Wednesday, May 25, 2011

24 Days

Let me start with this morning's workout. It was Max Interval Plyo and it was HARD! I definitely had more motivation than the other day which is a good thing because I think this is one of the hardest workouts in the bunch! I didn't wear a HR monitor so I don't know what my HR was but it felt like my heart was going to pound out of my chest! I was also dripping in sweat and could not get it to stop - I love that feeling!

During the first 10 Days of June some friends and I are doing a 10 Day Challenge and Jess gave us an early exercise/assignment to do before we start. The assignment was to come up with 3 goals for the challenge and to think past strictly pounds lost. Yes, that is important but there really does need to be "other" reasons and goals to be truly successful.

So, I started to think about the assignment and about what "other" things I could come up with. The first thought that came to mind was to make sure I could say that I finished all of my scheduled workouts and that I did them to the "best of my ability on that given day". That last section is really important! No one feels awesome every single day of our lives. There are going to be days when we just really DON'T feel like working out. It is on those days that it is even more important that we get up and move - as Tony Horton says "Do your best and forget the rest!". If you are just feeling tired or unmotivated get your butt up off the sofa and at the very least go for a walk...get up and do something to move your body. Chances are, you will feel better for doing it and the sense of accomplishment is huge!!!!

That led me to the next goal - Honor my self-promises! How often do we start off super strong only to wimp out when things get a little uncomfortable? I honestly believe that we "kill" a little part of ourselves each and every time we do it. I know that sounds harsh - I wanted it to!! When we promise somebody that we will do something, how often do we go way out of our way to get that done for them. If we'll do that for someone else, why won't we do it for ourselves???? If you make a promise to yourself that you will eat healthy nutritious foods, honor that promise for 1 day. When that day is finished, be proud of yourself and then make the promise again the next day and then honor it and yourself AGAIN! Keep repeating that day after day and experience that daily success. Only by doing that small exercise will you gain that inner strength and pride that is so important for our everyday life!

I think it is also important to keep in mind that this entire process (eating well and exercising) is much more than fitting into a bikini or weight 120 pounds. Face it, not all of us are cut out to look like that. Look at elite distance runners vs. elite sprinters. Their genetics are different so they look completely different. We don't have to be elite athletes to look better, feel better and be healthier. Keep striving for YOUR best, whatever that may be. You may find an inner competitive athlete or you may find someone who simply loves walking in the woods each day. Just get yourself moving, promise to do your best and honor that promise and keep at it even when it gets tough. If you do all these things you will reach goals that you never thought you'd achieve. It may take 10 days and it my take 10 years. The important thing is that you keep working at being your best!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

25 Days

Today's run was a tough one. It was a pretty hilly course and the heat and humidity were brutal! However, I'm actually glad that I'll get some runs in this type of weather. The Baltimore race has had some really hot sticky weather so it's actually very beneficial to get some time out in it. The run itself was good. We averaged about 9:30 which is decent on the hills.

I bought a new pair of running shoes today. I was trying to wait until my B-day but when I tried them on I realized just how much I needed them. I stayed with the Brooks Adrenaline but it is now the 11 version. There was enough cushion in them that I think I'll try them without the extra cushion insert (staying with the orthotic though). The extra inserts make the shoes very heavy and I will be really glad to get rid of some of the extra weight. Even the owner of the Delaware Running Company, where I bought the shoes, commented on how heavy the shoes were. I think I needed the extra cushion earlier because my foot was still flared up. Now that it is feeling better I don't think I need it! YEAH!!

I was really sore this morning when I woke up. My Insanity workout on Monday really worked me good! I love that feeling! I realize that people that don't workout regularly must think I'm crazy to say that and to be honest I don't know why I like the feeling. Sure it hurts a bit but it isn't like an injury pain and I guess you just know that you have done something really good for your body. Tomorrow is another Insanity workout day (not sure which session) and I'm already looking forward to it!! I hope my energy level and motivation are higher than on Monday. I did the workout but I felt sluggish - I really want to nail the workout tomorrow!

