Yoga and the Hellmouth

I am sitting at Starbucks drinking iced coffee after my yoga class because I figured if I’m starting the day with yoga class, I may as well go all-in on the bourgeois white lady stereotypes. I am still wearing my leggings and everything.

I hardly ever attend yoga classes in an actual studio because it’s not typically in my budget, but we have a newer studio in town that I’ve never visited before, so I’m eligible for the 30-days of unlimited yoga for $30 new member special and here we are. I think I’ll try attending as many classes as I can this month and just really soak it up while my schedule is relatively flexible.

And now allow me a brief moment of woo-woo: isn’t it incredible how when everyone in the room joins together in a collective “om” at the beginning and end of class, the way we all naturally fall into a beautifully harmonious chord? At the same time, it seems both imposible and inevitable. Collective human goodness.

On a very different note: my husband and I have finally started watching The Handmaid’s Tale. I’d been avoiding it for a long time because I’ve been feeling such a deep desire for my entertainment choices to offer me a ticket out of Cheeto Mussolini’s anti-American hellmouth. In the interest of escapism, I’ve been looking for far more soothing ways to spend my limited TV and reading time (Great British Bake-Off, Harry Potter, etc.). But CW and I were looking for a captivating show to watch together and we just decided to dive in and — man oh man — it is really gripping and wonderful storytelling but it is also terrifying. We’ve seen the first 6 episodes so far and will be caught up in time for the finale next week (I think that’s right?), so I look forward to talking about it with you, if you’re also watching, soon!

Namaste.

Advertisements

Fall Roundup

I’ve been out of the rhythm of blogging lately, which has started to get me into that state of mind where I feel like when I finally write something here, it has to be something “good” or “important” or “well wrought,” which is just not going to happen any time soon.

But whatever happened to just blathering on about life as I’m living it, huh? Let’s try some of that and see how it feels.

It's decorative gourd season!

Are you ready to reap this freaky-assed harvest?

As I write, I’m currently on a little break between classes and office hours, drinking an ice-cold can of Diet Coke from my new office mini-fridge. I’ve been wanting one of these (the fridge, not the Coke) for years, but kept on not buying one. I’d see them in Target every August as school was starting again, stacked among all the back-to-school dorm supplies, and I’d think to myself how great it would be to have one, but inevitably I’d decide to wait until they went on sale after the students moved in, and then they’d be gone.

But then, I had the sudden realization that I could ORDER one. ONLINE. From Amazon, where they have everything. What, am I new here?! I even had it delivered right to my office. I felt like a GDMFing genius, I tell you what. It’s such a pleasure to have a supply of cold drinks right here — and, even better, I have immediate access as soon as I get to campus at 7:00 AM so I can put my packed lunch in the fridge without waiting for administrative staff to get here at 7:45 and unlock the break room, which is not even on my floor, and which I may not even have time to get into before my 8:00 class. So that’s cool.

(Sorry.)

High of 70, you say? I'LL TAKE IT.

Speaking of other cool things, it’s almost like (knock on wood) fall is finally arriving here in the swamps of the Deep South. Could it be? A high of just 70 degrees today and tomorrow?

Well. A quick check of reality/the weather forecast shows it’ll be back in the 80s again in a few days, so we’d better make the most of it while we can. I’m wearing boots and a blazer and a scarf to work today, for example. Really living it up. Tomorrow we’re taking the babies to a pumpkin patch to buy some decorative gourds and take some photos and feel festive about the season. Maybe I’ll even drink a hot coffee and wear a jacket or a vest or a flannel shirt or even two of the above. (Please expect a deluge of cute babies with pumpkins in your social media tomorrow.

Roberta in action.

Next weekend, CW and I are running a local 5K with the babies and Roberta (our jogging stroller). It’ll not only be our first family 5K, but also my husband’s first road race EVER! He ran XC in high school, but hasn’t taken part in any official running events since then. I think he’s pretty excited. At the current time, my run pace is a lot slower than it was pre-pregnancy and a lot slower than CW’s pace (he’s a smidge faster than my pre-pregnancy pace, which doesn’t even seem fair since I’m “the runner,” but I’ll get over it). So I think our plan will be to have CW push the stroller and I’ll run alongside so we can go at my best pace, which will be a pleasant stroll for him. We’ll probably run 31-33 minutes, depending on how hilly the course is (I haven’t looked at it yet because I’m just trying not to activate the SRS RNR programming loop in my brain right now). If we happen to break 30 I will consider it a fall weather / race day miracle.

