Thursday, December 25, 2008

Caffeine-free days: 5; Monstrous workouts: 1

I went to the doctor for a check-up this week, and she let slip a small bomb: apparently, new recommendations for exercise are up--way up. Apparently, we're supposed to get 90 minutes of exercise, five times a week. A quick web search turned up an article backing up that fact--but I didn't see anything on the American Council on Exercise's site about the new recommendation. It is always harder to swallow the news when the person delivering it is thin, most probably due to genetic makeup, and makes you feel bad for carrying 25 extra pounds. But I'm letting that go. The recommendation is there.

Since I had the day off yesterday, I dutifully trudged to the gym, after spending nearly two hours trying to reset at least a few of the rooms in my home to "zero." Present-opening and two full-time, working parents have made keeping the house picked up a challenge, and I needed at least one or two rooms to appear "picked up" in order to function.

According to my running schedule (which, up until yesterday I thought was plenty of cardio work in and of itself), yesterday was an interval training day. A couple of lurkers either here or on FB have asked about intervals. Although I am probably the farthest thing from an expert on the subject, I can say that my intervals are 90 seconds of running at a pace that gets my heart rate up near my max, followed by 90 seconds of running at a normal rate to get my heart rate back down to a more normal, working out level. Then I repeat the cycle five more times. Currently, I am walking at a brisk pace rather than running on the recovery portion of the intervals, as that is the only way to bring my heart rate back down within 2 minutes. I am doing all of this to get faster. I am a very pokey runner, and after three weeks of intervals I am seeing some small amount of improvement, which is encouraging.

So intervals. I walked five minutes and jogged five minutes to warm up, then did the intervals and walked to round out the 30 minutes.

Then I hopped on over to the elliptical machine and alternatively listened to my ipod and watched cnn to kill the boredom. my pace was definitely in the "fat-burning" zone. ho-hum. When those 30 minutes had crawled by, I picked up a People magazine from September 2008 and got on the recumbent bike. For 30 minutes I paged through old celebrity news and pictures of Ellen and Portia's wedding (at home, 19 people, calm, collected, blah, blah, blah) and kept my heart rate in the "fat-burning" zone once again.

After the 90 minutes of sheer bliss, I called it a day. Some light stretching and then off to shower and grab lunch with DH. And I was STARVING. I couldn't wait to get my hands on some chicken. I needed fuel in the worst way.

And I was tired. I wondered how I was going to get through the rest of the day (it being 1 pm when I finally emerged from the locker room). The thought of doing that five times a week while trying to fit in 40 hours at work, be a mom, and put meals on the table and clean clothes in the closet was enough to make me want to dive head-first into the nearest plate of Christmas cookies--which would defeat the entire purpose of the monstrous workout.

So I have decided to try 60 minutes instead of 90. I still don't know how I'm going to get 60 minutes of cardio in on days that I have resistance training (tomorrow), but I'm off again tomorrow so I can afford the time at the gym.

It's enough to make me want a grande white chocolate mocha. Oh wait, I've given up caffeine. And that mocha is about 8 or 9 points. And the sadist--I mean, doctor--told me to try to reduce my points as well.

The upshot? Other than the extreme fatigue yesterday (which eventually faded once I ate a meal), and some residual muscle soreness from the intervals, my heart is fine. I mean, I got through all that cardio. The last two segments were boring. I felt a little like I was working, but not so much. Not compared to running. If it weren't so boring... If I could do it while working... then it might not be so bad.

Then again, I'm off today (workout-wise). I bet I'll feel different in the morning, facing the resistance and 60 min cardio. But that's tomorrow. I'm going to try to enjoy today.

Oh, and for those of you who observe--Merry Christmas! May your season and New Year be filled with sweat, white chocolate mochas, and plates and plates of Christmas cookies.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

She would have been 63

Next Tuesday... in one week... my mother would have been 63. It is hard for me to imagine her at that age, since she is eternally frozen at 44. She was very gray in her 40s, so I can only imagine that she would have gone completely gray by then. Would she still be coloring her hair? Her mother did until the day she died, so I can only imagine.

Although she had some age lines, as we all seem to accumulate across the 30s, she wasn't overly marked. She had beautiful Mediterranean skin. Would it have been wrinkled? So hard to imagine.

I was only reminded (not that I will ever truly forget) because an engine that reminds me of birthdays and anniversaries sent me an email, reminding me of both my brother and my uncle's birthdays (all on Dec. 23--she was a twin). Seeing the number "Your Uncle will be 63 on Dec. 23" was a bit of a shock. I know that it's been almost 19 years, but the idea of my mother at 63 isn't something I've pondered before.

Sixty-three. I wonder if she would have accomplished all that she wanted to, or if there would have still been dreams and goals unfulfilled. I wonder if she would still want to ski. I'm sure she still would have loved golfing, and playing with my kids.

She would have been 63.

Monday, December 15, 2008

so who knew pandora uses up bandwidth?

i certainly hadn't thought of it that way. it's a shame, really. the tech guy in da howse has been threatening to crack down on our use of itunes and pandora. i can see itunes, as it's a client, but pandora is not a download. apparently, though, the customization takes its toll on the server--and, weirdly, on the ftp site. not sure how all that works.

killing time until i can leave. a mere six hours today. sigh. is that even respectable? but there are only so many assets i can meta-tag, and so many lessons i can read against the chapter before my brain starts to go mushy. and only so many times i can listen to colleagues who are ill loudly clear their throats and suck their respective snot back up into their nasal cavities. lovely sound, truly.

but at least i have a job.

i want to knit curb girl a pair of wristlets, but by the time i would finish them, it would be the heat of summer. i am sending her warm vibes and safe space heaters.

congratulations to my stepsister, who apparently eloped this week (or is eloping this week). thanks for not making me deal with a wedding or formal dress for my family! i hope she will be happy.

read some of chuck lorre's vanity cards today. the censored ones were funny. i really like The Big Bang Theory. it's one of the only things on tv that my dh and i can agree on.

okay--enough time wasted???


This blurb reminded me of 80s nights (wednesdays?) at Shattered.
Other randomness--
When doves cry
Sweating it out over a fever pitch
Watching others buy me drinks
crowded bathrooms
black walls

And now, i probably couldn't even stay awake long enough to go out to an 80s club....


This is a very cool site that makes pictures like I used to make in France, when I had no TV or computer to eat at my time. The wordle it makes for my blog isn't so accurate ("Farmer" and "Dell" featuring largely into the mix) but I will hit it again sometime soon.

Thanks to Anna for calling it to my attention!

Friday, December 12, 2008

My son is going to be a cardiologist

Or maybe he's secretly been listening in to Grey's Anatomy from his little bed.

This morning at the breakfast table, he sang:

"The farmer in the dale
The farmer in the dale
Heigh-ho the angio
The farmer in the dale."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

i wonder if it's the money

It's supposed to help those who suffer from the "winter blues."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

i need good workout songs

if you have any residing on an ipod somewhere that you want to tell me about, that would be great. i'm getting a little tired of the 40-odd on my running list on my nano. i need new blood. and as it's a completely different feel to the pandora channels i have set up for work, i am at a loss for inspiration.

inspire me!

test post

just testing a new piece of code.