Dot to Trot

My world is expanding as my butt is shrinking!

Archive for the tag “Fitness”

Want To Change Behavior? Try A 30-Day Challenge

Screenshot 2014-09-02 11.11.07

30-Day Challenges are a great way to create new habits, change how you do things and build confidence. And they are available online for free. Just make sure you pick one that’s realistic.

I love this article from Business Insider on the importance of 30-Day Challenges in changing behavior. I’ve become a big believer in these challenges. I’ve used them to:

  • Drink more water
  • Cut back on alcohol
  • Build strength
  • Run a 5k
  • Improve my sleep habits

I always try to pick something that:

  1. Isn’t part of my wheelhouse;
  2. Provides opportunity for self-improvement;
  3. Realistic and measurable.

It’s important to pick a challenge where you not only want to make a change, but decided that you must change. Big difference.

Making a meaningful, lasting change means committing to it. Read more…


Getting Down & Dirty At Mudderella

My reaction after conquering my final obstacle Mudderella threw at me!

My reaction after conquering the final obstacle Mudderella threw at me!

I spent Saturday morning running a 5-mile obstacle course in the mud. Mudderella came to town and it was time to do my first mud run. My Healthy Bucket List includes a mud race like a Spartan or Tough Mudder. Although Mudderella doesn’t let me cross it off my list, it was a great way to gauge if it really is doable. It is!

Mudderella isn’t a race. You are not timed. No trophies are handed out. Created by women for women, this 5-miler is more about proving we’re physically and mentally tougher than we realize. Read more…

First Hike Of The Year: Manassas National Battlefield

Near the end of our first hike of the year. My hubby wanted a photo of me but I suspect he wanted a bit of a rest. As for me, I wanted to go another 5 miles.

Near the end of our first hike of the year. My hubby wanted a photo of me but I suspect he wanted a bit of a rest. As for me, I wanted to go another 5 miles…I settled for yard work after the hike.

My hubby recently started back up at the gym. I’m so happy he’s jump-starting his weight loss and fitness goals. As part of his new routine, we went on our first hike of 2015:  Manassas National Battlefield. The park is just a couple of miles from our humble, little love shack. Besides learning about history, the park offers a perfect hike to toughen up his tender feet.

Working Up A Sweat On The Trail
I love hiking. Not only does it get me outdoors, it’s a great exercise without the cost or noise of a gym. Yes, I love my gym. But with hiking you get a full body workout. Sharp inclines, scrambling over rocks, carrying a pack, river crossings – you work every muscle, test your balance and get your heart rate up. Read more…

Hiking Fest ’15

Hiking Raven Rock in 2014 after climbing 1530 ft to the top of the 2nd peak. This trail defeated me last year, but I'll finish it this summer.

Hiking Raven Rock in 2014 after climbing 1,530 ft. to the top of the 2nd peak. This trail defeated me last year, but I’ll finish it this summer.

Spring starts tomorrow! So of course we’re expecting snow. Despite winter’s last grasp, I thought it was time to plan some day hikes for me and the hubby. Turning to my trusty Hiking Virginia guide, I’ve picked out 10 initial hikes (we’re so doing more than 10 this year!) that meet our agreed upon criteria.

Hiking Criteria
My hubby made some demands for these day hikes so that we BOTH enjoy these outings.

1. “Cannot be One Of Your Crazy-Ass Intense Hikes”
Translation: My husband recently kick-started his workout routine, so no trails so tough he can’t walk the next day. Fair enough. Only one trail listed rates as difficult (mwahahaha!). Read more…

Virtual Walk — Slow Slog To Louisville, KY

Despite injuries, I racked up enough cardio miles in May to virtually walk to Louisville, KY.

Despite injuries, I racked up enough cardio miles in May to virtually walk to Louisville, KY.

Due to injuries, my virtual walk to Denver slowed a bit. I walked and ran less than 3 miles for the month thanks to a very painful Achilles tendon. With the help of my spin class, May wasn’t a total disaster as I logged nearly 140 miles on a stationary bike.

I’m ahead of my 72-mile monthly average, but I’m still disappointed and frustrated. It seems like every month I re-injure something below my waist. So for June I decided I needed to add another cardio routine into the mix that takes some pressure off my legs. Now is the time to open up my wallet to finally buy that blasted swimsuit. Hopefully I can fit in 1-2 hours of swimming a week into my schedule. Read more…

April Cardio Workouts – Cycled To Kentucky!