I suppose that’s a fair roundup. Now how are YOU?

Fitness & Food Highlights: Week 8

Last week wasn’t the greatest in terms of meeting my workout goals, but I finished strong! I took some unplanned rest days in the middle of the week because my weird sore foot (I have, like, three distinct problems bothering me with my foot off and on, some of them since the twins were born, and I don’t want to get into describing it all, but it is occasionally totally fine and occasionally totally frustrating). By the end of the week, though, I was feeling better and had a great run on Saturday and a strength session on Sunday.

file-sep-12-9-46-46-am

Here’s what went down:

Monday: Rest Day. Would have worked out if I’d been on campus, but Labor Day threw it off.

Tuesday: Ran 3 miles (31:04). I did speed intervals on the treadmill and it felt great in terms of pace and fitness! My fast intervals were easily sub 9:00, which is pretty good for me at this point! I’d planned on making it four miles, though, but my sore toe problem forced me to stop earlier than I wanted.

Wednesday – Friday: Rest Days (foot issues)

Saturday: Ran 4 miles (44:42). This was my best outdoor run to date in terms of distance, pace, and attitude. The slightly cooler weather helps me SO MUCH. The last mile of this route is normally quite grueling and I have to take sad walking intervals, but on this day I had no problem powering through despite the hills and humidity. I even cranked up the pace to around 9:15 for the last quarter mile — totally surprised myself!

Sunday: Body Pump Class (60:00). Body Pump is my favorite group fitness class BY FAR. I have so much trouble motivating to do strength training on my own, but I love doing it in this type of setting. I’m not able to make any of the weekday classes due to scheduling, so I was just DELIGHTED to find out that they added one on Sunday afternoons and I can make it work. I got a little overzealous on the squat track, though, and my legs are sure complaining today — in a good way, though.

file-sep-12-9-46-24-am

Food Highlights: My husband’s perfect poached eggs, brie and grapes, and all the prosecco we drank while celebrating some good news.

Goals for the Coming Week: Weigh in. I haven’t done that in a while and I always get nervous about it. Better just get it over with. Don’t exacerbate sore foot. Stay mindful of my eating plan and calorie goals (this has been tough lately).

Fitness & Food Highlights: Weeks 6-7

I didn’t get a chance to do my update last week, and now it’s almost Thursday of this week, so I’m very behind in my critical F&F posting. I’m sure you’re all on the edges of your seats. (Being very generous using the plural you, there.)

At any rate, I have had a good couple of weeks. I weighed in last week and am now down a total of 15 pounds since I started this mission. It feels good. My clothes are fitting better (some pants are quite loose now!) and I can see I’m making progress.

Here’s what went down the past couple of weeks:

Fitness Goals: I wanted to figure out a rough workout schedule for the semester, which I think I have done. So far, it’s gym cardio on Mondays, run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays — at least once with the stroller– and more gym cardio on Sundays. The problem is that I am not going to be able to fit in a body pump class and I haven’t been pushing myself to do any other strength workouts, such as barre3. I need to get that back into the rotation. I’m going to try to figure that out this week.

Monday: Elliptical (30:00). A shorter workout because I had to get home in time to give my husband a ride to pick up his car from the shop. Still worth the effort to get moving!

Tuesday – Friday: Rest days due to back pain and scheduling issues. Wednesdays and Fridays are rest days anyway, so I only mised two workouts this week.

Saturday: Ran 4 miles (48:09). It felt hot and grueling even though I went as early in the morning as I could manage. I took quite a few walking breaks in the last mile, but I got it done.

Sunday: Elliptical (45:00). My usual Sunday afternoon cardio at the gym while watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Monday: Elliptical (45:00). See above.

Tuesday: Ran 2.8 miles (31:40). Evening run. I haven’t run in the evening in YEARS (I used to do this on the reg in college, but not since then). I really don’t mind it, except for the very full after-dinner feeling. It was a good way to fit in a workout on a busy day! Unfortunately, the days are getting shorter and I won’t have many more chances to run after the babies’ bedtime (due to it being dark too early).

Wednesday: Rest Day.

Thursday: Ran 3 miles in the neighborhood with the stroller (36:54). Stroller runs in the summer heat and humidity and hills, y’all. They’re BRUTAL. But it got done.

