Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Okay, this post may be a little heavy for the normal tastes of my readership. Hopefully we’ll be back to fun tomorrow.

I didn’t go to boot camp this morning. The primary reason? I had too much to drink at the Renaissance Festival yesterday, and couldn’t make myself get out of bed at 4:30.

This tells me that I need to stop drinking alcohol. Not cut back; not stop for a little while. Stop completely. Today I took the MAST test, and it indicated that I show early signs of problem drinking. So I’m going to stop before I’m showing full-blown signs.

Some of the benefits I expect to see from cutting out alcohol:
  • I’ll sleep better
  • I’ll wake up better
  • I’ll have clearer memories of celebrations/date nights/general fun stuff
  • Trivia nights and pub nights will be a lot cheaper (the pub has awesome live Irish music; I’ll continue to go but from now on I’ll be the designated driver)
  • I’ll probably start to drop weight; alcoholic beverages not only have a lot of calories, but they also dull your “I’m full” trigger
  • I will be able to point and laugh at my coworkers when they get stupid drunk at the Christmas party

Just to be clear, this isn’t a big huge life-saving decision or anything. I’m not an alcoholic; I haven’t hit rock bottom; I’m just taking a proactive step to do something to improve my life. I’m also not going to be one of those non-drinkers who lectures people around them for enjoying a drink. This is my deal, not anyone else’s.

Oh, and a secondary reason I skipped boot camp this morning? Today was running, and the thought of running outside with the swarms of godforsaken cicadas dive-bombing me absolutely made me shudder. They should be gone in a week or two, thankfully.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It’s Official. Sgt. Ken is a Madman.

This morning was another two-fer. This time, half was upstairs with Sgt. Ken trying to kill us, and half was downstairs with Debbie trying to do the same.

Upstairs was an obstacle course/circuit, similar to those we’ve done in the past. The whole course was very, very tough, but a lot of fun. Well, the last station wasn't fun. It was resistance-band jumping jacks. Fifty of them. This occurred right after the crab-crawl. My shoulders and I are no longer on speaking terms.

Downstairs was a timed circuit. It was a challenge all its own; not as intensely aerobic, but still high cardio, and very fatiguing. I was very happy when it was time for cool down.

I’m going tonight to the boot camp at the gym; we’ll see if I survive a double-up day.

My food journal for yesterday wound up looking pretty good, and I expect today to be good as well. The real test will be tomorrow. Thursdays are trivia, beer, and wings night. It is possible to enjoy TB&W while staying within acceptable parameters; but I don't know whether I'm up to the challenge yet.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Don't Challenge Me to a Buttkicking Contest

This morning’s boot camp kicked my butt; but I kicked its butt right back, so it’s all good.

We did a two-fer workout today; half of the workout was accumulators with Candace, and half was plyometrics with Sgt. Ken. “Plyometrics” is a fancy word for set of exercises that makes you want to fall down and die right there on the workout floor. My arms felt like they were made of warm gelatin for hours after we were finished; which was weird, because it seemed like I was working my lower body and cardio for most of the time. I guess it was just that the upper body work we did do really smoked me.

It’s really nice how much I actually enjoy boot camp now. Even when we do a super hard, high-cardio workout like today that keeps me exhausted to the point of pain, I’m actually enjoying it while I’m there. Up until recently, I was not enjoying the workouts themselves at all; I only enjoyed how great I felt afterwards. I’m really not sure how or when the change happened. Perhaps it’s like when hostages just give up fighting and being scared and instead start to identify with their captors. I’ve developed the fitness equivalent of Stockholm syndrome.

On a related note, I started keeping my food journal yesterday. For most of the day, I did really well; I overate in the evening, but it was real food with nutritional value, so it was still better than the mindless junk eating I’ve been prone to do in the past. Keeping the journal isn’t going to be an instant fix, but it will help me see patterns and problems, and hopefully I’ll figure out ways to fix them. I’ve already screwed up this morning; I had two McDonalds sausage burritos for breakfast. They’re small, but they’re loaded with calories from fat and simple carbs. I do have a healthy lunch and snack prepared, and Ted and I are going shopping for something healthy to make for dinner after we go to the gym. I’m going to do spinning for about an hour while he works with his trainer. I figure the extra hour of cardio will help offset the bad breakfast.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Super Badass

Warning: This post will contain profanity, both in attempts to be humorous and to illustrate frustration. If you are offended by the F-word, you probably shouldn't read this. Or you can pretend I'm saying "fluffy."

