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Archive for June, 2010

I have not made it to Body Pump this entire week!

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Yesterday, I was just way too tired because I had stayed up late on Wednesday night and had some house cleaning to do for this weekend.

And on Tuesday, I was way too sore from a yoga class that I took on Monday night. It was seriously the most intense class I have ever been to. I was sweating like I was in hot yoga only it was just a regular, air conditioned room.

Now, to me, the point of yoga is not to sweat as much as you can, burn a lot of calories, or to be extremely sore the next day. What I like about yoga is that it makes me feel leaner and longer, plus it gives me so much mental peace and happiness. It also stretches out the tight spots I get from all the walking, running and other activities I inflict on my body.

And it’s fun to challenge yourself in new ways you didn’t know were possible. That’s what happened in this class and that’s why I was a bit sore Tuesday. We did some long holds in chair pose and with support, I got to do wheel again! I hope someday I can do this one on my own. ūüėČ

I recently read about Healthy Ashley’s 30 Days of Yoga challenge, where she is committing to doing at least 10 minutes of yoga per day for 30 days. This caught my attention and I totally intend to at least give it a shot. I mean, certainly I can do 10 minutes, right? Sometimes I stand in tree pose while I’m waiting for dinner to finish cooking. ūüėČ

But then again, as a person who enjoys multiple forms of exercise, I have a hard time staying focused on any one (or two) activity in order to see real progress. I jump around between running, weight lifting, yoga, walking, etc. so much that I don’t stick with one thing for very long or I neglect one activity for another.

So what should I do?

I think this is happening because I do not have a specific goal. No races to train for (yet) and nothing else really motivating me right now.

I¬†don’t like¬†choosing between so many things I¬†enjoy but is it really realistic for me to think that I can run, walk, do yoga and Body Pump¬†each multiple times¬†in one week? There are just not enough hours or days.

If I were able to fit them all in, I feel like I would be doing each thing one day and then not devoting enough time to anything to keep it up.

Hmm…deep thoughts for¬†a Friday afternoon!

I feel so distracted right now. Did I mention my¬†high school reunion is tomorrow?! Perhaps I should wait until Sunday to make any major¬†decisions. ūüėČ

What are your favorite forms of exercise? Are you able to fit them all in?

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After I walked my most recent 5k on Saturday, I really got to thinking…when was the last time I walked?

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Like really walked? Not just to and from the car or around the grocery store? Yeah, I couldn’t remember.

Which is really sad because when I first started on my health journey more than three years ago, walking was my thing. I walked just about every day and it definitely contributed to my weight loss, better moods, and better sleeping at night.

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So, why have I abandoned it so?

I guess I get caught up in running sometimes. When you become a runner, it can be¬†easy to see walking (for exercise) as a sub-par workout in comparison. Which is so not true and anytime we think that we should slap ourselves! ūüėČ

Anyway, as luck would have it, I have really just felt like walking this week.

On Monday, I had my clothes packed for the gym and when the time came to go, I had this incredible urge to just put on my shoes and head outside for a walk instead, even in the 90+ degree weather and humidity.

So I DID! I sweated like crazy and drank an entire 24 ounces of water in an hour but man did it feel good. I did the same thing today.

I have decided that I need to take a break from running and enjoy some nice walks this week, especially since the weather is so hot and my running partner is out of town. And I don’t have any races planned until the end of July.

Here’s what’s been great about walking so far (the past two days):

  • Walking doesn’t require me to leave work early to go change my clothes at the gym or have to change back into them afterwards (just my shoes).
  • Walking allows me to be comfortable carrying a water bottle and not see it as a hassle.
  • I never feel out of breath.
  • I can walk in high summer temperatures/humidity and feel totally fine (running in summer heat makes me want to pass out).

That reminds me of the time I walked to Walmart in 6 inches of snow (for French bread and Nutella, ha ha), while it was still coming down. Walking is a year-round sport for sure.

