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Archive for May, 2010

This morning, my alarm went off at 5:45. It was time to get ready for yet another 5k race!

Run for the L of it

Run for the L

My friend Farrah was at a motorcycle driving class, so I ran by myself again today. In many ways, I prefer that but sometimes it is nice to have a friend there to push you! I missed her today.

This was a smaller race so I was able to walk up to the start line just a few minutes before the gun went off. The weather was warm but not too hot.

5-29-10

Start

When I started, I remembered my run on the treadmill two days ago and I knew that I could go faster than I thought I could. So I started out at a moderate (for me) pace.

I ran the first mile in 9:30, the second in 9:25. I was right on track to beat my PR of 29:28.

But somewhere toward the end, I must have slowed down because once I saw the finish line for the first time, it was 28-something and I thought I was golden. I picked up the pace and sprinted to the finish but somehow I missed the PR by seconds!

  • Distance: 3.1 miles
  • Time: 29:39 (11 seconds, ahhh!)
  • Avg. Pace: 9:34/mile

While I was a bit disappointed for getting that close to beating my time and just barely missing it, I still had a great time and felt really proud of myself for finishing another race feeling great!

My next race is June 12 (two weeks) and it’s a 5-miler at Iroquois Park. Time to start working on my mileage!

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I am running a 5k tomorrow morning, so I knew that today would either be rest or cross-training. I’ve been feeling pretty good today so I decided I wanted a good sweat session!

I started off with 30 minutes on the elliptical. I kept the ramp at 10 but I gradually increased the resistance from 5-8 when I got too used to it. I read some of the latest issue of Vegetarian Times while I worked up a sweat.

Woo! I hadn’t used an elliptical in a long time and I had forgotten how great of a workout it was. My heart rate got up into the 150’s, my legs were burning and I was covered in sweat. That might sound gross, but that’s exactly what a good workout is to me! 😉

Afterwards, I carefully did some upper body weights. Since I injured my arm a few days ago (it’s better now), I was sure to use proper form and weights just a tiny bit lighter than I usually would. So far, so good!

For each exercise, I did 2 sets of 20.

  • Chest presses (12.5 lb dumbbells)
  • Military shoulder presses (7.5 lb)
  • Reverse flyes (7.5 lb)
  • Bent over row (20 lb barbel)
  • Upright row (20 lb barbel)
  • Bicep curls (7.5 lb dumbbells)
  • Tricep extensions (1, 10 lb dumbbell, overhead)

Since I was in the weight room and not on an exercise mat using a body bar, I think what made the difference was being able to see myself in the mirror. When it’s right there in front of you, it is easier to see what you are doing and to check and make sure you are doing it correctly.

This is how I usually work out but for some reason the other day, I was in a room without mirrors and just judging by how things felt. That is probably how I hurt myself. Noted!

This was a great workout and really made me realize how much I love the challenge of weight training. I’m definitely planning to get it back into regular rotation here soon.

What’s your favorite magazine?

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No more holding back

Yesterday it was a steamy 89 degrees and sunny. Since I’m still not motivated to get up and run before work, I spent another session on the treadmill yesterday afternoon.

I realized, after warming up for 5 minutes and then jogging for a while at 5.0, that if I can run 9:30-10:00/miles outside, surely I can run faster than 12:00/mile on the treadmill. I think I always approach the treadmill afraid of doing that for some reason.

I pretty much stick to short runs on there but somehow I’m always afraid I’m going to tire out too quickly if I run fast. So yesterday I decided to test myself.

I did 0.25 mile laps, gradually increasing my speed on each one.

  • Lap 1 – 5.0 mph
  • Lap 2 – 5.3 mph
  • Lap 3 – 5.6 mph
  • Lap 4 – 5.9 mph
  • Lap 5 – 6.2 mph
  • Lap 6 – 6.5 mph
  • Lap 7 – 6.8 mph
  • Lap 8: Started at 7.1 (sprinted at 7.5 the last 0.12 miles)

I ended up finishing the 2 miles in 19:55 (9:58/mile) and even though I was sweaty, I was not the least bit tired. Even doing a whole lap at each of those high speeds was not too much for me. I was letting my head get in the way!

(Image Source)

Even though I prefer to run outside, I can’t wait to use the treadmill for more speed workouts. Who knows, I might even be able to increase my speed on runs from now on?

I’m also happy to report that my arm is feeling much better. I must’ve just overdone it the last time I lifted weights. I will be more careful from now on!

Hope you all have a great weekend 🙂

p.s. I am running another 5k tomorrow 🙂

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Note to self

Dear Self,

I have absolutely no idea what you did to INJURE YOUR ARM but I wish I knew, so I could tell you not to do it again. Oh well, be careful.

Love,
Me

That’s right. Somehow I managed to jack up my left arm.

