Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back Off

Here it is Wednesday and I haven't touch a kettlebell. I don't think I will today either. I need a back off week to let my body and mind recoup.

I have a full week of golf - Monday I did an hour's work on the driving range; Tuesday I had my league tournament, in which I placed second in my flight; Wednesday, today, I need to get in a round with my partner for a fundraiser for our golf course; and Friday I'm playing in a tournament with the hubby and a couple employees for a city's development corporation fundraiser. Whew! That's a lot of golf for me.

It has been nice to focus on something different for a short time. I think it'll make me start off next week fresh and ready to swing some iron.

In the meantime, I will be practicing my Z health and continuing my my quest to triumph over my nutrition. (Too much temptation with ice cream and Templeton Rye. Gotta clean house!) I made a trip to the natural food market yesterday and bought a load of good stuff. A few weeks ago I bought a pineapple corer. That thing is amazing! A pineapple lasts about one day in the house now! Sweet corn is in season as well as green beans. My raspberry patch is gearing up for a great crop mid to late August. There are so many yummy fresh foods available to me now. There is absolutely no reason to eat anything processed, such as the Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal that has me under its spell right now. Step away from the box, Amy!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Good Stuff

What follows are my musings on some of the good stuff I've experienced recently.

1. 20 minute snatch EDT
This was a daunting challenge for sure. Snatch for 20 minutes. See how many I can get done with the 16 kg (35 lbs). I got 220 snatches, 110 each arm. That's some good stuff. The flip side was the humidity which led to................. you know it.......................

tore callouses. I went through the entire RKC weekend without tearing up my hands as much as this one 20 minute session did. I'm not complaining. I'm actually proud of my wounds. I feel broken in now!

2. Z Health drills for my feet
My big toes are getting much more mobile. I still can't move them independently in a circle, but I'm working on it. I can tell that my gait is different because I am very conscientious about my heel strike, transfer of weight, and the push off. I've decided to be brave and post a picture of my feet. I'm warning you, though; they are not pretty, especially the bunions.

They actually look better in addition to working better since I've been practicing my Z drills.

3. Listening to and trusting my body
My body was telling me I had to adjust my schedule. I have too many things on my plate to do any of them well. I decided last week to cut out the GTG and focus on my training. That helped immensely. This week I'm only training three days. Good thing since I have lots of golf to play!

4. Reading blogs
I have been following some of my blog friends closely. I can't tell you how much I enjoy connecting with everyone. I feel privileged to get a glimpse into all of your lives.

Joe Walker has started a new blog: I will get that on my link list soon! Tracy is in tomato heaven. Christine is finding time to swing her KB despite her father's cancer and all of the duties and roles she has to fill in her family. Doc Cheng is feeling allegiance to Batman. Kate is getting back from tri-camp and is prepping for Ironman Louisville. Craig, Kate's husband is missing his wife. Chris Wells is raising two champion weight lifters. Those boys inspire me! I could go on and on. Just know that I am lurking on all of your blogs and enjoying every minute of it!

5. Childhood milestones
Lauren lost her first tooth. She'll be seven in a month, so she was getting stressed that it hadn't happened. Now she feels like a big girl.

So this is some of the good stuff. I'm thankful for all of it and more. Just taking a minute to think about the good in my life has made my Monday start off on a positive note. I'm going to try to keep my focus on the good each day this week.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Zippedy Do Da

I had a zippy workout today. I got in; I got out; I got a good session. There were three mini-circuits that I zip through:
Squat Jumps x20 yards
Backwards Bear Crawl x20 yards
30 seconds between rounds – 4 rounds

2 hand Swings x15
Mountain Climbers x20 per leg
30 seconds between rounds – 4 rounds

Renegade Rows x6 per arm
Crab Walk x20 yards
30 seconds between rounds– 4 rounds

I don't rest between exercises, and I rest a mzximum of 30 seconds between rounds. This is a fun workout because I'm jumping around like a kid and I don't have to think about every move, except the renegade rows.

So, I have a confession: I have done NO GTG this week. I've felt completely overwhelmed and have struggled to even get in all of my training each week. Something had to give, so I decided to forego the GTG. My brain just isn't positioned for pistols, pullups, and pushups. Brad - I need some advice here on whether or not to take a break on these.

Change in topic------------

The weather has not cooperated with me the last two days so I have not been able to get in a Harley ride. Insert sad face. Last week I got a ride in with my friend Dave. He snapped a picture of my bike after the ride. Here it is. Notice the crash bars and riding pegs - those were my birthday present this year!

