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Week Four Workouts

29 Jan

I decided that logging my workouts would be a good way of holding me accountable for ummm, well, for doing something. While I don’t have the patience or energy to log them everyday (though that’s not to say that I won’t talk about them throughout the week), I think a weekly post will suffice to track what I’ve done and the time I’ve committed to the cause. For the record, I think that’s what I’m going to start calling it: the cause. It sounds like a charity or something and, at this point, I think it kind of is. You know, giving back to the body that has given me so much. You know and all that yada yada yada.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

  • Jillian Michael’s Six-Week Six-Pack
  • Wedding Day Workout: Arms

Monday, January 24, 2011

  • Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred, Level 2

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

  • The Biggest Loser: Cardio Max

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 – REST

Thursday, January 27, 2011

  • 3-Mile Run
  • Wedding Day Workout: Arms
  • 75 kettlebell squats, 15 lb. weight

Friday, January 28, 2011

  • 3-Mile Run

Saturday, January 29, 2011

  • 5-Mile Run
  • Wedding Day Workout: Arms

Up next, REVIEWS for all these fabulous videos I keep talking about but not really saying much. Seriously, I’ve done many of these videos enough times that I could recite all the words (which is sad, you know, for a workout video). Nonetheless, I thought that it’d possible help some workout-video-shoppers out by giving a play-by-play of my thoughts and doing a little compare/contrast between them. Plus, it will make me feel infinitely cooler than posting the 5,348th review on Amazon for them that no one will ever see. This is cooler, right? Right.

What’d you do this week? Did you let the weather interfere with your workout plans (like I did)?

Psst – In case you were wondering, the “Week Four” in the title is referring to the fact it’s the fourth week of the year, you know, since I’m going to be awesome and do this every week (I swear I will, someone hold me accountable).

No Going Back Now

28 Jan

Do you see this?

This means that there is definitely no going back now. I’ll officially be running the ODDyssey Half Marathon on May 22 in Philadelphia. I’ve read some reviews and, though it sounds tough, I’m excited to try a half where I’ve given it the proper preparation and attention it deserves (unlike last time) to see how things pan out.

While I’ve never been one for worrying about times (for me, it’s all about just giving it all you’ve got), I feel good about PRing this one. Then again, seeing how I did last time that shouldn’t be too hard to do. It does feel a bit weird to me though. You know, signing up for something you are currently utterly unprepared for? And yet, it’s inspiring and motivating at the same time. There is no going back now.

What about you? Have you taken the leap just to inject some motivation into yourself?

Just Because

27 Jan

Thirteen posts is just unlucky, so I’d prefer not to leave it that way. Yea, so I might have a slight thing for numerology. Whatever. That doesn’t make me crazy, does it? Alright, I guess my last post already established I might have a little crazy in me.

On the numerology note, I just discovered/realized that the address of our new house is a combination of my husband’s lucky number and mine. HOW DID I NOT NOTICE THIS BEFORE? Seriously, that’s just insane. It’s fate, for sure. And because it’s not fair to be posting all this without a picture (or somehow relating it to the topical content of this blog), here’s what I’m thinking of wearing for the ODDyssey Half Marathon, if I run. I wasn’t going to share – because I kind of wanted it to be a surprise – but then I though I should take a poll. Do you think people will get it?

Hit Girl from Kick-Ass.
[Source: UGO]

Psst – If you haven’t seen Kick-Ass, take this as my personal recommendation: it’s awesome. Very high action, but appeals to the emotional, feminine side as well. Both my husband (who, as a side note, isn’t into that type of movie) and I loved it.

Sweat

27 Jan

After my gym debacle, I found out about a local gym (named “Sweat“) that offers a free 7-day trial. And who can say no to free? Once we move in two weeks across town it will be about two blocks from my house (too convenient to say I can’t go). Plus, the gym’s website was super sweet (go check it out here). So today, I showed up and, after a brief tour, started out changing in the locker room. I hopped on the treadmill afterward for a brief 3-miler and then headed home.

