Thursday, July 7, 2011

Take that workout to go

You're heading to the beach for a family vacation and your first thought is excitement, quickly followed by panic and anxiety, how are you going to stay on track with your workouts and nutrition?!  Take a deep breath, with a little bit of planning it will be easy to have fun and stay on track.  I had this happen this past weekend.  We were supposed to be heading out Friday a.m. for a camping trip.  I planned to get in a run and some strength training before we left, and plan to workout one day while we were away.  Perfect, right?  Not so much, we ended up leaving early to go up Thursday night to stay with my brother and (soon to be sis) in law. I could have just gotten frustrated and left my sneakers and workout clothes at home, but I packed 'em up and told myself I'd fit them in somewhere.  I also went online real quick and jotted down Jamie Eason's Plyometric Card Workout.  I'm going to share with you the beach workout that Amanda (soon to be sis in law) and I did while I was away.  It is based on the Jamie Eason's Workout with a couple of our own moves thrown in.  This workout is great.  Its quick and the beach sand adds another level of difficulty to the moves.  Also, you can do it barefoot in your bathing suit if you don't have workout clothes--so there are NO EXCUSES!

complete 15 reps of each exercise and repeat the circuit 2 or 3x

Jump squats
High knees (1 rep=both knee's up)
Jumping Jacks
Mountain climbers(1 rep=both sides)
Butt-kicks (1 rep=both sides)
Bicycle Crunches
Jump Lunges (1 rep=both sides)
Crab Toe Touches (1 rep=both sides)

After you have completed the circuit 2 or 3x immediately do 25 full-burpees.

Follow it up with 10x100m strides in the sand.

The beach workout can be done anywhere, you don't need the sand.  You can combine any combination of moves to make your own workout, just get moving!  Another idea is to get to the park.  You can do sprints/strides in the grass, use the monkey bars to complete pull-ups, use a bench to do box jumps or dips, etc. etc.  Get creative, and get moving on vacation!

Next post I'll cover nutrition on vacation and of course a preview of my first week of marathon training!  Do you have any specific questions/concerns you would like me to cover?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stepping out of your comfort zone

Many people like to live life in a safe little box.  They go through life doing the same things everyday, never making many changes or taking on new challenges.  They are comfortable, and they are scared to take a step outside of that zone.  Why?  I'm guessing its fear.  Fear is such a huge driver in our life.  It is the reason you didn't set a goal higher than you though you could achieve.  It was the reason you didn't apply for that job you were slightly unqualified for.  It may have been the reason you didn't make a new friend.  It is fear of the unknown.  Fear of failure.  Fear of embarrassment.   Why should we live life in fear?  And possibly miss out on experiences or opportunities?  We shouldn't.  It is so hard to step out of your comfort zone.  I know that.  I am definitely guilty of staying in my "comfort zone" in lots of situations.  A new goal of mine is to step outside of that box a little more often.  And I'm going to challenge you to do the same.  You don't have to go crazy.  Just set a new goal, that you know you will have to work your ass of to reach, or apply for your dream job, or maybe just approach a new person, lift a heavier weight, maybe even just trying a new food.  You get the point.  Whats the worse that could happen?  You may not meet that goal, or you may not get that job.  And then you will pick yourself up, and you will try again next time.  You will realize you are stronger than you think you are, and you will gain self esteem.  I am terrified about marathon training.  I am terrified I won't meet my goal.  I'm still going to do it though, and I'm still going to give it my all.  And as much as I don't want to tell you my time goal because I am afraid of failure, I am going to.  Why?  Because it will push me harder.  So here it is, my goal is to run my FIRST marathon, and to run it in sub 3:35 and qualify for Boston.  And if for some reason I don't get it, I'm going to try again.

I'm going to share instances of stepping out of the box on a regular basis, and hold myself accountable to doing it.  Are you going to join me?

Do you feel like you step out of your comfort zone on a regular basis?  Will you join me in making an effort to do it if you don't already?  What will be your first small goal?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Early To Rise

I love getting up early in the morning.  Its not always easy to get out of bed, but I love having that time to myself in the morning.  Take this morning for example, I got up at 5am naturally with no alarm.  I made myself a little breakfast, had a small coffee, and watched the news while messing around on the computer.  I then headed out for at 5:50am for a 7.5 mile run.  I got back just about exactly an hour later, and Shawn and Cori had just gotten up.   By 10am I had cooked breakfast, washed dishes, showered, swept, vacuumed, and got all the general house cleaning done that I wanted to for the day.  I just love having everything done and knowing I have the rest of the day to enjoy.  Especially since we haven't seen the sun in a while and its finally back today!