I bought 1 other thing today - a basic HR monitor. I have a HR monitor on my Garmin but the watch is so big it makes it hard to do many of the Insanity floor moves. I used the Amazon gift card that I got from Jess for winning the 10 Day Challenge. It'll probably be 1.5 to 2 weeks before I get it (that way I got free shipping). It doesn't really have lots of bells and whistles but it will tell me HR and calories burned. My Garmin only tells calories burned when I'm outside - it needs distance traveled in order to calculate the calories.

I'm pretty much finished at school - I will stop in tomorrow just to drop something off and I think I'll take Chip with me. I'm getting my hair done tomorrow so if I bring him early it will be one less time locked up in the house.

I'm trying to get back into more planning this summer. Planning the family dinners, my overall nutrition plan, cleaning schedule etc. So on that note, I'm off to plan tomorrow's meals. It makes a huge difference when you take those few minutes and plan your day. If you don't do it already - START TODAY! Schedule time in your day to workout. Plan your meals so you can get them ready and take them with you if you are out of the house. The following quote is so true:

"He who fails to plan is planning to fail" Winston Churchill

Monday, May 23, 2011

26 Days

I had a pretty good workout this morning - the workout itself wasn't all that great from my ability perspective but it was one of the month 2 Insanity workouts so it was good in that I got my butt kicked. I know, I know, that sentence really doesn't make sense but let me explain. I had a really busy weekend and had a good hard 10 miler on Saturday. So, when I got up this morning, I was really tired. Because my energy levels were down, it limited the "fire" I had to put toward my workout. However, as long as you do your best the Insanity workouts will kick your butt and that is exactly what I need!

The workout was Max Interval Circuit. I was absolutely drenched when I was finished! I really do love that feeling - sweat is dripping down into your eyes and you are completely exhausted but at the same time you feel exhilarated because of what you were just able to complete. It's awesome!

This week is clean-up week at school. So, after my workout, I actually got another workout at school. We moved things, cleaned things and generally just moved constantly for about 4 hours. We got a lot done and I'm hoping that there won't be too much more to do toward the end of the week. I would love to have everything finished by early Wednesday at the latest. Then there will only be a couple of weeks until my kids are off school and we can start going to the pool and the trails!

Off to finish some chores!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

28 Days

Things are really coming down to the wire!! I decided that this weeks long run HAD to be at least 10 miles. So we met at 4:45 this morning and set off for our 10 miles. There is someone in the group that is still in post marathon recovery so she wasn't sure if she would make the 10 so we started off with a 5 mile loop. Then completed the 10 miles with an out and back around a local reservoir. It was absolutely beautiful with the sun starting to rise on the water.

Anyway, we all made it the full 10 miles in a time of 1:35:38 (9:30 pace). My hamstring got a little tight after I ran up the steep hill to the reservoir. I rocked the run up but when we stopped to wait for everyone to get up the hill, I could really feel it tighten. I will have to remember that for the future! I'm pleased with the run but I know that I need to get faster if I want to hit my time. For the next couple of weeks I'm going to really focus on hitting all my workouts really hard and keeping my nutrition on track.

My daughter had a soccer game this morning and she did awesome!! She was very aggressive and played very well. She even played goalie and made a few big saves. Her team won 3-2 so her saves were key! The best part is that she was assertive in all areas of her play - she ran hard on offense and challenged the other girls on defense. I'm very proud of her!

My son has a baseball game later today. I'm hoping he too will be a bit more aggressive in his play. He is a very good ball player when he just relaxes and lets his play happen.

Tomorrow is a stretching day which is good because the rest of the day is going to be very busy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

29 Days....Oh My Gosh!!!!!

I truly can't believe that the Baltimore 10 Miler is less than 30 days away!!!! I started this countdown 80 days ago - where has that time gone?????

Today was our school concert and all the kids did a wonderful job. It also means that today was our last day of school for this school year. I have in-service days next week but classes are finished. It is always a happy and sad time. I enjoy having the summer off to be with my kids and to have more time for things like exercise, going to the pool and yes even making dinner. It is very hard to make more involved and yummy dinners for the family when I'm rushing around doing errands and picking up the carpool etc. That being said, it is also a sad time because you miss the kids and their smiling faces. Sure, there are rough days when you are dealing with 2 and 3 year olds but there is NOTHING like the feeling you get when a young child just brightens up the entire room with their smile and laugh....or when they walk into the room see you and run over to give you a great big hug! We had a great group of kids this year and I will miss them.

