Disappearing Act

Hello again, blog world! How’ve you been? Life has been busy and full of changes on this end. Definitely a factor in the long hiatus, but also a rather lame excuse.

So, since it has been some time since we talked, I suppose I will start with a highlight reel of some of the biggest changes since we last spoke!

Things I’ve Accomplished

1. I am now a certified personal trainer!! I got my certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) in the end of the summer last year and took a job (part-time) at one of the local gyms. I really loved the NASM philosophy on training and appreciated that the OPT model is scientifically based. I saw a lot of parallels in the material with what I learn in Occupational Therapy school.

2. I am back in OT school! After taking a year off to handle a pretty stressful job situation, I have been able to realign some things to put my focus back into working on my Master’s degree. I love the field of occupational therapy already! There is so much potential and so many ways that I can enrich people’s lives.

3. I ran my first half marathon! I kinda can’t believe I actually did that one. Thanks, gym buddy, for the support. Definitely wouldn’t have even tried were it not for you. I can’t say it was easy – I am pretty sure somewhere around mile 10 I was ready to curl up in a ball in the ditch for a nap – but I’d be remiss to say that I didn’t enjoy it. In fact, I am planning to run again this year. And this time for time! (My goal for this first go-round was simply to finish and run the whole thing. Aside from a few bathroom stops, I’m proud to say I accomplished that mission!)

Things I’m Working On

1. I am getting certified to teach group fitness! I have started a love-affair with the group x class atmosphere. Traditionally, my gym trips were time to zone out with myself and the weight rack. Everything was self-directed and self-monitored. I like the extra push you get from going to group fitness classes. The environment itself pushes you to work it just a little bit harder!

2. I am (hopefully) getting certified to teach Pop Pilates! When Cassey announced a few months back that you could now get certified to teach her style of Pilates classes, I knew it was something I wanted to pursue. My mat has definitely seen some extra loving over the past couple months! I am still working out details, but I’ll keep you updated.

3. Taking me time. In case this doesn’t kind show it, I’ve been mega insanely busy, and dealing with some pretty big stressors in my personal life. I am working on setting aside time to take care of myself, not just by working out. I cannot even begin to explain how important that is, friends.

4. Coming back to blogging! When I was writing consistently, it was a kind of stress relief in and of itself just to put things down in a post. I want to make that a priority again.

Happy New Year (a couple months in) and I look forward to spending more time with you!

Birthdays and Half Marathons

So, I  have been on somewhat of a hiatus from posting. There has been a lot of chaos going on in the career world that has distracted me from my focus on the fitness world. I have still been working out daily — pretty much the only reason that I’ve stayed sane — but my workouts have been chaotically planned, at best.

Big news….I registered for a Half Marathon!!! Holy crap…what the heck am I thinking?!?! To date, my longest run is just short of 5 miles. Fortunately, I have another 5+ months to train  — the race is on October 19th. I will keep you up to date on training progress. It should be interesting!

More on 1/2 Marathons, etc. soon, but first I wanna wish a very happy birthday to gym buddy!!! While I’ve only known you for a few months, I know that I would not be in place that I am on my fitness journey, were it not for you. You have been an inspiration, a training partner, and have become a best friend. You push me to my limits, and encourage me to grow. I am very lucky to have met you, and I hope that we have many more gym days to come — even if it means I am kicking your butt in a crazy HIIT, or you are destroying me in a long run. Happy Birthday!

I will post a new workout soon, but for now here is a lovely pic from my recent runway show (details to follow)!!! Travis, me, and gym buddy!

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Race Results…and Life!

Hello, my fellow fitness lovers! Sorry for the long hiatus from posting. Injuries, chaos at work, and the eternal winter of 2014 have had me feeling rather down. Thank goodness for a little sunshine today — got me feeling more like myself!

So, back on 3/1, I ran in the Arnold Survival Race! Since my shins have been pretty tender, I decided that I was going to take it easy

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and just focus on FINISHING the race, trying every obstacle, and enjoying myself. I finished in 37:23, which, considering I had to wait in

 line for a few minutes at several of the obstacles, isn’t too disappointing. (I am hoping to be able to run a 5k in 28:00 by the end of the summer, but I have a ways to go and some shins to heal before I’ll be there.) I was thrilled that the weather forecast called for almost 50 degrees on the day of the race. With the kind of winter we had, I expected -10 and a foot of snow! Unfortunately, it did start spitting snowflakes right as we walked out the door to head to the race, but it warmed up relatively quickly, and I was comfortable through most of the race.

