Friday, September 29, 2006

A Thank-You Letter

Dear heavily-tattooed twenty-something man,

I am VERY happily married. My husband is wonderful, and I adore my children. And I really like my life. But when you drove up next to me at the red light, mouthed "WOW" and smiled at me, well, that lifted my spirits like you can't even imagine. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.



I was asked what burpees are, and they're a very old-school fitness move. They're done in four counts, starting in a standing position.

Count 1: squat down and touch your hands to the floor
Count 2: jump your legs back into push-up position
Count 3: jump your legs forward into a squat again
Count 4: jump back to standing

I did 15, but it was with a couple of stops for heavy breathing with hands on knees. Hard, but effective.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fitness fun

So last night, me and Jesse McCartney (teen boy who sings my new favorite song) went out for a run/lunge/skip-fest. When I was on flat ground, which is hard to find here, I tried really pushing my speed and the hamstring felt great -- hooray!

Incidentally, the hill I've been using for hill play is just 3/10ths of a mile, but at its steepest, it's a 30% grade. No wonder you have to concentrate even when walking down!

As I think about my fun workout last night, my hope is that I can help infuse the women I train with the sense the fitness is fun and that moving and using your body can be playful and doesn't have to be a "have to", rather it's a "get to!" It's not like I look forward to every workout, but I LOVE how I feel after a hard training session, and if I build enough skipping or tossing medicine balls and other playground-like stuff, it really does feel like play!

On another note, I hurt my shoulder last week working at Bingo (carrying a 10-pound box of pull tabs for 5 hours) -- yes, I have a bingo injury! So today when I worked out with Darla, it was all lower body, holding 10 pound weights close to the body. And I'd showed her some notes I took from the Alwyn Cosgrove bodyweight training DVD, which was a mistake, cuz she had me do his leg matrix. In case anyone wants to try it, here it is:

24 squats
24 lunges (12 on each leg)
24 lunge jumps
24 squat jumps

I got through the squats and lunges with no problem, but did an internal "uh-oh" as I neared the half-way point on the lunge jumps. And the squat jumps were more like squat thuds. We'll see how legs feel tomorrow -- should be interesting!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What I forgot!

Darn, darn, darn! There are two more important things, and they both have to do with Wife Swap!

First of all, Wife Swap is one of my favorite shows. If you think less of me for that, well I don't really blame you, but it's just so fun! The families are so extreme, that I feel highly virtuous by comparison. And I love the end part where they say what each family has learned -- heartwarming!

Ok, so I almost know someone who was on Wife Swap last week. Her name is Lisa Fine, and she's a professional organizer in our area. I've had her on my list of people to call for months now, and then saw her on the season premier of Wife Swap, the one with the pirate family. And get this -- one of my clients has been using Lisa for organizing services for two years now, and her family (my client's family) was filmed for that episode! Their footage wasn't used, but isn't that cool???? And yep, I'm still gonna call Lisa for some help with some problem areas.

But here's something even better. If you've watched Wife Swap, you know that the husbands and wives always run towards each other when they're reunited, and often the wife jumps into the husband's arms. Well, Tim and I were watching a Tivo'd show last night, and I commented that I couldn't wait till I'm small enough to do that. He told me I was plenty small now. We argued for a minute or two, then he got up, braced himself, and motioned me to run towards him. After several false starts and lots of giggling, I ran and jumped into his arms, and ... and ... it was lovely! He didn't fall or strain anything. And I felt protected and feminine and lovely as my strong husband walked me around the house. Thanks Tim!

Random unrelated musings

Life is still crazy busy, but really really good. Here's what's in my head, in no particular order:

A new favorite song
Isn't it fun to find a song that you get totally mesmerized with, wanting to hear it over and over again? Well, right now I'm liking what every 12-year-old girl on the planet also likes: Right Where You Want Me, by Jesse McCartney. It has that easysexy vibe that I just love. And yep, I'm listening to it right now, full volume, on repeat in iTunes!