I am looking forward to having some more time to devote to my exercise sessions - especially getting Chip our for some runs on the trails. Hopefully the rain will actually stop one of these days and the trails will dry up enough to actually get on them again! I love the freedom I have in the mornings - I may only have 20 or so extra minutes but that can mean an extra 2-3 miles of running. Case in point.....yesterday we ran 6.25 miles (instead of our normal 4-5) but it put me 10-15 minutes later (after stretching and such) than normal and my entire morning just felt "off". It will just be nice to have a more relaxed feeling.

Goals for this summer:
I know have have already talked about 2 of my goals (Baltimore and completing the Half-Wit Half marathon again) but I decided that I needed more to focus on to get me through the rest of the summer. Right now, my weight has kind of stalled at around 154 pounds. This isn't an awful weight for me (in fact it is only a few pounds heavier that when I got married and I've had 2 kids since then) but I want better! So, Goal #1: weigh 140 pounds by September 1, 2011.

I'm also very aware of my different aches and pains since my foot problem. To help relieve that issue, I started doing P90X which included a lot more stretching than I was used to and also added yoga. I'll be honest, I'm still nervous that the problems are going to creep back in. Every time I get up off the sofa and my foot feels tight, I'm nervous that the plantar fascitis is coming back. The best was to combat that is to stretch. So, Goal #2: begin a daily stretching program of at least 15 minutes.

I may add more goals as the summer goes on but those are the ones I have right now. I like to watch The Biggest Loser and Olivia said something this week that really struck a chord with me. She talked about being a strong starter and a weak finisher. She finally finished strong and as a result she made it to the final 3 contestants. I can certainly relate to this feeling. I have repeatedly started weight loss plans and challenges and in almost every single case, I finish with a whimper. I have never felt the same fire at the end that I have at the beginning. Ultimately I guess that by default becomes Goal #3: to make healthy eating and living a daily routine or way of living!

This is going to be a great summer!

Monday, May 16, 2011

33 Days: It was a good night!

We took Will to his baseball practice and I asked Ally if she wanted to do a walk/run with me and she said yes. That in an of itself makes it a great night! However, I've got to tell everyone just how proud I am of her. We covered 3.6 miles and our pace was 13:12 average. Now keep in mind that we were walking part of that time. I think that pace is awesome!

I left the whole run up to her. We walked when she wanted to and ran when she wanted to. I just try to keep stressing that it is being out there that is important to me and not how fast we go. Walking is just fine with me!

I think she is also proud of the fact that she was able to cover more than a 5K...and she should be! I'm really hoping that this will turn into something that the kids and I can do for a long time to come!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

34 Days: Great News & an Interesting Philosophy

I had a good P90X yoga workout this morning. I didn't do the entire routine because I have a little cut on the bottom of my toe and it started to hurt. I don't do much in my bare feet so I didn't want to continue the stress on that foot.

Great News
I am also very happy and excited today! I was just reading an article in my Runner's World magazine where the author talked about inviting his son to run with him. Running was apparently an activity that the boy was very good at but didn't have any interest in doing but finally agreed to run with his Dad. Eventually the son joined the cross country team and fell in love with running. But, the whole point to the story was that you should try new things in the spring (i.e. asking someone to run with you). I decided to take the author's advice and ask my son (I didn't think my daughter would have any interest) if he wanted to start running with me. My husband even suggested that we could get him running only shoes if he was interested as an incentive to keep at it. So this morning both my kids were in the room and I threw out the suggestion to both of them, tell them that we would slowly build up (start with a run/walk if necessary) and that we could run both here at home and on the trails. To my surprise, they BOTH said yes!!!! I could have jumped to the moon I was so excited! I then pushed the envelope just a little bit farther and suggested that maybe we could find a 5K race to train for and they were both still interested!! I only had to make one promise......that I wouldn't make them run at 4:30 am (the time I usually run with my running group). THAT'S A DEAL!!

