Thursday, July 31, 2014


Yesterday afternoon I did a boxing class.  I don't usually do them during the week, because I'm busy with other activities, but I will be missing a couple Sunday classes while I'm on vacation, so I want to get my money's worth.  The class last night was taught by a pro who is so-so - he's definitely a good boxer (and was pro), but I don't think he cares all that much about teaching the class.  There's very little creativity to it.  However, he did have us do a lot of high-knee running between rounds, which was good cardio.  I got a good burn from the class.

Afterward, some ladies were discussing their calorie burns according to FitBit.  I thought they said 163 calories for the class, so I wanted to assure them it was more than that...turns out they got 363 calories, which was similar to my 400 calories according to BodyMedia.    Some other ladies heard us talking and were seriously disappointed to find out that they probably weren't burning 600 - 1000 calories per class.  A lot of people just have no idea how many calories they burn doing different activities.

This morning I did my shortened version of P90X2 Recovery + Mobility.  I burned about 90 calories.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tennis Practice

Last night I had a practice with my tennis team.  I played pretty well, but I think it was mostly because it was relative to who else was playing...still, it was a beautiful night, and fun to play.

This morning I did the second workout of Stage 1 of NROLW.  This is the last day for 2 sets and 12 reps per set.  I'm a little nervous to move up to 3 sets with 10 reps.  I'm not sure whether I'll be able to go up in weight or not.  I guess I'll find out!  Today I burned about 95 cal in the workout.

My weight is still up today.  I'm starting to wonder if my lower weights, from when I was visiting my mom, were because her scale is offset from mine.  Today I took my scale and put 50 lb of weights on it to make sure it measured 50 lb - it did.  My mom's scale is a balance-bar type scale, like you often see in doctor's offices, so I don't have any reason to think that it is incorrect.  Here's a list of my weights and location where I measured them:
  • Saturday, home, 124.8 lb
  • Sunday, home, 124.2 lb
  • Monday, home, 126.4 lb
  • Tuesday, my mom's, 124.8 lb
  • Wednesday, my mom's, 124.4 lb
  • Thursday, my mom's, 124 lb
  • Friday, my mom's, 122.9 lb
  • Saturday, home, 126.8 lb
  • Sunday, home, 127 lb
  • Monday, home, 126.6 lb
  • Tuesday, home, 126.6 lb
  • Wednesday, home, 126.4 lb
The measurements taken at my mom's house don't seem unbelievable in context of my other measurements.  The Friday morning measurement was a little low, but it was the day after my long run, and I was probably a bit dehydrated.  On the other hand, if you take out the measurements from my mom's house, then it looks like I jumped up to above 126 lb for the entire week.  There would be no reason for this...when I was at her house, I carefully measured and logged what I ate.  This is incredibly frustrating.  I don't look puffed up any more, so I feel like I should've release the water weight.  I keep expecting in the morning to have the weight drop a couple pounds, but no luck so far.  And there's no way I've put on a couple pounds of muscle all of a sudden, NROLW or not.  It's even more frustrating because I'm going on vacation at the end of the week, and I know I'll gain weight then.  I'm going to come back and be over 130 lb!  I can't believe it!

When I started NROLW, I decided to follow the suggested nutrition amounts.  I started July 14, so it's been a little over two weeks.  My weights on the days around that were 124.2 lb, 125 lb, 124.8 lb.  I can't believe I've actually put on 2 lb of anything in 2 weeks. 

I'm going to stick with the nutrition for the next couple of days before I leave.  I'm going to do a waist measurement Friday morning before I go and hope things have improved.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Easier Plyo Workout

Yesterday afternoon, I did my lower and upper body plyo workout .  It felt easier than usual.  I think my sprint times have gone down a bit.  This is probably because it wasn't quite as hot out as usual, and it was quite windy, which cooled me off.  The upper body work especially felt a lot easier.  Amazing how much more pleasant it is to workout without dripping in sweat.

This morning I am still way up in weight from when I jumped up 4 lb last Saturday morning.  I don't feel like I look as puffed up, but clearly I'm still retaining water.  It can't be real weight.  Frustrating!

