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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I like to learn things are going in the right direction.

It's Wednesday, which means back/biceps day!  My favorite. :)  But before I get to my workout, I have an update from my trainer, Misty.  We met up this morning for another body assessment.  It's been 4 weeks since my last one.  Today she weighed, measured and did body fat assessment.  We also discussed upcoming changes to my workout routine.  My "building muscle" phase is nearly over and I will begin adding more cardio to burn more fat and create more lean muscle.  More cardio for me will mean more running, and depending on the weather, more spinning.  Of course, I will continue to build muscle, but the change will occur in terms of going from lifting heavy weights with fewer reps to lifting slightly lighter weights with higher reps, which will apparently help me "lean out".  Man, the past 12 weeks has flown by, but I am also looking forward to switching things up.

As far as my body assessment goes, things are still moving in the right direction, which is of course a welcome thing for me to hear!!  My weight was basically the same as 4 weeks ago ~ 126 lbs. (I'm 5'3"), but my body fat percentage was down another 1.1 percent.  That puts me at 20.2% body fat ~ almost in the 'teens'!!  My measurements were all good, too.  My calf and bicep muscles were both 1/8-1/4" bigger, my waist was down another 1/2" and my chest was up 1" - yay for pecs! ;)

After Misty was finished with me, I headed to the weight room to get started on my workout.  I began with pull-ups.  Today I had Chris there to spot me.  I almost did my first one by myself, and while I'm not quite there yet, he said he could tell I'm using him (and my legs) a lot less, which means my back is continuing to get stronger.  When I finished with my weights, which took a little over an hour, I got on a treadmill.  I ran at 6.0 mph for 30 minutes, then I slowed to a walk (3.8 mph) and put the incline up to 4.5% and walked uphill for another 15 minutes.  It kind of felt like a short workout, but that's okay I guess because tomorrow - Muscle Fusion X!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Fitness cycle.

I have noticed as I've been working from a training schedule for pretty much the last 3 years of my life, that fitness - both physical and mental - is cyclical.  Typically (for me) this cycle goes about a week or two at a time.  During an "up" phase, I feel great, fit, on top of my game, killing every workout.  During a "down" phase, I feel fatigued, "off", like I'm going through the motions.  Like all things in life, I think it's important that we pass through these different stages so that we can fully appreciate when things are good.  The key is to just keep at it in a consistent manner, no matter how you feel.  I try to be "present" during all of my workouts, especially when I'm doing my strength training at the gym, but some days will still be blah.  I just do what I know I should do and that way I don't have any regrets a week later.  You know what I mean?

I think I am between phases right now.  I have been feeling a little off for almost two weeks now, so I know some good days are ahead of me.  Today is the first day of week 11 of my "Misty-fied" training schedule.  While I have been diligently tracking my training on a timeline - 11 weeks of current training schedule, 6 months of (purely) clean-eating, etc. - I am also aware that this is a lifelong thing and I plan to continue with all of my current, healthy habits indefinitely.  I am just keeping track right now for purposes of seeing my progress and staying motivated.

Since I haven't blogged since Wednesday of last week (maybe I should just start blogging once a week with a rundown of my week's workouts!), here's how the past few days have been:

Thursday: A typical Thursday for me - 1.5 hours spent in the weight room doing my 2nd weekly leg workout, then an awesome HIIT style workout with Misty's Muscle Fusion X class.

Friday: Weights included chest/shoulder/triceps for a total of 1.5 hours.  After that, an hour of spinning.

Saturday: When I woke up, the temperatures were in the 30's so I geared up and headed outside for a run at 5:45am.  Once out on the road, my feet were slipping all over the place on black ice so I went back inside to run on the treadmill.  Disappointing, but I still got in 8.2 miles in 90 minutes, then spent the rest of the day with my kids at their basketball games.

This morning I am headed to the gym for a nice, long leg workout followed by a spinning class.  I am hopeful it is going to be a fantastic week full of purposeful workouts. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Proof of change.

Today is Wednesday which, as you probably all know by now, means pull-ups!  Chris was spotting me this morning, and he took my picture as I attempted to do the first couple on my own.  I can make it about half way up before I need to use my feet against my spotter to give myself a little lift.  (Even I was surprised to see my back looks like that when my muscles are all being flexed!)

