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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A new favorite thing...

Before I tell you about my new favorite thing, let me tell you about my workouts the past couple of days...

Yesterday I was scheduled to do a 6 mile run plus my weights.  Since it was in the single digits again in the morning, I decided to just do my run on a treadmill at the gym.  But first, I did my strength training: legs and shoulders.  Tuesday's workout is a tough one.  I have 11 exercises to do and any time you work legs, it's much more exhausting than any other lifting.  After I finished my legs and shoulders, I got on a treadmill and ran for an hour.  I didn't quite make it 6 miles because I took a few walking breaks, but almost.

Today I had my bicep/tricep/calves workout.  I went to the gym alone today, since Chris is on night-shift now and had worked late and was too tired to get up and go early with me.  It took me a little over an hour to do my weights, then I moved on to cardio...which brings me to my new favorite thing: running stairs at the stadium!!  It's kind of serene there.  The lights are dim, there are few, if any, other people around and I can just put on my music and focus on nothing else but getting up and down those stairs.  I ran for a little over 50 minutes and made it through the stadium 3 times.  I felt I had a little more stamina than last week, and not quite as much quivering in my calves.  We'll see how I feel tomorrow...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Letting go.

Lately I'm noticing more and more that the old, trite saying is true: the only constant in life is change.  My workouts recently have been purposeful, focused, driven.  Not that I don't always try to be that way when it comes to my fitness, but it seems like I've had so many distractions developing that it's taken a concerted effort on my part to not let it all affect me too much.  While there are some things going on causing me some strife and concern in my little, insignificant world, I realize that there are times when we just need to let go of the things in our lives that we can't control.  That's why I've been focusing more on the things I can control and just trying to enjoy my life a day at a time.

Last week I finished out the week with an interval run of 4 miles on Thursday, followed by Muscle Fusion X.  Misty was still laid up with her bad back, so Brandi filled in for her, teaching a great class and giving us an awesome workout.  Friday was chest/abs day.  I tried to push myself, even though I'm still learning some of my new exercises, and I guess I did okay because I was sore in all the right places on Saturday.  :)

Saturday was my long run day, and when I woke up to several inches of fresh snow and crazy, blowing wind, I was a little discouraged.  My friend and running buddy, Lisa, decided to go to the gym for her workout, so I was on my own.  I sat looking out the window for about 10 seconds before jumping up and getting my running gear on so I wouldn't have time to change my mind.  I was supposed to do a run of 14 miles, but I decided to do something a little different, given the circumstances.  I set my Garmin to alert me when I had been running for 2 hours, instead of gauging my miles.  When it's snowing, windy, cold, it's hard to run at the same pace I normally do and it can get a little depressing.  Once I was out there, I hit the 2 hour mark, saw that I was only at a little over 10 miles, and just decided that since I was already cold and wet, I might as well at least make it to 12.  When I finished my run, Chris and I went to the gym and while he did his weights, I did some ab work, (and a bonus set of pull-ups). :)

Yesterday was a rest day and it felt pretty dang good.  This morning I wanted to do my run outside.  I was scheduled for a 7 miler, but when I saw the temperature was around 9 degrees, I decided to just run on the treadmill.  As soon as I finished, Chris and I went to the gym where I spent a little over an hour doing my back/abs workout and then I went to a spin class.  Misty was there to teach and it felt sooo good to sweat so much.  :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I feel like Rocky...

Remember how I told you this morning that today I was going to run stairs at ISU?  Well, I did, and it was awesome!  What a great workout.  After Chris and I spent a little over an hour doing weights at the gym, we headed over to Holt Arena.  I put on my music, and got to work zig-zagging up and down every aisle of stairs.  I did one side of the stadium twice, then ran down the ramp at the end and over to the other side where I ran all of those stairs once, then I sprinted back to the beginning.  It took me about 40 minutes, and my legs were shaking when I finished.  As I sit here tonight I can already tell that my legs are probably going to be a tad bit sore tomorrow, but I don't care.  It was totally worth it to feel a little bad a$$. :)

