“My philosophy? Simplicity plus variety.”

Hank Stram

Today’s fitness quote comes from an American football coach who won three AFL championships and Super Bowl IV. I’m not a sport fanatic at all, but even I know that’s impressive.

For readers who plan to follow me the long term, I have to admit something now: I don’t do that much research before committing to trying something. Case in point, my exercise plan. I jumped into the C25K program thinking it was an everyday program–it’s not. And now I find myself with other days in my week that I must fill with some form of exercise. As every mother of a young toddler knows, hitting the gym before work is a no-go, not unless I want to drop the little monster off at daycare extremely early (which I suppose I could do, but I miss that lil’ deuce so much already as it is).

One of the programs I came across on darebee.com incorporated squats and calf raises into every alternate day after a training day. However, I can do 10 squares and 10 calf raises in about 5 minutes. Then that’s it… workout over. I’m left feeling somewhat dissatisfied with myself and I have a ton of early morning energy left. What I did like about the squats and calf raises though was that I could do them at home–which made me feel less guilty.

See, yesterday morning when I returned from my run, it was to a very awake Finley. Turns out he’d woken up minutes after I’d left, and he was wailing for mama until Jamie got him out of bed. They were playing happily enough, but it still made me feel like shit that Fin was basically awake from 5 am that day all because I wanted to go for a run.

How is it that Maria Kang can work out happily with her kids??

Some days I fantasize about being one of those women who can work out with her kids on board. But this is not something that can be practically done when you have to work a full 8 hour day that day. Imagine me waking Finley up at 5 am to sit on my back as I do sit ups. He wouldn’t be sitting for very long, either. With my mummy-luck, he’d probably shit on me, too. (Sidenote, GIS “work out mum” led me to Maria Kang’s site, which is a pretty cool read).

I’m getting side tracked. A side effect of researching for an article while I’m writing it.

So this morning I went google-hunting for short workouts I could do at home, which led me to Marie Claire’s “The 24 Best Workout Apps for Women Who Want Results“. From their long list, I’ve picked out these apps to try:

Gixo – Marie Claire toots that there are a ton of workouts in this app you can do without leaving your APARTMENT!

Six Pack in 30 Days – I am curious to see if I will ever have visible abs.

Butt Workout and Fitness App – I would like to get rid of this mum butt.

Freeletics – Building muscle, again, WITHOUT LEAVING YOUR APARTMENT!

Daily Ab Workout – Same reason as Six Pack in 30 Days…

Daily Yoga – I don’t like yoga very much, a bit boring for me, but I thought I’d try again.

J&J Official 7 Minute Workout – For those days when Fin just won’t stay asleep for very long. Or for my “rest” days.

That looks like quite a list… but I’m putting Hank Stram’s philosopy to the test. Simplicity plus Variety. And of course, I’ll be checking back in with my progress as I go. Hopefully my findings can provide some insight for other people in a similar situation.

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”

Walter Elliot

So I woke up with my new alarm today at 5 am. I hear the rain outside and for a few minutes, I wonder if I should just stay home today and call it a rest day. After all, it is raining.

But it’s literally day 2 of my new training plan. Day 2, and I’m coming up with excuses to stay home. I didn’t even have a hard time yesterday–I actually enjoyed it!

Here’s a funny story. I downloaded the Couch to 5 K app on my iPhone (and now, as I write this, I realise this is not even the official app… a fact revealed after I google it for linking here). It’s a super shitty app and I was surprised that it looks so bad for a app that promotes a fairly popular training program. Lazy me shrugged it off. I also adopted a try-for-longer-than-I-want-to approach to most things recently as I don’t want to miss out on something great just because I’m an idiot or that my first impression is wrong.

So week 1 day 1 of my C25K training was done incorrectly. I got the warm up part right, but the interval run turned into just me running/jogging for the whole 15 minutes. I was waiting for the app to prompt me to switch from running to walking and then running again, but it never happened.

When I tried the app again this morning, I realised I had to keep the app on screen and the phone screen ON the whole time for it to actually prompt me. What a horrible design feature!! Granted, I’m an idiot for not testing it out more before using it, but still.

I did actually enjoy running the whole way though. I’m not sure if it was because it was the first time I ran in a long time, but it felt good. I didn’t feel tired and I didn’t get stitches in my side like I expected to, so I guess I’m less unfit than I thought I was. The total distance I ran/jogged/walked was at 2.95 K, and I ended up feeling refreshed rather than tired.

Week 1 day 2 today, my legs are a little sore, but nothing horrible like I expected. I also did end up doing the interval training since I left my phone screen on with the app loaded the whole time. The in app trainer also sounded like the announcer in one of those cheap bluetooth headsets–you know the one, the lady with the incredibly faint Chinese accent to her English, telling you what was happening in the most dispassionate tone.

Another program I found online had introduced rest days through out the week, which I’ll be adding to my routine. Tomorrow is another training day and then Thursday I get a rest.

Anyway. Upon further googling, I found the offical Couch25K app here. I’ll download this today and try it out for tomorrow morning and log here about how I go.

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

A quote by Joseph Addison.

So my husband and I have been talking about me taking my health and fitness seriously. It’s something that has been floating at the back of my mind for a while, but I never get around to actually doing anything about it.

I wish I could say that I stumbled across the quote by Joseph Addison and that’s what got me going (some whole thing about if I’m going to write a reading column then I ought to keep fit as well)… but that’s not what happened.

See, I decided that I was going to start running tomorrow (a Monday), and I was not going to let myself chicken out or give up, or fall out of the habit like before. I promptly edit my alarm to 5 am. Then I spend the precious hours thinking about HOW I was going to do it and googling different programs to try. I’m also worrying about whether I could even find my jogging bra and shorts… I am even tempted right now at 10:40 pm while my husband and child are sleeping next to me, to get up, use my phone as a flashlight and rifle through my drawers for my running clothes. Doing all that would definitely wake them up and I can see a grumpy Jamie mumbling “what the hell are you doing?!” while little boy Fin whinges, half awake.

Right. So I can’t get up right now to look for my running clothes. But how else will I force myself to be accountable to this goal?

Oh wait, didn’t I recently redo my whole site to dedicate to better content and serious commitments to reading and writing? Why not channel that same energy to fitness?

So I am writing here. And of course I must find a quote for the title, to fit with my “thing”. And here is a very fitting quote about reading for the brain and exercise for the body. Perfect.

So here I am. I found a program I want to try: Couch to 5k. I’m starting tomorrow and I’m going to just run with it. I will write another update with how I go. First day impression and first week impressions and so on.

And yes, all of the puns in this piece were intended.