I have no plans to quit running beyond this week’s hiatus¬†but perhaps I shouldn’t neglect walking as much anymore. I didn’t realize how much I had really missed walking. But I will be back to running next week!

I can certainly love them both and do them both often, right? ūüôā

Do you enjoy walking? If you are a runner, do you walk regularly too?

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On Saturday morning, I woke up to the sounds of thunder and heavy rain. Then came the flashes of lightning. I have to admit…I was NOT happy at all.

I ate breakfast, got dressed and drove down to the race site.¬†I sat in my car as the rain kept coming down and the lightning kept striking. Surely this race is going to get canceled, I thought. But it didn’t. And I feel sort of guilty for wishing it had.

The Champions 4 Her 5K started a few minutes after 8:00 and we didn’t get very far before a massive downpour came over us. I had already decided to walk before this because my aunt was there and¬†also I wasn’t feeling motivated to run at all because I had ran on Friday and my hip was a little sore. But the downpour just helped solidify this commitment.

As we were walking, we noticed that they changed the course a bit this year. We used to go across the bridge to Clarksville, but thanks to construction on Main Street (probably related to the Yuck Yum Arena) we ended up just going all the way down one street, turning around and coming back.

As far as race courses go, it was pretty boring. But I was glad for the time I spent chatting with my aunt, mostly about the crazy weather we have been having here lately!

My aunt and I walked the 3.1 miles in less than an hour in the pouring rain. Which I thought was pretty awesome considering.

The rain also cleared up enough after we finished so that we walked around a little bit¬†and got some free health screenings. They had quite a bit of useful information at this festival, it really is a great event and I’m glad I went down there after all.

I’ve learned from this that sometimes we just need to slow down and enjoy the walk and take the “race” part out of it.

If that’s not a metaphor for life, I don’t know what is.

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Last night, I attended a Body Pump class where the instructor taught the new Body Pump 74 “release” which is a whole new routine with new songs and everything.

The instructor said last night that they will teach this version for three weeks and from then on add their own modifications until the next release comes out.

BODY PUMP 74 WAS INTENSE!

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The new things about this routine were quite noticeable:

  • Squats had a new move of down, hold and then up for a 2 count. I felt the burn!
  • We did lunges for almost 6 minutes straight! My legs were shaking and crying by the end of that. We were on each leg nearly 3 minutes before switching.
  • We were¬†on the ground (and the bench) doing pushups, dips, and other moves for triceps which was a nice change from the presses with the bar.
  • We also did pushups for shoulders in addition to the other stuff, which required a lot of quick transitions.
  • The ab moves were a little different including…
  • Planks! We had to stay up in plank position¬†and step our feed wide and back in multiple times (called Walking Hovers).

I’m sure there are more but that is what stood out in my mind. Surprisingly, I’m not sore yet today. But it hasn’t been 24 hours yet, so I’m not going to get too excited!

1oo Posts

It is so hard for me to believe that this is River City Fitness‘s 100th post. When I first started this blog in January, as a spin-off of my food blog See Sarah Eat, I had no idea that it would make it this far or that I would have fallen so in love with it.

When I first decided to separate these two areas of my life into their own blogs, I wasn’t sure how it would work out. But now that I’ve been doing it for a while, I feel like doing so has helped me focus on the two more individually and that my posts are more thoughtful and easier to read than my old “marathon” posts. I hope you agree!

I’m really grateful for those of you who’ve joined me from reading my other blog and also¬†those who have found me through other means. I really appreciate your readership and I hope the next 100 posts are even more exciting than these have been.

Happy Friday!

p.s. You can now follow my workouts on the new Weekly Workouts page! You can also “like” this blog on Facebook!

p.p.s. I got another 5k tomorrow! Recap to follow ūüôā

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I am now into my third week of Body Pump and I can already tell a difference!

My results aren’t exactly “visible” yet but I can tell that I am getting stronger with each class. I have even increased my weight on a few different tracks: squats, back, and biceps. Lunges are also getting easier (did I really just say that?).