Today I had a choice. Bad-ass accumulator workout, or Super Bad-ass accumulator workout.

I chose Super Bad-ass. And I fucking rocked it. I had to do alternate exercises for the shoulder push-ups because of my shoulder injury, but other than that I KICKED ITS FUCKING ASS. I'm telling you, I was awesome today. I shocked myself. I felt great. I felt strong. I felt like I was indeed a SUPER BAD-ASS.

(here's where the profanity gets bad. If you were offended in the beginning, stop now. It's pretty rampant from here on; you've been warned)

So why the fuck am I still so goddamn fat?

I looked around the room today at boot camp. There are ladies in there who look a fuckzillion times better than me, who I can absolutely out-boot camp hands down. The young, thin, fit-looking rookies struggling to complete the normal bad-ass routine look great; they look healthy, trim, and adorable. And here I am, rocking the MOTHERFUCK out of the super bad-ass routine, and I look like goddamn Jaba the Hut. It isn't fair; it sucks donkey ass. I am frustrated and sick of being SO MOTHERFUCKING FAT AFTER MONTHS OF WORKING MY ASS OFF.

Here's the thing. Yeah, I haven't really done a good job of changing my eating habits. But keeping the same goddamn eating habits, and adding the un-fucking-reasonable amount of exercise I've added to my life should result in more than FOUR FUCKING POUNDS IN TWO MONTHS, SHOULDN'T IT?

I mean really. Shouldn't it?

It's not like I increased my caloric intake. If I'm burning that many more calories while eating exactly the same, how the hellfire am I not losing weight?

I know that I have to get on track with my eating. I know that's part of it. I'm anxiously awaiting the book Gayle is sending me (look in the comments and you'll know what I'm talking about there). But it just makes me want to scream that I am getting so strong, and so fit, and I still make Kirstie Alley look like Kate Moss. It is infuriating.

Second PT

Sorry about the blogging lapses. Things have been busy both at work and at home.

At boot camp, we did a BPT on Tuesday. In case you are a new reader or for some weird reason you don't commit every detail of my blog to your long term memory, here is how I scored last month:

Push-ups (2 min): 23
Crunches (2 min): 109
1 Mile Run: 8:32
Total score (possible 300): 281

Not bad for a fat girl. Push-ups were strictly from toes, BTW. No girlie push-ups allowed.

On Tuesday, we had another BPT. I was a little nervous about this one; not because I didn't think I had gotten stronger (I knew I had gotten stronger), but because I had hurt my shoulder in the Warrior Dash. I don't know how I hurt it, but it's definitely an injury pain, not a soreness pain. So I wasn't confident about how the push-ups would go. Everything else I felt pretty good about.

After a good vigorous warm-up, we divided into squads. I was the scorekeeper in my squad (the person with the clicker-counter thingy). Push-ups were first. Everyone in my squad did awesome. We were on fire. Then it was my turn.

"All I'm hoping for is to beat last month - if I do 24, I'll be happy."

"You're going to rock this! You'll do 50!"

I thought my teammates had way too much confidence in me. Turns out? They had just about the right amount of confidence in me. I did 51.


For those who have just started reading, when I first started boot camp in February I was unable to do even a single push-up from my toes, and could barely complete a scant few from my knees. I was happy with my push-up score.

Next was crunches. We were pressed for time, so we all got down and did them together and counted on our own, reporting on the honor system. I did 149. Which is great; but I could have done 150 IF I HADN'T RUN OUT OF TIME! I was milliseconds from getting an even 150. While 149 is still 40 more than I did last time, it was maddening that I didn't get the nice, round number.

Then we ran the mile. It's a nice, mostly flat mile route; but for some reason I was having a bit of a tough time. I had to slow to a walk a couple of times. At the home stretch, the most awesome Jimmy Olander came to pace me in. He encouraged me to really push the last little bit, and I came in at 8:50. Slower than last month, but still under 9 minutes (thanks to Jimmy!).

