Weekend Workout Recap

This is actually pretty exciting because this is the first week I’ve had that I’ve been able to consistently plan and workout. Of course, that’s because my job is way less than it used to be, but I’m going to make the most of it while I can.


Day 1 P90- Sculpt A. My resistance bands are confusing.


Day 2 P90-Sweat A/Ab Ripper A + Day 1 Lee Labrada program, just dumbbell row, bicep curls, and rowing. The P90 ab program is NO JOKE.


Day 3 P90-Sculpt A + Day 2 Lee Labrada. I figured out that the different resistance bands have different resistance. Unfortunately none are stretchy enough to go all the way over my head. I try using water bottles but felt stupid so I tried modifying it on my knees. Didn’t work either. I ordered a small weight set online.

LL had me doing incline dumbbell flys, side lateral raises, lying triceps press, and bench dips. The people here are mostly big burly dudes who use big dude weights. I realized I couldn’t do lat raises without making awful faces so I resigned myself to using smaller, daintier weights.


Day 4 P90- Sweat A/Ab Ripper A + Day 3 LL. Ab Ripper A was still hard. Ran 3.2 miles on the treadmill in 28:30 and did 1000m of rowing.


Day 5 P90- Sculpt A + Day 4 LL – squats, dumbbell lunges, calf raises, quad extensions, which were ungodly hard.


Day 6 P90- Saturday Special + Day 5 LL – negative chin-ups, dumbbell rows, concentration curls, back extensions, and 3.42 miles in 30 minutes. Still really sore from leg day, P90 felt like a special hell.


Was supposed to do 30 minutes of cardio. Instead, I drafted my fantasy football team for the year, put in my packet for R&R, almost finished booking P’s flight, and celebrated my first real cheat day with crab legs (CRAB LEGS! IN AFGHANISTAN!) and macaroni and cheese for dinner. And cake. And cookies. It was glorious.

Fit Friday

Where has this month gone? And why is it still only August?

I hit two months yesterday and it’s hard to believe I’m only 1/5 of the way through this.

I moved to a new base last weekend and as with anything, there’s pros and cons. One big pro is there’s a gym here but the downside is the “running track” is only 200 meters around. As much as I hate running on the treadmill, I ran on it yesterday by choice. I am still not a fan of the treadmill, but it does have the benefit of forcing me to keep a steady pace.

Other things I am doing to keep myself accountable – I bought P90 and P90X is on its way. I love that P90 is short and forces me to do some work and once I’m doing it, I find myself pushing to get more from my workout. I’m excited for P90X to get here and in the mean time, I am using P90 and some lifting to get myself ready for P90X. I definitely have gotten stronger. I rowed for a bit yesterday on the erg machine and I used to be able to do 2:20 as my max, but yesterday I was able to row at 2:10 and keep it up comfortably. I can’t wait to see other non-scale goals become more and more apparent.

I’m also working on eating (mostly) clean throughout the week with Sunday as my cheat day. I’m not perfect at this, I just had a couple pieces of candy and there’s some dangerously delicious banana bread our DFAC keeps making, but I am doing really well at choosing better foods, cutting out empty calories through juice, and exercising portion control. I’m definitely hungry by meal times, which is good and I am learning to eat to satiation, not to stuffing myself.

I am still reading my way through the Bible and I signed up for an online Bible study through Proverbs 31 Ministries that begins next month. The book is “Taming the To-Do List” by Glynnis Whitewater and at first, I thought, I don’t need this, I am good at making lists and fitting things in. But then I thought about how sometimes I don’t do all my daily Bible reading and how I go back and forth between being too busy and not having enough to do to fill my time.

AM to PM

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

― Christopher McDougall, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (also one of my favorite books)

I’ve always been a morning person, ever since I was a little girl. I love the peace and stillness in the morning before everyone else is awake and moving around. As an adult, I appreciate the peace even more because of how much hustle and bustle there is every day. I like to do my shopping early when the selection’s the best and there’s less crowds. I also like getting my workout on early because I know that no matter what else the day may bring, I got my sweat on.

