Friday Five: Favorite Indoor Workouts

Hello everyone!!!  It’s Friday (and I’m SO READY for a Friday)! We had our final exam today and I’m ready to move on to my program management course.  Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney  have asked fellow bloggers / readers what their favorite indoor workouts are and I’m excited to share my five favorites with you!

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Sooo! Let’s get started!

1. Spinning / Cycling

Ever since I took my first indoor cycling class, I was in love. This workout ALWAYS gets me! No matter who instructs, I am always panting and drenched in sweat by the end of it. Doing this workout is great because it is easy to adjust according to your current fitness level and you get out of it what you put into it!  Even when I was in Iraq and Afghanistan, I would find a cycling class or just do it on my own! I spent months trying to convince the fiance to cycle with me… but he hasn’t agreed yet. YET.

2. Water Jogging

This was a life saver when I had a stress fracture.  Although I felt a little silly when I first started doing the water jogging with my physical therapy class, I gradually learned how to properly execute water jogging and really work to get the most out of it.  One of my favorite ways to do a water jogging workout is to do intervals of fast running and slow jogging.  If you put forth a lot of effort, your heart will be pumping and you will be smoked by the end of it. I have since invested in a waterproof iPod, which makes the workout even BETTER!

3. Running on the Treadmill

Afghanistan has terrible air. REALLY TERRIBLE AIR. This NY Times Article sheds a little light on the air situation. When I was there, I made the decision to spend most of my time running at the gym, on the treadmill. I figured that MAYBE, HOPEFULLY my lungs would be spared, even if just a little. Not sure if it helped, but I did notice that I coughed a lot less when using the treadmill compared to running outside.  Once I got back, the weather in the NE forced me to do a lot of treadmill running as well.  I definitely prefer to run outside, but I have learned to enjoy my treadmill runs by using the iPad to watch TV, mixing up my running routines to keep it interesting, and listening to punk rock on the iPod.  Whatever works, right?

4. Swimming

Fiance was a swimmer in high school and that is still his favorite cardio activity. I try to keep up with him in the pool, but I am definitely not as fast as he is… But I do try. I also love swimming in lakes as well! Swimming is definitely a workout that kills me for days. But it a good way! That’s why it’s in my top five!

5. Tae Bo!

I’m going to bring back time allllll the way back to the late 1990s to discuss my last activity. Although it is a little dated, I cannot break my bond with Billy.  In high school, I inherited a set to VHS tapes (I’m so old) from my aunt and started kicking and punching my way to losing some weight. I continued the trend in college, QUIETLY kicking and punching before class, trying not to wake up my roommate.

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This was my go to workout! It only took me about 45 minutes to complete and would give me energy throughout the day! I actually busted it out over the summer and was hooked once again! I will never get sick of tae bo!

Now, time for me to get ready for “graduation” dinner with my classmates and a quick trip to the airport to get the fiance for the weekend!  We have another race to do and I’m so excited for it!

Oh, You’re a Runner?

Last night we had a small social event with another class.  We started off with dinner at the dining facility at the hotel, then moved upstairs to the lounge for drinks and discussion.

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(I was a nerd and brought my own wine glass [and I only had a white wine glass]… I just feel that wine should not be consumed out of a plastic cup if it doesn’t have to be!)

After heated discussion on the importance of a PMP and product requirements, we somehow stumbled upon a discussion about races. I always feel an instant bond with other runners! I feel like runners are just as bad as crossfitters:

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At first it was just me and a fellow classmate talking about running, but within a few minutes there were about 5 of us just yammering on and on about half marathons, treadmill workouts, speed work… Yes, our job does kind of force us to run… but it does not force us to like it! I am so glad that I have been able to work to overcome the physical issues that I have and actually BE a runner! It has become a part of my identity.  Running does so much for me — helps me clear my mind, helps me focus, fills me with endorphins! I’m so glad to be able to call myself a runner now!

Training Log for 1/19/15 – 1/25/15

Monday: 2 mile run… check on my progress (18:57)

Tuesday: Physical fitness test– 2 mile run (16:48)

Wednesday: Rest Day! I spent a lot of time studying and sleeping… Don’t judge me.

Thursday: 3 mile treadmill run (while studying) (29:16) and a Les Mills RPM Spin class! The class was awesome and totally kicked my butt!

Friday: Off. Spent much needed time with the fiancé.

Saturday: Zoo Run Run!

Sunday: Sick day!

Total Miles: 9.1

This week was a very busy week and I just didn’t put in the work that I needed to. Next week will definitely be better!

