Vista Tower

July 2, 2011

It’s the long holiday weekend, and I think this will be my one and only post until the week officially starts on Tuesday.  (And be sure to come back to my blog next week – I have a couple awesome things planned, including the sharing of a video that I just KNOW you’ll love…)

It won’t be news, if you’ve been a reader for a while, that I’ve been attending boot camp classes for a few months now (I went to two in the month of June, as my June Progress Report showed).  They’re led by Craig Ramsay, who was featured on Bravo’s Thintervention last fall, and he’s a fantastic trainer, a really wonderful guy, and a friend (see a picture of me and Craig here).  Recently, Craig started offering a new service – sessions where he pairs up two of his boot camp clients, and works with them on the gym floor (his boot camps, on the other hand, are held in a classroom).

Yesterday, I had my first session.  My friend Kristy, the super-talented singer-songwriter, had one of these sessions last Friday, and told me she was sore for nearly a week.  Craig’s boot camps are brutal, so I knew I’d be in for something tough…

…Here’s what went down.  Craig started me on an exercise bike.  After a good warm-up (about 10 minutes or so), he brought over two 10-pound weights, and had me, while pedaling, do a series of five different shoulder and bicep exercises, for 30 seconds each.  Not easy.  Especially not easy when, after I finished the first set, Craig came by and replaced my 10-pound weights with 15-pound weights!  I did two more complete sets, and the bike portion of the workout was completed.  I had to then pick my arms up off the floor and snap them back into their sockets, like they were Lego pieces.

Next was the bench press, where Craig emphasized proper form (I benched 65 pounds), followed by another type of standing chest exercise using dual pulleys that worked a different part of the chest.

Craig then said the StairMaster was next.  Ugh – StairMaster.  I’ll come back to the StairMaster in the next paragraph.  Following that was two different types of pull-ups, which I hate because I can’t do them very well at all, and the final exercise took place in the parking lot, where Craig put 20-pounds weights in each of my hands, and I climbed a 2-story staircase carrying them, going 2 steps at a time, for a total of 4 times.   I. Was. Ready. To. Collapse.   It took me a while to get home (Friday evening rush-hour traffic), but when I finally pulled into my garage, I didn’t want to leave my car – I was too comfortable, and all my muscles were sore!

OK – back to StairMaster.  I don’t like the StairMaster, but I do it every once in a while, because it’s such a great workout, and I can burn lots of calories, and fast.  My dislike of the StairMaster led me to create my favorite motivational exercise tool, which is to track the number of stories I climb when I’m on the machine, then, afterward, find a skyscraper somewhere on the planet of an equivalent height.  Most recently, I added the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit to my skyscraper collection (you can see the rest of my skyscraper collection here).

When Craig told me to get on the StairMaster during our session yesterday, I wasn’t surprised, as Nina, the other client I was paired with, had already spent some time on it.  But I was dreading it more than usual, because the session had been so taxing so far – I usually start workouts on the StairMaster, when I’m fresh, and yesterday when I got the machine up and running, I was already rather tired.  After a few minutes at level 5, Craig had me jump up to level 8, and then, every minute, go up one level, until I hit 12.  After a minute on 12, I returned to 8, and started the process again.  Craig also taught me another trick to mix things up on the StairMaster – pointing my feet towards one of the corners of the stairs, so I was walking at an angle, which works different muscles (or different parts of the same muscles… or whatever).

All told, I was on the StairMaster for 13 minutes, and I climbed 62 stories.  Time for a new skyscraper!

This time, I’m heading overseas, all the way to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – home to the Vista Tower, which, at 62 stories, is the fifth-tallest building in the country:

Yep.  I climbed that.

Even though the building has “The Intermark” written on it, it’s called Vista Tower – The Intermark refers to the development as a whole, which includes the DoubleTree Hotel on the right, a shopping center, and a 39-story office tower that’s under construction.

A month ago, I lamented about how not working out on the first day of a new month can be such a bummer – and, guess what!  Having such a great workout on the first day of a new month feels wonderful (duh)!

I have my next floor session with Craig scheduled for next Friday.  As for today… time to throw on some clothes and head to the gym!

Keep it up, David!

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Chart Update: Easy Come, Easy Go

June 15, 2011

Tuesday was weigh-in day.  Wanna know what happened?

