Back to ‘normal’

I feel as if I’m getting back to my cadence from a month ago. As a matter of fact I think I might be doing better. I had my weekly goal of 4+ active days. I’ve increased it to 6 active days a week.

During the two weeks I was sick I was active only two days per week. Last week I started my new regimen of 6 active days a week. I didn’t do anything on Friday, every other day I was doing something; jogging, biking and walking.  

The weather is getting cold. Soon I won’t be able to do much outside. Typical this is the time when I hibernate and don’t come out until next spring erasing any progress made this year.

This year I’m determined to break this cycle. I have a gym membership and I believe I’ll be cancelling it. I’m thinking of joining a crossfit gym instead. Having different activity options will probably help me keep me going back. 

New goal: keep blog  entries short and frequent. 

Keep moving. Keep making progress. Keep going. You’re doing great. 

Weekly update #12

Health and wellness is the catalyst of my recent lifestyle change. At the end of last week I felt discouraged and deflated. The lack of active days, pain, and gaining 5 lbs overnight! Needless to say last week was really tough; but it helped me refocus and also reminded me why I started my lifestyle change. It’s not going to be easy, it’s not going to be quick, it’s not going to be fun. It’ll take hard work and it’ll take a long time. 

This week was the complete opposite of last week. I feel re-energized and super satisfied with my activity and overall results. I feel I’m back on track. I lost 6 lbs this week, 1 lb net lost since last week. My goal is to lose another 2 by the end of the month. I should be able to lose that in the next 4 days. 

I had been putting off jogging due to the pain from plantar fasciitis the day after the jog. I had been icing and rolling my affected foot without much improvement. It was suggested by my manager to ice and use the roller immediately after jogging. I don’t want to  jinx it but it seems to be doing the trick.

This coming week I will be on vacation, staycation. I’ll be playing host to my childhood friend visiting from California. I love playing tourist around Boston. I’m sure we’ll be doing a lot of that. I should also have some extra free time to explore new bike courses and jogging routes.

Weekly breakdown:

Monday & Wednesday & Saturday: Jogged the 3.7 mile course around my house and the beach. The time ranged from 50 min and 30 sec to 51 min and 30 sec. Not too fast and not too slow. I walk for the first 15 minutes to warm up. 

Friday: Biked 19.8 miles / 1 hour and 21 minutes / 689 ft of elevation / 14.6 mph average speed / average heart rate 152 bpm. I emphasized heart rate because it’s the primary way to know I’m actually doing work and burning fat. I’m still obese and speed will come as I lose weigh and get stronger. 

Friday Night: I went out dancing. I’m counting it as exercise because it was four hours of nonstop dancing (30 mins break for a drink). I think I sweated more than any of my jogs or rides.


Sunday: I’ll be repeating the same course as Friday, 19.8 miles. I’m expecting similar stats too. Although I want to break the 15 mph speed average.

Some noteworthy items throughout the week: 

Wednesday I had my first James Hook lobster roll. I’ve walked/driven by this iconic place in Bosyon for so many years and never went in.


Thursday night I went to the movies, watched the Mechanic. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Jessica Alba and Jason Statham are some of my favorite actors. Before the movie I treated myself to a Salvadoran delicacy: Minuta!


Saturday night I served as a judge of a beauty pageant. A friend has been running this pageant for about 9 years. It’s always a fun show. 


I’m really looking forward to this coming week.

Spotted: Rocks, Bike, and Chimney

I’m not a runner nor a biker but I play both on the internet! About three months ago I simply made the decision to get healthier. Problem #1 – I love food! Problem #2 – I don’t like exercise! When you combine these two problems you’re in big trouble; by “you’re in trouble” I mean I’m in big trouble!

I don’t want to spend hours at the gym, so given option between the gym or exercise out in the open, the latter will always win. I’ve tried to lose weight in the past but after a month or two I usually stop. In an attempt to keep me honest and keep me going I started this blog.