I'm not sure whether I scored a perfect 300 or not; my slower run might not have scored a full 100. But I know I got 100 in crunches for sure, and I think I probably got 100 in push-ups this time. So we'll see if 8:50 is fast enough for me to get a full 300. It may not be; but that's okay. It will be better next time.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Am a Warrior (Again)

Blogger has been down for maintenance, so I didn't post an entry about Thursday's boot camp. It was awesome; but I have other stuff to blog about tonight, so that one's just going to have to be skipped.

On Sunday, Ted and I participated in the Warrior Dash in Mountain City, Georgia. It is a 5K race with an incredibly fun obstacle course. We did the race last year as well, but this year was better. This year I wore a costume.

We arrived at the race site and got all checked in, and had a little time before our wave to check out this year’s obstacles. There were several of the same from last year, but I saw one new obstacle that had me a bit terrified. Last year, the wall we had to scale was leaning over at about a 30° angle, so holding the rope and walking up it was no sweat. This year, the twelve-foot wall was standing straight up. This might present a problem.

I didn’t have time to ponder this too much because as I was standing there being nervous, a man with one arm and a prosthetic leg approached and scaled that very wall. You can see him at the top in the photo above. It was amazing. He’s my hero.

Fast forward to our starting time. We’re at the start corral, and the starting torches flame up. Ted and I start off at a nice jogging clip; fortunately for me, we were being paced somewhat by the crowds ahead of us, so Ted wasn’t able to take off and leave me right away (he can outrun me like crazy). I’m not sure how far it was to the first obstacle, I’m guessing around a mile.

The first obstacle was wading through cold, muddy, waist-to-chest-high lake water. Not terribly challenging, and I only had to pull two piranhas off me when I got out.

Next was crawling over junkyard vehicles and high-stepping through tires. This obstacle was slow and muddy, but again, not terribly physically challenging.

Next was the Barricade Breakdown. We had to alternately maneuver over walls and then under barbed wire blockades. This one was a little tougher for me. The walls were high enough that I couldn’t straddle them; there was some work involved in getting over them. Getting under the barbed wire blockades wasn’t bad as long as you weren’t afraid of getting muddy. I went under about half of them on my belly and about half on my butt.

Then was the twelve foot wall. Ted scaled it as if it were nothing; I didn’t make it. Because of a combination of my terror of heights, my lack of confidence in my upper body strength, and the pain in my knees, I couldn’t climb the wall. I walked around it. I hate that I skipped an obstacle. Before the Tennessee Warrior Dash in September, I plan to have Joint Fluid Therapy injections in my knees, so hopefully there will be nothing to stop me from scaling the wall at that one, because I can overcome fear, BITCHES.

Next there was the hill covered with tires. It was just a matter of good foot placement. Not bad, and quite fun.

After that was the cargo net wall. This year, I OWNED the cargo net wall. I climbed to the top, crossed over, and found my footing to climb right back down. Last year this one was really tough for me; but this year I did great.

Next was the cargo net crossover. Basically it was a short platform with a cargo net top, and we had to get across it on the net. Some people balanced on the ropes and walked across; I used the bear-crawl method (thanks to boot camp, those muscles were trained up!).

Next was a run through the woods. It was a hiking trail, lots of uphill and steep downhill, and it was great. We walked a lot of it, but I wound up running more than I expected. This is where Ted and I met our new friend, Krista. I love the camaraderie and mutual excitement at races like this!

Next was “Blackout,” which was a structure we had to crawl under to get out the other side. It was covered with black plastic, and it was low enough that there was no ducking-and-walking. It was belly crawl or nothing. Ted banged his head pretty badly on one of the support beams, but we all made it through.

After that was the most fun obstacle of all – the big slide! Giant sheet of plastic on a hill being sprayed with water; you get down it however you desire. I went down head first on my belly. It was a blast, until I realized how fast I was going, and I didn’t know what was at the bottom after the plastic stopped (mud would be okay; but if it were gravel or rough terrain, that would have been bad). Fortunately, they were prepared for people like me who don’t think things through, and there was a hay barricade at the bottom to stop us.

After the slide, it was straight to the mud pit. Again, there was barbed wire to get under, but this time we were in a giant mud puddle. The barbed wire was high enough that if a participant wanted to, they could walk across and just duck under them; but really, where’s the fun in that? It was belly-crawl for me!

Then we waded through another lake. This one was only about waist deep, maybe a little deeper in some places, and we had to step or roll over floating logs as we went across.