Do you like to get up early and get your workouts done or do you wait until later in the day?

Once I start marathon training in a week and a half I will have no choice but to rise early to beat the heat and get in my runs before Shawn goes to work for the day!  When I try to wait until the evening I find that I have no energy, so I always try to get it done early.

As promised, a recipe for the week.  I made cookies with Devin yesterday because it was yet another rainy day and we needed things to do.  We'd already done a foot soak and scrub and painted our toes, read books, and so on to baking we went.  She has a new love for honey, so we decided on Honey Banana Oatmeal Cookies.  They came out pretty good!

Honey Banana Oatmeal Cookies

1/3 cup of honey
1 banana, mashed
1 egg
1 1/4 cup of oats
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbs cocoa powder (optional)

Mix all of the wet ingredients, mix the dry ingredients separately and than add them to the wet.   Put 'em on a cookie sheet and bake them at 350 degrees.  I think the time was like 10-12 minutes, I could be wrong so check them often!  Enjoy!

Do you use honey?  What is your favorite thing to do with it?

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Weekend fun + Switching it up a bit

So I talked about my upcoming birthday weekend in my last post,  and it did not disappoint.  I had an awesome time hanging with family at my cousins grad party and tons of fun camping with friends and relaxing on the river.  And it really was relaxing.  I didn't work out all weekend, and I got to lounge in a chair(I may or may not have had two little girls climbing on me while I was relaxing :) ) most of Saturday and Sunday while the kids played in the sand and splashed in the water.  It was perfect.  I wish we could have stayed more than just one night!

I want to switch the focus of my blog just a little bit.  Of course I'm still going to blog about my journey to my first marathon, that's the whole reason I started my blog.  I'm also going to start to incorporate at least two new workouts and two new recipes a week, in hopes that you will try them out yourself.  I'd also love it if you would e-mail me any questions you would like for me to address in my blog posts.(Erin's E-Mail)  I'm full of great fitness and healthy eating tips and I'd love to share more with YOU!

The first workout is actually going to be a series of a few short workouts.  Some day's you just aren't going to have one big block of time to work out.  That is O.K.!  You can still fit in in, and something is better than nothing, right?  This is what happened to me yesterday, and so I just did a few spurts of exercise throughout the day. 

 First I got up early while everyone else was sleeping and ran 4.5 miles.

Then I did 10 minutes of burpees, with a goal of reaching 100.  I got to 126.  Try it out, its only 10 minutes of your time!

And Next I did 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of Overhead squats with a 25lb bar, decline push-ups with the stability ball, and jumping lunges w/ the 25lb bar (the last set of jumping lunges was 10 instead of 1).

Lastly, each time I walked by the pull-up bar in the afternoon I'd do 5 semi-assisted pull ups and 10 hanging knee raises.  This was about 6x.

None of those workouts took much time, and I felt like I had gotten a great workout by the end of the day.  There are tons of short workouts you can fit in during down time during the day.  Try jumping lunges, jump squats, do a few push-ups, etc.

Next post I'll add in a recipe, for now I need to go make my little princess a yogurt parfait. :)

Hope you are all having a great week!  Don't forget to send me any questions you answered!

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm a slacker.

Yes, I've been slacking at blogging.  I've mostly been keeping up with reading, but as far as commenting and posting my own--not so much. I'm going to make a valiant effort from now on to post 2x a week.  I'll admit its tougher these days because we have been spending all of our time outside!

I've been keeping my miles under 20/per week, with one longish run (7-8miles) to keep my base.   I have my marathon training plan in hand and I am super excited to start.  I'll be training for 12 weeks and I'm starting my training the second week in July!  I've increased my strength training a whole bunch over the last couple of weeks and tweaked my nutrition a bit so that I can hopefully add some muscle before I began marathon training.  This is really important, as its likely I'll lose a bit of muscle during training.  In order to lose as little as possible I'm going to keep one heavy lifting day in my routine during training and probably 1 or 2 lighter days.   Oh and I'm going to just eat all. day. long.  :)

So today is m birthday...YAY!  And we have a fun weekend planned out.  I started my birthday with a 4 mile run and I'm about to do a crossfit wod called "small"--I am modifying it a bit because I don't have a rower and I'm not going to have time to do the prescribed meters.  So here is my modification:

400m run (should be 1000m row)
50 box jumps
50 burpees
400m run (Should be 800m run)
Repeat 3x

Yes more burpees!  I swear they aren't involved in all of my workouts---I do love them though! :)