Matt Furey
Is anyone familiar with Combat Conditioning? I'm really tempted to get the DVDs, but kind of want a second opinion. I'm really becoming convinced that although weights are good, you can do bodyweight stuff and get even better results. Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts if you know of this guy.

SST Workouts
Still hard, but very very fun. Today was this progression:
15 kettlebell swings
15 pushups
15 kb swings
15 box jumps
15 kb swings
15 burpees
15 kb swings
15 wall ball tosses
15 kb swings
15 sumo thingeys that I can't even think of the name of
15 kb swings

Coach Valentino said he'd be happy if we did this circuit in less than 10 minutes. My time? 6:30 baby! You know, when I write it down, it doesn't sound that hard, but much of the time was at the brink of anaerobic effort. I'm still having fun with it!

Monthly Loveliness
It's a wonder any woman has a waist or is any shape other than round, giving the cravings that come right before the time of the month. This weekend was a brownie-batter-fest at my house. Today I'm feeling round and very ready for my period to start to the extra fluff can be gone!

Fun Cardio
Now that I'm not training for anything in particular, I've been having fun with cardio. On Monday I took the kids to gymnastics, watched them for a bit, then headed out for 45 minutes of running/lunge walking/skipping/marching. It was very very fun. I know I look strange when I skip, but if people would only try it, they would know how fun it feels, and I'll bet the world would be a better place...

A New Hobby?
I am trying something new these days, and it's name is GOLF! Tim is very close to a single-digit handicap golfer. So I've had a chance to ride along at some of the most beautiful golf courses: Pebble Beach, Spanish Bay, and actually, our golf course, Catta Verdera, which is truly beautiful. But yesterday I played 9 holes with two girlfriends. That was way more than the 2 holes Tim and I played last week, which was my previous record for golfing. So I showed up at the golf course in my costume (well, that's what it feels like!) of golf shoes and a real golf outfit (thank you Tim!) with my mother-in-law's clubs in tow. I met my friends, and in a stroke of pure genius, presented them with Toblerone candy bars, saying, "When you think back on today's golf, if you happen to think of me, I want you to think, "Leslie brought me chocolate" rather than "Leslie completely sucks at golf!" So yeah, I do completely suck, but it was a low-key group, and we had fun. I'm taking a lesson this weekend and plan to go out again in a couple of weeks.

If you have kids...
You should check this out. It's written for girls, but boys could certainly benefit from this. Wish I'd seen it when I was younger. It was sent to me by a very cool teen who's best friends with one of my nieces.

-----------are like apples-----------
-------on trees. The best ones-----
------are at the top of the tree.-----
----The boys don't want to reach---
---for the good ones because they--
--r afraid of falling and getting hurt.-
--Instead, they get the rotten apples-
-from the ground that aren't as good, -
-but easy. So the apples up top think-
-something wrong w/ them when in--
--reality they're amazing. They just--
---have to wait for the right boy to--
---- come along, the one who's------
---------- brave enough to-----------
--------------climb all-----------------
--------------the way------------------
-------------to the top----------------
------------of the tree.----------------

Friday, September 22, 2006

Moving forward

So I'm meeting with a painter on Monday, and I'm going to a couple of exercise equipment stores over the weekend so I can start narrowing down my list of what I'm going to use for training. I'm hoping to find a local source for these beautiful dumbbells. I've found them online, but shipping weights is expensive! What I like about these is that they're shiny (pleasing to the eye) AND they have urethane handles (pleasing to the hands). The drawbacks? They only go up to 15 pounds per dumbbell and they're expensive. These weights are ones I use at our gym. The handles aren't cushy like the blue ones, but they are pretty darn comfortable and don't stop at 15 pounds. What I may do is get the set that goes up to 15 pounds in the blue, and then add a 17.5, 20, and 25 pound pair of the other weights.

Also, I've decided that my training "uniform" will be a fitted t-shirt and some track shorts or track pants, depending on the season. It's easy to think "I have to show my muscles to be credible" but I don't think that's true at all. So my running tops -- the ones with bras in them that give me the racer back tan? -- I'll just save those for my runs.

