A bad week for fitness

What a week!

Apologies for the lack in content, folks, but I have been one busy kid.

Remember when I mentioned my big girl job? Well, I “started” on Monday. (By “start,” I mean “I’m just going in to learn stuff” because I don’t actually work full-time until December.)

And, now, you are asking yourselves: “How will she work while teaching and finishing her master’s degree?”

Good question. I made a decision not to teach next semester. I made another decision not to write a thesis. I made yet another decision not to apply for doctoral programs next fall.

Why?

I have been a student, in school, for the majority of my time on earth. All of it, actually.

It is time to grow up. It is time to leave academe.

No worries, though, I will be employed! And I will finish my master’s degree next semester sans the teaching gig.

And, now, back to your regularly scheduled Shae Day!

And it is confession time…

I missed Shocker Fitness Monday, Wednesday and Friday (today), and I ate straight crap food all week like pizza, donuts and French fries.

Problem. Serious problem.

For the past two weeks, and especially this past week since my mentor/teacher/friend passed away, I have felt fatigued, sick and downright depressed.

Since I am so tired… I do not want to wake up early and workout. After a long day of working, teaching and school, I do not want to leave home and workout.

Since I am so busy… I have not eaten on a regular schedule. Breakfast at 10 a.m., lunch at 3 p.m., dinner at 8 p.m. Sleep(?) between 11 p.m.-1 a.m. What kind of schedule is that?!

In between all the eating, not sleeping and working I do, at some point, I have to study… It’s not going well.

I have three papers to write, loads of data to analyze, a few tests to study for and a presentation to prepare for a “conference” (It’s at WSU) – all of which must be done by Thursday, Dec. 8.

Three weeks.

I have three weeks.

I have never feared nor anticipated the end of a semester as much as I do now. PLEASE END. NO PLEASE I NEED ONE  MORE WEEK.

Ridiculous.

If you could read my mind: “Should I stay up all night and sleep early tomorrow evening? Should I work on my papers tomorrow evening? How much sleep do I really need to function tomorrow? Is three hours enough? I have to get that paper done. Holy crap! It’s almost Thanksgiving! I have time off next week to get work done. When is that paper due? I think it’s due after Thanksgiving. Wow. I really need to workout. Have I gained weight? No. But I’m all squishy. Is that a new stretch mark? Man, I want some fries.”

And this is why my husband thinks I’m crazy.

Because I am.

After work, I went for a 10-minute run around my neighborhood after doing this 7-minute warmup. I notice I run faster when I’m alone at night. I also did a 10-minute strength circuit when I got home.

IN MY NEW SHOES! Review to come soon.

I hope that, until the semester ends, I will be able to work out for 20 minutes in the morning and 20-30 minutes in the evening.

I also hope I can stuff less food in my face.

Wish me luck! (Or stitch my mouth shut. Husband will appreciate less talking.)

Announcement!
skinnyshae turns 1-year-old on November 23! How should we celebrate my birthday? ;)

A new warmup routine

Did I mention I absolutely love Runner’s World?

I did?

Well, it can be said again. I found a seven-minute warmup routine! I know that I have said before that sticking to your warmup routine is a good idea, especially if it works.

However, I like variety in my workouts, which is why I go to Shocker Fitness. It’s much better for me to try new things every day than complete the same old boring routine.

Hence, new warmup!

(AND when I am not working out at Shocker Fitness, I have to do my own warmup routine, and I’m lazy. Seven minutes? Yes, please!)

Ted Spiker, inspired by Rachel Cosgrove (C.S.C.S., USA Triathlon coach, Ironman triathlete and author), wrote this specific workout routine for runners who prefer to run, instead of lift weights or do any strength training.

Before you run…

Reverse Lunge – Perform reverse lunges, alternating legs, 12 to 15 times per leg. For more challenge, hold dumbbells.

Painful quadGo deep or stay high. I did not go deep in to the pose because of some quad soreness. Listen to your body!

