P90E Week 9: Pbbbbbbth

Monday: Much needed rest after the previous night’s debauchery, plus a middle-of-the-night collision with a poorly placed piece of hotel furniture. Instead, we cleaned the house, ran errands, did laundry, and all of that other domesticky stuff.

Tuesday: 3 miles, 27:17. I’m really digging these fast post-work runs. Another week, another class taught in my nasty workout duds.

Wednesday: Non-stop rain resulted in non-stop depression. The evening was thrown off by a post-work appointment. I graded instead of exercising. Oops.

Thursday: Chest & Back almost redeemed this week. It was my first time doing this workout, and the 52 minutes went by in no time flat! That said, I did actually fall on my face at one point, and the different flavors of pushups resulted in hilariously bruised knees. This workout is primarily body weight exercises, which may be why I liked it and also why it was so tough. Looking forward to this one coming around in the rotation again.

Friday: A quick 2 miles home from work before hitting the road to Rockford for the birthday weekend.

Saturday: I didn’t wanna do it. I didn’t wanna get out of bed. I didn’t wanna put my shoes on. I just wanted to sit around and eat all the food, but before doing so, I needed to get in 8 miles – which I did on the Perryville bike path. This was my first time running out there, and I’ll definitely be doing more of it when we’re in Rockford. There’s a bit of a roll to the path, and the lights are at convenient intervals for water breaks. I exchanged smiles and greetings with many other runners and cyclists out enjoying the beautiful day. And then I ate all the pizza and watched the football game with my family and soaked up the love and the post-run endorphins.

Sunday: More good intentions, this time of doing Legs & Back after driving home. Instead, we returned to a freezer left ajar, and I dealt with the mess while Shane got in his belated workout. I did get in a short walk with Mom, Jenn, and Max, but nothing really worth counting.

This week was supposed to be the last phase of P90E. Instead, I think it’s going to be the first phase of the rest of my fitness year – for a few reasons. I had started thinking in this direction after signing up for a kettlebells class through the campus rec center. I ended up dropping it because it was going to be a logistical nightmare and because I will at minimum miss 3 classes because of travel and the half. I was also concerned that this phase of P90X Lean doesn’t include a leg workout, which I need.

The Detroit half is five weeks away. In the next five weeks, my aim is to do three days of strength training (upper, lower, core), two short runs, and one long run. If I have to cut workouts, I’ll cut a short run first, then the core workout. The long run is non-negotiable. I’m going to rotate through the P90 upper body workouts plus Core Synergistics and Legs & Back. I’m going to keep adding my miles. I’m going to kick the half marathon’s butt, and then I’m going to follow that up six days later by running a 5K with my siblings.

I can do this thing. Or, as Tony would say, I can BRING IT. I probably won’t blog it, though, but I will let you know what I’m doing next, or if I have a fantastic run, or when – not ‘if’, ‘when’ – I successfully do a REAL pushup. It’s coming. I can feel it.

I Love My Sister!

Which isn’t to say that I don’t love my other family members, including those who have had birthdays in the last week, but every time we go home to Rockford, I come back wishing that I lived closer to my sister. We don’t have as much time to talk as we used to, but I love every minute I get to spend with her, and am so proud of the wife, mother, and all around great woman that she’s become.

Thanks, Jenn, for being awesome. You rock every bit as hard as you did in this photo from four years ago:

Rock Lock

12 Books, 12 Months: FAIL

What can I say?  I fell behind as a reader and a convener.  Out of my list of 12, I finished 3 books, 2 half books, and 1 book that I swapped in for a book I found I didn’t own.  41% completion rate ain’t bad, right?  Right?

No, actually, it is kind of bad.  Especially since it was my challenge, my rules, my project.  Oh well.  It’s not like I haven’t had anything else to do this year: teaching and course prep took the place of the hours spent knitting and watching TV.  A new commitment to running and fitness took the place of evenings spent in the tub with a book.  I started a new and demanding job, and found myself with little energy to do anything besides crossword puzzles by the end of the day.  I also joined a book club, and given the choice between finishing a book I have to post about and finishing a book I’ll discuss over snacks with my friends, I’ve chosen the latter.

And I have been reading – books from my shelf, books on the Kindle, and the interminable pile of magazines from the nightstand and the bathroom basket.  I’ve been shedding books through GoodReads and the occasional shipment to Powell’s.  So that’s something.  Thanks to those of you who have played along for the last year – I’ll be writing the roundup soon.  It’s been a fun year, and, paradoxically, I’m newly excited about reading now that I’m not committed to a list.

P90E Week 8: Rest

Rest week!  And I did just that, though I had good intentions of sticking to the actual rest week schedule.

Monday:  Shane just finished building up a new bike, so we biked to work together!  Whoosh!  I arrived home sweaty and wobbly-legged, so called that my workout for the night.

Tuesday: Just under 3 miles in 25:20.  Awesome.

Wednesday: The first of two No Good Very Frustrating Days kicked off with a sweaty bike ride to work and culminated with a very angst-inducing ride home.  I arrived home, my cheeks stained with tears of frustration, not wanting to do anything other than Eat All The Food.  Shane talked me out of it, though he agreed that I should probably take the night off from further exercise.