This morning I did P90X2 Balance + Power.  It felt kind of funny using such little weights for the moves in this workout after using nothing less than 20 lb in my latest NROLW.  However, the core and balance work is definitely good for me.  I burned about 195 calories overall.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hard Tempo Run

Yesterday afternoon I did a 6-mi tempo run on the treadmill.  My speed was 6.4 mph, which I had done on my last tempo run.  However, this one felt really hard.  Maybe I was still tired and dehydrated from Saturday.  I had to take a lot of breaks on the side rails.  My time was 56:16.

During the run, I watched another episode of Years of Living Dangerously, the climate change documentary that was on Showtime.  I liked this episode, because a lot of it focused on the Heartland Institute, which agitates against trying to stop climate change.  It is also anti-evolution and has other similar conservative positions.  It was interesting to see an interview with one of the big promoters of the Heartland Institute's agenda, to see how he completely twisted or ignored the facts.

This morning, I did the first workout from Stage 1 of NROLW.  I am still on 2 sets and 12 reps.  The step-ups are the exercise in this workout that I really struggle with.  They are hard!  I burned about 95 calories in the workout.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Usual Boxing

Boy, when I went to bed last night, I was exhausted.  I didn't feel like I'd done enough to be so tired.  I guess being outside in the Sun for so long really drained me.  This morning, I was still all puffed up and heavy.  Dang.

This morning I did my usual boxing class. I was still feeling out of it, so I dogged it a bit.  Blah.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Double Tennis

This morning when I looked at myself in the mirror, I looked a bit puffed up.  Apparently Subway for lunch two days in a row is a bit too much sodium.  Unfortunately this was the day of the week I take my waist measurements, so they were high.  My weight was up almost 4 lb from the morning before!  Very frustrating, although I know it should go right back down in a day or two.

This morning I had a practice with my tennis team.  I played pretty well, although I felt a bit rusty during the warm-up and the first couple games.  I won all three rounds with my partner.

This afternoon, Andrea (from tennis) invited three of us from the team to visit her condo complex, play tennis, eat a bit, and swim in the pool.  We played tennis for over two hours, playing a set with all three combinations of partners.  By the time that was over, I was a bit worn out.  We went to Andrea's condo and had some food, but we never ended up doing any swimming.  It was a fun afternoon!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Last Workout in PA

Last night before bed, my mom and I went out to look at the sky at her house in PA.  It was so dark - the stars were magnificent!  You can step out of the door and see the Milky Way before your eyes even get dark-adapted.  I wish all of my students could experience that.

This morning, I did the second workout in Stage 1 of NROLW at the local YMCA.  Again, I was generally doing 2 sets with 12 reps, so I upped my weights.  For the deadlifts, I used 60 lb.  For the shoulder presses, I used 25 lb per hand.  Sadly, I still couldn't do more than 3 pull-ups at a time.  For the lunges, I used 20 lb per hand - those were really hard.  The YMCA did not have a stability ball, so instead of balance-ball crunches, I did crunches on a bench with a 10-lb weight plate.  I burned about 110 calories in this workout.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Better Long Run

I am still in Pennsylvania.  This afternoon I did the next long run on my training schedule.  I was kind of dreading it after my horrible 8-mi run this past Saturday.  However, I did 10.08 mi in 1:38:15, which is an average speed of 6.15 mph.  On this run, I had reached 9 mi in a minute less time than I did 8 mi last Saturday!  The whole run today only took me about 10 minutes longer for 2 extra miles.  Today, my route was very flat.  It was also about 10 deg F cooler, and the humidity was not as high.  I also made a point to drink more the day before and this morning.  So I think the overall combination of circumstances made this run much easier.  It renewed my confidence in my training plan.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Re-arranged Workouts

I'm still in Pennsylvania.  It was supposed to rain in the afternoon today, so I switched my workouts from their usual order.  In the morning, I did my lower and upper body plyo workout.  It was cloudy, so it was nice to do the workout without the Sun beating down on me.

In the afternoon, I did the first workout from Stage 1 of NROLW.  However, since this is my third time through the workout, the number of sets stays the same (two), but the number of reps goes down to 12 for most moves.  For the squats, I moved up to using 25 lb per hand.  Oddly, the number of push-ups also decreased, even though it is a bodyweight move, so I did the T-push-ups described in the book.  These were still easy.  For the bent-over rows, I moved up to 25 lb per hand.  For the step-ups, I increased to 20 lb per hand.  There was no stability ball, so I couldn't do the prone jackknifes.  Instead, I did reverse curls on a bench.  I burned about 100 cal total in the workout.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Busy Day

Since I'm still visiting my mom in Pennsylvania, things were a little different today.

