March Madness

My kids’ hockey seasons are wrapping up in the next couple of weeks, I’m happy to report, and my son’s soccer winds up this weekend. Looking forward to less driving and more time at home. If I’m totally honest, though, my husband has been shouldering the bulk of the running around for the kids’ activities, so I’m sure he’s going to be ecstatic come March 24th.

Workouts have not been happening for a couple of weeks. I have been totally exhausted (work has been really busy) and have tended to choose more sleep over workouts. On the other hand, my eating has been pretty good, and last week I started using the Lose It app ( and totally love it. I had previously resisted my dietitian’s attempts to get me to food track electronically because I’ve always found anything online to be a pain in the ass (PITA), but this app allows you to scan food labels into your phone and then tracks the nutritional data, to enter your own recipes easily, and is, according to my dietitian, fairly accurate in calorie counts vs. other apps out there. I was already food journaling, but using this tool helped me I was eating plain ol’ too much, even though the food I was eating was generally good for me.

Still making my way through The Book of New Family Traditions (Revised and Updated): How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Every Day and have started Sundae Mondays for the kids. Basically, I’m putting together breakfast sundaes for them every Monday morning so that they have something to look forward to that day. Mondays suck for pretty much everyone, and I’ve definitely noticed that it boosts their moods at the beginning of the week to start out with something fun.

Off to do some yoga before bed. Today was a long, tough day at work and my back needs to decompress.

What are your favourite apps?




Remember when I said I would come home from the hockey tournament and workout? Yeah, totally didn’t happen. And I’m okay with that. Have been up since 5:20am and am so tired I’m short-tempered and somewhat incoherent, so bed is a good idea. Tomorrow morning, though, I’m totally planning to get a workout in. Unlike today’s planned-workout-that-didn’t-happen, a workout tomorrow morning is not overreaching: I’ve got a relatively open agenda and a need to relieve some stress.


Keeping Tabs on My Goals for the Week

Gotta tell you that the luxury of a pedicure is pretty motivating these days!  So far, I’ve managed to:

  • stay out of my kids’ Halloween candy
  • journal my food 2 days this week (goal for the week = 4 days)
  • fit in a run and core workout (goal for the week = 3 workouts)

Journaling has helped me realize that my veggie intake has slipped a little, so that’s helpful info.  Since I don’t like that many vegetables raw, I sometimes find it tough to fit in veggies when I’m time-crunched, as they require time to prepare.  Also, when I’m stressed, some veggies (especially broccoli and cauliflower) are totally unappealing and kind of make me gag.  Don’t know why that is – it just is.

I’ll definitely be running Friday, but will also be hitting a bootcamp class Saturday morning.

Ran tonight, and my left IT band was bothering me again.  Darn – thought I’d kicked that injury, especially since I haven’t been running very much at all, so the ITB has had lots of rest.  Clearly I need to get back to the exercises my physiotherapist prescribed, which I’ve been neglecting as of late.  I can only have so many priorities, ya know?  Even if it only takes a few minutes a day, sometimes those minutes add up.

Well, off to bed!  I’m up way too late and have an early morning.  Finding it hard to get out of bed these days – a combo of the darkness and my school-related fatigue.  Glad I got my workout in tonight though!

Tips for getting out of bed in the late fall/winter?  Sun doesn’t rise around here until almost 8am, and sets around 5:30pm these days.

Post-Workout Highs

Went to my spin class yesterday morning and worked out with my trainer today.  So far, it’s been a great week workout wise!  Things have settled down a little at school, meaning that right now I’m not studying for any big exams.  December exams are just around the corner, though.  Our exam schedule came out today, and we’ve got 10 exams in 9 school days.  Yikes!  That’s how we roll in dental school. LOL.

So, back to my workouts.  Spin was tough, but really good.  To paraphrase my trainer (who is one of the instructors for the class), what you get out of spin depends on what you put into it.  You are in control of how hard you push yourself.  It’s a 6 am class, which I’m not a huge fan of, especially now that it doesn’t get light out until 7:30 am.  But, once I’m done the class and had my heart rate revved for almost an hour, I usually feel pretty darn good about hauling my butt out of bed at 5:30 am.  I wore my heart rate monitor, and, man, was my heart a-pumping!  If you’re out of bed early on a cold, dark morning, you might as well make it worthwhile, right?

