Gymming once more. This time really for real.

By on Jan 29, 2015 in Chicago, Fitness, Running | 0 comments

Leah and I have always been solid when it comes to running.  Before we had our three little time suckers, we trained together for three marathons in a row.  We were dedicated, never missing a run, be it a 20 mile long run or sprints on the track.  We did a ten mile run starting at midnight after a fourteen hour work day. We sound pretty dedicated to fitness, yeah? Or, at least, we were?  You’d think that, but then there’s the gym. Oh, the gym. I started back in February of 2005, when we got our first membership at the YMCA.  That post is about joining the Y in Lakeview, which was an awesome, weird place. Then, let’s see, we have a post here from May of 2006 explaining how we are really going to go the the gym this time.  And I think this time we did…for a few months. (hey, look what I found.  Look how happy we were with the Bears and Colts both heading into the Super Bowl.  If only we knew…) December of 2007…now we’re living in the Ukrainian Village and joined Cheetah gym in Wicker Park.  This was a big step up from the YMCA in both quality and cost.  Would we go this time?  My guess is no. And then, in January of 2009 what do we have?  A post about re-joining the YMCA.  We were back in Lakeview at that point and attempted to rejoin the Lakeview YMCA.  This was ill-fated as we were really too far from the gym to ever make it work.  At least, it was too far for two people with our level of dedication. That ended for good when little Lucy came around 11 months and a week later.  And then we were done for a long while. So, we’ve managed to run when we want to, sticking to a training plan without fail.  Running in snow and rain, blazing heat and suffocating humidity.  But the gym?  I want to do it, but the weights are so heavy. So much effort.  It’s something that has never stuck for either of us. But here we are, all settled in our house in Lincoln Square and living a mere quarter mile from the gym. When we moved here, we were adamant about joining the gym.  I mean, come on.  It’s right there. We had to wait for Rocky to be born and start sleeping through the night, but then we were on it.  I signed up for the three free training sessions that come with the membership to learn a few things.  I thought about continuing with the training, but eh.  It’s expensive and, really, I should be able to self-motivate. I mean, it’s not like there’s an archive on the internet cataloging my repeated failures in the weight room, right? My September I wasn’t working out again.  The monthly dues were being pulled from our bank account, but I wasn’t going.  It was time to bite the bullet.  I re-upped with my trainer and Leah began with a trainer of her own.  As it turns out, the pressure of meeting with a trainer is about the only thing that keeps me going to the gym.  I’ve tried a couple times in the past couple of years to discontinue my training sessions – honestly, needing a trainer seems like a crutch – and each time I’ve fallen off. Leah and I are back on with our trainers as of a month ago.  Leah’s recovered from Veronica’s birth and we’re sleeping just barely enough to work out and survive.  Fitting it in with three kids is about impossible.  I can go either at 5 am or 8 pm, because in between I’m pretty well booked (spoiler: I go at 8 pm).  But finding the time is important because I don’t want to wake up one day with my body falling apart and start bitching about how much harder things are now that I’m...

The Last 10lbs

By on Dec 1, 2014 in Fitness, Running | 1 comment

I am a little bit vain. Maybe vain isn’t the right word at all….I just called Jason to ask him if he thought I was vain. He says no. What’s the word….health obsessed? Judging by the pile of halloween candy on the table next to me maybe that’s not right. What’s a word for, ‘I like to fit into my size 8 jeans without having the muffin top’. How about we make an acronym of that ILTFIMS8JWHTMT Sure that’s easy to remember. In short, I like being thin. Maybe that’s vain. Maybe that’s normal. I don’t know. But I do. I like when my pants button easily. I like when I can see stomach muscles under my skin. Well, maybe I don’t care about the stomach muscles because I have a pretty strong sweet tooth (my dentist will vouch for that….do you floss? not really….do you eat candy? um, yes I love gummy bears…no I’m not going to stop eating them, they are like magic.). I tend to work out so I can eat (and drink…hello Christmas beer next to me) basically what I want. Ok, I’m not crazy about food or treats one way or the other. I’m not crazy healthy, I’m not crazy junk food. It all has it’s place. Anyways. Right now – 2 months post baby 3 -I’m not even close to where I was before I got pregnant. And to be fair I was, I think, in the best shape of my life before I got I got pregnant with little miss V.  And so, to get back to where I was before is going to take more work. Maybe not to lose the weight in the end, but to be at the fitness level I was at in terms of strength and running ability (yes I do know that Rocky was 18 months old when I got pregnant and I’m now two months post baby and thus I have some time to get back to it and I should have some patience….I’m not patient though..it’s a flaw). And I’m having a hard time with it. A harder time than I’ve had in the past. And I know for the general population of women who have had babies two months ago, I’m not doing too bad. BUT…BUT BUT BUT BUT. It’s bad for me. It’s bad in my eyes: the scale readings (AND GODDAMN IT I DON’T EVEN OWN A SCALE WHY THE FUCK AM I WEIGHING MYSELF AT THE GYM I KNOW I’M NOT GOING TO LIKE THE NUMBER), the jeans that are still too tight (but hey..they button…that’s a win right?), in general how I look. So I did weigh myself at the gym today. I’m 10lbs over where I was when I got pregnant. And I’m trying to get motivated to get it off. I forced my good friends to challenge Jason and I to a milage game in December. The couple with the most miles for the month of December wins and the losers buy dinner. As they have just run a 15K they will probably win….BUT, I’m nothing if not competitive so I got my ass to the treadmill today (and oh my god I’m done with that shit. Let’s get this done in the cold). 3 miles. Slow. But it’s more than zero. This is my favorite line when having a bad run (too short or too slow)…”It’s more than...

