Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Interesting training session today

Today was 'heavy' squat day, so after warming up on the elliptical for ten minutes and 20 back extensions I hit the rack and made three good sets of five at 65 lbs. So bouncing back from the flu pretty well. Then overhead press at 55 lbs, power cleans at 65! That is where the interesting part comes in. 65 lbs is a personal record for me with cleans, and I need to concentrate. This was made challenging by the presence in an already crowded, after-work gym by a seven-foot tall old man, wearing a belt and black tights walking back and forth endlessly behind me. It was like when friends are playing pool and trying to make the opponent miss the shot. My sets weren't exactly five in a row, but I did it and have confidence it will go better next time. I came home, ate a bunch of not very yummy stuff. That could be due to PMS, there is always that day when I'm ravenous yet hate everything. Cool front coming in tomorrow thank frickkin GOD!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Back in the swing of things

Last night I did run/walk intervals for three miles, so yay me! First good long cardio since the toe incident. Today was squat, bench, deadlift day. Light squats, three sets, ten reps of bar only squats. Bench was three work sets of 65 lbs, then two 3 rep sets with 70 just cuz I felt like it. Deadlift was 135, going to get this up at least ten pounds by the end of the year. Throughout the session I did three sets of 15 reps back extensions too. It looks so short reading it like this but I was wiped out at the end, dizzy after the deadlifts.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Training blog

Went in yesterday, warm-up ten minutes on the elliptical 15 back extensions. Started with squats as usual, two sets, 10 reps with the bar only, 2 sets 8 reps 55 lbs. Went on to overhead press, warmup set with the 35 lb bar, three work sets with the 45 lb bar. I was struggling with these, really need to build these up. Hang cleans, quick bar only warm-up, added five pounds at a time to 60 lbs, three work sets at 60 lbs. Those are damn fun to do! Finished with two sets of stiff-legged deads, 95 lbs and 15 more back extensions. It went okay, my right wrist is still stiff but no pain.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cat emery board, the sequel

The leather sectional was showing claw marks, and as the cats don't enjoy the trimming experience, I bought a Cat Emery Board. Having read lots of negative reviews of the website, I picked it up at Target for $19.99. It is a scratch pad that is supposed to file the sharp points off of the cat's claws while being fun and good for the cats. The big boy cat had taken ownership of it, I don't know if the little girl cat is really uninterested of if he is being territorial. Either way, I never see her on it.  It has been two months since the purchase, at first neither cat used it, but with time the boy has become a regular clawing away on it. Brace yourself for the noise, it sounds exactly like a cat destroying something expensive. I need to check myself to keep from reprimanding him from the noise by looking to see what is going on.
Is it keeping his nails trimmed? Sort of. When I check his claws there is usually one or two that needs the tip clipped and the others are short and smooth. To me, that's worth it. Its easier for both of us to clip one or two claws at a time. I am considering buying another one and putting it somewhere that the girl cat can get to it in private in the hope she will use it without him being domineering.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Finally back into training

Yesterday was the first day I ventured into the gym since getting the Plague. Its a good thing I took it easy as I am feeling muscle soreness today, that said, its better to feel sore after actually doing something rather then being ill. I warmed up on the ellipitcal for ten minutes and did 15 back extensions. When I started lifting I warmed up on the rowing machine but the elliptical works better for an all-around warm up I find. Then, onto the squat rack. My issues with form and adding weight to the bar prompted the decision to completely reset on squats. I did three sets/ ten reps or bar-only squats and, am feeling it in my quads today. Then onto bench where I gradually added weight to the bar to three work sets of 65 lbs. So, lighter then usual. I did two sets of bar presses on the upright bench while waiting for the rack to reopen up, then one set, five reps of 95 lb deads, one set five reps of 115. Finished it off with another set of back extensions and called it a day. Today my muscles are letting me know they did something, which I love. Next training session, Friday.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Not the walking dead anymore

I did try to watch that last night, took too long for anything to happen for me. Woke up today with the ability to speak, and was able to take an abbreviated walk last night so I am easing back into normalcy. Note to self; get a damn flu shot. Can you imagine if that happened on Ski week? I shudder to think. In other news, now I'll have to work my ass off thru the holidays after that unscheduled week off. Ah well, its all for the best one supposes. The plan is to get my hands around some iron later. I cannot wait and will post about how it goes.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fugged, but I like it!

You may have noticed the lack of training posts this week. I got a killer flu Sunday afternoon and still fighting it- now my voice is non-existent. So, in an attempt not to complain incessantly I've been focusing on other things. Such as this outfit, which the Fugly Girls hate, but I think is really cute. Look at those sexy boots, pretty dress that fits perfectly, you can see her form yet it is covered and young-looking. My evening-wear aesthetic is consistent, feminine and body conscious with a little edge here and there. So what if it doesn't scream editorial, it's nice to see a starlet look so pretty.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Speaking of Christmas, this was horrifying!

