Rose: Running Lately

I jokingly put this post up on Instagram the other day. But I guess it wasn’t entirely a joke.

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Running has been especially difficult for me this time around. When it comes to training for a long race, I am usually motivated and determined. But this year has been different, and I’ve been struggling to figure out why.

What I’ve concluded is that I’ve finally found my “love workout,” and that’s Max: 30. Never in my life have I seen such results from a program. I’ve also never enjoyed such an exercise program before.

That made it a little hard to start using those same shoes for running. Not to mention that winter lingered far too long, and running outside was unbearable at times for a wimp like me.

All of that said, there is still hope. The race is in three weeks, and while I haven’t run beyond 7 miles, I still feel strong. Thankfully, I had a good foundation thanks to Max 30. It’s amazing how your body can tackle different workouts when you are strong all over. For this, I am thankful.

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On Saturday, Jenna and I ran together. I did 7 miles, and she did 8. We talked almost the entire time, and I ran much faster trying to keep up with her. It felt good. It felt the way running should — invigorating, joyful. Perhaps what I’ve been missing is a good running buddy. Or just a generally good outlook.

Regardless, I am starting to enjoy running a bit more. While I don’t think I’ll be logging a ton of mileage the rest of this year, I am happy that I’ll be running this race — for better or worse. I have no doubt that I’ll finish and feel good about myself once it’s over.

Are you training for anything? Share your thoughts with us!

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Rose: My Fourth Half Marathon

I did it! This weekend I ran my fourth half marathon!

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Mentally, this was one of the easiest half marathons I’ve run. Although I was extremely nervous the day before, I felt so alive and fresh on Sunday morning. I just decided to have fun with it. I ran with a few friends for a while, and I didn’t listen to any music. I just let the energy seep into me, and it worked. Before I knew it, I was rounding the corner to the 11th mile.

While I was with it mentally, I wasn’t so much physically. I had side stitches throughout the race – at miles 4, 6, and 8 specifically. Likewise, my foot was in a lot of pain from my new shoes (which I opted not to wear, but the side effects were still there). Still, I ran throughout the entire race and only stopped once for about 10 seconds after mile 11. By the end of the race, my legs felt like jello.

On the ride home from the race, M asked me: “Well, is this your last half marathon in Pittsburgh?” I’d told myself it would be. Running beats me up and usually puts me further away from my weight-loss goals. But I couldn’t help but say, “I don’t know. I kinda want to keep the tradition going.” After all, I have all of these shirts from five really great Pittsburgh races. Shouldn’t I keep on adding them? 🙂

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What a great weekend. So happy I completed another goal!

Rose: 50 Power Jumps

On Sunday I attempted something I hadn’t done before: 50 power jumps. I learned this move from Shaun T’s Insanity, and basically it looks as the visual suggests. You jump with your knees up in the air. I like to do sets of 10 at a time to get it over faster.

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I hadn’t planned on doing these power jumps, but I was trying to capture an in-action photo of myself working out. (Do you know how hard that is to do?) My coaches post pictures online, and I find them super inspiring. But every photo I took was out of focus or strange. Nevertheless, it put a challenge in front of me: perfecting the jump. I kept doing it until I got a photo I liked. And then, when I was so close to 50, I decided to do another 15 jumps.

Needless to say I was incredibly sore the next day. It’s been a while since I really challenged my body like that. On top of the 50 jumps, I also increased my weights during my upper body workout. There is a big difference between 5 and 10 pound dumbbells! I swear I am still sore, two days later.

The entire workout reminded me of the importance of changing things up. When I was a hardcore runner, I’d often fall into fitness ruts. I’d put in my 30 minutes on the treadmill and get out of the gym. My weight stayed the same (despite my attempts to shed pounds). And I wasn’t gaining muscle. It all makes sense given this article Jenna recently passed on to me. Which is why I love Shaun T. and his fitness programs. Or adding in a few power jumps to a routine workout. It all adds up to something bigger. And I don’t get bored.

