30 Workouts 30 Days

Okay – so the title of this month might be a little misleading… as I only completed 25 workouts in 40 days… but sometimes life gets in the way.  Or sometimes loss and grief get in the way.  It’s important to pause when important events occur and take a moment to reflect.  I’ve always been an advocate to feeling your feelings; if you’re sad, be sad and don’t try to push passed it.  But you should also remember to take time for yourself.  As someone who works in retail, I spend most of my day making sure other people are happy.  As someone who manages a large group of people, I also spend most of my day making sure other people are happy.  And I am very good at my job.  Customer service is phenomenal and employee turnover is minimal.  But when things happen in my personal life, I often forget how to make time for me.  I took several days off from this 30 day challenge, but in the end realized the importance of personal health and making time to pursue it.

The month started off strong!  Week One included at 7 mile hike around Ramona Falls, several runs totaling 10.87 miles, yoga, and Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and I burned 1,570 calories!

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Week Two was also pretty fun.  I took a yoga class at a new studio called Yoga Refuge, hiked 5.29 miles with steep elevation gains at Multnomah Falls, watched a Daily Burn video for MMA, took 2 Crossfit classes with Jade, ran 2 miles, and did some outdoor cross training with my sister.  I burned 1,781 calories.

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Week 3 consisted of a few less workouts, but still very enjoyable.  I went to the gym with my dad and ran 2.8 miles alongside him while he began training to run a half marathon with me next year.  That was very inspirational and motivational for me.  I played some golf at McMenamins Edgefield, but mainly just drank.  And then I took an introductory Crossfit class at a local gym.  Only 3 workouts this week, but I’ve been traveling.

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Week 4 was a little better.  I went to Yoga Refuge twice this week. There was one class where I was the only student and it was completely personalized for me and I loved it!  Got to do a lot of shoulder strengthening and hip openers.  Bought a new bike and went on a 3.2 mile loop around the waterfront.  I ran one mile under 9 minutes, which is my fastest mile yet.  I also got to attend Grit Fitness – which is a weekly workout session a friend of mine hosts.  He piles up all types of workout gear in his car and unloads on the side of the street under the Steel Bridge.  Friends and strangers on the street can do strength training with bands, sledgehammers, ropes, kettle bells, or run up and down stairs, in a fun but seriously demanding environment.  It is highly enjoyable but I am definitely the least fit person there.

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Week 5 included at 5.2 mile hike around Silver Falls, a 15 mile bike ride, and a 2.45 mile run.

Silver Falls boots

So here are the stats – I traversed 52 miles.  I took 4 yoga classes, 3 Crossfit classes, 1 Grit Fitness session, several strength training workouts, and set a new personal record for fastest mile.  I got to spend time with my favorite people in the world.  I took a moment to reflect at the top of Mount Tabor and at the beautiful waterfalls at Multnomah, Silver, and Ramona Falls.  I pushed myself to get out there when I didn’t want to, but also knew when to take a break.  Of course I didn’t hit my goal.  I almost never do.  But I still keep making goals and shooting higher and higher.

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February – Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

For the month of February, I wanted to take Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Challenge.  Of course I love everything with “30 Days” in the title!  I know February only has 28 days, but who cares?!  Jillian Michaels is the ball busting trainer on Biggest Loser and she kicks some serious ass.  I bought her workout DVD at Target for $10 but you can also watch on her YouTube channel or purchase and play off iTunes.  It has three levels of varying workouts and intensities and each one is about 20 minutes.  My plan was to complete one workout 4 days a week.  Each workout has 3 intervals of – 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs.

Day One was pretty tough.  The day after the workout, I could hardly lower myself to a seated position.  My hamstrings were annihilated.  I was zombie walking all over town.  I usually cross train and do different exercises and was concerned about having to do the exact same workout day after day.  After the first 3 days, it didn’t seem so bad.  I peppered in some level 2 and level 3 which weren’t that much harder than level 1.  

Jillian knows when you’re getting tired through the television!  When you want to go slower and take a break, she says “you can do this.  You got this.  You’re STRONG!”  It’s pretty motivating.

I only completed 12 of my planned 16 workouts this month.  I hardly ever reach my initial goal for the month, but I continue to have lofty aspirations.  I felt good.  Great, actually.  It’s a quick and powerful workout.  I enjoyed doing it and will definitely keep it in my workout arsenal. 

