And the Yoga Challenge continues….

Nothing like doing yoga and then seeing your dog effortlessly do it better! If I catch Daisy doing it on my mat, I’ll snap a pic. Usually she just likes to lay there to block me.

Weekly Rundown 3/11-3/17

Teases of spring this week 🙂

I was able to walk outside in the afternoons on my breaks without my coat and without freezing! Then, naturally, Thursday morning we got up to 4 inches of snow. Snow showers overnight indeed.

Best thing about March is that snow melts quickly.

Monday: off

Tuesday: a quick mile on the treadmill in the morning. I stretched out with 7 minutes of yoga afterwards, before getting ready to trudge off to work.

Wednesday: I decided to go a little further before work, running 2 miles in 17.44. I really need to start working on my milege. Doing just 2 miles seems so short to me, and I would like to get up to 15-20 miles a week this summer. If my knees cooperate. I don’t foresee doing a 100 mile month, but that would be so cool. Just once. Maybe a good goal for September?

Thursday: I am trying to work weights back into my rotation. I have been kinda ignoring strength training over the winter. But I know it will help my running and keep me balanced, so I did just a bit before work. I love mixing my yoga with the weights. I start in mountain pose and do some stretching of my arms and legs, then do my first set (okay, so I only did one set, but it was 1 x 20!). I break the sets by my “3-way plank”– a regular plank for 5 breaths, then one arm planks on each side for 5 breaths. A set is five moves, three arm moves alternated with two leg moves. I generally do 2 sets, but, as I said, I have been slacking big time. I finish with Down Dog and Warrior before floor stretches.

Friday: I was so tired. Not sure exactly what I did this week, but it hit me on Friday. I get Fridays off, and I had no ambition at all. I wanted a longer run, and even thought about going to the Rail Trail for an outside run. But Mother Nature brought in some rain and sitting in a chair reading sounded so much better. That also put the kabash on walking Daisy. Fortunately she likes the chair too. I managed to drag myself up around mid morning, ran some errands in town with the pups, then came home and read a little more. Finally, in late afternoon, I did get on the treadmill and did 3.6 miles, which was about what I wanted. I finished off with some Burpees (yup, I figured I should still do those occasionally) and stretching before getting around to house cleaning and dinner.

Saturday: we went snowmobiling, probably for the last time this season. There is still a ton of snow up north, off trail was probably two and half feet deep. Since I am only five feet, I tried hard to stay on trail! It was bright and shiny when we got on the sleds, but when we got up into the mountains the clouds came out, the wind gusted and snow flew.  Had a great time! I did do a brisk mile walk on the treadmill, with intervals of carrying weights, before we left. Of course, my Fitbit counts steps as I ride the sled. Since I am fighting to steer and shifting weight for curves, not to mention holding on with my legs–and standing when the trail got quite rough, which was a lot that day–I think I am going to take all those steps. As we were in the mountains, the Fitbit also thought I climbed 408 floors, which is pretty amusing 🙂 And still, after all of that, I wasn’t as tired as I was on Friday!

 

Sunday: Mother Nature ruined my plans once more. The sky was bright but the air was cool and the wind was biting. I managed to take Daisy for a mile walk, but I decided the treadmill was a better place for my run. It was one of those days when I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I got on the treadmill. Once I got past 2 miles, I thought it would be nice to run a 5k. So I did! I had also planned on stripping the horses, and lunging them to get some early spring work in. However, the wind is so brutal, it seemed mean to take their blankets off. Also, I didn’t really want to stand outside while lunging them. They didn’t seem to mind taking the day off.

Lesson….

…..not learned?

I mentioned to my co-worker Wendy the other day that I was thinking about doing a Burpee Challenge again, and was she interested? Ten minutes later we had this:

I did my 2 for today, ony 746 more to go!

Why, you ask? Spring is coming. While I don’t much care what my bathing suit looks like, I do want to be able to race up hills and ensure that my kayaking shorts still fit.

This is a good way to jumpstart my spring training and strengthen my core. I went for a run outside on Friday for the first time, in, well, a long time. And I immediately noticed the difference between the hilly terrain I live in and the treadmill. Outside is harder!

Taking advantage of the (almost) warmth, I put a sweater on Daisy and took her for a walk this morning too.

Isn’t she cute? And led me on a 17 minute mile. Not bad, what with the sniffing and the pictures!

While the temp was only in the 20s, the blue sky and sun more than made up for it.

Weekly Rundown

I had absolutely no ambition last week.

I think the busyness of the last month had finally caught up to me. So my work out life wasn’t terribly exciting–I even took two days off and didn’t care! Halfway through the week my husband decided that perhaps we should just have an  “at home” weekend. I gratefully agreed.

