Friday, December 20, 2013

Let it Snow!

It snowed an inch, so everything is cancelled. This is the weirdest place ever. I went to buy a snow shovel, but Lowes only had one kind, so that is what I bought. It felt kind of communistic to me.

Exercising pretty much has not happened lately. Today I was pumped to do it, but Drew stayed home and worked remotely. I hoped he would run some errands for me, but he didn't. He just worked. I ended up running the errands and therefore didn't get my workout in. It is 3:30 and I haven't showered yet. It is funny that a lot of women say their kid keeps them so busy that they couldn't shower. In my case, it is because of my husband.

Drew also hasn't run this whole week. He needs to find a race to train for. Probably a half, first. He is also thinking about running the St. George Marathon in October. That would be fun!

I am glad it snowed today. I really miss it. I hope it will next week for Christmas!

Do you like snow? Is it snowy where you live?

What is the most common reason you don't shower when that happens?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Personal Training for the First Time

This morning, I met up with Ashlie for my free 30 minute session with her. She weighed me, took my measurements, and I held the BMI measuring thing. Ugh. I need to lose fat (and weight). But that's ok. Then she took me through a basic arm workout.

We didn't have time, but she told me to do them in groups of two, and to do three sets of twelve of each exercise.


Chest Press
Push Up

Shoulder Press with barbell
Bicep Curl with barbell

Tricep Pushdown
Lateral Raise

It wasn't anything fancy for the routine, but I appreciated it all the same. She told me about form on each of the movements and really focused on the breath. Ashlie described three stages in weight training, first, Stabilize; second, Strength; and third, Power. She encouraged me to build a base and then to increase the weight. Don't be afraid to lift heavy! I was glad that she said this, because that is what I believe.

Overall, I would like to work more with Ashlie or any trainer. I think being accountable to someone would help me with weight loss. The monthly personal training session is the thing I like most about this gym. When I look at other places, I will ask about personal training and what is available to members.

Today's workout
15 minutes on elliptical
1 round of all exercises
20 minutes of strength training at home before El woke up

What is your favorite weight lifting move?

Do you have a personal trainer?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Slogging through Mud

El decided it was time to play at 3:00 a.m. That is not playtime. That is also something she has never done before. After an hour and a half, Drew finally got her to sleep. I did not make it to the gym at 5. I got up at 7:30 and cleaned the bird cage. Everyone else got up at 8.

Fortunately, it is a warm day and not raining, so I took El out for a run in the stroller. I was tired and haven't run with the stroller for a while, so it was a pretty tough 3 miles.

I did not want to go to choir practice yesterday but I did anyway. I just felt so blah about them. I do not really love or feel excited about any of the songs. My favorite is probably, "Shepherd Leave Thy Sheep," a song I had never heard before. It is simple and sweet. I do not like the song I am conducting, "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear." I would not have picked it had it been up to me. It is set to the tune of "Let Zion In Her Beauty Rise," a perfectly fine song. I do not like them together and I think the piece is too difficult for our choir given the number of pieces we are learning. So choir has been blah but I keep going to support Shannon, our director who is going out of town (which is why choir members are conducting the pieces). Anyway, singing feels like slogging through the mud lately.

I cloth diaper El and the zipper on the wet bag just broke so now I'm using disposables until I get a new diaper pail and reusable liner. It makes me feel so wasteful.

At least I ran today, right? That always gives me some extra pep in my step.

Tomorrow I will have a free personal training session at Vision Quest. It is also my last day of the free trial. The free monthly personal training is the thing most intriguing to me about this gym. I will let you know how it goes!

Today's workout
3 mile run, 33:36, 11:09 pace

Have you ever worked with a personal trainer before? What was your favorite thing about that? What should I pay attention to?

Do you feel blah or do you feel amazing today?

Ever considered cloth diapers?
I really like them. They are not as bad as you fear!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Not a Broadway Production

Singing "Gesu Bambino" went great on Thursday, except it was a cruel joke to have us sing after eating delicious potatoes. At least I waited on dessert until after we sang.

Today is the Ward Christmas Party and I am on the committee. I am heading the program portion of the party, which consists of a Nativity play by the children ages 8-11. It should be interesting, to say the least. We will also have the guests sing five songs, "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "Away in a Manger," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "With Wondering Awe," and "Joy to the World." I think it will be nice. I was really stressed about it, but I feel so much better once I began my mantra for the program: It isn't a Broadway production. So much less stressful when you think of things that way.