This is my plan for the week:

Monday: Recover from sickness

Tuesday: 2 miles FAST and cross training

Wednesday: 30 min temp run

Thursday: 3 mile run and cross training

Friday: 5 mile run

Saturday: Race Day (more on this later)

Sunday: Rest or 3 mile… whatever I feel like on that day

Nashville Zoo Run Run

One of the best things about traveling for my job is the ability to explore new areas… and complete races in new cities!

Fiancé came down from New York to visit me this weekend and I did my best to show him a good time. He has never been to a Mellow Mushroom, so we went there for dinner and drinks! I had a delicious barley wine (didn’t get the name) and he had an Ace Pineapple Cider. If you’ve never tried one, I highly recommend it! It tastes just like a white Lifesaver candy and is extremely drinkable! We split two small pizzas (with LOTS left over) and headed to the local hockey game. I still do not understand hockey 100% but it was fun!

On Saturday, we had a lazy morning and got ourselves ready to head to Nashville.  We left late in the morning, bringing out race clothes with us to change into… Let’s just say that was a bad idea. I have never done this race before, but I just assumed there would be access to the zoo bathrooms.  There was not… so that meant an awkward changing-in-the-car situation.  It wasn’t the best moment of my life, but I got it done!

It was a beautiful day–sunny but a little chilly. We headed over to the race start area to hit up the bathroom and hit a few snags. There were probably between 3000-5000 people there.. and only about 8 restrooms. After a long wait, we finally got in the starting line and got ready to go!

The race was supposed to kick off at 3pm, but didn’t actually start until around 3:20.  We got slowed down in the beginning by the walkers, but after about a mile we finally got into the groove. The race FLEW by and we even got to stop for a couple pictures!

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The elephants were so CUTE! They’re fiancé’s favorite animal so we HAD to stop. I wish I had taken pictures with the flamingos. The flamingos are the best!

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***NOTE: I’m currently using invisalign… So that’s why my teeth look all crazy. The “anchors” that are adhered to my teeth make me look kind of a vampire. And they hurt. Beauty is pain right?

We finished at 27:38… Didn’t hit my goal of 27 minutes, but hopefully I will get it this weekend at my next 5k. Overall, I had a great time and definitely would run the race again!.

Trying to Regain Fitness

About a year ago, I was training for a marathon and in great shape! I was in Afghanistan and doing most of my training in the gym (the air quality is VERY VERY bad and it was easier to breath in the gym… thus running on a treadmill for up to 14 miles at a time).  I was also very strict during lent and took my Lenten fasting very seriously–putting only whole fruits, veggies, and whole grains into my body for the entire Lent period. Having such a great diet and working out with Lil P (the fiancé, who was also deployed with me) helped me to get into the greatest shape in my life.

Upon return from Afghanistan, I continued to run but didn’t really give it my all like I did training for the marathon.  I ran a half marathon in August and didn’t do as well as I had expected. I also think drinking wine during the training wasn’t exactly helpful…

I feel like I have lost all my fitness in the past few months.  I attribute a lot of it to being on the road and being ridiculously busy. I know that I should have excuses… but I do. And I am kicking myself for losing all the fitness that I’ve lost.

HOWEVER… I am not going to get back in shape by doing nothing… So, I am starting back up at square one. I am going to try to incorporate more weight training and cross training into my routine. I think that a lot of my running issues (hip pain, knee pain, IT band stuff) is due to becoming weak… So I will try to combat that! I started on Friday. The UAHuntsville Fitness Center offers some pretty great classes :

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Since I got out of class early on Friday, I decided to hit up the BODYPOWER class. I have never done a class like this before and one of my fellow classmates helped my set my little station up.  I started with really low weights, since I’m not really sure about the shape that I’m in anymore…

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The instructor, Chris, was very helpful and walked me through the class before starting. He kept his eye on me and helped guide me throughout the entire process! It was a really great workout, and I definitely could feel the burn throughout the class–especially the ab track at the end. Ouch! I planned on doing a 3 mile run after … but my legs were jello, so I forced myself to push out two… slowww… miles. 10 minute miles SHOULD NOT feel this difficult.

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But. I can’t get better by doing nothing. So I will just suck it up, set out a solid training plan (train for a fast 5k and survivable half marathon), do more weight training, and hope for the best! Wish me luck!

 

Friday Five: What’s In My Gym Bag?!

Hello!!! I’m so glad it’s a Friday… It’s been a long week.  I am in the process of transitioning my jobs and learning a new skill, so I am currently in a training program down here in Huntsville, Alabama. (So… please give me a little slack — I’m living in a hotel room, out of several suitcases… my pictures aren’t the best, but more on that LATER).