ImageMy friend who I had signed up for the race with didn’t end up making it out, so it was just my friend, Brian, and I. Brian is a little more of a seasoned runner than i am, and I was hobbling through a good chunk of the race so I eventually convinced him that he didn’t need to wait on me, and he ended up finishing about 4 or 5 minutes ahead of me. All-in-all, it was a blast, and I would definitely run this race again! It is a good training race since it is pretty early in the season, and I really enjoyed it!

Last week, I finally broke down and went to see an athletic trainer about my shins. While she wasn’t able to tell me anything definitive or conclusive at this time, she did recommend that I take it easy and quit running for a week or so and see if that helps. She also recommended keeping all my other workouts low-impact during that time to really weed out the possibility of just excessive soreness/shin splint pain before heading to imaging for some x-rays. I plan to follow those instructions, but today was just TOO beautiful to pass up on a run. I ran 3.25 miles in the beautiful sunshine, and am already paying for it in shin pain. Bring on the ice and ibuprofen — tomorrow it gets cold again, and I start ACTUALLY taking time off. 

In other news, I have decided to spend Lent this year focusing more on the positive and am trying to keep a gratitude journal of something I am thankful for every day. I got the idea from FitnessBarbie, and definitely think that it is a great tool for helping you to remember the positives every day. So, today I am thankful that spring is right around the corner and the chance to enjoy a warmer day.

I did actually listen to the athletic trainer, and tried to keep Monday’s workout relatively low impact. Here’s what I came up with:    Image            Image

And today was gym and lower-body strength:

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Crampin’ my Style

So, here I am 5 days away from my first 5k of the year…semi-benched from running for the time being. Granted, none of it is official (mostly because I am too stubborn to go to the doctor because I’m guessing they will bench me from running – seems more ‘official’ and obligatory if someone ELSE says it), but based on a lot of research and the nature of the pain I felt on Friday when struggling to limp through one mile, I’m thinking there’s something a little more serious going on than just sore muscles from being a beginner runner. Let it be a lesson, folks — over-training is real. I will update you all when I actually know something, but for at least the next 6 days I am going to take it easy, reduce the impact of my workouts, and live in denial. (I don’t recommend following in my limping footsteps on this one, just as advice.)

How was your weekend? Do anything exciting? On Friday night, Trav and I had a group of friends over for Wine (and Beer) and Wii. I like to think I am really good at bowling, but really I am pretty awful at ALL video games. Introducing people to the WiiU game where you go around and pick up all the candies and try to avoid the player with the fork/knife who haven’t seen it before is pretty much awesome, though. I think we are going to make Wine and Wii a monthly event. Do you have a favorite hang out activity?

Last night was pretty restless for me. I’m hoping that means that spring is around the corner — I seem to always have vivid and somewhat twisted dreams right near the change of the seasons. Regardless, I think it is time to call it a night and hope for a more restful one. Here’s today’s workout! It was definitely one to keep the heart pumping, but on a slightly lower-impact scale. Enjoy!

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A day late, a dollar short…

That pretty much describes A) This post and B) My wallet currently. Luckily, you all are wonderfully forgiving readers and you’ll excuse the mild tardiness on yesterday’s workout post. As for my wallet – thank goodness tomorrow is pay day! Between a mini- snowboarding adventure, and the joy of extra bills, this was a tight pay check.

Does this seem like an absurdly long week to anyone else? All day yesterday, I thought it was Thursday, so you can imagine my disappointment when I woke up and it wasn’t Friday. I am ready to relax and just enjoy life! Sometimes, as Americans in particular, I think we cram too much into our days and fast forward through life. We need to take more moments and just enjoy everything going on around us. Each moment and experience…

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So, get this! I ran TWO DAYS IN A ROW! Yesterday, I ran a 5k on the treadmill and today I ran 2 miles, with the second mile as interval sprints. I wasn’t even really planning to run tonight, but my lovely friend, Tania <3, wanted to check out the gym and get a few strides in, so I decided to join her for “a slow and steady mile,” and, well, I guess I was feeling ‘frisky’ because I finished my mile and did another in sprints. I swear…I’m not a runner. Not really sure where this is coming from.