Reverse lunges will warm up glutes and loosen the hip flexors with the added benefit of strength-training.

Single-Leg Hop – Hops. More than one hop. Stand on one foot. Hop in a square one to two feet from the center on all sides. Hop around the imaginary square six times per leg. Or, hop forward and back 12 times per leg.

Glutes, core, calves and ankles are strengthened in this simple balancing-hopping move.

Single-Leg Reach – Balance on one leg. Bend at the hip and reach for the foot.

Your other legs should come up off the ground. Perform 12 to 15 reps on each side. For more challenge, hold dumbbells.

Much like hopping, the single-leg reach warms the glutes, core and ankles, but also loosens hamstrings.

Plank with Alternate Leg Lift – Get in to plank position. Lift one leg off the ground, hold for two seconds and lower. Repeat five to eight times on each leg.

Plank with alternating leg liftI stay on my hands because the track is… uncomfortable… on the elbow. You can stay high or go down to the elbows for more challenge. Make sure you keep your back flat!

Core stability is the purpose of this move. While your legs are moving, your core is stabilizing, just like when you’re running.

Y-Squat ­– Stand with your arms extended up and out to form a Y. With feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, squat as low as possible. Squeeze your glutes to pull the body back to start. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

YMCA dance moveIt’s fun to squat at the Y-M-C-A!

Sit back lowSit back low for more work or go halfway back.

Warms the glutes, core, quads, hamstrings, calves, upper back and shoulder… Proof that the squat is awesome.

Here, in this post, is also proof that people do not look pretty when working out. Any person who says otherwise is lying. I look ADORABLE when I’m not working out.

What are your favorite warmup routines?

Any goofy workout photos? Send them my way and you can star on my blog! (About 60 people read this noise. I’m famous, yo.)

Thoughts, Food and Food Thoughts

I’m still not feeling peppy.

The morning post was scheduled from last week, and I didn’t have the energy to take it down before it published. That was last week’s peppiness – not false, just badly timed.

I decided that tomorrow I will be a good teacher, a fastidious student and a team player – all of which I need to be tomorrow – but not until tomorrow. I will be peppy tomorrow.

I will also write “tomorrow” one more time.

Tonight, however, I’m glad to sit on the couch and reflect while my husband plays Skyrim. (KILL ALL THE DARGONS!)

I went to my new job today! Nothing newsworthy happened so we will save that story for another blog post.

I went to my new job prepared, though, just in case. I made a big-girl-job-lady-on-the-run breakfast: Strawberry-Banana Smoothie and Coffee. Big girls drink coffee (and so do caffeine addicts).

The WPC mug was a gift from a scholarship Les helped me receive to pay for a summer class. Just another reason he was awesome.

CoffeeStrawberry-Banana Smoothie
Ingredients
– 12 oz. skim milk
– 5 frozen strawberries
– 1/2 banana
– 1 tsp. honey
– 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
– ripped up spinach

Directions: Blend it all together and drink!

I know. Spinach, right? Well, I have read a lot of bloggers do this. I put a lot of trust in to those ladies this morning, allowing them to be in control of my breakfast.

Good thing, girls, it turned out tasty. I couldn’t taste the spinach, which is what I expected.

Second bit of food: Re-purposed leftover P.F. Chang’s. What do you do with not enough Mandarin Chicken to fill you up?

P.F. Chang's Leftover FoodPut the leftovers over spinach. Ta-da! Salad!

Since I was at school and work all day, and I knew I would not want to cook when I got home, I planned an easy dinner.

This is the next installment of semi-homemade with skinnyshae!

Crunchy Onion and Chicken Noodle Casserole
Ingredients

  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can  CAMPBELL’S® Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 1/4 cups  milk
  • 2 cups (4 ounces)  FRENCH’S® Original French Fried Onions
  • 1 cup  frozen vegetables of your choice (Peas and Carrots!)
  • 2 cups  cubed cooked chicken or turkey
  • 2 cups  curly egg noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups  shredded Cheddar cheese
  • added spices: garlic, black pepper, paprika, thyme

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Stir soup, milk, 1 cup French Fried Onions, vegetables, chicken, noodles and 1/2 cup cheese in a 2-qt. baking dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until hot. Stir. Top with remaining cheese and French Fried Onions. Bake 5 minutes more until onions are golden and cheese is super-awesome melted.

