Tag Archives: stability ball

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.

Currently craving: peanut butter granola

17 Jan

Specifically, I’ve been craving Erin Baker’s Peanut Butter Homestyle Granola. I can’t get enough of this stuff. I eat it with some milk for breakfast. I eat it straight out of the package as a snack. Unfortunately it’s not inexpensive and only comes in a 12 oz. bag, which doesn’t last me very long.

I’ve been on the lookout for a recipe that might satisfy my craving and was fairly easy/quick to make. I found a simple recipe for peanut butter granola by the Athlete’s Plate that looked promising. The ingredients are very similar between the two. I made some yesterday with a little modification: I added ground flax seed meal since there’s some in the Erin Baker’s variety and I had some on hand. That might have been a mistake as the flax seemed a bit more cooked than the rest of the granola. It’s good, but not Erin Baker’s good…yet. This recipe might need more peanut butter or another flavor. I also want to figure out how to end up with some clusters like the Erin Baker’s granola.

Peanut Butter Granola

My peanut butter granola.

Today was another crazy day where I ended up not getting my 30+ minute workout in until late. I took Piper back to the vet to check on her mouth; she still hasn’t seemed better since her surgery. Turns out she has dry socket. Yuck and ouch. I can empathize since that happened to me when I had my wisdom teeth out. So more antibiotics, twice-daily rinsing, another follow-up in 10 days, then another surgery to remove two more teeth. Poor Piper. She’s been amazing through all this. I just want her to feel better and happier again. I’m sure it doesn’t help that it’s still 40 below or so outside.

Here are the updates on my 100 Days Challenge:

  • Day 16: 30 minute treadmill workout
  • Day 17: still too cold to run dogs! Did the “Balance Ball Express” workout which was supposed to be three, 10-minute segments but was really four segments for a total of 38 minutes

Yes, those are minus signs

16 Jan

It’s been a cold, busy week that’s kept me from posting. But I have lots to catch up on 🙂

First a brief rundown of my 100 Days Challenge workouts:

  • Day 10: Ran dogs. Got to run two teams even!
  • Day 11: 30 easy minutes on the treadmill. So much going on that day that I didn’t get onto the treadmill until 7 PM (which is WAY late for me). But I got that 30 minutes in.
  • Day 12: Ran dogs. Good thing we ran today too—the temperatures dropped again that evening and have been too cold to run ever since.
  • Day 13: 30 minute treadmill workout.
  • Day 14: Sled dog race canceled because it was too cold (officially -44°F at the airport). Used the “free” time as an opportunity to finally try the full balance ball workout that came on a DVD with my stability ball. The “Total Body Balance Ball Workout” has 3, 20-minute segments (upper body, abs and core, and lower body)  that could probably be done separately if time crunched, but that’s supposedly what the express workout is for.
  • Day 15: back to Zumba with Phoebe. Almost didn’t go because it was -49°F at my house and vehicles would prefer not to run at those temperatures, but I really wanted some Zumba. It was a great class and I’m glad I went. Plus it was a little warmer in town.

It’s nice to hunker down at home when it’s really cold like it’s been. We’ve made a couple more recipes from our new Mark Bittman book. The White Bean Stew was awesome and super-easy. Crisp Tofu and Asian Greens in Peanut Sauce was okay, but seemed to me like it needed another flavor. Chris thought it was too peanut butter-y.

I’ve been experimenting with my smoothie recipe too. Here’s my current recipe:

  • 7 oz. package Fage Total 2% or 0% greek yogurt
  • 3/4 c. Silk Light Plain Soymilk
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 c. frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 c. frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 c. frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 c. baby spinach leaves
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • generous sprinkle of cinnamon

I picked up some unsweetened vanilla almond milk to try instead of soymilk and we found a new frozen fruit mix, so those will be in my next iterations.

Now to get on the treadmill so I can report on day 16 in my next post 🙂

Extracting time

5 Jan

Day 5: Almost blew the 100 Days Challenge today, but was able to eek out 30 minutes of movement with a combination of outdoor chores and two short workouts with my new workout toys, er, tools.

I recently purchased a Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball kit. I had been wanted to get a stability ball to use for core work and other strengthening exercises, like the ones Coach Jenny described in her recent post about simple strength training for runners. This kit seemed like a decent deal and included a resistance band and DVD with two workout programs. One of the workout programs is actually several shorter workouts that you can do separately.

Today was a bit tricky time-wise as I worked into the early afternoon, but had to go pick up my dog from the veterinarian late in the afternoon. I ran home for a while, cleaned the dog yard and filled the bird feeders which gave me about 15 minutes of movement. Then I changed clothes and tried a couple of the short balance ball workouts. This was my first time using a balance ball, and I wasn’t sure how much space I’d need. Space to work out to a DVD or (other video source) is yet another challenge in my house. I cleared some space and did the best I could. Between space limitations and this being the first time using the ball, I think the workouts went pretty well. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.


Not related to my health and fitness, but since I mentioned it above, I thought I’d add a bit about today’s trips to the vet.

Piper on a new bed

Piper enjoying a new bed (Nov. 2010).

It’s been a rough past 12 months for our dog Piper. I won’t go into all the details here, but the short version is that we almost lost her in January 2011. Between our and the vet’s willingness to go the extra mile for her and Piper’s determination to survive, she’s still here and mostly doing well. For the past couple of months Piper has seemed depressed and not herself. We thought the cold was getting to her (because her fur hasn’t fully grown back from her ordeal last winter), but she’s been getting worse. We (us and a couple of veterinarians) hadn’t been able to figure out what was wrong, but something kept telling me it was related to her bad teeth. Her teeth didn’t appear to be infected or anything, but today she went for dental radiography. Sure enough, EIGHT teeth (or remaining parts of teeth) needed to come out. My poor, tough girl. Tonight she’s home recovering from a long day of surgery, and is still a bit wobbly and dysphoric. I’m sure she’ll feel better tomorrow (or maybe the next day).

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