Alright, I have been battling to avoid an on-coming migraine, so I’m going to call it a night. Here’s the workouts from today and yesterday for your sweating pleasure!

*Cardio on Wednesday was a 3-mile run

*Cardio on Thursday was (supposed to be) 10-minutes of steady state, and then round two of the Winter Shape Up workout #4, as posted here!

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Owning the Week

First off, shout out to Gym Buddy on a kick-butt 10-mile run today! Told you February wasn’t going to be a total bust! Also, a huge shout out to my mom! She has officially signed up for her first 5k!

Today continued the upward swing on my gym trips!! It’s such an amazing feeling to go to the gym and kill a workout. Conversely, it is such a frustrating one to go to the gym ready to kill a workout and not have the strength or feel well enough to do it. After nearly 3 weeks semi- under the weather, I cannot even begin to explain how good it feels to be back!

Work is settling into a bit more of a groove as well. Since the Ohio weather is starting to calm down a little bit, it has been much easier to schedule patients and keep them on the schedule. I even got to spend part of the day working on some of the projects that actually make me feel accomplished in my job. I am not so great at the nitty-gritty of my job. I am such a ‘big picture’ thinker! I love when I get to use that skill to strategize and build/improve processes. It makes me feel good at what I spend 2/3 of my life doing.

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Anyway, today was Winter Shape Up day!!! I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in this 4-week workout. Added bonus – there is a Facebook group of amazing Winter-Shape-Upers constantly encouraging one another along the way. It has been a total blast. I highly encourage doing something to mix up your workout every once in a while. Whether it is attending a group fitness class, or doing a workout designed by someone else, I can almost promise that it will challenge you differently.

For the Week 4 workout, Fitnessista has a wonderful video online. Since I generally do the workout at the gym and not by a computer, I typed up a print out based on the video. I encourage you to watch her video though – I’m not sure I named every move “by the books.” In addition to this *killer* HIIT, I did 10-minutes warm up on the eliptical and the below strength session. 

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New Week, New Triumphs

I ran 4 miles today!!! Now, it’s no marathon or anything, but for someone who really just started on the running band wagon, someone who’s never really ran more than a 5k distance at once EVER, it was a pretty awesome milestone! My shins (particularly the right one) were still bugging me a little, and I tweaked my ankle sometime this past week (either in my very forced run last Monday or snowboarding over the weekend), but other than that, it felt good! I have been reading a lot of other blogs about adventures in running, and have found some great motivation in hearing that many runners started out just like me! Just the average girl with a desire for fitness and a sense of accomplishment. I have especially been enjoying WeRunForCupcakes. Their blog is so inspirational and motivating! After reading Jess’s stories about her struggles when she first began her love affair with running, I felt a lot more at ease with where I currently am in my journey.

Sometimes, I get so frustrated. I feel like, in the fitness world, how far and how fast you can run is a measure that equates with how in shape you are. In all reality, that is only ONE facet of many things that makes one ‘in shape,’ (individual fitness goals, healthy body composition, etc all factor into that equation) but it has always been one that I have measured myself against. And since I really haven’t ever consistently ran, it was a measure that always left me feeling disappointed and frustrated in myself. Those emotions pushed me further and further from even TRYING to run. After all, it’s not a whole lot of fun doing something that always makes you feel like a failure. It has only been recently that I have been able to start to build a healthy relationship with running, and I think I see good things in our future! Stories like Jess’s and encouragement from Gym Buddy are certainly helping along the way!

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Aside from the mega sense of accomplishment I am 

feeling after today, it was great to have a good workout after the crap-shoot that was most of last week. My only semi-good workout last week was Thursday when I did the Winter Shape Up workout #3 and this strength session. THursday was the first day that I was feeling almost normal, so I went into the gym with the mentality of “I’m going to kick this workout’s butt” and I made that happen. And, man, did it feel good.

I didn’t get much gym time in this weekend, but I did spend a day on the mountain snowboarding! After almost 15 years of riding, it still succeeds in kicking my butt! I had an absolute blast on the mountain with Trav and Kyle. I am relatively certain that I am going to be sore for the rest of the week. And somehow in conversation throughout the weekend, I am pretty sure that I committed to a multiple-mile biking adventure this summer. So…that’ll be interesting! I used to ride all over the Ohio countryside with my childhood best friend, Caroline. Somewhere along the line I lost interest and biking became a chore instead of an adventure. Maybe I just need company as good as Caroline’s always was??

