Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Thoughts & Recap


Well here we are again, Happy Monday all.  How is everyone feeling?  Drained from the weekend?  Refreshed and rearing to take on this week?  I am somewhere in-between myself. I have a good few things to look forward to at the end of the week, but I also had an exciting weekend that has left me slightly sleep deprived and tired.  Sleeping in definitely would have been appreciated this morning.

I am also fighting off some achy ankles.  And I am not 100% sure what the root cause is.  It could be due to my old(ish) running shoes so my search for new ones is definitely going to start today.  I currently run in Mizuno Wave Inspire 8's and I have loved them.  I originally bought them when I was running only occasionally but used them at the gym and spin classes... but they have also been with me for the last four months when I have clocked in 200+ miles, so I am okay with retiring them for some new babies soon.  Besides new shoes, I am going to try and ice my ankles daily, take today off from running (yesterday was a hungover rest day), and just feel them out as the week goes on - not push myself for speed or distance.

Update: I think I am going to go for the Mizuno Wave Inspire 9's or Wave Elixir 8's.  My local running store carries both so hopefully I can go there this week to try some on!

Anyway, let's get to the recap.

45 Minute Trampoline & Toning Class (Fantastic!)
Worked late (an extra 4 hours...) and had an evening event so couldn't go to yoga = impromptu Rest Day (I was really sore anyway)
Indoors - 5.20 Miles
Had planned to attend my Thursday night Aerobic & Toning class, but it was cancelled at the last moment - bummer!
Indoors - 4.40 Miles on Achy Ankles
A slow but beautiful 6.20 Miles outdoors + 5 minutes of stair sprints
Planned Rest Day!

Total: 16 Miles & 1 Aerobic/Toning Class

The Trampoline class was truly fantastic (as my post earlier this week highlighted) but I am worried it may be causing, or adding to, my achy ankles... So I have not quite decided if it something I will do again tonight.  If I decide my feet can not take the bounce I will go to a spin class instead, that is roughly around the same time, so not a big deal schedule wise, but I think Trampoline is a better toning class though.  Regardless, today will be a non-running exercise day.  

I was bummed about both Tuesday and Thursday last week though.  Tuesday I ended up having to stay at work an extra four hours, and then was way too tired to run and had an event to go to that night so was super pressed for time.  I feel like my explanation is an excuse but it really isn't! I had no time.  
And then Thursday was also such a disappointment.  The class is at 7pm, so it is a little late compared to my normal exercise routine (I try to get my run or workout in as early as possible) but I have started planning my day around knowing I have the workout in the evening.  Unfortunately it was not until about 6pm that the class was cancelled.  I suppose I could have forced myself to do a quick run then, or toning on my own, but it didn't happen.

Saturday was a great run.  It was a little hard at times, but I took it slow (10:44 average pace) and just enjoyed the sun and fall colours and falling leaves.  The course I chose is a little hilly - I call it bumpy: steep but short inclines and declines throughout it - but I enjoyed the few challenges that it has to offer (potentially another cause of my achy ankles though). When I knew I would not be breaking any PR on the run (so, like Mile 1) I let myself really just ENJOY the run and I even stopped and took a few photos along the way!

At the end of my weekend 6 miler!

Around mile 4, had to stop for a pic :)
So, all in all, I am happy with the week.   I wish I had been able to get in a bit more toning or yoga, but running wise I am content with 16 miles.  Especially with my hurting body at the moment.

Goals for the week to come:
3-4 Run days = 15-20 Miles
1-2 Cross training or aerobic toning classes
1-2 Yoga classes

I was avoiding writing this part... but, my diet was awful.  It started off pretty great at the beginning of the week actually, but by the end it was just ...bad.  Hopefully I can be more consistent this week.  I also have a few events on the weekend so that should be better motivation for me to stick to healthy foods all week, I hope.  Fingers crossed for a good and healthy week ahead of us! Positivity is the key to success - start Monday with a smile.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday's Weekly Rambles - My Wish List

As a running newbie it should be no surprise that I have a wish list a mile (pun!) long.  It mostly consists of running gear I would LOVE to have, as well as some other "healthy living" items.  You should know upfront I am one of those people that if I gave myself the chance I could totally justify, to myself, 97% of the items on this list.  But – so that I don’t seem like a crazed shopaholic – I have narrowed the list down to just include some of the top items I am currently lusting after.

1. Nike Pro Hyperwarm Engineered Half-Zip
Let's begin with Nike.  First, I should really be thankful that I don’t have a Nike store in my town otherwise I am sure I would pop in daily, just to “browse” of course.  Anyway, back to the topic at hand, the weather has already begun to get cold (really cold) here and I need to embrace this head on since it is my future for the next five plus months.  My running journey began at the beginning of the summer so my gear mostly consists of tanks and crops, thus this colder weather has sparked my shopping addiction interest in winter running attire.  Obviously, my first stop was to the Nike website.
Nike Pro Hyperwarm Engineered Half-Zip (Link)
Side note, does anyone find the Nike website the most frustrating? No? Just me then.. 