This blog is intended for me to go back and look at what I’ve accomplished and what I’ve done to get healthy. It has, however, become an outlet for more than tracking activities. I’ve found a super supportive community who share ideas, values, stories, tips, and overall motivate each other to keep going.

With that long introduction out-of-the-way, let me get to the meat of “The Hunt” or “The Spotted”! SlowRunnerGirl and others turn exercise such as running, jogging, and biking into a sort of game or challenge. During your activity keep an eye out for certain objects. For a full list of objects and rules visit her entry; she does a much better job explaining whole concept.

Yesterday my buddy Mike and I went on out to Breakheart Reservation in Saugus for a leisurely walk/jog/cycling session. He wanted to try out my new used bike! I wanted to try jogging on my new new shoes.

It was a wonderfully hot and humid day! I didn’t want to get hurt so I walked over 50% of the route. I jogged up the hills and also jogged for two 5 minutes segments on the flat sections. Today I was not crying from pain, so I’m thinknig the new shoes are doing their job!

I was ready to “Spot” a couple of objects from the list. I knew that I was going to see rocks because I’ve been there before, is that cheating?! So figured I’d combine two objects in one shot, the bike and the rock. While I was looking for some cool rock formations, I came accross the chimney! So below are pictures from yesterday. Hope you enjoy!

 

The Bike & The Rock

 

img_1116
The Chimney & The Rock!

Weekly Update #4

This will be a quick update because it has been a easy week. At this moment I’m relaxing on the beach in New Hampshire’s Hampton Beach.


Feels like forever since ran. This week I’ve taken it easy. I didn’t run a single day, not even the Pena 5K. There were two activities for the week 1) 5 mile walk at Breakhart Reservation and 2) biking to and from work on Thursday evening as a trial run. It was 8.5 miles each way and took just under 1 hour to complete. 


I did continue to eat fairly healthy and avoid ginormous portions. 
On Wednesday I made it out to the driving range to release to tension. ​


On Saturday we went to Georges Island which is only 7 miles from Boston’s shore.


The good news is I didn’t gain any weight, stayed flat at 250.

This coming week I’ll pick up the intensity again and hopefully make some damage on my weight. 

Weekly Update 3

Time flies when you’re running 🙂 This has been a fabulous week for me! It’s the first time I write down weekly goals and  better yet I’ve achieved pretty much everything on my on it!

I’m going to be mentioning Mike a lot in this entry and the reason is that he was participating in a step challenge at his job and I walked with him to help him get at least 20 thousand steps a day to help him place top 10. 

Highlights from the week:

  1. I’ve achieved all the goals in my list for the week. 
  2. I lost 7 lbs this week which brings my weight loss to a grand total of 20 lbs since I got active 3 months ago. 
  3. Pena 5K – I reduced my time by two minutes since last week, finished it in 28 minutes and 23 seconds. This is my personal best at Deer Island  ever. 
  4. Ran Deer Island without stopping. One of my main goals was to run the this course without stopping. I can check that one off the list now.

Breakdown of the week:

Monday – Mike and I walked 8.5 miles in the evening. We walked from work to the train station where I leave my car. 


Tuesday – I ran 4.11 miles at ungodly hours in morning, ungodly for me! In the evening Mike and I walked 5.75 miles at the lovely heart break reservation in Saugus. It’s a beautifully scenic and hilly course. 


Wednesday – I ran 2.5 miles in the morning and walked 7.5 miles in the evening with Mike. We went from Downtown Boston to Cambridge, then to Somerville, then to Everett. 


Thursday – Pena 5K @ Deer Island. I walked around the course once to warm up before running it. 


Friday – Ran 3.75 miles in the morning and 9+ miles in the evening with Mike. I didn’t start the tracking app on time, so I missed he first 30ish minutes of walking. 


I have only one goal for the weekend: DON’T GAIN ANY WEIGHT. 

