Wednesday, August 31, 2011
A bit of Inspiration...
“The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch.” ~ Jim Rohn
Run Day! Nothing too exciting to report for today, other than it was another completed, successful, strong 30 minute run. Yay!
It was apparently the first day of school today, and living across from a high school meant I had to wade through a sea of 14 year old's looking terrified, for the first part of my run, but other than that, it was good times. It was cold when I started out this morning (55!), but a great temperature to run, I've decided.
I think I may rearrange my schedule a bit so that tomorrow is a Rest Day. I was pretty stiff when I got up this morning... I seem to have run it out of me, but I'm afraid how much of a granny-hobble I'll be sporting this afternoon.... LOL. Sometimes, you just need a rest.
On which note, I'm off to hop in the shower and get on with the day. Seriously, showering after hot, sweaty workouts may, in fact, be my favorite part. So freakin' refreshing!
Before I go, though, I'd like to give myself a big virtual pat on the back, for getting up at 7am, solely to RUN. Why? I had stuff to do today, didn't know when else I'd be able to fit it in, so since it *had* to be done (there's no option any more), I got up early. Unprecedented. Go me!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
“The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.” ~ Roger Bannister
It's Lifting Day, peeps. Still feeling awesome from yesterday's success in my run, which definitely helped me push on, today. I'm still sore in my gluteus medius (I think, perhaps?); although this doesn't seem to effect the running, it does effect lifting days. Particularly during exercises like Thrusters, where I'm squatting weight. Yeeeouch. It just feels tight, and stiff, and a little sore... but not like pain. Does that make sense? Anyway, that said, here's what I was up to, today:
5 rounds, with two 21 lb. dumb bells of:
- Bent Rows x6
- Upright Rows x6
- Military Presses x6
- Good Mornings x6
- Split Squats x6
- Thrusters x6
- Deadlifts x6
Found this on my (reconnected!) internet, and I just had to share. I've been getting a lot of dubious looks surrounding this process of mine, and this really just described what I've been feeling. So, I'm off to set up my workout for today (Lifting Day!), and for all those people who think I can't run a Spartan Race, or I can't learn to Run 5 miles, or I can't lose the weight and get into better shape...
Monday, August 29, 2011
Spartan Shape-up, Day 40:
I DID IT. 30 minute run. That is my first attained benchmark on this new journey. Feeling pretty awesome about that. It went like this...
5 minute warmup walk, as usual, the it's week 7, #1, of my Podrunner intervals podcast... which calls for a 25 min. run. It was a lovely post-dinner run, it was cool out, and I was actually enjoying myself. I actually stopped looking at the time every two seconds, and just went. Which I think, incidentally, made time go by faster. Lol.
Then, I ran strong up an incline (happy to say that I even accelerated!) and hit 25 minutes.... then I suddenly realized that 25 was so close to 30... and I had the usual down-the-hill and across the parking lot to go..... so why not push for it?? (The Spartan Chicks message board has been super inspirational!) So on I ran... and ran.... and got a cramp, hardcore, in my side. 'Shiiiiit!' I said to myself, but glanced at my clock and realized I was only a minute and thirty seconds away from hitting the 30 minute mark. Cramp be damned! I probably looked ridiculous, swearing under my breath and running with one arm over my head.... But! I DID IT. 30 minutes. I'm so excited. It's the first real benchmark in progress, thus far.
I feel great though. Nothing like tangible proof that I'm actually progressing! Yes!
And, since (thanks, hurricane.) I'm still mobile blogging, I'm gonna cut this one short! Just goes to show though... if you want it bad enough...
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Spartan Shape-up, Day 39 (part 2!):
Alright, so this 'Hurricane Day' is a bit ridiculous. Just rain. Not all that windy yet... but it has still managed to be annoying enough to knock out my satellite TV, and now my internet. Thankfully, through the wonders of technology, we have mobile blogging. Onto the workout!