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday: Ran 4 miles (45:33). Best outdoor run I’ve had in quite some time. The weather was just a touch cooler and less humid on this day, and I could feel an immediate difference. I normally have to stop and walk in the last (hard, uphill) mile of this route, but not this time!

Sunday: Elliptical (45:00).

Untitled Untitled

Food Highlights: Food has involved quite a few things I normally would avoid while trying to lose weight. We had a friend over for pizza, for example, and he brought fancy gelato. Which I very much enjoyed. I had a couple of days of over-indulgent snacking for various reasons. But I also ate really well and mostly kept to my moderate plan. Highlights were the aforementioned pizza and gelato, my BBQ tofu salad, and this stuffed baked sweet potato with arugula and a poached egg. I am really enjoying arugula right now, dressed simply with olive oil, salt, and lemon juice. Recommended.

Goals for the Coming Week: Work in a strength or barre3 session; do at least 3 cardio sessions; don’t exacerbate sore toe.

Fitness & Food Highlights: Week 4

This week was pretty successful! I did not manage to weigh in at all, so I don’t know if I had any results in the numbers, but my overall fitness and food goals fit in nicely with regular life, which is its own success. This is becoming a nice routine — and of course, fall semester is about to come along and throw a wrench in it! We’ll see how that goes.

Here’s how everything went down last week:

Fitness goals: Run ten miles (yes!), do at least one strength workout (yes!), workout at least 5 days (yes!)

Running? Again? Really?

My workout buddies. This week, it’s E who is less than enthused about the early-morning stroller ride. 

Monday: Elliptical (45:00). Boring, but effective. I would always rather be running, but I am very prone to injury if I run more than three days per week, so here we are.

Tuesday: Ran 3 miles with the twins in the jogging stroller (38:50). Last week I made it my goal to get to three miles with the stroller and I did! I had some long sections of walking (uphill), but the average pace wasn’t TOO terrible, considering the circumstances.

Wednesday: Rest Day.

Thursday: Ran 3 miles in the neighborhood (no stroller) (~36:00). This was just a hard run. I have been running mostly indoors (in the air conditioning) on a treadmill, so real outdoor running is still a bit rough right now. I expect that to improve.

Friday: Barre3 video (30:00). Some day I’ll start doing the longer videos. This was not that day.

Saturday: Rest Day.

Sunday: Ran 5 miles on the treadmill (54:00). I beat last week’s 5-mile time by over a minute, so while it is still a much slower pace than I am used to, it is getting better.

Salad

Food Highlights: The above southwestern chopped salad with cilantro-lime-yogurt dressing, my chana masala, all the iced coffee.

Goals for the coming week: The week will be busy and stressful: classes are starting and we’re interviewing nannies. I hope to keep up with at least 4 total workouts, run at least 8 miles, and do at least one barre3 workout.

Fitness & Food Highlights: Week 3

Happy Monday, friends.

This morning, I attempted to start my Monday as I have so many Mondays before: with a workout at the campus rec center, a shower, and then a day at the office working on work stuff. ALAS! I was thwarted! It’s the week between semesters, so I should have known better, but I failed to check the rec center schedule and arrived there at 7:45 this morning, dressed in my most fashionable spandex and ready to work out, only to find that they would not be open until 11:00. Well, shit.

So there I was. My only real option was to head to my office and work, planning to return to the gym at the end of the day instead. Not wanting to waddle up to my department wearing workout gear, however, I stopped on the way there at the student center to change clothes in the bathroom.  I had not showered (because I would have done that after my workout, of course) and I didn’t have any of the usual beauty/hygeine items with me because they were in my locker, at the gym, which was not open.

As I write this post, I am in my office, unshowered, with greasy hair, no deodorant,  no makeup, and no workout. And I had to get dressed in a bathroom stall. How very, very Monday of you, MONDAY.

Well. Let’s what happened last week, shall we?

Fitness goals: Run ten miles (YES!), do at least one strength workout (no!), workout at least 5 days (yes!)

Monday: Elliptical (45:00). I have been watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. while on the elliptical. A++, would recommend.

Tuesday: Ran 2.1 miles with the twins in the jogging stroller (26:00). I improved a bit on this jogging stroller run, running more of the total route. The heat-humidity-hills combo is totally killer, but I am making it work.  Can I get three miles next time?

Wednesday: Rest Day.