One last thing -- I'm considering ditching the scale and bodyfat measurements, in favor of tape measure measurements (which the client can choose or not choose to know). The only purpose that knowing your weight or bodyfat percentage serve is to tell you if you're moving in the right direction. But circumference in inches tells you the same thing and it seems kinder. Oh, and maybe I'll encourage each client to pick an article of clothing that she can store at my house, then try on after 12 weeks or something like that. Again, it's a more reasonable measurement of progress, in my opinion.

Any thoughts on any of this? I'd sure love to hear 'em!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Random thoughts

Did another workout with SST this morning. Here's what we did for 10 minutes:
5 ball slams*
10 pushups
15 bodyweight squats

* They have a special ball that is designed not to bounce, unless you SLAM it to the ground, and then it bounces up about 3". Using this ball, you slam it down, then quickly squat to grab it as it bounces.

I don't know if it sounds hard, but trust me, it IS hard!

Went to Costco after working out. They have the Cinnabon muffin mix. It's one of my trigger foods, and I just can't buy it. John Berardi has it right when he states that one of the laws of nutrition is this: if it is in your house, you will eat it. Period.


I've gone from "too much time on my hands" to "how the heck do I keep up with my life?" I'm loving what I'm doing, but between working with clients, preparing to work with clients, studying, my own workouts, planning the workout room, and laundry/dishes/cleaning -- well, I'm up to my eyeballs in busy. But I'm very very happy.

This weekend I found out that SST is affiliated with CrossFit of Santa Cruz. How cool is that, that the crazy intense workout place has a location 2 miles from my house?!?! My fitness goals sure have changed in the last couple of years. I went to SST to find out more right before I started working out with Darla a little over 2 years ago. Because they didn't scream "you'll lose weight if you come here!" I completely wrote them off. And maybe that was for the best, because if I hadn't found Darla, I would never have competed in WTF, one of the best experiences of my life! Now that I'm at a weight I'm reasonably satisfied with (I think I'll ALWAYS think I have a few pounds to lose [sigh]), it's more about how my body works than it is about how it looks.

Tucker and I went to SST on Sunday, and afterwards he said, "Mommy, I can go by myself. You don't have to do this for me." I told him that I'm doing it because I want to, and asked him if he's ok with me being there. He said he likes it. Sweet!

In case you want to know more about what they do, here's Monday's workout. After you've done 30 minutes of warm up, agility drills (that get your heart rate up like crazy), drills to improve your vertical jumps, and drills to improve your lateral jumps, then the real workout starts. It was pushups and pullups.

First set: 20 pushups, 2 pullups
Second set: 18 pushups, 4 pullups
Third: 16 pushups, 6 pullups
Fourth: 14 pushups, 8 pullups
Fifth: 12 pushups 10 pullups
Sixth: 10 pushups, 12 pullups
Seventh: 8 pushups, 14 pullups
Eighth: 6 pushups, 16 pullups
Ninth: 4 pushups, 18 pullups
Tenth: 2 pushups, 20 pullups

The pullups were spotted with a huge rubber band that you shove a foot into, then cross your legs for support. But hard? Uh, yeah! I left there a runny mass of goo (ok, maybe it wasn't quite that bad, but it was hard!). Where am I sore? Uh, that would be everywhere above the waist! And guess what? I'm going back for more today!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sometimes fitness hurts!

Went to SST on Wednesday and made it through another workout. It's getting easier, and I'm less sore afterwards, so that's a good thing, right? Well, during this workout we did situps on AbMats, which are curved mats you place under your lower back. Mine kept scooting, but so did everyone else's. We did 150 situps (full situps, not crunches). My tailbone was hurting a little bit, but I didn't pay much attention. Well later when I got in the shower, it felt like a bee was stinging my butt, and I started swatting the air in the shower just in case. After I was fairly certain there was no bee, I took a glance at my rear in the mirror, where I saw two areas that look like skinned knees or bedsores, one on either side of my tailbone! Nothing like this has ever happened to me before! Guess I should have paid attention to the discomfort during sit ups, right?

