10K pop-up training plan (aka I forgot I had a race)

Just had that runner’s moment…

seawheeze shortsMy Seawheeze race shorts arrived in the mail on Friday, and I was all “Woohoo, I still have 3 months to train and fit into these size 12 shorts.” (Kinda nice that you get ‘free’ shorts as part of your race registration fee.)

Then today I realized…I should check my calendar…

And HOLY CRAP I have a race in two weeks.  It’s only a 10K, but when one has done strength training and not a lot of actual RUNNING for the past few months, this is kind of a challenge!

So, yes, I’m a little worried I will be miserable or screw up my knees, therefore I’ve developed a pop-up training plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel:

Week 1

MON: Easy run (30 min)
TUE: Yoga – P90X2 “X2 yoga” (67 min)
WED: Tempo run w/ speed intervals (30 min)
THU: Cross training – 21 Day Fix “dirty 30” (30 min) + T25 “lower focus” (25 min)
FRI: Rest day – walking YEG river valley stairs at lunch time
SAT: Long(er) run (4.5 miles/~7KM)
SUN: Easy run (20 min) + Sunday morning Yoga (Meadows Rec Centre)

Week 2

MON: Easy run (40 min)
TUE: Pilates/Yoga – PiYo “drench” (45 min)
WED: Run w/ hill intervals (40 min)
THU: Cross training – 21 Day Fix “cardio fix” (30 min) + T25 “lower focus” (25 min)
FRI: Rest day – walking YEG river valley stairs at lunch time
SAT: RACE DAY! (10K)

And – promises of rolling out the muscles and stretching really well every night.

I checked my Nike running watch and the fastest 10K I’ve ever pulled off is 1hr 11min, and that was part of a longer run. Mind you, last year was about survival, not really about excelling at anything.  Given that this is my first race of the season, and that I’ve been a sloth and not gotten the training miles in properly…I don’t have high hopes for nailing any personal bests. I will consider this run a “training run” unto itself. (Is that a cop out??)

I apologize in advance for not training more to the good people at Rocky Mountain Soap. While it’s my first time participating in the Rocky Mountain Soap Co.’s Women’s Run & Walk, I’ve done a 5 Peaks trail run in the same location, the Canmore Nordic Centre…and it started with 2K of UP and required a canister of bear spray.  Doh.  I think this run is a little more gentle??

Looking forward to a great weekend in the mountains for the race – just need to earn it now…!  Pop-up training plan is a GO!

 

My newest scheme – P90 (yo Tony!)

Soooo, after an entire summer and first month of fall having LOST NO WEIGHT, I’m onto yet another scheme of awesome.

Backing up a bit… after the 21 Day Fix (which WORKED) I got on board with the newest (at the time) program release from Beachbody, which was PiYo – a combination Pilates/Yoga exercise plan. This program is truly challenging, and it builds strength using your own body weight. You also get more flexible. However, I didn’t follow the PiYo meal plan, and I only half-heartedly attempted to maintain the 21 Day Fix meal plan while doing PiYo. I did do a cleanse – which was really good – but then ate my pounds back on.  It all equals one big bomb.

Blergh.

So – back at it. I’ve got the new Tony Horton program in my hot little paws: P90 = “for everyone.” Super excited about this one, but I totally have that nagging feeling that I won’t stick to the food plan or the workout schedule etc. I got all psyched up for DAY ONE, and then boom! Caught a cold.

Here I am, tip-tap-typing away, snotty as all hell and now with a sore lower back from laying in bed mindlessly watching Netflix with the lap top propped up on my tummy. ALL NOT GOOD.

Fingers crossed that I can de-snot and feel better soon so that I can get started on something new. The year is almost OVER! I need to crack the whip and get into shape here, people.

Seriously.

21 Day Fix review

21 Day Fix is an at-home workout and meal portioning program by trainer (and bikini competitor!) Autumn Calabrese, who promises that you can lose up to 15 lbs in just three weeks, or your money back. (Everyone loves a good money-back guarantee, yes?)

Why I love it
In brief – it taught me proper portion sizes and got me working out daily.