If you're not up on Harley-Davidsons, this is a Softail Deluxe. It has an 88 cubic inch (1450 cc) engine. It came equipped with a stacked exhaust (two pipes on one side), but I split the exhaust so there is a pipe on each side and put on Screamin Eagle pipes for a nice rumble. Doing that made my bike pretty unique. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my bike. There isn't a different one I'd rather have. I'm planning on going to Sturgis again this year, but I'll have to see if it works out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday's Training

Clean and Push Press - 16 kg - 10x3 l,r
30 seconds between sets

Mountain Climbers x25 per leg
Walking lateral lunges x15 yards per leg
Bicep Curls - 20 lb. dumbbells x6 per arm
Tricep Extensions over head - 25 lb. dumbbell x 10
Bear Crawls x20 yards
Crab Walk x20 yards

4 rounds of this circuit. No rest between drills. 30 seconds rest between rounds

This is the same circuit I've been doing for several weeks. I try to rest less, push myself more each week.

On the C & PP, I'm noticing that I need less of a push to complete the press. Maybe next week Brad will have me do some straight presses with the 16 kg to see how that goes?????

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday's Training

When I opened up my training schedule from Brad yesterday, I was apprehensive. He increased my time on the EDT. Yikes!!! After reconsidering today, I decided this was a good thing. It would increase my conditioning and my strength. I need to push myself on some of the basics so that I have a good foundation for the more advanced drills such as pistols and pullups. I'll never be able to do those if I don't have the strength or if I'm not at my ideal bodyweight. Time to revisit my goals!!

So, with my attitude adjustment, away I went:

EDT Zone 1 - 18 minutes
1. Double Swings - 12 kgs
2. Double Squats - 12 kgs

If you read last week's posts, you know that I've been struggling with squats. I haven't even been doing many with the double 12 kgs bells. I've mainly been doing bodyweight squats on this EDT round. Today, I am happy to report, ALL of my squats were double 12 kgs. ALL OF THEM!! How many did I do?

74 Double Squats
270 Double Swings

Okay, so 74 in 18 minutes isn't great, but it's a start for me. And, I did 74 while doing 270 double swings (in sets of 10). I'd do 10 swings, 3 squats, 10 swings, 3 squats, take a break. Start over. 18 minutes.

EDT Zone 2 - 18 minutes
1. Clean & Press Left - 12 kg (26 lbs.)
2. Clean & Press Right - 12 kg

Last week I believe I did 71 each arm in 15 minutes. This week in 18 minutes I did

95 each arm - 190 total

I'm pretty happy with that. That's slightly more than 10 per minute. I would do sets of 4 each arm, 3 each arm, 3 each arm, rest, start over. Toward the end I did sets of 2 each arm. My goal was to rest as little as possible. We'll see where I go next week with these numbers.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Just Some Pics

Conner with Penny, sporting his new glasses.

Lauren jumping off the dock.

Kayla, Lauren, Kandi having a great time swimming.

Penny sitting still for 2 seconds.
So there was my weekend in photos. Only one month of my summer break. Where has the time gone????

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday's EDT

EDT Zone 1:
Double Swings - 12 kgs

I did 200 swings and 100 squats in 15 minutes. Last week I did 110 swings and 108 squats. How did I increase my numbers? I did sets of 10 double swings and 5 squats. I had thought I had to do the same number of each drill, but Brad straightened me out on that.

I'm experiencing technical difficulties with the squats. I am supposed to perform the squats with double 12 kg KBs; however, after 3 sets, I had to switch to bodyweight squats. Looking back, that was a bad decision. I should have picked up one, lighter KB (16 kg perhaps) and continued squatting with less weight. Or, I could have lowered the number of reps per set.

These squats have been plaguing me for weeks. I can perform bodyweight ATG squats easily, but when I add any weight, I lose tension in the bottom of the squat. My entire pelvis area feels almost numb. I'm not transferring tension properly. I need to get this figured out.

EDT Zone 2:
Clean & Press Left - 12 kg
Clean & Press Right - 12 kg

I did 71 left and 71 right (142 total) in 15 minutes this week, up from 70/70 (140 total) last week. I had to really push to get 142. Feeling a bit fatigued.

I've really been working my Z for my feet and I'm seeing and feeling good results. I'm walking differently, which gave me sore leg muscles for a few days. That has subsided, though. I'm also adjusting to my new eyesight. Everything has healed well and I am sooooooo very pleased with the result. I never thought I would ever be able to see as well as I do. It's truly amazing!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Back to Snatching - Finally!!!

