Thursday, 26 December 2013

Christmas was Tryptophan-tastic!

A few events of note happened this week.

The first is that I once again dusted myself off and got back on track for healthy eating and challenging workouts, just in time for the orgy of food that is Christmas.  Ah well, my timing has never been what we can call "good". 

This week I also began a new upper body focused weight routine, as well as a couch to 5K program with the intention of learning how to run.

As for the eating portion of my healthy lifestyle, I have been doing pretty well.  I managed to control my hitherto unbridled snacking when we had both sides of the family over to the Palatial Estate on Christmas Eve for a cocktail party, and I ended up staying on track for the most part.  At one point I caught my hand diving into a dish of cashews before the party and I turned the motion into an elaborate swoop and moved the dish into a cupboard to keep it out of my eye line and that seemed to work - - my snacking was kept at a minimum and I stayed on track for my daily calories. 

Yesterday on Christmas Day we had the full turkey dinner experience at the Nerd's sister's house, with all the tryptophan that comes with it.  The dinner was one of the best turkey dinners I have ever had, and I enjoyed every bite of it.  And the Mexican wedding cookies.  And the peanut brittle.  And the candy cane brittle.  And the chocolate letter "M" (for "Magniloquent", natch).  OK, so I went a little bananas yesterday with the food.  But I got it out of my system, and today had the usual breakfast and no cravings for illicit chocolate (or licit chocolate, for that matter), which is good. 

I have completed week 1 of the "5K Runner" C25K program using the iPad app.  Like most C25K apps, this one sets a warm-up period, then intervals of running alternating with walking, followed by a final cool down period.  The first day was a 25 minute workout involving a 5 minute warm-up followed by 6 intervals of 1 minute running + 1.5 minutes walking, followed by a 5 minute cool down.  Days 2 and 3 still involved the same warm-up and cool down, but with 8 intervals of 1 minute running + 1.5 minutes walking.  All in all this week I "ran" 6 minutes on day 1, then 8 minutes each on days 2 and 3, for a total "run" of 22 minutes this week. 

Am I actually running?  Probably not, but I am going 4.5 mph on the treadmill and I am making an awful lot of noise.  It could actually look like running, if you squint.  The point is to get my body used to the mechanics of what could eventually turn into running, and this is what the app appears to be good for.

Interestingly, for someone who has done 30 minutes to 90 minutes on the elliptical machine for months now, the cardio of the treadmill is very different and much more challenging.  I barely break a sweat after 30 minutes on the elliptical, whereas on the treadmill I am sweating up a storm after the first running interval.  I feel the treadmill more in my hamstrings and glutes than I feel the elliptical, too.  Overall, it's a very different cardio workout.

Right now I am still having to really push to complete the C25K workout, because: i) it is difficult; and ii) running is still not a natural motion for me.  But the emotional reward I feel for completing a C25K workout is still very positive and is helping to keep me on track, which is good.  I don't get a "runner's high", but I get a "stubborn woman's glow", which is almost as good.  The other nice thing about the C25K workout days is that I "only" do 45 minutes on the elliptical, which feels like I am getting away with something. 

On weight days I have been doing 3 sets of 10 reps of my various upper body exercises, which takes between 30 and 40 minutes, depending on how much I futz with the weight bench.  Overall the workout is very challenging, and I am definitely spent after it is done.  I have been following those weight workouts with 60 minutes on the elliptical machine, and each day this week I have really had to push myself not to stop early.  But I did it, and I feel the smug feeling one gets from pushing through to accomplish something one really doesn't want to do. 

Next week I will be doing week 2 of the C25K app, and it already looks a little intimidating to me - - 4 intervals of 1.5 min run + 2 min walking, followed by 2 intervals of 1 minute running + 1 minute walking, for a total run time of 8 minutes.  It's good for me to see that it is the same "run" time as I did this morning, just packaged a little differently.  We'll see how it goes...

This week I had a moral win by getting up at 3.15 am (!) to do my usual weight + elliptical workout on Christmas morning so that we could get out to my parent's house in Brampton around 6.40 am to open stockings with the family.  Driving back to town from the Nerd's sister's place at 10.30 pm I was initially puzzled that the CN Tower was still displaying the same festive green-white-red stripes as on Christmas morning, until I realized that it was still Christmas Day ... just an incredibly long day.  Whew!

Today (Boxing Day) the Nerd and I slept in to 8 am, and although we both did full workouts (he did 90 minutes on the elliptical and I did 30 minutes of C25K and 45 minutes on the elliptical), we were in no rush and it was a very relaxing morning, all things considered.

Tomorrow is Friday, and a normal day.  It's weigh-in day, too, so we'll see how virtuous I *really* have been able to be this week.  I will also be back to the office and back to 60 minutes on the elliptical, according to the plan. 

The balance of today is scheduled to be the day of a thousand naps, so I should get to it.  Those naps won't have themselves, after all...

1 comment:

  1. Love the "stubborn woman's glow" - fantastic! I've never gotten a runner's high, either, but it feels good to run, afterwards at least :-) I need to start running again. When I ran regularly, I had fantastic thin strong legs I didn't get from just my aerobics class. Good luck!!