My results
With the 21 Day Fix I lost 5.5 inches and 7.5 lbs in three weeks.

Who will benefit
The 21 Day Fix is a very basic regime of workouts and healthy eating. If you want to…

  • Kick start an epic weight loss journey
  • Get off a weight loss plateau
  • Gain better shape and muscle tone
  • Learn portion control
  • Lose a few pounds and tighten up before a holiday or special event
  • Create healthy habits that will last a lifetime
  • Change up your workout routine with short, 30-minute pops

What’s the scoop?
The Fix comes with a Getting Started guide and a set of seven 30-minute DVD workouts. You receive coloured boxes of varying proportions which all correspond to food categories:

  • Green – veggies
  • Purple – fruit
  • Red – protein
  • Yellow – carbs
  • Blue – healthy fats
  • Orange – seeds, dressings
  • Plus “teaspoons” – oils

Work out your caloric needs through the formula provided in the guide (all based on your current weight), and then you’ll know how many coloured boxes you need per day.  You’re encouraged to drink loads of water, and you can still have your daily dose of caffeine through coffee and tea.  Treats like wine, trail mix, dark chocolate can be worked into the plan, but not in huge quantities.  The guide also provides lists of food for each coloured box, and a few recipes.

You don’t have to eat bulgur and broccoli every day.  I even had a pizza last night using pita bread for the crust, tomato sauce, cheese, ham, peppers and onions…all portioned to fit in the boxes.  You can eat what you want, as long as it fits in those boxes! I was not hungry on this program. If anything, there were days I struggled to eat all that was allocated to me! AND – I was not perfect. There was an incident with a tub of coconut Greek yogurt that shall not be brought up again…

The workout DVDs are only 30 minutes each = no excuses!  The workout schedule assigns specific workouts to each day of the week.

  • Total Body Cardio Fix – cardio conditioning from top to bottom
  • Upper Fix – fab workout for the arms and abs
  • Lower Fix – legs and calves, lunging and stuff
  • Pilates Fix – harder than it sounds, man. Wait until you “mix the bowl.”
  • Cardio Fix – heart rate is on! Work those compound moves.
  • Dirty 30 – a little bit of everything
  • Yoga Fix – wonderful stretching after a hard week

The program has a few bonus materials, such as Autumn’s 30 minute PLYO workout (jumping!) + a 10-minute ab workout, a 3-day fix eating plan for gotta-look-good events (reunion? Photo shoot?), and a Shakeology shaker cup for making shakes.

Pros:

  • I learned to eyeball portion sizes much more accurately.  I know now when I’m going overboard on something. And you get to eat real food: no food in a box, no low-cal diet foods…only real, whole foods = clean eating.
  • The workouts are only 30 minutes, and the sequence day after day works over your whole body for clearly defined results. Each workout has a modifier – if you can’t do the full range, there are alternatives demo’d nicely.
  • Autumn reviews each move before she does it.  There is no quick-change flow from one to another, she ensures that you keep your form so that you max that particular exercise. This means a lot to me – there are gym classes and workout DVDs where I stare at the screen trying to see how they do it, and by the time I figure it out, they move on.
  • This is a long-term weight loss & fitness program! Totally sustainable.

Cons:

  • Stretch times post-workout were not very long; I’d suggest adding your own.
  • You do need to have a yoga mat and a set of light/heavy weights or a resistance band to maximize the workouts. Sold separately! (I suppose this isn’t a HUGE con, but if you went into this budget minded you’d need to splash out a little extra if you didn’t already have these things.)
  • The promise of losing up to 15 lbs is somewhat accurate. If you are going from overweight couch potato to 21 Day Fix, you probably will lose upwards of that amount, no problem. If you’re already fairly fit, you will probably see inches lost, but you won’t have 15 lbs fall off immediately.

Shakeology is a “daily dose of dense nutrition” and is a highly recommended but optional part of the 21 Day Fix. It is a meal replacement shake. Now, it took me three months before I even told anyone I was using this stuff, because in my mind replacing a meal with a supplement was weird.  Well, Shakeo is chock full of superfoods, gives me more energy and kills my cravings.  I love it.  Sometimes I use it for breakfast, other times as a post-workout refresher.  I suggest you use it with the 21 Day Fix (once a day) but that’s completely optional.