As if Project Runway wasn't ruined enough by Gretchen's ugly clothes for the farm, now there appears to be an actual trend of clunkiness! This year's clunkiness is comparable to the hideousity that was Doc Marten's in the 80s and Crocs clogs for far too long so I guess we should be used to the ugly shoe trend. So sad, in a season that is meant (by my decree) to celebrate sleek, shiny, maybe even sparkly shoes but never ever shoes that one could wear to happily walk through manure in. Poo.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Christmas debate (non-religious)

It happens every year. At least one, usually more, of my friends complains about Christmas decorations, Santas, etc. appearing everywhere before Thanksgiving. I strongly disagree. I'm sure this comes from moving to Florida when I was five, but to me Christmas is the best holiday and why not extend it for two months? I remember wearing cute fur-trimmed coats (mine was navy-blue w light-blue fur trim) navy tights, fluffy hats, walking home from kindergarten looking down at the snow melting into oily puddles at the side of the road, The oil, water, ice mixture turned into shiny dark rainbows at my feet. Now, even though many years we can wear shorts and flip-flops for the winter holidays (extremely disappointing!), I long for jewel-toned velvet, fur trims, fluffy scarves and long leather gloves. Christmas means jewelry, perfume and lingerie in pretty boxes. It means getting dressed up, so rare when one lives in the land of capris year-round. Your make-up doesn't sweat off and one looks and feels comfortable and beautiful. It is the time of year that I wish was all year round, okay we could have two months of hottish weather to keep it special. Extending Christmas is an extension of my favorite fantasy time.

Monday, November 15, 2010

whining and dining

Well, not yet but I'm going to make chicken soup today to help me recover from this dang ol cold that attacked yesterday. This soup is dual purpose as it makes both soup and enables me to freeze tender cooked chicken for later in the week. This is the plan, get a big pot (Dutch oven) and either melt a blob of butter or pour in a couple tablespoons of lightly flavored oil (as in, not olive or coconut) and low-medium heat. Open big pack of chicken breasts with bones and skin and place in the pot. Making this with the bones and skin still on the poultry improves the flavor and texture of both finished products by 1000%. If you live in the Northeast or somewhere where all of the packaged chicken is boneless and skinless, complain!
As the chicken is browning chop onions, celery, green peppers (or whatever peppers you like) carrots and garlic and pile them on top of the chicken in the pot. Put a lid on it and cook for fifteen minutes or so. When the veggies are brightly colored, pour 8 cups of water in the pot and a liberal pinch of salt. Raise the heat to medium and cover again until it's at a high simmer and the chicken looks done. Then, reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and let it cook for an hour or two, until the chicken practically slides off the bones.
Take the chicken out of the pot and let cool separately. I keep two of the breasts for the soup, and put the rest in individual freezer bags to freeze for later. Then, when I have herbs, parsley, dill, cilantro, I add them to the soup towards the end. Yum!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Power clean success

I wasn't sure it would happen, based on the disaster that was Tuesday, but I was able to complete three work sets of 60lb power cleans today. They weren't all pretty but enough were, so yeah me! Training started with a ten minute warmup on the elliptical, 15 back extensions, four sets of 10 reps of squats with the bar only. Super-light and all form, even that was hard towards the end. Some ugly 55 lb presses, another two sets of back extensions, then the happy cleans :) Could the cute big guy at the squat rack have had something to do with it? Maybe. Wrapped it up with lat pulls, 80, 90, 100 lbs and straight-legged deads at 95lbs. So a pretty good workout after all.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fighting crime!

So, my sweet little neighborhood had two questionable houses, or actually, two houses with questionable people living in them. After a few weeks of watching cars pull up in the street, a person going out to the car and chatting, smoking with the driver for a while, then the car driving away, I am tired of this. What to do? Well it is time to get over inherent shyness and get to know the non-criminal neighbors. I started today by introducing myself to the lady who owns and rents out the house across the street, she has the low-down on just about everyone and called the cops on the newest undesireable neighbor earlier this week. As that was painless, actually sort of fun, my next mission is to introduce myself to the other lady across the street and the ex-military guy on the other corner. Hopefully when we all know who the others are, and have opened communication, it will make our block less friendly to the bad guys. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Second workout with a smashed toe

Gearing up for the second training session since the horrific toe incident. I hope this one is a lot better! Tuesday's session was a plethora of suck, from the weaker then usual squats, to complete left side weakness during presses and cleans. I couldn't even smile at the other gym-goers. I tried to make it worthwhile with some incline presses, thinking that as one doesn't stand during them it would be an acceptable substitute, but the hooks are in exactly the wrong place for my body, the higher ones are a strain to reach and the lower too low. I pulled some 95 lb straight-legged deadlifts and did two sets of back extensions and called it a day.
The plan for today is squat, bench, deadlift, two sets of back extensions and lat pulldowns.
Edited to add: back from the gym, it wasn't as bad as Tuesday's workout. Squats still stuck at 65 but whatever, bench down to 75 lbs, deadlift still at 135 and I was fighting for it. I did three sets of lat pulldowns, 2 at 70 lbs and one at 80, two sets of chest flys with 15 lb dumbbells then 20 lb, and three sets 15 reps back extensions.
In other news, I was going to post pics of the 'fit shorts' which now fit as well as they ever will, but the pics turned out awful! No wonder my boyfriend hated those shorts. I look like Spongegirl Squarebutt in the pics. Let's just blame that on the bad cam angle (and never wear those shorts in public!) Instead, for your viewing pleasure, here is a current toe pic.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just got a nice pedicure and broke my toe!

