Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt is on my brain.

On January 30th it will have been exactly 13 months since Laura and I arrived in Cairo, Egypt. We were there with the intention of going to Gaza but were stopped by the Egyptian government. In response, we (along with a few hundred others) staged a protest in Tahrir Square - right in the heart of Cairo.

On that day, we had the support of many Egyptian citizens though they didn't join us in the protest - they couldn't. If any local people had joined us in our efforts they would have been severely beaten by the authorities. As an international I at least had the protection of my passport (for the most part).

If there is one thing I learned during my time in Egypt it's that the government will say whatever they want in their press releases. They implemented a media blackout during the entire week of protesting and when they finally sent a press release to the world it didn't speak a word of the truth.

My heart goes out to Egypt today. Their cries for international support have fallen silent after their government cut their internet access, texting and mobile phone networks. WE need to be their voice. We need to make it clear to their government that what they are doing is NOT okay. The leaders need to know that the world will not sit silently while this is going on behind their closed doors.

To see photos from my time in Egypt check out my Facebook album by clicking here.

To know what YOU can do to help the situation in Egypt, click here.

Protests are being held in Toronto, Ottawa, London and Montreal today.

I'll leave you with this: A message to Anonymous from inside Egypt (written Thursday)...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jan 26, 2011

Coach's challenges:
60 minutes of cardio maintaining a heart rate of 160-180
Target quads, abductors, and core

Weight: 133 lbs

Todays goals:
Complete 60 minutes on my elliptical and maintain a heart rate of 170 or higher
Plank for one minute
End with the three main yoga moves that are good for keeping hips and thigh muscles loose

Setting: Cross-training
Time: 60 minutes
Distance: 5.09
Calories: 502.3
Strides: 6926
Heart rate: 171 and I maintained that for the entire workout :)

I had to keep it a bit quick today (didn't do as much muscular). I was on a tight schedule because I went to Toronto to see the taping of George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight & pitch the idea of having him interview the Because We Can team at the end of April, but I digress. The workout went well. I was happy about being able to maintain my target heart rate of 170 though I definitely pushed my absolute hardest to do so.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Training: Jan 25, 2011

Jan 24, 2011

I have a confession to make. I didn't do any training yesterday. In fact, I did the opposite and ate a bunch of stuff I shouldn't have (cake, brownies, cookies, etc.) haha. Whoopsie!

I'm happy to say, though, that I'm back on track!

Jan 25, 2011

Coach's challenges:
60 minutes of cardio maintaining a heart rate of 160-180
Look into workouts that can target quads, abductors, and core
Weight: 133 lbs (nearly two pounds lower than Jan 21!)

Todays goals:
Complete 60 minutes on my elliptical and maintain a heart rate of 170 or higher
50 sit-ups
50 side sit-ups on each side
50 sit-ups with legs up
50 push-ups (even if I can't get down the whole way haha)
Plank for one minute
End with three yoga moves good for keeping hips and thigh muscles loose

Setting: Cross-training
Time: 60 minutes
Distance: 5.13
Calories: 514.3
Strides: 7038
Heart rate: 173 for first 45 minutes, 169/170 for last 15 minutes

I almost reached all my goals. I pushed hard to maintain a heart rate above 170. At 45 minutes I felt faint so I stopped for about 5 minutes and grabbed a banana, graham crackers and extra water. I started back up again and was able to get my hr back up to 170, though it floated around a bit above and a bit below for that last 15 minutes.
The muscular stuff was fine, though I didn't really feel challenged by it. I did 5 reps of 10 for each target area and allowed about 10 seconds between each rep. I only did 40 push-ups though.
I've been looking into other exercises to incorporate as Chris requested. I'll put those in tomorrow!
I'm feeling really great tonight and my knee hasn't bothered me much at all.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Training: Jan 23, 2011

Jan 23, 2011

It's SUNDAY!! I've decided to designate Sundays as a break day from the usual workout (for now - this will likely change as our big bike ride approaches). I'll be going to an hour-long hot yoga class every Sunday afternoons.

Also, as a side note, I've started stretching for at least 10 minutes in the morning and again before bed.

Todays goals:
Participate in my first ever hot yoga class (60 minutes long)
When given the option of multiple levels difficulty, do the most difficult one
Be aware of the muscles being used

I completed the class & all goals :)

I felt amazing after this class - just purely and completely healthy and refreshed. I'm not sure how else I can really describe it. During the class there were a few times I was challenged to hold the pose for the full length but I did! I appreciated this as a workout because it worked my entire body.

I'm looking forward to really pushing myself this coming week to work up to a consistent heart rate of 180 on the elliptical. Let's see how I do!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Training: Jan 22, 2011

Jan 22, 2011

Coach's challenge:
I didn't get a chance to read his response to yesterday's progress until just I just applied what he'd said last time.
Weight: 134.3 lbs (nearly two pounds lower than Jan 21!)

