Saturday, May 8, 2010

Barefoot run, day 2

I did Day 3 of the 100 push ups workout today. I'm am all the way up to 5 push ups! Woot! Even last year I was doing way more than that, and I'm surprised I can lose that much power/endurance so easily. Maybe it's more mental than physical. Anyway, I'm up to 5 in a set.

My whole legs have been pretty sore since Wednesday. But by yesterday (Friday) afternoon, they were feeling pretty good. I prefer being comfortable rather than doing difficult exercise, and I never got around to going running today. However, I did go outside with the kids to supervise YoungestSon's bike riding. I figured I might as well run around instead of walk right by him. So I decided to take off my shoes and go for it. It was in the parking lot (asphalt) and on the sidewalk. I was easily able to avoid gravel/rocks.

I was going along, and thinking "hmm, I seem to be wasting a lot of energy on really short strides and up and down movements rather than forward movements. I bet I can push off and move forward more fairly easily." So I tried it. And it seemed to work very well. However, as I was pushing off, my toes were kind of gripping and twisting against the ground. I then noticed a stinging, squishy, slimy feeling on one toe. I thought "oh, I'll just ignore that." Yeah, that wasn't such a good idea. When I finally looked at it, a layer of skin was gone on that toe. It was kind of like a popped blister.

The ultimate rule of learning to run barefoot is to pay attention to your skin. Your skin will tell you to slow down, so that you protect your feet, which need time to strengthen after being in shoes for so long. So yeah, I totally ignored that rule. I only ran around the building a couple of times, about 0.4 miles total. But now my bones in my lower legs ache a little, my feet ache a tiny bit, and obviously the skin on that toe hurts.

I confess that I'm doubting barefoot running a little bit. However, when I look at running in shoes with a heel strike, it just doesn't look right. I think that it's totally reasonable to expect that my body will need some time to catch up after exercising in shoes. And it makes sense to run truly barefoot rather than in Vibram Five Fingers to start out. But I'm not sure what to do in the meantime. Running 0.4 miles a few times a week isn't much of a workout. Maybe I can run barefoot for a while, and then switch to shoes.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

5/5 - Sore

Wednesday, 5/5 - Day 2 of hundred pushups workout. I have already doubled the number of pushups I can do in a set. I am amazed.

Calves still pretty sore. Mid-upper back is sore. As I was running to chase YoungestSon this morning, I had a little jolt of pain/soreness in my lower back too. I assume both are from the push ups.

After the first day of the Push Up Challenge, I realized why I don't exercise. Well, it's really a Catch-22 sort of thing. When I get muscle soreness, I associate that with being REALLY sick, like when your body aches from the flu. So when I exercise, the next day I feel sick. Mentally I take an inventory and realize that everything actually feels fine, except the muscle soreness. But my brain has experienced muscle soreness along with the flu, so it apparently associates the two. Perhaps if I get sore often enough, my body will associate it with good workouts instead of illness.

Is being sore always a desired result? Or is that only when you're starting out? I'm not talking about pain. I consider pain and muscle soreness to be two completely different things. But they say that to build muscle, you need to tear it down and then let it recover. So is this an on-going process? Or do you get to a level where you've built up a decent amount of muscle and then it doesn't happen any more?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Tuesday, 5/4 - No foot soreness/tenderness at all. However, my calves were sore. Stretching them out does not help, so I think they might actually be overstretched, which would make sense, given the mechanics of running barefoot (with no heel) versus running in a running shoe (relatively high heel).
My chest and arms were pretty sore from the push ups, and I ended up skipping the entire day for push ups.

Monday, May 3, 2010


This blog is about to get even more boring. I'm planning on logging my information here, so that I can keep it all in one place.

Monday, 5/3 - 1 mile barefoot run
Day 1 of hundred pushups workout

Push Up Challenge

I saw a link on Facebook to a Push Up Challenge. The goal is to do 3000 push ups in May. They can be any style - full, knees, wall, whatever. I thought this sounded like a great idea and signed up.

I am really embarrassed to admit how many real push ups I was able to do on May 1. I think it was something like 10. Split into two sets. With poor form. I don't look like Jabba the Hutt, but I sure feel like a slothful slug-like blob. I did about 30 knee push ups, and filled in the rest with 60 wall push ups.