With that being said, I’m learning to appreciate the evening or even late-night run out here. There’s only a couple of places I can run here, and we don’t have a gym anymore (at least, for a little while) so my morning runs have become evening runs, either in lieu of dinner with a protein shake after, or after dinner before we head home for the night.

I’m learning to appreciate the radiant heat coming off the ground in the evenings, watching the sun sink over the towering mountains and the city lights in the hills, and I like the time it gives me to sort out the events of the day.

A crappy picture of a really pretty place

A crappy picture of a really pretty place

fewer people in the store, and I like getting my workouts in early because then I can enjoy the rest of the day knowing I’ve put in some work already

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

It’s the little things that make life worth living. Today I had a nice, relaxing run at night enjoying the city lights and the lights from the planes and the music from my iPhone in my hand, like a 2015 version of the 1980s shoulder-carried boombox. Then when I got back to my room, the August StrideBox was waiting for me. Like last time, they’d thrown in a couple of extra goodies that I really can’t wait to try, and some new sunscreen sticks for me.


I got the greatest shirt in the world the other day. Gladys approves.

The back of the greatest shirt ever.

The back of the greatest shirt ever.

I have a confession: I am a sunscreen addict. I have four here with me. Three are liquids and one is a stick, two are physical and two are chemical. I tend to choose whatever I’m in the mood for. I put sunscreen on every morning and I use my stick to reapply right before I go and workout outside. My stick is chemical so I was very excited to see these two little sticks from All Good are physical. It’s unscented but the smell is faintly of almond butter and so far looks like it leaves no white cast of greasy residue.

I love this sticker

My Dari is coming along pretty well. I am learning how to haggle and numbers. I have about 45 days worth left, plus reading that I’ve been neglecting because I figured if I can’t speak it, how will I know what I’m reading?

Lastly, I am all about small goals. So along with my travel goal of running the Tokyo Marathon, I signed up for the Air Force Marathon next month. I may drop to the half, but it gives me something closer to look forward to and prepare for.


Dreadmill, Farewell

I have never been a big fan of running on treadmills and those were in the best of situations, with TVs, headphones allowed, and plenty of good ventilation. I hate having to manipulate my pace by hand and that I can’t zone out or else I might accidentally step off the treadmill.

So it was to my deep dismay when I learned that all running where I am would have to be done on a treadmill. A treadmill tucked into a corner and facing a wall with a 1980’s-era poster demonstrating abdominal workouts and the muscles used.

I tried my favorite songs. I tried podcasts. Every mile was an achievement. Running became the hardest form of cardio I could do because the boredom factor was so high.

Mercifully, we moved.

And even better, at my new place I can run outside. I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to be outside in my life. Yesterday for the first time since I’ve been here I got to run outside. I was so excited. My pace was pretty slow, it was kind of hot out, and at one point a helicopter landed nearby and I got all sorts of dust thrown onto me and inhaled into my lungs, but there was a breeze out that took away my sweat, I got to watch planes take off and land, I took in the beautiful mountains that surround me and it was one of the most satisfying runs of my entire life.

I did a second run today and it was equally wonderful. I also petted a dog who was looking around for scraps and for water. She was cautious but did seem to sort of enjoy the petting.

I’m planning a trip to Japan for my R&R and noticed that the Tokyo Marathon happened to be about the same time. I thought that was too good to pass up so I booked a trip through a travel agent and I’ll be running my first international marathon and my first World Marathon Major next spring. I’m very excited, though not as excited for how I am going to have to try to squeeze in the training, but I am also having fun planning the rest of our trip. I am definitely planning visits to the Studio Ghibli Museum, Tokyo Disney and DisneySea, and as many fountain pen stores as I can find to drag P to.