Sunday, July 17, 2011

Address Change

I have decided to move my blog to Please update your bookmarks or readers and I look forward to continuing to share with you there.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Goals

While reading some old posts on one of my favorite blogs I realized I haven't set any goals for awhile. And I'm bad at reviewing my progress with goals. Since tomorrow is a new month, I decided to copy Rachel's new month, new goals philosophy.

1. Finish Atlas Shrugged

2. Run 15 times

3. Bike 10 times (may include spinning)

4. Swim 5 times

5. Go to Zumba once a week

6. Start a new blog with a work focus

Six goals seems like possibly too many, but I'm registered for a triathlon Aug 7 and want to be ready for it, thus the swimming, biking, running goals. I'm not putting distances on them so I can give myself credit for short runs and rides. I've missed taking Zumba classes and want to support a co-worker that is teaching it now. And, while I'm not a big fan of setting weight loss goals with a number, I'd really like to firm everything up before our trip to Patoka Lake July 30 and I know exercise is the only way I'll accomplish that.

I've started Atlas Shrugged. It's huge, but I'm loving it. If I read 1 chapter a day, I will meet this goal.

I changed my blog from public to private a few months ago, but miss having a place to share my thoughts with the world. As I've thinking about looking for a new job, I've realized I'd really like to focus on lifestyle medicine. I want my new blog to be a reflection of my passion for healthy living through a balance of exercise, food, and fun.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Southern Indiana Triathlon

My first triathlon of the season was Sunday. It was also the first time for this triathlon. I signed up for it because it started about half a mile from my house. Amy signed up for it with me. The swim was in the Ohio River which concerned me a bit. I didn't want to get a wetsuit, but Amy and a guy I work with, Don, who has done many triathlons, convinced me I should. I ended up renting one from XTerra. It came the week before the race and the first time I tried it on, I couldn't get it up. I tried again later that night, pulling the legs about half-way up my calves before trying to get it up the rest of the way. It fit and I was pleasantly surprised that it looked pretty good. Getting it off was almost as hard as getting it on the first night, but I practiced until I could get it on in less than 5 minutes and off in less than 1 minute.

Amy stayed the night with me Saturday night. I made us waffles for dinner. Sunday morning we got up early, rode our bikes to the start, checked in, and set up our transition areas. Then we walked back to my house, ate breakfast, used the bathroom, and put on our wetsuits. We walked back to the transition area for the pre-race meeting. The swim start was about 1/2 mile from the transition area (towards my house), so we spent a lot of time walking around in our wetsuits. My parents and her mom met us at the swim start to cheer us on. We got zipped up and into the water. It was cold, but didn't seem that bad in the wetsuit. Unfortunately, my wetsuit leaked, so I probably lost some buoyancy. The swim was harder than I thought it would be. It was all down river, but seemed to take forever. I also cut my finger on some rocks towards the end. When I got out, I was bleeding freely. I asked a spectator for a bandaid and she gave me some. I ended up not using them, but another racer cut herself and I gave her one.

My first transition was slowed by the bleeding. I was also worn out and not thinking clearly. I put on one bike glove before I put my shoes on. I made it onto my bike and started the ride. I ate a few of the Clif Shot Bloks immediately, but my legs still didn't feel good. After the turn around and eating some more Shot Bloks, I felt pretty good and the second half of the ride was faster.

My second transition was pretty good and I took off for the run. I felt pretty good on the run, but did have to walk a little. I think the course was a little short since I set a new PR for a 5K on the run, which seems unlikely. My overall time was 15 minutes faster than my goal. I made up most of my time on the swim, which took much less time than I expected. There were a few issues with the race, but overall, it was a good time and I'll probably do it again next year.

Next up, is a relay triathlon with Amy and Jennifer. I'm doing the cycle portion. Then in August, I'm doing the Tri Indy. I had considered trying the Olympic distance for that one, but was so glad to only be running 3 miles at the end that I think I'll stick with the sprint distance.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Relay for Life

2 years ago I didn't really know anyone that had cancer. Then a good friend of my mom's was diagnosed with leukemia. Lynette wrote a blog about her experiences and I followed it, learning about the personal side of cancer and crying when she died.

Last year, my cousin was diagnosed with leukemia. Krishana had been trying to become a missionary for several years and I had been supporting her, but the diagnosis and her moving home drew us closer. I was able to be there for her first run after being cleared by her oncologist. She was declared to be in remission and in February, moved to Austria for full-time mission work.

