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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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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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!!!

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!!!!

Gym and Wine

So, taking vacation RIGHT after the holidays might not have been the BEST plan. I have had so many not-full work weeks that I’m not going to know what to do with myself when I actually work every day! Plus, I am totally still in “it’s not routine time…it’s FUN time” mode… which makes gym time (as enjoyable as it is) twice as difficult.

So, a note on that… My workouts are long. I design them that way because I truly enjoy my time at the gym. It is kinda like a sanctuary to me (which I have called it on multiple occasions). It is a place that I can go and visit with random people (which as an extrovert, I enjoy!), or I can blast my music on my iPod and shut the world out for an hour or two. As a healthcare manager, I am surrounded by people all day, every day and often times, I am talking to only the angry and frustrated ones. Sometimes I need some time to be away from that side of my life and in a totally different world. And to be honest, in some ways I live for that part of my day. So, I design my workouts to take enough time that I can relish in those moments.

However, I know that I (and most everyone in the WORLD!) don’t always have an hour and a half to devote to working out. Part of the beauty of my workout designs is that the HIIT, Tabata, Cardio, or strength sessions could be done completely independently of one another as a complete workout all to themselves. I usually devote my HIIT/Tabata at least partially to whatever muscle group I am focusing on for the day, so you can get a great workout by doing just that. Or, if you aren’t feeling the cardio, the strength training makes for a great workout on its own as well!

Without further ado… here’s today’s workout!

HIIT (0:50/0:10)

  1. Mtn Climbers
  2. Jumping Jacks / Box Jumps
  3. Squat Jumps
  4. Star V-ups (Just like V-ups, but instead of going back down to the mat, keep abdominals flexed and extend arms overhead and legs out into a star shape.)
  5. Sumo Squat Jumps
  6. 3-way Froggers
  7. Scissor Legs (Lie flat on your back and raise legs to ~45* angle. Cross left leg of right and then reverse in a scissor pattern.)
  8. Split Squat Jumps
  9. Plank Jacks
  10. Burpees
  • Stability all Leg Curls
  • Dumbbell Step Ups
  • Dumbbell Side Lunges
  •                 Superset with weighted Plie Squats
  • Barbell Good Mornings
  • Barbell Lunges
  •                 Barbell Toe Raises
  • Leg Press
  • Leg Curls
  • Leg Extensions
  • Walking Lunge w/ Twist (25lb Plate)

Tonight I also attended a wine tasting at one of the favorite spots, House Wine. The theme was “Italy Under $20,” and the rep spent a few moments explaining the grapes and growing region of each wine. A couple favorites from the tasting were: Casale del Giglio Petit Verdot ($20) and Tacco Barocco Negroamaro ($13). The Petit Verdot packed a punch, but waas well-balanced enough to be drinkable. The Negroamaro was lighter with a lot of bold spice and almost sweet bitterness. If you are looking for a new wine to sip, check them out! 

What a day(s)!!!

Yesterday, I decided to take advantage of a Groupon purchase I made a few months ago and finally visited Title Boxing Club! I braved the wee hours of the morning and hit the 6AM boxing class. It was a challenging and exhilarating workout – I honestly didn’t expect to be pushed so hard! More on that later (I am working on a full review of the experience). After boxing, I went to work, and then hit the gym for my normal lifting session (minus the cardio work, since I spent an hour on that in the morning). By the end of the day, I was completely exhausted and decided to head to bed instead of getting my workout posted.

After spending the morning hitting bags and doing fist push-ups, I thought it was appropriate to continue to work my upper body, so I focused on Chest/Triceps. Here is my strength training session from yesterday night: (PS, this one is also a WaterCooler Wellness original!!!)

Strength Training

  • Incline barbell chest press
  • Incline dumbbell flyes
  • Shoulder tap planks
  • Flat bench Press
  • Skull Crushers
  • Bench-balance V-crunches
  • Behind the head single arm Tricep extensions (Focus on bringing the weight down towards your opposite shoulder. Lock your elbow in place and focus on moving only the forearm.)
  • Cable Cross overs (high position)
  • Tricep push-downs
  • Rolling ball push-ups (Place one hand on the floor, one on a medicine ball. Do one push-up. Then, while in plank, roll the ball to the opposite hand and do another push-up.)

After two days in a row of upper body, plus an intense boxing session, my upper body was completely dead. I decided to work lower body today. I designed a workout that I intended to be challenging, but a little lower scale then normal. Well, perhaps I misjudged how exhausted I really am because this one was definitely a challenge!

Cardio

Run 1 mile. (I kept telling myself to take it easy, but once I got on the treadmill and got going, I ended up doing 2 miles with a little incline walking after the first. I couldn’t help it! I added a couple of new songs to the ol’ iPod today, and they cued up right as I was about to call it quits on the treadmill and got me all pumped up again! Never underestimate the value of a good playlist for your workouts!)

Strength

  • Side lunges with Dumbbell
  • Medicine Ball Squats
  • Dumbbell Step-ups (tall box)
  •                Plie Hops w/ Medicine Ball
  • Walking lunges
  • Leg Extensions
  • Leg Press Machine
  •                 Split Squat Jumps
  • BOSU Squats w/ Dumbbells
  • BOSU Deadlifts
  • BOSU Jump Over side squats (One foot will be on the BOSU, one on the ground to start. Come down into a squat. As you come up, hop over the BOSU, switching which foot is on the BOSU and which foot is on the ground. These were super challenging!)
  •                 Tree Pops (These are like a cardio version of single leg dead lifts, but without weights. When you bring your leg back in, instead of stopping at standing straight up, bring knee up towards chest and hop on standing leg. This really works every part of your lower body and core as you work to maintain balance and stability!)

Ok, I promise to tell you all about my Title Boxing trip this weekend, but I am beyond exhausted tonight! At least next week is a short one  with the Christmas holiday. (Can you believe it is Christmas time already?!)