Monday: the first day off

Tuesday: a fairly easy day, weights mixed with yoga. I did my 2×15 reps with planking in between the sets. I do three arm moves alternated with two leg strengtheners, and then my  “3 way” plank–regular plank held for five, then one arm plank held for five on each side to “rest” the muscles before starting the next rep . When I first started, I kept both sets of toes on the floor for balance, but now I can stack my feet properly and not fall over. And a friend just told me about the “star” plank, where one lifts the top leg as well as the arm. New goal!

Wednesday: my alarm went off at the proper time, but instead of hitting snooze, I apparently turned it off. Thankfully, my husband asked if it was ever going to go off again. Unfortunately, that was about 45 minutes later! So we rushed around, getting ready for work, and the exercise plan went out the window. When I got home I hopped on the treadmill for quick 8:35 mile, followed by 3 minutes of a cool down walk and a bit of stretching.

Thursday: I decided I was just too wiped and took it off as my second day.

Friday: I had decided I should start do more hill work, so I did Blinn Hill bottom to top. Twice. Turns out running to Blinn, then down it and back up twice and then home is a nice little 5 mile run. I did the second time just over a minute faster, and my mile home was the fastest mile of the run. Which proved what I always have maintained: I am a long distance runner. The longer I run, the stronger I get. Or maybe I was just happy it was almost over!
I rested a bit, then had to get the hay barn organized. It’s haying season and my husband had brought home twenty-five bales and just emptied the truck at the front of the barn. I had to get them all stacked at the back of the barn for the fifty we were going to get that night. A very sweaty forty minutes later, I decided I would just lunge Christopher Robin and do some ground work instead of a full ride.

Saturday:  I did some weeding my garden and got it organized–tomato trellis’, herbs out of the greenhouse into the garden, slug hunt. While weeding I found some volunteer tomato plants from last year. I didn’t think tomatoes could make it through the winter here in Maine. Just goes to show, life will find a way! I trellised them and am waiting to see which ones they are, as I did Roma, cherry and some full-size reds last year. I took Charby out for a quick ride up and down the road with the bareback pad. Using the pad is comfy and makes my legs work harder. After I did my weights ( 2×15) mixed with yoga.

Sunday: I had planned  a long run for the day. But I was not feeling it at all. So I decided a run on the treadmill would work well. I did one of the presets, a 30 minute run with varying speeds. It was a good decision as the run felt fabulous.
Later in the afternoon I took Daisy down to introduce her to the boat. She had been in our last one once, and I have never taken her swimming, so she got a new life jacket before we went out. I put it on her and took her to the gangplank down to the dock.  She needed encouragement  to step on the ramp, and then she froze. I had to carry her down to the dock, where she revived enough to trot down to the boat. After sniffing every inch of the boat and going down the dock to the other ramp, she raced right back to the first ramp and down it like a pro. What a funny dog!

 

Weekly Rundown

I have a confession–I am a running addict!

Now that I am out on the road, all I want to do is run. The heck with a balanced exercise program, I just wanna run.

Of course, I can’t  just run. My body, particularly my knee, wouldn’t allow that. And I suppose I would miss yoga and riding if all I did was run. I wouldn’t miss weights or Burpees though!

Monday: instead of taking it off as usual, my friend was available for a morning walk so I started with 20 minutes of stretchy yoga before heading off to meet her. We didn’t do much, just a mile and a half around the hospital.  I did my Burpees before leaving too, 25 for the day.

Tuesday: I planned on a 2 mile run out on the road. But Mother Nature had her own ideas and it started to rain just before I ran out the door. So I did 2 miles on the treadmill, watching Macgyver 🙂 I worked the speed up to 6.5 on the second mile. Too bad I wasn’t paying attention to my splits, but I did do the run in 19.46. I finished off with stretching and Burpees. I did 26, and alternated the width of my hands to work different shoulder muscles. Ok, it was really cuz my shoulder muscles killed and I needed to alternate to be able to do them all….but the other reason sounds better.

Wednesday: a day off! Except for those Burpees, of course. Up to 27. And I forgot to do them before my shower, so I had to do them after work. Won’t do that again!

Thursday: I did a 2 mile run on the road, and it felt great! My first mile was slow, 11:40; but I made up for it on the second mile, which was 10:30. I came back to do 20 minutes of yoga. I did a mix of strength and stretch poses, with my 28 Burpees mixed in as well.

Friday: I took the day off to have the vet out to see the horses, so I had a bit more time to play with. So Daisy and I headed off for a walk. We briskly walked 2.99 miles in 50 minutes. And my OCD is so unhappy with the 2.99 😛 If I had known, we would have walked up and down the driveway to hit 3.0! Afterwards I stretched and did 29 Burpees.