I was originally looking at the Nike Element Half Zip last week, but when I went back to write this post I could not find it anymore... But I am also severely tech challenged (as evidenced above).  However, with that gone I took another look through and am definitely eying this Nike Pro Hyperwarm Engineered Half Zip - and I think I could get some great use out of it! 

2. Teeki's "Cloud" Hot Pants
So, this one is definitely not as essential as the Nike half zip, but... I would love a pair of bright/patterned yoga pants!  I couldn’t get away with wearing them at work (all black policy) but I would totally wear them to yoga (duh) and other fitness classes!  Even running if they were comfortable enough but I kind of doubt they could beat out my current favorites for running (more on them later).  Anyway, yeah, I totally need them, right?!

I would absolutely love a pair from the brand Teeki (a few yoga shops in my town carry the brand - you can check their website for store locations near you and they seem amazing.  Not only are they made in the USA from recycled plastic bottles (!!!) but they are so frickin’ cool looking!

"Cloud" Hot Pants (Link)
I am pretty obsessed with their "Hot Pants" collection in general but the "Clouds" design is definitely my favorite.  Close second goes to the "Space Love" design, which can be found here.
Great list so far, right? The Nike half zip is somewhat justified (cold weather and all) but I know, although they are epically amazing, I really don't "need" a new pair of not-work-appropriate leggings [full disclaimer, I nearly went down and bought these last weekend - only reason I didn't was because of my extremely low energy level].

3. The Runner's World Cookbook

This next one should be no shocker to anyone.  Especially anyone following any active running blog!  The Runner's World Cookbook has been featured everywhere lately and the more reviews I read, and the more photos I see, the more I want it!   The cookbook offers guidance and recipes appropriate for numerous goals ranging from training for a marathon to wanting to lose a bit of weight.  150 recipes focused on proper nutrition - it basically justifies itself!

My true dream wishlist could continue on for quite a long time so maybe keeping it to these top three is the smart choice for now.  I would also love new shoes, sports bras, tops, etc. but these three items are definitely at the top of the list right now.  I guess the yoga pants are really not practical for my life currently but everyone needs to have fun and splurge once in awhile!  Realistically I could see myself purchasing the cookbook real soon, and if I do I will definitely be documenting my experiments in the kitchen!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday Workout: Toning on a Trampoline

I completed a half marathon about a month ago, and since it was my first race I was really focused on training the weeks leading up to it.  I was so worried about getting my miles in I avoided doing a lot of other classes/toning because I didn't want to risk being too sore to run, or injuring myself (a little silly, I know).  

Anyway.  Now that training is over I have more flexibility in my schedule.  I definitely don't want to lose any of my running-cardio-fitness level but I also don't need to clock in 20+ miles a week.  So, I've decided to focus some of my energy on toning up and building strength, and losing a bit of weight (if we're being completely honest).  So, the last two weeks I have made the effort to try out new workout classes (I am useless on my own at the gym) and am already so impressed with myself.

This week my new class for the week was a trampoline based group workout.  I was pretty nervous before taking this one, mostly because I had no idea what to expect, and also a little afraid I would be jiggling the entire time (not the case).  I also was worried that my ankles would hurt (old issues with my ankles), that it would be too hard, and that I would fall off the trampoline.  

But, it went great!  I mean I wasn't as smooth as this lady, but I definitely loved it.  It was a challenging workout, my legs were hurting within the first five minutes (which surprised me, you would think after all these miles my legs would be strong enough for a trampoline class) and the instructor worked in lots of abdominal work, pushups, and sqauts... so a full body workout in the hour!
We all had our own small trampolines and the instructor had a bangin' playlist and for each track she lead us through a number of different exercises.  For some songs it would be "cardio" work and we would have to do different jumps on the trampoline.  I struggled a little with the bouncing... that sounds silly, but there were moments when I was jumping too high or just a little out of control.  Other songs we treated as a circuit and she had us off the trampolines doing all sorts of toning work.  It was definitely tough, and I definitely felt it the next day - which I loved!

Moral of the story, if there are any trampoline group classes in your area - try it out!! In an hour(ish) you get the full package: cardio, weight work, and abdominal training.  Absolutely fantastic, especially if you are short on time.  It is definitely going to become a weekly must in my new regime!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Thoughts & Recap

Happy Monday all!

I feel exhausted for it being only Monday.  I worked on Saturday this weekend and, although I took it a little too easy the rest of the time, I definitely could of stayed in bed all day today.  Regardless, I still have high hopes for this coming week!  

Dr. Seuss you are so deep, on so many levels.  And always applicable, regardless of where you are in life. 