This happened:

A couple things to note:

  1. I haven’t fixed my chart from last week, when I messed it up by putting the dot in the wrong place.  Twice.
  2. I gained a pound.

I’m not happy about the pound, but I’m not surprised either.  As I mentioned the other day, I missed some workouts last week.  I missed another workout last night, because of my dinner plans with Heather (which was fantastic – read about it here).

So that’s three workouts that I skipped – and all three happened after my planned rest day, which means a total of 4 days in the last week were exercise-free.  No bueno.

In addition, I wasn’t great with my food.  I wasn’t horrible, either, but I was a little slack about portions, and ate a few things I normally would have skipped (including some fudge that was delivered to my office).  I’ve been keeping a food log, but I didn’t log any of my food last week.

So.  I’m not surprised I gained that pound.

Here’s a look at my whole chart.  Lately, it’s been zig-zagging back and forth between the same few pounds:

I have a whole week until I weight myself again.  And the first day of that week was fantastic.  I started logging my food again, and tonight, for the first time since April 19, I went to a boot camp class!  The class I go to is led by Craig Ramsay, and it’s really fun and really tough.  Craig has been out of town a lot in the past two months, which is why he hasn’t been teaching, and I’m glad he’s back, because his class was just what I needed to get this week off to a good start.

Tonight’s class involved a lot of super-sets, which involves doing 20 reps of bicep curls, flys, push-ups, or something like that, and then immediately go into walking lunges or squats, going across the room and back, and then immediately repeating the first exercise, and so on.  I did the entire workout with a 10-pound weight in each hand, and by the end I was ready to fling them through a window, except for that I don’t think I had the strength.  I was ready to collapse.  I noticed my legs quaking and trembling just standing in the parking lot afterwards.  I’m gonna be sore tomorrow!

The best part of the class was that Craig noticed improvement on my part, and complimented me on my shoulders and arms…  looks like all the weights I’ve been doing lately have been paying off!

My fantastic Tuesday ended with a visit to Whole Foods – I arrived 20 minutes before they closed, so I kinda raced through and grabbed what I needed, without looking for any new types of produce, like I normally do.  I should’ve taken a picture of the produce I did buy for the blog, but I forgot, and it was late, and now it’s already all put away.  Oh wellYou all know what fruits and vegetables look like.

Keep it up, David!


My Week of Workouts AND Chart Update

April 20, 2011

I had a really good week of exercise last week.  The last time I wrote about my workouts, it was after a weekend that involved a visit to Slimmons, a hike, a run, and a StairMaster, so I’ll pick up where I left off.  Here’s the run-down:

Tuesday, April 12:  Boot Camp Class with Craig.  Craig set up a circuit that we rotated through, and introduced, for the first time since I started taking his classes a few months ago, a jump rope.  Two of the stations on the circuit involved jumping rope for one minute, and I hadn’t picked up a jump rope since my PE1 class in high school, like, 15 years ago.  I’ve never been good at jumping rope, and, to be honest, I wasn’t certain I could do it, but when it came time and I rotated to that station, I surprised myself, and was able to keep it up for most of the minute!  That was a pleasant little shock that got me through the rest of Craig’s tough class, which also featured a military crawl station, where you crawl across the floor, pulling yourself on your forearms, while your legs are straight balancing on the tips of your toes.  I can barely do it, and I wince just thinking about it.

Wednesday, April 13:  Swimming.  Tavi came along, too.  100 yards warm-up (200 free, 200 IM, 200 kick, 200 pull, 200 IM), then I swam 1000 yards (40 lengths of the pool) without stopping (something I’ve yet to do), and then 300 yards cool-down.  2,300 yards total, in 1 hour.

Thursday, April 14:  I took my mom, who was visiting, to a class at Slimmons.  Richard Simmons taught it, and you can read about it, and see a picture, here.

Friday, April 15:  My mom and I each did 45 minutes on a recumbent bike at a gym.

Saturday, April 16:  Went for a run while hanging out with two of my cousins.  My cousin Aaron helped me improve my form, so that was great.  Read all about that run here.

