Physical Wellness: Marathon Training Week 15 Recap

Sunday:  17 miles at 9:03 pace. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Except for I spent the rest of the week not running and nursing a foot injury. I lifted Monday, Wednesday, and Friday but spent the entire week with my foot wrapped up and icing it.

I’m definitely to the point that I am ready for this marathon to be done. I’m ready to walk without hurting. I’m ready to sleep past 5 am on Sundays. I’m ready to eat like a normal human and not consume all the foods on Sundays. I’m not sure if I will do other marathons after this one. There is one that I really want to do – an international marathon starting in Michigan and crossing into Canada. But after that one…I might be done.

I’ve been trying to think about what I want to do after this marathon. I may want to start trying to be more competitive in 5ks. There is a half-marathon that is a few weeks after my marathon and I might do that one just for fun. I don’t know. All I know of is that I’m ready to run this marathon.

Physical Wellness: Marathon Training Week 13 Recap

Sunday:  15 miles @ 9:35 pace – felt strong and solid throughout the run. My first long run of marathon training where I finally feel confident that I can do this marathon.

Monday:  Arms plus standing on my feet for about 7 hours at an event at work.

Tuesday:  Nothing. My whole body was just swollen after a 15 mile run and then standing on my feet for so long on Monday. My joints hurt so bad. And it wasn’t from the long run it was more just that combination of everything. I was just a mess of pain.

Wednesday:  Legs and Abs

Thursday:  3.5 miles at run club trying out Saucony Kinerva’s (rep was there – I loved these shoes)

Friday:  Arms and Abs

Saturday:  rest day

It’s pretty sad that I didn’t even hit 20 miles this week WITH a 15 mile run in the mix. This week was rough on me. Mentally, emotionally, physically. It was rough at work because students are now back and I worked a huge event Friday and then that event on Monday plus our office was interviewing people all week. All of this combined to just cause a lot of stress that played itself out in my motivation. All I wanted to do this past week was sleep. I barely spent anytime with Eric. I didn’t want to be outside and have to interact with people. I just wanted to hide out in my apartment and not have to talk to anyone. It’s dramatic, I recognize that. But in my (lame) defense, I am highly introverted so a week of having to interact with strangers on high levels has really spent me. I know I can’t afford these types of weeks with my marathon quickly approaching, but this week happened and there is nothing more I can do about it.

Physical Wellness: Marathon Training Week 8 Recap

Sunday:  10 miles, 8:46 pace (8:58/8:50/9:23/9:17/8:49/8:38/8:35/8:42/8:38/7:50) this is a run that will go down in my marathon training and life as one of the best runs I’ve ever had. I felt strong throughout the entire run. I felt like I pushed myself every inch but still had enough left in the tank to have an awesome kick at the end. The miles just ticked by. The weather was perfect. It was the most amazing run I have ever had.

Monday:  Arms workout (remembered my notebook, forgot a pen), speed workout (only got 1.5 miles in before the heat just killed me)

Tuesday:  Boom. Back started giving me major problems. I think probably because I tend to sit w/ my leg under me at work but at any rate by the end of the day on Tuesday, I was in major, major pain.

Wednesday: Let’s just say I’m an idiot. Because when you have back pain, do leg workouts is a brilliant idea, right? Pulled both hamstrings.

Thursday:  4-5 painful miles with run club

Friday:  I stuck to bench press. My back was feeling better, but my hamstrings were both still in a lot of pain and I was still walking funny.

Saturday:  60 minutes of tennis in intense humidity. I didn’t go sprinting after all balls and used this workout as just getting out there and being active after having back issues this week and pulling both hamstrings.

It was a painful week of training. And this is where the training gets painful and uncomfortable. I’m starting to get into uncharted territory but what’s really going to be painful is the weather. August in Kansas is hot, hot, hot, and humid, humid, humid. This is where I need to dig deep. Because come October, the heat breaks, the humidity breaks, and training hard in this heat pays off. The times are going to slow down but I need to stop making excuses and keep hitting my training.

Physical Wellness: The Early Morning

One of the biggest questions I get when I tell someone that I workout in the morning is, “How do you do that?” So I thought I might give you all a look at what I do to make AM workouts work for me.

One of the biggest misconceptions most people (including myself) have about AM workouts is that the hardest thing is to get up in the morning and get going. They tend to fixate on the morning thinking that everything is about getting up in the morning but really, it’s the night prep that makes morning workouts possible. So here are what my nights look like.

7:00 pm:  I’m finally home from work, doing a night workout/seeing E, and running any errands that I may need to do. I grab dinner and set up shop at my laptop to start writing the next day’s blog post.

7:30 pm:  I try to finish everything up by now and start doing my dishes. The latest I will let myself be on my laptop is 7:45.

8:00 pm:  Shower. I’m a night shower person. I shower in the morning sometimes but I just prefer to shower at night.

