P90E Week 4: Brought

This was Phase 1 recovery week, meaning that next week I should be ramping up to Phase 2, where I work to failure at 10-12 reps and do a bunch of new exercises.  Instead, we’re going on vacation, so the only reps I’ll be doing will be zipping and unzipping the tent.  I’m hoping for lots of hiking, swimming, and relaxing and not one minute of P90X, though I suspect I’ll miss Tony, Dreya, and the gang.

Monday: Yoga X.  Now, I’m not really sure how yoga can be EXTREME, but I was impressed by the sequences in this video.  I did 75 minutes and would’ve done more, but Shane was done with his workout, we were both hungry, and my butt hurt from the previous day’s Legs and Back.

Tuesday: 2 fast miles home from work so that I could make a 4:15 conference call.  Not the best of runs, but it was almost 90 out and I had to dodge Art Fair traffic.  I made it home in time to get a cold drink, take off my shirt, and answer my phone.  By the time the conference call ended at 5, I had mostly stopped sweating.  Did I mention that my butt still hurts?

Wednesday: Core Synergistics.  I still hate it, but each time I do it, I notice I’m able to do more.  For that reason, it’s nice to have a single workout that is repeated every week.  I still can’t do full pushups, and it was way too damned hot – even at 10pm – to do Dreya rolls, but I brought it and was glad that I did.

Thursday: The heat index was 115.  My building was closed due to electrical problems in a cooling facility.  We don’t have air conditioning.  The closest thing to exercise that I could manage was slowly walking from Shane’s air conditioned office to the Union for my blood donation appointment and back while drinking a lot of water.  This heat wave has been brutal, and I can’t wait for it to pass.

Friday: We took the 30 day photos and measurements this morning before leaving for vacation.  My weight is exactly the same, but I’ve lost an inch or two between arms, waist, hips, and thighs.  I gained an inch around my chest, and I’m not sure if that’s because I have pecs or because I was wearing a different sports bra.  Not as much progress as I would’ve liked, but then I haven’t been super serious about the diet either.  That’s what August is for.  I ran 2.5 miles and got overheated and winded, so had to stop for water and a walking cool down.  My butt still hurts.

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P90E Week 3: Brought

Monday: Core Synergistics, I WILL own you. Tonight was sooooooooo much better than last week. Like, exponentially better. I’ve figured out modifications for the hard stuff I can’t manage (read: pushups), and did those until my arms burned. CORE SYNERGISTICS.

Tuesday: 3 tough miles home in the heat.  I’m developing a serious stop at the bodega, buy a Powerade habit.  I feel bad for spending the money on something with basically no nutritional or recovery value AND ALSO for the fact that I only go to the bodega when I’m ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING, but not bad enough to stop.  I chugged the liter of cold and delicious “grape” on the way to the garden.

Wednesday: So I had good intentions of catching the 3:48 bus home and doing Shoulders & Arms before Shane got home from work.  Instead I missed the dang bus – after running for the morning bus in absurd platform sandals – and so walked home in said absurd sandals.  Which is to say that I walked 1.25 miles in absurd sandals, and an additional 1 mile barefoot.  After that, I felt justified in literally putting up my feet and skipping a night with Tony, even if it meant back to back punishing workouts over the weekend.

Thursday: A totally lovely day, and 5 miles home on a new route.  True to form, it all got easier after mile 3, though I still stopped for a Powerade during my cool-down.

Friday: Woke up feeling iffy, so went back to bed for a few hours.  By late morning, I felt well enough to spend some quality time outside, followed by a quality hour in the basement with Tony and the Shoulders & Arms crew.  I learned the meaning of lifting til failure, and wrote down a few WOWs on my worksheet when I finished exercises I couldn’t manage during 30DS.  A good, good workout.  I even managed half of Ab Ripper X!

Saturday: 6.5 miles at 7:30 am while Shane, Orin, and Derek slept in.  It was warm.  I was really, really tired.  I meant to go 7 miles, but was happy with what I managed, and then ate the hell out of a Veggie Delight.  I’m really liking this Saturday morning run, breakfast at Afternoon Delight, trip to the Farmers’ Market routine we’re in.

Sunday: SHOULD be the day of rest, but instead I did Legs & Back.  This workout is hard, guys, especially since my legs were still aching from yesterday’s run.  I did my best, switched out the bands for the pull-down bar, and sweat through three rags in my 60 minutes.  No Ab Ripper X.  Sorry, Tony.

This next week marks the end of Phase 1.  I had planned on jumping right into Phase 2 since we’ll be on vacation the following week, but instead I think I’m going to stick with the program and start Phase 2 when we get back from our trip.  And with that, I’m going to go fall over.

Straight Talk

We’re making some changes around here.  As a result, I’ve had less to blog about because frankly, food has been making me crazy.

See, a few weeks ago Shane decided to get recommitted to fitness and weight loss.  We both started P90X, and Shane has been making a concerted effort to eat low carb.  Needless to say, this has thrown a wrench in various resolutions and generally made meal planning and social events difficult – not impossible, but difficult.

At the same time, I’m trying to figure out what I should be eating.  I want to lose a little weight, but I also want to eat real food and enough of it so that I’m not constantly hungry or grumpy.  I crave vegetables and fruit.  I’ve been attempting to eat in moderation for a long time.  I’m not interested in protein shakes, and the smell of protein powder makes me grimace.

Shane has said that he’ll eat whatever I make for dinner – but that said, I don’t want to be responsible for making him stray from his diet.  We went out for nachos the other night, and both felt totally stressed out by the fact that the vegetarian/vegan restaurant was both overpriced and extremely carby.  What’s a girl to do?

