Friday, November 25, 2011

"You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor". –Aristotle

Spartan Shape-Up, Day 127 & 128:

It's the beginning of Holiday Time, BlogLand. This time of year is always a challenge, in workout terms... Not only does the cold weather make you want to stay in and under a blanket, but schedules get busy and the meals get huge. However, this year, I've got my head in the game and am actively working to avoid getting bogged down in that kind of distraction and getting off track. In light of that, let me tell you about the last couple of days:

Day 127: Thanksgiving:

So, Thanksgiving imploded in my family, it was a bad day. I wanted to just stay at home, curl up in a ball and forget the world. However, I reminded myself that that wouldn't solve anything, I wouldn't feel good about that the next day and I was going to rally and get my ass in gear. It should've been a Run Day, by schedule, but I had a (rare) opportunity to go to a Zumba class again with a friend, for FREE. I figured since it was a holiday, I would change it up a bit and do that.  Plus, it would be fun, and a little bit less of a mental challenge than running is for me - just what I needed on this Thanksgiving, I think. So, off to Zumba I went. 60 full minutes of high-intensity, high-impact latin inspired, hip-hop, dance craziness. If you've never been to a Zumba class, I highly recommend them. Even as someone who works out, runs, etc. in 60 minutes of a Zumba class (assuming I do the high-impact version), I work up an excellent sweat and still get a great work out. My running has definitely helped though... I was huffing and puffing a WHOLE lot less, and totally rocked right through all the intense plyometric sections, no problemo! Yeeehaw! It is nice to have those real tangible reminders of the fact that your fitness is improving.

I thought about going for a run, too... but I figured it was the holiday and I was happy with a solid hour of cardio/plyo. I did get dragged to a friend's family Thanksgiving, and was faced with a bit of a quandary... What to do about the No-Bread eating I've been doing? Thanksgiving isn't EXACTLY No-Bread friendly (Think: stuffing, potatoes, bread, etc.). After a bit of a debate, I finally came to the decision that I would eat a "normal" dinner... but I would take it easy on the starches, desserts, etc. AND, I am happy to report that I stuck to that plan. I loaded my plate with turkey and veg and a bit of sweet potato... then added just a little bit of mashed potato, skipped the bread and ate happily. I did have a very small dessert (because it looked amazing), and felt okay with that. I felt very in control though... not like I was stuffing myself just to do it, but that I was making mindful decisions. If nothing else, that makes me happy. Upon leaving that, I was right back on track - dinner last night was chicken/blackbean "tacos" in romaine lettuce shells. Actually, I enjoyed that.

This morning, I had an excellent pumpkin smoothie (pumpkin puree, vanilla greek yogurt, milk, protein powder, and a dash or two of cinnamon/nutmeg/truvia. OM nom nom. I was really skeptical of how that was going to be... but I felt I had to honor the season and try it. SO GOOD. Might be my new favorite. Not sure I'm going to want it ALL the time... but I definitely enjoyed it this morning.

Then, off again to Zumba (Day 128), for another round of heart-pumpin', booty-shakin' good time. My calves are crying from the jumping and on-your-toes moves... but, a good time was had by all. It was nice to mix it up a bit and just let loose and have a good time - but still get in a really solid hour of a workout.

Tomorrow, however, it's back at it hard core... CrossFit in the morning! Slightly terrifying, as the teacher is Tiny Hercules... er.. I mean, Lisa. She's fabulous and I love her... but she's tiny and enthusiastic and can do ring dips like they're her job (well, I guess they kind of are). I am sure her mission for every WOD is to try and kill us. Which, again, is probably a good thing, as that kind of intensity is just what I need to train for Spartan Race. Wahaha.

Tomorrow, though, I'm going to try my first double-down day - Crossfit followed by a bit of a run... not sure how my legs will feel about that (depends on the CF WOD of the day)... but, I'm going to try and get in at least two miles, so I keep on schedule.

Stay tuned!

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