Some seriously sweet shoes. :)

It's been another week since my last post, and I'm shocked that I haven't at least taken the time to blog about my new, awesome running shoes!  They were sent to me as a gift from a good friend and fellow runner and they are the sweetest things!  The Asics Gel Nimbus are my shoes - I've been wearing them for, well about 5 pairs, or over 4000 miles now!  It's like strapping a little cloud to your feet, no break-in time necessary.  These are the Nimbus 14's in a limited edition multi-color and I LOVE them!  Remember my last pair were the bright pink, and I love them too.  I wish there was a way to give old running shoes an internal over-haul so you could get more mileage out of them. :)

So I got the shoes on Friday, and since then I've done two 7-milers and a 10-miler in them already.  There's nothing that motivates you more to get out and run like a new pair of shoes...except maybe some nice, sunny, warm weather. :)

My new training schedule has also been moving along the past week.  I finished up my training with Misty on Wednesday, then finished out the week on my own doing an interval run and Muscle Fusion X on Thursday, a chest/abs workout and a spin class on Friday and a 7 mile run on Saturday.

This week I've been going through the workouts by myself.  On Monday, I ran (just under) 10 miles early in the morning, then went to the gym for my back/abs workout.  As I did my first set of pull-ups, I felt a pull in the muscle around the front part of my left arm, near the shoulder.  Ever since then, my mobility in that arm has been a little limited, which sucks.

Yesterday I hit the road for another early morning run of 7 miles, then Chris and I went to the gym so I could do my legs/shoulders workout and he could go to spinning.  While he was in class, I bumbled my way around the weight room feeling a little helpless as I forgot how to do several of the new exercises on my routine and didn't have anyone there to help show me how to do them.  I started skipping the ones I was having trouble with and just doing the ones I new how to do, but then that messed up my sets and pretty soon I was feeling totally lost and frustrated.  I texted Misty (who was at home resting from a back injury and sciatica from her pregnancy).  She called me right back and as soon as she started talking to me, I could tell she was not doing well.  Along with her back issues, she now has a sinus infection and I could hear in her voice that she is miserable.  This woman is normally as solid as a rock, so it pained me to hear her suffering so much.  After I got off the phone with her, I sat down on the bench outside the weight room and, despite the fact that there is a sign next to the dumbbell rack that says "NO CRYING" (hahaha), I just started to cry.  I'm not sure why I was feeling so emotional.  I guess it was partly my frustration of still feeling lost in the weight room even after all this time, but also my heart was breaking for Misty.  She is my pillar of strength and my motivator - I hate to see her in such pain.

Just as I was seriously considering throwing in the towel for the day all together, Chris came around the corner from his spin class.  He stood by me while I slowly worked my way through the remainder of my exercises, and helped me figure out how to do the ones I was unsure of.

Today is a new day, and despite my sore shoulders, hips and back, I am determined to hit the weights hard. Chris and I will be heading to the gym shortly where I will do my tricep/bicep/calf workout, then we are planning to go to the mini-dome at the University to run stairs for an hour, a workout that Misty loves to do.  I'm going to run a few sets for Misty today...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Getting pumped to pump.

Another great training day yesterday.  How do I know?  Every inch of my body is sore this morning.  After a 7 mile treadmill run, which I have to admit was a little sluggish, I met with Misty in the leg room to get started on doing my leg/shoulder workout.  We started out with barbell squats in a superset with dumbbell shoulder presses and front raises, then  5 more supersets including lots more variations of squats, lunges, hamstring curls, shoulder presses, cable pulls, cable flyes and glute kickbacks.

