Sunday, March 21, 2010

Week of Fitness and Rest

Kind of an oxymoron of a title but true. I have made, and for the most part, succeeded at getting good, quality rest this week, on the order of 7-8 solid hours. No mean feat given that I have been waking at 6:00-6:30. This has really impacted me, I think, in a positive way. I have also decided to reduce, but not eliminate my caffeine (coffee) intake. Sad but true. I need to aim for low single digits in the number of total cups per day, preferably somewhere in the vicinity of 2-3. So far, so good. I had far less Friday, none yesterday, and 2 espressos today.

Here's the deal for a week of working out etc:

  • very short walks and some strolling while shopping; essentially a rest day
  • Bodyweight/HIIT/LHT60 s each (with about 10-20 s between exercises):
  • Jumping jacks X 57
  • Prisoner squats X 28
  • Burpees X ~15
  • Wall sit
  • Lunge jumps ~ 60
  • Push ups X 26
  • Air squats X 28
  • Triceps dips X 31
  • Plank
  • Side plank (left side)
  • Side plank (right side)
  • Unilateral plank (left leg)
  • Unilateral plank (right leg)
  • Burpees X 10
  • Wall sit
This took about 20 minutes total and I was done, dripping and breathless. I think I will sprinkle the planks throughout the workout next time, because 6 minutes in a row is too much.
  • walk: 20 minutes

Food Fair: Shepherd's Pie, Bavarian Smokies, and Full Fat Yoghurt

There were some yummy dishes whipped up this week. Here are a few from last Sunday's dinner. Shepherd's Pie made with ground beef, onions, carrots and parsnips topped with mashed potatoes mixed with butter, Parmesan, Romano and cheddar cheese baked for about 45 minutes at 350 F. Yummy! Dessert was black berries and strawberries with cream.
On Thursday I found these great Bavarian smokies with no preservatives or fillers at my local deli, the Grapevine Deli, in downtown St. Albert. They were amazing. I had them on Thursday (Upper photos with carrots, parsnips, green onions, sauerkraut and hot mustard) and again tonight (Lower photos with mushrooms and onions sautéed in butter with butternut squash and spinach salad with dark chocolate with almonds for dessert!). 
I leave Tuesday for a conference for 6 days. I hope I can keep up the solid real food selections when I am away.

Gold for the Girls' 8 X 200 m Relay!

I have to give one stand-alone post to daughter #1, her teammates and coaches who yesterday evening won the Edmonton Journal Indoor Games for elementary girls! Pretty impressive when you consider that 228 teams started the competition and her team finished on top! The finals were exciting from start to finish. Congratulations to all!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Time keeps flying

Once again the week passed by in a blur. Lots happening at work and at home. I visited the kids' school twice, once to talk about my work (that seemed to go well) and once with the SO to see informational/fundraising presentations by Daughter #1's grade (very well done I must say!). Things are ramping up a bit at work with talk and poster preparations for a local conference this coming Friday and then an international conference the following week. This on top of the usual manuscript editing, lecture preparation and lecturing, midterm administration etc. All in all, running on all cylinders. At least everything seems to be going more or less as planned.

On the exercise side of things, the workouts have been pretty good, even great. The only slight hiccup this past week is that my knees are giving me a bit of a twinge here and there. Nothing major, just letting me know that they are there and that I should pay attention to them. I am not certain what is causing this but I have played around with wearing my orthotics and, for the most part as I have been doing for a while, going without them. I don't notice any difference in the knee department but I do feel like the orthotics seem to overstretch my plantar fascia.

One thing I am thinking of trying this week is to replace my LHT/TUL/SS workout using weights with a bodyweight workout, in case the weighted squats and/or deadlifts are aggravating my knees. Richard over at Free the Animal recently posted about changing up his LHT routine and the positive results that he felt. Reading this and with my knees talking to me, I figure I should give it a whirl. Not to mention that I have been on the weights for a while now, and with reducing my LHT workouts to once a week I miss the bodyweight workouts that I used to do in addition to the LHT weight workouts. I came up with a couple of bodyweight/HIIT type workouts that take between 10-15 minutes of actual exercising and will work just about every muscle group and, if history holds, will leave me out of breath and wishing I was on the weights! I'll post again to update with what specifically I use for the workout; I plan to do this tomorrow morning.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

In the midnight hour (and the rest of the week, too)

Given the time I am finishing this post and the subject of the photo above, I figured the title of the post was fitting. Not to mention, I haven't been away on purpose at this time of night very often lately.

I can't believe that here it is Saturday again. The week was filled with the usual things like taking the kids to school and to their activities and the normal work stuff (lectures, manuscript editing/writing etc.). We also had a prospective graduate student visit the lab so there were meetings and meals out to chat and for her to get to know what we are all about. On Friday, I participated in a "work/life balance forum" for the graduate students in the department. I didn't feel particularly "balanced", but my wife and I seem to make it work most times, so I guess I had something to offer.

Speaking of balance, I did manage to maintain a good diet and keep up the exercise in spite of the busier than normal week. When going out to dinner I chose the grilled tuna salad for dinner and for lunch the next day wings with sweet potato fries. The fries were "lightly breaded" with something (likely a grain product) but on balance there was a higher sweet potato content than whatever the breading was made from. Tonight there were some wings and sweet potato fries again (habit? rut? you be the judge) and then some dry ribs. There was no breading on these fries (different restaurant) but there was something that may have been corn meal on the dry ribs. I need to ask about these things before ordering, but again, there was way more rib than the light coating, whatever it was made of.

There were also some fitness activities of many varieties this past week.

Here's the (long) deal:

  • About a 30 minute walk at a brisk pace with the dogs.
  • Bent over rows - X 13, TUL = 1:30, 60 lb barbell
  • Standing overhead press - X 7.5, TUL = 1:09, 60 lb barbell (need to keep slow)
  • Deadlifts - X 13, TUL = 2:31, 70 lb barbell (stopped when form broke down)
  • Bench press - X 8, TUL = 56 s, 90 lb barbell
  • Squats - X 10, TUL = 1:15, 80 lb barbell
  • Curls - X 6.5, TUL = 59 s, 2 X 25 lb dumbbells
  • I also went for a walk with the dogs in the morning (~ 40 min) and at night (~ 20 min brisk).