Sunday, April 17:  A planned rest day.  Even though I didn’t have a dedicated workout, I still felt exhausted at the end of the day, because I spent probably a hour (maybe a little longer?) perched atop a stool, installing a new light fixture in my place:

In theory, it wasn’t supposed to be that difficult – I had all the pieces and tools (except for wire strippers, which I picked up at Sears for a few bucks), except for that I couldn’t get the damn thing to hang straight.  If I wanted it to hang crooked, like the whole room was on a leaning ship, I would have been done in 1/2 the time, but that wouldn’t cut it for me.  So that meant dismantling it a few times, re-aligning and fidgeting with various screws and nuts, my arms above my head the whole time, mumbling and cursing under my breath, occasionally holding myself back from chucking the whole fixture out the window.

The kicker is that I’ll need to go back up and fix it again this weekend.  It may be hard to tell in the picture, but the fixture isn’t flush against the ceiling, it hangs a millimeter or two down.  Not acceptable.  Which means I have to swap out two screws for slightly shorter screws, so it’ll fit properly.  Good times.

Monday, April 18.  Unplanned rest day.  I wanted to head to the gym, but I was exhausted after work.  It had been a busy weekend – my folks were in town, and we were on the move: we went to San Diego, we went out to the suburbs to visit other relatives, we went to a concert, we went shopping for light fixtures (see above).  Monday night I got home, pulled out some gym clothes, and thought ‘man oh man, I just wanna watch some TV first.’  Who has two thumbs and never got off the couch?  THIS GUY.

Which brings us to Tuesday, April 19 – time for a weigh-in.  I got up thinking I was sure to lose the pound that I gained a few weeks ago, that, so far, has refused to fall off my body again.  I had done a lot of exercise, as this blogs illustrates, and had eaten pretty well.  Which is why I was a little frustrated when I got on the scale, and it read:

238 POUNDS.  Same as last week.  Now, I have every reason to be happy, as I didn’t gain, and that’s a good thing, but I really want to lose that pound!   (Oh, and if you’re curious, I disregard the 10ths of the pound – I’m the sort that can easily start obsessing over the numbers, and focusing on what comes after the decimal point is a surefire way to drive me crazy, so I just don’t do it.)

I updated the chart and extended my plateau:

It really is good news that I’m down 164 pounds.  I try not to forget about that.  But what I found myself thinking, repeatedly throughout the day, were a bunch of If Onlys.  If only I had worked out last night.  If only I didn’t have that piece of cake that my aunt made on Saturday.  If only I had pushed myself a little bit harder.  If only.

But when I look back at the week, I’m happy with the choices and decisions that I made, and it was a pretty awesome and memorable week, so screw you, If Onlys.  Screw you.

Last night it was back to Craig’s boot camp class, and, in addition to a bunch of free weight moves I’m familiar with, Craig included another device I’ve never ever worked out on before: a trampoline.  What fun!  We would do a minute at a time running in place on a little trampoline, trying to get our knees as high as possible.  Exhausting, but fun.  The class was a great start to a new week.  Next Tuesday, I’ll lose that god-damn pound.  I hope.

Keep it up, David!


Reader Question, Office Temptation, Boot Camp

March 24, 2011

Three topics today.  Let’s get started!

1) Reader Question. I got a great question the other day in the comments section.  Lisa wrote:

I need to lose about 35 lbs. and am working with a trainer. The problem is I am an emotional eater. Before you started this journey, would you say you were an emotional eater? Do you think that’s how you gained the weight? I am talking to a therapist too about this, but I know the best advice comes from people who have experienced this firsthand. My problem is that I use anything “bad” that happens to me during the day as an excuse to emotionally eat. It sucks and I have to get myself out of this rut! I have lost 10 lbs. since Jan. 1st but gained some of it back, despite working out on a regular basis, because of the emotional binges. Anything you can share with me would be a tremendous help!

Ugh, emotional eating is such a hurdle, and I’m sure most of us deal with it in some way.  I wouldn’t say that I used to be an emotional eater, I’d say that I’M STILL an emotional eater, but I’ve developed some habits and techniques to combat tough times.  Food provided comfort in bad times, was a release in stressful times, and was a way of celebrate in good times.  There were very few emotions that I didn’t respond to by eating, so yeah, that’s pretty much the definition of emotional eating!

The good news, though, is that you can combat it, and it sounds like you’re on the right path, and I applaud you for working with a therapist.  Here’s what’s been working for me:  I took reward and celebratory foods off the table.  I used to treat myself:  if I was feeling great because of an accomplishment, than I told myself I could stop for ice cream, pick up a pizza, or load up on candy.  There have been times in my life when I was exercising, but eating poorly, and partly it’d be because I’d think, regularly, “yeah, I can have more fries and a shake – I had a good workout yesterday.”  Not anymore.