Interesting Philosophy
My husband gets Men's Health Magazine and I was reading an article in it today. It was about Tony Horton and P90X. There was one little section that really jumped out at me: "'externals' such as weight loss and muscle definition, should never be your primary motivators for working out. 'Focus instead on the internals,' he says. Are you less fatigued? Do you have more energy? Are you sleeping better? Do you feel stronger? Are you happier?.....". It started me thinking about whether these are the things I focus on and the answer was NO. Honestly, if we are honest, especially women, we don't focus on these types of internals. We are constantly looking in the mirror and telling ourselves that we aren't thin enough or we aren't pretty enough or our hips and thighs are too big. Men might look in that same mirror and tell themselves that their legs are too thin and the shoulders are too narrow or they are too fat. We all have our "buttons" that we push.

Even when we have had a significant weight loss are we happy? Sometimes, but often times not. We forget about how far we have come and we don't take a moment to be proud of ourselves or to give ourselves a pat on the back. Why? because we aren't "perfect". Here's a secret.....we aren't ever going to be perfect!!! So does it make sense to focus on those external factors? Not really. But, and this is a big but for me - I know deep down that I am going to have a really hard time changing my way of thinking. Truth is, I know that I am probably healthier and stronger than the majority of women in the United States but instead of being pleased with that I focus on my negatives.

I don't want to imply that striving for super fitness is always a bad thing. Being lean and sexy is awesome! I also think that pushing yourself to your limits is a positive thing because we really don't know just how much we can do - Insanity has taught me that lesson well! However, I think it is just as important, if not more so, that we keep a good portion of our focus on those "internals" that Tony talked about. Take a step back routinely and be proud of yourself and all that you have achieved. Is it an easy thing to do? No, I don't think it is - especially for women who are constantly told that others should come first (kids, husbands, work etc). Just as we need to schedule time to get our workouts in, I honestly feel we also need to schedule time for congratulating ourselves and reflecting on life.

Where's my calendar????????????

Saturday, May 14, 2011

35 Days

I got in my 8 miles this morning!! Next week we will bump it up to 10 and then start to increase the speed for those 10 miles.

The group met at a local park and did a loop that incorporated some rolling hills. The hills weren't super steep or super long but they were still a challenge. Enough so that we now know that we have to start getting back into the hill work. The Baltimore course has a lot of hills and there are some real crazy ones toward the end. I am really feeling good at where I'm at right now. Sure the hills were tough but I didn't feel like I couldn't keep up or anything in fact I was in the front of the group. We averaged just over 9 m/mile. As long as I keep my training consistent and keep a nice clean nutrition plan I think I'll have a shot at the 1:20:00!

This week may be a challenge for me in terms of the weather. It is supposed to rain all week. However, I told my friend today a bout yesterday's post and about taking responsibility for my workouts. Even is it is raining on Monday, I still need to get my runs in! So come Tuesday, I will be meeting my group and we will train on the hills!

Off to have some breakfast!

Friday, May 13, 2011

36 Days

The crazy week is OVER! Last night we had an awesome Spring Arts/Picnic at school. All the classrooms looked awesome - the kids did an amazing job! After the families got a chance to look at the classrooms there was a huge food spread in our gym and all the families got a chance to sit down together and enjoy some great food and good company! In addition to having to get all of this together, it is report card time and I can thankfully say.......they are finished too!!!!!! It is a huge burden off my back to know that during this last week or so, I have most of my school responsibilities completed!

Now I can really start to buckle down on that little bit of extra "stuff" that I'm going to need to hit my goal in Baltimore. I haven't been quite as tight on my food over the past day and a half. I will make that change starting right now! I was about to write tomorrow but there is NO REASON TO WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW! I can make better decisions and choices right now!! I still have some water left in my gallon and I will finish that tonight and fill it right back up for tomorrow!!

Tomorrow is going to be a fun but busy day. It will start out with a run with my buds. I am going to run 8 - most of the group is still recovering from their marathons so I'm not sure I'll have company for the last couple of miles. I need to start increasing the miles on my long days regardless of whether there are others with me. It is time for me to take responsibility for myself. I used to run by myself, because I didn't know anybody else running when I did. I will forever be grateful for the Marine Corps Marathon, the Hal Higdon message boards and a friend named Pat who helped me connect with this great group of runners. The group has changed over the years but I am thankful that each and everyone of them. However, because I started running with this great group, I stopped running alone. From a safety standpoint it is great but I stopped taking responsibility for my runs. If others weren't running, I didn't run...or if it was raining, I didn't run etc. I am shifting my thinking. I will run no matter what the weather and I will run the full mileage regardless of who is running or not running with me!