I enjoy Body Pump because it pushes me so much harder than I would push myself in the weight room. I like having an instructor there to tell me what I’m doing wrong and to encourage me in what I am doing well. Body Pump is also about endurance and toning, which is exactly what I am looking for.

And even though I have been in a class with men before, I love how this class I’ve been attending has been all women so far. Even though I know guys are typically stronger, it’s less intimidating not having them around ūüėČ

Here is a breakdown of what I’ve been using on the bar:

  • Warm up – 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Squats – 10 kg (22 lbs)
  • Chest – 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Back – 7 kg (15.4 lbs)
  • Shoulders – 5 kg (11 lbs) +¬†4-5 lb hand weights we use for lateral & front raises
  • Lunges – 7 kg (15.4 lbs)
  • Triceps – 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Biceps – 5 kg (11 lbs)
  • Abs – N/A

I started out lighter on squats, back¬†and biceps before realizing more weight works better for me. I can’t wait to see how I improve in the future!

Body Pump 74 just got released over the weekend and I haven’t had a teacher run through it yet. We’ll see what happens at tomorrow’s class. Apparently it’s brutal (in a good way, ha ha). I think I read something about¬†“walking hovers” — yikes!

If you like weight training but can’t ever seem to get yourself doing the right things in the weight room, I highly recommend this class.

Many gyms¬†offer Body Pump, even this small one that I go to. It’s been a great experience so far having somewhere to go but I’m still kind of bummed there is no cardio cinema or spinning classes. I’m thinking about switching to a different gym when this contact is up in November. ūüėČ

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It took me a couple of days to write this recap because I chose to spend the rest of the weekend reflecting on what an awesome race this was (you’ll see). Prior to Saturday, I hadn’t run more than 3 miles since the miniMarathon¬†and lately had just been sticking to 2 miles.

So of course I thought going into this race, there was NO way I could run 5 miles. Especially 5 extremely hilly miles through Iroquois Park.

(Image Source¬†– It obviously doesn’t look like this right now, ha ha)

But, putting self-doubt aside, I got out of bed, ate breakfast, got dressed and headed down there to meet Farrah. We are both so glad we have each other and took comfort in knowing that we are both crazy enough to PAY to get up early on a Saturday and run 5 miles in the rain through one of the toughest parks in Louisville.

The Tour de Olmstead¬†is an all day event, starting with a 25-mile bike ride, then the 5 mile run, a family bike ride, a festival and then 6 hours of professional cycling races! The event is held by the Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Inc., which¬†was formed in 1989 with a mission “to enrich the life of everyone in our community by restoring, enhancing and preserving the historic Olmsted-designed parks and parkways, Louisville‚Äôs great natural and recreational assets.”

Hopefully they had an awesome turn out!

The run crowd was pretty small. I think my bib number was 20, my lowest number ever! Such a breath of fresh air considering the races I am used to where you are so crowded, especially for that first mile or so.

When the race started, everyone took off pretty fast and I tried to keep up but knew right away¬†that it wouldn’t be a good idea if I wanted to make it through the whole 5 miles. So I slowed down and¬†found my steady pace for a while. We had been told just prior to race start that the path was all the way up to the top of the park (aka the overlook, for those of you familiar), around a 1.2 mile loop and then back down.

Holy crap!

Photo from Wikipedia — That is downtown Louisville in the far off distance! We climbed to the top of this hill!!

Once we turned the corner to start going uphill (about 0.8 miles into the race), the rain began to pour down on us. At first I was frustrated, but then it became refreshing. It was in the 80’s and very humid by the time this race started.

It didn’t rain the whole time. In fact, when it had been stopped for a while, I started to get really hot and wished it would rain again! As we made our way up the windy hills, I hit the first water stop and walked for about 30 seconds to take a few sips.