I worked out with Darla the next day, and told her about it. In a silver lining moment, she told me that if your bodyfat is low, there's not a lot of cushion for your sacrum (tailbone) and this can happen. So, you mean it's a good thing??? :)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Book recommendation

I just started "Locker Room Diaries" and it looks promising. The sub-head is "The Naked Truth about Women, Body Image, and Re-Imagining the "Perfect" Body." I think it's going to be good!

The coolest job!!!

Honestly, I have the coolest job!!! Maybe it's just the honeymoon phase, but I am seriously loving working with women to help them get fit. It's satisfying on every single level: physically because I get a teeny bit of a workout demonstrating exercises, mentally because it's a fascinating puzzle to figure out how to work around an instability or injury, or how much weight to use to be sore but not too sore, or when to introduce new exercises, emotionally because I love everyone I'm working with and it's fun to hang out with friends, and spiritually because I'm humbled by their willingness to trust themselves to me to help them get where they want to go!

My friend Kara in Colorado asked what I'm charging. Well probably the reason I'm finding clients so easily is that I'm FREE for the moment. I'm training people who have memberships at my gym, and we're using the gym facility to workout. So ethically I can't charge someone when my gym already has their own trainers. And I'm still learning, so I'd feel strange about charging someone when the truth is that I'm benefitting as much as they are. Once I get the room set up here and am certified, I think I'm going to charge $40 or $45 per hour. That's in line, from what I know, with the going rate in the area. And I'm planning to do fun stuff, like gifts when you reach a certain number of workouts, and some other nice things that I hope will help distinguish me from other trainers.

I am NOT doing this for the money -- I'm very clear about that. And there's a part of me that would just do it for nothing, even after setting up the room and getting certified. But I don't think that's the right move for a couple of reasons. First of all, people equate value with money. And I think it would be so much easier to blow off a training session if no money is involved. And second, I already have enough of the "I'm not good enough" going on in my head, without creating the experience of working but not getting paid, which would only feed that negative belief.

Just for fun!

I found a link to this on Jen's blog. The picture of me was taken on Austin's birthday last year. It was fun to do -- try it!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


The kids are being very self-directed on their homework, which gives me a chance to work on my own. Yesterday I did about 3 hours of NASM studying. Today I'm creating files that list all the exercises I know for various body parts. Anyone care to contribute? The only limitation is that it has to be something that can be done with dumbbells or tubing or a barbell and weights -- I'm setting up a training room, but it's not gonna have "the shoulder machine" or anything that specific!

Today was chest, shoulders, triceps, and quads with Darla, and she did something I've seen in books, but haven't done. We did a medicine ball chest press, tossing the ball back and forth. Hard? Yeah, especially after chest press, flyes, and pushups. But fun? Oh yeah!

So if you have any exercises that you especially love (or that you especially hate!), I'd sure love it if you'd pass 'em on. I'll be sure to post my lists when they're complete.

Busy is better than idle

Remember a while back when I had too much time on my hands? Well, that's not a problem anymore, and I am so much happier! Today I worked with my client for just a few minutes (got her started and discussed nutrition), then met Darla for my workout. Then hit Trader Joe's, Costco, and grocery store. Had enough time to get home, unload, have lunch, and now it's off to the dentist, then picking up kids, supervising homework, transportation to gymnastics, watch them at gym and get a run in, get them home, dinner, homework, bedtime for kids, little time for me and Tim, bedtime for me. It's a busy schedule, but I'm not complaining one bit!!!

Tomorrow I start working with my second client, and Thursday my third. I am loving working as a trainer. If you're a church person, you may have taken a spiritual gifts test at one time or another. Well, every time I've taken that test, my number one gift is the gift of encouragement. Well, combine that with a love for and fascination about fitness, and let me tell you, working with people to get them fit feels like it's the perfect job!