Let’s look back…

I opened milk, a can, another can, another can, a bag, another bag and another bag. I then mixed it all together and baked.

Casserole = absolutely no work.

(Note: I have a picture, but since I’m feeling lethargic and upset, I did not try hard to take a good picture. My picture is not appetizing. Look instead at these lovely cheese covered bread chunks!)

On occasion, I will splurge at the store and buy fancy cheese. Fancy cheese is located next to the fresh fruit & veg section with the olive bar and assorted over-priced nuts.

I usually get the smallest fancy cheese I can find, and it’s usually brie. (One time I got a goat cheese variety, and it was really awful. I like goat cheese, just not at Dillon’s apparently.)

But Dillon’s bakery is neat-oh! because they have premade bread dough. It’s like Papa Murphy’s take-and-bake pizza.

Dinner tonight required absolutely no effort. Schweet.

Eating will require a tad more effort on my part over the next few days. On Sunday, I had no appetite, but I forced myself to eat because I knew I would regret NOT eating later.

Unfortunately, my sad turned in to straight emptiness, which I filled with food. Awesome.

I weigh… too much… and I feel miserably fat.

Tomorrow, if I have time, I am going to run around my neighborhood, and on Wednesday, I’m going to kill it at Shocker Fitness.

Food is fuel, not emotion. Food is fuel, not emotion. Food is fuel, not emotion.

Challenge: I must find a more constructive way to handle stress and sadness. Go! (Ah, crap. This sounds hard.)

Circuit Wednesdays

Every Wednesday, Shocker Fitness coaches Em and Nate (and Heidi for Shock Fit Xtreme) work us out through a circuit.

affordable community fitness programHow come I never noticed this? Crazzzzzy. (Most likely because when I’m working out, I’m not thinking about organization. Thank goodness for coaches!)

Backtrack: On Monday, I ran my little heart out, and, apparently, stretched a few too many tight muscles. My hammys were killing me, and quads? Don’t get me started. I do not feel bad about taking it easy today with sprinting and skipping the circuit.

I had to get pictures! :)

Circuit Wednesday
Warmup

6-80’s
(sprints or “fast runs”)
I really strained my left quad here.

And then the circuit…

Circuit training on wednesday community fitness programaffordable fitness for wichita kansasWichita Kansas fitness programNext, members power skipped, jogged backwards and ran with weights.
Heavy weights.

power skips proper form coach trainingrunning backward proper form coach trainingshot put run proper form coach trainingThey are carrying shot put weights.

Next, members zig-zag shuffled down the track to the hill.
Oh, the hill…

community fitness program affordable cheap easy go at your own paceLateral walk up, jog down.
Other direction.
Run up, jog down.
Run up backwards, jog down.

And then members restart the circuit under the helpful guidance of Coach Em.

fitness personal training group training with coachesI like this girl :)
Don’t worry about the megaphone – the track is just big so she has to be loud.

I blogged about this circuit previously. If you want to see how I did, check it out here. (Not awesome, in case you didn’t feel like reading.)

I hope you woke up to a wonderful Wednesday! I sure did.

We're such a small group! Join us so we can get all of Wichita fit!How is that morning? There’s no sun!

A most pleasant morning

Let me tell you about a wonderful morning…

Woke up at 6:15 a.m. to find my cat using me as a pillow.

Ah-dohr-a-ble.

Shocker Fitness, bright and early, at 6:45 a.m. beginning with the usual warmup. I read some where, probably Twitter, that if you find a good warmup routine, then you should stick with it.