9:00 pm:  I’m done showering and I do a quick walk through my apartment to make sure everything is locked, things are put away, etc. I turn my TV on and hit the sleep timer. I have a 19″ TV in my living room so I really can’t see the TV in my bedroom, but I like to fall asleep to noise. I watch Community to fall asleep and I have seen every single episode so I never find myself actively watching it. It’s just background noise. The last thing I do before I go to bed is lay out my clothes that I am going to be wearing tomorrow, both my workout clothes and my work clothes.

9:15 pm:  This is the latest I will stay up during the week. This early bed time plus getting my clothes ready the night before makes early mornings a breeze for me.

5:05 am:  My alarm goes off. I give myself 10 minutes to grab my phone and go through my social media. But at 5:15 am, it’s time to get up and get out of bed. No exceptions. One of the first things I will do is check the weather as it has usually changed a bit from the night before to evaluate if I will be able to bike and if I am wearing the right clothes to bike without being uncomfortable.

5:15 am:  I start my morning routine which includes washing my hair and face. Then I put my dishes away while starting to make my breakfast while putting together my food for the day. I finish all of this by 5:35 am and that gives me a good 10 minutes to eat my breakfast and enjoy it. Then I brush my teeth, change into my workout clothes, pack my bag and I’m out the door by 6:00 am at the latest.

6:15 am:  I am in the gym working out.

7:00 am:  finish my workout and get ready for work

7:30 am:  arrive at work

Rinse and repeat.

This is my routine for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tuesday is the same ish except I run Tuesday morning so I am not in the gym and I take a shower in the morning. Thursday is the only day I “sleep in” waking up at 5:30 am instead of 5:05 because I run w/ a run club group Thursday evenings. But every night is structured the same. I prep the night before the best I can so that the morning is simple and easy. E actually makes his breakfast and lunch the night before so all he has to do in the morning is grab and go. But we both can vouch for early mornings are made by night prep. We both do things that make our early mornings a breeze. And we have been doing early morning workouts since the beginning of the year so the habit has really formed.

Do you have any tips for making your mornings any easier?

Life Wellness: Just Stop What You Are Doing

And read this. Stop reading this article right now and READ THIS BLOG POST.

Oh my GOSH! This applies to not just the gym but LIFE! You hear (or read) fashion bloggers all the time talking about how you just wear whatever you want to wear and whatever makes you happy and don’t worry about what other people think/say/post about you. We hear/read about it in the fitness community. You go into the gym and you do what works for you. When I first started running I would get so self conscious about how slow I thought I was running or if I needed to stop to take breaks to walk. I would always think, “oh man, people are definitely making fun of me.” But 1.) WHO CARES? You are out there being active! Plus those people don’t know your workout plan, they don’t know your injuries and they sure as h-e-double hockey sticks don’t know you. And 2.) DON’T BE THAT PERSON MAKING FUN OF SOMEONE.

STOP BULLYING!

Side note:  I’m actually really into this blog post and wish that my readers could see me typing this up. I’m quite literally mouthing all the words that I am typing and typing ferociously fast and loud and whatnot.

DON’T BULLY PEOPLE.

Don’t do it at the gym. Don’t do it on the internet. Don’t do it in the grocery store. Just don’t do it. And when you do, apologize. In whatever way you can.

Key takeaways from this article? Vanessa gets animated when typing about something she is passionate about AND DON’T BULLY PEOPLE!

Physical Wellness: How Does Your Body Dictate Your View on Exercise?

Survey says, according to this New York Times article…yes! And this is seriously a fascinating research study and a fairly quick read. If you have 5 extra minutes, take the time and read through this short article.

At the core of the NYT article is this, people who aren’t active tend to feel like if they exercise, they are going to embarrass themselves and so they tend to not engage in these activities. BUT that doesn’t mean that’s the end all be all. Because in this day and age, there are a million and one ways to workout, some including staying within the comfort of your own home away from the judgmental eyes and thoughts of others. There are DVD workouts, youtube workouts, workouts you can do WHILE watching your favorite show. You can turn all those ridiculous, obnoxious, horrible drinking games you played in college into workouts but instead of you drink, you do a burpee. Or 10. You can reward yourself for working out. I have a friend who put a dollar in a jar each time she went to crossfit last year. When the year was over, she counted up her dolla dolla bills and had $115! That’s enough to buy a new pair of good workout/running shoes, or new workout clothes. And now she has a number to beat for this year. If you need more instant gratification you could check your dollar bill collection at the end of the month and buy new workout gear then.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to be an Olympic caliber athlete to workout. You don’t even have to do traditional workouts. If you hate running more than anything in this world, then don’t do it. Because it is going to make you hate your workouts and dread them and give you a reason to not do them. If you love having a dance party in your room, blast some upbeat tunes and do it ala Ally McBeal. But get active. Get moving. Get doing something. And when you start feeling comfortable with that, do something different. This study states that most people (in the study) didn’t exercise or engage in physical activity because they thought it would end in embarrassment. Everyone gets embarrassed. Everyone messes up. Olympic athletes mess up. Everyone trips everyone accidentally forgets how to breathe when they are swimming. Because we are all human. And if we would spend a little less time judging or making fun of people who are being active and little more time cheering them on and applauding their efforts, we wouldn’t feel so scared to be embarrassed. Eric and I actually have a competition when we are driving around to see who can say good job to people being active. We might be in a car but without fail, every time we see someone running or walking or just being active we say, “Good job runner!” Even people you don’t know, support them in wanting to be fit and active. And when they do inevitable embarrass themselves, don’t you dare mock them or make fun of them. You keep supporting them. Because damnit, they deserve it because THEY are making the effort and doing the work.