The Excuses

By on Jan 16, 2013 in Fitness, Running | 2 comments

It’s like a title of a movie, right? Where maybe the lead role of the male is…oh I don’t know…The Excuses….Ryan Gosling? Bradley Cooper? The female role…hmm..Zooey Deschanel…but really I’m only thinking her because I have a girl crush on her…really on her hair. Can I pull off those bangs? But I digress. Keeping a workout regimen intact is difficult. Add to that a couple with two full time jobs and it gets tougher. Add to that a couple with a couple of kids and it can feel impossible. We are runners who like to run outside, so this time of year I hear a lot of, “It’s too cold.” or “It’s too dark.” or “It’s dark AND cold.” However, the main excuse that is present at all times in our household is, “I don’t have time.” “There is no time.” “I’m tired.” “It’s too early.” “It’s too late.” If we have a plan and it goes *exactly* as planned, we are pretty good. But the second that something throws a knife into the situation (common among the zoo here), then the workout will usually get pushed. The goal we have on a daily basis is sticking with the plan. Since I’m slightly type A personality, I used to get twitchy at the thought of a plan going awry.  But adding in the second kid fixed that problem and I’ve learned to roll with the punches. And so we do the best we can. Yesterday was perfect. Jason worked out at 5:30am. We both went to work. We came home. We ate dinner. We bathed the kids. Did the bedtime routine. After they were in bed I went to the gym. I got home around 9pm and we had a great time with a couple of beers laughing at the idiots on some HGTV home show (you are asking why we are watching said idiots on some HGTV after we said we would get cable again only if we DID NOT watch said idiots on HGTV…well it’s like a train wreck…seriously people? What is wrong with you?) and went to bed. Kids slept through the night and all good. But. But. But. We went to bed late. Therefore the getting up at 5 didn’t happen. Snooze happened. So fine, Jason pushes his run back till after the kids go to bed (I run at Fermilab at 5) and get home at bath time. But then something happened with dinner (two kids on your own, one of whom is sick, makes for a tough dinner situation) and he decided to push eating till after the kids go to bed. But dinner is left over chili. Waiting for that to settle then run 4 miles. “It’s too late. It’s too hard. It’s too cold.” Thus we try again tomorrow. The main excuse of “I don’t have time.” in my opinion is the weakest one (I’m not talking about those of you that work 80 hours a week, that’s a different beast). We have to be clever with when to workout. Early morning, going to they gym late. Running to do your errands. This last one is a huge one. I had to pick Lucy up last week from school (I drop her off in the mornings, but Jason ended up having to stay late at work for a meeting). The daycare is 4.8 miles from our house. Perfect run BECAUSE on that day I worked at home (I can work from home one day a week, which is very lucky). So I left around 4:15, got her and took the bus/train home. Yep. I was that stinky rider on the 77 bus/brown line. Luckily the train wasn’t too crowded. But it worked. I’m still nursing and so I’m dealing with some issues and so I had to cancel my weekend runs. But go with the flow. Roll with the punches. I’m learning how. The point is not that you are going to make all of your workouts. The point is to do your best and make a plan for the week or the day and stick to it the best you can. And that’s that. The train will go off the tracks. Just try again the next...