First, I forgot to bring my workout DVD for today, so I had to improvise - I can't just take the time off!  My mom is a member of Curves here.  She hasn't been able to do it lately because she just had cataract surgery on one eye and is about to have the surgery on her other eye.  However, she said that today was the day Curves has a special weights class that involves free weights as well as the Curves machines.  She has really been wanting me to visit Curves with her, but this seemed like the next best thing.  So she came and waited while I did the half-hour class. 

The class was interesting.  First, I was one of only three people doing it - apparently summertime is a little sparse.  The machines gave a lot more resistance than I was expecting, considering that it's mostly old and/or out-of-shape people doing the classes.  The free-weight portion was really easy, because I was only using 8-lb weights.  With the half-hour class and some cool down, I burned about 180 calories.

Later in the day, we rented bikes and rode on the local biking/walking trails.  The rental bikes were horrible one-speeds with weird, wide handlebars.  We biked a little over 17 miles in 2 hours.  It was a beautiful day.

Before dinner, I went to the local YMCA and used a treadmill to do some speed intervals.  In 41:30, I did 9  x 2 min at 7.3 mph, alternating with 9 x 90 sec at 3.5 mph.  The distance came to about 3.6 mi.  I finished out the hour walking at 3.5 mph.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Travel Day

This morning I repeated the second workout in Stage 1 of NROLW.  I kept the weights the same as the first time.  The lunges were still really hard.

After my workout and breakfast, I drove to Pennsylvania to visit my mom.  In the afternoon, I did my lower and upper body plyo workout that I described here.  My mom had scouted out some brick walls at the local school for me to throw my medicine ball against.  I was lucky, and there was also an incline in the parking lot, so I could run my uphill and downhill sprints, too.

After dinner, we went for a walk with my mom's dogs.  It was very leisurely, about 2.5 miles in an hour or so.  The dogs are not the fastest walkers.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I got the run done

Yesterday afternoon I had my long run of 8 miles. It was really, really hard. I ran in Brookside Gardens and Wheaton Regional Park, which turned out to be really hilly.  I think I was still dehydrated from being out all day on Friday.  Also, it was 80 F and a bit humid.  I felt like I was pushing a tempo run the whole time, and I still took 1:28:12 to do the run, which was only about 5.5 mph.  My legs were tired afterward, but the most difficult was my breathing and overall conditioning.  It just felt really hard. I did one big loop in the park, which was a little more than 4 miles.  I had planned to do most of the loop again for the second half, but I couldn't bear the hills.  I stuck to the paved trails in Brookside Gardens, which had a loop of approximately 0.75 mi, and just kept doing that.  I kept thinking about stoppping early, but I got through it.  I took a lot of breaks, and did some walking, but I finished the mieles.

This morning I did my usual boxing class.  I was still pretty worn out from the run the day before, but I got through it OK.

This afternoon, Bill and I did a bike ride.  Guess what?  We started out going through Wheaton Regional Park - and it was still hilly on a bike!  The first half of the bike ride was hard.  Once we got in the second part, on the Matthew Henson Trail and Rock Creek Trail, it was easier.  I did not make a serious effort to get up the really big hill coming off Rock Creek Trail to get back to our house, because I could tell I just didn't have the gas left in the tank.  The ride was about 19 miles.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Morning Practice

This morning I had practice with my tennis team.  I lost both my doubles rounds, but played pretty well.  I won my singles round.

I finished my first week with the eating level from NROLW.  I ate 2100 calories each day, because I was doing two workouts, except for Thursday, which was 1900 calories.  This morning is when I do my weekly waist circumference measurement.  It was down 0.25 inch, which is good.  My weight has been pretty much the same all week.  This is good, when I'm eating so much more than usual.  I was concerned that I was going to puff up, which was going to make it hard for me to want to stay with the eating plan.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Busy Days

Yesterday evening I played some tennis with ladies from my team.  I was going to do my plyo workout, but they needed a fourth person, and I can't resist tennis.  The weather was beautiful, too.

This morning, I continued with NROLW.  Today was back to the first workout.  I kept my weights the same.  It didn't kill me like it did on Monday, thank goodness.  Again, I burned about 95 calories.