Thursday: 5 miles home, with a pit stop in the middle.  I’m not sure if it was the Mexican food or the unexpected 90 degree heat on a day when I was underhydrated, but my stomach was cramping!  Otherwise, a great run.

Friday: A belated Chest, Shoulders and Triceps.  My lifts keep going up, but I felt really weak and tired this week.  Just proof that I need to keep working hard!

Saturday:  Food got kind of weird today.  Saturday is our normal cheat day, but since we knew we’d be indulging at a wedding on Sunday, we tried to be good.  At the same time, I did my long run, so I was HONGRY.  7 miles will do that to a girl.  Also it is worth noting that we did our belated 60 day measurements before leaving town – while most of my numbers have stayed the same, my body fat percentage is down by 3% since June.  And THAT is awesome.

Sunday: Someone in the Daily Burn Four Hour Body group set up a virtual 5K for this weekend, so I logged my 3.1 miles in 28 minutes first thing in the morning while the rest of the house was still waking up.  I also danced well into the night at a super fun wedding, but I’m sure that effort barely made a dent in the champagne I was simultaneously consuming. 🙂

P90E Week 8: 71% brought, 29% punted

Day 8-10: New Glarus, Chicago

It is September 5 and I’m still working through posts about our vacation that took place in July.  This needs to stop.  New Glarus is as good a place as any.

New Glarus Brewing Company

We’ve been meaning to go to New Glarus for years – specifically to the New Glarus Brewing Co brewery, home of my very favoritest beer, Spotted Cow.  New Glarus offers a behind the scenes “hard hat” tour of their facilities every Friday, but as it sells out literally months in advance – currently the next available tour is November 11 – we had to be satisfied with the self guided tour through their new, sparkling clean facility.

Mash Tun

Giant copper mash tuns shining in the sun

Wish List

30 liter pilot brewing setup where they make the R&D series each year.

The self-guided tour begins and ends at the gift shop, where for $3, you can purchase 3 3 oz samples and a sampling glass to take home. We enjoyed ours on the patio in the sunshine – a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Sunshine samples


Happy E

As for New Glarus itself? There’s just not that much there there – it’s more of a daytrip than a destination. We enjoyed our stay at the Helvetica Inn, but very quickly ran out of things to see and do. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we both wished we’d stayed another day in Madison and made a side trip out for the brewery.  Lessons learned!

From here, it was on to Chicago by way of the kitschy Baumgartner’s Cheese Shop, where we ran into the same Food Network crew previously encountered at Fromagination!  I’m really not sure how they picked Baumgartner’s, as it is a very different kind of cheese shop than Fromagination.  We’re now doubly interested in the show – and hopeful that we’ll turn up as extras!

And then Chicago – I spent two days at WordCamp while Shane slept in, shopped, and generally wandered around.  We connected with friends and fantasized about life in Chicago.  We were harassed by fluffy cats.  It was a great end to a great trip.



It seems that about every 4-5 weeks, I experience a total motivation meltdown.  I can’t stick to my eating plan (which I prefer to ‘diet’).  I don’t feel like exercising – or, when I do, my workouts are frustrating at best and injury-ridden at worst.  It would be tremendously convenient to blame this on hormones – four weeks being a normal cycle and all – but that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with it.  I just get in a bad mood spiral, and just keep going down and down and down no matter what I do to try to improve it.  This is one of those weeks.

Like this morning: I got up early with the intention of eating breakfast, preparing and packing our lunches, making coffee, and doing my hair before catching the bus at 7:36.  I accomplished all of those things EXCEPT eating my breakfast, which may have been the triggering event for the rest of the morning.  I hastily stuffed my lunch, coffee, mail, headphones, iPod, organizer, and wallet in my bag as I ran (unnecessarily, as it turned out) to catch the bus, resulting in a jumbled bag, messed up hair, and unnecessary sweatiness.  I tried to stop at a favorite breakfast spot to get takeout, but they didn’t open for another 15 minutes, and I didn’t want to wait 15 minutes to place an order that would take another 10.  I spilled coffee on myself while walking to another breakfast option, where I picked up a decidedly lackluster omelet that took 15 minutes to prepare.  I missed a call from Shane, who I had been texting throughout my frustrating commute and breakfast quest.  I realized that my top was really too low cut to wear without another shirt underneath.  I arrived at work 15 minutes late and a total mess, tear-stained from a 3 minute crying jag in the bathroom, overly warm from unplanned walking, overly hungry from delayed breakfast, and utterly unable to resist the breakroom Oreos.

It’s like a series of dominos: one small thing triggers another small thing, which then feels like a bigger thing than it really is simply because it has the weight of multiple small things behind it.  Nothing bad happened this morning – or last night, for that matter, when my mood was just as stormy – so there’s nothing to fix, per se.  It’s just that for every frustrating thing that happens, it takes at least one happy, spontaneous, or encouraging thing to lift me back up.  Like this whimsical desktop wallpaper.  Or the awesome lunch that I have waiting for me in a couple of hours.  Or ten minutes spent writing an email to a friend I haven’t heard from in forever.  Or a diet soda and a walk to the post office.

Let’s hope the rest of the week brings more positives than negatives – and that the bad mood that’s been going around moves on for good.