Yesterday, I did a brutal 10 minutes on the stairmaster and then headed into the weight room to repeat last Friday’s killer arms session.

Honestly, I felt great afterwards and even now, with the exception of my left arm, I’m not very sore like I was Friday-Monday the last time!

Basically, this part of my arm hurts.

Arm

I don’t know how I did it because it didn’t start bothering me until 9:00 last night while I was sitting on the couch watching TV reading blogs on the laptop. It came on pretty suddenly too, not like that delayed onset soreness you get sometimes.

I think it’s the wrist because it hurts to bend it forward or backward or put weight on it, pick something up with it, etc. But the pain shoots down sometimes all the way to the elbow. It’s uncomfortable no matter where I rest my arm. Not excruciating, just uncomfortable.

Anyway, self-diagnosis over!

So, obviously no weight lifting for me for a while. I’m hoping it’s just minor and I can take a couple days off, ice it, and be good by next week.

Looks like it’s cardio time!

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This past Saturday, I did another 5k! Well, not exactly. While there was a run that morning, I chose to stick with the walkers. A really cute one, in particular.

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Suzie and I participated in the Kentucky Humane Society‘s annual Waggin’ Trail 5k which raises money for the animals they care for at the facilities. It was our second year participating and last year was so much fun, we knew we had to do it again!

It’s a really neat event with lots of different boths where you can get things for your pet, including having them microchipped. One of our local radio stations was also there giving away prizes. Check out the crowd!

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They also had plenty of doggie pools sitting out because it was quite warm and sunny that morning!

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Suzie met up with her friends Bo and Bailey, who all did some sniffing while us humans waited for the walk to start.

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After waiting around in the shade for what seemed like forever, the walk finally started. Let’s go!

Dog walk

The walk/run was held at Iroquois Park here in Louisville, which is known for it’s major hills! You may have seen these a time or two if you’ve ever participated in the Papa John’s 10-miler or the Kentucky Derby Festival mini-Marathon. They are quite challenging!

We finished in about an hour (1:02:06), which was pretty good for the course, the dogs and the crowd.

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Suzie walked the whole time! I guess because she sniffed all the way from the car to the park, she got it out of the way because she didn’t stop once. But I think she wore herself out too. It usually takes her an hour to walk 2 miles and she did 3.1!

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It was an awesome day and I can’t wait to do it again next year. The Kentucky Humane Society is where we got Suzie almost 2 years ago, so it holds a special place in our hearts. She is seriously the sweetest, most loving dog and though we still don’t know how anyone could’ve ever given her up, we’re glad they did! 🙂

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Today, I read online the Top 5 fittest and sluggish cities in America. The top 5 fittest were not too surprising, including Washington D.C., Boston, and Seattle. But what did shock me was #5 on the most sluggish list…Louisville, KY.

(Image Source)

The list, which is put together by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) American Fitness Index, shows that Louisville actually got worse from 2009 to 2010, dropping from 38th down to 46th in the rankings of the 50 largest metro areas and their health stats, including “preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions, health care access, and community resources and policies that support physical activity.”

I guess it shouldn’t surprise me. I actually still have to do a double take when I see someone out walking or riding a bike, unless it’s right next to a park. But it just makes me sad since I live here and I do make fitness such a priority for me, in my own life. But I used to be unhealthy and sluggish myself. So I guess I fit in more in my hometown back then.

xmas2005(Me and Josh, Christmas 2005)

xmas2009  (Happier and healthier, Christmas 2009)

However, I sort of feel like it’s a sign. I’ve long been interested in a career in the health and fitness field (which I am now going to school for) and what better place to use that interest to promote fitness in such a sluggish place?

There are already some local efforts going on today, like the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown movement and a city-wide weight loss program called Lose It! Louisville.

And I do have hope that some day, Louisville will be fitter and hopefully lose their place on the “sluggish” list for good! I hope I can be a part of that.

How does your city rank? Check out the original article here and the full list of 50 here.

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I realized today that starting in a week, I will be taking summer classes!

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Since I use my lunch hour (and then some) to do so, this means I won’t be having much free time to work out during the day.

I contemplated getting up early this morning to practice an a.m. run but it just didn’t happen. I’m still dealing with allergies and a cough, so mornings are the worst as far as how I feel. Since I still have a week to go, I’m hoping I’ll figure out how to adjust my “schedule” so that I can fit in workouts without feeling stressed.

Today, I went to the gym at lunch because I know that here lately, waiting until the end of the day has been dangerous. I’ve backed out of many a 4:00 workout the past couple of weeks. So 12:45 was a much safer bet!

I did 2 miles on the treadmill in 21:40 (a 10:50/mile pace) and I felt good. I stretched a lot afterwards then came back to work and ate a Larabar.