Focusing on changing my thought patterns during good times seemed like an easier challenge, because when I was really craving something as a celebratory treat, I could say ‘no’ to myself, and, instead, focus on whatever it was that provided me a reason to celebrate, and still feel great.  What I’ve found is that because I refuse to indulge in reward foods, I now have the great motivator to prevent binging in bad times:  After all, why should I console myself with crappy food when I won’t reward myself with it?  It’s a little mental game that works for me, and maybe it might work for you, too.  I hope this helps, Lisa, and KEEP IT UP!

Have any tips to battle emotional eating?  Share them in the comments section!

2) Office TemptationAs I mentioned yesterday, I recently started at a new job, and get to show up to an office every day for the first time in a few months.  That also means I get to, for the first time in a few months, deal with office temptation.  Here’s what tempted me yesterday:

Look! A fun-sized box of chocolate-covered raisins!

Did I say fun-sized? I meant a THREE-AND-A-HALF-POUND BOX.  Here it is next to my cup of tea:

It’s even bigger than my friend Jamie’s head, who has “a notoriously large head” (her words, not mine):

This beauty (by which I mean the candy, not Jamie, although Jamie is also definitely a beauty) was just sittin’ in the break room, left out for everyone to enjoy.  I don’t know where it came from, but there it was.  And I really wanted to have some… until I crunched some numbers.  Here’s the nutrition label:

There’s 30 chocolate-covered raisins in a serving, and 40 servings in the box, so that’s roughly 1,200 raisins total.  At 170 calories and 6 grams of fat a serving, that box contains 6,800 total calories and 240 total grams of fatGross.  Of course, a numbers for a single serving aren’t terrible, but I know that I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, eat just 30.  So I stayed away altogether.  Hopefully the box will be gone tomorrow!

3) Boot Camp. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I took, for the first time ever, two boot camp classes on two consecutive days, and man oh man, am I sore.  On Tuesday, I went to my now-regular boot camp class with Craig Ramsay.  He had us working with DynaBands, these latex stretchy bands that you can use to strengthen and tone your muscles.  It was my first time using a DynaBand, and it was fun, because it was new for me, but like every Craig Ramsay class, it was tough.  The exercises he taught us focused on specific muscles, but we would do them in lunge or squat positions, so other muscles would be utilized for stability and support.  Brutal.

If that wasn’t enough, on Wednesday, I went with my friend Chris (my most recent running buddy) to a boot camp class at his gym, where I had picked up a free 7-day pass so I could work out with him.  That class was taught by a nice woman named Kristy (Christy? Kristi? not sure of the spelling), and it involved free weights, a step, those giant balls, and a mat.  Thankfully not all at once, but I’m sure that day will come.  I’m tired just thinking about it!

This morning, I did cardio: 50 minutes on the elliptical; almost 550 calories burned.

Keep it up, David!


The Week In Workouts

March 19, 2011

It’s been a busy week, but I’ve gotten lots of workouts in, and there’s lots to catch up on.  Let’s see… where to start… where to start?  I should probably go back and figure out where I left off in my last “Week in Workouts” post, but it’s late, and I’m tired, so screw it.  I’ll just do the past week.  Want more?  Tough.  File a complaint with the blog police!

Saturday, 3/12/11: I took Richard Simmons’ class at Slimmons, and he played all-new music.  It was a very good class, and not overly packed, which was nice.  Since Richard was out of town during my actual birthday on the 5th, he called me up at the end of this class, along with 4 others, and led everyone in a group performance of “Happy Birthday.”  Having 75 people sing to you is a great way to start your weekend – I highly recommend it!  For anyone that isn’t familiar with Richard’s classes, they’re a fantastic workout, and tons of fun.  There’s 45 minutes of cardio/dance aerobics (very similar to Sweatin’ to the Oldies); then about 10 minutes of toning with free weights, then 10 minutes of sit-ups and push-ups, then Richard gives a little 5-minute pep talk to end the class.  And, yes, anyone can go, and it’s only $12.  Twelve dollars.  To work out with Richard freakin’ Simmons.  Yep, it’s the deal of the century!

Sunday, 3/13/11: 50 minutes on an exercise bike.

Monday, 3/14/11: 50 minutes on an elliptical.

