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!!!

Workout Changes = Kick my Butt!

I love workouts that teach me something about myself and/or my workout style. As I posted on Monday, yesterday I participated in workout #1 of the Winter Shape Up (the printout is available via the link). For the past month or so I have been pretty well independently designing my own workouts (with a little input/distraction from people at the gym). I have felt like I have been pushing myself and adding new and challenging elements to my workouts…and then I did another workout designed by someone else. One word – OUCH!

Gina’s first workout of the Winter Shape Up definitely challenged me differently than even my own HIIT/Tabata style workouts. I modified a few elements (I repeated the squats/lunges x3 times to get in a lower body session, but did just one set of the upper body work since I strength-trained upper body on Monday), and I was definitely huffing and puffing by the end! This workout was awesome because I was able to complete it in about 35 minutes (with the additional lower body reps), so it was perfect for a day when I had plans after work (Happy Birthday, Travis!), but I still felt like I had gotten a complete strength/cardio session in!

Doing this workout also showed me that, despite the variety that I try to add into all my different workouts, I still have fallen into some patterns in my workout design. You like what you like, and I’m noticing that, for me, it tends to impact the elements I use most often in my workouts. Changing elements in your routine helps to allow continued progression and prevent plateauing. Whether it’s running at a different time of the day, changing the order/reps/sets of exercises, or doing a different workout all together, change keeps your body guessing and promotes physical change.

Well, that’s all for now. I will have another workout up tonight!

Fitness for Christmas!

Christmas was all about FITNESS this year!!! I am so excited to share my gifts with you all!

#1 and #2… Cook books! Chef Del is a NY Times bestselling author, whom I have been privileged to learn from at the Wellness Forum here in Columbus. In his cookbooks, Del explains much of the diet and lifestyle taught by the Wellness Forum, and explains the role it has played in his journey from a hefty 475lbs to nearly his optimal body weight, where he is today. While I am still learning a lot about the Wellness Forum’s concepts on a healthy lifestyle, I have been thoroughly impressed with the way they are able to back up their concepts with science. 

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Dr. Popper, founder of the Wellness Forum, supports a plant-based diet, which has been shown to have remarkable impacts on both health and fitness throughout life. I highly encourage checking out some of the information on their site! You 

can even join the Forum (even if you are not a Columbus local) for a very reasonable fee. Membership gives you access to additional resources on their site.

I haven’t  gotten to try any of the recipes from the books yet, but I have had a few of his creations from the Wellness Forum’s food case and meal events, and let me tell you…THEY ARE INCREDIBLE!

 

#3 A FitBit One!

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Oh, if I could only for this one! It is going to be beyond amazing to have the ability to track my workouts, activity levels, and sleep patterns without having to do it all manually! I know that one of the biggest negative factors in my ability to keep up with my fitness routines and continue to make progress has *always* been my sleeping habits (funny since I work for a sleep lab now!). I am a night owl. I have been since I was little. Only problem is that now, it catches up with me a lot quicker. I definitely notice my mood and energy levels are WAY different when I get 4 hours of sleep instead of 6 or 8. describe to you how excited I am f

I am also excited to see how active I am throughout the day. I work a desk job, so most of my day is (or seems) pretty sedentary. I try to get up and walk around every hour or so, but some days we are just far too busy for that. Maybe I need a treadmill desk?? Like this! Hmmm…somehow I don’t think I am going to be able to get my company to foot the bill for that one…now matter how well I can explain the benefits! Shucks.

Overall, it was definitely a fantastic Christmas, and I am looking forward to using my new tools to continue to understand in progress in my fitness journey. What tools are you looking forward to using in 2014? 

Look for FitBit stats on workouts to come!

 

Speaking of workouts, I loved this weekend’s Tabata style workout so much that I decided to do another today! I also brought back the standard bench press into my upper body routine – an exercise I have been wimping out on for a while. Normally, I am not the kind of girl who cares what other people think about the exercises I am doing. I also know my limits pretty well, so I am a decent judge of what I can or cannot do. For some reason, though, I have had a total mental block on the bench press lately! I kept picturing myself going up to press just the bar and dropping it or not being able to get it back up, so I have been avoiding it completely. I am happy to say that, not only did I survive the bench press, but I was able to lift MORE than the bar, and do three sets of 10 reps! Take that, bar! Here is the breakdown from my entire workout today. It was challenging, but not too ridiculously so.

Tabata 1: (0:20 work, 0:10 rest x8)

  • High Knees
  • Sumo squat jumps
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Tuck Jumps

Strength Set (3x)

  • Push ups (Rotating, Triangle, Regular)
  • Bent over Row w/ Tricep Kickback
  • Lateral Front Raises

Tabata 2:(0:20 work, 0:10 rest x8)

  • Up up, down downs
  • Mountain Climbers

Strength Set (3x)

  • Stability ball Overhead Tricep Extensions w Kettlebell
  • Stability Ball Chest Press
  • Stability Ball Flyes
  • Stability Ball shoulder Press

Tabata 3: (0:20 work, 0:10 rest x8)

  • 3-way Froggers
  • Plank Jacks
  • Jump overs
  • Burpees

Strength Set (3x)

  • Bench Press
  • Tricep Bench Dips
  • Plank Reaches

Soon, I am going to have to bring running back into my weekly workouts. I signed up to run a 5k Survival Race at the Arnold Fitness Expo! I am excited, but I have a little work to do before I am up to even a 5k again. Stupid shin splints. 

Ok, that’s all for tonight, folks! 🙂