ANYWHOOOO… Since I’m new to the blogging world, I have decided to follow the lead of some of my favorite bloggers and jump on the Friday Five bandwagon! This week, the ladies at the DC Trifecta ( Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney ) have asked the interwebs for a peek into everyone’s gym bags! So… here is a look at my (transient) gym bag:

First… The bag. In my job, I can only carry non-flashy, boring gym bags. This bag has been with me since 2006, and is still holding on strong! She does her job, and does it well!

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1.  My Old-School Garmin:

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I’ve had this since 2010, so it may look a little ancient to everyone. However, I tend to use electronics until they die and this is no exception. She’s still going strong after all these years. Although I haven’t been using her as much lately, I always like to have her with me when I go to the gym.  I usually do my runs and cardio outdoors, then scoot into the gym for stretching and weight lifting (ehh… sometimes), followed by a shower.

2.  Music Devices:

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At any given time, I will have three iPods/shuffles and a variety of headphones in my bag! I like to use my larger iPod for treadmill runs and smaller (pink) shuffle for outdoor runs. The silver shuffle is used for the pool (water jogging can get BORING). NOTE: I rarely use the basic iPhone earbuds, but had them handy so those were snapped in the picture!

3. HAIRBANDS / PINS

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I don’t know how I’ve accumulated SO MANY of these but there is a growing collection in my bag. I think it is mainly because I will start out my runs / workouts with my hair in a bun and then my hair slowly transitions into a ponytail…. and then I leave it down after the shower. Sure. That sounds like a good enough excuse (I promise I’m not a hairband hoarder…)!

4. Workout Cards

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I am the type of person that requires checklists, routines, written instruction to guide me through my life… And this doesn’t really change when it comes to my workouts. If it’s on the card, I HAVE to do it! So I find various workouts online and write them down and use these little magic cards to hold myself accountable. There’s also like a million of these cards spread throughout my gym bag. But they’re useful, so they’re not going anywhere!

5. Experimental Hair Products (and body products.. and anything I can get from Sephora for free/cheap)

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During the holidays, I spend a LOT of money at Sephora. I like to try new things, but I don’t like committing to products unless I love them. So… the solution is to get free sample or small trial packs and use them! They’re easy to throw in a gym bag and use on a daily basis. If I love it… I go back to Sephora and give them even more of my money.

And that rounds out my Friday Five post! This was actually really fun to do and I look forward to more Friday Five posts in the future. I hope the DC girls continue to invite fellow bloggers to participate!

Goals for 2015

New year, new me, right? Like everyyyyyone else, I’m going to set some goals for myself this year! First, a review of last year’s goals and how well I met them (or DIDN’T meet them).

Goals for 2014:

  1. Run a half marathon (Did a half marathon AND a full marathon!)
  2. Weight 130-135 (Riiiight. Came close though!)
  3. Learn another language (Learned and continuing to learn Polish)
  4. Max my PU / SU on a PT Test (Still working on maxing my pushups! But I totally got the situps!)
  5. Ace my GRE! (Didn’t take!)
  6. Apply for a Ph.D program (Maybe after a little bit of time in my new job…)
  7. Read every book I own (Was deployed… and books were in storage)
  8. Read the entire Bible (Again) (Started, but didn’t finish)
  9. Run 4+ days a week (Definitely did this throughout the year!)
  10. Travel to another country (Afghanistan counts, right? I also stopped in Romania, Kyrgyzstan, and Spain enroute…)
  11. Volunteer (Helped out at some events while deployed!)
  12. Reduce debt (pay off all credit cards and 1 student loan) (Still have a couple student loans hanging around, but I will get those taken care of this year!

Soooo…. A lot of the ones that were important to me were met… But I think my expectations for myself were way too high last year. So this year, I was a little more realistic:

Goals for 2015:

  1. Run 30 races (I turn 30 this year, so I want to complete 30 races to commemorate this!)
  2. Run a sub-2 hour half marathon
  3. Weigh 125-135 pounds (Let’s try this again…)
  4. Get married to the love of my life!
  5. Follow these guidelines from Pope Francis:
    1. “Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.”
    2. “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of your time, attention, and love.”
    3. “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.”
    4. “Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity, and worldly decadence.”
    5. “Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others.”
    6. “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion, and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord. “
    7. “Be careful of envy, lust, hatred, and negative feelings that devour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.”
    8. “Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for pointing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation.”
    9. “Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker … the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless and strangers, because we will be judged on this.”

So! There it is for the year!  I’ve already started on some of my goals!

Camarillo Half

Camarillo Half Marathon! It was a great course- flat and easy to run! However… my hip and ankle started to bother me around mile 5, which resulted in some walking breaks and a run time of 2:24. I have a LOT of work to do in order to achieve my goal of a sub-2 hour. I plan on signing up for the DC Rock and Roll Half Marathon and will hopefully get closer to my goal!

Stay tuned for my adventures in running and life… and achieving goals and becoming better!