Thursday, July 31, 2008

Push ups

I can't remember which blog it was where I first read about the 100 Push up Challenge, but it didn't take me long to jump on the bandwagon. I've been improving my fitness with the running thing (three times last week, woohoo!), and for a while now, I've been doing an excellent job of thinking about strength training. And reading about strength training on websites like The doing, not so much.

The 100 push up challenge turns out to be the perfect solution, at least for me, to kick start a strength training program. It has different levels to start at, it doesn't take a lot of time (about 10 minutes, 3x a week) and it tells you exactly how many push ups to do each session. Plus you can print it out, post it in your kitchen, and give yourself stars everytime you complete a push up workout! Yay for stars!

I'm on week 2a. Yes, there is a week 2a. I added it. Going from a maximum of 6 push ups at the end of week 2 to 15 push ups at the beginning of week 3 was just too much, at least for me. Actually, I can do 15-16 push ups now, but then I'm done. No second set of 12 push ups, and definitely no third or forth sets with the number of push ups scheduled for that day.

So here is my week 2a, for anyone who might be interested.

Day 1: 8, 7, 7, 6, min 8

Day 2: 10, 9, 9, 8, min 10

Day 3: 12, 10, 10, 8, min 10

So far (just completed Day 2), this seems to be the right level for me. I can tell I'm pushing myself, but I'm actually able to complete the workout.

By the way, I'm not actually doing full, plank-position, on-the-floor push ups, although that's definitely a long-term goal. Instead, I'm doing pushups in a plank position, but with my hands on a bench. Sumptuous actually has all kinds of suggestions for push up variations. If you're interested in increasing upper-body strength, but think floor push ups are too much, you can always try counter or even wall push ups.

Does the push up challenge work? You bet! I've gone from being about to do a max of 3 bench push ups to as many as 15. It's a great feeling to feel myself getting stronger just over a period of a couple weeks!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Birthdays and Kittens

Dear Bob, did I really not post anything in June?! Apparently so.

So today is my birthday!

It was fairly low key, as most of my birthdays are, but all in all not a bad Monday. I had a nice chat with my mom. And I got to play with kittens! Ok, at a little over 2 weeks, they're not quite at the playing stage. But getting to pet and cuddle four little kittens. Nope, doesn't get much better than that!

As of Friday evening, I got to be custodian to mamma kitty, Mango, and her four babies, while their family goes off for a two-week holiday. I get to baby sit
kittens for two weeks!!!! In case you can't tell, I'm a tad excited. :+)

Here are the kittens all in a pile shortly after they arrived.

I thought a corner in the kitchen would be nice, but Mango just wouldn't settle. She kept going in and out of the kitchen. When Mango started to try to move the kittens, I realized that she had other ideas of what constituted a good spot. The next time I followed her when she left the kitchen. She went straight to my bedroom to a narrow spot between the hamper and a chair, and then looked up to me with an expression that clearly said, "I want them here, you idiot person." So I moved the box, and Mango climbed right in and started nursing.

And here is Mango, who looks so much like my first cat, Tiptoes, it makes me just a little bit sad.

Today, I took a few more pictures of the kittens.

There are three boys and a girl. The girl is the black and white one with a narrower white slash on her forehead and a black smudge on her chin. The little tabby boy is going to look just like his mum when he grows up.

The kittens are walking but very wobbly. Even in the two days since they arrived, they are moving more. Right now they still spend nealy all their time sleeping and eating, but I just bet they'll be trying to climb out of the box by next weekend.