Lacey and Meranda over at Fairytales and Fitness organized their second annual blogger holiday card swap. What a great idea! As soon as I heard about it I knew I wanted to participate.
The way it works: Each participant secretly gets the name/address of another blogger to send a card and a little something. Then we each receive a surprise card and little something from someone else. It's basically a Secret Santa with holiday cards and mini-gifts.
Last Friday, I received a lovely card and Starbucks gift card from Deborah. Thank you so much, Deborah! There's something so special about receiving a handwritten note in the mail, yes? Deborah also co-hosts the monthly Ultimate Coffee Date link-up in which I've joined in the past. It was really nice to get to know her a little bit more through the card swap. Here's her fabulous blog header:
On my end - I mailed my card to my secret recipient last Monday. I am anxiously awaiting her to let me know she received it. After she does, I'll let you all know who my recipient was. =) In the meantime, I will share that I sent a sample of chocolate nut butter as the "little something." I hope she likes it!
OK - time to recap this week's workouts. Here's how things went:
After running a combined 19.3 race miles last weekend, there was no doubt in my mind this would be a rest day.
Yoga class - 45 minutes
Even when I'm not running, my hips, glutes, hamstrings, and calves are almost perpetually tight. It felt great to stretch things out. I tend to hold my breath during the tough poses, so I'm trying to focus on maintaining a constant breathing pattern.
Zumba class - 50 minutes
Due to various schedule conflicts, I haven't done any Zumba for several weeks. When I got back this day, I could feel the difference. I was out of sync and some of the moves felt awkward. It was a reminder to me that pretty much every type of fitness can deteriorate when left dormant for awhile!
Warm-up - 10 minutes on the stationary bike
Lift - approximately 45 minutes
3 sets of 8-10 reps for each of the following:
Chest fly with dumbbells
Bicep curl with barbell
Tricep cable pressdown
Shoulder raises with dumbbells
Single-arm bent-over rows with dumbbells
Assisted pull-ups, first set focused on slow "negative" motion
Seated leg extension
Single leg squats with dumbbells
Squats with barbells
Hanging leg raises, front and side
Erin suggested more back work might be helpful towards my goal of doing an unassisted pull-up. Thanks to her expertise, I added the bent-over rows and "negative" pull-ups, e.g. trying to lower myself as slowly as possible.
Today, I tried to speed things up with the routine. Instead of full-out resting in between sets, I alternated upper/lower body sets.
Yoga class - 55 minutes
Starting a few days earlier, my throat had been feeling a little scratchy. I was hoping it was just due to dry winter conditions, but unfortunately I did develop a cold. This was the first day the symptoms were apparent - I had a runny nose and felt lethargic in general. The inverted yoga poses are awkward when your nose is dripping. =( At the same time, I was sore from the prior day's lifting, so it felt good to stretch out.
On top of yoga, I had considered activating my Pure Barre membership this day, too. Since I wasn't feeling great, it was an easy decision not to.
Plan: Barre class - 55 minutes
Actual: Rest (but lots of walking)
Day 2 of my runny nose and general lethargy.
My mom came to visit. She, Adam, and I spent the entire afternoon walking around the city and enjoying the holiday festivities. The weather has been unseasonably VERY warm by Chicago standards, which helped a lot.
|The annual Christkindlmarket|
Plan: Barre class - 55 minutes
Actual: 30 minutes on stationary bike
Day 3 of my runny nose and general lethargy. At this point, I'm going to wait until next weekend to activate my Pure Barre membership. I still wanted to get some kind of activity in, though, so I did an easy 30 minutes on the bike. It was hard to get started, but once I got momentum going I felt better.
Adam and I went to the Blackhawks game last night. I arrived at the stadium armed with four pocketfuls of Kleenex (no exaggeration - I thought I would draw suspicion when I went through security). However, my runny nose temporarily dissipated during the game! I'm sure it's all psychosomatic, but hey...
|Flashback from 2013|