This morning, I squeezed in a run. I feel great. I was at a pretty good pace, but my average was a little slow because I stopped to walk a few times because of the many barking dogs out this morning. I hope you can get a run in, too!

Today's workout
4.12 mile run, 43:46 total time, 10:38 avg. pace

Any holiday parties for you today?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday---Strong, Treadmills, Gesu Bambino, and Nativities

It's Thursday and I want to write about a bunch of things of various topics.

Today I read a great article called "Spread the Strength." I really liked that the author had experience being really skinny and being strong. I have never been really skinny, my lowest adult weight was 135, which I did not sustain. The best I have ever felt about my body was not when I weighed 135, but when I weighed 150 and was swimming two miles, running 10-15 miles, lifting weights, and ballet twice a week and eating very well. Strong is the new skinny. When you are strong, you can be any size and feel good about your accomplishments. This is an attitude I really hope I can pass along to El.

The treadmills (and the entire gym) was empty today. Maybe people only workout MWF? I ran intervals, and probably could have gone faster on some of them, but I am getting used to the realities of treadmill running, meaning that you sustain a speed and cannot (easily) fluctuate. My "easy" pace was 5.5 mph and my fastest intervals were at 6.5 mph. I could probably have gone up to 7.0 for one and then be dead. Maybe next time.

Today I sing "Gesu Bambino" in a duet for a dinner. I'm excited and very complimented. My friend is an older woman and is a talented and trained singer. She approached me and asked if I wanted to sing with her. This really made me feel good about my vocal talents, which is where I am barely trained. I was going to say it was my least trained musical talent, but then I remembered I had a 2-hour seminar for the organ and no training to be a choir conductor, so...

Enjoy a video of David Archuletta singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!

If you are in Snohomish or Skagit county, be sure to visit the Arlington Nativity Festival this weekend. It should be great! It is from Thursday through Sunday. It is free, there will be music and lots of nativities. Three of my nativities are there!

Today's Workout
3.4 mile run, 36:00 min, 10:35 pace

What songs are you performing this Christmas season?
Gesu Bambino (duet); O Come, O Come Emmanuel (cello solo); It Came Upon the Midnight Clear (conducting a choir); singing six other songs in the choir; playing the organ on Christmas Sunday. So I'm doing a lot.

David Archuletta, yay or nay?
yay, I think he is talented.

Are you strong? How do you feel about strong as the new skinny?
Heck yes!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Lot of Music and Not A Lot of Running

Pretty much all my posts this week have been about music. It's Christmas time which means amateur musicians are working hard to entertain their community groups. I'm working hard for our Church programs. A lot has been going on musically for me, but not a lot athletically.

Until today.

Yesterday I went to a small gym, Vision Quest, and got a free one-week pass. We'll see how I like it.

So far, I'm not super impressed. The man who showed me around was very nice, but then he stressed me out talking about how much I could save if I signed up today. Finally I left with my pass and not having signed up. I love a good deal. But I think I love a good fit better. He asked me what I thought a good fit was. I said I didn't know, but I would know at the end of my week trial.

After hearing the benefits of membership, I only noticed two things. First, it is cheap, only $20 per month. Second, you get 2 free personal training sessions at the start and then 1 each month after that. I think that is cool.

Today I woke up at 5:15 and headed to the gym. All the treadmills were full. Ummm, that's why I wanted to go to the gym. So I did the elliptical for 20 minutes until I had a good workout (it's OK, I do like the elliptical) and the treadmills cleared out a bit. Then I ran a mile and came home.

So what I didn't like today was that there were about 10 treadmills and they were full and 20 ellipticals and there were 3 people on them. Obviously, they need more treadmills and less ellipticals or I won't be a happy gym-goer. I noticed that the cardio machines, though very well maintained, were old. They were the same models I used at USU in 2006, which they have gradually been replacing since 2010. Not a big deal, but kind of ridiculous since I'd used those same machines 7 years ago. The final thing was the cleanliness factor. The room seemed like it needed a good scrubbing and paint job, especially the window I ran in front of. I only noticed one other person using the cleaner on their machine when they were done (I did, too). Is that too snooty of me? Those are the things I did not like about my Vision Quest experience today.