After about an hour and 10 minutes in the weight room, I headed up to a treadmill for a run.  I got lucky today and scored a spot on a treadmill right next to my trainer, Misty, who was also getting in a run for the day.  I spent 45 minutes running at 6.0 mph and the time flew by as we talked all things fitness and nutrition.  It was a happy run for me. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Shoulders, abs and speed work.

I am having fun this week, since my husband's work schedule changed and his days off are Tue. through Thurs.   We get to workout together almost every day this week!  Today we went to the gym right after we dropped the kids at school.  I got busy on my shoulder/ab work while he did his thing.

After I did my weights, I moved upstairs to a treadmill where I did my weekly interval run.  I did a pyramid, starting out at 5.5 mph and working my way up to 9.2 mph, where I did 5 X 30 second intervals at that speed, then worked my way back down.  When I finished I had gone 5.8 miles in a little over 50 minutes and my glutes were on fire!  I'm kinda, sorta starting to enjoy my speed work sessions...maybe.  ;)  And thankfully, my banged up leg didn't bother me while I ran, though it's not very pretty to look at.

Monday, January 21, 2013

5 day follow-up and the pain we suffer for strength.

Just realized I haven't blogged since Wednesday.  Here's a day-by-day recap of the days I've missed:

Thursday: Another leg/ab workout day.  I spent about an hour and a half in the weight room, then went to Muscle Fusion X class for an hour of HIIT training.  Love, love, love that class and the instructor (my trainer)!

Friday: Chest/shoulder/triceps workout.  I went up to 75 pounds on the bench press - wahoo!!  After an hour and 15 minutes in the weight room, I went to a spin class.  Great Friday workout.

Saturday:  Supposed to be my long run day, but as many of you can appreciate right now, the weather was not very cooperative.  I decided to avoid the sub-zero temperatures and hit the gym.  I did an hour of spinning followed by an hour run on a treadmill (5.5 miles).  2 hours of cardio = decent substitution for a long run, I guess.

Sunday: REST DAY!!

Monday (Today!):  First day of week 10 of my body transformation.  I spent about an hour and a half on legs, and also did a few ab exercises.  I had a little extra time before spin class, so I decided to do some box jumps.  My goal was to do 3 sets of 8-10 jumps. I found this video of a guy doing them the way I do, with the same size box:

I did my first set and made it to 8 before I felt wobbly.  Set 2, I made it to 5...attempted a 6th and failed, big time.  Somehow I lost my footing with one side and caught the step (which is approximately 2 feet tall, by the way) with my shin - in two painful spots, and even got the side of my knee.  I don't even know how.  Being that I was in a busy weight room, I tried to quickly shake it off, even though when I looked down at my leg, I saw the "dents" in my leg already turning purple.  I felt like crying from the pain, but instead I decided to just try to do my third set.  I didn't want fear to overcome me and shake my confidence.  Box jumps are hard, but I can do them...it just takes a lot of focus, and apparently I should probably do them at the beginning of my workout instead of at the end when my legs are tired!

I went on to do the spinning class, but I won't say it didn't hurt.  I've been icing my leg since then, and hopefully the swelling will go down.  Should make my interval run interesting tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gettin' stronger and what's up with the "weird" voice?

This morning I was at the gym by about 8:30 and after a brief warm-up, I got busy with my Wednesday workout.  Today was back and biceps day - a favorite of mine. :)  I always start off with pull-ups and today, with the assistance of a spotter, I did 4 sets of 10.  My spotter said he could tell I am stronger from last week, which is a good sign.  I'm really optimistic that I'll be doing my first solo pull-up soon.

After I did my weights, which took me about an hour and 15 minutes, I went to work on some cardio.  Today I started out on a treadmill and did 30 minutes (just under 3 miles) at a comfortable pace.  After that, I got on a stair machine and did another 30 minutes.

