Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm a Pro now!

...At least I think I'm a pro anyways. For some reason, I haven't grown 100% comfortable lifting weights on what I call the "big boy" side of the gym. I'm afraid of looking like I don't know what I'm doing. I don't, but still.

The other night my hubs finally agreed to join me at the gym after his former pro body builder friend invited him for a chest, arms, and abs workout.

At first I was nervous, but that feeling went away eventually. I don't work on strength training enough, but last nights TWO and a half hour training session kinda made up for it. Not really.

We worked all parts of the arm except the forearm I think....well, that's the part that doesn't hurt at the moment. Got in quick abs and a lil chest. Now I feel a little more comfortable lifting outside of a classroom session, but I still don't know about by myself yet. He gave us both good pointers on form. According to my training plan, I only have to do 2 strength training sessions a week. I'm going to stick with that for now. One day I'll be beast enough to go alone.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Three Workouts in One Day!

I don't know what got in to me, but I say it all of the time. When I don't feel like doing something, somewhere within I get this burst of energy out of no where once I finally start. That's why I hate skipping workouts. I know I can possibly muster up the energy, I just need to try. And, you never regret "gettin' it in".

So, today I ran the C.H.U.K (Cops Helping Unique Kids) 5k for cerebral palsy. I went not caring about my time. Sometimes when I do that I PR, but others I don't. Today was an "other". Anyway, I finished the 5k and was supposed to go somewhere else and run 5 more miles to complete my 8 scheduled for Long Run Saturday. I didn't feel like it. I said well, to make it up, I'll just go to the gym and do something. Fortunately, the classes remaining for the morning were two of my favorite: Cycle and Body Works Plus Abs.

Now, this will be my second time taking a cycle class at L.A. Fitness. The first instructor was cool. The music was .... not. The instructor from today was on some serious cycle stuff. I don't know. It's probably me. I forget I'm still new to the gym scene and haven't experienced all types of trainers attitudes. But she was so serious she made me want to burst out laughing. And the music... it got better. I still prefer KTX and spinning to "hood" music, lol. But, those classes aren't convenient for me. Anyhoo...

I made it through the class, of course. But knowing that I had just ran a 5k and sort of gave my legs their all...I didn't follow the exact resistance she instructed us to because I wanted to actually be able to finish the entire class. And I did. It was cool, but umm...don't think I'll take her again *Kanye shrug*

I went ahead and stayed for the Body Works Plus Abs class and finally got to listen to some music I can work with! The instructor is kinda ratchet..and hey, that makes it fun for me, lol. (Speaking of ratchet, let me head over to DatPiff or something cause my current playlist is TIRED!) But that class...she really had my arms burning! I'm glad I stayed. My upper body gets neglected too often so these classes really help me stay on track. I just can't lift weights consistently and get a good workout least not by myself with no one watching. So yeah, that's the reason I like the make sure I'm not JUST running. Too often do I have to swing and stretch my shoulders during a regular run or even during a race because my shoulders and upper body get tired or feel plain 'ol uncomfortable. It's because I need so strengthen that area, seriously. I noticed when I was consistent with upper body workouts...doing my planks and all. I felt no discomfort. So there ya go, that's the culprit.

So, I technically completed 3 workouts today and that makes me feel really good. =) I'm really, really back on track now :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Getting back on track...again!

"Day 1 of me starting back counting calories. I have realized, I've gained 20lbs since last Summer. No bueno. My work pants were snug. I refuse to go up another size again, unless I get pregnant. So, I'm going to start things out right and try this turkey burger from my The Gracious Pantry blog. "

And, that was the beginning of the 250,679th Day 1 post of "getting back on track". I've just decided to go with the flow. When I don't think about working out and eating right as such a chore and a calculated event, I have much more fun.

When I started back working after a 3-yr break, it was very tough to be consistent. I am proud to say I've worked out 3-5 days a week for the past 5 weeks. I love to work out a night after work, too. It's like the best stress reliever and I fall asleep so easy. I've even decided to start training for next half marathon early by building a 10-mile base.