There are a few other things I don't like about the gym. One, it is small and there are no classes. I would like to go to a spin or yoga or strength class. Two, there is no pool, and I enjoy lap swimming which means I would have to pay for another pass to a pool. Three, the parking lot shares with too many other things and between the coffee shop, gas station, day care center, fast food place, and gym, it gets crazy. Four, are free personal training sessions too good to be true? I believe that you get what you pay for.

There are still 6 days left of my trial and I am going to take full advantage of it. However, I don't think I'll be signing on. The low price isn't enough to change my mind about the other things.

Today's workout
20 minutes, elliptical
1 mile run, 10:45

Do you go to a gym? What do or don't you like about it?

A Shopping Surprise in Chicago

I saw this video on Facebook and thought you may enjoy it!

Basically, Yo Yo Ma held a "pop up concert" at a mall in Chicago. How cool!

I would say that he should come to the Alderwood Mall nearby, but I rarely shop so I would probably miss it anyway.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The New Piano!

It is here.

(I put a picture in! We'll see if this happens in the future. I had to copy from my email and then paste it here.)

We decided to got with the old piano for free. It is in good condition even though it is almost 100 years old. The soundboard is healthy. The strings are OK, and those that broke were spliced together well. Right now, it is out of tune, but that is only temporary. On a less musical note, the color is perfect and actually coordinates really well with a china closet from the 1970s we have. I love that is Victorian but looks retro.

I am so happy to have a piano in our home finally. I loved playing and listening to my my mom play when I was growing up. Our home was full of music. Now my new family will get to enjoy a home full of music.

Today's Workout
20 minutes strength training
20 minutes Zumba

How was your weekend?

Was your childhood home full of music?

Is your adult home full of music now?

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Sound of Music

Did you watch The Sound of Music last night? I got home from the Spaghetti Factory on a girls' night out right at the end of "Do Re Mi" and watched the rest of the show. I don't follow Tweet, but I guess people had a lot of negative to say.

Why do people only see the negative? Carrie Underwood is not Julie Andrews and she wasn't trying to be. The live performance isn't the film and they were not trying to make it that. I thought it was great, like being at a play only on TV and I could see the actors' faces.

My favorite moment was during the thunderstorm and the children run into Maria's room. Brigitta slams the door shut and had the best little face. I loved it. I understood more of the plot and caught more dialogue and extra meaning with a different cast that I don't have memorized. I payed better attention. I think it made me love The Sound of Music even more.

Regarding the music, I thought it was great. Everyone singing was very talented and the Von Trapp family singers sounded wonderful together. I liked the songs sung by the baroness and Max that are not included in the film. They gave added insight to their characters and were fun tunes. The one thing I thought the actors could have done better with was dynamics; they seemed to only sing mezzo forte and forte, and never really used the emotional power of piano. That may have been because of the microphone situation. I'm not sure.

Will I watch it again? Probably. I will possibly even purchase it to add to my collection. I thought it was well done and was an entirely different beast from the film. It needs to be considered and critiqued as an entity to itself and not as a competitor to the film.

Did you watch The Sound of Music live? What did you think?

How are your workouts going this week?
Horrible. I have been lazy for the past two days.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Just My Luck...

The weather cover came yesterday! Today while El was napping, I went to the garage to figure out how to attach it. Turns out that the BOB Strollers recalled the ones with a drawstring cord, which I have. But I can order the new way to attach it (velcro) from BOB for free, so that will be good. Basically, no cover for now. Uggh. I cannot catch a break.

The skies are clear and it is freezing here in WA. It would be perfect, but as I said yesterday, it is too cold for babies no.

Last night, I ended up rowing for 30 minutes "going" 0.5 miles. Rowing is hard. I have blisters on my hands. At least I will be able to *hopefully* keep up my level of fitness throughout the winter.

Last night, I read an article, "The Truth about Your Running Form," and it got me thinking. I've been working on my foot strike, which, according to the article, is not the most important part of form. Posture, cadence, and landing underneath your body are more important for form and injury prevention.

If I can't run because of the temperature and my child, I might as well improve my form by doing drills. Today, I ran in place with a metronome for 10 minutes. I am interested to see what my cadence is when I am out on the road. I will have to track it on my next run. I think running with a metronome could help me run at a steady, even pace, and be able to increase my cadence. When running in place, I also lift my knees forward and land gently below my body. So I'm working on two of the form points in the article. Come to think of, it is probably good for my posture, too. I will also look into some other running drills that I can do at home when the weather outside is frightful. I can take a problem and turn it to my advantage.