My schedule was a little weird today, because I was planning to go watch Bill's match at Districts at 5pm.  So I came home from work early in order to do my plyo workout described here .  It doesn't make me super sore any more, but it's still tough, especially the sprinting.

Afterward, I had a late lunch, and Bill and I headed up to Columbia for his Districts match.  While Bill and his team was waiting to go on court, I walked through the neighborhood and around Wilde Lake, which was very pretty.  I got in a 3.5-mi walk and returned in time to see all of Bill's match.  Unfortunately he and his partner lost.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tennis Practice

Last night I had a practice with my tennis team.  It's the first night in quite awhile that we haven't had thunderstorms.  The practice went pretty well, and the weather was wonderful.

This morning I did my shortened version of P90X2 Recovery + Mobility.  I burned about 110 calories.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Second Workout for NROLW

Yesterday evening, I did cardio tennis at TCCP, which I haven't done in a long time.  The forecast was for more thunderstorms, so I figured I should do something inside.  I had done a run the day before, so I didn't want to do that.  So...cardio tennis.  My quads were still really sore from the squats the day before, but fortunately they didn't bother me too much.  The class was decent, but we started late and ended a little early, which was annoying.  It was very humid, so I sweated a ton.

This morning I did the second workout for the first stage of NROLW.    This workout took me about 28 minutes, including about 9 minutes of warm-up.
  • Deadlift:  I did use my barbell for this one.  The weight was 53 lbs (the barbell is 13 lb).  I was trying to get the correct form at the top when I finished standing up, but I'm not sure if I did or not.
  • Dumb bell shoulder press:  I used 20 lb per hand for these.  
  • Pull-ups:  The workout called for wide lat pull-downs using a cable station, which I don't have.  The substitute workout was a dumb bell pull-over, but the book said that this was not really a good substitution, since it doesn't really work all of the same muscles.  Since the lat pull-downs were supposed to be preparing for pull-ups, I just subbed pull-ups.  The downside of this is that I could only do 2.5 pull-ups per set.  Hopefully I'll be improving on these!
  • Lunges:  I used 20 lb per hand for these.  These got pretty hard toward the end of each set.
  • Swiss-ball crunch:  These were pretty easy, as I've done a lot of stability ball work.  The workout only called for 8 per set, which is what I did.  I'm not sure if I should do more...
And that's it!  I wonder if I'll be as sore after these as I was after Monday's exercises.  The lunges in particular may make me sore.  We'll see!

I burned about 95 calories in this workout, including the warm-up.  Still bugs me that it's that few, but I did only do 5 exercises.  I'm still eating 2100 cal per day when I workout twice, and so far my weight is holding pretty steady.  Not bad, considering that I probably have a lot of water weight in my sore muscles.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tempo Run

Yesterday afternoon I did a tempo run on the treadmill.  I did 6.0 miles in 56:16, which is 6.4 mph.  This was a relatively hard run, since my legs were getting sore from my morning workout.

This morning I did P90X2 Balance + Power.  My quads are quite sore from the NROLW workout yesterday morning, presumably the squats.  I did not push this workout too hard, but did OK with it.  I burned about 190 calories.

Monday, July 14, 2014

First Day of NROLW

Yesterday evening, Bill and I did a bike ride of a little over 17 miles.  It was a bit shorter than usual, because we did it after dinner.  Even though we waited for an hour, my stomach still felt pretty blah during the ride.  Not my favorite time to do it.

This morning I did the first workout of the first stage of New Rules of Lifting for Women.  It only took me 27 minutes, including the warm-up.  I don't think it was extremely hard, although I can feel already that I'm going to be sore in a few places.
  • Squats: I did these as dumb bell squats, with 20 lb per hand.  I've done these a bunch in P90X, so they weren't too tough.  I did try to squat really low and keep my back flat, though.
  • Push-ups:  no problem with the required number here, since I've done tons of these in all the Beachbody workouts.  I did try to go low, though, and keep my elbows next to my sides.
  • Bent-over rows: I used 15 lb per hand on these.  I didn't find the row part too hard; I was focused on keeping my back flat, which was harder.
  • Step-ups: these were tougher.  I stepped up onto my weight bench, which is a pretty high step.  I used 15 lb per hand.  I think I had too much work going on in my "non-working" leg, so I need to work on that.
  • Prone jackknifes: again, I did these in P90X2, so they were not a problem.
I stopped with the required number of reps for push-ups and prone jackknifes, even though I could've done more.  Maybe I should do more?  Since there's no weight with these moves, I'm not sure how else to challenge myself with them. 