It's been 3 weeks since I've snatched a kettlebell. WTH? Brad had me swinging only to build up my EDT. This week I get to snatch one day. Today was the day. Here's how it went:

EDT - 15 minutes
1. Snatch left - 16 kg (35 lbs)
2. Snatch right - 16 kg

I did sets of 10 each arm and ended up with a measly 180 snatches (90 each arm). I think I did 130 in the first 10 minutes and then needed more time to recoup between the last sets.

I really hope those numbers improve next week! I have nowhere to go but up! Does anyone know how many I would need to do for the 10 minute SSST?

After the EDT, I did my GTG for pistols and pushups. I felt weak on the pushups. I was supposed to do another round of EDT consisting of double bent rows and burpees, but I was shot from the snatches and GTG. Plus, I had to shoot a round of golf. I hate it when I don't finish my training!!

After golfing, I did take the dog for a walk. I ended up running for about 10 minutes to make up for the missed EDT. I hadn't run in about 7 months. It felt pretty good. Not good enough to start doing it regularly though, LOL!!! My feet aren't ready for that. They are getting better every week. That reminds me; I need to do my Z drills yet. Oooops!

Hey, check out Brad Nelson's latest blog. He gives the "Duct Tape" speech. You know, the one that got me off my bad-eating ass and on the healthy eating highway. Good stuff there, especially if you need a kick in the pants.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday and Friday's Training

I did Thursday and Friday's training on Wednesday and Thursday since I will be gone on Friday. Yep, I finally planned ahead!

Here's what I did Wednesday:
Squat Jumps x20 yards
Backwards Bear Crawl x20 yards
30 seconds between rounds – 4 rounds

2 hand Swings x15
Mountain Climbers x20 per leg
30 seconds between rounds – 4 rounds

Renegade Rows x 6 per arm
Crab Walk x20 yards
30 seconds between rounds– 4 rounds

I do not rest between exercises in these mini-circuits, just the 30 seconds between rounds. I love this workout!!

Here's what I did Thursday:
EDT - 15 minutes
1. Double Swings w/ 12 kgs
2. Squats
Do as many as I can in 15 minutes. Try to beat my numbers from last week.

I did 110 double swings and 108 squats this week. Up 5 each from last week. The squats are killing me. I could do more of the swings, but I know I have to try to match the squat numbers.

EDT - 15 minutes
1. Clean & Press Left - 12 kg
2. Clean & Press Right - 12 kg
Do as many as I can in 15 minutes.

I did 70 on each side, up from 60 each side last week. I am absolutely amazed at how quickly my pressing strength is developing. I finally found the right groove AND Brad taught me how to use relaxation and tension properly. Now that 12 kg just flies up. 140 in 15 minutes. Not bad if I do say so myself!

I am super duper happy because I got to go for a good Harley ride today. The weather was perfect! We have been fortunate in NW Iowa to have such nice weather in July. June was unusually cold, but July has been beautiful.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Training Log - Monday & Tuesday

I'm still working on the EDT (Escalating Density Training). I'm about at the top of my reps for the 15 minutes. I did switch up the order of my training days in hopes that I will get to do all my training. So far, so good!

Clean & Push Press - 16 kg - 10 x 3 L,R
Definitely getting easier! I will be pressing that puppy soon.

Circuit 4 times through of
Mountain Climbers - 25 per leg
Walking Lunges - 15 yds per leg
Bicep Curls - 6 per arm w/ 20 lb. dumbbell
Overhead Tricep Extensions - 10 w/ 25 lb. dumbbell
Bear Crawls - 20 yds
Crab Walk - 20 yds
I did not rest between drills. I took a short break (30 seconds) between rounds.

EDT - 15 minutes
Swing Left - 16 kg
Swing Right - 16 kg

I completed 460 swings total - 230/arm. The first time I did this EDT a few weeks ago, I counted 500 reps. I'm thinking I miscounted because last week I did 400 and this week 460 and I went almost nonstop for the entire 15 minutes. I did two sets of 100, a set of 120, and then finished with a set of 240. I felt in a zone for that last 5 minutes, so I just kept swinging until the timer went off.

I've also been working my new GTG on pistols, pushups, and pullups. The pistols have a LONG way to go, but I'm making steady progess. Pushups are really good. I think I could now do 10 strict military pushups. Yay me!

I posted last week about my feet and the work I'm doing to rehab them. I am happy to report that my big toe joints are loosening up. There is definitely more mobility and less pain when I do my slow, Z walk. I can move my big toes independently now; whereas just a week ago I had to manually move them. Amazing stuff!