I usually gain a few pounds during the weekend. I spend a lot of time at my parents’ house. There’s always so much deliciousness everywhere!

This week I was telling Mike about it during one of our long walks and because he’s a numbers guy he simply commented that I was ‘losing one third’ of my weight lost. That somehow set things to a different perspective. I don’t want to lose 33% of anything! And that’s what I had been doing for ever. Some weekends I would gain all the weight back during the weekend.

I’m extremely pleased with the progress this week and intend to keep it going next week and into the foreseeable future.

Thanks for reading.

It Was a Wet Morning

“Who is up at this ungodly hour?” That was my initial thought when I went out this morning. I got up at 5:15am and 15 minutes later I was out the door for my morning jog, as per my week’s goals.

I was woken up at 4am by heavy rain but managed to go back to sleep for an hour. My thought was I’ll have to go to the gym instead of running outside, c’est la vie. Thankfully it was no longer raining by the time I got up and was ready to go out.

I started with a nice leisurely 15 minute walk. My legs were feeling a bit tight, I’m guessing it was due to the 8 mile walk from last night.

Saw this beauty during last night’s walk.

I stopped a couple of time to stretch during those first 15 minutes and by the time I started jogging I was feeling pretty damn good.

I figured I’d stick with my previous 20 minute jog to the beach then I’d head back home. I was glad that my body was responding well, no shin splints or noticeable pain from my plantar fasciitis and I wasn’t gasping for air.

My Runkeeper alerts me every 5 minutes of the time and I feel as if the announcements were coming slower than usual; not because I was feeling tired but because I arrived to places that have taken longer in the past.

After looking at the activity log in detail, I was pleasantly surprised. I kept a 10-11 minute pace the entire 20 minutes of jogging! Which included almost a mile on sand, not lose sand but the wet sand.

One benefit of running on the beach early in the morning: no people and I get a clean set of my foot prints!
It wouldn’t be a blog without the mandatory selfie! Look how hard I’m working! lol

Right as I’m about to head out of the beach it seemed as if it was going to start raining again. In my head I’m negotiating with the rain gods, “just give me 15 minutes to get home, then let it rain as much as you want! Pleeeeease..” I’m glad they listened 😁😁 I made it home without getting soaking wet! I even had a chance to stop and smell the roses!

Nice tiny garden on a large round about close to my house.

On the last leg of my way back home the light drizzle turned into real rain drops. So increased my pace and I felt like I was flying. I maintained that fast pace for about two minutes, an eternity for me. I remember thinking, “wow this must be what what real runners feel! It feels awesome!” Again, looking at the activity log I was running 7:30 minute miles during those two minutes!

I get home feeling great. Ready to start the day right when I realized I ran out of shirts at home! Time to pick up the dry clean, whomp whomp whomp. No problem, pick it up on the way into work and all is well with the world!

I might need more color in my life.

I’m happy things are looking good and on track to successfully accomplish this week’s goals.

Weekly Update 2

Where to start? Overall I’m feeling good about the changes I’ve made so far and my newly developed habits. Most importantly I’m feeling good about myself; I’m feeling happier; I have more energy. There are days when I do feel sored after an intense run or a long walk, but it’s not that bad.

Monday this week I found a gift on my desk from someone at work, thank you Hadley. It was a book, Younger Next Year, I’ve been reading it any chance I get. I’m learning a lot from it and have started to implement some of the advice in it. I’ve ordered the accompanying exercise book.