Overall, in my challenge group, two of my challengers lost more than 15 lbs each in three weeks. The remaining challengers averaged 2.5 lbs a week.  All great results when the scale heads south!

I love this program enough that I’m doing another round. Like I said, it’s more a lifestyle than a one-off. I would recommend this to everyone, it’s that flexible and sustainable.

Here are my final stats after Round 1 from Day 0 -> Day 21:     

Weight:    207.5 lbs -> 200 lbs
Chest:       41 inches -> 41 inches
R Arm:     13.5 inches -> 13 inches
L. Arm:    13.5 inches -> 13 inches
Waist:       43.5 inches -> 41.5 inches
Hips:         48 inches -> 46.5 inches
R. Thigh:  25 inches -> 24.5 inches
L. Thigh:  25 inches -> 24.5 inches

If you want to pick up the 21 Day Fix, here is the challenge pack link with Shakeology @ $160 USD, and here is the base kit program without Shakeology @ $59.85 USD.  I’ll be here to cheer you on!  Would love to hear your experiences with 21 Day Fix, or field any questions you’ve got – feel free to post below.

Ready to get FIXed

Happy MONDAY!  Let’s kick it this June!  What are YOU doing to be happy and healthy?

GREAT news is that my challenge group on Facebook for the 21-Day Fix is full!

About a week or so ago, I put out a post on FB to see if anyone wanted to do this program with me, and whammo!  I had an amazing response, and from some people I’d never have expected.

All of us in this challenge group have our own health and fitness goals to smash, and this program is flexible enough to appeal to everyone. STOKED. We’re gonna rock it together!

***

My 21-Day Fix kit arrived – only 10 days to Canada after I’d ordered. Not too bad.

It contains a meal plan book, a getting started booklet, a 3-day fix (intense!) booklet,  the workout DVDs + a Plyo Fix DVD, a Shakeology shaker cup and then those cute little coloured boxes – WHICH ARE REALLY REALLY REALLY SMALL! – to measure out food. (Did I mention the boxes are small? I feel like I’m already getting my portion control lesson.)

To start, you need to figure out the calorie level for your own weight and body needs, incorporating both the workouts and a caloric deficit for weight loss (aka MATH).  There is a handy dandy formula to do that in the ‘eating plan’ book.  Then you match your calorie level with the calorie chart which shows how many of each coloured box you may have per day. So, I get…

  • 5 green – greens
  • 3 purple – fruit
  • 5 red – proteins
  • 4 yellow – carbs, beverages (including a sub-out for wine)
  • 1 blue – healthy fats, like nuts, avocado, cheese, hummus
  • 1 orange – seeds, dressings
  • 5 teaspoons – oils, seed/nut butters

I can have all the vinegar, garlic and ginger I want for free – yippeee – and a couple of other little things (Frank’s RedHot, anyone?).

For water, the program suggests drinking your body weight, divided by two, in ounces. For me, that’s just over 12 cups of water a day. That’s also a lot of bathroom trips…

Each coloured box has a dedicated page in the book with a list of approved foods for the category. The lists are not random – the higher up on the list, the better choice it is for you in terms of nutrients. Mmmm why are sardines at the top of the protein list – ick!

The book also has a set of recipes for all container colours and a brief dining out reference page – because chances are in 21 days you might have to eat something someone else has prepared, and you’d want to be ready.

Tah-dah!  I’ve got a week before the challenge group begins – a few of the others are still waiting on their kits to arrive. In the mean time, I’ve got some shopping and meal planning to do!

Plateau, schmateau

change starts with youOkay.

Soooo, a road trip followed by a couple of races and a case of extreme taper training = no weight loss. At all.

My goal of losing 8 lbs for the month of May is kinda shot right now, unless there’s a miracle.  And it’s not like I can honestly say I’ve gained muscle (from what, sitting on my butt?) or lost inches.  Maybe I’ll go with the idea that my body is taking a break after the 12 lbs lost last month.

