Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here Comes the Pain...

I took a week off from my exercise regimen last week because of all the preparing, last-minute shopping, candy making, and traveling for Christmas. I didn’t intend to take the week off; it just kind of happened.

So yesterday I got my mojo back and went to the gym after work. I did three miles (~5K) of running on the treadmill (plus my walking 5 min warm-up and 5 min cool-down), and included some speed drills to boost the heart rate. It was a good run; I felt great when I got home.

This morning, not so much.

My legs are already starting to get sore from last night. I can only imagine how sore they will be by this afternoon when I start to approach the 24-hour post workout mark. I’m supposed to do strength training tonight with Brittnee; I sure hope we concentrate on upper body.

It occurs to me that this may be my lot for the rest of my life if I want to stay fit and healthy. In order to build muscle, you have to tear muscle down so it will rebuild stronger; that causes soreness. Does this mean that I am going to be in pain pretty much my entire life?

Awesome.

Now, I will admit that sore muscle pain is much, much less unpleasant than the constant, crippling knee pain I endured while I was very heavy. It is wonderful to be able to rise from a seated position using my legs instead of having to pull up with my arms. It is a beautiful thing to be able to go up and down stairs without clutching the handrail for dear life to try to take some of the weight off my dysfunctional knees. I’ll take workout soreness over patella femoral pain syndrome any day.

So, I guess I can live with some muscle soreness. Maybe once I get to a good, fully-fit place, maintenance won’t be so difficult, and I won’t have so much soreness. Either way, it’s totally worth it.

Totally.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Working Post Christmas Day



...I would just rather be home today.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmastime!

Christmas always totally stresses me out until I have everything finished. I complain incessantly for weeks, declaring my hatred for shopping, mourning my lack of time to finish anything, and decrying my inability to make the house look festive. I am the biggest, baddest Grinch on the planet.

Then I get everything done.

All of a sudden, Christmas becomes the magical and exciting time it's supposed to be! I can't wait to travel up to Kentucky to see my family (this year I'm staying overnight at my brother Wymon's house, and it's going to be so much fun!). Watching the kids open their presents is as much of a treat for me as it is for them. Christmas Eve breakfast with my Mom, brothers, sisters-in-law, niece and nephews is always a wonderful time of bonding, laughing, and conversing. It's usually the only time of the year that we are all together, and it is just wonderful. I love my family so very much. No one in the world has a family like mine; we are a truly unique and wonderful group.

Then Julia and I travel back to our house to sleep, and wake up at home on Christmas morning. I always love watching Julia open her presents. She's growing up, but the excitement of getting gifts is still there. She is so gracious and appreciative; giving to her is a true joy.

So, a happy, happy Christmas to all my readers. I hope you have a peaceful, loving, and rewarding holiday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Julia-ism

The other day, as I was driving Julia to school, we heard a commercial for Kay Knives.

Me: Kay Knives? Never heard of it.

Julia: (to the tune of Kay Jewelers commercial) Every kill begins with Kay...

Where does she get this quick wit of hers?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Great Start to a Birthday Lunch

Okay, so I have a birthday story.

Best guy friend, Andy, wanted to meet Julia and me at Hooters to buy us dinner for my birthday. So we decided to meet at 3:00 (late lunch/early dinner).

I got almost there and I ran. out. of. gas.

I am a moron.

I had forgotten that my car dinged at me on the way home from KY on the previous night. You get one warning with my car; after that you have to actually *look* at the gas gauge.

So I had to call him on his cell and ask him to come get me to take me to a gas station. He was very gracious about it; if it had been him calling me, I would have LMAO.

So, he pulls into the parking lot where I had coasted in, and I get out, and as I'm walking to his car, I slide on a big sheet of invisible ice and bust my right knee into oblivion.

I had not been drinking at this point.

He still didn't laugh at me*. He is truly a great guy. Maybe a saint. I would have been howling.

So I hobble into his car, we go get the gas, and on the way back to my car, we see a black hearse pass us in the oncoming traffic.

He looks at me and says, "This is not a good sign. Oh, look, locusts."

Happy birthday to me.



*Of course, Julia was cracking up at this point. She is, after all, my offspring.

