What: Worldwide WordPress 5k
When: Sunday, April 10, 2011
Time: Long before the crack of dawn
Where: A 24-Hour Fitness somewhere north of Dallas, TX
What a week this has been! I found out Monday morning that WordPress was organizing a worldwide 5k, and wanted their bloggers to participate. The official day for this is today, but you could walk/run any day this week. I thought this would be fun, and got my start on Monday, walking an extra mile, and having the (slightly out of focus and shaky) pictures to prove it.
Tuesday I took it a step further and walked 5 miles instead of 5 kilometers, and I challenged my couch potato readers to get off the couch and walk just one mile any day this week. In turn I would walk a 10k one day this week, and dedicate that second 5k to the couch potatoes Only ONE of my readers said that she would take me up on the challenge, hopefully she was able to do it 🙂
Wednesday was the day for my 5k times two, and again, I had the cell phone pictures to prove it.
On Thursday I went to the gym armed with my favorite magazine to help make those miles go by faster. One of the nice things about walking on a treadmill, you can prop up a magazine or book and read while you walk. I would not try this outdoors on a track, jogging track, etc.! I stopped my walk at 5k…. no motivation to walk extra.
Friday was my toughest day. I did not.want.to.be.there! I thought about quitting after every step I took, which makes for a very loooong 3.1 miles (aka. 5k). It didn’t help that I had to wait for a treadmill, and then got one in a less desirable location (no breeze from the air conditioning!). At least I still had my magazine to read, which helped just a little.
That day, Greg walked one mile on the treadmill, taking me up on my challenge, but his walk doesn’t really count, since he makes it to the gym almost every day to work out. He’s only a week-end couch potato 😉
I woke up bright and early on Saturday, and headed to the gym after a quick cup of coffee. It was so early that I had time to walk another 10k and still made it back home before everyone woke up.
This brings us to today, Sunday, April 10, 2011 and the official day for the wwwp5k.
I was up early again, and was at the gym at about 5:20 am. This early on a Sunday is really my favorite time to go, because the place is deserted. You could count the number of cars in the parking lot on one hand! I have my choice of treadmills, and chances are, there won’t be anyone annoying (like popping-bubblegum-bubbles-while-she-walks) next to me.
Today I walked 5k (3.1 miles) at an 18% incline at 3.8 mph….. bringing the GRAND TOTAL of miles walked this week to 30.8!
This was really fun (OK, except maybe on Friday! 😉 ) and just what I needed to get back to the gym regularly again, like I used to. I think WordPress should make this an annual event.
What do you do when you’re up really early on a Saturday? Go to the gym of course! 😉
I usually skip the gym on Saturdays because we have other things planned, and it’s just difficult to find the time to go. Today, I wanted to make the time, but thought I would be able to go sometime this afternoon. But then I woke up at 4 am, had a cup of coffee and headed to the gym. I planned to only walk one 5k, but when I finished it was still pretty early and everyone would have still been asleep when I got home, so I decided to walk another 5k, leaving the gym around 7 am.
Today’s grand total is…
Distance walked: 10k (6.2 miles)
Time elapsed: 94 min, 23 sec.
Calories burned: 1721
Incline: between 13% and 18%
Speed: between 3.8 mph and 4.3 mph
Friday…. six days in a row that I made it to the gym! I honestly don’t remember the last time THAT happened! Today I went at my usual time, which is right after I drop Melissa off at school. When I walked into the gym, all the treadmills were taken!! Well, not all of them, but the FreeMotion ones that I like, and there are only six of those, compared to probably about 15-20 of the other ones. I’d rather wait than get on one of those!
I go and put my bag, keys and glasses into a locker, and when I came back, saw that there were two other people sitting on the little bench, waiting, and still no open treadmills. Within a few minutes, one opens up and guy #1 snatches it up. I sit down on the bench, trying not to listen to myself talk myself into going home, because who knows how long I will have to wait? I didn’t really want to go to the gym today anyway. I ignore this inner voice and thankfully a few minutes later, another treadmill opens up, and guy #2 wasn’t waiting for one, so this one was mine. Unfortunately it wasn’t one of the two “good” ones (I already knew that), and there was no breeze from the air conditioner whatsoever. I wasn’t about to wait any longer, because then that inner voice would have won for sure!