Here are my thoughts so far:

The pros –

  • lots of machines
  • no problem getting machines – then again, I was there at non-rush hour on the snowiest day of the year
  • convenient location, right on Walnut Street

The cons –

  • the locker room… (it was pretty gross)
  • cost – super expensive (almost twice as much) compared to other local gyms
  • not that many great classes, plus they said they fill up quickly

[Sources: Sweat Fitness]

The consensus? Undecided. I will say this though – their gym? Looked nothing like the pictures. Ahhh, isn’t that always the way? I didn’t take any pictures because I didn’t want them to know think I was a super freak. I usually like to take my time with letting that cat out of the bag. Though they might have gotten an inkling when I waltzed outside post-workout in my running shorts and snow boots. I was completely aware that I looked ridiculous, but I wasn’t risking the disease infestation of that bathroom again to change back into my pants. Plus, I was hot. Who wants to put back on pants after a run? Anyway, imagine this combination (you know you like it):

[Sources: shorts, boots]

And yes, apparently I own the same snow boots Kristen Stewart wears in New Moon. I’m obsessed, but not that obsessed to have known that… until now. Suddenly I feel infinitely cooler.

Anyway, enough about my weird dress choices and obsessions with teeny-bopper flicks. So, I suspect after the next six days are up I’ll be headed to the other local gym to see if I can’t get a trial there as well. Or, at the very least, buy a week pass there so I can give it a fair shot.

What about you? Have you ever had to run a gym comparison or was there an obvious choice? Were you giving it as much pain-staking thought as I seem to be?

The Evil Empire

25 Jan

Okay, so maybe they aren’t so evil. And maybe it isn’t quite an empire. What am I talking about? Well, the gym of course. Not just any gym either, but this baby.

Image courtesy of Venture Beat.

Except, the Philadelphia – Walnut Street version isn’t nearly so nice. Or clean. Or large. In fact, it’s almost scary and at 5:30 there was someone on EVERY SINGLE MACHINE in the place. Hm.

I have to admit, I have heard mixed reviews (about gyms in general, that is). All my life, I’ve been quite adverse to being a gym-goer. I’m not entirely sure what it is about gyms that causes me to shriek and run in the opposite direction. The flourescent lights? The aversion to sweating? The monthly commitment? The cost? The plethora of people more in shape than I am? Or, perhaps it is merely just the feeling of everyone staring at you. Yikes.

Well, whatever it is, after reading The Hungry Runner’s post about treadmills and seeing the weather report this morning I knew I was going to have to change my mindset. If I’m going to stick with this training I’ve either got to miraculously become a morning person so I can start running in the daylight, or get a gym membership. I think the latter sounds like a much more enjoyable – and likely – idea, no?

Psst – in case you’re wondering, here it was earlier today:

Now, I know that for some of you that little “Feels Like: 5 degrees” probably means nothing. But, for Philadelphians – and this former Floridian in particular – that is akin to freezing your tuckus off. Yea, I just said tuckus. Get over it.

So, despite feeling a little like I was dragging myself despite my every desire, I made a trip into the dreaded Bally Total Fitness this evening. I sat down and talked with them about their different monthly options. And the moral of the story? If you want a membership for less than two months, then, well, forgeddaboutit. We’re waiting to find out if we’re going to move a few miles away next month and, should that end up being the case, the last thing I want is to be committed to a gym down here. There’s another gym that would be around the corner from our potential future home, with a cuter name (Rit Fit) and homier atmosphere. The membership cost is a little higher, but it’d be worth it. That is, if we end up living over there. Yikes, what a mess! Such a decision. I think – at least for me – I’m going to have to wait this one out. Figure out where we’re living, then commit so I don’t end up throwing my money to the wind (which is, for the record, not quite as fun as “throwing caution to the wind”).

What about you? Are you a gym-goer? Was it as big of an “issue” for you as it is for me, or was there an obvious choice?

Psssst – Skinny Runner is giving away a pair of Yurbuds Ironman Series headphones. And duuuude, these things look sweet. Tailored specifically to fit your ears, could they get any cooler? You don’t want to miss out on this giveaway. Check it here. That is, if I don’t win them first (muahahah, just kidding).

Easy Come, Easy Go

20 Jan

After setting my new goals just days ago, I excitedly went to sign up for the Blue Cross Broad Street Run today. With a cap at 30,000 runners, it had said they were only at 17,000 this past weekend, so I wasn’t too concerned. When I went to register, it told me there was a technical error and to try later. When I logged on again after work today I was sad devastated to find out that they were suddenly full. As soon as I set my goal, it’s crushed. That would figure, wouldn’t it? Boo to that. After asking around and hearing about the big crowds, entertainment, and nice flat course I was actually really stoked to sign up for it. Plus, I’d practically be running right past my house. How freaking cool is that!? Added to that is the fact that I have Independence Blue Cross (who sponsors the event) so that’s supposed to qualify you for some perks as well, I think. But alas, it just wasn’t meant to be I suppose.