A Quick Run After Work

By on Jan 9, 2013 in Fitness, Running | 1 comment

At the end of last year it seemed that our life got extra busy. I had majestic plans in December to workout EVERY DAY! EXCLAMATION POINT!  I mean my gym was having a challenge. Work out so many days AND GET FREE STUFF! Free passes! $50 in gym dollars! I thought why not, I could use $50 of gym dollars (is this really any different from like Monopoly money…not really useful…) and a way for me to not feel guilty about all the calories I would be consuming as my yearly cookie bake started. So I went to the gym the 2nd day in a row. I was on schedule to GO TO THE GYM EVERYDAY! But…then… I’m still nursing and I always seem to have a slight problem with ole’ right boob. Not to go into the minute details of my pumping regiman, let’s just say that righty doesn’t like the pump. It’s all, “What are you doing to me? Why can’t you just use that cute ass baby of yours to empty me! He’s so nice, and cute and cuddly. This pump is beating the shit out of me.” When I got home from the gym that night, my friend the right boob seemed to extra dislike the sports bra that had reigned it in. And so I then spent the next week being nice to my baby feeders to try and calm down the rage that was happening. I then read online that breast feeding infections or clogs tend to happen in the winter when things are the most stressful. And to “wear loose clothing” as to not make the clog/infection worse. And to try and calm down. DON’T DO TOO MUCH! Well there goes my idea of going to the gym everyday. Add into that my daughters 3rd birthday party in December, Christmas, travel and ending the month with a road trip to Florida (yes. I said road trip to Florida. Yes with two small children. This is another topic but in short went better than I could have asked for). While in Florida Jason and I ran a few times together on the beach and now with the new year starting I am DETERMINED to run some kind of race this year. I have loving eyes for the Chicago Marathon and so in the next month I want to get my workout regiman back in place to see if training for the marathon is even feasible. Hence running after work one day a week or working out/running after the kids go to bed ~8:30pm. On Tuesdays I spend the day at Fermilab and leaving at 5pm is kind of stupid with traffic. Not that leaving at 6 is much better, but in my head it’s somehow not as bad. So I like to run on Tuesdays at the lab and I did just that. I ran 4 miles at under a 9min/mile pace. As I live in Chicago I’m not used to darkness. Running at the lab at 5pm during the winter is a Dark. Lonely. Adventure. I couldn’t see the sidewalk in front of me. I also chose to not bring along my iPhone and so then I just had visions of myself slipping and falling and no one finding me for a few days as the sidewalks are fairly far off the road. Note to self. Bring a phone with. As I was leaving the lab I saw two guys running as well. I think it might be fun to setup a Tuesday Night Fermilab Running Club. I know in the past there have been running clubs but I don’t know if they still exist or if they run not on Tuesdays nights because that’s really the only time I can. So actually I would like to trump your running club with my AWESOME running club. I’m kidding. But Run Around The Ring Tuesdays or something? Could be fun. I think I have my office mate interested. Hopefully we can get more people and it will grow into something. With that it’s on to the gym tonight to play with the TRX straps and to try and not throw up after not going for a...

Running on the Beach

By on Jan 3, 2013 in Fitness, Running | 1 comment

While here in St. Augustine, Jason and I have had a lot of opportunities to run together. Before we had the kids we ran together all the time. The not having kids part made it easy to find the time and being grad students made it a cheap activity that we could do as all we had to do was find the money for the shoes. We ran the Chicago Marathon three times and I really enjoyed all the training and work that goes into preparation for a marathon. Anyways. I miss running with Jason as it gets boring running alone and I just like having someone to talk to while running. The beach here in St. Augustine is very hard packed and so we’ve been doing part of our runs on the beach which has been really incredible. Today, either out of spite or stubbornness (as it wasn’t exactly beautiful out) or both, I laced up my shoes and out we went. It was “chilly” said the Floridians (seriously…it was 61 degrees….on no planet is that “chilly”; it’s not even moderately chilly. Christ, it’s not even cool. It’s actually a perfect temperature). While the temperature was perfect…it was a “little” windy. And by a “little” windy I mean it was a lot windy, although we started our run with the wind at our backs. We started on A1A and then ran south to Ocean Hammock Park which has a very nice wooden walkway (aptly named Ocean Hammock Park Walkway) to the beach. From there we continued north and we were chatting and laughing, “HAHAHAHAHA it’s so not that bad out here.” We waved at a couple of older gentleman who were taking a walk. Then my Garmin beeped alerting us that we had gone two miles and so we decided to turn around. And then. There it was. Holy hell. Wind. And a lot of it. But we chugged on. Some of us happier (me) than others (Jason). We went past the house we are renting because I wanted an even 4 miles. Then about a quarter of a mile past the house, we turned back and all of a sudden it was back to being a “fun” run. But only a couple of tenths of a mile to go at that point. It was tough – but very cool – to be out running on the beach with just about no one joining us. The best part was when we ran into the two older gentlemen after turning into the wind I said, “Man, I liked it a lot better when we were running the other way!” They both laughed. Hard. One of them responded, “I love the energy of youth.” Me too older guy. Me....