Despite a fairly rainy April, my outdoor workouts picked up considerably and my virtual walk to me to the Bluegrass State of Kentucky.

Despite a fairly rainy April, my outdoor workouts picked up considerably and my virtual walk to me to the Bluegrass State.

My cardio picked up considerably in April. Between my spin classes, walking and 5K training, I virtually traveled 221 miles and ended up just outside Morehead, Kentucky. That’s well ahead of my 72-mile monthly average since this little project started. Good weather (mostly) and a healed knee worked wonders.

April Workout Mileage Breakdown

Activity Miles Days
5K Training 8 8
Spin Class 163 16
Swimming 0 0
Walking 50 10
Weightlifting 0 10
Yoga 0 4
Total 221 48
Daniel Boone National Forest is home to Yahoo Falls, a 113 foot waterfall.

Daniel Boone National Forest is home to Yahoo Falls, a 113 foot waterfall.

Where Am I?
Using my trusty AAA Trip Tik map, I landed in the Daniel Boone National Forest, a beautiful place with rugged terrain west of the Appalachians. It’s a great place to explore with lots of sandstone cliffs, ravines, large lakes, and plenty of rivers and streams.

There’s a ton of fun things to do here – camping, rock climbing, boating, scuba diving, waterskiing, fishing and hunting, and horseback riding. With 150 miles of trails, it’s perfect for hikers and equestrians.

If you need a break from the woods, then head over to Morehead, home of Morehead State University and the Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival, something my hubby would love to go check out.

Want to learn more about Appalachian culture, then head over to the Kentucky Folk Art Center, a folk art museum that preserves and promotes the area’s traditional music, storytelling, literature and crafts.

For you history buffs, Morehead was the location of a deadly political feud — the Rowan County War — that took place between 1884-1887.  About 20 people died and an up to 100 injured during the feud. The state militia was called out 3 times to stop the violence. Things got so out of control the state seriously considered dissolving the county. The aftermath of the feud lead to the creation of Morehead State University.

Where Am I Headed?
I significantly increased my miles in April, despite the very wet weather. Hopefully May brings even more sunshine and I can push myself closer to 300 miles.  We’ll see if that’s enough to get me to Indiana.

Virtual Challenge Related Articles


March Cardio Workouts – Walked To West Virginia

March was a tough month workout wise. Thanks to horrible weather and illness, I made it past Lewisburg, WV in my Virtual Walk to Denver.

March was a tough month workout wise. Thanks to horrible weather and illness, I made it past Lewisburg, WV in my Virtual Walk to Denver.

March is over and it’s time to total my cardio miles to see how far I’ve virtually traveled. I biked, ran and walked a total of 68.93 miles over 11 days. That’s a little below my 72 mile monthly average. But considering all the snow, ice, bitter cold temps and 10 days of strep throat, it’s not too shabby.

Read more…

Day 4 Of Burpee Challenge – It’s A Love Hate Thing

Besides the energy boost, fat burning, strength building, conditioning, full body workout, improved flexibility, a raised metabolism, and no need for equipment, what have burpees ever done for me?

Besides the energy boost, fat burning, strength building, body conditioning, improved flexibility, a raised metabolism, and no need for equipment, what have burpees ever done for me?

I’m 4 days into the 30 Burpees for 30 Days Challenge and I’m feeling it.

Yes, I know the burpee is a full body exercise that vanquishes fat and builds strength. So I should stop whining, right? Ugh!

OK, OK….I grudgingly give burpees credit for the energy boost I get after I complete my 30. Sure burpees destroy me while I’m doing them, but I do feel great after.

I don’t care…I still hate them.

Maybe I’m just cranky because my legs are soooooo sore.

My training session on Wednesday focused on my lower body. Nothing like doing 4 sets of squats, Bulgarian split squats, kettlebell squat swings, burpees and mountain climbers as fast as you can for 30 seconds (with 10 second rest in between each) to make your legs combust.

Oh well, time for the next 30.

The Will Is Strong But The Body Is Too Damn Tired To Workout

resting your body

I struggled through two curls before admitting defeat and going back to bed. Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti and

There are days when I really want to workout, but my body just isn’t up for it. I mean I’m motivated. I set my mind to it. I have the urge to workout. But my body refuses.

That’s what happened this weekend.