I only burned about 95 calories in the workout.  I have to wrap my head around the idea that this is OK.  Hopefully I'll see some improvements and changes soon to confirm it.   It's also weird to be eating so much (since I'll be doing two workouts today) when one of the workouts was so easy.  The individual moves were not necessarily easy, I just didn't have to do them for that long.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

New Program: The New Rules of Lifting for Women

Yesterday afternoon I did the lower-body and upper-body plyo workout that I described here.  It still kicked my butt, but at least I am not as sore as I was after the first time I completed it.  The afternoon was cloudy, so it didn't feel quite as hot as it could've, which was nice.

This morning I did my usual boxing class.  Nothing unusual in it, although my calorie burn was a bit bigger than usual.

Tomorrow I am starting the program from The New Rules of Lifting for Women.  I am hoping that it will shake things up and break this fat-loss plateau I've been in.  I'm planning on doing it three days per week.  There are 7 stages.  The first stage has two workouts, A and B, which alternate.  So my weekday morning exercise schedule will look like this:
  • Monday: Workout A
  • Tuesday: P90X2 Balance + Power
  • Wednesday: Workout B
  • Thursday: P90X2 Recovery + Mobility
  • Friday: Workout A
The book really emphasizes leaving a day in between each workout, so my typical recovery plan for Fridays is being moved to Thursdays.  We'll see how this works, since it means I won't have any full recovery days, usually.  The A and B workouts alternate; Stage 1 conveniently goes until the end of August, with one week off for my vacation.

I really like how the book discusses what would be called "functional fitness" today, but since it came out in 2007, I'm not sure if that term existed then.  The idea is that the basic movements in the workouts are based on real-life movements, such as squatting to pick something up.  What I hadn't really appreciated before was another aspect they describe: functional moves like this not only work big muscles, such as the quads, but also pretty much all other muscles in various moves.  Thus, there is no reason to do isolated exercises, such as bicep curls.  We'll see how this pans out for me. Certainly the functional fitness aspect, where muscles and systems are worked together, should be advantageous for my tennis and running.

I will also be generally following the nutrition recommendations.  The book gives the only rationale that I've ever bought into for increasing protein intake.  In Beachbody nutrition plans, they generally say they are going higher-protein because they want to go lower-carb so that you can "learn" how your body responds to carbs (or the lack thereof), and the best thing to replace those carbs with is protein.  I don't really feel like this has made sense to me.  However, NROLW makes a very logical argument for needed a baseline level of protein if you want to gain or maintain muscle while losing fat.  They give some concrete numerical examples, which I really appreciate.

At any rate, I calculated my calorie levels based on the book's formulae.  At about 124 lbs, my RMR is 1200 calories exactly.  The book has activity multipliers based on an age and BMI cut-off.  Following this, I calculated three calorie levels:
  • Day with no workouts: 1600 cal
  • Day with 1 workout (from the book): 1900 cal
  • Day with 2 workouts: 2100 cal
I rounded these down to give me a bit of room for calculation error.    Since I usually workout twice in a day, I will generally be eating 2100 cal/day.  For those days, I'm going to aim for 120 - 125 g of protein.  I usually can get about 100 g in a day; I'm adding a protein bar or shake to get the last bit.  I'm going to try to get at least 100 g on the days with the lower calorie level.

I'm starting the nutrition plan today; the first workout is tomorrow.  My biggest concern is getting the workouts done in a reasonable time.  They have prescribed rest times, but I'm worried that equipment issues might make them take awhile.  It's good that I'll be starting out on this during a time when I don't have classes, so my mornings can be more flexible.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Morning Practice

Yesterday afternoon/evening I did take as a rest day, so I finally had one complete rest day.  And I did release some water weight, as this morning I was down almost 2 lb from my high a couple days ago.

I have been pretty hungry lately.  Wednesday afternoon and evening, when I had the unexpected rest, I was starving.  Thursday and Friday weren't so bad, but I've definitely been hungry.  Despite eating 1800 cal/day.  Today is my high day, so I shouldn't be hungry, at least.