So now you're thinking I just think its fun to workout all day on my birthday, but this is not true.  This afternoon we're headed to Boston for my cousins graduation party.  She just graduated from the Police Academy! ROCKSTAR!!!  I'm so proud of her and can't wait to go celebrate.  And then we are headed camping with friends tomorrow night!  I love camping and I'm looking forward to relaxing with a couple of Sam Summers :)

I'll try to add photos in my next post, but for some reason I'm having trouble with it lately! :(

Hope you all have a great weekend!  Any fun weekend plans?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Life without a training plan

It's sort of weird not having a training plan, after following one almost exactly for the past 8 weeks.  I must admit I'm enjoying the freedom, and I am loving that I can increase my strength training/cross training without worrying I'm going to be too sore and jeopardize an important run.  I have done some killer Crossfit style and Bodyrock workouts over the past week and a half, and it feels great!  If you are looking for an amazing total body workout I recommend giving the 400 Rep Burpee workout from Bodyrock.  It looks like this:

Repeat 4x:
  • 1) One Leg Burpee, 5 reps on each leg
  • 2) Burpee Knee Raises, 10 reps
  • 3) Side Burpee Knee Tuck, 5 reps on each side
  • 4) Burpee Step Up, 5 reps on each leg
  • 5) Burpee Roll Over, 10 reps
  • 6) Sumo Burpees, 10 reps
  • 7) Burpee Pull Up, 10 reps
  • 8) Half Burpee & Jump Over, 10 reps
  • 9) 2x Jump Lunge & 2 Taping Push Ups, 10 reps
  • 10) Frog Burpee, 10 reps
This workout is awesome, my abs were sore, my glutes were sore, my shoulders were sore, etc.  The best part about this workout is that you adjust it to your fitness level--you could only go through it once or twice, and you can work up to going through it 4x.  Its also really long, so going through it twice is still very efficient and should only take around a half hour or so.

Since the race I've only done short runs of 3-4 miles.  Coach Tara suggested I keep my mileage under 20 miles for the next 3 weeks to allow my body to recover from half marathon training before I start full marathon training.   I'm going to split that between a few short runs and a longer run of 7-8 miles to be sure I keep my base.  I will be starting marathon training at the beginning of July.  And I CANNOT wait to start marathon training.  I love having a plan and a goal to work toward.  Goals really keep me motivated.

Do you find it easier to keep to a workout plan when you set specific goals?  What is your current goal?

I think goals are super important, they can keep you motivated and help you to keep pushing your limits.

Thank you all so much for your sweet comments, especially after my race.  I love love love comments, so if you come by and read please don't forget to leave a comment and let me know!!! Thanks!

I was going to leave you with a few race photos, but for some reason I can't paste them in today, so I'll try again in my next post!

Have a great Tuesday!!!

What's your workout for today?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Race Results+Recap

I can only describe that race as TOUGH.  No it wasn't hilly or anything, I probably could have handled that better.  It was very warm and very humid (almost 90% at start time).  Its been a very cool spring, so I hadn't had a chance to train in any weather like that.  I got there really early, and it felt nice to walk around and get my packet and do it yourself goody bag.  There was nothing great in the bag, some spices(random), a t-shirt, a couple other things.  I lined up with about 15 minutes to race time.  There were so many registrants (over 8000, although the race shows only 5236 finished the race) that I wanted to get up into my time slot so I wasn't stuck in the crowd going out super slow in the first mile.  The National Anthem was sung, and the race started just about right on time.  The race started in front of the Trade Center in Boston and there was a nice little breeze off the water. 

It was cloudy at the beginning, so I was thankful for at least that.  The first 6 miles I felt great.  I had some trouble during the last week of training with foot pain, so I was thankful that it wasn't a problem in the race.  I started out too fast, which I would regret later in the race.  I ran my first 5k in 20:30.  That pace is about 40 seconds faster than my planned pace.  And it was too fast, especially on such a humid day.  I slowed down a bit after I realized I was going too fast, but kept a pretty good pace all the way until I got until past the 6 mile mark.  At this point I was almost at the turn around and I realized I need to start walking through water stations to get more fluid in me.  Up until then I had run through water stations grabbing water, taking a couple sips and dumping the rest on myself.   That wasn't enough.  Luckily for me the race had water stations every 2 miles.  At that point I was just willing myself to make it to the next water station, and telling myself I could walk for a minute if I could just make it those two miles in between.  I did this after every water station from mile 8 to the end.  The last 3 miles were really hard.  I was pretty dehydrated, I started to get chills even though it was really hot and humid.  I really enjoyed running through the city of Boston the last time I ran this race, not so much this time.  I really wanted to be done.  And I made it, and I still managed to push myself through the straight away to the finish.  I have no idea how!  It helped that my beautiful (soon to be) sis in law was at the finish line cheering me on.  I couldn't wait to see her those last few miles!  She has been so supportive and was so proud of me.  I seriously scored the jackpot as far as sister in laws are concerned, she rocks!  I love you Amanda!!