On another note, if you get XM radio, you MUST check out Broadminded on Take 5, channel 155. It's three women in the mid-30s, I think, and they are so fun. The subjects change and range from music to sex to beauty to criminal cases to American Idol -- it's really all over the board. They are highly entertaining, but when they get on the subject of sex, make sure no kids are in the car, cuz it's no holds barred on how far they'll take a topic. Tim's started listening to them (especially when they talk sex) too!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Better late than never

I told myself I couldn't write another thing till I acknowledged all the wonderful comments friends have left on this weblog. So here goes...

Way back a long time ago, I mentioned that I love Rhymz Suhreal, a Christian group with some of the best music around. Well, Zak from Rhymz Surheal wrote a comment on my weblog -- talk about exciting! In his comment he wrote, "Don't forget, flowers won't bloom without the rain, and the cloud's Creator cares for every petal." Very cool!

Jennifer had a great perspective on the messages we learn as children as well as what we tell ourselves as adults. She studied hypnosis and says it really can work to change your internal program. I agree. I have some CDs from that I used a couple of years ago when I was trying to change my eating habits and deal with depression.

oldLobo continues to be my running expert, as well as the fastest person I know. Because of his blog and his comments, I purchased a foam roller for self-myofascial release (self massage) and it's really helped my sore quads and hamstrings recently. He also confirmed the wisdom of not doing a December marathon this year -- thanks Lobo!

Regarding my shopping woes post, Eileen wrote:

"I went shopping this weekend too. THAT SAME BABY was in the stall next to me too...screaming the entire time."

That totally cracked me up!

She wears her mom's diamond stud earrings every day. I (in a variation on this) wear my BFDs (big fake diamonds) as often as I want to. I think I'd be nervous wearing real diamond earrings, and I think every girl should have a pair of BFDs cuz they're shiney and pretty.

Also my fondest fantasy is that the What Not To Wear people come and make me over. Like you, I don't want the money (well, I do, to be perfectly honest!), but what I really want is the advice!!! I watch WNTW every single week as though there will be a test!

Jules and Doidle and Lori agreed on the shopping thing, which made me feel reassured and not alone -- thank you!!! Maybe we can all meet at the mall and help each other?? Or maybe Stacy and Clinton (WNTW) would like to transform some reluctant shoppers -- wouldn't THAT be the bomb?! Jen recommended Nordstrom and finding a sales clerk you can trust or going with a trusted friend. I'm trying that next (the Nordstrom thing, although if you're ever coming to Northern CA, we could shop...) :)

Jennifer, Irene, and Katie liked the SST workouts. I went both yesterday (with my kids!) and today. Yesterday's workout was interesting. It was a 20 minute progression. We sat on a -- well it was bigger than a medicine ball, but not as big as a stability ball. I had two 10 pound dumbbells. In the first minute, we stood up, kind of doing a hip thrust as you reached the top, and did a shoulder overhead press. Then you sat back down on the ball. At the end of minute one, you did two reps of this, butt touching the ball as you came back down. Then in minute three, three reps. It started to get hard around 10 or 11 minutes. All of a sudden, the rest time was way shorter and my quads and shoulders were burning. By minute 17, holy cow I was hurtin. But quit? Heck no! What a relief when we finished.

And finally, Eileen asked for a picture. At the Mather Mud run, a company took photos and there's one I like, but the pricing is so outrageous that I just can't buy it. But here's a link, in case anyone wants to see me and mud. And here's Tucker, who I still can't believe ran the entire 5 mile course!

As always, thank you to everyone who chooses to stop by this blog. It encourages me more than you may know!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

It is what it is

I just couldn't think of a title for what I'm about to write, so I thought I'd just start writing.

