Too much exercise

Yes, I did count the one hour of ice skating as a workout because I was holding our 4-year old just like this for the entire time!  I nearly passed out with exhaustion!

Yes, I did count the one hour of ice skating as a workout because I was holding our 4-year old just like this for the entire time! I nearly passed out with exhaustion!

Is it really possible to exercise too much?  Yes, I think so.  I answer this question based on my own experiences during the month of January.  You see, my number one goal for the month should have been to focus on my triathlon training.  Instead, I was sidetracked by a little competition.  I tried to do both, but my need to compete always seemed to overpower logical reasoning.

The competition involved tracking your total number of workouts for the month of January.  Of course these had to be real workouts that lasted for a minimum of 30 minutes.  I only considered real workouts those that involved an elevated heart rate.  As mentioned in my last post, I couldn’t even succeed at a simple walk.  Luckily for me, my triathlon training involves running, swimming, cycling and weight training.  So, I focused on those 4 types of workouts for this competition.

Typically, my training does involve more than one workout per day.  For example, on Mondays I always follow-up an interval swim with a bike ride.  On Wednesdays I need to do a ride followed by a run.  On days that I go to the gym, I always do at least 2 workouts because I have 2 hours (thanks to childcare) so I typically do a swim or run followed by weight training.  However, there are days that I will do my long ride or my long run and may  not include another workout.  Additionally, I am SUPPOSED to take one rest day.

Well, there were times during this competition when I only did one workout in one day.  That was not sufficient for my competitiveness so I was forced to do three workouts on other days.  Usually I would add-on a weight training session on these days.  During the entire month of January I NEVER took a day off.  I didn’t want to have to play catch up on another day.  And, all of a sudden, my goal changed to beating the number of workouts  of last year’s winner: 60!  I wanted at least 61.  But 61 didn’t seem like a lucky number so I opted to aim for 62 if I could.

So, I did it.  I got my 62.  Not sure what that means.  Some people think it means I am a bit of an overachiever or maybe just slightly crazy.  It sure as heck doesn’t mean I am hardcore.  If anything, maybe less smart than usual.  I did sign up to complete a 1/2 Ironman in May and I nearly overtrained myself.  Worse case scenario, I could have injured myself.  Stupid competitive nature.  Why can’t I be a soccer mom and find solace in bringing the best snacks to the games or driving the most fabulous minivan?  Okay, I know you are laughing now.  I would never own a minivan.

Oh, and I have no idea whether I even made the top 5.  I know I don’t really win anything, but bragging rights would actually make this all worth it.  Okay, there is always March Madness.  Yeah, I better not even mention that right now.

You know what pisses me off the most about all of this?  I didn’t even lose more than half a pound!  Seriously people.  I must have consumed whatever calories I burned.  And that’s a lot of freakin’ calories.


Bikes, pools & weights oh my!

It is not as fun as it looks... but it can be made more fun with episodes of 24 or a good magazine.

It is not as fun as it looks… but it can be made more fun with episodes of 24 or a good magazine.

I was a bit disoriented when my alarm went off.  Now why was I getting up at 6:30 AM when I didn’t have to take any kids to school or be at work until 1:00 PM?  The confusion lasted a minute before I realized that I had agreed to meet my friend at the pool at 8:00 AM.  Well, it sure as heck doesn’t take an hour and a half to drive to the YMCA. Oh, that’s right.  I had made a plan to ride on my bike trainer for 30 minutes before going to the pool.  I laid there for a minute and realized that I should either drag my butt out of bed or just set the alarm for an hour later.  Sleep seemed like the logical choice, but I don’t always listen to logic.

It is that damn competition.  I don’t even know why I am bothering because there are people who are supposedly doing 4 workouts per day.  How can I compete with that?  I have 3 kids and a job!  Okay, I suppose I could do 4 workouts a day at a half an hour each because that adds up to 2 hours.  I already spend 2 hours working out per day.  However, I am focused on my 1/2 Ironman training.  That means I need to focus on cycling, swimming and running (well, weight training is also a necessity).  I just named 4 possible workouts, but the thing is that I need to have quality workouts.  A 1/2 hour on the treadmill is not quality.  I am just going to have to pass over quantity for the more desired quality.