I have been doing T25 for the past couple of months, and I can feel myself tiring of the program. So, I’ve been adding running back into the workout schedule. Right now my weeks look something like this:

  • M: Run 3 miles
  • T: T25 Upper Body Focus
  • W: Run 3 miles
  • Th: T25 Rip’t Circuit
  • F: Rest
  • S: T25 Dynamic Core/Core Cardio
  • Su: Run 4-5 miles

I am training for an 8K with Jenna, and I think this is the perfect routine to keep me from getting bored. Plus I get to enjoy the last nice days of the calendar year!

How do you change things up?

Rose: Gun Show

There is a reason for posting this photo that goes well beyond vanity:

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For once in my life, I have arm muscles. Things take shape when I move my arms. There are indents in places that used to be squishy. There are sharper lines and curvatures. There is real definition.

I realize that posting a picture of yourself post-workout in “gun show” position seems a bit narcissistic. And honestly, that’s usually the case with blogs – they are designed to be self-centered. But posting this picture goes beyond that. This picture is proof that, even when I feel like I’m slacking, I’ve spent the past several months working hard. We all know muscles don’t come overnight.

The old me would have never, *ever* posted a photo such as this. I’d spent years being embarrassed by my body, trying to cover it up. It’s not that I flaunt it or anything now. I am still a work in progress. But I’ve gained a confidence I never had before, and it was all through a few daily pushups (and some serious Shaun T. training).

This year I’ve completed Insanity, Focus T25, and I’ve trained and ran a half marathon. At the moment, I’m looking for something new. Since time is in high demand, I’m re-doing month two of T25. But, as I feel every couple of months, I want to kick things up a notch again. Focus on a new program or exercise.

I’ve contemplated CrossFit, but I’m not sure I can fit the daily WODs into my schedule (they are at a bad time), and I don’t want to become obsessive with exercise or suffer from a muscle meltdown. I am thinking about running another race, at least a 10K, now that I live next to a beautiful trail. Thoughts? What do you suggest should be my next endeavor?

The Color Run and Goals

For those of you that have never run a 5k but are interested, I would highly recommend The Color Run. It’s a fun run, which means its not timed. AND you get splashed with bright color every kilometer or so. What’s not to love?

I participated this past weekend in Philadelphia, and it was a great time! Around 20,000 runners came out for the event. 

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Color Run – Before

The run was really well executed and organized. There was water provided along the route, and it included an awesome loop through Fairmount Park. My only real complaint is that it “started” REALLY early, (5 am wake up call!) but they continued to let folks run way after they claimed they would. If I had known this, I wouldn’t have shown up at 6:30am! But that’s ok because I was in the first heat and got to enjoy the rest of my day. Dyed blue and all 🙂

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Color Run – After

I had two great friends to run it with, and we had a blast! We enjoyed an awesome breakfast after, and all in all I’d call it a super fun Sunday. 

More importantly, the Color Run got me thinking about goals. I remember one of my long time fitness goals was to be able to run a 5k like “no big deal”. Running isn’t easy for me, and my first few required quite a bit of training. I’d be pooped for the rest of the day after. But this time was different. I hadn’t run in 2 weeks. That afternoon after the run, I rode my bike 6 miles. It’s amazing how your body conditions and adjusts when you push it and fuel it with good eats. Goal achieved!

So this got me thinking about what other goals I have for eating and fitness. Here are just a few: 

Short-ish Term:

  • I’m almost to my weight loss goal, but still have a little ways to go. I’d like to get to one milestone by Labor Day and another by the middle of November. 
  • Complete the T25 10 week program, while still incorporating running, biking, and yoga. This may not mean that I follow the program to a T or skip a few days. 
  • Eat less sugar. Add more vegetables and fruit in each day.
  • MORE H20!

Longer term

  • I want to run a 10k in early 2014 and then the Broad Street Run 10 miler in May 2014.
  • Find a way to inspire others to be healthier. (This blog may be it!)

Have you ever ran a 5k? What are some of your fitness goals?