Okay, back to work! I have a list to get through today!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

I know, I know. It's been awhile since I posted and I know that I didn't post my training last week. I'll get after it this week.

I had a busy 4th of July and holiday weekend. All weekend my thoughts were with my friend Kate who was racing a 70.3 Ironman in Lake Stevens, Washington. She was looking to secure a spot in the World Championship race. She did it, no prob Bob! She finished 5th in her age group. AND she had a great run, the element that she has been working so hard to improve. So congrats Kate Monster!

With my birthday coming up, I was a little more philosophical in my thoughts instead of straight-forward. I've been thinking about how much my life has changed in a decade. 10 years ago, my first child Conner was a baby. I was just starting a new teaching job at the college where I now work, and I was in bad, bad physical shape. I don't have any digital pictures of me from then, but I do have pictures of me from five years ago, three, two, and one. Here's a few of those:

March 2003 - Las Vegas

August 2005 - On my brand new Harley

August 2006 - Pictured with Arlen Ness in Sturgis

January 2007 - Just started with Brad Nelson

June 2008 - Snatching the 20 kg

Since January 2007, I have lost 25 pounds and 10% bodyfat. I want to lose 10 more pounds and 4-5% more bodyfat. I almost can't believe that I've come as far as I have. I never thought I would lose 25 pounds. I've never been able to lose more than 5 or 10 pounds before. I don't think I was ready before. You have to be ready mentally for it to work.

I've learned that I need to take responsibility for my well-being. I need to put my energy into what makes me feel better. I've built a network of resources that I trust. That all started the day I made contact with Brad Nelson. He took me seriously and seriously kicked my butt when I needed it. He never sugar coats or lets me off easy. He holds me to task, which is critical because there are times I can't hold myself to task and need that outsider to do it. I know I would not be where I am on this journey without Brad.

People do come into your life for a reason. Brad came into my life to push me and support me in a way no one else could. Brad also doesn't take this responsibility lightly. His wife-to-be Jordan has to be very understanding to watch Brad connect with his clients like me. It's pretty intimate since I tell him things I can't tell others like how much I weigh, what I really eat, and how I'm feeling. I cry in front of him almost every time I get new Z Health. (It's a Z thing!)

It's powerful when someone sees your potential. Brad sees it and took the time to understand who I am so he could help me in the ways I need to be helped. Thank you, Brad, for making me see my potential and for all of your time, energy, and support. I can't wait to see what the next year brings.

Oh, and by the way - I'm 37.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Work Is Never Done

My quest to grow stronger has me working on my life daily. The main thing I'm working on now is to get my big toe joint mobile and firing properly. Huh?

You see, I have bunions. I think I was born with them. My bunions make my feet so incredibly hideous to look at that I won't even post a picture of them! (Poor Brad; he has had to work with my feet and he has seen up close what grotesque structures they are.) My goal with my feet is to improve my gait by retraining my feet to load and transfer weight properly. Part of that includes getting my big toe joint unlocked and mobile. I walk around in my Vibrams and do a lot of toe raises and waves and other Z Health drills. The right one is pretty mobile, but that left one is stubborn!

Another element I've been working on is my nutrition. I've slipped some being home for the summer, so I'm recommitting to my veggies. To that end, I've been making cole slaw (aka cabbage salad - Tracy LOL!!). I've been using various dressings and doctoring them up, but this week, I made my own FROM SCRATCH!! I didn't even have a recipe. Here's what I ended up putting in. I have no idea on the measurements. I just poured. I'll call it

"Amy's Asian Dressing"
olive oil
sesame seed oil
lime juice
soy sauce
red pepper flakes
Mix in a mini food processor or blender and pour over slaw.

I make my slaw with any and all raw veggies. This week - green and red cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots. I put the slaw on mixed greens. Some chicken and crunchy noodles would be good too. Ooooo - almonds would be yummy! Okay, now I'm hungry.

My training has been rocking this week. I've done my training in the morning and I feel so much more prepared for the day. That's good because my days are CRAZY!!! I'll get a break when I go back to work! I should have found a nanny again for this summer. Did you know that dirty dishes reproduce when placed next to each other on the counter. It's weird!

I'm very lucky to not have to "work" in the summer, but let me tell you; I'm busier when I'm home. It doesn't help that the kids are home doing kid things, which results in messes everywhere. Add to that the new puppy and a husband who is putting all of his free time into the back yard and I have a heck of a lot of work. I guess if I stop having work, I stop having a life. However, I am going to evaluate what it is most important and what I can let go. I'm also going to take an afternoon and jump on my Harley and just ride. I need a break.