Saturday, February 25, 2012

How Clean Is Your House?

I have a dog.

As you know.

A dog, two kids, two cats, a husband. (Not listed in order of importance)

And every single one of us sheds and/or tracks dirt in the house. Our not-large house.

I don't know about you, but between work, homework, workouts and enjoying life, we don't have a lot of time - or interest - left over for housework.

The kids are generally helpful - when urged - and we try to keep up with the general clutter, the dishes & laundry and try to keep the floors reasonably clean, but maaaaannnnn. This house is not as clean as it was back before I started working out and had more time. Or as clean as it was when I had started working out, but before I added bootcamps, running and swimming to the mix.

And now that we've got the dog, it's full-time shedding and muddy pawprints around here. As well as the never-ending kid clutter, laundry and dishes.

An aside - did I tell you that we've burned out TWO vacuums since Stella joined us five months ago?

We made time this past weekend to catch up on the chores, which led to a lot of marvelling (or was it yelling?) over how untidy, cluttered and dusty things had gotten since our last deep clean, back can't remember.

I'm not about to scale back on training in order to have a cleaner house. I'm also not prepared to reduce the number of pets (or people!) who live here. And as much as I'd love to hire a cleaning service, it's not going to happen.


Obviously the solution is for us to do a bit more, and perhaps for me to care about the state of things bit less.

But I have to wonder - how clean is YOUR house? How do you balance training with managing your home?

Here's this week's recap -

Yes, that is a birthday doughnut. Her pick. We're having cake tomorrow.
Saturday - Happy Birthday to my daughter! 2K walk to buy treats for dessert.

Sunday - Ran C25K week 4 run 3, then had the extended family over to celebrate the birthday girl. Hence this week's cleaning frenzy. Walked kids and cousins and dogs down to the dog park later in the day (2K).

Boy and dog ran sprints up these stairs a few times. This is about 20% of the full staircase.

Monday - Family Day holiday and a day off! Took the kids and the dog to High Park - we walked the trails, checked out the zoo (bison and emus and llamas, oh my!), hit the climbers and took Stella to the forested dog park. All in all, about a 2.5K walk.

Tuesday - C25K Week 5, Run 1: run 5 mins, walk 3, run 5, walk 3, run 5. Was very worried about this over the weekend but it ended up to be OK. Phew. Now I can worry about W5 R2 and R3...

Wednesday - Had a flat tire after work but happily was able to get it fixed in time to hit the gym. Curves workout + bootcamp (100 squats, 30 lunges w/8lb weights, 210 arm reps w/ 8lb weights, 400 assorted crunches, 2 mins speed skating, 1 min skipping, 35second side planks, 35sec standard plank).

Thursday - 2K dog park walk, then Zumba #5 for the year + Curves circuit + bootcamp #16 (50 squats, 30 lunges w/10lb weights, 430 crunches, 2 mins speed skating, 35s side planks, 50 pushups).

Friday - Quite a day. My daughter got hurt at school and needed a few stitches - but under a general anesthetic, so we spent many, many hours at the hospital getting her taken care of. Happily, she will be absolutely fine. And the hospital took excellent care of her.  This is a week for me to be particularly grateful for the kindness of teachers, doctors, nurses, tow truck drivers and mechanics.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Winter Showed Up! Well, Briefly

Is anyone else disappointed at the mild winter we're having? The conditions have been excellent for outdoor running, but it's been pretty lousy for sledding and such.

We were very pleased to get a decent snowfall at the beginning of this week and made sure we took advantage of it before it melted away.

Here's how the week went:

All dog parks should be so fabulous and forested
Saturday - Curves workout followed by a trip to the forest dog park...

Very, very happy girl
 ...and the sledding hills...

C'mon, let's go!

...and then an evening out with my son to cross something off The List:

Hey! Get down from there!
The Harlem Globetrotters! Seeing them live has been on my wishlist since I was a little kid back in the mid-1970s. So you can imagine how excited I was to pick up a couple of tickets on a Groupon deal for this game. And it was just as silly as I expected it would be. Even better that I had a 12-year-old boy to enjoy the show with :-)

Sunday - 1.4K dog walk, a ton of housework, 2K dog park walk...

