Tag Archive | fitness

Summertime (& Beyond!) Goals

bitmoji-20170602125601I often wish I had a job where I was off for the Summer! As a former preschool teacher, I appreciated those few months that I had to just have some really good downtime. While I miss that, I do not miss the pay. I remember driving around Austin and seeing the marquee signs of fast food restaurants, advertising starting pays of more than I was making as a preschool teacher! But anyway – Summer is coming! As I think through the Summer and what I would like to have accomplished by its end, I think of sewing, reading, and health.

Last Wednesday night, I was chatting with two close friends about reading. We were discussing books we’d read lately and how they are becoming better readers. Because being a better reader is something I want to grow in, I made a small list of books I would like to read this Summer. I am a frequent visitor at my local library branch and have these books on my virtual bookshelf. I have “Rise” in my possession and have started it already. “Brave New World“, “The Explicit Gospel” , & “Fahrenheit 451” are on the way, being transferred from other branches.

My list for the Summer consists of:

“Rise” – Trip Lee
“Brave New World” – Aldous Huxley
“Fahrenheit 451” – Ray Bradbury
“The Explicit Gospel” – Matt Chandler
“1984” – George Orwell
“Amusing Ourselves to Death” – Neil Postman
“The Screwtape Letters” – C.S. Lewis
“Til We Have Faces” – C.S. Lewis
“The Roots of Endurance: Invincible Perseverance in the Lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce” – John Piper

What do you have on your Summer reading list?

Another thing I want to get done this summer? I’d like to continue to grow in my sewing skills & sew at least 10 garments. At least! Sometimes I wish I could have dedicated days to sew, but I have to sew when I get a moment. In one of the sewing books that I have read recently, the author suggests sewing everyday, even if it’s just 15 minutes here and there, and eventually you’ll be done with that new garment. Right now, I am in the process of dropping 20 – 30 pounds so I am focusing on outer garments like this Simplicity 1318 pattern & items that will adjust along with me like a nice maxi dress. I dread making a dress for my current measurements & doing necessary adjustments just to not have it fit me in a few months! So – that is the plan for now. Hopefully, by the end of August, I will be sewing some dresses. I have my eye on completing several patterns, especially some from “Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book” (soooo many that I want to make!)

Do you keep a sewing to-do list?

That leads me to my health & fitness goals. A couple of years ago, I was running & exercising pretty regularly, losing weight & feeling pretty awesome in the process. I had surgery in May of 2015 which sidelined me for some time, then a series of events happened – injuries (patellar tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, hip pain) allergies, moving, and the list somewhat goes on! I have had a hard time being able to exercise consistently which bothers me. I felt so much better when I weighed less. With the injuries & such, the weight came back on and it’s been hard to get it to go away again. My husband and I have goal weights we want to reach and have come up with an ultimate reward, so in addition to the reward of having good health, I have a monetary reward in view. I often look at it like this – the next few months are going to pass whether I am active or not. Either I will weigh the same, weigh more, or weigh less. I’d much rather weigh less & be healthier! I want to be a much better steward of the health & body that God has given me. And so that is my goal for the Summer as well – consistent exercise, weight loss (& maintenance of that weight loss this time!)

Do you have any Summer goals? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Learning to Run with Couch to 5K

runningRecently, I started Couch to 5K (and when I say recently, I mean this week)! It is a system designed to get you in shape to run a 5k (3.1 miles) in 9 weeks. With a total of 27 workouts, each week is designed to get you accustomed to being able to run without stopping. Week 1 starts with a brisk 5 minute walk, followed by intervals of 60 seconds of jogging & 90 seconds of walking, and ending with a 5 minute walk as a cooldown. Each week slowly increases the amount of running while decreasing the amount of walking.

I had thought about doing it many times before, but what did it for me was a trip to the lake a few weeks ago with my husband. The lake is beautiful and has a great trail around it. Runners, walkers, and bicyclists alike flock to this trail daily! We’d been there once before, but decided to venture there again one Saturday morning.

I felt so confident as we walked toward the trail! David looked at me and asked if I was ready. I sure was! We were off, jogging and taking in the scenery. Since he’s taller and has much longer strides than I do, he quickly got ahead of me. And about 20 seconds later, he got further and further ahead because I had to stop. I was out of breath! I couldn’t handle it, and we’d just started! Oh boy, did I have a long journey in front of me!

I learned the importance of cross-training that day as well. I go to the gym and put in 40 – 50 minutes on the elliptical so I was surprised at my lack of endurance while running.

By the time we’d both finished the trail, almost 4.5 miles later, I was sore, tired, red in the face, and hot. Because of my inability to truly run, my poor husband’s run was limited due to waiting for me at some points. I determined that I wanted to go back to this trail sometime over the next few months and conquer it!

I researched Couch to 5K again, solicited feedback from Facebook friends on their experiences, and finally put it into play this week. I am praying that I am able to commit to these workouts. I want to run! I will still do the other cardio & strength training on the in-between days, putting me at 5 days of cardio per week. Nothing wrong with that!

Using the RunDouble app is a huge help. It prompts me when to run and when to walk, lets me know how many intervals are left, and tracks my pace and mileage. Using GPS, it also tracks the route that you run.

If all goes well, I should be done by the end of August. And hopefully, by then, I can go back and dominate that trail!