(I’ll never remember where I read that…)

I love our warmup routine: butt kicks, high knees, skips, jogging, arm swings and hamstring, hip and quad stretches up and down the track. We finish with three warmup runs, and when we’re done, we are definitely warm!

The Workout
200’s for 12 minutes

standing strength circuit
Usually we get down on the track for abs, too, but it was wet from the rain.

2 full stadiums (on stairs)
Because, again, wet rainy slippery metal seats?

It was a really great workout. I do prefer sprints, but I must build my endurance for that marathon I want to run.

Breakfast

I tried to eat primal, but the loaf was over and the ends of the bread are my favorite.

Egg, scrambled with hot sauce

Toast, buttered

Soup, tomato w/ a sprinkle of Parm

I’m so bad at following diets ;)

Dana said she’d post a review of the Paleo dietstyle when she gets a handle!

How was your morning workout? Fantastic! (Really? Holy cow.)

After workout refill? I love eggs.

Fitness Blogger (for reals)

My blog is shy one month off its first birthday, but good tidings can come before my anniversary.

On Friday, October 7, my blog and my blogging went in to the real world of fitness. Yesterday, I hinted at this (rather obviously).

Well, as real as a graduate student can get, you know? School and teaching always come first, but…

Well, I’m going to blog anyway!

What do I mean here? What is this “real world?

Well, the Shocker Fitness program I have attended since… right about here… needs a blogger, and it just so happens I do that.

Yay!

While I have been blogging about Shocker Fitness steadily since beginning the program, no one cared. Well, you might have cared, I’m sure… uh, sorry.

The point is that NOW someone wants me to blog about Shocker Fitness! Other people in Shocker Fitness!

Yay!
(for the second time)

So here we go! First professional blog post! Chances are it’ll be the same as the unprofessional ones…

Cue logo…

Community workout program with Coach Rainbolt

I lost 10 pounds between May and October. Go me!

How did I lose 10 pounds in five months? Well, read my last million or so blog posts…

Or I can recap. It’s whatev.

I started with a healthy diet, which means less junk food and a lot of home-cooked meals. Recipes anyone? I didn’t actually go on a diet; I just ate more healthfully! (And a lot of yogurt…)

I attempted to count calories, but found that I stressed about eating anything knowing my app would yell at me for going over my limit, or eating too much calcium.

Healthy diets are not enough to lose weight; I had to burn something. Last semester, Ashley and I worked out together occasionally, until school and work swallowed us whole. When she left for the summer, I thought I was DOOMED. I have no self-control.

But I made attempts to keep on track with Insanity, various workouts and a neat-oh! running program.

Keeping a close eye on my diet and keeping up with at least four workouts a week, I slowly lost six pounds. Looking at the scale and seeing myself back at the weight I was when I got married? Priceless.

(Yes. I weighed more than I should have when I got married, and that was more than a year ago. I celebrated.)

Problem: Even though I was doing well, I still felt all anxious and weird! I needed moral support. When Ashley came back for the fall semester, we found all the support we needed.

Shocker Fitness, a community exercise program created by WSU track coach Steve Rainbolt, became our support. Remember I wanted to bottle Ashley’s motivation and sell it? Times that by a group.

Luckily, I had already fallen head over heals for running because of the running program I was working on enjoying. Transitioning to intense track workouts and circuit training was a breeze!

OK – “breeze” isn’t the right word…

I went early every morning with Ashley, and we worked our butts off!

I threw myself in to the workouts. I pushed my body and ignored my mind. I learned how to get rid of my anxiety. I connected with the track and with the group.

We might not all be college students. We might not all be women. But we all connect on at least one level: fitness.

I lost four more pounds… in one month. (Previously, I lost six pounds in four months.) At 130, I am almost back to my pre-college weight. Ten more pounds…

So how do you lose 10 pounds in five months?

Healthy diet and exercise… and lots of self-esteem boosting community fitness! Shocker Fitness :)

You do not have to be a Shocker to join! You just have to want to be fit, and, really, who doesn’t want to be fit?