Walking home from the dog park. Stella loves to stop and play in the snow.
I love to take pictures of her. But you knew that already.

...then later had to use all of my self-discipline to head out the door for C25K week3 run3 (2.4K). I came really close to putting this off until another day, but Stella shamed me into it. Well, actually, she was fast asleep on the floor - all 4 legs twitching in a doggy dream, drooling - but jumped up like a shot when I happened to walk near the front hall. I figured that if she could be raring to go so quickly after being so heavily asleep, then I could put a little effort into my evening. Whatever gets you out the door, I guess.

And that led me to my first experience with running on snowy sidewalks. What a workout!

Believe it or not, I am glad that I am doing this run

Post run. Had to wake her up to go to bed.

Monday - Curves + boot camp #13 (2 mins speed skating, 1 min jumping jacks, 60 leg lifts each side, 200 crunches, 30 squats + 90 arm curls with 8 lb weights, 2 x 35s planks). Followed by a slow 250m in the pool.

Tired. Very tired. But just remembered that tomorrow is REST DAY and managed a small smile.

Tuesday - Ow, my butt. Hobbling around like an old woman after last night's boot camp.

Wednesday - My butt is still tight, but I got in my C25K run - Week 4, Run 1: run 3mins, walk 90sec, run 5 mins, walk 2-1/2 mins, repeat. Covered 2.9K. I have never, ever run 5 continuous minutes before in my life. So, I am spending tonight patting myself on the back. Repeatedly.

Thursday - 2.8km walk during the day. Zumba + Curves workout + boot camp (2 mins speed skating, 110 leg lifts each side, 100 situps with 8lb medicine ball, 200 crunches, 50 squats, 100 arm curls with 8 lb weights). Holy moly.

Friday - PA Day for the kids and I took the day off work. Spent a verrrrry lazzzzzzy day but did get them to the park for a couple of hours, and did C25K week 4 run 2 before bed. Not a bad way to spend a day.

How was your week?

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Week in Salads

After the stress-eating debacle of last week, I decided that I should make an effort to pack myself with nutrition. One of my favourite ways to do this is via a big salad filled with chopped up bits of everything that catches my eye. I love how nourished but light and and energetic I feel after eating a meal-sized salad, especially when I have it for dinner before an evening workout.

However, I frequently fall out of the habit of having a salad for dinner or lunch, so this week is dedicated  to reestablishing a good habit. And I thought I'd better take a daily picture to encourage myself to actually do this, but also make sure that I have enough variety in my bowl, rather than throwing together the same mix every day as I tend to do...I'm a pretty lazy cook, unfortunately. 

So - here's this week's exercise and salad recap:

Saturday - Stella and I reran C25K W2 Day 2 (2.4K), and later went for a walk to the dog park (2K round trip).

Sunday - Reran C25K W2 Day 3. Salad for lunch:

Sunday: 4 packed cups of baby greens, brocolli stalk, cucumber, tomatoes, dried cranberries, almonds, apples and a wee bit of cheese

Later - out to my inlaw's for dinner and a 2.4K dog walk down by the lake.

Pretty. Extra points if you can spot the CN Tower.

Monday: Curves workout + boot camp #11 for the year (230 assorted crunches + 100 side leg lifts + 50 pushups) + 300m in the pool + walk the dog 1K. A very slow & tired 1K. Today's lunch:

Monday: baby greens, chick peas, carrots, celery, tomatoes, almonds and a wee bit of cheese.
Tuesday: Rest day! Very short dog walk. Today's lunch:

Tuesday: baby greens, veggie chick'n strips, celery, brocolli, apple, orange and peanuts. No cheese today.