Todays goals:
Complete 60 minutes on my elliptical
Maintain a heart rate of no lower than 160

Setting: Cross-training
Time: 60 minutes
Distance: 4.68
Calories: 444.3
Strides: 5962
Heart rate: 168

I reached all my goals (though they weren't tough today haha)!! My main goal was to take it as easy as I could while still maintaining a heart rate above 160. I didn't want to push my knee too hard today. My heart rate hovered 168 and 169 the whole time. My leg  muscles were sore before I even started haha and knowing I'd be biking right after this workout I tried to take it a bit easy. My knee was fine today :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Training: Jan 21, 2011

Jan 21, 2011

Coach's challenge:
Coach Chris ( love that don't you! This might be the only time you'll hear/read that) challenged me to get my heart rate above 160 for the duration of my workout while still keeping a close watch on my knee to prevent further injury.

Weight: 136 lbs (two pounds lower than Jan 19th!)

Todays goals:
Complete 60 minutes on my elliptical
Maintain a heart rate of no lower than 160
Go 5 (I don't know if it measures in KM or miles...haha I should probably figure that out)
Begin muscular work as well

Setting: Cross-training
Time: 60 minutes and a 5 minute cool-down
Distance: 5.16
Calories: 505.2
Strides: 6860
Heart rate: 171

20 sit-ups
20 right side sit-ups
20 left side sit-ups
20 sit-ups with legs raised
20 push-ups

I reached all my goals!! I'm pretty happy about that :)
I pushed myself harder today which you can see in the numbers. I maintained a heart rate of between 168 and 175 the whole time - mostly near 171. My leg muscles started to feel the burn around 25 minutes. I was able to keep my knee under control.

As for the muscular work out I didn't really push myself but really just wanted to shower haha. The push ups I did full out but only made it about half-way down each time. I figure that's better than straining my muscle by going all the way down (which would happen). I'll keep up with the push-ups and hopefully get a bit lower each day :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Training: Jan 20, 2011

Jan 20, 2011
Rather than going on the elliptical today, I thought I'd check out a dance class in town. Because of that, I didn't take my measurements today.

Todays goals:
Have some fun, meet some new people, and push myself to give 100% for the duration of the hour-long class.

Unfortunately, I don't have numbers today other than 60 minutes of dancing :)

The dance class was loads of fun (I had a smile on my face the whole time!) and I broke a sweat within minutes and maintained that throughout the class. 

I felt great after the class although my knee was bothering me again. The pain began partway through the class so I altered my movements to relieve it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Training: Jan 19, 2011

It's been a while since my last update on this particular blog and you may have been following the Because We Can (BWC) blog in the meantime. BWC is focusing a bit more on the team's experience as we prepare for our trip across Canada. THIS blog will be focusing more on me and my personal experience.

In an effort to prepare myself the best I can, I have been in touch with others who have cycled across Canada. My biggest question at this point is about training and nutrition. I've found that most of the people I've spoken with didn't put much effort into specific training and they definitely didn't journal it which would have been a great help to me at this point.

So, thinking of others who may want to bike across our country in the future and so that anyone who may be interested can follow my progress, I will be posting my progress as I go!

So here we go.

We decided to do this bike ride last spring. You can read a bit more about that time period in older posts. Basically from then until now, I've been trying to bike whenever and wherever I can. The furthest I've biked to date is 44km.

My training coach, Chris Gray, wants me biking at least half an hour and doing one hour of cardio each day journaling everything...that's what you'll be reading here.

Without further ado, here are my starting measurements, goals, achievements, and thoughts.

Jan 19, 2011

Coaches Challenge:
Do one hour of cardio and 30 minutes of cycling per day.

Weight: 138 lbs
Bust: 32 1/8
Chest: 27
Waist: 27 3/4
Hips: 42
Thigh: 27 7/8
Calf: 14 5/8

Today's goals:
Do a minimum of 60 minutes (if I can, 80 minutes) on the elliptical. I want to pace myself to see how I do since I haven't tried this before.

I recorded my times after 60 minutes and then again at the end. Here are the numbers at one hour:
Setting: Cross-training
Time: 60 minutes
Distance: 4.67
Calories: 458.1
Strides: 6048
Heart rate: 156

Once I passed 60 minutes I decided to push myself as hard as I could for the remaining 20 minutes. I had to stop after 5 minutes because my right knee injury began to flare up :(
Time: 65 minutes
Distance: 5.11
Calories: 502.6
Strides: 6650
Heart rate: 158

I feel good. I started watching the amount of time that was left around 30 minutes. Once I reached 60 minutes I decided to keep going to reach 80 and also started to push myself harder. Five minutes in I felt pain in my knee and decided I should stop before making the knee injury flare up more.