Well, that doesn’t stop me from being competitive.  I will still give it my best shot.  That is why I got up early to go for a ride on the bike.  Even though it wasn’t a quality workout, I figured it was better than laying in bed doing nothing.  At least I indulged in some quality time with Runner’s World.  So after my half an hour was up I hopped off the bike, changed into my swimsuit and headed out the door.  Then it was an hour in the pool.  That was my long swim for the week so there was definitely some quality involved.  I debated whether or not to go home, but then decided that I should just stick with my plan to weight train.  Once again (after a quick shower) I had to change my clothes.  Jeez, the laundry pile in my house is ridiculous.  It would make sense to lift weights before swimming so that I don’t have to take 2 showers, but I would probably drown because I wouldn’t be able to move my arms and legs.  I spent some quality time with the weights (a nice 45 minute workout).  I even tried to save some body parts for tomorrow so I can do another workout in addition to my long run.  Okay, maybe this is going to be more painful than I need it to be.  Stupid competition.  I can’t wait for March Madness because that competition is based on the amount of time that you spend working out.  Maybe then I will have a chance.

Let the Training Begin!

Kiefer and I wll be cycling buddies for the next 24 X 8 hours!

Kiefer and I wll be cycling buddies for the next 24 X 8 hours!

I was kind of a lump on a log during the holidays.  Okay, maybe I was still pretty active, but not as active as I usually am.  I went 2 days in a row without working out and it really bothered me.  Thanks to the damn stairs I nearly broke my toe, but I am pretty sure it was either just a sprain or a ligament tear…. still not really sure, but it doesn’t hurt.  It just looks ugly.  Well, I guess my toes have always been ugly so this doesn’t make much of a difference.

It just so happens that December 31st (of our dearly beloved 2012) was the start of my official 1/2 Ironman Training.  It kind of worked out with it being at the start of the year.  It is almost like I am in with the Resolution crowd.  Okay, not really.  Working out is nothing new to me.  The only thing that’s different is now I just need to have it planned out and stick with the plan.  Fortunately I am being helped along with a little competition.  Oh yes, I love competitions.  It is the Jammin’ January Challenge.  Whoever completes the most workouts in the entire month wins!  I’m all over this!  Bring it!  That is the only reason why I got up extra early this morning to make sure I could squeeze in a swim workout AND some weight training before work.

I have my little plan written down on a calendar.  Okay, okay, I have yet to do exactly what the plan says.  I have already switched days around, but next week this family will be back to a normal routine.  You know, school and after school activities…. all of that fun stuff that keeps you busy.  I will have my scheduled gym days and my scheduled free time when the hubby is watching the kids.  It will be scheduled… since schedules never change.  Ever.  Yes, I will laugh at that.  We are a military family.  However, we are not very military-like these days because my husband just goes to school.  Whoa!  He has a normal schedule folks!  That is unbelievable!  Okay, maybe this will work.  A schedule and a plan.  I got this!

So, my basement is ready for me.  Basements are scary, I know.  I have learned to sort of like our basement.  Sure, it is creepy, but at least there is a window.  Well, the window is only a hole with a view of the dirt, but at least some light comes in.  The scariest part is the crawl space that is closed off with a curtain.  I don’t like to look under there.  Crawl spaces definitely creep me out.  So today my husband (with some help from me) hoisted the treadmill from our room on the very top floor all the way down to the basement.  You see, I made the mistake of having the movers put it in the bedroom.  It was too late to change my mind when I saw it in the room.  That would’ve pissed them off and they would have taken more than our folder of DVD’s and my very special candle (where else could that freakin’ candle be??).  Maybe they were planning a hot date with a movie and a candle.  Oh, and a stepstool.  We are missing our stepstool.

Anyway, back to the treadmill.  It just made more sense to put it in the basement.  So, after 6 months it is finally in the basement.  I don’t have to run on it and worry that I am going to fall on my kids who might be sitting downstairs in the living room.  Okay, I rarely use the treadmill, but those single digit temperatures at 6:00 AM might entice me to use it more often.  Now the glorious treadmill is sitting right next to my bike trainer.  At least it was.  My husband is back down there moving things around to my liking.  He asked me for my opinion without realizing that I would actually give it to him.  In front of the bike trainer and the treadmill will be a very old t.v…. one of the ones that actually looks like a box.  However, I will probably be bringing down my laptop so I can watch the entire 24 series all over again.  And trust me, I will get through all 8 seasons of 24.  My butt will get sore in the process, but that is better than getting a sore bottom from sitting on the couch.

Week 1 is almost complete.  Nevermind.  I just realized I still have a long ride and a long run to do before the week is over.  Oh, and a long swim (even though the definition of a “long swim” is only about an hour, that is still a heck of a long time to swim in circles without music or something to look at).  This is going to be a long 20 weeks, but it will be worth it in the end!  Sure, some people think that is just crazy.  Do I care? Nope.