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This year I finally signed up for Beginner’s Luck which is a running class that helps you train for a 5k. I’ve wanted to take this class for a few years now but for various reasons I haven’t been able (see: surgery, job, etc). I’m going to document my progress in the blog and maybe even make a few videos as well.

I have tried doing the couch to 5k program a few times on my own but I end up giving up for various reasons. I like the idea of having a weekly session where we get to hear speakers and then work on our running. We have a workout plan to follow that includes running twice a week on our own so I’m going to have to schedule that in with my other workouts. I’m really excited about this opportunity!

I have thought about my goals for running and what I want to get from it. Overall I just want to accomplish running a 5k and I will be more than happy with that as a goal. I’ve done 5ks before but I’ve never ran one from start to finish without stopping to walk. I suppose if I really like it that I will train for a 10k and maybe a half marathon. I think doing a half marathon once would be good just to cross of a list of accomplishments but I’m not sure if I’ll want to do it more than once.

While I’m excited for the class to start I’m also nervous. I’m slow and I know I’m a beginner so I’m a bit worried about having to keep up with a group. I will push myself the best I can and that’s all I can do. I’ve talked to a few of my friends that have done the class before and they all have said it’s fun and supportive. I still have that flashback to junior high when I couldn’t run the mile and being so slow – something I really want to move past. Junior high was a long time ago and I have nothing to prove for that any more so I should let it go!

So the class starts tomorrow night and I will update you all after the first class!

I may have found a new adventure to pursue and that is in the form of archery. Yesterday there was an open house at the new Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center and I got a try shooting a bow and arrow for the first time. I found it to actually be quite relaxing and it felt good to at least hit the target all three times I tried. I want to go back again some time and try paying for time and seeing how I do with some practice. I might even sign up for one of the classes they offer there at a later date. I also accomplished killing a fake turkey so we can all enjoy some tasty fake turkey for dinner!

I like the idea of getting involved with something where I can improve my skills and enter competitions and test my skills against other people. I know the Cornhusker State Games has more than one archery division you can shoot with and I think that would be a lot of fun.

I found the archery shooting gave me that same almost zen feeling I have when I play golf and I’m about to tee off. It’s the moment of time where your mind is blank and your focus is strong. It’s just me and the ball (or arrow as the case my be) and nothing else matters. There’s no outside sounds, there’s just this overwhelming zoned feeling and it feels great.

I finally scheduled my yearly physical and it’s on July 25th, exactly 8 weeks from today. I have a lot of goals for this appointment so I decided to make it my own like challenge – 8 Weeks to Awesome.

I am going to make this an open challenge and encourage all of my reader’s to join in. Set a goal for 8 weeks from this time and achieve it. It can be fitness based but it doesn’t have to be, just pick something that will help you be more awesome 8 weeks from today. Comment and let us all know what you are planning!

I’m going to spend the next 8 weeks hitting all my goals and go in to see my doctor with the most awesome accomplishments that I can. My highest goal will be to have lost 100 lbs since my physical last year and it’s doable as long as I put in the work. Eat healthy, stay within my calorie goals, do my workouts, stay active and get fit. The exercise helps to get my muscles and such back into shape but it’s going to really come down to how I’m fueling my body. In the next 8 weeks I want to focus on eating vegetables, cooking more, and staying on point.

My daily calorie goal is now set to 1750 and I’m going to distribute that over 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks. The main thing I know that works best for me is to make sure that I’m eating vegetables as they have a lot of bulk without a lot of calories. Plus making meals ahead of time and then portioning out leftovers is something I’ve been wanting to try for awhile.

I will keep updating this blog as another goal since I never post even though I want to. I really need to start posting more content and I want to learn more about fitness, health, nutrition, etc, so keep watching! This is going to be awesome!

I’m starting up Project Rockstar – now is your chance to make changes and become a Rockstar! (Or a Brockstar if your name is Brock).

What is Project Rockstar?

Project Rockstar is about finding those things inside of you that make you awesome. It’s about digging in and living life to it’s fullest. It’s about wanting to be healthy and happy. It’s about making goals and reaching them!

Who can participate?

Anyone! Project Rockstar is about you and what you want to do. Everything is individualized around your awesome self. It’s about positive self talk and positive self image. It’s about releasing your inner Rockstar!

How do I participate?

All you need is a blog and a desire to change something in your life! You can get a blog here on wordpress.com or on blogger or wherever. The important part is to make goals, write about your goals, and celebrate your accomplishments!

More information will be coming soon so please keep an eye out! If you want to join please email me your blog address: angela@thisawesomelife.net

Granted – my gym is located in my basement…

I thought it would be nice to do a post about where I do some of my workouts. I have been a member of the campus rec center at work in the past and even tried out another gym in town for a month but the costs were just too much now that I’m saving up to go back to school. Slowly I have been building my own gym at home and last night I got what I consider to be the missing piece – a treadmill. Some friends brought it over and even got it down into my basement, which was so awesome. So here is my setup:

My Home Gym

Treadmill, Exercise Bike and Weight Bench

I have some space behind the equipment to do floor exercises but if I need space, everything is pretty easy to move or I just do it in a different room. I have a small TV setup with a DVD player for exercise videos or to watch a movie or something while working out. I don’t have cable so there’s no actual TV options. I do have a computer set up that I mostly use to connect to my music or to play music over the web. I can also watch videos on Hulu or the likes if I wanted to. Mostly when working out, though, I just like listening to music.