Exercise

  • Lots of walking – In the past 7 days I’ve logged 7 walking logs in my run keeper for a total of 26 miles walked. I purposely get off the train many stations before my stop to walk for about an hour in the afternoon/evening. I’ve also walked to train stations further away from my house to get in a 40 min walk before work. One I left my car at home to walk to the train station in the morning and in the evening.
  • Jogging/Running – Sunday I went out for a morning jog. I’ve never done that before; shin splints were bothering me during this jog. Tuesday I went out to the beach for a jog in the evening. To my delight the shin splints were gone and PF was barely noticeable! My couch to 5K app moved me to the next level, two 8 minutes of jogging sessions. I felt great after the 31 minute program (5 min warm up, 8 min jog, 5 min walk, 8 min jog, 5 min cool down).
  • Today I’ll be going out to Deer Island for our weekly Pena 5K. I’m hoping my time will improve. The last time I completed it in 33 min and 32 seconds, about 3 minutes improvement from the previous week. I hope to be closer to 30 minutes this week.

Health

  • Plantar fasciitis is getting better
  • Shin Splints showed their ugly face during the weekend, but disappeared during the week

In the bedroom:

  • I haven’t removed the TV from the room yet, BUT I haven’t turned it on in a few days. I believe I will completely remove it this weekend.
  • Shades are blacked out.
  • I brought an old school alarm clock, so I can leave my phone outside the bedroom. 
  • Early riser – due to work circumstances I’ve had to get up early for about a week now and I don’t hate it! I’ll try to keep getting up early going forward and go for a jog or walk in the morning before heading to work.

Diet

  • During the weekend I gained a few lbs because I love food and have no self control over it yet. Mom’s cooking is so damn delicious!
  • Breakfast- I’ve been good during weekdays. I’ve been eating veggie omelette switch feta cheese.
  • Lunch – I’ve been good during the weekdays too. I’ve tried to get smaller portions and healthy choices from work’s cafe.
  • Dinner – I could do better here. Currently I’ve stopped cooking because it takes long and by the time I get home it’s too late. I’m getting my food cooked by my friend’s aunt. She cooks all kinds of stuff, some healthy and others not so much, but all delicious:)
  • I’ve tried to avoid rice
  • No soft drinks

That’s about it for now. I’ll try to keep these short in the future. I’ll also try to post throughout the week after activities.

Boston

Today I had a chance to take a long lunch break. As I’ve mentioned before, I absolutely love Boston. It seems there’s a historical place around every corner. I also feel as if I can see the entire world go by if I stand still and just people watch for a while. Walking around Downtown Boston is great and I should do it more often.

Today for an hour and a half I became a tourist. Here’s my photo report 🙂

The Rose Kennedy Greenway – 1.5 mile string of parks with a carousel, grassy areas & rotating contemporary art exhibitions.
Quincy Market & Faneuil Hall Marketplace
The Old State House – On July 18, 1776, citizens gathered in the street to hear the Declaration of Independence read from the building’s balcony, the first public reading in Massachusetts.
The Freedom Trail – 2.5-mile-long path through downtown Boston that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States
The Boston Massacre – Major event in the American Revolutionary War. British Army soldiers killed five male civilians and injured six others on March 5, 1770.
The Massachusetts State House – the state capitol and seat of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
I probably spend over 60% of my time here
Custom House Tower – Boston’s first skyscraper; completed in 1847
My walking map

I didn’t run or jog this week

I blame my dress shoes for the pain I was experiencing on my heel. According to my coworkers I have ‘plantar fasciitis’. I had to look up what the heck it was.

Plantar fasciitis refers to irritation of the plantar fascia where it attaches to the heel bone and runs along the bottom of the foot — Google

Still means nothing to me!

I decided to change my strategy. I wanted to rest my heel but I didn’t want to stop.

Soooo my solution: walk ALOT this week!

Monday here in the US we celebrated Memorial Day. I tried my normal routine and jog along the beach. I did my normal 30 min couch to 5k program. Then i kept walking along the entire length of Revere Beach, total I walked 5.5 miles.

Tuesday my heel was bothering me more than the days before. I tried walking for a while. It just happened I need to go to the Apple Store to look at my phone, the battery has been acting up. I also had to have my headphones replaced. I walked to the store. It’s only about 2.5 miles from my job.