Boy, when one’s head isn’t in the game, it sure shows.

I started tracking food again today, and saw that I’m actually coming a little too far under in my calorie count. I’m actually not eating enough.  DUH.  All that opportunity to go mental on broccoli, spinach, etc – lost.

The big race is Saturday, and I swear my muscles are seizing up due to lack of use.  I’ll have to get out the roller or sit in the hot tub to loosen those suckers up a bit in order to make that 25K on the weekend. I just want to go, run, have fun, FINISH, and go home.

I put up my Shaun T training poster and set up my workout area for Insanity – The Asylum, but I think I’m going to hold off a bit until my flexibility returns.  Keep your shirt on, Shaun.  I’ll be back in a month.

Instead, I’m rounding up friends to do the 21-Day Fix with me in June.  It’s all about three weeks of getting our shit sorted.  (You wanna hot body? You wanna Bugatti…?)  And knocking me off this stupid plateau.

Rumour has it from others I know who’ve done it…10 lbs + several inches lost in 3 weeks (can this be??) and a meal plan with portion guidance so you don’t fall off the track into nacho heaven…by accident. Haha. Although, nacho heaven can be a nice place, but not if you have like, a class reunion, wedding, or some other social event this summer when you need to be slim n’hot.

Oh yes, this just got all VANITY up in yer grill…

Want to join me?

Time to get on with it – for reals.

Like, summer is practically HERE.

Sighted: collarbone, possibly shoulder

willpower is a muscleThe other day I caught a rare glimpse of anatomy: my collarbone.  It lives!! Seriously, what the hell? Where has it been all these years? It’s actually kind of sexy.

And then there’s the shoulder. Also present. Two of them. And when I flex my arm the right way and hold it at a very specific angle, I can also see biceps.

These views are often fleeting, but with any luck (aka hard work), they’ll be around more often in the near future.

I still have moments when I’m walking along feeling fantastic and then I catch my reflection in a shop window, and instead of being proud of my newly evolving shape, I just see a fat girl.  Still.  Fat. I have – at the very least – 65 more pounds to lose. It’s such a long journey. Or, as my very good friend would say, “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Sometimes that marathon seems to go on forever.

Even worse than seeing your own I’m-still-not-there reflection is the emotional mirror that comes with losing weight. All those issues that got you to 235 lbs in the first place start to surface. Stuff you thought didn’t matter or that had been dealt with…whammo. I’ve got some baggage to address, methinks.  But let’s pull a Scarlett O’Hara and think about that…tomorrow.

On a happier, fitness-y note, my Insanity – The Asylum kit arrived last week. It took me until yesterday to even open the box. One shouldn’t be afraid of a workout DVD, but as I mentioned before, I may have chosen something a little beyond my level.

So, I sat down to watch (not to do…) the fitness test participants are supposed to take prior to starting the program. This establishes a benchmark and best gauges your progress along the 30-day challenge. Well. I got through all the medical warnings at the beginning of the DVD (I’ll take that as an “out” if needed) and proceeded to have my first introduction to trainer Shaun T.

Let me say, I was exhausted just watching the fit test. This guy has all this confidence, and makes shit look easy, and talks to me like I can so dooooo this and that I just need to try harder and lift those knees higher…

The three people Shaun T. had working out were like, uber champions themselves. Two ripped men and a super fit lady. (Whimper) They gave 110% and pushed through that test with some heavy breathing etc. but not to the collapse-on-the-floor point that I’m sure to reach within 7 minutes. Even the warm up looked strenuous.

My first thought was DEAR GOD; the second was that there is no way I can do these workouts in my bedroom space. I may have to move furniture. I need my own workout studio. Garage, perhaps?? But the third thought was … what IF? What if this is the hardest thing ever, but what if I can do 30 days?

So, yes. Am going to try this workout.

Once I get my location established, my workout poster on the wall, my “before” measurements/photos done, and inform the family that THIS IS HAPPENING, then I will start. I’m currently trying to convince my offspring to join me.

So that they can wake me up when I pass out, of course.