Finally, there was the Warrior Roast. Two rows of fire to bound over. After leaping the fire, Ted and I clasped hands and ran hard to the finish line (fire and finish line photos to be posted; I’ll have to purchase them from the event once they become available).
Then there was beer, turkey legs, and frivolity.

Ted and I made a nice mini-vacation out of the trip, stopping on the way to visit with his parents, then playing MagiQuest in Pigeon Forge (because we are really just large children), then doing a little winery circuit (I have a pretty bad anxiety response to driving over mountains, so Ted made sure I took advantage of the wine tastings at each winery before we hit the really scary ones), and of course, ending with the Warrior Dash. The Warrior Dash is hands-down the most fun event ever. The high from the excitement and fun sticks with you for days.

On our way home, we noticed some of the quaint touristy things we passed in the mountains, like the numerous gem mines. My favorite quote from Ted as we passed yet another gem mining establishment:

“Yeah, those might be a fun little touristy thing to do, when you’re on a vacation where you’re not too busy being AWESOME.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Run Baby Run

When I'm finished running, I always think running is fun.

While I'm actually doing the running, though, not so much. Although it helps to have an awesome platoon of fun, motivating, helpful people there with you. I just can't express how much it helps me get through every boot camp session to have such a fantastic group of people surrounding me.

As you may have guessed, today we ran. We did a formation jog to the drill field (which included hauling our butts up Bernard Hill), followed by speed-pace work and sprint drills at the field, then cadence jog with short speed surges back to base. I felt strong until the jog back; I had to do lots of walking on the way back. I was spent. I pushed a lot harder than I would have had I been out running on my own, though. Seriously, the teamwork today was amazing. I can't say enough about it.

The scale is showing a little improvement today, so that is encouraging. I haven't decided whether I want to post my weekly challenge weigh-ins here or not. We'll see how I feel about it on Friday.

On a different subject, my friend Arwen and I have our first gig tomorrow. We're working on putting together a website for our duo, the Stones River Strings. More to come on that soon!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Really, I Wish I Were Joking

People seem to think I’m either kidding or exaggerating when I say we did around 500 push-ups in boot camp. I’m not kidding.

Today we did a workout called 5/10/50. We did five different kinds of pushups, ten reps each (50 push ups each round), followed by 50 reps of another exercise. I’m not sure how many rounds we did, but I think it was around ten. I can remember band-resistance squats, UFCs, dying cockroaches, bicycles, burpees (yes, 50 of them), and clappers. I know there were more; but I don’t remember what they were because I blacked out. I do remember that after about the seventh round, when it was time to get back down for push-ups AGAIN, I just lost all decorum and muttered “fuck.” I was hurting bad, y’all.

The good thing about today’s workout? I was able to actually do each type of push-up. My dive bombers are still ugly, but they at least resemble dive bombers now. My diamond-grip push-ups are still shallow, but they are diamond-grip push-ups. I couldn’t even begin to do either of those when I first began. The improvement is exciting to see. I still have a really hard time doing many from my toes; but I always try to properly do at least my first few of each class. It’s a long process, but the progress is real. It’s very exciting.

This week starts the first week of my weight loss challenge. Let’s see if my competitive nature can keep me away from that cake that’s sitting in the break room. I haven’t given in so far…

Thursday, May 5, 2011


No, that’s not my weight. But thank you for making that assumption.

That, my friends, is my Basic Fitness Test (BFT) score from March. We received our certificates and tee shirts today. The total possible score was 300. So not only did I pass, I came pretty close to maxing it out for my gender and age range. We’re doing another one soon; I probably haven’t progressed enough to score 300 this time, but I plan on at least improving my score for April.

I did go to class yesterday, but I’ve been crazy busy and just haven’t had time to sit down and blog. Today Sgt. Ken led the class, and he apparently wanted to be sure to remind us who is the Tactical Director and Master Instructor, because he tore us up. Today was killer from warm-up to final drill. But even though it was really hard, I still felt really good about my performance today. I felt ripped to shreds by the cool-down, but it was a very strong, very encouraging day. It’s very cool how my attitude and disposition is evolving throughout this process; not too long ago, today’s workout would have been one that made me feel like this was too hard and I was going to have to quit. But I think that I have not only gotten stronger physically, but I have also become much stronger mentally and emotionally. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any future breakdowns, or periods of time where I feel like giving up or become disheartened; but they aren’t being triggered by the same things (or as many things) as they used to be. And that mental and emotional strength is starting to spill over into other aspects of my life. This has really been good for me in many, many ways.

