Monday, July 31, 2006

Whew, What a Day!

The day started out like any other day - up at a little before 5 am for my run. Again the heat was awful - 75 degrees and 95% humidity. But I braved the heat and went on my 3 mile run. I wanted to run the route at a pace between 8 & 8:30. My average pace was 7:50 so I'm really happy about that. It was hard but if I don't start getting used to that type of pace I won't be able to hit 7:30 for my race!

Then I came home and did the morning routine. As soon as all that was finished and the kids got up and fed we were off to the grocery store (there by about 9 am). I'm spending more and more time in the produce section - really cool because I've never really been much of a veggie person. I'm really working on that though!

After the groceries were put away, I went out and started to cut the grass. We have a pretty good size yard so it can take a while. Oh, did I mention that it is really hot here right now? I finished one section in the back yard and then stopped to clean the kids pool. It took a pretty fair amount of scrubbing - we haven't used it in a while so it got kind of grimey. Then it was inside to make, and eat, lunch for me and the kids. After that short break it was back out to finish cleaning and filling the pool. While the pool was filling, I finished cutting the front yard. By the time I was finished in the front, the pool was finished and it was time to get the kids in their bathing suits and suntan lotion.

While the kids were in the pool I finished cutting the back yard. By that time I was hot, tired and ready for a break! I was able to sit down for about 15 minutes - long enough to finish my exercise log - and then the kids wanted out of the pool. So it was back to work getting the kids dried and dressed.

Next on tap on tap was dinner. I made a nice chicken pasta salad with lots of veggies. After dinner, I took my daughter to the library. When we got back, I did my legs-biceps lifting session. Then it was time to read to the kids and get them to bed.

Boy, what a day! I'm done!!

Work hard, eat right and reach your goals!

Sunday, July 30, 2006


I was able to get out for my run this morning!

My neck and back were feeling a bit better this morning so I decided to give it a try. On the schedule was a 6 mile run and I wanted to do my easy runs at about an 8:30 pace but decided that I wouldn't worry about pace today. I think it was a good decision because I could really feel my neck starting to tighten up at about mile 5.

I did my run at 5 am and the weather was already very hot and humid. It was 75 with 85% humidity - there is just something wrong when it is already 75 degrees at 5 am. The rest of the week looks equally bad. By mid week we will be reaching triple digits here on the east coast.

I was also pretty bummed this morning when I got on the scale. I have had a couple of pretty good nutrition days and my weight hasn't moved. It is that TOM so I am really hoping to see a decrease really soon. I also increased my calories a bit today because of the longer run so I'm not sure what that will do to the scale weight tomorrow. It has all been very clean and not much in the way of processed foods.

I feel like this entry has been all over the place today. It is definitely the way I've been feeling lately too. However, I'm feeling more focused each day and I'm really excited about getting into my training each and every day. I was able to log 21.25 miles this week and feel good about every step. My weight training workouts, ab exercises and stretching have also been very good. Here is to another consistent week (without neck spasms preferably)!

Work hard, eat well and reach for your goals!

Saturday, July 29, 2006


We made it to the State Fair yesterday and had a really great time! The only problem was a storm came through and I had to carry my son to shelter. He's 3 and doesn't always walk real fast. I picked him up and carried him on my shoulders. That in and of itself wasn't the problem - I was also carrying a drink that we had just purchased (they had no lids for the cups). Then we had a nice long drive home. Unfortunately, all of that caused a pretty bad neck spasm. I get them fairly regularly so I started treating it immediately but boy did it hurt!

Because of the spasm, I didn't do my long run this morning. I was however, able to get out for a cross training walk and plan on doing my run tomorrow morning. I'm feeling much better this evening and I am very thankful for that fact!

Work hard, eat well and reach your goals!

Friday, July 28, 2006

No Running Today!

Today is my rest day from running but we do have a day full of walking on tap. We are taking the kids to the State Fair and I'm really looking forward to it.

I slept in this morning to try and get a bit more sleep. There was only one problem - we had a HUGE storm come through our area last night. So, there I was, nice and awake at about 2 am. Best laid plans and all that.

Anyway, I did manage to get my lifting session finished. I was feeling a bit weak on my chest exercises and had to actually drop the weight for the last 2 sets. But the rest of the session (Back-Shoulders-Triceps) went really well as did my abdominal exercises. Overall I'm pleased with the session.

Nutrition has been so-so for the week and my lack of weight loss has proven that. Yesterday was pretty good though and I'm planning on building on that today!

Work hard, eat well and reach for your goals!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Easy Run Day

It is a good thing that I was planning an easy day for today because my legs are feeling tired this morning. I still managed a 9 min/mile pace and felt pretty good doing it. I found a very nice rhythm while I was out there.

Tomorrow's training is upper body lifting. It will be nice to not have any running on tap. I really hope that will allow my legs to recover so that I can have a good long run on Saturday. I will be doing a fair amount of walking tomorrow though. We are hoping to take the kids to the DE State Fair on Friday. I'm not sure what the day will hold specifically but I do know that it is held on a pretty big piece of land so there will be lots of walking from place to place.