I'm going to be starting on the exercise program from The New Rules of Lifting for Women on Monday.  I'm hoping to really change things up, build some muscle, and lose some fat.  On Monday, I'm also going to start following the book's suggested calorie level, so we'll see how that goes.

This morning, I had a practice with my team.  It was pretty humid, so we were all sweaty, but it was fun.  I played much less tennis than usual in the past week.  That has been sort of planned, but I'm not sure yet how I feel about it.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Easier Long Run

Yesterday afternoon I wanted to do my lower-body and upper-body plyo workout again, but the weather has been very uncooperative.  We've had thunderstorms for the third evening in a row.

Instead, I did a 6-mi run at my goal pace of 6.0 mph.  It took 1:00:00 on the treadmill.  Thankfully, this run felt easier than the last long runs I've done.  And I don't think it's just because it was shorter - on the previous runs, even the first 6 miles felt harder.

This morning I did my shortened version of P90X2 Recovery + Mobility.  I burned about 105 calories.

I was thinking that I should write down my thoughts about the FOCUS T25 Gamma hybrid schedule that I just finished, in particular what I thought about FOCUS T25 Gamma.  Well, it was a mixed bag for me.  The Speed 3.0 workout was a killer cardio workout for 25 minutes.  The same with Core Speed, although that is an extra workout for the whole FOCUS T25 series, not just for Gamma.  These worked really well, I think, when paired up with another shorter workout like I did in order to prolong the burn. 

The strength workouts of Rip't Up, Extreme Circuit, and The Pyramid did not impress me that much.  I guess I just don't like the rush-rush-rush mentality for a strength workout.  While I certainly did feel the burn for some moves, overall I just don't think there was a enough there.  I think more work was needed for: abs, lats, and shoulders (particularly flyes and raises).  And there really isn't much leg work, since the squats and lunges aren't involving much more than bodyweight, since you don't have time to switch to heavier weights for them. 

My goal with the hybrid was to blast some body fat.  I certainly did not do that, unfortunately, but I'm not sure it was really the hybrid's fault.  As I said a couple posts ago, I may just be working too hard overall to lose fat, even though that seems weird.  I did not really enjoy the workouts, especially the strength ones, so this hybrid schedule was a disappointment to me overall.  I can see using the cardio workouts again, but I'm not sure I'll ever come back to the strength ones.  Perhaps in the future when I am stuck for time - that is the advantage of the FOCUS T25 series overall - it is quick!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Unexpected Rest

Yesterday evening, I canceled my team tennis practice because thunderstorms were imminent.  I'm not sure it ever actually rained on the courts, but it looked like it was going to.  I decided not to try to find a substitute activity and to take the night off instead.  I read a book.  I was hoping this might cause my body to lose a little tension and water weight.  I felt like my abdominal area looked less puffy this morning...but I was about a half pound heavier this morning than yesterday.  My weight is now the highest it's been in months, if not years.  Extremely frustrating.

This morning, I decided not to do my scheduled workout: P90X2 Plyocide.  This was going to be the last day of my FOCUS T25 Gamma hybrid schedule, but I just didn't feel like doing it.  I think I need the mental rest, too.  I did P90X+ Kenpo Cardio+ instead, one of my favorite workouts.  I burned about 270 calories.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Speed Intervals

Yesterday evening I did some speed intervals on the treadmill.  I did 18 x 1 min at 7.3 mph, alternating with 18 x 90 sec at 3.5 mph.  This took 55:00.  The distance was a little over 4 miles; I'm not sure of the exact mileage because a storm made the electricity go out briefly part way through, resetting the treadmill.

This morning I did FOCUS T25 Gamma Extreme Circuit (101 cal), followed by Insanity Cardio Abs.  I used 12-lb weight for the first circuit, and 10-lb for the rest.  My hands were getting really tired of holding the 12-lb weights, which is annoying.  Overall, I burned about 180 calories.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Club Night

Last night at TCCP was the club night mixer, which is casual tennis in a round-robin format.  I was not nearly as sore and tired as I thought I would be after my 13-mi run on Sunday.  I hope that means I'm getting better at running and not that I took too many breaks during the run!  At any rate, I enjoyed the doubles and played reasonably well.

During the doubles, I discovered something unfortunate about my new tennis outfit:  the hot pink color bled off all over my skin and anything else it touched!  Wherever I got sweaty, the color ran.  I have a lot of Fila tennis clothing and none of it did that, so I was pretty annoyed.  Fortunately, the color washed off my skin in the shower.  I'll have to be careful washing the clothes, though.  I hope the pink color doesn't wash out into the other colors in the outfit.