Today was a de facto Lifting day. I've been using heavier weights (21 pound each, dumbbells), which consequently, seems to mean that I am done in 4 circuits, instead of 5. I think that's alright though. The heavy weight, but the no-break circuits seem to be providing the same workout. I was actually reading about these DB complexes online, and it seems to be that more weight and less rounds is prime for building muscle. Excellent!
So, what'd I do today?
- 5 min jump rope w/u. Still can't get double unders, but I can at least now jump the full 5 minutes.
4 rounds of:
- upright rows x6
- high pull snatch x6
- squat push press x6
- bent row x6
- high pull snatch x6
I'm feeling pretty good about that today, particularly since I am a bit sore. I seem to have somehow strained my gluteus medius? Gluteus minimus? My low, lower back or upper butt (tmi, right? Lol). It's hurting. I Was cringing a bit during the squat section, so I took it as a sign to listen to my body and not try to grit my teeth through a 5th round. Besides, I'm saving up some gusto for another 25 minute run tomorrow....
That said, I think I'm off to rub on some Tiger Balm (my best friend through this journey!), and relax for the rest of the day, knowing happily that even a hurricane couldn't disrupt my commitment to these training goals! Wahaha!
No one ever excused his way to success. ~Dave Del Dotto
Well, today is 'touch-down' day for impending Hurricane Irene, here in lovely VT. I'm not really sure it's going to be all that destructive, by the time it gets here, but it will probably get a bit crazy outside. Knowing that, I set my alarm for 8am this morning (Yeah. It could've been early, but it's SUNDAY, people.), thinking I'd beat the weather and get a run in this morning. I was even prepared to run in a bit of a sprinkle. HOWever, I got up at 8am, and we were in full-swing downpours. I pondered running anyway (I get pretty soaked with sweat anyway, what's the difference?), but it just seemed like a stupid plan.
BUT, not to be thwarted, I'm readjusting the training schedule, and I guess today will become a day to lift and do weights. I'm even planning ahead (should the power go out), and I've written down my workout, so I have no excuse not to do it later.
I'm pretty excited about the progress I've made, as far as not making excuses. Like, this is just what I do now, and I just find a way to make it happen.
With that, stay tuned... Power-outtages willing, I'll post my completed workout later. Don't let the Hurricane Stop you!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Some days, it's just a workout.
Okay, so some days life gets in the way (like today, I spent most of the day at the Quechee Scottish Fest, watching burly men in kilts throw around heavy things. lol), and it is a challenge to fit in the workout. However, you MAKE time for things that are important.
I'm headed out tonight for a UFC viewing party, but I had a couple hours in between to get some stuff done, so I decided I would squeeze in a workout. Maybe it wouldn't be as long/complete as other, but some is better than none at all. I'm proud of myself, I reaaaallly just wanted to nap (a day in the sun will do that to you).
However, I rallied, and here's what I ended up with:
- Squats (50)
- Push ups (50)
- Split Squats (50 total)
- Dips (50)
- Calf Raises (with 40lbs) (50)
- Lunges (30) - Time was up, and my knee felt tweaky
- Russian Twists (with 20lbs) (60)
- Ball Crunches (60)
Friday, August 26, 2011
"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals."
I ran 25 minutes today. Solid. No breaks. Holy shit. Let's just take a moment on that one. WOW. I remember when I started this, I struggled to run a 3 minute segment. Today I did 25, and felt GOOD doing it. At the tail end of it, I was tired, for sure, but if I had to, I could've pushed through a couple more minutes. That's how it's supposed to be - you're not supposed to be completely beaten to an inch of your life at the end of a run... and I wasn't today. Even though I went so long.
I just kept thinking about what I had accomplished, and I kept my head up and kept looking for the next little goal along the path (just to that tree, now to that rock, etc.) and before I knew it, 25 minutes. :-) I am feeling very proud of myself, at the moment.
My big benchmark is being able to do a 30 minute run... I'm ALMOST there, probably another 2 weeks before I can do that solidly and consistently... but it actually feels attainable, right now.
