Competing Against Myself

Friday nights are gym nights in our household.  This has become a new normal for us post-op, and has actually become something my husband and I both enjoy together.  Tonight we had dinner with my family, and then went to the gym a couple of hours afterward.

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Biked like a boss tonight before calf cramps got the best of me at minute 37…slightly disappointed in myself, but did manage to hit an all-time best speed record.

We go and each do our own workout–he is partial to weightlifting, while I kill it on the recumbent bike.  Some days I’ll lift weights (like I did tonight–upper body workout), but I spend a lot of time doing cardio work because I’m trying to build my stamina.  I know I should have a more balanced approach to exercise, but I really like the bike.  I think I like it so much because I can test myself every time I sit down to ride–how fast can I ride this time?  How long can I ride this time?  

I put on one of the cardio playlists I have on my iPod, start my heart rate monitor and the MapMyFitness app on my phone, and start pedaling.  I normally set the program to manual, and adjust the resistance as I go.  What I’ve started doing is adjusting the resistance at 2-minute intervals so that I am working hard and getting my heart rate up, and then dialing it back.  I am finding that I either have to ride for a longer period or time, or ride harder.  I usually elect to ride harder because I like the challenge.  It’s like when I lift weights–I elect to lift heavier weights over doing more repetitions, (even though I know I need to do that too) because I like to see how much I can lift.  Every time I work out, it’s a competition with myself to see how much better I can get at whatever it is I am doing.  Maybe this is why I don’t really enjoy group exercise classes–I prefer to compete against myself, and I see workouts as competitions rather than just a way to get moving.  For me, the movement is an added bonus.

I just wish there were more time in the week to spend competing against myself.  For now, I will do what I can.  I need to start running more so that I can get ready for the 5K I plan to do in March.  Ideally, I would do one before I turn 41, but the one I wanted to do is the same weekend as a wedding we are going to, so this one will have to do.  Maybe Monday I will spend some quality time on the dreadmill and run a little.

Today I ate the most calories I’ve eaten all week.  I knew I was going to hit the gym this evening so I didn’t feel bad about that, or about the carbs I ate.  On gym days, I try to increase my carbs so my muscles have something to use while I’m working out.  I did not meet my protein goal for today, but I was only 4 grams shy, with 76 grams taken in so I’m not worried about that, especially since I get well over 80 grams most days.  I got 64 grams of carbs and 47 grams of fat, with a total of 976 calories eaten, and I drank 128 ounces of water.  Tomorrow is a new day, with a new opportunity to do well.  Tomorrow the plan is to finally pack up all the Christmas stuff (yeah, we wait until the end of January), put it in storage, grab breakfast and then go to Northpark to walk around the entire mall’s top and bottom floors–it’s two miles.  Busy day ahead!

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Today’s food choices, from upper right: leftover chile and mixed green salad with cheese, carrots, croutons and bacon; Rudy’s ham, bacon and cheese breakfast bowl; chicken tacos all carbon (I ate one, and half the guts of another), a little rice, a little bit of charra beans (not shown), and guacamole; 5 tortilla chips and guacamole; egg white and turkey sausage casserole; multivitamin and calcium supplements x2, iron supplement. Not shown: 2 saltine crackers.

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