Addendum: I ordered a grilled chicken breast spun in 911 sauce. The fact that I did not get the breaded and fried chicken wings is huge for me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday Julia-ism

Julia: Dude, listen to my bellybutton!

Me: ...

Yeah. Don't even ask for an explanation.

Friday, December 5, 2008

'Tis the Season for Giving!

I've decided to set individual sponsorship levels for my friends who would like to donate to my fundraising efforts for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Levels are as follows:

Nena Obviously Didn't Think Anyone Would Donate This Much Sponsor
$5000 – I will shave "Thank you [your name]" on the side of my head before race day. Or whatever you want me to shave onto my head, as long as it fits and won't get me arrested. If I get arrested because you wanted something lewd on the side of my head, you have to post bail but honestly it might be totally worth it because I mean how many people can say that they were responsible for a friend who was raising money for a charity getting thrown in jail? I will take a photo of my mutilated scalp and send it to you, in case you can't make it down to Nashville for the race to see my humiliation in person. This is for individuals only; businesses get their own set of TNT sponsored benefits for this amount of money. And no fair getting together with other people to raise the money. This is limited to one sponsor, because my head isn't big enough for any more than that. So act quickly.

I am the Bomb Because I Totally Donated a Buttload of Money to a Great Cause Sponsor
$100 – I will write "[your name] TOTALLY ROCKS" down the side of my leg in purple Sharpie on race day morning. You'll receive a photo of my defaced leg to remind you forever how awesome you are. I can do this for up to six sponsors, if I write one down the front, side, and back of each leg. And you don't get to dictate the color because purple will match my jersey and if I'm going to be defaced with permanent ink then at least I should have the dignity of being color coordinated. But if you really want a different color, throw in another twenty bucks and you've got it.

I Seriously Rock With My Giving but My Sponsorship Title is Lame and Nena Needs to be More Creative Sponsor
$50 – I'm running out of ideas here; how about I write your name in puffy paint on my jersey? I'll use the glittery kind. Glitter rocks.

Giving is Cool. I'm Cool. So I Gave.
$20 – I will be forever grateful and I'll mention you and how awesome you are to everybody I know. I'll brag about you on Facebook, MySpace, and my blog. And on the Weight Watchers Message Boards. And in comments on blogs of people who have no idea who I am. And in casual conversations with random coworkers. Everyone will be really sick of hearing about you, actually.

So, since I know that you are totally cool because you're reading my blog, go to my Team in Training homepage and make a donation. It will make you happy. It will make me happy. Everybody wins.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday Julia-ism

It makes me sad to do the Julia-ism this week, because the original -ism inspiration, Pablo (Jose) at Lindsey's Rantings, passed away last week. He was very young, and I hurt deeply for his family and friends.

I have some Julia-isms to post, but I am going to take this opportunity to offer condolences to Lindsey and to Jose's family. I am so sorry for your loss.

Yes.

So, tonight I had a monthly evaluation at the gym. It went well. Here is the rundown. Since I started:
  • I've lost 9 pounds (I know my ticker says 12; I had lost some before starting at the gym)
  • I've reduced my body fat by 3.4%
  • 1.25 inches lost around shoulders
  • 2.75 inches lost in my chest and back
  • 4.5 inches lost around my waist (WOW)
  • 1.25 inches lost in my hips
  • .5 inch lost in my calf

I've been at this for four months. It is slow going, but I am so happy to see progress. I don't mind that it is slow; as long as it goes in the right direction. I have plenty of time to reach my goals. The important thing is that I stay focused to the end, and then stay focused to remain healthy.

Besides the measureable progress listed above, I have made intangible progress as well. I can now run almost 3 1/2 miles, with some hills included. I'm running 3-4 times a week; I'm strength training 2-3 times a week; I'm doing two hard spinning classes every week. My resting heart rate has gone down about 5 beats per minute. I am healthier than I was in my twenties. I am training to run a half-marithon, and I am envisioning myself training to run a full marathon next year. I am as proud of these things as I am of the visible physical changes.

Thanks to all who take the time to read my blog. It motivates me a lot to know that people are keeping tabs on me!