Ahh, so yes, that's a little of what's been up with me lately...and I do mean a little. So much going on.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burger

A Facebook friend posted this and it looked good, so I decided to try it out. The recipe comes from

I ate the burger in between whole wheat bread and HAD to add cheese. It tasted a little better. I probably won't make them anytime soon because the hubs didn't like them at all. I ended up throwing too many out. Though, it is a good meatless Monday idea.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It's Hot! Duh, It's Summer in the South.

Well, it's no secret it's hot outside. Yesterday's run, for a minuscule second, almost didn't happen. And even when I did get out there, I started running and said to myself, I'm stopping at 2 miles. Well, I had to push through what was a mental barrier and slowly got a 5k done. I couldn't give up on the FIRST workout day of the week.

I found this Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago. Instead of making my own vinaigrette, I used Italian dressing. Really, surprisingly good to me. Never would've thought I'd willingly eat raw squash OR zucchini! It was good though.

Bow tie pasta with fresh broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini, red onion, & roma tomato

Today's Workout
Tuesday is my cross training day, so I chose to do Insanity's Plyometric Cardio Circuit after a very loooong hiatus. I'm going to be honest and say that I half-assed it. Matter of fact, I did the first 20 minutes and cut the crap off. I'm switching back to my Jillian Michael's 30-day Shred for next week. Yup, #thatisall.

Race Recap: ATC's Father's Day 4-miler

Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Track Club
This was my first 4-miler race. I think I like this distance. I signed up for another next month. The route was super hilly, as to be expected when running any given route in Atlanta. I'm glad I'd been running hills and speed training previously. The hills in Grant Park are no joke. They can be super discouraging. Although I was used to hills, I hadn't run a steep hill without slowing down in a while. I was VERY surprised that I not only got up the hill at a good pace, but kept a steady pace even afterwards.

My first bib with my name on it. I was pleasantly surprised. :-)

The finish line was the best so far! We ended the race right inside of Turner Field. I hadn't been inside Turner Field before. The last time I went to see the Braves play, they played at the old Atlanta Stadium and I was in elementary school. I kinda can't wait for the next one.

Monday, June 25, 2012

This Was Good...

I had a really disciplined week food-wise this particular week.
Egg whites with spinach and turkey bacon

Open-faced tuna salad with spinach

Chicken lettuce wrap

Chicken breasts, whole wheat tortilla, and salsa

Green smoothie
(strawberries, banana, vanilla soy protein powder, spinach, and water)

Turkey burger wrapped in lettuce instead of bun

Green smoothie concoction (w/OJ)

Week of June 24th

I'm trying to keep myself accountable for this week and on because last week was a major bust. Here's a snapshot of my plans for the week. My goal is to keep working on speed (I want a 8:30 mile/min avg pace to be easy and not something I'm fighting to the death for on race day) and to build my mileage back up to run half Mary #2 and so on. I'll blog the workout results every other day.

Saturday's long run will be at least  4.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Because It's National Running Day

I RUN because...

...of the major sense of accomplishment,
I like the way it's shaping my body,
it hardly becomes boring (maybe just the route),
to maintain my weight,
I like that people ask me questions and are so impressed with "us" runners, 
and of course to EAT.

Here's some other motivation.
Source: via Tiffany on Pinterest

Source: via Tiffany on Pinterest

Monday, June 4, 2012

Protein Pancakes

We love "pannacakes" in this house. I had to stop making them as much (which was like 2-3 times a week) since they're so high in the not-so-good carbs and fat, not including the syrup.

Every other blog I read, I've seen versions of the protein pancake. I finally found a version I could get with on the Tone It Up! site tonight. Luckily I had most of the ingredients on hand, because I was too impatient to try tomorrow. It's missing a few of the ingredients I would of normally had, but I need to go grocery shopping. They taste fine anyway. Enjoy!

Protein Pancake
1/4 cup of egg white
1 scoop of protein powder
2 tbsp of skim milk
1 tsp of cinnamon
*1/2 banana, mashed
*1 tbsp of ground flax seed
*handful of fresh or frozen blueberries, for topping
(* = the ingredients I didn't have. Will try later.)

One didn't make it before I remembered to take a picture.

This has now been added to the breakfast routine. It'll look better next time I try it. With this, I met my protein goal for the day. It was 114 calories (makes 2 servings) and 13.6 grams of protein. 