Off to stretch a little bit - I've been having some stiffness/tightness in my calves on and off... which, for me means I need to eat more bananas (I have a bit of a potassium deficiency, which is a mineral that works within your muscles, telling them to release... if they don't release, then you get tightness, and potentially huge knots...), and do some more gentle stretching.
However, today, I'm doing that all with a big, accomplished smile on my face. 25 MINUTES!.... I'm going to throw myself a tiny party when I get to a 30min benchmark run, I tell ya....
Thursday, August 25, 2011
“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Weeellll.... Today was supposed to be a 25 minute Run Day. Unfortunately, it didn't happen... Life got a little bit in the way today. Life, and pre-hurricane Irene weather. haha... It seemed that ever time I would be like okay, I can run now! It would rain. And by "rain," I mean severe downpour. Then I'd be like OKay, I'm going to go and do this, and I'll run in an hour... it's get sunny, then I'd head to put my sneakers on and it would downpour. WTF. Definitely not making excuses for not running today... I would like to report that since this was an inadvertent "rest" day, I rearranged my schedule of workouts for this week, so I still get everything in. Go Me.
No excuses, no "skipping" days... just little hurdles that are to be dealt with and readjusted. Tomorrow, it seems, will be Run Day (25 Min! AH!).
However, something productive may have come out of today. While visiting a friend today, I may have recruited her husband to race with me next year (*he* doesn't know that yet, but WAhaha...). Sounds like he's trying to get back into running, and adventure racing seems like it'd be right up his alley. What better goal than a friendly-competitive Spartan Race to work toward, to keep you moving all winter?
On that note... I'm off to drink some more water (I'm almost in the groove with this "hydration" thing...), and listen to the rain. TOMORROW, we Run! (I know I can, I know I can...)
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
“You are really never playing an opponent. You are playing yourself.” ~ Arthur Ashe
Lifting Day, today! I found some new dumbbell complexes to do, for this second set of four weeks (I'm taking my training in 4 week increments. It's manageable, that way.). The internet is a wonderful thing, in that light; you can literally find ANYthing. When I am not sure how to do an exercise, you can YouTube 450 million different how-to videos. Love it.
Anyway, on that note, Today's Dumbbell Complex:
- Arnold Press x6
- Straight-legged Deadlift x6
- Bent Row x6
- Weighted Squat x6
- Upright Row x6
- Hang Snatch x6
- Thrusters x6
- Bent Row x6
- Hang Snatch x6
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
"I am building a fire, and everyday I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match." - Mia Hamm
SO! Today was Run Day. It was officially Week 6, Mix 2 of the Podrunner Intervals series. Man I love those podcasts. I am still at the stage where I need to completely shut down my frontal lobes (so as not to focus on the difficulty of the job at hand), and go into caveman run (left, right, left, right... or sometimes, I count steps.)... and the podcasts are amazing - all I have to do is wait for the ding! run. Different Ding, Walk. No thinking.
Without further ado, today's run looked like this:
- 5 min warm-up walk
- 10 minute run
- 3 min recovery walk
- 10 minute run
- 1 minute recovery walk
- 3 minute run
I am a bit apprehensive about the upcoming run schedule though... from here on out, there are no segments shorter than 25 minutes (Thursday's run... da da DA.). Then 25, 28, and slowly working up to a solid 30 minute run. I am pushing forward with gusto for that benchmark... but yikes.
Monday, August 22, 2011
"There's something that separates the people that wake up and look forward to putting as much weight on their shoulders as they can physically handle, from everyone else."
Well, this morning I woke up to some nice fresh weather out (like 60 degrees! Yeah!), and actually anticipating my run. Who knows, maybe I'll actually enjoy this running thing one day. Then, I look at the training schedule (Yes. I have a white board with a 4 week schedule, that I check off...), and it's Lifting Day! Woo!
There is something that makes you feel really accomplished after a day of pushing around some heavy things. It's a very tangible accomplishment. You either can or you can't. Very black and white. I like that.