Wednesday: Dog park (2K round trip), C25K week 3 run 1. Run 90s, walk 90s, run 3 min, walk 3 min, repeat. Oh my. Running for 3 minutes non-stop was OK. Doing it a second time a few minutes later was tough. Doesn't help that I'm still fighing the tail end of my cold and that breathing in cold air was uncomfortable. Today's lunch:

Wednesday: baby greens, strawberries, chickpeas, almonds, cucumbers
And today's sunset. Which pleasantly was happening after 6pm. Days are getting longer!

Thursday: Dog park walk (2K), Zumba + Curves + boot camp (300 crunches, 40 leg lifts, 3 mins on stairstepper, 50 pushups, 35s plank). Tonight's dinner:

Thursday: baby greens, tomatoes, cucumber, veggie chick'n strips, pumpkin seeds

Friday: C25K week 3 run 2. Haha - I didn't even need to tell Stella that we were going out - she flew to the front door as soon as she hear me zip up my running jacket. Good news - this was a much better run than two days ago. My cold must be getting better! Tonight's dinner:

Friday: baby greens, apples, celery, blueberries, beets, pecans and pumpkin seeds
I have to say - I did find that committing to having a salad for a meal every single day felt a bit restrictive in terms of meal planning.

But I feel fantastic - I lost the donut weight that I put on last week, I have a ton of energy, and I really enjoyed the challenge of seeking out more variety than I typically put in my salad bowl. And this was just with what I had on hand. It's got me thinking about what I can put on my grocery list this weekend to make next week's salads even more varied.

I also feel like this was the first time in a long while that I consisently achieved 7-10 servings of fruit & veg every day. Good all around.

Anyone have favourite (vegetarian) combinations to recommend? How is your nutrition these days?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Exercise not Doughnuts

This has been a difficult week. We received some very sad news at work. Stella got a nail embedded in her paw and needed an emergency trip to the vet's. I came down with a cold. The week has been a bit of a blur.

And my reaction to all of this has been very uneven. Don't get me wrong - I compeletely understand the need to rest when rest is needed, but I've been all over the map this week.

I skipped my Monday night training swim and Zumba. Partly busy with some after-hours work tasks, partly because I was generally tired/sick and partly because I was sad and felt like cocooning.

I did go to Curves twice - skipped the circuit (too hard to breathe), but hit a couple of boot camps hard to work out some of my emotions.

Stella and I had to keep our runs super short earlier in the week when it was hard to breathe and her paw was sore. Fortunately we're both getting back into things now.

But I've also been hitting the comfort food HARD.

I've got news for you - going for a run is way, way more therapeutic than hourly doughnuts. I don't think I'd ever properly appreciated how much of a depressant sugar is until this week.

Towards the end of the week, someone mentioned that next week will be a fresh start. But that's a few days away and I no longer want or need to wait that long. Besides, it seems kind of arbitrary to wait for a new week to try to get back to normal.

So - the last couple of days have been about doing just that: slowly getting back to normal. Stella & I are redoing C25K week 2, I've been doughnut-free for two days and the gym is beckoning.

On a happier note - we had a great weekend before all of this started. The kids and I left my husband at home to work on a home repair, and had a weekend away with my fav cousin and her 4 kids. Did a lot of laughing, took the kids skating and went to an indoor/outdoor waterpark:

Me with my eyes closed, my daughter & my cousin

 Six very happy kids. Check out the steam coming off the water. It's also snowing.

My son

And me. Yes, those are ski hills in the background. And no, I didn't catch my cold from going swimming outside in late January.
Here's this week's exercise:

Friday evening - swimming.

Saturday - skating and swimming.

Sunday - 1K dog walk

Monday - 400 misc crunches, 100 leg lifts, 50 pushups, 3 x 35s planks

Wednesday - 1K dog walk

Thursday - 400 crunches, 50 leg lifts, 50 pushups, 3 x 35x planks, 100 arm lifts with 10lb weights.

Friday - C25K W2D1 (2.4K). Followed by a funeral. But then we ended the day on a high note with an early birthday party for my daughter and some of her friends at a trampoline centre:

My daughter in bright pink catching serious air. Her brother to her right.