In March I got a call from Amy that a friend of ours from TaeKwonDo had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Sue hadn't been having symptoms for very long, but she was told it was a fast growing cancer and she probably only had 6 months to a year to live. She actually died about 2 weeks after the diagnosis.

Because of these wonderful, inspiring women I choose to participate in Relay for Life this year. I love the American Cancer Society's "More Birthdays"  slogan. A world with more birthdays seems like a great place to me. I don't want anyone else I know to lose birthdays because of cancer. I'm not really big into fund-raising, but I put a link on my facebook page and asked my parents to donate. I raised $235 and I'm very happy to be contributing in a small way to a world with more birthdays.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

MiniMarathon #2

This year I completed my second Kentucky Derby Festival MiniMarathon. I finished 30 minutes faster than last year in 2:49:49. I like to joke I went from really slow to just slow. I'm actually pretty happy with that time, but I think that might be my last half-marathon.  In this past year, I feel I've become a runner, but I don't enjoy long training runs. 5 miles felt good, 8 miles felt ok, and 10 miles was no fun. I'm signed up for the Rock and Roll Miami Half-Marathon in December, but I'm not sure I want to participate. I signed up on a whim because it was on sale and a little bit to show the ex I didn't need him to keep running. That realization combined with my dislike of long training runs and the fact that it's the weekend before finals makes me want to skip it. So we'll see. I've done 3 half-marathons now and that might be where I stop. I'm glad I don't have to decide today.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Papa John's 10 Miler

This is the second year I participated in the Papa John's 10 Miler. It is the final leg of the Triple Crown of Running, which I may do one year, but this year I was using it as a training run. I had 10 miles on the training calendar for this week and I knew I couldn't skip out on it.

It was cold before the race started. The temperature was 37° at the start. I met up with a friend from work, Melinda and her husband, Jason about 7:45am. We talked for a little bit while I danced around to stay warm, then headed to the start. Melinda and I lined up about in the middle, while Jason went closer to the front. It was so great to have someone to talk to as we waited for the race to start even though we knew we wouldn't stay together the whole time. Once it started, we walked together until we crossed the actual starting line and then I started running. Melinda passed me not long after that, but I was trying to stay on my pace and not start off too quickly because of the excitement of the crowd.

I made it very comfortably the first 3 miles to the Iroquois Park. Just before I entered the park, we started seeing the lead runners coming out. I find it rather inspiring to be passed by someone that can run so fast. I was pleased because I knew I was closer to the park than I had been when I started seeing lead runners last year.

After entering the park, I continued with my plan to run 9 minutes, then walk 1 minute even though that didn't always coordinate with the hills. At 59 minutes, I started taking the nutrition supplements I had brought with me. I had 2 Honey Stinger chews that I ate then and Clif Shot Bloks, which I used every 20 minutes after that. The Honey Stingers are a new (to me) product that I've been trying. I think 2 of them is about equivalent to 1 Shot Blok in terms of energy. I like the flavors about equally, so I'll use up what I have and then will probably buy whichever is cheaper next time.

Even though I was feeling pretty good, I was ready to be out of the park because I could see sunshine at times through the trees and I was looking forward to basking in it. Also, I was getting tired of going up the hills. After thinking "this is the last hill" several times, I reached the final downhill to come out of the park and head back to the stadium. About mile 7, my legs began to hurt. I told myself I just had a 5K left to go. I also debated trying to finish the rest without any walking breaks, since starting to run again was more uncomfortable then continuing to run. I was worried about being able to finish if I did that, so I continued the walk breaks except for the last one, which would have been about mile 9.5.

As I entered the stadium, I was passed by some people, but didn't think I could go much faster. Then I made the final turn and decided to speed it up for the last 50 yards. It felt awesome to really run to the end, but after I crossed the finish line I was ready to collapse. I finally understood not having any more to give.

Jason was waiting just past the finish line. He'd finished in 1:23:50, which is awesome. Melinda was just a little behind me at 2:11:47. I finished under my goal and with a new personal record at 2:05:44. This is almost 10 minutes faster than my time last year. After we finished, we ate a banana and some pizza, then headed to our cars. The wind really picked up on my walk to the parking lot and my hands got so cold. I was very happy to get in the car and turn on the heat. I just sat warming up for a little before trying to deal with the traffic.