On May 2, I was so sore! That is so pathetic! Oh well, I'll press on anyway. I found a website that gives you a training schedule to get up to 100 push ups in 6 weeks. They recommend doing your push ups three times a week with rest days in between, just like if you were a new runner. I thought that sounded like a good idea, so yesterday I did a light day of 100 wall push ups. I am still a little sore today, but it's not too bad. I forgot to do any push ups before work, so I'll have to fit them all in after work, which probably means I'll end up doing most of them wall style again. I'll get there eventually though!

Friday, April 30, 2010


Some guys at work are talking about running. I am suddenly finding new motivation to get back on track to do a 5K (or more). Obviously I'm not thinking of beating these guys -- they're both seasoned runners, and one is close to winning local 5Ks. But I do have that competitive spirit that wants to say "hey, I'm a runner too!"

My biggest excuses right now are time and kids. It's still so difficult to run with the kids! If I take the jogging stroller and put the kids on bikes/scooters, it turns into a family fight session. The kids are continually endangering themselves or trying to crash each other, and I end up yelling at them the whole time. If we go to a track or field, YoungestSon stands there sobbing, and each time I run past him, he screams "holdj meeeee! Not leave meeee!!!!" and runs toward me with his arms outstretched. So sad! Money for a babysitter 3-4 times a week is not in the budget. I love making excuses, because then I have a reason for my failure. I'd rather move past that and do something even if I do fail!

Friday, March 26, 2010


I've written about and been chastised/encouraged about my struggles with eating sugar/getting off sugar MANY times. This isn't news to anyone who has ever read more than 3 of my blog posts.

Guess what I had yesterday? This is all in addition to regular meals:

- 1 Girl Scout cookie after breakfast (YoungestSon broke into them, so I helped myself to one)
- 2 Zingers (out of a package of 3 from the vending machine) as a mid-morning snack
- 1 Creamie after lunch (we had them for a work lunch the other day and there are leftovers)
- 2 Girl Scout cookies as an after-lunch snack (I have a couple of boxes in the freezer at work that haven taken me a few weeks to get through)
- the other Zinger as an afternoon snack
- a disgusting 'car' made out of a Twinkie with Oreo halves for wheels at the Pinewood Derby. I did not enjoy the Twinkie in the slightest. It was gross, and I had plenty of Oreos to satisfy my cravings. So why would I eat it? Why??
- a few bites of a Georgia Mud Fudge blizzard (went to Dairy Queen as a post-Pinewood Derby treat) -- I saved most of the blizzard for today.

When I look at that, I think, "oh, it's not that much, especially spread out over a whole day!" Yeah, right. I'm afraid to even calculate the grams of sugar in all that stuff. I used to pour table sugar into empty SoBe bottles to show people how much they were drinking with each bottle. I wonder how big the pile of sugar would be if I added all this up?

OK, I'm adding it up. . . 4 (Tagalong), 36 (2 Zingers), 13 (Creamie), 6 (2 Thin Mints), 18 (1 Zinger), 19 (1 Twinkie), 8 (frosting), 42 (4 Oreos?), 7 (1/10 Blizzard). . . . 153 grams of sugar

That's 12 Tablespoons!! I do take some comfort in knowing that people who drink several soft drinks per day are getting far more than that. That's rationalization though, right?

Apparently posting my sugar intake isn't enough to shame me in to quitting. Is it going to take severe health problems? Diabetes, adrenal fatigue, heart problems (recent evidence shows they're caused more by simple carbohydrates/sugar rather than fat/cholesterol)? I am sure that I am setting myself up for problems, whether they manifest now or in the future.

I'm amazed that I have so much knowledge about the real effects of sugar, but so little interest in actually doing something about it (besides whining, I mean).

Perhaps the one thing that (sadly) will motivate me is that a 'gut roll' has appeared around my waist and I am going to have to start wearing dresses every day if I don't do something about it soon. I know I need to exercise for many reasons. I think that I would see a huge improvement if I just quit eating all the crap! I truly enjoyed the week I ate all raw. It tasted SO good and I did not crave sugar. Each day I did have some 'raw' coconut/chocolate pudding that was sweetened with honey/agave, but I wasn't eating vast quantities of it, just one normal serving each day. The batch of pudding lasted me the whole week. So I really have no excuses left.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Back in the saddle?

Today I suddenly had this idea that I should start training for the Ragnar Relay, even though I don't have a team. I looked up the novice training schedule, and they're still doing 15-minute runs (the schedule started February 1st). I figured I could do that.

But it would be so hard to train with my kids. Then I started thinking creatively. I realized I could take them to a park and run around while they play. I could run at lunch time. There are a variety of things I could do if I REALLY wanted to. So I decided I'd go on a 15-minute run tonight. Of course then it started snowing.