Tuesday, 3/15/11: Boot camp class with Craig Ramsay, and it was tough.  Before class started, Craig says, “Hey, let’s go to my car, and grab some kettlebells.”  My reaction?  “Oh, crap.”  And, of course, I said it out loud.  My experience with kettlebells has been very minimal, but enough to know that the next hour was going to be brutal.  Kettlebells are weights that are designed to be swung around in all sorts of crazy ways, meaning you’re working tons of muscles at once (here’s some basics on kettlebells if you’re unfamiliar).  Sure enough, the hour was pretty brutal, and I left barely able to lift my water bottle to my lips.  The next morning, my shoulders were still very sore.

Wednesday, 3/16/11 – Nightswimming:

“Nightswimming deserves a quiet night
I’m not sure all these people understand
It’s not like years ago,
The fear of getting caught,
Of recklessness and water
They cannot see me naked
These things, they go away,
Replaced by everyday”

Those, of course, are lyrics from R.E.M’s 1993 song “Nightswimming” (listen to it here). That song ran through my brain on a loop on Wednesday, because I decided to break in the new Speedo swimsuit that I bought a few days ago at the pool, and, coincidentally, it was the first time I’ve swam in that outdoor pool at night.  Man oh man, I’m in love!  I haven’t worn a Speedo in about 16 years, since I swam on my high school’s swim team, and it makes all the difference in the world.  Being aerodynamic in the water rocks!  I had a great workout, and felt sleek and fast.  I was still sore from the kettlebells… But I had a productive 50-minute swim nonetheless:

  • 1000 yards warm-up (200 free, 200 IM, 200 kick, 200 pull, 200 IM)
  • Descending ladder, all free (400, 300, 200, 150, 100).  The 100 was an all-out sprint (1,150 yards total)
  • 3 x 50 yard free all-out sprints (150 yards total)
  • 200 yard cool-down
  • TOTAL:  2,500 yards (that’s exactly 100 lengths of the pool)

Thursday, 3/17/11: My friend Chris asked me the other day if I’d be down with working out together in the mornings.  I love working out with friends, and since we live in the same neighborhood, I jumped at the chance.  We decided to go running on Day 1, and met at 7am at a local park.  Chris calls it Porn Star Park, because in the summer, he’s noticed it’s very popular among the big-fake-tittied, scantily-clad, bottle-blonde crowd, and Chris is convinced they’re all porn stars.  He very well may be right: 90% of all pornography is filmed or produced in the San Fernando Valley, where Chris and I, and 1.75 million others, live.

Anyway – I brought along my camera to snap a few pics, but really, there’s not much to see.  It’s a big park, near a freeway:

Due to a slightly groggy brain, thanks to the very early nature of the workout, I failed to note what time we started or stopped, but my guess is that we were running for around 50 minutes.  Based on the signage at the park, I’d guess we went about somewhere between 3.2 and 3.5 miles, but, again, I didn’t really pay attention.  It was nice to catch up with Chris, though, and I look forward to working out with him more.  Just in case you’re wondering, there were no Porn Star sightings, but, of course, I certainly wouldn’t recognize anyone anyway.  When I hear “adult film,” my mind goes to Merchant Ivory films, doesn’t yours?

Friday, 3/18/11: Well-deserved REST DAY!

And since I’m sharing every single thing I eat this week, to show how I log my food, here’s my…

Food Log for Friday, March 18, 2011:
–Breakfast: 1/2 cantaloupe; 2 hard-boiled egg whites
–Lunch:  Sandwich (whole wheat bread, turkey breast, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumbers); 2 pickle spears; fruit cup; 1 Kashi granola bar
–Dinner (Lotus Vegan restaurant):  1 fresh roll (lettuce, carrots, scallions, mint wrapped in rice paper, with 1 tsp peanut dipping sauce); shrimp salad (cabbage, mint, scallions, red onion, other veggies I’m forgetting, soy shrimp; some sort of oil-free thai chili dressing)
–Snack:  15 Runts (candy from a gumball machine at the movies; I was really craving something sweet, and 50 cents for a palm-full of candy seemed better than a $4 huge box of something from the concession counter.  FYI, the banana Runts are my favorite.)
–Beverages:  2 glasses hot tea; 2 water bottles (64 oz each); 1 liter sparkling water; 34 glasses water; 1 more liter sparkling water

Keep it up, David!


