Workout Update

I have, so far this week, actually worked out according to plan – except for Tuesday, when I fell asleep at 8:30pm instead of doing some yoga.  I was going to make up for it last night, but feel asleep around 9pm.  Clearly I’m in need of sleep.

My daughter insisted on coming with me for my walk/run on Monday.  I was hesitant to take her with me because a) I like to work out alone, b) she talks a LOT, c) I wasn’t sure she’s be able to keep up, and d) the weather was sort of miserable.  Despite my misgivings, I took her along, because she’s really happy to be seeing me more and was so sad that I would leave her behind.  We solved the speed issue by having her ride her bike, and I told her I wouldn’t be talking much (although I seemed to answer a lot of questions during our time together). The weather got worse while we were out.  We went from overcast conditions with occasional spitting rain to full-on freezing rain, with a little lightning and thunder around here.  We made it home safely, but it was super-icy by the time we were close to home.  I nearly racked out a couple of time, and my daughter DID bite it once on the sidewalk about 1/2 a block from home.  She walked her bike home the rest of the way.  Shortly afterward, it started snowing.  That goodness we were home by then!

Tonight, it’ll be a bit of a scramble to fit in a walk/run.  I’ve got a student council event and I expect to be at school a little late because I’m finishing a root canal on a patient, so sometime between school and the event, I’ve got to find time to get outside.  First step: find out what time the event is at – haha!

My eating is still not as healthy as it was a year ago.  Funny that once you’re making poor food choices, it’s a hard habit to break, even though I KNOW that I feel better when I’m eating more healthfully and know exactly what I should be eating in a day.  I’ll be tackling my eating habits soon.


The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Dental school is not done yet, but I do see a faint light at the end of the tunnel.  I still have lots of clinical work left to do and will be at school after finals finishing said clinical work, but at least things should be over with in a couple of months.  And that’s all I have to say about that. (Name that movie!)

With my school workload easing up and a whole lot less stress affecting me, I’m starting to turn back into myself.  I didn’t fully realize how stressed out I was and how just plain negative I was being until about a week after boards, when I found myself smiling and dancing around to a song I had in my head.  I didn’t realize that I had forgotten what it was like to be in a good mood.

Since then, I’ve been listening to my favourite songs more on my iPod; hugging, kissing, cuddling, and playing with my kids more; generally being nicer to my husband and remembering to hug and kiss him, too (and grab his butt every once in awhile *wink*); calling my family and talking about things other than how miserable school is; fitting in yoga; and doing household chores without dread. (It’s a bad sign when the idea of having to put a dish in the dishwasher overwhelms you because you are just so. stressed. out.)  Yesterday, not only did I make cupcakes with my daughter (with green, mint icing for St. Patrick’s day, natch), see a movie with my husband (21 Jump Street – super funny), but I also went for a walk/run for the first time in a long time.  It was fantastic.  The sun was shining, and 15 minutes into my workout, I decided to turn around so I could loop by my house and drop off the shell and midlayer I was wearing because it was so nice and warm.  There was a whole lot more walking than running (4 min walking/1 min running x 12), and I’m really okay with that.  My left IT band feels tight today and my left knee has just a hint of soreness, but I know that if I ease into this, continue with yoga, start seeing my physio and doing my exercises again, and start strength training that I will get this IT band thing under control.  I plan to do some 5k’s this year and maybe a couple of 10k’s (no details yet), but until I get stronger, I’m making myself hold off on racing any longer distances.

Speaking of future plans, we’ve also booked a post-dental school vacation (using travel reward points we racked up while I was in dental school – haha!) and will be visiting “the happiest place on earth.”  That’s right – we’re going to Disney World!  And also Universal Orlando, where of course we will be checking out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!!!! It’s going to be so much fun.  My son, who’s nearly 8, has become a Harry Potter fan over the past year, so he’s very excited and wants to get a wand at Ollivander’s.  I want to try out the butterbeer…

We’re starting out a Universal, and will be staying at one of the onsite hotels for a few days before we head over to the Polynesian Resort at Disney World.  Let me just say that I am a total sucker for Disney and wanted easy access to the Magic Kingdom, which is my favourite of the parks and will hold the most interest for my kids, who will be 6 and 8 when we visit.  Thus, we made the decision to stay the Polynesian Resort, which is on the monorail line.  Only one stop away from the Magic Kingdom!  I’ve planned several character meals, because the kids really enjoy interacting with the Disney characters and who wants to line up for hours in the park to do that?  I would much rather be on a ride than be waiting in line.