With that said, it still doesn’t change my sights on the ODDyssey Half Marathon at the end of May. I suppose I should register for that soon so I don’t get closed out of that too. There’s nothing like committing to something to light a fire under your butt, eh? Oh boy! But, this one should be particularly fun because it is meant to be a “enjoyable” race – including costume contests and “unique obstacles” [whatever that means?]. The only thing I am a bit concerned about is the location – taking place in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the only thing that comes to mind to me is the few hills around there that I could hardly bike up this past summer. The idea of running them makes me nauseous. But hey – nothing like a good challenge, right? Now I’ll have to get to work on planning my outfit.

Let’s just say, I have a few ideas up my sleeve…

From DailyMail.co.uk.

From the Costume Machine Blog.

From Nintendo World Report.

In fact, I have to admit, the idea that I won’t be bringing my pro- camera along to shoot the event almost pains me. This could be fun. A lot of fun. Have you ever dressed up for a race?

Lightbulb Moment

17 Jan

Today I had mine. So you see, my entire life I have tried to be a runner. Seriously. I’ve always wanted it but just could never do it. Here’s the recap:

  • Brown belted in karate in 7th grade. Helped teach kickboxing to kids. (It’s not running, but it’s active… counts for something.)
  • Obsessive stair-stepper in late middle school. Only kept up with it because my parents made me (which was totally legit – otherwise I would have never exercised).
  • Went on to join the track team my freshman year. Was assigned to long distance because I was too slow. I hated it because I was horrible.
  • Went on to join the cross country team my sophomore year. I quit because I couldn’t keep up.
  • Went back to track the following year. I begged them to put me on hurdles because the distances were too much. I was injured by the second meet and out the rest of the season.
  • Went on to run a half marathon in college. Clocked something like 2 hours and 45 minutes (yes, that slow) and thought I might die.

You see, I just recently had concluded that perhaps I had given running all I had to give it. I’ve come. I’ve seen. And – so I concluded – conquering just wasn’t going to happen for me. So today’s mentality as I went out for my frigid jog wasn’t about speed, or even distance. It was about getting the job done. I was going out there for thirty minutes and I was going to jog for as much as I could during that thirty minutes.

Now, let me give you a little backstory. Even when I was training for my half marathon and running a few (or several) times a week, I usually could only jog a mile or a mile and a half and then I’d have to slow and walk for at least a block or two. It would continue like this, except after the first mile or so my breaks would be every half mile. This wasn’t a matter of laziness, or lack of drive, this was a matter of MY HEART FELT LIKE IT WAS GOING TO EXPLODE. I would get up to 200bpm and suddenly feel like puking and passing out, though I had only run a mile or two, if I tried to keep going. Eventually, I broke down and bought a heart rate monitor watch (love that thing), so I’d legitimately only slow once my heart went over 190bpm. But still, if you know anything about heart rates, you would know that even 190bpm is WAY TOO HIGH for a jog. I had my heart tested. Sonogrammed. Listened to by cardiologists. Nada.

Clearly, running just isn’t my thing then, right? Apparently not so. Today’s jog, as I reached 5th Street and jogged across the intersection I felt myself slow just for thought. And, as I immediately did the math and calculated, I had already run well over a mile. I wasn’t even winded. Confused, I pushed on and ran harder. 4th Street. 3rd Street. 2nd Street. Turning around (meaning I had gone over a mile and a half) and still not winded. Was it the cold weather? No, that wouldn’t make any sense. Was I running slower? No, I never focus on running quickly just on running period. Hmmmm.

And then it hit me: the workouts. Remember all those lunges and squats I was complaining about? IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE. My legs are so much stronger, so moving them is so much easier, so my heart isn’t having to work as hard. I have, quite literally, made running easier for myself. HOLY CRAP. Why did no one ever suggest strength training with running? I’m almost confused as to why, in running my WHOLE LIFE, no one ever recommended this. And so today, I come home REBORN as a runner. Of course, I’m not just a runner. But my dreams of future half-marathons and sprints around the city? They can finally come to fruition. Best day ever.

Have you ever had a lightbulb moment like this with your workouts? Were you as excited as I am!?