I made it home and had a lovely hot shower. It felt so good to climb into sweats and turn on the fireplace. Last night, Richard came over for some mulled wine and basketball watching. The wine was a lovely ending to a cold day. It also ended up being a perfect night for a warm beverage since it started snowing. Crazy Southern Indiana weather. The snow is gone today and hopefully the weather will cooperate for the next 5 weeks as I finish training for the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

10 Weeks

Now that I have made it through swim lessons, I am on to my next training phase of the year. This past Saturday marked the start of my 10 week training program for the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-Marathon. This is the 2nd year I will be running the Mini and my third half-marathon. Last year I was disappointed with my time and hoped to have a huge improvement this year. Based on my first 5 mile training run Saturday, I doubt I can improve my time as much as I had wanted. I'm still very slow and that's something I'm trying to learn to live with while just concentrating on the fact that I do actually enjoy running now.

That said, I do have a better running plan this year. Last year, I only did long runs. This year, I'm adding speed work and tempo runs. Monday was my first speed work session and it went great. I met all my targets and actually increased my pace each quarter mile. Today will be my first tempo run. I'm not sure how it will go and I think I might have my goal set too fast, but I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

In addition to running 3 days per week, I'm going to be taking Body Pump once a week, swimming once a week, and taking cycling class or riding my bike twice a week. The cross-training will help prevent injuries and give me better cardiovascular endurance. My goal for this half-marathon is to not hit a wall. I want to be able to complete the race without needing to walk a lot at the end. I know my time will improve by running more of the race, although I'm not sure how much. I guess I'll find out in 64 days.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Swim Lesson #6

Today was my last swim lesson. My first swim lesson actually seems like quite a long time ago, although it's only been 6 weeks. In my lessons, (lesson #2, lesson #3, lessons #4 & #5) I learned freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke. I have a basic understanding of each stroke, but still need a lot of practice to become an good swimmer. Since I wasn't interested in learning butterfly, today I wanted to focus on swimming laps. Mary (my instructor) assigned me different lap exercises and by the end of the class, I was exhausted.

I started with a 200 yard freestyle warm-up. Half-way down the first length of the pool, I choked on some water. Not exactly the stellar performance I was hoping for. I preserved however and made it through the warm-up. After the warm-up Mary suggested a 100 yard modified medley, since I didn't learn butterfly. This consisted of 25 yards of breaststroke, 25 yards of backstroke, and 50 yards of freestyle. I repeated that twice, then she had me do kicking and arm drills. I repeated the 100 yard medley, first while holding a kick-board, then using a pull buoy. You put the pull buoy between  your legs and it keeps them floating so you can practice arm movements. I wasn't really a fan because it made my legs float very high and caused me to arch my back, but I can see the benefits of using it.

After the drills, I swam some more freestyle laps, trying to practice flip turns and going further than 50 yards before resting. I made it to 75 yards (3 lengths of the pool), but felt pretty worn out after that. I did a 150 yard freestyle cool-down with no flip turns and was done. Swim lessons have been a great experience for me. I had to change gyms to get access to a pool, but I believe it was worth it. I plan to incorporate at least one day of swimming into my next training phase to continue on the progress I have made.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Swim Lessons #4 and #5

I took my 5th swim lesson today. I had previously recapped each week individually (lesson #1, lesson #2, lesson #3), but last we started on breaststroke and all I would have been able to say was it's really hard. This week I feel like a have a better handle on it.

Before my first triathlon, my friend Rebecca taught me the basics of the breaststroke and said it was a good recovery stroke. You bring your head out of the water to breathe every stroke which is helpful when you're tired. I thought I understood what she said and could manage a decent breaststroke. In reflection, it was probably more of a breaststroke/doggy paddle hybrid.

Last week, Mary (the instructor) taught me the kick first. She described it as a frog kick. You pull your legs up towards your stomach, kick them up and out to the side, and bring them together with your legs straight. I practiced for most of lesson #4 and still didn't quite get it. I was kicking down and out rather then up and out.

This week, Mary explained and demonstrated the kick again. I practiced on the wall, then practiced with a kick-board. After I felt comfortable and Mary thought my kick looked good, I added arms. The stroke movement starts with your hands together in front of your chest. You push you arms straight out then sweep them to the sides before bringing the hands back together in front of your chest.

Another tricky part of breast stroke is that your arms should go out as your legs come together. The timing is very difficult to get down, but it makes you faster because either your arms or legs take turns moving you forward. I spent the last 15 minutes of class practicing and had it right maybe half of the time. I will continue to practice it, but I don't anticipate using it during a triathlon.