Our last visit to WDW, 3 years ago

Being that I’m sort of hardcore about vacation planning, I’ve also scheduled pirate makeovers for all four of us at The Pirates League and that night, we’ll be heading out on a Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage.  On our last Friday at WDW, Star Wars Weekend will be taking over Hollywood Studios.  I wasn’t sure we would want to brave the crowds, but in addition to becoming a Harry Potter fan, my son has also become a Star Wars fan (and Indiana Jones fan – that’s my boy!), so we’ve decided that we’ll go ahead and check out the action.  Did I mention that my husband and I are also into Star Wars? Yeah, I might turn into a kid myself that day.  Oh, and I’m also considering matching family T-shirts for the trip.  (Why, yes, I am a big nerd!)

Once we’ve hit the theme parks, we’ll be spending a few days relaxing at the nearby Hyatt, which apparently has an amazing pool area but is way more affordable than the Disney hotels.  I love Disney and love the convenience of staying on-resort when we’re visiting the parks, but I don’t mind saving a little cash (or, in this case, reward points) either.

Goals for the Week

Today: yoga

Tomorrow: 30 min walk/run

Tuesday: yoga

Wednesday: off

Thursday: 30 min walk/run

Friday: yoga

Saturday: 60 min walk/run

Sunday: yoga





Merry and Bright

Yesterday’s plan didn’t really happen.  To refresh, I’m talking about 8 cups of water, 7 minutes core, 6 flights of stairs, 5 minutes running, 4 sets of pushups, 3 sets of lunges, 2 sets of squats, and yoga workout on my TV.  I did get a 40 minute walk in with my kids (the slowest 2 miles ever! but they had fun), 8 cups of water, 6 flights of stairs, 1 set of lunges, and 1 set of squats.  But then I fell asleep early when I put the kids to bed, and the rest of the workout didn’t happen.  I ran the day before, though, so my hip was feeling pretty tight yesterday.  All-in-all, probably better that the running didn’t happen.

Today, I got a ton of stuff done:

  • slept in – aaahhh
  • had my TB skin test checked (it took 2 seconds to have it assessed, but it ended up being a 25 minute endeavour, what with the driving and hauling the kids with me)
  • took the kids to see Santa and got a picture
  • did a little Christmas shopping while at the mall
  • took the kids for lunch and let them have a special dessert (because they won’t be getting enough sugar the next few days – haha!)
  • picked up some groceries
  • had a mom meltdown in the store
  • enjoyed a little TV while the kids “enjoyed” some post-bad-behaviour-in-the-grocery-store time in their rooms
  • met with our financial planner for a yearly review (which we didn’t want to do, but basically had to)
  • took my daughter to the bookstore, where I picked up some Starbucks gift cards for my son’s hockey coaches and we each enjoyed a hot drink
  • bought some more Christmas presents at the bookstore
  • ran 3 flights of stairs
  • baked some Double Chocolate Chip Cookies and packaged them up for my son’s coaches/team managers
  • made Honey Garlic Chicken using this recipe, but made it in the oven, not the slow cooker (served with quinoa and steamed broccoli) – it was really tasty, and I plan to try it in the slow cooker soon
  • my husband took the kids out, so I did 6 sets of pushups (I just finished week 1 of One Hundred Pushups), went for a walk/run for 35 minutes, adding in some walking lunges and squats at the end
  • did some yoga and core
  • took a relaxing bath
  • baked some Double Chocolate Cookies with a Peppermint Patty Surprise from Rachael Ray, as recommended by Deana over at Soles of a Mom.  Haven’t quite finished them yet – they still need white chocolate drizzles and crushed candy canes – but had to taste-test one straight out of the oven and it was delicious
  • ran another 3 flights of stairs

It was a fun day and I hit my goals (9 minutes walking, 8 cups of water, 7 minutes core, 6 flights of stairs, 5 minutes running, 4 sets of pushups, 3 sets of lunges, 2 sets of squats, and a yoga workout on my TV), so I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself.

I’m also really happy that I’m running again.  It’s slow going and my left hip still feels tight, but I’m getting better, definitely.  Saw my physio the other day and he said to keep doing my strengthening exercises and start foam rolling a lot.  He’s noticed improvement in my range of motion and in my ability to stabilize laterally, so that’s good.  He gave me the okay to run and said to continue on with yoga (which I’ve been doing for a few weeks now).

And can I just say that finishing up a run with a nice, easy walk while listening to Diana Krall’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and enjoying the lights in the neighbourhood is so, so good?  Highly recommend.

If you’re a runner, have you been getting your miles in outside or on the treadmill? 

Do you enjoy the holiday light displays in your neighbourhood?

Done and Done: Fun After Exams

I wrote my last December exam yesterday.  I was/am so relieved to be done.  This past week was tough, with definitely not enough sleep happening.  My personal hygiene also took a hit, so after I worked out this morning (cardio, weights, AND yoga!!!), I actually took a nice hot bath and shaved my legs.  TMI?  Sorry, but I feel so much better about myself that I had to share.