Before we climb our mountains, lets first talk about last week... It was only so-so.  I skipped out on one of my run days and my weekend run was not up to par, so I was left feeling a little discouraged on Sunday evening. (I normally aim for 4 run days, 2 yoga classes, and an additional cross fit/toning class). But the week went as follows:

Rest day from the weekend's 7 miler
Indoors - 3.25 Miles (treadmill weather) & 1 hour Flow Yoga class
Indoors - 4.50 Miles
Aerobic & Toning class - 45 Minutes (kicked my butt)
Sore and world's worst day... so impromptu rest day
Worked & Rest Day
Fast 5 Miler Outdoors + recovery 1/2 Mile

Total Miles: just shy of 13.. 
1 Yoga Class & 1 Aerobic/Toning Class

I felt guilty about skipping Friday's run but I truly was sore, and it was one of those days that every little thing was going wrong and frustration was just building up.  But maybe a run would have helped...  

On Sunday I set out to do 8 miles, and ended up with just 5.  I am normally pretty good at pacing myself in the beginning, keeping slow, but Sunday I was just all over the place.  Started off too strong and couldn't get into a groove.  When I reached mile 4 I knew I wouldn't be going any longer than 5 miles, and I had already been keeping up a decently fast pace, so I pushed myself and ended up with a personal best for 5 miles - 48:16.  My previous 5 mile time was 50:56, less than two months ago.  So I felt pretty good about the new PR regardless of the shorter run. 

Back to the normal working scene this week (Monday-Friday only, hopefully) and my goals for the week are 4 run days (one being a longer run), 1-2 yoga classes, and at least 1 cross training/toning class! I also am going to get back into weighing myself to keep me more accountable, more on that later.


Here's to forgetting about the unfortunate and any negativity, and moving forward with a clean slate.  In the wise words of F. Scott Fitzgerald, a fresh start awaits us with the changing of the seasons.

Too deep?  Enjoy your week :) 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Discovering Running

Okay, post number two.  Where to begin? 

I love running.  Our relationship is still in the honeymoon phase and I am petrified our first fight is just around the corner.  But, before I dive into where I am today, let me begin by sharing a few tidbits from my fitness and weight loss history…

Years ago (sigh… I hate to admit how long ago it really was) I lost a lot of weight through running and eating healthy food.  During that year I was happy and was kept busy with the different areas of my life (school, work, friends, boyfriend, LIFE).  Before I knew it I had lost twenty pounds and was in great shape without really trying!  When I say I wasn’t trying, I mean I hadn’t been fixated on calorie counting.  Instead, I focused on being active and making good choices, and, eventually, the weight came off.   

Flash forward a few years and I wouldn’t have been able to run a mile if $1,000 was waiting for me at the finish line.  From that point on I battled with fad diets, binge eating, spurts of living at the gym to not moving a muscle, and I never really got back to where I had been previously. 

Flash forward some more and it is January 7, 2013 (yes I remember the exact day).  It was a new year, and mentally I had committed myself to losing weight.  I was sick of feeling chubby and out of shape.  I gave up drinking, and sticking to a very strict calorie reduced diet, and exercising at least four times a week, I lost weight over the following weeks.  However, like all extreme diets, I eventually fell off the wagon and ended up gaining some of the weight back.  And that was when I met my new love, running.

It was the summer and I was becoming frustrated with my life.  Freshly graduated from university I found myself unemployed and unsure of what was ahead of me.  I was unhappy, worried, anxious.  And then one day, instead of continuing with my normal gym routine and hitting up the elliptical machine, I hopped on the treadmill.  And it was as simple as that.  Sure I started slow, but I kept with it and before I knew it I was following a half marathon training program!  I still remember completing my first five miles and the amazing feeling of accomplishment that came with it.  In September of 2013 I ran my first race ever, a half marathon. 

So today, as I write all of this, I am still not satisfied with who I am quite yet.  I still have some growing and changing ahead of me.  I know my weight doesn’t dictate who I am, but my heavier self is not the individual I want to portray to the world.  I want to live a healthy and fit lifestyle so that I can take advantage of all the opportunities that come my way, and to continuously feel that amazing sense of accomplishment that comes with reaching your goals – regardless of how big or small they may be.
The desire to start my own blog is stemming primarily from two places.  I guess, first, it is to hold myself accountable for the choices I make – sticking to a healthy diet, and keeping up my exercise regime.  Second, I don’t have many runner friends.  Ever since I first discovered the world of running I find myself having to hold back.. what do you mean not everyone wants to talk about running 24/7?  Sure this honeymoon feeling may not last forever, but running and I are definitely in a long term relationship and, right now, it's all I want to talk about!  But I do realize there are only so many times others, regardless of how much they may fake interest, can tolerate listening to me ramble on about my new love.  So, I figure, instead of annoying everyone close to me, the internet can listen to my rants; as soon as I finish a run I can tell all of you (no one?) about my negative splits, my new personal best, and this weird desire to keep pushing myself further.

So, before I ramble on too much longer, that is the point of my blog.  To write about my runs, regardless of how slow, or short, or just crappy they may have been, to write about my ongoing efforts to lose weight and maintain a healthy life, and, as well, to write about the occasional tidbit from my life as I attempt to figure out what my 20’s are supposed to be all about.

So, welcome to Discovering Running...