I figure for my new workout schedule, I have two options:

  1. Get up early and work out in the morning
  2. Work out after work or at night

I think it will end up being a combination of the two, depending on my schedule, how I’m feeling, the weather, etc. Speaking of weather, as it is getting warmer, these two times of day will be more ideal anyway. This week it is going to be 87 every day!

Hello, Summer 😉

What time of day do you prefer to work out? What factors does it depend upon?

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I was feeling a bit sickly today, thanks to allergies and the medication I took, which I won’t do again. I swear, it makes me feel worse than I did before, which is why I usually never take anything but my congestion and cough were pretty bad so I gave in. Ugh!

I had really bad allergies as a child, received really good treatment and haven’t had any problems since. But for some reason this year has been horrible. My mom suggested going and getting re-tested so that is a possibility.

Anyway, the good thing is that I went for a workout this afternoon and it made me feel tons better. 🙂

We started out with a quick 1.87 mile run (in 16:06! 8:37/mile pace!) and then came back for some weights.


(Image Source)

I used a 12 lb body bar and did 50 (yes 5-0!) reps of each of the following exercises:

  • Chest presses
  • Bent over rows
  • Upright rows
  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep presses (aka “skull crushers”)

The chest presses were pretty easy but for most of the other moves, I had to do sets of 10-20 with a little break in between. My arms were shaking!

Then we did 50 regular crunches, some leg lifts, and side-to-side crunches with a medicine ball (50 or 25 each side). Lastly, we finished with side extensions — 50 (25 each side) holding 5 lb weights.

Do I even have to tell you how jello-like my arms are right now? They will definitely be sore tomorrow!

I think I’m going to have to do this workout more often. 😉

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Fast 3-miler

Something about taking a break from running seems to suit me, in that I run faster afterwards. It’s not something I want to do long term but I find it very interesting!

As I mentioned in my last post, I haven’t been doing much lately, other than a 5k here, a yoga class there, but not working out every day. I’ve been feeling under the weather (allergies) which explains some of it, but it’s still just not like me.

But today I decided I had to get out for a good run for sure! I was ready.

We lucked out with the weather! Right when Farrah and I were set to meet, there was supposed to be a big downpour. But it rained sooner than expected and cleared out just in time for us. It also stayed dry during our whole run, thank goodness!

When we first got started, it hurt. My legs were stiff, not used to running and I was out of breath. But I slowed up a bit, my body warmed up and eventually I was on cruise control. We reached a point where we could turn and finish two miles or keep going for three and I said “Let’s go!”

We were both kind of shocked when we saw the time on our watches…

  • Time: 28:35
  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Avg. pace: 9:32/mile

It was pretty much my fastest 3-miler that wasn’t a race!

The funny thing is, we were just out “jogging” and talking the whole time. Imagine if we’d been pushing ourselves even more!

Ahh, let’s save that for another day. I’m going to enjoy this one now. 😉

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After the race on Saturday, I took Sunday off to rest and get my usual household chores taken care of. Then on Monday, I was too busy. Tuesday, I didn’t feel good. Somehow I haven’t exercised since last Saturday!

I’m all about listening to one’s body but I think this has gone a step further than that and I have become incredibly unbalanced.

(Image Source)

Normally, this would not be a problem and honestly a welcome break every now and then, but this has happened two weeks in a row. My concern is not about vanity or worrying about gaining a few pounds, I know that not exercising more regularly than I have been is just not good for my health.

In fact, I was starting to wonder if the sickness I keep getting off and on might be due to the fact that I’m not moving as much as I usually do? Or have I cut back on exercising because I don’t feel good? I’ve had a sort of chicken/egg conversation going on in my head the past few days!

Last night, I felt like it was time to put my feelings onto paper and make a “plan” as to what I can do about it. Here is what I wrote:

Tuesday May 18th, 2010:

Ugh, I feel awful. Why?

  • Too much food (after dinner)
  • No exercise since Saturday
  • Sore throat/cough/congestion 
  • I gotta move!
  • The foods I am eating are okay, not exercising ISN’T.

Game Plan

Tomorrow, I will…

  • Start the day off with yoga (check, thanks Exercise TV!)
  • Eat a healthy breakfast and drink some tea (check)
  • Take 2, 15 minute walk breaks at work (check 1 of 2, so far)
  • Do yoga class at work (check) or run
  • Do another short workout this afternoon (if time permits)
  • Drink lots of water and tea (so far, so good, check)
  • Enjoy girl’s night tonight!

Man, it felt good to write all of that out. Not only was I able to acknowledge that I was feeling bad, I was able to move on and set a plan into motion so that I won’t feel bad anymore!

As you can see, I have already met more than half of my goals for the day. They are all simple little things that add up to me feeling better. I’m all about adding up the little things 🙂

And I’m feeling great today…

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