Saturday: another run! And I took a right instead of a left out of my driveway, so I had the uphill mile ahead of me for the first time this year. I made it up the first hill (last time I made it 3/4s of the way when I ran out just a half mile), and up all the hills that followed. It was slow (12 minutes), but I made it! It felt marvelous to get that hill behind me, I had been avoiding running that way. Of course, the mile ends at the peak of the hill, so to go on a longer run, I need to run down–and back up. Next milestone 🙂 And, lets not forget, I finished off with 30 Burpees. So now, should I ever get into an Elite Spartan run, I can now officially fail 1 obstacle.  In the afternoon I hopped on Christopher Robin. He has really come a long way since I got him, as he was loved but no one really used him at his last home. So it has taken a while for him to realize that he has to work here. He has a great personality, so working that awareness into him has been fun. We had a great ride, just a few minutes longer than we had been doing.

Sunday: Daisy and I walked out just over a mile and ran back.  I have to run a bit slower with Daisy–I have been running longer distances now, plus she likes to look around and make sure she sniffed everything on the way out.  But that’s ok, because it gives me time to work on my form. When we got home, Daisy climbed on the couch and watched me do my 31 Burpees. I worked around the gardens and helped my husband with that shed (it is going to have a grander second life than it had at Gramps’), then rode Charby in the afternoon. We did some actual work, trotting continuously and  doing circles, instead of the wandering I have been doing. Time to get us both in shape!

Weekly Rundown

Silly holidays. I really feel like I am doing this rundown on a Sunday. It feels just wrong.

Weather has still been gorgeous up here, so lots of outside activity. We are getting chills at night and then warm afternoons, just like fall. And some nice orange leaves are showing themselves. My favorite time of year 🙂

I was rather terrible at noting my exercise for the week, so it’s a good thing my phone does it too!

Monday: off

Tuesday: yoga, with a focus on strength poses. I did some warrior and other bent knee poses to strengthen my leg and knee.  I am definitely doing the poses for longer, as my sessions have gone from 18 minutes to 30 minutes. I do vary which poses I do, but I don’t do that many more. As always, I felt relaxed and ready for my day afterwards.

Wednesday: a walk with my friend Kate. We did the rail trail again, but took a right about 3/4 of a mile in and did the loop up by the State House. On the way back down the hill to rejoin the trail, we decided to go left because we had only done just over 2 miles. By the time we turned around and got back to our starting point, we had covered 5.57 miles! I guess that was a good walk for the day.

Thursday: Arm weights and Leg PT. Still doing 3×15 reps, but again, doing them slowly so that it works the muscle fiber more. Takes about 31 minutes to complete. I also increased the difficulty of my plank rollups.  The original exercise I based it off from had a one-legged plank, then roll up to standing position on the one leg, and roll back into plank. Last week I started the one leg plank/roll up, but only did 10. This week I did 10 with each leg. I did alternate legs, which I think makes it easier. The original exercise had 10 on each leg before alternating. I will get there 🙂 I had left time before work to lunge the horses, so I went out–and discovered Christopher Robin in the front yard. Little rat had gotten out earlier in the week, so they were locked in the barnyard. Whenever he got bored, he figured out how to get out.  Four times last week. He was always happy to go back in and never gave me any trouble catching him.  Just bored. And he got out of being lunged, since by the time I checked the fence, it was time to go back to work.

Friday: off

Saturday: a nice walk with Daisy. We did about 2.85 miles in 53 minutes.  On the way out I started thinking, “I wonder if I could” at the 1/3 mile mark. So Daisy and I jogged about 50 yards, then walked some more and ran some more, just short bursts.  Walk or run, Daisy doesn’t care!

Sunday: a short–1.13 mile–walk with Daisy, and then 28 minutes of yoga. This time I did mostly stretchy positions. After I did a little housework, I rode Charby. She was a bit of an airhead out in the road, and after we started dancing sideways, I hopped offand did some ground work with her. I wasn’t worried about her, just whether or not we’d be dancing  when a car came flying around the corner.  Then I hopped back on and made her work  a few more minutes.

 

Weekly Rundown

Another week of Mother Nature being kind to us–if you didn’t mind the humidity. It was rather like living in Florida some days. But the sky was blue and the sun was bright and the AC was cool, so I have no complaints.

Monday: Arm Weights & Leg PT. I did the 3 x 15 reps, but instead of resting in between the reps, I alternated exercises. So I did 15 bicep curls, then 15 overheads, and back to bicep curls; or 15 shoulder raises, then 15 squats, then 15 shoulder raises. It rested the muscle, but not my body! Just added a little bit more intensity to the workout. Made it a little faster too, down to 30 minutes.

