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Friday, June 22, 2012

Oh, spinning...how I've missed thee.

Well, I'm finally getting around to updating my blog after spending most of the week in Grand Teton National Park.  We had a great time camping and seeing all kinds of wildlife.  The weather was cool - lows in the 30's and highs in the 60's.

I am happy to report that I am still going strong with my running streak!  On Tuesday, our first full day of camping, I did just a mile and half run around the campground.  I was still nursing my legs after my 20 miler on Monday.  We spent the rest of the day driving around Grand Teton and Yellowstone parks, stopping every once in a while to get out of the car and move around a bit.  In the evening while we were enjoying our campfire, I did some stretching and Yoga poses to help alleviate some of the tension in my legs and back.  On Wednesday my 12 year old son joined me for a morning run, again around the campground.  This time we did about 2.5 miles.  I was still feeling pretty tired, after late nights and early mornings.  Yesterday (Thursday) I didn't have time to fit in my mile in the morning, since we were cleaning up camp and packing the car and trailer.  Then we spent the majority of the afternoon driving home.  When we got home I had to get to work on putting things away and starting the loads and loads of laundry, then after we all had showered and cleaned up, my husband said he wanted to take me to dinner - just the two of us, which was so nice after being in close quarters with 4 rowdy kids for 4 days!  After we came home from dinner, I put on some shorts and a tank top and jumped on the treadmill and did a little over a mile.  I normally don't like to run right before bed, but it actually felt pretty good.

This morning I was back to my routine.  I went to the gym where I ran for 15 minutes on the treadmill (1.50 miles) to get the heart pumping, then I did 40 minutes of upper body strength training.  Finally, I did an hour spinning class.  Afterward I had the chance to talk with the instructor for a few minutes in the locker room.  She's a gorgeous girl, a 30-something mother of 3 kids with an amazing work ethic.  She competes in weightlifting competitions as a fitness model (I think) and she is also a certified trainer with a master's degree in sports/fitness/nutrition/physiology - something along those lines.  Anyway...she definitely has the experience and credentials to give advice on how to get your body into the shape that you desire.  I asked her a few questions about how to become more lean and less "soft".  It's been about 4 months now since I added weight training to my workouts, at least consistently.  Before that, I did a lot of Pilates and Yoga and things like that, but I've been trying to tone up my arms and core and gain some strength in my legs to help with my running.  I haven't really notice that much of a difference.  I still feel jiggly, despite a gazillion hours a week doing my various cardio activities and a couple days a week of weights.  One of the main tips she had for me was to start doing weights FOUR days a week.  She was pretty adamant that if I would consistently lift four days, in alternating sets by muscle group, before doing my cardio that I would start to see more changes.  She also suggested a certain kind of protein powder supplement to take after my workouts.  I have been using protein powder in my daily smoothies for a long time, but I had been using a soy-based powder.  I recently read an article about the benefits of using a whey-based powder (which is also what Kara Goucher suggests in her book), so I think I'll give that a try.  There are additional things in the powder that help with fat burning and building lean muscle tissue.  Anyway, I came away from our conversation with some ideas for changes in my workout routine.  I figure if I'm going to devote this much time and effort to my training, I might as well train as smart as I can.  After all, in the scheme of things, I'm still a novice.  All of you long time readers of my blog know I've only been running for about 2 1/2 years and just 6 short years ago I weighed almost 70 pounds more than I do today!

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