Monday, March 17, 2014


I'm forever impressed by warriors. And most attracted to his variety of activities. I like his words of advice about maintaining the weekly long run, and keeping up with daily 30-minute works. It sounds so positive and achievable, doesn't it?


I ran hard on the TM for 30 minutes after work. Later, after a sandwich at home, I did 20 x 4 "kettlebell" swings with a 25-lb weight. I'm not sure I did them properly because a weight is harder to hold between the legs than a k-bell which has that handy, er, handle at the top. I concentrated on keeping a straight back and my shoulders above my knees. I'm not sure how successful I was on that last point. Next time I'll try it in front of a mirror.

The run was no biggie but the swings left me breathless. I had to rest at least a minute between sets. I'm encouraged to find one or two kettle bells and some new exercises.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


My workouts have really fallen off the rails for the last two weeks. One massive contributing factor is my birthday. I like to spread the celebration of the anniversary of my birth about as thinly as Vegemite: a cracker here and there until the knife is scraping the sides of an empty jar.

There was a delightful weekend away with my paramour during which we sampled cheesy lasagna, eggy breakfasts, tapas and red wines. We sampled these delights in establishments within a two-block radius which completely eliminated the need for walking. There were brownies enjoyed with a colleague one boring afternoon at the office. Then there was a pub dinner with friends where we ordered meals assembled from diverse but ultimately calorific ingredients, like the white bean dip that was decorated with turnip dices and sour cream, and served with a bowl of fried homemade tortillas. We consume more calories with friends because of subtle peer pressure or encouragement, depending on how you see it, plus we're happy to be with people we don't see often enough. Either way, we want to keep the party going with "meal stretchers" like appetizers and desserts, which keep us bound at the table for more togetherness. This applies to dinner parties or restaurant meals.

So, it looks like my birthday is not just the deciding factor, but the only one in my workout schedule being so empty over the last 10 days or so! I go through this string of celebrations every year, but only once, and I derive so much contentedness from it that I can't imagine striking it from my life. It's an excuse to socialize, see my dear friends, and enjoy romantic time-outs with my sweetie. Healthy practices all.

I need to just go with it. :-)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Routine needs a poutine

Another fierce morning. Minus 18. From my window the sky is pale blue. Light streaks of cloud and the fading white trail of a plane add dimension. If you could see only the sky above the city you might conclude that you were witnessing a beautiful summer day taking shape. "Morning is Broken" would be playing in the background (unless you treasure irony).

This winter is outlasting my love for it. I like the cold and adore snow but I'm ready for something different. A change of events. I feel unenthusiastic about my usual gym routines. Even the awesome Thursday evening spinning class feels boring and repetitive. And I know it isn't really that way. Challenging and energetic, that class has revived my outlook on life after many soul-crushing days of clients and bosses. 

Going skating now!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


My nerves are a bit jumpy. It's still as cold as Dante's inner circle of hell. Work was more intense than usual, with lots of tasks and no time to drag my tiring eyes from the screen for a soothing cup of tea. We were "snow kissed" again today. Hey DJ, I've heard this tune a million time already! Given a choice I would rather suffer multiple peeling sunburns than trudge home in more snow, pretty as drifting snowflakes can be.

And I'm frozen in the pre-holiday vortex. You know what I mean - the days leading up to a trip always refuse to pass by quickly, with dignity. Those days drag pitifully, and then out of nowhere pull a 180 and get all playful. So that late at night before your 6:00 am flight you discover you have no clean undies or valid passport. On Friday we'll be leaving for a weekend jaunt across the border. Although the weekdays are shuffling by, Friday doesn't feel any closer - and I want a bite.

// The bliss of way too much icing - in Miami // 
After dinner I shuffled down to the canal (my polyester snowpants make a shuffle-y sound). There weren't many people on the ice, just some boys with hockey pucks and what looked like a grandfather/grandchild bonding experience. Really cute. 

Snow had fallen today for hours, and the canal was white with fluff. I laced up my skates and set out. I couldn't see ice, even in spots where skaters' blades before me had spread the snow thinly. Wary of cracks hidden beneath, my first few glides were short, hesitant. I kept going. The ice felt smooth and strong. After a while I forgot to worry about my vulnerability and retreated into my mind to enjoy the bliss of being alone.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Cold spell's still winter. It would be great to stay outside in the clear sunshine (even at 4:30!) but it's just too cold. I think we'll only have to hang in for a couple more weeks and then spring will arrive and make it better with flowers and puppies and happiness.

I joined D for a round of P90X chest exercises when I got home. I missed it last week and I swear I could feel the absence. I felt weaker. Ha! Impossible. 

Anyway, this one is a satisfying mix of push ups and chin ups (which we simulate with bands). Some of the push ups are super uncomfortable, like diamond push ups where the thumbs and index fingers touch. I spread my hands apart to ease off a bit but it's still difficult. Oh, they're all difficult. 

I'm really glad D is riding the P90X train. I get pulled into doing the exercises with him occasionally and it helps me address my weaker areas. Upper body exercises are challenging. I don't lack in motivation for doing activities I love, but to carry out upper body exercises when I can barely manage one full push up requires a routine, a partner, and the promise of a delicious dinner afterwards. (Note: tonight it was leftovers.)

The 15-minute ab routine afterwards was so hard...ugh. It's over!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Listen to this

It's too cold for outdoor running, at least for me, so I've been finding solace in the treadmills at the gym. A handful of the treadmills have 60-minute settings (others have a 35-minute max), and all have 3-speed fans and TVs. Runners almost never have to wait for a machine because the gym is well stocked. We are well taken care of here.

I'm back to doing long Sunday runs again, a decision I've been aligned with since early January. Long runs on treadmills are interesting because, conversely, the potential for boredom is so high. I don't know if it's an indication of age, but my taste for audio pairings on the Sunday run has veered from music to podcasts. Music is fine for outdoors where visual variety abounds - because one actually moves. Podcasts are suitable for indoor running because they engage my mind and curiosity. I can concentrate for up to several minutes without checking machine stats for my speed, distance remaining, etc.

So far, I'm loving This American Life. Which I follow up with a round or two of this.