This afternoon, I met up with my trainer and she kicked my butt, but I was super late for my session with her!  Today’s weather was not the greatest: we had the first snow fall of the season.  It was super windy and temperatures were hovering around freezing, so of course the roads were icy.  I was almost half an hour late  due to an accident that slowed traffic to a crawl along my route.  Ah, winter in Canada.

Despite my delay, my trainer put me through a full body workout.  My quads, glutes, and deltoids are already a little sore, so I’ll definitely be achy tomorrow.  I left the gym with a smile on my face, though!  Nothing like a good, sweaty workout to make you feel energized and accomplished.

As you may have gathered from my recent (and infrequent) posts, my schedule has been a little full and I haven’t been getting in as many workouts as I would like.  Part of it was a pure-and-simple lack of time, but some of it was also just the lack of energy I had available to convince myself to fit those workouts in some days!  I’ve been working out only a couple days a week and have slacked off with the strength training.  Today, I could definitely tell that I’m not able to push myself as hard and I don’t recover as quickly.  In a nutshell, my fitness is decreasing as a result of the decrease in my workout volume.  Since I worked so hard to get where I am, I really don’t want to backslide anymore.  I WANT to workout more.  That’s a good thing, right?  Should make it easier to lace up my shoes and pick up those dumbbells!

I guess it was to be expected – the substantial decrease in my workouts – since third year dental school is pretty crazy, and I’m balancing family/kids on top of that.  I just thought I’d be able to squeeze it in – if it’s a priority, you can always find time, right?  Sadly, school has gotten the better of me so far.

Today’s workout with my trainer reminded me just how much I like working out.  Okay, so maybe not every second of a tough workout is fun, but I sure love how I feel after a workout.  I feel like today was a little extra motivation to get back to at least 3 workouts a week, so that my fitness gains don’t dissolve and so I can enjoy that post-workout high a little more often!

As an aside, my 4 1/2 year old daughter has been waking up almost every night the past few weeks.  Not sure if she’s dreaming or what, but she’s been waking up either crying or angry and it’s hard to get her back to sleep.  Anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with this?

Up and At ‘Em!

I missed my workout yesterday, and felt bad about it.  I’ve already cut back on the number of workouts I’m fitting in per week, so I really want to get in all the workouts I have scheduled.  But Tuesday was a long day and there was no way I was getting in a quality workout, so I set my alarm for 6am and worked out this morning.  Even though I really do hate mornings, I didn’t find it too hard to get up and head downstairs for my bike intervals and core workout.  I must be making progress!

As I drove to school, I was thinking about how many, MANY times I’ve read that people who work out in the morning are more likely to stick to working out.  I’ve tried to workout in the morning before – I really did my best – but could not stick with it for more than a couple of weeks.  Until now.

It made me wonder: is it that working out in the morning helps you stick to it, or is it that you are so committed to fitting in exercise that you workout in the morning?  For me, I think it’s the latter.  Until I had developed a fitness habit and realized how much better I feel when I work out regularly, I really didn’t make exercise enough of a priority to get my butt out of bed in the morning.

The other option, I suppose, is that you are my direct opposite and you’re a morning person.  Don’t worry – I won’t hold it against you. 🙂  I don’t understand it at all, and I’m a little bit envious, but I won’t hold it against you.

The alarm will be set for 5:15am tomorrow morning.  I’ll be meeting my trainer at the gym at 6am.  Yep, it’ll be another early morning for me, but I don’t mind too much.  It’s more important for me to get my workout in than it is for me to get that extra 2 hours of sleep.  Can not beLIEVE I just wrote that.

Having just realized how early I need to get up, I’d better got offline and get to bed.

What’s your opinion on morning exercise?  Does it make you committed to working out, or are you committed to working out first?