As far as my lifting goes, 2x/week I'm doing dumbbell complexes. That basically means stringing together a sequence of lifting exercises back to back and progressing straight through them, with no breaks in between. The "break" comes between rounds. Depending on what you're doing, etc. it can get to be surprisingly cardio-heavy. Supposedly, you're also supposed to get better results, in less time this way, by taxing the muscles continuously, in a variety of different ways, etc.
Anyway, today's run down was a bit rough for me. It was a new complex that I came across, and had never lifted before. I've also recently upgraded my weights (just a few pounds, but...), which made this a bit more challenging. SO, you'll see that I only do 4 rounds (as opposed to the usual 5ish)... BUT, 4 rounds at this higher weight gassed me just as much as 5 at the lighter weight.
- Bicep Curls x6
- Upright Rows x6
- Bent Over Rows x6
- Hang Snatch x6
- Shoulder Press x6
- Thruster x6
- Upright Row x6
- Bicep Curls x6
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Rest Day! YAY!
Well, peeps, today is REST DAY. This makes me super excited. Not because I'm not enjoying training - oddly, I find that I am - but because my body needs a day. I'm walking a little bit stiff, my hamstrings are a bit tight... And basically, I got in bed last night (early!), and slept the living bejeezus out of my bed. This morning provided a leisurely roll out of bed, and I made some zucchini muffins. They're almost healthy! Good times.
However, I had a little pang of fear this morning. Spartan Race is adding all their new dates for next year. You know what that means? It's real. I will be picking a date to run my Goal Race in the next day or two. Holy Shit. Pardon my language, but I think this merited a Holy Shit. I am excited, and eagerly anticipating it... but at the same time, a little bit scared. There will be no going back, after that. Not that I will, or would want to... it's just that. Wow. I'm really going to do it. :-)
OKay, that said, I'm off to eat a Zucchini Muffin, chill on my rest day, and *gulp* pick out a Spartan Sprint!
Saturday, August 20, 2011
So, I've been actively trying to hydrate today. Bleh. The last few weeks I have been excessively thirsty, and suspect I haven't been drinking enough - particularly with all the extra sweatiness.
Guidelines say that a normal person, excercising daily, should drink 10, 8oz. glasses of water; 80 oz. of water. That, friends, is just under two and a half of my Nalgene bottle. It feels like half the ocean.
So far, I'm through one whole bottle, plus a 20oz bottle I got with lunch. That means I just need to finish the bottomless nalgene that I am currently working on. *sip*
Seriously, is it weird that hydrating is more difficult than this morning's run??
“Picture yourself vividly as winning and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success. Great living starts with a picture, held in your imagination, of what you would like to do or be.” ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick
Today was a Run Day... and I have to say, when I went to bed last night (a wee bit stiff in the quads and hamstrings), I was really thinking that staying in bed this morning would be AWESOME. However, in an effort to keep myself motivated and accountable, I polled my friends on FB, and the consensus seemed to be that I should get up early and run, as per planned (Instead of waiting and going for an evening run, or something). Then, to tip the balance this morning, as I was checking FB from bed as part of my wake up time (shut up, you know you do it too!), Spartan Race posted this video, along with this note:
"Tough morning Spartans? One of those days you just don't want to work out? Well we brought back a great video to help you. Watch it. We need a commitment from you today."
Soooo.... I took that as a sign from the Cosmos that I should get my ass in gear. I paused to watch the video ("Imma show YOU how great I am!" - Muhammad Ali), then I dragged my ass out of bed and laced up my sneakers.
I walked out the door this morning and was met with a nice surprise - COOL air. It was only like 61 degrees. Let me tell you, that made me instantly anticipate running in the fall, because I already felt more energized at that temperature.
Workout today was Podrunner Intervals: Week 6, Mix #1. This consisted of:
- 5 Min Warm-Up Walk
- 5 min Jog
- 3 min Recovery Walk
- 8 min Jog
- 3 min Recovery Walk
- 5 min Jog
- Then I tacked on another 4 mins of Jogging to keep my total run time up.