My time was 1:36:22 (7:21/pace).  That is a personal record for me, but I was really bummed that I didn't make my goal time of sub 1:35. I did finish 19th out of 1391 in my age group, so I was pretty happy with that.  I know that I gave it all (during training and in my race) that I had and it just wasn't my race.  I can't control the weather (although I could have hydrated much better).  I learned just how important proper hydration is to your performance during this race, and I'm going to practice that much more during my training runs.  I also learned that sometimes even when you think you can't go any farther, you can.  You just have to dig deep.

I need to take a moment to thank my coach Tara.  I could not have had a better training plan and more support.  She was there 24/7 to answer any question or any concerns I had, and she believed in me even when I did not believe in my self.  Thank you Tara, you are the best and I love you!  If any of my readers are looking for a coach for your next half marathon/marathon please contact me and I will get you Tara's information.  She really takes the time to get to know you as a runner and she will personalize a plan that will fit you.  She is also a fountain of unlimited running/nutrition information.(she also helped me tweak my nutrition.  I can't wait for her to send me my marathon training plan!   Next up for me is the Hampton NH Rockfest Marathon on October 2nd and I'm looking foward to the next challenge!

Did anybody else race over the Memorial Day weekend?


Monday, May 23, 2011

4 More Runs

We got a virus on our computer last week, so we had to drop it off to get fixed.  What a pain in the butt!  All is good now, and hopefully it will stay that way.  So anyways, that is why I haven't been posting or keeping up in bloggy world, but I'm back. :)

I am 6 days away from race day, and I only have 4 more runs.  I am ANXIOUS!!!  Last week was a lot better of a training week than the week before.  I was feeling a lot more positive, and my head was in the right place.  I replaced my track workout with 4x1/4 mile hill sprints because I couldn't make it to the track.  Its been really tough for me to fit in the track work, but I think I've done really well with finding an alternative and getting it done.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again because I think it is SO important-you need to be flexible with your training.  Remember that a training plan is not set in stone, it is a guideline.  Yes, it is important to get in most of your miles and its super important to push yourself.  But you will feel a lot better if you focus on what you did and not on what you didn't.  There is always tomorrow, so if you miss a run or have a bad run, just push it that much harder the next day.

Friday was my rest day so I was ready to rock on Saturday morning.  I got up and did a bodyrock workout right away, it looked like this:

 4 minutes of 10 sec rest, 50 sec max reps of:
  • Crab Toe Touch, max. reps
  • Dive Bomber, max. reps
2 minutes of back to back (no rest)
  • Jump Lunge, 10 sec. max. reps
  • Mountain Climber, 10 sec. max. reps
 4 minutes of 10 sec rest, 50 sec max reps of:
  • One Leg Hot Attack Exercise, max. reps
  • Thigh Shrinker Exercise, max. reps
 2 minutes of back to back (no rest)

  • Jump Lunge, 10 sec. max. reps
  • Mountain Climber, 10 sec. max. reps
That workout rocked my legs, and then I went right out and did 4x1/4 mile hill sprints with a 2-mile warm-up and 2-mile cool down.  It was hard, but I felt awesome after.  I came in and did 5x10sets of plank push-ups on the stability ball and hand to foot passes with the stability ball.  It was one of those days when you just feel so awesome after your workout.  

Sunday was my final long run before race day and it was a 12.16-mile run.  It felt really good.  It was super hilly, and I'm really hoping all these hills are going to make me faster during my race.  We'll see on Sunday!

I haven't done a move of the day for a little bit, so here is one of my fav ab exercises:

Hand to Foot Stability ball Pass

Lie on your back, with your legs extended on floor. Hold the ball with both hands, and extend arms back over your head. Raise arms and legs toward each other, lifting your head and shoulders as you do. When your hands and feet are directly up, transfer the ball to your feet, then lower your arms and legs back to the floor. Repeat, this time switching the ball from your feet to your hands at the up position. That's one rep. Do 8-10 Reps.  Repeat 3x.  You can always add more reps or sets.  I got the following photos from Good Housekeeping (the only place I could find good ones).

What is your favorite ab move?  

Do you focus on abs individually or just work them in your overall body workout?
I don't usually focus on abs individually because they get enough work in my bodyrock workouts or in many of the functional moves I do (push-ups, burpees, sandbag squats, etc,).  Every now and again I will do an online workout focusing just on my abs so they can get a good burn. :)

Have a great Monday!!!