No matter how hard I try to concentrate when working out, my thoughts inevitably drift. Lately, they seem to go to one of 5 places:
1) Fruit. Yes I actually become obsessed with fruit as I work out.
2) Sleep. Some days I find myself so exhausted with 10 minutes left in my routine that all I can think of is my bed.
3) Barfing. This was occupying my mind today.
4) The apocalypse. I have no idea which apocalypse my body thinks it needs to hold all these fat reserves for, but it is holding on tight and we will be living large while the twigs die off early. Unless running is required, then I am a gonner. Or archery. Or swordplay. Really, any apocalypse that requires anything but stored fat reserves for survival will kill me.
5) Gigantic. Why did Apple have to remake that Pixies song for their commercial? Have they heard it? Do they know the inspiration for the tune? Why won’t it leave me head??
2) Graze. These cute, healthy snacks are delivered every 2 weeks. At only $6, I like the surprise and the portion controlled treats. You can try it at: https://www.graze.com/us/products and use my friend code 6F43PDDTP and I’ll get a buck off.
I have been researching the best ways to get fit as part of Operation Suck Less 2014™ and of course there are many differing opinions and philosophies. I have found three general themes that I believe will help me in my mission: increase intensity, don’t get in a rut and incorporate rest days. While variety and rest are not a current issue, speed and intensity remain a challenge.
I would like to think if I were an animal, I would be a cat. While that might be accurate personality wise, with my speed, agility and crusty exterior, I would more likely be a turtle, a slow, steady, plodding turtle on land and probably just as slow in water. This slowness, while good for something I am sure, is of absolutely no help when it comes to Operation Suck Less 2014™.
In order to make the most of my workouts, I need to get my barely detectable heart rate into the right zone for my daily exercise goal, especially on those days I am attempting High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) where I need to hit 80 – 90% of my maximum heart rate for short 30 second bursts.
Much to my dismay, I began the week with a painful strained neck. I could not sleep or get comfortable, my head was throbbing, my ear was on fire and my movement was so limited I could not lift my arms past my shoulders and I had to turn my entire body just to see sideways. I was pretty cranky and frustrated and afraid I was in for a long recuperation.
My first instinct was to admit defeat and have a junkfoodpalooza accompanied by a bevy of violent movies. My second instinct was the same but with more profanity. My third was to carry on with Operation Suck Less 2014™ and not give in to the pain and see what I actually could do.
After a heated debate between all the conflicting voices in my head, I decided to carry on with the caveat that if it sucked the junkfoodpalooza was happening. Happily, I guess, it did not suck too badly and the junkfoodpalooza was tabled although I did have a Jamba Juice as a treat.
My recovery consisted of lots of movement in the pool, walking, longer cool down sessions, stretching and plenty of ice; I ditched anything weighted. I had to cut my effort in half in the pool and when I felt any twinge I stopped. On my first day walking, I had to hold my arm close to me at times so my neck would not move too much but I slowly loosened up and was able to walk in my normal slow manner. In both the pool and while walking, I slowly worked on my range of motion and stretching and made sure I was not holding any stress in my neck. Today’s swim was at 80% of my usual laps with lots of stretching.
There is the phrase “motion is lotion” which totally grosses me out for some reason, but it happily proved to be true in this case.
I am not fully recovered but I can lift my arms above my head again and can turn from side to side at about 85% of normal. I will not add anything weighted until next week and see how that feels but for now, I am happily back on track. I’m still cranky though so I probably need to devise another recovery plan for my mood.
My best efforts to be careful have failed (booooo) and I have strained a muscle. Not in my knee or back as I had anticipated but in my *&^%$# neck; I feel like I have whiplash all over again and I am not loving the feeling.
I am unsure the exact cause but I assume it can be traced to some bad form on my part (boooo). It started as a minor stiff neck on Saturday and by the evening I was having issues turning my head all the way. So of course I ignored it. Sunday morning I had the same stiffness but as the day progressed it became apparent my poor neck muscles were finding my giant head a bit too much to handle. But I still worked out.
Finally, when I could not fall asleep I pulled out the huge ice pack and wedged it around my neck and skull. Ahhhh it felt so amazingly good. If I could, I would sleep on an ice pillow but there are all these warnings about frost bite that seem rather serious.
Today is now going to be full of failed efforts at getting comfortable and conflicting thoughts. I should workout, I should rest, I should go to a doctor, I should wait, I should eat a carrot, I should enjoy the healing powers of chocolate cake. One decision was made for me with a call from the pool manager informing me the heater broke and that I could swim if I wanted to freeze. Pass. An ice pillow is fab, an ice bath is torture and just makes me have to go to the bathroom immediately.
So it is here, my first setback of Operation Suck Less 2014™ and I am anxious to see how I handle it. Will I say, “screw it” and prop my head up enough to watch mindless TV and pound chips or will I ice at regular intervals and find inspiration from thousands of quotes and motivational posters about what winners do and all that blah? Only time will tell.
Part of Operation Suck Less 2014™ includes eating healthier, mostly at least, and to make this easier I have returned to my habit of a Sunday cooking extravaganza. It helps having plenty of food prepped and ready so I do not have any excuse to grab some junk.
I turn on peppy music, make sure I have bandages at the ready, and start cutting veggies. I always caramelize onions or shallots and sauté mushrooms. I blanch a few others like green beans or broccoli and then chop and peel a variety of raw options like carrots and celery. If I am really in a cooking mood, I will take the peels, tops etc and make a stock.
In addition to the veggies, I make some meat item, usually Chicken, and boil some eggs. Finally, I make some hummus or a batch of lentils. I am exploring new recipes to add a little variety to the mix and help prevent the dreaded taste bud boredom that can only be broken with chips or cake.
My prepped food can be eaten as is, in an omelet, non-fried-stir-fry or even a soup depending on my mood. Having the hard part out of the way makes the rest of the week easier.
When all is done, I look at how pretty my refrigerator looks with all the healthy food lined up nicely in my glass containers and then convince myself I should eat some of that and not go out for Chinese. It usually works.
This morning I woke up cranky, sleepy, sore, craving hashbrowns and with a meh Stevie Wonder song stuck in my head; my dreams were so annoying I couldn’t wait to stop dealing with them.
A year ago today I got back together for the last time with my ex-boyfriend and the fact that I am aware of this date and feeling a bit sad just irritates me. Actually, the whole getting back together thing is what annoys me and I wonder why we ever did.
I have regrets. Knowing where our relationship went, or didn’t, makes the whole exercise feel like a waste of time and energy that could have gone elsewhere; it seems to have served the sole purpose of biding time until he could meet new chick face and move on. Well, I guess we did watch every Godzilla movie so there was that, but now I associate Godzilla with him too so that just rankles me.
Having regrets is stupid and pointless and aggravating and more pointless and even though I feel that way at times, I mostly don’t. I guess. I’d have to go all the way back to never meeting him anyway which I don’t want. Pointless.
It just irks me that I still have moments where I miss him. It is tiresome. I am running out of new words for annoying, which is galling, exasperating and chaps my ass as they used to say.
We text but don’t have real conversations and maybe someday I will get used to that and some of his vexing etiquette, or at least not get pissed off or bent out of shape or miffed. Did I use miffed already?
I tried to walk off my morning crabbiness but it didn’t completely work although it did take care of my sleepiness. I managed to eat some hashbrowns, which satisfied my craving and eventually that Stevie Wonder song went away until I just typed this and it is back and that really gets my goat.
I guess today was I was just meant to be in a mood and, after all these years, that I can’t control my mood is really what angers, annoys, exasperates, galls and ticks me off the most.