A couple of weeks ago I went to the gym and ended up surprising myself. I wanted to do some cardio, so I got on the elliptical with the plan to just go for an hour like usual. Shortly after I started I decided it might be fun(?) to push myself further. I figured what the hell… I can do over 6 miles in an hour. Maybe I could make it to 10 miles if I could just stand to go longer?
I tried to put 90 minutes into the timer but the gym presets don’t let you go beyond 60 minutes. I decided I would do my hour then I would do a second round with the extra 40 minutes get to 10 miles. I found a good pace, slightly slower than what I normally do, and pushed myself.
I did it! I felt like my legs were rubber afterwards, but it was an excellent work out. And it wasn’t really planned either. I realize that’s kind of nuts but it was fun to challenge myself on the fly and to accomplish it. I took pics of the two sections of my journey, and a nerdy selfie too.
I rotate through a few cardio exercises at the gym. I think the stair climber is a sort of torture device.
I mean, look at it. So smug and evil. Jerk.
Apparently I’m a masochist because I’ve been working on improving my time and distance on it. Last week I got to 4 miles in just slightly over 30 minutes. Today the plan was to see if I could last on the goddamn thing for 40 minutes. I did, and I went nearly 5 miles (had to slow down a bit for the last little stretch. I was so tired.) At the end it tells you how you did. I climbed 220 floors.
It reminded me of something that happened awhile back on one of my guilty pleasure shows – Live with Kelly and Michael. Look man, don’t judge. She is adorable and he is a perfect man. But I digress. Back in February Kelly took on the challenge to go all the way up to the top of the Empire State Building using the stairs. It’s a yearly NYC event, like a marathon. I remember when they were talking about it I thought it sounded TOTALLY insane.
I wondered – how many floors are in the Empire State Building? How close did I get with my 220 floors? I pulled up Google… lo and behold the building has 102 floors. Today on the stair climber I essentially jogged up the Empire State Building TWICE (plus a bit extra) without a single break.
Queen: Bicycle Race
^^ Figured I’d just put that right there, in case the song is stuck in your head now too.
My husband and I purchased road bikes a few months ago (mine is the mint one in front).
At first I was really intimidated. We had been riding on single speed beach cruisers. We decided to upgrade because (A) we wanted to go longer distances and (B) we wanted to go faster! It was like learning to ride a bike all over again, I didn’t get the gears and what to do. But now… Love it! We’ve been working on longer distances. On the beach cruisers the longest was like 12 miles. We are now doing 25-30 mile trips on these fancy road bikes. I’d like to ramp up and go longer distances, but it will have to wait a little longer. See, I live in the Phoenix, Arizona area. At the moment, to do a long ride without getting over heated and riding in 90-110 (or more) degrees, we have to get up on our days off before 6 AM to have enough time to ride 20+ miles and get home before the scorching begins. It’s lame. But once it cools down after the summer I am hoping to have built up a good endurance on these longish rides so that I can knock out 50 miles (or more!) My ultimate goal would be a century ride, but I’m a long ways off.
I have found what works for me. And that is IN MY FACE accountability. I use apps to help me with my success. The number one app I use every single goddamn day is MyFitnessPal. I input everything I eat and drink as well as keep track of calories I burn while exercising. In a way it’s like a game for me, and calories are points. I “win” when I come in under budget. I love it, and the best part of that app is the database is huge! Almost every food can be found in there, you can even scan barcodes and create frequent meals/recipes.
I also use Runtastic (along with it’s sister product Road Bike) to track my bike rides and hiking/walking. They are perfect because they synchronize with MyFitnessPal. All I have to do is turn on Runtastic (or Road Bike) when I’m doing an activity, then when I’m done it uploads the calories burned automatically for me.
I have realized I need something that’s easy for me to keep up with. Like I said with the ‘in my face’ bit — I’m always screwing around on my phone. It’s really easy for me to log into the MFP all throughout the day to tally what I’ve eaten. I’m constantly reminded to do so because it’s right on my iPhone’s homescreen. I don’t even have to try to remember to do it anymore, it’s a habit.
MyFitnessPal does something else for me that’s brilliant – it speedily helps me to make smart choices. Before ordering a cocktail or food, I look it up and see whether it’s cool or not. It’s kind of gross when I realized some foods I used to order and think were healthy (like some salads) are over 1000 calories for a single serving. Unnecessary! It leads to wiser choices and thinking twice before having one more beer… that is just empty calories.