Broken Butt
Yesterday, I broke my butt. For reals, I don't think I've EVER been this sore. Until tonight. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I saw Darla yesterday for an assessment. So after four months of not working out with her, I got measured and pinched (body fat) and heart rate checked. I was really nervous about it, but I was thrilled with the results. About a month before WTF last year, I was at 13.5% body fat. I was probably around 12.5% when I competed. Now, over a year later, and after months on my own, my number is (drum roll, please) 14.8!!! So yeah I'm a little fluffier than I was, but I'm totally ok with that.

Well, I took that enthusiasm and went to the gym. And I did a killer lower body series. Did bulgarians -- 3 sets, 13 reps each let. Did olympic squats (where you lift the weight from and to the floor) -- 3 sets, 10 reps each. Got on the leg press machine, set it to 100 pounds, and did who knows how many single leg presses. That, in and of itself, is a pretty intense workout. Did I stop there? Of course not!

I wanted to do cardio, but didn't want to be inside. And I still can't really run. But there's this hill by a golf course that's steeper than any other hill around here. The one that comes close, at it's steepest part, is a 20% grade, according to my Forerunner. So I thought that for cardio I could walk up and down this hill 5 times. By the third time up, I was wishing I'd picked a better number. Up and down the hill is 6/10ths of a mile, so 5 times is 3 miles. I did it in 42 minutes. It was a kick ass workout. And by evening, my butt was so sore I could barely sit down.

Well, my neighbor called at 8:30 last night saying that this class she was hoping to start was happening, and would I like to join her at 9:00 tomorrow (well, today now). I said sure. So at 9:00 this morning I was at Sports Specific Training for one of the hardest workouts I've ever done. This place is all about athletic performance (most of their clients are football and soccer players), so it's lots of plyos, speed work, and some of the most innovative stuff I've seen. I used a kettlebell for the first time today -- very cool. We did ladder drills with intricate footwork, balance exercises, and this, the hardest of all. I'll try to describe it.

Take a medicine ball. Mine had a 12 on it, but I don't know if it was 12 pounds or kilos or what. Doesn't matter. Medicine balls don't bounce well, and that's part of the torture. You hold the ball straight over your head. Then you slam it to the floor, hoping to make it bounce even a couple of inches. When it does bounce, you catch it, which requires going into a deep squat. You then stand up, put it over your head, and do it again. 100 times. After 33 reps, I had to take a break because I couldn't get any more oxygen. I think I finished all 100 in 4 minutes 15 seconds. Next time I'm supposed to try and do it faster.

Now that I've complained, I can tell you that the workout felt like being at a playground. It was FUN!!! So me and a few of my neighbors are going to do this twice a week and see what kind of results we get. And because I'm studying for my certification, I'm loving the chance to a) see a trainer work with different people, and b) get some new exercise ideas for my own business.

But thank God for ibuprofen!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Horrors of Shopping

If I was a normal girl, I would love shopping, right? Well, I must be abnormal then, cuz I HATE HATE HATE it!

Yesterday the whole family went shopping. We had a list of things that needed getting, but also had some time for browsing. I stopped in at Ann Taylor to do a couple of returns, and Tim suggested I stay and see if they had anything that would work for me. After a disagreement, I agreed to go in and look around. (Note -- that's the first sign that I'm a freak -- who argues with their husband when he suggests they buy something?!)

I picked up a few things to try on and went into the dressing room. There was another woman there, with her baby/toddler in tow. The little girl was loudly vocalizing the whole time her mom was trying stuff on. And a sales clerk was busily bringing things in for the mom to try and giving second opinions, as I was trying things on, looking in the mirror, thinking "looks stupid" and going on to the next thing.

Here's what didn't work about shopping last night:

1. I felt left out. Although I give off a vibe of "Don't talk to me" when I shop because of fear, I would have loved some help in figuring out if things fit or looked good. I was envious of the ease and the help offered the other woman.

2. The yelling child. I went for YEARS without shopping because I wouldn't do that to other people or to my child. Again, I envied her ease -- the apparent "yeah, I need to go shopping, and I'm going to" that she had.

