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The run that kept on going

15 Nov

I just entered into week 3 of my half marathon training.  The first  couple weeks have gone by with different strides.  Week 1 was filled with excitement.  I ran 5 times, felt great and followed my plan.

Week 2 was filled with excuses.  I ran 3 times and they felt like pretty tough runs.

Week 3 started on Sunday with my long run – 6 miles.  My little brother (who’s running the half as well) and I set off in the late drizzly morning.  I could tell another tough run was going to happen.  I struggled and had to tell Trevor to not let me walk.  I just wanted to pack up my suitcase and get out of there, but I knew it would be over soon enough if I just kept one foot in front of the other.

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I had to play tricks with my mind to get through it – I’d find an object about 200-300 meters ahead and tell myself I only had to run till there.  Once I got there I’d pick a new object.  It actually worked pretty well.

In the end it turns out we were running pretty fast which is why the run was so challenging.  Trevor is a fast runner, but usually slows down for me.  Last week’s 5.5 mile long run was done at 8:40min/mile.  Sunday’s 6.1 mile run was at 8:10min/mile.  Yikes!  I’ve never ran that fast but it explains why I had such a tough time getting through it.

Looks like I’m making my way to the 8min/mile goal for the half marathon.  I just have to make sure I run with my buddy because I know I won’t be moving my legs that fast on my own.

Do you run/exercise with anyone?  Does it motivate you to go faster/work harder? It sure does for me.

Wednesday’s Weekly Workout Mini-Challenge: Kitchen Lifts

3 Nov

I am 2 days in and half marathon training is going well.  Today I have sprints on the agenda and I’ll also be doing a quick 10 upper body interval workout this morning.  Should be a tough one I hope.

Did you follow along with last week’s squat challenge?  I hope so.  I had much better success with that, then during the prior week’s pull up challenge.

We’re going to move on and away from the bathroom too.  Instead of doing the mini-challenge each time I go into the bathroom, it’s going to be in the kitchen.  Since I cook a lot and mindlessly wander around in the kitchen I’ll be doing a lot of lifts I hope.

This week’s mini-challenge: kitchen lifts

I put a note on my fridge to do 10 kitchen lifts.  Anywhere I go in my kitchen I’ll see it.  I could only do the lifts when I open the fridge, but I choose to do them anytime I go into the kitchen.

Basically it’s a calf raise, but we’re calling it kitchen lifts today. 

You start standing flat on your feet.

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Contract your calf muscles and lift up onto your tippy toes.  If you want to make it even more challenging keep a weight near by and hold onto it while you do your lifts.

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I hope you join me in this week’s workout mini-challenge! 

I’m even going to try to do them at my work’s kitchen.  Every little bit helps me move more each day.

Wednesday’s Weekly Workout Mini-Challenge: Squats

27 Oct

I’m glad many of you liked the quick 10 minute interval workout and want to add it to your routine.  You can really get your heart rate up in just 10 minutes and kick you butt.

On Sunday when I was at home all day getting things done around the house, instead of doing a long workout in the morning, I decided to do that 10 minute interval workout in the morning, then another 10 minute workout in the afternoon. 

It was nice getting an energy boost throughout the day instead of at one time.  Just something else to try out. Smile

Last weeks workout mini-challenge was a pretty tough challenge to start out with.  Pull ups are definitely something you need to work up towards. 

This week’s mini-challenge: squats

For the next 7 days I wanted to choose something that anyone could do.  Squats are the perfect lower body exercise.  You can keep them pretty basic and use no weights as shown below.  Or to up the intensity add weights and go as deep as you can comfortably with proper form.

Make sure your knees do not go forward beyond your toes, so you’re really sitting back and down during this exercise.  Keep your core stable by contracting your abs.

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Once again I’ll be doing the challenge before heading into the bathroom.  I’ve decided to do 10 reps each time I go in.  I also put my 10 lb kettlebell next to the door so that I can add weights if I choose to.

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Want to join in on the mini-challenge?  I hope so!  Share your goal for this weeks challenge in the comments.   I’m cheering for you!

Wednesday’s Weekly Workout Mini-Challenge

20 Oct

Since I am trying to keep myself more active at work throughout the day (which has been going well!), I decided that I wanted to take it to the next step at home as well.

I’ll be coming up with little weekly challenges that just get me moving more at home when I am there. It will probably be a single exercise each week, and it will change each week.

I hope many of you join me in these mini-challenges. They will last from today (Wednesday) till Tuesday. Next Wednesday there will be a new mini-challenge posted.