I left work at 6:00. We went straight home and started getting ready. I got running clothes on. I found snow pants, gloves, hats, helmets, coats, and bikes for the kids. We finally got going and got to the park just before 7:00. By this time of course it is dark. I start running and within 30 seconds I can't see the kids at all. Great. But then YoungestSon realizes I am running away from him and he starts sobbing. That's awesome, because now I can easily keep track of him. Instead of doing big 3-4 minute laps around the field, I switch to 1-minute laps right around the playground. Within a few minutes, it's totally foggy and creepy. I expect a kidnapper or killer to show up any second. YoungestSon continues to cry during my whole run, sobbing especially loudly each time I pass him and decline to pick him up. MiddleSon tries to help YoungestSon the whole time. He takes care of his little brother so well!

Finally 15 minutes is up. I didn't even die! I walked for about 30 seconds but jogged (through the snow) during the rest of the time. YoungestSon was very traumatized by the time I was done, so I sat on a bench and cuddled him for 5 minutes. He had missed out on riding his bike because of all the sobbing, so then he wanted to ride his bike for a few minutes. I followed him around and then we went back to the car and went home.

It seemed like a ton of work for a 15-minute run. But I guess it's a better use of time than aimlessly wasting time at home! Measuring my route on Google Earth, it seems that I went almost exactly 1 mile, though I think those measurements are somewhat sketchy since my lap was so tiny. A 15-minute mile isn't too bad for my first run in months, running through snow while listening to screaming children.

I don't know that I'll train for the Ragnar. I don't need to have an intense exercising schedule right now. However, I would at least like to make exercise a regular part of my life and get ready for the 5K that started this blog!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


So, in my last post, I said that I had lost some inches due to the divorce diet. And apparently I had no appetite. I guess that's over now.

I took my measurements at the end of November so I could buy a dress and I had gained about 1/2" on both waist/hips since September. No problem; it didn't even register on my radar. But over the last 3 weeks or so, it seemed like my pants were fitting differently. I am fabulous at not noticing things, but it really seemed like one week they were falling down and the next week they were cutting off circulation. I finally took my measurements again and I have gained an inch on waist/hips since the end of November. This puts me back exactly where I was last June when I started this blog. Weirdly enough, I'm 6-7 pounds lighter than I was last summer. I don't put much stock in weight because of variations like this.

Everyone's thinking "oh yeah, people always gain weight around the holidays." I just don't know if that can be blamed in my case though. I don't really do anything differently as far as eating around the holidays. I had already fallen off the exercise wagon long before November, so there was no difference there. I had my Christmas shopping done quickly and early this year, so it wasn't due to running around shopping. I didn't go to a lot of parties or receive a lot of treats. The only thing that could be related to the holidays was that I won a jar full of over 2500 M&Ms at my work Christmas party. Yep, they're gone now. My kids and I ate most of them. Some got thrown away, but most were eaten.

The real problem is fast food. I have been a little burned out at cooking recently. Then I got some gift money in November, and we pigged out on more fast food over the last 2 months than we probably did in the previous 2 years. We probably ate out 2-3 times per WEEK. When I get fast food, I don't order massive meals, but still, it's deep fried garbage. And of course I've been eating massive quantities of sugar whenever I can. We made cupcakes (23 of them) with buttercream frosting and M&Ms on Saturday night. As of this morning (Tuesday), they're gone. We just don't do well with eating 1 treat at a time.

Along with body changes, I feel tired/exhausted/gross much of the time. Nothing really terrible, but just 'blah'. Maybe all this will motivate me to get back on track with exercising. The title of this blog was to 5K and BEYOND. The 'beyond' part was supposed to be the bulk of the blog, but I haven't even made it to the 5K part yet!

One thing I've been thinking about is that I do not like focusing on weights and measurements and calories and minutes. I could see myself going a little overboard on this. But on the other hand, it's probably good for me to be at least somewhat aware of what is going on with my body. As I mentioned before, I tend to be very good at not noticing things. I could see myself gaining weight very slowly over time until 10 years later I notice that I'm 50 pounds overweight. The only thing that would stop this from happening is that I'm very cheap and try to hang on to my clothes as long as possible. Most of my clothes aren't tight/fitted, but I do wear jeans occasionally, so I would eventually notice that my jeans weren't fitting, as I did a few weeks ago and back at the beginning of this blog.

Do you like how I go on and on forever and then just end suddenly? I hope so.