I started out at the usual speed and incline, but quickly decided that nope, can’t do it today and lowered the incline and raised the speed to get this 5k over with asap. I had my magazine to read, but finished it before I reached that 3.1 miles, and stared at the distance display, just waiting for it to say 3.1 so I could press the stop button and go back home.
I’m glad I stuck it out and waited for the treadmill…. and walked the full distance, because going to the gym every day and pushing myself certainly has its perks. I admit that I really slacked off lately. In December I didn’t go to the gym at all, then only a few days in January. February looked a little better, but any excuse was a good enough reason not to go. March was looking much better, and I walked more in March than January and February combined. This month, WordPress gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get myself back to the gym regularly (thank you!!) and just this week, I lost a little over 2 lbs (but less than 3), bringing me back down to that 50 lbs lost milestone. Maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to lose another 6 or 7 lbs by summer.
I have an appointment with a personal trainer on Monday (earned a free session by working out a certain number of times – I think you only had to work out twice? I did more than that of course – in February). I’m hoping he can give me some tips on how to lose those last few pounds, and tell me which machines will be best for toning that flab!
Whew! I did it! I walked two 5ks today. The first 5k wasn’t too bad…. scored the best treadmill again…. and you should have seen the hill I found! 20% incline! I was in a hurry and walked to the top as fast as possible. I knew I was going to be there for 10k, and I wanted to get it over with.
At the first 5k finish line. Not sure what happened to the time display. The time and calorie displays blink when the treadmill is paused, I guess I caught it between blinks. Took just under 45 minutes to finish. Because I walked faster than the last couple of times, the calories burned (850) were less than at the slower speed, even with the higher incline.
The second 5k were a lot tougher. I wanted to quit every step of the way. I lowered the incline to between 15% and 18% and walked most of it at 16%. I increased the speed from 4.1 mph to 4.2 mph and finished in 90 minutes and 11 seconds. The calories display should read 1627, since it starts over after reaching 1000. One mistake I made was to only bring one bottle of water. It was just enough, but it would have been nice to have two.
OK, I held up my end of the deal, now it’s up to you (pointing at all couch potatoes reading this) to get up and get walking. One mile is easy, I promise! Oh, another great place to walk, is an indoor mall before the stores open, if the weather doesn’t cooperate, or you can’t make it to a gym. Maybe you can get a friend to join you and then go shopping afterwards 😉
5k? “K” is supposed to stand for kilometers? That can’t be, because the correct abbreviation for kilometers is km, so this must be a typo and should be an “m”, especially since this is the U.S. and they use miles here. Right? So I didn’t walk 5 kilometers today, I walked 5 miles.
Same hill as yesterday, but when I reached the 4 mile mark, it became less steep and I was able to increase my speed and get to my destination a little sooner 😉
This time I smuggled my camera into the gym, and took some pictures in the changing room. There are several private ones in the hallway, across from the lockers where I lock up my gym bag while I work out. I might talk with the club manager tomorrow and see if I can get permission to take a few pictures on Sunday morning.
And here is my challenge:
I’m going to walk a 10k sometime this week (by Sunday), so if any of my blog readers are couch potatoes, I challenge you to get off the couch and walk just one mile between now and Sunday and I will dedicate that second 5k to you. After your 1-mile-walk, e-mail me and tell me about it (contact info is in side bar), you can even send a picture, and you get to be a guest blogger on my blog. You do not have to have your own blog.
One mile is easy, it’s 15-20 minutes of brisk walking, or 4 laps around the track. Junior highschools and highschools usually have a track that you can use during non-school hours. Can’t get outside? Ask your local gym if they offer free trial memberships.
So, couch potatoes, get off the couch and get walking! One mile is a great start, and I know you can do it!
My fellow WordPress bloggers may have heard about the Worldwide WordPress 5k run/walk. Some of you may have gotten an e-mail from them. I didn’t, but read about it on Karma’s blog. Lucky for me, it was this morning before I headed to the gym, and even luckier for me, the rules state that you can do this inside, on a treadmill. With allergy season in full swing here in the Dallas, TX area, it’s so much more pleasant to walk at the gym.