My 1-Year "Racer-versary" & Today's Workout

Packet pick-up area at ACS's Starlite Stride 5k
This past weekend I celebrated my one year anniversary of racing. :-) I ran the Starlite Stride 5k Run/Walk to benefit the Atlanta Children's Shelter. This was my first race last year, except it wasn't at night. It was cool. Pretty low key. Much less people and theatrics than last year (Phaedra from Real Housewives of Atlanta who is/was on the board and her cameras were there following her, as well as a former Falcons player). I wasn't expecting much. I'm glad actually. It's a genuine charity and I could tell they went the cheap route on everything. To me that shows they could actually be putting the money back into the facility and the kids it supports. One of my near future goals is to volunteer here.

I didn't get an overall PR, but I did beat last year's time by a little. Clock time said 29:51. My watch said 29:38. The best part of the race was high-fiving some of the children cheering us on while running through the second mile.

Today's Workout
I wanted to run the trail this evening, but the weather kind of ruined that wish.

Before I did anything, I had breakfast...

Mixed Berry Smoothie
1 cup of mixed berries 
(strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
1 cup of spinach
1/2 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of plain nonfat yogurt
1 serving of vanilla soy protein powder
348 calories

...and then got to it.

45 minutes of intervals on Level 9.
The 2 extra minutes were from working in reverse.
Who knows if that's how many calories I really burned. This HRM didn't come with a chest strap, which I hear is more accurate. The elliptical calories can't be accurate either, because I didn't hold on to the handles the entire time for it to accurately measure my heart rate and account for my level of intensity (& those inclines were intense).

No gym access, not always a problem!
And after that, I came home and did a 20-minute circuit training, including the short warm-up and cool down.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Trail Times

Yesterday I went on an impromptu cross-training escapade (I'd been cooped up all day). I'd been wanting to do a trail run; not to seriously get into it when special shoes are required and all of that, but just to try something different. I put on some older running shoes that were already dirty and met up with some ladies to explore the trail. I thought we were running it, but it turned out majority wanted to walk it. I was cool with that. 

Entrance to the trail

I haven't researched trail running versus road running, but I can imagine it being less of an impact on your joints.

Besides looking down at the ground the ENTIRE way to make sure 1) I didn't trip, 2) no forest creatures took me into captivity (there was a snake out there, people!), and 3) my shoes didn't get extra muddy, it was enjoyable. It actually seemed much easier to run this terrain instead of walk it. With running (I did run a little bit), your feet barely touch the ground from moving much more quickly. It was much easier to look ahead. You just need to watch out for tree stumps and horse ish, and you're cool. We were walking kind of slow so I got a light headache from looking down so much.

Despite having gone fishing many times and even camping, I'm still not that much of a nature girl. I just like to look at it. :-) 

I took this pic for the hubs, who wanted me to bring it home. Um, no.

It took us an hour.

I haven't walked for exercise on purpose in a very, very long time. I AM looking forward to running this route REALLY soon though!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sum'n New... Soy Protein Powder

I started back counting calories. For one, I've gained 15lbs since last summer and a pair of my 6's weren't fitting like they could. The latter is most important to me. Clothes ain't cheap. Somebody got too comfortable, I see. This maintenance mode crap ain't that easy either. I eat ONE cookie and my fitted shirt accentuates my rolls and belly. I don't have to work as hard as I did to lose the weight initially, but dang, I do still have to work.

I'm using Lose It! again and there's a feature that allows you to monitor your fat, carbohydrates, and protein intakes in percentages. I would like to ultimately lower my body fat percentage so I pay closer attention to my protein intake more than I do my calories necessarily. I also want more muscle. So, I decided to up my protein intake. I usually eat meat (chicken breast, turkey, or fish) at lunch or dinner. I still wasn't getting the amount I needed. I forgot the article or wherever I read this, but I want to get a minimum of 75 grams a day. 

I went to Kroger and noticed the Genisoy vanilla protein powder was on sale and decided to purchase mid-May. I've added them to my smoothies so far and attempted drinking just the powder mixed with skim milk (gross!). I'll try a protein pancake recipe I found on Carrot 'n' Cake's blog  Tone It Up!'s site next.

Mixed Berries, Banana, Spinach, Plain Nonfat Yogurt, Soy Protein Powder, O.j.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

That Time of the Month... Yes, THAT time.

