Walking: Week 2, Day 1

Blech! That’s about the only way I can describe today’s walk. My left knee was twinging. Both feet were not happy about me walking in my tan New Balance shoes (got a small blister on my left Achille’s tendon to prove it). My playlist got out of order. And I ended up finishing early so I only walked 1.03 miles today.

Today’s Lessons Learned

1. Switch to the white New Balance 505 shoes. After loosening the laces, I wore them this weekend and they have more support than either my tan or grey 646 ones. I probably need new socks too.

2. Make sure playlist is where I want it before starting. I added a bunch of songs and I think that threw things off a bit.

3. Time to break out my belt with the water bottles. Got thirsty during the walk today even as short as it was.

4. Be more patient. I keep comparing my walks this time to when I trained for the Half Pig back in 2009. When I could knock out 4.5 miles and have it feel “normal”. When I weighed 30 to 40 pounds lighter. As the old book title goes, that was then. This is now.

— Carla

Walking: Week 1, Day 3

I must admit that it was rather hard to make myself walk this morning. But, I did it and I think I’ve got my route set for the next few weeks. My Week One stats are below (remember that Day 1 was when I accidentally shut the app off in the middle of my walk – discovered how to lock it today so it won’t happen again).

Happy weekend!

— Carla

Ease Into 5K - Week 1

Lessons from The Happiness Project

Back at the end of 2012, my school book group chose to read the book The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin. It sounded interesting and when I mentioned it to a close group of friends, we all decided to read it. I got the Audible version which is read by the author and I ended up also buying the Kindle version because there were parts of the book that I wanted to actually see.

This post is the first in a series of post on things I’ve learned and applies in my own life due to reading The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. Some came directly from the book while others were inspired by reading it.

In The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, the author dedicates each month to a different set of goals or aspirations. For most people, the idea of taking as many as Rubin did each month seems daunting and impossible to do with other life constraints. But you have to keep in mind that Rubin is an author who probably already had a book deal for this before she even started. So, for her, The Happiness Project was her job for a year. Most of us are doing great if we take on one or two goals each month which is what I’ve been trying to do.

In this first post, I’m going talk about a goal from January that came from the book. In Chapter One – January of The Happiness Project, one of Rubin’s goals is to “go to sleep earlier” but she was having trouble accomplishing that. Her sister Elizabeth suggested that she “make sure [her] room is very dark when the lights are out.”

For me, light of any kind when I’m trying to sleep is a big problem. It totally messes up my sleep pattern. I didn’t realize how much it affected me until I got married. I usually go to sleep before Tom. When we both had bedside lamps, his light being on affected my sleep. I would do things I never usually did, like talking in my sleep and even occasionally sleep walking. When he switched to a book light and then a Kindle or tablet for sleeping, I didn’t have this problem.

There was one thing that was still emitting a bit too much light for me: my Michael Graves alarm clock from Target. I love how it is designed, but even the low setting was too bright for me. I thought about getting a new alarm clock, but was reluctant to get rid of one I really liked other than that one thing. After reading Gretchen Rubin went around her bedroom turning any thing that emitted light so it did show, I decided to try that. And it worked.

And it had a side benefit. I had developed this habit of checking the time on my alarm clock any time I roused a bit in the night. Turning the clock away from the bed meant I couldn’t do that so I went back to sleep quicker. All in all, my sleep pattern has gotten much better.

And so began my personal happiness project. Some goals are small like this one and others are truly life changing (like the one I’m going to talk about next week).

— Carla

Walking – Day Two

For starters, I got through the entire work out today. YAY! I had to wear my grey shoes because my white New Balance 505 shoes felt too tight. I’m going to try loosening the shoe laces and wearing around the house for a while before I try doing my walking workout in them. I did end up having to double knot the laces on the grey New Balance 646 shoes because each of them came untied at some point on the walk.

The Ease into 5K app worked perfectly today. I did tweak the settings a bit for Saturday’s walk. I think I’ll really get a better idea of how it’s working then. It was so nice to have the music playlist work this time. I’ll be posting about my walking playlist some time in the future.

Another change for Saturday is my route. When I was training for the Half Pig in 2009, I created a walking route near where I live. There’s a decent incline included in the last part of the loop that would line up right before I would start my cool down. Worked great for that route. But, the Ease Into 5K is timed so I was hitting the uphill incline during a running (walk fast for me) segment. Not good. So I’m going to try sticking to the three little loops that are before the big incline.

There is something special about the second time you actually work out. It is so easy to quit after the first one. So I was very glad to get this one under my belt.

— Carla

Off to a Walking Start (Sort of)

If you remember, back in 2009 (when I was thinner and in better shape), I started training to walk the Flying Pig Half Marathon. A chest cold ended up ending my journey that year, but I did like the experience. I just couldn’t get my butt off the couch to do it.

Flash forward to about ten days ago. While sitting on the balcony of our studio room at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, I got an email that I had been waiting for. I was accepted to attend the EarMarked Agent Education Program at Disneyland. I had done the program back in 2005, but a lot had changed at Disneyland since then and I needed to brush up on Disneyland and Southern California in order to help clients wanting to visit there. And I was excited to be rooming with one of my colleagues from The Magic For Less Travel.

Then, I saw the reminder in the email: “Special note: We will be walking a lot; please wear comfortable shoes!” Oh, yeah… There was a lot of walking last time. But I weigh more than I did then and haven’t been going to the pool much lately. Time to do something about that!

For years now, I’ve been collecting walking apps on first my iPod and then my iPhone. I had them neatly organized in a folder, but I had never used them. Today, I finally did and here’s what I discovered:

1) I decided to go with the Ease into 5K app from BlueFin Software. To be truthful, it had been on my iPod/iPhone the longest and felt like I should take them in order.

2) iCloud on iOS devices is evil. Even though I had indicated which playlist I wanted to use with Ease Into 5K, the walking app couldn’t find it because it was “in the cloud.” I ended up fixing this problem by turning off both iCloud and iTunes Match on my iPhone.

3) Somehow, about half way through my Week 1, Day 1 workout, I did something that turned off the Ease into 5K app. I didn’t figure it out for a whole since I was just getting the prompts every 60 or 90 seconds. I’m moving my iPhone to a case with a cover that my iPod was in and hopefully that (and having music) will help with that. Rats! It doesn’t fit. I’ll see how the regular case works tomorrow.

I’m glad to say that my current workout clothes worked fine with the exception of my shoes. I wore my most broken in pair of New Balance shoes (my tan ones), but the shoe laces have a tendency to come untied. They did so twice on my short walk today. My white New Balance shoes are the least broken in, but at least the shoe laces stay tied. I’ll be switching to them tomorrow.

So, there it is… a start. Hopefully, with this being the summer semester at school and my lighter workload semester, I can continue. It felt good to start and, hopefully, it will continue that way. Less than five weeks until Disneyland!

— Carla