It was a nice walk. Once I was done, I had the option to take the train to my car OR walk to my car which was a 5.5 mile walk from the store. I opted to walk to my car.

On Wednesday my heel was feeling a lot better.

My buddy Mike and I decided to go for a walk after work. We ended up walking for over two hours, 8.5 miles.

‘The Garden’ and the Zakim Bridge
Boston Skyline from East Boston and the Tobin Bridge
Legoland in Simerville

Thursday is when we, friends and family do our Pena 5K, but I skipped the running and had a leisurely walk around Boston instead. I walked with my Mike again. This time we walked around some newly developed areas around Boston. It was beautiful.

Piece of the Berlin Wall
Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown


Friday I didn’t do anything. I had a chance to spend some time with family visiting from my country. We went bowling and played on the arcade. It was a lot of fun. Lastly I went over to my brother’s to help him setup for Saturday’s BBQ.


On Saturday we celebrated my sister law’s baby shower. The day was beautiful and the while thing turned out great.

This coming week I’m planning to get back to the normal routine.

Thanks for reading!

What’s Working for Me?

Changing old habits is extremely difficult. The only time I can claim I was ‘fit’ was during my last two years of High School. I was in the my school’s fútbol & track team; I also played on a local fútbol club outside of school; lastly I would roller blade everywhere!

When I was in school and physically active I would eat ALL kinds of junk food and it didn’t matter simply because I was young and involved in sports.

Upon graduating high school my physical activity also graduated to non-existent, but my diet stayed the same. Bad combination!

My weight gain was gradual for the first five years; then it just got out of control and before I knew it I was the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life!

I’m fortunate I didn’t have a life threatening experience that made me realize I had to change my life. One day I simply woke up and didn’t recognize myself in the mirror. It made me realize that if I’m still young; that I should get healthy; that I want to play with my grand children when the time comes; that I work hard to be financially stable as I get older, but being financially stable won’t help me if I’m dead.

Sooo here I am writing about the changes I’ve made and I’m planning to make in my life to turn old bad habits into new good habits.

Below are some of the things that are working for me.

Consistency -Since I’m in the early stages of working out/getting active, I’m trying to keep the momentum and motivation going by not missing more than one day between activities. If I jog or run and I’m tired the next day, then only walk and take it easy, but DO something.

Make Time – Time is our most precious resource. We all have responsibilities and a million other things that need to be done yesterday, but you’ll have to make time for your health and wellness. Perhaps don’t watch that one hour episode of that mediocre TV show; maybe you can drop a bad habit that consumes time and replace it with a better habit. I add ‘exercise/run/jog/walk’ to my calendar. It helps me to get mentally prepared. Lately it’s also getting me excited to plan what activity I’ll be doing later.

Music – Good tunes will go a long way. I love my reggaeton playlist. It helps me forget that I’m ‘working’. It helps me to keep a faster pace. It helps me stay active longer. I’ve also tried listening to audio books while I walk, it does the job.

Variety – I’m so extremely fortunate to be surrounded by so many places to run, job, or walk. Close to work I have the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston Common and Charles River. Close to my house I have the beach, parks, and walking trails.

Running Clothes & Shoes – I found that having running ‘outfits’ tell your brain it’s time to go. My ‘outfit’ – running shoes, socks, sweatpants, and sweater. Now that the weather is warm I’ve replaced the sweatpants with shorts and sweater with a dri-fit t-shirt. It’s a simple trick that gets me in the ‘get active’ mind frame.

Tracking Apps – I use three apps for different purposes. Runkeeper tracks my overall number of activities, total distance, and total time. Couch to 5K is slowly building my endurance, stamina and speed. Fitbit tracks my steps, stairs, and heart rate through out the day.

I have to note that an advantage to walking around Boston is that I’ve discovered some cool new areas around Beacon Hill. Here are a couple of pictures. 



Any suggestions or routines you use to get you going will be greatly appreciated.