Monday, January 31, 2011

I'd Rather Watch Football By Myself

This is my first entry in Project Tasteless and while I probably shouldn't change the spirit of the challenge, I have no interest in infiltrating a man cave right now. I love cooking and watching football and have thrown some pretty awesome Super Bowl parties. To me, the key to party food is a mix of healthy and unhealthy. I usually buy the unhealthy (pizza rolls) and make healthier food. This spinach dip definitely falls in the healthy category since it's nearly all spinach, but it's so delicious you may decide to eat it all while you watch the game (or whatever else) by yourself.

Spinach Dip and Pita Chips

1 12 oz bag of frozen chopped spinach, thawed (a 10 oz box could be substituted)
1 can quarter artichoke hearts in water, chopped
1 jar roasted red peppers packed in water, diced
1/4 cup reduced fat Caesar salad dressing
1/2 cup Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano cheese blend, plus extra for topping

1 package pita pockets halves, opened and cut into triangles

Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat and add spinach. Stir and cook until spinach is dry. Add the artichoke hearts and roasted red pepper, stirring until well mixed. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat oven to 400°. Place cut pitas onto baking stones or cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, switching racks half-way through baking. Pitas should be crisp when removed from oven. Cool.

While pitas are baking, add Caesar dressing and cheese to spinach mixture. Stir until evenly distributed. It will hold together slightly, but not look like a typical dip. Place spinach dip in 8 or 9 inch square pan. Sprinkle with extra cheese until top is mostly covered. Keep warm in oven until ready to serve.

Since the only football on this past weekend was the Pro Bowl, I took this to bunco Friday night and received many compliments. The little that was left became part of my dinner Saturday. Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Run of Firsts

The weather this weekend was so beautiful. It was sunny with a high in the 40s both days. I'm still taking swim lessons on Saturday (a recap is coming) so a run was on the agenda for today. It was a good run and I enjoyed some new experiences during it.

It was my first outdoor run in 2011. I actually haven't ran outside since the Run, Run Rudolph the day after Thanksgiving.

It was my first run across the Second Street Bridge. I've walked across this non-interstate bridge between Indiana and Kentucky several times, but have never run it. The view both ways was nice, but the wind was so cold as I came back across.

It was my first time to do an errand while running. I needed to pick up a new group exercise schedule and knew the YMCA was about 2 miles away. I ran there, picked up my schedule, and ran back.

My pace was slower than I would have liked, but I ran the first 1.75 miles with no walk breaks. I need to play around with the frequency and amount of walk breaks so my pace doesn't slow as I go. My total distance was about 4.25 miles and it was mostly in sunshine, so I will definitely categorize it as a good run.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Art of Eating In

The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove by Cathy Erway

While I was browsing the library for new cookbooks, this book caught my attention. One of my goals for the next 2 1/2 years is not eat out for 1 week. The author of this book didn't eat out for 2 years.

The book starts with an introduction of the author and gives her reason for deciding not to eat at restaurants. Her main reason is that it is expensive to live in New York City and she realizes she is not saving any money for the future. Thinking about all the money she spends on eating out, she decides to she decides she will prepare all her own meals.

The book is a collection of stories describing how not eating out affects her life and relationships. It is well written, humorous, and touching. She shares many descriptions of meals she prepared which are descriptive enough to make you interested in trying them. Unfortunately, only a few of the recipes she describes are given in the book and the recipes that are presented seem very labor intensive and highbrow.

The author also shares her food-related adventures, including a trash tour of bakeries and groceries after they close for the night, foraging tours in city parks, underground super clubs, and food competitions. She also discusses other ways not eating out influenced her, such as developing more concern for where food comes from. The book ends with her decision to end the eating out ban after 2 years.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to those who like to read about other peoples adventures with food and cooking.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Swim Lesson #3

I hope to be mixing the posts up again soon, but my life has been mostly work and trying to stay warm recently. Just in cause you're new, here's Swim Lesson #1 and Swim Lesson #2.

Today's lesson was great. The 3 of us that can swim are all at different points now, so Mary (the instructor) works with us individually, gives us something to practice, and then works with the next person. I started out with a freestyle lap and a back stroke lap for warm up. After that, I worked on flip turns more. I started by practicing the flip and pushing off the wall, which is where we ended last week. It took me a while to get the feel for the proper amount of rotation to push off with the most power. You want to be about 3/4ths of the way around so your legs are parallel to the surface of the water as you push off.