Yesterday was great- most of it! Went out for oysters on the half shell, smoked mullet spread and gator sausage. Then watched a movie, Stolen with Jon Hamm and Josh Lucas and was about to find out what happened to Warrick on CSI (sometimes I get distracted from watching a show and never return again, resulting in mysteries) when, during a commercial break, I went to the kitchen. This is where it happened. Opening up the freezer for an ice cube, a frozen beer mug crash landed right on my toe. Holy shit that was a bloody painful mess. This woman hardly ever takes an aspirin and I was begging for painkillers, which we did not have. That damn toe hurt all night long, finally stopped this morning. I haven't decided if training is in the cards for today.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Napping may ease DOMS

Yesterday was squat, clean, press and straight-leg deadlift day, and today I am refreshingly not sore. One reason I took two rest days between training this week was due to the delayed onset muscle soreness experienced after deadlifting Monday. Normally, I would have said the hell with it just go lift, but I came across an article (will link when I find it) that said DOMS is related to rhabdo which scared me into waiting until fully recovered. In brief, rhabdo is a horrible result of dehydration and over-exercising which can be fatal. I didn't expect anything so extreme (one never does) but as I was coming off a week lay-off from lifting and there is relatively little information out there about 43 y/o women beginning to lift and the effects of that, decided to proceed with caution.
Squatted 65 lbs, nice form, cleans were at 55 lbs, presses 50 lbs, straight-leg deads 85 lbs. So either the same or a bit lower after the week off and I was so done after the session. Later that day I indulged in a good nap as well as sleeping in this morning and now feel good. The straight-legged deads really pushed my hamstrings to the point of concern but today is fine. I think the sleep made a positive difference.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Doms darn it

Sore back and ass muscles today, that's what I get for going on vacation. I wonder if having PMS contributes to muscle soreness and fatigue. After filling in this month's calendar of workouts I may not take a deload week and just lift thru to January. I'm still figuring that out. Today is an easy day, Pilates (the instructor was so insulted when she found out her class was half of the easy day) then Spinning. Those classes break down to abs, balance, and endurance.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gotta love the disappearing post

So I'll try again. Today was my first training session after vacation, and I was dragging my feet, really not wanting to do it, but made myself. It was worth it. Strange that I didn't want to do something that makes me feel so good somehow afterward. Still working on squats, knees wanted to come in and felt less then strong but pushed through for three work set of four reps at 75 lbs. Not great but will become better. Bench presses were good at 70 lbs, strong and used my back too. Deadlifts were good too, a full set of five at 135. My form needs work on everything and that is the plan, stay at this weight for the next session and add 5 lbs after that. Training left me pleasantly spent and a bit shaky, so I ate protein in the form of tuna and salmon (two different meals) blended a green smoothie of fresh spinach and hot sauce, and had pineapple cubes. I read somewhere that the enzymes in pineapple are good for helping nutrients do their thing in the body. If I find it I'll link Here it is! up. Lifting was this morning then took a fast-paced three mile walk tonight. So it's back to routine in a good way, two months from now- SKIING!

Back from hiking

Chattanooga was great. The leaves were beautiful and it was refreshingly cool in the evenings. The trails were oddly unmarked which led to a more adventurous hike then the terrain normally would have, I'm spoiled by Western NY trails that even give mileage markers. Tami, my staunchly conservative sister and I, the arty right-brained one, managed to see the sights and wander around the woods without strangling each other in spite of a few tense moments. We went on a cavern tour which was surprisingly gorgeous, the guide was funny and the waterfall inside the mountain was breathtaking. I'm a sucker for a good waterfall. Rock City was strenuous enough for me to find it a good time, and bizarro at the end. How to even describe this? Inside a big cave, plastered with coral, some wealthy and evidently also insane German woman had hundreds of gnomes shipped over from Germany in the 30s and placed them in odd tableaus here and there. Then, as if that isn't odd enough, you get to Fairy-tale land. Not Disney fairy tales, Grimm.

It is claimed that kids are delighted by this. We didn't have any with us (thank God) but it was creepy as hell in my opinion.
Finished the first workout after vacation, it was not a session I looked forward to but I feel so good now. Squats are still a work in progress, 75 lbs and shaky legs. Bench press was ok, 70 lbs and felt good, deadlifts were the best, 2 warmup sets then a full five rep set of 135. I added two sets of back extensions and lat pulldowns at 90 lbs. I'm pretty beat right now. The plan is to continue training until the January ski trip, when I'll be gone for two weeks. I may be able to train at my cousin's gym during that time too.