So, yes, got a good workout in this morning.  If you recall in my last post, I put together a healthy Christmas countdown.  While I did miss yesterday, I have been sticking to it otherwise.  Today, I was at “With 8 days left till Christmas, I’m giving to myself, 5 minutes running, 4 sets of pushups, 3 sets of lunges, 2 sets of squats, and yoga workout on my TV.”  It’s been unseasonably warm here – just below freezing today, I think – so I wish I could have done my running outside.  Alas, my husband was helping a friend out this morning, so I had the kids.  As such, I hit the treadmill.  It’s been a long time since I’ve run, what with school, rehabbing my IT band, and making excuses for not working out (ha!).  I didn’t know if I could even run for 5 minutes straight!  So sad, but that’s what happens when you sit on your butt and study a lot.  I feel like I’m starting over a little bit – my own fault, I know – but at the same time, I’ve run enough in the past to know that as long as I persevere, I will improve.

Here’s what I did:

Treadmill: 5 min warmup, (1 min 6mph @ incline of 2, 4 mins 3.5 – 3.7 mph @ incline of 2) x 5, with the last walking interval at 2.5 – 3.5 mph @ incline of 0

2 sets of squats with 15 lb dumbbells

3 sets of lunges with body weight

20 minutes of yoga (can’t remember the video…. part of Beginner Flow Yoga with Shiva Rea, I think?)

I wore my Garmin, of course, and my heart rate was so high while I was on the treadmill.  Good thing it was only 1 minute running intervals!  You can do anything for 1 minute, right?

As for the rest of the day, I got myself a cut and colour in the afternoon, did a little Christmas shopping, took a nap on the couch, and then we decorated the tree and played Sorry and with Perplexus – it was family game night!  It’s definitely looking and feeling more Christmas-y in our house now. I also just finished off my 4 sets of pushups, and added in one set just for good measure.

But now, I’m ready for some more sleep.  My daughter has power skating tomorrow and I’ll be getting in 6 flights of stairs, 5 minutes running, 4 sets of pushups, 3 sets of lunges, 2 sets of squats, and a yoga workout on my TV.  We’ll also be taking in a local light display in the evening, which I know the kids will love. We missed it last year because we headed to Arizona pretty much right after my last exam, so I’m looking forward to seeing their faces as they ooh and aah over all the lights.

Have lots of other stuff going on this week.  I’ll plan on sharing some cookie recipes and my plan for getting fitter rather than rounder during the next 2 weeks.

What family traditions do you enjoy in the week leading up to Christmas?

27 of 28: A Week in Review

Okay, so the week sort of got away from me and my 28 straight days of activity definitely fell by the wayside.

But, I accomplished some great things this week and I definitely want to share:

  1. Started my first bridge prep, which means that I drilled away some of the structure of a couple of my patient’s teeth so that a bridge fill fit over top of them.  I did a good job and was really proud of myself.
  2. Finished my first root canal, which happened to be a molar with 3 canals.  Though there was a bit of a hiccup in the process earlier on, it was definitely satisfying to get a root canal under my belt.
  3. Made the most amazing Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala, which was recommended to me by Deana over at Soles of a Mom.  It was so good that I wanted to lick my plate afterward.  It may be the best meal I’ve ever made.
  4. Took a stab at making cake pops.  If you haven’t checked out Bakerella’s website to see some of the amazing creations she’s whipped up, then you should head on over and check them out.  Mine were not as pretty as hers, but they tasted good.
  5. Had another physio session and am making progress.  My hip has been bothering me less lately and hasn’t been feeling as tight.
  6. Went for a walk/run today.  Wow, have I ever lost conditioning since I basically stopped running back in August!  My heart rate was ridiculous during my running intervals.  I walked 20 minutes, then did 18 minutes of run-walking (2 minutes running, 1 minute walking x 6), before cooling down.  Despite the fact that my lungs were not able to keep up, it felt great to get out there.  I’m looking forward to doing more running this week coming up.
  7. I bought myself a pair of tall boots and a really warm winter coat (3/4 length dark blue down North Face) this week.  I want to buy myself some new Uggs (SO warm), a new toque, and some new gloves before it gets really cold, but getting a new winter coat was the biggie.
  8. Gave a presentation to my class this week and it went pretty well.  We have very little homework this year, but this was one project that I had to do.  It’s nice to be done and have it out of the way.

Tomorrow is Halloween.  My son is dressing up as Bumblebee from Transformers, while my daughter is going to be a vampire.  I plan to get in on the dress-up action and put on a vampire costume, too.  I even did these really cool nails for my daughter.

The week coming up will be busy again.  I’ve got an exam coming up and need to review a ton of material for it.  Time to get cracking, for sure.  I’ve procrastinated enough.