Anyone else ever use Bodybuilding.com as a resource?  I actually really like that website.  I find all kinds of helpful hints on there.  Today I found something kind of funny.  Want to get a little laugh?  Here's how:

Go to the main page.  At the top you'll see a bar with a list of categories.  Go to "workouts".  Once there, scroll down until your reach the section, "Find Exercises by Body Part", with the diagram of the man and woman.  From here, you can click on any part and it will bring up a list of appropriate exercises for those muscles and if you click on one, it will take you to a page dedicated to explaining that exercise, complete with a short how-to video clip with both a male and female specific version.  Just to get an idea, try visiting a couple different exercises and watch/listen to the accompanying video clip.  After you have done that, go to "Quads, dumbbell lunges" here: http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/dumbbell-lunges and watch the "female" video for a good laugh.  (You need to watch a few other random ones first, though, to really get the comedy behind this one.)  WTH?! Hahaha!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Legs, shoulders and abs, oh my.

Yesterday was the first day of week 9 of my current training plan and a leg workout day.  I started out on the leg press machine - I'm at 180 pounds on that thing, which is pretty good I think, considering 8 weeks ago I could barely do 90 pounds.  I do the leg press in a super set with hamstring curls on the GHD machine, then I did barbell reverse lunges with leg extension, and standing calf raises with bench lunges.  When I finished with all of that, I still had a little time left before spin class, so I did 3 sets of dead lifts and 3 sets of box jumps.  I was feeling pretty shaky by the time I went into spinning.  Today I am feeling sore in my glutes, so I must have done a good workout. :)

Today was shoulders/abs day.  I began on the Smith machine for seated shoulder press, in a super set with reverse crunches on a bench, then lateral raises with planks, rope front raises with hanging knee raises and dumbell reverse flys with ab crunches on the machine.  My final set was on the shoulder press machine.  After all of that, I made my way to a treadmill for my interval run.

I started out with 5 minutes of walking at 3.8 mph, then 5 minutes jogging at 6.0 mph.  After that warm-up, I started my intervals.  I did a pyramid, starting my sprints at 7.2 mph for 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds, then up to 7.4 mph for 30 secs, and 30 secs rest, and so on until I topped out at 9.0 mph.  Then I went backwards from there until I was back to 7.2 mph, where I then ran for 4 or 5 minutes, then slowed to walk for the last 5 minutes.  I ended having done 5.2 miles in 50 minutes.  One of the best interval runs I've had in a while and it felt great.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

See? What'd I tell you?

Time for a weekend re-cap, since I haven't had a chance to blog since Thursday.  On Friday, I was able to go to the gym early enough to do my strength training before spin class.  I did my shoulder/tri/chest workout, which took me about an hour, then I went to spin class.

Yesterday (Saturday), I was disappointed that once again the weather did not cooperate with me being able to go on a long run.  I had planned to run with my friend, Lisa, but when we saw the forecast included a high of about 5 degrees and a wind chill bringing it below zero, not to mention the copious amounts of snow and ice on the roads, we decided to forego another long run outside.  So instead, Chris and I headed to the gym with the kids and while he lifted weights and played basketball with the kids, I ran on a treadmill and took a class.

I started out with a little over 30 minutes (3 miles) of running right away, then it was time for the Saturday morning 9am rotating aerobic class, which this week happened to be Muscle Fusion X (Yay!).  Class was about an hour and when I finished, I got back on a treadmill and did another 30 minutes (3 more miles) on the treadmill.  For some reason, it felt like a long run.  I am dying to get back out on the road for a run.

I also took progress photos yesterday, since I just finished my 8th week on my new training schedule.  While I've been noticing changes in my body, I probably should have waited to take the photos because I knew the results would not be good.  You see, the past few days I've been feeling especially bloated and uncomfortable.  We all have those days, mine usually occur in accordance with my monthly cycle. I put on the same sport bra and panties I wore for my first set of photos 8 weeks ago and had Chris take pictures of me in the exact same poses.  I downloaded them to the computer and then proceeded to burst out in tears.  I could barely notice any changes.  Chris gave me the "you're crazy" speech and reminded me that, first of all, it's only been 8 weeks and secondly my skin is very white and the photos don't really show the muscle definition like it appears in real life.  All I know is that I just looked at the photos and all I saw were the same trouble spots looking the same.  I'm not sure what I expected, really.  I guess I thought that even though I've only been doing the heavy lifting for 8 weeks, I have been eating (very) clean and according to Misty's instructions for my specific macro nutrient needs for 6 months.  Also, knowing that according to Misty's body assessments, I have lost over 4% body fat, 3 pounds and several inches, I guess I expected to be able to really see it in the photos.