Where I’m still failing is food. I’m tired of saying here that “I’m going to get the food under control; I’ve started logging and paying attention and…” blah blah blah. I haven’t gotten it under control yet. Some things are better; I’m eating Cheerios in nonfat milk for breakfast (they’re supposed to be magically cholesterol reducing, so I’m giving them a shot); I’m bringing fruit and veggies for snacks at work to try to keep myself from the chips basket; I’m eating high-fiber, low-fat lunches. When I cook dinner, I’ve been cooking healthier foods for that, too. What happens, though, is someone will bring in cookies. Or come around sharing donuts. Or we’ll have a birthday celebration with cake. Or I won’t feel like cooking dinner so we’ll go out. None of these things are totally derailing by themselves, and if I gave in to one a week, it wouldn’t be so bad. But I give in to all of them. I actually think I have a problem and should probably go to Overeaters Anonymous. But I don’t have time for meetings, and I’m not sure I can get into all that touchy-feely-sharing stuff. It’s really not my style. So I’m not really sure what is going to have to happen for me to get my eating under control and finally start dropping this fat-weight.

I am joining a fun online challenge, though, so perhaps my competitive nature will kick in and I’ll stay a bit more focused while doing that. First weigh-in is tomorrow. My goal is to lose 2 pounds a week during the 12 weeks of the challenge. We’ll see how it goes.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What, You Didn't Know I Was Going to do a Half Marathon?

Neither did I.

Amber sent me a Facebook message on Thursday and asked me if I would do the Country Music Half Marathon with her. The CMHM was on Saturday.

That's right. Two days later.

And I agreed to it. Because I am completely and totally crazy.

Now, Amber is quite pregnant; so she assured me that she would be walking almost all of it, and that if she could do it, I could do it. I hadn't been doing any distance training whatsoever, but I figured that I could walk it with a little running thrown in. Amber figured we'd be able to finish in around three hours. We finished in 3:19:09. Not bad considering Amber's knee went bad after mile four, and we had to walk pretty much the rest of the race. And that was with three pee breaks (if you do a half marathon with a pregnant woman, expect to hear the phrase "Oh, good, I see port-a-potties!!!" very often).

This was my second half marathon. The first one, I trained for, and actually ran. This one I did spontaneously and walked nearly all of. They shared some commonalities for me. Here are a few things that appear to happen to me whether I train or not, walking or running:

  • Around mile 6, the bottoms of my feet start to feel like they have been crushed with a sledgehammer.
  • When I hit mile marker double-digits, my hamstrings decide to start shredding themselves with a cheese grater.
  • My leg muscles swell and become hotter than a charcoal fire.
  • For the remainder of the day, I am useless.

When I got home, I took an ice bath. I would normally write something here about how torturous it was, but honestly, it was quite nice after the initial shock of the cold. My legs were really inflamed; the ice felt good.

After that, I put on some dry pajamas and crashed into the bed for a nap. In about an hour, Ted and Julia arrived at the house (Ted had been so kind as to take Ju to band practice for me that morning so I could do the race). They came up to my room and Ju plopped down beside me and started chatting, and Ted gave me a massage on my poor shattered feet. Later that afternoon, Julia went to hang out with some friends, and Ted used The Stick to roll out the lactic acid in my legs. The screams were epic.

Today, I was very sore and walking quite gingerly, but I feel pretty good. Much better than I did after my first half marathon. I'm thinking that the difference was having someone to give me some aftercare this time. In 2009, it was just me and a twelve year old. So when I got home, not only did I not have anyone to baby me, I had a baby of my own to take care of (not a baby, but not quite as self sufficient as she is now). This year, I had a fourteen year old who could fend for herself as I lay in bed and tried to heal, and a wonderful partner who brought me water, rubbed my feet, and rolled my legs to help me recover. I must say, I recommend it this second way. :)

One final note. If you are pregnant and you walk/run a half marathon, expect your hoochie-koo to be sore afterwards. Apparently the baby pounds your pelvis pretty hard while you're doing all that walking.