Today is bicep/tricep/calves day.  It's probably going to be a tough workout, mostly because I am already so sore and have limited movement in my forearms and biceps, but I can't slack off.  That's the best thing about training with Misty: when I'm around her, I have this crazy, strong desire to just 'get it done' and give every exercise my all.  No time wasted.  After I finish with weights today, I get to do an hour of cardio - either a spin class or the stair machine.  So far I am loving my new weight routine, though I definitely think it's going to be an exhausting few months until the marathon.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Oops. Well, better late than never. :)

Has it really been over a week since I last blogged?  Sheesh.  Well, truth be told, I basically worked my way through each day last week, all the time looking forward to today - the first day of my new schedule and a training day with Misty. :)

Last week I logged about 17 miles of running, a couple of spin classes and Muscle Fusion X.  I also did my last sets of weights from my first strength training routine.  Recap at the end of my first 12 week cycle:  I ended at 126 pounds, down a total of 5.3% body fat, and a lot more muscle definition.  I did take beginning, 8 week and 12 week progress photos, but I'm still working on learning how to "pose" in the best way to show that muscle I've built.  (And maybe at some point I'll post them...)

My new training plan consists of 4 days of running, 2 spin classes and Muscle Fusion X, along with 6 days of strength training.  Misty has completely changed my routine, which will hopefully shock my system and crank things up a bit in my progress.  Besides the fact that I will now be running on an additional day, I will be doing longer runs.  The Ogden Marathon is in 14 weeks.  I will do this schedule, making the necessary weekly mileage increases, until the marathon, then Misty said she will start me on another new schedule.

Today I hit the ground running - literally.  My schedule called for a semi-long run, followed by a training session with Misty at the gym to go over my new Monday routine, which is back/abs.  When I took the kids to school, it was 3 degrees outside.  For a moment I contemplated doing my run on the treadmill, but I just really didn't want to do 10 miles on the treadmill.  So I bundled up in lots of layers, stuck a couple of hand-warmers in my gloves and headed out.  For the first 3 miles, I kept telling myself I should turn around and go home, but by the time I got to 4 miles, the sun had come up and was warming me just enough that I knew I could keep going without risking bodily injury.  Unfortunately, my hamstrings were on fire the entire run, never having fully recovered from my leg workout at the end of last week and a 10 mile run I did with Lisa on Saturday.

After my run, I had just enough time to gulp down a protein shake and take a hot shower before heading to the gym.  As soon as I got there, Misty put me to work.  First - pull-ups!  My new routine has me doing a set of 10, a set of 15, then 2 sets of 6 negatives (which means jumping up to the top of the pull-up position, then slowly lowering down to the count of 20).  By the time I was finished with those, I was already shaking. After pull-ups, we moved on to 4 supersets: a back exercise paired with an ab exercise.  The main change with this new routine is that I'm supposed to do slightly lighter weight with more reps (12-15 reps).  Although, it honestly didn't feel like any of the weights were lessened.  I was grunting, groaning and sometimes screaming my way through all of the exercises.  I felt completely exhausted when we finished.

Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining.  All of you long-time followers of my blog know how much I love a challenge and would never shy away from hard work.  This is going to be a tough few months, but I think I'll be grateful for all of the work I put in when the warm weather hits and I feel stronger than ever!  At least that's my goal...:)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Finally!! Out on the road for a 10.5 mile run.

At the end of our run yesterday, I told my friend Lisa that we needed proof that we'd been outside on the road for 10.58 miles!!  It was a chilly 24 degrees when we started out at 6 am.  Oddly enough, the first half of the run we felt warmer than the second half.  The wind seemed to pick up, and because we did a loop that has some elevation changes, we could feel the dip in the temperature as we finished up the last couple of miles.  By the time we got back home, our hands were frozen.  Still, it felt so good to get out there and have that sense of accomplishment after a nice, hard, long run.  We ran at a pretty decent pace too, considering we haven't run together in weeks - we averaged 10.02 min./mile.

The rest of my week went equally as well: on Thursday I had a great leg workout followed by a killer Muscle Fusion X class.  On Friday, I couldn't make it to the gym until after cub scout meetings, so I had to go to spin class first, then lifted weights after that for about an hour.

Chris and I ran into my trainer Misty at a local frozen yogurt place on Friday evening and she said she'd be working on my new schedule this weekend.  I'm getting excited about having a couple of training days with her (hopefully this week) as she teaches me what to do with my new routine.