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!

Breakin’ in the New Shoes!

Well, that Super Bowl was entirely depressing! As a *huge* Denver fan, I would have really appreciated it if the Broncos had decided to SHOW UP for the game. Props to Seattle though — their defense was definitely every bit as good as advertised. And how about that half-time show?! I’ve never really cared all that much about Bruno Mars…don’t dislike him, but don’t own any of his albums kinda thing…but he totally killed it! Best half-time show in a while.

What did you eat during the game? I managed to keep it relatively healthy with this KILLER ImageMexican pizza! The crust is whole-wheat, then covered with a cilantro white-bean pesto (cannelloni beans, garlic, lemon juice, and LOTSSSSSS of cilantro), and then corn, black beans, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and avocado to top. It was another recipe from my “Better Than Vegan” cookbook that I got for Christmas!

In my last post, I told you all about my fancy-schmancy new running shoes…I gotta say, they seem to be making a definite difference! Maybe some of it is just the mental pizazz of new workout gear (Does anyone else get that extra kick of motivation from being in a new workout outfit or new shoes? Maybe it’s my girly side…), but I was able to push myself and get in a 3.5-mile run today. I know it’s not a ton, but that was more than I set out to do today, and I was able to do it at a quicker pace than any of my runs since last summer. Yay for progress!

After my run (and on legs that were already feeling somewhat like jello!) I managed to get in a killer leg session. Overall, I was totally in the workout groove today. This was one of the best workouts that I have had in a while! I completely know that I am going to feel it tomorrow….

Cardio – 3.5 miles! Woot!

Strength – Legs

  • BOSU Barbell Squats
  • BOSU Barbell Deadlifts
  • Barbell Good Mornings
  •                 BOSU Jump Over Squats 15
  • Walking Dumbbell Lunges
  • Leg Curls
  • Leg Extensions
  •                 Split Squat Jumps
  • Single-Leg Deadlifts
  • Smith Machine Sumo Squats
  • Bulgarian Split Squats

Enjoy and make it a great week!!!!

Friday’s Workout and New Kicks!

Friday was a running day for me. With a 5k coming up in less than a month (eek!), and now that I am finally (mostly) over my cold, it’s definitely time to start building up some endurance. I have always had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with running. I love the progress that you can see with running. Whether it’s increasing distance or time or even improving form, the results are evident and easily measurable. For me, it has always been extra challenging to get into a groove with running though. I can knock out 100 Burpees, no problem, but ask me to run a mile and it’s like I crumble! Maybe it has something to do with the style of workouts I tend to like best (described in this post) or maybe it is some long-standing mental block, but I have the hardest time running.

One of the other issues I have always had is shin splints. If you have never experienced them, consider yourself lucky! It adds a whole different challenge to adding running into a fitness routine. After a lot of reading up on shin splints and running injuries, I came to the conclusion that my 2-year old, el cheapo running shoes were probably a significant source of the problem. After much debate and self-battle over parting with my hard-earned dollars and cents (yea, I’m kinda a cheap-a$$ sometimes), I finally caved and went to Fleet Feet for some new kicks.

Now, if you are a “runner” (at any level) and have never been to an actual running shoes store, I highly, highly recommend changing that! Fleet Feet is also an excellent choice destination! The Occupational Therapy student nerd in me was in complete heaven!

After a few questions about your athletic/training goals, one of the first steps they take is (surprisingly) NOT pulling down the most expensive pair of shoes off the wall and handing them to you. Actually, you start off their “analysis” completely barefoot! I spent about 2 minutes running barefoot on a treadmill while the store expert filmed my gait. It is amazing how much you can learn about gait just by filming a few minutes of your foot strike and stride on a treadmill!

From the movement analysis, Dave (the wonderful associate who assisted me) was able to tell me that -like many runners- I over-pronate, especially on my left foot, leading to my ever-so-common shin pain. By switching to a shoe with a firmer support in the arch, my foot and ankle would be better supported, keeping me in better form throughout my stride. 

After trying a few pairs on for size (actually a size and a half larger than what I normally wear. Did you know most people choose running shoes in too small a size? Since you are placing such an additional force on your feet by running, your foot actually needs a little extra room to expand!) and going for a test run (lame pun intended 😉 ) on the treadmill, I ended up with these awesome Sauconys!  Image

I am still getting used to them, but so far, I am thoroughly enjoying the difference they seem to be making! I was able to complete a 3 mile run on Friday and a 3.5 mile run today! Normally doing that much running that close together would kill my shins, but today was actually a little less painful even than Friday. Plus, I was able to up my pace! I might be able to get into this whole running thing yet…but shh! don’t tell gym buddy…I’ll end up doing 10-milers or something crazy like that!

Ok, before I start totally rambling, here is the rest of Friday’s workout. Today’s leg session to follow!

  • Dumbbell Step Ups with Kickback
  • Tricep Kickbacks w/ Row
  • Tricep Overhead Pulls
  • Smith Machine Squats
  • Single Leg Deadlifts
  • Push-ups (Regular, Triangle hand positions)
  • Bench Press
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Tricep Extensions
  • Tricep Bench Dips

 

PS, this post was not sponsored or endorsed by Fleet Feet or Saucony. The opinions in this post are just that – opinions – based on my own personal experience.

Much Needed Yoga Day

Well, after a crazy work week, I am a couple of workout posts behind. My team lead, Positively Bri, got a wonderful opportunity to advance her career, so has decided to move on to a new position. I am so incredibly proud and excited for her…but she will be sorely missed as a member of my work team. Since we are a relatively small office that handles a relatively large patient base, losing anyone makes for a little bit of craziness, but especially someone with the talent and impact she has had. We will miss you!!

After a week of craziness, I was definitely ready for some relaxation. Yoga was just the prescription I needed. I did a couple of videos, including this flow from Melissa Bender and a great 10-minute stretch session with Tara Stiles. These two are a couple of y favorite go-tos for online yoga videos. They both post a variety of videos, with a lot of “entry level” options. For someone who is relatively new to yoga practice, they are a great at-home option.

Ok, so I still owe you a couple workouts, but here is my strength session from Wednesday! After a frustrating work day, I kicked this one off with a 2-mile run. Enjoy!

Strength – Shoulders, Abs, Calves

Abs: (1:00 each)

  • Russian Twists
  • Double Leg Raises
  • Single Leg V-up
  • Bicycles

on the BOSU

  • Dumbell Shoulder Presses w Squat
  • Dumbbell Lat Raises
  • Plate Drivers
  • Barbell Shoulder Press (front/back) (Do these shoulder presses continuously moving the bar from the front to the back of your head.)
  • Front Barbell Raise
  • Barbell Rear Delt Raises
  • Barbell Calf Raises