Thankfully, my pity party didn't last too long.  Chris also lovingly reminded me that after living a certain lifestyle for the majority of my life, it may take a year or two of strength training and clean-eating to really see the physique emerge that I have set as my goal.  And while the changes in 8 weeks may be minimal, they are there and they are positive.  Right now, I am working mainly on building muscle.  I have increased my weights, so I know I am getting a lot stronger and at the 12 week mark, Misty will be changing my routine again and I will be starting the "cutting" phase, which is when I will possibly lose more body fat and really start to show my newly built muscle.  This is my first attempt at setting such specific goals and truly trying to change the shape of my body - not just exercising and eating right to lose weight.  I have been consistent so far and I know I can continue to be, so I just need to have faith that my trainer is leading me in the right way and that as I keep doing what I'm doing, I will eventually start to see the change that I'm looking for.

So, I'm sorry to disappoint those of you who may be looking forward to seeing progress photos.  I am going to hold off on posting them for a bit.  I will take photos again at the 12 week mark and we'll see how I feel then.  If nothing else, the photos from yesterday have fanned the flame of motivation inside me and made me even more committed to "keeping it tight"!

Oh, and I also learned that I need to get a more flattering photo outfit and maybe do a little research into how to pose my body without looking so awkward.  When I finally do get around to posting the full set of progress pictures, you will all see what I mean. :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Look at me, I'm on a roll!

Wow!  Four days in a row of blogging?!  See what happens when the kids are in school, the hubby is at work and I get my workout in by early afternoon?  Aahhh.  I so enjoy a couple of peaceful hours in the afternoon before the kids get home.  Alas, today is my kids "Friday", since they are on a 4-day school week, so the peace ends today at 4:15pm and won't return until Monday morning around 8am. :)

Today was leg work day #2 for the week.  I started out with a 5 minute running warm up on a treadmill, then I did 4 sets of walking lunges with 15# weights in a super-set with lying hamstring curls.  After that, lateral lunges, also using 15# weights, super-setted with glute kickbacks.  My final set is on the Multi-hip machine and works the inner and outer thigh/hip area.  When I finished with all of that, I still had about 20 minutes before I needed to get ready for Muscle Fusion X class, so I did 3 sets each of hanging knee raises and side/lateral ab extensions, like this...(only I held a 25# weight while I did them).

Muscle Fusion X did not disappoint - another awesome HIIT workout (high intensity interval training).  The class was full and the energy was high.  When I left the gym, the snow was coming down fiercely and the roads were crap, but I got home safely.  It's pretty to look at from inside the warm house!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Think I'm finally getting the hang of it ~ literally. :)

I wouldn't mind having a back that looks like this...
This is a wide grip pull-up and that's the kind I do...with the help of a spotter. :)
And if I keep working on my pull-ups like I have been, maybe it will happen for me someday.  Today I did my back and bicep workout.  I still think this is my favorite workout of the week.  Initially it was one of the hardest routines for me because of my lack of muscle in those areas.  Now I'm increasing my weights every week.  It also doesn't hurt that whenever I do my pull-ups, someone in the weight room (either my spotter or someone watching me) tells me my back is starting to look awesome.  I wouldn't know because I can't see it, but I think I'm going to have to have Chris take my picture when I do my first one completely on my own so I can post it with my progress pictures.

After I finished with weights this morning, I did 45 minutes on a stair machine for my cardio.  I'm "allowed" to do a short run on Wednesdays, but my legs are always so sore and tired at this point in the week that I feel like it's more beneficial for me to do a less stressful form of cardio.  Besides, tomorrow I have Muscle Fusion X and a leg workout and I don't like going into those with too much fatigue already set-in.

