I was going to do another week’s highs and lows, but there really weren’t too many lows this week, other than spilling hot roast beef juice on my foot last night and the usual sleep deprivation. So cheers to that!
Random bright spots this week:
- New deadlift max! I’m on track to meet my goal for the first half of the year.
- Got a shirt for being a gym nerd at my company’s gym:
Translation: a lot of very early mornings and evening spinning classes.
- Ate dark chocolate every night.
- Loving OPI’s Houston We Have a Purple:
Even Sweet Pea thinks it's delicious.
- Maybe this is cheating since it hasn’t happened yet, but Friday night we are having dinner at our favorite restaurant with some friends we haven’t seen in far too long (we are really bad at being friends with other people!) and I am pretty psyched.
- Other good stuff that I can’t tell you about yet, but hope to soon!
Got any exciting weekend plans?
I got out of the shower this evening and found Sweet Pea having a moment with my Toastmasters magazine. She just loves that Captain Sully:
Sully couldn’t compete with the tie on my robe, though. This is what happens every time I am working at the kitchen counter. I always think she’s just snuggling up to me, and then the wild leaping starts. When I wear a robe, she follows me and attacks the sash. She’s never met a cord or drawstring she could resist:
Anyway, this week went by more quickly than I expected. My highlights included enjoying leftover Thanksgiving food for a few days, a couple really good naps, and hitting a personal best on my deadlift. Oh, and relevant to that link, registration opened today for the Rodeo Run, and I did not register. After my second time running it this past February, I decided that I wasn’t doing the 10k event again. After Muddy Buddy in May, I decided to stop running for a while. And shortly thereafter I decided to stop running altogether. I’ve tried very hard to like running, but after trying for far too long, I finally gave myself permission to hate it. I haven’t run since May and I am no less fit, so running can eat it.
Who doesn’t like to get up at 5 AM on a Sunday to run around the woods in a helmet, bike some trails, run again, bike again, run again, and then crawl through a mud pit? Nobody, that’s who!
Don’t we look excited??
Muddy Buddy has been an annual tradition for me since 2003 (minus 2008 when Mark and I were busy moving to TX), when I first learned of it and informed Jes that we would be participating. One year she went so far as to break her collarbone to get out of it, but my good friend Dan stepped in and wore our ‘Tough Broads’ team name proudly. She came back the next year under threat that I would personally break the other one if she got hurt again, or something like that.
Then Mark came on the scene and became our cheering section:
Until one day Jes moved to Colorado and passed the torch to Mark. We did our last (well, his first) VA Muddy Buddy in 2007, skipped 2008, and did our first TX Muddy Buddy in 2009, in Austin.
We pretty much decided that 2010 would be our last Muddy Buddy for a few reasons. Most importantly, I just don’t look forward to it all year like I used to. Maybe I am getting old, but I have several other ways I would like to spend a Sunday morning (hint: they all start with ‘sleeping’). Also, I kind of made a resolution to stop doing things that stress me out. See: 10K runs. There’s also the cost. I think when Jes and I entered in 2003, it was something like $80/team. Now it’s almost twice that. For a crawl through a mud pit and a t-shirt? And there isn’t even a swag bag anymore, even though the sponsors get bigger and bigger? You need $100,000+ per event for ‘race development,’ when the course is almost exactly the same every year? I love you, Muddy Buddy, but I’m starting to feel used.
So we decided this year would be our last hurrah, which was the primary reason for our Hill Country trip and pretty much the only motivation that pulled us out of the warm bed at our rental cabin at 5 AM. And when it was over, we cleaned up, chowed down, and took a nap.
Sunday is smoothie night, and here’s what we’re drinking:
We don’t measure anything, but here’s what’s in it: a quarter of a very large papaya (skin on if your blender can handle it), a couple cups of pineapple, a banana, a couple cups of milk, about a quarter bag of fresh spinach that was on its way to being not-so-fresh, a large squeeze of agave nectar, and a man-sized double handful of ice. We were going to add mango, but ran out of room in the blender because of all that darn spinach. The result tasted slightly leafier than previous smoothies, but still tasted and smelled sweet and delicious.
I go straight to the gym in the mornings and get ready for work there, so I’ve been freezing a bottle full of smoothie and leaving it in my trunk during my workout. By the time I get to the office a couple hours later, it is about 2/3 slushy and 1/3 frozen (I expect that it will all melt once we get into Houston summer weather!). I consume it with a handful of nuts for protein and healthy fat. Here’s one ready to go from the smoothie I made for breakfast Saturday:
That mix was a quarter of a papaya, a mango, a banana, about a cup and a half of pineapple, a little less than a cup of milk, and a few handfuls of ice. It was so good that I didn’t even add sweetener!
The end of February in Houston signals the start of rodeo season, which kicks off with a huge barbecue cookoff, a charity 5k/10k to benefit the HLSR Educational Fund, and a parade. This was the second year that I ran the 10k.
I was a rower in high school and college, but despite my athleticism I was never much of a runner. I have tried very hard to like it, but I think I’m just not built for it. So I can’t explain why I would voluntarily do a 10k twice, except that my employer is a major sponsor, it’s a good cause, and the memory of the pain prevents me from registering for something that I’ll hate more. And what’s 10k, if even retirees take up marathoning these days? Surely I can run 6.3 miles.
Last year I trained a lot. This year I trained less often, but at a much faster pace. On race day, my miles averaged two seconds faster than last year — hardly the payoff I was hoping for. Also, I really, really did not enjoy the last half, not even a little. So if I participate next year, I’m moving to the 5k event.
What I do enjoy, however, is strength training. I naturally gravitate toward sloth, so I have to love a sport that involves more rest time than work time. Mark has a long history of powerlifting, so when we moved to Houston we decided that we were going to buy some nice equipment. Our home gym is only about 140 sqft, so of course we bought a power rack that fills a quarter of that space. The rest of the space contains an erg, a cycling trainer, and some kettlebells.
We don’t have a clock down there, so I was always borrowing Mark’s watch to keep track of my rest time and my sets. The heavier I lift, the less capable I am of counting my sets, even when using the kettlebell abacus (my own invention). The watch worked fine except when it wasn’t here, so he got me one of these:
It’s a Gymboss. I love this thing, and Mark uses it too. You can use it as a stopwatch (as I did to time my run this weekend) or as an interval timer. You can set a single interval time, or you can set both work and rest intervals, and you can let it cycle indefinitely or for a specified number of sets. In other words, you can set it and then work so hard that you cannot count your own fingers, and never lose track of what you’ve done. It’s tiny, too:
You can clip it to your shirt or waistband and you’ll never notice it. It runs on a single AAA battery, so you don’t have to worry about finding the right button cell to replace it. Fun fact: that’s why I haven’t worn a watch in about five years — the battery died and Target doesn’t carry the right one. So I just got used to not wearing a watch. Have I mentioned that I’m sort of lazy?
The other thing Mark got me is a weight belt. Once I passed bodyweight on deadlift, it seemed like a good idea. He bought me the same kind that he uses, but since I’m a girl, mine is pretty:
My strength may not be in running, but I can lift heavy things…while accessorizing.