Tuesday: Did a slow mile with Daisy, taking about 25 minutes to go 1.17 mile. When we got home, I did 25 minutes of yoga; focusing on stretchy moves. Of course, she lay on the couch, watching me.

Wednesday: off!! Had a lovely morning of sitting in front of the tv with Daisy and my computer before heading off to work.

Thursday: Out with Miss Daisy again. We went a little further this time, doing 2.2 miles in 45 minutes. And we included the big hill 🙂 This time when we got home and I did yoga, I added more strength poses to my routine. I have been adding  a lot of warrior poses to strengthen my knee, and it seems to be working as it no longer feels like someone is driving a spike down into my knee –until I hold it too long!

Friday: Arms & Legs again. Still doing the 3 x 15, but alternated exercises again. I worked on my PT bending more as well. Afterwards I went out and made the horses exercise. They weren’t as happy with the exercise as I was 😛

Saturday: a long walk with Daisy. I gotta say, this little dog leads me going out and back–and we were hustling on this walk: 4.1 miles in 1 hour 11 minutes. Having to live a real person life, afterwards I cleaned up and went grocery shopping, then puttered around the house. After a lovely nap with Daisy (we do everything together!), I went out and rode Charby. She was a good girl and we had a nice 20 minute ride.

Sunday: after cleaning the house in the morning, I went out and got Christopher Robin ready to ride. He was feeling a bit contrary again, and he made me work much harder than Charby did. But it was still a good 20 minute ride. Later in the day I got on the treadmill and put my legs to work. I did 10 minute warm-up, then 10 minutes running, a 5 minute walk break, 10 more running and a 5 minute cool down. The running is coming easier now, and my sweet spot on the treadmill is now 3.5MPH.  I was pretty stiff later in the night, but these things will happen as I get in shape!

State of the Leg Address

My 6 month marker of the accident will be Saturday, so I thought it was a good time to check in with the state of my leg. Progess has definitely been made, although there is more to go.

When I came home from the hospital I was using a walker, then gradually got to a cane and now can walk at will. I was so slow, everyone passed me in the halls at the hospital! As someone who is used to whizzing in between people and speeding past everyone, that was beyond frustrating. I also quickly grew tired of people asking me what was wrong with my foot (that seemed to be the first guess, not my knee), so I put a lot of effort into walking properly, if not quickly.  And now I can walk fairly quickly, as well as not staring at the ground obsessively as I walk. I can walk downhill fairly well, even with Daisy on a leash. I am watching the ground pretty hard then, though!

When I came home, my leg was so sensitive that I couldn’t slide a towel out of the way with my leg, now I can kick the dog toy into the air–much to the enjoyment of Daisy 🙂 If I tripped or knocked into a rut while walking, it reverberated all the way up my knee–painfully. I didn’t play with the dogs when I got home, because I was worried that one of them would knock into my leg, and because I just wasn’t that mobile. And I definitely didn’t go out to see the horses. Now, I feed the horses, lunge the horses, and have even ridden a horse. I play with the dogs and I can fetch a toy if they lose it.

I started exercising with the PT exercises they gave me for my leg, and added on as soon as I could handle it. When I came home I could barely lift my right leg up, and did hip raises with only one leg. Now  my right leg is good for front or side leg lifts; and I can bend my leg enough to put my foot flat on the floor, so that I can do two-legged hip raises.

One of my favorite activities is Yoga, and much progress has been made in my sessions. My first attempt at Triangle almost landed me on the floor, as my leg wasn’t strong enough for me to stretch out over. Warrior positions were not even to be thought of, since my knee couldn’t bend at all. Now I can do Triangle easily (although getting out of Triangle takes thought), and I can do some Warrior positions–I can’t hold them as long as I would like, since holding my weight on my bent leg feels like someone driving a nail straight down into my knee after two breathes, but it is progress nonetheless! I am still trying to do Butterfly, and Lotus will definitely have to wait.

Stairs, oh, stairs. Up the stairs was the first thing I could do, leaning heavily on the railing. Gradually that became easier. Down the stairs is taking much more time. I am still in progress with that. The railing is still definitely needed, and I am now working on “form” so that I look like a rather normal person going down. A very slow normal person.

And I ran! Something I wasn’t sure was going to happen again. My doctor wasn’t sure how much cushion I had left in my knee after the surgery, and he wasn’t positive that running wouldn’t be very painful because of it. I did three minutes on the treadmill in a rather gimpy fashion, but with no pain and it absolutely lit up my whole day.

So I definitely have something to work on there. Once I can run somewhat easily, my other goals are  a Lotus position ( I love sitting in Lotus, in chairs, on the floor, whenever I get the urge), and Burpees. Bending the knee to get into these positions will be the key, and I will keep working on going down the stairs. I wonder if I could skip?