March 8, 2010

Zumba

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:12 pm by savorencyclopedia

Sexy Latin dance moves.  High energy music.  Potential for lots of fun.  It would have been nice to have an instructor with a dynamic personality to bring passion into this workout! Instead the instructor didn’t even give any verbal cues about the upcoming moves.  It was disappointing.  The moves were simple enough to catch onto after a few segments, but it felt awkward to take an exercise class where the instructor didn’t say a word.

It was obvious that the instructor was painfully shy.  Saturday morning my gym offered a demo of Zumba classes directly after their routine Step class.  A large crowd of steppers stayed to participate and I timed my run for the day so that I could join afterward.  So I understand why she might have been nervous with such a large crowd.  There were over 30 people and barely enough room for all of us on the floor.   But if you are too intimidated to even give a brief overview of what Zumba is or preview some of the moves, maybe you shouldn’t be teaching Zumba classes.

After the 20 minute demo, I was curious if this was the philosophy of the Zumba classes in general to be mute during the workout or if it was just this particular instructor.  I found a segment on the Today Show from a couple of years ago on YouTube that showed the founder of the company and a few other instructors showing some audience members their moves.  They were giving verbal, as well as visual, cues to the participants.

With as much fun as I honestly had (I mean, it still was Latin dancing… I was destined to love it!), I am hesitant to return to the regular classes.  It was easy enough for me to catch onto the moves and I did work up a substantial sweat, although I’m not sure if that was because I had just finished running right before the class.  The instructor was very sweet and I’m sure she was absolutely a nice person.  I just had a difficult time attending a class where no actual instruction was given.  It felt so awkward to simply follow along.  I guess I will just see how well the schedule fits in with my running and decide from there. It was just disappointing as I had heard about Zumba in the past and been jealous that the closest class to me was over half an hour away.  Now that my gym was offering it, I wasn’t nearly as impressed as I had anticipated.  I will certainly give it another shot and see how I enjoy a full hour class.  Here’s hoping that the full class is a more satisfying experience than the demo!

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March 5, 2010

Breathing

Posted in Running at 1:26 am by savorencyclopedia

I can not think of a time in my life when I have had to actively think about my breathing.  It seems so odd to me to literally think “breath in through my nose and out through my mouth” as I run!  Yet I know this is the proper way to breath when you run and it doesn’t come naturally to me.

Getting the breathing down has been quite a process for me.  It definitely makes me appreciate all of the things my body does for me that I never consider.  Tonight the breathing finally seemed to click and make my run go smoothly! I hope it lasts!  I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my lung capacity and with continuous awareness of my breathing at this point, I hope it will become natural soon and I won’t have to even think about breathing while I run.

I intended to continue with my week 4 running this week, but when I looked at the times for week 5 day 1 I decided that I could push myself and do it.  I am so glad that I did!  I made it through the run and felt great about pushing myself afterwards.  I began to feel how when the strides and breathing fall into place, my run will be amazing.  I have enjoyed the process so far, but I certainly wouldn’t say it has been easy for me.  I hope that small things like this keep clicking into place and things become easier.  Every time something like this happens, I feel a bit more like a runner.

March 4, 2010

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Posted in Running at 7:50 pm by savorencyclopedia

Who would have imagined that I would be followed by my newfound goal of running while on vacation?  That’s exactly what happened when I traveled to New Orleans and I took it as validation for what I am trying to accomplish!  The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon took place on Sunday, February 28. By sheer coincidence, I was vacationing there that very weekend.  Although I was treating this weekend as a chance for bacchanalia, I saw it as a positive sign that my new goal was following me even on my weekend off.

 

I was inundated with marathon signals throughout my weekend.  Even as I boarded the plane Friday afternoon, I noticed a couple of men already on the plane intently reading the magazine Runner’s World while sporting Chicago Marathon attire.  At this point, I made note of the connection, but was unaware of the actual marathon taking place in NOLA that weekend.  I almost felt compelled to strike up a conversation with them about my new goal, but decided that even I wasn’t so bold as to hold up aisle traffic on the airplane to chat. My status as a novice runner also made me more hesitant to discuss the subject; what if my utter lack of knowledge or skill was apparent after the first sentence out of my mouth?  I could not face such humiliation. I was happy with the small sign of validation and was content to move forward with my weekend.