A Week and a Half Of Workouts

February 26, 2011

It’s been well over a week – since Valentine’s Day, actually – since I last ran down what I’ve been doing for exercise.  Too long!  So here we go, working backwards from today.

Friday, 2/25: Wanted to go to the pool, but it was cold and raining, and it’s an outdoor pool.  Decided to wait for clearer skies, and hit the gym instead, where I did about 15-20 minutes of weight-lifting, then 51 minutes on the elliptical while watching a SNL special that was being rerun on Vh1.  I sure do love Tina Fey!

Thursday, 2/24: Richard Simmons’ class at Slimmons, which is about 45 minutes of cardio aerobics, 10 minutes of free weights, and 10 minutes of sit-ups and push-ups.

Wednesday, 2/23: Fun at the gym:  50 minutes on the arc trainer, and 15 minutes or so with some free weights.

Tuesday, 2/22: I grumpily made it a rest day.  I was sneezing and blowing my nose all day, and decided to take a day off so my body could focus on fighting the cold I had caught somewhere.  It worked – the next day, felt way better!  Bummed, though, because I wanted to go to Craig Ramsay‘s boot camp class, which I’ve been enjoying.  Instead, I watched Glee while lying in bed, which I also enjoyed.

Monday, 2/21 (Presidents’ Day): Unintentional rest day.  This was the day that I learned to shoot a pistol at the firing range.  I made it home around 3pm or so.  I was planning on working out that evening, after taking a little power nap.  I went down for the nap at 7pm, and got up from it at… 9am the next day! I can’t remember the last time I got 14 hours of sleep.  All that sleep felt really good, to be honest.  I think my body was catching up from my long, wonderful, but exhausting weekend (which is thoroughly documented here, here, here, and here).  I think my cold, which had made its presence known earlier in the day (thru sniffling and general stuffiness), also played a part.

Sunday, 2/20: No dedicated workout, but I spent 10 hours walking around Knott’s Berry Farm, and apart from lunch, and actually being on rides, I wasn’t sitting down at all.  So I’m counting that as exercise.

Saturday, 2/19: Richard’s class at Slimmons (see 2/24, above).

Friday, 2/18: Rest Day.

Thursday, 2/17: Fun in the pool.  I swam 2600 yards.  You can see how I broke it down at the end of this post.

Wednesday, 2/16: I went running, after giving myself an attitude adjustment, which you can read about here.  (I ran for 33 minutes, then did 27 minutes on a bike at the gym.)

Tuesday, 2/15: Went to Craig’s boot camp class, which lasted an hour.  I was sore for the next 36 hours.  He called this particular class his ‘slow burn’ class, so it was a lot of weights, and a lot of slow, deliberate movements, and at the end I could barely lift my arms.

Looking back at these 11 days, I wish that 3 of them weren’t rest days, but I didn’t plan them that way.  And what am I gonna do about it now?  Nothin’.  So it’s not worth dwelling on.

Tomorrow I have an appointment, so I won’t be able to go to Richard’s class.  Haven’t decided what I’ll do instead, but I’ll figure it out.

Keep it up, David!


A Week of Workouts

February 6, 2011

It’s been nearly a week since I last shared my workouts, so read on, and then you can consider yourself all caught up.  I’ll work backwards.

Sunday, 2/6 (Super Bowl Sunday). I awoke bright and early and made it to Beverly Hills for Sherri’s 9am class at Slimmons.  Sherri’s Sunday morning class is long (90 minutes), and she packs a lot into it:  cardio aerobics, toning with free weights, exercises at the ballet bar (squats, lunges, leg lifts, etc.), ab work on the mat, and she ends it with a good 10-15 minutes of stretching, which feels great.

I got a nice second round of exercise today, because I went to my cousins’ place for the big game, and since my aunt, cousin, and I could care less about the big game, we left at the end of the first quarter and went for a great walk around their neighborhood, which is very hilly and quite beautiful.  We walked for close to 1 hour and 15 minutes, most of it going either uphill or downhill.

Saturday, 2/5. I went to Richard Simmons’ Saturday class at Slimmons.  The theme was all ’80s music, and Richard was his energetic, festive self, and it was a good, fun class.  Richard’s classes are made up of about 45 minutes of cardio dance aerobics, then roughly 10 minutes of toning with free weights, 10 minutes of abs and push-ups, and a short little motivational pep talk at the end.