When I was comfortable with the flip and push, Mary had me add turning over onto my stomach as I came off the wall. That wasn't too difficult to add in, although I'm trying to decide which direction I prefer to turn. Once I was able to complete all the steps - flip, push, turn, I practiced swimming to the wall and then completing the flip turn. This was actually quite difficult because you have to time your strokes so you can take a breath before the turn and be the proper distance from the wall as you start your turn. On my first attempt I ended up with a large quantity of water up my nose. It did get better after that and soon I decided to swim an actual lap. I'd started out in shallow water, swimming the width of the pool.

I got to the wall in the deep end and was rewarded with more water up my nose. I practiced the flip and push off a few times in the deep end so I couldn't use the bottom of the pool for support. When I felt comfortable with the turn in the deep end, I added swimming back in. Finally, by the end of class, I was able to swim to the wall, complete a flip turn and keep swimming. This is a lot harder than stopping to rest at the wall as I had done previously.

This was a pretty difficult move, but I'm glad to have the basics down. I especially like that it will allow me to develop more endurance since I won't be stopping every 25 yards, which will translate to being able to better complete an open-water swim.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Swim Lesson #2

I had my second swim lesson yesterday morning. This the recap of lesson #1 which includes my reasons for taking lessons.

This week we started by practicing freestyle again. Mary, the instructor, recommended I try to just breathe on my dominant side. I had thought I was supposed to alternate my breaths, so I would breathe every 3 strokes. Breathing just on the right side made a huge difference in how much energy I was expending. I think in trying to wait until the 3rd stroke I was holding my breath longer, which made me feel more tired. Now, I'm breathing every other stroke (every time my right arm comes out of the water) and it feels so much better. I practiced for about 10 minutes and then Mary decided it was time for me to move to back stroke.

She had me start out by holding a kickboard over my head and just practicing the kick. That went well, so she had me add arms, trying to keep them close to my ears as I stroked. She also taught me how to count strokes so I wouldn't crash into the wall. I feel pretty good about back stroke. It can be a nice break since you don't have to hold your breath.

We ended the class by learning to flip turn. Like everything else, this was broken down into parts. First I learned to do a forward flip in the water. The hardest part of this for me was breathing out as I went under so I didn't get water up my nose. After I was able to flip without difficulty, we moved close to the wall to practice there. Mary was impressed that I wasn't scared to flip close to the wall since most people are. I appreciated the complement, but after she said that I got a little more nervous. I didn't hit my head, but I did get some more water up my nose. After several times flipping by the wall, she had me start to push off the wall with my feet mid-turn. Unfortunately, we ran out of time as I got comfortable with that, so the rest of the turn will have to wait until next week.

This week's class was a little more chaotic since there were a lot of people in the pool that weren't taking lessons. I spoke to the aquatics manager after the class since the pool is supposed to be closed during lessons except for 1 lap lane. She said that the issue would be addressed during their staff meeting today so hopefully it will be better next week.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pole Fitness

Have you tried Groupon? Basically, it's a website that sells gift certificates to local businesses for a discount. I signed up last summer for a discount canoe trip. They email you a deal each day and you decide if you want to buy it. When an email came a few months ago inviting me to try an intro pole dancing class, I bought it. I tried to get a couple of my friends to join me, but the deal was sold-out before we could work out the details. So, tonight, I joined 3 other ladies for an Intro to Pole Dance Fitness class at Modern Day Fitness. Just so we're clear, pole dance fitness is "artistic dance movements using a vertical pole" (

Our instructor was Ashauna and she was fabulous. We started the class with a basic stretching routine that Ashauna led us through it in a slow, relaxing manor. Then we moved onto some difficult ab work involving our legs. After the warm-up, Ashauna showed us the routine we would be learning. Watching her, I was unsure if I'd be able to do all the moves, but I was determined to try.

We started by learning where to stand in relation to the pole and how to hold and walk around it. We practiced walking and turning around for several minutes, until everyone was comfortable. Since the class size is small (4 people), you get a lot of personal feedback. Next, we learned the flamingo, a move that has you wrap one leg around the pole and lean to the opposite side. Surprisingly this is easier on your non-dominant side.

After the flamingo, was the fireman, which is spinning around the pole in the air. This was the move that worried me the most since I can't jump. Ashauna taught us how to use momentum to start the spin and lift our legs into the correct position. I did manage to achieve a spin, but for most of the class, I hit my shins during this move and have some lovely bruises today.