Even on a cold, blustery day, you can't go wrong with a run outside! (especially when done with a friend!)

So here's to preparing for the future when dealing with things out of our control. And here's to squeezing in a run of any distance when you can.

Today's Workout
30 minutes of yoga
10 minutes running in place
5 minutes of running drills

If you were trapped in your house in a blizzard, how would you get your workout in?
HIIT workouts and running drills. Plus, it will keep you warm if the power's out.

Do you have a motivational mantra?
I think I need to get one.

What is your favorite running drill?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Too Cold for Babies

I like the cold. I am from a cold place. I like doing outdoor things. I like winter sports like skiing and snowshoeing.

Having a baby changes how adventurous your recreation can be. We have taken El ice fishing, normal fishing, hiking, camping, and on long road trips. So we still try to do the things we enjoy. But we do have to modify it. We pack heavier for hiking and camping with a child. We are working on how we can backpack with her. We can't fish for as long with her. We have more of a hub when we fish instead of wandering around. In the case of running, you have to wait for the napping stars to align, you have to bundle baby up, you have to push a stroller, you have to stop and try to get the kid to stop screaming. Some days she loves being outside and being in the stroller and going on runs. I think she likes the fresh air and to see things. But lately, she has screamed on every single run or walk. I think it is just too cold for her.

I really hope the rain cover will keep her warmer. The wind will be out of her face, she won't get wet. All I know is, I am going stir crazy and crazy from having a whiney, cold baby. It has also thrown off my running, right when I found a schedule that works and mapped out a plan. Ugh. I will really have to get out the door right when A gets home.

It isn't even that cold (for me), it's 32*F which isn't bad. But it is too cold for babies.

I feel like I just have excuses---I have a baby, it's cold, her schedule is difficult, she has a cough. I don't think excuses are bad unless you let them take over and never overcome them. Identifying your excuse can help you find a way around it. I realize I'm making excuses so here is my way around it. 1) short HIIT workouts during nap time. 2) running right when A gets home at 4:30. 3) run on my friend's treadmill. 4) rowing machine in the evenings.

It's too cold for babies, but I'm not a baby, literally or figuratively.

Today's workout
Core endurance
Tabata, 20 minutes (5 exercises)
3 mile run or 30 minute row later today

Excuses excuses. What's your excuse? How are you going to get around it?

How is the weather in your neck of the woods?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Trans Siberian Orchestra Concert, Nov. 2013

We went to the Trans Siberian Orchestra (TSO) concert on Saturday night. Drew and I were on a date, and Shannon joined us. Sad day, Brady was under the weather. He would have loved it.

I am not much of a rocker and my rock concerts have pretty much just consisted of a Hootie and the Blowfish concert when I was 15 and Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band concerts at concert. Love Ryan Shupe. I wasn't familiar with Hootie and kept wondering why it smelled so funny there.

Like I said before, we won tickets from a friend's raffle. Our seats were in a suite! I have never been in a suite, it was so sweet. The best part was that we had our own personal toilet. Here is the order of awesome things about being in a suite.
  1. Personal toilet
  2. Having water to drink the whole time.
  3. Having a place to set your food and water on in front of you.
  4. Feeling like a queen and referring to all the other people as "the peasants" for the whole night.
  5. Comfy seats.
  6. Being with 16 people you know because everyone from your ward won tickets.
  7. Parking right across the street for FREE!
As you can tell, being in the suite was pretty cool.

The concert was fun, too. I wasn't sure what to expect as I was only family with TSO's Christmas songs. They played some Christmas songs, then had a Christmas story/music thing, played more Christmas songs, and then played other songs.

Drew and I are so dumb at rock and roll. The lead guitarist said that his best friend Paul was there and he got the group together. Everyone was screaming. We were like, "YAY!" but didn't know why everyone was freaking out. And then later on the drive home when we talked with Shannon did we realize that it was Paul McCartney! ooooff! So that was pretty cool in retrospect.

The lights were amazing, it was really loud and I did put in earplugs, the music was great and fun. I really am not much of a rocker, but we had a great time. I am glad we won the tickets and I think we should go to more rock concerts in the future. As long as we balance those with symphonies because that is what I love.

Today's Workout
strength training, 20 minutes
row, 0.5 miles on the schedule

What has been your favorite non-symphonic concert?
Sorry TSO, Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band always will have my heart. They are awesome entertainers and I love to sing along with them.

Have you ever been in a suite?

How was your workout?