Today I felt okay about the run. I was/am a bit stiff from yesterday's exertions, but I was able to complete each segment just fine, and I feel like my breathing is much better. I don't feel like I'm panting as much, at all... just towards the last segment I just feel like I'm running out of steam. But, I guess that's how it's supposed to be. Training my body to push the limit a little more each time.
Incidentally, I happened to look at my activity today on Runkeeper (see sidebar, and you too can view my activities!) and it seems that I actually did this at a (unintentional) FASTER pace than usual. Woot! Go me. Maybe that means I'm improving in little ways that I don't even notice, yet.
Alright. I will say that I'm eagerly anticipating tomorrow's Rest Day. Sometimes just giving myself permission to outright REST is a wonderful thing.
Friday, August 19, 2011
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle
I'm reflecting a bit about habits today. At first getting on this "schedule" of 6x/week training was difficult. I had to do it purely on the drive and internal motivation I had to get this going (which, depending on the day, could be a real fight). Now, thankfully, my brain has switched over into "habit" and I don't have to think about it anymore. It is just part of the day. When I don't do it, I feel like something is missing. That makes life a bit easier.... Especially on body weight workout day. For some reason, body weight day kicks my ass. Not that I'm sore the next day kind of ass kicking, but the in the moment, struggling and pushing through, sort of ass kicking. BUT, I guess the more the struggle, the more the gain?
Anyway, 1 Day a week is reserved for body weight exercises. I'm always looking for new ones to add to my routines, and usually (this is a highly scientific method) I just pick a bunch of them, and Go! for about 40-45 minutes, or until I can go no more.
- Squats (60)
- Pushups (50) - still on knees, wide stance arms.
- Split Squats (80)
- Dips (50) - Legs out straight only for the first 10, bent for the rest
- Calf Raises (50) - Holding 2, 20ish pound DBs.
- Lunges (50)
- Russian Twists (80) - Holding 1, 20ish pound DB
- Scissor Kicks (80)
- Ball Crunches (80)
“It takes struggle, a goal and enthusiasm to make a champion.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale
After having a little bit of an up and down day for some personal issues, unrelated to training, I was feeling a little bit down on myself. Things to the effect of, you "only" went 22 minutes. How is that ALL? You were gassed at the end of it, that chick PASSED you. Things like that. Not positive things, not constructive things, not even really relevant things. Just the stupid brain games that can creep into your brain sometimes. In light of that, I'd like to share the wise words of my Trainer Guru (who is invaluable, wonderful, and single-handedly putting up with my crazy bullshit about this process, while designing this workout schedule with/for me):
TG (Trainer Guru): 22 mins today?
Me: Yeah, had to throw in a few tiny walk breaks, though. 22 mins was a real fight. And the last 2 minutes were real slow. That pissed me off, but I was gassed.
TG: But you did it.
.....(Interlude where we discuss more specifics of the plan going forward, where I am informed that I can not just make my body adapt faster on sheer will alone)...
Me: It is just hard to say outloud that I could run "only" barely 22 min. That seems dumb.
TG: Nope. How long could you run before?
Me: LOL, you're right (as always...). I just have an issue with being a perfectionist. And I got passed running today, and that killed me. Grr. But putting in the work is all that is to be done...
TG: You are doing great. Remember, the only one you have to beat is yourself. :-)
So, tonight, I'm going to be reminding myself of those things - I Did It. Despite the fact it was hard, hot, exhausting, all those things. I DID IT, damnit. Got off the couch, put my sneakers on and got after it.
And that yes, the only one I have to beat (and my fiercest competition) is myself. After all, that's why I'm doing this - FOR myself. Must just focus on getting out of my own head, and doing the work. The rest will all just fall into place.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
"I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more. " — Chuck Palahniuk
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Involuntary Rest Day...
It is doubly annoying, as I have my new running/crossfit sneakers to try out. I got the Innov-8 f-lite 230's. They're of the new, minimalist running shoe variety. They are oddly comfortable, despite not having much in the way of cushioning. I am really excited to see how a run goes with them. My next run is supposed to be a 20 minute straight go... Is it weird that I'm actually really eagerly anticipating giving that a go? Woo! I'm pumped. Hopefully, tomorrow the blisters will allow it.