I went to bed Friday night with every intention of working out early Saturday morning – weight training, yoga and a short walk right after my weigh in. Everything done by 10 a.m. Simple plan, right?

Waking up at 11 a.m. wasn’t part of that plan.

That should have been my first clue how my weekend was going to go.

On the drive to the gym I went over my planned workout in my mind — 10 minute warm up on a cycle, 20 minute leg workout, 20 minute upper body and 5 minute cool down on the treadmill. Then back home for yoga. Easy.

Well, I completely forgot the 2 flights of stairs you need to climb to get to my gym. I climb these everyday. No big deal.

When I hit the 5th step you would have thought I was climbing Everest…without oxygen.  When nearing the summit top of the stairs two thoughts crossed my mind: 1) Just go back home; and 2) I need a Sherpa to carry my little pink gym bag the rest of the way up.

Once I got to the top of the stairs I immediately change my plan. Thinking I’d give my legs a break today, I opt for simple stretching and just an upper body workout.

After catching my breath I muddled my way through my upper body stretching routine. Then I picked up two 15 pound barbells and started my curls. I struggled through two curls before putting the weights down and heading out the door.

Tired and defeated, I went home, put a lamb roast in the crock-pot and took a nap.

I was no better on Sunday. But thanks to all the ice and snow, I didn’t feel as guilty for not getting to the gym.

Listening to your body
My trainer warned me I’d have days like these. Her advice: Listen to my body and don’t force it.

Most of the time when people don’t exercise it’s because they lack motivation. That’s when you need to workout.

But when you’re motivated and your body is fighting you, that’s you need to chill. It’s your body’s way to tell you it needs more time to rest before starting a new workout.

In the last week, I exercised everyday for 3 hours each day. I think the extra cycling classes I slipped in on Friday (yep, I did 2 in one day) pushed me over the edge.

This week I’m still shooting for the 3-hour workout, but I’ll take a rest day in the middle of the week to help my body recover quicker. Oh, and I’m done with back-2-back cycling.

As for the guilt I felt this weekend, my trainer knocked that right out of me. She put me through the wringer this morning with an insane barbell routine.


Sluggish Workouts And The Importance Of Tracking

diet and exercise, tracking food

Forgetting to track my food for a few days has screwed up my diet and makes me sleepy!

When you forget to track your food, bad things happen. Like what?  How about sluggish workouts and a complete lack of energy.

That’s how I’ve felt the last couple of days. I think my carb and protein intake are far too low.

During my weight training Wednesday morning, every exercise was difficult. Not too unexpected since my trainer is really pushing me — increasing weights, focusing on upper body, and challenging my endurance.

When I did my 5K training later that afternoon, my legs felt like lead. While I finished the training, it seemed harder than normal. I chalked it up to tired legs after working out with my trainer.

Yesterday during spin class, it’s clear that I’m getting stronger as my resistance level increased over last week’s class. But where I’m usually energized after spin class, today I just wanted to curl up in bed. And when it came time to do yoga last night, I struggled to finish the session.

I just didn’t feel right. Something was up. I’m not coming down with anything. So I’m thinking its diet.

When I went to look at my tracker, I realized the problem immediately.  The last time I tracked was Tuesday dinner.


Since my trainer changed my diet, I’ve tracked religiously. Anytime I felt hungry, I made a note in my FitBook and looked at the tracker to see if I need to make adjustments to my meals.

I’m usually all over my tracker like a monkey on a cupcake!

But the last few days have been hectic. Just lots of errands, projects and breaking up too many pet fights (damn you evil overlord cat!).

How quickly things get out of whack when you don’t track for a couple of days. And scary how easy it is to forget to track.

I tried to remember everything I ate yesterday. It’s harder than you think.  What I pieced together indicates that I missed my morning and afternoon snacks. Not good. Also I ate about 20g of carbs, about 30g shy of what my trainer wants. I worked out for nearly 2 hours and 20g of carbs just doesn’t cut it.

As for protein, I was down 5 ounces.  No wonder I woke up starving this morning. Not eating enough to sustain your body is not how you lose weight.

This morning I’m back on track. I logged my breakfast — Kashi Go Lean, Almond Breeze Unsweetened Milk and one cup of strawberries — the perfect breakfast before this morning’s muscle workout and yoga class.

I prepared my protein shake so it’s ready for me when I get home — I just need to add 1/2 a banana and ice.

I also logged it.

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