December – Nike Fuelband Month

The most beautiful, brilliant, and thoughtful woman in the world happens to be my best friend.  She also happens to give very good birthday gifts, like the Nike Fuelband she gave me last month for my 31st.  So I decided to take on the challenge – meet a goal of 2500 fuelpoints each day of December.  This seemed pretty easy, considering 2500 is an average goal for women my age and I have a fairly active job.

So what is a Fuelband?  The Nike Fuelband is a motivational tool to inspire activity.  It uses an accelerometer to track movement, and converts it, based on your height and weight, into a fitness currency called FuelPoints.  It also tracks approximate steps and calories burned and displays the time!

For my challenge, I decided to go with the goal Nike recommended – 2500 points per day. The first couple of days were easy peazy.  Forty-five minutes on the treadmill earns about 1800 points.  An eight hour workday is 700-1500 points depending on the busyness.  Walking casually around town earns about 250 points every half hour.  House cleaning is about the same.  Unfortunately, activity that doesn’t involve quick arm movements, like the Pilates class I took only earned 200 points in an hour.

Week 1 – 18,387 total FuelPoints. 57% Goals Hit. 8,772 Steps per Day.  Best Day of the Week – 3,935 FuelPoints on Thursday.

Then, on Tuesday of Week 2, my Fuelband broke.  The additional piece that customizes the fit of the Band broke off and I couldn’t find it.  It took me a couple days to get it into the Nike Store for repair.  Once I brought it in, they hooked me up with a new piece and I was ready to go – again.

Week 2 – 14,088 total FuelPoints. 29% Goals Hit.  6,694 Steps per Day. Best Day of the Week – 3,728 FuelPoints on Thursday.

Mondays are usually days spent completely in an office with little work activity.  If I don’t go to the gym afterwards, it results in a day like Week 3 Monday – 1,209 FuelPoints.  Then, I forgot to put it on Thursday morning before I left the house for the day.

Week 3 – 18,147 total FuelPoints. 71% Goals Hit. 8,988 Steps per Day.  Best Day of the Week – 4,308 FuelPoints on Tuesday.

Then I started to get a cold.  The last week of December in retail is pretty brutal and I was done.  Then, on December 29th, I got an error message to plug it into a computer and sync.  Who uses a computer anymore?

Week 4 – 8,688 total FuelPoints. 0% Goals Hit. 3,117 Steps per Day.  Best Day of the Week – 2,077 FuelPoints on Friday.

Breakdown for December
61,150 FuelPoints
35% of Goals Hit
6,380 Steps Per Day
463 Calories Burned Per Day
2,264 Average FuelPoints per day

So here’s the bottom line.  The FuelBand is is a great motivational tool, and that’s exactly it.  You shouldn’t expect it to track all your activity accurately.  You can get more points clapping at a seated concert than you would riding a bike across town.  Some friends have trouble syncing and can’t retrieve the previous days activity.  It’s got some problems.  Some bugs.  Some kinks.  There are definitely ways to improve.  But when the words at the bottom of the NikeFuel app say “1800 points behind vs Women 30-39,” it’s pretty motivating.  How the heck are these old ass women beating me?  I’ll show them!

June 25

Last week of the month! Wahoo! Except I feel like there’s still a ton that I want to do. I only had two weekend days off this month so didn’t get a chance to do hiking yoga, which is only on Saturdays and Sundays.  I still haven’t taken a class anywhere but the gym. This month is totally flying by.

Went to an afternoon class at the gym. There were people much better than I in the class and it was inspiring. The teacher gave 5 minutes of freestyle time (which I was completely unsure what to do with and just wound up stretching) and people next to me were standing on their head for the entire time. It looked awesome but luckily I didn’t attempt it.

June 23

Did the first 20 minutes of the yoga video on Netflix Watch Instantly. Why is it so much harder to do yoga at my own house? After 20 minutes I was sweaty and out of breath. It was really lame and I felt even worse for only doing it twice this week. I really don’t like the video and maybe that’s why I can’t ever finish it. Maybe I’ll try to do my own routine with what I’ve learned.

June 13

Took several days off of yoga.  This weekend was really tiring.  I had some terrible allergies and didn’t have any extra energy.  Went to a yoga class at the gym today.  It was still very very tough, but I can feel it getting easier.  I can feel my muscles getting stronger and more flexible.

Had another doctors appointment today and got cleared for grass and NW allergens.  If this takes, I could never have seasonal allergies again.  Win.  I’ll keep ya posted.

June 4

Went to another yoga class at the gym.  It was from 10:30-11:30 and gave me just enough time to get ready for work at 1.  It was a class that focused primarily on hips and thighs.  We held each pose for several minutes at a time.  It was really tough and I was a bit sore afterward.