Friday, 2/4. I tried something new – a boot camp class!  It was led by Craig Ramsay, who you may recognize – he was a trainer with Jackie Warner on Bravo’s weight-loss show Thintervention, which aired last fall.  Here’s the Thintervention website, and here’s Craig’s Thintervention bio.  I’ve been hearing about Craig for, gosh, probably a couple of years.  He and I have a few mutual friends, and they’ve been taking his boot camp classes for a while now, and raving about them.  Despite hearing about Craig, over and over again, I didn’t actually meet him until about a week and a half ago, and he invited me to one of his classes, and so, on Friday, I went.

It was tough.  There was only three of us in the class, so Craig was able to move us out of the gym’s classroom and onto the gym floor.  He had me warm up on the bike, and after a few minutes he handed me some weights and talked me through a trio of shoulder exercises to perform while pedaling away.  Then some different bicep and triceps exercises with a barbell, then three different types of push-ups that made me want to throw up, then he put me on a treadmill and upped the incline until my legs felt ready to fall off, then, at the end, a couple different types of pull-ups.  Phew!

What I liked most is that in addition to being really personable and funny, Craig really knows his shit, and articulated exactly why I was doing everything he had me do, with an emphasis on how exactly I’ll benefit from keeping the correct form and executing the proper technique.  I felt sore and exhausted after class was over, but I also felt smarter, and I can’t complain about that!

You can learn more about Craig on his website.  And here’s a picture of me and Craig after class:

Thursday, 2/3. Rest day!

Wednesday, 2/2. I had a busy day on Wednesday, but in the morning I headed to the tiny little gym in my building and did 10-15 minutes of toning with free weights, and 45 minutes on the elliptical.

Tuesday, 2/1. Since I hadn’t run in about a week, I decided to juice up the iPod and hit the streets.  It wasn’t my best run, by any means.  I felt ready to quit after about 10 minutes, and had to push myself to go just a couple more blocks, or just until the end of the song…  I was hoping I could push past the feelings of not wanting to run anymore, but I couldn’t, and after 20 minutes, I stopped.  In those 20 minutes, I made it 1.9 miles.  My route:

You’ll note that my end point was nowhere near my starting point, which meant I had a long ways to go to get home.  I ended up alternating between walking and jogging every couple blocks.  All in all, I was out on the roads for close to 50 minutes, but since I didn’t keep track of the time during the off-and-on jogging part, I’m only gonna add the first part of the run, when I ran continually without stopping, to my running chart:

  • 9/21/10: Distance: 3.1 miles.  Time: 41 minutes.  MPH: 4.53
  • 9/27/10: Distance: 3.3 miles.  Time: 45 minutes.  MPH: 4.4
  • 10/5/10: Distance: 3.2 miles.  Time: 40 minutes.  MPH: 4.8
  • 10/12/10: Distance: 3.8 miles.  Forgot to note time and MPH
  • 10/16/10: Distance: 2.9 miles.  Forgot to note time and MPH
  • 11/1/10: Distance: 3.1 miles.  Time: 36 minutes.  MPH: 5.16
  • 11/6/10: Distance: 5.1 miles. Time: 60 minutes.  MPH: 5.1
  • 11/14/10: Distance: 3.9 miles. Time: 45 minutes.  MPH: 5.2
  • 11/28/10: Distance: 4.2 miles. Time: 46 minutes.  MPH: 5.47
  • 1/4/11: Distance: 3.0 miles. Time: 34 minutes.  MPH: 5.3
  • 1/24/11: Distance: 4.4 miles.  Time: 45 minutes.  MPH: 5.86
  • 2/1/11: Distance: 1.9 miles.  Time: 20 minutes.  MPH: 5.7

I’m actually surprised that despite how crappy I felt on the run, I moved along at 5.7 mph – a pretty good pace for me!  After returning home, and feeling like I just bombed that running attempt, I hopped on the stationary bike in the little gym off my lobby, with the idea that I’d do another 15 minutes of cardio.  I ended up doing 25 minutes, which made me feel better about the whole day.

Monday, 1/31. Click here for my workouts from 1/28 – 1/31.

Oh, and since I’m talking about exercise, I’ll end this post with the exciting news (to me, at least) that I jumped at the chance to renew my gym membership at a great promotional rate, and now I’m paid up through February 2012, and I’m paying less than I ever have in the three and a half years I’ve been a member!

Keep it up, David!