Do you like to dress up for Halloween?

I Have Lost Count

It’s 9pm.  I’m bagged, but really wanted to blog tonight, so I’m typing this up then stationary biking for a bit before I call it a night a crawl into bed.  Generally, though, the past week was busier than usual, so my workouts sort of slacked off and have been very light.

Also, I’m too lazy to figure where I am in the 28 days of working out.  I’ll count where I’m at another night.

Now that that’s out of the way, I thought I’d sum up the past few days and let you know how I’ve been doing activity-wise.

Last Thursday, got up early for a 7 am appointment with a new physiotherapist.  LOVE HIM. SO MUCH. After I recounted my injury history – it took a while – he did some basic testing, and then moved on to some functional testing that I’ve never done before (I have seen 3 other physios regarding this injury…).  After that, he got me onto the treadmill and analyzed my running gait.  Being that I haven’t really been running much since the end of August, I was totally sucking wind at even an easy pace. *sigh*  He then tested a couple more things and then gave me his theory on why my IT band has been bothering me.

I’m no physio, but what I got from it is that my thoracic spine (upper back) is very tight when I run (and at all other times, of course), which forces my lumbar spine and hips to compensate for the lack of mobility above.  As a result, I don’t really use my abs when I run.  I basically have a breakdown in my running biomechanics.  So, my IT band injury is not a “true” injury, in that it isn’t there at the beginning of my run; rather, it appears only after 15-20 mins of running, when my form has broken down.  His thinking is that if we can work on my flexibility and then do some other exercises and drills to get the proper muscles firing when I run, my form should improve and my IT band should stop causing me pain.  Made sense to me.

So, he showed me how to stretch my spine and then tested my hip strength again.  After just a simple stretch, my strength improved dramatically.  Huzzah!  I now have strong hope that we’ll be able to sort this out and I will actually be able to run a half marathon rather than just train for one.  I also have the go ahead to walk/run, keeping my sessions in the 15-20 min range.

Other than the physio session/tiny bit of treadmill running, I got about 10 minutes of walking in, but that was about it Thursday.

Friday night, my husband and I went out and actually did some dancing.  A group of moms from our area put on a dance called “The Monster of All Parent Parties.”  The band was fantastic and played lots of 80’s and 90’s music – even a country version of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long”, if you can believe it – and it was an open bar (hello, Bombay and Tanqueray).  We visited with neighbours and friends and ran into a few people we knew from kids’ activities.  I love hanging with my classmates, but there is something to be said about hanging with people your own age, not the least of which is that you all know the words to the same songs, which makes for a very lively dance floor.

After Friday’s late night (and gin consumption), I was a little slow on Saturday.  I had a massage in the morning and then ran my son to hockey practice in the afternoon.  It was a very entertaining practice because my 7 year old got to strap on the goalie pads and try out his goalsaving skills.  He’s one of the 2 smallest kids on the team, so the pads practically came up to his waist!  He did his best, though, and practiced falling down and getting up, skating around, and making some saves.  The team then had a scrimmage with the other team that was sharing the ice, so he got to see what it was like in a game-like situation.  A couple of times he fell over and had a hard time getting up quickly.  I remember thinking that he looked sort of like a turtle or a beetle on its back, legs in the air.  When I went into the dressing room after practice to help him out of this gear, he was drenched in sweat, but had a whole lot of fun.

I think I sucked it up in the evening and got a 15 minute stationary bike ride in, but I honestly can’t remember if I did for sure or not.  I think I did, but my memory is sure not what it used to be.  I’m blaming that on having kids.

I definitely got a 30 min bike in last night, because I rode while I watched The Walking Dead.  I also did some core and stretching.

Off to get a quick workout in now.

14 of 28: Halfway Mark and Core

Wow, bad night last night.  I think our daughter came into our room, not once, but twice last night.  To top it off, I was having some…er..GI issues that woke me up in the middle of the night a few times.  Was not feeling stellar today, mostly due to lack of sleep, so kept my workout low key and just did core this evening.

My eating has been better lately, though having a cold does not really make me want the veggies that much.  On the other hand, I have seriously cut back on the amount of sugar I was consuming, so I’ve got that going for me.

I’m halfway to my goal of 28 days straight of exercise, though I missed a day and haven’t been pushing that hard since I snagged this cold.  What I am especially happy about is getting back into the habit of moving and making exercise a mandatory part of my day.

I’m just a couple of days away from meeting with a physiotherapist who specializes in running, so I hope I can get back to running soon.  Stationary biking just isn’t the same.  And there is nothing better than fall running!  Cool (but usually not cold) temps, dry paths/sidewalks, sunshine (at least in these parts), and that dusty crispness that characterizes the air this time of year.  Love it.

What’s your favourite time of year to be running outdoors and why?