Thursday: Ran 3 miles on the treadmill (32:22). This was, I believe, my fastest 3 miler postpartum! I ran the first and last miles at an easy pace and did intervals during the middle mile, one minute fast + one minute slow. Fast pace was about 9:30 and slow pace was…I forget. 10:30, maybe? Felt pretty good!

Friday: Arc Trainer (20:00) and inclined walking on the treadmill (30:00). First time trying the Arc Trainer, which was not my favorite. Something about the movement feels a little herky-jerky to me. I’m not sure what the difference is between this and the elliptical exactly, or if one is supposed to be “better” in some way, but this was not my favorite (which is why I only stayed on for 20 minutes).

Saturday: Rest Day.

Sunday: Ran 5 miles on the treadmill (55:00). Woo hoo! A pretty nice new postpartum personal distance record (PDR)! This felt really good. I slowly increased the pace for the first four miles (while still keeping it relatively relaxed) and then slowed back down during mile five. This is the run that brought my weekly total up to the 10 miles I’ve been shooting for, too, so it was a double win.

Thai tofu salad with zucchini instead of lettuce 👍Latergram from Saturday night. Pear and Gorgonzola ravioli.

Food Highlights from the week: My Thai tofu and peanut sauce served salad-style with this shredded zucchini and carrots. So good, and the leftovers were just as nice. Also, I had a lovely pear and gorgonzola ravioli for dinner Saturday when CW and I went out (taking the babies with us, because we don’t have our shit together enough yet to get a babysitter). Lovely and delicious and probably way too many calories, but enh. I stuck to my goals the rest of the week.

This week’s weigh-in revealed a 1.6-pound loss, for a total of 7 pounds down so far. Feeling pleased. Let’s see if I can keep the streak alive this week!

Food & Fitness Highlights: Week 2

Good morning, internet! I am here to report what I’ve been up to in the world of fitness and food over the past week. I’m experimenting with doing this type of post every Monday, so here goes!

Fitness and Exercise Goals this Week: Five workouts per week (yes!), run 10 miles per week (still no!), do at least two strength or barre3 workouts, i.e. one more than last week (yes!).

I keep posting that one of my goals has been to run ten miles in the week, and I keep not reaching it because I’m only running two days a week. I will not reach this goal unless I run three days per week, which is what I normally prefer to do anyway. The reason I’ve only been running twice is that I swapped out one of my normal run days for a spin class. That’ll change in the coming weeks, though, since the gym’s group fit schedule is changing with the end of the summer term. Look for 10-mile running weeks in the near future!

File Aug 01, 10 27 49 AM

My theme song for the week. Every now and then, Britney Spears is just the thing.

Monday: Inclined walking on the treadmill (30:00) and spin class (45:00).

Tuesday: Barre3 video (40:00). This was my first time doing a 40-minute barre3 workout since the babies were born. Felt good! It’s a rush to try to get in a longer workout + shower during the babies’ morning nap, which is usually only an hour, but it happened on this day!

Wednesday: Rest Day.

Thursday: Ran 4 miles on the treadmill (44:00). Treated this like a track workout and ran the first mile as a warmup, then 4×400 fast with 400 recoveries, then a mile cool down. “Fast” pace is 10:00/mile, currently. Could do better than that!

Friday: Body Pump class (60:00) + Elliptical (30:00). This was the last body pump class of the summer! Boo. Just as I was getting into a good groove, too. I use the university rec center gym, and they have limited hours and no group fitness classes during final exam week and the times between semesters — so groupfit won’t be available again until August 15th.

Saturday: Rest Day.

Sunday: Ran 3.65 miles on the treadmill (40:00). I had intended to do four miles, but my foot was too sore to go on in the end. I’ve been having issues with my right foot since the babies were born, and it was just acting up quite a bit on this day. Not sure what that’s about and hoping it will just magically go away. Hmm.

Currently obsessed with: fresh dill

Food Highlights: Greek salad and these vaguely falafel-ish things I made, homemade pizza Saturday night, so much iced coffee.

This week I weighed myself at the gym on Thursday and I am VERY PLEASED to report a 5-lb loss over the past two weeks. In retrospect, when I weighed in two weeks ago, I must have been retaining a lot of water due to PMS (my cycle just came back after weaning, but I didn’t know that at the time). So this probably wasn’t “real” (fat) weight loss, but it sure is a relief to see the scale moving in the right direction again in accordance with the effort I’ve been putting in.