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about my workout schedule the past couple of months and the effect it has had on my identity and self-perception.  From the time I started training for marathons (about 3 years ago) I have always felt so good about the amount of miles on the road that I logged each week.  At my peak I was logging upwards of 50 miles a week.  My new and current goals and this workout schedule have affected my running "confidence" in a way, because I feel like I am devoting so much less time to my favorite pastime.  I have to keep reminding myself that cutting back on my mileage is crucial to my success in reaching my goal of leaning out and adding muscle.  While I feel more fit and stronger with each passing week as I continue with my current training plan, I sometimes worry that things will be tough for me when I return to marathon training in preparation for my May marathon.  Not only do I worry that I will have difficulty getting back to my previous level of endurance, I also worry that I will lose all the muscle gains I am making right now when I start to add back in tons more hours of cardio.  Misty (my PT) assures me that by the time I get to that point, I will have transformed my body enough that the muscle will stay and my fitness level will remain high.  So then my only worry will be trying to eat enough to maintain.  It's always a balancing act.

Anyway, for now I am going to try to relax and let my worries go.  I am having a great time building muscle and I feel (physically and mentally) the best I've ever felt in my life, so I guess it would be silly to stop doing what I'm doing. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

And that is why I'm the train-EE and not the train-ER.

Today was shoulders/abs day.  I didn't get to the gym until about 9am and it was already very busy.  After a 5 minute running warm up on a treadmill, I made my way to the weight room.  This routine takes me about an hour and 15 minutes to complete.  When I finished, I went back upstairs to find an open treadmill to get started on my interval run.  There was only 1 open treadmill and it's one that has some technical issues.  The belt isn't very smooth and I don't really like running on it, but I didn't have much choice.  Besides, let's face it: running on the treadmill isn't first choice anyway.

As I started the treadmill and began a slow jogging warm-up, I was exchanging a few texts with my trainer, Misty.  I had complained to her that my legs were sore and tired from my leg workout yesterday and that I was having a hard time getting going on the interval run.  My mind was full of annoyingly negative self-talk about how hard it was to run with such pain in my legs.  Here's what Misty wrote to me:

Just get it done!  You will feel better after.  Just ignore yourself!

Well, of course.  Sometimes it really is that simple.  You just have to get out of your own head, ignore the pain, ignore the thoughts telling you to slow down, stop or quit.  And that's what I did.  Granted, it wasn't the best interval run ever, but at least I did it.  My sprints were a little slower than I like to do, but I did them and even threw in a few extra intervals to make up for it.  I spent a total of 1 hour on the treadmill and made it a little over 5 miles, which includes some walking breaks, slower running and then 1 minute sprints.

Now tomorrow I will probably be repeating Misty's words to myself as I do my back/bicep workout, since it includes pull-ups!

Monday, January 7, 2013

It must have been a good weekend.

Another couple of days gone by and I am now at the beginning of week 8 of my body transformation process.  On Saturday I was able to go to the gym with Chris in the morning where we went to two spinning classes back to back.  It felt really good to do a nice, long cardio session.  It really has been just too dang cold to run outside (still having some temps below zero and that's not including the wind chill), and I can't bring myself to run on the treadmill for that long.  Spinning is a good replacement, though I realize I am going to have to kick it into gear soon with some serious running before I start to lose my edge. ;)

After spinning, I spent about 25 minutes in the weight room doing ab exercises before heading home for the day.  Sunday was, of course, my rest day.  Unfortunately, we had some pipes freeze under one of our bathrooms and even though we were able to thaw the pipes, a valve seal was cracked in the process and we had water leaking all over the bathroom.  And since it was a Sunday, the store that sells our (specialty, read old) plumbing fixtures was closed, so we had to shut off our main water supply in order to avoid flooding the bathroom floor.  We went all day Sunday with no water, so after I took the kids to church, we all headed into town and went to the gym to shower and clean up.  Yes, I think it's official that the gym has become our second home. :)

Today was a great start to the week.  Before going to the gym, Chris and I stopped by the plumbing store and got the part we needed to fix the bathtub faucet (which is now fixed - yay!).  Once at the gym, I had a good 2 hours to spend in the weight room before spinning class started.  I began on the leg press machine, super-setted with leg extensions (quads), then I did the rest of my usual routine: barbell reverse lunges with 45 pounds of weight, hamstring curls, calf raises and bench lunges.  After I finished with all of that, I had plenty of time to add in a few sets of additional exercises.  I did some core work - hanging knee raises, incline sit-ups with a medicine ball - then I did bonus sets of calf raises and leg press.  I'm up to 180 pounds on the leg press machine.  That's doubling my increase in the eight weeks since I started my new workout routine.