This morning I did FOCUS T25 Core Speed (179 cal), followed by Asylum Vol. 2 Pure Contact.  It took me a few minutes to get going on the Core Speed routines, since there's basically no warm-up, but I did get there.  The combination of these two workouts is really killer for doing them in just 47 minutes.  Pure Contact is definitely an underrated plyo workout.  I wish I had the flexibility to do the pike-ups better.  Overall, I burned about 310 calories.

I am getting more and more frustrated with my weight.  I had wanted to lose the couple pounds I gained over Memorial Day vacation.  These last few days, I'm back up to that high weight - and I ran 30 miles last week, by far the most I've run in a week!  I've only been eating 1800 cal/day (except for Saturdays).  I can't believe I'm not losing this stupid weight. 

I just don't think it's possible that I'm eating more than I'm burning.  My BMR should be about 1300 cal, given my weight.  To get some ballpark calorie burn estimates, I used this activity calculator.  It says that for my weight, an hour of moderate calisthenics should burn about 300 calories; not too far off from the FOCUS T25 workout burn that I get.  For an hour of running at 600 mph, about 800 calories, which is MORE than my BodyMedia device measures for me.  For an hour of tennis doubles, 500 calories, which is again more than my BodyMedia device measures for me.  So for my day on Sunday when I did 1 hour of boxing and 2+ hours of running, I should've burned about 1900 calories.  Plus my BMR of 1300 calories, which totals 3200 calories for the day.  That's assuming that I sat still for the rest of the day!  I only ate 1800 - 1900 calories.  My other days are similar, so how can I NOT be losing weight?

I suspect that I'm actually training TOO hard these days.  A couple summers ago when I did about a month of the Insanity/Asylum hybrid workout (which has some double workouts), plus a lot of tennis, and some extra workouts, I worked my butt off and didn't lose a pound.  I think I was working too hard then, too.  It is very frustrating.  I have the time now for the extra workouts to help my training, but apparently I am not recovering sufficiently to lose the weight.  I don't quite understand that, but it seems to be true.  I'm going to try to make myself take a full recovery day this Friday.  I have already been trying to make sure I get to bed on time.  We'll see.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Very Long Run

Yesterday afternoon I ran 13.0 mi in 2:10:00 on the treadmill at 6.0 mph.  This was a hard run - I took a lot of breaks on the side rails.  I was still tired from biking the day before.  I did eventually finish it, however.

Last night, I tried looking for Ceres and Vesta again, but it was cloudy in that part of the sky.

This morning I did my shortened version of P90X2 Recovery + Mobility, since I was still pretty tired.  I'll back up my regular workouts by a day.  Today I burned about 115 calories.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Rock Creek Bike Ride

Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I went on a bike ride from our house to the northern end of the Rock Creek trail.  The round-trip was almost 27 miles, which we did in about 2 hr 20 min.  We didn't go so fast that I felt horribly exhausted afterward, but there were a few hills that were killer.

Last night, I went out to try to see Ceres and Vesta in binoculars.  They are really close together in the sky right now, making them easier to find.  They are also close to Mars and Spica in the sky.  Unfortunately the Moon was also close to all of them last night, which washed out the asteroids.  I'm going to try to remember to look again tonight.

This morning I did my usual boxing class.  I dogged it a bit, because I have a 13-mi run coming up this afternoon, so I didn't want to completely wear myself out.  Fortunately my legs are not sore from the biking yesterday.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Morning Practice

Yesterday afternoon, I went for a walk around the neighborhood.  It was about 4.75 miles in 90 minutes or so.  Nothing too difficult, which was probably good, because my legs were still tired from the sprinting a couple days ago.

This morning I had practice with my tennis team.  My legs are starting to feel better, but I didn't play all that well.  I won my first round with my partner.  In the second round, we were pretty even.  Lost the third round.  I am trying to get everyone to think about doubles movement and following the ball on the court - not sure that it's working!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hard Tempo Run

Yesterday afternoon I did my planned tempo run.  I did 6.0 mi at 6.3 mph, which took 57:09.  My legs were still really sore and tired from my sprinting the night before, so this run felt really hard.  I took quite a few breaks.