Then, when I made my way to the very top (which ended with a bigger incline), I walked for a minute to catch my breath and start the loop around the top. The way back down wasn’t as downhill as I’d hoped it would be. But it was definitely better than continuing to climb up!

At this point, I knew I had surpassed 3 miles and to me that was already an accomplishment, since I hadn’t ran this much lately. There were a couple of songs that helped me get through the last two miles, thanks to borrowing my husband’s iPod. This was no coincidence.

After reaching the top of the hill, I was by myself for most of the rest of the race (Farrah had taken off and then took a wrong turn somewhere!) and it was kind of awesome. Iroquois is very wooded and there are trees completely lining the path we were on going up and coming back down the hill. Even though I was pushing myself and sweating profusely, there was something so serene about being in that moment.

Just when I was starting to think I needed to slow down or maybe even walk again, this song came on. Now, I’m not the hugest Kanye fan in the world. But the beat kept me going and these particular lyrics hit me right where I was:

Jesus Walks
God show me the way because the Devil’s trying to break me down
Jesus Walks with me
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now

I know that probably sounds cheesy, but this song came at the perfect time. The devil in this case was doubt. Even after all I have accomplished, I still sometimes¬†doubt my abilities. But I also have this knack for proving myself wrong. ūüėČ

During the song, I raised my hands in the air a few times to thank God for getting me through this run and for giving me the strong body that I have. It was an awesome experience.

Soon after this, I hit mile four (which had an encouraging note spray painted on the road–“You’re almost there!”) and totally rocked out to this song¬†(including some head banging, ha ha)¬†and then hit the final stretch with “Tunnel” by Third Day: There’s a light at the end of this tunnel…ha.

I finished the race strong and even had my name called out as I came across the finish line (gotta love smaller races). Here’s how I did!

  • Time: 53:03
  • Distance: 5 miles
  • Avg. Pace: 10:37/mile

WOO HOO!!!

I have ran faster races and I have ran longer distances. But I’m pretty sure that this was the hardest and most rewarding race of my running “career.” I have never been more proud of myself than I was on Saturday.

I am DEFINITELY signing up for this one next year! ūüôā

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Let’s talk about abs

I had quite a revelation about abs yesterday. As some of you may know, they are my least favorite muscles to work on. Mostly because I hate interrupting an awesome weight training workout to lay on the floor and attempt to whittle this middle.

That’s not me, by the way, ha ha…

It should come as no surprise to me that since they are my least favorite muscles to work on that they are my biggest “trouble spot” if you will. I have some other issues going on in this area too, like extra skin as a result of a 70 lb weight loss.

But, I think¬†I’m over being vain for the time being. I really just want a stronger and more stable core to help me run, have¬†better posture¬†and to prevent any future back problems. So it’s time to focus on these abs!

On Sunday, I did a really quick 15 minute ab program on Exercise TV. The best part of this was that the entire routine was STANDING. It included a lot of movements with the hips and legs, but I felt more during this workout than I have on the floor in a long time.

Then on Monday I took a yoga class¬†and the instructor said something that really resonated with me. As we went through our asanas, he mentioned how crunches are not ideal for the core because it’s not based on the purpose of those muscles.

“Our cores are not meant to¬†crunch us¬†better,” he said. They are meant to stabilize us. So that is the most effective way to work them out.

One example he gave was the plank. Holding steady in that position requires a strong core (and thus develops a stronger one) because without it, the back would arch and your form would be incorrect and you could hurt yourself. We also did bridge pose a few times, which really made my back feel good.

And I got to do this!

Photo from Eternal Health Yoga Facebook page

I’ve never been able to do full wheel on my own before and having support from another person really made it seem so much easier! And I also got to be a support person and see what that felt like from the other side. It was a really neat experience.

Anyway, the point of this is that I am done doing exercises I don’t like that aren’t really going to help me anyway. And I hope this new revelation about abs (the entire core, really) will help me figure out a way to work them into my workouts more often!

Do you like doing ab work? What do you do?

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