I didn’t come up with this weeks’ mini-challenge on my own though so I can’t take credit. I read about the idea on bodyrock.tv and decided it would be a fun thing to implement.

This week’s mini-challenge: pull ups (or a modified exercise)

I really don’t want to lose my pull up ability I gained with P90X, so this week will keep me on track with that.

I’ll be setting my pull up bar in the bathroom door so every time I go to use the bathroom I have to do 2 pull ups. I chose 2 because I know that will end up being a lot after a day of being home, or even a lot in just the mornings as I go in and out of the bathroom getting ready for work.

I’ll switch between close grip pull ups and chin ups for a bit of variety.  Maybe a few wide grip pull ups because I do need to work on those.

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If you don’t have a pull up bar at home you can use bands. Click here to read how to use resistance bands like you would a pull up bar.

If you don’t have either of those at home you can choose a different back exercise. Maybe you do supermans or an overhead ball throw. It’s not so much about the pull up specifically, it’s about moving that extra little bit.  Make sure to put something near your bathroom door to remind you that before you go in you must do this exercise.

Supermans: Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs stretched out. Raise your arms and legs off the ground a few inches, hold a few seconds, and then lower. Alternate arms and legs as an option.

Overhead ball throw shown in circuit 5, click here to see.

Want to join me? Leave a comment so I know you’re in and what you’ll be doing. We’ll keep each other motivated with this mini-challenge. I’ll try to keep track of how many I do each day.  So far it’s already 4!  It will probably be a ton over the weekend… I drink a lot of water!

I’ve really enjoyed reading about the different types of exercise you all like.  Keep the giveaway entries coming!

Don’t want to exercise? Try one of these

18 May

According to my half marathon training schedule I needed to run 8 miles on Sunday.  I didn’t want to do this, not one bit after the long hike the day before.  I woke up so sore, stiff and tight.

BUT, I had made plans to run it with my mom (she is also running the half marathon with me in July).  Secretly I hoped she would call and cancel so that I wouldn’t feel like I skipped out on it.  She didn’t so I went over to her house at 7:30am and we headed out on our bright and cool morning run.

I felt extremely tight during the first 6-7 miles.  It took that long for my hamstrings and glutes to ease up a bit.  We were even able to sprint to ‘the finish’ at the end to it was a good run. 

I know that if I hadn’t planned my run with her Sunday morning I would have skipped it completely.

About 90% of the time I can motivate myself to exercise.  I love how it makes me feel so usually it’s not that difficult.  There ARE times when it’s the last thing I want to do.  Here are some tricks I use to motivate myself to get out there and complete my workout.

1.  Have a workout buddy
Making a plan and being held accountable is a great way to stick with your workout.  If you have a date with your friend at the gym or track, or even go to a morning bootcamp each day there are people who will be there looking to see that you made it there too. 

2.  Think about how great you felt
Picture how you felt after you last finished a hard workout.  Pretty proud of yourself right?  I know I feel energized and ready to take on the day after I workout which is usually a driving factor that gets me moving the next day again.

3.  Make a goal
Pick a goal.  What do you want to be able to accomplish through your fitness?  Conquering a longer run, ride or swim?  More strength?  Weight loss or gain?  Most of the time we all have something in the back (or front) of our mind that we look to achieve.  Write this down.  Make a plan of it.  If I hadn’t signed up for a half marathon in July I know I wouldn’t be running as much as I do.  Even if I just planned to run it, but hadn’t paid for my entry I doubt that would be enough motivation to get me out on the road as much.

4.  Buy a new outfit
You buy clothes for work, for home, why not for exercise?  I love having new clothes but most of the time they are for work or home.  It’s not so often that I pick up cute running or exercise clothes.  Buy something new.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, just a fun change.  Maybe it’s a cute tank top for yoga or comfy new socks.  New exercise clothes can help you get out there moving because once you buy them you’ll want to wear it.

5.  Multi-task
When all else fails kill two birds with one stone.  If you really just want to sit on the couch and watch TV you can still exercise.  Pick 10 different exercises you want to do (push ups, crunches, jumping jacks, plank, etc.).  During 10 commerical breaks do as many of your chosen exercise as possible.  Once the show is back on it’s break time.  You probably won’t feel like you’re exercising much because there are long breaks but it can turn into 30-45 minutes of actual exercise depending on how long the commercial breaks are.

How do you stay motivated to exercise?  What other tricks do you use to motivate yourself?