This morning I did my shortened version of P90X2 Recovery + Mobility.  The foam rolling definitely was good for my legs.  I burned about 115 calories.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lower and Upper Body Plyo Workout

Yesterday evening I did a lower body and upper body plyo workout of my own design for the first time.  The upper body exercises were from a similar workout I did last summer.  I included some lower body plyo moves to help improve my running efficiency from this article from Runner's World. I included some uphill and downhill sprinting as suggested in an article I read a couple months ago in Runner's Digest.

Here's the lower body sequence:
  1. Uphill sprints, 8 x 10 sec: between each sprint, I took about 50 sec to walk back and recover.
  2. Power skips, 20 per leg, with about a 30-s break.
  3. Leg bounding, 20 sec: with about a 40-s break.
  4. Downhill sprints, 8 x 10 sec: between each sprint, 1 took about 50 sec to walk back and recover.
  5. Repeat 2 and 3.
The high school near me has a straight sidewalk on an incline that I used for the sprints.  Initially I thought that a total of 160 sec of sprinting wouldn't be too hard, but they really were pretty tough.  I had planned to add a round of level sprinting, but I decided to save that as an add-on for once these feel a little easier.

After this was all complete, I shifted to the cinder-block tennis wall and did the upper body moves.  Most of them involve an 8-lb medicine ball.  I chose these moves to do because they were recommended for tennis on this sports fitness advisor page.
Here's the upper body sequence:
  1.  Overhead throws, 8 throws
  2.  Side throws, 8 throws per side
  3.  Overhead slams, 8 throws
  4.  Squat throws, 8 throws
  5.  Plyo push-ups, 8
I repeated this sequence 4 more times, with about 90 sec of rest in between.

A few comments: the lower body plyo work in this workout is by no means complete.  I haven't included a lot of jumping, because I do that in morning workouts, such as P90X2 Plyocide.  In this workout, for both lower and upper body, I'm focusing on exercises that I really can't do inside.  Also, the point of this workout is not to improve cardio fitness, so I didn't do the moves as fast as I could.  The idea is to be rested (somewhat) before each move, so that you can really put all your effort into it.  So there are a lot of breaks.

I am definitely feeling my legs this morning, especially the hamstrings.  I'm hoping to be able to do this workout 1 - 2 times per week.  I didn't have time for it when my tennis teams were in season, so these next couple of months are my chance.

This morning, I did FOCUS T25 Gamma Rip't Up (124 cal), followed by Insanity Cardio Abs.  I was definitely still fatigued from yesterday's plyo work.  I used 12-lb weights, but I had to take more breaks than when I previously did Rip't Up.  I burned about 205 calories total.  Yesterday marked the start of my last round through my FOCUS T25 workouts.  I think I need a recovery week after next week.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tennis Practice

Yesterday evening, I had a practice with my tennis teams.  Since we are in between seasons, I am trying to get them to improve on some doubles play.  We are focusing on following the ball at the net, so the net player moves back and forth on the court to be in the correct position.  While this may seem like an obvious thing to do, a lot of players don't do it.  I want to improve on that.  As some of them said, following the ball like that can be really tiring.  All the more reason to practice it now and develop the conditioning.

This morning I did FOCUS T25 Gamma Speed 3.0 (186 cal), followed by Asylum Vol. 2 Agility Tutorial.  Last night in practice, my legs did not feel too fatigued, but they were tired again this morning.  Speed 3.0 was tough, but I was feeling better by the time I got to the Agility Tutorial.  I burned about 300 calories total.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Long Run

Yesterday afternoon I did a long run of 11.0 mi.  I completed it in 1:50:00 on the treadmill at 6.0 mph, my goal pace.  This run was hard.  I felt fatigued even in the first few miles.  I'm wondering if this is because I have kept my calories pretty low since Memorial Day (trying to lose vacation fat).  I'm going up to 1800 cal/day this week.  We'll see if it helps.  I have been hungry a lot.

This morning I did FOCUS T25 Gamma The Pyramid (116 cal), followed by Asylum Vol. 2 Ab Shredder.  I was definitely still quite tired from my long run, so this was not my best workout, but it went OK.  I usually do Insanity Cardio Abs on Tuesdays, but I knew I didn't want to do the tuck jumps in that workout, so I'm switching them.  I burned about 195 calories total today.