Well that turned into a rant rather quickly…

Share in the comments your favorite non traditional workout! I’m not going to lie, I love busting out my inner Ally McBeal and having a crazy dance party!

Physical Wellness: Mastering the Lunch Time Workout

There are some days that I just cannot fit a workout in at any other time other than during my lunch hour, especially during these cold winter months. But it is a tricky balance of making the most of the one hour that you have during lunch to get a workout in. I have been doing lunch workouts for the past couple of months and I have put together a good routine for 2 different types of workouts that doesn’t take too long and doesn’t get you too sweaty. Especially if you are like me and you have ridiculously long, thick hair so taking a shower after a workout means that you would essentially walk to the gym and walk straight to the showers.

Workout 1:  Cardio 

3 rounds of “Torture” Circuits (10 box jumps, 10 burpees, 10 pushups, 10 situps, 10 Russian twists)

20 minutes of walking/elliptical – to make it more challenging, increase the incline/resistance.

A quick cool down and stretch

Workout 2:  Lifting 

Deadlifts and Squats 3 sets of 8

Kettle bell swings + side drops 3 sets of 10

Killer Calf Raises (30 parallel, 30 turned out, and 30 turned in)

Quick Abs (5 situps w/ a medicine ball, 5 Russian twists and repeat 6x for a total of 30 reps)

Stretch

What are your favorite lunch time workouts or quick workouts?

Physical Wellness: Christmas Lights Run

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I finally got to go on a Christmas Lights Run last night! I got home from work after an extremely long day living in data (my big survey of the year closed Sunday so I finished coding results and then started analyzing the data and writing up my reports) and was surprised to be greeted with 50 degree weather! So I decided to forgo my gym workout I had planned and hustled home to run. (Note:  missing from this picture is one very obnoxious blinking light, that I love).

I didn’t take any pictures of the houses I ran by because I don’t run with anything but my key, but I really, thoroughly enjoyed getting to run around and look at Christmas lights. I will do this again on Thursday as I will be heading out to run club! My shoulder has been acting up a lot lately making running almost impossible because of the pain but I push through it for running during this time of year. Well, that and I have no problem/shame in stopping to walk and starting to run again. I do what I do.

Physical Wellness: According to HuffPo, Fitness Trends

Read them all HERE 

Am I the only one that rolls my eyes at these? Probably. But then I actually read the article and got kind of excited. Combo classes-love those, Fitness of the go? Yup I can get on board w/ that one (random side note, onboarding is an I/O term used to describe how companies welcome new employees to their organization. So those first couple of days/weeks/months where you meet w/ HR and do all that stuff, that’s call onboarding. And now you know…)

PLEASE tell me someone remembers this!

And possibly my favorite new trend – Sweat working. Instead of NETWORKING over drinks and greasy food!

What do you think will be some fitness trends for 2014?

Intellectual Wellness: Vanessa Gets Nerdy.

Last night when I was talking to das boy about my crappy day that I had, I had a bit of an inspirational thought. I have decided to do a bit of research. On myself. Say whaaaaat? Yeah, I’m going to track my mood. And days that I walk into work. My hypothesis is that overall I will have a better day on days that I walk into work. Other variables that I am considering tracking are hours of daylight, doing different exercises in the morning (because on days that I swim, I won’t walk into work during the winter-so can I substitute in doing yoga or pilates in the morning and get the same result?). Right now I don’t have my measures of definitions operationalized…and there are some confounds with this experiment (specifically because it isn’t a blind experiment at all…le sigh). I also need to determine when I am going to measure/evaluate my mood to make sure that I consistently evaluate mood at the same time everyday. I really want to run this experiment for a year and see what I find. 

This is where I get nerdy. Because I’m sure I could look up research on exactly what I am proposing and find the data, but I want to know specifically for me-not for the purpose or sake of research. This isn’t for that. This is for me gaining a better understanding of me. And this is my favorite way-by doing research. I’m a research person. I like the data. Obviously the results won’t hold true for every situation, that’s the human factor in there. But in general, this will give me an insight to me. 

If you are interested in my progress with this research, I can do posts every couple of months and update you on what I have found thus far. 

Do you ever have the urge to run data on yourself? Not for publication purposes but just for better understanding of yourself? Or is that just me…