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Catching up and falling behind

21 Feb

Okay. Break over. I can’t believe I’ve neglected the blog for so long. I was doing so well! Between life and keeping on the 100 Days Challenge, I guess I just haven’t found the time to write anything.

The good news is that I’ve been continuing the 100 Days Challenge (log below) and getting out with the dogs lots. The bad news is that I had my latest IHP session today. It’s been a month since the previous session and my weight hasn’t changed at all. Neither has my body composition. So all this exercise and I’m not getting any leaner! I’ve been trying to eat well, but seem to crave more food even after eating dinner. I suspect that and lack of sleep are hindering my progress toward my weight loss goals. Sigh. At least I hope that’s what going on. More to work on…

In the meantime, here’s the long recap of what I’ve been doing for the 100 Days Challenge:

  • Day 23: Two parts of the “Total Body Balanceball Workout” (upper body sculpting, abs and stretch; approximately 46 minutes)
  • Day 24: Just barely warmed up enough so we ran dogs. Stupid ptarmigan tried to convince my leaders to take a wrong turn, which was totally funny.
  • Day 25: Back on the treadmill for a 30-minute workout
  • Day 26: Another 30-minute treadmill workout
  • Day 27: Yet another 30-minute treadmill workout
  • Day 28: Shook things up a little with three parts of the “Balanceball Express Workout” (upper body express, lower body express, and abs express)
  • Day 29: Really wanted to go to Zumba, but it was -54°F and I didn’t want to risk starting the car and leaving the house, so back onto the treadmill for a 30-minute workout I went.
  • Day 30: Full “Balanceball Express Workout” (approximately 38 minutes)
  • Day 31: It was too cold to run dogs today and I was jonesing for a Zumba fix, so I went to the evening class.
  • Day 32: forced out 30 minutes on the treadmill
  • Day 33: Amazing! We were able to run dogs today!
  • Day 34: A rough 30-minute treadmill workout. Learned that coming to a stop at the 20-minute mark of a hard stretch is a bad idea.
  • Day 35: An AWESOME Zumba class
  • Day 36: Raced dogs today, then came home and did a little snow moving.
  • Day 37: Do-over of the 30-minute treadmill workout from Day 34—this time without stopping.
  • Day 38: Ran dogs. Two teams for me today and lots of hooking up dogs without my training partner, which makes for more of a workout for me.
  • Day 39: A 30-minute treadmill workout.
  • Day 40: Ran dogs. Two teams again. Whew!
  • Day 41: Another 30-minute treadmill workout.
  • Day 42: Zumba!
  • Day 43: Ran dogs at the Mushers Hall. First time taking a team on a new trail. It was awesome! Second team was super fun too.
  • Day 44: Did the “Balanceball Express” workout but skipped the stretching segment at the end.
  • Day 45: 30-minute treadmill workout
  • Day 46: Trained dogs again.
  • Day 47: 30-minute treadmill workout
  • Day 48: 15 minutes doing outdoor chores and 15 minutes on the treadmill
  • Day 49: Raced dogs. First day of the Gold Run Championships. Also handled for other mushers.
  • Day 50: Day two of the Gold Run Championships. More racing and handling.
  • Day 51: Yet another 30-minute treadmill workout.
  • Day 52: Got my Zumba fix!

Wow. More than halfway there. Sweet.

Finally a dog race

22 Jan

The really cold temperatures eased enough for us to have our first sprint mushing race of the season today. The Alaska Dog Mushers Association schedules five early races as their Challenge Series, which is sponsored by Annamaet Petfoods, a.k.a the good stuff I feed my dogs and cats 🙂 These are basically preliminary races for folks to test out their dogs and gear. The race series was supposed to start in December, but we didn’t have enough snow for a race trail, so they’ve been postponed multiple times. Once we finally got enough snow, it was either too cold or there were issues at the Mushers Hall. The Challenge Series races are canceled if the temperature that morning is -25°F or colder. Championship races have no cold temperature cutoff. This morning it was only about -5°F so the race was a go. However the warm temperatures brought pretty good winds with them, so instead of straight-up being cold, we had wind chills between -20°F and -30°F. Not only was wind chill an issue, but the winds were blowing in parts of the trail.

Most folks opted not to race today, but my training partner really wanted to run the dogs so we “raced.” My team won the 6-dog class and her team won the 10-dog class. It’s easy to win when everybody else stays home 🙂 Only two other adult teams (both in the open class) and six junior musher teams raced. The wind was brutal in open areas but much of the trail was in the trees, so we had a pretty nice training run. The temperatures are supposed to drop again this week, so this might be the last run we get for a while.

Here’s what’s happened with the 100 Days Challenge:

  • Day 20: a late 30 minute treadmill workout as I predicted.
  • Day 21: Zumba with Phoebe. I really love going to these Zumba classes. Wish I had time to go to more. I heard a rumor that she’s going to add some earlier evening classes soon. That would be awesome!
  • Day 22: raced dogs then did some outdoor chores.

Pulled like taffy

19 Jan

Freshly squeezed: mammograms save lives t-shirtI had my first mammogram yesterday. I’d heard all sorts of stories about how painful a mammogram can be—they smoosh your boobs with a giant machine after all—so I was a little nervous. The technician joked that some people described the procedure as having their breasts “pulled like taffy.” Odd description, but, whatever. She was an awesome technician, especially for my first time: she explained how everything would work and thoroughly answered all my questions. She also let me see the images after she took each one. Very cool. I have to say, the whole thing really wasn’t bad at all. Sure, it was uncomfortable, but not particularly painful. The technician told me that the best way to get through the procedure was to stay relaxed and not tense up. She said that women who tense up often have the worst time with the procedure. Guess I stayed relaxed enough 🙂 Actually, the most painful part was at home later that evening. At the beginning of the procedure, the technician placed a small bandage with a bead attached across each nipple. The bead shows up on the mammogram and is used as a reference point. But later you get to rip the bandage off…ow, ow, ouch!

At the end, the technician told me that I might get called to come in for more tests since this was my first and sometimes the radiologist wants different views of the breast. She said I shouldn’t panic if I got called. If I didn’t get called by the end of Monday, it meant all was good and there was a letter in the mail telling me so. Our health care provider recently implemented a web-based system for communication with the doctors. Today I received a letter through that system that said (among other things):

No malignant calcifications or architectural distortion is suspected on this baseline examination.
IMPRESSION: No occult malignancy is suspected. Recommend annual screening mammography.

I didn’t realize breast cancer was caused by magic 😉 Seriously though, I’m glad all seems normal.

Here’s, the latest 100 Days Challenge rundown:

  • Day 18: 30 minute treadmill workout
  • Day 19: finally barely warmed up enough to run dogs so my training partner and I each took two teams out for a brief stretch

Tomorrow is going to be tricky. Work, then a quick errand, then home to get dogs to go to the holistic vet for chiropractic exams. It’s going to be late before I get a chance to do my 30 minutes. I hope I have the energy…

New Year, New Blog

1 Jan

It’s 2012 and I’ve decided to start a new blog. Actually, I’ve decided to be more proactive about my health and fitness and thought a new blog might be a helpful tool.

I’ve been inspired by several others who put things out there for all to see and comment on. It gives them a sort of accountability. I’m not sure what this blog will be exactly. I’d like it to be a place for me to chronicle my efforts to become healthier, fitter, a better runner, a better person. I’m hoping to post thoughts, ideas, questions, etc., but it might just be a place to dump whatever is running through my head.

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