Anyway, stay tuned... :-)
Monday, August 15, 2011
Was time to put a little more challenge on. Which feels great. Maybe that makes me a bit of a masochist, but I love to find the thing that pushes me just a little bit more. Adding a bit more weight certainly does that!
Oh! Here's something cool - Looks like I'm good to go in the Working Member Program for the Crossfit gym, here. Work off my membership fees, by taking care of the front desk a couple hours a week. In exchange, I get a really awesome place to work out for the winter months (and up here in VT, having a place to work out Inside in January is key. haha). I'm excited to get started doing Crossfit. It seems like a perfect way to improve all around fitness and get into Spartan shape. I admit, here, publicly, that I'm a little bit terrified of walking into that place to work out... many of those people are in ridiculous good shape. BUT. Everyone seems really nice, and hey, we've all got to start somewhere, right?
Can't win if you don't play!
Sunday, August 14, 2011
"I'm not telling you it's going to be easy, I'm telling you it's going to be worth it."
BUT, that said, perhaps I have found myself a buddy for my Spartan Race next year! Yay! Looks like my Zumba instructor, Nicole (and incidentally, her husband) are interested in doing one, and she wants to be my buddy! Yay!
As I said to a dear friend yesterday, it is much easier to accomplish Herculean Tasks if you don't feel like you're alone in your pursuits (or that everyone thinks your ridiculous for pursuing your goal!).
It has been interesting, this journey of mine, as far as other people's reaction to it. Is it really that weird that I could transform my life, and want to be a better version of me? Geesh, people. I have had to disassociate my exercise/workout stuff from many of my friends, or at least not expect "support". That said, I've found the people that DO support me, and I have been ridiculously grateful for them.
And now... Back to my rest day!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
And in the Beginning...
So, I have had quite a life changing year. I know that sounds horribly cliche, but it's the truth. Since an eye-opening picture of myself from January 2010 flipped a switch in my brain, I've lost 60 pounds, prioritized myself, learned to think more positively, started working out on a consistent schedule, and ultimate set some clear cut goals for myself for the year ahead. I figured out who I wanted to be when I turn 30 (July 2012), and am chasing down that person. I've often found that being able to look back on my progress is helpful to inspire me to move forward... hence, here's my blog to do just that.
Perhaps now would be an excellent time to state my Ultimate Goal. My thirtieth birthday present to myself, aside from a healthier me, is going to be entering (and finishing!) a Spartan Sprint Race. For the uninformed, it's a (roughly) 5K, obstacle/adventure race, not for the faint of heart. It's going to be a long road, but I've got about a year, some knowledgeable friends who're helping me along, and a whole lot of determination.
In light of all that, on to the progress blogging!
Today, I'm in the end of my 4th week of official training. Running, 3x/week (following the Couch to 5K plan, incidentally), Lifting 2x/week (series of dumb bell exercises, strung together), and 1x/week of Body weight exercises (push ups, lunges, etc.).
Well, today (Run Day!) was a milestone. It was the first time I've ever run an extended period of time (two 8 minute segments) with only a short walk in between. It doesn't seem like a whole lot, but an 8 minute run, for someone who, 4 weeks ago, couldn't run 2 minutes, is HUGE. Plus, my total run time for today was 18 minutes. Up from 10, 4 weeks ago. My next run will be the biggest challenge, though... According to the schedule, it's just one, 20 minute run. No walking. I'm a little scared, but really energized. I am amazed at what I find myself able to do these days.
I'm feeling pretty proud of myself today. I've really stuck with this, and intend to. I want that Spartan Sword next year (and all that it will represent) real bad. What's that quote about Chasing down a dream?
Anyway, until next time... I'm off to find the ibuprofen (I think my new constant state of physical being is some gradient of stiff and/or sore), do some more hydrating and keep moving!