30 October 2011

Gym: 30 October

I joined a gym, finally. I didn't go back to my old gym, cheap and awesome though it is--I won't be downtown taking lunch breaks nearby, and I know I won't commute to it just for exercise (although an argument could be made that I'd go there to visit my boy, whose office is near my old gym, but I'm realistic--he'll be busy doing that whole working-while-at-work thing).

So I joined the one close to our apartment yesterday, even though the monthly fee is triple that of my old gym. Although I'm blogging activity, being slightly more conscious about eating, and starting to be physically active, I feel I need even more than that, and the collective fitness environment of a gym is encouraging to me.

Today, the beau and I went to the gym together--and not the one near the apartment even, because the only thing it doesn't have is a steam room, and he wanted to relax in one. So, we trekked downtown--and neither one of us brought flip flops for the steam room, so we never went in. Ah well.

I did 30 minutes on the stationary bike, which ended up being about half the distance and half the calculated calories that the beau did in an hour. I shoved that right in his face, but then again, he can go for hours and hours and hours if he'd like; I quit at 30 because I wanted to die.

So I went to this fun ab machine (click for iPhone picture) where you kneel on a pad (either straight or angled to one side) that's on a track and crunch your abs to pull your knees up close to your chest. I did 1 set with 10 reps on each side (angled the pad to the left and then the right) to work the sides of my abs. I hope my "home gym" has this doohickie--I enjoyed it!

Then I did some chest presses, 2 sets of 12 reps at 70 pounds, followed by lat pulldowns, 2 sets of 10 reps at 100 pounds. The last time I did lat pulldowns was 8 August--same sets and reps, but 132 pounds! I felt I could have done more weight today, but I wasn't going to push myself. I can build up to it again, I'm fine with that!

I'm glad I was conservative with the lat pulldown weight--my next machine was the overhead press. I squeezed out 1 set of 8 reps at 70 pounds, then 1 more set of 8 reps at 60 pounds, and I felt wiped--the arm exercises were done for the day.

But David wasn't--he wanted a few more minutes (to get his 1 hour) on the bike--so I looked around and found the rowing machine, which I have only used once or twice with my personal trainer at my previous gym. I did 30 seconds, 60 seconds, and another 60 seconds. Yeah, I think I was supposed to go continuously--but damn, I'm going to feel that one!

So, a 1 hour workout, some good aerobics and weight training, and a fun activity with the boy. I felt I earned all of those hush puppies I just fried up for us for dinner.

24 October 2011

Cycling: 23 October

Yesterday, David and I went for a ride together around Rock Creek Park. We did something a little different from the last time we rode together: I rode his road bike, and he rode my trail bike. The road bike was a lot easier--I could have rode much longer than the 11.1 miles we did, especially because we stopped for about half an hour at a nice picnic area near the creek. But I'm perfectly okay with short trips! By December, hopefully, I'll start being comfortable doing 20-mile rides in one go--without too much complaining!

23 October 2011

Cycling: 21 October

On Friday, I biked a bit--6.91 miles over the course of the day, in several trips: the first leg was at 4:30 AM to get to the kitchen for work, the second leg was to get to the restaurant for orientation for my new second job, the third part was to have lunch with David, and the fourth was to get home, with a brief stop-over at Mr. Yogato to pick up my hops plant and put it in a pot here at the apartment.

So, it wasn't a continuous 7 miles, but I got some cycling in, and that's what counts!

17 October 2011

Activity: 17 October

Although I didn't end up going out biking during the beautiful day we had today, I went for a nice walk tonight while David was preparing for his classes later this week. So, I used the time to enjoy the outdoors, make a few calls, and get some calories burned.

I walked 4.82 miles in a little under an hour and a half--that's 18 minutes per mile, or 3.33 miles per hour. Not exactly marathon speed, but it was a nice stroll around some of the neighbourhoods bordering Rock Creek Park and the National Zoo.

Cycling: 15 October

On Saturday, I got a good 10.8 miles in on my bike, as well as 2 hours of squatting while weeding. My quads still feel a little weak from my abysmal 25 miles last Sunday, but I feel good about how it's going--I have biked measurable distances twice in one week, and I've done other activity as well. I am thinking about going biking today, but I'm allowing computer troubles to keep me at home. I want to develop a free-weight routine to do with my beau during the winter, and I wanted to start working on the videos.

10 October 2011

Cycling: 9 October

It was a beautiful weekend: so the beau and I headed out to Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley for a relaxing break.

We brought our bikes and decided to do a short, 25-ish mile ride from a book my boy's previous assistant gave him with bike trails in Virginia.

And I think I made a good show. I did 24 miles--we added a bit of distance by going the wrong way after stopping at the cafe a little after mile 17. During that break, my legs started feeling like they wouldn't hold my weight (and, in fact, my left leg buckled a little). At about mile 22 or 23, I made David go ahead to get the car (5 miles away). I was slowing down dramatically because my legs were not interested in working anymore, and I was in such low gears and going so slowly going up hills I feared I would just fall right over. After David went ahead, I rested for a bit and then rode another mile and a half or so before he came with the car.

I may have insanely muscular legs, but they don't have endurance. Still, I'm proud of the 24 miles I did in the beautiful, hilly area around the Shenandoah River. It was at least 20 miles more than I have done in one go... Well, almost ever. Except for that one group ride in Saudi Arabia, where the land was completely flat.

Hills kick my butt! But if I want to prepare for AIDS/LifeCycle in June, I have to get used to them--one day of the ride is the "Quadbuster." I'm not looking forward to that ride...

06 October 2011

Cycling: 6 October

I spent an hour cumulative wandering around on my bike today. Okay, so I stopped every 15 minutes for various reasons, but it was still an hour (even if I only ended up clocking 8 miles... It's a start!).

This weekend, hopefully, David and I will head out west an hour or so to some nice mountainous scenery, where we'll go for a half-day trek on our bikes. That will be awesome!

04 October 2011

Excuses: 3 October

Three days of activity and I fell off the wagon. But it wasn't my fault--it rained on my day to cycle! And then the next day was, well, I think I got sick for a few days. And then it was DC State Fair, and it was all cold and wet and stuff. Then I was busy and tired.

My excuse today? No need for one! I biked downtown, and I'll get a few miles in throughout the day. I've been starting to consider eating more calorically and financially thoughtfully, too.

To encourage me to keep it up, however, beyond this blog and gathering around me people who encourage me to be physically active and nutritionally reasonable, I have decided to see whether I can switch my registration for AIDS/LifeCycle 2012 from Roadie to Cyclist. Earlier this year, I went to California (from Saudi Arabia) to volunteer while David cycled for seven days from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We registered for the event this year, too, but he kept nudging me to switch to be a cyclist, even though I'm incredibly intimidated by the entire idea. So... I e-mailed some of the coordinators yesterday. Let's see what happens!

In the meantime, I'll try to bike a bit more--at least twice a week for now (winter is coming, after all). If I get a gym membership, I could perhaps use a stationary bike (which I actually think I enjoy for longer rides, anyway, because I can watch Maangchi cook delicious food) a few times a week, too/instead.

But you! You can help too. I need to raise $3,000 to be able to cycle in the event (which really costs a heck of a lot of money when you have to feed, house, and entertain about 3,000 cyclists, volunteers, and camp "followers" around all of California). So check out my donation page and be generous!