Now onto another subject - nutrition. I've really been struggling with this aspect lately. I realized, while out on my run, that I've gradually allowed junk-type food to get into the house. Over time, the kids have asked to have pudding or marshmallows and I've given in and let them have them. I've known for quite some time that if that type of food is in the house, I tend to eat it. I nibble on it throughout the day - never a big binge but by the end of the day it has added way too many calories. Here is my plan to deal with it. I'm going to start posting notes on things like "Cheryl, not for you!" "This is for the kids only!" "Cheryl stick to your plan!" and "133" (that last one is my goal weight). Then, after the junkie stuff is gone, I'm going back to my practice of not buying it. I know some of you are saying: "throw it out!" and I've actually thought about that. But most of it is already gone and I don't mind the kids have pudding because it is good calcium for them. I just need to keep my grubby little hands off of it.

Well, I guess that is my confession for the day: "I'm a junk food junkie!" and not very proud of that. However, I'm working at it every day and that is all we can ask of ourselves!

Train hard, eat well and achieve your goals!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What an Eye-Opener!

Today's run workout was a 25 minute tempo run. I have discovered that I pretty much stink at maintaining a constant pace. The workout consisted of a 10 minute warm-up, 5 minutes of gradually increasing speeds (in 1 minute intervals) & a 10 minute cool-down. (I think I wrote about my Forerunner yesterday, but it has the ability to create workouts and then the watch can signal you to go faster slower etc.) Well, I created the tempo run program and as I went along it told me when I needed to change. In theory this is excellent. In practice, since I'm so bad at maintaining pace, it was quite difficult. The Forerunner would tell me that I was going too fast so I would slow down but it seemed like as soon as I did, it was telling me that I had slowed down too much and that I now had to speed up. I learned something from the experience so that is the important part. Next week I do intervals and the following week will be another tempo run. I think I'll give the program another try and then make a decision as to whether it might be easier to do the workout without the program.

A bit later, it was time for my Legs and Bicep workout. It was a good workout - moderate intensity today but it felt good. I do all my training at home so I'm limited with my equipment but so far it has worked well. I really struggle with dumbbell squats so I've taken to doing front squats with our E-Z curl bar. (We don't have space for a long straight bar.) I can feel my legs working much more with this exercise as compared to the dumbbell squats. Also worked hams with straight-legged deadlifts and calves with heel raises. I'm keeping my weight low and my reps high for my calves. I don't need huge bodybuilder calves but they need to be strong enough to push off the ground for long periods of time plus I know they are already getting a lot of work during each and every run. Next came biceps/forearms with standing dumbbell curls and E-Z bar reverse curls. Overall a great morning.

I'm also going to be able to get a touch more cardio in tonight. There is a museum in our area that is on some beautiful grounds. It is owned by the DuPont family and they open the grounds up on Wednesday nights, in July and August, so that people can come in and ride bikes, walk, run etc. It is right by a river and surrounded by trees and beautiful buildings. There are even a few building that you can go in and the kids can do some hands on learning. We love to go each week but haven't been able to get there at all in July. Well, tonight that all changes! We are going to take our bikes and the whole family is going for a ride (some pretty nasty hills there too).

Overall, I think this is going to be an excellent fitness day. Hopefully I will also see a downward movement on the scale. I still have those last few pounds to lose and I've kind of stalled a bit lately.

Workout hard and eat right and you will reach your goals!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tuesday - Good Day/Bad Day

Today's workout was very strange. It was one of those days where I just couldn't find that "good rhythm". As it turns out my pace was exactly what I was shooting for but it certainly didn't feel that way while I was running it.

The day even started out "off". I woke up about 4:30ish and struggled to stay in bed for those extra 15 minutes - that was my mistake. I need to realize that when I wake up like that I need to get my butt up out of bed and get myself moving. So, by the time I dragged myself out of bed and got dressed, it was probably after 5:15 before I got out the door. Not a habit I can afford to keep! Come September I need to be out the door MUCH quicker - I'm a preschool teacher and need to be much more disciplined if I'm going to get my workout finished, get myself ready, get the kids ready and get us to school on time.

Now onto the run. I'm not sure if many others use this technique and I'm not even sure how I started doing it (maybe it is my swimming background) but I coordinate my breathing with my foot falls. My usual cadence is 3-4 steps to breathe in and then 3-4 steps to breathe out. The faster I run the fewer steps I take to get my breaths in and out. Well, my goal for the 3.5 mile run was to maintain an 8:30 pace and I just couldn't get my breaths and foot falls together. The breathing would have probably felt perfect at 3.5 steps per breath but I haven't figured out how to do that yet - LOL! That was the bad part. The good part was that I was able to hit my goal of 8:30 pace.