Today's workout was my Insanity Cardio Recovery session. It is definitely easier than most of the Insanity workout but it is not easy! I had originally thought I might get another workout in today but the timing never worked out. My kids had an early dismissal from school and then I had to go to the grocery store. By the time we got home, I had to start making dinner etc. I think it is actually a good thing - I tend to not spend enough time in recovery. I'm hoping it will give me a great run tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

38 Days

I am so excited! I got on the scale today and my weight has dropped to 153 so over the past 10 days I have dropped 4.5 pounds. The funny thing is that the only thing I did was cut out some of the extras - the junk! I wasn't perfect and I still dropped the weight - amazing isn't it! The fact is, we don't have to be "perfect" and we are only setting ourselves up for failure if perfection is what we expect of ourselves.

I love Jess' 80% rule - be on target 80% of the time and you will be living a healthy lifestyle. This is truly what the main purpose is all about. I am really striving toward that goal - making it a lifestyle &/or philosophy. I have shown myself that it works and I have to keep reminding myself of that fact. I know it isn't quite there yet so my goal for the next 7 days is is maintain my actions. My mind and body have not committed this to habit yet so that is my next goal!

As for my workout - I completed Insanity Cardio Power and Resistance this morning. I attempted to video the workout - for my purposes only! I need to play with it more so that I get more in the shot and for some reason it stopped taping part way through the session so I didn't get to see my form at the end (I really wanted to look at the push-ups). I'm thinking that it stopped because I left it alone for the entire session. Maybe I need to stop/start it during the water breaks. If anyone has another idea let me know (it records on tape - not digital).

I'm about 1/2 way through my day and my eating has been good. I still haven't decided what to have for dinner. I may have a salad and get fried chicken or something for the rest of the family. We have both soccer and baseball tonight - luckily they are both basically next to each other so I can get both kids where they need to be. Hubby will be at home but has work he must get done.

Speaking of having to get things done - I'm off to get my own work done!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

39 Days

I can not believe that I am under 40 days to the race!!!

I have had an awesome couple of days! Eating has been really good and exercise has been off the charts excellent!! Yesterday was my first day of the Insanity cycle and I felt great all day. After school, I did a 3 mile run at the park. It was really hot and a pretty good portion of the trail was rocky so I had to walk some (didn't want to twist and ankle or worse, fall down). Even with those 2 factors I averaged a 10:45 pace.

Today was a running day and I repeated the 5 mile course that we have covered the past couple of outings. Each time we have done this course we have gotten faster and today was not different. Our pace was 9:04 today and I was talking quite a lot. I'm encouraged by this! This next month or so is my big push toward 1:20:00 and I think I'm in a good place. I realize there is still a lot of work to be done and I am ready to put in that work. School will be out in a couple of weeks and this will give me more time to devote to my training as well. I'm looking forward to the journey!!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

41 Days

Happy Mother's Day to All!

I had a wonderful day with my family! I didn't really workout today but I did spend a lot of time playing with the kids. I helped my son with his baseball skills and then kicked the soccer ball around with my daughter. I love the fact that they are excited about getting out and being active!!

My eating today wasn't great but it was Mother's Day and I decided not to worry about it too much. I'm trying to avoid the snack meals because the actual meals were higher in calories than normal. I'm in day 8 of a 10 day challenge and we aren't checking scale weight until it is over so I don't know where I stand. However, I'm feeling pretty good.

Tomorrow I start my Insanity phase of my program and I'm really looking forward to it! I tweaked the original program and am doing 2 weeks of month 1 and then 2 weeks of month 2. After doing the Pure Cardio on Friday I really think it will be better to take a couple of weeks to get back into it and then try to kick it up that extra notch.

I've recently watched a number of videos of the Asylum program and am really looking forward to doing this program one day. I have a birthday approaching and will wait to see what I get (money etc) because I am also going to need new running shoes very soon. I may only be able to get one at a time and the shoes must come first!

Off to watch the Phillies beat the Braves (I hope!).