With this equipment, plus bodyweight exercises, I feel pretty well setup to get a good workout at home. When the weather is nice though, I’d prefer to get my exercise in outside – either from walking or riding my bike. The exercise bike was really nice on the night we had severe weather so I could still stick with my training schedule.

Of note: all the major equipment pictured were given to me for free. Treadmill came from friends, exercise bike from my parents and the weight bench came from a co-worker. Many thanks to them for helping me out!

So where do you all go to get your sweat on?

Well it looks like we made it a month, right? It’s been a bumpy one but I think I’m hitting my groove again. Yesterday was a bit off nutrition wise but it was only one day and life moves on, sometimes faster than we want!

The week in numbers:

Weight Chart

Today’s Weight: 263.0 lbs
Weekly Change: – 4 lbs
Total Change: + 0.36 lbs

Total Distance Traveled (biking and walking): 78.74 miles
Total Cardio Time: 266.13 minutes

Now that’s what I’m talking about! Getting back on track and totally taking names along the way. Woo!

I have been doing the one hundred push up challenge for a couple weeks and originally I started doing wall push ups in part because of my knee but also because they were easier in generally. On Sunday I decided to see if I could do modified push ups and since I could do a few without pain, I re-did my intial test and started over. So this was week one and I was squarely in column one.

Today I achieved a max out of 12 and can’t wait to see how I do next week. I’m loving this plan and also can’t wait to move to full push-ups eventually. If you ever wanted to get in shape to do push ups, this is the program to do!

Now here’s a chart of my progress:

Push Up Chart Week 1

When I first started on my fitness via walking journey I didn’t pay much attention at all to the clothing I wore, including socks and shoes. A lot has changed in the last year and from this point on I’ve decided life is too short for cheap socks.

I used to only buy one type of sock, the big, cheap, bag full of crew socks from a discount store. The more of the same type of sock I had, the better I felt because I never had to worry about sorting them. Around June of 2009 I went in for a physical and talked to my GP about my walking and said that my feet seemed to be sore a lot and such. He is a runner and suggested that I try out some nice socks with wicking, such as ones made by Nike. I went out and bought some store brand versions of said socks and never went back.

My biggest problem was an inability to find the wicking type socks in a crew, which is still my preferred sock. I just wasn’t getting used to wearing the shorter socks even if they did feel better on my feet. Then one day, at Target, I found crew length, women’s performance socks that met all my needs. I ended up buying 12 pairs, I believe, and they worked out great. They were a little more expensive than I had been buying but they were still cheap socks.

Then came the “winter of the walking boot” and I realized I didn’t have any socks that could keep my poor broken foot warm. That’s when I ended up wandering into Footloose and Fancy and buying my first pair of striped Smartwool socks. I absolutely love these socks and can’t wait to get more. Then recently I was poking around Moose’s Tooth and saw they had a rack of sale socks and I fell in love with a blue pair of Keen sox. I later went back and bought the matching maroon pair and they are now my favorite socks.

The Keen socks are great, lots of cushioning in the right places as well as a minor amount of arch support. These socks are also right and left foot specific but thankfully they are marked and I generally get them on the correct foot though not often on the first try.

Now that I’ve been wearing these nicer socks I’m finding it impossible to go back to cheap socks. They really do make a world of difference for my feet so now I have to just budget more money into socks.

Multi-subject Post Warning!

Physical Therapy

So I went in for session number two of foot torture this afternoon. The first time wasn’t as bad as this time – this time it was pretty painful and I was feeling it when I left. I guess it has to be done for the long run but I had that bad, I wish I could quit, kind of vibe in my head when I left. She is doing some pretty deep massage and moving around tissues and stuff I guess and a few times she just really hit some pain spots. This really better work in the long run because it’s not fun. I have another medicated patch to wear overnight tonight and I go back for more on Wednesday and then a small break before going in three times next week. The people there are great though, everyone is nice and etc.

The Bike

Bike in the Park

When I got done at PT I decided to first stop and get a smoothie at Juice Stop and then I had planned to come home and ride my bike. During the drive home that looked like it might not happen thanks to the rainy weather. Thankfully, after dinner the sun was out and I ended up still getting in a nice ride tonight. I went down to the Rock Island trail/Billy Wolff trail area and rode around. Ended up going around the zoo a couple times, down to Calvert and out to Jim Ager Golf Course and back home. The weather was nice and lots of people were out on the trail. I’m learning how to properly pass people and while I’m certainly not the fastest bike on the trail I still hold my own. Only had to walk a little once when I hit an incline in the wrong gear coming off an underpass. Those underpass ramps can be brutal for a beginner!

Push Ups

I don’t think I have ever been able to do a proper push up so I decided it was time to change that. My new long term goal is to be able to do some real push ups. There is a program online called One Hundred Push Ups and I’ve decided to follow that. I encourage anyone reading this to join me, it could be fun! I’m currently working my way through wall push ups on week 3 to start. Once I get more comfortable with that I plan to move to bench push-ups, then “girl” push-ups and finally full push ups. I can’t do the “girl” push ups right now because my knee is, technically, still healing and kneeling on it would be bad.

Vital Stats

Name: Angela
Age: 36
Height: 5'8"
Total Weight Lost: 46lbs

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