give my legs an extra workout. Running down hills is getting easier, as long as I make sure to land on the ball of my foot instead of the toes.  I have a tendency to reach out with my foot without bending my knee and landing on the toes, which is a wonderful recipe for falling on my face. Rode Christopher Robin for about 10 minutes. I wanted to check out the new ring my husband built me just that day, so I put a bridle on him and we went out. Ohhhh, the flat smoothness! Not sure the horses will enjoy the work, but I am going to love having a good area to work them.

 

A month of Burpees

I had been toying with the idea of creating/doing a Burpee challenge for a while now. So last month I did.

I gathered a few friends too, but some dropped out due to injury (not from the Burpees!) while others popped in and out. I felt that doing a lot one day to catch up wasn’t the goal of the challenge, the goal was to do them every day–which was harder than just “catching up.” I didn’t say anything though, I was just happy they tried. I did have one coworker who made it through the whole month with me 🙂

I started May 31 with 5 Burpees, then added one each day during the month of June. I was supposed to end with 35, but somewhere between 10 and 14 I miscounted and realized I was doing 15 on the day I should be doing 14. But I kept the extra, and ended on June 30th with 36.

I did some research while coming up with the challenge, and here’s what I learned:

1. Burpees are named after their creator–Royal H. Burpee, who was an employee at the Bronx YMCA in the 1930s.  He used the exercise in his doctoral thesis for Columbia University in the subject of applied physiology in 1940, while the Bronx YMCA introduced it to their members.

2. I hate Burpees

3. Burpees are used in Spartan races if a racer can’t complete an obstacle as a time penalty, 30 for an elite athlete and 10 for those running in the general population. Burpees are also often used in CrossFit classes as a penalty if a participant is late.

4. I hate Burpees.

5. Burpees were used by the US Armed Forces as a measurement of fitness for applicants during WWII. The exerise let them assess the strength, coordination and agility. Twenty-seven burpees in one minute was considered poor physical form, while forty-one was considered excellent. I believe that would be the original Burpee, not  with a push-up. (I haven’t tried, not sure I really want to know)

6. I hate Burpees.

7. There are dozens of variations. Royal’s original was a 4 beat:  squat with hands on floor, kick feet back to a push-up position, jump back to squat position, jump up. A newer version (the one I did) has a push-up and a higher jump added. Do a search, however, and you will find Burpees with weights, jumps onto steps, jumps over obstacles and many more additions to make a Burpee more difficult. Like it needs help!  Check out Lifting Revolution’s blog to see some variations.

8. I hate Burpees. And push-ups, I definitely hate push-ups.

9. “On May 17, 2014, in Greenwood, South Carolina,  a gentleman by the name of Cameron Dorn broke two burpee world records. He performed 5,657 within a 12-hour period. He also completed the most burpees in a 24-hour period, finishing with a whopping 10,105. Another world record was achieved on October 21, 2013, in Portland, Oregon, by Lloyd Weema. He broke the burpee world record for the most chest to ground burpees performed in 72 hours with 9,480.”*  Yeah, I am not trying that.

10. I am in much better shape after my month of Burpees. They helped my core and arms tremendously. Although I have avoided push-ups since grade school, I can do them now–and they aren’t scary anymore.

I will keep Burpees in my rotation from now on, as I definitely don’t want to lose the fitness I gained.  Straight up push ups will also be thrown in. My core is solid after all the push ups, and my knee bends more after all those squats, as well as bending the leg while jumping in and out of the push-up position. I am glad….glad that I did it, and glad that it is over!

Added up, I did 628 Burpees over the course of the month, which was both a surprise and made me feel incredibly good! And I just saw an email from Shape with a Burpee challenge, so apparently I am right on trend. Who knew?

Shape got creative with the variations, giving you 7 different types of Burpees. The challenge is to do 10 reps of 1 variation each day of the week, with an increase of reps by 10 each week. So, 700 Burpees over the four-week period. Wanna try? Here’s the link: Shape Mag

*Dr. Axe

Weekly Rundown

Well, summer has finally hit us 🙂 Weather is beautiful and bright, except when those thunderstorms move through. They are quick, however, and the sun comes right back out. In all, it was a good week.

Monday: off. Except it was the last week of Burpees, so I did 32. Somehow, it seemed harder to do them when I hadn’t warmed up with anything else.

Tuesday: trying to increase my outdoor running, I went just a half mile further in my run. I did 2.53 miles in 29:44. I kept telling myself it wasn’t about the speed but the distance–speed later, distance now. (Not that I have ever been a speed demon, an average 9 or 10 minute mile was good for me.Mostly cuz I have that mentality–distance over speed.) It was a nice run, didn’t feel like I was going any further or hurt any more; which tells me that it was definitely time to go longer. When I got back I did 33 Burpees, and I was wrong–they were just as hard as Monday’s!

Wednesday: yoga. It felt soooooo good to stretch out. I did free yoga, but mostly followed my Crunch dvd moves. I did quite a few Warrior positions, and my knee held up very well. After stretching and twisting my body, I did my dang 34 Burpees. That night when I got home I wanted to do groundwork with Christopher Robin. In reality it was about five minutes of me leading him around. He was wondering where dinner was, so it was still an exercise in my leadership. Once he caved and stopped arguing, I gave him dinner!

Thursday: a run, and a good one it was. I have always been slow out of the gate, and this one was no exception. I  did just 2 miles, and knocked a minute plus off with the second one. I also learned that hill it took me three tries to make it up doesn’t hurt anymore. Not that it’s FUN, but it doesn’t kill me.  After I fed the horses on my way back down the driveway (they are never happy with me running out  without feeding them) I took 17 minutes to stretch and do 35 Burpees.

Friday: my body felt tight, so although I had planned a run; I got on the treadmill at 3 MPH and did 1.3 miles. My calves felt much better afterwards. And then I did my final set of Burpees…..whoooooo-hooooo! 31 Days in a row is, well, trying. Rest days are important. But 36 meant that I was done, done, DONE! I had meant to end at 35–started with 5 on  May 31, then added one each day in June. But somewhere along the way I did an extra, so I kept it.

Saturday: an unplanned day off. I was dithering whether I would run the rail trail when I went to the grocery store, or just walk Daisy. While deciding, I picked up my book. After finishing the last chapter or two, I picked up the next in series. After finishing it, I decided it was 11:30 and I better darn well go to the grocery store. I did, and when I came back I was dithering again about lunch or walking Daisy, so of course I picked up the next in series (there are about eight or nine, and I was restarting from the beginning) and read that. Then I decided I better do something, so I put away all the laundry, did the dishes and fed the horses. In all, I got less than 4000 steps in for the day. And I was okay with that. It felt really good to relax, and Daisy didn’t seem to mind at all since she cuddled next me all day on the chair.

Sunday: ok, I made up for Saturday’s relaxation–16,000 steps! I walked Daisy, rode Charby, long-lined Christopher Robin, helped my husband with that shed/camp out in the back field, weeded some trees, played with the garden, did more laundry……..It was a good day too. And boy, did I sleep well that night!