Saturday, May 07, 2011

42 Days

It has been an interesting day! It started with a great6.5 mile run at a 9:30 pace and again there was great conversation to be had! The pace felt nice and easy so I'm pleased!

Then we had a soccer game at 9 am. The girls looked great! They are really coming together and working well as a team. They ended in a tie but the progress they have made is amazing!

Then it was lunch with the family - including my parents who game to watch the games.

Then we went to my son's baseball game where I ended up having to be the umpire. Each team is responsible to supply 1 ump for the game and there wasn't any one on our side willing to do it so I did. I've never done it before so I was interested to see how I did. I had fun and I think I did a pretty good job! Unfortunately, our team lost:-(

Then we had company for dinner - a great time was had by all. How will the day end? I now need to prepare for my Sunday School class tomorrow. It has been a fun ride today and I'm looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings!

Friday, May 06, 2011

43 Days

I have officially had enough of this recovery week! I decided this morning that I was going to do an Insanity routine and start the sweat rollin'! I chose a workout from month 1 and boy am I glad I did! It really kicked my butt this morning and I LOVED it! I knew that I had missed that feeling I got after a good Insanity workout but I didn't realize just how much I had missed it!!

I know that I still have to do lifting workouts because I don't want to get in that unbalanced state again but I just don't like the P90X workouts as much as I do the Insanity sessions. The funny thing is that when I got the P90X workouts, I thought they were the best thing since sliced bread. Funny how your perceptions change......feel like I've said that before (LOL)!

Tomorrow, I'm doing a 6 mile run with a friend and then we have a day of sports. Soccer first thing and then baseball right after lunch. We are also having company over for dinner. Should make for a very busy, but fun, day!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

44 Days - Recovery Week

This has been a tough week. I really seem to struggle during my recovery weeks. I noticed it during both P90X and Insanity. My workouts are a struggle to get in and my eating is very haphazard. I'm actually glad that it is almost over!

I have been able to get in 2 good runs with Helenann (5 miles each time). That was something else that was hard - Helenann is still in recovery from Boston and everyone else just ran there marathon last Sunday. So, there really hasn't been anyone to run hard with. This weekend will also be light. Helenann doesn't want to do much over 6 miles (it will probably be relatively easy too) and the rest of the group is only doing 4 miles. But, I'm sure we'll start to ramp things up soon.

I only have a couple more weeks of school left (can't wait!) so I think I'll try to get on some trails during the day while the kids are still in school. I want to get Chip on the trails too but I know I won't be able to do any long runs with him. He's run 2 miles but we haven't gone any farther. I'm debating on whether he would be able to go farther on a flat shady trail??????

I'm looking forward to starting back up with Insanity next week. As I posted before, I think I try 1-2 week of the first month and then move to month 2 workouts. I really miss the "high" I got after completing those workouts! I think it is also really going to help me get ready for Baltimore.

That's it for now!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

48 Days!

I didn't get a chance to get on here yesterday but I had an awesome run! I actually got my butt out the door - by myself! - and ran 8 miles!! I was hoping to do 8 on my own and then 2 with Chip but I really burned my legs out by going hard at the end. I thought it was smarter to not push it and then be able to keep going long term (hammy was starting to get cranky). I ran the 8 miles in 1:09:59 which is an 8:44 pace. I'm very pleased with this time. I know it is still far away from my goal of 10 miles in 1:20:00 but I am confident that I will bring that time down as the days move forward!

Then we had my daughter's soccer game and she scored a hat trick AND had 2 assists!! Our coach did a good job and trying not to run up the score (it was VERY lopsided) and had the girls working on passing, working together and staying spread out on the field. It was actually a very fun game to watch because you could see the girls really starting to "get it". Then we got a call from our friend asking us to come down and spend the day. It is always great fun but we also tend to eat way too much food. As a result my weight did pop up a bit. But that changes TODAY!

Today is the start of our 10 Day Challenge that Jess started up. I'm really looking forward to this and I am really going to stick to the plan!! I need to show myself that I can do this!

Well, I started this early in the morning and I was in a very positive mood. Things changed drastically and it turned out to be a very bad and stressful day. I'm ending this now because I really don't have any positive feeling right now!