3. A loaded question. "So what jewelry would I wear with this?" she asked to the sales clerk. WHAT??? You'll wear one of your two pairs of earrings like I do, you idiot! (Ok, that sounded harsh, but it's what I thought.) Actually I'm down to one pair of earrings cuz the clasp on my silver hoops broke. Tucker found a pair that he brought to my attention, and I bought them, so there!

All this angst, from something that's supposed to be fun! Sometimes I get very tired of operating from old stuff and hurt and fear. And I can only imagine how hard it would be if I didn't like the size I wore, or had a husband who discouraged shopping.

Enough said. I did buy a pair of pants, two t-shirts, a sweater, and a skirt that doesn't work with anything else I own (so more shopping will be required). Maybe it's time to just tell the "I'm stupid and don't know how to dress myself" voice in my head to shut up.

End of rant. I'm hoping the next time I write I'll sound just a little more sane!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Don't be stupid. Do something!

Ok, so I just got back from what was supposed to be an easy six mile run. About a mile into it, my hamstring started feeling twingey, so it turned into something else. Based on my new motto, I decided to scrap the plan for the run, but turned it into a race walk (which didn't hurt my hamstring) / walking hill repeat (also didn't hurt) / plyometric / skipping workout. My goal was to keep my heart rate up as though I was running, so whenever it started to get easy, I would skip or do a plyo (jumping jacks, tuck jumps, split lunges) until my heart rate was up, then continue walking fast. So here I sit, dripping sweat, after my nice little walk! Oh, and in case you're wondering, yes I look silly when I'm skipping down the street, but honestly, I couldn't possibly care less.

I keep forgetting to mention two moves, one new and one old, that I've tried recently that I really like. The new move is a Spiderman pushup. I found it in a book, but I forget which one. Anyway, it's a good strength and stretch movement all in one. And it helps if you don't care what you look like when you do it, cuz it does look strange. Here's what you do: get on the floor in a pushup position. Now bring one leg forward (kind of like you're doing a lunge) and bring the opposite arm forward. You'll look a little like Spiderman scaling a building, hence the name. Now do a pushup. Yes, it will feel awkward. Now bring the opposite leg forward as well as the other arm, then do a pushup. Keep going for as long as you choose. I did this three times, 10 pushups each time, and it was a good hard addition to a weight workout.

The old move is technically called a Bulgarian split squat, but makes more sense to me called torturous lunges with your back leg elevated on a bench. Darla, my trainer (who, incidentally I see on Tuesday for the first time in three months!) loves these. I love to hate them. So you do a normal lunge, but you do it with your back leg on a weight bench, and your front leg out far enough that when you bend, your knee isn't going in front of your toes. And when you come up from the lunge, squeeze your back glute as hard as you can. I guarantee you'll feel it the next day, and according to Darla, this move really lifts the rear view helping change pear butts into apple butts!

Technology. Running.

Technology first. You must check out this post on the Ma Cherie weblog. She tells you how to use Firefox's NewsFox to check for weblog updates. I switched from Explorer to Firefox (and incidentally, am no longer finding various cookies and spyware thingeys on my computer anymore -- THANK YOU Firefox!), and got NewsFox like she said. What an amazing difference!!!

Ok, on to running. I'm still doing rehab on my hamstring. I got a foam roller (thanks Lobo!) and have been using it to break up any adhesions inside the hamstring. Also ice is my friend. In the past week I've only run twice, and each time was really slow and careful. Yesterday I did 4 miles, and was able to push my pace a little. Hamstring didn't hurt afterwards, which is a very good thing. So I'm moving in the right direction. But I think the marathon is out of my reach this time. Remember my mottos: Don't be stupid. and Do something! ?? Well, the marathon is only 12 weeks away, and I don't think that's enough time to build up the miles to do it. Lobo -- if you're reading, what do you think? The qualify for Boston goal is out of the picture for sure. I'm not trying to be pessimistic, just realistic, and even though qualifying for Boston would be great, it's not worth it at the expense of my long-term running ability, you know? I tell you, it's hard when your mind wants to go go go and your body is not cooperating!