Stress, Stress, and More Stress

Well, it looks like I’m officially knee-deep in school.  I’m just taking a quick study break before getting back to cramming for an orthodontics “pre-test.”  You might think, “Pre-test – sounds easy-peasy,” but in reality, it’s a full-on test that covers all of the lecture material we’re supposed to go through this term.  While I like the idea of making us do some reading before we head into the classroom, I’m not sure I like the fact that I have to flat-out memorize a term’s worth of material without any sort of context or real understanding of the concepts.  This is worth 15% of my grade for the term, so it’s a pretty big deal.  I’m just not sure what value there is in memorizing a bunch of stuff that I will promptly forget after writing the exam.  But I’m just a student, so who am I to question? (Yes, you may be sensing a little sarcasm and frustration. *sigh*)

Went for a short 15 minute run today, and the IT band was tight, but no knee pain.  However, I ran for 20 minutes on Monday, and the knee pain kicked in.  I have a feeling I won’t be running my half marathon.  Strangely, I don’t feel that upset about it.  I’m just really happy I made it through the bulk of my training (longest run was 21.1k, which is the full half marathon distance) and dramatically increased my fitness this summer.  For me, signing up for a race is more about motivation than about the race itself, and I feel that signing up for a half marathon really worked well for me.

Missed my workout yesterday and didn’t do my entire workout today.  Meeting my trainer at 6am tomorrow (blech).  Supposed to do a 10k run Friday, but sense that’s not going to happen, so I’ll have to adjust my plans.  I’m also going for physical therapy tomorrow, so we’ll see what my PT says about my progress.

Well, back to orthodontics!  Wish me luck, and have a great night!

What’s in YOUR Gym Bag?

I have a 7am session with my trainer tomorrow morning, so I decided I’d better get my gear together tonight (mornings suck!).  But before I could pack my gear in my gym bag, I figured it was time to clean it out.  Here’s what it looked like:

Before I disclose its contents, let me just say that I LOVE my gym bag.  I bought it last year as a motivator to get to the gym.  It’s a bright lemon yellow Lululemon bag and it makes my happy just to look at it.  Seriously, there are times I get to the gym and look at my bag and smile.  Tell me that wasn’t a worthwhile purchase!

Now, let me tell you what was in it, because it’s definitely some weird and random stuff:

  • Chapstick SPF 30 (in there from when I did my tri in June)
  • a black Goody headband (I wear one sometimes)
  • Speedo swim goggles
  • a plain blue swim cap plus 2 other ones: a bright yellow one and a bright green one, both from my first tri (Merlin Ford Lincoln Triathlon at Pike Lake, aka Spin Off Spadina)
  • 2 packs of Orbit gum (we can’t get it here in Canada, so this is some of the stuff I picked up when we were in Arizona in June; had to toss it because it had gotten wet  – not cool, ’cause I LOVE Orbit!)
  • a single shoe lace (useful, don’t you think?)
  • a water-stained sheet with a swim workout on it
  • a random receipt
  • my student I.D.
  • 2 Loonies
  • my inhaler (I have cold- and exercise-induced asthma)
  • a pen
  • a plastic bag with nose pieces for my swim goggles
  • a small binder clip (umm, what?)
  • a barrette
  • a travel-sized container holding Bumble & Bumble Sumotech
  • a toothbrush head cover (but no toothbrush – ha!)
  • a washable pouch for dirty stuff
  • Havainas flip flops
  • my lock

What SHOULD I have in my gym bag?

  • my cross trainers
  • a clean change of clothes and a hat for after my workout (I wear my workout stuff to the gym)
  • my toiletry bag
  • flip flops
  • my lock
  • my Garmin watch and heart rate monitor strap
  • swim goggles
  • plain blue swim cap
  • inhaler
  • headband
  • my water bottle
  • a post-workout snack
  • my iPod (for my warmup)

Now that I’ve confessed the contents of my gym bag, tell me: What’s in YOUR gym bag?  Does it get any more random than a binder clip and a toothbrush head cover?  What useful stuff do you stash in there?  Do you love your gym bag as much as I love mine?