 

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Well, after my run today and busy weekend, I am feeling pretty exhausted! below is the rest of y workout from today – overall it was a pretty light weight lifting day since I had planned on focusing on the running portion of my workout, primarily! Hope it is a wonderful week!!!

Hump Day

Well, I’ve made it this far. This week has been frustrating, to say the least. Work has been hectic, and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. My cold has decided to return with a vengeance, so I’m tired and not feeling well. Since I haven’t been feeling well, my workouts have been lighter and crappier than I’d like, which isn’t helping to improve either of the aforementioned stresses.

But, I’ve made it past hump day, so the week is more than halfway over. Tomorrow is a new day, and we’re not far away from a whole new week. I plan to make the most of it, and do my best to snap out of the funk I’ve been trapped in. Unfortunately, my normal strategy for dealing with stress is to amp up my workouts, and since this cold has been kicking my butt and stealing my energy, that option’s kind of been taken off the table. What are your stress relief strategies? Do they change when you aren’t feeling well? Suggestions would be much appreciated! I am told that I am gonna give myself a heart attack if I don’t quit stressing.

Guess what! I just signed up for another 5k! So, I have the Arnold Survival Race coming up in less than a month (HOLY CRAP, is it that soon?!?! Gym buddy, time to make me run more!) and then The COLOR Run in July! If you’ve never done a 5k, the Color Run is a GREAT race to start with! The atmosphere is a blast, and the color stations help to break up the race, so even for a NOT runner, it is relatively easy to get through. I had so much fun running it with Trav’s sister, Cara, and her roommates last year that we decided to do it again! My mom is even considering joining this year!

Ok, I owe you a few workouts, and then it’s time for me to hit the hay. I have *got* to kick this darn cold to the curb. So over it, already!

Here’s Monday’s and Wednesday’s workouts:

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Tuesday was the Winter Shape Up week #3 work out! I modified it slightly to focus more on shoulders than biceps (substituted lateral raises for the curls) since I had done bicep work out Monday. Never fails, Gina kicks my bootay!!

So, now it’s way past my sick-y bed time. Have a good Thursday!!!

OUT of the Groove

There are two sides to every coin. If Monday was “Head’s up,” my on-day, shiny side, today was the backside of that coin. I could not get into a groove to save my life! I was off all day at work – it’s like I couldn’t formulate the words in my mouth to say what I wanted to say to patients. I felt crummy. I tried to spoon my dinner onto my plate with the lid to my sauce pan. Not sure where I left my mind, but… COME BACK TO ME!!! I shoulda had it micro-chipped like Bella kitty….Image

Yes, my cat totally poses for the camera.

Since I was out of it today, I decided to take it a little easier on my workout. I did workout #2 from the Winter Shape Up! Definitely NOT in-and-of itself an easy workout, but I held back a little on the Tabata intervals, repeated/modified some of the strength sessions (I switched out the bicep curls since I did biceps yesterday, and added another circuit.) and voila! a workout to fit the pace of my day.

My extra circuits were:

  • Stability Ball Push Ups
  • Stability Ball Chest Press
  • Stability Ball Flyes
  • Cable Cross-overs
  • Tricep Pushdowns

And, since I owe ya one…or a couple…yesterday’s workout was a HIIT, followed by back and biceps!

HIIT (0:50/0:10)

  1. Mountain Climbers
  2. Side Plank Rows (R)
  3. Burpees
  4. Side Plank Rows (L)
  5. Up up, Down downs
  6. Squat and Press
  7. Jump Overs
  8. Kettlebell Swings
  9. Tuck Jumps
  10. Plank Jacks
  11. Push ups
  12. Temple Tap Abs
  13. 1-Leg V-ups
  14. Flutter Kicks
  15. Plank

Strength – Back & Biceps

  • Close Grip Lat Pull-downs
  •    Resistance Band Face Pulls
  • Seated Rows
  • Bent Over Dumbbell Row
  • Dumbbell Curls
  • Cable Curls
  • Mid-Back Cable Rows
  • Hammer Curls

And with that…I am ready to put an end to this day. See ya tomorrow!