I scored the best treadmill, too, because you can feel the breeze when the air conditioning kicks in.
You’ll have to excuse the terrible quality of the pictures, because photography is not allowed at 24-Hour Fitness, and I had to sneak a couple of pictures with the cellphone. Had to of course have the flash turned off, so the pictures are a little blurry. Too bad I didn’t know about the 5k yesterday, because I was at the gym so early, I may have been able to get permission for a couple of pictures, since there was almost no one else there. Oh well.
So, here is my “finish line”. Not only did I walk 5k, I did it all at an 18% incline!
To explain the numbers you see: 18.0 is the incline, 47:25 is the time in minutes/seconds, 3.10 is distance in miles, 875 is calories burned, and 3.8 is speed in mph.
I didn’t stop there, though, and walked an extra mile. I kept the incline setting the same, but varied the speed. Again, the numbers you see are incline (18.0%), time elapsed (62 min, 30 seconds), distance (4.11 miles) and calories burned. The counter starts over when you reach 1000, so this should actually read 1160
This was fun, and just what I needed to get me to the gym today (thought about skipping it).
BELIEVE in yourself
push your LIMITS
conquer your GOALS
exceed all EXPECTATIONS
(written on the walls of the gym I go to)
And a little video bonus… sshhhhhh, I did NOT record that at the gym with my iPod! (but then again, the sign only says “no photography“!) Sorry if this makes you a little dizzy 😉
To explain the numbers that you see…
18.0 is the incline, then time elapsed (51 min, 16 sec), distance (3.83 miles), calories (963), and speed (4.5 mph)
Sorry for the delay in posting about our vacation, this past week has been a little crazy and it took me a little longer than I wanted, to get all the pictures edited. I took almost 800 but got them weeded down to 449.
Anyway… we left on Friday, March 12. Greg worked from home that day so we could get the car loaded up, I picked up the kids from school a little early, and we were on the road just before 2pm and missed most of rush hour (lots of people leaving work early that day). I decided to keep the camera packed away, because I knew there wouldn’t be anything interesting to take pictures of. I mean, this is Texas after all. It’s so flat, I bet if I climbed one of the telephone poles, I could have seen all the way to Colorado! 😉
I did have my phone and texted a couple of friends. Thanks Amber and Treva, for saving my life. I would have died of boredom if it wasn’t for you! 😉
We spent the night somewhere in Amarillo, TX and then made it to Colorado Springs, CO by about 3pm on Saturday. We originally planned to take I-40 to Vega, TX, and then take 87 to I-25, but Amber told me that this was a long stretch of nothing and I talked Greg into staying on the highway instead, and I’m so glad he agreed! We did take a little shortcut (84 to I-25) and there was absolutely nothing there! No gas stations, restaurants, and certainly no rest areas.
The drive that day was still boring, but it got a little more interesting once we made it to Colorado, and the mountains.
While in Colorado Springs, we stayed at the Embassy Suites. Very nice hotel. Free, cooked to order breakfast every morning, free happy hour every evening, as well as a restaurant. The kids loved all the waterfalls and the fish in the “stream”. And the glass elevator! I will leave you with some pictures of the hotel at the end of this post, but here are a few more pictures from their website (clicking on the thumbnails on the left will take you to the slide show). # 17, 18, 21, and 23 is pretty much what our room looked liked.
That evening we met up with one of Greg’s co-workers and his family. We had dinner at the hotel restaurant and then went to It’z for some fun. Well, fun for the kids anyway. Us grown-ups found a quit(er) spot and had drinks while the kids got to wear themselves out, although they spent most of the time riding the bumper cars.
Sunday morning we drove around Garden of the Gods – and took pictures! – and then stopped at the Trading Post (aka souvenir shop). A little preview of Garden of the Gods is in my header.