We also learned the 180° turn, the snake, the bunny, and the pole squat. We practiced everything separately, then practiced them to music as a routine. We preformed the routine to several songs and each time Ashauna would give it a slight variation. I finally managed to preform the fireman without hurting myself during the last song.

Ovarall, I really enjoyed the class. The workout was more toning and strength than cardio, but we got some cardio at the end as we danced. Ashauna was very skilled at explaining how to preform a move and then giving you specific feedback to improve. Her personality made me feel very comfortable and secure. I'm not sure if I'll continue taking classes, but that's only because of time constraints. They also offer parties and I would love to get a group together for one sometime.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Swim Lesson #1

Saturday was my first adult swim lesson. I took lessons as a kid, but never really learned to how swim well. Last summer before my first triathlon, I read Triathlon Swimming Made Easy,practiced the drills to learn the basics, and started swimming laps. I never got to the point where I could swim long distances comfortably or easily. I would usually rest after completing a lap (50 meters) and my form got worse as I got more fatigued. However, I was able to complete a half mile swim during the triathlon without stopping to rest. There was some backstroke, side stoke, and a lot of doggy paddling though. This led me to my decision to take swim lessons before entering another triathlon. I have an idea of what to do, but I need someone watching me to improve my form.

We started the class by telling our goal. My goal is to develop efficiency and ease in the water. There are 2 people in the class that have never swam, so they worked with one of the instructors, while the other 4 of us that can swim, but want to get better worked with the other instructor, Mary. The first thing we did was swim freestyle the length of the pool. I was pleasantly surprised that I felt good doing that and was the fastest person in our group. After our first swim, Mary gave us kickboards and had us practice kicking. This is something I'm actually pretty good at. The key is keeping your leg straight and ankle loose. Next, we practiced arm circles. This is something I need improvement on. I don't lengthen my arm enough before pulling back. Then we practiced breathing. Mary told us to keep our cheek in the water as we turned to breathe. I can do that about 50% of the time, but then I swallow water and want to lift my whole head. Mary recommended breathing out until my mouth is all the way out of the water. When we practiced everything together, I felt ok about how I was doing. I asked Mary about getting tired and she told me that would get better the more I practiced. We finished up by treading water and floating, which are useful skills in open water swimming.

Overall, I think the first class went well. I already feel like I can do more than "not drown" and I look forward to continuing to improve over the next 5 weeks. I'm planning to practice Wednesday and we'll see how I do at keeping all the tips in my head when I'm by myself.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

You Don't Have to Plan the Whole Year

Is anyone else sore today? As I discussed in my last post, my workouts in December were sporadic. So I greeted 2011 with the same idea as many people, let's get moving. I haven't developed full New Year's Resolutions and I'm not sure I will. I really don't know what's going to happen in some areas of my life this year and don't feel like I can commit to a long term plan. Instead I am going to break the year into sections and develop goals and schedules to support those goals. The first part of the year started Jan 2 and goes through Feb 12.

We changed our gym membership to one with a pool, mainly because I want to learn to swim. Since I did a triathlon last year, you might think I can swim, but really, I only know how not to drown. While I can move forward slowly, I want to be comfortable and efficient in the water. I'd also like to not be afraid to put my face in. So, starting next Saturday, I'll be taking swim lessons. It's an adult class and I'm excited to see how it goes.

Sunday I ran on the treadmill, which I've decided is tolerable for about 20 minutes. I can push myself farther, but don't really enjoy it. After the run I realized that the new gym has an indoor track. I'm planning to try it out later this week. Yesterday was time to start my other fitness goal for the 1st part of 2011 - weight lifting. I took Group Power, a weight lifting class off and on in 2010, but haven't done it at all since October. The new place has Body Pump instead, which I've done before. Having re-started weight-lifting multiple times, I knew I'd be sore, so I kept my weight light and scheduled today to be a rest day. This was a good decision since getting out of my chair kinda hurts. I also know the key to not repeating this pain is consistency so I'll be back next week.

For the first 6 weeks of 2011, I'll be focusing on swim lessons, weight lifting, running, and cycling. I may work in a few fun aerobic classes, like Zumba or belly dancing, but I don't want to introduce too many new challenges at once. At the end of these 6 weeks, I will be able to swim 800 meters comfortably and take Body Pump without needing a complete day off from exercise. Then I'll decide what my next challenge will be.

I hope your 2011 is off to a great start. And, if the thought of a New Year's Resolution is overwhelming to you, I hope you'll join me in developing goals for a shorter time span.