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.


Applecart T. said...

go, champ, go!

Legion said...

I've got plenty to say about this topic, given that it's my current profession, but I don't want to bore you with physiological details. They always put me to sleep.

Glad you're having fun!

Applecart T. said...

no, we want details! professionals should wish to confer wisdom on those who are friends …