Speaking of pace, I love my Forerunner 301! I gives me information about pace, speed, time, distance and heart rate all while I'm running. I stink at knowing what my pace is while I'm running so having this watch has been wonderful. One of the best presents my husband ever gave me!!

Tomorrow is my first Tempo run as well as abs and lifting. I love to do 2 workouts in a day and am finding the in between days a bit difficult. While going through my body transformation I have routinely been doing 2 workouts a day. I want to continue that, but I'm also afraid of moving into an overtraining state. I keep going back and forth about this matter. I look at the ultra-distance runners as well as the triathletes and think I can do it but I also don't want to risk all the hard work I'm putting in. Anyway, I'll just have to play it by ear and figure it out as I go.

Have a great day and keep working hard toward your goals!

Monday, July 24, 2006

2 Great Workouts!

11 weeks and counting until my 15K race!

Now the training begins for real. Before this, I've been focusing on a body transformation which has been a huge success and has given me a great base to build on. However, starting today, I really begin training for my race on October 8th.

Today's plan called for a 3 mile run, ab training and a lifting session (chest, back, shoulders & triceps). The day started with a 5 am run. The weather was nice (about 65 degrees - felt nice and cool for a change) and my goal was to run the distance at a pace closer to my race pace. I wanted to run at about 8 min/mile but ended up running at 7:30 min/mile - that's race pace folks! It was a challenge but I feel really good about my starting point in this progress.

After the run was finished, I came in to do my abs. Ab training has always been a weak point for me. For some reason, I seem to forget to train my abs. Since I know that I have a problem with these exercises I have scheduled them in on Monday's, Wednesday's & Friday's.

I then took a training break, for some reason life seems to butt in all the time - LOL! Just before lunch I completed my training for the day with an awesome lifting session. In years past, while training for this race, I've allowed the lifting component of my program to suffer and even disapear completely. The excuse has always been that the running is the most important part. It seems really lame now but it was my thought process. This year will be different. One of my goals is to make sure that I continue to lift, and I'm not talking about weak mamby-pamby type sessions. I'm going to continue to push myself to get stronger and hit new max weights for each body part. This whole process is not just about a race - it is about being healthy, strong and about being an excellent example for everyone I come in contact with!

Today has been a great start to my training. I know every day isn't going to be smooth sailing but I'm going to keep plugging along each and everyday. Consistant persistence can't be beat!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday: Cross Training

This is the first weekend that I've tried doing my long run on Saturday and my cross training workout on Sunday. I think it is going to workout really well. Saturday is usually my highest calorie day, for the week, and yesterday I felt really good when all was said and done. In prior weeks, I would be starving and super tired in the afternoon because I was combining my long run with a low calorie day. I think this new schedule is going to work out much better for me!

Today's walk was pretty good. I wasn't going for a really hard effort but I also didn't want it to be a stroll. It just felt good to get out and not have to worry about run pace. I put my Ipod on and just went at it.

Nutrition has also been good today but I need to workout my timing for my first 2 meals. I kind of messed it up this morning because I wasn't used to the altered schedule. I'll be better prepared next weekend.

I set up a new weight loss goal at Club Liftestyle . I'm shooting for 133 by August 26th. After that I will concentrate on my race training and maintaining my weight. I'm really hoping to reach that weight before the 26th but we'll see how it goes.

Here's to training hard and eating right!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday - Long Run

I did a 7 mile run this morning. It was really hard because the humidity was so high and because I couldn't fuel up during the run. I was scheduled for some routine blood work this morning so I had to be in a fasting state.

I ran the 7 miles in about 1:05:00 which is about a 9 min./mile pace. Overall, I'm pleased with the effort. About 2/3 of the way through the run my legs got really "heavy" and I struggled for a bit. I focused on my form and got through it.

I'm feeling a bit tired right now but my legs feel good. Tomorrow is a 60 minute cross training day. I think I might do a combination of bike and walk.

I was thinking this morning during the run - my race is on October 8th and my long runs are already close to the race distance. I am in such better shape than the past 2 years! I really have a good feeling about this year's race. I also want to run a 1/2 marathon in March. The past 2 years I've gotten sick after the 15K and have not been able to run the 1/2. I think this year may be different!


Friday, July 21, 2006

My First Post

Today has been a good day so far. I'm in the final stages of a body transformation. I've lost about 25 pounds since April and am now training for a 15K running race in October. I'm feeling strong and positive about myself for the first time in quite a while! My training has been going well. I've run this race the past 2 years and have gotten better each year. But this time, I'm shooting for a huge improvement because of how much my fitness has improved. Last year's pace was 8:25/mile, which was what I was shooting for, but this year I want to run 7:30/mile. The tricky part is trying to balance the running and the lifting. In the past I've let the lifting slide but not this year. It means 2 training sessions per day but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Today's workout: Lifting - Legs & biceps. I will be doing this workout shortly.

Front Squats
Plie Squats
Dbell Stiff-legged Deadlifts
Standing Calf Raises
Dbell Standing Curls
Reverse Curls

Here's to a great workout and a great day!