We had reservations to take the cog rail up to Pikes Peak. Greg had made the reservation the day before and we were told that we would not be able to go all the way to the summit because of bad weather. When we got there, they told us that there wasn’t enough interest for the 11:something train and they had moved us to the 1:20pm train. We had plenty of time to kill and went back to the Garden of Gods Trading Post to eat lunch. By the time we got back to the cog rail, it had started snowing (yay!) which made the ride up the mountain that much more fun. We got seats together, but there were some empty seats, and Greg and Sara moved so they could have window seats, too. I think the summit is about 8 miles up the mountain, but the train stopped just past mile 6 and that’s as far as they could safely go. We were stopped for a few minutes and were allowed to stand up, and that’s when you noticed just how steep it really was!! At one point the train was going up such a steep hill that the front of the train was three stories above the back of the train! Not that we noticed, sitting down.
On the way back, we stopped at Mile 4 and were able to get off the train for a few minutes and enjoy the snow.
It was still kind of early when we got back, and we went in search of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for some goodies. I have to say, though, the chocolates they sell by the piece behind the counter, is better than the boxed chocolates.
Then we headed back to the hotel for Happy Hour (can’t say no to free Margarita, after all 😉 ) and then to dinner at Edelweiss. Yummy, German Food!
On Monday we went back to Garden of the Gods for more pictures, and to see what we didn’t see the previous day. It snowed in Colorado Springs overnight, and Garden of the Gods looked even prettier.
We had lunch at the Golden Bee, where the waiters throw sticky little bees (they look like iron-ons, except that they’re sticky) on you when you order. Food was very good! Afterwards we went to Seven Falls, but because of the snow, the steps were closed and we couldn’t walk up. We were able to take the mountain elevator up to a viewing deck across from the falls. The falls looked cool, because they were partially frozen.
Not having being able to climb all those steps to the top of the falls saved us some time and we went back to Manitou Springs to look for the Mineral Springs and sample the water. We didn’t find all of them, and some were too far away to walk to, but the water of most of the ones we found wasn’t all that bad, and probably would have tasted even better if it was colder. One of the springs was inside of a store. It wasn’t a fountain, like the other springs, it was one of those old-timey pumps. This was the only one I refused to try because it smelled so bad!!! Greg said it tasted better than it smelled. By the way, this day was the only day I have ever seen Melissa drink water! She hates water and would rather die of thirst than have a sip of water! I was surprised that she was willing to try the mineral water, although I don’t think either of the kids tried the water from that awful smelling spring.
Tuesday we left Colorado Springs and headed to Estes Park, with a pit stop in Boulder to visit the Celestial Seasonings Tea factory. We sampled some of the teas, took the tour (very interesting, and surprisingly, for being the biggest tea manufacturer in the US, the plant isn’t very big. Unfortunately there were no pictures allowed. Very difficult, with a camera around my neck!!). After the tour we sampled a few more teas, and then ate lunch at their restaurant.
We got to Estes Park just in time to check into the hotel, and then headed downtown for a stroll through the shops and a little snack.
Wednesday we spent most of the day at Rocky Mountain National Park. Beautiful!! We didn’t see it all because they had some roads closed for the winter. We did see some Elk, a coyote, some birds, frozen lakes, and lots of snow. We had stopped at the visitors center before we entered the park, to pick up some maps, and the kids each got an activity book. On the way out of the park, we stopped at the ranger station where the kids became junior rangers 🙂
Thursday morning we checked out of the hotel and headed back to Rocky Mountain National Park, to walk around Sprague Lake. It was cold that morning and we didn’t walk all the way around. Melissa wasn’t feeling that well either, but better than the day before.
Then it was time to head toward home again 😦 Greg didn’t want to drive through Denver again, so we took 34 to 385 to I-70. What a boring, boring drive!! We stopped in Colby, Kansas for the night. Still a loong way from home!
Friday morning was drizzly and extremely windy! So windy, it ripped the rear license plate (which was only a plastic thing with the dealer’s name on it, held on by two screws) right off the car!! Thankfully the temporary tags were taped to the inside of the rear window, and I slappend even more tape on before we left home. Thankfully the plastic broke off around the screws and didn’t take the screws with it!