This topic is obviously for the ladies, particularly female runners.

Ever since starting to exercise regularly, there's been changes with my body other than my outer appearance. For one, my cycles have gone from 5 to 3 days (NOT. COMPLAINING. ABOUT. THAT!), BUT I also tend to have cramps and lower back pain that I didn't experience before. I mean... was there too much fat cushioning that area before to the point where I couldn't feel pain or what? I also feel extra tired. I almost skipped my run today because of it, but I ain't no punk. :-)

I was just sitting here wondering how others dealt with this issue. My experience has been this... I'll run or do some other activity and during I won't notice any pain, but afterwards I'll feel it again. I don't like to pop pills unless the pain gets excruciating though.

What are other natural remedies used to alleviate "time of the month" pain besides physical activity? Does running or exercising period alleviate any of your menstrual blues or you can't even peel yourself off of the couch to know how that'd feel? Side note: I want a apple pie with vanilla ice cream on top or a chocolate cupcake. :-/

Just curious.

Today's RUN
We kept it short today only running 2 miles. That street has hills though, so it wasn't like 2 easy miles. I put in work. I'm trying to get used to running in my suburban, non-pedestrian friendly neighborhood. There's a street nearby that isn't too bad traffic-wise, but I've driven by before and noticed mangy mutts in some of the yards. I'm more concerned with that than the cars. There weren't any the past couple times I've ran that street and they are usually tied up or fenced in. I'm not afraid of dogs usually, but you don't know the temperament of EVERYONE's dog. Especially the people who have their dogs tied up outside and barely walk them. They have too much pent up energy. But, I digress. I'd never run this route alone. I'm always with the hubs when I run it. With my luck, they'd probably choose me to chew before him though... but I'll just bring my pepper spray next time. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I'm Just Being Lazy.

I don't know what's wrong with my mojo lately. I can go hard with my workouts one week and flop the next. Last week I was kickboxing, running, AND strength training. I can't even blame it on the heat lately, only on pure laziness. Well, I could also blame it on the fact that if I want to go for a SAFE run I can't just step outside of my home, I have to drive somewhere. There are no sidewalks. The suburbs, or at least where I live, is just not pedestrian friendly. That's probably the main culprit. I used to attend all the group runs around the city whenever I could, but now I just don't feel like driving and gas prices aren't helping (Maybe if I stop driving around town eating at all of the trending restaurants I could. HA!).

I lost most of my weight at the gym and doing home workouts, but that's not going to cut it for me anymore. My primary cardio is running, by choice. I'm not going for long distances over the summer, I'm supposed to be going for speed. But um, how can I become faster without consistency? I probably wouldn't have ran today if it weren't for the hubs. I have not been eating my best and before today I hadn't worked out in 4 days. Matter of fact, I was surprised I pulled off an average pace under 10 min/mile after so long without doing anything. My motivation should be trying to lose this tummy, but I was in the store the other day and thought, "shoot, I'll just wear a one-piece". No, no, no, I'm going to Miami in January for the ING half marathon and I NEED to feel at least 95% comfortable with the belly budge by then. Miami just doesn't seem like the place to go to be self-conscious. Anyhoo, I'm trying to pysch myself up to get back in my groove. I want to start back with JM's 30-day shred and the Nike Training Club app. Now that I've put it out there for the "public" to see, maybe that'll make me get off my butt every week instead of every other week.

Before my 2-mile stress relief run

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Cool Cross-Training Idea for Runners

I've always wanted to try indoor rock climbing just because it looked fun. I didn't realize it would actually give me a work out or that this is a good cross-training activity for runners.

There are several similarities of climbing and running that we learned in the brief clinic prior to starting. For starters, climbing engages your upper body and core.

You need to push "off" with your legs to aide your upper body, so they're engaged just as much.

Balance and breathing were definitely necessary to reach the top.

I like this WAY better than zip lining!
The scary part was coming down.
Once I was down, I couldn't believe I had broken a light sweat and was lightly panting. My upper body needs work anyway, so I could feel it in my arms before I even left the building. Two days later and I think I used EVERY muscle in my arm!

It was fun and hopefully I'll get to try it again.