If you need encouragement to get out and try a track workout or join us for Shocker Fitness…

…read about my awesome calf muscles, or…

…how I’m a machine, or…

…how I conquered my workout anxiety.

You’ll see :)

Stadium Circuit + SMART Motivation

Shocker Fitness kicked my butt.

Sitting literally hurts.

I joined the party a tad late. After staying up until 1 a.m., I was not moving too quickly at 6:15 a.m.

Could not fall asleep = explanation.

Oh, well! I got in most of the warm-up and every second of the dreadful workout.

Oh, dreadful, you say?

Quite.

For lack of a better way to explain…

Warm-Up

Fast Runs (Sprints)
8-60’s

Stadium Circuit
Round 1

20 seats // 15 arm dips

30 seats // 20 split squats (10/leg)

40 seats // 30 abs*

Full stadium

15 butterfly crunches

30 leg raises (15/leg)

15 mountain climbers

15 pushups

up/down incline running**

Round 2
30 seats // 10 incline pushups

40 seats // 20 lateral squats (10/leg)

50 seats // 30 double-leg raises

Full stadium (approx.)

10 double-leg thrusts

…and this is where we stopped.

In its entirety, the workout consisted of three full rounds – all of which are strikingly similar in butt-kicking abilities.

Exhibit A: My butt. (Ouch.)

We stopped because we ran out of time. No one made it to Round 3, and I think only one woman made it all the way through Round 2.

(In the 5:45 a.m. session, one guy made it almost through Round 3, according to Coach Em. Holy cow. Two of the women in my session had just finished Shocker Fit Xtreme… which just makes them crazy to do the circuit, too, in my opinion. Power to you.)

*I do not remember what these are called, but it where you sit on your butt and your legs go in and out. Like a V-up, but not so much V.

**Under the stadiums, there is a path people use to get up and down to different sections. It is a slight incline, and we had to walk down, run up twice. (For lack of a better term?)

All of that. All of that was death. I’ll be sore in the morning, but it was a good workout!

As a continuation to my blog about motivation on Monday, I would like to add more specific tips from Find Your Motivation by Greg Presto for Livestrong.com.

In the beginning, the article focused on dopamine and chocolate and habits, which had nothing to do with motivation that I could tell.

I kept reading out of curiosity.

Presto connected the ideas by stating that motivation is the driving force behind our bad habits, and that we need to refocus our motivation to good behaviors (which I ‘spose you cannot call a habit).

I only liked one of the tips. I think, for people who do well with rules, it could be effective. (Plus, I have totally heard this in grad school as what researchers need to do to accomplish big research projects. There! Education for the win.)

The article said to be S.M.A.R.T. about our goals.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely – all of which should describe goals.

Going in to detail…

Specific – I want to work out three days a week, or I want to eat a vegetable-based meal three nights a week.

Measurable – I want to lose X pounds, inches, etc., or lower cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. Remember to measure before and after!

Attainable – Don’t set goals that are physically, mentally or emotionally impossible for you to do. (I used to do this. It’s not fun. It feels like failure every day. Don’t do it.)

Realistic – You will not lose 10 pounds in two weeks. Instead, try: I want to lose 10 pounds in three months, which is much more realistic (and attainable – I did it!)

Timely – Short-term goals are more specific, measureable, attainable and realistic than long-term goals. Think about it! Is anyone really following their five-year plan? No! Five years is a long time just like losing 20 pounds is going to take a long time.

How effective tips like this are I don’t know.

However, my advice: “Shut up and go” is not specific or measurable. Most of the time it’s not remotely attainable. Plus, it is always good to get a second opinion (and third and fourth and…).

News: 2011 Prairie Fire Race Volunteer! Well, you’re lookin’ at one!

I’m not running in the race, although, I wish I was, but I will be at Mile 11 on Sunday, Oct. 9, with the DietsinReview station filling water cups! Runners get thirsty. :)

Check out Prairie Fire here, and I’ll see you at the race!