We’re trying, though.  The meals posted here will probably alternate between our attempts at lower carb, higher protein – while also being as ethical and seasonally appropriate as we can manage – and weekend splurges.  There will be no photos of protein shakes.  Here’s a sample dinner from this week:

Zucchini "noodles"
Zucchini from the garden, shaved with the vegetable peeler and boiled for 1 minute in very salty water, then tossed with a coarse marinara made from last summer’s tomatoes.

Broiled shrimp
Shrimp brushed with a basil-infused dipping oil and a generous amount of black pepper and then broiled

Shrimp and zucchini "noodles"
The whole dish, followed by a Lillet spritzer and frozen banana “ice cream” for me.

Notes Notes Notes

Not all language SFW, but oh my god, I’m doing my best not to crack up as I rewatch this. I sincerely hope we don’t sound like this when we talk about coffee, but I’m sure that we do to some extent.

P90E Week 2: Brought

Monday: Logged my fastest 5K ever in 26:18, despite having sampled all the beer the night before.  Before the race, Shane asked if I was going to run a 9 minute pace, then bet me that I could do 8:30.  I said no way – and then did it.  I was exhausted and definitely needed the Rice Krispies treat and banana that I picked up at the finish line, but felt so awesome for (1) getting up and bringing it and (2) running a faster pace than I thought possible.

Firecracker 5K

Tuesday: Followed up Monday’s awesome race with a terrible, terrible round of CORE SYNERGISTICS.  If last week was hard, this week was impossible.  Or very nearly impossible.  Like, collapsed on the floor sobbing between sets impossible.  I got through the last 10 minutes by imagining that I was at boot camp and that Tony was the drill sergeant – and then I slammed a healthy dinner, took a long walk for ice cream, and went to bed frustrated and discouraged at 10pm.

Wednesday: Shoulders & Arms, take two.  So far this is my favorite workout in the series – it’s tough, but I can feel and see progress, and I don’t generally get confused.  Also there’s no pushups or pullups.  I was awake early, so I hit the gym at 6:15 and was finished BRINGING IT by 7:30.  Happy days.

Thursday: 40 minute run, or a bit over 4 miles and feeling good.  Diet stuff is making me crazy, so it was good to have some time to clear my head.  Shane, on the other hand, has been doing really well with his diet and P90X – I’m really proud of him!

Friday: Up early for Legs & Back, which was soooo much better the second time around.  I wasn’t as sore, and only needed minimal support on the one-legged squats.  Totally brought, then off to Chicago for Keem and Paul’s wedding and dancing til I felt like my feet might fall off.

Saturday: Woke up at 8.  Thought “I should really get up and go run before it gets too hot.”  Had a moment of panic that we hadn’t confirmed that we could park where we were parked and so went outside to check.  Car was still there.  Went back to bed.  Woke up at 9.  Thought, “I should really go running.  If I don’t fall back to sleep in 10 minutes, I will go run.”  Fell back asleep.  Woke up at 10.  Realized that if I didn’t get out of bed and run RIGHT AWAY, it wasn’t going to happen.  My prescribed long run was out, but there was still time for a few miles – maybe even enough to get me to Lake Michigan and back.  Didn’t quite make it there, but did get in 4 fast and sweaty miles, a 10 minute turn around from run to car, and out to the burbs (still sweating) for brunch with Mom, Jenn, Max, and Fubs.  Success!

Sunday: Rest.  I wanted to do 3-4 miles by the lake, but lunch plans and laziness won out.  That’s OK – after sun and driving and friends and late nights, I needed time off.

p90E week 2: BROUGHT.

Benign Garden Neglect

It’s been a rough growing season.  We’ve had weeks of lows in the 30s alternating with weeks of highs in the 90s.  When it wasn’t very cold or very hot, it was pouring rain.  We got seeds in the ground on Mother’s Day, but then didn’t really get back to do any work – or assess the damage – until the beginning of June, when we did a bit of half-hearted weeding after the half.

We started seeds in February under a grow light: two kinds of tomatoes, peppers, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. All but four of those plants died under the grow light or once the weather calmed down enough to transplant them into larger pots outside. The same thing happened last year, except that we had a 100% fatality rate. What a waste of time and energy. Fortunately Shane’s friend Julian gave us some hand-me-downs, which you can see flourishing in the north-east corner of the plot:

Tomato Forest

Honestly, the garden’s in better shape than I expected. The peas are starting to climb the trellis, and I picked the first zucchini (with 2-3 more growing on the vine) on Monday. The tomatillos already smell like salsa, and I think it’s actually impossible to kill off the broccoli and sprouts – transplants from the farmers’ market.

Peas and Carrots

One wise decision that we made going into this year was to ditch the west bed, where we tried to grow onions and potatoes last year. It looked promising early in the season, but by May, it’s totally overshadowed by tall trees. Rather than try to fight it, we just left it alone and have used it for storing our extra hay bale and whatever waste we can’t be bothered to deal with.

This benign neglect actually worked in our favor, as when I visited the garden this week, I discovered a bunch of wild onions growing in that bed! Maybe they’re not ‘wild’, but I certainly didn’t put them there.

Hella wild onions

The photo may not look like much, but this pile represents an entire grocery sack full of wee onions, many smaller in diameter than a pencil. We clearly weren’t going to eat them all, so I turned to our the trusty Well Preserved for recommendations and wound up using their recipe for preserving wild leeks and ramps.

Pickled Ramps

Pickled Ramps

As with the sour cherry jam, this project was a lot of work for a relatively small yield: just three pints of pickles after at least an hour of trimming and scrubbing the tiniest onions ever. I bet they’ll be delicious, though, and I can’t wait to pop open a jar with a snack dinner in the future.

Recipe:
<a href="Preserving Spring – Wild Leeks from Well Preserved