We had stopped at the Kansas Welcome Center the day before and got some travel guides and brochures. Greg found some wineries and we stopped at two tasting rooms and walked out with some “souvenirs”. At least there’s something good about boring Kansas 😉
We planned on spending the Night in Oklahoma City and have dinner at one of the restaurants, featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. We ended up at Ingrid’s Kitchen, a German restaurant. Yum!!
Saturday morning, we wanted to visit the National Memorial, but when we woke up it was snowing, freezing cold, road conditions were only going to get worse, and visibility wasn’t all that great. We decided to come back some other time, and head home instead. It was a scary drive! The roads were slippery, and we saw someone lose control right in front of us on the highway. Thankfully they were able to stop on the shoulder and no one was hurt. It was slow going for a while, but the closer we got to home, the better it got because Oklahoma City was on the south end of the storm. We even missed the thunderstorms in the Dallas area…. and got to enjoy seven inches of snow Sunday morning.
Whew! I think that’s all the details of our trip. We’re already planning on going back in the summer, but not until 2011, because this summer we’re going back to Indiana (and then on to somewhere else, not sure where yet, though).
View from our room.
View of the breakfast/happy hour area
Restaurant (hidden behind the greenery on the right)
In the elevator
Another view of the breakfast/happy hour area
One of the waterfalls
AND… a family picture in the hotel’s exercise room
When I joined the gym in June, the membership manager asked if I wanted a complimentary fitness assessment, but I declined. I said no again when he asked a few weeks later, but when he asked a third time, I finally said yes (to shut him up).
He set me up with a trainer for July 22, and when she took all my measurements, she said that they could do that once a month to track my progress. I finally set up the second appointment with her for yesterday (two months after the first one) and here are the results…
Weight: -13 lbs
Neck : no change
Chest : -1.5 inches (darn!)
Bicep : -0.5 inches
Forearm: -0.25 inches
Waist : -1.5 inches
Hips : -2.5 inches
Thigh : -1 inch
Calf : no change
You didn’t think I would post my actual measurements, did you? 😉
Yup, the GYM! I love being there, and when I’m home, I want to go back! I could seriously spend ALL day there. On Sunday I was there just before 5am for about an hour and a half, and then went back in the afternoon with Greg and the kids. Last week on Tuesday I walked 10 miles on the treadmill, and on Friday I walked 10.5 miles!
I’ve been told that I’m crazy (thanks, Amber!) and that I’m obsessed (thanks, honey!) but who knew that it would be so much fun?! And so rewarding to get on that scale and see that another pound or two fell off.
Joining the gym was one of the best things I’ve done for myself 🙂
(If anyone has a 24-Hour Fitness nearby and is thinking about trying them out, leave me a comment and I can do a friend referral. You will get an e-mail with an offer for a free 24-day trial membership instead of their standard 7-day, plus a coupon for $24 off your initiation fee if you decide to join)
(What does this song have to do with the gym? They play it there and it’s one of the very few that I like)
I did it! I officially joined a health club. I’ve lost about 20 lbs by walking every morning, at a local park, but it’s getting too hot out to do that, so when Amber mentioned last week that she’s going to a 24-Hour Fitness to take a tour, I met her over there and we took the tour together.
We liked what we saw (they even have a kiddie pool and slide) and signed up for the free 7-day trial membership. We signed our husbands up, too, and came back that evening to work out…. and brought the husbands with us so they could take the tour as well… and then work out with us. Another great thing at this location is the free child care. Unfortunately Melissa is too old for it (it’s for kids 11 and under), and I was told that she would need a membership to use the pool. They have a great deal for students, so I signed her up for the free trial, because I want her to use some of the equipment, too, not just the pool. She really seemed to like it, especially the bikes.
So yesterday I started the memberships for Melissa and me, Greg decided against it, but he might join the gym at work, which is slightly cheaper than 24-Hour Fitness.
I usually walk an hour on the treadmill, and I’m pretty much done after that! I need to work up to more. Melissa starts out on the treadmill with me, and then moves on to the bikes, and Sara has fun at childcare. I’m thinking about attending a spin class… has anyone ever done one? I was told they are tough! I certainly will not do a whole hour on a bike in spin class after walking an hour on the treadmill, that’s for sure!