At noon, we went to spinning.  The classes have been very full the past couple of weeks.  New Year's resolutions in action, I suppose.  There is this one guy who always makes lots of noise during class - shout outs to the class and instructor of motivation.  At one point he was being so loud and repetitive, Chris turned to me and said, "Must have been a good weekend for him!"  Haha!

Friday, January 4, 2013

How does this happen?

How do I let days go by without blogging?  Arg.  I sometimes feel like things didn't really happen if I haven't recorded them in my blog. :)

Well, since it's been 3 days, here's a summary of (the rest) of this week's workouts:

Wednesday the kids were back in school and I was back at the gym.  I had my bi-weekly body assessment with Misty to start things off.  I was down a couple of pounds and down another 1% on my body fat - yay!  That means things are continuing to move in the right direction.  After finishing my body assessment, Misty and I headed down to the weight room where she helped me with my pull-ups.  I did 4 sets of 10 pull-ups in a super-set with rope bicep curls.  Then the rest of my weights included isolateral rows, decline bicep curls, close grip pull-downs, standing bicep curls with a barbell, standing cable push downs and low back extensions.  For my cardio I did an hour on a stair machine.

Yesterday was similar: the kids off to school, me hitting the gym.  I went to Muscle Fusion X class, but gave myself about an hour and a half to do my strength training before that.  Thursday is another leg day, but I also mixed in some of my ab exercises from Tuesday's workout, to make-up for some that I couldn't do when the gym was closed.

Today I had to attend cub scout meetings before heading to the gym.  I took the kids with me and they played basketball in the gym while I went to a spin class and then did about 45 minutes of weights.  When I finished with my workout, we all went swimming.

Tonight I am pretty much feeling sore all over.  It's been another great week of tough workouts, though I'm not quite done yet.  Tomorrow is normally slated for my long run, but I'm substituting with 2 spin classes in the morning.  I'm not really interested in running in below zero temperatures, or in doing a long run on a treadmill.  I also need to do some ab exercises, so I'll do those after I finish the spin classes.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A new year ~ how is it possible?

Today the blogosphere is filled with posts about letting go of 2012 and looking forward to 2013, so I thought I'd better get cracking on my own New Year's Day post! :)

Last year was a pretty good one for our family.  Of course we had many, many blessings, days of peace and happiness.  We also had a few hiccups.  But for purposes of this blog, I'll recap a few of our "fitness" highlights:

  • In February of 2012, we joined a gym for the first time in our lives.  That decision, it turns out, was one of the best of our married life.  Chris and I have enjoyed countless hours working out together, going to classes together and have made some wonderful new friends along the way.  Not to mention the time our kids have enjoyed swimming and playing basketball, when they've come with us.
  • In May, my husband and I ran our first race together - the Ogden Marathon.  It was his first marathon and my 4th, a success for us both, solidifying our relationship with each other regarding running.
  • In early August, after reading one of Tosca Reno's books, I became more committed to a clean-eating lifestyle.  My life and my body have not been the same since.  A major turning point for me with regards to my personal health and fitness.
  • September brought a couple more marathons our way.  I ran the Pocatello Marathon on Labor Day weekend, earning my marathon PR of 4:36.  A couple of weeks later, we traveled to Jackson, Wyoming where Chris ran his second marathon while the kids and I cheered him on.
  • In November, I ran a half marathon in Pocatello called the Just 'Cuz Half Marathon.  Another PR for me - 2:04.
  • I ended the year having run nearly 1500 miles!
So all in all, it was an eventful year full of fitness gains.  I'm looking forward to many more of those gains to come our way in 2013!

I tried to start the year off on the right foot by doing my regularly scheduled Tuesday workout, despite the fact that the gym was closed today.  I began by doing a shoulder/ab workout.  I actually did a few of the exercises from today's routine yesterday when I was at the gym for my leg workout.  There are some that are just better to do using the machines and heavier weights.  Anyway, it took me about an hour to finish my shoulders/abs this morning, then I did my interval run on the treadmill.  I did a total of 3.5 miles, alternating 1 minute sprints with periods of easier paced jogging.  I have to say, I am really looking forward to a break in the weather - a return to more mild temperatures and clear roads would be like a dream to me right now.