 

On the shuttle from the airport to our hotel, I sat next to a woman who was running the half marathon.  From that point on, I was aware of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and the signs could not have been more blatant throughout the rest of the weekend!  They may seem small but for me, someone who needs constant motivation to continue working out, it was as if someone was whispering to me not to forget my goals.

Sunday morning the restaurant at the hotel was serving breakfast to multiple tables of runners.  They were discussing their experiences and as it was late in the morning/early afternoon there were not many other patrons for breakfast.  It was hard not to hear some of their conversations.  I couldn’t even imagine the pride they must have felt after finishing, but they were very nonchalant about these accomplishments. Many of them were more focused on the partying aspect of the Marathon (which I imagine is fun, but don’t think I could focus on while running.  Breathing would be my only concern!) I guess for some people, once you start running often it is no big deal to finish a half marathon.  I can’t conceive of the notion, but clearly it exists.  As we returned to our room after breakfast, the elevators were not working.  An unfortunate couple was forced to walk up many flights of stairs to their room after completing the marathon.  My body literally ached for them.  Ouch.

That same afternoon, while waiting for the streetcar to take us to the Garden District, I noticed legions of marathoners out and about, proudly still wearing their numbers or changed into their Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon t-shirts.  They all looked so happy and surprisingly mobile.  I would assume standing upright would be worth celebrating at that point!  There were also many runners eating at the diner we stopped in later in the day.  I can only imagine how satisfying a plump, juicy burger must have been for those particular diners. 

Although I never expected to have clear reminders of the workouts I was missing during my trip, there they were, motivating me to get right back at it!  And it worked!  My first day back I was on the treadmill running.  The second day back I was inspired to workout lightly on my rest day, so I walked on the treadmill and then kicked it up a notch on the stair-climber.  Tonight I am back to running again, trying to close the gap on what should be my recovery time at this point and what actually is. Maybe one day I will run a Marathon in the Big Easy.   Any city will do, but if I’m going to go for it I might as well dream big!  Thank you New Orleans!

Scale Fail

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:29 am by savorencyclopedia

I knew it was coming.  I was prepared.  A gain on the scale.  But I still cringed.  I was hoping, by some small miracle, that even though I ate (and drank!) with abandon all weekend, there was some small possibility that I would simply stay the same on the scale.  Realistically I knew it wasn’t going to happen, but a girl can always hope, right?

The funny thing was, I didn’t need any mental regrouping after I saw the number.  I felt good about getting back into the swing of things right away after my vacation.  I refused to feel guilty about the gain and beat myself up.  I was proud that I tracked all of the food I ate in my food journal and moved on.  The numbers were frightening to see, but they gave me some sense of accountability for the weekend.  (There was no possible way to estimate how many calories were consumed by drinking; I chalked Bourbon Street up as one of the few exceptions to my journaling rules.)

I look forward to seeing the number on the scale next week.  I can only hope that the weight comes off as easily as it went on in seven days (everyone knows that never happens!)

March 3, 2010

Accomplishments

Posted in Healthy Eating, Running at 2:48 am by savorencyclopedia

Today was my first day back from vacation.  And I still worked out!!  For many people, this may not be a big deal, but for me it is a huge accomplishment!  I wanted to ease back into things because it’s been almost a week since my last run, so I attempted to run the same time frames as I stopped with last week and…

I did it!!!  I still ran two sets of three and five minute intervals!  I typically use the stair climber after running for 20-30 minutes, but tonight I simply ran/walked.  I want to prevent injuries, so I just wanted to test the waters tonight and see what I was capable of doing after almost a week off.  It was a pleasant surprise.

I even switched right back into healthy eating mode seamlessly.  Proof:  yesterday while traveling I ate well.  Yogurt smoothie for breakfast at the airport, Clif Bar for lunch while on the plane and a turkey sub and Sunchips for dinner in the car.  Not many vegetables, but still better than I would have eaten in the past.  I didn’t use traveling as an excuse to eat poorly!  I got all my servings of vegetables in today and I plan on going grocery shopping to stock up on healthy items tomorrow after work.  This is progress for me!